[Tr. pp. 24-125, 10/20/1947.]
Mr. McHaney: May it please the Tribunal, the crimes of these defendants, thirteen men and one woman for which they stand here accused, are the result of a vast and premeditated plan to destroy national groups in countries occupied by Germany. This program of genocide was part of the Nazi doctrine of total warfare, war waged against populations rather than against state and armed forces. Hitler once said that:
All of these defendants played an active and leading role in carrying out this broad program which had the two-fold objective of weakening and eventually destroying other nations while at the same time strengthening Germany at their expense, territorially and biologically, in order to secure German domination first of Europe and finally of the world."The French complained after the war that there were twenty million Germans too many. We accept the criticism. We favor the planned control of population movements. But our friends will have to excuse us if we subtract the twenty million elsewhere. After all these centuries of whining about the protection of the poor and lowly, it is about time we decided to protect the strong against the inferior. It will be one of the chief tasks of German statesmanship for all time to prevent, by every means in our power, the further increase of the Slav races. Natural instincts bid all living beings not merely to conquer their enemies, but also destroy them." [Rauschning, "The Voice of Destruction", New York, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1940, p. 138.]
This program was based primarily upon the two Nazi concepts of Race and Lebensraum. Belief in German racial supremacy is not new in German thought. At the end of the 19th century it became crystallized in the theory of Aryan supremacy. The "Aryan" had long been used to denote that family of languages to which ancient Norse, Greek, and Sanskrit belonged. Now the term Aryan was applied to a mythical race which was creator of all the culture existing in the world.
As Hitler himself said in "Mein Kampf"--["Mein Kampf", 1943 Edition, Haughton, Miflin & Co., p. 290.]
"All the human culture, all the results of art, science, and technology that we see before us today, are almost exclusively the creative product of the Aryan."
This theory of race played a prominent role in the rise to power of the Nazis. It convinced the German masses of Aryan supremacy and taught them that the Germans were more entirely Aryan than any other race. They were the "Nordic Germanic race", the Master Race. Thus, the German people, by purifying themselves, casting out Jews, Slavs, and other non-Aryans, were to become the foremost race on earth. Himmler, in a speech to high-ranking army officers in 1935, said:
"I am a convinced supporter of the idea that what matters in the world ultimately is only good blood...I have approached my task from this angle. It means that actually the only good blood, according to our reading of history, is the leading creative element in every state, and in particular, the blood engaged in military activity, and, above all, Nordic blood."
This reconstituted Aryan people was to be the strongest race in the world. Therefore, in accordance with nature's law of survival of the fittest, the Aryan race would conquer the world, enslave all other races, and everywhere spread Aryan culture (for Aryans only, of course) in a new Pax Germanica.
Inside Germany this racial theory coordinated everything in public and private life according to the tenets of nazism. In foreign affairs, it became the slogan for the unification of all Germans, holding out to them a glittering vision of world mastery as both a possibility and a right.
This theory of race matched with the theory behind Lebensraum. The Nazis made much of Germany's over-population with respect to its area. But they were not really concerned with over-population. In fact, the Nazis constantly proclaimed the duty of all good Germans to have as many children as possible. Lebensraum was not, as many think it, a cry of an underprivileged people for the possibility of existence. It was a demand for more and more land, in fact, for more land than the German people could use at the time. The Nazis felt that only by expansion into a great state, territorially, could Germany proceed to become mistress of the world. In short, Lebensraum was a slogan for an aggressive drive by the German people under the Nazi leadership to expand its borders regardless of economic need. This culminated in wars of aggression to gain territory and populations at the expense of neighboring countries.
In the course of the war, as the Nazis overran Poland and most of the rest of Europe, they gained the opportunity to put these theories of Race and Lebensraum, this crime of genocide, into practice. The main drive for expansion was in the East. Himmler, in 1942 explained it as follows:
In 11/1939, the Office for Racial Policy of the Nazi Party put forth a treatise with the weighty title of "The Problem of the Manner of Dealing with the Population of the Formerly Polish Territories on the Basis of Racial-Political Aspects". In this treatise, which formed in part the basis of actions taken by these defendants, it stated:It is not our task to Germanize the East in the old sense, is, to teach the people there the German language and German law, but to see to it that only people of purely Germanic blood live in the East."
It must be realized that under the Nazi theory of race, non-Aryans simply did not matter. Hitler stated this clearly in "Mein Kampf" when he said, ["Mein Kampf", 1943 Edition, Haughton, Miflin & Co., p. 296.]"The aim of the German policy in the new Reich territory in the East must be the creation of a racial and therefore intellectual-psychical as well as national-political uniform German population. This results in the ruthless elimination of all elements not suitable for Germanization.
"This aim consists of three interwoven tasks.
"First, the complete and final Germanization of the population which seems to be suitable for it.
"Second, deportation of all foreign groups which are not suitable for Germanization, and
"Third, the resettlement by Germans."
This is again clearly brought out in the judgment of the International Military Tribunal, where it is stated:"All who are not of good race in this world are chaff."
"When the witness Bach-Zelewski was asked how Ohlendorf could admit the murder of 90000 people, he replied, 'I am of the opinion that when, for years, for decades, the doctrine is preached that the Slav race is an inferior race, and Jews not even human, then such an outcome is inevitable'." [Trial of the Major War Criminals, vol. I, p. 248, Nuremberg, 1947.]
It may seem somewhat inconsistent for the Nazis to prate of race and purity of blood on the one hand and on the other to take Poles, Czechs, and nationals of many other countries and decide, upon the basis of physical characteristics such as blue eyes and blond hair, that these people can be Germanized. This was a measure to which the Germans were forced because they found that their own population was not sufficient to fulfill the Nazi schemes of expansion. This taking of non-Germans and calling them Germans was also justified on the ground that Germany was thereby taking the best blood from the other nations and thus weakening them as well as strengthening itself. The seemingly insurmountable theoretical barrier of race was avoided very neatly. It was obvious, they said, that for a thousand years and more, Germanic peoples had gone forth over the map of Europe. Thus, when a Polish family showed no signs of any German ancestry for hundreds of years, if the physical characteristics were compatible with those of the mythical super race, it meant that sometime in the dim past Nordic blood had forgotten its heritage and become Polonized. Nevertheless, they said this blood was still valuable blood and could be reclaimed and this Polish family could be Germanized. There was to be a gradual sifting of the peoples in the East until finally all the Aryan blood had been reclaimed. Himmler, in a report distributed to Hitler and the defendants Greifelt, Creutz, Meyer-Hetling, and Hildebrandt among others, and entitled "Reflections on the Treatment of Peoples of Alien Races in the East", was quite clear about the means and aims of this process. He said:
In 1942 the defendant Meyer-Hetling drew up a broad plan for the ethnic reconstruction of Eastern Europe which was entitled the "General Plan East". According to this plan the regions around Leningrad, the Crimea and Kherson in Russia, and Memel in Lithuania, and Narew, were to become German colonies, and within 25 years to be resettled with a large German population. This plan was forwarded by the defendant Greifelt to Himmler who gave his wholehearted approval to it, and asked the defendant Meyer-Hetling to draft also a plan embracing the incorporated Polish territories, Bohemia and Moravia in Czechoslovakia, Alsace, and Lorraine in France, and Upper Carniola and South Styria in Yugoslavia. This was to be a 20-year plan, so Himmler said, and was to bring about a thorough Germanization of Esthonia and Latvia, as well as of the General Government in Poland."...There must be no centralization towards the top, because only by dissolving this whole conglomeration of peoples of the General Government amounting to fifteen millions and of the eight millions of the Eastern provinces, will it be possible for us to carry out the racial sifting which must be the basis for our considerations; namely, selecting out of this conglomeration the racially valuable and bringing them to Germany and assimilating them there.
"Within a very few years--I should think about four to five years--the name of the Kashubes [A Slavic language spoken in the region of Danzig.], for instance, must be unknown, because at that time there won't be a Kashubian people any more (this also goes especially for the West Prussians)...What has been said for these fragments of peoples is also meant on a correspondingly larger scale for the Poles...
"A basic issue in the solution of these problems is the question of schooling and thus the question of sifting and selecting the young. For the non-German population of the East there must be no higher school than the four-grade elementary school. The sole goal of this school is to be--
Simple arithmetic up to 500 at the most; writing of one's name; the doctrine that it is a divine law to obey the Germans and to be honest, industrious, and good. I don't think that reading should be required. Apart from this school there are to be no schools at all in the East. Parents, who from the beginning want to give their children better schooling in the elementary school as well as later on in a higher school must take an application to the Higher SS and Police Leaders. The first consideration in dealing with this application will be whether the child is racially perfect and conforming to our conditions. If we acknowledge such a child to be as of our blood, the parents will be notified that the child will be sent to school in Germany and that it will permanently remain in Germany. Cruel and tragic as every individual case may be, this method is still the mildest and best one, if, out of inner conviction, one rejects as un-German and impossible the Bolshevist method of physical extermination of a people.
"The parents of such children of good blood will be given the choice to either give away their child--they will then probably produce no more children, so that the danger of this subhuman people of the East obtaining a class of leaders which, since it would be equal to us, would also be dangerous for us, will disappear--or else the parents will pledge themselves to go to Germany and to become loyal citizens there. The love towards their child, whose future and education depends upon the loyalty of the parents, will be a strong weapon in dealing with them."
This then was the program of genocide. It was a coordinated plan aimed at the destruction of the essential foundations of the life of national groups. This destruction can be and was accomplished with the help of these defendants by a number of different means, which may be broadly classified as physical, political, biological, and cultural. They sought theIn another courtroom of this same building, 23 leaders of the notorious Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and SD are being tried [United States of America vs. Otto Ohlendorf, et. al., Case 9, vol. IV, this series.] for the mass annihilation of Jews and Russians. While a number of the defendants in this dock also participated in those very same crimes and others of similar nature, their main efforts were devoted to the destruction of national groups by other methods. The technique of these defendants was the mass deportation of oppressed peoples, the deprivation of their means livelihood by the wholesale confiscation of property, the forced Germanization of citizens of occupied countries, and the destruction of their national culture, folkways, and educational facilities, the creation of conditions which increased the mortality rate and prevented increase of the population, and the kidnaping of children."disintegration of the political and social institutions of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups." [Lemkim, Raphael, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, p. 79, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1944.]
These techniques of genocide, while neither so quick nor perhaps so simple as outright mass extermination, are by the very nature of things far more cruel and equally effective. If crimes such as these are allowed to go unpunished, the future of humanity is in far more danger than if an occasional murderer goes free. It is the enormity and far-reaching effects of these crimes that give this case its significance.
