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Title: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression (Vol. II)

Date of first publication: 1946

Author: anonymous

Date first posted: Dec. 15, 2017

Date last updated: Dec. 15, 2017

Faded Page eBook #20171224

This ebook was produced by: Larry Harrison, Cindy Beyer & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net







Office of United States

Chief of Counsel For Prosecution

of Axis Criminality




United States Government Printing Office

Washington  •  1946

Sold in Complete Sets

by the

Superintendent of Documents

U. S. Government Printing


Washington 25, D. C.

A Collection of Documentary Evidence and Guide Materials Prepared by the American and British Prosecuting Staffs for Presentation before the International Military Tribunal at Nurnberg, Germany, in the case of






Chapter XV.Criminality of Groups and Organizations1
1.The Law Under Which Nazi Organizations are Accused of Being Criminal1
2.The Nazi Party Leadership Corps23
3.The Reich Cabinet91
4.The Sturmabteilung (SA)133
5.The Schutzstaffeln (SS)173
6.The Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) and Sicherheitsdienst (SD)248
7.The General Staff and High Command of the Armed Forces316
XVI.Individual Responsibility of Defendants416
1.Hermann Wilhelm Goering417
2.Rudolf Hess466
3.Joachim von Ribbentrop489
4.Wilhelm Keitel528
5.Alfred Jodl565
6.Ernst Kaltenbrunner575
7.Alfred Rosenberg593
8.Hans Frank624
9.Wilhelm Frick653
10.Julius Streicher689
11.Walter Funk715
12.Hjalmar Schacht738
13.Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach774
14.Karl Doenitz815
15.Erich Raeder849
16.Baldur von Schirach877
17.Martin Bormann896
18.Franz von Papen915
19.Artur Seyss-Inquart956
20.Constantin von Neurath1014
21.Hans Fritzsche1035
1.Principal Officials of the Reich Government1055
2.Principal Officials of the Nazi Party1062
3.Heads of the Armed Forces1063
4.Index of Individuals1064

Chapter XV


The following argument on the law and policy involved in the prosecution’s charge that certain Nazi groups and organizations should be declared criminal, was delivered by Justice Jackson before the Tribunal on 28 February 1946.


May it please the Tribunal:

The unconditional surrender of Germany created, for the victors, novel and difficult problems of law and administration. Since it is the first such surrender of an entire and modernly organized society, precedents and past experiences are of little help in guiding our policy toward the vanquished. The responsibility implicit in demanding and accepting capitulation of a whole people must of necessity include a duty to discriminate justly and intelligently between opposing elements of the population which bore dissimilar relations to the policies and conduct which led to the catastrophe. This differentiation is the objective of those provisions of the Charter which authorize this Tribunal to declare organizations or groups to be criminal. Understanding of the problem which the instrument attempts to solve is essential to its interpretation and application.

A. The Problem of the Nazi Organizations.

One of the sinister peculiarities of German society at the time of the surrender was that the State itself played only a subordinate role in the exercise of political power, while the really drastic controls over German society were organized outside its nominal government. This was accomplished through an elaborate network of closely knit and exclusive organizations of selected volunteers oath-bound to execute, without delay and without question, the commands of the Nazi leaders.

These organizations penetrated the whole German life. The country was subdivided into little Nazi principalities of about 50 households each, and every such community had its recognized party leaders, party police, and its undercover party spies. These were combined into larger units with higher ranking leaders, executioners and spies. The whole formed a pyramid of power outside the law, with the Fuehrer at its apex, and with the local party officials as its broad base resting heavily on the German population. The Nazi despotism, therefore, did not consist of these individual defendants alone. A thousand little fuehrers dictated, a thousand imitation Goerings strutted, a thousand Schirachs incited the youth, a thousand Sauckels worked slaves, a thousand Streichers and Rosenbergs stirred hate, a thousand Kaltenbrunners and Franks tortured and killed, a thousand Schachts and Speers and Funks administered, financed, and supported the movement. The Nazi movement was an integrated force in city and county and hamlet. The party power resulting from this system of organizations first rivaled, and then dominated, the power of the State itself.

The primary vice of this web of organizations was that they were used to transfer the power of coercing men from the government and the law to the Nazi leaders. Liberty, self-government, and security of persons and property do not exist except where the power of coercion is possessed only by the State and is exercised only in obedience to law. The Nazis, however, set up a private system of coercion, outside of and immune from law, with party-controlled concentration camps and firing squads to administer privately decreed sanctions. Without responsibility to law and without warrant from any court, they were enabled to seize property, take away liberty, and even take life itself.

These organizations had a calculated and decisive part in the barbaric extremes of the Nazi movement. They served cleverly to exploit mob psychology and to manipulate the mob. Multiplying the numbers of persons in a common enterprise tends to diminish each individual’s sense of moral responsibility and to increase his sense of security. The Nazi leaders were masters of this technique. They manipulated these organizations to make before the German populace impressive exhibitions of numbers and of power. These were used to incite a mob spirit and then riotously to gratify the popular hates they had inflamed and the Germanic ambition they had inflated.

These organizations indoctrinated and practiced violence and terrorism. They provided the systematized, aggressive, and disciplined execution throughout Germany and the occupied countries of the whole catalogue of crimes we have proven. The flowering of the system is represented in the fanatical SS General Ohlendorf, who told this Tribunal without shame or trace of pity how he personally directed the putting to death of 90,000 men, women, and children. No tribunal ever listened to a recital of such wholesale murder as this Tribunal heard from him and from Wisliceny, a fellow officer of the SS. Their own testimony shows the responsibility of the SS for the extermination program which took the lives of five million Jews, a responsibility the organization welcomed and discharged methodically, remorselessly, and thoroughly. These crimes are unprecedented ones because of the shocking numbers of victims. They are even more shocking and unprecedented because of the large number of persons who united to perpetrate them. All scruple or conscience of a very large segment of the German people was committed to Nazi keeping, and its devotees felt no personal sense of guilt as they went from one extreme measure to another. On the other hand, they developed a contest in cruelty and a competition in crime. Ohlendorf from the witness stand accused other SS commanders, whose killings exceeded his, of “exaggerating” their figures.

There could be no justice and no wisdom in an occupation policy which imposed upon passive and unorganized and inarticulate Germans the same burdens as it placed upon those who voluntarily banded themselves together in these powerful and notorious gangs. One of the basic requirements, both of justice and of successful administration of the occupation responsibility of the victors, is a segregation of these organized elements from the masses of Germans for separate treatment.

It seems beyond controversy that to punish a few top leaders but to leave this web of organized bodies unscotched in the midst of German postwar society, would be to foster the nucleus of a new Nazidom. The members are accustomed to an established chain of centralized command; they have formed a habit and developed a technique of both secret and open cooperation. They still nourish a blind devotion to the suspended, but not abandoned, Nazi program. They will keep alive the hates and ambitions which generated the orgy of crime we have proved. They are carriers, from this generation to the next, of the infection of aggressive and ruthless war. The Tribunal has seen on the screen how easily an assemblage that ostensibly is only a common labor force can be in fact a military training unit drilling with shovels. The next war and the next pogroms will be hatched in the nests of these organizations as surely as we leave their membership with its prestige and influence undiminished by condemnation and punishment.

The menace of these organizations is the more impressive when we consider the demoralized state of German society. It will be years before there can be established in the German State any political authority that is not inexperienced and provisional. It cannot quickly acquire the stability of a government aided by long habit of obedience and traditional respect. The intrigue, obstruction, and possible overthrow, which older and established governments fear from conspiratorial groups, is a real and present danger to any stable social order in the Germany of today and of tomorrow.

Insofar as the Charter of this Tribunal contemplates a justice of retribution, it is obvious that it could not overlook these organized instruments and instigators of past crimes. In opening this case, I said that the United States does not seek to convict the whole German people of crime. But it is equally important that this trial shall not serve to absolve the whole German people except 22 men in the dock. The wrongs that have been done to the world by these defendants and their top confederates was not done by their will or by their strength alone. The success of their designs was made possible because great numbers of Germans organized themselves to become the fulcrum and the lever by which the power of these leaders was extended and magnified. If this trial fails to condemn these organized confederates for share of responsibility for this catastrophe, it will be construed as their exoneration.

But the Charter was not concerned with retributive justice alone. It manifests a constructive policy influenced by exemplary and preventive considerations. The primary objective of requiring that the surrender be unconditional was to clear the way for reconstruction of German society on such a basis that it will not again threaten the peace of Europe and of the world. Temporary measures of the occupation authorities may, by necessity, have been more arbitrary and applied with less discrimination than befits a permanent policy. Under existing denazification policy, no member of the Nazi party or its formations may be employed in any position, other than ordinary labor, or in any business enterprise unless he is found to have been only a nominal Nazi. Persons in certain categories, whose standing in the community is one of prominence or influence, are required to meet this standard, and those who do not may be denied further participation in their businesses or professions. It is mandatory to remove or exclude from public office, and from positions of importance in quasi public and private enterprises, persons falling within approximately 90 specified categories deemed to consist of either active Nazis, Nazi supporters, or militarists. The property of such persons is blocked.

It is recognized by the Control Council, as it was by the framers of the Charter, that a permanent, long-term program should be based on a more careful and more individual discrimination than was possible with sweeping temporary measures. There is a movement now within the Control Council for reconsideration of its whole denazification policy and procedure. The action of this Tribunal in declaring, or in failing to declare, the accused organizations criminal has a vital bearing on future occupation policy.

It was the intent of the Charter to utilize the hearing processes of this Tribunal to identify and condemn those Nazi and militaristic forces that were so organized as to constitute a continuing menace to the long-term objectives for which our respective countries have spent the lives of their young men. It is in the light of this great purpose that we must examine the provisions of the Charter.

B. The Procedure for Condemning Organizations.

It was obvious that the conventional litigation procedures could not, without some modification, be adapted to this task. No system of jurisprudence has yet evolved any satisfactory technique for handling a great multiplicity of common charges against a multitude of accused persons. The number of individual defendants that fairly can be tried in a single proceeding probably does not greatly exceed the number now in your dock. Moreover, the number of separate trials in which the same voluminous evidence as to common plan must be repeated is very limited as a practical matter. Yet adversary hearing procedures are the best assurance the law has evolved that decisions will be well considered and just. The task of the framers of the Charter was to find a way to overcome these obstacles to practicable and early decision without sacrificing the fairness implicit in hearings. The solution prescribed by the Charter is certainly not faultless, but not one of its critics has ever proposed an alternative that would not either deprive the individual of any hearing or contemplate such a multitude of long trials as to be impracticable. In any case, it is the plan adopted by our respective governments and our duty here is to make it work.

The plan which was adopted in the Charter essentially is a severance of the general issues which would be common to all individual trials from the particular issues which would differ in each trial. The plan is comparable to that employed in certain wartime legislation of the United States (Yakus v. United States, 321 U. S., 414, 64 Sup. Ct. 660). The general issues are to be determined with finality in one trial before the International Tribunal. In this trial, every accused organization must be defended by counsel and must be represented by at least one leading member, and other individual members may apply to be heard. Their applications may be granted if the Tribunal thinks justice requires it. The only issue in this trial concerns the collective criminality of the organization or group. It is to be adjudicated by what amounts to be a declaratory judgment. It does not decree any punishment, either against the organization or against the individual members.

The only specification as to the effect of this Tribunal’s declaration that an organization is criminal, is contained in Article 10 of the Charter, which provides:

“In cases where a group or organization is declared criminal by the Tribunal, the competent national authority of any Signatory shall have the right to bring individuals to trial for membership therein before national, military or occupation courts. In any such case the criminal nature of the group or organization is considered proved and shall not be questioned.”

Unquestionably, it would be competent for the Charter to have declared flatly that membership in any of these named organizations is criminal and should be punished accordingly. If there had been such an enactment, it would not have been open to an individual who was being tried for membership in the organization to contend that the organization was not in fact criminal. The framers of the Charter, at a time before the evidence adduced here was available, did not care to find organizations criminal by fiat. They left that issue to determination after relevant facts were developed by adversary proceedings. Plainly, the individual member is better off because of the procedure of the Charter, which leaves that finding of criminality to this body after hearings at which the organization must, and the individual may, be represented.

The groups and organizations named in the Indictment are not “on trial” in the conventional sense of that term. They are more nearly under investigation as they might be before a grand jury in Anglo-American practice. Article 9 recognizes a distinction between the declaration of a group or organization as criminal and “the trial of any individual member thereof.” The power of the Tribunal to try is confined to “persons,” and the Charter does not expand that term by definition, as statutes sometimes do, to include other than natural persons. The groups or organizations named in the Indictment were not as entities served with process. The Tribunal is not empowered to impose any sentence upon them as entities, nor to convict any person because of membership.

It is to be observed that the Charter does not require subsequent proceedings against anyone. It provides only that the competent national authorities “shall have the right to bring individuals to trial for membership therein.”

The Charter is silent as to the form these trials should take. It was not deemed wise, on the information available when the Charter was drawn up, that the Charter should regulate subsequent proceedings. Nor was it necessary to do so. There is a continuing legislative authority, representing all four signatory nations, competent to take over where the Charter leaves off. Legislative supplementation of the Charter is necessary to confer jurisdiction on local courts, to define procedures, and to prescribe different penalties for different forms of activity.

Fear has been expressed, however, that the Charter’s silence as to future proceedings means that great numbers of members will be rounded up and automatically punished as a result of a declaration of an organization to be criminal. It also has been suggested that this is, or may be, the consequence of Article II, 1(d) of Control Council Act No. 10, which defines as a crime “membership in categories of a criminal group or organization declared criminal by the International Military Tribunal.” A purpose to inflict punishments without a right of hearing cannot be spelled out of the Charter, and would be offensive to both its letter and its spirit. And I do not find in Control Council Act No. 10 any inconsistency with the Charter. Of course, to reach all individual members will require numerous hearings. But they will involve only narrow issues; many accused will have no answers to charges if they are clearly stated, and the proceedings should be expeditious and nontechnical.

But I think it is clear that before any person is punishable for membership in a criminal organization, he is entitled to a hearing on the facts of his case. The Charter does not authorize the national authorities to punish membership without a hearing—it gives them only the right to “bring individuals to trial.” That means what it says. A trial means there is something to try.

As to trials of the individual members, the Charter denies only one of the possible defenses of an accused: he may not relitigate the question whether the organization itself was a criminal one. Nothing precludes him from denying that his participation was voluntary and proving he acted under duress; he may prove that he was deceived or tricked into membership; he may show that he had withdrawn; or he may prove that his name on the rolls is a case of mistaken identity.

The membership which the Charter and the Control Council Act make criminal, of course, implies a genuine membership involving the volition of the member. The act of affiliation with the organization must have been intentional and voluntary. Legal compulsion or illegal duress, actual fraud or trick of which one is a victim, has never been thought to be the victim’s crime, and such an unjust result is not to be implied now. The extent of the member’s knowledge of the criminal character of the organization is, however, another matter. He may not have known on the day he joined but may have remained a member after learning the fact. And he is chargeable not only with what he knew but with all of which he reasonably was put on notice.

There are safeguards to assure that this program will be carried out in good faith. Prosecution under the declaration is discretionary, and if there were purpose to punish without trial, it would have been already done without waiting for the declaration. We think the Tribunal will presume that signatory powers which have voluntarily submitted to this process will carry it out faithfully.

The Control Council Act applies only to “categories of membership declared criminal.” This language recognizes a power in this Tribunal to limit the effect of its declaration. I do not think, for reasons I will later state, that this should be construed or availed of so as to try here any issues as to sub-groups or sections or individuals, which can be tried later. It should, I think, be construed to mean, not those limitations which must be defined by detailed evidence, but limitations of principle such as those I have outlined as already implied. It does not require this Tribunal to delve into evidence to condition its judgment, if it sees fit, to apply only to intentional, voluntary, and knowing membership. It does not supplant later trials but guides them.

It cannot be said that a plan, such as we have here, for the severance of general issues common to many cases from particular issues applicable only to individual defendants and for the litigation of each type of issue in separate Tribunals specially adapted to their different tasks, is lacking in reasonableness or fair play. And while it presents unusual procedural difficulties, I do not think it presents any insurmountable ones.

C. Criteria, Principles, and Precedents for Declaring Collective Criminality.

The substantive law which governs the inquiry into criminality of organizations is, in its large outline, old and well settled and fairly uniform in all systems of law. It is true that we are dealing with a procedure easy to abuse and one often feared as an interference with liberty of assembly or as an imposition of “guilt by association.” It also is true that proceedings against organizations are closely akin to the conspiracy charge, which is the great dragnet of the law, rightly watched by courts lest it be abused.

The fact is, however, that every form of government has considered it necessary to treat some organizations as criminal. Not even the most tolerant of governments can permit the accumulation of power in private organizations to a point where it rivals, obstructs, or dominates the government itself. To do so would be to grant designing men a liberty to destroy liberty. It was the very complacency and tolerance as well as the impotence of the Weimar Republic towards the growing organization of Nazi power, which spelled the death of German freedom.

Protection of the citizen’s liberty has required even free governments to enact laws making criminal those aggregations of power which threaten to impose their will on unwilling citizens. Every one of the nations signatory to this Charter has laws making certain types of organizations criminal. The Ku Klux Klan in the United States flourished at about the same time as the Nazi movement in Germany. It appealed to the same hates, practiced the same extra-legal coercions, and likewise terrorized by weird nighttime ceremonials. Like the Nazi Party it was composed of a core of fanatics, but enlisted support of some respectable persons who knew it was wrong, but thought it was winning. It eventually provoked a variety of legislative acts directed against such organizations.

The Congress of the United States also has enacted legislation outlawing certain organizations. A recent example is the Act of June 28, 1940 (c. 439, Title I, Section 2, 54 Stat. 671, 18 USCA 10) which provides in part as follows:


It shall be unlawful for any person . . .


to organize or help to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any government in the United States by force or violence; or to be or become a member of, or affiliate with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof.”

There is much legislation by States of the American union creating analogous offenses. An example is to be found in the Act of California (Statutes 1919, Chapter 188, p. 281) which, after defining “criminal syndicalism,” provides:

“Section 2. Any person who . . . (4) organizes or assists in organizing, or is or knowingly becomes a member of, any organization, society, group or assemblage of persons organized or assembled to teach or aid and abet criminal syndicalism . . .

“Is guilty of a felony and punishable by imprisonment.”

Precedents in English law for outlawing organizations and punishing membership therein are old and consistent with the Charter. One of the first is the British India Act No. 30, enacted November 14, 1836. Section 1 provides:

“It is hereby enacted that whoever shall be proved to have belonged either before or after the passing of this Act to any gang of thugs either within or without the territories of the East India Company shall be punished with imprisonment for life with hard labour.”

Other precedents in English legislation are the Unlawful Societies Act of 1799 (3 George III, Chapter 79); the Seditious Meetings Act of 1817 (57 George III, Chapter 19); the Seditious Meetings Act of 1846 (9 and 10 Victoria, Chapter 33); the Public Order Act of 1936 and Defense Regulation 18(b). The last, not without opposition, was intended to protect the integrity of the British Government against the fifth-column activities of this same Nazi conspiracy.

Soviet Russia punishes as a crime the formation of and membership in a criminal gang. Criminologists of the U.S.S.R. call this crime the “crime of banditry,” a term appropriate to the German organizations.

French criminal law makes membership in subversive organizations a crime. Membership of the criminal gang is a crime in itself. (Articles 265-268, French Penal Code, “Association de Malfaiteurs”; Garaud, Précis de Droit Criminel, 1934 Edition Sirey, p. 1518 and seq. See also Act of December 18, 1893.)

For German precedents, it is neither seemly nor necessary to go to the Nazi regime. Under the Empire and the Weimar Republic, however, German jurisprudence deserved respect and it presents both statutory and juridical examples of declarations of the criminality of organizations. Among statutory examples are:

1. The German Criminal Code enacted in 1871. Section 128 was aimed against secret associations and Section 129 was directed against organizations inimical to the State.

2. The law of March 22, 1921 against paramilitary organizations.

3. The law of July 21, 1922 against organizations aimed at overthrowing the constitution of the Reich.

Section 128 of the Criminal Code of 1871 is especially pertinent. It reads:

“The participation in an organization the existence, constitution, or purposes of which are to be kept secret from the Government, or in which obedience to unknown superiors or unconditional obedience to known superiors is pledged, is punishable by imprisonment up to six months for the members and from one month to one year for the founders and officers. Public officials may be deprived of the right to hold public office for a period of from one to five years.”

Under the Empire, various Polish national unions were the subject of criminal prosecution. Under the Republic, judicial judgments in 1927-28 held criminal the entire Communist Party of Germany. In 1922 and 1928 judgments ran against the political Leadership Corps of the Communist Party, which included all its so-called “body of functionaries,” corresponding to the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party which we have accused. The judgment included every cashier, every employee, every delivery boy and messenger, and every district leader. In 1930 a judgment of criminality against the “Union of Red Front Fighters” of the Communist Party made no discrimination between leaders and ordinary members.

Most significant of all is the fact that on 30 May, 1924 the German courts rendered judgment that the whole Nazi Party was a criminal organization. This decision referred not only to the Leadership Corps, which we are indicting here, but to all other members as well. The whole subsequent rise to power of the Nazi Party was in the shadow of this judgment of illegality.

The German courts in dealing with criminal organizations proceeded on the theory that all members were held together by a common plan in which each one participated even though at various levels. Moreover, the fundamental principles of responsibility of members as stated by the German Supreme Court are strikingly like the principles that govern our Anglo-American law of conspiracy. Among them were these:

1. “It is a matter of indifference whether all the members pursued the forbidden aims. It is enough if a part exercised the forbidden activity.” (R.G. VIa 97/22 of the 8.5.22.)

2. “It is a matter of indifference whether the members of the group or association agree with the aims, tasks, means of working and means of fighting.” (R.G. 58, 401 of the 24.10.24.)

3. “The real attitude of mind of the participants is a matter of indifference. Even if they had the intention of not participating in criminal efforts, or hindering them, this can not eliminate their responsibility.” (R.G. 58, 401 of the 24.10.24.)

Organizations with criminal ends are everywhere regarded as in the nature of criminal conspiracies, and their criminality is judged by the application of conspiracy principles. The reason why they are offensive to law-governed people has been succinctly stated as follows:

“The reason for finding criminal liability in case of a combination to effect an unlawful end or to use unlawful means, where none would exist, even though the act contemplated were actually committed by an individual, is that a combination of persons to commit a wrong, either as an end or as a means to an end, is so much more dangerous, because of its increased power to do wrong, because it is more difficult to guard against and prevent the evil designs of a group of persons than of a single person, and because of the terror which fear of such a combination tends to create in the minds of people.” (Miller on Criminal Law, 1932, p. 110.)

The Charter, in Article 6, provides that “Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.” The individual defendants are arraigned at your bar on this charge which, if proved, makes them responsible for the acts of others in execution of the common plan.

The Charter did not define responsibility for the acts of others in terms of “conspiracy” alone. The crimes were defined in non-technical but inclusive terms, and embraced formulating and executing a “common plan” as well as participating in a “conspiracy.” It was feared that to do otherwise might import into the proceedings technical requirements and limitations which have grown up around the term “conspiracy.” There are some divergences between the Anglo-American concept of conspiracy and that of either Soviet, French, or German jurisprudence. It was desired that concrete cases be guided by the broader considerations inherent in the nature of the social problem, rather than controlled by refinements of any local law.

Now, except for procedural difficulties arising from their multitude, there is no reason why every member of any Nazi organization accused here could not have been indicted and convicted as a part of the conspiracy under Article 6 even if the Charter had never mentioned organizations at all. Voluntary affiliation constituted a definite act of adherence to some common plan and purpose. These did not pretend to be merely social or cultural groups; admittedly they were united for action. In the case of several of the Nazi organizations, the fact of confederation was evidenced by formal induction into membership, the taking of an oath, the wearing of a distinctive uniform, the submission to a discipline. That all members of each Nazi organization did combine under a common plan to achieve some end by combined efforts is abundantly established.

The criteria for determining the collective guilt of those who thus adhered to a common plan obviously are those which would test the legality of any combination or conspiracy. Did it contemplate illegal methods or aim at illegal ends? If so, the liability of each member of one of these Nazi organizations for the acts of every other member is not essentially different from the liability for conspiracy enforced in Courts of the United States against business men who combine in violation of the anti-trust laws, or of other defendants accused under narcotic drugs laws, sedition acts, or other federal penal enactments.

Among the principles every day enforced in Courts of Great Britain and the United States in dealing with conspiracy are these:

1. No meeting or formal agreement is necessary. It is sufficient, although one performs one part and other persons other parts, if there be concert of action, and working together understandingly with a common design to accomplish a common purpose.

2. One may be liable even though he may not have known who his fellow-conspirators were, or just what part they were to take, or what acts they committed, and though he did not take personal part in them or was absent when criminal acts occurred.

3. There may be liability for acts of fellow-conspirators although the particular acts were not intended or anticipated, if they were done in execution of the common plan.

4. It is not necessary to liability that one be a member of a conspiracy at the same time as other actors, or at the time of criminal acts. When one becomes a party to it, he adopts and ratifies what has gone before and remains responsible until he abandons the conspiracy with notice to his fellow-conspirators.

Of course, members of criminal organizations or conspiracies who personally commit crimes are individually punishable for those crimes exactly as are those who commit the same offenses without organizational backing. But the very gist of the crime of conspiracy or membership in a criminal association is liability for acts one did not personally commit but which his acts facilitated or abetted. The crime is to combine with others and to participate in the unlawful common effort, however innocent the personal acts of the participant when considered by themselves.

The very innocent act of mailing a letter is enough to implicate one in a conspiracy if the purpose of the letter is to advance a criminal plan. There are countless examples of this doctrine in Anglo-American jurisprudence.

The sweep of the law of conspiracy is an important consideration in determining the criteria of guilt for organizations. Certainly the vicarious liability imposed in consequence of voluntary membership, formalized by oath, dedicated to a common organizational purpose and submission to a discipline and chain of command, can not be less than that which follows from informal cooperation with a nebulous group to a common end as is sufficient in conspiracy. This meets the suggestion that the prosecution is required to prove every member, or every part, fraction, or division of the membership to be guilty of criminal acts. The suggestion ignores the conspiratorial nature of the charge. Such an interpretation also would reduce the Charter to an unworkable absurdity. To concentrate in one International Tribunal inquiries requiring such detailed evidence as to each member would set a task not possible of completion within the lives of living men.

It is easy to toss about such a plausible but superficial cliché as, “One should be convicted for his activities, not for his membership.” But this ignores the fact that membership in Nazi bodies was itself an activity. It was not something passed out to a passive citizen like a handbill. Even a nominal membership may aid and abet a movement greatly. Does anyone believe that Hjalmar Schacht sitting in the front row of the Nazi Party Congress of 1935, wearing the insignia of the Party, was included in the Nazi propaganda films merely for artistic effect? This great banker’s mere loan of his name to this shady enterprise gave it a lift and a respectability in the eyes of every hesitating German. There may be instances in which membership did not aid and abet the organizational ends and means, but individual situations of that kind are for appraisal in the later hearings and not by this Tribunal. By and large, the use of organization affiliation is a quick and simple, but at the same time fairly accurate outline of the contours of a conspiracy to do what the organization actually did. It is the only one workable at this stage of the trial. It can work no injustice because before any individual can be punished, he can submit the facts of his own case to further and more detailed judicial scrutiny.

While the Charter does not so provide, we think that on ordinary legal principles the burden of proof to justify a declaration of criminality is upon the prosecution. It is discharged, we think, when we establish the following:

1. The organization or group in question must be some aggregation of persons associated in some identifiable relationship with a collective general purpose.

2. While the Charter does not so declare, we think it implied that membership in such an organization must be generally voluntary. That does not require proof that every member was a volunteer. Nor does it mean that an organization is not to be considered voluntary if the defense proves that some minor fraction or small percentage of its membership was compelled to join. The test is a common-sense one: Was the organization on the whole one which persons were free to join or to stay out of? Membership is not made involuntary by the fact that it was good business or good politics to identify one’s self with the movement. Any compulsion must be of the kind which the law normally recognizes, and threats of political or economic retaliation would be of no consequence.

3. The aims of the organization must be criminal in that it was designing to perform acts denounced as crimes in Article 6 of the Charter. No other act would authorize conviction of an individual and therefore no other act would authorize conviction of an organization in connection with the conviction of the individual.

4. The criminal aims or methods of the organization must have been of such character that its membership in general may properly be charged with knowledge of them. This again is not specifically required by the Charter. Of course, it is not incumbent on the prosecution to establish the individual knowledge of every member of the organization or to rebut the possibility that some may have joined in ignorance of its true character.

5. Some individual defendant must have been a member of the organization and must be convicted of some act on the basis of which the organization is declared to be criminal.

D. Definition of Issues for Trial.

The progress of this trial will be expedited by clear definition of the issues to be tried. I have indicated what we consider to be the proper criteria of guilt. There are also subjects which we think are not relevant before this Tribunal, some of which are mentioned in the specific questions asked by the Tribunal.

Only a single ultimate issue is before this Tribunal for decision. That is whether accused organizations properly may be characterized as criminal ones or as innocent ones. Nothing is relevant here that does not bear on a question that would be common to the case of every member. Any matter which would be exculpating for some members but not for all is irrelevant here.

We think it is not relevant to this proceeding at this stage that one or many members were conscripted if in general the membership was voluntary. It may be conceded that conscription is a good defense for an individual charged with membership in a criminal organization, but an organization can have criminal purposes and commit criminal acts even if a portion of its membership consists of persons who were compelled to join it. The issue of conscription is not pertinent to this proceeding but it is pertinent to the trials of individuals for membership in organizations declared criminal by this Tribunal.

We also think it is not relevant to this proceeding that one or more members of the named organizations were ignorant of its criminal purposes or methods if its purposes or methods were open and notorious. An organization may have criminal purposes and commit criminal acts although one or many of its members were without personal knowledge thereof. If a person joined what he thought was a social club but what in fact was a gang of cutthroats and murderers, his lack of knowledge would not exonerate the gang considered as a group, although it might possibly be a factor in extenuation of a charge of criminality brought against him for mere membership in the organization. Even then the test would be not what the man knew, but what, as a person of common understanding, he should have known.

It is not relevant to this proceeding that one or more members of the named organizations were themselves innocent of unlawful acts. This proposition is basic to the entire theory of the declaration of organizational criminality. The purpose of declaring criminality of organizations, as in every conspiracy charge, is punishment for aiding crimes, although the precise perpetrators may never be found or identified. We know that the Gestapo and SS, as organizations, were given principal responsibility for the extermination of the Jewish people in Europe—but beyond a few isolated instances, we can never establish which members of the Gestapo or SS actually carried out the murders. Any member guilty of direct participation in such crimes can be tried on the charge of having committed specific crimes in addition to the general charge of membership in a criminal organization. Therefore, it is wholly immaterial that one or more members of the organizations were themselves allegedly innocent of specific wrongdoing. The purpose of this proceeding is not to reach instances of individual criminal conduct, even in subsequent trials and, therefore, such considerations are irrelevant here.

Another question raised by the Tribunal is the period of time during which the groups or organizations named in the Indictment are claimed by the Prosecution to have been criminal. The Prosecution believes that each organization should be declared criminal during the period referred to in the Indictment. We do not contend that the Tribunal is without power to condition its declaration so as to cover a lesser period of time than that set forth in the Indictment. The Prosecution feels, however, that there is in the record at this time adequate evidence to support the charge of criminality with respect to each of the named organizations during the full period of time set forth in the Indictment.

Another question raised by the Tribunal is whether any classes of persons included within the accused groups or organizations should be excluded from the declaration of criminality. It is, of course, necessary that the Tribunal relate its declaration to some identifiable group or organization. The Tribunal, however, is not expected or required to be bound by formalities of organization. In framing the Charter, the use was deliberately avoided of terms or concepts which would involve this trial in legal technicalities about “juristic persons” or “entities.” Systems of jurisprudence are not uniform in the refinements of these fictions. The concept of the Charter, therefore, is a nontechnical one. “Group” or “organization” should be given no artificial or sophistical meaning. The word “group” was used in the Charter as a broader term, implying a looser and less formal structure or relationship than is implied in the “organization.” The terms mean in the context of the Charter what they mean in the ordinary speech of people. The test to identify a group or organization is, we submit, a natural and common-sense one.

It is important to bear in mind that while the Tribunal no doubt has power to make its own definition of the groups it will declare criminal, the precise composition and membership of groups and organizations is not an issue for trial here. There is no Charter requirement and no practical need for the Tribunal to define a group or organization with such particularity that its precise composition or membership is thereby determined. The creation of a mechanism for later trial of such issues was a recognition that the declaration of this Tribunal is not decisive of such questions and is likely to be so general as to comprehend persons who on more detailed inquiry will prove to be outside of it. An effort by this Tribunal to try questions of exculpation of individuals, few or many, would unduly protract the trial, transgress the limitation of the Charter, and quite likely do some mischief by attempting to adjudicate precise boundaries on evidence which is not directed to that purpose.

The prosecution stands upon the language of the Indictment and contends that each group or organization should be declared criminal as an entity and that no inquiry should be entered upon and no evidence entertained as to the exculpation of any class or classes of persons within such descriptions. Practical reasons of conserving the Tribunal’s time combine with practical considerations for the defendants. A single trial held in one city to deal with questions of excluding thousands of defendants living all over Germany could not be expected to do justice to each member unless it was expected to endure indefinitely. Provision for later, local trial of individual relationships protects the rights of members better than can possibly be done in proceedings before this Tribunal.

With respect to the Gestapo, the United States consents to exclude persons employed in purely clerical, stenographic, janitorial or similar unofficial routine tasks. As to the Nazi Leadership Corps we abide by the position taken at the time of submission of the evidence, that the following should be included: the Fuehrer, the Reichsleitung (i.e., the Reichsleiters, main departments and officeholders), the Gauleiters and their staff officers, the Kreisleiters and their staff officers, the Ortsgruppenleiters, the Zellenleiters, and the Blockleiters, but not members of the staff of the last three officials. As regards the SA, it is considered advisable that the Declaration expressly exclude (1) wearers of the SA Sports Badge; (2) SA controlled Home Guard Units (SA Wehrmannschaften) which were not strictly part of the SA; (3) The Marchabteilungen of the N.S.K.O.V. (National Socialist League for Disabled Veterans); and (4) the SA Reserve, so as to include only the active part of the organization, and that members who were never in any part of that organization other than the Reserve should be excluded.

The Prosecution does not feel that there is evidence of the severability of any class or classes of persons within the organizations accused which would justify any further concessions and feels that no other part of the named groups should be excluded. In this connection, we would again stress the principles of conspiracy. The fact that a section of an organization itself committed no criminal act, or may have been occupied in technical or administrative functions, does not relieve that section of criminal responsibility if its activities contributed to the accomplishment of the criminal enterprise.

E. Further Steps Before This Tribunal.

Over 45,000 persons have joined in communications to this Tribunal asking to be heard in connection with the accusations against organizations. The volume of these applications has caused apprehension as to further proceedings. No doubt there are difficulties yet to be overcome, but my study indicates that the difficulties are greatly exaggerated.

The Tribunal is vested with wide discretion as to whether it will entertain an application to be heard. The Prosecution would be anxious, of course, to have every application granted that is necessary, not only to do justice but to avoid the appearance of doing anything less than justice. And we do not consider that expediting this trial is so important as affording a fair opportunity to present all really pertinent facts.

Analysis of the conditions which have brought about this flood of applications indicates that their significance is not proportionate to their numbers. The Tribunal sent out 200,000 printed notices of the right to appear before it and defend. They were sent to Allied prisoner of war and internment camps. The notice was published in all German language papers and was repeatedly broadcast over the radio. The 45,000 persons who responded with applications to be heard came principally from about 15 prisoner of war and internment camps in British or United States control. Those received included an approximate 12,000 from Dachau, 10,000 from Langwasser, 7,500 from Auerbach, 4,000 from Staumuehle, 2,500 from Garmisch, and several hundred from each of the others.

We undertook investigation of these applications from Auerbach camp as probably typical of all. The camp is for prisoners of war, predominantly SS members, and its prisoners number 16,964 enlisted men and 923 officers. The notice of the International Tribunal was posted in each barracks and was read to all inmates. The applications to the Tribunal were forwarded without censorship. Applications to defend were made by 7,509 SS members.

Investigation indicates that these were filed in direct response to the notice and that no action was directed or inspired from any other source within the camp. All who were interrogated professed no knowledge of any SS crimes or of SS criminal purpose, but expressed interest only in their individual fate. Our investigators report no indication that the SS members had additional evidence or information to submit on the general question of the criminality of the SS as an organization. They seemed to think it necessary to make the application to this Tribunal in order to protect themselves.

Examination of the applications made to the Tribunal indicates that most members do not profess to have evidence on the general issue triable here. They assert that the writer has neither committed, witnessed, nor known of the crimes charged against the organization. On a proper definition of the issues such an application is insufficient on its face.

A careful examination of the Tribunal’s notice to which these applications respond will indicate that the notice contains no word which would inform a member, particularly if a layman, of the narrowness of the issues here, or of the later opportunity of each member, if and when prosecuted, to present personal defenses. On the other hand, I think the notice creates the impression that every member may be convicted and punished by this Tribunal and that his only chance to be heard is here.

In view of these facts we suggest consideration of the following program for completion of this trial as to organizations.

1. That the Tribunal formulate and express in an order the scope of the issues and the limitations on the issues to be heard by it.

2. That a notice adequately informing members as to the limitation on issues and the opportunity for later, individual trial, be sent to all applicants and published as was the original notice.

3. That a panel of masters be appointed as authorized in Article 17(e) of the Charter to examine applications and report those insufficient on their own statements, and to go to the camps and supervise the taking of any relevant evidence. Defense counsel and prosecution representatives should of course attend and be heard before the masters. The masters should reduce any evidence to deposition form and report the whole to the Tribunal to be introduced as a part of its record.

4. The representative principle may also be employed to simplify this task. Members of particular organizations in particular camps might well be invited to choose one or more to represent them in presenting evidence.

It may not be untimely to remind the Tribunal and defense counsel that the prosecution has omitted from evidence many relevant documents which show repetition of crimes by these organizations in order to save time by avoiding cumulative evidence. It is not too much to expect that cumulative evidence of a negative character will likewise be limited.

Some concern has been expressed as to the number of persons who might be affected by the declarations of criminality we have asked. Some people seem more susceptible to the shock of a million punishments than to the shock of 5 million murders. At most the number of punishments will never catch up with the number of crimes. However, it is impossible to state even with approximate accuracy the number of persons who might be affected. Figures from German sources seriously exaggerate the number, because they do not take account of heavy casualties in the latter part of the war, and make no allowances for duplication of membership, which was large. For example, the evidence is to the effect that 75 percent of the Gestapo men also were members of the SS. We know that the United States forces have in detention a roughly estimated 130,000 persons who appear to be members of accused organizations. I have no figures from other Allied forces. But how many of these actually would be prosecuted, instead of being dealt with under the denazification program, no one can foretell. Whatever the number, of one thing we may be sure: it is so large that a thorough inquiry by this Tribunal, into each case, would prolong its session beyond endurance. All questions as to whether individuals or sub-groups of accused organizations should be excepted from the Declaration of Criminality, should be left for local courts, located near the home of the accused and near sources of evidence. These courts can work in one or at most in two languages, instead of four, and can hear evidence which both parties direct to the specific issues.

F. Conclusion.

This is not the time to review the evidence against particular organizations which, we take it, should be reserved for summation after all the evidence is presented. But it is timely to say that the selection of the six organizations named in the Indictment was not a matter of chance. The chief reasons they were chosen are these: collectively they were the ultimate repositories of all power in the Nazi regime; they were not only the most powerful, but the most vicious organizations in the regime; and they were organizations in which membership was generally voluntary.

The Nazi Leadership Corps consisted of the directors and principal executors of the Nazi Party, which was the force lying behind and dominating the whole German state. The Reichs Cabinet was the facade through which the Nazi Party translated its will into legislative, administrative, and executive acts. The two pillars on which the security of the regime rested were the armed forces, directed and controlled by the General Staff and High Command, and the police forces—the Gestapo, the SA, the SD, and the SS. These organizations exemplify all the evil forces of the Nazi regime.

These organizations were also selected because, while representative, they were not so large or extensive as to make it probable that innocent, passive, or indifferent Germans might be caught up in the same net with the guilty. State officialdom is represented, but not all administrative officials or department heads or civil servants; only the Reichsregierung, the very heart of Nazidom within the Government, is named. The armed forces are accused, but not the average soldier or officer, no matter how high ranking. Only the top policy-makers—the General Staff and High Command—are named. The police forces are accused, but not every policeman: not the ordinary police, which performed only normal police functions. Only the most terroristic and repressive police elements—the Gestapo and SD—are named. The Nazi Party is accused, but not every Nazi voter, not even every member; only the leaders, the Politische Leiter. (See Chart No. 14.) And not even every Party official or worker is included; only “the bearers of sovereignty,” in the metaphysical jargon of the Party, who were the actual commanding officers and their staff officers on the highest levels, are accused. The “formations” or strong arms of the Party are accused, but not every one of the seven formations, nor any of the twenty or more supervised or affiliated party groups. Nazi organizations in which membership was compulsory, either legally or in practice (like the Hitler Youth and the Deutsche Studentschaft); Nazi professional organizations (like the Civil Servants Organization, the National Socialist Teachers Organization, and the National Socialist Lawyers Organization); Nazi organizations having some legitimate purpose (like the welfare organizations), have not been indicted. Only two formations are named, the SA and the SS, the oldest of the Nazi organizations, groups which had no purpose other than carrying out the Nazi schemes and which actively participated in every crime denounced in the Charter.

In administering preventive justice with a view to forestalling repetition of these crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, it would be a greater catastrophe to acquit these organizations than it would be to acquit the entire 22 individual defendants in the box. These defendants’ power for harm is spent. That of these organizations goes on. If they are exonerated here, the German people will infer that they did no wrong and will easily be regimented in reconstituted organizations under new names behind the same program.

In administering retributive justice it would be possible to exonerate these organizations only by concluding that no crimes have been committed by the Nazi regime. Their sponsorship of every Nazi purpose and their confederation to execute every measure to attain those ends is beyond denial. A failure to condemn these organizations under the terms of the Charter can only mean that such Nazi ends and means cannot be considered criminal, and that the Charter of the Tribunal is considered a nullity.


The Nazi Party Leadership Corps—it is proposed to demonstrate—was responsible for planning, directing, and supervising the criminal measures carried into execution by the Nazi Party, which was the central core of the common plan or conspiracy charged in Count I of the Indictment. Moreover, it will be shown, the members of the Leadership Corps themselves actively participated in the commission of illegal measures in aid of the conspiracy. In the light of the evidence to be discussed, the Leadership Corps may be fairly described as the brain, the backbone, and the directing arms of the Nazi Party. Its responsibilities are more massive and comprehensive than those of the army of followers who blindly and faithfully did its bidding.

A. Composition, Functions, Responsibilities, and Powers of the Leadership Corps.

In considering the composition and organizational structure of the Leadership Corps, preliminary reference is made to the organization chart of the Nazi Party (Chart Number 1) as well as a chart of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party appearing at page 9 of a magazine published by the Chief Education Office of the Nazi Party entitled “Das Gesicht der Partei” (The Face of the Party). These charts and the evidence to follow show that the Leadership Corps constituted the sum of the officials of the Nazi Party: it included the Fuehrer; the Reichsleiter and Reich office holders; the five categories of leaders who were area commanders (called Hoheitstraeger, or “bearers of sovereignty”) ranging all the way from the 40-odd Gauleiter in charge of large districts down through the intermediate political leaders to the Blockleiter, charged with looking after 40 to 60 households; and what may best be described as the Staff Officers attached to each of the 5 levels of Hoheitstraeger.

Organized upon a hierarchical basis, forming a pyramidal structure, the principal Political Leaders on a scale of descending authority were:


Reichsleiter (Reich Leaders) and Main Office and Office Holders

Gauleiter (District Leaders) and Staff Officers

Kreisleiter (County Leaders) and Staff Officers

Ortsgruppenleiter (Local Chapter Leaders) and Staff Officers

Zellenleiter (Cell Leaders) and Staff Officers

Blockleiter (Block Leaders) and Staff Officers

A large part of this and other evidence relating to the composition of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party is to be found in the 1943 edition of the Organization Book of the NSDAP, an authoritative primer on Nazi organizations which was edited by the defendant, Reich Organization Leader of the NSDAP, Dr. Robert Ley.

The Reichsleitung of the Leadership Corps consisted of the Reichsleiter or Reich Leaders of the Party, the Hauptaemter (Main Offices) and the Aemter (or Offices). The Reichsleiter of the Party were, next to Hitler, the highest officeholders in the Party hierarchy. All the Reichsleiter and Main Office and officeholders within the Reichsleitung were appointed by Hitler and were directly responsible to him. The Organization Book of the NSDAP puts it as follows:

“The Fuehrer appoints the following Political Directors: “Reichsleiter and all Political Directors, to include the Directors of the Womens Leagues within the Reich Directorate or Reichsleitung.” (1893-PS)

The significant fact is that through the Reichsleitung perfect coordination of Party and State machinery was guaranteed. The Party Manual describes it this way:

“In the Reichsleitung the arteries of the organization of the German people and of the German State merge.” (1893-PS)

To demonstrate that the Reichsleiter of the Leadership Corps included the most powerful coalition of political overlords in Nazi Germany, it is necessary only to mention their names. The list of Reichsleiter includes the following defendants on trial: Rosenberg, Von Schirach, Frick, Bormann, and Ley.

The evidence to be presented will show that Rosenberg was the leader of an organization named for him, the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, which carried out a vast program of looting and plunder of art treasures throughout occupied Europe. The evidence will further show that, as Representative of the Fuehrer for the Supervision of Nazi Ideology and Schooling, Rosenberg participated in an aggressive campaign to undermine the Christian churches and to supersede Christianity by a German National Church founded upon a combination of irrationality, pseudo-scientific theories, mysticism, and the cult of the racial state.

It will be shown that the late Defendant Ley, acting as the agent of Hitler and the Leadership Corps, directed the Nazi assault upon the independent labor unions of Germany and before destroying himself first destroyed the free and independent labor movement; and that he replaced it by a Nazi organization, the German Labor front or DAF, which he employed as a means of exploiting the German labor force in the interests of the conspiracy and to instill Nazi ideology among the ranks of the German workers.

It will be shown that Frick participated in the enactment of many laws which were designed to promote the conspiracy in its several phases. Frick shares responsibility for the grave injury done by the officials of the Leadership Corps to the concept of the rule of law by virtue of his efforts to give the color of law and formal legality to a large volume of Nazi legislation violative of the rights of humanity, such as the legislation designed to stigmatize and eliminate the Jewish people of Germany and German-occupied Europe. As chief of the Party Chancellery, immediately under Hitler, Bormann was an extremely important force in directing the activities of the Leadership Corps. As will be shown, a decree of 16 January 1942 provided that the participation of the Party in all important legislation, governmental appointments, and promotions had to be undertaken exclusively by Bormann. He took part in the preparation of all laws and decrees issued by the Reich authorities and gave his assent to those of the subordinate governments.

The list of Reichsleiter of the NSDAP set forth in the National Socialist Yearbook (1943 Edition) shows that the following 15 Reichsleiter were in office in 1943 (2473-PS):

“Max AmannReichsleiter for the Press.
“Martin BormannChief of the Party Chancery.
“Phillipp BouhlerChief of the Chancery of the Fuehrer of the NSDAP. Chairman of the official Party Investigation Commission for the Protection of National Socialist Writings.
“Walter DarréOn leave.
“Otto DietrichReich Press Chief of the NSDAP.
“Franz von EppChief of the Kolonialpolitischen Amtes.
“Karl FiehlerChief of the main office for Municipal Politics.
“Wilhelm FrickLeader of the National Socialist “faction” in the Reichstag.
“Joseph GoebbelsReich Propaganda Leader of the NSDAP.
“Konstantin HierlLeader of the Reich Labor.
“Heinrich HimmlerReich Leader of the SS. The Deputy of the NSDAP, for all questions of Germandom.
“Robert LeyReich Organization Leader of the NSDAP. Leader of the German Labor Front.
“Victor LutzeChief of Staff of the SA.
“Alfred RosenbergRepresentative of the Fuehrer for the supervision of all mental and ideological training and education of the NSDAP.
“Baldur von SchirachReich Leader for the Education of Youth of the NSDAP.
“Franz Xaver SchwarzReich Treasurer of the NSDAP.”

The principal functions of the Reichsleiter included carrying out the tasks and missions assigned to them by the Fuehrer or by the Chief of the Party Chancellery, Martin Bormann. The Reichsleiter were further charged with insuring that Party policies were being executed in all the subordinate areas of the Reich. The Reichsleiter were also responsible for insuring a continual flow of new leadership into the Party. With respect to the function and responsibilities of the Reichsleiter, the Organization Book of the NSDAP states as follows:

“The NSDAP represents the political conception, the political conscience, and the political will of the German nation. Political conception, political conscience, and political will are embodied in the person of the Fuehrer. Based on his directives and in accordance with the program of the NSDAP the organs of the Reich Directorate directionally determine the political aims of the German people. It is in the Reich Directorate that the arteries of the organization of the German people and the State merge. It is the task of the separate organs of the Reich Directorate to maintain as close a contact as possible with the life of the nation through their sub-offices in the Gau * * *

“The structure of the Reich Directorate is thus that the channel from the lowest Party office upwards shows the most minute weaknesses and changes in the mood of the people * * *

“Another essential task of the Reich Directorate is to assure a good selection of leaders. It is the duty of the Reich Directorate to see that there is leadership in all phases of life, a leadership which is firmly tied to National Socialist ideology and which promotes its dissemination with all its energy * * *

“* * * It is the supreme task of the Reich Organization Leader to preserve the Party as a well-sharpened sword for the Fuehrer.” (1893-PS)

The domination of the German Government by the top members of the Leadership Corps was facilitated by a circular decree of the Reich Minister of Justice, dated 17 February 1934, which established equal rank for the offices within the Reichsleitung of the Leadership Corps and the Reich offices of the government. In this decree it was expressly provided that

“the supreme offices of the Reichsleitung are equal in rank to the supreme Reich Government authorities.”

The Party Manual termed the control exercised over the machinery of government by the Leadership Corps “the permeation of the State apparatus with the political will of the Party.”

Domination by the Leadership Corps over the German State and Government was facilitated by uniting in the same Nazi chieftains both high office within the Reichsleitung and corresponding offices within the apparatus of government. For example, Goebbels was a Reichsleiter in charge of Party propaganda, but he was also a cabinet minister in charge of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment. Himmler held office within the Reichsleitung as head of the Main Office for “Volkdom” and as Reichsfuehrer of the SS. At the same time, Himmler held the governmental position of Reich Commission for the Consolidation of Germandom and was the governmental head of the German police system (Chart Number 1). This personal union of high office in the Leadership Corps and high governmental position in the same Nazi Leaders greatly assisted the plan of the Leadership Corps to dominate and control the German State and Government.

In addition to the Reichsleiter, the Reichsleitung (Reich Party Directorate) included about eleven Hauptamter, or Main Offices, and about four Amter, or Offices. The Hauptamter of the Party included such main organizations as those for personnel, training, technology (headed by Speer), “Volkdom,” (headed by Himmler), civil servants, communal policy, and the like. The Amter, or offices, of the Party within the Reichsleitung included the Office for Foreign Policy under Rosenberg which actively participated in plans for aggression against Norway, the Office for Colonial Policy, the Office for Geneology, and the Office for Racial Policy.

Certain of the main offices and offices within the Reichsleitung appeared again within the Gauleitung, or Gau Party Directorate, and Kreisleitung, or County Party Directorate. Thus, the Reichsleiter and main office and office holders within the Reichsleitung exercised, through functional channels running through subordinate offices on lower regional levels, total control over the various sectors of the national life of Germany.

(1) Gauleiter. For Party purposes Germany was divided into major administrative regions, Gaue, which, in turn, were subdivided into Kreise (counties), Ortsgruppen (local chapters), Zellen (cells), and Blocke (blocks). Each Gau was in charge of a Gauleiter who was the political leader of the Gau or district. Each Gauleiter was appointed by and was responsible to Hitler himself. The Organization Book of the NSDAP states:

“The Gau represents the concentration of a number of Party counties, or Kreise. The Gauleiter is directly subordinate to the Fuehrer. He is appointed by the Fuehrer. The Gauleiter bears overall responsibility to the Fuehrer for the sector of sovereignty entrusted to him. The rights, duties, and jurisdiction of the Gauleiter result primarily from the mission assigned by the Fuehrer and, apart from that, from detailed directives.” (1893-PS)

The responsibility and function of the Gauleiter and his staff officers or office holders were essentially political, namely, to insure the authority of the Nazi Party within his area, to coordinate the activities of the Party and all its affiliated and supervised organizations, and to enlarge the influence of the Party over people and life in his Gau generally. Following the outbreak of the war, when it became imperative to coordinate the various phases of the German war effort, the Gauleiter were given additional important responsibilities. The Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich, which was a sort of general staff for civil defense and the mobilization of the German war economy, by a decree of 1 September 1939 (1939, Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1565), appointed about sixteen Gauleiter as Reich Defense Commissars. Later, under the impact of mounting military reverses and an increasingly strained war economy, more and more important administrative functions were put on a Gau basis; the Party Gaue became the basic defense areas of the Reich and each Gauleiter became a Reich Defense Commissar (Decree of the Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich of 16 November 1942, 1942 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 649). In the course of the war, additional functions were entrusted to the Gauleiter so that at the end, with the exception of certain special matters, such as police affairs, almost all phases of the German war economy were coordinated and supervised by them. For instance, regional authority over price control was put under the Gauleiter as Reich Defense Commissars, and housing administration was placed under the Gauleiter as Gau Housing Commissar. Toward the end of the war, the Gauleiter were charged even with military and quasi military tasks. They were made commanders of the Volkssturm in their areas and were entrusted with such important functions as the evacuation of civilian population in the path of the advancing Allied armies, as well as measures for the destruction of vital installations.

The structure and organization of the Party Gau were substantially repeated in the lower levels of the Party organization such as the Kreise, Ortsgruppen, Cells, and Blocks. Each of these was headed by a political leader who, subject to the Fuehrer principle and the orders of superior political leaders, was sovereign within his sphere. The Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party was in effect a “hierarchy of descending caesars.” Each of the subordinate Party levels, such as Kreise, Ortsgruppen, and so on, was organized into offices or Amter dealing with the various specialized functions of the Party. But the number of such departments and offices diminished as the Party unit dropped in the hierarchy, so that, while the Kreise office contained all, or most of the offices in the Gau (such as the deputy, the staff office leader, an organization leader, school leader, propaganda leader, press office leader, treasurer, judge of the Party Court, inspector, and the like), the Ortsgruppe had less and the Zellen and Blocke fewer still.

(2) Kreisleiter (County Leaders). The Kreisleiter was appointed and dismissed by Hitler upon the nomination of the Gauleiter and directly subordinate to the Gauleiter in the Party hierarchy. The Kreis usually comprised a single county. The Kreisleiter, within the Kreis, had in general the same position, powers, and prerogatives granted the Gauleiter in the Gau. In cities they constituted the very core of Party power and organization. According to the Organization Book of the NSDAP:

“The Kreisleiter carries over-all responsibility towards the Gauleiter within his zone of sovereignty for the political and ideological training and organization of the Political Leaders, the Party members, as well as the population.” (1893-PS)

(3) Ortsgruppenleiter (Local Chapter Leaders). The area of the Ortsgruppenleiter comprised one or more communes or, in a town, a certain district. The Ortsgruppe was composed of a combination of blocks and cells and, according to local circumstances, contained up to 1500 households. The Ortsgruppenleiter also had a staff of office leaders to assist him in the various functional activities of the Party. All other political leaders in his area of responsibility were subordinate to and under the direction of the Ortsgruppenleiter. For example, the leaders of the various affiliated organizations of the Party, within his area, such as the German Labor Front, and the Nazi organizations for lawyers, students, and civil servants, were all subordinate to the Ortsgruppenleiter. In accordance with the Fuehrer principle, the Ortsgruppenleiter or Local Chapter Leaders were appointed by the Gauleiter and were directly under and subordinate to the Kreisleiter.

The party Manual provides as follows with respect to the Ortsgruppenleiter:

“As Hoheitstraeger [Bearer of Sovereignty] all expressions of the Party will emanate from the Ortsgruppenleiter; he is responsible for the political and ideological leadership and organization within his zone of sovereignty.

“The Ortsgruppenleiter carries the over-all responsibility for the political results of all measures initiated by the offices, organizations, and affiliated associations of the Party. * * * The Ortsgruppenleiter has the right to protest to the Kreisleiter against any measures contrary to the interests of the Party with regard to an outside political appearance in public.” (1893-PS)

(4) Zellenleiter (Cell Leaders). The Zellenleiter was responsible for four to eight blocks. He was the immediate superior of and had control and supervision over the Blockleiter (Block Leader). His mission and duties, according to the Party Manual, corresponded to the missions of the Blockleiter. (1893-PS)

(5) Blockleiter (Block Leaders). The Blockleiter was the one Party official who was peculiarly in a position to have continuous contact with the German people. The block was the lowest unit in the Party pyramidal organization. The block of the Party comprised 40 to 60 households and was regarded by the Party as the focal point upon which to press the weight of its propaganda. The Organization Book of the NSDAP states:

“The household is the basic community upon which the block and cell system is built. The household is the organizational focal point of all Germans united in an apartment and includes roomers, domestic help, etc. * * * The Blockleiter has jurisdiction over all matters within his zone relating to the Movement and is fully responsible to the Zellenleiter. * * *” (1893-PS)

The Blockleiter, as in the case of other political leaders, was charged with planning, disseminating, and developing a receptivity to the policies of the Nazi Party among the population in his area of responsibility. It was also the expressed duty of the Blockleiter to spy on the population. According to the Party Manual:

“It is the duty of the Blockleiter to find people disseminating damaging rumors and to report them to the Ortsgruppe so that they may be reported to the respective State authorities.

“The Blockleiter must not only be preacher and defender of the National Socialist ideology towards the members of nation and Party entrusted to his political care, but he must also strive to achieve practical collaboration of the Party members within his block zone * * *.”

“The Blockleiter shall continuously remind the Party members of their particular duties towards the people and the State * * * The Blockleiter keeps a list (card file) about the households * * * In principle, the Blockleiter will settle his official business verbally and he will receive messages verbally and pass them on in the same way. Correspondence will only be used in cases of absolute necessity * * * The Blockleiter conducts National Socialist propaganda from mouth to mouth. He will eventually awaken the understanding of the eternally dissatisfied as regards the frequently misunderstood or wrongly interpreted measures and laws of the National Socialist Government * * * It is not necessary to him to fall in with complaints and gripes about possibly obvious shortcomings of any kind in order to demonstrate * * * solidarity * * * A condition to gain the confidence of all people is to maintain absolute secrecy in all matters.” (1893-PS)

There were in Germany around a half million of these Blockleiter. Large though this figure may appear, there can be no doubt that these officials were in and of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party. Though they stood at the broad base of the Party pyramid rather than at its summit, where rested the Reichsleiter, by virtue of this fact they were stationed at close intervals throughout the German civil population. It may be doubted that the average German ever looked upon the face of Heinrich Himmler. But the man in the street in Nazi Germany could not have avoided an uneasy acquaintance with the Blockleiter in his neighbourhood. It was the block leaders who represented to the people of Germany the police-state of Hitler’s Germany. In fact, the Blockleiter were little fuehrers with real power over the civilians in their domains. The authority of the Blockleiter to exercise coercion and the threat of force upon the civil population is shown in an excerpt from page 7 of the magazine published by the Chief Education Office of the Party, entitled “The Face of the Party”:

“Advice and sometimes also the harsher form of education is employed if the faulty conduct of an individual harms this individual himself and thus also the community.”

(6) Hoheitstraeger. Within the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party certain of the Political Leaders possessed a higher degree of responsibility than others, were vested with special prerogatives, and constituted a distinctive and elite group. These were the so-called “Hoheitstraeger” (Bearers of Sovereignty) who represented the Party within their area of jurisdiction, the so-called Hoheitsgebiet. The Party Manual (1893-PS) states as follows:

“Among the Political Leaders, the Hoheitstraeger assumed a special position. Contrary to the other Political Leaders who have departmental missions, the Hoheitstraeger themselves are in charge of a geographical sector known as the Hoheitsgebiet [Sectors of Sovereignty].

Hoheitstraeger are:

“The Fuehrer

The Gauleiter

The Kreisleiter

The Ortsgruppenleiter

The Zellenleiter

The Blockleiter.

Hoheitsgebiet are:

“The Reich

The Gau

The Kreis

The Ortsgruppe

The Zelle

The Block.

“Within their sector of sovereignty the Hoheitstraeger have sovereign political rights. They represent the Party within their sector. The Hoheitstraeger supervise all Party Officers within their jurisdiction and * * * are responsible for the maintenance of discipline. * * * The directors of offices, etc., and of the affiliated organizations are responsible to their respective Hoheitstraeger as regards their special missions. * * * The Hoheitstraeger are superior to all Political Leaders, managers, etc., within their sector. As regards personal considerations, Hoheitstraeger * * * are endowed with special rights.

“The Hoheitstraeger of the Party are not to be administrative officials * * * but are to move in a continuous vital contact with the Political Leaders of the population within their sector. The Hoheitstraeger are responsible for the proper and good supervision of all members of the nation within their sectors * * *.

“The Party intends to achieve a state of affairs in which the individual German will find his way to the Party * * *.” (1893-PS)

The distinctive character of the Politischer Leiter (Political Leaders) constituting the Hoheitstraeger, and their existence and operation as an identifiable group, are indicated by the publication of a magazine, entitled Der Hoheitstraeger, whose distribution was limited by regulation of the Reich Organization Leader to the Hoheitstraeger and certain other designated Politischer Leiter. The inside cover of this exclusive Party magazine reads as follows:

DER HOHEITSTRAEGER, the contents of which is to be handled confidentially, serves only for the orientation of the competent leaders. It may not be loaned out to other persons * * *” [then follows a list of the Hoheitstraeger and other Political Leaders authorized to receive the magazine.] (2660-PS)

The magazine states that, in addition, the following were entitled to receive it:

“Commandants, Unit Commanders and Candidates of Order Castles; the Reich, Shock Troop and Gaue Speakers of the NSDAP; the Lieutenant Generals and Major Generals of SA, SS, NSFK, and NSKK; Lieutenant Generals and Major Generals of the HJ.” (2660-PS)

The fact that this magazine existed, that it derived its name from the Commanding Officers of the Leadership Corps, that it was distributed to the elite of the Leadership Corps—that a House Bulletin was circulated down the command channels of the Leadership Corps—demonstrates that the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party was an identifiable group or organization within the meaning of Article 9 of the Charter.

An examination of the contents of the magazine Der Hoheitstrager reveals a continuing concern by the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party in measures and doctrines which were employed throughout the course of the conspiracy. The plans and policies of the inner elite of the Leadership Corps gain clarity through a random sampling of articles published and policies advocated in various issues of the magazine Der Hoheitstrager. From February 1937 to October 1938 these included the following: anti-Semitic articles, attacks on Catholicism and the Christian religion and clergy; the need for motorized armament; the urgent need for expanded Lebensraum and colonies; persistent attacks on the League of Nations; the use of the Block and Cell in achieving favorable votes in Party plebiscites; the intimate association between the Wehrmacht and the Political Leadership; the racial doctrines of Fascism; the cult of “leadership”; the role of the Gaue, Ortsgruppen, and Zellen in the expansion of Germany; and related matters.

(a) Organization of Political Leaders. The Political Leaders were organized according to the leadership principle (1893-PS):

“The basis of the Party organization is the Fuehrer thought. The public is unable to rule itself either directly or indirectly * * * All Political Leaders stand as appointed by the Fuehrer and are responsible to him. They possess full authority toward the lower echelons * * * Only a man who has absorbed the school of subordinate functions within the Party has a claim to the higher Fuehrer offices. We can only use Fuehrers who have served from the ground up. Any Political Leader who does not conform to these principles is to be dismissed or to be sent back to the lower offices, as Blockleiter, Zellenleiter for further training * * *

“The Political Leader is not an office worker but the Political Deputy of the Fuehrer * * * Within the Political Leadership, we are building the Political Leadership of the state * * * The type of the Political Leader is not characterized by the office which he represents. There is no such thing as a Political Leader of the NSBO, etc., but there is only the Political Leader of the NSDAP.” (1893-PS)

Each Political Leader was sworn in yearly. According to the Party Manual (1893-PS), the wording of the oath was as follows:

“I pledge eternal allegiance to Adolf Hitler. I pledge unconditional obedience to him and the Fuehrers appointed by him.” (1893-PS)

The Organization Book of the NSDAP also provides:

“The Political Leader is inseparably tied to the ideology and the organization of the NSDAP. His oath only ends with his death or with his expulsion from the National Socialist community.” (1893-PS)

(b) Appointment of Political Leaders. The appointment of the political leaders constituting the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party proceeded as follows, according to the Party Manual:

“The Fuehrer appointed the following Political Leaders:

“a. All Reichsleiter and all Political Leaders within the Reichsleitung [Reich Party Directorate], including women’s leaders.

“b. All Gauleiter, including the Political Leaders holding offices in the Gauleitung [Gau Party Directorate], including Gau women leaders.

“c. All Kreisleiter.

“The Gauleiter appointed:

“a. The Political Leaders and women’s leaders within the Gau Party Directorate.

“b. The Political Leaders and directors of women’s leagues in the Kreis Party Directorate.

“c. All Ortsgruppenleiter.

“The Kreisleiter appoints the Political Leaders and the Directors of the Women’s Leagues of the Ortsgruppen including the Block and Cell Leaders.” (1893-PS)

c. Power of Hoheitstraeger to Call Upon Party Formations. The Hoheitstraeger among the Leadership Corps were entitled to call upon and utilize the various Party Formations as necessary for the execution of Nazi Party policies.

The Party Manual makes it clear that the Hoheitstrager has power and authority to requisition the services of the SA:

“The Hoheitstrager is responsible for the entire political appearance of the Movement within his zone. The SA leader of that zone is tied to the directives of the Hoheitstrager in that respect.

“The Hoheitstrager is the ranking representative of the Party to include all organizations within his zone. He may requisition the SA located within his zone from the respective SA leader if they are needed for the execution of a political mission. The Hoheitstrager will then assign the mission to the SA * * *

“Should the Hoheitstrager need more SA for the execution of political mission than is locally available, he then applies to the next higher office of sovereignty which, in turn, requests the SA from the SA office in his sector.” (1893-PS)

The Hoheitstrager also had the same authority to call upon the services of the SS and NSKK (1893-PS).

The Hoheitstrager further, had authority to call upon the services of the Hitler Youth (HJ):

“The Political Leader has the right to requisition the HJ in the same manner as the SA for the execution of a political action.

“In appointing leaders of the HJ and the DJ, the office of the HJ must procure the approval of the Hoheitstrager of his zone. This means that the Hoheitstrager can prevent the appointment of leaders unsuited for the leadership of youth. If his approval has not been procured, an appointment may be cancelled if he so requests.” (1893-PS)

An example of the use of the Party Formations at the call of the Leadership Corps of the Party is provided by the action taken by the Reichsleiter for Party Organization of the NSDAP, Dr. Robert Ley, leading to the deliberate dissolution of the Free Trade Unions on 2 May 1933. A directive issued by Reichsleiter Ley on 21 April 1933 (392-PS) ordered the employment of the SA and the SS in occupying trade union properties and in taking trade union leaders into protective custody:

“* * * SA as well as SS are to be employed for the occupation of trade union properties and for the taking of personalities who come into question into protective custody.

“The Gauleiter (i.e. Regional Director) is to proceed with his measures on a basis of the closest understanding with competent Regional Factory Cells Director. * * *

*            *            *            *            *            *

“The following are to be taken into protective custody:

“All Trade Union Chairmen; the District Secretaries and the Branch Directors of the ‘Bank for Workers, Employees and Officials, Inc.’ ” (392-PS)

A decree issued by Hess as Deputy of the Fuehrer, dated 25 October 1934, underwrites the authority of the Hoheitstrager with respect to the Party Formations:

“The political leadership within the Party and its political representation towards all offices, State or others, which are outside of the Party, lie solely and exclusively with the Hoheitstrager, which is to say with me, the Gauleiter, Kreisleiter, and Ortsgruppenleiter * * *.

