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Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Vol. II, Chapter 15
5. THE SCHUTZSTAFFELN (SS)
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, or 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.
(l) 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 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 January 1937 to 23 January 1937".
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 11 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'Aquens 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 represented 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 Staffs 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 6/9/1934, just a few weeks before the bloody purge of the SA, it was made, by decree of Hess, the sole intelligence and counterintelligence 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 full-time, 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."
"III. Orders for the Case of Mobilization.
"A. The employment of the SS Verfuegungstruppe in case of mobilization is a double one.
"1. 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 division 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."
"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 serve. Only volunteers are accepted."
"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."
"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 Fuehrunshauptamt 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 June 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 s 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 1 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, paragraph 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."
(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.
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 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 this 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 homogenous 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 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."
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 13 December 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."
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)
(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 19 1/2, according to the time of his acceptance, he is conscripted for the labor service and 1 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 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, 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 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 17 June 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, Sipo). The Sipo was composed of all criminal police organization 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, Security Police and the SD were combined in a single depart-
ment, 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 he 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".
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, titled "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 'Schutzstaffeln' 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 (67-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 here 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 not be accomplished by us Germans, hardly another nation would be as humane as we are. The laundry is frequently
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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 16 May 1933 and 27 May 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 24 May 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, 24 May 1933, a judicial inspection of the locality took place. The corpse of Strauss was Iying 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."
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 formed 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 partici-
pating physicians, the autopsy did not prove death by hanging". (644-PS)
The preliminary opinion of the examining physician states:
"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 27 May 1933, the following report was received by the Lower Court Dachau:
"Concentration Camp Dachau, Political Division, 27 May 1933, to the Lower Court Dachau. An inquest on the dead body of the prisoner Nefzger Sebastian, merchant in Munich, Schommerstrasse 17/0, born: 10 January 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. Nuernberg, 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 25 May 1933 to 26 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 27 May 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 29 May 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, strangu-
lation 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."
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 eve 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 manage 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 Camp. 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. Secret
1. Chief of the personal staff of Reichsfuehrer SS.
2. SS Main Office.
3. Reich security main office (RSHA).
4. Race and resettlement main office-SS.
5. Main office, ordinary police.
6. SS economic administrative main office.
7. SS personal main office.
8. Main office SS court.
9. SS Supreme Command -- Headquarters of the Waffen SS.
10. Staff Headquarters of the Reichscommissar for the con-solidation of Germanism.
11. Main office center for Racial Germans (Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle).
12. Office of SS Obergruppenfuehrer Heissmeyer.
13. Chief of the guerilla-fighting units.
14. Higher SS and Police Leader Ostland.
15. Higher SS and Police Leader Russia-Center.
16. Higher SS and Police Leader Russia-South.
17. Higher SS and Police Leader Northeast.
18. Higher SS and Police Leader East.
19. Higher SS and Police Leader Alpine territory.
20. Higher SS and Police Leader-Serbia.
21. 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 April 1944 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 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 September 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 1 October 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 and 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. 1944, I herewith
transmit a survey on the employment of prisoners in the aviation industry.
"This survey indicates that at the present time about 6,000 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 February 1944 are already under way.
"I shall keep you, most honored Reichsmarshal, currently informed on this subject.
"[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 90,786; 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 August 1944."
"With reference to the above-mentioned telephone call, I am sending herewith a report on the actual number of prisoners for 1 August 1944 and of the new arrivals already announced, as well as the clothing report for 15 August 44.
"(1). The actual number on 1 August 1944, consisted of:
a. Male prisoners 379,167
b. Female prisoners 145,119
"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 Government 15,000
4. Convicts from the Eastern Territories 10,000
5. Former Polish officers 17,000
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 concentra-
tion camp commandants and signed Leibenhenschel, 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 of 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 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 4 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 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 related by the WVHA. An illustration of WVHA management 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 Leibehenschel, 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."
(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-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 Fuehrercorps 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."
(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 experiment were the result of SS direction and that the SS played a vial 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 being, 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 un-
reasonable. 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
"s/s E. Milch" (343-PS)
Having finished his high-altitude experiments, Dr. Rascher proceeded to experiment with methods of rewarming persons who 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 (V) 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 degrees to 12 degrees.
"Electrical measurements gave low temperature readings of 26.4 degrees in the stomach and 26.5 degrees 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 l/2 liter, in the cranial cavity. The heart invariably showed extreme dilation of the night chamber. As soon as the temperature in these experiments reached 28 degrees, 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
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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)
(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 antisemitic 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 Secur-
ity 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 "antipartisan" or "antiguerilla" actions, and as such included as victims not merely Jews but Soviets, Poles, and other Eastern peoples. One example 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 (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 assistance of SS police units, as the report proudly boasts. These additional items in that report dealing specifically with the should be noted. The first is the text under a photograph in 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. Camps 6,876,251,00 Zl.
b. W&R Factories 6,556,513,69 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."
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 at 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 Iying 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 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 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 plaque 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 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 wag repeated in Czechoslovakia. Henlein's 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 1 October 1938, Verfuegungstruppe as well as the Death Head Units were along with those in the lead. ***"
"15 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 29 March 1939, Memel also returned to the Reich upon basis of an agreement wit 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 hi 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 "antipartisan" 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 antipartisan 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 antipartisan units were formed, is illustrated in the "Activity and Situation Report No. 6 of the Task Forces of the Security and SD in the USSR.," covering the period from 1 October 1941 to 31 October 1941 (R-102). The report shows that so-called "antipartisan 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 (Selbtschutz), 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 16 October 1941 shows great variety of SS components in 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 Lithuania, Latvia, Esthonia, Ruthenia and to a smaller part in front of Leningrad. It show 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 Lithuania, 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 la to this report shows the constitution of the Force:
"Total Strength of Action Group A:"
Waffen-SS 340 34.4
Motor Bicycle-Riders 172 17.4
Administration 18 1.8
Security Service [SD] 35 3.5
Criminal Police [Kripo] 41 4.1
State Police [Gestapo] 89 9
Auxiliary Police 87 8.8
Order Police 133 13.4
Female Employees 13 1.3
Interpreters 51 5.1
Teleprinter-Operators 3 0.3
Wireless-Operators 8 0.8" (L-180)
Another report on the antipartisan 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 dead 4,500
Dead suspected of belonging to bands 5,000
German dead 59"
"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 antipartisan 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: 99 shootings
"in Bruenn: 54 shootings
"Total: 191 executions (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 order 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 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 im-
migration 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 S (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, ending 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 19 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 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 | Staff
'RR' Hoffmann | 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 provide:
"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 land 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 to 4 hours as a rule.
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." (2165-PS)
E. Defendants' 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 April 1937." 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 September 1937."
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 Reichsstalthalter in. Thuringen, SS Obergruppenfuehrer"; and on page 389 the following: "Seyss-Inquart, Arthur, Dr. Jur., Reichsminister, SS Obergruppenfuehrer."
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 same as in the case of the individual defendants at the bar. Nat 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.