These ruthless aims needed ruthless executioners. Hitler found them in Heinrich Himmler and his SS. In this dock are four lieutenant generals (Obergruppenfuehrer), three senior colonels (Oberfuehrer), two colonels (Standartenfuehrer), one lieutenant colonel (Obersturmbannfuehrer), and two majors (Sturmbannfuehrer) of the SS. They committed the crimes with which they are charged as leading members of three main offices (Hauptaemter) and a department of the SS. It is, therefore, necessary to understand something of the history and organization of the SS ill general and in particular of the Staff Main Office (Stabshauptamt) of the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism (commonly known as the "RKFDV"), the Repatriation Office for Ethnic Germans (commonly known as "VoMi"), the SS Race and Settlement Main Office (commonly known as RuSHA), and the Well of Life Society (commonly known as "Lebensborn"). To assist the Tribunal in this regard the prosecution has prepared and delivered to the Tribunal a brief containing basic information on the SS and the aforementioned Office thereof. This has also been made available to defense counsel in both German and English. It includes a glossary of German words and expressions which will be used frequently in the course of the trial, a table of equivalent ranks between the American Army and the German Wehrmacht and the SS, a map of those parts of Europe of interest in this case, and two charts showing the organization of the SS and the interrelation of the Staff Main Office, VoMi, RuSHA, and Lebensborn.
The Schutzstaffeln or SS was the protective guard of the National Socialist Party (NSDAP). It was formed in 1925 to protect leaders and speakers at Party meetings and above all to protect the person of the Fuehrer. As the "Fuehrer" or leader of the Nazi Party, Hitler was the "Oberste Fuehrer" or Supreme Leader of the SS.
In 1/1929, Heinrich Himmler was appointed Reich Leader SS. As such he was the commander of the SS and subordinated directly to Hitler as head of the Nazi Party. At that time, the SS numbered only about 280 men and was much less important than the Sturmabteilung or SA, which was a Nazi paramilitary unit under the ambitious Captain Ernst Roehm. Patiently and unobtrusively, Himmler set about creating out of the SS an aristocracy within the Nazi Party. He called this aristocracy the German Order of Men (Deutsche Maennerorden). Selection for membership in the SS was based on the doctrine of "Race and Blood".
At the time of the seizure of power by the Nazi Party in 1/1933, this self-proclaimed "racial elite" was 52000 strong. Not, however, until the Roehm purge of 6/30/1934 did the SS become the ruling caste within the Party. On that bloody "Night of the Long Knives", it was the brutalized and ever obedient SS who murdered Roehm and his important collaborators in the SA who were said to be dissident elements in the Party. Thenceforth, the SS assumed the duty of ensuring the continued power of the Nazi regime, or, as it was officially stated, of "protecting the internal security of the Reich."
The subsequent development of the SS was based primarily upon the tremendous increase in power of Himmler. Wherever Himmler went, the SS went with him. In 6/1936, he was appointed Chief of the German Police (Chef der Deutschen Polizei) in the Ministry of the Interior with authority over the regular uniformed police (Ordnungspolizei) as well as the Security Police, which was defined to include both the Criminal Police (Kripo) and the notorious Gestapo or Secret State Police. In this connection, mention should also be made of the Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsfuehrers SS [Security Service of the Reich Leader SS], or SD, which worked closely with the Gestapo. The SD was the espionage agency first of the SS, and, after 6/1934, of the whole Nazi Party. Reinhard, or as he was known abroad "Hangman", Heydrich was the Chief of the SD. Himmler, in his capacity as Reich Leader SS and the Chief of the German Police, appointed Heydrich as Chief of the Security Police on 6/26/1936. This amalgamated the Security Police, a State organization, with the SD, a Party organization.
By a decree of 9/27/1939, the various State and Party officers under Heydrich as Chief of the Security Police and SD were united into one administrative unit, the Reich Security Main Office or RSHA (Reichssicherheitshauptamt) which was at the same time both one of the main offices of the SS Supreme Command under Himmler as Reich Leader SS and an office in the Ministry of the Interior under Himmler as Chief of the German Police.
On a regional level, Himmler appointed Higher SS and Police Leaders (Hoehere SS und Polizeifuehrer) for each Wehrkreis [Military District], who coordinated the activities of the Security Police and SD, Order Police, and Allgemeine SS within their jurisdictions. In 1939, the SS and police systems were amalgamated by taking into the SS all police officials at equivalent ranks.
This unification of the SS and police enhanced the power of the SS. Its power and influence were further increased by the appointment of Himmler in 8/1943 as Reich Minister of the Interior, a position which controlled the greater part of the vast German bureaucracy. Finally, in 7/1944, he succeeded General From as Commander in Chief of the Replacement Army (Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres) and Chief of Military Armament (Chef der Heeresruestung). He then controlled all forces on the home front.
Parallel with this development of the SS, its influence was increased by the practice of appointing important State officials and other public figures to high rank in the SS. Industrialists, bankers, and business men were prevailed upon to contribute substantial sums of money to the SS in order to stand in well with the Party aristocracy. Through infiltration, the SS gained influence in every branch of German life.
By 1939, the Allgemeine SS, the original formation of the SS, numbered approximately 240000 men. In addition, there were two other SS formationsthe Special Service Troops (SS Verfuegungstruppen) and the Death's Head Formations (SS Totenkopfverbaende) which together had a strength of about 40000 men. The Special Service Troops constituted a force of SS men who volunteered for four years' military service in lieu of compulsory service with the army. It was organized as an armed unit to be employed with the army in the event of mobilization. The Death's Head Formations were selected from. SS volunteers and were used to guard concentration camps.
After the outbreak of the war, units from both the Special Service Troops and the Death's Head Formations were used in the Polish campaign. These troops came to be known as the Waffen or Armed SS. By 1940 the Waffen SS contained 100000 men, 6000 coming from the Special Service Troops, and the rest from the Allgemeine SS and the Death's Head Troops. Concentration camp guard duties came to be performed primarily by members of the Allgemeine SS. The Waffen SS fought in every campaign with the exception of those in Norway and Africa. By the end of the war it is estimated to have comprised about 600000 men. Thus, it was numerically by far the largest branch of the SS, the Allgemeine SS having declined in strength to around 200000.
The Waffen SS, including the Death's Head Formation, was in effect a part of the Wehrmacht and its expenses were a charge on the State. The Allgemeine SS, on the other hand, was an independent branch of the Party and its finances were ultimately controlled by the Party Treasurer (Reichsschatzmeister der NSDAP).
Subject to the controlling authority of the Reich Leader SS, the work of directing, organizing, and administering the whole body of the SS was carried out by the Supreme Command of the SS (Reichsfuehrung SS). This Supreme Command consisted of twelve main offices (Hauptaemter).
The more important of the main offices were the Reich Security Main Office or RSHA, the Operational Headquarters (Fuehrungshauptamt), the Economic and Administrative Main Office or WVHA, the Staff Main Office of the RKFDV, VoMi, and RuSHA.
I have already described briefly the amalgamation of the SD and the Gestapo and Criminal Police under Heydrich as Chief of the RSHA. After the assassination of Heydrich in 1942, Kaltenbrunner was made chief of the RSHA. For his criminal activities in that position, he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death by the International Military Tribunal. The Gestapo, among other things, was responsible for the commitment of political prisoners to concentration camps. Our proof in this case will show the close cooperation between the Security Police and SD and these defendants.
The SS Operational Headquarters was the main office of the SS which was responsible for the training, organization, and, to a certain extent, the operational employment of the Waffen SS and the Allgemeine SS.
The SS Economic and Administrative Main Office, or WVHA, was in charge of the finance, supply, and administration of the whole of the SS. It also was engaged in large-scale building projects and the operation of various industries in connection with Concentration camps. After 3/1942, the WVHA controlled all Concentration camps. The surviving leaders of this Main Office have been recently tried before Military Tribunal II. [United States of America vs. Oswald Pohl, et al., Case 4, vol. V, this series.] The defendant Lorenz had especially close connections with the WVHA, as VoMi received from it large quantities of clothes of Jews murdered in the Auschwitz [Oswiecim] concentration camp.
Other important main offices were the SS Central Office (SS Hauptamt) which handled recruiting for the Waffen SS, propaganda, education, physical training, and so-called Germanic affairs; and the Personal Staff of the Reich Leader SS (Persoenlicher Stab RFSS) which was an advisory and coordinating body responsible for all matters not within the province of the other Main Offices and for liaison with Government and Party officials.
I turn now to a description of the Main Staff Office of the RKFDV, VoMi, RuSHA, and Lebensborn and the positions of these defendants in those organizations.
Perhaps the most important organization involved in this trial is the Staff Main Office of the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism. Heinrich Himmler, Reich Leader of the SS and Chief of the German Police, was appointed RKFDV by Hitler's decree of 10/7/1939. In this decree Hitler said:
"The consequences which Versailles had on Europe have been removed. As a result, the Greater German Reich is able to accept and settle within its space German people who up to the present had to live in foreign lands and to arrange the settlement of national groups within its spheres of interest in such a way that better dividing lines between them are attained. I commission the Reich Leader SS with the execution of this task in accordance with the following instructions:
"Pursuant to my directions the Reich Leader SS is called upon:
"1. To bring back those German citizens and racial Germans abroad who are eligible for permanent return into the Reich.
2. To eliminate the harmful influence of such alien parts of the Population as constitute a danger to the Reich and the German community.
3 To create new German colonies by resettlement, and especially by the resettlement of German citizens and racial Germans coming back from abroad.
"The Reich Leader SS is authorized to give such general orders and to take such administrative measures as are necessary for the execution of these duties."
In order to establish an agency to perform these new duties, Himmler transformed an immigration office, which had been set up earlier in 1939 under the defendant Greifelt for the resettlement of Germans in Southern Tyrol, into the "Office of the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism" (Dientstelle RKFDV). In his order of 10/17/1939 establishing the Office of the RKFDV, Himmler said:
On 6/11/1941, Himmler in his capacity as RKFDV established the Office of the RKFDV as a Main Office of the Supreme Command of the SS, with the name Staff Main Office (Stabshauptamt) of the RKFDV. The Chief of the Staff Main Office was the defendant Greifelt and his deputy was the defendant Creutz. The Staff Main Office was divided into three Amtsgruppen or departments, A, B, and C, each of which was further subdivided into Aemter or offices. The defendant Greifelt was also head of Amtsgruppe B. The defendant Creutz was Chief of Amtsgruppe A and Amt Z thereof, which was concerned with such matters as personnel, statistics, legal advice, propaganda, and reparations, among others. The defendant Schwarzenberger was chief of Amt V in Amtsgruppe B and was in charge of financial matters for both the RKFDV and VoMi. The defendant Meyer-Hetling, alias Meyer, was the chief of Amtsgruppe C and Amt VI thereof. Meyer-Hetling prepared the plans for the settlement work of the Staff Main Office as well as the "General Plan East", to which reference has already been made. Amt VIII, the Central Land office of Amtsgruppe C under Meyer-Hetling, was concerned with the executive work in connection with the mass confiscation of land for resettlement The defendant Huebner was Chief of the Branch Office Poznan of the Staff Main Office and a local representative of RUSHA in the Warthegau. He was in charge of the expulsion of Poles and resettlement of ethnic Germans in that area, among other things."I wish to mention particularly some of these tasks as well as the institutions and agencies which are charged with the solution and execution of these tasks.