“The departmental workers of the Party organization, as well as Reichsleiter, office directors, etc., as well as the leaders of the SA, SS, HJ and the subordinate affiliations, may not enter into binding agreements of a political nature with State and other offices except when so authorized by their Hoheitstrager.

“In places where the territories of the units of the SA, SS, HJ and the subordinate affiliations do not coincide with the zones of the Hoheitstrager, the Hoheitstrager will give his political directives to the ranking leader of each unit within his zone of sovereignty.” (2474-PS)

It was the official policy of the Leadership Corps to establish close and cooperative relations with the Gestapo. The Head of the German Police and SS, Himmler, was a Reichsleiter on the top level of the Leadership Corps. A decree issued by Bormann, as Chief of Staff of the Deputy of the Fuehrer, dated 26 June 1935, provided the following:

“In order to effect a closer contact between the offices of the Party and its organizations with the Directors of the Secret State Police [Gestapo], the Deputy of the Fuehrer requests that the Directors of the Gestapo be invited to attend all of the larger official rallies of the Party and its organization.”

(d) Meetings of the Political Leaders. The contention of the Prosecution that the members of the Leadership Corps constituted a distinctive and identifiable group or organization is strongly supported by the fact that the various Hoheitstraeger (such as the Gauleiter, Kreisleiter, Ortsgruppenleiter, and so on) were under an absolute obligation to meet and confer periodically, not only with the staff officers on their own staffs, but with the political leaders and staff officers immediately subordinate to them. For example, the Gauleiter was bound to confer with his staff officers (such as his deputy, his staff office leader, his organization leader, school leader, propaganda leader, press leader, his Gau Party Judge, and so on) every 8 to 14 days. Furthermore, the Gauleiter was obligated to meet with the various Gauleiter subordinate to him once every 3 months for a 3-day convention for the purpose of discussing and clarifying Nazi Party policies and directives, for hearing basic lectures on Party policy, and for the mutual exchange of information pertinent to the Party’s current program. The Gauleiter was also obligated to meet at least once a month with the leaders of the Party formations and affiliated organizations within his Gau area, such as the leaders of the SA, SS, Hitler Youth and others. These matters are set forth in the Organization Book of the NSDAP (1893-PS) as follows:

“Leader conferences in the District:

“(a) District Leaders (Gauleiter) with his staff every 8 to 14 days.

“(b) It is further absolutely necessary that the directors of the Gau offices will meet with the county directors of their district once every three months for a three-day convention (possibly at a district schooling castle) where they will have an opportunity to overcome difficulties of personal and professional nature, apart from hearing fundamental lectures, by social gatherings in the presence of the bearer of the sovereignty, by getting to know each other and by a mutual exchange of ideas. Participation in these conferences is compulsory and duty would not constitute an excuse under any circumstances.

“(c) The arrangement of social meeting in the presence of leaders of the organizations of RAD and NSFK of the respective zone of sovereignty. In the course of these meetings differences of opinion may be straightened out in discussions.

“(d) The bearer of sovereignty will meet at least once a month with the leaders of the SA, SS, NSKK, HJ, as well as the RAD and the NSFK who are within the zone for the purpose of mutual orientation.” (1893-PS)

The Organization Book of the Party imposes a similar requirement of regular and periodical conferences and meetings upon all the other Hoheitstraeger, including the Kreisleiter, Ortsgruppenleiter, Zellenleiter, and Blockleiter.

The clear consequence of such regular and obligatory conferences and meetings by all the Hoheitstraeger, both with their own staff officers and with the political leaders and staff officers subordinate to them, was that basic Nazi policies and directives issued by Hitler and the leader of the Party Chancellery, Bormann, directly through the chain of command of the Hoheitstraeger, and functional policies issued by the various Reichsleiter and Reich office holders through functional and technical channels, were certain to be brought to the attention and understanding of the bulk of the membership of the Leadership Corps. When this fact is coupled with the further fact that all the members of the Leadership Corps under the Leadership Principle and their sworn oaths, were bound to obey blindly and without question orders received from their competent superiors, it is clear that the general membership of the Leadership Corps is responsible for measures taken or ordered by that organization in furtherance of the conspiracy.

(7) Statistics Relating to the Leadership Corps. As previously shown, the Leadership Corps comprised the sum of officials of the Nazi Party, including, in addition to Hitler and the members of the Reichsleitung, such as the Reichsleiter and the Reich office holders, a hierarchy of Hoheitstraeger (ranging from the Gauleiter down to the Blockleiter) as well as the staff officers attached to the Hoheitstraeger. According to page 10 of issue No. 8, 1939 of the authoritative publication of the Leadership Corps, “Der Hoheitstrager,” there were in 1939:

40Gaue and 1 Foreign Organization Gaueach led by a Gauleiter.
808Kreiseeach led by a Kreisleiter.
28,376Ortsgruppeneach led by a Ortsgruppenleiter.
89,378Zelleneach led by a Zellenleiter.
463,048Blockeeach led by a Blockleiter.

However, as shown by previous evidence, the Leadership Corps was composed not only of the Hoheitstraeger (such as Gauleiter, Kreisleiter, Ortsgruppenleiter, Zellenleiter, and Blockleiter) but also of the staff officers or office holders attached to these Hoheitstraeger. The Gauleiter, for example, was assisted by a deputy Gauleiter, several Gau inspectors, and a staff which was divided into main offices (Hauptamter) and offices (Amter), including such departments as the Gau staff Office, Treasury, Education Office, Propaganda Office, Press Office, University Teachers, Communal Policy, etc. As previously shown in evidence, the staff office structure of the Gau was substantially represented in the lower levels of the Leadership Corps organization such as the Kreise, Ortsgruppen, and so on. The Kreise and the smaller territorial areas of the Party were also organized into staff offices dealing with the various activities of the Leadership Corps. But, of course, the importance and the number of such staff offices diminished as the unit dropped in the hierarchy; so that, while the Kreisleiter staff contained all or most of the departments mentioned for the Gau, the Ortsgruppe had fewer departments and the lower ones fewer still.

Firm figures have not been found as to the total number of staff officers, as distinguished from the Hoheitstraeger or political commanders themselves included within the Leadership Corps.

It is the view of the prosecution that in defining the scope and composition of the Leadership Corps, staff officers should be included only down to and including the Kreise. Upon this basis, the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party constituted the Fuehrer, the members of the Reichsleitung, the 5 levels of Hoheitstraeger (ranging from Gauleiter down through the Blockleiter), and the staff officers attached to the 40-odd Gauleiter and the eight to nine hundred Kreisleiter. Adopting this definition of the Leadership Corps, it will be seen that the total figure for the membership of that organization, based upon the statistics cited from the basic handbook for Germany, amounts to around 700,000.

It is true that this figure is based upon an admittedly limited view of the size of the membership of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party; for the evidence has shown that the Leadership Corps in effect embraced staff officers attached to the subordinate Hoheitstraeger, and inclusion of such staff officers in the estimation of the size of the Leadership Corps would have very considerably enlarged the final figure estimated to a total of 2,000,000. The Prosecution, however, proposes to exclude such subordinate staff officers for the reason that their participation in and responsibility for the Conspiracy were measurably less extensive than those of the staff officers and office holders on the higher levels of the Leadership Corps. The subordinate staff officers thus excluded were responsible functionally to the higher staff officers with respect to their particular specialty, such as propaganda, Party organization, and so on, and to their respective Hoheitstraeger with respect to discipline and policy control. Likewise, such higher staff officers participated in planning and policy discussions, and also issued orders through technical channels to lower staff officers.

B. Participation of the Leadership Corps in the Conspiracy.

The Program of the Nazi Party, proclaimed by Hitler, the Fuehrer of the Leadership Corps, on 24 February 1920 (1708-PS), contained the chief elements of the Nazi plan for domination and conquest. The first point required the incorporation of all Germans into a Greater German Reich. Point 2 demanded unilateral abolition of the Peace Treaties of Versailles and St. Germain. Point 3 stated the demand for “land and soil” (colonies). Point 4 proclaimed the Nazi doctrines of racial discrimination and anti-Semitism. Point 6 proclaimed the fight against the democratic-parliamentary system, as follows:

“* * * We demand that every public office, of any sort, whatsover, whether in the Reich, the county or municipality, be filled only by citizens. We combat the corrupting parliamentary economy, office-holding only according to Party inclinations without consideration of character or abilities.” (1708-PS)

Point 22 expressed the Nazi plans and policies for rearmament as follows:

“We demand the abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a National Army.” (1708-PS)

The official Party Program declares on its face that:

“The program is the political foundation of the NSDAP and accordingly the primary political law of the State * * *

“All legal precepts are to be applied in the spirit of the Party Program.

“Since the taking over of control, the Fuehrer has succeeded in the realization of the essential portions of the Party Program from the fundamentals to the details.

“The Party Program of the NSDAP was proclaimed on 24 February 1920 by Adolf Hitler at the first large Party gathering in Munich and since that day has remained unaltered * * * The National Socialist philosophy is summarized in 25 points.” (1708-PS)

As previously stated, the Party Program was binding upon the Political Leaders of the Leadership Corps, and they were under a duty to support and carry out that Program. As the Party Manual puts it:

“The Commandments of the National Socialists:

“The Fuehrer is always right * * *.

“The Program be your dogma.

“It demands your utter devotion to the Movement * * *.

“Right is what serves the Movement and thus Germany.

*            *            *            *            *            *

“* * * Leader Corps is responsible for the complete penetration of the German Nation with the National Socialist spirit * * *.” (1893-PS)

The oath of the Political Leader to Hitler has been previously referred to. In connection therewith, the Party Manual provides:

“The Political Leader is inseparably tied to the ideology and the organization of the NSDAP. His oath only ends with his death or with his expulsion from the National Socialist community.” (1893-PS)

While the leadership principle assured the binding nature of Hitler’s statements, program, and policies upon the entire Party and the Leadership Corps, the leadership principle also established the full responsibility of the individual Political Leader within the province and jurisdiction of his office or position.

The leadership principle applied not only to Hitler as the supreme leader, but also to the Political Leaders under him, and thus permeated the entire Leadership Corps:

“The basis of the Party Organization is the Fuehrer thought * * * All Political Leaders stand as appointed by the Fuehrer and are responsible to him. They possess full authority toward the lower echelons * * *.” (1893-PS)

The various Hoheitstraeger of the Leadership Corps were, in their respective areas of responsibility, themselves Fuehrer:

“Within their sector of sovereignty, the Hoheitstraeger (Gauleiter, Kreisleiter, Ortsgruppenleiter, Zellenleiter, Blockleiter) have sovereign political rights * * * They are responsible for the entire political situation within their sector * * *” (1893-PS)

As stated in the Organization Book of the NSDAP

“The Party is an order of ‘Fuehrer’.” (1814-PS)

The subjection of the entire membership of the Leadership Corps to the fiat of the Fuehrer Principle is clearly shown in the following passage from the Party Manual:

“* * * a solid anchorage for all the organizations within the party structure is provided and a firm connection with the sovereign leaders of the NSDAP is created in accordance with the Fuehrer Principle.” (1814-PS)

(1) Domination and Control of the German State and Government by the Nazi Party, directed by the Leadership Corps. On 23 March 1933 the Reichstag enacted a law conferring power on the Reich Cabinet to legislate on its own authority (2001-PS). Prominent members of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party were members of the Reich Cabinet. The presence of Reichsleiter and other prominent members of the Leadership Corps in the Cabinet facilitated the domination of the Cabinet by the Nazi Party and the Leadership Corps. For example, a decree of 13 March 1933 established the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. The head of this ministry was Goebbels, who simultaneously was Reichsleiter for Propaganda of the NSDAP (2029-PS). Examples of personal union between high officials in the Leadership and Cabinet membership existed in the case of the Food Minister, the Chief of the German Police, the Reich Labor Leader, the Chief of the Party Organization in Foreign Countries, and the Reich Youth Fuehrer (2473-PS). Moreover, the majority of the Reich Ministries were occupied by leading old Party Members. All Reich Ministers were accepted by the Party on 30 January 1937 and were decorated with the Golden Party Insignia. (1774-PS)

A law of 14 July 1933 outlawed and forbade the formation of any political parties other than the Nazi Party and made violation of this decree a punishable crime. Thereby the one party State was established and the Leadership Corps was rendered immune from the opposition of organized political groups. This Law Against the Formation of New Political Parties reads as follows:

“The National Socialist German Workers’ Party constitutes the only political party in Germany. Whoever undertakes to maintain the organizational structure of another political party or to form a new political party will be punished with penal servitude up to three years or with imprisonment of from six months to three years, if the deed is not subject to a greater penalty according to other regulations.” (1388-PS)

A law was enacted on 20 July 1933 providing for the dismissal of officials who belonged to the Communist Party or who were otherwise active in furthering the aims of Communism. The law also provided for the dismissal of those who were in the future active for Marxism, Communism, or Social Democracy (Law to Supplement the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, 20 July 1933, (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 518)). (1398-PS)

On 13 October 1933 a “law to guarantee public peace” was enacted which provided, inter alia, that the death penalty or other severe punishment should be imposed upon any person who—

“* * * undertakes to kill a member of the SA or the SS, a trustee or agent of the NSDAP * * * out of political motives or on account of their official activity.” (1394-PS)

On 1 December 1933 a law was enacted “to secure the unity of Party and State.” This law provided that the Nazi Party was the pillar of the German State, and was linked to it indissolubly; it also made the Deputy of the Fuehrer (then Hess) and the Chief of Staff of the SA (then Roehm) members of the Reich Cabinet (1395-PS). The pertinent provisions of this law read as follows:

“After the victory of the National Socialist Revolution, the National Socialistic German Labor Party is the bearer of the concept of the German State and is inseparably the State. It will be a part of the public law. Its organization will be determined by the Fuehrer * * *.

“The Deputy of the Fuehrer and the Chief of Staff of the SA will become members of the Reich Government in order to insure close cooperation of the offices of the Party and SA with the public authorities * * *.” (1395-PS)

This law was a basic measure in enthroning the Leadership Corps in a position of supreme political power in Germany. For it laid it down that the Party, directed by the Leadership Corps, was the embodiment of the State and, in fact, was the State. Moreover, this law made both the Fuehrer’s Deputy and the Chief of Staff of the SA, which was a Party Formation subject to the call of the Hoheitstraeger, Cabinet Members. Thus, the Leadership Corps’ control of the Cabinet was further solidified. The dominant position of the Leadership Corps is further revealed by the provision that the Reichs-Chancellor would issue the regulations carrying out this law in his capacity as Fuehrer of the Nazi Party. The fact that Hitler, as Fuehrer of the Leadership Corps, could promulgate rules which would have statutory force and be published in the Reichsgesetzblatt, the proper compilation for State enactments, is but a further reflection of the reality of the Party’s domination of the German State.

In a declaration to the 1935 Party Congress at Nurnberg, Hitler stated:

“It is not the State which gives orders to us, it is we who give orders to the State.” (2775-PS)

That categorical statement of the Fuehrer of the Leadership Corps affirms the dominance of Party over State which the evidence makes undeniably clear.

On 30 June 1934 Hitler, as Head of the Nazi Party, directed the massacre of hundreds of SA-men and other political opponents. Hitler sought to justify these mass murders by declaring to the Reichstag that “at that hour I was responsible for the fate of the German nation and supreme judge of the German people.” (The evidence relating to these events is discussed in Section 4, infra.) On 3 July 1934 the Cabinet issued a decree describing the murders of 30 June 1934, in effect, as legitimate self-defense by the State. By this law the Reich Cabinet made themselves accessories after the fact of these murders. The domination of State by Party, however, makes the Cabinet’s characterization of these criminal acts by Hitler and his top Party Leaders as state measures consistent with political reality. The single article of the law of 3 July 1934 reads as follows:

“The measures taken on 30 June and 1 and 2 July 1934 to counteract attempt at treason and high treason shall be considered as national emergency defense.” (2057-PS)

On 12 July 1934 there was enacted a law defining the function of the Academy for German law:

“Closely connected with the agencies competent for legislation, it [the Academy] shall further the realization of the National Socialist program in the realm of the law.” (1391-PS)

On 30 January 1933, Hitler, the Leader of the Nazi Party and Fuehrer of the Leadership Corps, was appointed Chancellor of the Reich. When President von Hindenburg died in 1934, the Fuehrer amalgamated in his person the offices of Chancellor and Reich President. (2003-PS)

By a decree of 20 December 1934 Party uniforms and institutions were granted the same protection as those of the State. This law was entitled “Law Concerning Treacherous Acts Against the State and Party, and for the Protection of Party Uniforms.” This law imposed heavy penalties upon any person making false statements injuring the welfare or prestige of the Nazi Party or its agencies. It authorized the imprisonment of persons making or circulating malicious or baiting statements against leading personalities of the Nazi Party. And it provided punishment by forced labor for the unauthorized wearing of Party uniforms or symbols. (1393-PS)

By a law of 15 September 1934, the Swastika flag of the Party was made the official flag of the Reich (2079-PS). This law, enacted by the Reichstag, indicates on its face that it issued from Nurnberg on the Party Day of 15 September 1935. Article 2 of this law reads as follows:

“The Reich and National flag is the swastika flag.” (2079-PS) The Swastika was the flag and symbol of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party. The law making it the flag of the State constituted a recognition that the Party and its Corps of Political Leaders were the sovereign powers in Germany.

On 23 April 1936, a law was enacted granting amnesty for crimes which the offender had committed “in his eagerness to fight for the National Socialist Ideal.” (1386-PS)

In furtherance of the Conspiracy to acquire totalitarian control over the German people, a law was enacted on 1 December 1936, which incorporated the entire German youth within the Hitler Youth, thereby achieving a “total mobilization of German youth” (1392-PS). The law further provided that the task of educating the German youth through the Hitler Youth was entrusted to the Reichsleiter of German Youth in the NSDAP. By this law a monopoly control over the entire German youth was placed in the hands of a top official, a Reichsleiter, of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party, the defendant von Schirach.

On 4 February 1938, the Fuehrer of the Leadership Corps of the NSDAP, Hitler, issued a decree in which he took over directly the command of the whole Armed Forces (1915-PS). In this decree, Hitler declared, in part, as follows:

“From now on, I take over directly the command of the whole Armed Forces.” (1915-PS)

By the decree of 4 February 1938, Hitler became Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. He was, at the time of its issuance, Fuehrer of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party. By virtue of the earlier law of 1 August 1934, he combined the office of Reich President with that of the Chancellorship. In the final result, therefore, Hitler was Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Head of the German State, and Fuehrer of the Nazi Party.

With respect to the foregoing point, the Party Manual (1893-PS) states as follows:

“* * * the Fuehrer created the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. He filled it with his spirit and his will and with it he conquered the power of the State on 30 January 1933. The Fuehrer’s will is supreme in the Party.

“By authority of the law about the Chief of State of the German Reich, dated 1 August 1934, the office of the Reich President has been combined with that of the Reich Chancellery. Consequently, the powers heretofore possessed by the Reich President were transferred to the Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler. Through this law, the conduct of Party and State has been combined in one hand. By desire of the Fuehrer, a plebiscite was conducted on this law on 19 August 1934. On this day, the German people chose Adolf Hitler to be their sole leader. He is responsible only to his conscience and to the German nation.” (1893-PS)

A decree of 16 January 1942 provided that the Party should participate in legislation, official appointments, and promotions (2100-PS). The decree further provided that such participation should be undertaken exclusively by Bormann, Chief of the Party Chancellery and a Reichsleiter of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party. The decree provided that the Chief of the Party Chancellery was to take part in the preparation of all laws and decrees issued by Reich authorities, including those issued by the Ministerial Council for Defense of the Reich, and to give his assent to those of the Laender and the Reich governors; all communications between State and Party authorities, unless within one Gau only, were to pass through his hands. This decree is of crucial importance in demonstrating the ultimate control and responsibility imputable to the Leadership Corps for governmental policy and actions taken in furtherance of the conspiracy. (2100-PS)

On or about 26 April 1942, Hitler declared in a speech that, in his capacity as Leader of the Nation, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Supreme Head of the Government, and as Fuehrer of the Party, his right must be recognized to compel with all means at his disposal, every German, whether soldier, judge, State official, or party official, to fulfill his desire. He demanded that the Reichstag officially recognize this asserted right. On 26 April 1942, the German Reichstag issued a decision in which full recognition was given to the rights which the Fuehrer had asserted (1961-PS). The Reichstag decreed as follows:

“At the proposal of the President of the Reichstag, on its session of 26 April 1942, the greater German Reichstag has approved of the rights which the Fuehrer has postulated in his speech with the following decision:

“There can be no doubt, that in the present war, in which the German people is faced with a struggle for its existence or annihilation, the Fuehrer must have all the rights postulated by him which serve to further or achieve victory. Therefore—without being bound by existing legal regulations—in his capacity as Leader of the Nation, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Governmental Chief and Supreme Executive Chief, as Supreme Justice and Leader of the Party—the Fuehrer must be in a position to force with all means at his disposal every German, if necessary, whether he be common soldier or officer, low or high official or judge, leading or subordinate official of the Party, worker or employee—to fulfill his duties. In case of violation of these duties, the Fuehrer is entitled, after conscientious examination, regardless of so-called well-deserved rights, to mete out due punishment and to remove the offender from his post, rank and position without introducing prescribed procedures.

“At the order of the Fuehrer, this decision is hereby made public. Berlin, 26 April 1942.” (1961-PS)

Hitler himself perhaps best summarized the political realities of his Germany, in showing the domination of the German State and Government by the Leadership Corps and its following. The core of the matter was stated by Hitler in his speech to the Reichstag on 20 February 1938, when he declared in effect that every institution in Germany was under the direction of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party:

“National Socialism has given the German people that leadership which as Party not only mobilizes the nation but also organizes it, so that on the basis of the natural principle of selection, the continuance of a stable political leadership is safeguarded forever * * * National Socialism * * * possesses Germany entirely and completely since the day when, five years ago, I left the house in Wilhelmsplatz as Reich Chancellor. There is no institution in this state which is not National Socialist. Above all, however, the National Socialist Party in these five years not only has made the nation National Socialist, but also has given itself that perfect organizational structure which guarantees its permanence for all future. The greatest guarantee of the National Socialist revolution lies in the complete domination of the Reich and all its institutions and organizations, internally and externally by the National Socialist Party. Its protection against the world abroad, however, lies in its new National Socialist armed forces. * * * In this Reich, anybody who has a responsible position is a National Socialist * * * Every institution of this Reich is under the orders of the supreme political leadership * * * The Party leads the Reich politically, the armed forces defend it militarily * * * There is nobody in any responsible position in this state who doubts that I am the authorized leader of this Reich.” (2715-PS)

The supreme power which the Leadership Corps exercised over the German State and Government is sharply pointed up by an article published in the February 1939 issue of the authoritative magazine, “Der Hoheitstrager”. In this article, addressed to all Hoheitstraeger, the Leadership Corps is reminded that it has conquered the State and that it possesses absolute and total power in Germany. The article is significantly entitled, “Fight and Order—Not Peace and Order.” It trumpets forth, in the accents of Caesarism, the battle call of the Leadership Corps of German life:

“Fight? Why do you always talk of fighting? You have conquered the State, and if something does not please you, then just make a law and regulate it differently? Why must you always talk of fighting? For you have every power! Over what do you fight? Outer-politically? You have the Wehrmacht—it will wage the fight if it is required. Inner-politically? You have the law and the police which can change everything which does not agree with you.” (3230-PS)

In view of the domination of the German State and Government by the Nazi Party and the Leadership Corps thereof, as established by the foregoing evidence, the Leadership Corps is responsible for the measures, including legislative enactments, taken by the German State and Government in furtherance of the Conspiracy formulated and carried out by the co-conspirators and the organizations charged with criminality.

For example, as revealed by the above evidence, Point 4 of the original Party Program declared that a Jew was not a member of the German race and, therefore, was not entitled to citizenship. This premise was incorporated into the law of the Third Reich by numerous anti-Semitic and discriminatory laws. Consequently, it is submitted that, by virtue of their control over the German State and Government, the Nazi Party and the Leadership Corps share responsibility for, among other enactments and measures furthering the Conspiracy, discriminatory laws against the Jews.

(2) Overt Acts and Crimes of the Leadership Corps. The membership of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party actively participated in measures designed to further the progress of the Conspiracy. The evidence will show that the participation by the Leadership Corps in the Conspiracy embraces such measures as anti-Semitic activities, war crimes committed against members of the Allied forces, the forced labor program, measures to subvert and undermine the Christian religion and persecute the Christian clergy, the plundering and spoliation of cultural and other property in German-occupied territories of Europe, and plans and measures leading to the initiation and prosecution of aggressive war.

(a) Crimes against Jews. The Gauleiter and Kreisleiter participated in what were disingenuously described by the Nazis as the “spontaneous uprising of the people” against the Jews throughout Germany on 9 and 10 November 1938 in connection with the assassination of an official of the German Embassy in Paris on 7 November. (The evidence relating to these programs is discussed in Chapter XI on the concentration camps, and Chapter XII on the persecution of the Jews.) It will be recalled that in the teletyped directive from SS-Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich, issued on 10 November 1938, to all police headquarters and SD districts, all chiefs of the State Police were ordered to arrange with the political leaders in the Gaue and Kreise the organization of the so-called spontaneous demonstrations against the Jews (3051-PS). Pursuant to this directive, a large number of Jewish shops and businesses were pillaged and wrecked, synagogues were set on fire, individual Jews were beaten up, and large numbers were taken off to concentration camps. These events forcefully illustrate the employment and participation of all the Kreisleiter and Gauleiter in illegal measures designed to further the anti-Semitic program, which was an original and continuing objective of the Leadership Corps.

(b) Crimes against Allied Airmen. The members of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party participated in the murder, beating, and ill-treatment of American airmen who landed in German or German-controlled territory. American airmen who bailed out of disabled planes over Germany were not treated as prisoners of war, but were beaten and murdered by German civilians with the active condonence, indeed at the instigation of the Leadership Corps. Such a course of conduct by the Leadership Corps represented a deliberate violation by the German Government of its obligations, under the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention, to protect prisoners of war against acts of violence and ill-treatment.

Heinrich Himmler was a Reichsleiter of the Nazi Party and thus a top official in the Leadership Corps by virtue of his positions as Reichsfuehrer of the SS and Delegate for German Folkdom (2473-PS; Chart No. 1). An order signed by Himmler (R-110), dated 10 August 1943, reads as follows:

“It is not the task of the police to interfere in clashes between Germans and English and American terror fliers who have bailed out.” (R-110)

This order was transmitted in writing to all senior executive SS and police officers, and orally to their subordinate officers and to all Gauleiter.

Joseph Goebbels was a top-flight official in the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party by virtue of his position as Propaganda Leader of the Party (2473-PS; Chart No. 1). In the issue of the Voelkischer Beobachter for 26/29 May 1944, there appeared an article written by Goebbels, the Reichsleiter for Party Propaganda, in which he openly invited the German civil population to murder Allied fliers shot down over Germany (1676-PS). After alleging that Anglo-American pilots have engaged in machine gun attacks against civilians, Goebbels continues:

“It is only possible with the aid of arms to secure the lives of enemy pilots who were shot down during such attacks, for they would otherwise be killed by the sorely tried population. Who is right here? The murderers who, after their cowardly misdeeds, await a humane treatment on the part of their victims, or the victims who wish to defend themselves according to the principle: ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’? This question is not hard to answer.” (1676-PS)

Reichsleiter Goebbels then proceeds to answer his question in the following language:

“It seems to us hardly possible and tolerable to use German police and soldiers against the German people when it treats murderers of children as they deserve.” (1676-PS)

On 30 May 1944, Bormann, Reichsleiter and Chief of the Party Chancellery, issued a circular letter on the subject which furnishes indisputable proof that British and American fliers who were shot down were lynched by the German population (057-PS). After alleging that in recent weeks English and American fliers had repeatedly shot children, women, peasants, and vehicles on the highway, Bormann then states:

“Several instances have occurred where members of the crews of such aircraft, who have bailed out or who have made forced landings, were lynched on the spot immediately after capture by the populace, which was incensed to the highest degree. No police measures or criminal proceedings were invoked against the German civilians who participated in these incidents.” (057-PS)

This letter of Bormann was distributed through the chain of command of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party. Express mention on the distribution list is made of Reichsleiter, Gauleiter, Kreisleiter, and leaders of the incorporated and affiliated organizations of the Party. Bormann requested that the local group leaders (Ortsgruppenleiter) be informed of the contents of his circular letter only by oral means. (057-PS)

The effect of Reichsleiter Bormann’s circular letter may be seen in an order dated 25 February 1945 (L-154). This is an order from Albert Hoffman, an important member of the Leadership Corps by virtue of his position as Gauleiter and National Defense Commissioner of the Gau Westfalen-South, and it is addressed to all County Councillors, mayors, and police officials, and to county leaders and county staff chiefs of the Volkssturm. The order reads as follows:

“Fighter bomber pilots who are shot down are not to be protected against the fury of the people. I expect from all police officers that they will refuse to lend their protection to these gangster types. Authorities acting in contradiction to the popular sentiment will have to account to me. All police and gendarmerie officials are to be informed immediately of this, my attitude.” (L-154)

The obligations of belligerents towards prisoners of war are clearly set forth in the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention of 27 July 1929, which was ratified by both Germany and the United States. Article Two of the Convention provides as follows:

“Prisoners of war are in the power of the hostile power, but not of the individuals or corps who have captured them.

“They must at all times be humanely treated and protected, particularly against acts of violence, insults and public curiosity.

“Measures of reprisal against them are prohibited.” (3738-PS)

The Geneva Prisoners of War Convention clearly imposes upon its signatories the strict obligation to protect prisoners of war from violence. The evidence just discussed shows that the German State flagrantly violated its obligations under that Convention to protect captured airmen who were shot down in German hands. The evidence also proves that the entire hierarchy of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party participated in the conspiracy to incite the German civil population to murder Allied airmen and also ordered police and Party officials to take no steps to secure the safety of these airmen.

(c) Crimes against Foreign Labor and Civilians in Occupied Areas. Alfred Rosenberg and Robert Ley were both Reichsleiter of the NSDAP. (2473-PS)

An agreement was concluded between the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, Reichsleiter Rosenberg, and the Director of the German Labor Front, Reichsorganisationleiter Ley, relating to the inspection and care of foreign workers. This agreement was based on an earlier agreement of 2 June 1943 between the Deputy General for the Arbeitseinsatz, Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel, and the Leader of the German Labor Front, Reichsleiter for the Party Organization, Dr. Ley, concerning a “central inspection for the care of foreign workers” (1913-PS). The purpose of the two agreements was to coordinate activities of the organizations concerned with respect to the administration of plants and camps in which foreign workers were employed. (1914-PS)

On 17 October 1944, Reichsleiter Rosenberg sent a letter to Reichsleiter Bormann, Chief of the Party Chancery, informing the latter that he had sent a telegram to Gauleiter urging them not to interfere in the liquidation of certain listed companies and banks under his supervision. Rosenberg emphasized to Bormann that any “delay of liquidation or * * * independent confiscation of the property by the Gauleiter would impair or destroy an organized plan” for the liquidation of a vast amount of property. (327-PS)

On 7 November 1943, the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces delivered a lecture at Munich to the Reichsleiter and Gauleiter. The Chief of Staff stated that his object was to give a review of the strategic position at the outset of the fifth year of war. He stated his realization that the Political Leaders in the Reich and Gau areas, in view of their burdensome tasks in supporting the German War Effort, were in need of information he could give. He stated, in part, as follows:

Reichsleiter Bormann has requested me to give you a review today of the strategic position in the beginning of the fifth year of war.

“No one—the Fuehrer has ordered—may know more or be told more than he needs for his immediate task, but I have no doubt at all in my mind, gentlemen, but that you need a great deal in order to be able to cope with your tasks. It is in your Gau, after all * * * that all the enemy propaganda, and the malicious rumors concentrate that try to find themselves a place among our people * * * Against this wave of enemy propaganda and cowardice you need to know the true situation, and, for this reason, I believe that I am justified in giving you a perfectly open and uncovered account of the state of affairs * * *.” (L-172)

Reichsleiter Bormann distributed to all Reichsleiter, Gauleiter, and leaders of Party affiliated organizations, by an undated letter of transmittal, an order of the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht relating to self-defense by German guard personnel and German contractors and workers against prisoners of war (656-PS). The order of the Wehrmacht states that the question of treatment of prisoners of war is continually being discussed by Wehrmacht and Party bureaus. The order states that should prisoners of war refuse to obey orders to work, the guard has “in the case of the most pressing need and danger, the right to force obedience with the weapon if he has no other means. He can use the weapon as much as is necessary to attain his goal * * *.” (656-PS)

On 18 April 1944, Reich Commissar Lohse, Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, in a letter to Reich Youth Leader Axmann, proposed that the Hitler Youth participate in and supervise the military education of the Estonian and Latvian youth (347-PS). Lohse stated in this letter that “in the military education camps, the young Latvians are trained under Latvian leaders in the Latvian language not because this is our ideal, but because absolute military necessity demands this.” Lohse further stated:

“* * * in contrast to the Germanic peoples of the West, military education is no longer to be carried out through voluntary enlistments but through legal conscription. The camps in Estonia and Latvia * * * will have to be under German Leadership and, as military education camps of the Hitler Youth, they must be a symbol of our educational mission beyond Germany’s borders * * * I consider the execution of the military education of the Estonian and Latvian youth not only a military necessity, but also a war mission of the Hitler Youth especially. I would be thankful to you, Party member Axmann, if the Hitler Youth would put itself at our disposal with the same readiness with which they have so far supported our work in the Baltic area.” (347-PS)

The Reichsfuehrer of the SS, as shown earlier, was a Reichsleiter of the NSDAP (2473-PS). An order of the Reich Minister of the Interior, Frick, dated 22 October 1938, provided as follows:

“The Reichsfuehrer SS and the Chief of the German Police * * * can take the administrative measures necessary for the maintenance of security and order, even beyond the legal limits otherwise set on such measures.” (1438-PS)

This order related to the administration of the Sudeten-German territory.

In a letter dated 23 June 1943 (407-VI-PS) Gauleiter and Plenipotentiary for the Direction of Labor, Fritz Sauckel, wrote to Hitler advising him of the success of the forced labor program as of that date. Sauckel stated:

“You can be assured that the District of Thueringen [Gau] and I will serve you and our dear people with the employment of all strength * * *.” (407-VI-PS)

On 1 September 1939, Hitler wrote a memorandum stating:

Reichsleiter Bouhler and Dr. Brandt, M.D., are charged with the responsibility of enlarging the authority of certain physicians to be designated by name in such a manner that persons who, according to human judgment, are incurable can, upon a most careful diagnosis of their condition of sickness, be accorded a mercy death.

“(Signed) A. Hitler.” (630-PS)

A handwritten note on the face of the document states:

“Given to me by Bouhler on 27 August 1940, [signed] Dr. Guertner.” (630-PS)

In a memorandum recording an agreement between himself and Himmler, the Minister of Justice Thierack stated that, on the suggestion of Reichsleiter Bormann, an agreement had been reached between Himmler and himself with respect to “special treatment at the hands of the police in cases where judicial sentences are not severe enough” (654-PS). The agreement related that:

“The Reich Minister for Justice will decide whether and when special treatment at the hands of the police is to be applied. The Reich Fuehrer of SS will send the reports, which he sent hitherto to Reichsleiter Bormann, to the Reich Minister for Justice.” (654-PS)

If the views of the Reich Fuehrer of SS and the Reich Minister for Justice disagreed,

“the opinion of Reichsleiter Bormann will be brought to bear on the case, and he will possibly inform the Fuehrer * * *.

*            *            *            *            *            *

“The delivery of antisocial elements from execution of their sentence to the Reich Fuehrer of SS to be worked to death. Persons under protective arrest, Jews, Gypsies, Russians and Ukrainians, Poles with more than 3-year sentences, Czechs and Germans with more than 8-year sentences, according to the decision of the Reich Minister of Justice. First of all the worst antisocial elements amongst those just mentioned are to be handed over. I shall inform the Fuehrer of this through Reichsleiter Bormann.” (654-PS)

With respect to the “administration of justice by the people,” the memorandum states:

“This is to be carried out step by step as soon as possible * * * I shall rouse the Party particularly to cooperate in this scheme by an article in the Hoheitstrager [NSDAP publication] * * *.” (654-PS)

At a meeting of the NSDAP in Kiev, the theory of the master race as the basis of German administrative policy in the East was expressed by Koch, Reich Commissioner for the Ukraine:

“We are the master race * * * I will squeeze the last drop out of the country . . . the people must work, work and work. We are a master race * * * the lowest German worker is racially and biologically a thousand times more valuable than the people here.” (1130-PS)

A letter from RSHA (Reich Security Main Office) to police chiefs, dated 5 November 1942, recites an agreement between the Reich Fuehrer SS and the Reich Minister of Justice, approved by Hitler, providing that ordinary criminal procedure was no longer to be applied to Poles and members of the Eastern populations (L-316). The agreement provided that such people, including Jews and Gypsies, should henceforth be turned over to the police. The principles applicable to a determination of the punishment of German offenders, including appraisal of the motives of the offender, were not to be applied to foreign offenders. The letter stated:

“* * * the offense committed by a person of foreign extraction is not to be regarded from the view of legal retribution by way of justice, but from the point of view of preventing dangers through police action. From this it follows that the criminal procedure against persons of foreign extraction must be transferred from Justice to the Police. The preceding statements serve for personal information. There are no objections if the Gauleiter are informed in the usual form should the need arise * * *.” (L-316)

With respect to the evacuation, deportation, and Germanization of the civilian population of the incorporated eastern territories, Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler, in his capacity as Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Nationhood, issued several decrees requiring the deportation to Germany of all Germans from such territories who had renounced their nationality during the existence of the Polish State (R-112). These decrees directed that persons affected by the provisions thereof who failed to comply were to be sent to concentration camps. After deportation to Germany, such persons were to be closely supervised by NSDAP “Counsellors” and secret police to insure their Germanization. Certain of the decrees directing such deportation are addressed, inter alia, to the “Gauleiter” and the “Reich Governors in the Reich Gaue.” (R-112)

In a conference with Reichsleiter Rosenberg, Hitler emphasized that he “wished to have the Crimea cleaned out,” and Rosenberg stated that he had given much consideration to renaming the towns in the Crimea in order to invest the area with a German character. (1517-PS)

In a speech to a gathering of persons intimately concerned with the Eastern problem on 20 June 1941, Reichsleiter Rosenberg stated that the southern Russian territories and the northern Caucasus would have to provide food for the German people:

“We see absolutely no obligation on our part to feed also the Russian people with the products of that surplus territory. We know that this is a harsh necessity, bare of any feelings * * *.” (1058-PS)

Rosenberg stated that, as a consequence of the above policy, extensive evacuations of Russians from that Area would have to take place. (1058-PS)

Gauleiter Wagner of the German-occupied Areas of Alsace prepared plans and took measures leading to the expulsion and deportation of certain groups within the Alsatian civil population. His plans called for the forcible expulsion of certain categories of so-called undesirable persons, as a means of punishment and compulsory Germanization. The Gauleiter supervised deportation measures in Alsace from July to December 1940, in the course of which 105,000 persons were either expelled or prevented from returning. A memorandum, dated 4 August 1942, of a meeting of high SS and police officials, convened to receive the reports and plans of the Gauleiter relating to the Alsatian evacuations, states that the persons deported were mainly—

“Jews, Gypsies and other foreign racial elements, criminals, asocial and incurably insane persons, as well as Frenchmen and Francophiles.” (R-114)

According to the memorandum, the Gauleiter stated that the Fuehrer had given him permission “to cleanse Alsace of all foreign, sick, or unreliable elements,” and emphasized the political necessity of further deportation. The memorandum further records that the SS and police officials present at the above conference approved the Gauleiter’s proposals for further evacuation. (R-114)

A second memorandum, dated 17 August 1942, relating to a conference called by SS-Gruppenfuehrer Kaul, held at the Gauleiter office at Karlsruhe for the purpose of considering the deportation of Alsatians into Germany, states that the Gauleiter had reported to the Fuehrer with respect to the proposed evacuation of Alsatians. It is further stated that the Fuehrer verbally declared that “asocial and criminal persons” were to be expelled. The Gauleiter stated at the above conference that the action leading to such evacuation had already begun. The Gauleiter further declared that he intended to offset the loss of population as far as possible by transplantation of people from Baden, “thus creating a uniform race mixture.” (R-114)

A memorandum by Reichsleiter Bormann of a conference called by Hitler at his headquarters on 16 July 1941 (L-221), states, in part, as follows with respect to the maintenance of order in the occupied Eastern areas:

“The Crimea has to be evacuated by all foreigners and to be settled by Germans only * * *. We have now to face the task of cutting up the giant cake according to our needs in order to be able first, to dominate it, second, to administer it, and third, to exploit it. The Russians have now ordered partisan warfare behind our front. This partisan war * * * has some advantage for us; it enables us to eradicate everyone who opposes us. * * * Our iron principle is and has to remain: we must never permit anybody but the Germans to carry arms * * *.” (L-221)

According to the above memorandum, the foregoing conference was attended by Reichsleiter Rosenberg, Reich Minister Lammers, Field Marshal Keitel, Reich Marshal Goering, and Bormann, and lasted about 20 hours. The memorandum states that discussion occurred with respect to the annexation by Germany of various parts of conquered Europe. The memorandum also states that a long discussion took place with respect to the qualifications of Gauleiter Lohse, who was proposed by Rosenberg at the conference as governor of the Baltic country. Discussion also occurred with respect to the qualifications of other Gauleiter and commissioners for the administration of various areas of occupied Russia. Goering stated that he intended to appoint Gauleiter Terboven for the “exploitation of the Kola Peninsula: the Fuehrer agrees.” With respect to the security of the German administration in the eastern areas, the memorandum states:

“This giant area would have to be pacified as quickly as possible; the best solution was to shoot anybody who looked sideways * * * Field Marshal Keitel emphasizes the inhabitants themselves ought to be made responsible for their things because it was, of course, impossible to put a sentry in front of every shed or railway station. The inhabitants had to understand that anybody who did not perform their duties properly would be shot, and that they would be held responsible for each offense.” (L-221)

(d) Subversion of Christian Church and Persecution of the Clergy. The evidence relating to the systematic effort of the conspirators to eliminate the Christian churches in Germany is discussed in Section 6 of Chapter VII. The evidence hereinafter taken up is limited to proving the responsibility of the Leadership Corps and its members for participation in illegal activities against the Christian church and clergy.

Bormann, who was a Reichsleiter and Chief of the Nazi Party Chancellery, issued a secret decree addressed to all Gauleiter, entitled “Relationship of National Socialism and Christianity” (D-75). In this decree Reichsleiter Bormann flatly declared that National Socialism and Christianity are incompatible and that the influence of the churches in Germany must be eliminated:

“National Socialist and Christian concepts are irreconcilable. * * * Our National Socialist ideology is far loftier than the concepts of Christianity, which, in their essential points, have been taken over from Jewry. For this reason also, we do not need Christianity. * * * If, therefore, in the future our youth learns nothing more of this Christianity, whose doctrines are far below ours, Christianity will disappear by itself. * * * It follows from the irreconcilability of National Socialist and Christian concepts that a strengthening of existing confessions and every demand of originating Christian confessions is to be rejected by us. A differentiation between the various Christian confessions is not to be made here. For this reason, also, the thought of an erection of an Evangelical National Church by merger of the various Evangelical churches has been definitely given up, because the Evangelical Church is just as inimicable to us as the Catholic Church. Any strengthening of the Evangelical Church would merely react against us. * * *

“For the first time in German history, the Fuehrer consciously and completely has the leadership of the people in his own hand. With the Party, its components, and attached units, the Fuehrer has created for himself, and thereby the German Reich leadership, an instrument which makes him independent of the Church. All influences which might impair or damage the leadership of the people exercised by the Fuehrer, with the help of the NSDAP, must be eliminated. More and more the people must be separated from the churches and their organs, the pastors. Of course, the churches must and will, seen from their viewpoint, defend themselves against this loss of power. But never again must an influence on leadership of the people be yielded to the churches. This influence must be broken completely and finally.

“Only the Reich Government and, by its direction, the Party, its components and attached units have a right to leadership of the people. Just as the deleterious influences of astrologers, seers and other fakers are eliminated and suppressed by the State, so must the possibility of Church influence also be totally removed. Not until this has happened, does the State leadership have influence on the individual citizens. Not until then are people and Reich secure in their existence for all the future.” (D-75)

On 25 April 1941 a letter was issued from Bormann’s office to Rosenberg, in his capacity as the Fuehrer’s Representative for the Supervision of the Entire Mental and Ideological Training and Education of the NSDAP (070-PS). In this letter Bormann’s office stated that measures had been taken leading to the progressive cancellation of morning prayers and other religious services and their substitution by Nazi mottos and slogans:

“We are inducing schools more and more to reduce and abolish religious morning services. Similarly the confessional and general prayers in several parts of the Reich have already been replaced by national socialist mottos. I would be grateful, to know your opinion on a future national socialist morning service instead of the present confessional morning services which are usually conducted once per week * * *.” (070-PS)

In a letter from Reichsleiter Bormann to Reichsleiter Rosenberg, dated 22 February 1940, Bormann declared to Rosenberg that the Christian religion and National Socialism are incompatible (098-PS). Bormann cited, as examples of hostile divergence between Naziism and the churches, the attitude of the latter on the racial question, celibacy of the priests, monasteries and nunneries, etc. Bormann further declared that the churches could not be subjugated through compromise, but only through a new philosophy of life as prophesied in Rosenberg’s writings. In this letter, Bormann proposed the creation of a National Socialist Catechism, in order to give that part of the German youth which declines to practice confessional religion, a moral foundation, and to lay a moral basis for National Socialist doctrines, which were gradually to supplant the Christian religions. Bormann suggested that some of the Ten Commandments could be merged with the National Socialist Catechism and stated that a few new Commandments should be added, such as: Thou shalt be courageous; Thou shalt not be cowardly; Thou shalt believe in God’s presence in the living nature, animals, and plants; Thou shalt keep thy blood pure; etc. Deputy of the Fuehrer Bormann concluded that he considered the problem so important that it should be discussed with the members of the Reich Directorate, comprising the top leaders of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party, as soon as possible. (098-PS)

At one point in this letter, Bormann stated:

“Christianity and National Socialism are phenomena which originated from entirely different basic causes. Both differ fundamentally so strongly, that it will not be possible to construct a Christian teaching which would be completely compatible with the point of view of the National Socialist ideology; just as the communications of Christian faith would never be able to stand by the ideology of National Socialism in its entirety * * *.” (098-PS)

After discussing various proposals for the formulation of a Nazi religious credo for instruction in the German school system, Bormann stated:

“The Fuehrer’s deputy finds it necessary that all these questions should be thoroughly discussed in the near future in the presence of the Reich Leaders [Reichsleiter] who are especially effected by them * * *.” (098-PS)

In a circular letter, dated 17 June 1938, addressed by Bormann as Reichsleiter and Deputy of the Fuehrer to all Reichsleiter and Gauleiter, there was enclosed a copy of rules prepared by Reichsleiter Hierl, setting forth certain restrictive regulations with respect to participation of the Reich Labor Service in religious celebrations (107-PS). Pertinent portions of the directives issued by Reichsleiter Hierl read as follows:

“The Reich Labor Service is a training school in which the German youth should be educated to national unity in the spirit of National Socialism * * *.

“What religious beliefs a person has is not a decisive factor, but it is decisive that he first of all feels himself a German.

“Every religious practice is forbidden in the Reich Labor Service because it disturbs the comradelike harmony of all working men and women.

“On this basis, every participation of the Reich Labor Service in churchly, that is religious, arrangements and celebrations is not possible.” (107-PS)

The position of Bormann as Deputy of the Fuehrer and chief of the Nazi Party Chancellery, and the position of Rosenberg as the Fuehrer’s Representative for the Whole Spiritual and Philosophical Education of the Nazi Party, give to the foregoing views on religion and religious policy the highest official backing. The anti-Christian utterances and policies of these two conspirator-defendants reveal a community of mind and intention amongst the most powerful leaders of the party which was amply confirmed by the actual treatment of the churches since 1933 and throughout the course of the conspiracy. An excerpt from page 514 of “The Myth of the 20th Century,” written by Rosenberg, reads as follows:

“The idea of honor—national honor—is for us the beginning and the end of our entire thinking and doing. It does not admit of any equal-valued center of force along side of it, no matter of what kind, neither Christian love, nor the Free-Masonic humanity, nor the Roman philosophy.” (2349-PS)

In addition to promoting beliefs and practices fundamentally incompatible with Christianity, the Leadership Corps participated in the persecution of priests, clergy, and members of religious orders. A Gestapo telegram, dated 24 July 1938, dispatched from Berlin to Nurnberg, deals with demonstrations and acts of violence against Bishop Sproll in Rottenburg (848-PS). The Gestapo office in Berlin wired its Nurnberg office the following teletype account received from its Stuttgart office of disorderly conduct and vandalism carried out by Nazi Party members against Bishop Sproll:

“The Party on 23 July 1939 from 2100 on carried out the third demonstration against Bishop Sproll. Participants, about 2500-3000, were brought in from outside by bus, etc. The Rottenburg populace again did not participate in the demonstration. This town took rather hostile attitude toward the demonstrations. The action got completely out of hand of the Party member responsible for it. The demonstrators stormed the palace, beat in the gates and doors. About 150 to 200 people forced their way into the palace, searched through the rooms, threw files out of the windows and rummaged through the beds in the rooms of the palace. One bed was ignited * * * The Bishop was with Archbishop Groeber of Freiburg and the ladies and gentlemen of his menage in the chapel at prayer. About 25 to 30 people pressed into this chapel and molested those present. Bishop Groeber was taken for Bishop Sproll. He was grabbed by the robe and dragged back and forth * * *.” (848-PS)

The Gestapo official in Stuttgart added that Bishop Groeber desired “to turn to the Fuehrer and Reich Minister of the Interior, Dr. Frick, anew”; and that he had found a full report of the demonstration after “suppressing counter mass meetings.” (848-PS)

On 23 July 1938 the Reich Minister for Church Affairs, Kerrl, sent a letter to the Minister of State and Chief of the Praesidium Chancellery, Berlin, stating that Bishop Sproll had angered the population by abstaining from the plebiscite of 10 April (849-PS). In this letter Kerrl stated that the Gauleiter and Governor of Wuerttemberg had decided that, in the interest of preserving the State’s authority and in the interest of quiet and order, Bishop Sproll could no longer remain in office. The letter reads in part as follows:

“* * * The Reich Governor had explained to the Ecclesiastical Board that he would no longer regard Bishop Sproll as Head of the Diocese of Rottenburg on account of his refraining from the election in the office and that he desired Bishop Sproll to leave the Gau area * * * because he could assume no guarantee for his personal safety; that in the case of the return of the Bishop of Rottenburg he would see to it that all personal and official intercourse with him on the part of State offices as well as Party offices and the Armed Forces would be denied.” (849-PS)

Kerrl further stated in the foregoing letter that his Deputy had moved the Foreign Office, through the German Embassy at the Vatican, to urge the Holy See to persuade Bishop Sproll to resign his Bishopric. Kerrl concluded by stating that should the effort to procure the Bishop’s resignation prove unsuccessful

“* * * the Bishop would have to be exiled from the land or there would have to be a complete boycott of the Bishop by the authorities * * *.” (849-PS)

On 14 July 1939 Bormann, in his capacity as Deputy of the Fuehrer, issued a party regulation which required party members entering the clergy or undertaking the study of theology to leave the party (840-PS). The last paragraph of the regulation reads as follows:

“I decree that in the future party members who enter the clergy or who turn to the study of theology have to leave the party.” (840-PS)

In this directive Bormann also referred to an earlier decree, dated 9 February 1937, in which he had ruled that the admission of members of the clergy into the party was to be avoided. In that decree also Bormann referred with approval to a regulation of the Reich Treasurer of the NSDAP, dated 10 May 1939, providing that—

“clergymen, as well as other fellow Germans, who are also closely connected with the church, cannot be admitted into the party.” (840-PS)

In the Allocution of His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, to the Sacred College on 2 June 1945, His Holiness, after declaring that he had acquired an appreciation of the great qualities of the German people in the course of 12 years of residence in their midst, expressed the hope that Germany could rise to new dignity and new life once it had laid the satanic specter raised by National Socialism, and after the guilty had expiated the crimes they have committed (3268-PS). After referring to repeated violations by the German government of the Concordat concluded in 1933, His Holiness declared:

“The struggle against the Church did, in fact, become ever more bitter: there was the dissolution of Catholic organizations; the gradual suppression of the flourishing Catholic schools, both public and private; the enforced weaning of youth from family and Church; the pressure brought to bear on the conscience of citizens, and especially of civil servants; the systematic defamation, by means of a clever, closely-organized propaganda, of the Church, the clergy, the faithful, the Church’s institutions, teachings and history; the closing, dissolution, confiscation of religious houses and other ecclesiastical institutions; the complete suppression of the Catholic press and publishing houses * * *.

“In the meantime the Holy See itself multiplied its representations and protests to governing authorities in Germany, reminding them, in clear and energetic language, of their duty to respect and fulfill the obligations of the natural law itself that were confirmed by the Concordat. In those critical years, joining the alert vigilance of a Pastor to the long-suffering patience of a father, Our great Predecessor Pius XI fulfilled his mission as Supreme Pontiff with intrepid courage.

“But when, after he had tried all means of persuasion in vain, he saw himself clearly faced with deliberate violations of a solemn pact, with a religious persecution masked or open, but always rigorously organized, he proclaimed to the world, on Passion Sunday 1937, in his Encyclical Mit brennender Sorge, what National-Socialism really was; the arrogant apostasy from Jesus Christ, the denial of His doctrine and of His work of redemption, the cult of violence, the idolatry of race and blood, the overthrow of human liberty and dignity * * *.

“From the prisons, concentration camps and fortresses are now pouring out, together with the political prisoners, also the crowds of those, whether clergy or laymen, whose only crime was their fidelity to Christ and to the faith of their fathers or the dauntless fulfillment of their duties as priests * * *.

“In the forefront, the number and harshness of the treatment meted out to them, were the Polish priests. From 1940 to 1945, 2,800 Polish ecclesiastica and religious were imprisoned in that camp; among them was the Auxiliary bishop of Wloclawek, who died there of typhus. In April last there were left only 816, all the others being dead except for two or three transferred to another camp. In the summer of 1942, 480 German-speaking ministers of religion were known to be gathered there; of these, 45 were Protestants, all the others Catholic priests. In spite of the continuous inflow of new internees, especially from some dioceses of Bavaria, Rhenania and Westphalia, their number, as a result of the high rate of mortality, at the beginning of this year, did not surpass 350. Nor should we pass over in silence those belonging to occupied territories, Holland, Belgium, France (among whom the Bishop of Clermont), Luxembourg, Slovenia, Italy. Many of those priests and laymen endured indescribable sufferings for their faith and for their vocation. In one case the hatred of the impious against Christ reached the point of parodying on the person of an interned priest, with barbed wire, the scourging and crowning with thorns of our Redeemer.” (3268-PS)

The Leadership Corps participated in the confiscation of church and religious property. A letter dated 19 April 1941 from Reichsleiter Bormann to Reichsleiter Rosenberg exposes the participation of the Gauleiter in measures relating to the confiscation of religious property (072-PS). The letter reads in part as follows:

“The libraries and art objects of the monasteries confiscated in the Reich were to remain for the time being in these monasteries, insofar as the Gauleiter had not determined otherwise.” (072-PS)

On 21 February 1940, the Chief of the Security Police and SD, Heydrich, wrote a letter to the Reichsfuehrer SS, Himmler, proposing that certain listed churches and monasteries be confiscated for the accommodation of so-called racial Germans. (Himmler was a Reichsleiter in the Leadership Corps by virtue of his position as Reichsfuehrer of the SS.) After pointing out that, on political grounds, outright expropriation of religious property would not be feasible at the time, Heydrich suggested certain specious interim actions with respect to the church properties in question, to be followed progressively by outright confiscation (R-101-A). Heydrich’s letter makes the following statements:

“Enclosed is a list of church possessions which might be available for the accommodation of Racial Germans. The list, which please return, is supplemented by correspondence and illustrated material pertinent to the subject.

“For political reasons, expropriation without indemnity of the entire property of the churches and religious orders will hardly be possible at this time.

“Expropriation with indemnity or in return for assignment of other lands and grounds will be even less possible.

“It is therefore suggested that the respective authorities of the Orders be instructed that they make available the monasteries concerned for the accommodation of Racial Germans and remove their own members to other less populous monasteries. [Marginal note in pencil opposite this paragraph: “Very good!”]

“The final expropriation of these properties thus placed at our disposal can then be carried out step by step in course of time.” (R-101-A)

On 5 April 1940, the Chief of the Security Police and of the Security Service SS sent a letter to the Reich Commissioner for the consolidation of Germandom, enclosing a copy of the foregoing letter from Heydrich to Himmler proposing the confiscation of church properties (R-101-A). The letter of 5 April 1940 stated:

“The Reich Leader SS has agreed to the proposals made in the enclosed letter and has ordered the matter to be dealt with by collaboration between the Chief of the Security Police and Security Service and your office.” (R-101-A)

A letter dated 30 July 1941 (R-101-C) written by an SS-Standartenfuehrer whose signature is illegible, to the Reich Leader of the SS, supplies further evidence of the participation of the Gauleiter in the seizure of church property:

“Further to report of 30 May 1941 this office considers it its duty to call the Reich Leader’s attention to the development which is currently taking place in the incorporated Eastern countries with regard to seizure and confiscation of Church property.

“As soon as the Reich Laws on expropriation had been introduced, the Reich Governor and Gauleiter in the Wartheland adopted the practice of expropriating real estate belonging to churches for use as dwellings. He grants compensation to the extent of the assessed value and pays the equivalent amount into blocked accounts.

“Moreover the East German Estate Administration Limited reports that in the ‘Warthegau’ all real estate owned by the churches is being claimed by the local Gau administration [Gauselbstverwaltung].” (R-101-C)

Another letter, this one from the Chief of the Staff Main Office to Himmler, dated 30 March 1942, dealing with the confiscation of church property, evidences the active participation of the Party Chancellery in the confiscation of religious property (R-101-D). In this letter the Chief of the Staff Main Office reports to Himmler concerning the policy of the SS in suspending all payments of rent to monasteries and other church institutions whose property had been expropriated. The letter discusses a proposal made by the Reich Minister of the Interior, in which the Party Chancery prominently participated, to the effect that the church institutions should be paid amounts corresponding to current mortgage charges on the premises without realizing any profit. The writer further suggests that such payments should never be made directly to the ecclesiastical institutions but rather should be made to the creditors of such institutions:

“Such an arrangement would be in line with the basic idea of the settlement originally worked out between the Party Chancery and the Reich Minister of the Interior.” (R-101-D)

The Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party participated in the suppression of religious publications and interfered with free religious education. In a letter dated 27 September 1940, Reichsleiter and Deputy of the Fuehrer Bormann transmitted to Rosenberg a photostatic copy of a letter from Gauleiter Florian to Hess, dated 23 September 1940, which expresses the Gauleiter’s intense disapproval on Nazi ideological grounds of a religious pamphlet entitled “The Spirit and Soul of the Soldiers,” written by a Major General von Rabenau (064-PS). The Gauleiter urges that the religious writings of General von Rabenau be suppressed. Florian also discusses a conversation he had with General von Rabenau at the close of a lecture delivered by the General to a group of younger Army officers at Aachen. This conversation illumines the hostile attitude of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party toward the Christian churches:

“After he had affirmed the necessity of the churches, Rabenau said, with emphasized self-assurance, something like the following: ‘Dear Gauleiter, the Party is making mistake after mistake in the business with the churches. Obtain for me the necessary powers from the Fuehrer and I guarantee that I shall succeed in a few months in establishing peace with the churches for all times.’ After this catastrophic ignorance, I gave up the conversation. Dear Party Member Hess: the reading of von Rabenau’s pamphlet ‘Spirit and Soul of the Soldier’ has reminded me again of this. In this brochure, Rabenau affirms the necessity of the Church straight-forward and clearly, even if it is prudently careful. He writes on page 28 ‘There could be more examples; they would suffice to show that a soldier in this world can scarcely get along without thoughts about the next one.’ Because von Rabenau is falsely based spiritually, I consider his activities as an educator in spiritual affairs as dangerous, and I am of the opinion that his educational writings are to be dispensed with absolutely and that the publication section of the NSDAP can and must renounce these writings * * * The churches with their Christianity are this danger against which the struggle must always be carried on.” (064-PS)

That the Party Chancellery shared the Gauleiter’s hostility to the Christian churches is further revealed by Bormann’s instruction to Rosenberg to “take action” on the Gauleiter’s recommendation that the General’s writings be suppressed. (064-PS)

Another letter from Bormann to Rosenberg, dated 8 March 1940, enclosed a copy of Bormann’s letter of the same date to Reichsleiter Amann (089-PS). Amann was a top member of the Leadership Corps by virtue of his position as Reichsleiter for the Press and Leader of the Party Publishing Company. In this letter to Amann, Bormann expressed his dismay and dissatisfaction that only 10 percent of the 3,000 Protestant periodicals in Germany had ceased publication for what are described as “paper saving” reasons. Bormann then advised Amann that “the distribution of any paper whatsoever for such periodicals” was barred (089-PS). Bormann also instructed Amann to make sharper restrictions in the distribution of paper against religious writings in favor of publications more acceptable to the Nazi ideology:

“I urge you [Bormann is addressing Reichsleiter Amann] to see to it in any redistribution of paper to be considered later that the confessional writing, which according to experiences so far gathered possesses very doubtful value for strengthening the power of resistance of the people toward the external foe receives still sharper restrictions in favor of literature, politically and ideologically more valuable.” (089-PS)

A further letter from Bormann to Rosenberg, dated 17 January 1940, expressed the Party’s opposition to the circulation of religious literature to the members of the German Armed Forces (101-PS). Pertinent excerpts from Bormann’s letter read as follows:

“Nearly all the districts [Gaue] report to me regularly that the churches of both confessions are administering spiritually to members of the Armed Forces. This administering finds its expression especially in the fact that soldiers are being sent religious publications by the spiritual leaders of the home congregations. These publications are, in part, very cleverly composed. I have repeated reports that these publications are being read by the troops and thereby exercise a certain influence on the morale.

“I have, in the past, sought by sounding out the General Field Marshal, the High Command of the Armed Forces, and * * * Reich Director Amann, to restrict considerably the production and shipment of publications of this type. The result of these efforts remains unsatisfactory. As Reichsleiter Amann has repeatedly informed me, the restriction of these pamphlets by means of the * * * paper rationing has not been achieved because the paper * * * is being purchased on the open market.

“If the influencing of the soldiers by the church is to be effectively combatted, this will only be accomplished by producing many good publications in the shortest possible time under the supervision of the Party * * *.

“Thus at the last meeting of the Deputy Gauleiters, comments were uttered on this matter to the effect that a considerable quantity of such publications are not available.

“I maintain that it is necessary that in the near future we transmit to the Party Service Office down to Ortsgruppenleitern a list of additional publications of this sort which should be sent to our soldiers by the Ortsgruppen. * * *” (101-PS)

The Leadership Corps also participated in measures leading to the closing and dissolution of theological schools and other religious institutions. In a letter dated 17 April 1939 Bormann transmitted to Rosenberg photostatic copy of a plan suggested by the Reich Minister for Science, Education, and Training for the combining and closing of certain specifically listed theological faculties (122-PS). In his letter of transmittal Bormann requested Rosenberg to take “cognizance and prompt action” with respect to proposed suppression of religious institutions. The plan to suppress the religious institutions was summarized as follows:

“To recapitulate, this plan would include the complete closing of the theological faculties at Innsbruck, Salzburg, and Munich, the transfer of the faculty of Graz to Vienna, and the vanishing of four Catholic faculties; closing of three Catholic theological faculties or higher schools, and of four evangelical faculties in the Winter semester 1939/1940; closing of one further Catholic and of three further evangelical faculties in the near future.” (122-PS)

A final letter from Bormann to Rosenberg, dated 24 January 1939, enclosed for Rosenberg’s cognizance a copy of Bormann’s letter to the Reich Minister for Knowledge and Education (116-PS). In the enclosed letter, Bormann informed the Minister as to the Party’s position in favor of restricting and suppressing theological faculties. Bormann stated that, owing to the effects of the introduction of military service, the consequences of the Four Year Plan, and the extraordinary lack of replacements, it would become necessary to carry out a reorganization of the German high schools. In view of these developments, he requested the Minister to restrict and suppress the theological faculties:

“* * * I would appreciate it very much if you would restrict the theological faculties in so far as they cannot be wholly suppressed in accordance with the above statement. I request in this instance the omission of any expressed declaration to the Churches or to other places, as well as the avoiding of a public announcement of these measures. Complaints and the like must be answered (if they are to be replied to) in the fashion that these measures are being executed in the course of the economic plan of reorganization and that similar things are happening to other faculties.

“I would appreciate it very much if professional chairs thus vacated can be then turned over to the newly created fields of inquiry of these last years, such as Racial Research, Archeological Studies, etc.” (116-PS)

From the foregoing evidence it is clear the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party shares in the responsibility for the measures taken to subvert the Christian churches and persecute the Christian clergy, both in Germany and in German-occupied territories of Europe. The Prosecution stresses the significance of the appointment of Rosenberg, whose anti-Christian views are open and notorious, as the Fuehrer’s Representative for the Whole Spiritual and Philosophical Education of the Nazi Party. It was precisely this position which gave Rosenberg his seat in the Reichsleitung. But emphasis is placed not merely upon the fact that anti-Christs such as Bormann and Rosenberg held directive positions within the Leadership Corps, but upon the further fact that their directives and orders were passed down the chain of command of the Leadership Corps and caused the participation of its membership in acts subversive of the Christian Church.

(e) Destruction of the Free Trade Unions, Imposition of Nazi Control over the Productive Labor Capacity of Germany. The evidence relating to the destruction of the independent trade unions is discussed in Section 5 of Chapter VII. The evidence hereinafter taken up is offered to prove the responsibility of the Leadership Corps for participation in the smashing of the unions and the imposition of Nazi Party control over the productive labor capacity of the German nation.

Soon after the seizure of power (mid-April 1933), Reichsleiter Robert Ley was directed by Hitler to smash the independent unions. Reichsleiter Ley, in his speech to the Nurnberg Party Congress of 1936, declared:

“* * * My Fuehrer! When you, my Fuehrer, ordered me in mid-April 1933 to take over the trade unions, I could not understand why you gave this order to me since I could not see any connection between my task as Organizational Leader of the Party and my new task. Very soon, however, your decision, my Fuehrer, became clear to me and I recognized that the organizational measures of the Party could only come to full fruition when supplemented by the organization of the people, that is to say, by the mobilization of the energies of the people and by their concentration and alignment. If the Party represents the concentration of the Political Leaders of the people—as you, my Fuehrer, have told us again and again—then the people is the retinue and must be organized and trained according to the same principles. Leader and retinue, elite and community at large—these were the clear directives for my work. These were the consequences:

“(1) My tasks as Organizational Leader of the Party and as the leader of the German Labor Front were a completely homogeneous task: in other words, in everything I did I acted as Reich Organization Leader of the NSDAP.

“(2) The German Labor Front was an institution of the Party and was led by it.

“(3) The German Labor Front had to be organized regionally and professionally according to the same principles as the Party.

“That is why trade union and employer associations had to be smashed unrelentingly, and the basis of construction was formed, as in the Party, by the cell and the local section [Ortsgruppe].

*            *            *            *            *            *

National Socialism has conquered the factory. Factory troops [Die Werkschar] are the National Socialist shock troops within the factory, and their motto is:


In furtherance of the Nazi policy to destroy the independent trade unions of Germany, Ley issued a Party directive on 21 April 1933 outlining what was termed a “coordination action” scheduled for 2 May 1933 against the General German Trade Union Federation and the General Independent Employee Federation (392-PS). This directive ordered the SA and the SS to occupy trade union premises, seize trade union funds, and take into protective custody the higher union leaders.