"a. VoMi and Foreign Organization (Auslands-Organisation) bring in the Germans and ethnic Germans.
"b. Reich Health Leader and RuSHA examine all Germans from the Reich and abroad in the new areas in town and country.
"c. The Security Police, in cooperation with the Chief of the Civil Administration, establishes and takes care of foreign elements dangerous to the German Folkdom.
"d. The settlement of farmers will be carried out by the Reich Minister of Food and Agriculture.
"e. Municipal building of apartment houses and suburban settlements will be handled by the Reich Labor Minister and the German Labor Front ..."
Himmler in his capacity as RKFDV had jurisdiction over all matters connected with the strengthening of Germanism, such as resettlements racial screening, deportations, confiscations, and the like. In addition to the members of the Staff Main Office, VoMi, and the other offices of the SS, numerous government and Party officials were subject to Himmler's authority insofar as their activities related to the strengthening of Germanism. Thus, Himmler as RKFDV, and in practice the defendant Greifelt as his deputy, could give orders to the Gauleiters and Reich Governors. The Staff Main Office also had its own branch offices in the occupied territories and the General Government.
The Staff Main Office was in charge of planning and carrying out the resettlement of so-called ethnic Germans in the Reich and in territories occupied by Germany. This included also all cultural and administrative planning and propaganda concerning resettlement. The Staff Main Office dealt with all questions concerning the assignment of ethnic Germans for settlement in Germany and in the occupied territories, and with all questions of administrative and economic character connected with resettlement. Its activities included the transfer of populations, Germanization of foreign nationals, deportation to slave labor, kidnaping of children, abortions on Eastern workers, plunder, and murder. The resettlement of ethnic Germans was carried out by the Staff Main Office in cooperation with VoMi and RuSHA.
The Repatriation Office for Ethnic Germans (VoMi) existed long before the outbreak of the war. The defendant Lorenz was appointed the head of VoMi on 1/1/1937 by Rudolf Hess and was subordinated to him and the Chief of the Foreign Office, Joachim von Ribbentrop. [Defendants before International Military Tribunal. See Trial of the Major War Criminal, Vols. I-XLII, Nuremberg, 1947.] Shortly after the appointment of Himmler as RKFDV in 1939, Lorenz was commissioned by Himmler with the task of carrying out the registration and evacuation of ethnic Germans from their former homes, and their transportation to collecting camps for Germanization. On 6/11/1941, the section of VoMi which was engaged in this activity was established as a Main Office of the SS, the Repatriation Office for Ethnic Germans, with Lorenz as its chief. The defendant Brueckner was the head of Amt VI of VoMi. He frequently acted as a liaison officer between VoMi and other offices and was connected with numerous re settlement and deportation actions.
VoMi was responsible for the registration of ethnic Germans their evacuation from their homes, their transportation to VoIi camps, their care in the camps, and their indoctrination with Nazi ideology. Frequently resettlers were kept in these camps for months and even years awaiting the promised resettlement. In the middle of 1944, there were still one million ethnic Germans and Poles in the VoMi camps. In addition, it participated in the expulsion of citizens of Yugoslavia, Luxembourg, and France in Alsace-Lorraine. Its activities also included plunder of property, conscription of enemy nationals into the German Armed Forces, compulsory Germanization of foreign nationals, slave labor, and the kidnaping of alien children.
The Race and Settlement Main Office (RuSHA) was one of the oldest Main Offices of the Supreme Command of the SS. Before the war, the main function of RuSHA was the translation into practice of the racial theories of the SS. It concerned itself with checking the proof of Aryan descent of candidates for admission into the SS. An SS Officer was required to provide a family tree going back to 1750 to prove his "Nordic" or at least "Aryan" descent. RuSHA also processed marriage applications of SS men, as they were not allowed to marry until the bride-to-be was approved. Such approval was based upon "racial purity" and physical compatibility between the two partners likely to result in a fertile marriage. All this was part of Himmler's desire to make the SS a "racial elite".
RuSHA's concern with and experience in racial matters made it the logical agency to take over the racial problems inherent in Himmler's program of genocide and Germanism. It was apparent that someone had to screen the millions of people about to be uprooted from their homes and tossed about the map of Europe. The activities of RuSHA in connection with the selection and welfare of SS men and their dependants became of secondary importance to this new task. The Race Office of RuSHA under Professor Bruno Kurt Schultz and his deputy Walther Dongus, both of whom we shall hear of frequently during the course of this trial, was particularly important.
Guenther Pancke, now about to be tried in Denmark, was Chief of RuSHA in 1939 and 1940. The defendant Hofmann was Chief from 7/1940 to 4/1/1943 when he was succeeded by the defendant Hildebrandt. Hofmann and Hildebrandt also served as Higher SS and Police Leaders at various times. The defendant Schwalm became chief of the Litzmannstadt [Lodz] Field Office in 1941 which among other things, carried out racial examinations in connection with Germanization and resettlement actions. Later, he became the staff leader of RuSHA in which capacity he acted as deputy to the chief of RuSHA.
There were also RuS field leaders (Fuehrer in Rasse und Siedlungswesen) who represented RuSHA on the staffs of the the higher SS and police leaders in the various districts. The defendant Huebner served as the RuS field leader for the SS Administrative district "Southwest", with headquarters in Stuttgart and later was field leader in the Warthegau, with headquarters in Poznan. RuSHA, through these field leaders and their racial examiners, decided the fate of hundreds of thousands of people in part upon the basis of whether the subject had high cheek bones and blue eyes, a proper "political attitude", and perhaps a great-grandfather of German nationality. Such racial examinations were made in connection with the Germanization of citizens of Poland and other countries, transfers of populations, abortions, slave labor, persecution of Jews, punishment for sexual intercourse between Germans and non-Germans, and kidnaping of children. In some cases the RuS field leaders also represented Lebensborn.
Lebensborn was a registered society which was founded in 12/1935. It was at first a department of RuSHA, but in 1936 it became part of the Personal Staff of Himmler.
The early aim of Lebensborn was the perpetuation of the blood of the members of the SS. The minimum family expected of an SS man was four. Himmler expressed the reason for this very clearly in his "Day of Metz" speech when he said:
"...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. Please understand, we would not be able to hold the great Germanic Reich which is about to take shape. I am convinced that we can hold it, but we have to prepare for that. If we once had not enough sons those who would come after us would have to become cowards. A nation which has an average of 4 sons per family can venture a war; if 2 of them die, 2 transplant the name. The leadership of a nation having one son or two sons per family will have to be fainthearted at any decision on account of their own experience because they will have to tell themselves, we cannot afford it."
Those unable to have children of their own were expected to adopt suitable children and bring them up on National Socialist lines. Lebensborn was to assist in this process and insure the support of both legitimate and illegitimate children of SS men. Its tasks were to help large families "valuable from the racial and hereditary and biological point of view" and to take care of pregnant women and their children. The prerequisite of this care was an assurance through racial and health examinations of these women and their mates that the parents were of good health and race and that the future children would possess the same qualities.
Lebensborn tried to make more attractive the idea that it was no disgrace for a German girl to bear an illegitimate child, provided she picked a healthy young Nazi to be the father. In a statement that attracted adverse comment even in Germany, Himmler once stated that it might be regarded as a noble duty for German women of good blood "in all moral seriousness" to become mothers of children by men about to leave for the front "outside the limits of perhaps otherwise necessary bourgeois laws and conventions".
The general program of Germanization called for a special effort to be made to get "racially valuable" children who could be bred as a contribution to the Greater German Reich. Moreover, children of foreign birth could be molded and shaped into Nazis much more easily than their parents. Thus, it came about that Lebensborn took over the kidnaping of so-called "racially valuable" foreign children.
The Chairman of the Board (Vorstand) of Lebensborn was Himmler. The Board itself included Dr. Grawitz, Reich Physician SS and Police; Gottlob Berger, [Defendant in case of United States of America vs. Ernst von Weizsaecker, et al., Case 11, vols. XII, XIII, XIV, this series.] Chief of the SS Central Office; Oswald Pohl [Defendant in case of United States of America vs. Oswald Pohl, et al., Case 4, vol. V, this series.], Chief of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office (WVHA); the defendant Ebner; and the Chief of RuSHA, that is, first the defendant Hofmann and then the defendant Hildebrandt. The defendant Sollmann became the managing director of Lebensborn on 5/15/1940. The defendant Ebner was the head of the Main Health Department and, for a short time, of Main Department "A". The defendant Tesch joined Lebensborn in 1941. He was Sollmann's personal legal adviser and acted as Sollmann's deputy. When the Main Legal Department was set up, Tesch became head of that department.
The defendant Viermetz joined Lebensborn in 9/1938. Soon after the outbreak of the war she reorganized and was placed in charge of the employment office for Lebensborn mothers. Early in 1940 she reorganized the department dealing with Homes and Adoptions and was in charge of both this department and the Employment Department until the beginning of 1941. Subsequently, the defendant Viermetz was placed in charge of the Main Department A which was set up in 9/1941. The Main Department A was concerned primarily with reception into homes, guardianship foster homes and adoptions, and statistics. From the middle of 1942 until the middle of 1943, the defendant Viermetz carried out special tasks for Lebensborn including negotiations with respect to the transfer of children to Germany from various countries and the establishment of Lebensborn homes.
Mr. Schwenk: In order to comprehend the true significance of the crimes charged against these defendants in counts one and two of the indictment, it is necessary to understand what they were trying to accomplish. In their fight for the domination of Europe, the Nazis consistently pursued a policy which had a twofold objective. First, they wanted to strengthen the German people, both in numbers and in quality; second, to weaken, and eventually destroy national groups in the occupied countries. Thus, so the Nazis planned, no matter whether the war was won or lost, the German people in the post-war period would be in a position to deal with other European peoples from the vantage point of numerical, biological, and spiritual superiority. To this end, elaborate and detailed plans for the forced Germanization of their conquered territories were made. It was in the execution of these plans that the defendants in this case worked so eagerly.
This "Germanization" policy was applied to all countries overrun by Germany, but it was carried out with the greatest ruthlessness and consistency in the conquered Eastern territories. Poland, being the first nation to be conquered, became in a sense a testing ground for the practical application of these genocidal plans.
After the conquest, Poland was divided into two parts. The four western provinces of Poland were incorporated into Germany by Hitler's order of 10/8/1939 and became a part of the Greater Reich. In the correspondence and other documents which will be introduced in evidence in this case, this area of Poland is usually referred to as the 'Incorporated Eastern Territories". The remainder of Poland, which was seized by the Nazi invaders was established as the Government General (of Poland) by an order of Hitler dated 10/12/1939. The 400000 square kilometers of Polish territories together with some parts of the Russian territories which were also captured, were to provide for the possibility of an enormous numerical increase of German people and thus establish a firm foundation for the supremacy of the German people in Europe.
The Government General was reduced to a vassal state; unlike the Eastern Territories, it did not at once become a part of the German Reich but was used as a dumping ground for so-called undesirable" racial elements. Its people and material resources were exploited in order to strengthen Germany and the Nazi war machine. According to Nazi plans, the Polish people in the General Government (of Poland) had to be mentally crippled, its intelligentsia and leadership completely annihilated. The Polish people had to become German slaves and "Fertilizer for the German culture." At the same time the country had to be impoverished, its living standard depressed, and conditions created which would inevitably result in the increase of mortality and the decrease of birthrate. At a later state, plans were formulated--and in part carried out--for creating islands of German settlements in the more fertile regions of the Government General in order to engulf the native Polish population and to speed up the process of Germanization.
In the Eastern territories the process of complete Germanization was started immediately after this part of Poland was incorporated into Germany. This was not a German country. According to the Nazis' own figures, the population of the four provinces incorporated into the German Reich in 1939 consisted of 86% Poles, 5% Jews, and only 7% Germans [sic].
This lack of "Germanic" population was handled in part by mass murder. In a memorandum received by the Main Staff Office under the defendant Greifelt, the plan was made clear. It said:
"The necessity arises for a ruthless decimation of the Polish population and, as a matter of course, the expulsion of all Jews and persons of Polish-Jewish mixed blood."
Himmler, in his "Day of Metz" speech, when he spoke as Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism, stated that the mass murder of the Polish intelligentsia had been carried out. He said:
As to the remaining Polish population in the incorporated territories it was determined to Germanize by force, where necessary, that portion of the population which was deemed "valuable", deport the remainder, and resettle the vacated areas with Germans. These defendants participated in that criminal program."At the beginning it was necessary -- please consider this as only meant for this small circle -- that we, especially in West Prussia, where the atrocities of the Poles were worst and where the loss of German blood was heaviest, take very harsh measures. I know that I for this reason was attacked and still am being attacked by very many people who tell me this was un-Germanic. It is my impression that for some people Germanic actually means to be duped as a good-natured Germanic over and over again and finally to fall down on one's back. That would be un-Germanic. I cannot help it, I think it right and I believe it is right. We had first of all to remove the leading men of the enemy, these were the people in the Westmarkverband, in the insurrectionary units, they were the Polish intelligentsia. They had to be done away with, there was no other way..."
"...Just as hideous as it is, just as necessary has it been and will it be in many more cases that we carry it out..."
"...The Poles got the shock they had to get. Now, at present I think nobody will stir in West Prussia, Poznan and within the New provinces..."
The German cultural pattern and laws were imposed on the Polish country. Polish cultural life ceased to exist in the Eastern territories. Polish schools, from the elementary schools to the universities were closed. More than that, even German schools, theaters, libraries, lectures, and the like, were closed to the Poles. Religious services in the Polish language were discontinued. The official language of all authorities, including courts, became German. The Polish press was suppressed. Publication of Polish books forbidden, as were radio programs, concerts, and other theatrical performances of any cultural value.
One of the most ingenious methods used in completing this process of forcible Germanization was the compulsory registration of Polish citizens in the so-called "German People's List" (Deutsche Volkliste), commonly known as the "DVL" procedure, and in the list of persons considered suitable for so-called "Re-Germanization" (Wiedereindeutschung) or "WED" procedure. These procedures were designed to bring about a "selective Germanization" of the most healthy, able, and efficient elements of national groups of occupied countries, leaving only an amorphous group of people deprived of leadership, of real religion and spiritual life.
The German People's List was first introduced in the Polish territories incorporated into Germany. Its alleged aim was to register and classify the so-called German population, who were, in fact, Polish and Danzig citizens. In reality it not only registered hose who, in the Polish republic, were known as Polish citizens belonging to German minority groups, but made provision for forcible Germanization of those who, as the Polish Government report on German Crimes against Poland puts it, "...had long severed their links with Germany and became loyal Polish citizens and parts of the Polish nation--others were never Germans at all. ' One of the main reasons for hasty registration of a great nUmber of Polish citizens in the DVL was the desire to swell the ranks of the German Armed Forces, as the defendant Greifelt stated in a letter of 4/15/1942 to the High Command of the Armed Forces.
The basic decrees concerning the DVL procedure originated in joint action between the Staff Main Office, the Ministry of the Interior, and the RSHA. The registration was coordinated by the Supreme Court for Ethnic Classifications of which Himmler was president and the defendant Greifelt his deputy.
One of the seven members of the court was successively the defendant Hofmann and Hildebrandt of the Race and Settlement Office. The court was located on the premises of the Staff Main Office which provided it with offices, personnel, and other facilities.
The persons who registered with the DVL were classified into four groups. Group I included those ethnic Germans who took active part in the struggle for Germanism in Poland before WWII. Group II comprised those ethnic Germans who nad "preserved" their German character though they did not take active part in the national struggle. Group III included persons of allegedly "German stock" who had become Polonized (we use the defendant's word), but who presumably could become full-fledged Germans again; persons of non-German descent married to Germans; and those members of non-Polish Slav groups, such as Mazurs and Cashoubs, who were considered desirable by the German authorities so far as their political attitude and "racial characteristics" were concerned. Group IV comprised those persons allegedly of German stock who were not only Polonized but also were loyal and active Polish nationalists.
The persons listed in the two first groups were automatically made German citizens upon registration. The situation with the members of the last two groups was different. Soon after they were registered, they were subjected to a "racial examination" by members of the RuSHA staff. They had to undergo a long process of indoctrination and education under constant supervision of the defendant Greifelt's Staff Main Office, the police, and the Nazi Party. Persons listed in Group III of the DVL were imposed with German citizenship subject to revocation. Those of Group IV were considered merely as candidates for citizenship as in a naturalization proceeding.
As laid out in a decree signed by Himmler and prepared in the Staff Main Office under the supervision of the defendant Greifelt, the members of Group III were subjected to many severe restrictions as far as their freedom of movement, occupation, education, and marriage were concerned. Many of them were transferred to Germany, through the joint action of the Staff Main Office, VoMi, and other agencies, where their education for Germanism was to be completed. Those who were permitted to remain in Poland were constantly subject to eviction and deportation whenever their land was needed for ethnic German resettlers, or their labor was needed in the Reich. They, along with members of DVL groups I and II, were conscripted into the German army by the tens of thousands and forced to fight against their allies.
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The treatment of the members of Group IV was especially harsh. They were considered to be avowed enemies of the Third Reich and had to be broken or annihilated. Their property was confiscated and the amount realized put into a special account from which they were allowed to draw not more than 2000 RM. a year. Those of them who were engaged in intellectual work were reduced to menial tasks. Yet, as they were not considered politically reliable, they were not drafted into the army and thus had an advantage over the members of the other groups.
The Germanization of these "Polonized" people, in Himmler's opinion, demanded their complete separation from their Polish environment. They had to be resettled in Germany proper and, like DVL III, many of them were resettled. This process was carried out jointly by the Staff Main Office, VoMi, and other agencies. Those of them who were "politically heavily incriminated" were put into concentration camps and their wives and children settled in Germany. If the wives had a political record they were also sent to concentration camps.
Those who were not put into concentration camps were constantly under police supervision. After resettlement they had to join the affiliated organizations of the NSDAP, and their children, the Hitler Youth. Higher SS and Police Leaders took punitive measures against recalcitrant persons, pursuant to instructions issued by the defendant Greifelt. If Germanization could not be attained even by means of coercion by the Gestapo, the obdurate Pole, whose only offense was loyalty to his native land, was put into a concentration camp. The most cruel method of coercion brought to bear against these people was a constant threat to take their children away. If the parents did not yield, their children were taken away from them and brought up in Nazi institutions or in Nazi families where they were to be taught to become "good Germans".
The rules for the treatment of persons in Group IV were established by Himmler and the defendant Greifelt.
The DVL procedure was first applied in the four Polish provinces incorporated into the Reich, but later this procedure was extended to the General Government of Poland and to France and Russia. In the General Government the concept of "German stock" had such a broad interpretation that it aroused protests from those SS leaders who thought it essential that persons put on the German People's List should have at least some relation to the German people. The main aim, however, was to get hold of the children of the persons registered.
We now come to the other technique of forcible Germanization mentioned above, the re-Germanization or "WED" procedure. Himmler and his staff, including these defendants, knew that the registration of Polish citizens under the DVL procedure would not solve the problem of Germanization of the Eastern territories. The DVL procedure was, theoretically at least, limited to those persons with respect to whom there was some proof, however little, that they were of German descent. But, for all the liberal interpretation of the concept of "German stock" and "German descent", they realized that there were not enough inhabitants of Poland who could be listed in these categories.
Moreover, the convenient theory that Poles were an inferior people "completely uncreative in cultural as well as national political respects" just could not be maintained. There were too many talented and courageous people to be found there. Neither did the theory of the physical superiority of the German superman over the Slav "subhuman" continue to hold. For in the Incorporated Eastern Territories and in the General Government, the German soldiers and the young students of racial theories who invaded the country saw too many Polish men, women, and children whose physical attributes corresponded to the Germanic beauty ideal much more than did the faces and figures of their own Goebbels and Himmler.
In order to include those people in the process of forcible Germanization, a new theory was invented. They just said black was white. They had the colossal conceit to declare that even though a Polish family showed no trace of German ancestry, if its physical characteristics were compatible with the German racial ideal and the family was able and efficient, then they must be Germans. This led to the inauguration of what was later to become known as re-Germanization or the WED procedure. The term "re-Germanization" is misleading. It was deliberately introduced by Himmler and the defendants in order to camouflage the process of forcible transformation of aliens, that is, non-Germans into Germans. When the process started, this transformation was called "assimilation." The defendant Hofmann used that word in one of his first decrees, but the expression was soon dropped and replaced by the word "Germanization" (Eindeutschung). Still later the Nazis, in an attempt to lull themselves into the false belief that they were actually recovering "lost German blood", coined the term "re-Germanization." To avoid misunderstanding and confusion. we will use this term, but we wish to call to the attention of the Tribunal that it is a misnomer, for in actual practice it was an assimilation of Poles and not a re-Germanization of "lost German blood."