Pertinent portions of Ley’s order provide:

“On Tuesday, 2 May 1933, the coordination action of the free trade unions begins.

*            *            *            *            *            *

“The essential part of the action is to be directed against the General German Trade Union Federation and the General Independent Employees Federation.

“Anything beyond that which is dependent upon the free trade unions is left to the discretion of the Gauleiter’s judgment.

“The Gauleiter are responsible for the execution of the coordination action in the individual areas. Supporters of the action should be members of the National Socialist Factory Cell Organizations * * *.

“SA as well as SS are to be employed for the occupation of trade union properties and for taking into protective custody of personalities who come into question.

“The Gauleiter is to proceed with his measures on a basis of the closest understanding with competent gau or regional factory cells directors.

*            *            *            *            *            *

“In the Reich, the following will be occupied:

The directing offices of the unions;

The trade union houses and offices of the fur trade unions;

The Party houses of the Socialist Democratic Party of Germany in so far as trade unions are involved there;

The branches and paying offices of the ‘Bank for Workers, Employees and Officials, Inc.’

The district committees of the General German Trade Union Federation and of the General Independent Employees Federation.

The local committees of the General German Trade Union Federation and of the General Independent Employees Federation.

“The following are to be taken into protective custody:

All trade union chairmen;

The district secretaries and branch directors of the Bank for Workers, Employees and Officials, Inc.

*            *            *            *            *            *

“Exceptions are granted only with the permission of the Gauleiter.

*            *            *            *            *            *

“It is understood that this action is to proceed in a strongly disciplined fashion. The Gauleiter are responsible in this respect. They are to hold the direction of the action firmly in hand.

“Heil Hitler!

“(signed)  Dr. Robert Ley.”  (392-PS)

Ley’s order for the dissolution of the independent trade unions was carried out as planned and directed. Trade union premises all over Germany were occupied by the SA and the unions dissolved. On 2 May 1933, the official NSDAP Press Service reported that the National Socialist Factory Cells Organization (NSBO) had “eliminated the old leadership” of “Free Trade Unions” and taken over their leadership (2224-PS):

“National Socialism, which today has assumed leadership of the German working class, can no longer bear the responsibility for leaving the men and women of the German working class, the members of the largest trade organization in the world, the German Trade Union Movement, in the hands of a people who do not know a fatherland that is called Germany. Because of that, the National Socialist Factory Cell Organization (NSBO) has taken over the leadership of the trade unions. The NSBO has eliminated the old leadership of the trade unions of the General German Trade Unions League and of the General Independent Employees’ Federation * * *.

“On 2 May 1933, the National Socialist Factory Cell Organization (NSBO) took over the leadership of all trade unions; all trade union buildings were occupied and most stringent control has been organized over financial and personnel matters of the organization.” (2224-PS)

This assault on the independent unions directed by Ley in his capacity as Reichsleiter in charge of Party Organization, assisted by the Gauleiter, and Party Formations, included the seizure of trade union funds and property. In a speech on 11 September 1937 to the 5th Annual Session of the German Labor Front (1678-PS), Ley admitted the confiscation of trade union funds.

“Once I said to the Fuehrer: ‘My Fuehrer, actually I am standing with one foot in jail, for today I am still the trustee of the comrades “Leipart” and “Imbusch,” and should they some day ask me to return their money, then it will be found that I have spent it, either by building things, or otherwise. But they shall never again find their property in the condition in which they handed it over to me. Therefore I would have to be convicted.’

“The Fuehrer laughed then and remarked that apparently I felt extremely well in this condition.

“It was very difficult for us all. Today we laugh about it * * *.” (1678-PS)

The plan of the Nazi conspirators to eliminate the Free Trade Unions was advanced by the enactment on 19 May 1933 of a law which abolished collective bargaining between workers and employers and replaced it with a regulation of working conditions by Labor Trustees appointed by Hitler (405-PS). After providing in Section 1 for the appointment by Hitler of trustees of labor, this law provides, in Section 2:

“Until a new revision of the social constitution, the trustees are to regulate the conditions for the conclusion of labor contracts. This practice is to be legally binding for all persons and replaces the system found on combinations of workers, of individual employers or of combinations of employers * * *.”(405-PS)

Having destroyed the independent unions and collective bargaining, the next step of the Nazi conspirators was to Nazify industrial relations. The Law of 20 January 1934, entitled “Law Regulating National Labor,” imposed the Leadership Principle upon industrial enterprisers (1861-PS). Section I, paragraph 1, provided that the enterpriser should be the leader of the plant and the workers would “constitute his followers.” Section 1, paragraph 2 reads as follows:

“The Leader of the plant makes the decisions for the employees and laborers in all matters concerning the enterprise, as far as they are regulated by this law.

“He is responsible for the well-being of the employees and laborers. The employees and laborers owe him faithfulness according to the principles of the factory community.” (1861-PS)

The trade unions having been dissolved and the Leadership Principle superimposed upon the relationship of management and labor, the members of the Leadership Corps joined in and directed measures designed to replace the independent unions by the German Labor Front, the DAF, an affiliated Party organization. On the very day the Nazi conspirators seized and dissolved the Free Trade Unions, 2 May 1933, they publicly proclaimed that a “united front of German workers” would be formed with Hitler as honorary patron at a workers’ congress on 10 May 1933 (2224-PS). A release of the Nazi Party Press Agency stated:

“The National Socialist Party Press Agency is informed that a great workers’ congress will take place on Wednesday, 10 May, in the Russian House of Lords in Berlin. The United Front of German workers will be formed there. Adolf Hitler will be asked to assume the position of Honorary Patron.” (2224-PS)

The action committee, which supervised the smashing of the unions under Reichsleiter Ley, met with Hitler and reported that the independent unions had been effectively dissolved. The Fuehrer then consented to be Honorary Patron at the Great Workers’ Congress. (2224-PS)

The Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party was not only employed in measures taken to dissolve the independent unions, but certain of its members were given important and directive positions within the German Labor Front, the Nazi Organization which replaced the free trade unions. On 10 May 1933, Hitler appointed Ley Leader of the German Labor Front (DAF) (1940-PS). By the same edict, Hitler appointed Gauleiter Forster as Leader of the Employees’ Associations, and Schumann, Leader of the Nazi Factory Cell Organization (NSBO), as Leader of the Workers’ Associations. The Hitler edict stated:

“The Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler, has issued the following edict:

“I appoint the Chief of Staff of the Political Organization of the NSDAP, Dr. Robert Ley, as leader of the German Labor Front.

“I appoint Gauleiter Forster, Danzig, as leader of the Employees’ Associations.

“I appoint the leader of the National Socialist Factory Cell Organizations (NSBO), Schumann, as leader of the Workers’ Associations.

“Berlin, 10 May

“Adolf Hitler.” (1940-PS)

The Nazi conspirators employed the German Labor Front (DAF) as an instrument for propagandizing its millions of compulsory members with Nazi ideology. The control of the Leadership Corps over the German Labor Front was assured not only by the designation of Reichsleiter Ley as head of the DAF, but by the employment of a large number of Politischen Leiter (political leaders) charged with disseminating Nazi ideology to the large membership of the DAF. These facts are apparent from pages 185-187 of the Organization Book of the NSDAP (2271-PS):

“The National Socialist Factory Cells Organization [NSBO], is a union of the political leaders [Politischen Leiter] of the NSDAP in the German Labor Front.

“The NSBO is the carrier of the organization of the German Labor Front.

“The duties and responsibilities of the NSBO have passed over to the DAF.

“The political leaders who have been transferred from the NSBO to the German Labor Front guarantee the ideological education of the DAF in the spirit of the National Socialistic idea.” (2271-PS)

The foregoing evidence fixes upon the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party responsibility for participation in the measures leading to the destruction of the independent trade unions and to Nazi Party control over the productive capacity of the German Labor Movement. Not only were these actions directed by Ley in his capacity as Reichsleiter, but they were supervised on a regional basis by the Gauleiter as district representatives of the Leadership Corps. Moreover, the German Labor Front (DAF) which replaced the dissolved trade unions was an affiliated organization of the NSDAP and, as such, remained under the control of the Leadership Corps and was employed by it to nazify the labor population of Germany.

(f) Plunder of Art Treasures. The Leadership Corps of the NSDAP is also responsible for the plundering of art treasures by Reichsleiter Rosenberg’s Einsatzstab Rosenberg, the activities of which are discussed in full in Chapter XIV.


Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Article 9.I6
International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Section IV (H); Appendix B.I29, 69
Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.
  *004-PSReport submitted by Rosenberg to Deputy of the Fuehrer, 15 June 1940, on the Political Preparation of the Norway Action. (GB 140)III19
  *057-PSCircular letter from Bormann to Political Leaders, 30 May 1944, concerning justice exercised by people against Anglo-American murderers. (USA 329)III102
  *064-PSBormann’s letter to Rosenberg, 27 September 1940, enclosing letter from Gauleiter Florian criticizing churches and publications for soldiers. (USA 359)III109
   070-PSLetter of Deputy Fuehrer to Rosenberg, 25 April 1941, on substitution of National Socialist mottos for morning prayers in schools.(USA 349)III118
  *071-PSRosenberg letter to Bormann, 23 April 1941, replying to Bormann’s letter of 19 April 1941 (Document 072-PS). (USA 371)III119
  *072-PSBormann letter to Rosenberg, 19 April 1941, concerning confiscation of property, especially of art treasures in the East. (USA 357)III122
  *089-PSLetter from Bormann to Rosenberg, 8 March 1940, instructing Amann not to issue further newsprint to confessional newspapers. (USA 360)III147
  *090-PSLetter from Rosenberg to Schwarz, 28 January 1941, concerning registration and collection of art treasures. (USA 372)III148
  *098-PSBormann’s letter to Rosenberg, 22 February 1940, urging creation of National Socialist Catechism, etc. to provide moral foundation for NS religion. (USA 350)III152
  *100-PSBormann’s letter to Rosenberg, 18 January 1940, urging preparation of National Socialist reading material to replace Christian literature for soldiers. (USA 691)III160
  *101-PSLetter from Hess’ office signed Bormann to Rosenberg, 17 January 1940, concerning undesirability of religious literature for members of the Wehrmacht. (USA 361)III160
   107-PSCircular letter signed Bormann, 17 June 1938, enclosing directions prohibiting participation of Reichsarbeitsdienst in religious celebrations. (USA 351)III162
  *116-PSBormann’s letter to Rosenberg, enclosing copy of letter, 24 January 1939, to Minister of Education requesting restriction or elimination of theological faculties. (USA 685)III165
  *122-PSBormann’s letter to Rosenberg, 17 April 1939, enclosing copy of Minister of Education letter, 6 April 1939, on elimination of theological faculties in various universities. (USA 362)III173
  *136-PSCertified copy of Hitler Order, 29 January 1940, concerning establishment of “Hohe Schule”. (USA 367)III184
  *137-PSCopy of Order from Keitel to Commanding General of Netherlands, 5 July 1940, to cooperate with the Einsatzstab Rosenberg. (USA 379)III185
  *141-PSGoering Order, 5 November 1940, concerning seizure of Jewish art treasures. (USA 368)III188
  *145-PSOrder signed by Rosenberg, 20 August 1941, concerning safeguarding the cultural goods in the Occupied Eastern Territories. (USA 373)III189
  *149-PSHitler Order, 1 March 1942, establishing authority of Einsatzstab Rosenberg. (USA 369)III190
  *154-PSLetter from Lammers to high State and Party authorities, 5 July 1942, confirming Rosenberg’s powers. (USA 370)III193
   315-PSNote of a meeting held in the Reich Ministry for Enlightenment and Propaganda, 10 March 1943, concerning treatment of foreign workers employed in the Reich.III251
  *327-PSLetter of Rosenberg to Bormann, 17 October 1944, concerning liquidation of property in Eastern Occupied Territories. (USA 338)III257
  *347-PSLetter from Lohse to Reich Youth Leader Axmann, 18 April 1944. (USA 340)III267
  *374-PSTWX Series of Orders signed by Heydrich and Mueller, issued by Gestapo Headquarters Berlin, 9-11 November 1938, concerning treatment of Jews. (USA 729)III277
  *392-PSOfficial NSDAP circular entitled “The Social Life of New Germany with Special Consideration of the German Labor Front”, by Prof. Willy Mueller (Berlin, 1938). (USA 326)III380
   405-PSLaw Concerning Trustees of Labor, 19 May 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 285.III387
  *407-V and VI-PSLetter from Sauckel to Hitler, 15 April 1943, concerning labor questions. (USA 209; USA 228)III391
  *630-PSMemorandum of Hitler, 1 September 1939, concerning authorization of mercy killings. (USA 342)III451
  *654-PSThierack’s notes, 18 September 1942, on discussion with Himmler concerning delivery of Jews to Himmler for extermination through work. (USA 218)III467
   656-PSLetter, undated, from Bormann to Political leaders, enclosing Order of Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht, 29 January 1943, relating to self-defense against prisoners of war. (USA 339)III470
  *840-PSParty Directive, 14 July 1939, making clergy and theology students ineligible for Party membership. (USA 355)III606
  *848-PSGestapo telegram from Berlin to Nurnberg, 24 July 1938, dealing with demonstrations against Bishop Sproll in Rottenburg. (USA 353)III613
  *849-PSLetter from Kerrl to Minister of State, 23 July 1938, with enclosures dealing with persecution of Bishop Sproll. (USA 354)III614
 *1058-PSExcerpt from a speech, 20 June 1941, by Rosenberg before people most intimately concerned with Eastern Problem, found in his “Russia File”. (USA 147)III716
 *1117-PSGoering Order, 1 May 1941, concerning establishment of Einsatzstab Rosenberg in all Occupied Territories. (USA 384)III793
  1118-PSLetter from Rosenberg to Goering, 18 June 1942, and related correspondence.III793
 *1130-PSNote, 11 April 1943, and report of speech by Koch in Kiev on 5 March 1943, concerning treatment of civilian population in Ukraine. (USA 169)III797
 *1164-PSSecret letter, 21 April 1942, from SS to all concentration camp commanders concerning treatment of priests. (USA 736)III820
  1386-PSLaw concerning the granting of amnesty, 23 April 1936. 1936 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 378.III960
  1388-PSLaw concerning confiscation of Property subversive to People and State, 14 July 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 479.III962
  1389-PSLaw creating Reich Labor Service, 26 June 1935. 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 769.III963
  1391-PSStatute of the Academy for German Law, 2 July 1934. 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, pp. 605-607.III970
  1392-PSLaw on the Hitler Youth, 1 December 1936. 1936 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 993.III972
  1393-PSLaw on treacherous attacks against State and Party, and for the Protection of Party Uniforms, 20 December 1934. 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1269.III973
  1394-PSLaw to guarantee Public Peace, 13 October 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 723, Art. 1-3.III976
  1395-PSLaw to insure the unity of Party and State, 1 December 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1016. (GB 252)III978
  1397-PSLaw for the reestablishment of the Professional Civil Service, 7 April 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 175.III981
  1398-PSLaw to supplement the Law for the restoration of the Professional Civil Service, 20 July 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 518.III986
  1402-PSThe Homestead Law of 29 September 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 685.III990
  1412-PSDecree relating to payment of fine by Jews of German nationality, 12 November 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1579.IV6
  1415-PSPolice regulation concerning appearance of Jews in public, 28 November 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1676.IV6
  1416-PSReich Citizen Law of 15 September 1935. 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1146.IV7
 *1417-PSFirst regulation to the Reichs Citizenship Law, 14 November 1935. 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1333. (GB 258)IV8
  1419-PSLaw concerning Jewish tenants, 30 April 1939. 1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 864.IV10
  1422-PSThirteenth regulation under Reich Citizenship Law, 1 July 1943. 1943 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 372.IV14
  1438-PSFuehrer concerning administration of Sudeten-German territory, 22 October 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1453.IV17
 *1481-PSGestapo order, 20 January 1938, dissolving and confiscating property of Catholic Youth Women’s Organization in Bavaria. (USA 737)IV50
 *1517-PSMemorandum from Rosenberg concerning discussion with the Fuehrer, 14 December 1941. (USA 824)IV55
**1654-PSLaw of 16 March 1935 reintroducing universal military conscription. 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 369. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)IV163
  1662-PSOrder eliminating Jews from German economic life, 12 November 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1580.IV172
  1665-PSOrder concerning treatment of property of Nationals of the former Polish State, 17 September 1940. 1940 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1270.IV173
  1674-PSSecond decree for the execution of the law regarding the change of surnames and forenames, 17 August 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1044.IV185
 *1676-PSSpeech concerning the enemy air terror by Reichsminister Dr. Goebbels, 28-29 March 1944. Voelkischer Beobachter. (USA 334)IV186
 *1678-PSSpeech of Dr. Robert Ley. Documents of German Politics, Vol. V, pp. 373, 376. (USA 365)IV190
 *1708-PSThe Program of the NSDAP. National Socialistic Yearbook, 1941, p. 153. (USA 255; USA 324)IV208
 *1774-PSExtracts from Organizational Law of the Greater German Reich by Ernst Rudolf Huber. (GB 246)IV349
 *1814-PSThe Organization of the NSDAP and its affiliated associations, from Organization book of the NSDAP, editions of 1936, 1938, 1940 and 1943, pp. 86-88. (USA 328)IV411
 *1815-PSDocuments on RSHA meeting concerning the study and treatment of church politics. (USA 510)IV415
  1817-PSBureau for factory troops, from Organization Book of the NSDAP, 1936 edition, p. 211.IV457
  1855-PSExtract from Organization Book of the NSDAP, 1937, p. 418.IV495
  1861-PSLaw on the regulation of National labor, 20 January 1934. 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 45.IV497
 *1893-PSExtracts from Organization Book of the NSDAP, 1943 edition. (USA 323)IV529
 *1913-PSAgreement between Plenipotentiary General for Arbeitseinsatz and German Labor Front concerning care of non-German workers. 1943 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 588. (USA 227)IV547
 *1914-PSExtracts from Decrees, Regulations, Announcements, 1943 Edition, Part I, pp. 318-319. (USA 336)IV550
  1915-PSDecree concerning leadership of Armed Forces, 4 February 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 111.IV552
  1939-PSSpeech by Ley published in Forge of the Sword, with an introduction by Marshal Goering, pp. 14-17.IV581
  1940-PSFuehrer edict appointing Ley leader of German Labor Front. Voelkischer Beobachter, Munich (Southern German) edition, p. 1.IV584
  1961-PSDecision of the Greater German Reichstag, 26 April 1942. 1942 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 247.IV600
  1964-PSDecree of the Fuehrer regarding special jurisdiction of Reich Minister of Justice, 20 August 1942. 1942 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 535.IV601
  2000-PSLaw for protection of German blood and German honor, 15 September 1935. 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, No. 100, p. 1146.IV636
  2001-PSLaw to Remove the Distress of People and State, 24 March 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 141.IV638
  2003-PSLaw concerning the Sovereign Head of the German Reich, 1 August 1934. 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 747.IV639
  2016-PSOrder concerning the jurisdiction of SS courts and Police courts in the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia, 15 July 1942. 1942 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 475.IV649
  2029-PSDecree establishing the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, 13 March 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 104.IV652
  2057-PSLaw relating to National Emergency Defense Measures of 3 July 1934. 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 529.IV699
  2079-PSReich Flag Law of 15 September 1935. 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1145.IV707
  2100-PSDecree on position of leader of Party Chancellery, 24 January 1942. 1942 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 35.IV726
  2118-PSPolice decree on identification of Jews, 1 September 1941. 1941 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 547.IV750
  2120-PSLaw on passports of Jews, 5 October 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1342.IV754
  2224-PSThe End of the Marxist Class Struggle, published in National Socialist Party Press Agency, 2 May 1933, pp. 1-2. (USA 364)IV864
  2225-PSThe Front of German Workers has been Erected, published in National Socialist Party Press Agency, 3 May 1933, p. 1.IV868
  2230-PSAgreement between Ley and Lutze, chief of staff of SA, published in Organization Book of NSDAP, 1938, pp. 484-485b, 486c.IV871
  2270-PSCoordination of Cooperatives, published in National Socialist Party Press Agency release of 16 May 1933.IV938
  2271-PSThe National Socialist Factory Cells Organization, published in Organization Book of NSDAP, pp. 185-187.IV940
 *2283-PSThe Fifth Day of the Party Congress, from Voelkischer Beobachter, Munich (Southern German) Edition, Issue 258, 14 September 1936. (USA 337)IV971
  2325-PSDecree in execution of Article 118 of German Municipal Order, 26 March 1935. 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt Part I, p. 470.IV1034
  2336-PSSpecial Circular on Securing of association of German Labor Front against hidden Marxist sabotage, 27 June 1933.IV1052
 *2349-PSExtracts from “The Myth of 20th Century” by Alfred Rosenberg, 1941. (USA 352)IV1069
 *2473-PSExtracts from National Socialist Yearbook, 1943, showing party positions of other Cabinet members in 1943. (USA 324)V226
  2474-PSDirective of 25 October 1934, Decrees of the Deputy of the Fuehrer, signed by Hess. (USA 327)V227
 *2660-PSDistribution Plan for Gaue, Kreise, and Ortsgruppen, from The Bearers of Sovereignty, 2nd Issue, 3rd Year, February 1939. (USA 325)V365
 *2715-PSSpeech by Hitler to the Reichstag on 20 February 1938, published in The Archive, February 1938, Vol. 47, pp. 1441-1442. (USA 331).V376
 *2775-PSHitler’s speech, published in Nurnberg Party Congress, 1934. (USA 330)V418
 *2958-PSExtract from The Statistics of the NSDAP, Issue 8, 1939, p. 10. (USA 325)V663
 *3051-PSThree teletype orders from Heydrich to all stations of State Police, 10 November 1938, on measures against Jews, and one order from Heydrich on termination of protest actions. (USA 240)V797
 *3063-PSLetters of transmission enclosing report about events and judicial proceedings in connection with anti-semitic demonstrations of 9 November 1938. (USA 332)V868
 *3230-PSFight and Order—Not Peace and Order! from the Bearer of Sovereignty, February 1939, p. 15. (USA 325)V937
 *3268-PSAllocution of His Holiness Pope Pius XII, to the Sacred College, 2 June 1945. (USA 356)V1038
  3738-PSGeneva Convention of 1929 relative to treatment of Prisoners of War.VI599
  *D-75SD Inspector Bierkamp’s letter, 12 December 1941, to RSHA enclosing copy of secret decree signed by Bormann, entitled Relationship of National Socialism and Christianity. (USA 348)VI1035
  *D-728Circular, 15 March 1945, from NSDAP Gauleitung Hessen-Nassau to the “Kreis”-Leaders of the Gau, concerning Action by the Party to keep Germans in check until end of the War. (GB 282)VII174
  *L-154Letter from Hoffman, 25 February 1945, concerning action to be taken against pilots who are shot down. (USA 335)VII904
  *L-172“The Strategic Position at the Beginning of the 5th Year of War”, a lecture delivered by Jodl on 7 November 1943 at Munich to Reich and Gauleiters. (USA 34)VII920
  *L-221Bormann report on conference of 16 July 1941, concerning treatment of Eastern populations and territories. (USA 317)VII1086
  *L-316RSHA Order of 5 November 1942, signed by Streckenbach, concerning jurisdiction over Poles and Eastern Nationals. (USA 346)VII1104
  *R-101-ALetter from Chief of the Security Police and Security Service to the Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Folkdom, 5 April 1940, with enclosures concerning confiscation of church property. (USA 358)VIII87
   R-101-CLetter to Reich Leader SS, 30 July 1941, concerning treatment of church property in incorporated Eastern areas. (USA 358)VIII91
  *R-101-DLetter from Chief of Staff of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA) to Reich Leader SS, 30 March 1942, concerning confiscation of church property. (USA 358)VIII92
  *R-110Himmler order of 10 August 1943 to all Senior Executive SS and Police officers. (USA 333)VIII107
  *R-112Orders issued by Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German nationhood, 16 February 1942, 1 July 1942, 28 July 1942. (USA 309)VIII108
  *R-114Memoranda of conferences, 4 and 18 August 1942, concerning directions for treatment of deported Alsatians. (USA 314)VIII122
 *Chart No. 1National Socialist German Workers’ Party. (2903-PS; USA 2)VIII770


The Reich Cabinet, or Reichsregierung, unlike most of the other Nazi organizations, was not especially created by the Nazi Party to carry out or implement its purposes. The Reichsregierung had, before the Nazis came to power, a place in the constitutional and political history of the country. As with other cabinets of duly constituted governments, the executive power of the realm was concentrated in that body. The Nazi conspirators well realized this fact. Their aim for totalitarian control over the State could not be secured, they realized, except by acquiring, holding, and utilizing the machinery of the State. And this they did. Under the Nazi regime the Reichsregierung gradually became a primary agent of the Nazi Party, with functions and policies formulated in accordance with the objectives and methods of the Party itself. The Reichsregierung became—at first gradually and then with more rapidity—polluted by the infusion of the Nazi conspirators sixteen of whom are accused in the Indictment. Its purpose came to be to clothe every scheme and purpose of the Party, however vile, with the semblance of legality.

A. Composition and Nature of the Reichsregierung.

The term Reichsregierung literally translated means “Reich Government”. Actually, it was commonly taken to refer to the ordinary Reich Cabinet. In the Indictment the term Reichsregierung is defined to include not only those persons who were members of the ordinary Reich Cabinet, but also persons who were members of the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich (Ministerrat fuer die Reichsverteidigung) and the Secret Cabinet Council (Geheimer Kabinettsrat). The most important body, however, was the ordinary cabinet. Between it and the other two groups there was in reality only an artificial distinction. There existed, in fact, a unity of personnel, action, function, and purpose that obliterated any academic separation. As used in the Indictment, the term “ordinary cabinet” means Reich Ministers, i.e., heads of departments of the central government; Reich Ministers without portfolio; State Ministers acting as Reich Ministers; and other officials entitled to take part in Cabinet meetings. Altogether, 48 persons held positions in the ordinary cabinet. 17 of them have been indicted as defendants. Of the remaining 31, eight are believed to be dead.

(1) The Ordinary Cabinet. Into the ordinary cabinet were placed the leading Nazi trusted henchmen. Then, when new governmental agencies or bodies were created, either by Hitler or by the Cabinet itself, the constituents of these new bodies were taken from the rolls of the ordinary cabinet.

When the first Hitler Cabinet was formed on 30 January 1933, there were 10 ministries which could be classified as departments of the central government. This fact appears from the minutes of the first meeting of that cabinet, which were found in the files of the Reich Chancellery and bear the typed signature of one Weinstein, who is described in the minutes as “Responsible for the Protocol—Counsellor in the Ministry” (351-PS). The ten ministers who attended are set forth:

“Reichs Minister of Foreign Affairs (von Neurath); Reichs Minister of the Interior (Frick); Reichs Minister of Finance (Graf Schwerin von Krosigk); Reichs Minister of Economy; Reichs Minister for Food and Agriculture (Dr. Hugenberg); Reichs Minister of Labor (Seldte); Reichs Minister of Justice [no name given; the post was filled two days later by Gurtner]; Reichs Defense Minister (von Blomberg); the Reichs Postmaster General; and Reichs Minister for Transportation (Freiherr von Eltz-Ruebanach).” (351-PS)

In addition, Goering attended as Reichs Minister (he held no portfolio at that time) and Reichs Commissar for Aviation. Dr. Perecke attended as Reich Commissar for Procurement of Labor. Two state secretaries were present—Dr. Lammers of the Reichs Chancellery and Dr. Meissner of the Reich’s Presidential Chancellery. In addition, Funk was present as Reichs Press Chief, and von Papen was present as Deputy of the Reichs Chancellor and Reichs Commissar for the State of Prussia. (351-PS)

Not long afterwards new ministries or departments were created, into which leading Nazi figures were placed. On 13 March 1933, the Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda was created, and Paul Josef Goebbels was named as Reich Minister of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda (2029-PS). On 5 May 1933 the Ministry of Air (2089-PS), on 1 May 1934 the Ministry of Education (2078-PS), and on 16 July 1935 the Ministry for Church Affairs (2090-PS) were created. Goering was made Air Minister; Bernhard Rust, Gauleiter of South Hanover, was named Education Minister; and Hans Kerrl was named Minister for Church Affairs. Two Ministries were added after the war started. On 17 March 1940 the Ministry of Armaments and Munitions was established (2091-PS). Dr. Fritz Todt, a high party official, was appointed to this post. Speer succeeded him. The name of this department was changed to “Armaments and War Production” in 1943 (2092-PS). On 17 July 1941, when the seizure of Eastern territories was in progress, the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories was created. There was no published decree for this act. A file found in the Presidential Chancellery contains a typewritten copy of the decree of Hitler establishing that post (1997-PS). The decree provides:

“Decree of the Fuehrer concerning the administration of the newly-occupied Eastern Territories dated 17 July 1941.”

“In order to maintain public order and public life in the newly-occupied Eastern territories I decree that:

“As soon as the military operations in the newly-occupied territories are over, the administration of these territories shall be transferred from the military establishments to the civil-administration establishments. I shall from time to time determine by special decree, the territories which according to this are to be transferred to the civil administration and the time when this is to take place.

“The Civil Administration in the newly occupied Eastern territories, where these territories are not included in the administration of the territories bordering on the Reich or the General government, is subject to the ‘Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern territories.’

*            *            *            *            *            *

“I appoint Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg as Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. He will hold office in Berlin.” (1997-PS)

During the years 1933 to 1945, one ministry was dropped—the Ministry of Defense (later called War). This took place on 4 February 1938, when Hitler took over command of the whole Armed Forces. At the same time he created the office of the “Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces” or Chief of the OKW. This was held by Keitel. The decree accomplishing this change provides in part as follows:

“He [the Chief of the supreme command of the armed forces] is equal in rank to a Reich Minister. At the same time, the supreme command takes the responsibility for the affairs of the Reichs Ministry of War, and by my order, the chief of the supreme command of the Armed Forces exercises the authority formerly belonging to the Reichs Minister.” (1915-PS)

Another change in the composition of the cabinet during the years in question should be noted. The post of vice-chancellor was never refilled after the departure of von Papen on 30 July 1934.

In addition to the heads of departments mentioned above, the ordinary cabinet also contained Reich Ministers without portfolio. Among these were Frank, Seyss-Inquart, Schacht (after he left the Economics Ministry), and von Neurath (after he was replaced as Ministry of the Interior). Other positions also formed an integral part of the cabinet. Those were the Deputy of the Fuehrer, Hess, and later his successor, the Leader of the Party Chancellery, Bormann; the Chief of Staff of the SA, Ernst Roehm, for the seven months prior to his assassination; the Chief of the Reich Chancellery, Lammers; and, as already mentioned, the Chief of the OKW, Keitel. These men had either the title or rank of Reich Minister.

The Cabinet also contained other functionaries, such as State Ministers acting as Reich Ministers. Only two persons fell within this category—the Chief of the Presidential Chancellery, Otto Meissner, and the State Minister of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Karl Hermann Frank. In addition, as named in the Indictment, the ordinary cabinet included “others entitled to take part in Cabinet meetings”. Many governmental agencies were created by the Nazis between the years 1933 and 1945, but the peculiarity of these creations was that in most instances the new officials were given the right to participate in cabinet meetings. Among those entitled to take part in Cabinet meetings were the Commanders in Chief of the Army and the Navy; the Reich Forest Master; the Inspector General for Water and Power; the Inspector General of German Roads; the Reich Labor Leader; the Reich Youth Leader; the Chief of the Foreign Organization in the Foreign Office; the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police in the Reich Ministry of the Interior; the Prussian Finance Minister; and the Cabinet Press Chief. These posts and officials comprising the ordinary cabinet all appear on the chart entitled “Organization of the Reich Government,” and authenticated by Frick (Chart Number 18). The persons who held these posts in the ordinary cabinet varied between the years 1933 to 1945. Their names are listed in the chart (Chart Number 18), which discloses that 17 of these officials are defendants in these proceedings.

(2) The Secret Cabinet Council. Proof that there was only an artificial distinction between the ordinary cabinet, the Secret Cabinet Council, and the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich, is shown by the unity of personnel among the three subdivisions. Thus, on 4 February 1938, Hitler created the Secret Cabinet Council (2031-PS):

“To advise me in conducting the foreign policy I am setting up a secret cabinet council.

“As president of the secret cabinet council, I nominate: Reichsminister Freiherr von Neurath

“As members of the secret cabinet council I nominate: Reichsminister for Foreign Affairs, Joachim von Ribbentrop

Prussian Prime Minister, Reichsminister of the Air, Supreme Commander of the Air Forces, General Field Marshall Hermann Goering

The Fuehrer’s Deputy, Reichsminister Rudolf Hess

Reichsminister for the Enlightenment of the people and of Propaganda, Dr. Joseph Goebbels

Reichsminister and Chief of the Reichs Chancellery Dr. Hans-Heinrich Lammers

The Supreme Commander of the Army, General Walther von Brauchitsch

The Supreme Commander of the Navy, Grand Admiral Dr. (honorary) Erich Raeder

The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Wilhelm Keitel.” (2031-PS)

It will be noted that every member of this group was either a Reichsminister or, as, in the case of the Army, Navy, and OKW heads, had the rank and authority of a Reich Minister.

(3) The Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich. On 30 August 1939 Hitler established the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich (better known as the Ministerial Council). This was the so-called war cabinet. The decree establishing this Council provided (2018-PS):

“Article I

“(1) A Ministerial Council for Reich Defense shall be established as a standing committee out of the Reich Defense Council.

“(2) The standing members of the Ministerial Council for Reich Defense shall include: General Field Marshall Goering as chairman; Fuehrer’s Deputy [Hess]; Commissioner General (or Plenipotentiary) for Reich Administration [Frick]; Commissioner General (or Plenipotentiary) for Economy [Funk]; Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery [Dr. Lammers]; Chief of the High Command for the Armed Forces [Keitel].

“(3) The chairman may draw on other members of the Reich Defense Council including further personalities for advice.” (2018-PS).

Again, all members of this group were also members of the ordinary Cabinet.

The Reich Defense Council, for secret war planning, was created by the Cabinet on 4 April 1933 (cf. the unpublished Reich Defense Law of 21 May 1935 (2261-PS)). The membership of that Council when first created is shown by the minutes of the second session of the working committee of the delegates for Reich Defense, dated 22 May 1933 and signed by Keitel (EC-177):

  “Composition of the Reich Defense Council:
President: Reichs Chancellor
Deputy: Reichswehr Minister
Permanent Members:Minister of the:
Foreign Affairs
Economic Affairs
Public Enlightenment and Propaganda
Chief of the Army Command Staff
Chief of the Navy Command Staff

“Depending on the case: The remaining ministers, other personalities, e.g., leading industrialists, etc.” (EC-177)

All but the Chiefs of the Army and Navy Command Staff were at that time members of the ordinary cabinet.

The composition of this Reich Defense Council was changed by an unpublished law on 4 September 1938, which provided as follows (2194-PS):

“* * * (2) The leader and Reich Chancellor is chairman in the RVR. His permanent deputy is General Field Marshall Goering. He has the right to call conferences of the RVR. Permanent members of the RVR are

“The Reich Minister of Air and Supreme Commander of the Air Force,

The Supreme Commander of the Army,

The Supreme Commander of the Navy,

The Chief of the OKW,

The Deputy of the Fuehrer,

The Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery,

The President of the Secret Cabinet Council,

The Chief Plenipotentiary for the Reich Administration,

The Chief Plenipotentiary for Economics,

The Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs,

The Reich Minister of the Interior,

The Reich Finance Minister,

The Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda,

The President of the Reichsbank Directorate.

“The other Reich Ministers and the Reich offices directly subordinate to the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor are consulted if necessary. Further personalities can be called as the case demands.” (2194-PS)

On that date all the members also belonged to the ordinary cabinet, for by that time the supreme commanders of the Army and Navy had been given ministerial rank and authorized to participate in cabinet meetings (2098-PS). It is also worth noting that two members of the Reich Defense Council also appear in the Ministerial Council under the same title—The Plenipotentiary for Administration, and the Plenipotentiary for Economy. The former post was held by Frick, while the latter was first held by Schacht and then by Funk. These facts are verified by Frick on the Nazi governmental organization chart (Chart Number 18). Many other ministries were subordinated to these two posts for war-planning aims and purposes. These two officials, together with the Chief of the OKW, formed a powerful triumvirate known as the “Three-Man College” (Frick, Funk, and Keitel) which figured prominently in war plans and preparations.

B. Functions of the Reichsregierung.

The utilization of the ordinary cabinet as a manpower reservoir for other governmental agencies, the chronological development of the offshoots of the ordinary cabinet, and the cohesion between all of these groups, is apparent from the Nazi governmental organization chart (Chart Number 18). The chart shows the following offshoots of the ordinary cabinet: 1933, the Reich Defense Council; 1935, the Three-Man College; 1936, the Delegate for the Four Year Plan; 1938, the Secret Cabinet Council; 1939, The Ministerial Defense Council; and 1944, the Delegate for Total War Effort (Goebbels). In every case these important Nazi agencies were staffed with personnel taken from the ordinary cabinet.

(1) The Ordinary Cabinet. The unity, cohesion, and interrelationship of the sub-divisions of the Reichsregierung was not the result of a co-mixture of personnel alone. It was also realized by the method in which it operated. The ordinary cabinet consulted together both by meetings and through the so-called circulation procedure. Under the latter procedure, which was chiefly used when meetings were not held, drafts of laws prepared in individual ministries were distributed to other cabinet members for approval or disapproval.

The man primarily responsible for the circulation of drafts of laws under this procedure was Dr. Lammers, the Leader and Chief of the Reich Chancellery. Lammers has described that procedure in an affidavit (2999-PS):

“* * * I was Leader of the Reich Chancellery (Leiter der Reichskanzlei) from 30 January 1933 until the end of the war. In this capacity I circulated drafts of proposed laws and decrees submitted to me by the Minister who had drafted the law or decree, to all members of the Reich Cabinet. A period of time was allowed for objections, after which the law considered as being accepted by the various members of the Cabinet. This procedure continued throughout the whole war. It was followed also in the Council of Ministers for Defense of the Reich (Ministerrat fuer die Reichsverteidigung).” (2999-PS)

A memorandum dated 9 August 1943, which bears the facsimile signature of Frick and is addressed to the Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery, illustrates how the circulation procedure worked (1701-PS). Attached to the memorandum is a draft of the law in question and a carbon copy of a letter dated 22 December 1943 from Rosenberg to the Reich Minister of the Interior, containing his comments on the draft:

“To the Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery, in Berlin W8.

“For the information of the other Reich ministers.

“Subj: Law on the treatment of enemies of the society.

“In addition to my letter of 19 March, 1942.

Enclosures: 55.—

“After the draft of the law on the treatment of enemies of the society has been completely rewritten, I am sending the enclosed new draft with the consent of the Reich Minister of Justice, Dr. Thierack, and ask that the law be approved in a circulatory manner. The necessary number of prints is attached.” (1701-PS)

(2) Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich. The same procedure was followed in the Council of Ministers when that body was created. And the decrees of the Council of Ministers were also circulated to the members of the ordinary Cabinet. A memorandum found in the files of the Reich Chancellery and addressed to the members of the Council of Ministers, dated 17 September 1939, and bearing the typed signature of Dr. Lammers, Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery, states (1141-PS):

“Matters submitted to the Council of Ministers for the Reich Defense have heretofore been distributed only to the members of the Council. I have been requested by some of the Reichsministers who are not permanent members of the Council to inform them of the drafts of decrees which are being submitted to the Council, so as to enable them to check these drafts from the point of view of their respective offices. I shall follow this request so that all the Reichsministers will in future be informed of the drafts of decrees which are to be acted upon by the Council for the Reich Defense. I therefore request to add forty-five additional copies of the drafts, as well as of the letters which usually contain the arguments for the drafts, to the folders submitted to the Council.” (1141-PS)

Von Stutterheim, who was an official of the Reich Chancellery, comments on this procedure at page 34 of a pamphlet entitled “Die Reichskanzlei”:

“* * * It must be noted that the peculiarity in this case is that the subjects dealt with by the Cabinet Council—(Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich), are distributed not merely among the members of the Cabinet Council, but also among all the members of the Cabinet (Kabinett) who are thereby given the opportunity of guarding the interests of their spheres of office by adding their appropriate standpoints in the Cabinet Council legislation, even if they do not participate in making the decree.” (2231-PS)

For a time the Cabinet consulted together through actual meetings. The Council of Ministers did likewise, but those members of the Cabinet who were not already members of the Council also attended the meetings of the Ministerial Council. And where they did not attend in person, they were usually represented by the state secretaries of their Ministries. The minutes of six meetings of the Council of Ministers, on 1, 4, 8, and 19 September 1939, on 16 October 1939, and on 15 November 1939, demonstrate this procedure. (2852-PS)

At the meeting held on 1 September 1939, which was probably the first meeting since the Council was created on 30 August 1939, the following were in attendance:

“Present were the permanent members of the Council of Ministers for the Reich Defense: The Chairman and Generalfield Marshall, Goering; the Deputy of the Fuehrer, Hess [a line appears through the name Hess]; the Plenipotentiary for Reich Administration, Dr. Frick; the Plenipotentiary for Economy, Funk; the Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery, Dr. Lammers; and the Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces, Keitel, represented by Major General Thomas.” (2852-PS)

These were the regular members of the Council. Also present was the Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture, Darré, and seven State Secretaries: Koerner, Neumann, Stuckart, Posse, Landfried, Backe, and Syrup (2852-PS). These State Secretaries were from the several Ministries or other supreme Reich authorities. Koerner was the Deputy of Goering in the Four-Year Plan; Stuckart was in the Ministry of the Interior; Landfried was in the Ministry of Economics; Syrup was in the Ministry of Labor.

The minutes dated 8 September 1939 (2852-PS) note that in addition to all members of the Ministerial Council, the following also were present:

“The Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture * * * Darré; State Minister * * * Popitz;”

Then come the names of nine State Secretaries from the several Ministries, and then:

“SS Gruppenfuehrer * * * Heydrich;”

The close integration of the Ministerial Council with the ordinary Cabinet is seen by the following excerpt from the minutes of the same date (8 September 1939):

“The Council of Ministers for the Reich Defense ratified the decree for the change of the Labor Service Law which had already been passed as law by the Reich Cabinet. (Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1744.)”

The minutes of the meeting of 19 September 1939 (2852-PS) show the following Reich Ministers to be present in addition to four members of the Council:

“Also: The Reich Minister for Finance, Count Schwerin von Krosigk.

The Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture, Darré.

The Reich Minister for Enlightenment and Propaganda, Dr. Goebbels.

State Minister * * * Dr. Popitz.” (2852-PS)

Then come the names of eight State Secretaries. Others present included:

“SS Gruppenfuehrer * * * Heydrich; General of the Police (Ordnungpolizei) Daluege.” (2852-PS)

The minutes dated 15 November 1939 show the same co-mixture of Ministers, State Secretaries, and similar functionaries. In addition, the following were also present:

“Reichsleiter, Dr. Ley; Reichsleiter, Bouhler; Reichsfuehrer SS, Chief of German Police in the Reich Ministry of Interior, Himmler; The Reich Labor Service Leader, Hierl * * * Reich Commissioner for Price Control, Wagner * * * as well as experts (Sachbearbeiter) of the German Labor Front and the Reich Labor Service.” (2852-PS)

Some of the decrees passed and matters discussed at these meetings of the Ministerial Council are significant. At the first meeting of 1 September 1939 14 decrees were ratified by the Council. Decree No. 6 concerned

“* * * the organization of the administration and about the German safety police in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. (RGBl, I, page 1681).” (2852-PS)

At the meeting of the Council on 19 September 1939 the following occurred;

“The Chairman of the Council, Generalfieldmarshall Goering, made comments regarding the structure of civil administration in the occupied Polish territory. He expressed his intentions regarding the economic evacuation measures in this territory. Then the questions of decreasing wages and the questions of working hours and the support of members of families of inducted workers were discussed.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“The Chairman directed that all members of the Council regularly receive the situation reports of the Reichsfuehrer SS. Then the question of the population of the future Polish Protectorate was discussed and the placement of Jews living in Germany.” (2852-PS)

Finally, at the meeting of 15 November 1939 the discussion concerned, among other things, the “treatment of Polish Prisoners of War”. (2852-PS)

The minutes of these meetings (2852-PS) not only establish the close working union between agencies of the state and the party, especially the SS, but also tends to establish that the Reichsregierung was responsible for the policies adopted and put into effect by the government.

C. Powers of The Reichsregierung.

But mere working alliances would be meaningless unless there was power. And the Reichsregierung had power. Short of Hitler himself, it had practically all the power a government can exercise.

(1) The Ordinary Cabinet. The Nazi conspirators secured the passage by the Reichstag of the “Law for the Protection of the People and the Reich,” of 24 March 1933 (2001-PS), which vested the Cabinet with legislative powers even to the extent of deviating from previously existing constitutional law. These powers were retained even after the members of the cabinet were changed, and the several states, provinces, and municipalities, which had formerly exercised semi-autonomous powers, were transformed into mere administrative organs of the central government. The ordinary cabinet emerged all-powerful from this rapid succession of events. Frick waxed eloquent upon that achievement in an article which he wrote for the 1935 National Socialist Year Book:

“The relationship between the Reich and the States has been put on an entirely new basis, never known in the history of the German people. It gives to the Reich cabinet (Reichsregierung) unlimited power. It even makes it its duty, to build a completely unified leadership and administration of the Reich. From now on, there is only one national authority: The one of the Reich! Thus, the German Reich has become a unified state, and the entire administration in the states is only carried out by order or in the name of the Reich. The state borders are now only administration, technical are boundaries but no longer boundaries of sovereignty! In calm determination, the Reich Cabinet (Reichsregierung) realizes step by step, supported by the confidence of the entire German people, the great longing of the Nation. The creation of the national socialist German, unified state.” (2380-PS)

The heightened legislative power of the Cabinet is also emphasized in an article written by Dr. Franz Medicus, an official in the Reich Ministry of the Interior, and published in 1939 in Volume 4 of “Das Dritte Reich in Aufbau”:

“* * * Worked out by the Reich Minister of the Interior, the ‘Law for Alleviation of the Distress of People and Reich’, in short called ‘Enabling Law’, was issued on 24 March 1933, broke with the liberal principle of ‘division of power’ by transferring the legislature from the Reichstag to the Reich Cabinet, so that legislation by personally responsible persons took the place of ‘anonymous’ legislation.” (2849-PS)

When the Ministerial Council was formed in 1939, it too was given legislative powers (cf. Article II of the decree of 30 August 1939 (2018-PS)). The ordinary cabinet also continued to legislate throughout the war. Because of the fusion of personnel between the Ministerial Council and the ordinary cabinet, questions were bound to arise as to what forum should lend its name to a particular law. Dr. Lammers, Chief of the Reich Chancellery and a member of both agencies, wrote a letter on 14 June 1942 to the Plenipotentiary for Reich Administration about these questions (352-PS):

“To the Plenipotentiary for the Reich Administration (Generalbevollmaechtigter die Reich Verwaltung)

“Subject: The Jurisdiction of the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich (Ministerat fuer die Reichsverteidigung)

“Your letter of 3 June 1942, No. 493/42/2882.—Recently the Fuehrer announced in accord with the opinions of the Reich Marshal of the Greater German Reich as shown in my letter of 20 Feb. 1940-RK. 624-B—that he believes it practical to reserve certain legislative missions for the Reich Cabinet. With this he has not limited the competency of the Council of Ministers for the defense of the Reich but given a directive as to how legislation should be handled under the point of view of practicability. I have no doubt that the Fuehrer, as well as the Reich Marshal, have not changed their point of view, in particular, regarding the fact, that at the present there should be only legislation important in the cause of war, and that they will stress the fact that the Fuehrer himself and the Reich Cabinet should not be eliminated from the powers of legislation. It will have to be tested from time to time what measures will be reserved for the Reich Cabinet. My letter of 20 February 1940, and the opinions of the Fuehrer therein expressed may serve as a directive even if the limitations indicated by me are no longer applicable in their full meaning. I would therefore suggest not basing the discussions with the Reich Minister of Finance on the question of competency of the Reich Cabinet or the Council of Ministers for the Defence of the Reich, but on the question of whether it would be practical to achieve settlement through either Reich law or a Decree from the Council of Ministers for the defense of the Reich in the sense of the opinions voiced by the Fuehrer.

(signed)  Dr. Lammers” (352-PS).

Other officials possessed legislative powers. Hitler was of course one. Goering, as Deputy of the Four Year Plan, could and did issue decrees with the effect of law. The Cabinet delegated power to issue laws deviating from existing law to the Plenipotentiaries of Economy and Administration and the Chief of the OKW, the so-called Three-Man College. This was done in the Secret Defense Law of 1938 (2194-PS). These three officials—Frick, Funk, and Keitel—however, were also members of the Council of Ministers and of the ordinary cabinet as well. It can therefore be said, in the language of the Indictment, that the Reichsregierung “possessed * * * legislative * * * powers of a very high order in the system of the German government.”

The executive and administrative powers of the Reich were concentrated in the central government primarily as the result of two basic Nazi laws that reduced the separate states (called Laender) to mere geographical divisions. One was the law of 30 January 1934, known as the Law for the Reconstruction of the Reich (2006-PS). By that law the States were deprived of their independent status as States, their legislative assemblies were abolished, and their sovereign powers were transferred to the Reich. The other was the Reich Governor’s Law, enacted by the Cabinet on 30 January 1935 (2008-PS), which made all Reich Governors (Statthalters) permanent delegates of and subject to the order of the cabinet and, more especially, of the Reich Minister of the Interior. As a result, the ordinary cabinet was possessed of wide powers, which are set forth in “Administration Law,” periodical published in 1944 which was edited by Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart, State Secretary in the Reich Ministry of the Interior, and Dr. Harry V. Rosen-v. Hoewel, an Oberregierungsrat in the Reich Ministry of the Interior (2959-PS). The description of the powers and functions of all the ministries of the ordinary cabinet illustrates the extent of control vested in the Reichsregierung:

III. The Reich Ministers

“There are at present twenty-one Reich Ministers, namely:

“I. 15 Reich Ministers with a definite portfolio.

The Ministries of the Reich Ministers mentioned under 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 are united with the corresponding Ministries of Prussia.

“1. The Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs (Foreign Office).

(a) He handles all matters touching on the relations of the Reich to foreign countries.

(b) Under him are the diplomatic and consular representatives as well as the Reich office for Foreign Trade.

“2. The Reich Minister of the Interior.

(a) To his portfolio belong general administration, local administration, police administration, administration of officials, public health, welfare, geodetic system, sport system and the Reich Labor Service.

(b) Under him are the general and internal administrations, for example, the Reich Governors, the state governments (Landesregierung) the superior Presidents, the governmental Presidents, as well as police officials and the Reich Labor Service.

Furthermore, there are under him numerous central intermediary boards, for example, the Reich Health Office, the Reich Archives, the Reich Genealogical Office.

“3. The Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.

(a) To his portfolio belong the intellectual influences on the nation, recruiting for the state, culture and economics, and the instruction of domestic and foreign public opinion.

(b) Under him are, among other things, the Reich Propaganda Offices and the film censorship offices. Furthermore, he exercises supervision over the Reich Chamber of Culture, the Recruiting Council of German Economics, the Reich Radio Company, and the Institute of Politics (Hochschule fuer Politik).

“4. The Reich Minister of Aviation and Supreme Commander of the Air Force.

He administers civil and military aviation.

“5. The Reich Minister of Finances.

(a) To his portfolio belong the budget and financial system of the Reich, as well as the administration of taxes; monopolies, and tariffs.

(b) Under him are namely: the administration of taxes and tariffs, as well as the administration of Reich monopolies.

“6. The Reich Minister of Justice.

(a) He is in charge of all matters related to the judicial system.

(b) Under him are all judicial agencies and the Reich Patent Office.

“7. The Reich Ministry of Economics.

(a) To his portfolio belong the basic economic political questions of German economy, the supply of the civilian population with goods for consumption and the regulation of their distribution, the handling of foreign economic questions in the framework of policy on foreign trade of the Reich and the supreme supervision over the institutes of credit.

(b) Under him are the Reich administration of mines, the Reich office of Statistics, the Supervisory Office for Private Insurance, the Gau Chambers of Economy, the State Economic Offices, (Landeswirtschaftsamt) the Savings Banks, and the State Insurance Offices.

“8. The Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture.

(a) He is in charge of all farmers and of the agriculture, as well as the food administration.

(b) Under him are the State Food Offices (Landesernaechrungsamt) the State Administration of Large Estates (Domaenen verwaltung) the Administration of Rural Affairs and the Agricultural Credit Offices. Furthermore, he exercises state supervision over the Reich Food Supply of which he is the leader.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“14. Reich Minister for Armament and War Production.

He has to bring to a level of highest production all offices active in producing arms and munitions. Furthermore, he is responsible for the field of raw materials and production in industry and manual labor.

“15. The Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories.

(a) He administers the recently occupied (i.e. former Soviet-Russian) Eastern territories, insofar as they are under civil administration and not subordinated to the Chief of Civil Administration for the district of Bialystok (cf. page 70) or insofar as they are incorporated in the General Gouvernment (cf. page 100).

(b) Under him are the Reich Commissars, the General Commissars, Head Commissars, and District Commissars, in the recently occupied Eastern territories.” (2959-PS)

Other important powers and functions contained in the ordinary cabinet were not included in the foregoing list. For example, upon the creation of the People’s Court on 24 April 1934, it was placed within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice (2014-PS). With the acquisition and occupation of new territories, the integration and coordination thereof were placed within the Ministry of the Interior. The Reich Minister of the Interior, Frick, (in some cases in cooperation with other Reich Ministers) was, by law, given regulatory powers over such territories. The territory and the applicable law may be listed as follows:


The Saar (1935, Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 66).


Austria (1938, Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 237).


Memel (1939, Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 54).


Bohemia and Moravia (1939, Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 485).


Sudetenland (1939, Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 780).


Danzig (1939, Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1547).


Incorporated Poland (1939, Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 2042).


Occupied Poland (1939, Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 2077).


Eupen, Malmedy and Moresnet (1940, Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 803).


Norway (1941, Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 765).

Such were the powers and functions of the ordinary cabinet.

(2) The Secret Cabinet Council. Of the other two subdivisions of the Reichsregierung—the Secret Cabinet Council and the Ministerial Council—the Secret Cabinet Council had no legislative or administrative powers. It was created by Hitler on 4 February 1938

“To advise me in conducting the foreign policy * * *.” (2031-PS)

Its position in the Nazi regime is described by Ernst Rudolf Huber, a leading Nazi Constitutional Lawyer, in his book entitled “Verfassungsrecht des Grossdeutschen Reiches” (“Constitutional Law of the Greater German Reich”). In this book, which was an authoritative, widely used work on Nazi Constitutional Law, Huber states (1774-PS):

“A privy cabinet council, to advise the Fuehrer in the basic problems of foreign policy, has been created by the decree of 4 February 1938 (RGBl. I, 112). This privy cabinet council is under the direction of Reich Minister v. Neurath, and includes the Foreign Minister, the Air Minister, the Deputy Commander for the Fuehrer, the Propaganda Minister, the Chief of the Reich Chancellery, the Commanders-in-Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces. The privy cabinet council constitutes a select staff of collaborators of the Fuehrer which consists exclusively of members of the Government of the Reich; thus, it represents a select committee of the Reich Government for the deliberation on foreign affairs.” (1774-PS)

(3) The Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich. The powers concentrated in the Ministerial Council, which did possess legislative and administrative functions, at its creation in 1939, are best expressed by the lecture which Frick gave before the University of Freiburg on 7 March 1940. The lecture, published in a pamphlet entitled “The Administration in Wartime,” contains these statements (2608-PS):

“* * * The composition of the Ministerial Council for the defense of the Reich shows the real concentration of power in it. General Field Marshal Goering is the chairman and also the Supreme Director of the War Economy and Commissioner for the Four Year Plan. He is joined by the Plenipotentiary General for the Reich Administration, who directs the entire civilian administration with the exception of the economic administration, and the Plenipotentiary General for Economy. The Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces is the liaison man to the Armed Forces. It is primarily his duty to coordinate the measures for civilian defense in the area of administration and economy with the genuine military measures for the defense of the Reich. The Deputy of the Fuehrer represents the Party, thus guaranteeing the unity between Party and State also within the Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich. The Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery is in charge of the business management of the Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“The Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich, the highest legislative and executive organ in wartime next to the Fuehrer, created a subordinate organ for the purpose of the defense of the Reich: The Commissioners for the Reich Defense, who have their headquarters at the seat of the individual corps area.” (2608-PS)

With such power concentrated in the Reichsregierung and to such a high degree, the Nazi conspirators possessed a formidable weapon to effectuate their plans.

D. Acts and Decrees of the Reichsregierung.

Under the Nazi regime the Reichsregierung became the instrument of the Nazi party.

(1) Execution of the Nazi Party Program. In the original Cabinet of 30 January 1933 only three cabinet members were members of the Party—Goering, Frick, and Hitler. As new Ministries were added to the Cabinet, prominent Nazis were placed at their head. On 30 January, 1937, Hitler accepted into the Party those Cabinet members who were not already members. This action is reported in the Voelkischer Beobachter, South German Edition, of 1 February 1937 (2964-PS):

“In view of the anticipated lifting of the ban for party membership, the Fuehrer, as the first step in this regard, personally carried out the enlistment into the party of the members of the Cabinet, who so far had not belonged to it and he handed them simultaneously the Gold Party Badge, the supreme badge of honor of the party. In addition, the Fuehrer awarded the Gold Party Badge to Generaloberst Freiherr von Fritsch; Generaladmiral Dr. H. C. Raeder; the Prussian Minister of Finance, Professor Popitz; and the Secretary of State and Chief of the Presidential Chancellery, Dr. Meissner.

“The Fuehrer also honored with the gold party badge the party members State Secretary Dr. Lammers, State Secretary Funk, State Secretary Koerner and State Secretary General of the Airforce Milch.” (2964-PS)

It was possible to refuse the party membership thus conferred. Only one man, von Eltz-Ruebenach, who was the Minister of Post and Minister of Transport at the time, did this. His letter from von Eltz-Ruebenach to Hitler, dated 30 January 1937, reads as follows (1534-PS):

“My Fuehrer:

“I thank you for the confidence you have placed in me during the four years of your leadership and for the honor you do me in offering to admit me to the party. My conscience forbids me however to accept this offer. I believe in the principles of positive Christianity and must remain faithful to my Lord and to myself. Party membership however would mean that I should have to face without contradiction the steadily aggravating attacks by party offices on the Christian confessions and those who want to remain faithful to their religious convictions.

“This decision has been infinitely difficult for me. For never in my life have I performed my duty with greater joy and satisfaction than under your wise state leadership.

“I ask to be permitted to resign.

“With German Greetings:

Yours very obediently,

“(signed)  Baron v. Eltz” (1534-PS).

But the Nazis did not wait until all members of the cabinet were party members. Shortly after they came to power, they quickly assured themselves of active participation in the work of the Cabinet. On 1 December 1933, the Cabinet passed a law securing the unity of party and state (1395-PS). In Article 2 of that law the Deputy of the Fuehrer, Hess, and the Chief of Staff of the SA, Roehm, were made members of the Cabinet (1395-PS). Lest mere membership in the Cabinet would not be effective, Hitler endowed his deputy with greater powers of participation. An unpublished decree signed by Hitler, dated 27 July 1934, and addressed to the Reich Ministers, provides (D-138):

“I decree that the Deputy of the Fuehrer, Reich Minister Hess, will have the capacity of a participating Reich Minister in connection with the preparation of drafts for laws in all Reich Administrative spheres. All legislative work is to be sent to him when it is received by the other Reich Minister concerned. This also applies in cases where no one else participates except the Reich Minister making the draft. Reich Minister Hess will be given the opportunity to comment on drafts suggested by experts.

“This order will apply in the same sense to legislative ordinances. The Deputy of the Fuehrer in his capacity of Reich Minister can send as representative an expert on his staff. These experts are entitled to make statements to the Reich Ministers on his behalf.

“[signed]  Adolph Hitler” (D-138).

Hess himself made pertinent comment on his right of participation on behalf of the party, in a letter dated 9 October 1934, on the stationery of the NSDAP, addressed to the Reich Minister for Enlightenment of the People and Propaganda (D-139):

“By a decree of the Fuehrer dated 27 July 1934, I have been granted the right to participate in the legislation of the Reich as regards both formal laws and legal ordinances. This right must not be rendered illusory by the fact that I am sent the drafts of laws and decrees so late and am then given a limited time, so that it becomes impossible for me to deal with the material concerned during the given time. I must point out that my participation means the taking into account of the opinion of the NSDAP as such, and that in the case of the majority of drafts of laws and decrees, consult with the appropriate departments of the Party before making my comment. Only by proceeding in this manner can I do justice to the wish of the Fuehrer as expressed in the decree of the Fuehrer of 27 July 1934.

“I must therefore ask the Reich Ministers to arrange that drafts of laws and decrees reach me in sufficient time. Failing this, I would be obliged in future to refuse my agreement to such drafts from the beginning and without giving the matter detailed attention, in all cases where I am not given a sufficiently long period for dealing with them.


“[signed]  R. Hess.” (D-139).

A handwritten note attached to the letter reads:

“1. The identical letter seems to have been addressed to all Reich Ministers. In our special field the decree of 27 July 1934 has hardly become applicable so far. A reply does not seem called for.

“2. File in file 7B (?)

“[signed]  “R”  (D-139).

The participating powers of Hess were later broadened, according to a letter dated 12 April 1938 from Doctor Lammers to the Reich Ministers (D-140):

“* * * The Deputy of the Fuehrer will also have participation where the Reich Ministers give their agreement to the State Laws and legislative ordinances of States under paragraph 3 of the first decree concerning reconstruction of the Reich of Feb 2nd 1934 (Reich Law Gazette I 81). Where the Reich Ministers have already, at an earlier date been engaged in the preparation of such laws or legislative ordinances, or have participated in such preparation, the Deputy of the Fuehrer likewise becomes participating Reich Minister. Laws and legislative decrees of the Austrian State are equally affected hereby.

“[signed]  Dr. LAMMERS”  (D-140).

After Hess’ flight to England, Bormann, as Leader of the Party Chancellery, took over the same functions. He was given the authority of a Reich Minister and made a member of the cabinet. (2099-PS)

The Nazi constitutional lawyer, Ernst Rudolf Huber, has this to say about the unity of party and Cabinet (1774-PS):

“Unity of party and Reich-Cabinet (Reichsregierung) is furthermore secured by the numerous personal unions i.e. association of Central State Offices with corresponding party offices. Such personal unions exist in the cases of Food Minister and the Propaganda Minister, the Chief of the German Police and the Reich Labor Leader, the Chief of the Organization in foreign countries, and the Reich Youth Fuehrer. Furthermore, the majority of the Reich Ministries is occupied by leading old party members. Finally, all Reich Ministers have been accepted by the party on 30 January 1937 and have been decorated with golden party insignia.” (1774-PS)

In 1943, out of 16 Reich Leaders (Reichsleiters) of the NSDAP, eight were members of the Cabinet: Martin Bormann; Walter Darré; Otto Dietrich; Wilhelm Frick; Paul Josef Goebbels; Constantin Hierl; Heinrich Himmler; Alfred Rosenberg (2473-PS). Through its domination of the Cabinet the Nazi Party strove to secure the fulfilment of its program under a facade of legality.

(a) Decrees of the Ordinary Cabinet. To the Nazi Cabinet, the Nazi Party program of 25 points (1708-PS) was more than a mere political platform; it was a mandate for action. And the Cabinet acted.

Point 1 of this program declared:

“We demand the inclusion of all Germans in a greater Germany on the grounds of the right of self-determination.” (1708-PS)

In implication of this demand the Nazi Cabinet enacted, among others, the following laws: the law of 3 February 1938 concerning the obligation of German citizens in foreign countries to register (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 113); the law of 13 March 1938 for the reunion of Austria with Germany (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 237) (2307-PS); the law of November 1938 for the reintegration of the German Sudetenland with Germany (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1641); the law of 23 March 1939 for the reintegration of Memel in Germany (1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 559).

Point 2 of the Party platform stated in part:

“We demand * * * the cancellation of the treaties of Versailles and St. Germain.” (1708-PS)

The following acts of the Cabinet supported this part of the program: The proclamation of 14 October 1933 to the German people concerning Germany’s withdrawal from the League of Nations and the Disarmament Conference (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 730); the proclamation and law of 16 March 1935, for the establishment of the Wehrmacht and compulsory military service (1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, pages 369, 375) (1654-PS); and the defense law of 21 May 1935 implementing the last-named law (1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 609).

Point 4 of the Party platform read as follows:

“Only those who are members of the ‘Volk’ can be citizens. Only those who are of German blood, without regard to religion, can be members of the ‘Volk’. No Jew, therefore, can be a member of the ‘Volk’.” (1708-PS)

Among the cabinet laws which implemented this point were these: the law of 14 July 1933 for the recall of naturalization and the deprivation of citizenship (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 480); the law of 7 April 1933 permitting persons of non-Aryan descent to be refused permission to practice law (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 188) (1401-PS); the law of 25 April 1933 restricting the number of non-Aryans in schools and higher institutions (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 225) (2022-PS); the law of 29 September 1933 excluding persons of Jewish blood from the peasantry (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 685) (1402-PS); the law of 26 June 1936, forbidding people of Jewish blood to hold positions of authority in the army (1936 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 518) (1398-PS); the law of 19 March 1937 excluding Jews from the Reich Labor Service (1937 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 325); the law of 28 March 1938 on the legal status of Jewish religious communities (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 338); and the law of 6 July 1938 prohibiting Jews from participating in six different types of business (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 823).

Point 23 of the platform proclaimed:

“We demand legislative action against conscious political lies and their broadcasting through the press.” (1708-PS)

To carry out this point numerous Cabinet laws were passed, of which the following are merely examples: the law of 22 September 1933 for the establishment of the Reich Culture Chamber (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 661) (2082-PS); the law of 4 October, 1933 regarding editors (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 713) (2083-PS); and the law of 15 May 1934 regarding the theater (1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 411).

All the laws referred to above and hereafter were enacted specifically in the name of the Cabinet (Reichsregierung). A typical introductory paragraph reads:

“The Reich Cabinet (die Reichsregierung) has enacted the following law which is hereby promulgated. * * *” [Law of 1 August 1934, 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 747]. (2003-PS)

In furtherance of the Nazi plans to acquire totalitarian control of Germany (cf. Section 1-2 of Chapter VII), the Cabinet passed the following laws: Law of 26 May 1933, providing for the confiscation of Communist property (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 293) (1396-PS); Law of 14 July 1933 against the new establishment of parties (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 479); Law of 14 July 1933 providing for the confiscation of property of Social Democrats and others (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 479) (1388-PS); and Law of 1 December 1933 securing the unity of party and state (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1016). (1395-PS)

In the course of consolidating Nazi control of Germany, (cf. Section 3 of Chapter VII) the following laws were enacted by the Cabinet: Decree of the Cabinet, 21 March 1933, creating special courts (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 136) (2076-PS); Law of 31 March 1933 for the integration of States into the Reich (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 153) (2004-PS); Law of 7 April 1933 for the reestablishment of the Professional Civil Service (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 175) (1397-PS); Law of 7 April 1933 for the integration of states into the Reich (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 173) (2005-PS); Law of 30 June 1933 eliminating non-Aryan civil servants or civil servants married to non-Aryans (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 433) (1400-PS); Law of 20 July 1933 providing for the discharge of Communist officials (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 518) (1398-PS); Law of 24 April 1934 creating the People’s Court (1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 341) (2014-PS); Law of 1 August 1934 uniting the office of President and Chancellor (1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 747) (2003-PS); Law of 30 January 1935, Reich Governors Law, further reducing the independence of the states (1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 65); Law of 30 January 1935 providing for the abolition of representatives or deliberative bodies in the municipalities (1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 49) (2008-PS); Law of 26 January 1937, the comprehensive civil service law (1937 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 39); and Law of 18 March 1938 providing for the submission of one list of candidates to the electorate for the entire Reich (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 258). (2355-PS)

Nazi extermination of political internal resistance in Germany, through the purge of political opponents and through acts of terror, (cf. Section 4 of Chapter VII), was facilitated and legalized by the following Cabinet laws: Law of 14 July 1933 against the new establishment of parties (containing a penal clause) (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 479) (1388-PS); Law of 3 July 1934 concerning measures for emergency defense of the State (legalizing the Roehm purge) (1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 529) (2057-PS); Law of 20 December 1934 on treacherous acts against state and party and for the protection of party uniforms (1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1269) (1393-PS); Law of 24 April 1934 making the creation of new or continuance of existing parties an act of treason (1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 341) (2014-PS); Law of 28 June 1935 changing the Penal Code permitting punishment under analogous law (1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 839) (1962-PS); Law of 16 September 1939 permitting second prosecution of an acquitted person before a special court, the members of which were named by Hitler (1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1841). (2550-PS)

The destruction of the free trade unions in Germany, (cf. Section 5 of Chapter VII), was made possible by the following Cabinet laws: Law of 4 April 1933 concerning factory representative councils and economic organizations (controlling employee representation) (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 161) (1770-PS); Law of 19 May 1933 concerning Trustees of Labor (abolishing collective bargaining) (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 285) (405-PS); Law of 20 January 1934 regulating National Labor introducing leadership principle into industrial relations (1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 45) (1861-PS); and Law of 26 June 1935 establishing Reich Labor Service (compulsory labor service) (1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 769). (1389-PS)

Even the anti-Jewish Nurnberg laws of 15 September 1935, although technically passed by the Reichstag, were nevertheless worked out by the Ministry of the Interior. Dr. Franz A. Medicus, who served as Ministerialdirigent in the Ministry of the Interior, made this statement in a book published in 1940 (2960-PS):

“* * * The work of the Reich Ministry of Interior forms the basis for the three Nurnberg Laws passed by a resolution of the Reichstag on the occasion of the Reich party meeting of Freedom.