In an introduction written by the defendant Greifelt to the decree of 5/9/1940 establishing the WED procedure, he made clear the aims of this new Germanization campaign and the ''theory reconciling it with the Nazi teaching of the purity of German blood as the basic foundation of the strength of the nation.
This same explanation stressing sometimes one, sometimes another, of the following aspects of the question can be found in many other documents dealing with "re-Germanization": (1) to deprive the Polish people of its potential leadership; (2) to get hold of the Polish children of "good race" (the Nazis firmly believed that the children were the only ones who could be Germanized effectively); and (3) last but not least, to provide Germany with much needed slave labor."One of the most important aims to be achieved in the German East is sweeping the incorporated German Eastern territories clean of persons of foreign race. This is the main problem from the point of view of population policy which the Reich Leader SS, Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism, ha to solve in the Incorporated Eastern Territories. Apart from the language, descent and allegiance, this task, which is linked 80 closely to the problem of nationalities (belonging to an ethnic group) in the Eastern territories must above all be influenced and determined by racial selection. However essential it is to the permanent purification of the German Eastern territories not to allow members of alien races residing there to establish themselves there, it is just as imperative that the persons of German blood in these territories should be regained for Germanism even if they have been Polonized--in their language and allegiance. It seems that from among those carriers of Germanic blood there rose these leaders for the former Polish state, who finally, be it by an ill union, became the most determined enemies of their own Germanic people...
"Therefore, it is absolutely essential from the standpoint of population policy to comb the Incorporated Eastern Territories, and later the General Government, too, for such carriers of Germanic blood, for the purpose of bringing this Germanic blood back to its own Germanic nation.
"What retaliatory measures should be taken against renegades is of secondary importance: what must be decisive is that the children, at least, must not be absorbed into nationhood but be educated in the German environment. However, a re-Germanization cannot take place in the environment which so far has been Polish, but must take place in Germany proper and in Austria.
"The following are the two main reasons which make the regaining of this German blood, which had been lost, imperative:
"1. Prevention of a future increase of the Polish intelligentsia through the influx of persons from families with Germanic characteristics, though they may be Polonized.
"2. Increase of population for the German nation, desirable from the racial point of view, and providing of racially suitable labor for German agriculture and industry."
The WED procedure was directed by the Staff Main Office. RuSHA also played an important role, for this office was in charge of "racial selection" of persons to be re-Germanized, their registration, and, together with the Staff Main Office, was responsible for their allocation to Germany where they were to live and to work. The defendant Hofmann was especially active. He organized the work of RuSHA in connection with the WED procedure, gave innumerable instructions as to how to handle "racial examinations" and always insisted on the great role his office had to play in this procedure. Major responsibility also rests with the defendants Schwalm and Huebner. In 1941, the defendant Schwalm was chief of the RuSHA branch office in Lodz, where "racial examinations" of persons to be Germanized took place and from whence they were sent to the Reich. From 3/1943, he was staff leader of RuSHA and was informed of all orders issued in connection with the WED procedure and made drafts of many of them. The defendant Huebner was chief of the RKFDV office and field leader of RuSHA in the Warthegau, one of the provinces in the Incorporated Eastern Territories where many of the candidates for "re-Germanization" came from and where their preliminary registration took place.
The families of candidates for "re-Germanization" had to submit to "racial examination". This examination was disguised as a medical examination. This deception was a general practice during racial examinations. As defendant Hofmann once put it, "The racial examiner should carry out his task with delicacy and tact and use camouflage at work--put on white overalls--whenever conditions permit it." Individuals and families who passed the test were sent by the Staff Main Office to the Reich proper or to Austria as laborers. Their allocation to work did not follow the normal channels via the labor offices but was handled by the appropriate Higher SS and Police Leaders who assigned them to those farms and factories whose owners or managers were politically suitable to supervise the indoctrination of these people so that they would become Germanized as quickly as possible. The managers were briefed as to their tasks by special publications issued by the Staff Main Office.
The "re-Germanized" persons were not free to choose their place of work. Under no circumstances were they allowed to return to the East. They were not free to marry whom they wanted they needed special permits for marriage from the Staff Main Office and were not allowed to marry Poles who were not included in the "re-Germanization" procedure. In addition they were subjected to police supervision. Local Gestapo offices made a special effort to watch over families who were considered politically unreliable.
The treatment accorded these persons may be seen from a memorandum issued by the Race Main Office of the Nazi Party.
"The basic idea of our policy towards the groups which seem to be suitable for Germanization...must be to keep those groups by all possible means on the lowest possible cultural standard. Then, the Nordic, mainly Teutonic, part will by its own performance, based on
inherited qualities, work itself up to technical professions. Their children can then be admitted to German schools, their eventual final Germanization is to be expected after their social rise and transfer to Germany proper."
It was not only the citizens of Poland to whom "re-Germanization" was applied. Other nations also were in possession of some "lost German blood" which had to be recovered. The second largest group forcibly subjected to the WED procedure was found among the Slovenes--inhabitants of the districts of Lower-Styria, South Carinthia and Upper Carniola, parts of Yugoslavia which were incorporated into Germany. The story of their ruthless deportation will be told at a later point. The Slovenes evicted from their country were processed by the Staff Main Office; the defendant Greifelt personally issued directives as to their treatment. The tranSport was handled by VoMi. They were screened by the RUSHA offices of the defendants Hofmann, Hildebrandt, and Schwalm, and those who were considered as being of "good race" were sent to the Reich for work. A similar procedure was also applied to citizens of Luxembourg and France--inhabitants of Alsace and Lorraine.
Our proof will show that the Germanization procedures described above were forced upon unwilling peoples in the occupied countries. Every known method of coercion was used to force the citizens of these conquered nations to renounce their citizenship, their national culture and ways of life, and their loyalty to their country. These defendants practiced economic compulsion, fraud, and deceit. They held out promises of reward and they used threats of punishment in order to gain their ends. They promised social and economic advantages which they knew would not be obtainable. They threatened to and did send those who refused to place their names upon the DVL or to undergo the WED procedure to concentration camps or deported them as slave laborers; they threatened to and did kidnap the children of those who refused to renounce their own countries and to embrace the ideology of nazism. The cases were not rare when persons were put on the DVL or WED lists without being informed of it. Once a person had been included in the "Germanization process" through these illegal measures, the same methods were used to force him to remain and to continue in the mill.
Economic compulsion and deportation were among the most effective means of coercing Poles to register on the German People's List. All Polish citizens in the Incorporated Eastern Territories knew that, if they did not get on the DVL, their property would be confiscated and they would be deported to the dumping ground of the General Government. These defendants painted a rosy picture of the advantages to be gained by being entered on the DVL and held out the bait of security of person and property. But they hid from the prospective entrants the fact that once they were classified as belonging to groups 3 and 4 their property would in any event be confiscated, if needed, and they would be treated as pawns to be moved about as their masters wished.
If the people refused to break under economic compulsion or be duped by these deceitful practices, sterner measures were used. As a matter of fact, Himmler and his assistants anticipated this resistance. The memorandum of the race office of the Nazi Party quoted above, when first outlining the program of Germanization stated:
"...the groups, which are the most valuable from a racial point of view in their majority of Teutonic or Germanic origin, will, on account of national-political reasons, fanatically oppose a Germanization..."
In Himmler's first order where the procedure of registration in the German People's List was laid down, it was decreed that measures by the security police were to be taken against persons who refused Germanization.
On 2/16/1942, Himmler in his capacity as RKFDV issued the following order:
This order was sent to the Staff Main Office and distributed by the Race Office of RuSHA among the RuS field leaders. Its merciless execution is illustrated by correspondence between Himmler, the Staff Main Office, RuSHA, and VoMi. It concerned four individuals and a family of German descent who refused to be Germanized. Here is how Himmler described them."Subject: Persons of German race who do not apply for the entering of their name into the German People's List.
"I. I request to instruct the subordinate offices to report to the competent local State Police all persons of German descent who do not apply for the entering of their name into the German People's List. I request you to report all actions taken.
"II. The competent local State Police Central Offices and Offices should order the reported persons to prove, within a period of 8 days, that application for the entering into the German People's List was filed.
"If the person concerned is not able to prove that, he should be taken into protective custody and his transfer to a concentration camp should be arranged." [Emphasis supplied.]
"Enclosed I transmit to you a record of 5 Poles, and Polish families, of German descent.
"1. With regard to Johanna Achidzanjanz, of Tomaszow: She is of 50% German blood, but is entirely of Polish allegiance. She will be transferred within the General Government from Zamosc, as it lies in the German settlement area.
"2. Maria Lambucki from Tomaszew-Lub is of 100% German blood and entirely of Polish allegiance. She has totally disowned her German blood. I decree immediate deportation to the concentration camp Ravensbrueck. The two sons, aged 8 and 13 years, who are of very good race, will be brought to Germany by the Chief of the SS Race and Settlement Main Office with the assistance of the police and will, separated from each other, be transferred to 2 specially well-managed boarding schools as pupils. I request a report on their conduct every 3 months. Correspondence with the mother will be prohibited until further notice, till the mother has become conscious of the treason committed. In the case of the 2 boys of good race, teachers and schoolfellows should do their best to convince them that they are by no means deserting the Poles, but that they shall only profess the blood of their racial origin on account of their descent and racial worthiness. This must be the basis for all tasks and experiments of that kind, in order to recover precious racial values, which politically and nationally went astray.
"3. Stanislaus Koch of the estate of Sitno is of 75% German blood. He disowns any connection with Germanism. He will be brought into a concentration camp to an armament plant, so will his wife and daughters. They will, if it is feasible, be transferred to different concentration camps.
"4. Brunhilde Muszynski nee von Wattmann will be transferred to the concentration camp. The descent of the father will be examined as to suspicion of Jewish blood. This will be done with the greatest possible speed. The two children, aged 4 and 7 years, will, provided that their genealogical chart is all right, be brought to a German family, or the older one to a boarding school by the chief of the race and settlement Main Office.
"5. Ingeborg von Avenarius, nee Wattmann, will be brought to a concentration camp. Her children to be accommodated in a way similar to the other children."
It resulted that detention in a concentration camp was too much for Maria Lambucki, the mother of two sons. She was broken and took her DVL card. Stanislaus Koch was terrorized into silence and left on the farm. Yet a daughter was taken away from him and brought to a German boarding school to be educated in Nazi ideology. Johanna Achidzanjanz was sent to Germany proper. The fate of Brunhilde Muszynski and Ingeborg von Avenarius was especially tragic. With the help of RuSHA, their family tree was screened and some Jewish ancestors were discovered which aggravated their case. They were taken to concentration camps; their children were taken away from them, sterilized, and given to foster parents.
Once the Poles were put on the DVL it was practically impossible for them to get off. However, attempts to get off the list were frequently made. One of the most compelling reasons for this was the desire to avoid being drafted into the German army and compelled to fight against their allies. The Nazis conscripted those who were in Groups I, II, and III of DVL, but because those in Group IV were not trusted, they were not drafted into the army. In many instances, the people in the first three groups went so far as to admit membership in Polish organizations in order to be placed in Group 4 and thus avoid military service. A method used by those who had already been drafted into the army and desired to get out was to speak only Polish, sing Polish songs, and refuse to take the oath. Of course, when these people were taken off the list or were taken out of the army, they were transferred to concentration camps.
What has been said with respect to compulsion in the DVL procedure is equally applicable to the WED technique of "re-Germanization". Indeed, many of these people were selected for the WED procedure after they had already been evicted from their homes and deported from Poland, Yugoslavia, Luxembourg, Alsace, and Lorraine. The agents of RuSHA, in white overalls over their black SS uniform and heavy boots, examined them and declared they were acceptable and should be deported to the Reich. An evicted, destitute family could not very well argue with the SS.
These people were moved to the Reich against their will and after being moved there continued to offer resistance to the Germanization which was being forced upon them. "Certainly the desire for Germanization is often lacking", said the defendant CreutZ in one of his reports on "re-Germanization". Time and again decrees and reports issued by the main offices of the defendants, VoMi, RuSHA, and the Staff Main Office speak of the necessity for coercive measures against the "recalcitrants." The Gestapo and SD were very active in assisting the Staff Main Office to make "good Germans" out of these foreign citizens.
But many of those brought to Germany for forcible Germanization would not yield to threats and torture and would not renounce their allegiance to their people and their culture. The case of Kowalczyk is a good example both of the resistance offered to forcible Germanization and of the attitude of the office of defendant Greifelt towards this problem. The Higher SS and Police Leader in Wiesbaden forwarded a letter to the Staff Main Office under Greifelt concerning the resistance to Germanization offered by Boleslav Kowalczyk. The letter said that this 23-year-old person listed as of"Polish nationality suitable for Germanization...was accepted at the time for the Germanization procedure by your office (office of HSSPF), even though he declared to the department for foreigners of the police chief in Darmstadt, in writing, that he did not want to become a German but to remain a Pole. On 9/9/1944 the person in question was arrested because he did not fulfill his obligation to work on the West Wall. At the time of his assignment he even had the impertinence to call up the Kreisleiter of the NSDAP in Darmstadt and to declare to him that he would not go to the West Wall because he was a Pole. I am going to turn the Pole over to a concentration camp and request that his name be removed from the Germanization procedure."
The Higher SS and Police Leader suggested that the "re-Germanization procedure" be discontinued. The Staff Main Office replied that:
Certainly very strong coercive measures were needed to break those people. They had to be hurt at the most sensitive spot. Here again our defendants used one of their chief weapons--children. Himmler, in his capacity as RKFDV, in close cooperation with defendant Greifelt and his staff, issued on 2/16/1942 a decree ordering the taking away of children of those Poles registered in Group IV of DVL who offered resistance to Germanization. A week before this decree was published, he ordered Greifelt to work out a similar decree against "Poles suitable for re-Germanization" who "present unusual difficulties". The decree provided that their children should be taken away from them and brought to special institutions. The defendant Hofmann, who was present when Greifelt received this order and who wrote a memorandum about it, added,"The institution of criminal proceedings does not in itself justify removal from the re-Germanization procedure. In my opinion, the fact that a certain amount of resistance is offered to the re-Germanization program by sources which are otherwise above reproach regarding race and behavior is not to be regarded as inferiority in character, and is not to be ascribed to the present political situation. If the transfer to the concentration camp should not bring a change about, then I request a new report.""The Reich Leader expects that such measures would be of special educational value".
Among the Poles forcibly brought to Germany for slave labor and Germanization there was one group whose treatment constituted especially grave crimes. The particular group against whom these crimes were committed were young girls and children.
When, during the war, the shortage of domestic help in Germany became acute, the Staff Main Office of the RKFDV which was in charge of that section of the slave market which dealt in workers suitable for Germanization, decided to do something about it. They wanted to supply the need for domestic help entirely or predominantly from young Polish girls 16 to 20 years of age who were suitable for Germanization. Thus, as Himmler formulated it, German housewives would receive much-needed domestic help and at the same time, "young women of good blood will be taken from the Polish people and added to the German people". The defendants Greifelt and Creutz were especially energetic in the recruitment and selection of these girls and arranged for their transportation to Germany. Their families were usually left behind in Poland. In one of his reports to Himmler, the defendant Creutz gave a rather illuminating picture of the life of these young girls in Germany.
"When the girls were brought to Germany alone and their families remained in the Eastern Territories, the results were not favorable. It is hardly possible to prevent their correspondence with their families. Moreover, homesickness plays a big role. Many of the girls put to work have been obstinate and had to be punished. Several suicides took place..."
This then was the process of Germanization as practiced by these defendants, criminal in its conception and execution.
Mr. Shiller: One of the cruelest and most far-reaching crimes perpetrated by these defendants was the deportation and resettlement of hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children in the occupied territories.
It was always part of the Nazi program to "bring ethnic Germans back home to the Reich." After the occupation of Russia, Poland, Yugoslavia, France, Luxembourg, and other countries, Hitler and Himmler decided to carry out this part of the Nazi program by expelling large population groups of those countries from their soil and resettling ethnic Germans on it. The organization of the Staff Main Office under the defendants Greifelt and Creutz, together with VoMi under the defendant Lorenz, and RuSHA under the defendants Hofmann and Hildebrandt, were in charge of the execution of this program.
In his pamphlet entitled "The Strengthening of Germanism as Central East Task", the defendant Greifelt formulated his assignment as follows:
"The very condition for the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of people was the acquisition of new living space which we gained after our victory over Poland by re-occupying all former German national and cultural soil.
"Without these settlement areas our people, already crowded for living space, could not have continued to exist, because through the annexation of these areas we also obtained the necessary living space for settling hundreds of thousands of fellow-Germans formerly living in pre-war Germany. To secure these territories permanently for German people is not only an urgent national problem, but also a European necessity.
"The history of the areas between Warthe and Vistula has been teaching us Germans a hard lesson, i.e., that it is not sufficient to be the external ruler and the bearer of a country's culture; simultaneously, one must make a country into a bulwark of Germanism by taking measures which carry out racial policies without any compromise. Among many others, two main tasks consequently arose:
"(1) A clean segregation between people of German and of foreign blood must be carried out without any compromise.
"(2) It is indispensable to settle without exception these ancient Kultur territories, which once already belonged to the German people, to settle them with Germans again--and the best Germans at that. This has to be prepared in accordance with our racial-political principles. Their final goal can only be a merger into an inseparable union of our inherited German soil with the best of the Germans.
"For the realization of the first task, the principle prevails that no foreign blood would be injected into German blood which would destroy or endanger its uniform consistency.
"On the other hand, a foreign race should not be permitted to make use of even a drop of precious German blood. This means a most strict selection according to racial-political principles--i.e., in the fields of racism, biology, hygiene, and character evaluation.
"We believe that this victory of the ethnic principle is of symbolic value for the new era, in which we have the happiness to live, and that the whole of Europe will once reap the benefits resulting from it. We are convinced that an organic order founded on the laws of blood and race will bring a new epoch of peace, and will at last free the world from those dark forces, which in mask of promoters of the world's happiness pursue their Jewish capitalistic and internationalist plutocratic interests ruthlessly at the expense of the peoples forcibly pressed into their service, or which, as Bolshevik hordes, want to spread chaos, distress, and death over the continents".
In the introduction to the collection of decrees and orders issued by RKFDV under the title "Der Menscheneinsatz", Dr. Faehndrich, chief of the department "Manpower Allocation" in the Staf Main Office of the defendant Greifelt, wrote as follows:
The prosecution will show that the defendants carried out this program ruthlessly and without regard to the life, liberty, and property of the peoples of occupied countries."The main weight of the work of the Reich Commissioner for Strengthening of Germanism in the field of 'Manpower Allocation' in the past month was without doubt in the field of resettlement...Besides the work pertinent to resettlement of racial groups, this pamphlet contains other measures which in general concern strengthening of Germanism. It appears superfluous to discuss them here in detail. It should rather be sufficient to point out briefly their essential purpose. They concentrate upon questions of treatment of foreign nations and upon the problem of regaining lost German blood. Both questions are necessarily tied up with each other. If one takes off their partly complicated connections they can be phrased as follows: (1) In treating people of foreign blood, one must distinguish between those which, being of foreign race, will never merge into the German nation and those which became alienated to the German nation in regard to nationhood and language, but belong to it by blood; (2) Any attempt to gain people of foreign race for Germanization or even to make a man a German is necessarily in vain. A clear and uncompromised distinction is, therefore, inevitable. Every mixture is of evil. Those of foreign blood who live on German soil must obey German leadership without any limitation (the treatment of foreign labor shall not be mentioned here). Minority rights or other liberal methods of reconsideration are not up to date within the German boarders. Nevertheless, a person of foreign race will have a chance to make a living sufficient and in accordance with his standard of living in the event that he does the desired performance of work. Any exaggerated care and every soft-hearted sympathy, however, are absolutely wrong and will be interpreted only as weakness. (3) In a completely different way, however, should be treated those who merged in their exterior attitude in a foreign nation but belong to the German nation by blood. They, or at least their children, should be taken away from possible foreign leadership and reclaimed for Germanization. The race-Germanization, however, can only take place in German environment. The supreme principle must be that no German blood should be of any use to any foreign nation and that no German blood should get lost."
After the occupation of Poland, the defendants started immediately to bring ethnic Germans into the incorporated Polish territories as resettlers and into Germany proper as slave labor.
In the above mentioned pamphlet, Greifelt boasted about the fact that shortly after the establishment of the office of the Reich Commissioner for Strengthening of Germanism in 10/1939, the resettlement of approximately 60000 Baltic Germans was begun and carried out within two months. Out of 62000 Baltic resettlers, 56000 were resettled in the incorporated territory of Wartheland and 6000 in the incorporated territory of Danzig-West Prussia. Between 12/1939 and 2/1940, 130000 ethnic Germans from Volhynia, Galicia, and Narew were resettled in former Polish territories. Immediately afterwards, 31000 ethnic Germans from Chelm and Lublin were taken out of the General Government into the Wartheland and the Poles expelled from this territory were in turn forced into the General Government. Between 9/5/1940 and Christmas 1940, approximately 237000 ethnic Germans from Bessarabia, North Bukovina, South Bukovina, and Dobruja in Romania were resettled in Polish territories.