“The ‘Reich Citizenship Law’ as well as the ‘Law for the protection of German blood and German honor’ (Blood Protection Law) opened extensive tasks for the Ministry of Interior not only in the field of administration. The same applies to the ‘Reich Flag Law’ that gives the foundation for the complete re-organization of the use of the flag * * *” (2960-PS).

(b) Decrees of The Council of Ministers. Decrees of the Council of Ministers similarly supplied the “legal” basis for other criminal actions of the Nazi conspirators. Among these laws are the following: Decree of 5 August 1940 imposing a discriminatory tax on Polish workers in Germany (1940 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1077); Decree of 4 December 1941 regarding penal measures against Jews and Poles in the occupied Eastern Territories (1941 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 759) (2746-PS); and Decree of 30 June 1942 concerning the employment of Eastern Workers (1942 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 419). (2039-PS)

Almost immediately upon Hitler’s coming to power, the Cabinet participated in the Nazi conspiracy to wage aggressive war. This fact appears clearly from the minutes of the second session of the working committee of the Delegates for Reich Defense, dated 22 May 1933 and signed by Keitel (EC-177); from a letter dated 24 June 1935 and signed by von Blomberg, the Reichs Minister of War, which transmits a copy of the secret, unpublished Reich Defense Law of 21 May 1935 and also a copy of the decision of the Reich Cabinet of 21 May 1935 in the Council for the Defense of the Reich (2261-PS); and from a letter dated 5 September 1939 transmitting a copy of the secret, unpublished Reich Defense Law of 4 September 1938 (a note dated 4 September 1938 attached to this law states that the Reich Defense law of 21 May 1935 and the decisions of the Cabinet previously mentioned are repeated) (2194-PS). These three documents, important in the conspiracy to wage aggressive war emphasize the participation of the Reich Cabinet and Reich Ministers, through legislative enactments, in the conspiracy.

The Reich Defense Council was a creation of the Cabinet. On 4 April 1933 the Cabinet decided to form that agency (2261-PS). The circumstances of its creation were discussed at the meeting of 22 May 1933 (EC-177):

Thoughts about a Reich Defense Council

“All great European powers which are at freedom to arm, have a RVR. One does not have to refer to history to prove the necessity of this institution. The war has shown conclusively that the cooperation with the various ministries has not been close enough. The consequences did not fail to materialize. The soldier is not in a position to have a say in all matters. The disadvantages of the past system were caused by parallel efforts of the various ministries in matters of the Reich defense. To avoid these mistakes a central agency has been created which occupies itself already in peacetime in the widest sense with the problems of Reich Defense. This working staff will continue its existence in time of war.

“In accordance with the cabinet decision of the 4 April 1933 the Reich Defense Council, which until now had been prepared for war emergency, will go into immediate action.

“In time of peace its task will be to decide about all measures for the preparation of the defense of the Reich, while surveying and utilizing all powers and means of the nation.” (EC-177)

The composition of the Reich Defense Council is thereupon set out. Hitler was President; the Minister of Defense was his deputy; and he, plus six more ministers (there were only ten at that time) and the Chiefs of the Army and Navy Command Staffs were permanent members. The remaining ministers, as well as “leading industrialists”, were subject to call. Of the defendants who were then members of the Council, there was von Neurath as Foreign Affairs Minister; Frick as Interior Minister, Goering as Air Minister; and Raeder as Chief of the Navy Command Staff. (EC-177)

The presence of Cabinet ministers was indispensable. The cabinet by that time could legislate for the Reich. It had a definite role to play in this planning, as Keitel pointed out (EC-177):

Col. Keitel:—Points out once more the urgency of the tasks, since it had been possible to do only very little in this connection during the last years. He asks the delegates to consider the Reich Defense at all times and represent it accordingly at the drafting of new laws. Experiences of the wars are available and are at the disposal of the various ministries; (e.g. Reich Archives, Memorandum of an administrative official about gasoline supply). All these sources must be taken advantage of for the future. The task of the full time delegates is also to bring about a close cooperation of the ministries with each other.” (EC-177)

Each separate ministry, moreover, was scheduled for a definite task.

“* * * In the work plans the questions and ideas are laid down, which have come up in the Reichswehr Ministry and must be considered in case of mobilization. Up to the present time the support on the part of other Ministries was frequently based only on personal helpfulness since any authority from above was lacking. The following work plans are finished.

a. Work Plan for the Reich Ministry of Economics.
Work Plan for the Reich Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
Work Plan for the Reich Ministry of Labor.

“These three are composed in one work plan for the preparation of a war economy.

b. Work Plan for the Reich Postal Ministry.

c. Work Plan for the Reich Traffic Ministry.

“Request the plans to be worked through carefully by the competent Ministries. The plans will be discussed beginning of June, when proposals for improvements may be made. The other Ministries which have no work plans yet will receive them later on. The Office of Air Raid Protection will work out a work plan in conjunction with the Reich Commissariat for Aviation.” (EC-177)

The secrecy of all undertakings was stressed:

Security and Secrecy.

“Question has been brought up by the Reich Ministries.

“The secrecy of all Reich Defense work has to be maintained very carefully. Communications with the outside by messenger service only, has been settled already with the Post Office, Finance Ministry, Prussian Ministry of the Interior and the Reichswehr Ministry. Main Principle of security: No document must be lost since, otherwise, the enemy propaganda would make use of it. Matters communicated orally cannot be proven; they can be denied by us in Geneva. Therefore, the Reichswehr Ministry has worked out security directives for the Reich Ministries and the Prussian Ministry of the Interior.” (EC-177)

As time went on and greater concentration of power was needed, the Cabinet made changes and additions to this secret war planning body. Article 6 of the Secret Defense Law of 1935 (2261-PS) provided:

“(1) The Fuehrer and Reichschancellor will appoint a plenipotentiary-general for war economy to direct the entire war economy.

“(2) It is the task of the plenipotentiary-general for war economy to put all economic forces in the service of carrying on the war and to secure the life of the German people economically.

“(3) Subordinate to him are:

The Reichsminister for Economy.

The Reichsminister for Food and Agriculture.

The Reichs Labor Minister.

The Reichs Forest Master, and all Reichs’ agencies immediately subordinate to the Fuehrer and Reichschancellor. Furthermore the financing of the war effort (in the province of the Reichs Finance Ministry and of the Reichsbank) will be carried on under his responsibility.

“(4) The Plenipotentiary-General for War Economy is authorized, within his realm of responsibility to issue legal regulations, which may deviate from the existing laws.” (2261-PS)

Schacht was named as Plenipotentiary for War Economy. It will be noted that the Reich Ministers for Food and Agriculture and for Labor, and the Reichs Forest Master (who by this time had Cabinet rank) had not been included in the original membership of the Reichs Defense Council. Darré was Minister for Food and Agriculture, Seldte for Labor, and Goering was Reich Forest Master.

On the same day the Law was passed, the Cabinet made these decisions covering the newly-created Plenipotentiary-General for War Economy (EC-177):

“1. The Plenipotentiary-General for War Economy appointed by the Fuehrer and Reichschancellor will begin his work already in peacetime * * *.

“2. The Reichsminister of War and the Plenipotentiary for War Economy will effect the preparations for mobilization in closest cooperation on both sides.

“3. The Plenipotentiary-General for War Economy will be a permanent member of the Reich Defense Council (Reichsverteidigungsrat). Within the working committee he represents through his leadership staff the interests of war economy.” (EC-177)

The complete reorganization of this Reich Defense Council took place in 1938, under the Secret Defense Law of 4th September of that year. By that time, there had been a reorganization of the Armed Forces: the chief of the OKW had been created and the War Ministry had been abolished (2194-PS). The Reich Defense Council in 1938 was composed of Goering, as permanent deputy and Minister of Air and Supreme Commander of the Air Force; Raeder as Supreme Commander of the Navy; Hess as Deputy of the Fuehrer; von Neurath as President of the Secret Cabinet Council; Frick as Plenipotentiary for the Reich Administration; Keitel as Chief of the OKW; Funk as Plenipotentiary for Economics; Ribbentrop as Minister of Foreign Affairs; Schacht as President of the Reichsbank directorate (2261-PS). An important part of the Reich Defense Council was the Working Committee. The minutes of the twelfth meeting of the Reich Defense Working Committee, on 14 May 1936, read (EC-407):

“1. The National Minister of War and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, General Field Marshal von Blomberg, opened the 12th meeting of the Reichs Defense Committee by expressing thanks for the work accomplished and pointing out in principle the necessity of a preparation for a total mobilization with emphasis on the most important measures to be taken at this time. (Among others; mobilization schedule, legal basis, preparations in the demilitarized zone.) He further indicates the assignment of the national resources (Reichsressort) to finance its measures for preparation of the Reichs defense out of its budget.

“2. The chairman of the Reichs Defense Committee, Lieutenant General Keitel, states:

“In today’s and future meetings of the Reichs Defense Committee a cross section of the general situation concerning all matters of the national defense is presented. The picture of the situation does not appear in the reports of the meetings.

“The open discussion of State secrets before our large committee gives the special obligation to the chairman of the Reichs Defense Committee of pointing out its secrecy.

“Today’s sessions takes place under the auspices of the restoration of the State authority in the demilitarized zone.

“The difficulties of the economic situation, which are presented today, must be mastered.” (EC-407)

This Working Committee was still functioning in 1939. The Mobilization Book for Civil Administration of 1939 states, in part (1639-A-PS):


Terms for Mobilization Preparations by the Civil Administration.

“The acceptance of all new measures in the Mobilization Book for Civil Administration must be requested from the Chief of the Reich Defense Committee (Department of State Defense in the Armed Forces High Command).” (1639-A-PS)

The composition of the Working Committee was redefined by the Secret Law of 1938 as follows (2194-PS):

The Reich Defense Committee [Reichsverteidigungsausschuss] (RVA):

“(1) The Reich Defense Committee is the working Committee of the RVR. It prepares the decisions of the RVR, sees to their execution, and secures collaboration between armed forces, chief Reich offices, and party.

“(2) Presiding is the chief of the OKW. He regulates the activity of the committee and gives the directions to the GBV and GBW and to the Reich ministries not subordinated to them and to the chief Reich offices according to the decisions of the RVR, which directions are necessary for securing their uniform execution.

“(3) The RVA is composed of the OKW, deputy of the commissioner for the four year plan, the leader staffs of the GBV and GBW, and the Reich Defense officials.

“(4) Chief office officials for the Reich defense (RV-Referenten) and their deputies are commissioned by the deputy of the leader, by the Reich Chancellery, by each Reich Ministry, by the Reich Leader of the SS and chief of the German police, by the Reich work leaders, by the Reich Forest Master, by the Chief Inspector for the German Road Net, by the Reich Office for Regional Order, by the Reichsbank directorate, and in the Prussian state ministry. RV-Referent and his deputy are immediately subordinate to the minister or the state secretary, and to the chief of the Reich office, resp.” (2194-PS)

The GBV and the GBW mentioned in the portion quoted above are, respectively, the Plenipotentiaries for Administration and for Economy. Under them were grouped other ministries, some of which were already permanent members of the Council. By paragraph 3 of the Secret Law the following were made subordinate to the Plenipotentiary for Administration: the Ministers of the Interior, Justice, Science and Education, Churches; the Reich Authority for Spatial Planning; and, for limited purposes, the Minister of Finance. Subordinate to and under the direction of the Plenipotentiary for Economy (a position formerly held by Schacht under the title “War Economy” and later held by Funk) were the ministers of Economics, Food, Agriculture, Labor, and for limited purposes, the Reich Finance Ministry and the Reichsbank; the Reich Forest Master; and the Commissioner for Price Control from the 4-Year Plan.

Paragraph 5 of the law (2194-PS) shows that subordinated to the Chief of the OKW were the Reich Postal Minister, the Reich Transportation Minister, and the General Inspector for German Highways.

This concentration of power by the Cabinet was for one purpose only: to plan secretly with the strongest means at hand for the waging of aggressive war. Further evidence of this objective is contained in an affidavit by Frick covering the place, activities, and scope of the Reich Defense Council, including the Three-Man College (2986-PS):

“I, Wilhelm Frick, being first duly sworn, depose and say:

“I was Plenipotentiary for Reich Administration (Generalbevollmaechtigter fuer die Reichsverwaltung) from the time when this office was created, until 20 August 1943. Heinrich Himmler was my deputy in this capacity. Before the outbreak of the war my task as Plenipotentiary for Reich Administration was the preparation of organization in the event of war, such as, for instance, the appointment of liaison men in the different ministries who would keep in touch with me. As Plenipotentiary for Reich Administration, I, together with the Plenipotentiary for Economy and OKW formed what was called a ‘3-Man College’ (Dreierkollegium). We also were members of the Reich defense Council (Reichsverteidigungsrat), which was supposed to plan preparations and decrees in case of war which later on were published by the Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich. Since, as soon as the war started, everything had to be done speedily and there would have been no time for planning, such measures and decrees were prepared in advance in case of war. All one then still had to do was to pull out of the drawer the war orders that had been prepared. Later on, after the outbreak of the war, these decrees were enacted by the Ministerial Council for the defense of the Reich.

“(Signed)  Dr. Wilhelm Frick”  (2986-PS).


Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Article 9.I6
International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Section IV (H); Appendix B.I29, 68
Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.
   351-PSMinutes of First Meeting of Cabinet of Hitler, 30 January 1933. (USA 389)III270
  *352-PSLetter from Dr. Lammers to the Plenipotentiary of Administration, 14 June 1942, concerning the jurisdiction of the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich. (USA 398)III276
   405-PSLaw Concerning Trustees of Labor, 19 May 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 285.III387
 *1141-PSLetter from Dr. Lammers to Members of the Council of Ministers for Defense of the Reich, 17 September 1939. (USA 393)III805
  1388-PSLaw concerning confiscation of Property subversive to People and State, 14 July 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 479.III962
  1389-PSLaw creating Reich Labor Service, 26 June 1935. 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 769.III963
  1393-PSLaw on treacherous attacks against State and Party, and for the Protection of Party Uniforms, 20 December 1934. 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1269.III973
  1395-PSLaw to insure the unity of Party and State, 1 December 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1016. (GB 252)III978
  1396-PSLaw concerning the confiscation of Communist property, 26 May 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 293.III979
  1397-PSLaw for the reestablishment of the Professional Civil Service, 7 April 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 175.III981
  1398-PSLaw to supplement the Law for the restoration of the Professional Civil Service, 20 July 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 518.III986
  1400-PSLaw changing the regulations in regard to public officer, 30 June 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 433.III987
  1401-PSLaw regarding admission to the Bar, 7 April 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 188.III989
  1402-PSThe Homestead Law of 29 September 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 685.III990
 *1534-PSEltz letter of resignation, 30 January 1937. (USA 402)IV95
 *1639-A-PSMobilization book for the Civil Administration, 1939 Edition, issued over signature of Keitel. (USA 777)IV143
**1654-PSLaw of 16 March 1935 reintroducing universal military conscription. 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 369. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)IV163
 *1701-PSMemorandum from Frick to the Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery, 9 August 1943, enclosing draft law and memorandum of comment thereon by Rosenberg, 22 December 1943. (USA 392)IV203
  1708-PSThe Program of the NSDAP. National Socialistic Yearbook, 1941, p. 153. (USA 255; USA 324)IV208
  1770-PSLaw concerning factory representative councils and economic organizations, 4 April 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 161.IV343
 *1774-PSExtracts from Organizational Law of the Greater German Reich by Ernst Rudolf Huber. (GB 246)IV349
  1861-PSLaw on the regulation of National labor, 20 January 1934. 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 45.IV497
  1862-PSOrdinance for execution of Four Year Plan, 18 October 1936. 1936 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 887.IV499
  1915-PSDecree concerning leadership of Armed Forces, 4 February 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 111.IV552
  1942-PSHess’ participation in legislative process, published in Legal Regulations and Legal Problems of the Movement, by Dr. O. Gauweiler, p. 20.IV584
  1962-PSLaw to change the Penal Code of 28 June 1935. 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 839.IV600
 *1997-PSDecree of the Fuehrer, 17 July 1941, concerning administration of Newly Occupied Eastern Territories. (USA 319)IV634
  2001-PSLaw to remove the Distress of People and State, 24 March 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 141.IV638
  2003-PSLaw concerning the Sovereign Head of the German Reich, 1 August 1934. 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 747.IV639
  2004-PSPreliminary law for the coordination of Federal States under the Reich, 31 March 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 153.IV640
  2005-PSSecond law integrating the “Laender” with the Reich, 7 April 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 173.IV641
  2006-PSLaw for the reconstruction of the Reich, 30 January 1934. 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 75.IV642
  2008-PSGerman Communal Ordinance, 30 January 1935. 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 49.IV643
  2014-PSLaw amending regulations of criminal law and criminal procedure, 24 April 1934. 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 341.IV648
 *2018-PSFuehrer’s decree establishing a Ministerial Council for Reich Defense, 30 August 1939. 1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1539. (GB 250)IV650
  2022-PSLaw against overcrowding of German schools and Higher Institutions, 25 April 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 225.IV651
  2029-PSDecree establishing the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, 13 March 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 104.IV652
  2030-PSDecree concerning the Duties of the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, 30 June 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 449.IV653
  2031-PSDecree establishing a Secret Cabinet Council, 4 February 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 112. (GB 217)IV654
  2039-PSDecree concerning the conditions of employment of Eastern workers, 30 June 1942. 1942 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 419.IV655
  2047-PSLaw for the extension of the law concerning the removal of the distress of People and Reich, 30 January 1937. 1937 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 105.IV660
  2048-PSLaw for the extension of the law concerning the removal of the distress of People and Reich, 30 January 1939. 1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 95.IV660
  2057-PSLaw relating to National Emergency Defense Measures of 3 July 1934. 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 529.IV699
  2073-PSDecree concerning the appointment of a Chief of German Police in the Ministry of the Interior, 17 June 1936. 1936 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 487.IV703
  2075-PSDecree for appointment of a chief of organization of Germans abroad within the Foreign Office, 30 January 1937. 1937 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 187.IV704
  2076-PSDecree of the Government concerning formation of Special Courts, 21 March 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, pp. 136-137.IV705
  2078-PSDecree concerning establishment of Ministry for Science, Education and Popular Culture, 1 May 1934. 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 365.IV706
  2082-PSLaw relating to the Reich Chamber of Culture of 22 September 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 661.IV708
  2083-PSEditorial control law, 4 October 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 713.IV709
  2089-PSDecree relating to Reich Air Ministry, 5 May 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 241.IV719
  2090-PSDecree relating to coordination of Jurisdiction of Reich and Prussia in relation to church affairs, 16 July 1935. 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1029.IV720
  2091-PSDecree of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor appointing a Reich Minister for Armaments and Munitions, 17 April 1940. 1940 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 513.IV720
  2092-PSDecree of the Fuehrer for concentration of war economy, 2 September 1943. 1943 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 529.IV721
  2093-PSFirst Executive Order relating to transfer of forestry and hunting matters to the Reich, 12 July 1934. 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 617.IV723
  2094-PSDecree of Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor concerning Reich Labor Leader in Reich Ministry ofInterior, 30 January 1937. 1937 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 95.IV723
  2095-PSDecree of Fuehrer on Establishment of Supreme Reich Authority—“The Reich Labor Leader”, 20 August 1943. 1943 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 495.IV724
  2097-PSDecree of Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor relating to designation of Chief of Praesidialkanzlei, 1 December 1937. 1937 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1317.IV724
 *2098-PSDecree relating to Status of Supreme Commanders of Army and Navy, 25 February 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 215. (GB 206)IV725
  2099-PSFuehrer decree relating to Chief of Party Chancellery of 29 May 1941. 1941 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 295.IV725
  2100-PSDecree on position of leader of Party Chancellery, 24 January 1942. 1942 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 35.IV726
  2101-PSDecree of Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor concerning Inspector General of German Highways administration of 3 April 1941. 1941 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 192.IV727
  2102-PSDecree of Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor concerning Inspector General for Water and Power, 29 July 1941. 1941 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 467.IV727
  2103-PSDecree of Fuehrer on Cabinet Legislation, 10 May 1943. 1943 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 295.IV729
 *2194-PSTop secret letter from Ministry for Economy and Labor, Saxony, to Reich Protector in Bohemia and Moravia, enclosing copy of 1938 Secret Defense Law of 4 September 1938. (USA 36)IV843
  2231-PSExcerpt from von Stutterheim, “Die Reichskanzlei” (1940), pp. 19-34.IV873
 *2261-PSDirective from Blomberg to Supreme Commanders of Army, Navy and Air Forces, 24 June 1935; accompanied by copy of Reich Defense Law of 21 May 1935 and copy of Decision of Reich Cabinet of 12 May 1935 on the Council for defense of the Reich. (USA 24)IV934
 *2307-PSLaw concerning reunion of Austria with German Reich, 13 March 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 237. (GB 133)IV997
  2355-PSSecond Law relating to right to vote for Reichstag, 18 March 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 258.IV1098
 *2380-PSArticles from National Socialist Yearbook, 1935. (USA 396).V6
 *2473-PSExtracts from National Socialist Yearbook, 1943, showing party positions of other Cabinet members in 1943. (USA 324)V226
  2550-PSLaw on modification of rules of general criminal procedure, 16 September 1939. 1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1841.V293
 *2608-PSFrick’s lecture, 7 March 1940, on “The Administration in Wartime”. (USA 714)V327
  2746-PSDecree concerning organization of Criminal Jurisdiction against Poles and Jews in Incorporated Territories, 4 December 1941. 1941 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, pp. 759-761.V386
  2847-PSExtracts from Reichs Ministerialblatt, 1933, regarding Cabinet change in the Common Business Order of Reich Ministries, para. 57c, the Circulation of Drafts.V509
  2848-PSFile memorandum from files of Council of Ministers, initialled L.V510
  2849-PSExtract from The Third Reich, Vol. 4, p. 81.V511
 *2852-PSMinutes of meetings of Council of Ministers for Reich Defense. (USA 395)V512
  2957-PSExtract from German Civil Servants Calendar, 1940, p. 111.V663
 *2959-PSThe Reich Minister, published in New Formation of Justice and Economy, p. 66. (USA 399)V664
 *2960-PSThe Reich Ministry of Interior, published in Publications on the State Structure. (USA 406)V668
  2961-PSRegulations for the leadership of the German People, 1940, p. 62.V668
 *2964-PSMemorial meeting of the Reich Cabinet, published in Voelkischer Beobachter, Munich edition, 1 February 1937. (USA 401)V672
  2970-PSExtracts concerning The New Construction of the State from New Formation of Law and Economy.V677
 *2986-PSAffidavit of the defendant, Wilhelm Frick, 19 November 1945. (USA 409)V688
 *2999-PSAffidavit of Hans Heinrich Lammers, 22 November 1945. (USA 391)V725
  3787-PSReport of the Second Meeting of the Reich Defense Council, 25 June 1939. (USA 782)VI718
 *3863-PSExtracts from Operations in the Third Reich by Lammers. (GB 320)VI786
 *D-138Decree of 27 July 1934, providing for participation of Fuehrer’s deputy in the drafting of all legislation. (USA 403)VI1055
 *D-139Letter from Hess to Goebbels, 9 October 1934, concerning participation in legislation of the Reich. (USA 404)VI1056
 *D-140Letter from Lammers to Reich Ministers, 12 April 1938. (USA 405)VI1057
 *EC-177Minutes of second session of Working Committee of the Reich Defense held on 26 April 1933. (USA 390)VII328
 *EC-407Minutes of Twelfth Meeting of Reichs Defense Council, 14 May 1936. (GB 247)VII462
**Chart No. 6Reich Cabinet and Subsidiaries. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)VIII775
 *Chart No. 18Organization of the Reich Government. (2905-PS; USA 3)End of VIII


The Sturmabteilung, or SA, is the organization which the world remembers as the “Brown Shirts” or Storm Troops—the gangsters of the early days of Nazi terrorism. Since it was the first of the organizations created by the Nazis as instruments to effectuate their illegal objectives, the SA occupied a place of peculiar importance in the scheme of the conspirators. Unlike some of the other organizations, the functions of the SA were not fixed or static. The SA was an agency adapted to many designs and purposes, and its role in the conspiracy changed from time to time various phases toward the final objective—abrogation of the Versailles Treaty and acquisition of the territory of other peoples and nations. If the conspiracy is likened to a pattern, with its various parts fitting together like the pieces of a jig-saw puzzle, the piece representing the SA would be found to constitute the essential link in the pattern.

The SA participated in the conspiracy as a distinct and separate unit, having a legal character of its own. An ordinance passed in March, 1935, provided that the SA and certain other agencies were thereafter to be considered “components” of the Nazi Party (1725-PS). This ordinance further provided, in Article 5, that:

“* * * The affiliated organizations can possess their own legal character.” (1725-PS)

Similarly, the 1943 Organization Book of the Nazi Party which characterizes the SA as an “entity,” declares:

“The Fuehrer prescribes the law of conduct; he commands its use. The Chief of Staff represents the SA as a complete entity on the mandate of the Fuehrer.” (3220-PS)

While the SA was composed of many individual members, they acted as a unit. They were closely bound together by many common factors, including uniform membership standards and disciplinary regulations; a common and distinctive uniform; common aims and objectives; common activities, duties, and responsibilities; and a fanatical adherence to the ideologies conceived by the Nazis. Although membership in the SA was voluntary, the SA man was expected to withdraw if

“he can no longer agree with SA views or if he is not in a position to fulfill completely the duties imposed upon him as a member of the SA.” (2354-PS)

The SA man was well schooled in the philosophies and activities which he was required to adopt in his daily life. Uniformity of action and thought in such matters was in part obtained by the publication and distribution of a weekly periodical entitled “Der SA-Mann.” This publication was principally devoted to fostering various aspects of Nazi ideology. In addition, “Der SA-Mann” reported upon the activities of the SA and its constituent groups.

The SA developed from scattered bands of street ruffians into a cohesive unit organized on a military basis, with military training and military functions, and with an aggressive spirit and philosophy. The organization extended throughout the entire Reich and was organized vertically into local subdivisions. Horizontally, there were special units including military, cavalry, communications, engineer, and medical units. These various groups and branches were coordinated by the SA Headquarters and operational offices, located in Munich.

A. The Relationship Between The SA and The Nazi Party.

The affiliation between the SA and the Nazi leaders was closely maintained, for the purpose of enabling the conspirators to employ the SA for any activity necessary in effectuating the objectives of the conspiracy. The SA was conceived and created by Hitler, in 1921, at the very inception of the conspiracy. Hitler retained the direction of the SA throughout the conspiracy, delegating responsibility for its leadership to a Chief of Staff. Goering was an early leader of the SA, and maintained close connection with it throughout the conspiracy. Hess participated in many of the early battles of the SA and was leader of an SA group in Munich. Frank, Streicher, von Schirach, and Sauckel each held the position of Obergruppenfuehrer in the SA, a position corresponding to the rank of Lieutenant General; and Bormann was a member of the Staff of the SA High Command.

The close relationship between the SA and leaders of the Nazi Party is demonstrated by the fact that the Hoheitstraeger (Bearers of Sovereignty) of the Nazi Leadership Corps were authorized to call upon the SA for assistance in carrying out particular phases of the Party program. For example, at page 71 of the Organization Book of the Nazi Party (1943 edition) the following statement is made (1893-PS):

“The Hoheitstraeger is responsible for the entire political appearance of the Movement within this zone. The SA leader of that zone is tied to the directives of the Hoheitstraeger in that respect.

“The Hoheitstraeger is the ranking representative of the Party to include all organizations within his zone. He may requisition the SA located within his zone for the respective SA leader if they are needed for the execution of a political mission. The Hoheitstraeger will then assign the mission to the SA * * *.

“Should the Hoheitstraeger need more SA for the execution of political mission than is locally available, he then applies to the next higher office of sovereignty which, in turn, requests the SA from the SA office in his sector.” (1893-PS)

This close relationship is further shown by an ordinance for the execution of a Hitler decree (2383-PS):

“The leader of affiliated organizations, as well as the leaders of the party women’s organization, are subordinate to the sovereign bearer (Hoheitstraeger) politically, functionally, disciplinarily, and personally.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“The formations of the NSDAP, with exception of the SS, for whom special provisions apply, are subordinated to the sovereign bearer (Hoheitstraeger) politically and in respect to commitment. Responsibility for the leadership of the units rests in the hands of the unit leader.” (2383-PS)

It was in compliance with the authority of the Leadership Corps that the SA was used in the seizure of trade union properties.

In addition, the SA demonstrated its close affiliation to the Nazi Party by participating in various ways in election proceedings. A pamphlet entitled “The SA,” depicting the history and general activities of the SA, written by an SA Sturmfuehrer upon orders from SA Headquarters, declares that the SA stood—

“at the foremost front of election fights.” (2168-PS)

Further evidence of the close relationship between the SA and Nazi leaders is found in the distribution list of the confidential publication of the Nazi Leadership Corps, which shows that this strictly confidential magazine was distributed to Lieutenant-Generals and Major-Generals of the SA. (2660-PS)

The interest and participation of Nazi leaders in the activities of the SA is clearly shown in the issues of “Der SA-Mann” for the period from 1934 to March 1939 (3050-A-E-PS). Throughout these volumes there appear photographs of Nazi leaders participating in SA activities. The following are descriptions of a few of these photographs, together with the page numbers upon which they appear:

Photograph of Himmler, Huhnlein (Fuehrer of NSKK) and Lutze, bearing caption: “They lead the soldiers of National Socialism,” 15 June, 1935, p. 1.

Photograph of Hitler at SA Ceremony, carrying SA Battle Flag. The picture bears the caption: “As in the fighting years the Fuehrer, on Party Day of Freedom, dedicates the new regiments with the Blood Banner,” 21 September, 1935, p. 4.

Photograph of Lutze and Hitler, 19 September, 1936, p. 4.

Photograph of Hitler and SA officers, 1 January, 1938, p. 3.

Photograph of Streicher with SA men, and reviewing SA Troops, 25 November, 1938, p. 1.

Photograph of Goering in SA uniform reviewing SA marching troops under the caption: “Honor Day of the SA,” 21 September, 1935, p. 3.

Photographs of Goering, Hess, and Hitler in SA uniform at the ceremonies dedicated to SA men killed in the Munich Putsch, 16 November, 1935, p. 3.

Photograph of Goering marching in SA uniform, 19 September, 1936, p. 3.

Photographs of Goering at ceremonies held upon occasion of his being made Obergruppenfuehrer of the Feldherrnhalle Regiment of the SA, 23 January, 1937, p. 3.

Photograph of Goering leading Feldherrnhalle Regiment of SA in parade, 18 September, 1937, p. 3.

The work of the SA did not end with the seizure of the German government by the Nazis, but affiliation between the SA and Nazi leaders continued thereafter. The importance of the SA in connection with the Nazi Government and control of Germany is shown by the law of 1 December 1933 entitled, “The Law on Securing the Unity of Party and State” (1395-PS):

“* * * The Deputy of the Fuehrer and the Chief of Staff of SA become members of the Reich Government in order to insure close cooperation of the offices of the Party and SA with the public authorities.” (1395-PS)

Similarly, a decree promulgated by Hitler providing for supervision of premilitary training by the SA declares:

“The offices of the Party and State are to support the SA in this training program and to value the possession of the certificate for the SA military insignia.” (2383-PS)

The complete control of the SA by the Nazis at all times is shown by the so-called “Roehm Purge” of June 1934 (see 2407-PS). Roehm had been Chief of Staff of the SA for several years, and was responsible for the development of SA into a powerful, organization. SA members were required to take a personal oath of fidelity to Roehm. But when his policies conflicted with those of the Nazi leaders, he was removed, murdered, and replaced by Victor Lutze. This drastic action was accomplished without revolt or dissension in the ranks of the SA, and with no change in its objectives or program. The SA remained “a reliable and strong part of the National Socialist Movement * * * full of obedience and blind discipline,” whose function was to “create and form the new German citizens.” (2407-PS)

The importance of the SA in the Nazi plan for the utilization of the people of Germany is shown in Hitler’s pronouncement “The Course for the German Person,” which appears in the issue of “Der SA-Mann” for 5 September 1936, at page 22. Hitler’s statement reads as follows:

“The boy, he will enter the Young Volk, and the lad, he will enter the Hitler Youth, the young man will go into the SA, in the SS, and in other units, and the SA and SS men will one day enter into the labor service and from there to the Army, and the soldier of the Volk will return again into the Organization of the Movement, the Party, in the SA and SS and never again will our Volk decay as it once was decayed”.

Thus the SA was constantly available to the conspirators as an instrument to further their aims. It was natural that Victor Lutze, the former Chief of Staff of the SA, in a pamphlet entitled “The Nature and Tasks of the SA,” declared:

“The SA cannot be independent of the National Socialist Movement but can only exist as a part of it.” (2471-PS)

B. Participation by the SA in the Conspiracy.

The principal functions performed by the SA in furtherance of the objectives of the conspiracy may be classified into four distinct phases, each of which corresponds with a particular phase in the progression of the conspiracy.

The first phase consists of the use of the SA and its members as the instrument for the dissemination of Nazi ideology throughout Germany. The employment of SA for this purpose continued throughout the entire period of the conspiracy. In the second phase, the period prior to the Nazi seizure of power, the SA was a militant group of fighters whose function was to combat all opponents of the Party. In the third phase, the period of several years following the Nazi seizure of power, the SA participated in various measures designed to consolidate the control of the Nazis, including the dissolution of the trade unions, the persecution of the church, and Jewish persecutions. During this period the SA continued to serve as a force of political soldiers whose purpose was to combat members of political parties considered hostile to the Nazi Party. The fourth aspect of SA activities consisted of its employment as an agency for the building up of an armed force in Germany in violation of the Treaty of Versailles, and for the preparation of the youth of Germany for the waging of an aggressive war.

(1) The Propagation of Nazi Doctrine. From the very start the Nazi leaders emphasized the importance of the SA’s mission to disseminate Nazi doctrines. The responsibility of propagating National Socialist ideology remained constant throughout. This is shown in an excerpt from Mein Kampf in which Hitler declared:

“* * * As the directing idea for the inner training of the Sturmabteilung, the intention was always dominant, aside from all physical education, to teach it to be the unshakeable convinced defender of the National Socialist idea.” (2760-PS)

Hitler’s pronouncement as to the function of SA in this respect became the guiding principle of SA members, for Mein Kampf was taken to express the basic philosophy of the SA. The Organization Book of the Nazi Party declares that the training of SA members should consist of—

“The training and rearing upon the basis of the teachings and aims of the Fuehrer as they are put down in ‘Mein Kampf’ and in the Party program, for all spheres of our life and our National Socialist ideology.” (2354-PS)

The Party Organization Book also declares that the SA is the

“training and rearing instrument of the Party.” (2354-PS)

Similarly, in an article which appeared in “Der SA-Mann”, at page 1 of the issue of January 1934, the functions of the SA were set forth as follows:

“First, to be the guaranty of the power of the National Socialist State against all attacks from without as well as from within.

“Second, to be the high institute of education of the people for the living National Socialism.”

The function of the SA as propagandist of the Party was more than a responsibility which SA took unto itself. It was a responsibility recognized by the law of Germany. The law for “Securing the Unity of Party and State,” promulgated by the Reich Cabinet in 1933, provided:

“The members of the National Socialistic German Labor Party and the SA (including their subordinate organizations) as the leading and driving force of the National Socialist State will bear greater responsibility toward Fuehrer, people and State.” (1395-PS)

As the principal ideology bearers of the Nazi Party SA members were “the soldiers of an idea,” to use the expression employed by Nazi writers. Examples of the use of the SA as Nazi propagandist will be seen in the description of the other functions performed by the SA. For in each case the SA combined its propagandist responsibility instrument with the other functions which it performed in furtherance of the conspiracy.

(2) Strong-Arm Terrorization of Political Opponents. In the early stages of the Nazi Movement the SA combined propaganda with violence along the lines expressed by Hitler in Mein Kampf:

“The Young Movement from the first day, espoused the standpoint that its idea must be put forward spiritually but that the defense of this spiritual platform must, if necessary, be secured by strong-arm means.” (2760-PS)

So that the Nazis might better spread their philosophies, the SA was employed to gain possession and control of the streets for the Nazis. Its function was to beat up and terrorize all political opponents. The importance of this function is explained in a pamphlet written by SA Sturmfuehrer Bayer, upon orders from SA Headquarters (2168-PS):

“Possession of the streets is the key to power in the State—for this reason the SA marched and fought. The public would have never received knowledge from the agitative speeches of the little Reichstag faction and its propaganda or from the desires and aims of the Party if the martial tread and battle song of the SA Companies had not beat the measure for the truth of a relentless criticism of the state of affairs in the governmental system. They wanted the young Movement to keep silent. Nothing was to be read in the press about the labor of the National Socialists, not to mention the basic aims of its platform. They simply did not want to awake any interest in it. However, the martial tread of the SA took care that even the drowsiest citizens had to see at least the existence of a fighting troop.” (2168-PS)

And in Mein Kampf Hitler defined the task of the SA as follows:

“We have to teach the Marxists that the master of the streets in the future is National Socialism, exactly as it will once be the Master of the State.” (2760-PS)

The importance of the work of SA in the early days of the Movement was indicated by Goebbels in a speech which appeared in Das Archiv in October 1935:

“* * * The inner-political opponents did not disappear due to mysterious unknown reasons but because the Movement possessed a strong-arm within its organization and the strongest strong-arm of the Movement is the SA * * *.” (3211-PS)

Specific evidence of the activities of the SA during the early period of the Nazi Movement (1922-31) is to be found in a series of articles appearing in “Der SA-Mann” entitled, “SA Battle Experiences Which We Will Never Forget.” Each of these articles is an account of a street or meeting-hall battle waged by the SA against a group of political opponents in the early days of the Nazi struggle for power. These articles demonstrate that during this period it was the function of SA to employ physical violence in order to destroy all forms of thought and expression which might be considered hostile to Nazi aims or philosophy.

The titles of these articles are sufficiently descriptive to constitute evidence of SA activities. Some of these titles, together with the page and reference of “Der SA-Mann” upon which they appear, follow:

Article entitled:“We subdue the Red Terror,” 24 February, 1934: p. 4.
Article entitled:“Nightly Street Battles on the Czech Border,” 8 September, 1934: p. 12.
Article entitled:“Street Battle in Chemnitz,” 6 October, 1934: p. 5.
Article entitled:“Victorious SA,” 20 October, 1934: p. 7.
Article entitled:“SA Against Sub-Humanity,” 20 October, 1934: p. 7.
Article entitled:“For the Superiority of the Street,” 10 November, 1934: p. 10.
Article entitled:“The SA Conquers Rastenburg,” 26 January, 1936[sic]: p. 7.
Article entitled:“Company 88 Receives its Baptism of Fire,” 23 February, 1935: p. 5.
Article entitled:“Street Battles at Pforghein,” 23 February, 1935: p. 5.
Article entitled:“The SA Breaks the Red Terror,” 1 June, 1935: p. 7.
Article entitled:“The Blood Sunday of Berlin,” 10 August, 1935: p. 10.
Article entitled:“West Prussian SA Breaks the Red Terror in Christburg,” 24 August, 1935: p. 15.
Portrait symbolizing the SA Man as the “Master of the Streets,” entitled, “Attention: Free the Streets,” 11 September, 1937: p. 1.
Article entitled:“9 November, 1923, in Nurnberg,” 30 October, 1937.

As an example of the nature of these articles, the article appearing in the Franken Edition of “Der SA-Mann” for 30 October 1937, at page 3, is typical. It is entitled: “9 November 1923 in Nurnberg,” and reads in part as follows:

“We stayed overnight in the Coliseum. Then in the morning we found out what had happened in Munich. ‘Now a revolution will also be made in Nurnberg,’ we said. All of a sudden the Police came from the Maxtor Guard and told us that we should go home, that the Putsch in Munich failed. We did not believe that and we did not go home. Then came the State Police with fixed bayonets and drove us out of the hall. One of us then shouted ‘Let’s go to the Cafe Habsburg!’ By the time we arrived, however, the Police again had everything surrounded. Some shouted then: ‘The Jewish place will be stormed * * * Out with the Jews!’ Then the Police started to beat us up. Then we divided into small groups and roamed through town and wherever we caught a Red or a Jew we knew, a fist fight ensued.

“Then in the evening we marched, although the Police had forbidden it, to a meeting in Furth. During the promenade again the police attempted to stop us. It was all the same to us. Already in the next moment we attacked the police in our anger so that they were forced to flee. We marched on to the Geissmann Hall. There again they tried to stop us. But the Landsturm, which was also there, attacked the protection forces like persons possessed, and drove them from the streets. After the meeting we dissolved and went to the edge of town. From there we marched in close column back to Nurnberg. In the Wall Street near the Plaerrer the Police came again. We simply shoved them aside. They did not trust themselves to attack, for what would a blood bath have meant? We decided beforehand not to take anything from anyone. Also in Furth they had already noticed that we were up to no good. A large mass of people accompanied us on the march. We marched with unrolled flags and sang so that the streets resounded: Comrade reach me your hand; we want to stand together, even though they have false impressions, the spirit must not die, Swastika on the steel helmet, black—white—red armband, we are known as Storm Troop (SA) Hitler!”

Through such means the SA was chiefly responsible for destroying all political elements hostile to the Nazis, including liberalism and capitalism. This is shown by an article which appeared on 6 January, 1934, at page 1 of “Der SA-Mann,” entitled “The SA Man in the New State!”

“The New Germany would not have been without the SA man and the new Germany would not exist if the SA man would now, with the feeling of having fulfilled his duty, quietly and unselfishly and modestly step aside or if the new State would send him home much like the Moors who had done his obligations.

*            *            *            *            *            *

“What has been accomplished up until now, the taking over of the power in the State and the ejection of those elements which are responsible for the pernicious developments of the post war years as bearers of Marxist liberalism, and capitalism are only the preliminaries, the spring-board for the real aims of National Socialism.

“Being conscious of the fact that the real National Socialist construction work would be building in an empty space without the usurpation of power by Adolf Hitler, the movement and the SA man as the aggressive bearer of its will primarily have directed all their efforts thereupon, to achieve the platform of continued striving and to obtain the fundamental for the realization of our desires in the State by force * * *

“* * * Out of this comes the further missions of the SA for the completion of the German revolution. First: To be the guaranty of the power of the National Socialist State against all attacks from without as well as within. Second: To be the high institute of education of the people for the living National Socialism. Third: to build a bridge over which the present day German youth can march free and unhampered as first generation into the formed Third Reich.”

(3) Consolidation of Nazi Control of Germany. The Third function of the SA was to carry out various programs designed to consolidate Nazi control of the German State, including particularly the dissolution of the trade unions and the Jewish persecutions. In the words of an SA officer, it was the function of the SA to be the “tool for strengthening the structure of the new State,” and “to clean up” all that was “worth cleaning up.” It was generally employed, says the SA man, “where communism and elements hostile to the State still insolently dared to rebel.” (2168-PS)

SA groups were employed to destroy political opposition by force and brutality where necessary. As an example, an affidavit of William F. Sollman reads as follows:

“* * * From 1919 until 1933 I was a Social Democrat and a member of the German Reichstag. Prior to March 11, 1933, I was the editor-in-chief of a chain of daily newspapers, with my office in Cologne, Germany, which led the fight against the Nazi Party.

“On March 9, 1933, members of the SS and SA came to my home in Cologne and destroyed the furniture and my personal records. At that time I was taken to the Brown House in Cologne where I was tortured, being beaten and kicked for several hours. I was then taken to the regular government prison in Cologne where I was treated by two medical doctors * * * and released the next day. On March 11, 1933, I left Germany.” (3221-PS)

Prior to the organization of the Gestapo on a national scale local SA meeting places were designated as arrest points, and SA members took into custody Communists and other persons who were actually or supposedly hostile to the Nazi Party. This activity is described in an affidavit of Raymond H. Geist, former U. S. Consul in Berlin:

“* * * At the beginning of the Hitler regime, the only organization which had meeting places throughout the country was the SA (Storm Troopers). Until the Gestapo could be organized on a national scale the thousands of local SA meeting places became ‘arrest points.’ There were at least fifty of these in Berlin. Communists, Jews, and other known enemies of the Nazis party were taken to these points, and, if they were enemies of sufficient importance, they were immediately transferred to the Gestapo headquarters.” (1759-PS)

In addition, SA members served as guards at concentration camps during this consolidation period and participated in mistreatment of the persons there imprisoned. A report to Hitler by the public prosecutor of Dresden concerning the Knollprosse of one Vogel, who was accused of mistreatment of the persons imprisoned in a concentration camp, reads as follows (787-PS):

“The prosecuting authority in Dresden has indicted Oberregierungsrat Erich Vogel in Dresden (case designation 16 STA 4 107/34) on account of bodily injury while in office. The following subject matter is the basis of the process:

“Vogel belongs to the Gestapo office of the province of Saxony since its foundation and is chief of Main section II, which formerly bore the title ZUB (Zentralstelle fuer Umsturzbekaempfung) (Central office for combatting overthrow). In the process of combatting efforts inimical to the State Vogel carried out several so called borderland actions in the year 1933 in which a large number of politically unreliable persons and persons who had become political prisoners in the border territories were taken into protective custody (Schutzhaft) and brought to the Hohnstein protective custody camp. In the camp serious mistreatment of the prisoners has been going on at least since summer of 1933. The prisoners were not only, as in protective custody camp Bredow near Stettin, beaten into a state of unconsciousness for no reason with whips and other tools but were also tortured in other ways, as for instance with a drip-apparatus especially constructed for the purpose, under which the prisoners had to stand so long that they came away with serious purulent wounds of the scalp. The guilty SA-leaders and SA-men were sentenced to punishment of six years to nine months of imprisonment by the main criminal court of the provincial court in Dresden of 15 May 1935 (16 STA. 3431.34). Vogel, whose duties frequently brought him to the camp, took part in this mistreatment, insofar as it happened in the reception room of the camp during completion of the reception formalities, and in the supply room, during issuing of the blankets. In this respect it should be pointed out that Vogel was generally known to the personnel of the camp—exactly because of his function as head of the ZUB—and his conduct became at least partly a standard for the above-named conduct of the SA-leaders and men.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“In his presence, for instance, the SA-men Mutze dealt such blows to one man, without provocation, that he turned around on himself. As already stated, Vogel not only took no steps against this treatment of the prisoners, but he even made jokes about it and stated that it amused him the way things were popping here.

“In the supply room Vogel himself took a hand in the beating amid the general severe mistreatment. The SA-men there employed whips and other articles and beat the prisoners in such a manner that serious injuries were produced; the prisoners partly became unconscious and had to lie in the dispensary a long time. Vogel was often present in the supply room during the mistreatment. At least in the following cases he personally laid violent hands upon prisoners.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“* * * the prisoner was laid across the counter in the usual manner, held fast by the head and arms, and then beaten for a considerable time by the SA men with whips and other articles. Along with this Vogel himself took part in the beating for a time, and after this mistreatment slapped him again, so that the prisoner appeared green and blue in the face. The prisoner is the tinsmith Hans Kuehitz, who bore the nickname Johnny. Upon his departure Vogel gave the head of the supply room, Truppenfuehrer Meier from 6 to 8 reichsmarks with the stated reason that the SA men ‘had sweated so.’ The money was then distributed by Meier to those SA-comrades who had taken part in the mistreatment.” (787-PS)

Similarly, the SA participated in the seizure and dissolution of the German trade unions in 1933, a measure taken by the Nazis under the direction of Robert Ley. An official Nazi Party circular containing an order promulgated by Robert Ley concerning the program for the seizure of the union properties read as follows:

“SA, as well as SS, are to be employed for the occupation of trade union properties and for the taking into protective custody all personalities who come into the question.” (392-PS)

The SA also participated extensively in the Jewish persecutions conducted by the Nazis. The affidavit of Mr. Geist, former U. S. Consul in Berlin (1759-PS) sets forth numerous instances of attacks upon Jewish-American citizens. Mr. Geist also declares that on the morning after the Nazis’ acquisition of power, SA groups roamed the streets of Berlin seizing and beating Jewish persons and other political opponents of the Nazi Party. Thereafter SA men participated in many attacks of physical violence upon Jews, including Jewish-American citizens. In addition, uniformed SA men were employed as a display of threatening force in order to coerce Jewish persons to dispose of their property at greatly reduced values. (1759-PS)

SA participation in the Jewish program of 10 to 11 November, 1938, is disclosed in a confidential report of an SA Brigade Fuehrer to his Group Commander, dated 29 November, 1938 (1721-PS):

“TO:SA Group Electrical Palatinate (Kurpfalz)

“The following order reached me at 3 o’clock on 10 November 1938.

‘On the order of the Gruppenfuehrer, all the Jewish synagogues within the 50th Brigade are to be blown up or set fire immediately.

‘Neighboring houses occupied by Aryans are not to be damaged. The action is to be carried out in civilian clothes. Rioting and plundering are to be prevented. Report of execution of orders to reach Brigade Fuehrer or office by 8:30.’

“I immediately alerted the Standartenfuehrer and gave them the most exact instructions; the execution of the order began at once.

“I hereby report that the following were destroyed in the area of * * *

Standarte 115

1. Synagogue at Darmstadt, BleichstrasseDestroyed by fire
2. Synagogue at Darmstadt, FuchsstrasseDestroyed by fire
3. Synagogue at Ober/RamstadtInterior and furnishings wrecked
4. Synagogue at GraefenhausenInterior and furnishings wrecked
5. Synagogue at GriesheimInterior and furnishings wrecked
6. Synagogue at PfungstadtInterior and furnishings wrecked
7. Synagogue at EberstadtDestroyed by fire”

*            *            *            *            *            *

Standarte 145

1. Synagogue at BensheimDestroyed by fire
2. Synagogue at Lorch in HessenDestroyed by fire
3. Synagogue at HeppenheimDestroyed by fire
4. Prayer House AlsbachDestroyed by fire
5. Meeting room AlsbachDestroyed by fire
6. Synagogue at RimbachFurnishings completely destroyed”

*            *            *            *            *            *

Standarte 168

1. Synagogue in SeligenstadtDestroyed by fire
2. Synagogue in OffenbachDestroyed by fire
3. Synagogue in Klein-KrotzenburgDestroyed by fire
4. Synagogue in Steinheim on the MainDestroyed by fire
5. Synagogue in Muehlheim on the MainDestroyed by fire
6. Synagogue in SprendlingenDestroyed by fire
7. Synagogue in LangenDestroyed by fire
8. Synagogue in EgelsbachDestroyed by fire”

*            *            *            *            *            *

Standarte 186

1. Synagogue in BeerfeldenBlown up
2. Synagogue in MichelstadtFurnishings wrecked
3. Synagogue in KoenigFurnishings wrecked
4. Synagogue in Hoechst i/OdenwaldFurnishings wrecked
5. Synagogue in Gross-UmstadtFurnishings wrecked
6. Synagogue in DieburgFurnishings wrecked
7. Synagogue in BabenhausenFurnishings wrecked
8. Synagogue in Gross-BieberauDestroyed by fire
9. Synagogue in Fraenk. CrumbachFurnishings destroyed
10. Synagogue in ReichelsheimFurnishings destroyed”

*            *            *            *            *            *

Standarte 221

1. Synagogue and Chapel in Gross-GerauDestroyed by fire
2. Synagogue in RuesselsheimTorn down and furnishings destroyed
3. Synagogue in DornheimFurnishings destroyed
4. Synagogue in WolfskehlenFurnishings destroyed”

“The Fuehrer of Brigade 50 (STARKENBURG)


“Brigadefuehrer” (1721-PS)

In connection with the persecutions of the Jews, the SA again performed its propaganda function. It was the function of the SA to create and foster among the people an anti-Jewish spirit. Evidence of this function is to be found in the issues of “Der SA-Mann”. Article after article in this publication was devoted to propaganda designed to engender hatred toward the Jewish race. The nature of these articles is apparent from some of the titles:

Article entitled: “Finish up with the Jew”, with subtitle: “We want no women to buy from Jews, and no Jewish girl friends,” 27 July, 1935, p. 4.

Article entitled: “The Jewish World Danger,” 2 February, 1935, p. 5.

Article entitled: “Jewish Worries,” (defending the practices of excluding Jews from certain resorts). 20 July, 1935, p. 4.

Article entitled: “Jews aren’t wanted Here,” with pictures posted on outskirts of villages showing signs bearing the same message. (1 June, 1935, p. 1.) The last portion of this article reads as follows:

“Since the day when National Socialism unrolled its flag and the march began for the Germany for Germans, our battle also included the Jewry * * * Let the Jew continue with his methods against New Germany. We know that at the end we will remain the victor for

Snake remains a snake, and

Jew remains a Jew! * * *

* * * “German women, if you buy from Jews and German girl, if you carry on with Jews, then both of you betray your German Volk and your Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler, and commit a sin against your German Volk and its future! Then, also, outside of the last German village, the sign will stand ‘Jews are not wanted here!’ and then, finally, no German citizen will again cross the threshold of a Jewish store. To achieve this goal is the mission of the SA man as political soldier of the Fuehrer. Next to his word and his explanations stands his example”.

Article entitled: “God Save the Jew,” 17 August, 1935, p. 1.

Photograph showing SA men gathered around trucks upon which are posted signs reading: “Read The Stuermer and you will know the Jew.” 24 August, 1935, p. 3.

Photograph apparently representing public SA rally showing large sign which reads: “He who knows a Jew knows a devil,” 24 August, 1935, p. 3.

Article entitled: “The Face of the Jew” (with portrait of a Jew holding the hammer and sickle), 5 Oct., 1935, p. 6.

Article entitled: “Jews, Blacks and Reactionaries,” 2 November, 1935, p. 2.

Article entitled: “The Camouflaged Benjamin—Jewish Cultural Bolshevism in German music,” 23 November, 1935, p. 2.

Article entitled: “The Jewish Assassination,” 15 February, 1936, p. 1.

Article entitled: “Murder—The Jewish Slogan,” 4 April, 1936, p. 11.

Series of articles entitled: “The Jewish Mirror.” Eight weekly installments beginning 22 May 1936, p. 17.

Series of articles entitled: “Gravediggers of World Culture,” beginning 5 December, 1936, p. 6 and continuing weekly to 13 March 1937.

Article entitled: “Rumania to the Jews?” 2 January, 1937, p. 6.

Article entitled: “Bismarck’s Position on Jews,” 2 January, 1937, p. 7.

Article entitled: “Jewry is a Birth Error,” 13 February 1937, p. 5.

Article entitled: “The Protection of the German Blood,” 24 April, 1937, p. 1.

Article entitled: “Crooked Ways to Money and Power,” 24 April, 1937, p. 1.

Article entitled: “The Camouflage of Jewry—Beginning or End?” 22 May, 1937, p. 14.

Article entitled: “How come still German Jews?” 18 June, 1938, p. 2.

Article entitled: “Westheimer Jew Servants,” 22 January, 1938, p. 2.

Article entitled: “The Poor Jew—Well, Well!!” 19 March, 1938, p. 15.

Article entitled: “Jewish Methods, Churchly Parallel,” 9 September, 1938, p. 4.

Article entitled: “Jews and Free Masons,” 13 January, 1939, p. 15.

Article entitled: “Friends of the World Jewry—Roosevelt and Ickes,” 3 February, 1939, p. 14.

The circulation of these articles was not intended to be confined to members of the SA. On the contrary, the plan was to educate the members of the SA with this philosophy, and for the SA in turn to disseminate it into the minds of the German people. This fact is demonstrated in the introduction to a series of anti-Jewish articles entitled “Gravediggers of World Culture,” which began in the issue of 5 December, 1936, at page 6. This introduction stated in part as follows:

“We suggest that the comrades especially take notice of this series of articles and see that they are further circulated.” (3050-A-E-PS)

In addition, intensive campaigns were conducted to persuade the public to purchase and read “Der SA-Mann,” and various issues were posted in public places so that the general public might read them. “Der SA-Mann” itself contained several photographs showing particular issues posted upon street bulletin boards. There are also several photographs showing advertising displays, one of which reads as follows “Der SA-Mann belongs in every house, every hotel, every inn, every waiting room, and every store” (page 3 of the issue of 31 October, 1936). (3050-A-E-PS)

In view of such widespread publicity for the objectives and methods of the SA, it is inconceivable that volunteers for membership did not know of the criminal character of this organization.

(4) Fostering of Militarism. In the final phase of the SA in the conspiracy—its participation in the preparation for aggressive warfare—the SA was again employed to inculcate a particular Nazi ideology into the minds of the German people. It was the function of the SA to prepare Germany mentally for the waging of an aggressive war.

At all times, and especially during the period from 1933-39, SA leaders emphasized to SA members the duty and responsibility of creating and fostering a militaristic spirit throughout Germany. In 1933, Hitler established the so-called SA sports program and at that time, according to Sturmfuehrer Bayer in his pamphlet “The SA,”

“the SA was “commissioned to obtain an increase of and preservation of a warlike power and a warlike spirit as the expression of an aggressive attitude”. (2168-PS)

In 1937, Hitler renewed the so-called sports program and then declared the program to be a means “for the fostering of a military spirit” among the German people. (3050-A-E-PS)

The Organization Book of the Party is to the same effect. The function of the SA is characterized as follows:

“While the political organization of the NSDAP has carried out the political leadership, the SA is the training and education instrument of the Party for the realization of the world-philosophical soldier-like attitude.

“Consequently, the young German in the SA is being inculcated in the first instance from the standpoint of world philosophy and character, and trained as the bearer of National Socialist armed will.” (3220-PS)

The contents of a number of articles designed to serve as war propaganda material may be gained from their titles, which are very graphic. A number of articles relate to the Nazi Lebensraum philosophy:

Article entitled: “The German Living Space,” 5 January, 1935, p. 13.

Article entitled: “Folk and Space—A Geopolitical View,” 27 April, 1935, p. 13.

Article entitled: “The Enlargement of our Living Space,” 25 April, 1936, p. 10.

Article entitled: “Our Right, Our Colonies,” 10 October, 1936, p. 15.

Article entitled: “Our Right for Colonies,” 18 December, 1937, p. 7.

Article entitled: “Space and Folk,” 14 October, 1938, p. 3.

Article entitled: “Colonies for Germany,” 2 January, 1937, p. 4. This article reads in part as follows:

“The German Ambassador in London, Herr von Ribbentrop, recently, on occasion of a reception in the Anglo-German Fellowship * * * has renewed, in a speech which aroused great interest, the unretractable claim of Germany for the restitution of its colonies which had been snatched away.

“Shortly thereafter the Reichsbank president and Reich Minister of Economics, Dr. Schacht, published in the English magazine, ‘Foreign Affairs,’ a detailed article on the German colonial problem. * * *

“For the rest Dr. Schacht laid out the categorical demand that Germany must, in order to solve its raw materials problem, get colonies, which must be administered by Germany, and in which the German standard currency must be in circulation.”

The next group consists of articles condemning the Versailles Treaty:

Article entitled: “What is the Situation regarding our battle for Equal Rights?” 7 April 1934, p. 4.

Article entitled: “The Dictate of Versailles,” 30 June, 1934, p. 15. This article reads in part as follows:

“* * * The dictate of Versailles established the political, economical and financial destruction of Germany in 440 artfully—one could also say—devilishly devised paragraphs; this work of ignominy is a sample of endless and partly contradictory repetitions in constantly new forms. Not too many have occupied themselves with this thick book to a great extent, for one could only do it with abomination * * *”

Article entitled: “The Unbearable Limitations of our Fleet,” 7 July, 1934, p. 15.

Article entitled: “Versailles after 15 years,” 19 January, 1935, p. 13. This article reads in part as follows:

“This terrible word ‘Versailles,’ since a blind nation ratified it, has become a word of profanity for all those who are infatuated in the spirit of this enormous production of hatred. The Versailles dictate is German fate in the fullest sense of the word. Every German stood up under the operation of this fate during the past 15 years. Therefore, every last German must also grasp the contents of this dictate so that one single desire of its absolute destruction fills the whole German Volk.”

Article entitled: “How about Germany’s fight for Equal Rights?” 16 March, 1935, p. 1.

Article entitled: “Through Adolf Hitler’s Acts: Free from Versailles,” 30 January, 1937, pp. 12-13.

Article entitled: “Versailles will be Liquidated,” 13 February, 1937. This article reads in part as follows, p. 4:

“The National Socialist Movement has again achieved a victory, for upon its flag since the beginning of the fight stands: The liquidation of the Versailles Treaty. For this fight the SA marched year after year * * *.”

A third group consists of articles describing preparations for war allegedly being carried on by other nations:

Article entitled: “Military Training of the English Youth” (showing pictures of Eton students wearing traditional Eton dress—tall hats and frock coats—marching with rifles), 26 January, 1935, p. 14.

Article entitled: “The Army of the Soviet Union” (with pictures of self-propelled artillery and tanks. One picture bears the quotation “The Artillery of the Red Army is already extensively motorized”), 16 March, 1935, p. 14.

Photograph of Russian Artillery bearing the notation “Soviet Russian Heavy artillery on maneuver,” 16 March, 1935, p. 1.

Article entitled: “Armies of Tomorrow” (discussion of anticipated developments in motorized and mechanized warfare. One section of the article is devoted to “plans of foreign countries with respect to motorized armies”), 30 March, 1935, p. 14.

Article entitled: “The Red Danger in the East,” 4 April, 1936, p. 13.

Article entitled: “The Red Army Today,” 4 April, 1936, p. 13.

Article entitled: “Russia prepares for World War,” 29 August, 1936, p. 10.

Article entitled: “Red Terrorism Nailed Down,” 19 June, 1937, p. 7.

Cartoon bearing title “Stalin Wants World Revolution,” 26 February, 1938, p. 13.

These lists of articles are not exhaustive. These articles are merely typical of many in similar vein which appear throughout the issues of “Der SA-Mann.”

(5) The Training of German Youth for Aggressive Warfare.

The important responsibility of training the youth of Germany in the technique of war, and of preparing them physically and spiritually for the waging of aggressive warfare, was delegated to the SA. Hitler characterized this task of the SA in these words:

“Give the German Nation six million perfectly trained bodies in sport, all fanatically inspired with the love for the Fatherland and trained to the highest offensive spirit and a National Socialist State will, if necessary, have created an Army out of them in less than two years.” (3215-PS)

The military character of the SA is demonstrated by its organizational structure (2168-PS). As appears from the SA organizational chart, (Chart Number 8) it was organized into units closely corresponding to those of the German army. The organizational scheme consisted of divisions, regiments, battalions, companies, platoons, and squads. In addition, there were special units and branches, including cavalry, signal corps, engineer corps, and medical corps. There were also three officer training schools (2168-PS). SA members wore distinctive uniforms adapted to military functions, bore arms, and engaged in training, forced marches, and other military exercises. These facts are disclosed in photographs and articles in “Der SA-Mann”.

SA members, moreover, were governed by general regulations which closely resemble service regulations of an armed force (2820-PS). According to these regulations, “discipline and obedience are the foundations as strong as steel for each military unit.” These regulations further provide for punishment for disobedience. The punishments provided demonstrate the militaristic character of the SA. They include the following:

Reprimand in private;
Reprimand in presence of superiors and announcement
thereof at formations;
Prohibition of right to wear the service uniform;
House arrest;
Arrest and confinement in jail;
Demotion in rank;
Prohibition of right to carry weapon. (2820-PS)

Preparation for war through the SA training program was commenced in Germany as early as 1933, but the scope of this program was not made public because it constituted a violation of the Treaty of Versailles. The strict secrecy with which the program was surrounded is shown by an order from the Chief of Staff of the SA dated 25 July, 1933 (D-44):

“Further to my instruction Z II 1351/33 dated 11 July 33, I find cause to ask all SA authorities to exercise the greatest caution with regard to any publicity given to the SA service not only in the press, but also in the information and news sheets of the individual SA units.

“Only during the last few days, the Reich Ministry of the Interior, at the request of the Foreign Office, has given strict instructions to all Reich authorities according to which the most severe control is to be exercised on all publications which might give other countries an opening to construe German infringements of the terms of the Versailles Treaty. “As is known from the Geneva negotiations, our opponents have piled up material collected in Germany and submitted to them, which they use against us on every occasion during the conferences.

“From this point of view, the information sheets circulating among the subordinate SA units cause the liveliest concern. I hold all higher SA leaders responsible that any such internal information sheets appearing in the district of their command are submitted to the most stringent control before they go into print, and I feel compelled to draw attention to the threat of a prosecution for treason, pronounced by official instructions issued in the last few days, in cases where such reports, printed no doubt in good faith, are publicized and therefore exposed to the danger of falling into the wrong hands.

“On principle, pictures of the technical specialized units of the SA and SS, in particular of the signals, motorized and possibly also of the air wings which now exist outside these formations, are forbidden, such pictures enabling other countries to prove the alleged formation of technical troop units.” (D-44)

Secrecy was also required in the order assigning a Wehrmacht officer to the SA in January, 1934, to assist in the SA Training Program (2823-PS). A memorandum from SA Headquarters dated 20 January, 1934 designates an officer of the Wehrmacht to assist in the military training of SA members and goes on to provide:

“For the purpose of disguise, Lt. Col. Auleb will wear SA uniform with insignia of rank according to more detailed regulations of the Supreme SA leaders”. (2823-PS)

The military training program of the SA was for many years conducted under the guise of a sports program. This plan was created by Hitler as early as 1920 in founding what he called the National Socialist Sport Troop (SA). Hitler’s declaration at the time of the creation of this sports organization was as follows:

“The Sport Troop * * * is but the bearer of the military thought of a free people.” (3215-PS)

The fact that the so-called Sports Program was in reality closely associated with and in fact a means of providing military training for German youth, is shown by the following characterization of the program by Lutze, the Chief of Staff of the SA, in an article written in 1939 (3215-PS):

“* * * This goal setting also served for the decrees of the Fuehrer to the SA of 1935 regarding the renewing of, in 1936 regarding the evaluation of, in 1937 regarding the yearly repetitive exercises of the SA sport badge. Parallel to this decree of the Fuehrer for the physical betterment and military training the organizational and development missions within the SA were met. Out of the conception that the preservation and intensification of the military power of our people must especially be requested by military and physical exercises, the training was especially carried out systematically in these fields. In 25 schools of the troop and in 3 Reichsfuehrer schools of the SA yearly 22,000 to 25,000 officers and non-coms were trained since 1934 in special educational courses until they possessed the education and examination certificates. In clearly outlined training directives the training goals which had to be achieved yearly were given and at the same time the yearly Reich competitive contests were established. Hand in hand the training of the Fuehrer Corps and corresponding organizational measures and the training at the front proceeded on the broadest basis.” (3215-PS)

The military nature of the Sports Program is likewise demonstrated by the tests and standards required to obtain the sports award. The Organization Book of the Party lists these tests as follows (2354-PS):

“The performance test includes three groups of exercises:

Body exercises,

Military sports,

Topographical (naval) services.

“Group I: Body exercises;

100-meter race,

Broad jump,


Throwing of hand grenades,

3000-meter race.

“Group II: Military sports;

25-Kilometer march with pack,

Firing of small-caliber arms,

Aimed throwing of hand grenades,

200-meter cross-country race with gas masks over 4 obstacles,

Swimming or bicycle riding,

Basic knowledge of first aid in case of accidents.

“Group III: Terrain service;


Terrain observation,

Estimate of terrain,

Estimate of distance,


Observing and reporting,

Utilization of terrain and general behavior in terrain

service.” (2354-PS)

In 1939, the SA Sports Program was formally recognized, in a decree issued by Hitler, as a military training program. At the same time the SA was openly declared to be an agency for pre- and post-military training, that is, military training prior to and following military service in the Wehrmacht (2383-PS).

The decree provided in part as follows:

“Der Fuehrer. In amplification of my decree of the 15th February, 1935, and 18th March, 1937, regarding the acquisition of the SA sport insignia and the yearly repetitive exercises, I lift the SA sport insignia to the SA military insignia and make it as a basis for pre-imposed military training.

“I designate the SA as standard bearer of this training.

“These soldiers who honourably were discharged out of the active military service and who were serviceable soldiers are to be placed into the Army ranks for the retaining of their spiritual and physical energy and to be attached to the SA insofar as no other organization of the Party (the SS, NSKK, and SFK) have received them for special training.” (2383-PS)

The SA military training program was not confined to its members, but extended to the entire youth of Germany. Thus the Chief of Staff of the SA, in re-establishing the sports program in 1935, declared (2354-PS):

“In order to give conscious expression to the fostering of a valiant spirit in all parts of the German people, I further decide that this SA Sport Insignia can also be earned and worn by persons who are not members of the movement, inasfar as they comply racially and ideologically with the National Socialist requirements”. (2354-PS)

The pamphlet entitled “The SA”, shows that responsibility for conducting this nation-wide program was lodged in the operational main office of the SA (2168-PS). According to the pamphlet it was the duty of this office to—

“Prepare the fighting training of the bodies of all Germans capable of bearing arms (Wehrfahig) and as preparation therefore must organize the execution of corporal exercises (basic physical training) and sports achievements, so that the widest stratum of the population is laid hold upon and will be kept in condition to bear arms (Wehrtuchtig) both physically and spiritually, as well as ideologically in character up to greatest old age.” (2168-PS)

The extent to which the SA carried the military training program into the lives of the German people may be seen from the following excerpt from “Das Archiv” (3215-PS):

“Next to the companies of the SA were the sport badge associations (SAG) in which all the militaristic nationals entered who were prepared to voluntarily answer the call of the SA for the preservation of military proficiency. Up until now around 800,000 nationals outside of the SA could successfully undergo the physical betterment as well as the political military training of the SA on the basis of the SA sport badge.

“As pronounced proof heretofore it may be shown that alone 13,400 officers and around 30,000 non-coms in the Reserve Corps of the Wehrmacht from its (SA) own ranks stand at the disposal of the SA and can be employed at any time for the direction of SA military forces * * *”. (3215-PS)

In 1939, the extension of the SA military program to non-SA members was officially recognized by Hitler. This occurred in the ordinance for the execution of the Hitler decree of 16 January, 1942:

“Every German man who has completed his seventeenth year and who shows preliminary requirements for honorary service with the weapon, has the customary duty to win the SA military insignia in preparation for military service.

“During the years in the Hitler Youth following his sixteenth year, he is to prepare himself for the winning of the SA military insignia.” (2383-PS)

The SA, in its military training program, was no mere marching and drilling society. It embraced every phase of the technique of modern warfare. This appears clearly from the articles on military training which appear throughout the issues of “Der SA-Mann”. The titles of these articles indicate their substance. The following are a few examples:

Article entitled: “Defense Platoon and the Company in Battle” (with diagrams), 27 January, 1934, p. 10.

Article entitled: “Die Luftwaffe” (with diagrams on Aircraft Gunnery), 3 February 1934, p. 7.

Article entitled: “Pistol Shooting,” 17 February, 1934, p. 7.

Article entitled: “Orientation in Terrain,” 10 March, 1934, p. 7.

Article entitled: “First Aid—ABC,” 17 March, 1934, p. 7.

Article entitled: “We go into the Terrain” (relating to map study and map symbols), 24 March, 1934, p. 7.

Article entitled: “What every SA Man must know about Aviation,” 21 April, 1934, p. 13.

Article entitled: “Expert firing in German National Sport” (relating to small caliber firing), 12 May, 1934, p. 7.

Article entitled: “Chemical Warfare,” 19 May, 1934, p. 13.

Article entitled: “What every SA Man should know about Aviation,” 19 May, 1934, p. 12.

Article entitled: “Flame Throwers on the Front,” 26 May, 1934, p. 14.

Article entitled: “Modern Battle Methods in the View of the SA Man,” 2 June, 1934, p. 14.

Article entitled: “The Significance of Tanks and Motors in Modern War,” 4 August, 1934, p. 13.

Article entitled: “The Rifle 98,” 8 September, 1934, p. 7.

Article entitled: “The Combat Battalion” (with description of tactical missions and maneuvers of the battalion), 15 September, 1934, p. 7.

Article entitled: “Air Strategy and Air Tactics,” 29 September, 1934, p. 7.

Article entitled: “Gas Protection and the Gas Mask,” 6 October, 1934, p. 7.

Article entitled: “The Pistol 08” (with diagram of the pistol, its nomenclature and field stripping), 6 October, 1934, p. 7.

Article entitled: “Training the SA in Map and Terrain Study,” 24 November, 1934, p. 4.

Article entitled: “The Defense,” with subheading “What does the War of Tomorrow look like?” 1 December, 1934, p. 13.

Series of articles by a Wehrmacht officer entitled: “Training in the Army of the Third Reich,” beginning on 12 January, 1935, p. 13.

Series of articles entitled: “Construction and Composition of various units of the Modern Army,” written by a Brigadier General in the Wehrmacht—beginning 26 January, 1935, p. 15, and ending 20 April, 1935, p. 16.

Article entitled: “Small caliber firing” (with sketches of ammunition, rifles, targets, and aiming technique), 26 January, 1935, p. 19.

Article entitled: “Armies of Tomorrow” (discussion of anticipated developments in motorized and mechanized warfare. One section of the article is devoted to “Plans of foreign countries with respect to motorized armies”), 30 March, 1935, p. 14.

The issues of “Der SA-Mann” also contain many photographs and articles demonstrating SA participation in military exercise, including forced marching, battle maneuvers, obstacle runs, small calibre firing, and the like. Among these photographs and articles are the following:

Each issue of “Der SA-Mann” contains advertisements for the sale of various items of military equipment, including uniforms, steel helmets, rifles, boots, grenades, field glasses, ammunition, etc. (See, for example, 20 January, 1934, p. 16; and 9 March, 1935, p. 16.)

Picture of SA men marching in military formation executing “goose step,” 14 April, 1934, p. 8.

Group of pictures showing SA Troops marching in military formations and in full pack and bearing flags being reviewed by Hitler. Title of page is “SA Marches into the New Year,” 12 January, 1935, p. 3.

Photographs of uniformed SA Troops marching in streets of Saarbrucken with caption: “In the streets of free Saarbrucken thuds the marching steps of the SA,” 9 March, 1935, p. 3.

Group of photographs entitled: “SA Brigade 6 marches for the German Danzig,” 4 May, 1935, p. 3.

Article entitled: “Who fights against us we will defeat, who provokes us we shall attack” (with picture of SA men in military formation bearing caption: “We are a political ideological troop”), 13 July, 1935, p. 1.

Article entitled: “The SA is and remains the Shock Troop of the Third Reich” (with picture of Gruppenfuehrer reviewing SA men marching in uniform and in full pack, in military formation), 24 August, 1935, p. 2.

Article entitled: “SA Men at the heavy machine gun,” 3 July, 1936, p. 14.

Photograph of SA men in uniform and full pack on obstacle run, 29 August, 1936, p. 7.

Article entitled: “Fight, Fight, Fight” with subtitles:

“Preparation of Francken Division for the NS War Games” (with picture of SA men bearing arms), 26 June, 1937, p. 4.

Photograph of SA men bearing weapons, bearing caption:

“Austria’s SA: through battle, distress and persecution, to victory.”

Photograph bearing caption: “German-Austrian SA was armed in the hour of decision,” 2 April, 1938, p. 1.

Photograph of SA men bearing arms on battle maneuvers, 19 August, 1938, p. 8., bearing the caption: “The way to victory.”

Article entitled: “SA and the Wehrmacht” (with pictures of SA men on field maneuvers throwing hand grenades), 2 September, 1938, p. 1.

Photograph of SA men on field maneuvers, 9 September, 1938, p. 18.

Photograph of SA men bearing arms in trenches, apparently on field maneuvers, 16 September, 1938, p. 1. (Frankens-SA).

Photographs of SA men marching under arms, and on the rifle range, 30 September, 1938, p. 4. (Frankens-SA).

Photograph of SA Regiment Feldherrnhalle marching in goose-step with rifles and steel helmets and with the Luftwaffe insignia of sovereignty on their uniform and helmets, 11 November, 1938, p. 4.

Photograph entitled “Regiment Feldherrnhalle was there”, (referring to the incorporation of the Sudetenland), 14 October, 1938, p. 6.

Photograph bearing the caption: “Training with the KK Rifle. Something entirely new for the Sudeten German. Every SA man must be outstanding in marksmanship,” 6 January, 1939, p. 3.

Article entitled: “The SA—the forger of military power,” with the subheading: “The SA as Bearer of the Pre-military Training,” 27 January, 1939, p. 1.

Photograph of Von Brauchitsch (Wehrmacht) and Lutze reviewing the SA, 3 February, 1939, p. 3.

Photograph of SA on march with full pack and rifles. (Frankens-SA), 3 February, 1939, p. 1.

C. Cooperation with the Wehrmacht in Preparation for Aggression.

Evidence of the SA’s participation in the conspiracy is found in the care which was taken at all times to coordinate the military training program of the SA with the requirements of the Wehrmacht. As early as 1934, an SA memorandum provided that the SA chief of training and his subordinates should remain—

“* * * in direct touch with the respective offices and sections of the Reich Defense Ministry.” (2823-PS)

The same memorandum recites that a Lieutenant-Colonel of the Wehrmacht was assigned to the SA with the duty of participating—

“* * * in all questions regarding training and organization * * *.” (2823-PS)

Another SA memorandum declared that:

“* * * permanent liaison between the Reich Defense Ministry and the Supreme Commander of the SA * * * has been assured.” (2821-PS)

Hitler’s words regarding cooperation between Wehrmacht and SA were as follows:

“The requirements of the Wehrmacht are to be taken into consideration in organization and training.

“The Chief of Staff of the SA releases the required executionary directives in agreement with the Commander in Chief of the Wehrmacht units. He alone is responsible for the fulfillment.” (2383-PS)

A speech by the Chief of Staff of the SA relating to the technical and specialized branches of the SA revealed that this opportunity for collaboration with the Wehrmacht in specialized military training was utilized to the utmost:

“In the course of this development also special missions for military betterment (program) were placed on the SA. The Fuehrer gave the SA the cavalry and motor training and called SA Obergruppenfuehrer Littmann as Reich Inspector with the mission to secure the * * * recruits and requirements for the German Wehrmacht through the SA. In close cooperation with parts of the Wehrmacht special certificates were created for the communication, engineer and medical units which, like the cavalry certificate of the SA, are valued as statement of preference for employment in said units.” (3215-PS)

The specialized training given SA members, in accordance with the requirements of technical branches of the Wehrmacht, is described by SA Sturmfuehrer Bayer as follows (2168-PS):

“* * * On one side the young SA man who enters the armed forces (Wehrmacht) from his branch, comes prepared with a multitude of prerequisites which facilitate and speed up training in technical respects; while on the other side those very soldiers, having served, who return out of the armed forces into the SA keep themselves, by constant practice, in a trained condition physically and mentally and impart their knowledge to their fellows.

“Thus they contribute a considerable portion to the enhancement of armed strength (Wehrkraft) and armed spirit (Wehrgeist) of the German people.” (2168-PS)

And, with respect to the mounted or cavalry SA—

“* * * the SA each year is able to furnish many thousands of young trained cavalrymen to our Wehrmacht. * * * At present the SA cavalry has at its disposal 101 cavalry units in whose schools, year in and year out, young Germans who are obligated for military service receive the training which fits him for entrance into a section of troops which is of their own choosing.” (2168-PS)

The close relationship between the SA and the Wehrmacht is shown throughout the issues of “Der SA-Mann”, which contain a number of articles on military training written by Wehrmacht officers. The same relationship is shown in many photographs. For example, in the issue of 1 May, 1937, at page 4, there is a picture of a Wehrmacht formation drawn up in front of an SA building with SA officers and men in the background. The picture is entitled—

“Day after day the closed formations of the Wehrmacht march in Wurzburg to the subscription places of the SA for thanksgiving to the nation in order to announce its close relation with the SA, and to express thanks to the Fuehrer for making the Reich capable of defense.”

Page 2 of the issue of 27 January, 1939, contains a photograph of the SA Chief of Staff, Lutze, addressing a group of SA men. The photograph bears the caption, “We will be the bridge between the Party and the Wehrmacht.” Page 3 of the issue of 3 February, 1939, reproduces a photograph of General von Brauchitsch and Chief of Staff Lutze reviewing an SA unit.

The close cooperation between the Wehrmacht and the SA, and the significance of the SA military training program is shown by the fact that service in the SA was considered as military service under the Conscription Law of 1935. The Organization Book of the Party declared that—

“Equally significant is a suitable education and training which the SA has accomplished within the yearly classes, and which have satisfied their arms obligation.” (3220-PS)

And an article in “Das Archiv” declared—

“It was announced that conscripted SA men and Hitler Youths can fulfill their military conscription in the SA Regiment Feldherrnhalle whose Commander is General Field Marshall SA Obergruppenfuehrer Goering. The Regiment for the first time was employed as Regiment of the Luftwaffe in the occupation of the Sudetenland under its Fuehrer and Regimental Commander SA Gruppenfuehrer Reimann.” (3214-PS)

There was never any misunderstanding among SA men as to the reasons which lay behind their military training program. They were preparing for war and knew it. The purpose of the so-called “Sports Program” was announced time after time in articles in “Der SA-Mann.” For example, the introduction to an article entitled, “The War of Tomorrow,” which appeared in the issue of 6 July, 1937, at page 12, declared:

“By decree of the Fuehrer of 18th March, 1937, the SA Sport Badge was declared as a means for the aggressive training of the body, for the fostering of a military spirit, for the retaining of military efficiency and thereby as a basis for German military power. * * *

“* * * In the following article an attempt is made to occupy every SA Fuehrer, who does not have the opportunity due to their profession or many-sided SA services, with questions concerning military policy and modern war direction, to give him an overall view of facts, teachings, opinions and beliefs which today are not without decisive influence upon the military policy, upon the character of the coming war and upon the modern national defense.”

D. Participation of the SA in Warfare.

It would be natural in view of the above quotation, to expect the SA to have been used as a striking force in the first steps of the aggressive warfare launched by Germany, and as a basis for so-called Commando Groups. Such was the case. SA units were among the first of the Nazi military machine to invade Austria in the spring of 1938. This fact was proudly announced in an article appearing in “Der SA-Mann” for 19 March, 1938, at p. 10, entitled, “We were the First!” Similarly, the SA participated in the occupation of the Sudetenland (3214-PS). It was announced that conscripted SA men and Hitler Youths could fulfill their military conscription duty in the SA Regiment Feldherrnhalle, commanded by General Field Marshall SA Obergruppenfuehrer Goering. The regiment was employed for the first time as Regiment of the Luftwaffe in the occupation of the Sudetenland, under its Fuehrer and Regimental commander SA Gruppenfuehrer Reimann.

SA participation in the occupation of the Sudetenland is also shown by an affidavit of Gottlob Berger, a former officer in the SS who was assigned to the Sudeten-German Free Corps (3036-PS). Berger declares—

“* * * 1. In the fall of 1938 I held the rank and title of Oberfuehrer in the SS. In mid-September I was assigned as SS Liaison Officer with Konrad Henlein’s Sudeten German Free Corps at their headquarters in the castle at Dondorf outside Bayreuth. In this position I was responsible for all liaison between the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler and Henlein and, in particular, I was delegated to select from the Sudeten Germans those who appeared to be eligible for membership in the SS or VT (Verfuegungs Truppe). In addition to myself, Liaison Officers stationed with Henlein included an Obergruppenfuehrer from the NSKK, whose name I have forgotten, and Obergruppenfuehrer Max Juettner, from the SA. In addition, Admiral Canaris, who was head of the OKW Abwehr, appeared at Dondorf nearly every two days and conferred with Henlein.

“2. In the course of my official duties at Henlein’s Headquarters I became familiar with the composition and activities of the Free Corps. Three groups were being formed under Henlein’s direction: One in the Eisenstein area, Bavaria, one in the Bayreuth area; one in the Dresden area, and possibly a fourth group in Silesia. These groups were supposedly composed of refugees from the Sudetenland who had crossed the border into Germany, but they actually contained Germans with previous service in the SA and NSKK [Nazi Motor Corps] as well. These Germans formed the skeleton of the Free Corps. On paper the Free Corps had a strength of 40,000 men. Part of the equipment furnished to Henlein, mostly haversacks, cooking utensils and blankets, were supplied by the SA.” (3036-PS)

The adaptability of the SA to whatever purpose was required of it is demonstrated by its activities subsequent to the outbreak of the war. During the war the SA continued to carry out its military training program, but it also engaged in various other functions:

“The General of the SA, Wilhelm Schepmann, gave further orders to increase the employment of the SA in the homeland war territories because of the requirements of total war employment. This was done in numerous business conferences with Fuehrers of the SA-Divisions.

“As a result of these conferences, as well as of measures already carried out earlier for the totalization of the war employment, the SA now has placed 86 per cent of its main professional Fuehrer Corps at disposal at the Front even though the war missions of the SA have increased in the fields of pre-military training, the SA penetration into new territorial parts of the Reich, the air war employment, the State and national guard etc., during war time.

“The SA as a whole has given at present an even 70% of its nearly million members to the Wehrmacht.” (3219-PS)

The SA even extended its activities into Poland:

“By command of the General of the SA, the ‘SA-Unit General Government’ was established, the command of which was taken over by Governor-General SA Obergruppenfuehrer Dr. Frank.” (3216-PS)

An affidavit of Walter Schellenberg, bureau chief in the RSHA, reads as follows:

“* * * From the beginning of 1944 on the SA also participated in many of the functions which had previously been entrusted only to the SS, SIPO and Army, for instance the guarding of concentration camps, the guarding of prisoner of war camps, the supervision over forced laborers in Germany and occupied areas. This cooperation of the SA was planned and arranged for by high officials in Berlin as early as the middle of 1943 * * *.” (3232-PS)

E. Special Responsibility of Goering for the SA Program.

Hermann Goering participated in the conspiracy in his capacity as an SA member and leader. In 1923, Goering became Commander of the entire SA. A few months later Goering participated in the so-called Munich Putsch. SA troops participated with him in this action.

Goering’s intention to employ the SA as a terroristic force to destroy political opponents is shown by a speech made by him on 3 March, 1933, at a Nazi demonstration in Frankfurt Am Main (1856-PS). Goering spoke as follows:

“Certainly, I shall use the power of the State and the police to the utmost, my dear Communists! So you won’t draw any false conclusions by the struggle to the death in which my fist will grasp your necks, I shall lead with those down there. Those are the Brown Shirts.” (1856-PS)

The importance of the SA under Goering in the early stages of the Nazi movement is shown by a letter written to Goering by Hitler (3259-PS):

“My dear Goering:

    “When in November 1923 the Party tried for the first time to conquer the power of the State, you as Commander of the SA created within an extraordinarily short time that instrument with which I could bear that struggle. Highest necessity had forced us to act, but a wise providence at that time denied the success. After receiving a grave wound you again entered the ranks as soon as circumstances permitted as my most loyal comrade in the battle for power. You contributed essentially to creating the basis for the 30th of January. Therefore, at the end of a year of the National Socialist Revolution, I desire to thank you wholeheartedly, my dear Party Comrade Goering, for the great values which you have for the National Socialist Revolution and consequently for the German people.

    “In cordial friendship and grateful appreciation.


“(s)  Adolf Hitler!” (3259-PS)

Although Goering did not retain command of the SA, he at all times maintained a close affiliation with the organization. This is shown by the photographs of Goering participating in SA activities which have been mentioned previously. In 1937, Goering became Commander of the Feldherrnhalle Regiment of the SA. This was the Regiment which was employed in the occupation of the Sudetenland. (3214-PS)


Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Article 9.I6
International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Section IV (H); Appendix B.I29, 72
Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.
   392-PSOfficial NSDAP circular entitled “The Social Life of New Germany with Special Consideration of the German Labor Front”, by Prof. Willy Mueller (Berlin, 1938). (USA 326)III380
  *787-PSMemorandum to Hitler from Public Prosecutor of Dresden, 18 June 1935, concerning criminal procedure against Vogel on account of bodily injury while in office. (USA 421)III568
 *1395-PSLaw to insure the unity of Party and State, 1 December 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1016. (GB 252)III978
 *1721-PSConfidential report of SA Brigadefuehrer, November 1938, concerning destruction of Jewish property. (USA 425)IV214
  1725-PSDecree enforcing law for securing the unity of Party and State, 29 March 1935. 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 502.IV224
 *1759-PSAffidavit of Raymond H. Geist. (USA 420)IV288
 *1856-PSExtract from book entitled “Hermann Goering—Speeches and Essays”, 3rd edition 1939, p. 27. (USA 437)IV496
 *1893-PSExtracts from Organization Book of the NSDAP, 1943 edition. (USA 323)IV529
 *2168-PSBook by SA Sturmfuehrer Dr. Ernst Bayer, entitled “The SA”, depicting the history, work, aim and organization of the SA. (USA 411)IV772
  2260-PSSettlement of Relationship between NSDAP and Stahlhelm (Steel Helmets) published in National Socialist Party Press Service release, 21 June 1933.IV933
 *2354-PSExtracts from Organization Book of NSDAP, 5th, 6th and 7th editions, concerning SA. (USA 430) (See Chart No. 17.)IV1091
 *2383-PSOrdinance for execution of decree of Fuehrer concerning position of the Head of Party Chancellery of 16 January 1942, published in Decrees, Regulations, Announcements. (USA 410)V9
 *2407-PSOrder concerning the Roehm purge and appointment of Lutze as Chief of Staff, published in Voelkischer Beobachter, 1934. (USA 412)V82
 *2471-PSPamphlet No. 12 in a series entitled “Here Speaks the New German”. Speech made in January 1936 by Victor Lutze, Chief of Staff of SA, subject: “The Affairs and Tasks of SA”. (USA 413)V211
  2532-PSExtract from The Third Reich, by Gerd Ruehle.V268
 *2660-PSDistribution Plan for Gaue, Kreise, and Ortsgruppen, from The Bearers of Sovereignty, 2nd Issue, 3rd Year, February 1939. (USA 325)V365
 *2760-PSExtract from Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler, 1933 edition. (USA 256)V396
 *2820-PSGeneral Service Regulations for the SA of the NSDAP, published in Munich, 12 December 1933. (USA 427)V456
  2821-PSMemorandum from Supreme SA Headquarters, 19 March 1934, concerning organization of the SA and collaboration between Wehrmacht and SA. (USA 431)V458
  2822-PSLetter from the Reich Military Ministry, 26 May 1933, suggesting that an SA branch and Reich Defense Council be united.V459
 *2823-PSMemorandum of SA Headquarters, January 1934, concerning assignment of Wehrmacht officer to Training Division of SA. (USA 429)V459
 *2824-PSExtract from book entitled “Concentration Camp Oranienburg”. (USA 423)V461
**3036-PSAffidavit of Gottlob Berger on the composition and activity of the Henlein Free Corps in September 1938. (Objection to admission in evidence upheld.) (USA 102)V742
**3050-A-E-PSExcerpts from The SA Man. (USA 414; USA 415; USA 416; USA 417; USA 418) (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)V777
 *3054-PS“The Nazi Plan”, script of a motion picture composed of captured German film. (USA 167)V801
 *3211-PSGoebbels to the SA, 17 October 1935, from The Archive, Vol. 19, October 1935, p. 939. (USA 419)V928
  3212-PSExcerpt from The Archive, Vol. 34, January 1937, p. 1452.V929
  3213-PSExcerpt from The Archive, Vol. 50, May 1938, pp. 156-157.V929
  3214-PSExcerpt from The Archive, Vol. 55, October 1938, p. 1069. (USA 432)V930
 *3215-PSExcerpt from The Archive, Vol. 60, March 1939, p. 1834. (USA 426)V930
 *3216-PSExcerpt from The Archive, Vol. 97, April 1942, p. 54. (USA 434)V933
  3217-PSExcerpt from The Archive, Vol. 97, April 1942, p. 54.V933
  3218-PSExcerpt from The Archive, October 1933, pp. 482-485.V934
 *3219-PSExcerpt from The Archive, Vol. 125, August 1944, p. 367. (USA 433)V934
 *3220-PSExcerpt from Organization Book of NSDAP, 1943 edition, p. 358. (USA 323)V935
 *3221-PSAffidavit of William F. Sollman, 26 October 1945. (USA 422)V936
 *3232-PSAffidavit of Walter Schellenberg, 26 November 1945. (USA 435)V937
 *3252-PSExtract from book Hermann Goering, The Man and His Work, by Eric Gritzbach, 1937. (USA 424)V957
 *3259-PSExtract from book Hermann Goering, The Man and His Work, by Eric Gritzbach, p. 69. (USA 424)V1007
 *D-44Circular, 25 July 1933, referring to publications of SA activities. (USA 428)VI1024
Affidavit FAffidavit of Josef Dietrich, 20-21 November 1945.VIII631
  L-198State Department Dispatch by Consul General Messersmith, 14 March 1933, concerning molesting of American citizens in Berlin.VII1026
  L-199Newspaper clippings from Berliner Tageblatt, 29 March 1933, regarding boycott action.VII1034
Statement IXMy Relationship to Adolf Hitler and to the Party, by Erich Raeder, Moscow, fall 1945.VIII707
Statement XIIIOutline of Defense of Dr. Robert Ley, written in Nurnberg prison, 24 October 1945.VIII749
**Chart No. 8Organization of the SA. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)End of VIII
 *Chart No. 17Foreign Organization of the NSDAP. (2354-PS; USA 430)End of VIII


In the early weeks of the trial, there appeared in a newspaper circulated in Nurnberg an account of a correspondent’s visit to a camp in which SS prisoners of war were confined. The thing which particularly struck the correspondent was the one question asked by the SS prisoners: Why are we charged as war criminals? What have we done except our normal duty?

The evidence which follows will answer that question. It will show that just as the Nazi Party was the core of the conspiracy, so the SS was the very essence of Nazism. For the SS was the elite group of the Party, composed of the most thorough-going adherents of the Nazi cause, pledged to blind devotion to Nazi principles, and prepared to carry them out without any question and at any cost. It was a group in which every ordinary value was so subverted that today its members can ask, what is there unlawful about the things we have done?

In the evidence of the conspirators’ program for aggressive war, for concentration camps, for the extermination of the Jews, for enslavement of foreign labor and illegal use of prisoners of war and for the deportation and Germanization of inhabitants of conquered territories, in all this evidence the name of the SS runs like a thread. Again and again that organization and its components are referred to. It performed a responsible role in each of these criminal activities, because it was and indeed had to be a criminal organization.

The creation and development of such an organization was essential for the execution of the conspirators’ plans. Their sweeping program and the measures they were prepared to use and did use, could be fully accomplished neither through the machinery of the government nor of the Party. Things had to be done for which no agency of government and no political party even the Nazi Party, would openly take full responsibility. A specialized type of apparatus was needed—an apparatus which was to some extent connected with the government and given official support, but which, at the same time, could maintain a quasi-independent status so that all its acts could be attributed neither to the government nor to the Party as a whole. The SS was that apparatus.

Like the SA, it was one of the seven components or formations of the Nazi Party referred to in the Decree on Enforcement of the Law for Securing the Unity of Party and State of 29 March 1935 (1725-PS). But its status was above that of the other formations. As the plans of the conspirators progressed, it acquired new functions, new responsibilities, and an increasingly more important place in the regime. It developed during the course of the conspiracy into a highly complex machine, the most powerful in the Nazi State, spreading its tentacles into every field of Nazi activity.

The evidence which follows will be directed toward showing first, the origin and early development of the SS; second, how it was organized—that is, its structure and its component parts; third, the basic principles governing the selection of its members and the obligations they undertook; and finally, its aims and the means used to accomplish them.

The history, organization, and publicly announced functions of the SS are not controversial matters. They are not matters to be learned only from secret files and captured documents. They were recounted in many publications, circulated widely throughout Germany and the world—in official books of the Nazi Party itself, and in books, pamphlets, and speeches by SS and State officials published with SS and Party approval. Throughout this section there will be frequent reference to and quotation from a few such publications.

A. Origin and General Functions of the SS.

(1) Origin. The first aim of the conspirators was to gain a foothold in politically hostile territory, to acquire mastery of the street, and to combat any and all opponents with force. For that purpose they needed their own private, personal police organization. The SA was created to fill such a role. But the SA was outlawed in 1923. When Nazi Party activity was again resumed in 1925, the SA remained outlawed. To fill its place and to play the part of Hitler’s own personal police, small mobile groups known as protective squadrons—Schutzstaffel—were created. This was the origin of the SS in 1925. With the reinstatement of the SA in 1926, the SS for the next few years ceased to play a major role. But it continued to exist as an organization within the SA—under its own leader, however—the Reichsfuehrer SS.

This early history of the SS is related in two authoritative publications. The first is a book by SS Standartenfuehrer Gunter d’Alquen entitled “The SS” (2284-PS). This pamphlet of some 30 pages, published in 1939, is an authoritative account of the history, mission, and organization of the SS. As indicated on its fly leaf, it was written at the direction of the Reichsfuehrer SS, Heinrich Himmler. Its author was the editor of the official SS publication “Das Schwarze Korps”. The second publication is an article by Himmler, entitled “Organization and Obligations of the SS and the Police.” It was published in 1937 in a booklet containing a series of speeches or essays by important officials of the Party and the State, and known as “National Political Course for the Armed Forces from 15 to 23 January 1937”. (1992-A-PS)

As early as 1929, the conspirators recognized that their plans required an organization in which the main principles of the Nazi system, specifically the racial principles, would not only be jealously guarded but would be carried to such extremes as to inspire or intimidate the rest of the population. Such an organization would also have to be assured complete freedom on the part of the leaders and blind obedience on the part of the members. The SS was built up to meet this need. The following statement appears on page 7 of d’Alquen’s book, “Die SS” (2284-PS):

“On the 16th of January, 1929, Adolf Hitler appointed his tested comrade of long standing, Heinrich Himmler, as Reichsfuehrer SS. Heinrich Himmler assumed charge therewith of the entire Schutzstaffel totaling at the time 280 men, with the express and particular commission of the Fuehrer to form of this organization an elite troop of the Party, a troop dependable in every circumstance. With this day the real history of the SS begins as it stands before us today in all its deeper essential features, firmly anchored into the national Socialist movement. For the SS and its Reichsfuehrer, Heinrich Himmler, its first SS man, have become inseparable in the course of these battle-filled years.” (2284-PS)

Carrying out Hitler’s directive, Himmler proceeded to build up out of this small force of men an elite organization which, to use d’Alquen’s words, was “composed of the best physically, the most dependable, and the most faithful men in the Nazi movement.” As d’Alquen further states, at page 12 of his book:

“When the day of seizure of power had finally come, there were 52,000 SS men, who in this spirit bore the revolution in the van, marched into the new State which they began to help form everywhere, in their stations and positions, in profession and in science, and in all their essential tasks.” (2284-PS)

(2) General Functions. The conspirators now had the machinery of government in their hands. The initial function of the SS—that of acting as their private army and personal police force—was thus completed. But its mission had in fact really just begun. That mission is described in the Organizations book of the NSDAP for 1943 as follows:


“The most original and most eminent duty of the SS is to serve as the protector of the Fuehrer.

“By order of the Fuehrer its sphere of duties has been amplified to include the internal security of the Reich.” (2640-PS)

This new mission—protecting the internal security of the regime—was somewhat more colorfully described by Himmler in his pamphlet, “The SS as an Anti-bolshevist Fighting Organization,” published in 1936 (1851-PS):

“We shall unremittingly fulfill our task, the guaranty of the security of Germany from the interior, just as the Wehrmacht guarantees the safety, the honor, the greatness, and the peace of the Reich from the exterior. We shall take care that never again in Germany, the heart of Europe, will the Jewish-Bolshevistic revolution of subhumans be able to be kindled either from within or through emissaries from without. Without pity we shall be a merciless sword of justice for all those forces whose existence and activity we know, on the day of the slightest attempt, may it be today, may it be in decades or may it be in centuries.” (1851-PS)

This conception necessarily required an extension of the duties of the SS into many fields. It involved, of course, the performance of police functions. But it involved more. It required participation in the suppression and extermination of all internal opponents of the regime. It meant participation in extending the regime beyond the borders of Germany, and eventually, participation in every type of activity designed to secure a hold over those territories and populations which, through military conquest, had come under German domination.

B. Organization and Branches of the SS.

The expansion of SS duties and activities resulted in the creation of several branches and numerous departments and the development of a highly complex machinery. Although those various branches and departments cannot be adequately described out of the context of their history, a few words about the structure of the SS may be useful.

For this purpose reference is made to the chart depicting the organization of the SS as it appeared in 1945. This chart was examined by Gottlob Berger, formerly Chief of the SS Main Office, who stated in an attached affidavit that it correctly represents the organization of the SS (Chart Number 3).

(1) Supreme Command of the SS. At the very top of the chart is Himmler, the Reichsfuehrer SS, who commanded the entire organization. Immediately below, running across the chart and down the right hand side, embraced within the heavy line, are the twelve main departments constituting the Supreme Command of the SS. Some of these departments have been broken down into the several offices of which they were composed, as indicated by the boxes beneath them. Other departments have not been so broken down. It is not intended to indicate that there were not subdivisions of these latter departments as well. The breakdown is shown only in those cases where the constituent offices of some department may have a particular significance in this case.

These departments and their functions are described in two official Nazi publications: The first is the Organizations Book of the NSDAP for 1943, at pages 419-422 (2640-PS). The second is an SS manual, which bears the title: “The Soldier Friend—Pocket Diary for the German Armed Forces—Edition D: Waffen SS” (2825-PS). It was prepared at the direction of the Reichsfuehrer SS and issued by the SS Main Office for the year ending 1942. In addition, the departments are listed in a directory of the SS published by one of the Main Departments of the SS (2769-PS). This document was found in the files of the Personal Staff of the Reichsfuehrer SS. It is entitled “Directory for the Schutzstaffel of the NSDAP, 1 November 1944”, marked “Restricted”, and bears the notation “Published by SS Fuerhungshauptamt, Kommandant of the General SS. Berlin—Wilmersdorf.”

Returning to the chart, following down the central spine from the Reichsfuehrer SS to the regional level, the Higher SS and Police Leaders, the supreme SS commanders in each region are reached. Immediately below these officials is the breakdown of the organization of the Allgemeine or General SS. To the left are indicated two other branches of the SS—the Death Head Units (Totenkopf Verbaende) and the Waffen SS. To the right under the HSS Pf is the SD. All of which, together with the SS Police Regiments, are specifically named in the Indictment (Appendix B) as being included in the SS.

(2) Principal Branches of the SS. Up to 1933 there were no such specially designated branches. The SS was a single group, made up of “volunteer political soldiers.” It was out of this original nucleus that new units developed.

(a) The Allgemeine SS. The Allgemeine (General) SS was the main stem from which the various branches grew. It was composed of all members of the SS who did not belong to any of the special branches. It was the backbone of the entire organization. The personnel and officers of the Main Departments of the SS Supreme Command were members of this branch. Except for high ranking officers and those remaining in staff capacities, as in the Main Offices of the SS Supreme Command, its members were part-time volunteers. Its members were utilized in about every phase of SS activity. They were called upon in anti-Jewish pogroms of 1938; they took over the task of guarding concentration camps during the war; they participated in the colonization and resettlement program. In short, the term “SS” normally meant the General SS.

It was organized on military lines as will be seen from the chart (Chart Number 3), ranging from district and subdistrict down through the regiment, battalion, and company, to the platoon. Until after the beginning of the war it constituted numerically the largest branch of the SS. In 1939 d’Alquen, the official SS spokesmen, said, in his book, “The SS” (2284-PS):

“The strength of the General SS, 240,000 men, is subdivided today into 14 corps, 38 divisions, 140 infantry regiments, 19 mounted regiments, 14 communication battalions and 19 engineer battalions as well as motorized and medical units. This General SS stands fully and wholly on call as in the fighting years, except for one small part of the chief leaders and men. The corps, which are presently led by a Lt. General or Major General, are subdivided into divisions, regiments, battalions and companies.” (2284-PS)

Similar reference to the military organization of the General SS will be found in Himmler’s speech, “Organization and Obligations of the SS and the Police” (1992-A-PS), and in the Organizations Book of the NSDAP for 1943 (2640-PS). Members of this branch, however,—with the exception of certain staff personnel—were subject to compulsory military service. As a result of the draft of members of the General SS of military age into the Army, the numerical strength of presently active members considerably declined during the war. Older SS men and those working in or holding high positions in the Main Departments of the Supreme Command of the SS remained. Its entire strength during the war was probably not in excess of 40,000 men.

(b) The SD. The second component to be mentioned is the Security Service of the Reichsfuehrer SS, almost always referred to as the SD. Himmler described the SD in these words (1992-A-PS):

“I now come to the Security Service (SD); it is the great ideological intelligence service of the Party and, in the long run, also that of the State. During the time of struggle for power it was only the intelligence service of the SS. At that time we had, for quite natural reasons, an intelligence service with the regiments, battalions and companies. We had to know what was going on on the opponents side, whether the Communists intended to hold a meeting today or not, whether our people were to be suddenly attacked or not, and similar things. I separated this service already in 1931 from the troops, from the units of the General SS, because I considered it to be wrong. For one thing, the secrecy is endangered, then the individual men, or even the companies, are too likely to discuss everyday problems.” (1992-A-PS)

Although, as Himmler put it, the SD was only the intelligence service of the SS during the years preceding the accession of the Nazis to power, it became a much more important organization promptly thereafter. It had been developed into such a powerful and scientific espionage system under its chief, Reinhard Heydrich, that on 9 June 1934, just a few weeks before the bloody purge of the SA, it was made, by decree of Hess, the sole intelligence and counter-intelligence agency of the entire Nazi Party (2284-PS). Its organization and numbers, as they stood in 1937, were thus described by Himmler (1992-A-PS):

“The Security Service was already separated from the troop in 1931 and separately organized. Its higher headquarters, coincide today with the Oberabschnitte and Abschnitte—[that is, the districts and subdistricts of the General SS]—and it has also field offices, its own organization of officials with a great many Command Posts, approximately three to four thousand men strong, at least when it is built up.” (1992-A-PS)

Up to 1939 its headquarters was the SS Main Security Office (Sicherheitshauptamt), which became amalgamated in 1939 into the Reich Main Security Office (or RSHA), one of the SS main departments shown on the chart (Chart Number 3).

The closer and closer collaboration of the SD with the Gestapo and Criminal Police (Kripo), which eventually resulted in the creation of the RSHA, as well as the activities in which the SD engaged in partnership with the Gestapo are discussed in Section 6 on the Gestapo. The SD was, of course, at all times an integral and important component of the SS. But it is more practicable to deal with it in connection with the activities of the whole repressive police system with which it functioned.

(c) The Waffen SS. The third component is the Waffen SS, the combat arm of the SS, which was created, trained, and finally utilized for the purposes of aggressive war. The reason underlying the creation of this combat branch was described in the Organizations Book of the Nazi Party for 1943:

“The Waffen SS originated out of the thought: to create for the Fuehrer a selected long service troop for the fulfillment of special missions. It was to render it possible for members of the General SS, as well as for volunteers who fulfill the special requirements of the SS, to fight in the battle for the evolution of the National Socialist idea, with weapon in hand, in unified groups, partly within the framework of the Army.” (2640-PS)

The term “Waffen SS” did not come into use until after the beginning of the war. Up to that time there were two branches of the SS composed of fulltime, professional, well-trained soldiers: the so-called SS Verfuegungstruppe, translatable perhaps as “SS Emergency Troops”; and the SS Totenkopf Verbaende, the “Death Head Units.” After the beginning of the war, the units of the SS Verfuegungstruppe were brought up to division strength, and new divisions were added to them. Moreover, parts of the SS Death Head Units were formed into a division, the SS Totenkopf Division. All these divisions then came to be known collectively as the “Waffen SS”.

This development is traced in the Organization Book of the Nazi Party for 1943:

“The origin of the Waffen SS goes back to the decree of 17 March 1933, establishing the “Stabswache” with an original strength of 120 men. Out of this small group developed the later-called SS Verfuegungstruppe (SS Emergency Force).” (2640-PS)

The function and status of the SS Verfuegungstruppe are described in a Top Secret Hitler order, 17 August 1938 (647-PS). That order provides, in part:

*            *            *            *            *            *

“II. The Armed Units of the SS.

“A. (The SS Verfuegungstruppe)

“1. The SS Verfuegungstruppe is neither a part of the Wehrmacht nor a part of the police. It is a standing armed unit exclusively at my disposal. As such and as a unit of the NSDAP its members are to be selected by the Reichsfuehrer SS according to the philosophical and political standards which I have ordered for the NSDAP and for the Schutzstaffel. Its members are to be trained and its ranks filled with volunteers from those who are subject to serve in the army who have finished their duties in the obligatory labor service. The service period for volunteers is for 4 years. It may be prolonged for SS Unterfuehrer. Such regulations are in force for SS leaders. The regular compulsory military service (par. 8 of the law relating to military service) is fulfilled by service of the same amount of time in the SS Verfuegungstruppe.”

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“III. Orders for the Case of Mobilization.

“A. The employment of the SS Verfuegungstruppe in case of mobilization is a double one.


By the Supreme Commander of the Army within the wartime army. In that case it comes completely under military laws and regulations, but remains a unit of the NSDAP politically.


In case of necessity in the interior according to my orders, in that case it is under the Reichsfuehrer SS and chief of the German Police.

“In case of mobilization I myself will make the decision about the time, strength and manner of the incorporation of the SS Verfuegungstruppe into the wartime army, these things will depend on the inner-political situation at that time.” (647-PS)

Immediately after the issuance of this decree, this militarized force was employed with the Army for aggressive purposes—the taking over of the Sudetenland. Following this action, feverish preparations to motorize the force and to organize new units, such as antitank, machine gun, and reconnaissance battalions, were undertaken pursuant to further directives of the Fuehrer. By September 1939, the force was fully motorized, its units had been increased to division strength, and it was prepared for combat. These steps are described in the National Socialist Yearbook for the years 1940 (2164-PS) and 1941 (2163-PS). The Yearbook was an official publication of the Nazi Party, edited by Reichsleiter Robert Ley and published by the Nazi Party publishing company.

After the launching of the Polish invasion, and as the war progressed, still further divisions were added. The Organizations Book of the Nazi Party for 1943 (2640-PS) lists some eight divisions and two infantry brigades as existing at the end of 1942. This was no longer a mere emergency force. It was an SS army and hence came to be designated as the “Waffen SS” that is, “Armed” or “Combat” SS. Himmler referred to the spectacular development of this SS combat branch in his speech at Posen on 4 October 1943 to SS Gruppenfuehrers, in these terms:

“* * * Now I come to our own development, to that of the SS in the past months. Looking back on the whole war, this development was fantastic. It took place at an absolutely terrific speed. Let us look back a little to 1939. At that time we were a few regiments, guard units (Wachverbande) 8 to 9,000 strong,—that is, not even a division, all in all 25 to 28,000 men at the outside. True, we were armed, but really only got our artillery regiment as our heavy arm two months before the war began.”

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“In the hard battles of this year, the Waffen-SS has been welded together in the bitterest hours from the most varied divisions and sections, and from these it formed: bodyguard units (Leibstandarte), military SS (Verfuegungstruppe), Death’s Head Units, and then the Germanic SS. Now when our ‘Reich’, Death’s Head Cavalry Divisions and ‘Viking’ Divisions were there, everyone knew in these last weeks: ‘Viking’ is at my side, ‘Reich’ is at my side, ‘Death’s Head’ is at my side,—‘Thank God’ now nothing can happen to us.” (1919-PS)

The transformation of a small emergency force into a vast combat Army did not result in any separation of this branch from the SS. Although tactically under the command of the Wehrmacht while in the field, it remained as much a part of the SS as any other branch of that organization. Throughout the war it was recruited, trained, administered and supplied by the main offices of the SS Supreme Command. Ideologically and racially its members were selected in conformity with SS standards, as shown by the recruiting standards of the Waffen SS published in the SS manual, “The Soldier Friend” (2825-PS). A section of that manual entitled “The Way to the Waffen SS,” reads:

“Today at last is the longed-for day of the entrance examination where the examiners and physicians decide whether or not the candidate is ideologically and physically qualified to do service in the Armed Forces SS.

“Everyone has acquainted himself with the comprehensive Manual for the Waffen SS; the principal points are as follows:

“1. Service in the Armed Forces SS counts as military service. Only volunteers are accepted.”

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“3. Every pure-blooded German in good health between the ages of 17 and 45 can become a member of the armed forces SS. He must meet all the requirements of the SS, must be of excellent character, have no criminal record, and be an ardent adherent to all Nazi socialist doctrines. Members of the Streifendienst and of the Landdienst of the Hitler Youth will be given preference because their aptitudes, qualities and schooling are indicative that they have become acquainted very early with the ideology of the SS.”

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“In all cases of doubt or difficulty the recruiting offices of the Waffen SS will advise and aid volunteers. They have branches over the entire Reich, always at the seat of the Service Command Headquarters, and work closely with the recruiting of the Waffen SS in the Main Office (SS Hauptamt) of the Reichsfuehrer SS.” (2825-PS)

The recruiting activities of the SS Main Office are illustrated by its recruiting pamphlet, “The SS Calls You,” an elaborate illustrated booklet containing full information covering the Waffen SS:

“If you answer the call of the Waffen SS and volunteer to join the ranks of the great Front of SS Divisions, you will belong to a corps which has from the very beginning been directed toward outstanding achievements, and, because of this fact, has developed an especially deep feeling of comradeship. You will be bearing arms with a corps that embraces the most valuable elements of the young German generation. Over and above that you will be especially bound to the National Socialist ideology.” (3429-PS)

The SS Main Office, through which these recruiting activities were conducted, was one of the principal departments of the SS Supreme Command. It is shown on the chart (the second box from the left) (Chart Number 3). In the breakdown of that department, shown by the boxes underneath, will be found the central recruiting office.

Other departments of the Supreme Command performed other functions in connection with the Waffen SS. The SS Operational Headquarters (SS Fuehrungshauptamt)—the fifth box from the left—contains the Command Headquarters of the Waffen SS (Chart Number 3). The functions of this department are thus defined in the SS Manual, “The Soldier Friend”:

“In the Fuehrungshauptamt the command office of the Waffen SS handles tasks of military leadership: Training and organization of the units of the Waffen SS, supply of the troops with arms, equipment and ammunition, procurement of motor vehicles for the Waffen SS and General SS, personnel and disciplinary affairs.” (2825-PS)

The SS Legal Main Office (Hauptamt SS Gericht) (indicated on the chart by the second box from the top on the right hand side within the heavy embracing line—(Chart Number 3)) controlled the administration of courts-martial and discipline within the Waffen SS. The secret Hitler order of 17 August 1938 (647-PS) had, it is true, provided that in the event of mobilization the SS militarized forces should come completely under military laws and regulations. That provision was modified by subsequent enactments: The decree of 17 October 1939 relating to special jurisdiction in penal matters for members of the SS and for members of police groups on special tasks (2946-PS); and the decree of 17 April 1940, entitled “Second Decree for the Implementation of the Decree Relating to a Special Jurisdiction in Penal Matters for Members of the SS” (2947-PS). These two decrees established a special jurisdiction in penal matters for various classes of SS members, including members of the SS militarized units, in cases which would ordinarily fall under the jurisdiction of the Wehrmacht; and created special SS courts to handle such cases under the direction of the SS Legal Main Office. Thus, in the vital question of discipline, as well as in recruiting, administration, and supply, the Waffen SS was subject to the SS Supreme Command.

The place of the Waffen SS as an integral part of the entire SS organization was strongly emphasized by Himmler in his address to officers of the SS Leibstandarte “Adolf Hitler” on the “Day of Metz”:

“You must also consider the following: I cannot concentrate my mind solely on—now, please don’t become conceited—the most splendid part of the SS because it is the most positive part and because the trade you are following is the most positive and most manly. I cannot do that. I must always have the entire SS in my mind.

“If I did not see this part, I would deny life to this most positive and most manly part of our activity; i.e., the Armed SS. I would deny your life. Because this armed SS will live only if the entire SS is alive. If the entire corps is actually an order which lives according to these laws and realizes that one part cannot exist without the other—you are unimaginable without the General SS, and the latter is not imaginable without you. The police is not imaginable without the SS, nor are we imaginable without this executive branch of the state which is in our hands.” (1918-PS)

(d) The Totenkopf Verbaende.

The fourth component to be mentioned is the SS Death Head Units (SS Totenkopf Verbaende). Their origin and purpose are succinctly described by d’Alquen on page 20 of his book, “Die SS”:

“The SS Death Head Units form one part of the garrisoned SS. They arose from volunteers of the General SS who were recruited for the guarding of concentration camps in 1933.

“Their mission, aside from the indoctrination of the armed political soldier, is guarding enemies of the State who are held in concentration camps.

“The SS Death Head Units obligate their members to 12 years service. It is composed mainly of men who have already fulfilled their duty to serve in the Wehrmacht. This time of service is counted completely.” (2284-PS)

Since the Death Head Units, like the SS Verfuegungstruppe, were composed of well trained professional soldiers, they were also a valuable nucleus for the Waffen SS. The secret Hitler order of 17 August 1938 (647-PS) provided for this task in the event of mobilization. The Totenkopf Verbaende were to be relieved from the duty of guarding concentration camps and transferred as a skeleton corps to the SS Verfuegungstruppe. Section II C, subparagraph 5, of that order provides: “5. Regulations for the case of the Mobilization.

“The SS-Totenkopf Verbaende form the skeleton corps for the reinforcement of the SS-Totenkopf Verbaende (police reinforcement), and will be replaced in the guarding of the concentration camps by members of the General SS who are over 45 years of age and had military training.

“The skeleton corps—which up to now were units of the two replacement units for the short time training of the reinforcement of the SS-Totenkopf Verbaende—will be transferred to the SS-Verfuegungstruppe as skeleton crews of the replacement units for that unit.” (647-PS)

(e) The SS Polizei Regimente.

The final component specifically referred to in the Indictment is the SS Police Regiments. The SS eventually succeeded in assuming controls over the entire Reich Police. Out of the police, special militarized forces were formed, originally SS Police Battalions, and later expanded to SS Police Regiments. Himmler, in his Posen speech, declared:

“Now to deal briefly with the tasks of the regular uniformed police and the Sipo [the Security Police] they still cover the same field. I can see that great things have been achieved. We have formed roughly 30 police regiments from police reservists and former members of the police—police officials, as they used to be called. The average age in our police battalions is not lower than that of the security battalions of the Armed Forces. Their achievements are beyond all praise. In addition, we have formed Police Rifle Regiments by merging the police battalions of the ‘savage peoples.’ Thus we did not leave these police battalions untouched but blended them in the ratio of about 1 to 3.” (1919-PS)

The results of this blend of militarized SS police and “savage peoples” will be seen in the evidence, subsequently referred to, of the extermination actions conducted by them in the Eastern territories. These exterminations which were so successful and so ruthless that even Himmler could find no words adequate for their eulogy.

(3) Unity of the Organization.

Each of the various components described above played its part in carrying out one or more functions of the SS. The personnel composing each differed. Some were part-time volunteers; others were professionals enlisted for different periods of time. But every branch, every department, every member was an integral part of the whole organization. Each performed his assigned role in the manifold tasks for which the organization had been created. No better witness to this fact could be called upon than the Reichsfuehrer SS, whose every endeavor was to insure the complete unity of the organization. The following words are taken from his Posen speech:

“It would be an evil day if the SS and police fell out. It would be an evil day if the Main Offices, performing their tasks well meaningly but mistakenly made themselves independent by each having a downward chain of command. I really think that the day of my overthrow would be the end of the SS. It must be, and so come about, that this SS organization with all its branches—the General SS which is the common basis of all of them, the Waffen-SS, the regular uniformed police (Ordnungspolizei), the SIPO (with the whole economic administration, schooling, ideological training, the whole question of kindred), is, even under the tenth Reichsfuehrer-SS one bloc, one body, one organization.

*            *            *            *            *            *

“The regular uniformed police and SIPO, General-SS and Waffen-SS must now gradually amalgamate too, just as this is and must be the case within the Waffen-SS. This applies to matters concerning filling of posts, recruiting, schooling, economic organization, and medical services. I am always doing something towards this end, a bond is constantly being cast around these sections of the whole to cause them to grow together. Alas, if these bonds should ever be loosened—then everything—you may be sure of this—would sink back into its old insignificance in one generation, and in a short space of time.” (1919-PS)

C. Selection, Training, and Obligations of Members.

To understand this organization, the theories upon which it was based must be kept clearly in mind. The underlying philosophy of the SS, the principles by which its members were selected, and the obligations imposed upon them furnish the key to all its activities. It is necessary, therefore, to consider them in some detail.

(1) The Racial Basis of the SS.

(a) The SS as a racial and biological elite.

The fundamental principle of selection was what Himmler called that of Blood and Elite. The SS was to be the living embodiment of the Nazi doctrine of the superiority of Nordic blood, and of the Nazi conception of a master race. In Himmler’s own words, the SS was to be a “National Socialist Soldierly Order of Nordic Men” (1992-A-PS). In describing to the Wehrmacht the reasons behind his emphasis on racial standards of selection and the manner in which they were carried out, he said:

“* * * Accordingly, only good blood, blood which history has proved to be leading and creative and the foundation of every state and of all military activities, only Nordic blood, can be considered. I said to myself that should I succeed in selecting from the German people for this organization as many people as possible a majority of whom possess this desired blood, in teaching them military discipline and, in time, the understanding of the value of blood and the entire ideology which results from it, then it will be possible actually to create such an elite organization which would successfully hold its own in all cases of emergency.” (1992-A-PS)

Further on in the same speech, Himmler described the selection of candidates for his organization:

“* * * They are extremely thoroughly examined and checked. Of 100 men we can use on the average of 10 or 15, no more. We ask for the political reputation record of his parents, brothers and sisters, the record of his ancestry as far back as 1750 and naturally the physical examination and his records from the Hitler Youth. Further, we ask for a record of hereditary health showing that no hereditary disease exists in his parents and in his family. Last, but perhaps most important, is a certification of the race commission. This examining commission is composed of SS leaders, anthropologists and physicians.” (1992-A-PS)

This same strict selection process for the SS was somewhat similarly described in the Organizations Book of the Nazi Party for 1943:

Selection of Members

“For the fulfillment of these missions a homogeneous firmly welded fighting force has been created bound by ideological oaths, whose fighters are selected out of the best Aryan humanity.

“The conception of the value of the blood and soil serves as directive for the selection into the SS. Every SS man must be deeply imbued with the sense and essence of the National Socialist Movement. He will be ideologically and physically trained so that he can be employed individually or in groups in the decisive battle for the National Socialist ideology.

“Only the best and thoroughbred Germans are suited for commitment, in this battle. Therefore it is necessary that an uninterrupted selection is retained within the ranks of the SS, first superficially, then constantly more thoroughly.” (2640-PS)

The creation of a racial and biological elite had some very practical reasons behind it. The conspirators’ plans for conquest and exploitation of the conquered territories required the development of a Nazi aristocracy which would dominate Germany and Europe for centuries to come. That purpose was explicitly stated by Himmler in his Posen speech:

“One thing must be clear, one thing I would like to say to you today: the moment the war is over, we will really begin to weld together our organization, this organization which we have built up for 10 years, which we imbued and indoctrinated with the first most important principles during the 10 years before the war. We must continue to do this—we,—if I may say so, we older men—for twenty years full of toil and work, so that a tradition 30, 35, 40 years, a generation, may be created. Then this organization will march forward into the future young and strong, revolutionary and efficient to fulfill the task of giving the German people, the Germanic people, the superstratum of society which will combine and hold together this Germanic people and this Europe, and from which the brains which the people need for industry, farming, politics, and as soldiers, statesmen and technicians, will emerge. In addition this superstratum must be so strong and vital that every generation can unreservedly sacrifice two or three sons from every family on the battle-field, and that never-the-less the continued flowing of the bloodstream is assured.” (1919-PS)

He forcibly made the same point in his address to officers of the SS Leibstandarte “Adolph Hitler” on the “Day of Metz”:

“The ultimate aim for these 11 years during which I have been the Reichsfuehrer SS has been invariably the same: To create an order of good blood which is able to serve Germany. Which unfailingly and without sparing itself can be made use of because the greatest losses can do no harm to the vitality of this order, the vitality of these men, because they will always be replaced. To create an order which will spread the idea of nordic blood so far that we will attract all nordic blood in the world, take away the blood from our adversaries, absorb it so that never again, looking at it from the viewpoint of grand policy, nordic blood in great quantities and to an extent worth mentioning will fight against us. We must get it and the others cannot have it. We never gave up the ideas and the aim conceived so many years ago. Everything we did has taken us some distance further on the way. Everything we are going to do will lead us further on the way.” (1918-PS)

Since the SS was to be made a Nazi aristocracy which would dominate not only Germany but the world for centuries to come, it was essential that the SS stock be perpetuated. To insure the continuance of this good blood, the first step was to limit marriages of SS men to women meeting the same requirements as to health, descent, and ideological background as the SS man himself. This was accomplished by an order of the Reichsfuehrer SS issued on 31 December 1931. This SS marriage law is set out in full in d’Alquen’s Book, “The SS,” (2284-PS). But proper marriages were not enough without children. A series of orders took care of that. On 13 September 1936, Himmler issued an order entitled “Foundation of the Organization ‘Lebensborn e.V.’ ”, published in the SS manual, “The Soldier Friend”:

“As early as December 13, 1934, I wrote to all SS leaders and declared that we have fought in vain if political victory was not to be followed by victory of birth of good blood. The question of multiplicity of children is not a private affair of the individual but his duty towards his ancestors and our people.

“The SS has taken the first step in this direction long ago with the engagement and marriage decree of December 1931. However, the existence of sound marriage is futile if it does not result in the creation of numerous descendants.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“The minimum amount of children for a good sound marriage is four. Should unfortunate circumstances deny a married couple their own children, then every SS leader should adopt racially and hereditarily valuable children, educate them in the spirit of National Socialism, let them have an education corresponding to their ability.” (2825-PS)

The drive for perpetuation of SS stock was continued. A further order of Himmler, issued on 28 October 1939, directed to the entire SS and the Police, is also published in the SS manual, “The Soldier Friend”:

“The old saying that only those who have children can die in peace must again become acknowledged truth in this war, especially for the SS.

*            *            *            *            *            *

“Though in other times it may perhaps be considered an infraction of necessary social standards and conventions, German women and girls of good blood can fulfill a high obligation by bearing children out of wedlock to soldiers going to the front, whose eventual return or death for Germany lies entirely in the hands of fate—not out of promiscuity but out of a deep sense of ethics.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“Let us never forget that the victory of the sword and of the spilled blood of our soldiers remains fruitless, if it is not succeeded by the victory of the child and the colonizing of conquered soil.” (2825-PS)

A final order designed to assure continuance of good SS blood was issued on 15 August 1942, entitled “SS Orders to the Last Sons”, also published in “The Soldier Friend”:

“You SS men have been withdrawn from the front lines by order of the Fuehrer because you are the last sons. This measure has been taken because the people and the State have an interest in seeing that your families do not die out.

“It has never been the nature of SS men to submit to a fate without attempting to effect a change. It is your duty to see to it that you are no longer the last sons by producing as many children of good blood as possible.” (2825-PS)

These orders were not the product of some benevolent theorist in eugenics who was interested in large and happy SS families for their own sake. They stemmed from a basic idea of the conspiracy, the plan to insure Germany’s continued capacity to wage war for generations. Himmler put this theory very bluntly in his speech to officers of the SS Leibstandarte “Adolf Hitler” on the “Day of Metz”:

“* * * If we once had not enough sons, those who will come after us will have to become cowards. A nation which has an average of four sons per family can venture a war; if two of them die, two transmit the name. The leadership of a nation having one son or two sons per family will have to be faint-hearted at any decision on account of their own experience, because they will have to tell themselves: We cannot afford it. Look at France, which is the best example. France had to accept from us a dictate.” (1918-PS)

(b) The SS as an exterminator of “inferior” races.

Domination of Europe through a Nazi Elite required more, however, than the positive side of racism—that is, the building up of a numerous “biologically superior” group. It necessarily meant also the destruction of other races. The SS had to be, and was, taught not merely to breed, but to exterminate. In a speech delivered at Kharkov in April 1943, Himmler declared:

“We have—I would say, as very consistent National Socialists—taken the question of blood as our starting point. We were the first really to solve the problem of blood by action, and in this connection by problem of blood, we of course do not mean anti-semitism. Antisemitism is exactly the same as delousing. Getting rid of lice is not a question of ideology. It is a matter of cleanliness. In just the same way, anti-semitism for us, will soon have been dealt with. We shall soon be deloused. We have only 20,000 lice left, and then the matter is finished within the whole of Germany.” (1919-PS)

But it was not merely against Jews that SS efforts were directed. All non-Nordic races were similarly condemned. In his Posen speech, Himmler stated this basic principle of the SS:

“One basic principle must be the absolute rule for the SS men: We must be honest, decent, loyal and comradely to members of our own blood and to nobody else. What happens to a Russian, to a Czech, does not interest me in the slightest. What other nations can offer in the way of good blood of our type, we will take, if necessary, by kidnapping their children and raising them here with us. Whether nations live in prosperity or starve to death interests me only so far as we need them as slaves for our culture; otherwise, it is of no interest to me. Whether 10,000 Russian females fall down from exhaustion while digging an antitank ditch interests me only insofar as the antitank ditch for Germany is finished.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“That is what I want to instill into this SS and what I believe I have instilled in them as one of the most sacred laws of the future.” (1919-PS)

(c) Indoctrination of members in SS racial theories. These were the principles which were publicly reiterated, over and over again, so that the newest recruit was thoroughly steeped in them. In his Kharkov speech to the commanding officers of three Waffen SS divisions, Himmler strongly insisted on indoctrinating all SS members in his theories of the racial struggle.

“This is what is important for us as SS men, for our province of duty and our mission (it is a task additional to those of the whole German armed forces and the whole German people): That is what I would like to impress upon you. This is what I beg you as commanding officers, as chiefs and as leaders, to teach the young men again and again in their ideological instruction. That is what I demand and exact of you—that you really concern yourself with the man, the young fellow of 17 or 18 who comes to us, and with many who are in our ranks not as volunteers but as conscripts. I ask you to look after them, and guide them, and not let them go before they are really saturated with our spirit and are fighting as the old guard fought before us—that is what I request and demand of you.

“We have only one task—to stand firm and carry on the racial struggle without mercy.” (1919-PS)

This function of the SS men in the racial struggle was publicly proclaimed in the Organizations Book of the NSDAP for 1943:

“He openly and relentlessly fights against the most dangerous enemies of the State: Jews, Freemasons, Jesuits and political clergymen.” (2640-PS)

(2) The Obligation of Obedience. Indoctrination of the organization in principles of racial hatred was not enough. The members had to be ready and willing tools, prepared to carry out tasks of any nature, however distasteful, illegal or inhuman. Absolute obedience was the necessary second foundation stone of the SS. The Organizations Book of the NSDAP for 1943 thus describes this fundamental requirement:

“Obedience must be unconditional. It corresponds to the conviction that the National Socialist ideology must reign supreme. He who is possessed by it and fights for it passionately subjects himself voluntarily to the obligation to obey. Every SS man is prepared, therefore, to carry out blindly every order which is issued by the Fuehrer or which is given by his superior, irrespective of the heaviest sacrifices involved.” (2640-PS)

The same point was emphasized by Himmler in the Posen speech:

“I would like here to state something clearly and unequivocally. It is a matter of course that the little man must obey. It is even more a matter of course that all the senior leaders of the SS, that is the whole corps of Gruppenfuehrers, are a model of blind obedience.” (1919-PS)

(3) The SS as a Terroristic Agency. A necessary corollary of these two fundamental principles of race and of blind obedience was ruthlessness. Subsequent evidence of SS activities will prove how successfully the SS learned the lesson it was taught. The SS had to and did develop a reputation for terror which was carefully cultivated. Himmler himself attested to it as early as 1936 in a speech publicly delivered at the Peasant’s Day Rally and subsequently published and circulated in pamphlet form under the title “The SS as an Anti-bolshevist Fighting Organization”:

“I know that there are some people in Germany who become sick when they see their black coats. We understand the reason for this and do not expect that we shall be loved by too many.” (1851-PS)

(4) Continuance of the Elite and Voluntary Character of the SS. The role which the SS was to play required that it remain constantly the essence of Naziism, and that its elite Nazi quality never be diluted. For this reason the SS was for a time temporarily closed to new members, and those who had proved unfit were weeded out. Himmler described this process in his article “Organization and Obligations of the SS and the Police” (1992-A-PS). Referring to the influx of new adherents to the Party and its organizations in 1933, he said:

“A very difficult question confronted us at that time. It was a question of deciding whether to close the Party and its organizations to further membership and thus remain pure in quality but small in volume, or of opening them to further membership to increase their volume.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“The SS too was endangered by this menace. Therefore I closed it while some of the other organizations accepted as great a number of people as possible. This way I had the SS again under my control in April and said: We shall accept no more people. From the end of 1933 to the end of 1935 we expelled all those of the newly accepted members who proved unsuitable.” (1992-A-PS)

These standards were not abandoned later. Indeed, in 1943 the Organizations Book of the Nazi Party stated that:

“The demands with respect to racial purity of the SS are being increased every year.”

And in the same year, 1943, Himmler emphasized this point in a letter written to Kaltenbrunner (2768-PS).