According to a statistical survey of the defendant Greifelt's Staff Main Office, over 507000 ethnic Germans were taken by 1/15/1942 from a number of countries in the East. Approximately 289000 of these were brought to the incorporated territories of Poland as resettlers and 92480 as slave laborers to Germany. The remaining thousands were kept in VoMi camps which were scarcely better than concentration camps, vainly awaiting resettlement.
Again, according to the statistical survey of the Staff Main Office, by 1/1944 the number of ethnic Germans involved in the so-called East resettlement action amounted to 770585 and that involved in the so-called West resettlement action to 7748. Out of the 770585, 403733 were taken into the incorporated territories as resettlers and 73750 into Germany proper as slave labor. By the end of the war, about 1.2 million ethnic Germans had been evacuated from their homes.
The prosecution maintains that a substantial number of these ethnic Germans had no choice but to go either to the incorporated territories as resettlers or into Germany as slave labor. In a letter dated 3/3/1943, the defendant Brueckner wrote to Einsatzgruppe D, one of the militant VoMi task forces for the registration of ethnic Germans in Russia, as follows:
In a report of the Immigration Center in Lodz (EWZ) dated 9/14/1944, compulsory registration of ethnic Germans is mentioned. It was explained that compulsion was carried out by such agencies as the post office department, railways, labor office, and the municipal government which brought pressure on their employees to make them apply for registration as ethnic Germans."Resettlement is not carried out as a result of voluntary reporting but is ordered by RFSS. Therefore, those ethnic Germans who refused to be resettled shall be deprived of their identification cards, etc."
In another document dated 3/8/1944, an official of VoMi suggested that Catholic priests from Upper Silesia be utilized for the registration of ethnic Germans. He explained that the only possible way to regain thousands of ethnic Germans for German folkdom in the General Government would be by using Polish-speaking, but German-thinking, clergy. In a number of instances resettlers who wished to return to their native countries were prevented from doing so by orders issued from the Staff Main Office of the defendant Greifelt.
The militant character of the registration and resettlement of ethnic Germans is perhaps seen most clearly in the operation of VoMi Sonderkommando R and VoMi Einsatzkommandos in Russia in close cooperation with the extermination units of the security police. After registration of the ethnic Germans by VoMi, they were sent to VoMi camps. Afterwards, they were shoved through ("durchschleust") the Immigration Center in Lodz, commonly called the EWZ, or its commission. EWZ consisted of the representatives of the SS Race and Settlement Main Office, the RSHA, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Labor, and other agencies. In this EWZ the resettlers were processed in order to determine whether they were "politically reliable" and "racially valuable". At the end of the processing, the ethnic Germans from the so-called East resettlement action were classified in one of five groups distinguished as O, K, Ost [East], A, and S cases.
The O, K, and Ost cases were those resettlers who were found to be politically reliable and racially valuable. They were accordingly resettled either in the incorporated Polish territories (O) or in Carinthia (K) or in Upper Styria (Ost) . These individuals were supposed to obtain compensation in kind for the property which they had been forced to leave in their home countries.
The "A" cases were those who were found to be either not politically reliable or not racially valuable. They were brought to Germany proper as slave labor. As compensation for the property which they had to leave in their native country they received only bonds and other obligations of dubious value against the German Reich. The O, K, 0st, and A cases were all made German citizens. On the other hand the "S" cases were those who were found to be of foreign blood. They were brought to Germany as slave labor and received no compensation whatever for the loss of their property. In the so-called West resettlement action a similar procedure was followed, the resettlers being sent to Alsace, Lorraine, Luxembourg, the incorporated Polish territories, or Germany proper.
It is obvious that the large-scale resettlement of ethnic Germans in the occupied territories could not be carried out without the mass expulsion of peoples already residing in those areas. Thus, in order to provide the resettlers with land to till and homes to live in, citizens of Poland in particular were plundered of their property and deported by the hundreds of thousands. For these palpable crimes including, indeed, the crime of murder--these defendants of the RKFDV, VoMi, and RuSHA bear the major responsibility.
Prior to these mass expulsions, conferences took place in which the representatives of the afore-mentioned agencies decided which ethnic Germans should be resettled and where. The discussion of the expulsion of native populations took up a considerable part of these conferences.
In a letter of 9/2/1941 the defendant Greifelt urged Reinhard Heydrich of the RSHA to resume the deportation of Poles from the incorporated Polish territories in order to resettle ethnic Germans from Bessarabia, Bukovina, Dobruja, and Lithuania. He explained that he realized the difficulties of deporting more Pole to the dumping ground of the General Government, but he felt that it would be much better to face this difficulty than to keep the ethnic Germans cooped up in camps during another winter. In many instances the defendant Greifelt personally gave the expulsion order while in other instances it was the defendant Huebner as a local representative of the Staff Main Office for the Warthegau. Moreover, the expulsion itself was carried out under the guidance and supervision of agencies of the Staff Main Office. So-called resettlement staffs and working staffs attached to the local representative of the Staff Main Office, in close cooperation with the UWZ or expulsion center, determined the particular area of Polish territory into which the ethnic Germans would be moved and from which the native population would be expelled. These resettlement and working staffs received their orders either from the Reichsstatthalter or from the Higher SS and Police Leader in their capacity as representatives of the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism.
These expulsions were carried out with extreme brutality. In a report by a unit of the German Army in Poland, dated 2/6/1940, it was said:
"The resettlement scheme is causing particular and steadily increasing alarm in the country. It is quite obvious that the starving population, struggling for its very existence, can regard the wholly destitute masses of evacuees, who were torn from their homes overnight, naked and hungry and begging shelter, only with the greatest anxiety. It is only too understandable that these feelings are intensified to immense hatred by the numerous children starved to death on each transport and the train loads of people frozen to death."
In a letter dated 2/20/1943, Zoerner, Governor of the District of Lublin commented on the evacuation from the District of Zamosc as follows:
"I. Course of the Resettlement.
"The settlement of the district of Zamosc which had been planned for a long time by the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism (RKFDV) began on 12/26/1942. Up until now about 9000 Germans from Bessarabia and other regions of the southeast have been settled in the rural areas of the northern half of the district of Zamosc. Through the settlement, about 40000 hectares of territory, which the agencies of the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism had especially chosen, were seized.
"The Poles affected through the resettlement and, in as far as they could be apprehended, were in their great majority sent to an SS labor camp in Auschwitz (hydrogenation plant), while a relatively small number were put at the disposition of the labor administration for other allocation in the Reich. Poles of the resettlement areas who were not sent to the Reich were put to work as farmers or farm laborers for settlers in so-called Z-villages which are situated between the German settlements. Those incapable of work were put up in other districts in so-called 'Renten' villages. The Ukrainians living mainly in the settlement areas of the northeastern and eastern regions of the Zamosc District were provisorily resettled in the immediately adjoining western part of the district of Hrubieszow. At present they are being settled in about 35 to 40 racially-mixed villages which through ejection of the Poles will become 100 Ukrainian. The expelled Poles, inasmuch as they are capable of working, will be sent to the Reich.
"The expelled Poles had very little time to get ready and were only allowed to take hastily-gathered baggage with them. They, therefore, lost almost all their property through this resettlement. On the other hand the Ukrainians were given several hours notice and were able to take along a part of their domestic equipment and belongings packed on their own carts.
"The settlement and expulsion measures were for the greater part carried out by the agencies of the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism.
"II. Flight of the rural population.
"Due to the reasons mentioned under II, the rural population shortly after the onset of the resettlement, undertook mass flights in order to escape the menace they consider directed towards their lives and their families and moreover to bring at least a good part of their belongings into safety. The farmers flee at night with the help of their horse-drawn carts taking along their families, parts of their equipment and belongings, and above all their livestock. Usually they go along side routes and try, nine times out of ten with success, to reach the
nearest partisan bands or the neighboring districts, where they seek refuge with relatives or friends in the country. Since, as a matter of course, the flights were not planned beforehand, there are today a number of almost empty villages in the districts of Zamosc and Hrubieszow which will still be plundered to the last. Apart from damage done in the agricultural respect, which will be discussed later, these flights disturbed the settlement of these villages, as far as they were intended for Germans. Besides, the fact that only about 25000 Poles were apprehended by the police speaks an eloquent language since there should have been about double this amount. Ten thousand, therefore, have fled. In the entire territory surrounding the resettlement area ten thousand more farmers are packed and ready to flee in case the resettling should continue. The livestock has already been greatly reduced due to slaughtering and black market dealings.
"The feeling that sooner or later he would lose his homestead and fields has caused a sentiment of deep distrust and despair in the Polish farmer, who until now had well fulfilled the tasks and duties imposed upon him by the Administration, which of course cannot remain without negative results as to his efficiency. Already the delivery of milk, butter, and other agricultural products has considerably dropped, especially in the districts of Zamosc and Hrubieszow. The fact that the milk delivery went down greatly in Hrubieszow is very lucid; in 11/1942, 2500000 liters, whereas in January of this year only 600000 liters were delivered. This drop of 75% speaks a very eloquent language. The pig livestock in a large number of communities of this district has diminished 60%, that of fowl 90%, since the farmers try to get rid of and slaughter all they can in order not to lose it without compensation.
"Therewith Zamosc has become an inferno which throws its shadows far beyond the borders of the resettlement area and of the district. The result is that bolshevism has lost many of its terrors for the Polish population."
In a speech to officers of the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler on the "Day of Metz", Himmler said:
"Very frequently the member of the Waffen SS thinks about the deportation of this people here. These thoughts came to me today when watching the very difficult work out there performed by the security police, supported by your men, who help them a great deal. Exactly the same thing happened in Poland in weather 40 degrees below zero, where we had to haul away thousands, ten thousands, hundred thousands; where we had to have the toughness--you should hear this but also forget it again immediately--to shoot thousands of leading Poles, where we had to have the toughness, otherwise it would have taken revenge on us later. We also had to bring in, in this winter of 40 degrees below zero, ten thousands of Germans, and had to take care of their needs--that the women were warm; that, when they bore children, these children did not experience want and destitution, where we had to take care of their horses; where we had to take care of the baggage of these poor Germans from Volhynia; in many cases it is much easier to go into combat with a company than to suppress an obstructive population of low cultural level in some area with a company, or to carry out executions, or to haul away people, or to evict crying and hysterical women, or to return our German racial brethren across the border from Russia and to take care of them."