This letter from the Reichsfuehrer SS, which bears the date 24 April 1943, states in part as follows:

“Referring again to the matter which I discussed some time ago, i.e., the admission of SIPO officials into the SS. I wish to clarify again: I want an admission only if the following conditions are fulfilled:


If the man applies freely and voluntarily;


If, by applying strict and peacetime standards, the applicant fits racially and ideologically into the SS, guarantees according to the number of his children a really healthy SS stock, and is neither ill, degenerate nor worthless.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“I beg you not only to act accordingly in the future, but especially also that numerous admissions into ranks of the SS in the past be reexamined and revised according to these instructions.” (2768-PS)

(5) Method of Acquiring Membership in the SS. The normal method by which membership in the SS was attained was discussed by Himmler in his article, “Organization and Obligations of the SS and Police”:

“The age groups in the SS are as follows: With 18 years the young man enters the SS. He is first an applicant, after three months he takes the oath on the Fuehrer and thus becomes a candidate (Anwaerter). As a candidate during the first year he takes examinations for his SA sport insignia and his bronze sport insignia. At the age of 19 or 19½, according to the time of his acceptance, he is conscripted for the labor service and subsequently for the Wehrmacht. After two more years he comes back from the Wehrmacht unless he remains there as a prospective noncommissioned officer or reenlists. If he returns to us, he is still candidate. In these weeks he is especially thoroughly instructed in ideology. The first year is for him a period of elementary ideological indoctrination. In these weeks following his return from the Wehrmacht he receives special instruction about the marriage law and all other laws pertaining to the family, and the honor laws. On the 9th of November, following his return from the Wehrmacht, he becomes an SS man in the true sense. The Reichsfuehrer of the SS is just as much an SS man in the sense of the SS organization as the common man at the front. On this 9th of November he is awarded the dagger, and at this occasion he promises to abide by the marriage law and the disciplinary laws of the SS, since the family is also subject to these laws. From this day on he has the right and the duty to defend his honor with a weapon as laid down by the honor laws of the SS. The applicants and candidates do not yet have this right. The SS man remains in the so-called active General SS until his 35th year. From his 35th to his 45th year he is in the SS reserve, and after his 45th year in the Stammabteilung of the SS, identified by the grey color patch.” (1992-A-PS)

The oath to the Fuehrer, referred to by Himmler in the passage just quoted, appears in the SS recruiting pamphlet, “The SS Calls You”:

“The Oath of the SS Man:

“I swear to you, Adolf Hitler, as Fuehrer and Reichschancellor, loyalty and bravery. I vow to you, and to those you have named to command me, obedience unto death, so help me God.” (3429-PS)

D. Criminal Aims and Activities of the SS.

(1) The Purge of 20[sic] June 1934. Proof of the elite Nazi quality and thorough reliability of the SS, the test by which it won its spurs, occurred on 30 June 1934, when it participated in the purge of the SA and other opponents or potential opponents of the Nazi regime. That was the first real occasion for use of this specialized organization which could operate with the blessing of the Nazi State but outside the law. In an affidavit signed and sworn to in Nurnberg on 19 November 1945, Wilhelm Frick says, referring to the victims of that purge:

“They were just killed on the spot. Many people were killed—I don’t know how many—who actually did not have anything to do with the putsch. People who just weren’t liked very well, as for instance, Schleicher, the former Reich Chancellor, were killed * * * The SS was used by Himmler for the execution of these orders to suppress the putsch.” (2950-PS)

Himmler referred to this same event in his Posen speech:

“Just as we did not hesitate on June 20,[sic] 1934, to do the duty we were bidden, and stand comrades who had lapsed, up against the wall and shoot them, so we have never spoken about it and will never speak about it.” (1919-PS)

It was in recognition of its services in this respect that the SS was elevated to the status of a component of the Party equal in rank to the SA and other similar branches. The following announcement appeared on page 1 of the Voelkischer Beobachter of 26 July 1934:

“The Reich press office announces the following order of the Fuehrer.

“In consideration of the greatly meritorious service of the SS, especially in connection with the events of 30 June 1934, I elevate it to the standing of an independent organization within the NSDAP.

“Munch 20 July 1934.” (1857-PS)

(2) Functions as a Repressive Police Organization.

One of the first steps essential to the security of any regime is control of the police. The SS was the type of organization which the conspirators needed for this purpose. Their aim was to fuse the SS and police, and to merge them into a single, unified repressive force.

Shortly after the seizure of power the conspirators began to develop as part of the state machinery, secret political police forces. These originated in Prussia with the Gestapo, established by decree of Goering in April 1933, and were duplicated in the other German States. (This development is discussed in Section 6 on the Gestapo.) By 1934 Himmler, the Reichsfuehrer SS, had become the chief of these secret political police forces in each of the German states except Prussia, and deputy chief of the Prussian Gestapo. In that capacity he infiltrated these forces with members of the SS until a virtual identity of membership was assured.

On 17 June 1936, by Decree on the Establishment of a Chief of the German Police (2073-PS), the new post of Chief of the German Police was created in the Ministry of the Interior. Under the terms of the decree, Himmler was appointed to this post with the title of “Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police in the Ministry of the Interior.” The combination of these two positions, that of leadership of the SS and head of all the police forces in the Reich, was no accident but was intended to establish a permanent relation between the two bodies and not a mere “transitory fusion of personnel.” The significance of the combination of these two positions was referred to by Hitler in the preamble to his secret order of 17 August 1938:

“By means of the nomination of the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police in the Ministry of the Interior on June 17th, 1936 (Reichsgesetzblatt I, page 487), I have created the basis for the unification and reorganization of the German Police.

“With this step, the Schutzstaffeln of the NSDAP, which were under the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police even up to now, have entered into close connection with the duties of the German Police.” (647-PS)

Upon his appointment, Himmler immediately proceeded to reorganize the entire Reich Police Force, designating two separate branches: (1) the regular uniformed police force (Ordnungspolizei, or Orpo), and (2) the Security Police (Sicherheitspolizei, or Sipo). The Sipo was composed of all criminal police organizations in the Reich and all the secret political police forces, or Gestapo. This reorganization was achieved by the Decree Assigning Functions in the Office of the Chief of the German Police (1551-PS). To be head of the Sipo, that is the criminal police and Gestapo, Himmler appointed Reinhard Heydrich, who was at that time the Chief of the SD. Thus, through Himmler’s dual capacity as leader of the SS and as Chief of the Police, and through Heydrich’s dual capacity as head of the Sipo and as chief of the SD, a unified personal command of the SS and Security Police Forces was achieved. But further steps toward unification were later taken. In 1939, the Security Police and the SD were combined in a single department, the Reich Security Main Office, commonly referred to as the RSHA. (The details of the organization of the RSHA are discussed in Section 6 on the Gestapo.) The important point to be observed is this: The newly created Reich Security Main Office was not a mere department of the Government. It was a dual body: an agency of the government, organizationally placed in the Department of the Interior, and at the same time one of the principal departments of the SS, organizationally placed in the Supreme Command of the SS. (cf. the chart of the SS organization (Chart Number 3)). The following description of the RSHA appears in the Organizations Book of the NSDAP for 1943:

“The RSHA handles all the organizational, personnel, management and technical affairs of the Security Police and the SD. In addition, it is the central office of the State Police and criminal police executive, as well as the central directorate of the intelligence net of the SD.” (2640-PS)

The position of the RSHA in the Supreme Command of the SS is also similarly described in the SS manual, “The Soldier Friend”. (2825-PS)

But it was not merely the Gestapo and the Criminal Police which came under the sway of the SS. The regular uniformed police as well were affected. For, like the RSHA, the Department of the Regular Police (Ordnungspolizei, or Orpo), was not merely a department in the Ministry of the Interior, but also simultaneously in the Supreme Command of the SS. Its position in the SS is indicated by the seventh box on the chart of the SS organization (Chart Number 3). The following description of the Department of the Regular Police appears in the Organizations Book of the NSDAP for 1943:

“The sphere of duties of the Main Office of the Ordnungspolizei includes police administration as well as the management and direction of the protective police (Schutzpolizei) of the Reich, the Gendarmes, the protective police of the community, the water protection police, the air protection police, the fire protection police, the protective groups in the occupied territories, the colonial police, the volunteer fire department, the compulsatory and youth fire departments, the technical aid and the technical SS and police academy.” (2640-PS)

The position of this Department in the SS Supreme Command is also similarly described in the SS Manual, “The Soldier Friend”. (2825-PS)

This unity of the Command was not a mere matter of the highest headquarters. It extended down to the operating level. As the chart shows, the Higher SS and Police Leader in each region, who was directly subordinate to Himmler, had under his command both the Security Police and the regular, uniformed police (Chart Number 3). These forces were subject to his orders as well as to those of the RSHA and the Department of the Regular Police respectively. This position of the Higher SS and Police Leader is described in the Organizations Book of the NSDAP for 1943. (2640-PS)

SS control of the police was, however, not only a matter of organization and of unified command. Unity of personnel was also in large measure achieved. Vacancies occurring in the police forces were filled by SS members; police officials retained in the force were urged to join the SS; and schools operated by the SS were the required training centers for police as well as SS officials. These measures are described in Himmler’s article, “Organization and Obligations of the SS and the Police” (1992-A-PS). They are also described in an authoritative book on the police and on the SS, entitled “The German Police,” written by Dr. Werner Best, a Ministerial Director in the Ministry of the Interior and a department head in the Security Police and published in 1940. It bears on its flyleaf the imprimatur of the Nazi Party and is listed in the official list of National Socialist Party bibliography. Chapter 7 from that book is reproduced in document (1852-PS). Reference is also made to the order of the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police of 23 June 1938, entitled “Acceptance of Members of the Security Police into the SS” (1637-PS). In that order provision was made for admitting members of the Security Police into the SS upon certain conditions. The preamble of the order states that it was issued “with the aim of fusing members of the German Police with the ‘Schutzstaffel’ of the National Socialist German Workers Party into one uniformly turned out State Protective Corps of the National Socialist Reich” (1637-PS). Parenthetically, it should be observed that even this aim was not sufficient to cause a relaxation of SS admission standards since the order provided that, to be admitted as an SS member, personnel of the Security Police were obliged to fulfill the general requirements of the SS (its racial and ideological standards).

Through this unity of organization and personnel, the SS and the police became identified in structure and in activity. The resulting situation was described by Best as follows:

“Thus the SS and the Police form a unit, both in their structure and in their activity, although their individual organizations have not lost their true individuality and their position in the larger units of the Party and State administration * * *”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“In the relationship between the Police and the SS, the principle of the ‘orderly’ penetration of an organization of the National order has been realized for the first time to the final outcome through the supporters of the National Socialist movement”. (1852-PS)

As Himmler stated in his address to the officers of SS-Leibstandarte “Adolph Hitler” on the “Day of Metz”:

“I want to tell you: In the entire Waffen-SS we must begin to view the other great activity of the entire SS (Gesamt-SS) and entire Police. We must see to it that you consider the activity of the man in the green uniform as just as valuable as the activity you yourself are engaged in. You have to consider the work of the SD man or the man of the Security Police as a vital part of our whole work just like the fact that you can carry arms”. (1918-PS)

Through the police the SS was in a position to carry out a large part of the functions assigned to it. The working partnership between Gestapo, the criminal police, and the SD, under the direction of the Reichsfuehrer SS, resulted in the ultimate in repressive and unrestrained police activity. (cf. the discussion in Section 6 on the Gestapo.) It must be remembered that the Gestapo activities were but one aspect of SS functions—one part of the whole criminal SS scheme.

(3) Functions and Activities with Respect to Concentration Camps. Control over the police, however, was not enough. Potential sources of opposition could be tracked down by the SD. Suspects could be seized by the criminal police and Gestapo. But those means alone would not assure the complete suppression of all opponents and potential opponents of the regime. For this purpose concentration camps were invented, and the SS was given large responsibility in that system.

(a) Criminal activities of SS guards and camp personnel. The first requirement of the camps was for guard and administrative personnel. Part-time volunteer members of the Allgemeine SS were originally utilized as guards. But part-time volunteers could not adequately serve the need of the extensive and long-range program that was planned. Hence, beginning in 1933 full-time professional guard units (the SS Totenkopf Verbaende) were organized. Their very name (“Death Head Units”) and their distinguishing insignia, the skull and cross bones, appropriately marked the type of activity in which they engaged.

During the war, members of the Allgemeine SS resumed the function of guarding the camps which they had undertaken when the camps were created. This was provided for in the Hitler order of 17 August 1938 (647-PS) directing the substitution of Allgemeine SS members for the Death Head Units in the event of mobilization. That substitution took place. In reviewing the events of the period between 1938 and 1940, significant for the SS, the National Socialist Yearbook of 1940 congratulated the Allgemeine SS on the performance of its new mission:

“However, not only the garrisoned parts of the SS were employed. Also the General SS were brought forth for special missions. Thousands of younger and older SS comrades were employed for the strengthening of the police and for the guarding of concentration camps and have faithfully fulfilled their duty throughout the weeks.” (2164-PS)

It is unnecessary to repeat the evidence of wholesale brutalities, tortures, and murders committed by SS guards. These were not sporadic crimes committed by irresponsible individuals. They were a part of a definite and calculated policy, which necessarily resulted from SS philosophy, and which was carried out from the initial creation of the camps.

Himmler bluntly explained to the Wehrmacht in 1937 the prevailing view of the SS as to the inmates of concentration camps:

“It would be extremely instructive for everyone, some members of the Wehrmacht were already able to do so, to inspect such a concentration camp. Once they have seen it, they are convinced of the fact that no one had been sent there unjustly; that it is the offal of criminals and freaks. No better demonstration of the laws of inheritance and race, as set forth by Doctor Guett, exists than such a concentration camp. There you can find people with hydrocephalus, people who are cross-eyed, deformed, half-Jewish, and a number of racially inferior products. All that is assembled there. Of course, we distinguish between those inmates who are only there for a few months for the purpose of education, and those who are to stay for a very long time. On the whole, education consists of discipline, never of any kind of instruction on an ideological basis, for the prisoners have, for the most part, slave-like souls; and only very few people of real character can be found there.” (1992-A-PS)

Even these “slave-like souls,” however, might be redeemed by SS hygienic measures. For, as Himmler continued:

“The discipline thus means order. The order begins with these people living in clean barracks. Such a thing can really only be accomplished by us Germans, hardly another nation would be as humane as we are. The laundry is frequently changed. The people are taught to wash themselves twice daily, and the use of a toothbrush with which most of them have been unfamiliar.” (1992-A-PS)

Despite this callous jest to the Wehrmacht, all pretense was swept away in Himmler’s speech to his own Gruppenfuehrers at Posen:

“I don’t believe the Communists could attempt any action, for their leading elements, like most criminals, are in our concentration camps. And here I must say this—that we shall be able to see after the war what a blessing it was for Germany that, in spite of all the silly talk about humanitarianism, we imprisoned all this criminal substratum of the German people in concentration camps: I’ll answer for that.” (1919-PS).

Certainly there was no “silly humanitarianism” in the manner in which SS men performed their task. An illustration of their conduct, not in 1944 or 1945 but in 1933, is shown in four reports relating to the deaths of four different inmates of the Concentration Camp Dachau between May 16 and 27, 1933. Each report is signed by Winterberger, the Public Prosecutor of the District Court in Munich, and addressed to the Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Munich. The first (641-PS) 1 June 1933, relates to the death of Dr. Alfred Strauss, a prisoner in protective custody in Dachau. That report states:

“On May 24, 1933 the 30 year old, single, attorney at law, Dr. Alfred Strauss from Munich who was in the concentration camp Dachau as a prisoner under protective custody was killed by 2 pistol shots from SS man Johann Kantschuster who escorted him on a walk outside of the fenced part of the camp prescribed to him by the camp doctor.

“Kantschuster gives the following report: He himself had to urinate; Strauss proceeded on his way. Suddenly Strauss broke away towards the shrub located at a distance of about 6 m from the line. When he noticed it, he fired 2 shots at the fugitive from a distance of about 8 m, whereupon Strauss collapsed dead.

“On the same day, May 24, 1933, a judicial inspection of the locality took place. The corpse of Strauss was lying at the edge of the wood. Leather slippers were on his feet. He wore a sock on one foot, while the other foot was bare, obviously because of an injury to this foot. Subsequently an autopsy was performed. Two bullets had entered the back of his head. Besides, the body showed several black and blue spots (Blutunterlaufung) and also open wounds.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“I have charged Kantschuster today with murder and have made application for opening and execution of the judicial preliminary investigation as well as for a warrant of arrest against him.” (641-PS)

The second (642-PS) also 1 June 1933, relates to the death of Leonhard Hausmann, another prisoner in Dachau. That letter states:

“On 17 May 1933, Leonhard Hausmann from Augsburg, 31 years old, married, relief worker, who was kept in protective custody in the Dachau concentration camp, was shot by SS Staff Sergeant Karl Ehmann. According to the account of the latter, Hausmann was to dig out young fir trees in the woods in the vicinity of the camp and pile them up on a certain spot. He was supervised by Ehmann. Suddenly the latter did not see him anymore. Therefore Ehmann looked after the prisoners and saw him running away in a stooped position, Ehmann ran after him, called ‘Halt’ several times, once also ‘Stop,’ but in vain. Whereupon Ehmann raised his pistol at the prisoner and fired without aiming; Hausmann dropped dead. Ehmann asserts that he fired from a distance of 10 to 12 meters.

“The corpse was inspected already on 17 May 1933 with the assistance of the State court physician. It was found that death was due to a shot through the left side of the chest. According to the autopsy protocol, the shot was fired from a distance less than 1 meter. Meanwhile the legal-medical institute ascertained that the distance was less than 30 cm.” (642-PS)

The third (644-PS) 22 May 1933, relates to the death of Louis Schloss, an inmate of Dachau. Attached to the letter is a copy of a report of the autopsy conducted in the Schloss case, signed by the examining physicians. The letter of 22 May 1933, begins:

“In the afternoon of 16 May 1933 the police station Dachau informed the State Prosecution that an inmate of the concentration camp Dachau, the merchant Louis Schloss, from Nurnberg, widowed, born on 21 June 1889, has hanged himself in solitary confinement. At the request of the state prosecution, on the same day the legal inspection was performed with the assistance of the state court physician with the State Court Munich II. As it was proven that the corpse exhibited numerous whip marks and as the cause of death appeared doubtful, an autopsy was carried out on 17 May 1933. According to a preliminary certificate of the participating physicians, the autopsy did not prove death by hanging”. (644-PS)

The preliminary opinion of the examining physician states:

“Preliminary opinion:

“I. The death through hanging could not be proven by autopsy.

“II. Extensive blood suffusions and whipmarks were found, particularly on the back, on the buttocks and on both arms, as well as on both legs, abdomen and thorax to a minor extent. In the region of the buttocks and shoulders extensive destruction of adipose tissue was found together with the blood suffusions. This is adequate to explain death through autointoxication and fat embolism.” (644-PS)

The fourth (645-PS) 1 June 1933, relates to the death of Sebastian Nefzger, another Dachau prisoner. The letter reads:

“On May 27, 1933, the following report was received by the Lower Court Dachau:

“Concentration Camp Dachau, Political Division, May 27, 1933, to the Lower Court Dachau. An inquest on the dead body of the prisoner Nefzger Sebastian merchant in Munich, Schommerstrasse 17/0, born: 1/10/1900 in Munich, religion: Catholic, marital status: married—showed that death through the action of third persons must be excluded. Death was indubitably caused by excessive bleeding resulting from an opened artery of the left hand. Signed Dr. Nuernbergk, Camp Physician.

“Neither the Lower Court Dachau nor the State Attorney Munich II had up to that time been informed of Nefzger’s death reported in the letter in spite of the fact that Nefzger had already died in the night of the 25 to the 26th of May 1933. The Lower Court Dachau informed the State Attorney, Munich II of this letter. A coroner’s inquest was ordered, which took place as late as May 27, 1933. Since the physician appointed by the Superior Court, doubted that death had occurred to excessive bleeding and in identified marks of strings on the victim’s neck, a judicial autopsy was arranged by the State Attorney on May 29, 1933. The resulting opinion of the expert is so far: I) The autopsy discloses that excessive bleeding due to a cut on the left arm must be excluded as a cause of death: II) The cut on the left wrist reveals three incisions of the bone. Trial cuts are lacking. These findings are contrary to the assumption that the wound has been self-inflicted: III) It must be assumed that the cause of death was suffocation. As a cause for suffocation, strangulation and throttling must be considered. The characteristics of the marks left by the strings do not agree with those otherwise observed in cases of death caused by hanging.” (645-PS)

These four murders, committed within the short space of two weeks in the Spring of 1933, each by different SS guards, are but a few examples of SS activities in the camps even as early as 1933. Many similar examples from that period and later periods could be produced.

Indeed, that sort of thing was officially encouraged. Disciplinary Regulations for the Dachau Concentration Camp were issued on 1 October 1933 by SS Fuehrer Eicke, who later became commander of all the Death Head Units (778-PS). The fourth paragraph of the introduction of those rules provides:

“Tolerance means weakness. In the light of this conception, punishment will be mercilessly handed out whenever the interests of the Fatherland warrant it. The fellow countryman who is decent but misled will never be affected by these regulations. But let it be a warning to the agitating politicians and intellectual provocators—regardless of which kind—; be on guard not to be caught, for otherwise it will be your neck and you will be shut up according to your own methods.” (778-PS)

So many inmates were killed “while trying to escape,” to use the pat official phrase, that by 1936 the Minister of Justice was moved to appeal to Himmler to regulate the use of firearms by the Death Head Units. A memorandum 9 March 1936, prepared by Minister of Justice Guertner, reads as follows:

“On the 2d of this month, using the Hoppe case as an illustration, I discussed the question of use of arms by the guard-personnel of the concentration camp with the Reichsfuehrer SS. I suggested to Himmler that he issue an order on the use of arms for the officials subordinated to him. I referred in this respect to the example of the decree on the use of arms by the armed forces of 17 January of this year. Himmler has promised me that such a decree will be issued and will grant us participation in the preliminary work.” (781-PS)

The memorandum bears the pencil notation, “Initiative with Himmler”. Subsequent events showed how Himmler carried out this initiative.

(b) Administration of concentration camps through SS agencies. Furnishing guard personnel was not the only function of the SS with relation to the camps. The entire internal management of the camps, including the use of prisoners, their housing, clothing, sanitary conditions, the determination of their right to live and the disposal of their remains, was controlled by the SS. Such management was first vested in the leader of the SS Death Head Units, who also had the title of Inspector of the Concentration Camps. This official was originally a part of the SS Main Office (SS Hauptamt), represented on the chart by the second box from the left (Chart Number 3).

During the course of the war, in March 1942, control of concentration camps was transferred to another of the departments of the SS Supreme Command, the SS Economic and Administration Main Office (commonly known as WVHA). That department is indicated on the chart by the third box from the left (Chart Number 3).

That change was announced in a letter to Himmler 30 April 1942 from SS Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Waffen SS Pohl, the Chief of WVHA (R-129). In that letter Pohl reported on the measures he had taken to carry out Himmler’s order of 3 March 1942 to transform the camps into large scale economic enterprises, and inclosed an order to all concentration camp commanders which provided that no longer was there to be any limit on working hours in the camps. (R-129)

(c) SS control of concentration camps and the slave labor program. This shift of control to WVHA coincided with the change in the basic purposes of the concentration camps. Political and security reasons, which previously had been the grounds for confinement, were abandoned and the camps were made to serve the Nazi slave labor program.

To satisfy the increased demands for manpower it was not enough to work the inmates of the camp harder. More inmates had to be obtained. Through its police arm, the SS was prepared to satisfy this demand. On 17 December 1942 an order was issued to all commanders of the Security Police and SD directing that at least 35,000 prisoners qualified for work be sent immediately to the concentration camps (1063-D-PS). Thirty-five thousand prisoners was, of course, merely the beginning. The SS dragnet was capable of catching many more slaves. A directive to all the departments of the SS Supreme Command signed by Himmler at his field headquarters on 5 August 1943, ordered the collection of men, women, and children for work in coal mines (744-PS). This directive implements an order signed by Keitel directing the use of all males captured in guerilla fighting in the East for forced labor (744-PS). The Himmler directive, it will be noted, is addressed to every main office in the SS Supreme Command:

Subject: Manpower for coal mining industry. Reference: Letter of the command staff of the Reichsfuehrer SS—journal No. Ia/1909/43 secret.



Chief of the personal staff of Reichsfuehrer SS.


SS Main Office.


Reich security main office (RSHA).


Race and resettlement main office—SS.


Main office, ordinary police.


SS economic administrative main office.


SS personal main office.


Main office SS court.


SS Supreme Command—Headquarters of the Waffen SS.


Staff Headquarters of the Reichscommissar for the consolidation of Germanism.


Main office center for Racial Germans (Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle).


Office of SS Obergruppenfuehrer Heissmeyer.


Chief of the guerilla-fighting units.


Higher SS and Police Leader Ostland.


Higher SS and Police Leader Russia-Center.


Higher SS and Police Leader Russia-South.


Higher SS and Police Leader Northeast.


Higher SS and Police Leader East.


Higher SS and Police Leader Alpine territory.


Higher SS and Police Leader Serbia.


Commissioner of the Reichsfuehrer SS for Croatia.

“To figure 4 of the above-mentioned order, I order, that all young female prisoners, capable of work, are to be sent to Germany for work, through the agency of Reich Commissioner Sauckel.

“Children, old women, and men are to be collected and employed in the women’s and children’s camps, established by me, on estates as well as on the border of the evacuated area.” (744-PS)

In April 1944 the SS was called on to produce even more laborers, this time 100,000 to be drawn from Hungarian Jews, as shown by the minutes of Speer’s discussion with Himmler on 6 and 7 April 1944. (R-124)

The last source of manpower had not been tapped. To Jews, deportees, women and children, there was added the productive power of prisoners of war. Naturally enough it was through the SS that the conspirators squeezed the last drop of labor from such prisoners. Speer’s minutes of his conference with the Fuehrer on 5 March 1944, state:

“Told the Fuehrer of the Reichs Marshal’s wish for further utilization of the production power of prisoners of war by giving the direction of the Stalag to the SS with the exception of the English and Americans. The Fuehrer considers the proposal good and has asked Colonel von Below to arrange matters accordingly.” (R-124)

That matters were soon arranged is shown by Speer’s statement made at the 58th discussion of the Central Planning Board on 25 May 1944 (R-124):

“Speer: We have come to an arrangement with the Reichsfuehrer SS as soon as possible so that PW’s he picks up are made available for our purposes. The Reichsfuehrer SS gets from 30 to 40 thousand men per month.” (R-124)

Finally, in order to insure SS control over the labor of prisoners of war, the Reichsfuehrer SS was appointed by Hitler as head of all prisoner of war camps on 25 September 1944. A circular letter from the Director of the Party Chancellery, 30 September 1944 and signed by M. Bormann, states:

“1. The Fuehrer has ordered under the date 25 Sept 1944: The custody of all prisoners of war and interned persons, as well as prisoner of war camps, and institutions with guards are transferred to the commander of the Reserve Army from October 1, 1944.

*            *            *            *            *            *

“2. The Reichsfuehrer SS has commanded:

a. In my capacity as Commander of the Reserve Army, I transfer the affairs of prisoners of war to Gottleb Berger, SS-Lieut. General (SS-Obergruppenfuehrer und General der Waffen-SS) Chief of Staff of the Volkstums.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

c. The mobilization of labor of the prisoners of war will be organized with the present labor mobilization office in joint action between SS-Lieut. General Berger (SS-Obergruppenfuehrer) and SS-Lieut. General Pohl.

“The strengthening of security in the field of prisoner of war affairs is to be accomplished between SS-Lieut. General Berger and the Chief of the Security Police, SS-Lieut. Gen. Dr. Kaltenbrunner.” (058-PS)

So impressive were the results obtained from SS concentration camp labor that Goering on 14 February 1944 called on Himmler for more inmates for use in the aircraft industry (1584-I-PS). Himmler’s reply to that request reads, in part, as follows:

“Most Honored Reichsmarshal:

“Following my teletype letter of the 18 Feb. 44 I herewith transmit a survey on the employment of prisoners in the aviation industry.

“This survey indicates that at the present time about 36,000 prisoners are employed for the purposes of the air force. An increase to a total of 90,000 prisoners is contemplated.

“The production is being discussed, established, and executed between the Reich Ministry of aviation and the chief of my economic-administrative main office, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Waffen-SS, Pohl respectively.

“We assist with all forces at our disposal.

“The task of my economic-administrative main office, however, is not solely fulfilled with the delivery of the prisoners to the aviation industry as SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl and his assistants take care of the required working speed thru constant and supervision of the work-groups [Kommandos] and therefore have some influence on the results of production. In this respect I may suggest consideration of the fact that in enlarging our responsibility thru a speeding up of the total work, better results can definitely be expected.

“We also have for some time adjusted our own stone-quarries to production for the airforce. For instance in Flossenbuerg near Weiden the prisoners employed previously in the quarry are working now in the fighter plane program for the Messerschmitt corporation Regensburg, which saw in the availability of our stone-mason shops and labor forces after the attack on Regensburg at that time a favorable opportunity for the immediate partial transfer of their production. Altogether 4,000 prisoners will work there after the expansion. We produce now with 2,000 men 900 sets of engine cowlings and radiator covers as well as 120,000 single parts of various kinds for the fighter ME 109.

“In Oranienburg we are employing 6,000 prisoners at the Heinkel works now for construction of the HE 177. With that we have supplied 60% of the total crew of the plant.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“The movement of manufacturing plants of the aviation industry to subterranean locations requires further employment of about 100,000 prisoners. The plans for this employment on the basis of your letter of 14 Feb. 1944 are already under way.

“I shall keep you, most honored Reichsmarshal, currently informed on this subject.

“Heil Hitler

“[initialled]  HH”  (1584-III-PS)

Inclosed with that letter was a report in tabular form of the number of prisoners being used in each of the concentration camps, the total man-hours for the month of January 1944, and the type of production in which such prisoners were engaged. That report is signed by Pohl, the Chief of WVHA (1584-III-PS). The total appearing under the column “Number of prisoners planned” is 90,785; under the column “Number of prisoners used,” 35,839; and under the column “Man-hours—January,” 8,733,495. (1584-III-PS)

The extent to which the number of prisoners was increased through SS efforts is illustrated by a report from Office Group D of WVHA, 15 August 1944:

Subject:Report of the number of prisoners and Survey of prisoners clothing type G and Z and the supply of G available.
“Reference:Telephone call by SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Waschkau on 15.8.44.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“With reference to the above-mentioned telephone call, I am sending herewith a report on the actual number of prisoners for 1.8.1944 and of the new arrivals already announced, as well as the clothing report for 15.8.44.

“(1).The actual number on 1.8.44, consisted of:
a. Male prisoners379,167
b. Female prisoners145,119

“In addition, there are the following new arrivals:

1.From the Hungary program (anti-Jewish action)90,000
2.From Litzmannstadt (Police prison and Ghetto)60,000
3.Poles from the General Government15,000
4.Convicts from the Eastern Territories10,000
5.Former Polish officers17,000
6.From Warsaw (Poles)400,000
7.Continued arrivals from France approx.15,000-20,000

“Most of the prisoners are already on the way and will be received into the Concentration Camps within the next few days.” (1166-PS)

(d) SS control of concentration camps and the ill treatment and murder of inmates. The intensive drive for manpower to some extent interfered with the program already undertaken by WVHA to exterminate certain classes of individuals in the camps. This is shown by a letter from WVHA, Department D Concentration Camps, 28 March 1942, addressed to a number of concentration camp commandants and signed Liebehenschel, SS Obersturmbannfuehrer:

“It became known through a report of a Camp Commandant that 42 prisoners out of 51 which were mustered out for the special treatment 14 f 13 again became capable of work after a period of time and therefore do not have to be directed to the special treatment. From this it appears that the selection of the prisoners is not being handled according to given directives. Only those prisoners are allowed to be directed to the examination commission who fulfill the given stipulations and who above all are no longer capable of work.

“In order to be able to fulfill the designated missions of the concentration camps, the working capabilities of every prisoner must be retained for the camp. The camp commandants of the concentration camps are requested to especially make this their aim.” (1151-P-PS)

Another letter from WVHA, Department D Concentration Camps, 27 April 1943, addressed to a number of concentration camp commanders, signed by Gluecks, SS Brigade Fuehrer and Major General of the Waffen SS, deals with the same point:

“The Reich Fuehrer-SS and Chief of German Police has decided, after consultation, that in the future only mentally sick (geisteskranke) prisoners may be selected for action 14 F 13 by the medical commissions appointed for this purpose.

“All other prisoners incapable of working (tubercular cases, bedridden cripples, etc.) are to be basically excepted from this action. Bedridden prisoners are to be drafted for suitable work which they can perform in bed.

“The order of the Reich Fuehrer SS is to be obeyed strictly in the future.

“Requests for fuel for this purpose, therefore, do not take place.” (1933-PS)

The SS, however, was to some degree enabled to achieve both goals—that of increased production and of elimination of undesirable individuals, as shown by the agreement between Minister of Justice Thierack and Himmler on 18 September 1942 (654-PS). That agreement provided for the delivery of antisocial elements after the execution of their sentences to the Reichsfuehrer SS “to be worked to death.”

The conditions under which such persons worked in the camps were well calculated to lead to their deaths. Those conditions were regulated by the WVHA. An illustration of WVHA management is to be found in an order directed to commandants of concentration camps, 11 August 1942, and issued by SS Brigade Fuehrer and General of the Waffen SS Gluecks, Chief of Office Group D of WVHA (2189-PS):

“The Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police has ordered, that punishment by beating will be executed in concentration camps for women by prisoners—under the ordered supervision.

“In order to coordinate this order the main office chief of the main SS economic administration office, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Waffen-SS Pohl, has ordered, effective immediately, that punishment by beating will also be executed by prisoners in concentration camps for men.” (2189-PS)

Even after their deaths, the prisoners did not escape the management of WVHA. A directive to the commanders of concentration camps, 12 September 1942, signed by the Chief of the Central Office of Office Group D of WVHA, SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Liebehenschel, provided:

“According to a communication of the Chief of the Security Police and the SD and conforming to a report of the Chief of Security Police and SD in Prague, urns of deceased Czechs and Jews were sent for burial to the home-cemeteries within the Protectorate.

“Based on different events (Demonstrations, erecting of posters inimical to the Reich on urns of deceased inmates in halls of cemeteries in the home-communities, pilgrimages to the graves of deceased inmates, etc.) within the Protectorate, the delivery of urns with the ash remnants of deceased Nationals of the Protectorate and of Jews is henceforth prohibited. The urns shall be preserved within the Concentration Camps. In case of doubt about the preservation of the urns oral instructions shall be available at this agency.” (2199-PS)

(e) SS use of concentration camp labor for pecuniary profit. The SS regarded the inmates of concentration camps as its own personal property to be used for its own economic advantage. The suggestion in Himmler’s letter to Goering, will be recalled, that the SS be given a larger responsibility in the armament program conducted in the camps (1584-III-PS). As early as 1942 Speer recognized that the SS was motivated by the desire for further profits when he suggested to Hitler in a conference on 20, 21, and 22 September that the SS receive a share of the war equipment produced by concentration camp labor in ratio to the working hours of the prisoners (R-124). The Fuehrer agreed that a 3 to 5 percent share would satisfy SS commanders (R-124). Himmler himself frankly admitted his intention to derive profits for SS purposes from the camps in his speech to the officers of the SS Leibstandarte “Adolf Hitler” (1918-PS):

“* * * The apartment-building program which is the prerequisite for a healthy and social basis of the entire SS as well as of the entire Fuehrerkorps can be carried out only when I get the money for it from somewhere; nobody is going to give me the money, it must be earned, and it will be earned by forcing the scum of mankind, the prisoners, the professional criminals to do positive work. The man, guarding these prisoners, serves just as hard as the one on close-order drill. The one who does this and stands near these utterly negative people will learn within 3 to 4 months * * * and we shall see: In peacetime I shall form guard-battalions and put them on duty for 3 months only—to fight the inferior being (Untermenschentum), and this will not be a boring guard duty, but if the officers handle it right, it will be the best indoctrination on inferior beings and the inferior races. This activity is necessary, as I said; 1. to eliminate those negative people from the German people; 2. to exploit them once more for the great folk community by having them break stones and bake bricks so that the Fuehrer can again erect his grand buildings; and 3. to in turn invest the money, earned soberly this way, in houses, in ground, in settlements so that our men can have houses in which to raise large families and lots of children. This in turn is necessary because we stand or die with this leading blood of Germany and if the good blood is not reproduced we will not be able to rule the world.” (1918-PS)

(4) Functions and activities with respect to human experiments. One aspect of SS control over concentration camps remains to be mentioned—its direction of the program of biological experiments on human beings which was carried on in the camps. An American military tribunal has passed judgment on some of the SS members who participated in these experiments at Dachau. The purpose of this discussion is to show only that those experiments were the result of SS direction and that the SS played a vital part in their successful execution.

The program seems to have originated in a request by Dr. Sigmund Rascher to Himmler for permission to utilize persons in concentration camps as material for experiments with human beings, in connection with research he was conducting on behalf of the Luftwaffe. A letter dated 15 May 1941, addressed to the Reichsfuehrer SS and signed by S. Rascher reads in part as follows:

“For the time being I have been assigned to the Luftgaukommando VLL, Munich for a medical course. During this course, where researches on high-altitude flights play a prominent part (determined by the somewhat higher ceiling of the English fighter planes) considerable regret was expressed at the fact that no tests with human material had yet been possible for us, as such experiments are very dangerous and nobody volunteers for them. I put, therefore, the serious question: can you make available two or three professional criminals for these experiments? The experiments are made at Bodenstaendige Bruefstells fuer Hoehenforschung der Luftwaffe, Munich. The experiments, by which the subjects can, of course, die, would take place with my cooperation. They are essential for researches on high-altitude flight and cannot be carried out, as has been tried, with monkeys, who offer entirely different test-conditions. I have had a very confidential talk with a representative of the air forces surgeon who makes these experiments. He is also of the opinion that the problem in question could only be solved by experiments on human persons. (Feeble-minded could also be used as that material.)” (1602-PS)

Dr. Rascher promptly received assurance that he would be allowed to utilize concentration camp inmates for his experiments.

A letter dated 22 May 1941, addressed to Dr. Rascher and bearing the signature of SS Sturmbannfuehrer Karl Brandt, reads in part:

“Shortly before flying to Oslo, the Reichsfuehrer SS gave me your letter of 15 May 1941, for partial reply.

“I can inform you that prisoners will of course be gladly made available for the high-flight researches. I have informed the Chief of the Security Police of this agreement of the Reichsfuehrer SS, and requested that the competent official be instructed to get in touch with you.” (1582-PS)

The altitude experiments were conducted by Rascher. In May 1942 General Field Marshal Milch on behalf of the Luftwaffe expressed his thanks to the SS for the assistance it furnished in connection with the experiments. This letter, dated 20 May 1942, addressed to SS Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff reads in part:

“In reference to your telegram of 12 May our sanitary inspector reports to me that the altitude experiments carried out by the SS and Air Force at Dachau have been finished. Any continuation of these experiments seems essentially unreasonable. However the carrying out of experiments of some other kind, in regard to perils at high seas, would be important. These have been prepared in immediate agreement with the proper offices; Major (M.C.) Weltz will be charged with the execution and Capt. (M.C.) Rascher will be made available until further orders in addition to his duties within the Medical Corps of the Air Corps. A change of these measures does not appear necessary, and an enlargement of the task is not considered pressing at this time.

“The low-pressure chamber would not be needed for these low-temperature experiments. It is urgently needed at another place and therefore can no longer remain in Dachau.

“I convey the special thanks from the supreme commander of the Air Corps to the SS for their extensive cooperation.

“I remain with best wishes for you in good comradeship and with

“Heil Hitler!

“Always yours

“s/s  E. Milch”  (343-PS)

Having finished his high-altitude experiments, Dr. Rascher proceeded to experiment with methods of rewarming persons who had been subjected to extreme cold. On 10 September 1942 he rendered an intermediate report on intense chilling experiments which had been started in Dachau on 15 August (1618-PS). That report states:

“The experimental subjects (VP) were placed in the water, dressed in complete flying uniform, winter or summer combination, and with an aviator’s helmet. A life jacket made of rubber or kapok was to prevent submerging. The experiments were carried out at water temperatures varying from 2.5° to 12°.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“Electrical measurements gave low temperature readings of 26.4° in the stomach and 26.5° in the rectum. Fatalities occurred only when the brain stem and the back of the head were also chilled. Autopsies of such fatal cases always revealed large amounts of free blood, up to ½ liter, in the cranial cavity. The heart invariably showed extreme dilation of the right chamber. As soon as the temperature in these experiments reached 28°, the experimental subjects (VP) died invariably, despite all attempts at resuscitation.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“During attempts to save severely chilled persons (Unterkuehlte), it was shown that rapid rewarming was in all cases preferable to slow rewarming, because after removal from the cold water, the body temperature continued to sink rapidly. I think that for this reason we can dispense with the attempt to save intensely chilled subjects by means of animal heat.

“Rewarming by animal warmth—animal bodies or women’s bodies—would be too slow.” (1618-PS)

Although Rascher was of the preliminary opinion that rewarming by women’s bodies would be too slow, means for conducting such experiments were nevertheless placed at his disposal. A letter from the Reichsfuehrer SS, signed Himmler, 16 November 1942, and addressed to Lt. General Pohl, the head of WVHA, read as follows:

“The following struck me during my visit to Dachau on the 13 Nov 1942 regarding the experiments conducted there for the saving of people whose lives are endangered through exposure (Unterkuehlung) in ice, snow, or water and who are to be saved by the employment of every method or means:

“I had ordered that suitable women are to be set aside from the Concentration Camp for these experiments for the warming of these who were exposed. Four girls were set aside who were in the Concentration Camp due to loose living, and being prostitutes, they formulate a danger of contagion. * * *” (1583-PS)

To insure the continuance of Rascher’s experiments, Himmler arranged for his transfer to the Waffen SS. A letter dated November 1942 from the Reichsfuehrer SS addressed to “Dear Comrade Milch,” stated:

“You will recall that through General Wolff I particularly recommended to you for your consideration the work of a certain SS Fuehrer, Dr. Rascher, who is a physician of the air force on leave (Arzt des Beurlaubtenstandes der Luftwaffe).

“These researches which deal with the behavior of the human organism at great heights, as well as with manifestations caused by prolonged cooling of the human body in cold water, and similar problems which are of vital importance to the air force in particular, can be performed by us with particular efficiency because I personally assumed the responsibility for supplying asocial individuals and criminals who deserve only to die (todeswuerdig) from concentration camps for these experiments.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“I beg you to release Dr. Rascher, Stabsarzt in reserve, from the air force and to transfer him to me to the Waffen-SS. I would then assume the sole responsibility for having these experiments made in this field, and would put the results, of which we in the SS need only a part for the frost injuries in the East, entirely at the disposal of the air force. However, in this connection I suggest that with the liaison between you and Wolff a “non-Christian” physician should be charged, who should be at the same time honorable as a scientist and not prone to intellectual theft and who could be informed of the results. This physician should also have good contacts with the adminstrative[administrative?] authorities, so that the results would really obtain a hearing.

“I believe that this solution—to transfer Dr. Rascher to the SS, so that he could carry out the experiments under my responsibility and under my orders—is the best way. The experiments should not be stopped; we owe that to our men. If Dr. Rascher remained with the air force, there would certainly be much annoyance; because then I would have to bring a series of unpleasant details to you, because of the arrogance and assumption which Professor Dr. Holzloehner has displayed in the post of Dachau—who is under my command—about me in utterances delivered to SS Colonel Sievers. In order to save both of us this trouble, I suggest again that Dr. Rascher should be transferred to the Waffen SS as quickly as possible.” (1617-PS)

Rascher’s experiments were by no means the only experiments in which the SS was interested. Without attempting even to outline the whole extent of the experimental program, one further illustration of this type of SS activity may be mentioned. That is a report prepared by the Chief Hygienist in the office of the Reich Surgeon of the SS and Police, SS Oberfuehrer Dr. Mrugowsky, 12 September 1944, relating to experiments with poisoned bullets.

“On 11 September 1944, in the presence of SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Dr. Ding, Dr. Widman and the undersigned, experiments with Akonotinnitrate bullets were carried out on five persons who had been sentenced to death. The caliber of the bullets used was 7.65 cm and they were filled with the poison in crystal form. Each subject of the experiments received one shot in the upper part of the left thigh, while in a horizontal position. In the case of 2 persons, the bullets passed clean through the upper part of the thigh. Even later no effect from the poison could be seen. These two subjects were therefore rejected * * *.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“The symptoms shown by the three condemned persons were surprisingly the same. At first, nothing special was noticeable. After 20 to 25 minutes, a disturbance of the motor nerves and a light flow of saliva began, but both stopped again. After 40 to 44 minutes a strong flow of saliva appeared. The poisoned persons swallowed frequently, later the flow of saliva is so strong that it can no longer be controlled by swallowing. Foamy saliva flows from the mouth. Then, a sensation of choking, and vomiting start.” (L-103)

The next three paragraphs describe in coldly scientific fashion the reactions of the dying persons. That description then concludes:

“At the same time there was pronounced nausea. One of the poisoned persons tried in vain to vomit. In order to succeed he put 4 fingers of his hand, up to the main joint, right into his mouth. In spite of this, no vomiting occurred. His face became quite red.

“The faces of the other two subjects were already pale at an early stage. Other symptoms were the same. Later on the disturbance of the motor nerves increased so much that the persons threw themselves up and down rolled their eyes and made aimless movements with their hands and arms. At last, the disturbance subsided, the pupils were enlarged to the maximum, the condemned lay still. Massetercramp and loss of urine was observed in one of them. Death occurred 121, and 129 minutes after they were shot.” (L-103)

The fact that SS doctors engaged in such experiments was no accident. It was consistent with an ideology and racial philosophy which, to use Himmler’s own words, regarded human beings as lice and offal. But the most important factor was the fact that only the SS was in a position to supply necessary human material. And it did supply such material through WVHA. A letter from the Department Chief of Office Group D of WVHA, 12 May 1944, addressed to the commandants of all concentration camps dealt with the assignment of prisoners for the experimental purposes:

“There is cause to call attention to the fact that in every case permission for assignment has to be requested here before assignment of prisoners is made for experimental purposes.

“To be included in this request are number, kind of custody, and in case of aryan prisoners, exact personal data, file number in the Main Reich’s Security Office and reason for detainment into the concentration camp.

“Herewith, I explicitly forbid assignment of prisoners for experimental purposes without permission.” (1751-PS)

It was on the basis of its ability to supply such material that the Ministry of Finance was prepared to subsidize the SS experimental program. This matter was discussed in a series of letters between the Ministry of Finance, the Reichs Research Department, and the Reich Surgeon of the SS and police (002-PS). The first is from the office of the Executive Council of the Reichs Research Department, addressed to the Reichs Surgeon SS and Police, 19 February 1943, and signed by Mentzel, Chief of Bureau, SS Brigade Leader:

“The Reichs Minister of Finance told me that you requested 53 leading positions (BES. GR C3-C8) for your office, partly for a new research institute.

“After the Reichsmarschall of the Great German Reich had, as President of the Reichs Research Dept., entrusted himself with all German research, issued directives among other things, that in the execution of military important scientific tasks, the available institutions including equipment and personnel should be utilized to the utmost for reasons of necessary economization (of effort).

“The foundation of new institutes comes therefore only in question in as far as there are no outstanding institutes available for the furtherance of important war research tasks.” (002-PS)

To this letter the Reich Surgeon of SS and Police replied on 26 February 1943:

“In acknowledgment of your correspondence of the 19th Feb. 1943, I am able to reply the following to it today:

“The appropriation for the 53 key positions for my office which you made the basis of your memorandum was a veritable peace plan.

“The special institutes of the SS which are to be partly staffed through this appropriation are to serve the purpose to establish and make accessible for the entire realm of scientific research, the particular possibilities of research only possessed by the SS.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“I will gladly be at your disposal at any time to discuss the particular research aims in connection with the SS, which I would like to bring up upon the direction of the Reichs Director SS.” (002-PS)

An interview between the Reich Surgeon and Mentzel took place, and on 25 March 1943 Mentzel wrote the following letter to the Reich Minister of Finance:

“In regard to your correspondence of the 19th Dec (J 4761—174 I g III. Ang) to which I gave you a preliminary communication on the 19th Feb, I finally take the following position:

“The Surgeon General-SS and Police, in a personal discussion, told me that the budget claim which he looks after is used primarily in the pure military sector of the Waffen SS. Since it is established on a smaller scale for the enlarging of scientific research possibilities, they pertain therefore exclusively to such affairs that are carried out with the material (Prisoners—‘Haflinge’) which is only accessible to the Waffen SS and are therefore not to be undertaken for any other experimental purposes.

“I cannot object therefore on the part of the Reichs Experimental Counsel against the budget claims of the Surgeon General, SS and Police.” (002-PS)

(5) Functions and Activities with respect to Jewish Persecution. Through its activities with respect to concentration camps the SS performed part of its mission to safeguard the security of the Nazi regime. But another specialized aspect of that mission must not be forgotten. Himmler had defined that task as the prevention of a “Jewish Bolshevist revolution of subhumans.” In plain words this meant participation in the Nazi program of Jewish persecution and extermination. That program involved every branch and component of the SS.

The racial philosophy of the SS made that organization a natural agency for the execution of all types of anti-semitic measures. The SS position on the Jewish question was publicly stated in the SS newspaper “Das Schwarze Korps,” in the issue of 8 August 1940, by its editor, Gunter d’Alquen (2668-PS). “Das Schwarze Korps” was the official propaganda agency of the SS which every SS man was required to read and to induce others to read. This was the SS position on the Jews:

“Just as the Jewish question will be solved for Germany only when the last Jew has been deported, so the rest of Europe should realize that the German peace which awaits it must be a peace without Jews.” (2668-PS)

The attempted “solution” of the Jewish question through pogroms and “spontaneous” demonstrations occurred following the murder of von Rath in November 1938. In these demonstrations all branches of the SS were called on to play a part. The teletype message from SS Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich, Chief of the Security Police and SD, issued on 10 November 1938 concerning “Measures against Jews tonight,” provided:

“* * * The direction of the measures of the Security Police concerning the demonstrations against Jews is vested with the organs of the State Police—inasmuch as the inspectors of the Security Police are not issuing their own orders. In order to carry out the measures of the Security Police, officials of the Criminal Police, as well as members of the SD, of the Verfuegungstruppe and the Allgemeine SS may be used.” (3051-PS)

With the outbreak of the war and the march of Nazi armies over the Continent, the SS participated in “solving” the Jewish question in all the countries of Europe. The solution was nothing short of extermination. To a large degree these wholesale murders were disguised under the name of “anti-partisan” or “anti-guerilla” actions, and as such included as victims not merely Jews but Soviets, Poles, and other Eastern peoples. One example of an action confined essentially to Jews was the mass annihilation of Jews in gas vans (501-PS). Those vans were operated by the Security Police and SD under the direction of RSHA. Another example is found in the report entitled “Solution of the Jewish Question in Galicia,” prepared by SS Gruppenfuehrer and Lt. General of the Police Katzman and rendered to SS Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Police Krueger (L-18). The “solution,” which consisted in evacuation and extermination of all the Jews in Galicia and confiscation of their property, was carried out under the energetic direction of the SS and Police Leaders, with the assistance of SS police units, as the report proudly boasts. Three additional items in that report dealing specifically with the SS should be noted. The first is the text under a photograph in the original report:

“Great was the joy of the SS men when the Reichsfuehrer SS in person in 1942 visited some camps along the Rollbahn.” (L-18)

The second is a balance sheet, showing the income from forced Jewish labor and expenditures therefrom. Item 3 on the balance sheet reads as follows:

“3.Amount paid over to the SS cashier:
a. Camps6,876,251,00 Zl
b. W&R Factories6,556,513,69 Zl
13,432,764,69 Zl

Further payments to the SS-cashier are effected every month.” (L-18)

The third is the last two paragraphs of the report:

“Despite the extraordinary burden heaped upon every single SS Police Officer during these actions, mood and spirit of the men were extraordinarily good and praiseworthy to the last day.

“Only thanks to the sense of duty of every single leader and man have we succeeded to get rid of this PLAGUE in so short a time.” (L-18)

One final example of SS participation in Jewish extermination is the report by SS Brigadefuehrer and Major General of the Police, Stroop, of the destruction of the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw during April and May 1943 (1061-PS). Two sections of that report dealing with the constitution of the participating forces should be noted. A table of the units used indicates the average number of officers and men from each unit employed per day. It will be observed that among the units involved were the staff of the SS and Police Leader, two battalions of the Waffen SS, two battalions of the 22d SS Police Regiment and members of the Security Police. The part played by the Waffen SS particularly came in for high praise from the writer of the report. Tribute is paid to the toughness of the men of the Waffen SS, Police, and Wehrmacht. In the next paragraph the writer says:

“Considering that the greater part of the men of the Waffen SS had been trained for only three or four weeks before being assigned to this action, high credit should be given for the pluck, courage and devotion to duty which they showed.” (1061-PS)

The selection methods and ideological education of Waffen SS men furnished such good grounding that a few weeks of practice was all that was required to turn them into excellent exterminators. Himmler’s proud boast of the part that the SS played in the extermination of the Jews occurs in his Posen Speech:

“Most of you must know what it means when 100 corpses are lying side by side, or 500 or 1,000. To have stuck it out and at the same time—apart from the exceptions caused by human weakness—to have remained decent fellows, that is what has made us hard. This is a page of glory in our history which has never been written and is never to be written * * *.” (1919-PS)

(6) Functions and activities with respect to preparing for and waging aggressive war. From the very beginning the SS made prime contributions to the conspirators’ aggressive aims. First, it served as one of the para-military organizations under which the conspirators disguised their building up of an Army in violation of the Versailles Treaty. Second, through affiliated SS organizations in other countries and through some of the departments in its own Supreme Command, it fostered Fifth Column movements outside Germany and prepared the way for aggression. Third, through its militarized units, it participated in the aggressive actions which were eventually carried out.

(a) The SS as a para-military organization. The para-military character of the General SS is apparent from the military character of its structure, the military discipline required of its members, and the steps it took to enlist in its ranks young men of military age. In addition to this volunteer Army the SS created, as early as 1933, fully armed professional soldiers who complied with the requirement for compulsory military service by performing duties in the SS. These were the SS Vorfuegungstruppe and the Death Head Units.

(b) The SS as a fifth column agency. While building up the SS as a military force within Germany, the conspirators also utilized it in other countries to lay the groundwork for aggression. During the seizure of Austria, the SS Standarte 89 was directly involved in the murder of Chancellor Dolfuss, and a memorial placque was erected in Vienna as a tribute to the SS men who participated in that murder (L-273; 2968-PS). Subsequently, on the night of 11 March 1938, the SS with the SA marched into Vienna and occupied all government buildings and important posts in the city. (See the report of Gauleiter Rainer to Reich Commissioner Buerckel (812-PS); and the record of the telephone conversations between Goering and Dambrowski (2949-PS)).

The same pattern was repeated in Czechoslovakia. Henlein’s Free Corps played in that country the part of fifth column which the SS had played in Austria and was rewarded, in September 1938, by being placed under the jurisdiction of the Reichsfuehrer SS (388-PS, Items 37, 38). Moreover, a Most Secret OKW order of 28 September 1938, reveals that the SS had its own armed units, four battalions of Totenkopf Verbaende, actually operating in Czechoslovakian territory before the Munich Pact was signed (388-PS, Item 36).

But SS preparations for aggression were not confined to military forces. One of the departments of the SS Supreme Command, the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle, was a center for fifth column activity. At the secret meeting between Ribbentrop and Henlein in March 1938, at which the line to be followed by the Sudeten German Party was determined, the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle was represented by Professor Haushofer and SS Obergruppenfuehrer Lorenz (2788-PS). And when the Foreign Office in August 1938 awarded further subsidies to Henlein’s Sudeten Party, the memorandum of that recommendation (3059-PS) contained the significant footnote:

“Volksdeutsche Mittlestelle will be informed.” (3059-PS)

(c) SS participation in aggressive war. When at last the time came to strike, the SS was ready. In the words of the National Socialist Yearbook for 1940 (2164-PS):

“When the march into the liberated provinces of the Sudetenland began on that memorable October 1, 1938, Verfuegungstruppe as well as the Death Head Units were along with those in the lead. * * *”

“The 15th of March 1939 brought a similar utilization of the SS when it served to establish order in collapsing Czechoslovakia. This action ended with the founding of the protectorate Bohemia-Moravia.

“Only a week later, on the 29th of March 1939, Memel also returned to the Reich upon basis of an agreement with Lithuania. Again it was the SS, here above all the Eastern Prussian SS, which played a prominent part in the liberation of this province.” (2164-PS)

In the final act which set off the war, the attack on Poland in September 1939, the SS acted as stage manager. In his affidavit (Affidavit A), Maj. Gen. Erwin Lahousen describes the simulated attack on the radio station Gleiwitz by Germans dressed in Polish uniforms, as one of the most mysterious actions which took place in the Abwehr office:

“This was an incident which had been deliberately engineered and directed by the SD and it was executed by prisoners from Concentration Camps dressed up in Polish uniforms, and using Polish weapons and equipment. Those prisoners were later murdered by the SD in order to eliminate any possibility of their giving testimony of the incident.” (Affidavit A)

The war erupted and the Waffen SS again took its place in the van of the attacking forces.

(7) Functions and activities with respect to commission of war crimes. During the war great use was made of the peculiar qualities possessed by the SS—qualities not only of its combat force, but of its other components as well—in executing tasks embracing the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

(a) “Antipartisan” operations. A directive issued by Keitel on 13 March 1941, making preparations 3 months in advance for the attack on Russia, provided that in the area of operations the Reichsfuehrer SS was entrusted with special tasks for the preparation of the political administration—tasks which would result from the struggle about to commence between two opposing political systems. (447-PS)

One of the steps taken by the Reichsfuehrer SS to carry out those “special tasks” was the formation and use of so-called “anti-partisan” units. They were discussed by Himmler in his Posen speech:

“In the meantime I have also set up the Chief of the anti-partisan units. Our comrade SS Obergruppenfuehrer von dem Bach is Chief of the anti-partisan units. I considered it necessary for the Reichsfuehrer SS to be in authoritative command in all these battles, for I am convinced that we are best in position to take action against this enemy struggle, which is decidedly a political one. Except where units which had been supplied and which we had formed for this purpose were taken from us to fill in gaps at the front, we have been very successful.

“It is notable that by setting up this department, we have gained for the SS in turn, a division, a corps, an army, and the next step—which is the High Command of an army or area of a group—if you wish to call it that.” (1919-PS)

What the SS did with its division, corps, and army, out of which the anti-partisan units were formed, is illustrated in the “Activity and Situation Report No. 6 of the Task Forces of the Security Police and SD in the U.S.S.R.,” covering the period from 1 to 31 October 1941 (R-102). The report shows that so-called “anti-partisan” activity was actually nothing but a name for extermination of Jews and persons believed politically undesirable. The report is a carefully organized and detailed description of such extermination. Section I describes the stations of the various Task Forces involved, and section II their activities. The latter section is divided into parts, each dealing with a different geographical region—the Baltic area, White Ruthenia, and the Ukraine. Under each area the report of activities is classified under three headings: (a) Partisan activity and counteraction; (b) arrests and executions of communists and officials; and (c) Jews. The following units were involved (R-102):

“The present stations are:

“Task Force A: since 7 October 1941 Krasnowardeisk.

“Task Force B: continues in Smolensk.

“Task Force C: since 27 September 1941 in Kiew.

“Task Force D: since 27 September 1941 in Nikolajew.

“The Action and Special Commandos (Einsatz und Sonder Commandos) which are attached to the Task Force continue on the march with the advancing troops into the sectors which have been assigned to them.” (R-102)

The section headed “Baltic area” and subsection labeled “Jews” read as follows (R-102):

“Spontaneous demonstrations against Jewry followed by pogroms on the part of the population against the remaining Jews have not been recorded on account of the lack of adequate indoctrination.

“However, the Estonian Protective Corps (Selbstschutz), formed at the time of the entry of the Wehrmacht, immediately started a comprehensive arrest action of all Jews. This action was under the direction of the task force of the Security Police and the SD.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“The male Jews over 16 were executed with the exception of doctors and the elders. At the present time this action is still in progress. After completion of this action there will remain only 500 Jewesses and children in the Eastern Territory.” (R-102)

In the section headed “White Ruthenia,” the subsection labeled “Partisan activity and counteraction,” the following appear:

“In Wultschina 8 juveniles were arrested as partisans and shot. They were inmates of a children’s home. They had collected weapons which they hid in the woods. Upon search the following were found: 3 heavy machine guns, 15 rifles, several thousand rounds of ammunition, several hand grenades, and several packages of poison gas Ebrit.

b. Arrests and executions of communists, officials, and criminals.

“A further large part of the activity of the Security Police was devoted to the combatting of Communists and criminals. A special Commando in the period covered by this report executed 63 officials, NKVD agents and agitators.” (R-102)

The preceding subsection ends with the following statement:

“The liquidations for the period covered by this report have reached a total of 37,180 persons.” (R-102)

And under the section headed “Ukraine,” the subsection “Jews,” this statement occurs:


In Shitomir 3,145 Jews had to be shot, because from experience they have to be regarded as bearers of Bolshevik propaganda and saboteurs.” (R-102)

The foregoing report deals with the activities of four Task Forces—A, B, C, and D. The more detailed report of Task Force A up to 15 October 1941 shows great variety of SS components in such a task force:

“This description of the over-all situation showed and shows that the members of the Stapo [The Secret State Police], Kripo and SD [Security Service] who are attached to the Action-Group, are active mainly in Lithouania, Latvia, Esthonia, White-Ruthenia and to a smaller part in front of Leningrad. It shows further that the forces of the uniformed police and the Armed SS are active mainly in front of Leningrad, in order to take measures against the returning population and under their own officers. This is so much easier because the Action detachments in Lithouania, Latvia and Esthonia have at their disposal native police units, as described in encl. 1, and because so far 150 Latvian reinforcements have been sent to White-Ruthenia.

“The distribution of the leaders of Security Police and SD during the individual phases can be gathered from encl. 2, the advance and the activities of the Action-Group and the Action-detachments from encl. 3. It should be mentioned that the leaders of the Armed-SS and of the uniformed police who are reserves have declared their wish to stay on with the Security Police and the SD.” (L-180)

Inclosure 1a to this report shows the constitution of the Force:

Total Strength of Action Group A:
 Motor Bicycle-Riders17217.4
 Security Service [SD]353.5
 Criminal Police [Kripo]414.1
 State Police [Gestapo]899.0
 Auxiliary Police878.8
 Order Police13313.4
 Female Employees131.3
 Wireless-Operators80.8” (L-180)

Another report on the anti-partisan activity, from the General Commissar for White Ruthenia to the Reich Minister for Occupied Eastern Territories, 5 June 1943, deals with the results of the police operation “Cottbus”:

“* * * SS Brigadefuehrer, Major General of Police von Gottberg, reports that the operation ‘Cottbus’ had the following result during the period mentioned:

Enemy dead4,500
Dead suspected of belonging to bands5,000
German dead59

*            *            *            *            *            *

“The figures mentioned above indicate that again a heavy destruction of the population must be expected. If only 492 rifles are taken from 4,500 enemy dead, this discrepancy shows that among these enemy dead were numerous peasants from the country. The battalion Dirlewanger especially has a reputation for destroying many human lives. Among the 5,000 people suspected of belonging to bands, there were numerous women and children.

“By order of the Chief of Band-Combatting, SS Obergruppenfuehrer von dem Bach, units of the armed forces have also participated in the operation * * *” (R-135)

SS Obergruppenfuehrer vom dem Bach was referred to by Himmler as “our comrade” when he placed him in charge of anti-partisan activity.

(b) Execution of civilians. The activities so far dealt with were joint activities in which the Gestapo, Order Police, the SD, Waffen SS, and SS Police Regiments were all involved. But these units were, of course, also used individually to carry out tasks of such a nature—tasks for which any component of the SS was well trained. A letter from the Chief of the Command Office of the Waffen SS to the Reichsfuehrer SS, 14 October 1941, contains an intermediate report on civilian state of emergency:

“* * * I deliver the following report regarding the commitment of the Waffen SS in the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia during the civilian state of emergency:

“In the mutual changes, all Battalions of the Waffen SS in the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia will be brought forth for shootings, and relatively for the supervision at hangings.

“Up until now there occurred:

“in Prague:99shootings
“in Bruenn:54shootings
“Total:191executions (including 16 Jews)

“A complete report regarding other measures and on the conduct of the officers, noncoms and men will be made following the termination of the civilian state of emergency.” (1972-PS)

(c) Murder of prisoners of war. It is not surprising that units of the Waffen SS, a branch which had thus been employed for extermination actions and the execution of civilians, also violated the laws of warfare when carrying on ordinary combat activities. Proof of these violations is contained in a supplementary report of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force Court of Inquiry concerning the shooting of allied prisoners of war by the 12th SS Panzer Division (Hitler Jugend) in Normandy, France, on 7-21 June 1944 (2997-PS). The Court of Inquiry concluded that there occurred in Normandy, between 7 and 17 June 1944, seven cases of violations of the law of war, involving the shooting of 64 unarmed allied prisoners of war in uniform, many of whom had been previously wounded, and none of whom had resisted or endeavored to escape; that the perpetrators were members of the 12th SS Panzer Division, the so-called Hitler Jugend Division; that enlisted men of the 15th Company of the 25th Panzer Grenadier Regiment of that Division were given secret orders to the effect that SS troops should take no prisoners and that prisoners were to be executed after having been interrogated; that similar orders were given to men of the 3d Battalion of the 26th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment and to the 12th SS Engineering and Reconnaissance Battalions; and that the conclusion was irresistible that it was understood throughout the Division that a policy of denying quarter or executing prisoners after interrogation was openly approved. (2997-PS)

Other combatants met a similar fate at the hands of other components of the SS. (The execution of allied fliers, of commandos, and paratroopers, and of escaped prisoners of war who were turned over to the SD to be destroyed, is discussed in Section 6 on the Gestapo.)

Combatants who were taken prisoner of war encountered the SS in another form. (Section 6 on the Gestapo discusses the selection, by SS groups stationed in prisoner of war camps, of prisoners for what the Nazis euphemistically called “special treatment.”) Finally, the entire control of prisoners of war was turned over to the Reichsfuehrer SS, pursuant to the circular letter from the Nazi Party Chancellery placing Himmler in charge of all prisoner of war camps. (058-PS)

(8) Functions and activities with respect to Germanization of conquered lands. The final phase of the conspiracy in which the SS played a leading role comprehended the colonization of conquered territories, the destruction of their national existence, and the permanent extension of the German frontier. These objectives were carried out through the forcible evacuation and resettlement of inhabitants of conquered regions, confiscation of their properties, “denationalization” and “reeducation” of persons of German blood, and the colonization of conquered territories by Germans. (See Chapter X on the Slave Labor Program and Chapter XIII on Germanization and Spoliation.)

The SS was the logical agency to formulate and carry out the execution of this program. The numerous statements made by Himmler as to SS training for its role as the aristocracy in the “new Europe” leave that beyond doubt. Himmler immediately proceeded to put these theories into practice upon his appointment on 7 October 1939 as Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Folkdom. (686-PS)

To make and carry out plans for the program of evacuation and resettlement, a new department of the SS Supreme Command, the Staff Headquarters of the Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Folkdom, was created. The functions of this office are thus described in the Organizations Book of the NSDAP for 1943:

“The Main Office of the Staff of the Reichs Commissar for the Consolidation of German Nationality is entrusted with the whole settlement and constructive planning and with its execution in the Reich and all those territories within the authority of the Reich, including all administrative and economic questions in connection with settlement, especially the deployment of manpower for this purpose.” (2640-PS)

The colonization program had two principal objectives: the first phase was the destruction of the conquered peoples, by exterminating them, deporting them, and confiscating their property; the second phase was the bringing back of racial Germans to settle in the newly acquired land and to live from the wealth of those who had been eliminated.

(a) Elimination and deportation of conquered people. The extermination actions contributed in part to clearing the conquered territories of persons deemed dangerous to the Nazi plan. But not every undesirable could be liquidated. Moreover, manpower was needed for the Nazi war effort. Mass deportation thus accomplished the twin purpose of providing labor and of freeing the land for German colonists. The participation of SS agencies in deporting persons from the conquered territories to meet the increased demands of the Nazi war machine for manpower has already been shown. The evacuation and resettlement program, however, required the use of additional SS agencies to deport persons occupying the desired living space. For this purpose immigration centers were set up under the direction of RSHA, as is stated in the National Socialist Yearbook for 1941:

“For some time now the Reichsfuehrer-SS has had at his disposal an office under the management of SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Lorenz, the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle. This office has the task of dealing with National German questions and the raising of required support.

“In addition to the VM the Immigration Center Offices with the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service of the SS (under the management of SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr. Sandberger) and the Settlement Staff of the Reich-Commissioner were created, which, in cooperation with the NSV [National Socialist Welfare Organization] and the Reich Railroad Agency, took charge of the Migration of National Germans.” (2163-PS)

Further evidence is contained in the affidavit of Otto Hoffman, SS Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Waffen SS and Police, who was chief in the Main Office for Race and Settlement in the SS Supreme Command until 1943. This affidavit, taken at Freising, Germany, on 4 August 1945 reads as follows:

“* * * 2. The executive power, in other words the carrying out of all so-called resettlement actions, that is to say, sending away of Polish and Jewish settlers and those of non-German blood from a territory in Poland destined for Germanization, was in the hands of the Chief of the RSHA (Heydrich and later Kaltenbrunner, since the end of 1942). The Chief of the RSHA also supervised and issued orders to the so-called immigration center (EWZ) which classified the Germans, living abroad who returned to Germany and directed them to the individual farms, already freed. The latter was done in agreement with the chief office of the Reichsfuehrer SS.” (L-49)

Other SS agencies also were included. The report, dated 22 May 1940, relating to confiscation of Polish agricultural enterprises and deportation of the Polish owners to Germany, shows that the following SS agencies were involved in this action:

“Means of transportation to the railroad can be provided (1)—by the enterprise of the East German Corporation of Agricultural Development, (2)—by the SS NCO School in Lublinitz and the concentration camp of Auschwitz.

“These two latter places will also detail the necessary SS men for the day of the confiscation, etc.” (1352-PS)

The extent to which departments of the Supreme Command of the SS were concerned with the evacuation program is shown by the minutes of a meeting on 4 August 1942 dealing with the treatment of deported Alsatians (R-114). The minutes list those present at the meeting as follows:

“SS.-‘Hauptsturmfuehrer’ Dr. Stier}
 SS.-‘Hauptsturmfuehrer’ Petri}
‘RR’Hoffmann}  Staff Headquarters
 SS.-‘Untersturmfuehrer’ Foerster}
 SS.-‘Obersturmfuehrer’ Dr. Hinrichs, Chief of Estate Office and Settlement Staff, Strasbourg [Leiter des Bodenamtes und Ansiedlungsstabes Strasburg]
 SS.-‘Sturmbannfuehrer’ Bruckner, Intermediate Office for Racial Germans (Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle)
 SS.-‘Hauptsturmfuehrer’ Hummisch, Main Office Reich Security [Reichssicherheitshauptamt]
 SS.-‘Untersturmfuehrer’ Dr. Sieder, Main office for race and settling [Rus-Hauptamt]
 Dr. Labes, D. U. T.” (R-114)

The minutes read in part as follows:

“1. State of deportation in Alsace.

“The starting point of the conference was a report on the deportation effected so far and further plans for resettlement in Alsace.”

*            *            *            *            *            *


“The representatives of the SS Main Offices present were united in this opinion:

“II. 1. The Gauleiter’s plans for evacuation can be approved in principle, since they confine themselves in fact to a class of persons, whose presence in the Reich would be insupportable for racial and political reasons.” (R-114)

(b) Resettlement of conquered territories by Germans. The SS not only destroyed or deported conquered peoples and confiscated their property, but it also repopulated the conquered regions with so-called racial Germans. Thousands upon thousands of these Germans were transported from all parts of Europe to join the greater Reich. Not all Germans were deemed reliable colonists, however. Those who were not, were returned to Germany proper for “re-Germanization” and “reeducation” along Nazi lines. A typical instance of the fate of such Germans is found in the decree of the Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Folkdom of 16 February 1942, dealing with the treatment to be accorded so-called “Polonized” Germans (R-112). By the terms of that decree two other SS functionaries were charged with the responsibility for the re-Germanization program, the Higher SS and Police Leaders and the Gestapo. Paragraph III of the decree provides:

“III. The Higher SS and Police Fuehrer will further the re-Germanization actions with every means at their disposal and continuously take stock of their success. In case they find that obstacles are put in the way of a re-Germanization action, they will report on their findings to the competent State Police (Superior) Office for appropriate measures. Where it proves to be impossible to attain re-Germanization even by forcible measures taken by the State Police, they will apply for a revocation of the naturalization through the Reich Fuehrer SS, Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Nationhood and give notice to the competent State Police (Superior) Office.” (R-112)

Paragraph IV of the decree provides:

“IV. In the course of fulfilling their duties imposed on them by this Decree the competent State Police (Superior) Offices will take in particular the following measures:”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“4. They will assist the Higher SS and Police Fuehrer in their task of re-Germanization, particularly in removing obstacles by forcible measures whenever there is opposition to re-Germanization. Before ordering forcible measures by the State Police they will give the Counsellor of the person in question an opportunity to state his opinion.

“5. They will take into protective custody all persons, with regard to whom the Higher SS and Police Fuehrer has applied for revocation of their naturalization and will order their imprisonment in a Concentration Camp.” (R-112)

In the final stage of the process, the resettlement of the conquered lands by racially and politically desirable Germans, still other SS agencies participated. The National Socialist Yearbook for 1941 states that:

“Numerous SS-leaders and SS-men helped with untiring effort in bringing about this systematic migration of peoples, which has no parallel in history.

“There were many authoritative and administrative difficulties which, however, were immediately overcome due to the unbureaucratic working procedure. This was especially guaranteed above all by the employment of SS leaders.

“The procedure called ‘Durchschleusung’ (literally, ‘passing through the lock’) takes 3 to 4 hours as a rule. The resettler is passed through 8 to 9 offices, following each other in organic order: registration office, card-index office, certificate and photo-office, property office, and biological hereditary and sanitary test office. The latter was entrusted to doctors and medical personnel of the SS and of the Armed Forces. The SS-Corps Areas [Oberabschnitte] Alpenland, North-West, Baltic Sea, Fulda-Werra, South and South East, the SS-Main Office [SS-Hauptamt], the NPEA (National Political Education Institution) Vienna, and the SS-Cavalry-School in Hamburg provided most of the SS-Officer and SS-Non-Coms who worked at this job of resettlement.”

*            *            *            *            *            *

“The settlement, establishment and care of the newly won peasantry in the liberated Eastern territory will be one of the most cherished tasks of the SS in the whole future.” (2163-PS)

E. Defendant’s Membership in the SS.

In the course of its development from a group of strong armed bodyguards, some 200 in number, to a complex organization participating in every field of Nazi endeavor, the SS found room for its members in high places. Persons in high places moreover, found for themselves a position in the SS. Of the defendants charged in the indictment at least 7 were high ranking officers in the SS. They are the defendants Ribbentrop, Hess, Kaltenbrunner, Bormann, Sauckel, Neurath, and Seyss-Inquart. The vital part that Kaltenbrunner played in the SS, the SD, and the entire Security Police system is discussed in Section 6 on the Gestapo.

With respect to the other six defendants, the facts as to their membership in the SS are to be found in two official publications. The first is the membership list of the SS as of 1 December 1936. On line 2, page 8, of that publication, there appears the name “Hess, Rudolf,” followed by the notation, “By authority of the Fuehrer the right to wear the uniform of an SS Obergruppenfuehrer.” In the 1937 edition of the same membership list, line 50, page 10, there appears the name “Bormann, Martin,” and in line with his name on the opposite page, under the heading “Gruppenfuehrer,” appears the following date “20.4.37.” In the same edition, line 56, page 12, is the name “von Neurath, Konstantin” and on the opposite page, under the column headed “Gruppenfuehrer,” the date “18.9.37.”

The second publication is “Der Grossdeutsche Reichstag” for the Fourth Voting Period, edited by E. Kienast, Ministerial Director of the German Reichstag, an official handbook containing biographical data as to members of the Reichstag. On page 349 the following appears: “von Ribbentrop, Joachim, Reichsminister des Auswaertigen, SS Obergruppenfuehrer”; and on page 360 the following: “Sauckel, Fritz, Gauleiter and Reichsstatthalter in Thuringen, SS Obergruppenfuehrer”; and on page 389 the following: “Seyss-Inquart, Arthur, Dr. Jur., Reichsminister, SS Obergruppenfuehrer.”

F. Conclusion.

It is the prosecution’s contention that the SS, as defined in Appendix B of the Indictment, was unlawful. Its participation in every phase of the conspiracy alleged in Count One is clear. As an organization founded on the principle that persons of “German blood” were a “master race,” it exemplified a basic Nazi doctrine. It served as one of the means through which the conspirators acquired control of the German government. The operations of the SD, and of the SS Totenkopf Verbaende in concentration camps, were means used by the conspirators to secure their regime and terrorize their opponents as alleged in Count One. All components of the SS were involved from the very beginning in the Nazi program of Jewish extermination. Through the Allgemeine SS as a para-military organization, the SS Verfuegungstruppe and SS Totenkopf Verbaende as professional combat forces, and the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle as a fifth column agency, it participated in preparations for aggressive war, and, through its militarized units, in the seizure of Austria, the invasion of Czechoslovakia, the attack on Poland, and the waging of aggressive war in the West and in the East, as set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment. In the course of such war, all components of the SS had a part in the war crimes and crimes against humanity, set forth in Counts Three and Four,—the murder and ill treatment of civilian populations in occupied territory, the murder and ill treatment of prisoners of war, and the Germanization of occupied territories.

The evidence has shown that the SS was a single enterprise—a unified organization. Some of its functions were, of course, performed by one branch, or department or office, some by another. No single branch or department participated in every phase of its activity. But every branch and department and office was necessary to the functioning of the whole. The situation is much the same as in the case of the individual defendants at the bar. Not all participated in every act of the conspiracy; but all performed a contributing part in the whole criminal scheme.

The evidence has shown, not only that the SS was an organization of volunteers but that applicants had to meet the strictest standards of selection. It was not easy to become an SS member. That was true of all branches of the SS. During the course of the war, as the demands for manpower increased and the losses of the Waffen SS grew heavier and heavier, there were occasions when men drafted for compulsory military service were assigned to units of the Waffen SS rather than to the Wehrmacht. Those instances were relatively few. Evidence of recruiting standards of the Waffen SS in 1943 has shown that membership in that branch was as essentially voluntary and highly selective as in other branches. The fact that some individuals may have been arbitrarily assigned to some Waffen SS unit has no bearing on the issue before the tribunal, which is this, whether the SS was or was not an unlawful organization. Doubtless some of the members of the SS, or of other of the organizations alleged to be unlawful, might desire to show that their participation in the organization was small or innocuous, that compelling reasons drove them to apply for membership, that they were not fully conscious of its aims, or that they were mentally irresponsible when they became members. Such facts might or might not be relevant if they were on trial. But in any event this is not the forum to try out such matters.

The question before this Tribunal is simply this, whether the SS was or was not an unlawful organization. The evidence has fully shown what the aims and activities of the SS were. Some of these aims were stated in publications. The activities were so widespread and so notorious, covering so many fields of unlawful endeavor, that the illegality of the organization could not have been concealed. It was a notorious fact, and Himmler himself admitted that in 1936, when he said:

“I know that there are people in Germany now who become sick when they see these black coats. We know the reason and we don’t expect to be loved by too many.”

It was at all times the exclusive function and purpose of the SS to carry out the common objectives of the conspirators. Its activities in carrying out those functions involved the commission of the crimes defined in Article 6 of the Charter. By reason of its aims and the means used for the accomplishment thereof, the SS should be declared a criminal organization in accordance with Article 9 of the Charter.


Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Article 9.I6
International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Section IV (H); Appendix B.I29, 70
Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.
 *002-PSLetters of Reichs Research Department regarding the budget of the SS. (USA 469)III5
 *058-PSHitler Order of 30 September 1944 concerning reorganization of the concerns of prisoners of war. (USA 456)III103
 *343-PSLetter from Milch, Chief of the Personal Staff, to Himmler, 31 August 1942, and letter from Milch to Wolff, 20 May 1942. (USA 463)III266
 *388-PSFile of papers on Case Green (the plan for the attack on Czechoslovakia), kept by Schmundt, Hitler’s adjutant, April-October 1938. (USA 26)III305
  447-PSTop Secret Operational Order to Order No. 21, signed by Keitel, 13 March 1941, concerning Directives for special areas. (USA 135)III409
 *501-PSCollection of four documents on execution by gas, June 1942, one signed by Dr. Becker, SS Untersturmfuehrer at Kiev, 16 May 1942. (USA 288)III418
 *641-PSReport of Public Prosecutor General in Munich, 1 June 1933, concerning murder of Dr. Strauss in Dachau by an SS guard. (USA 450)III453
 *642-PSReport to Public Prosecutor General in Munich, 1 June 1933, concerning murder of Hausmann in Dachau by an SS guard. (USA 451)III454
 *644-PSReport to Public Prosecutor General in Munich, 1 June 1933, concerning murder of Schloss in Dachau by an SS guard. (USA 452)III455
 *645-PSReport to Public Prosecutor General in Munich, 1 June 1933, concerning murder of Nefzger in Dachau by an SS guard. (USA 453)III457
 *647-PSSecret Hitler Order, 17 August 1938, concerning organization and mobilization of SS. (USA 443)III459
 *654-PSThierack’s notes, 18 September 1942, on discussion with Himmler concerning delivery of Jews to Himmler for extermination through work. (USA 218)III467
  686-PSDecree of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor to strengthen German Folkdom, 7 October 1939, signed by Hitler, Goering, Lammers and Keitel. (USA 305)III496
 *744-PSSecret letter of Keitel, 8 July 1943, concerning manpower for coal mining. (USA 455)III540
 *778-PSDisciplinary and Penal Measures for Concentration Camp Dachau and Service Regulations for the Camp Personnel, signed Eicke, 1 October 1933. (USA 247)III550
  781-PSMemorandum by Minister of Justice, Guertner, of conference with Himmler, 9 March 1936, concerning issuance of decree on use of arms by concentration camp officials.III557
 *812-PSLetter from Rainer to Seyss-Inquart, 22 August 1939 and report from Gauleiter Rainer to Reichskommissar Gauleiter Buerckel, 6 July 1939 on events in the NSDAP of Austria from 1933 to 11 March 1938. (USA 61)III586
*1061-PSOfficial report of Stroop, SS and Police Leader of Warsaw, on destruction of Warsaw Ghetto, 1943. (USA 275)III718
*1063-D-PSMueller’s order, 17 December 1942, concerning prisoners qualified for work to be sent to concentration camps. (USA 219)III778
 1151-P-PSLetter from WVHA, 28 March 1942, concerning “Action 14 F 13” from files of Gross Rosen Concentration camp.III808
 1166-PSInteroffice memorandum of WVHA, 15 August 1944, concerning number of prisoners and survey of prisoners clothing. (USA 458)III824
*1352-PSReports concerning the confiscation of Polish agricultural properties, 16 and 29 May 1940, signed Kusche. (USA 176)III916
 1551-PSDecree assigning functions in Office of Chief of German Police, 26 June 1936. 1936 Reichs Ministerialblatt, pp. 946-948.IV106
*1582-PSLetter from SS Sturmbannfuehrer Brandt to Dr. Rascher, 22 May 1941, concerning use of prisoners for high-flight research. (USA 462)IV114
*1583-PSLetter from Himmler, 16 November 1942, concerning feminine prisoners in concentration camps. (USA 465)IV115
*1584-I-PSTeletype from Goering to Himmler, 14 February 1944, concerning formation of 7th Airforce Group squadron for special purposes. (USA 221)IV117
*1584-III-PSCorrespondence between Himmler and Goering, 9 March 1944, concerning use of concentration camp inmates in aircraft industry. (USA 457)IV118
*1602-PSLetter from Dr. Rascher to Himmler, 15 May 1941, asking for use of prisoners for experiments in high-altitude flights. (USA 454)IV132
 1616-PSLetter from Dr. Rascher to Himmler, 17 February 1943, concerning freezing experiments.IV133
 1617-PSLetter from Himmler to General Field Marshal Milch, 13 November 1942, concerning transfer of Dr. Rascher to Waffen-SS. (USA 466)IV133
*1618-PSReport of Freezing experiments in Dachau, 15 August 1942, signed by Dr. Rascher. (USA 464)IV135
 1637-PSOrder of Himmler, 23 June 1938, concerning acceptance of members of Security Police into the SS. 1938 Reichs Ministerialblatt, pp. 1089-1091.IV138
*1680-PS“Ten Years Security Police and SD” published in The German Police, 1 February 1943. (USA 477)IV191
 1725-PSDecree enforcing law for securing the unity of Party and State, 29 March 1935. 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 502.IV224
*1751-PSLetter to all concentration camp commanders, from Gluecks, 12 May 1944, concerning assignment of prisoners for experimental purposes. (USA 468)IV279
*1851-PSThe Security Squadron as an Anti-Bolshevist Battle Organization 1936 by Himmler from The New Germany Speaks Here, book 11. (USA 440)IV488
*1852-PS“Law” from The German Police, 1941, by Dr. Werner Best. (USA 449) (See Chart No. 16.)IV490
*1857-PSAnnouncement of creation of SS as independent formation of NSDAP. Voelkischer Beobachter, 26 July 1934, p. 1. (USA 412)IV496
 1918-PSSpeech by Himmler to SS officers on day of Metz. (USA 304)IV553
*1919-PSHimmler’s speech to SS Gruppenfuehrers, 4 October 1943. (USA 170)IV558
 1932-PSLetter from Office of Chief of Department D of WVHA, 7 June 1943, concerning handling of prisoners who fall under Night and Fog decree.IV579
*1933-PSLetter to Commandant of Gross Rosen Camp from Department 10 of WVHA, 27 April 1943, providing that “Action 14 F 13” be applied only to insane. (USA 459)IV581
*1972-PSLetter from Chief of SS Operations Headquarters to Himmler, 14 October 1941, reporting on executions of Czechs by Waffen SS. (USA 471)IV604
*1992-A-PSOrganization and Obligations of the SS and the Police from “National Political Education of the Army, January 1937”. (USA 439)IV616
 2073-PSDecree concerning the appointment of a Chief of German Police in the Ministry of the Interior, 17 June 1936. 1936 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 487.IV703
*2163-PSThe SS during the War-Year 1939-40, published in National Socialist Yearbook, 1941. (USA 444)IV762
*2164-PSThe SS since the Reichparteitag 1938, published in National Socialist Yearbook, 1940. (USA 255)IV768
*2189-PSOrders from Department D of Economic and Administrative Main Office, 11 August 1942, concerning punishment by beating. (USA 460)IV842
 2199-PSLetter to Commanders of concentration camps, 12 September 1942, concerning return of urns of inmates deceased in concentration camps. (USA 461)IV853
*2284-PSThe Organizational Structure of the Third Reich—The SS—from Writings of the Hochschule for Politics. (USA 438)IV973
*2640-PSExtracts from Organization Book of NSDAP, 1943. (USA 323)V346
*2668-PS“And Don’t Forget the Jews”, from the Black Corps, 8 August 1940, No. 32, p. 2. (USA 269)V367
*2768-PSLetter from Himmler to Kaltenbrunner, 24 April 1943. (USA 447)V412
*2769-PSOrder of Battle of the SS, 1 November 1944. (USA 442)V413
*2788-PSNotes of conference in the Foreign Office between Ribbentrop, Konrad Henlein, K. H. Frank and others on program for Sudeten agitation, 29 March 1938. (USA 95)V422
*2825-PSSoldier’s Friend—pocket diary for German Armed Forces with calendar for 1943. (USA 441)V462
 2946-PSDecree relating to Special Jurisdiction in Penal Matters for members of SS and for members of Police Groups on Special Tasks of 17 October 1939. 1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 2107.V625
 2947-PSSecond decree for implementation of decrees relating to Special Jurisdiction in Penal Matters for members of SS and members of Police Groups on special tasks of 17 April 1940. 1940 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 659.V627
 2949-PSTranscripts of telephone calls from Air Ministry, 11-14 March 1938. (USA 76)V628
*2950-PSAffidavit of Frick, 19 November 1945. (USA 448)V654
*2968-PSMemorandum from U. S. Army officer concerning plaque erected in Austrian Chancellery in memoriam to killers of Dollfuss. (USA 60)V677
*2997-PSSupplementary report of Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force, Court of Inquiry, concerning shooting of Allied Prisoners of War in Normandy, France. (USA 472)V716
*3051-PSThree teletype orders from Heydrich to all stations of State Police, 10 November 1938, on measures against Jews, and one order from Heydrich on termination of protest actions. (USA 240)V797
*3059-PSGerman Foreign Office memorandum, 19 August 1938, on payments to Henlein’s Sudeten German Party between 1935 and 1938. (USA 96)V855
*3429-PSExtract from The SS Calls You. (USA 446)VI133
 3815-PSReport of the SS, 25 April 1942, concerning the activities of Hans Frank in Poland.VI745
*3839-PSStatement of Josef Spacil, 9 November 1945, concerning the meaning of “resettlement” and “special treatment”. (USA 799)VI774
*3840-PSStatement of Karl Kaleske, 24 February 1946, concerning the elimination of the Warsaw Ghetto. (USA 803)VI775
 3841-PSStatement of SS and Polizeifuehrer Juergen Stroop, 24 February 1946, concerning elimination of the Warsaw Ghetto. (USA 804)VI776
*3842-PSStatement of Fritz Mundhenke, 7 March 1946, concerning the activities of Kaltenbrunner and SS in preparation for occupation of Czechoslovakia. (USA 805)VI778
*3868-PSAffidavit of Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Hoess, 5 April 1946, concerning execution of 3,000,000 people at Auschwitz Extermination Center. (USA 819)VI787
*3870-PSAffidavit of Hans Marsalek, 8 April 1946, concerning Mauthausen Concentration Camp and dying statement of Franz Ziereis, the Commandant. (USA 797)VI790
 *D-569File of circulars from Reichsfuehrer SS, the OKW, Inspector of Concentration Camps, Chief of Security Police and SD, dating from 29 October 1941 through 22 February 1944, relative to procedure in cases of unnatural death of Soviet PW, execution of Soviet PW, etc. (GB 277)VII74
 *D-665Hitler’s license for the SS. (GB 280)VII170
 *D-745-ADeposition of Anton Kaindl, 8 March 1946, concerning SS personnel supervising concentration camps. (USA 811)VII208
 *D-745-BDeposition of Anton Kaindl, 19 March 1946, concerning SS personnel supervising concentration camps. (USA 812)VII209
 *D-746-ADeposition of Fritz Suhren, 8 March 1946, concerning SS personnel supervising concentration camps. (USA 813)VII209
  D-746-BDeposition of Fritz Suhren, 19 March 1946, concerning SS personnel supervising concentration camps. (USA 814)VII210
 *D-748Affidavit of Karl Totzauer, 15 March 1946, concerning SS personnel supervising concentration camps. (USA 816)VII211
 *D-749-BStatement of Rudolf Hoess, 20 March 1946, concerning SS personnel supervising concentration camps. (USA 817)VII212
 *D-750Deposition of August Harbaum, 19 March 1946, concerning SS personnel supervising concentration camps. (USA 818)VII213
 *L-18Official report, Katzmann to General of Police Krueger, 30 June 1943, concerning “Solution of Jewish Question in Galicia”. (USA 277)VII755
 *L-49Affidavit of Otto Hoffman, Chief of SS Main Office for Race and Settlement, 4 August 1945. (USA 473)VII795
 *L-103Letter, 12 September 1944, concerning experiments with Akonitin-nitrate-bullets. (USA 467)VII877
  L-156Circular letter from Office of Commissioner for Four-Year Plan, 26 March 1943, concerning removal of Jews to labor camps.VII905
 *L-180Report by SS Brigade Commander Stahlecker to Himmler, “Action Group A”, 15 October 1941. (USA 276)VII978
  L-198State Department Dispatch by Consul General Messersmith, 14 March 1933, concerning molesting of American citizens in Berlin.VII1026
  L-201Excerpts from Berlin newspapers, April 1933, concerning violence against Jews and discrimination against politically undesirable professors.VII1035
  L-273Report of American Consul General in Vienna to Secretary of State, 26 July 1938, concerning anniversary of assassination of Chancellor Dollfuss. (USA 59)VII1094
 *L-361Three documents concerning the formation of the RSHA, Himmler, 27 September 1939; Heydrich, 23 and 27 September 1939. (USA 478)VII1109
 *R-102Report on activities of The Task Forces of SIPO and SD in USSR, 1-31 October 1941. (USA 470)VIII96
 *R-112Orders issued by Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German nationhood, 16 February 1942, 1 July 1942, 28 July 1942. (USA 309)VIII108
 *R-114Memoranda of conferences, 4 and 18 August 1942, concerning directions for treatment of deported Alsatians. (USA 314)VIII122
 *R-124Speer’s conference minutes of Central Planning Board, 1942-44, concerning labor supply. (USA 179)VIII146
 *R-129Letter and enclosure from Pohl to Himmler, 30 April 1942, concerning concentration camps. (USA 217)VIII198
 *R-135Letter to Rosenberg enclosing secret reports from Kube on German atrocities in the East, 18 June 1943, found in Himmler’s personal files. (USA 289)VIII205
  R-143Himmler decree, 1 December 1939, concerning procedure for confiscation of works of art, archives, and documents.VIII246
Affidavit AAffidavit of Erwin Lahousen, 21 January 1946, substantially the same as his testimony on direct examination before the International Military Tribunal at Nurnberg 30 November and 1 December 1945.VIII587
Affidavit BAffidavit of Otto Ohlendorf, 20 November 1945, substantially the same as his testimony on direct examination before the International Military Tribunal at Nurnberg 3 January 1946.VIII596
Affidavit FAffidavit of Josef Dietrich, 20-21 November 1945.VIII631
Affidavit GAffidavit of Fritz Ernst Fischer, 21 November 1945.VIII635
Statement IXMy Relationship to Adolf Hitler and to the Party, by Erich Raeder, Moscow, fall 1945.VIII707
*Chart No. 1National Socialist German Workers’ Party. (2903-PS; USA 2)VIII770
*Chart No. 3Organization of the SS. (USA 445)VIII772
*Chart No. 5Position of Kaltenbrunner and the Gestapo and SD in the German Police System. (USA 493)VIII774
*Chart No. 16The Structure of the German Police. (1852-PS; USA 449)End of VIII
*Chart No. 19Organization of the Security Police (Gestapo and Kripo) and the SD 1943-1945. (2346-PS; USA 480)End of VIII


This section on the Geheime Staatspolizei (GESTAPO) includes evidence on the criminality of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) of the Schutzstaffel (SS). In the Indictment the SD is included by special references as a part of the SS, since it originated as a part of the SS and always retained its character as a party organization, as distinguished from the GESTAPO, which was a State organization. As will be shown in this section, however, the GESTAPO and the SD were brought into close working relationship, the SD serving primarily as the information-gathering agency and the GESTAPO as the executive agency of the police system established by the Nazis for the purpose of combatting the political and ideological enemies of the Nazi regime. This close working relationship between the GESTAPO and the SD was accomplished by the appointment of Himmler, the Reichsfuehrer of the SS, to the position of Chief of the German Police. What is proved in this section with respect to the criminality of the SD applies directly to the case against the SS. The relationship between the SS and the GESTAPO is considered in section 5 on the SS.

A. Development of the Gestapo and the SD.

(1) Development of the GESTAPO. The Geheime Staatspolizei, or GESTAPO, was first established in Prussia on 26 April 1933 by Goering, with the mission of carrying out the duties of political police with or in place of the ordinary police authorities. The GESTAPO chief was given the rank of a higher police authority and was subordinated only to the Minister of the Interior, to whom was delegated the responsibility of determining its functional and territorial jurisdiction (2104-PS). Pursuant to this law, and on the same date, the Minister of the Interior issued a decree on the reorganization of the police which established a State Police Bureau in each government district of Prussia subordinate to the Secret State Police Bureau in Berlin. (2371-PS)

On 30 November 1933 Goering issued a decree for the Prussian State Ministry and for the Reichs Chancellor which acknowledged the valuable services which the GESTAPO was able to render to the State and which placed the GESTAPO under his direct supervision as Chief. The GESTAPO was thereby established as an independent branch of the Administration of the Interior, responsible directly to Goering as Prussian Prime Minister. This decree gave the GESTAPO jurisdiction over the political police matters of the general and interior administration and provided that the district, county, and local police authorities were subject to the directives of the GESTAPO (2105-PS). By a decree of 8 March 1934 the regional State Police offices were separated from their organizational connection with the district government and established as independent authorities of the GESTAPO. (2113-PS)

Parallel to the development of the GESTAPO in Prussia, the Reichsfuehrer SS, Heinrich Himmler, created in Bavaria the Bavarian Political Police and also directed the formation of political police forces in the other federal states outside of Prussia. The unification of the political police of the various states took place in the spring of 1934 when Hermann Goering appointed Himmler the Deputy Chief of the Prussian GESTAPO in place of the former Deputy Chief, Diels. Himmler thereby obtained unified control over the political police forces throughout the Reich. (1680-PS)

On 10 February 1936 the basic law for the GESTAPO was promulgated by Goering as Prussian Prime Minister. This law provided that the Secret State Police had the duty to investigate and to combat in the entire territory of the State all tendencies inimical to the State, and declared that orders in matters of the Secret State Police were not subject to the review of the administrative courts (2107-PS). On the same date, 10 February 1936, a decree for the execution of said law was issued by Goering as Prussian Prime Minister and by Frick as Minister of the Interior. This decree provided that the GESTAPO had authority to enact measures valid in the entire area of the State and measures affecting that area, that it was the centralized agency for collecting political intelligence in the field of political police, and that it administered the concentration camps. The GESTAPO was given authority to make police investigations in cases of criminal attacks upon Party as well as upon State. (2108-PS)

On 28 August 1936 a circular of the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police provided that as of 1 October 1936 the political police forces of the German provinces were to be called the “Geheime Staatspolizei” (Secret State Police). The regional offices were still to be described as State Police (2372-PS). On 20 September 1936 a circular of the Minister of the Interior commissioned the GESTAPO Bureau in Berlin with the supervision of the duties of the political police commanders in all the States of Germany. (L-297)

The law relating to financial measures in connection with the police of 19 March 1937 provided that officials of the GESTAPO were to be considered direct officials of the Reich and their salaries, in addition to the operational expenses of the whole State Police, were to be borne from 1 April 1937 on by the Reich. (2243-PS)

Through the above laws and decrees the GESTAPO was established as a uniform political police system operating throughout the Reich and serving Party, State, and the Nazi leadership.

(2) Development of the SD. In 1932 the Reichsfuehrer of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, created the Sicherheitsdienst, or SD, as an intelligence service of the SS under the then SS-Standartenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich. (1680-PS)

On 9 June 1934, the NSDAP issued an ordinance which merged all information facilities then existing within the Party organization into the SD, and the SD was established as the sole Party information service. (1680-PS)

In the course of its development, the SD came into increasingly closer cooperation with the GESTAPO and also with the Reich Kriminalpolizei, the Criminal Police, or KRIPO. The GESTAPO and the KRIPO considered together were called the Sicherheitspolizei, the Security Police, or SIPO. The SD was also called upon to furnish information to various State authorities. On 11 November 1938 a decree of the Reich Minister of the Interior declared that the SD was to be the intelligence organization for the State as well as for the Party, that it had the particular duty of supporting the Secret State Police, and that it thereby became active on a national mission. These duties necessitated a close cooperation between the SD and the authorities for the General and Interior Administration. (1680-PS; 1638-PS)

Through the above laws and decrees the SD was established as a uniform political information service operating throughout the Reich and serving Party, State, and the Nazi leadership.

(3) Consolidation of the GESTAPO and the SD. The first step in the consolidation of the political police system of the State (the GESTAPO) and the information service of the Nazi Party (the SD) took place in the spring of 1934 when Goering appointed Himmler Deputy Chief of the GESTAPO. Heydrich was the head of the SD under Himmler, and when Himmler took over the actual direction of the GESTAPO, these two agencies were in effect united under one command. (1956-PS; 2460-PS)

On 17 June 1936, “for the uniformity of police duties in the Reich,” the position of Chief of the German Police was established in the Reich Ministry of the Interior, to which was assigned the direction and protection of all police affairs within the jurisdiction of the Reich. By this law Himmler was appointed Chief of the German Police under Frick, the Reich Minister of the Interior, and was given the right to participate in the sessions of the Reich Cabinet as Chief of the German Police. (2073-PS)

On 26 June 1936 Himmler issued a decree providing for the appointment of a chief of the uniformed police and of a chief of the Security Police. This decree divided the German police system into two principal branches:

(a) Ordnungspolizei (ORPO or Regular Police).

(b) Sicherheitspolizei (SIPO or Security Police).

The Ordnungspolizei was composed of the Schutzpolizei (Safety Police), the Gendarmerie (Rural Police), and the Gemeindepolizei (Local Police). The Sicherheitspolizei was composed of the Reich Kriminalpolizei (KRIPO) and the Geheime Staatspolizei (GESTAPO). Daluege was named head of the Ordnungspolizei and Heydrich was named head of the Sicherheitspolizei. Since Heydrich was also head of the SD, he took the new title of Chief of the Security Police and SD. (1551-PS)

On 27 September 1939 by order of Himmler, in his capacity as Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police, the central offices of the GESTAPO and the SD, together with the Criminal Police, were centralized in the office of the Chief of the Security Police and SD under the name of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, Reich Security Main Office, or RSHA. Under this order the personnel and administrative sections of each agency were coordinated in Amt I and Amt II of the RSHA; the operational sections of the SD became Amt III (except for foreign intelligence which was placed in Amt VI); the operational sections of the GESTAPO became Amt IV and the operational sections of the KRIPO became Amt V. Ohlendorf was named the Chief of Amt III, the SD within Germany; Mueller was named the Chief of Amt IV, the GESTAPO; and Nebe was named the Chief of Amt V, the KRIPO. (L-361)

On 27 September 1939 Heydrich, as Chief of the Security Police and SD, issued a directive pursuant to the foregoing order of Himmler, in which he ordered the designation and heading “Reichssicherheitshauptamt” to be used exclusively in internal relations of the Reich Ministry of the Interior, and the heading “The Chief of the Security Police and SD” in transactions with outside persons and offices. The directive provided that the GESTAPO would continue to use the designation and heading “Geheime Staatspolizeiamt” according to particular instructions. (L-361)

In 1944 most of the sections of the Abwehr (military intelligence) were incorporated into the various sections of the RSHA and into a new section connected with Amt VI, called the Militaerisches Amt. (2644-PS)

Heydrich was Chief of the Security Police and SD (RSHA) until his death on 4 June 1942, after which Himmler directed the organization until the appointment of the defendant Ernst Kaltenbrunner as Chief of the Security Police and SD. Kaltenbrunner took office on 30 January 1943 and remained Chief of the Security Police and SD (RSHA) until the end of the war. (2644-PS)

B. Organization of the Gestapo and the SD.

(1) Organization of the Gestapo (Amt IV of the RSHA). The headquarters organization of the GESTAPO (Amt IV of the RSHA) was set up on a functional basis. In 1943 it contained five sub-sections.

Section A dealt with opponents, sabotage, and protective service and was subdivided as follows:

A 1Communism, Marxism and associated organizations, war crimes, illegal and enemy propaganda.
A 2Defense against sabotage, combatting of sabotage, political falsification.
A 3Reaction, opposition, legitimism, liberalism, matters of malicious opposition.
A 4Protective service, reports of attempted assassinations, guarding, special jobs, pursuit troops.

Section B dealt with political churches, sects and Jews, and was subdivided as follows:

B 1Political Catholicism.
B 2Political Protestantism Sects.
B 3Other churches, Freemasonry.
B 4Jewish affairs, matters of evacuation, means of suppressing enemies of the people and State, dispossession of rights of German citizenship. (Eichmann was head of this office).

Section C dealt with card files, protective custody, and matters of press and Party, and was subdivided as follows:

C 1Evaluation, main card index, administration of individual files, information office, supervision of foreigners.
C 2Matters of protective custody.
C 3Matters of the press and literature.
C 4Matters of the Party and its formations, special cases.

Section D dealt with regions under greater German influence, and was subdivided as follows:

D (aus. arb.)  Foreign Workers.
D 1Matters of the Protectorate, Czechs in the Reich, Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia, and the remaining regions of the former Jugoslavia, Greece.
D 2Matters of the General Government, Poles in the Reich.
D 3Confidential office, foreigners hostile to the State, emigrants.
D 4Occupied territories, France, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Denmark.
D 5Occupied Eastern territories.

Section E dealt with security and was subdivided as follows:

E 1General security matters, supply of legal opinions in matters of high and State treason, and other security matters.
E 2General economic matters, defense against economic espionage, protection of works and those engaged in guarding.
E 3Security West.
E 4Security North.
E 5Security East.
E 6Security South.

Section F dealt with passport matters and alien police and was subdivided as follows:

F 1Frontier police.
F 2Passport matters.
F 3Identification and identity cards.
F 4Alien police and basic questions concerning frontiers.
F 5Central visa office. (L-219)

Subordinate offices of the GESTAPO were established throughout the Reich and designated as Staats Polizeileitstellen or Staats Polizeistellen, depending upon the size of the office. These offices reported directly to the RSHA in Berlin but were subject to the supervision of Inspekteurs of the Security Police in the various provinces. The inspectors were expected to foster cooperation between the Security Police and the central offices of the general and interior administration. (2245-PS)

In the occupied territories the regional offices of the GESTAPO were coordinated with the Criminal Police and the SD under Kommandeurs of the Security Police and SD, who were subject to Befehlshabers of the Security Police and SD who reported to the Chief of the Security Police and SD (RSHA) in Berlin. (1285-PS)

(2) Organization of the SD (Amt III of the RSHA). The headquarters organization of the SD (including only Amt III of the RSHA and not Amt VI, the Foreign Intelligence Branch) was set up on a functional basis. In 1943 it contained four sections.

Section A dealt with questions of legal order and structure of the Reich and was subdivided as follows:

A 1General questions of work on spheres of German life.
A 2Law.
A 3Constitution and administration.
A 4National life in general.
A 5General questions of police law, and technical questions of legislation.

Section B dealt with nationality, and was subdivided as follows:

B 1Nationality questions.
B 2Minorities.
B 3Race and health of the people.
B 4Citizenship and naturalization.
B 5Occupied territories.

Section C dealt with culture, and was subdivided as follows:

C 1Science.
C 2Educational religious life.
C 3Folk culture and art.
C 4Press, literature, radio, office for evaluation of material.

Section D dealt with economics, and was subdivided as follows:

D aReading office, economics, press, magazines, literature.
D bColonial economics.
D SSpecial questions and review of material.
D West  Western occupied regions.
D Ost    Eastern occupied regions.
D 1Food economy.
D 2Commerce, handcraft, and transport.
D 3Finance, currency, banks and exchanges, insurance.
D 4Industry and Power.
D 5Labor and Social Questions.   (L-219)

Within Germany the original regional offices of the SD were called SD-Oberabschnitte and SD-Unterabschnitte. In 1939 these designations were changed to SD-Abschnitte and SD-Leitabschnitte. Offices of the SD-Abschnitte were located in the same place as the Staatspolizeistellen. SD-Abschnitte located where there were Staats Polizeileitstellen were called “SD Leitabschnitte.” Direct orders came from the Chief of the Security Police and SD in Berlin (RSHA) to these regional offices, but they were also subject to the supervision of the Inspekteurs of the SIPO and SD. In the occupied territories the regional offices of the SD were coordinated with the GESTAPO and Criminal Police under Kommandeurs of the SIPO and SD who were subject to Befehlshabers of the Security Police and SD who reported to the Chief of the Security Police and SD (RSHA) in Berlin. (1680-PS, L-361)

(3) Combined Organization of the GESTAPO and SD. The central offices of the GESTAPO and SD were coordinated in 1936 with the appointment of Heydrich, the head of the SD, as chief of the Security Police. The office of Heydrich was called “Chief of the Security Police and SD.” (1551-PS)

When the central offices of the GESTAPO and SD, together with the Criminal Police, were centralized in one main office (RSHA) in 1939, the functions were somewhat redistributed.

Amt I of the RSHA handled personnel for the three agencies. Subsection A 2 handled personnel matters of the GESTAPO, A 3 handled personnel matters of the KRIPO, and A 4 handled personnel matters of the SD.

Amt II handled organization, administration, and law for the three agencies. Subsection C handled domestic arrangements and pay accounts, and was divided into two sections, one to take care of pay accounts of the Security Police and the other to take care of pay accounts of the SD, since personnel of the former were paid by the State and personnel of the latter were paid by the Party. Subsection D, under SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Rauff handled technical matters, including the motor vehicles of the SIPO and SD.

Amt III was the SD and was charged with investigation into spheres of German life. Its subdivisions have heretofore been considered.

Amt IV was the GESTAPO and was charged with combatting political opposition. Its subdivisions have heretofore been considered.

Amt V was the KRIPO and was charged with combatting criminals. Subsection V D was the criminalogical institute for the SIPO handling matters of identification, chemical and biological investigations, and technical research.

Amt VI was concerned with foreign political intelligence and contained subsections dealing with western Europe, Russia and Japan, Anglo-American sphere, and central Europe. It contained a special section dealing with sabotage.

Amt VII handled ideological research against enemies, such as Freemasonry, Judaism, political churches, Marxism, and liberalism. (L-185; L-219)

The centralization of the main offices of the GESTAPO and SD was not fully carried out in the regional organization. Within Germany the regional offices of the GESTAPO and SD maintained their separate identity and reported directly to the section of the RSHA which had the jurisdiction of the subject matter. They were, however, coordinated by the Inspekteurs of the Security Police and SD. The Inspekteurs were also under the supervision of the Higher SS and Police leaders appointed for each Wehrkreis.

The Higher SS and Police leaders reported to the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police in each Wehrkreis and supervised not only the Inspekteurs of the Security Police and SD but also the Inspekteurs of the Order Police and various subdivisions of the SS. (1285-PS)

In the occupied territories the organization developed as the German armies advanced. Combined operational units of the Security Police and SD, known as Einsatz Groups, operated with and in the rear of the Army. These groups were officered by personnel of the GESTAPO, the KRIPO, and the SD, and the enlisted men were composed of Order Police and Waffen SS. They functioned with various army groups. The Einsatz Groups were subdivided into Einsatzkommandos, Sonderkommandos, and Teilkommandos, all of which performed the functions of the Security Police and SD with or closely behind the army. After the occupied territories had been consolidated, the Einsatz Groups and their subordinate parts were formed into permanent combined offices of the Security Police and SD within prescribed geographical locations. These combined forces were placed under the Kommandeurs of the Security Police and SD, and the offices were organized in sections similar to the RSHA headquarters. The Kommandeurs of the Security Police and SD reported directly to Befehlshabers of the Security Police and SD, who in turn reported directly to the Chief of the Security Police and SD. In the occupied territories, the Higher SS and Police leaders exercised more direct control over the Befehlshabers and the Kommandeurs of the Security Police and SD than within the Reich. They had authority to issue direct orders so long as they did not conflict with the Chief of the Security Police and SD who exercised controlling authority. (1285-PS, Chart Number 19.)

C. Place of the GESTAPO and SD in the Conspiracy.

(1) Tasks and Methods of the GESTAPO. In the basic law of 10 February 1936, the GESTAPO was declared to have “the duty to investigate and to combat in the entire territory of the State, all tendencies dangerous to the State.” The decree issued for the execution of said law gave the GESTAPO the authority to make police investigations in treason, espionage, and sabotage cases, “and in other cases of criminal attacks on Party and State.” (2107-PS; 2108-PS)

In referring to the above law, the Nazi jurist, Dr. Werner Best, commented as follows:

“Not the State in its outward organic appearance but the tasks of the leadership in the sense of the National-Socialist idea is the object of protection.” (2232-PS)

The duties of the GESTAPO were described in 1938 as follows, in an order published by the Party Chancery:

“To the GESTAPO has been entrusted the mission by the Fuehrer to watch over and to eliminate all enemies of the Party and the National Socialist State as well as all disintegrating forces of all kinds directed against both.” (1723-PS)

In Das Archiv, January 1936, the duties of the GESTAPO were described in part as follows:

“Since the National Socialist revolution, all open struggle and all open opposition to the State and to the leadership of the State is forbidden, and a Secret State Police as a preventive instrument in the struggle against all dangers threatening the State is indissolubly bound up with the National Socialist Fuehrer-State.” (1956-PS)

The successful accomplishment of this mission to strike down the political and ideological opponents of the Nazi conspiracy was stated in the official magazine of the SIPO and SD on 1 February 1943 in the following words:

“The Secret State Police by carrying out these tasks, contributed decisively to the fact that the National Socialist constructive work could be executed in the past ten years without any serious attempts of interference by the political enemies of the nation.” (1680-PS)

The methods used by the GESTAPO were limited only by the results to be obtained.

“The duties of the political police and the necessary means for their performance are not chosen freely but are prescribed by the foe. Just like the operations of an army against the outward enemy and the means to fight this enemy cannot be prescribed, so the political police also must have a free hand in the choice of the means necessary at times to fight the attempts dangerous to the State.” (2232-PS)

The GESTAPO was not restricted to the limitations of written law. The Nazi jurist, Dr. Werner Best, states:

“As long as the ‘police’ carries out the will of the leadership, it is acting legally.” (1852-PS)

The GESTAPO was given the express power to take action outside the law in the occupied territories. The laws pertaining to the administration of Austria and the Sudetenland provided that the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police will take measures for the maintenance of security and order “even beyond the legal limitation otherwise laid down for this purpose.” (1437-PS; 1438-PS)

The actions and orders of the GESTAPO were not subject to judicial review. The decision of the Prussian High Court of Administration on 2 May 1935 held that the status of the GESTAPO as a special police authority removed its orders from the jurisdiction of the Administrative Tribunals. The court said that under the law of 30 November 1933 the only redress available was by appeal to the next higher authority within the GESTAPO itself. (2347-PS)

The basic law of 10 February 1936 on the powers of the GESTAPO provided specifically in Section VII:

“Orders in matters of the Secret State Police are not subject to the review of the administrative courts.” (2107-PS)

Concerning the power of the GESTAPO to act outside the law, the Nazi jurist, Dr. Werner Best, states:

“It is no longer a question of law but a question of fate whether the will of the leadership lays down the ‘right’ rules, i.e., rules feasible and necessary for police action—the ‘police’ law suitable for and beneficial to the people. Actual misuse of the legislative power by a people’s leadership—be it a harmful severity or weakness—will, because of the violations of the ‘laws of life,’ be punished in history more surely by fate itself through misfortune, overthrow and ruin, than by a State Court of Justice.” (1852-PS)

The great power of the GESTAPO was “Schutzhaft”—the power to imprison people without judicial proceedings on the theory of “protective custody.” This power was based upon the law of 28 February 1933 which suspended the clauses of the Weimar Constitution guaranteeing civil liberties to the German people, including Article 114 thereof, which provided that an abridgement of personal liberty was permissible only by authority of law. (2499-PS)

In April 1934 the Reich Minister of the Interior issued a decree (which was not made public) stating that in view of the stabilizing of the national situation it had become feasible to place restrictions upon the exercise of protective custody and providing for limitations upon its exercise. (L-301; 779-PS)

The GESTAPO did not observe such limitations, and the practice of taking people into protective custody increased greatly in 1934. The GESTAPO did not permit lawyers to represent persons taken into protective custody and, in one instance, counsel were themselves placed in protective custody for trying to represent clients. Civil employees were investigated and taken into protective custody by the GESTAPO without knowledge of their superiors. (775-PS)

As of 1 February 1938, the Reich Minister of the Interior rescinded previous decrees relating to protective custody, including the decree of 12 April 1934, and issued new regulations. These regulations provided that protective custody could be ordered:

“* * * as a coercive measure of the Secret State Police against persons who endangered the security of the people and the State through their attitude, in order to counter all aspirations of enemies of the people and State”;

that the GESTAPO had the exclusive right to order protective custody; that protective custody was to be executed in the State concentration camps; and that the GESTAPO, which authorized release from protective custody, would review individual cases once every three months. The Chief of the Secret Police was given authority to issue the necessary regulations. (1723-PS)

The importance of this power of protective custody was set forth in Das Archiv, 1936, in the following language:

“The most effective preventive measure is without doubt the withdrawal of freedom, which is covered in the form of protective custody, if it is to be feared that the free activity of the persons in question might endanger the security of the State in any way. While protective arrest of short duration is carried out in police and court prisons, the concentration camps under the Secret State Police admit those taken into protective custody who have to be withdrawn from public life for a longer time.” (1956-PS)

The authority of the GESTAPO to administer the concentration camps was set forth in the decree to the basic law of 10 February 1936. (2108-PS)

Other methods used by the GESTAPO consisted of the dissolution of associations, prohibition and dissolution of assemblies and congregations, prohibition of publications of various kinds and so forth. (1956-PS)

(2) Tasks and Methods of the SD. The task of the SD, after it became the intelligence service for State and Party, was to obtain secret information concerning the actual and potential enemies of the Nazi leadership so that appropriate action could be taken to destroy or neutralize opposition. (1956-PS)

The duties of the SD were stated by the Nazi jurist, Dr. Werner Best, as follows:

“As the intelligence service of the German National Socialist Labor Party, the Security Service has first of all the task of investigating and keeping a watch over all forces, events and facts which are of importance for the domination of the National Socialist idea and movement in German territory. With this task follows that duty laid down by the Reich Minister of the Interior—the duty of supporting the Security Police—which is fulfilled, so far as it goes, under State orders. In support of the tasks of the Security Police in securing the ranks of the German people against interference and destruction of any kind, the Security Service has to watch over every sphere of life of the German people with regard to the activities of inimical forces and the result of state and political measures, and to inform continually the competent State authorities and offices about the facts which have come to light. Finally, it has to investigate politically and explore fundamentally the activities and connections of the great, ideological, arch-enemy of National Socialism and the German people, in order thereby to render possible a purposeful and effective fight against it.” (1852-PS)

To accomplish this task, the SD created an organization of agents and informants operating out of various SD regional offices established throughout the Reich, and later in conjunction with the GESTAPO and Criminal Police throughout the occupied territories. The organization consisted of several hundred full-time agents whose work was supplemented by several thousand part-time informants. Informants were located in schools, shops, churches, and all other spheres of German life, operating under cover, and reporting any utterances or actions against the Nazi Party, State or leadership. (2614-PS)

The SD had direct and powerful influence in the selection of Nazi leaders. It investigated the loyalty and reliability of State officials, evaluating them by their complete devotion to Nazi ideology and the Hitler leadership. It secretly marked ballots and thereby discovered the identity of persons who cast “No” votes and “invalid” votes in the referenda. (2614-PS; R-142)

The SD worked closely with the GESTAPO. An article in the “Voelkischer Beobachter” published in Das Archiv, January 1936, stated:

“As the Secret State Police can not carry out, in addition to its primary executive tasks, this observation of the enemies of the state, to the extent necessary, there steps alongside to supplement it the Security Service of the Reichsleader of the SS, set up by the Deputy Fuehrer as the political intelligence service of the movement, which puts a large part of the forces of the movement mobilized by it into the service of the security of the state.” (1956-PS)

(3) The Place of the GESTAPO and the SD in the Conspiracy. The GESTAPO was founded in April 1933 by Goering to serve as a political police force in Prussia. Goering instructed Diels, the first Deputy Chief of the GESTAPO, that his main task would be the elimination of political opponents of National Socialism and the fight against Communism. (2460-PS)

In “Aufbau Einer Nation,” published in 1934, Goering said:

“For weeks I had been working personally on the reorganization and at last I alone and upon my own decision and my own reflection created the office of the Secret State Police. This instrument which is so feared by the enemies of the State, has contributed most to the fact that today there can no longer be talk of a Communist and Marxist danger in Germany and Prussia.” (2344-PS)

So effective had the GESTAPO proven itself in combatting the political opposition to National Socialism by the fall of 1933 that Goering took over direct control of the GESTAPO (2105-PS). Goering’s position as Chief of the GESTAPO in Prussia was recognized by Himmler even after he became Chief of the German Police in 1936 (2372-PS). Even as late as December 1938 Goering continued to exercise his direct control over the Prussian GESTAPO. (D-183)

Himmler was named Deputy Chief of the GESTAPO in Prussia in 1934. He used the GESTAPO, infused with new personnel recruited in large part from the SS, to carry out the Roehm purge of 30 June 1934. (2460-PS)

The GESTAPO, through its great power of arrest and confinement to concentration camps without recourse to law, was the principal means for eliminating enemies of the Nazi regime. Diels, the former Deputy Chief of the GESTAPO under Goering, declared:

“* * * From (1934) on the GESTAPO is responsible for all deprivations of freedom and breaches of law and killings in the political field which took place without court verdict. Of primary importance among these was the shooting of numerous persons who had been committed to jails by the courts and then shot supposedly because of resistance. Many such cases were at that time published in the papers. For people guilty of immorality such illegal shootings became the rule. As for deprivation of freedom, there was no legal reason any more for protective custody orders after 1934, which had still been the case before that date, since from 1934 on the power of the totalitarian state was so stabilized that the arrest of a person for his own protection was only an excuse for arbitrary arrest—without court verdict and without legal measures for him. The terroristic measures, which led to the development of the pure force system and punished to an increasing degree each critical remark and each impulse of freedom with the concentration camp, took on more and more arbitrary and cruel forms. The GESTAPO became the symbol of the regime of force.” (2460-PS)

D. Criminal Responsibility of the Gestapo and SD.

In the remainder of this section the criminal responsibility of the GESTAPO and the SD will be considered with respect to certain crimes against the peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity which were in principal part committed by the centralized political police system the development and organization of which has previously been considered. In some instances the crimes were committed in cooperation or conjunction with other groups and organizations.

Frequent reference will be made to the phrase, “SIPO and SD.” The SIPO and SD was composed of the following organizations,—the GESTAPO, the KRIPO and the SD.

The GESTAPO was the largest of these, having a membership of about 40,000 or 50,000 in 1943-45. It was the political police force of the Reich. Much of its personnel consisted of transferees from former political police forces of the States. Membership in the GESTAPO was voluntary.

The KRIPO was second largest, having a membership of about 15,000 in 1943-45. It was the criminal police force of the Reich.

The SD was the smallest, having a membership of about 3,000 in 1943-45. It was the intelligence service of the SS. Membership in the SD was voluntary. (3033-PS)

In common usage, and even in orders and decrees, the term “SD” was used as an abbreviation in the term “SIPO and SD.” Since the GESTAPO was the primary executive agency of the SIPO and SD, and by far the largest, in most such cases the actual executive action was carried out by personnel of the GESTAPO rather than of the SD or of the KRIPO. In occupied territories members of the GESTAPO frequently wore SS uniforms. (3033-PS)

The term “Chief of the Security Police and SD” describes the person who is the head of the GESTAPO, KRIPO and the SD, and of their headquarters office called the RSHA. The “Chief of the Security Police and SD” and the “head of the RSHA” are always one and the same person. The RSHA was a department in the Reich Ministry of the Interior and in the SS. Sometimes organizational responsibility can be established by the fact that the orders in question were issued by or submitted to Amt III of the RSHA (in which case the action concerned the SD), to Amt IV of the RSHA (in which case the action concerned the GESTAPO), or to Amt V of the RSHA (in which case the action concerned the KRIPO).

Although the GESTAPO was the chief executive agency in the political police system, all three organizations contributed to the accomplishment of most of the criminal activities discussed hereinafter.

E. Crimes of the GESTAPO and SD against the Peace.

Prior to the invasion of Poland by Germany, “border incidents” were fabricated by the GESTAPO and SD for the purpose of furnishing Hitler with an excuse to wage war. (2751-PS)

Early in August, 1939, the plan was conceived by the Chief of the Security Police and SD, Heydrich, to stage simulated border raids by personnel of the GESTAPO and SD dressed as Poles. To add authenticity, it was planned to take certain prisoners from concentration camps, kill them by use of hypodermic injections, and leave their bodies, clad in Polish uniforms, at the various places where the incidents were planned to occur. The Chief of the GESTAPO, Mueller, took a directing hand in these actions, which were staged on 31 August 1939 in Beuthen, Hindenburg, Gleiwitz, and elsewhere.

The leader of the SD agents who made the pretended attack on the Gleiwitz radio station on 31 August, said:

“* * * In my presence, Mueller discussed with a man named Mehlhorn plans for another border incident, in which it should be made to appear that Polish soldiers were attacking German troops. Germans in the approximate strength of a company were to be used. Mueller stated that he had 12 or 13 condemned criminals who were to be dressed in Polish uniforms and left dead on the ground of the scene of the incident, to show that they had been killed while attacking. For this purpose they were to be given fatal injections by a doctor employed by Heydrich. Then they were also to be given gunshot wounds. After the incident members of the press and other persons were to be taken to the spot of the incident. A police report was subsequently to be prepared.

“4. Mueller told me that he had an order from Heydrich to make one of those criminals available to me for the action at Gleiwitz. The code name by which he referred to these criminals was ‘Canned Goods.’

“5. The incident at Gleiwitz in which I participated was carried out on the evening preceding the German attack on Poland. As I recall, war broke out on the 1st of September 1939. At noon of the 31st August I received by telephone from Heydrich the code word for the attack which was to take place at 8 o’clock that evening. Heydrich said, ‘In order to carry out this attack report to Mueller for Canned Goods.’ I did this and gave Mueller instructions to deliver the man near the radio station. I received this man and had him laid down at the entrance to the station. He was alive but he was completely unconscious. I tried to open his eyes. I could not recognize by his eyes that he was alive, only by his breathing. I did not see the shot wounds but a lot of blood was smeared across his face. He was in civilian clothes.

“6. We seized the radio station as ordered, broadcast a speech of three to four minutes over an emergency transmitter, fired some pistol shots and left.” (2751-PS; 2479-PS)

These were the “frontier incidents” to which Hitler referred in his speech to the Reichstag on 1 September 1939. (Adolf Hitler, “My New Order,” Reynal and Hitchcock, Inc., 1941, p. 687.)

F. War Crimes of the GESTAPO and SD.

(1) The GESTAPO and SD carried out mass murders of hundreds of thousands of civilians of occupied countries as a part of the Nazi program to exterminate political and racial undesirables (“Einsatz Groups”). About four weeks before the attack on Russia, special task forces of the SIPO and SD, called Einsatzgruppen or Special Task Groups, were formed on order of Himmler for the purpose of following the German armies into Russia, combatting partisans and members of resistance groups and exterminating the Jews and Communist leaders. In the beginning four Einsatz Groups were formed. Einsatz Group A, operating in the Baltic States, was placed under the command of Stahlecker, former Inspector of the SIPO and SD. Einsatz Group B, operating toward Moscow, was placed under the command of Nebe, the Chief of Amt V (KRIPO) of the RSHA. Einsatz Group C, operating toward Kiev, was placed under the command of Rasch and later of Thomas, former Chief of the SIPO and SD in Paris. Einsatz Group D, operating in the south of Russia, was placed under the command of Ohlendorf, the Chief of Amt III (SD) of the RSHA.

The Einsatz Groups were officered by personnel of the GESTAPO, the SD and the KRIPO. The men were drawn from the Order Police and the Waffen SS. The groups had complements of 400 to 500 men, and had their own vehicles and equipment. By agreement with the OKW and OKH, the Einsatzkommandos were attached to certain Army corps or divisions. The Army assigned the area in which the Einsatzkommandos were to operate, but all operational directives and orders for the carrying out of executions were given through the RSHA in Berlin. Regular courier service and radio communications existed between the Einsatz Groups and the RSHA.

The affidavit of Ohlendorf, Chief of the SD, who led Einsatz Group D, reads in part as follows:

“When the German Army invaded Russia, I was leader of Einsatzgruppe D in the southern sector, and in the course of the year during which I was leader of the Einsatzgruppe D, it liquidated approximately 90,000 men, women and children. The majority of those liquidated were Jews, but there were also among them some Communist functionaries.

“In the execution of this extermination program the Einsatzgruppen were subdivided into Einsatzkommandos, and the Einsatzkommandos into still smaller units, the so-called Sonderkommando and Teilkommandos. Usually the smaller units were led by a member of the SD, the GESTAPO or the KRIPO. The unit selected for this task would enter a village or city and order the prominent Jewish citizens to call together all Jews for the purpose of resettlement. They were asked to hand over their personal belongings to the leaders of the unit, and shortly before the execution, to surrender their outer clothing. The men, women and children were led to a place of execution which usually was located beside a deepened antitank ditch. Then they were shot, kneeling or standing, and the corpses were thrown into the ditch. I never permitted the shooting by individuals in Group D, but ordered that several of the men should shoot at the same time in order to avoid direct personal responsibility. The leaders of the unit, or especially designated persons, however, had to fire the last shot against those victims who were not dead immediately. I learned from conversations with other group leaders that some of them asked the victims to lie down flat on the ground to be shot through the neck. I did not approve of these methods.” (2620-PS)

The contention that these murders were carried out by subterfuge and without force and terror is belied by the eyewitness account of two such mass murders witnessed by Hermann Graebe, who was manager and engineer in charge of the branch office of the Solingen firm of Josef Jung in Sdolbunow, Ukraine, from September 1941 until January 1944. Graebe’s interest in the mass executions derived from the fact that in addition to Poles, Germans, and Ukrainians, he employed Jews on the various construction projects under his supervision. He was personally acquainted with the leader of the SIPO and SD who carried out the actions hereinafter described with the aid of SS-men (most of whom wore the SD arm-band) and Ukrainian militia. Graebe negotiated with SS-major Putz, the leader of the SIPO and SD, for the release of about 100 Jewish workers from the action which took place in Rowno on 13 July 1942. The original letter which exempted these Jewish workers from the action is attached to Graebe’s affidavit, which states in part as follows:

“In the evening of this day I drove to Rowno and posted myself with Fritz Einsporn in front of the house in the Bahnhofstrasse in which the Jewish workers of my firm slept. Shortly after 22.00 the ghetto was encircled by a large SS detachment and again about three times as many members of the Ukrainian militia. Then the electric floodlights which had been erected all around the ghetto were switched on. SS and militia details of 4 to 6 members entered or at least tried to enter the houses. Where the doors and windows were closed and the inhabitants did not open upon the knocking, the SS men and militia broke the windows, forced the doors and beams with crowbars and entered the dwellings. The owners were driven onto the street just as they were, regardless of whether they were dressed or whether they had been in bed. Since the Jews in most cases refused to leave their dwellings and resisted, the SS and militia both applied force. With the help of whippings, kicks and hits with the rifle butts they finally succeeded in having the dwellings evacuated. The people were chased out of their houses in such haste that the small children who had been in bed had been left behind in several instances. In the street women cried out for their children and children for their parents. That did not prevent the SS from chasing the people along the road, at double time, and hitting them until they reached a waiting freight train. Car after car was filled, over it hung the screaming of women and children, the cracking of whips and rifle shots. Since several families and groups had barricaded themselves in especially strong buildings, and the doors could not be forced with crowbars or beams, these houses were now blown open with hand grenades. Since the ghetto was near the railroad tracks in Rowno, the younger people tried to get across the tracks and to a small river to be outside of the ghetto. This sector being outside of the floodlights was lighted by signal ammunition. All through the night these beaten, chased and wounded people dragged themselves across the lighted streets. Women carried their dead children in their arms, children hugged and dragged by their arms and feet their dead parents down the road toward the train. Again and again the calls ‘Open the door,’ ‘Open the door’ echoed through the ghetto.” (2992-PS)

The leader of Einsatz Group D, Ohlendorf, stated in his affidavit that other Einsatz Group leaders required the victims to lie down flat on the ground to be shot through the neck. Graebe describes a mass execution of this kind which he observed carried out under the direction of a man in SD uniform on 5 October 1943 at Dubno, Ukraine, as follows:

“Thereupon in the company of Moennikes I drove to the construction area and saw in its vicinity a heap of earth, about 30 meters long and 2 meters high. Several trucks stood in front of the heap. Armed Ukrainian militia chased the people off the trucks under the supervision of an SS man. The militia men were guards on the trucks and drove them to and from the excavation. All these people had the prescribed yellow badges on the front and back of their clothes, and thus were recognized as Jews.

“Moennikes and I went directly to the excavation. Nobody bothered us. Now we heard shots in quick succession from behind one of the earth mounds. The people who had gotten off the trucks—men, women, and children of all ages—had to undress upon the orders of an SS man who carried a riding or dog whip. They had to put down their clothes in fixed places, sorted according to shoes, over and underclothing, I saw a pile of shoes of about 800 to 1,000 pairs, great piles of laundry and clothing. Without screaming or crying these people undressed, stood around by families, kissed each other, said farewells and waited for the nod of another SS man, who stood near the excavation, also with a whip in his hand. During the 15 minutes that I stood near the excavation I have heard no complaint and no request for mercy. I watched a family of about 8 persons, a man and a woman, both about 50 with their children of about 1, 8 and 10, and two grown-up daughters of about 20 to 24. An old woman with snow-white hair held the one-year-old child in her arms and sang for it, and tickled it. The child was squeaking from joy. The couple looked on with tears in their eyes. The father held the hand of a boy about 10 years old and spoke to him softly; the boy was fighting his tears. The father pointed toward the sky, fondled his hand, and seemed to explain something to him. At that moment the SS-man at the excavation called something to his comrades. The latter counted off about 20 persons and instructed them to walk behind the earth mound. Among them was the family which I had mentioned. I remember very well a girl, blackhaired and slender, passing near me; she pointed at herself and said, ‘23 years.’ I walked around the mound, and stood in front of a tremendous grave. Closely pressed together the people were lying on top of each other so that only their heads were visible. Several of the people shot still moved. Some lifted their arms and turned their heads to show that they were still alive. The excavation was already two-thirds full. I estimated that it contained about 1,000 people. I looked for the man who did the shooting. I saw an SS-man who sat at the rim of the narrow end of the excavation, his feet dangling into the excavation. On his knees he had a machine pistol and he was smoking a cigarette. The completely naked people descended a stairway which was dug into the clay of the excavation and slipped over the heads of the people lying there already to the place to which the SS-man directed them. They laid themselves in front of the dead or injured people, some touched tenderly those who were still alive and spoke to them in a low voice. Then I heard a number of shots. I looked into the excavation and saw how the bodies jerked or the heads rested already motionless on top of the bodies that lay before them. Blood was running from their necks. I was surprised that I was not chased away, but I saw there were two or three postal officers in uniform nearby. Now already the next group approached, descended into the excavation, lined themselves up against the previous victims and was shot. When I walked back, around the mound, I noticed again a transport which had just arrived. This time it included sick and frail persons. An old, very thin woman with terribly thin legs was undressed by others who were already naked, while two persons held her up. Apparently the woman was paralyzed. The naked people carried the woman around the mound. I left with Moennikes and drove with my car back to Dubno.” (2992-PS)

There are two reports by Stahlecker, the Chief of Einsatz Group B, available. The first report, found in Himmler’s personal files, states that during the first four months of the Russian campaign Einsatz Group A murdered 135,000 Communists and Jews, and carried out widespread destruction of homes and villages and other vast crimes. Enclosure 8 to this Stahlecker report is a careful survey of the number of persons murdered, classified as to country, and whether Jew or Communist, with totals given in each instance. This report discloses that the Einsatz Groups frequently enlisted the aid of the local populations in the extermination program. It states:

“In view of the extension of the area of operations and the great number of duties which had to be performed by the Security Police, it was intended from the very beginning to obtain the cooperation of the reliable population for the fight against vermin—that is, mainly the Jews and Communists.” (L-180)

With respect to extermination of Jews the report stated:

“From the beginning it was to be expected that the Jewish problem could not be solved by pogroms alone. In accordance with the basic orders received, however, the cleansing activities of the Security Police had to aim at a complete annihilation of the Jews. Special detachments reinforced by selected units—in Lithuania partisan detachments, in Latvia units of the Latvian auxiliary police—therefore performed extensive executions both in towns and in rural areas. The actions of the execution detachments were performed smoothly. * * *”

Enclosure 8, “Survey of the number of executed persons” is quoted directly from the report:

Enclosure 8—Survey of the number of executed persons

Kowono town and surroundings
    Riga town and surroundings
“White Ruthenia7,6207,620
    White Ruthenia7,6207,620
“to be added to these figures:
In Lithuania and Latvia Jews annihilated by pogroms5,500
Jews, Communists and partisans executed in old-Russian area2,000
Lunatics executed748
Communists and Jews liquidated by State Police and Security Service Tilsit during search actions5,502

The second report from Einsatz Group A (L-180) reports the extermination of nearly 230,000 persons. With respect to Esthonia, it states in part:

“Only by the SIPO and SD were the Jews gradually executed as they became no longer required for work. Today there are no longer any Jews in Esthonia.”

With respect to Latvia, the report states in part:

“Up to October 1941 approximately 30,000 Jews had been executed by these Sonderkommandos. The remaining Jews who were still indispensable from the economic point of view were collected in Ghettos, which were established in Riga, Duenaburg and Libau.”

With respect to Lithuania, the report states in part:

“Therefore by means of selected units—mostly in the proportion of 1:8—first of all the prisons, and then systematically, district by district, the Lithuanian sector was cleansed of Jews of both sexes. Altogether 136,421 people were liquidated in a great number of single actions. As the complete liquidation of the Jews was not feasible, as they were needed for labor, Ghettos were formed which at the moment are occupied as follows: Kauen approximately 15,000 Jews; Wilna approximately 15,000 Jews; Schaulen approximately 4,500 Jews. These Jews are used primarily for work of military importance. For example, up to 5,000 Jews are employed in 3 shifts on the aerodrome near Kauen on earthworks and work of that sort.”

With respect to White Russia, the report states in part:

“In view of the enormous distances, the bad condition of the roads, the shortage of vehicles and petrol, and the small forces of Security Police and SD, it needs the utmost effort to be able to carry out shootings in the country. Nevertheless 41,000 Jews have been shot up to now.”

With respect to Jews from the Reich, the report states in part

“Since December 1940 transports containing Jews have arrived at short intervals from the Reich. Of these, 20,000 Jews were directed to Riga and 7,000 Jews to Minsk. Only a small section of the Jews from the Reich is capable of working. About 70-80 percent are women and children or old people unfit for work. The death rate is rising continually also as a result of the extraordinarily bad winter. In isolated instances sick Jews with contagious disease were selected under the pretext of putting them into a home for the aged or a hospital, and executed.”

Attached as an enclosure to this report is a map entitled “Jewish Executions Carried out by Einsatzgruppe A,” on which, by the use of coffins as symbols, the number of Jews murdered in each area covered by Einsatz Group A is shown (Chart Number 4). The map shows thousands of Jews in ghettos, and an estimated 128,000 Jews “still on hand” in the Minsk area. Number of murdered, according to figures beside the coffins, during the period covered by this report, was 228,050.

On 30 October 1941 the Commissioner of the territory of Sluzk wrote a report to the Commissioner General, Minsk, in which he severely criticized the actions of the Einsatzkommandos operating in his area for the murder of all the Jews of Sluzk:

“On 27 October in the morning at about 8 o’clock a first lieutenant of the police battalion No. 11 from Kauen (Lithuania) appeared and introduced himself as the adjutant of the battalion commander of the security police. The first lieutenant explained that the police battalion had received the assignment to effect the liquidation of all Jews here in the town of Sluzk, within two days. The battalion commander with his battalion in strength of four companies, two of which were made up of Lithuanian partisans, was on the march here and the action would have to begin instantly. I replied to the first lieutenant that I had to discuss the action in any case first with the commander. About half an hour later the police battalion arrived in Sluzk. Immediately after the arrival the conference with the battalion commander took place according to my request. I first explained to the commander that it would not very well be possible to effect the action without previous preparation, because everybody had been sent to work and that it would lead to terrible confusion. At least it would have been his duty to inform me a day ahead of time. Then I requested him to postpone the action one day. However, he rejected this with the remark that he had to carry out this action everywhere and in all towns and that only two days were allotted for Sluzk. Within these two days, the town of Sluzk had to be cleared of Jews by all means. For the rest, as regards the execution of the action, I must point out to my deepest regret that the latter bordered already on sadism. The town itself offered a picture of horror during the action. With indescribable brutality on the part of both the German police officers and particularly the Lithuanian partisans, the Jewish people, but also among them White Ruthenians, were taken out of their dwellings and herded together. Everywhere in the town shots were to be heard and in different streets the corpses of shot Jews accumulated. The White Ruthenians were in greatest distress to free themselves from the encirclement. Regardless of the fact that the Jewish people, among whom were also tradesmen, were mistreated in a terribly barbarous way in the face of the White Ruthenian people, the White Ruthenians themselves were also worked over with rubber clubs and rifle butts. There was no question of an action against the Jews any more. It rather looked like a revolution. In conclusion I find myself obliged to point out that the police battalion has looted in an unheard of manner during the action, and that not only in Jewish houses but just the same in those of the White Ruthenians. Anything of use such as boots, leather, cloth, gold and other valuables, has been taken away. On the basis of statements of members of the armed forces, watches were torn off the arms of Jews in public, on the streets, and rings were pulled off the fingers in the most brutal manner. A major of the finance department reported that a Jewish girl was asked by the police to obtain immediately 5,000 rubles to have her father released. This girl is said to have actually gone everywhere in order to obtain the money.” (1104-PS)

This report was submitted by the Commissioner General of White Ruthenia to the Reich Commissioner for the Eastern Territories on 1 November 1941 with the following comment:

“I am submitting this report in duplicate so that one copy may be forwarded to the Reich Minister. Peace and order cannot be maintained in White Ruthenia with methods of that sort. To bury seriously wounded people alive who worked their way out of their graves again is such a base and filthy act that the incidents as such should be reported to the Fuehrer and Reichs Marshal.” (1104-PS)

On the same date by separate letter the Commissioner General of White Ruthenia reported to the Reich Commissioner for the Eastern Territories that he had received money, valuables, and other objects taken by the police in the action at Sluzk and other regions, all of which had been deposited with the Reich Credit institute for the disposal of the Reich Commissioner. (1104-PS)

On 21 November 1941 a report on the Sluzk incident was sent to the personal reviewer of the permanent deputy of the Minister of the Reich with a copy to Heydrich, the Chief of the Security Police and SD. (1104-PS)

On 6 November 1942 a secret report submitted to the Reich Commissar for the East concerning the struggle against partisans in the East discloses that destruction of villages continued, and reports the execution of 1,274 partisan suspects and 8,350 Jews, and the deportation of 1,217 people. This report was forwarded on 10 December 1942 to the Reich Minister for the occupied Eastern territories. (1113-PS)

The report from the prison administrator at Minsk as of 31 May 1943 to the General Commissioner for White Ruthenia states:

“The German, former dentist Ernst Israel Tichauer and his wife Elisa Sara Tichauer, born Rosenthal, were delivered to the Court-Prison by the SD (Hauptscharfuehrer Rube) on 13 April 1943. Since that date, the golden bridgework, crowns and fillings of the received German and Russian Jews were pulled out, respectively broken out by force. This always happened 1-2 hours before the actions in question.

“Since 13 April 1943, 516 German and Russian Jews were liquidated. After careful investigation it was ascertained that gold objects were only taken away during 2 actions, namely on 14 April 43 from 172 and on 27 April 43 from 164 Jews. About 50 percent of the Jews had gold teeth, bridges or fillings. Hauptscharfuehrer Rube of the SD was always present in person, and also took the gold objects with him.

“This has not been done before 13 April 1943.”

This report was forwarded to the Reich Minister for the occupied Eastern territories on 1 June 1943. (R-135)

Death vans were used by the Einsatz Groups to murder victims by gas. These vans were built by the Saurer Works in Berlin and other firms. The vans were built for the technical section of Amt II of the RSHA, which sent them to the Einsatz Groups in the field. They were first used in the spring of 1942 and continued to be used throughout the war (2348-PS). The method of using the vans is described by Ohlendorf in the following words:

“We received orders to use the car for the killing of women and children. Whenever a unit had collected a sufficient number of victims, a car was sent for their liquidation. We also stationed these cars in the neighborhood of the transit camps to which the victims had been brought. They were told that they would be resettled and had to climb into the cars for that purpose. Then the doors were closed and as soon as the cars started moving the gas would enter. The victims died within ten to fifteen minutes. The cars were driven to the burial place where the corpses were taken out and buried.” (2620-PS)

A letter from Becker, the operator of several death vans, written to Rauff, the head of the technical section of Amt II of the RSHA, on 16 May 1942, states:

“The overhauling of vans by groups D and C is finished. While the vans of the first series can also be put into action if the weather is not too bad the vans of the second series (Saurer) stop completely in rainy weather. If it has rained for instance for only one-half hour, the van cannot be used because it simply skids away. It can only be used in absolutely dry weather. It is only a question now whether the van can only be used standing at the place of execution. First the van has to be brought to that place, which is possible only in good weather. The place of execution is usually 10-15 km away from the highways and is difficult of access because of its location; in damp or wet weather it is not accessible at all. If the persons to be executed are driven or led to that place, then they realize immediately what is going on and get restless, which is to be avoided as far as possible. There is only one way left; to load them at the collecting point and to drive them to the spot.

“I ordered the vans of group D to be camouflaged as house-trailers by putting one set of window shutters on each side of the small van and two on each side of the larger vans, such as one often sees on farm-houses in the country. The vans became so well-known, that not only the authorities but also the civilian population called the van “death van”, as soon as one of these vehicles appeared. It is my opinion that the van cannot be kept secret for any length of time, not even camouflaged.

“* * * I should like to take this opportunity to bring the following to your attention: several commands have had the unloading after the application of gas done by their own men. I brought to the attention of the commanders of those SK concerned the immense psychological injuries and damages to their health which that work can have for those men, even if not immediately, at least later on. The men complained to me about headaches which appeared after each unloading.

“* * * The application of gas usually is not undertaken correctly. In order to come to an end as fast as possible, the driver presses the accelerator to the fullest extent. By doing that the persons to be executed suffer death from suffocation and not death by dozing off as was planned. My directions now have proved that by correct adjustment of the levers death comes faster and the prisoners fall asleep peacefully. Distorted faces and excretions, such as could be seen before, are no longer noticed.” (501-PS)

The death vans were not always satisfactory. A telegram from the commandant of the SIPO and SD “Ostland” to the RSHA, Amt II D, on 15 June 1942, states:

“A transport of Jews, which has to be treated in a special way, arrives weekly at the office of the commandant of the Security Police and the Security Service of White Ruthenia.

“The three S-vans, which are there, are not sufficient for that purpose. I request assignment of another S-van (5-tons). At the same time I request the shipment of 20 gas-hoses for the three S-vans on hand (2 Diamond, 1 Saurer), since the ones on hand are leaky already.” (501-PS)

The reports of the various Einsatz Groups were summarized at RSHA, and the summaries were then distributed to the various sections interested, particularly Amt III (the SD), Amt IV (the GESTAPO), and Amt V (the KRIPO) (2752-PS). One such report covering the period 1-31 October 1941 is entitled “Activity and Situation Report No. 6 of the Einsatz Groups of the Security Police and the SD in the USSR” (R-102). This report describes in summary form the activities of the various Einsatz Groups during the month of October 1941. The report first discusses the stations and in that regard states:

“During the period covered by this report the stations of the Task Forces of the Security Police and the SD have changed only in the Northern Sector.

“The present stations are:

“Task Force A: since 7 October 1941 Krasnowardeisk.

“Task Force B: continues in Smolensk.

“Task Force C: since 27 September 1941 in Kiew.

“Task Force D: since 27 September 1941 in Nikolajew.

“The Action and Special Commandos (Einsatz und Sonder Commandos) which are attached to the Task Force continue on the march with the advancing troops into the sectors which have been assigned to them.” (R-102)

The report next discusses the activities of each Einsatz Group. There is included first a discussion of the Baltic area, next of White Ruthenia, and last of the Ukraine. Under each section the work of the Einsatz Groups in connection with the action taken against partisans, Jews, and communist officials is considered. With respect to the treatment of Jews in the Baltic area the report states in part:

“* * * However, the Estonian Protective Corps (Selbstschutz), formed at the time of the entry of the Wehrmacht, immediately started a comprehensive arrest action of all Jews. This action was under the direction of the task force of the Security Police and the SD.

“The measures taken were:


Arrest of all male Jews over 16.


Arrest of all Jewesses from 16-20 years, who lived in Reval and environs and were fit for work; these were employed in peat cutting.


Comprehensive detention in the synagogue of all Jewesses living in Dorport and its environs.


Arrest of the Jews and Jewesses fit for work in Pernau and environs.


Registration of all Jews according to age, sex, and capacity for work for the purpose of their detention in a camp that is being prepared.

“The male Jews over 16 were executed with the exception of doctors and the elders. At the present time this action is still in progress. After completion of this action there will remain only 500 Jewesses and children in the Eastern territory. * * *” (R-102)

With respect to partisan activity in White Ruthenia, the report states in part:

“* * * In the village Michalowo, after careful reconnaissance through civilian agents, 8 partisans were surprised in a house by the same Commando of the Security Police and the SD, they were arrested and hanged the next day in this particularly partisan infested village.

“The president of the District Region Soviets in Tarenitsch and his secretary were shot because of their connections with partisans.

“During an action approximately 70 kilometers south of Mogilow, 25 Armenians, Kirghize and Mongols were apprehended with false identification papers with which they tried to conceal the fact that they belong to a partisan group. They were liquidated. * * *” (R-102)

With respect to arrests and executions of communists in White Ruthenia, the report states in part:

“A further large part of the activity of the Security Police was devoted to the combating of Communists and criminals. A special Commando in the period covered by this report executed 63 officials, NKVD agents and agitators. * * *” (R-102)

With respect to the action taken against the Jews in White Ruthenia the report states in part:

“* * * All the more vigorous are the actions of the task forces of the Security Police and the SD against the Jews who make it necessary that steps be taken against them in different spheres.

“In Gorodnia 165 Jewish terrorists and in Tschernigow 19 Jewish Communists were liquidated. 8 more Jewish communists were shot at Beresna.

“It was experienced repeatedly that the Jewish women showed an especially obstinate behaviour. For this reason 28 Jewesses had to be shot in Krugoje and 337 at Mogilev.

“In Borissov 321 Jewish saboteurs and 118 Jewish looters were executed.

“In Bobruisk 380 Jews were shot who had engaged to the last in incitement and horror propaganda [Hetz-und Greuelpropaganda] against the German army of occupation.

“In Tatarsk the Jews had left the Ghetto of their own accord and returned to their old home quarters, attempting to expel the Russians who had been quartered there in the meantime. All male Jews as well as 3 Jewesses were shot.

“In Sadrudubs the Jews offered some resistance against the establishment of a Ghetto so that 272 Jews and Jewesses had to be shot. Among them was a political Commissar.


“In Mogilev too, the Jews attempted to sabotage their removal to the Ghetto; 113 Jews were liquidated.


“Moreover four Jews were shot on account of refusal to work and 2 Jews were shot because they had sabotaged orders issued by the German occupation authorities.

“In Talka 222 Jews were shot for anti-German propaganda and in Marina Gorka 996 Jews were shot because they had sabotaged orders issued by the German occupation authorities.

“At Schklow 627 more Jews were shot because they had participated in acts of sabotage.


“On account of the extreme danger of an epidemic, a beginning was made to liquidate the Jews in the ghetto at Witebsk. This involved approximately 3000 Jews. * * *” (R-102)

With respect to partisan activity in the Ukraine the report states in part:

“Although partisan activity in the south sector is very strong too, there is nevertheless the impression that spreading and effective partisan activity are strongly affected by the flight of higher partisan leaders and by the lack of initiative of the subordinate leaders who have remained behind. Only in one case a commando of the Security Police and the SD succeeded in a fight with partisans in shooting the Secretary of the Communist Party for the administration district of Nikolajew-Cherson, who was at the time Commissar of a partisan group for the district Nikolajew-Cherson-Krim. * * *” (R-102)

With respect to treatment of Jews in the Ukraine the report states in part:

“The embitterment of the Ukrainian population against the Jews is extremely great because they are thought responsible for the explosions in Kiew. They are also regarded as informers and agents of the NKVD who started the terror against the Ukrainian people. As a measure of retaliation for the arson at Kiew, all Jews were arrested and altogether 33,771 Jews were executed on the 29th and 30th September. Money, valuables and clothing were secured and put at the disposal of the National-Socialist League for Public Welfare (NSV) for the equipment of the National Germans [Volksdeutschen] and partly put at the disposal of the provisional city administration for distribution to the needy population.


“In Shitomir 3,145 Jews had to be shot, because from experience they have to be regarded as bearers of Bolshevik propaganda and saboteurs.


“In Cherson 410 Jews were executed as a measure of retaliation for acts of sabotage. Especially in the area east of the Dnjepr the solution of the Jewish question has been taken up energetically by the task forces of the Security Police and the SD. The areas newly occupied by the Commandos were purged of Jews. In the course of this action 4,891 Jews were liquidated. At other places the Jews were marked and registered. This rendered it possible to put at the disposal of the Wehrmacht for urgent labor, Jewish worker groups up to 1,000 persons.” (R-102)

These reports, circulated among the various offices of the RSHA, brought general knowledge to the entire organization of the program of mass murder conducted by these special task forces of the SIPO and SD. (R-102)

The activities of the Einsatz Groups continued throughout 1943 and 1944 under Kaltenbrunner as Chief of the SIPO and SD. New groups were formed and sent into action in the West (2890-PS). Under adverse war conditions, however, the program of extermination was to a large extent changed to one of rounding up slave labor for Germany. A letter written on 19 March 1943 from the headquarters of a Sonderkommando (section of Einsatz Group C) states as follows:

“It is the task of the Security Police and of the Security Service (SD) to discover all enemies of the Reich and fight against them in the interest of security, and in the zone of operations especially to guarantee the security of the army. Besides the annihilation of active opponents all other elements who, by virtue of their opinions or their past, may appear active as enemies under favorable conditions, are to be eliminated [sind * * * auszumerzen] through preventive measures. The Security Police carries out this task according to the general directives of the Fuehrer with all the required toughness. Energetic measures are especially necessary in territories endangered by the activity of hostile gangs. The competence of the Security Police within the zone of operations is based on the Barbarossa decrees. I deem the measures of the Security Police, carried out on a considerable scale during recent times, necessary for the two following reasons:

“1. The situation at the front in my sector had become so serious that the population, partly influenced by Hungarians and Italians, who streamed back in chaotic condition, took openly position against us.

“2. The strong expeditions of hostile gangs, who came especially from the forest of Bryansk, were another reason. Besides that, other revolutionary groups, formed by the population, appeared suddenly in all districts. The providing of arms evidently provided no difficulties at all. It would have been irresponsible, if we had observed this whole activity without acting against it. It is obvious that all such measures bring about some harshness. I want to take up the significant points of harsh measures:


The shooting of Hungarian Jews.


The shooting of directors of collective farms.


The shooting of children.


The total burning down of villages.


The “shooting, while trying to escape” of Security Service (SD) prisoners.

“Chief of Einsatz Group C confirmed once more the correctness of the measures taken, and expressed his recognition for the energetic actions.

“With regard to the current political situation, especially in the armament industry in the fatherland, the measures of the Security Police have to be subordinated to the greatest extent to the recruiting of labor for Germany. In the shortest possible time, the Ukraine has to put at the disposal of the armament industry 1 million workers, 500 of whom have to be sent from our territory daily.

“The work of the field groups has therefore to be changed as of now. The following orders are given:

“1. Special treatment is to be limited to a minimum.

“2. The listing of communist functionaries, activists and so on, is to take place by roster only for the time being, without arresting anybody. It is, for instance, no longer feasible to arrest all the close relatives of a member of the communist party. Although, members of the Komsomolz are to be arrested only if they were active in a leading position.

“3. The activity of the labor offices, respective of recruiting commissions, is to be supported to the greatest extent possible. It will not be possible always to refrain from using force. During a conference with the Chief of the Labor Commitment Staffs, an agreement was reached stating that wherever prisoners can be released, they should be put at the disposal of the Commissioner of the Labor Office. When searching [Uberholung] villages, resp., when it has become necessary to burn down a village, the whole population will be put at the disposal of the Commissioner by force.

“4. As a rule, no more children will be shot.

“5. The reporting of hostile gangs as well as drives against them is not affected hereby. All drives against these hostile gangs can only take place after my approval has been obtained.

“6. The prisons have to be kept empty, as a rule. We have to be aware of the fact that the Slavs will interpret all soft treatment on our part as weakness and that they will act accordingly right away. If we limit our harsh measures of security police through above orders for the time being, that is only done for the following reason. The most important thing is the recruiting of workers. No check of persons to be sent into the Reich will be made. No written certificates of political reliability check or similar things will be issued.

“(signed) Christiansen.”


The head of the Jewish section in the GESTAPO, and the man directly responsible for carrying out the mass extermination program against the Jews by the GESTAPO, Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, estimated in his report to Himmler on the matter, that 2,000,000 Jews had been killed by shootings, mainly by the Einsatz Groups of the SIPO and SD during the campaign in the East. This did not include the estimated 4,000,000 sent by the GESTAPO for extermination in annihilation camps. (2615-PS)

(2) The GESTAPO and SD stationed special units in prisoner of war camps for the purpose of screening out racial and political undesirables and executing them. The program of mass murder of political and racial undesirables carried on against civilians was also applied to prisoners of war captured on the Eastern front. Warlimont, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Wehrmacht Fuehrungs Stab, states:

“* * * Shortly before the beginning of this campaign [with U.S.S.R.] I was present in a group composed of the Commanders in Chief (with their Chiefs of Staff) of the three Armed Forces, of the Army groups, of Armies, and of the corresponding groups in the Air Forces and Navy. Hitler made an announcement to this group that special measures would have to be taken against political functionaries and commissars of the Soviet army. He said that this would not be an ordinary campaign but would be the clash of conflicting ideologies. He further said that the political functionaries and commissars were not to be considered as prisoners of war but were to be segregated from other prisoners immediately after their capture and were to be turned over to special detachments of the SD which were to accompany the German troops to Russia. He further said that when it was not possible to turn over the political functionaries and commissars to the SD, they were to be eliminated by the German troops.” (2884-PS)

The Chief of the SD, Otto Ohlendorf, describes this action in the following words:

“In 1941, shortly after the start of the campaign against Russia, an agreement was entered into between the Chief of the Security Police and SD and the OKW and OKH to the effect that the prisoner of war camps on the Eastern front should be opened to Einsatzkommandos of the SIPO and SD so that the prisoners could be screened. All Jews and Communist functionaries were to be taken from the prisoner of war camps by the Einsatzkommandos and executed outside the camps. To my knowledge, this action was carried on throughout the entire Russian campaign. In the other occupied territories and within the Reich—to my knowledge—the GESTAPO had been made responsible for this program in the Russian prisoner of war camps. It was, to my knowledge, carried on throughout the greater part of the war.” (2622-PS)

Lahousen, chief of a division in the office of foreign intelligence in the Wehrmacht, states:

“* * * From the start of the campaign against the U.S.S.R. the higher German political and military leadership followed the policy of eliminating Russian commissars and various other types of Russian prisoners of war captured by the Wehrmacht. In June and July 1941 I participated in a conference which concerned itself with the treatment of Russian commissars. * * * Obergruppenfuehrer Mueller was present as representative of the RSHA, and he participated in this matter because, as Chief of Section IV, he was responsible for the carrying out of these measures. Jointly with the SD and the GESTAPO he had the task of instituting the necessary measures for the execution of commissars. * * * In the discussion that followed, Mueller promised in a peculiarly cynical manner that these executions would take place in the future outside the camp, so that the troops would not be obliged to watch them. He promised further a certain limitation in the concept of ‘Bolshevistically infected.’ This concept and its interpretation had been hitherto left to the discretion of the SD Sonderkommandos. * * * An agreement was concluded between the OKW, the GESTAPO and the SD. Pursuant to this agreement Russian prisoners of war under the control of the OKW were delivered to the GESTAPO and SD for execution. The term ‘Sonderbehandlung’ in the official documents and way of speaking of the SD was equivalent to ‘condemned to death’.” (2846-PS)

On 17 July 1941 instructions were issued by the GESTAPO to Commandos of the SIPO and SD stationed in Stalags, providing in part as follows:

“The activation of commandos will take place in accordance with the agreement of the Chief of the Security Police and Security Service and the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces as of 16 July 1941 (see enclosure 1). The commandos will work independently according to special authorization and in consequence of the general regulations given to them, in the limit of the camp organizations. Naturally, the commandos will keep close contact with the camp-commander and the defense-officers assigned to him.

“The mission of the commandos is the political investigating of all camp-inmates, the elimination and further ‘treatment’


of all political, criminal or in some other way unbearable elements among them.


of those persons who could be used for the reconstruction of the occupied territories.

“The commandos must use for their work as far as possible, at present and even later, the experiences of the camp-commanders which the latter have collected meanwhile from observation of the prisoners and examinations of camp inmates.

“Further, the commandos must make efforts from the beginning to seek out among the prisoners elements which appear reliable, regardless if there are communists concerned or not, in order to use them for intelligence purposes inside of the camp and, if advisable, later in the occupied territories also.

“By use of such informers and by use of all other existing possibilities, the discovery of all elements to be eliminated among the prisoners, must proceed step by step at once. * * *

“Above all, the following must be discovered: All important functionaries of state and party, especially

Professional revolutionaries

Functionaries of the Komintern

All policy forming party functionaries of the KPdSU and its fellow organizations in the central committees, in the regional and district committees.

All peoples-commissars and their deputies

All former political commissars in the Red-Army

Leading personalities of the state-authorities of central and middle regions.

The leading personalities of the business world.

Members of the Soviet-Russian intelligence

All Jews

All persons who are found to be agitators or fanatical communists. * * *

“Executions are not to be held in the camp or in the immediate vicinity of the camp. If the camps in the general-government are in the immediate vicinity of the border, then the prisoners are to be taken for special treatment, if possible, into the former Soviet-Russian territory. * * *

“In regard to executions to be carried out and to the possible removal of reliable civilians and the removal of informers for the Einsatz-group in the occupied territories, the leader of the Einsatz-Kommando [?] must make an agreement with the nearest State-Police-Office, as well as with the commandant of the Security Police Unit and Security Service and beyond these with the Chief of the Einsatz-group concerned in the occupied territories. * * *” (502-PS)

On 23 October 1941 the Camp Commander of the concentration camp Gross Rosen reported to Mueller, Chief of the GESTAPO, a list of Russian PWs who had been executed the preceding day. (1165-PS)

On 9 November 1941 Mueller issued a directive to all GESTAPO offices in which he ordered that diseased PWs should be excluded from the transport into the concentration camps for execution. The letter began:

“The commandant of the concentration camps are complaining that 5 to 10 percent of the Soviet Russians destined for execution are arriving in the camps dead or half dead. Therefore the impression has arisen that the Stalags are getting rid of such prisoners in this way. * * *” (1165-PS)

The affidavit of Kurt Lindow, former GESTAPO official, states:

“* * * 2. From 1941 until the middle of 1943 there was attached to subsection IVA1 a special department that was headed by the Regierungsoberinspektor, later Regierungsamtmann, and SS-Hauptsturmbannfuehrer Franz Koenigshaus. In this department were handled matters concerning prisoners of war. I learned from this department that instructions and orders by Reichsfuehrer Himmler, dating from 1941 and 1942, existed according to which captured Soviet Russian political Commissars and Jewish soldiers were to be executed. As far as I know proposals for execution of such PWs were received from the various PW camps. Koenigshaus had to prepare the orders for execution and submitted them to the chief of section IV, Mueller, for signature. These orders were made out so that one order was to be sent to the agency making the request and a second one to the concentration camp designated to carry out the execution. The PWs in question were at first formally released from PW status, then transferred to a concentration camp for execution. * * *

“* * * 4. There existed in the PW camps on the Eastern front small screening teams (Einsatzkommandos) headed by lower ranking members of the Secret Police (GESTAPO). These teams were assigned to the camp commanders and had the job to segregate the PWs who were candidates for execution, according to the orders that had been given, and to report them to the Office of the Secret Police (Geheimes Staatspolizeiamt). * * *” (2542-PS)

(3) The GESTAPO and SD sent recaptured prisoners of war to concentration camps where they were executed (“Bullet Decree”). In March 1944 the Chief of the Security Police and SD forwarded an OKW order to regional SIPO and SD offices in which the OKW ordered that, on recapture, every escaped officer and nonworking NCO prisoner of war, with the exception of British and American prisoners of war, were to be handed over to the SIPO and SD, with the words “Stufe III”. Whether escaped British and American officers and nonworking NCOs, upon recapture, should be handed over to the SIPO and SD was to be decided by the High Command of the Army. In connection with this order, the Chief of the Security Police and SD (RSHA) issued instructions that the GESTAPO Leitstellen should take over the escaped officers from the camp commandants and transport them in accordance with a procedure theretofore in force to the Mauthausen concentration camp. The camp commandant was to be informed that the prisoners were being handed over under the operation “Kugel”. On the journey the prisoners of war were to be placed in irons. The GESTAPO Leitstellen were to make half-yearly reports, giving numbers only, of the handing over of prisoners of war. Escaped officer and nonworking NCO prisoners of war, with the exception of British and Americans, recaptured by police stations were not to be handed back to the Stalag command. The Stalag was to be informed of the recapture and asked to surrender them with the words “Stufe III”. (1650-PS)

On 27 July 1944 an order from the 6th Corps Area Command was issued on the treatment of prisoners of war, which provided that prisoners of war were to be discharged from prisoner-of-war status and transferred to the GESTAPO if they were guilty of crimes, had escaped and been recaptured, or refused to work or encouraged other prisoners not to work, or were screened out by Einsatzkommandos of the SIPO and SD, or were guilty of sabotage. No reports on transfers were required (1514-PS). This decree was known as the “Kugel Erlass” (“Bullet Decree”). Prisoners of war sent to Mauthausen concentration camp under it were regarded as dead to the outside world and were executed. (2478-PS; 2285-PS.)

(4) The GESTAPO and SD were responsible for establishing and classifying concentration camps, and for committing racial and political undesirables to concentration and annihilation camps for slave labor and mass murder. The first concentration camps were established in 1933 at Dachau in Bavaria and at Oranienburg in Prussia. The GESTAPO was given by law the responsibility of administering the concentration camps. (2108-PS)

The GESTAPO had the sole authority to take persons into protective custody, and orders for protective custody were carried out in the State concentration camps. (1723-PS)

The GESTAPO issued the orders establishing concentration camps, transforming prisoner of war camps into concentration camps, designating concentration camps as internment camps, changing labor camps into concentration camps, setting up special sections for female prisoners, and so forth. (D-50; D-46.)

The Chief of the Security Police and SD ordered the classification of concentration camps according to the seriousness of the accusation and the chances for reforming the prisoners from the Nazi viewpoint. The concentration camps were classified as Classes I, II, or III. Class I was for the least serious prisoners, and Class III for the most serious prisoners. (1063-A-PS)

Regional offices of the GESTAPO had the authority to commit persons to concentration camps for short periods, at first 21 days and later 56 days, but all other orders for protective custody had to be approved by the GESTAPO headquarters in Berlin. Orders for protective custody issued by GESTAPO headquarters had to be signed by or on behalf of the Chief of the Security Police and SD, at first Heydrich, later Kaltenbrunner. (2477-PS)

The Chief of the Security Police and SD had authority to fix the length of the period of custody. During the war it was the policy not to permit the prisoners to know the period of custody and merely to announce the term as “until further notice”. (1531-PS)

The local GESTAPO offices which made the arrests maintained a register called the “Haftbuch.” In this register the names of all persons arrested were listed, together with personal data, grounds for the arrest, and disposition. When orders were received from the GESTAPO headquarters in Berlin to commit persons who had been arrested to concentration camps, an entry was made in the Haftbuch to that effect. The reason assigned for the arrest and commitment of persons to concentration camps usually was that, according to the GESTAPO, the person endangered by his attitude the existence and security of the people and the State. Further specifications of grounds included such offenses as that of “working against the Greater German Reich with an illegal resistance organization,” “being a Jew,” “suspected of working for the detriment of the Reich,” “being strongly suspected of aiding desertion,” “because as a relative of a deserter he is expected to take advantage of every occasion to harm the German Reich,” “refusal to work,” “sexual intercourse with a Pole,” “religious propaganda,” “working against the Reich,” “loafing on the job,” or “defeatist statements.” Sometimes specification of the grounds simply referred to an “action,” under which a large number of persons would be arrested and sent to concentration camps. (L-358; L-215.)

On 16 December 1942, Mueller, Chief of the GESTAPO, reported that, in connection with an increase in slave labor required by concentration camps by 30 January 1943 the GESTAPO could round up 45,000 Jews, including invalids, aged, and children. The telegram stated:

“In accordance with the increased recruitment of manpower into the concentration camps, which was ordered by 30 January 1943, the following may be applied in the Jewish sector:

“1. Total amount: 45,000 Jews.

“2. Start of transportation 11 January 1943.

“3. Completion of transportation 31 January 1943.” (1472-PS)

On 17 December 1942, Mueller issued an order to the Kommandeurs and Inspekteurs of the SIPO and SD and to the directors of the GESTAPO regional offices, in which he stated that Himmler, Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police, had given orders on 14 December 1942 that at least 35,000 persons who were fit for work had to be put into concentration camps not later than at the end of January. The order further provided that Eastern or foreign workers who had escaped or broken the labor contracts were to be sent to the nearest concentration camps as quickly as possible, and that inmates of detention rooms and educational work camps who were fit for work should be delivered to the nearest concentration camps. (1063-D-PS)

On 23 March 1943, Mueller issued another directive referring to said directive of 17 December 1942, in which he stated that measures are to be carried out until 30 April ‘43. More explicit instructions were given as to which concentration camps the slave laborers were to be sent. He said:

“Care has to be taken that only prisoners who are fit for work are sent to concentration camps, and adolescents only in accordance with the provisions issued; otherwise, contrary to the purpose, the concentration camps become overburdened.” (L-41)

On 25 June 1943, Mueller issued an order stating that the decrees of 17 December 1942 and of 23 March 1943 had achieved the intended goal. (1063-E-PS)

On 21 April 1943, the Minister of Justice declared in a letter that the RSHA had ordered on 11 March 1943 that all Jews who were released from prison were to be handed over to the GESTAPO for lifelong detainment in the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Lublin. Poles released after an imprisonment of over six months were to be transferred to the GESTAPO for internment in a concentration camp for the duration of the war. (701-PS)

The arrest of Jews and their shipment to annihilation camps was carried out under the direction of Eichmann, head of the section handling Jews in the Gestapo. Eichmann’s staff was composed of members of the SIPO, especially the GESTAPO. The Jews were shipped on order of the SIPO and SD to annihilation camps in the East. Eichmann estimated, and so reported to Himmler, that 4,000,000 Jews were killed in the annihilation camps in the East, in addition to the 2,000,000 Jews shot by the Einsatz Groups. The extermination of Jews in the annihilation camps was accomplished mainly after the beginning of 1943, during the time Kaltenbrunner was the Chief of the Security Police and SD. (2615-PS)

(5) The GESTAPO and the SD participated in the deportation of citizens of occupied countries for forced labor and handled the disciplining of forced labor. On 26 November 1942, Fritz Sauckel transmitted a letter to the president of provincial employment offices in which he stated that he had been advised by the Chief of the Security Police and SD (RSHA) under date of 26 October 1942 that during the month of November the evacuation of Poles in the Lublin district would begin in order to make room for the settlement of persons of the German race. The Poles who were evacuated as a result of this measure were to be put into concentration camps for labor so far as they were criminal or asocial. The remaining Poles who were suitable for labor were to be transported without their families into the Reich, there to be put at the disposal of the Labor Allocation Offices to serve as replacements for Jews eliminated from the armament factories. (L-61)

During 1943 the program of mass murder carried out by the Einsatz Groups in the East was modified, and orders were issued to round up hundreds of thousands of persons for the armament industry.

“In the shortest possible time the Ukraine has to put at the disposal of the armament industry one million workers, 500 of whom have to be sent from our territory daily. * * * The activity of the labor offices * * * is to be supported to the greatest extent possible. * * * When searching villages, esp. when it has become necessary to burn down a village, the whole population will be put at the disposal of the Commissions by force. * * * The most important thing is the recruiting of workers.” (3012-PS)

On 18 June 1941 secret orders were issued from the Chief of the Security Police and SD, signed by Mueller, to prevent the return of Eastern emigrants and civilian workers from the Reich to the East, and to keep them in German war production. Any attempts at refusal to work were to be countered by the GESTAPO with the severest measures, arrest and confinement in concentration camps (1573-PS). The Chief of the Security Police and SD had exclusive jurisdiction over labor reformatory camps established under control of the GESTAPO for disciplining foreign workers. (1063-B-PS)

(6) The GESTAPO and SD executed captured commandos and paratroopers, and protected civilians who lynched Allied flyers. On 4 August 1942 Keitel issued an order which provided that the GESTAPO and SD were responsible for taking counter-measures against single parachutists or small groups of them with special missions. Even if such paratroopers were captured by the Wehrmacht, they were to be handed over to the GESTAPO and the SD. (553-PS)

On 18 October 1942, Hitler ordered that all members of Commando units, even when in uniform, or members of sabotage groups, armed or not, were to be exterminated to the last man by fighting or by pursuing them. Even if they wished to surrender, they were not to be spared. Members of such Commandos, acting as agents, saboteurs, etc., handed over to the Wehrmacht through other channels, were to be turned over immediately to the SD. (498-PS)

On 17 June 1944, the Chief of the Security Police and SD, in a Top Secret letter to the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, stated that he had instructed the Commander of the SIPO and SD in Paris to treat parachutists in English uniform as members of Commando operations in accordance with Hitler’s order of 18 October 1942. (1276-PS)

On 26 June 1944, WFSt issued an order in which it was stated that enemy paratroopers landing in Brittany were to be treated as commandos, and that it was immaterial whether the paratroopers were in uniform or civilian clothes. The order provided that in cases of doubt enemy soldiers who were captured alive were to be handed over to the SD for examination as to whether the Fuehrer Order of 18 October 1942 was to be applied or not. (532-PS)

Commandos turned over to the SIPO and SD under these orders were executed. (526-PS; 2374-PS.)

The affidavit of Adolf Zutter, former adjutant of Mauthausen concentration camp, states in part:

“* * * Concerning the American Military Mission which landed behind the German front in the Slovakian or Hungarian area in January, 1945, I remember, when these officers were brought to Camp Mauthausen; I suppose the number of the arrivals were about 12 to 15 men. They wore a uniform which was American or Canadian; brown-green color, shirt, and cloth cap. Eight or ten days after their arrival the execution order came in by telegraph or teletype. Standartenfuehrer Ziereis came to me into my office and told me now Kaltenbrunner has given the permission for the execution. This letter was secret and had the signature: signed Kaltenbrunner. Then, these people were shot according to martial law and their belongings were given to me by 1st Sgt. [Oberscharfuehrer] Niedermeyer. * * *” (L-51)

On 10 August 1943, Himmler issued an order to the Security Police stating that it was not the task of the Police to interfere in clashes between Germans and English and American terror flyers who had bailed out. (R-110)

In 1944 at a conference of Amt Chiefs Kaltenbrunner said:

“All offices of the SD and the security police are to be informed that pogroms of the populace against English and American terror-flyers are not to be interfered with; on the contrary, this hostile mood is to be fostered.” (2990-PS)

On 12 June 1944 the Chief of the SD-Abschnitte Koblenz stated that the Army had issued a similar order, namely, that German soldiers were not to protect enemy flyers from the populace and that the Army no longer attached value to enemy flyers taken prisoner. (745-PS)

(7) The GESTAPO and SD took civilians of occupied countries to Germany for secret trial and punishment (“Nacht und Nebel Erlass”). On 7 December 1941 Hitler issued the directive, since called the “Nacht und Nebel Erlass” (Night and Fog Decree), under which persons who committed offenses against the Reich or occupation forces in occupied territories, except where death sentence was certain, were to be taken secretly to Germany and surrendered to the Security Police and SD for trial or punishment in Germany. An executive ordinance was issued by Keitel the same date, and on 4 February 1942 the directive and ordinance were published to the police and the SS. (L-90)

In compliance with the above directive, the military intelligence turned over cases, other than those in which the death sentence was probable, to the GESTAPO and the Secret Field Police for secret deporting to Germany. (833-PS)

After the civilians arrived in Germany, no word of the disposition of their cases was permitted to reach the country from which they came, or their relatives. Even when they died awaiting trial, the SIPO and SD refused to notify the families, so that anxiety would be created in the minds of the family of the arrested person. (668-PS)

(8) The GESTAPO and SD arrested, tried, and punished citizens of occupied territories under special criminal procedure and by summary methods. The GESTAPO arrested, placed in protective custody, and executed civilians of occupied territories under certain circumstances. Even where there were courts capable of handling emergency cases, the GESTAPO conducted its own executions without regard to normal judicial processes. (674-PS)

On 18 September 1942, Thierack, the Reich Minister of Justice, and Himmler came to an understanding by which antisocial elements were to be turned over to Himmler to be worked to death, and a special criminal procedure was to be applied by the police to the Jews, Poles, gypsies, Russians, and Ukrainians who were not to be tried in ordinary criminal courts. (654-PS)

On 5 September 1942 an order was issued by the RSHA to the offices of the GESTAPO and SD covering this understanding. This order provided that ordinary criminal procedure would not be applied against Poles, Jews, gypsies, and other Eastern people, but that instead they would be turned over to the police. Such persons of foreign extraction were to be treated on a basis entirely different from that applied to Germans.

“* * * Such considerations which may be right for adjudicating a punishable offense committed by a German are, however, wrong for adjudicating a punishable offense committed by a person of alien race. In the case of punishable offenses committed by a person of alien race the personal motives actuating the offender must be completely eliminated. The only standard may be that German civil order is endangered by his action, and that consequently preventive measures must be taken to prevent the recurrence of such risks. In other words, the action of a person of alien race is not to be viewed from the angle of judicial expiation, but from the angle of the police guard against danger.

“As a result of this, the administration of penal law for persons of alien race must be transferred from the hands of the administrators of justice into the hands of the police. * * *” (L-316)

(9) The GESTAPO and SD executed or confined persons in concentration camps for crimes allegedly committed by their relatives. On 19 July 1944, the Commander of the SIPO and SD for the District Radom published an order transmitted through the Higher SS and Police Leaders to the effect that in all cases of assassination or attempted assassination of Germans, or where saboteurs had destroyed vital installations, not only the guilty person but also all his (or her) male relatives should be shot and the female relatives over 16 years of age put into a concentration camp. (L-37)

In the summer of 1944, the Einsatzkommando of the SIPO and SD at Luxembourg caused persons to be confined at Sachsenhausen concentration camp because they were relatives of deserters and were, therefore, “expected to endanger the interest of the German Reich if allowed to go free.” (L-215)

(10) The GESTAPO and SD were instructed to murder prisoners in the SIPO and SD prisons to prevent their release by the Allied armies. On 21 July 1944, the Kommandeur of the SIPO and SD for the District Radom forwarded an order of the Befehlshaber of the SIPO and SD to the effect that it was essential that the number of inmates of the SIPO and SD prisons be kept as low as possible. Inmates were to be subjected only to short formal interrogations and then to be sent by the quickest route to concentration camps. Preparations were to be made for total clearance of the prisons should the situation at the front necessitate such action. In the case of sudden emergency precluding the evacuation of the prisoners, they were to be shot and their bodies buried or otherwise disposed of, the buildings to be dynamited, and so forth. In similar circumstances, the Jews who were still employed in the armament industries or in other work were to be dealt with in the same way. The liberation of prisoners or Jews by the enemy was to be avoided at all costs. (L-53)

(11) The GESTAPO and the SD participated in the seizure and spoliation of public and private property. In connection with the program for the mass extermination of Jews and Communist functionaries, the GESTAPO and the SD seized all personal effects of the persons executed or murdered. On the eastern front the victims were required not only to give up all their personal possessions, but even to remove their outer garments prior to being murdered. (2620-PS)

In connection with the program of confiscation of scientific, religious, and art archives and objects, an agreement was entered into between Rosenberg and Heydrich, under which the SD and Rosenberg were to cooperate closely in the confiscation of public and private collections. (071-PS)

(12) The GESTAPO and SD conducted third degree interrogations. On 26 October 1939 an order to all GESTAPO offices from the RSHA signed Mueller, “by order,” in referring to execution of protective custody during the war, stated in part:

“In certain cases, the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police will order flogging in addition to detention in a concentration camp. Orders of this kind will, in the future, also be transmitted to the State Police District Office concerned. In this case, too, there is no objection to spreading the rumour of this increased punishment. * * *” (1531-PS)

On 12 June 1942 the Chief of the Security Police and SD, through Mueller, published an order authorizing the use of third degree methods in interrogating where preliminary investigation indicates that the prisoner could give information on important facts such as subversive activities, but not to extort confessions of the prisoner’s own crimes. The order stated in part:

“* * * 2. Third degree may, under this supposition, only be employed against Communists, Marxists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, saboteurs, terrorists, members of resistance movements, parachute agents, antisocial elements, Polish or Soviet-Russian loafers or tramps. In all other cases, my permission must first be obtained.

“* * * 4. Third degree can, according to the circumstances, consist amongst other methods, of:

very simple diet (bread and water)

hard bunk

dark cell

deprivation of sleep

exhaustive drilling

also in flogging (for more than 20 strokes a doctor must be consulted).”  (1531-PS)

On 24 February 1944 the Kommandeur of the SIPO and SD for the district Radom, “in view of the variety of methods used to date in third-degree interrogations and in order to avoid excesses,” published an order issued by the BdS Cracow based on regulations in force for the Reich which followed closely the limitations laid down in the above decree of 12 June 1942. (L-89)

G. Crimes of the GESTAPO and SD Against Humanity.

(1) The GESTAPO and the SD were primary agencies for the persecution of the Jews. The persecution of the Jews under the Nazi regime is a story of increasingly severe treatment, beginning with restrictions, then seizure and spoliation of property, commitment to concentration camps, deportation, slave labor, and finally mass murder. The responsibility of the GESTAPO and the SD for the mass extermination program carried out by the Einsatz Groups of the SIPO and SD and in the annihilation camps to which Jews were sent by the SIPO and SD has already been considered. In this subdivision, the place of the GESTAPO and SD in the development of this persecution will be treated.

Section B of the SD dealt with problems of nationality, including minorities, race and national health, immigration, and resettlement. Section B4 of the GESTAPO, headed by Eichmann, dealt with Jewish affairs, including matters of evacuation, means of suppressing enemies of the people and State, and dispossession of rights of German citizenship. One of the functions of the SD was to furnish information concerning the Jews to the GESTAPO. One of the functions of the GESTAPO was to carry out the Nazi program of persecution of the Jews. (L-185; L-219.)

The GESTAPO was charged with the enforcement of discriminatory laws, such as those preventing Jews from engaging in business, restricting their right to travel, and prohibiting them from associating with gentiles. Violations of such restrictions resulted in protective custody and confinement in concentration camps by the GESTAPO. (L-217; L-152; L-167.)

The Chief of the Security Police and SD ordered the GESTAPO and the SD to supervise the anti-Jewish pogrom staged in November 1938 following the von Rath incident in Paris. As many Jews were to be arrested in all districts as the available jail space would hold. Well-to-do Jews were to be singled out for arrest, and primarily only healthy male adults of not too advanced age. Immediately after completion of the arrests, the competent concentration camp was to be notified in order to provide for speediest transfer of Jews to the camps. (3051-PS)

On 11 November 1938 Heydrich reported to Goering by secret express letter on the results of the action as reported by the GESTAPO. The report stated in part:

“* * * The extent of the destruction of Jewish shops and houses cannot yet be verified by figures. The figures given in the reports: 815 shops destroyed, 171 dwelling houses set on fire or destroyed, only indicate a fraction of the actual damage caused, as far as arson is concerned. Due to the urgency of the reporting, the reports received to date are entirely limited to general statements such as ‘numerous’ or ‘most shops destroyed.’ Therefore the figures given must have been exceeded considerably.

“191 synagogues were set on fire, and another 76 completely destroyed. In addition 11 parish halls, [Gemeindehauser] cemetery chapels and similar buildings were set on fire and 3 more completely destroyed.

“20,000 Jews were arrested, also 7 Aryans and 3 foreigners. The latter were arrested for their own safety.

“36 deaths were reported and those seriously injured were also numbered at 36. Those killed and injured are Jews. One Jew is still missing. The Jews killed include one Polish national, and those injured include 2 Poles.” (3058-PS)

On 31 July 1941 Goering sent the following order to the Chief of the Security Police and SD, Heydrich:

“Complementing the task that was assigned to you on 24 January 1939, which dealt with arriving at a solution of the Jewish problem through furtherance of emigration and evacuation as advantageous as possible, I hereby charge you with making all necessary preparations in regard to organizational and financial matters for bringing about a complete solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe.” (710-PS)

In February or March 1943, according to Gottfried Boley, Ministerialrat in the Reich Chancery, a conference on the solution of the Jewish problem, attended by representatives of the ministries, was called by Kaltenbrunner as Chief of the Security Police and SD. Boley states:

“The meeting was presided over by Eichmann who had charge of Jewish problems in the GESTAPO. In his opening remarks Eichmann referred to former conferences that had taken place in the office of the Chief of the Security Police and SD, and that on this occasion he wished to discuss the matter in a more basic manner. He stated that the Jewish question had to be solved in a quick and proper way. Representatives of the Chief of the Security Police and SD who attended the conference made it clear to those present that the remaining Jews had to be sent forcibly to concentration camps or be sterilized. Those present at the conference must have carried away the impression that the objectives were the extermination of the Jewish people.” (2645-PS)

The deportation of Jews into concentration camps was part of the program for slave labor. Jews not fit for work were screened out at extermination centers, such as Auschwitz, and the remainder were taken into concentration and work camps. The orders were issued by Himmler and passed through the Chief of the Security Police and SD, Kaltenbrunner (formerly Heydrich) to Mueller, Chief of the GESTAPO, and then to Eichmann for execution. (2376-PS; 1472-PS.)

In Galicia, the deportation of Jews was carried out during the period from April 1942 to June 1943. At the end of that time Galicia had been entirely cleared of Jews. In all, 434,392 Jews were deported from Galicia alone. In connection with the deportations, Jewish property was confiscated, including furniture, clothing, money, dental fillings, gold teeth, wedding rings, and other personal property of all kinds. The Security Police participated in this action along with other police and SS detachments. (L-18)

In Warsaw the Security Police played a responsible role in the segregation of the Jews and placing them in the Ghetto, in the subsequent removal of the Jews to concentration camps, and in the final clearance of the Ghetto. The Ghetto was established in November of 1940. Over 300,000 Jews were deported from it between July and October 1942, and 6,500 more were deported in January 1943. In April and May 1943 the final clearance of the Ghetto was accomplished under the direction of the SS and Police Leader of the Warsaw area, and with units of the SIPO, Waffen SS, Order Police, and some military and Polish police units. Thousands of Jews were killed in the action. About 7,000 were transported to “T. II” where they were exterminated. The remaining 40,000 to 45,000 were placed in concentration camps. (1061-PS)

In Denmark the Kommandeur of the SIPO and SD was ordered in September of 1943 to arrest all Danish citizens of Jewish belief and send them to Stettin by ship and from there to the concentration camp at Theresienstadt. In spite of the protests of the Kommandeur of the SIPO and SD, Kaltenbrunner as Chief of the Security Police and SD gave direct orders to carry out the anti-Jewish action. Eichmann, head of the Jewish section in the GESTAPO, had direct charge of the clearance program. (2375-PS)

In Hungary the deportation of Jews was again carried out by Eichmann. This action took place under direction of the GESTAPO after the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944. About 450,000 Jews were deported from Hungary due to the pressure and direction of the GESTAPO. (2605-PS)

(2) The GESTAPO and the SD were primary agencies for the persecution of the churches. The fight against the churches was never brought out into the open by the GESTAPO and the SD as in the case of the persecution of the Jews. The struggle was designed to weaken the churches and to lay a foundation for the ultimate destruction of the confessional churches after the end of the war. (1815-PS)

Section C2 of the SD dealt with education and religious life. Section B1 of the GESTAPO dealt with political Catholicism. Section B2 with political Protestantism sects, and Section B3 with other churches and Freemasonry. (L-185)

As early as 1934 the GESTAPO enforced restrictions against the churches. An order by the State Police of Dusseldorf prohibited the churches from engaging in public activities, especially public appearances in groups, sports, hikes, and the establishment of holiday or outdoor camps. (R-145)

In 1934 the Bavarian Political Police placed three ministers in protective custody for refusing to carry out the order of the Government to ring church bells on the occasion of the death of Hindenburg. (1521-PS)

The GESTAPO dissolved those church organizations which it considered to have political objectives. In 1938 the GESTAPO at Munich dissolved by order the Guild of the Virgin Mary of the Bavarian dioceses. (1481-PS)

An insight into the hidden objectives and secret methods of the GESTAPO and the SD in the fight against the churches is disclosed in the file of the GESTAPO regional office at Aachen (1815-PS). On 12 May 1941 the Chief of the GESTAPO issued a directive in which he reported that the Chief of the Security Police and SD had issued an order under which the treatment of church politics which had theretofore been divided between the SD and the GESTAPO was to be taken over entirely by the GESTAPO. The SD “church specialists” were to be temporarily transferred to the same posts in the GESTAPO and operate an intelligence service in the church political sphere there. SD files concerning church political opposition were to be handed over to the GESTAPO, but the SD was to retain material concerning the confessional influence on the lives of the people.

On 22 and 23 September 1941 a conference of church specialists attached to GESTAPO regional offices was held in the lecture hall of the RSHA in Berlin. The notes on the speeches delivered at this conference indicate that the GESTAPO considered the church as an enemy to be attacked with determination and “true fanaticism.” The immediate objective of the GESTAPO was stated to be to insure that the Church did not win back any lost ground. The ultimate objective was stated to be the destruction of the confessional churches. This was to be brought about by the collection of material through the GESTAPO church intelligence system to be produced at a proper time as evidence for the charge of treasonable activities during the German fight for existence.

The executive measures to be applied by the GESTAPO were discussed. It was stated to be impractical to deal with political offenses under normal legal procedure owing to lack of political perception which prevailed among the legal authorities. The so-called “agitator-Priests,” therefore, had to be handled by GESTAPO measures, and when necessary removed to a concentration camp. The following punishments were to be applied to priests according to individual circumstances: warning, fine, forbidden to preach, forbidden to remain in parish, forbidden all activity as a priest, short-term arrest, protective custody. Retreats, youth and recreational camps, evening services, processions and pilgrimages were all to be forbidden on grounds of interfering with the war effort, blackouts, overburdened transportation, etc.

In executing this program close cooperation was required between the GESTAPO and the SD. The study and treatment of the Church in its opposition to the Nazi state was the responsibility of the GESTAPO. The result of this treatment of the Church in the sphere of “religious life” remained the province of the SD. By these means the GESTAPO and the SD carried on the struggle of the Nazi conspirators against the Church.

H. Conclusion.

The evidence shows that the GESTAPO was created by Goering in Prussia in April 1933 for the specific purpose of serving as a police agency to strike down the actual and ideological enemies of the Nazi regime, and that henceforward the GESTAPO in Prussia and in the other States of the Reich carried out a program of terror against all who were thought to be dangerous to the domination of the conspirators over the people of Germany. Its methods were utterly ruthless. It operated outside the law and sent its victims to the concentration camps. The term “GESTAPO” became the symbol of the Nazi regime of force and terror.

Behind the scenes, operating secretly, the SD, through its vast network of informants, spied upon the German people in their daily lives, on the streets, in the shops, and even within the sanctity of the churches.

The most casual remark of a German citizen might bring him before the GESTAPO, where his fate and freedom were decided without recourse to law. In this government, in which the rule of law was replaced by a tyrannical rule of men, the GESTAPO was the primary instrumentality of oppression.

The GESTAPO and the SD played an important part in almost every criminal act of the conspiracy. The categories of these crimes, apart from the thousands of specific instances of torture and cruelty in policing Germany for the benefit of the conspirators, indicate the extent of GESTAPO and SD complicity.

The GESTAPO and SD fabricated the border incidents which Hitler used as an excuse for attacking Poland.

Through the Einsatz Groups they murdered approximately 2,000,000 defenseless men, women, and children.

They removed Jews, political leaders, and scientists from prisoner of war camps and murdered them.

They took recaptured prisoners of war to concentration camps and murdered some of them.

The GESTAPO established and classified concentration camps and sent millions of people into them for extermination and slave labor.

The GESTAPO cleared Europe of the Jews and was responsible for sending 4,000,000 Jews to their deaths in annihilation camps.

The GESTAPO and SD rounded up hundreds of thousands of citizens of occupied countries and shipped them to Germany for forced labor, and sent slave laborers to labor reformatory camps and concentration camps for disciplining.

They executed captured commandos and paratroopers and protected civilians who lynched Allied flyers.

They took civilians of occupied countries to Germany for secret trial and punishment.

They arrested, tried, and punished citizens of occupied territories under special criminal procedures which did not accord them fair trials, and by summary methods.

They murdered or sent to concentration camps the relatives of persons who had allegedly committed crimes.

They ordered the murder of prisoners in SIPO and SD prisons to prevent their release by the Allied armies.

They participated in the seizure and spoliation of public and private property.

They were primary agencies for the persecution of the Jews and of the churches.

In carrying out these crimes the GESTAPO operated as an organization, closely centralized and controlled from Berlin headquarters. Reports were submitted to Berlin, and all important decisions emanated from Berlin. The regional offices had only limited power to commit persons to concentration camps. All cases, other than those of short duration, had to be submitted to Berlin for approval. From 1943 to the end of the war the defendant Kaltenbrunner was the Chief of the Security Police and SD in Berlin. The GESTAPO was organized on a functional basis. Its principal divisions dealt with the groups and institutions against which it committed the worst crimes—Jews, churches, communists, and political liberals. Thus, in perpetrating these crimes, the GESTAPO acted as an entity, each section performing its part in the general criminal enterprises ordered by Berlin. It must be held responsible as an entity.

The SD was at all times a department of the SS. Its criminality directly concerns and contributes to the criminality of the SS.

As to the GESTAPO, it is submitted that:


The GESTAPO is an organization, in the sense in which that term is used in Article 9 of the Charter.


The defendants Goering and Kaltenbrunner committed the crimes defined in Article 6 of the Charter in their capacity as members and leaders of the GESTAPO.


The GESTAPO, as an organization, participated in and aided the conspiracy which contemplated and involved the commission of the crimes defined in Article 6 of the Charter.

In 1941, on German Police Day, Heydrich, the former Chief of the Security Police and the SD, said:

“Secret State Police, Criminal Police, and SD are still adorned with the furtive and whispered secrecy of a political detective story. In a mixture of fear and shuddering—and yet at home with a certain feeling of security because of their presence,—brutality, inhumanity bordering on the sadistic, and ruthlessness are attributed abroad to the men of this profession.” (Extract from a brochure on Reinhard Heydrich, published in December 1943.)

The evidence as it is submitted, shows that brutality, inhumanity, sadism, and ruthlessness were characteristic of the GESTAPO and that it was and should be declared, a criminal organization, in accordance with article 9 of the Charter.


Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Article 9.I6
International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Section IV (H); Appendix B.I29, 70, 71
Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.
  071-PSRosenberg letter to Bormann, 23 April 1941, replying to Bormann’s letter of 19 April 1941 (Document 072-PS). (USA 371)III119
 *498-PSTop Secret Fuehrer Order for killing of commandos, 18 October 1942. (USA 501)III416
 *501-PSCollection of four documents on execution by gas, June 1942, one signed by Dr. Becker, SS Untersturmfuehrer at Kiev, 16 May 1942. (USA 288)III418
 *502-PSOrder, 17 July 1941, entitled “Regulations for the Commandos of the Chief of the SIPO and SD which are to be activated in Stalags”. (USA 486)III422
 *526-PSTop secret notice, 10 May 1943, concerning saboteurs captured and shot in Norway. (USA 502)III434
  532-PSTelegram of WFSt, 24 June 1944, concerning treatment of Commandos.III437
 *553-PSOrder signed by Keitel, 4 August 1942, regulating treatment of paratroops. (USA 500)III441
  654-PSThierack’s notes, 18 September 1942, on discussion with Himmler concerning delivery of Jews to Himmler for extermination through work. (USA 218)III467
 *668-PSLetter from Chief of the SIPO and SD and OKW letter, 24 June 1942, concerning prosecution of punishable offenses against the Reich or occupation forces in occupied territories. (USA 504)III476
 *674-PSSecret letter from President of High District Court of Kattowitz re executions being carried out by Gestapo without judicial processes, 3 December 1941. (USA 505)III478
 *701-PSLetter from Minister of Justice to Prosecutors, 1 April 1943, concerning Poles and Jews who are released from Penal institutions of Department of Justice. (USA 497)III510
 *710-PSLetter from Goering to Heydrich, 31 July 1941, concerning solution of Jewish question. (USA 509)III525
  745-PSLetter from Chief of SD, Koblenz, 12 June 1944, concerning enemy aviators who have been shot down.III543
  775-PSMemorandum of Minister of the Interior concerning clarification of police matters, 1935.III547
  779-PSDirective by Frick, regulating “protective custody”, 12 April 1934.III555
  833-PSInstructions by Admiral Canaris, Head of the Abwehr, 2 February 1942, concerning prosecution of crimes against the Reich or occupying forces in the occupied territories.III600
 1061-PSOfficial report of Stroop, SS and Police Leader of Warsaw, on destruction of Warsaw Ghetto, 1943. (USA 275)III718
*1063-A-PSOrder of Chief of SIPO and SD, 2 January 1941, concerning classification of concentration camps. (USA 492)III775
*1063-B-PSLetter signed by Kaltenbrunner, 26 July 1943, concerning establishment of Labor Reformatory camps. (USA 492)III777
*1063-D-PSMueller’s order, 17 December 1942, concerning prisoners qualified for work to be sent to concentration camps. (USA 219)III778
 1063-E-PSCopy of Mueller’s order, 25 June 1942, concerning increased shipments to concentration camps.III780
*1104-PSMemorandum, 21 November 1941, enclosing copies of report concerning anti-Jewish action in Minsk. (USA 483)III783
 1113-PSReport of 6 November 1942 concerning action “Marshfever”.III792
*1165-PSLetter from Commandant of concentration Camp Gross Rosen, 23 October 1941, and letter of Mueller to all Gestapo offices, 9 November 1941, concerning execution of Russian PW’s. (USA 244)III821
*1276-PSTop secret letter from Chief of SIPO and SD to OKW/WFSt, 17 June 1944, concerning Commando operations. (USA 525).III855
 1285-PSExtract from The German Police, 1943, pp. 81-82.III863
 1437-PSLaw concerning reuniting of Austria with German Reich, 18 March 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 262.IV17
 1438-PSFuehrer concerning administration of Sudeten-German territory, 22 October 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1453.IV17
*1472-PSCopy of telegram from Mueller to Himmler, 16 December 1942, concerning recruiting Jewish labor. (USA 279)IV49
*1481-PSGestapo order, 20 January 1938, dissolving and confiscating property of Catholic Youth Womens Organization in Bavaria. (USA 737).IV50
*1514-PSOrder, 27 July 1944, from 6th Corps Area Command concerning delivery of prisoners of war to secret state police. (USA 491)IV53
*1521-PSReport from the Bavarian Political Police to the Gestapo, Berlin, 24 August 1934, concerning National mourning on occasion of death of von Hindenburg. (USA 740)IV75
*1531-PSDirective from RSHA, 26 October 1939, concerning execution of protective custody, and directive, 12 June 1942, concerning third degree. (USA 248)IV93
 1551-PSDecree assigning functions in Office of Chief of German Police, 26 June 1936. 1936 Reichs Ministerialblatt, pp. 946-948.IV106
*1573-PSOrder signed Mueller, 18 June 1941, concerning measures to be taken against Emigrants and civilian workers from Russian areas and against Foreign workers. (USA 498)IV112
 1638-PSCircular of Minister of Interior, 11 November 1938, on cooperation of SD and other authorities. 1938 Reichs Ministerialblatt, p. 1906.IV142
*1650-PSDirective to State Police Directorates from Chief of SIPO and SD by Mueller, 4 March 1944, concerning captured escaped PWs except British and American PWs. (USA 246)IV158
*1680-PS“Ten Years Security Police and SD” published in The German Police, 1 February 1943. (USA 477)IV191
*1723-PSOrder concerning cooperation of Party offices with the Secret State Police, 25 January 1938, published in Decrees, Regulations, Announcements, 1937, Vol. II, pp. 430-439. (USA 206)IV219
*1815-PSDocuments on RSHA meeting concerning the study and treatment of church politics. (USA 510)IV415
*1852-PS“Law” from The German Police, 1941, by Dr. Werner Best. (USA 449) (See Chart No. 16.)IV490
 1956-PSMeaning and Tasks of the Secret State Police, published in The Archives, January 1936, Vol. 22-24, p. 1342.IV598
 2073-PSDecree concerning the appointment of a Chief of German Police in the Ministry of the Interior, 17 June 1936. 1936 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 487.IV703
 2104-PSLaw on organization of Secret State Police office, 26 April 1933. 1933 Preussische Gesetzsammlung, p. 122.IV730
 2105-PSLaw on Secret State Police of 30 November 1933. 1933 Preussische Gesetzsammlung, p. 413.IV731
 2107-PSLaw on Secret State Police of 10 February 1936. 1936 Preussische Gesetzsammlung, pp. 21-22.IV732
 2108-PSDecree for execution of Law on Secret State Police of 10 February 1936. 1936 Preussische Gesetzsammlung, pp. 22-24.IV732
 2113-PSDecree for application of law of 30 November 1933, concerning Secret State Police of 8 March 1934. 1934 Preussische Gesetzsammlung, p. 143.IV743
 2232-PSTasks and Means of a Political Police, from German Administrative Law by Hans Frank, pp. 420-430.IV881
 2243-PSLaw relating to finance measures in connection with the police, 19 March 1937. 1937 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 325.IV924
 2245-PSFrick decree of 20 September 1936 concerning employment of Security Police Inspectors. 1936 Reichs Ministerialblatt, pp. 1343-1344.IV928
*2273-PSExtract from a top secret report of Einsatz Group A. (USA 487) (See Chart No. 4.)IV944
*2285-PSAffidavit, 13 May 1945, by two French officers, about shooting of prisoners at Mauthausen. (USA 490)IV991
 2344-PSReconstruction of a Nation by Goering, 1934, p. 89.IV1065
 2347-PSCourt decisions from 1935 Reichsverwaltungsblatt, Vol. 56, pp. 577-578, 20 July 1935.IV1066
 2348-PSAffidavit of Rauff, Head of Amt II D, RSHA, 19 October 1945. (USA 485)IV1068
 2371-PSExecution of ordinance for Security of people and state, 28 February 1933. 1933 Reichs Ministerialblatt, Part I, p. 543.IV1102
 2372-PSUnified Designation of offices of Secret State Police in Reich. 1936 Reichs Ministerial Gazette, Part V, pp. 1344-5.IV1105
 2374-PSAffidavit of Rudolf Mildner, 27 June 1945, concerning treatment of English-American commando groups.V1
 2375-PSAffidavit of Rudolf Mildner, 16 November 1945, concerning activities of SIPO and SD.V2
 2376-PSAffidavit of Rudolf Mildner, 16 November 1945, concerning treatment of Jews.V3
*2460-PSAffidavit of Rudolf Diels. (USA 751)V205
*2477-PSAffidavit of Willy Litzenberg, 4 November 1945. (USA 518)V229
 2478-PSAffidavit of Willy Litzenberg, 4 November 1945.V230
 2479-PSAffidavit of Dr. Rudolf Mildner, 4 November 1945.V230
*2499-PSOriginal Protective Custody Order served on Dr. R. Kempner, 15 March 1935. (USA 232)V236
*2542-PSAffidavit of Kurt Lindow, 30 September 1945. (USA 489)V286
*2605-PSAffidavit of Dr. Rudolf Kastner, former President of the Hungarian Zionist Organization, 13 September 1945. (USA 242)V313
 2614-PSAffidavit of Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl, 5 November 1945. (USA 918)V337
 2615-PSAffidavit of Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl, 5 November 1945.V338
*2620-PSAffidavit of Otto Ohlendorf, 5 November 1945. (USA 919)V341
 2622-PSAffidavit of Otto Ohlendorf, 5 November 1945.V343
 2644-PSAffidavit of Otto Ohlendorf, 5 November 1945.V357
 2645-PSAffidavit of Gottfried Boley, 14 November 1945.V357
*2751-PSAffidavit of Alfred Naujocks, 20 November 1945. (USA 482)V390
 2752-PSAffidavit of Willy Litzenberg, 8 November 1945.V392
 2846-PSAffidavit of Erwin Lahousen, 13 November 1945.V507
 2884-PSAffidavit of Walter Warlimont, 14 November 1945.V550
 2890-PSExtracts from Befehlsblatt of the SIPO and SD.V557
*2990-PSAffidavit of Walter Schellenberg, 18 November 1945. (USA 526)V694
*2992-PSAffidavits of Hermann Graebe. (USA 494)V696