On 1/28/1943, Krueger, the Higher SS and Police Leader at Krakow, reported to Himmler that some Polish farmers tried to return to the village of Ciesyn located in the German resettlement area. He suggested that the resistance shown by Poles in the resettlement area be broken by a large-scale raid designed to exterminate the "criminal villages". Himmler agreed with Krueger's proposal and directed that the intended action should be carried out in such a way that this would have been the last attack on the German resettlement area. If necessary, entire villages were to be exterminated.
Another example of the brutality with which the agencies of the defendant Greifelt carried out the expulsion is given in a document dated 6/3/1943. It was decided that up to that time the Poles were notified much too early of the proposed evacuation and were able to hide much of their property. Therefore, the procedure was changed so that the Polish family would be expelled within 24 hours after the German resettler had arrived at the resettlers' camp. A representative of the local land office took over the inventory from the Poles and delivered it to the German resettlers. In a letter written by a member of the resettlement staff Kaunas [Kovno] dated 3/1/1943, the following method for the expulsion of Poles from the Kovno area was suggested:
"Poles designated for expulsion shall be instructed through the district chief to report with a vehicle and male laborer to the proper railroad station in order to provide transportation facilities for the arriving resettlers. When reporting to the station, the Poles shall be ordered to transport the resettlers to the proper farms. Upon arrival at the farm, the resettlers shall inform the family of the arrested Pole that they should keep quiet and should report on a certain day to the local government or some other official since, otherwise, the arrested head of the family would bear the consequences."
In addition to the mass expulsions in Poland, large-scale deportations from Yugoslavia were also carried out by RKFDV, VoMi and RuSHA. On 6/4/1941, Himmler issued a decree in which he ordered racial examination of all Slovenes from southern Carinthia and lower Styria by RuSHA. A few days later the defendant Greifelt gave more detailed instructions for this action. On 7/14/1941, Greifelt decreed that, in order to create room for the ethnic Germans from Gottschee [Kocevje], the necessary evacuations from the resettlement area of Styria and Carinthia in Yugoslavia should be carried out by the chief of the security police in accordance with the directives given by Greifelt. Prior to this decree Greifelt had issued "Instructions for the expulsion of foreign elements from south Carinthia" in which he ordered that the Slovene intelligentsia be examined, the racially valuable Slovenes be deported to Germany for Germanization, while those not racially valuable be deported to Serbia.
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By 6/22/1942, 34000 Slovenes had been uprooted from their homes and sent to the Reich. It was only natural that the mass expulsion resulted in hatred and resistance. However, those who resisted were shot and their wives and children incarcerated in camps which VoMi made available for that purpose. In some instances, the children were separated from their mothers, and upon VoMi's suggestion, taken to Germany in order to be Germanized in Lebensborn homes. It happened from time to time that some of the Slovenes succeeded in escaping from the VoMi camps. By an order of Himmler, VoMi was instructed to report to the Gestapo the names of relatives, children, and accomplices, as well as the names of those who escaped, so that they could either be placed in concentration camps or hanged.
Mass deportation actions similar to those in Yugoslavia were carried out against citizens of Luxembourg. On 7/6/1943, Gustav Simon, head of the Luxembourg civil administration, wrote as follows:
In the deportations of Luxembourgians, the Staf Main Office, VoMi, and RuSHA played an important part. The defendants Lorenz and Brueckner of VoMi participated in the planning of the expulsion measures. The expelled Luxembourgians were taken first to VoMi camps, where RuSHA carried out racial examinations in order to determine which of them would be Germanized. They were then taken by the Staff Main Office either to Germany or to the General Government."As a result of the incidents known to you of the previous autumn, it has been necessary for me to decree that the families who are not entirely dependable according to their political convictions are to be deported from Luxembourg to Germany proper for the security and strengthening of an unequivocal ethnic border population, and for their own education in the spirit of the thoughts of greater Germany. The deportation, which will be carried out by the offices of the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism, should not, even if it is accompanied by hardship, be a punishment, but it is a politically necessary and expedient measure for the security of the ethnic community on the border. After a temporary stay in a resettlement camp, jobs will be assigned the deportees from the point of view of labor utilization. As soon as they have found a new residence, they may make use of their movable property necessary for it; the other property will be administered and converted into money by the German Resettlement Trustee Company."
In the General Government, Krueger, the Higher SS and Police Leader in Krakow, complained about some of the deported Luxembourg families in a letter to Himmler. He said that, out of 133 families, the heads of 36 had been committed to concentration camps as political prisoners, the heads of 11 families had been convicted and executed for political reasons, members of 8 families had served sentences for exhibiting a hostile attitude towards Germany and the remaining 78 families had carried out political activities against Germany. Yet these defendants will no doubt tell us that all these citizens of Luxembourg were really Germans at heart who were anxious to renounce their nation, lose their property, and go to Germany and occupied Poland to work for the greater glory of the Fuehrer and the Third Reich.
Those Luxembourgians who escaped deportation and were permitted to remain in Luxembourg were divested of their citizenship and made German citizens by a decree of 8/23/1943. As a result, many of them were forcibly conscripted into the German army. Understandably enough, some of them deserted rather than fight against their Allies. Those who were caught were sentenced to death. The families of those who were not caught were deported to an internment camp in Trebnitz with the knowledge of the Staff Main Office and VoMi.
The French provinces of Alsace and Lorraine were incorporated into the German Reich following the fall of France. Steps were immediately taken to report all persons who refused to renounce their loyalty to France and to promote "Germanism". Between 7/1940 and 12/1940, 105000 Alsatians were the victims of a German expulsion action. On 5/27/1942, Kaul, the Higher SS and Police Leader in Luxembourg, suggested to Greifelt the deportation and re-Germanization of still more Alsatians. He proposed that those to be deported should be politically examined by the security police and racially examined by RuSHA, and that they should be resettled in Germany. On 8/4/1942, a conference took place between representatives of the Staff Main Office and Wagner, Chief of the Civil Administration, in which the groups of persons to be expelled were determined. In a memorandum of 9/2/1942, Greifelt stated that the Staff Main Office had the responsibility of deporting all unreliable persons from Alsace-Lorraine.
In another memorandum of 10/6/1942, RuSHA reported that the deportation of politically unreliable Alsatians was under way and that the Race and Settlement Office was determining which of them were racially valuable and hence to be resettled in the East, or racially acceptable for resettlement in Germany, or racially inferior for shipment to France.
On 3/23/1943, Wagner issued an order to the representatives of the Staff Main Office attached to the civil administration of Alsace to return from France for military service all Alsatians born after 1900.
In Lorraine, similar measures were adopted. All men of military age were arrested and, together with their families, racially examined by RuSHA in order to determine whether they were a desirable, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory increase to the German population. On 10/3/1942, the defendant Greifelt issued a secret order in which he stated that, for political and racial reasons, families and individuals from Alsace-Lorraine and Luxembourg had been evacuated and settled in the old part of the Reich because they refused labor service in the armed forces, participated in strikes, or took part in activities against the Reich by establishing connections with neighboring states. Greifelt emphasized that although these individuals could not be placed on the same level as racial Germans, they should obtain German citizenship on a revocable basis and be treated like persons from the East who were Germanized. They were to be put to work and kept under surveillance by the police. In addition, he stated that the deportees who expressed a desire to be sent to France or rejected German nationality or resisted work would be reported to the proper Gestapo office and sent to a concentration camp.
On 11/28/1942 a conference took place between representatives of the Staff Main Office and VoMi in which it was decided that 9337 persons were to be expelled from Lorraine on 1/15/1943 and shipped to VoMi camps in lower Silesia and the Sudetenland. Racial examinations were to be conducted in these VoMi camps, the racially valuable to be resettled in the General Government, the racially not valuable to be deported to France. In the same conference, it was decided to place those of "inferior race" in armament factories, foundries, and mines and to deport their dependants to VoMi camps. This latter action was speeded up by the Staff Main Office in view of the need for slave labor in armament factories.
MR. LAMB: In the course of their execution of the program of genocide and Germanization, all of the defendants participated in the plunder of public and private property. As time will not permit a detailed discussion of all of these crimes, we will limit ourselves to the most important points.
The Staff Main Office under the defendant Greifelt was particularly active in the mass confiscation of property from Poles and other persons evicted from their farms. This served the dual purpose of depriving those people of their means of livelihood and providing land and houses for resettlers.
As the result of a decree of 10/19/1939 issued by Goering as Plenipotentiary of the Four Year Plan, an organization known as the Main Trustee Office East, commonly known as the "HTO", [Haupt Treuhandstelle Ost.] was established for the confiscation and administration of Jewish and Polish property in the incorporated Polish territories. However, by 11/10/1939 it had been agreed that the seizure and confiscation of landed property--as distinguished from industrial property--owned by Poles and Jews would be directed and carried out by the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism. Amt V of the Staff Main Office under the defendant Greifelt was the Central Land Office and it, together with subordinate local land offices, carried out the plunder of real property.
In a directive of 12/12/1940, the defendant Greifelt emphasized that the Central Land Office and the local land offices were charged with the seizure and confiscation of real estate and that such offices had to be consulted before a final decision as to confiscation could be made. It was required that the Central and Office be kept informed about all decisions reached by the local land offices as the Central Land Office was charged with the execution of the proper administrative measures.
An idea of the extent of the plunder engineered by the Staff Main Office can be obtained from the following figures. On 8/3/1942, the defendant Greifelt reported to Himmler that by 7/1/1942 a total of 626642 enterprises (95% rural, 5% urban) covering an area of 5.849987 million hectares (a hectare being 2.47 acres) had been taken away from Jews and Poles in Danzig, Wartheland, Eastern Prussia, and Silesia by the Central Land Office. In a pamphlet called "Folkdom and Soil" issued by the Staff Main Office it was noted that by 12/31/1942 a total of 193427 enterprises covering a territory of 804880 hectares had been registered for seizure and confiscation in lower Styria and South Carinthia, that a total of 2998 enterprises covering an area of 99175 hectares had been seized, and a total of 1094 enterprises of 28042 hectares had been confiscated. Also, it was pointed out that in Lorraine an area of 214445 hectares had been registered for seizure and confiscation and in Alsace a total of 10561 hectares. In 10/1943 the defendant Greifelt estimated that the total value of the confiscated land amounted to from 7 to 8 hundred million marks.
Greifelt was not content with confiscations carried out by his own agents and did everything in his power to have property confiscated by other agencies transferred to the Staff Main Office. Thus, when property of the Polish state was confiscated by the Reich Food Ministry, he urged that it should be transferred to the Staff Main Office and this request was finally granted. In another instance, Greifelt complained to Himmler that the civil administration should transfer to him five agricultural estates originally owned by Poles and Jews and evaluated at about five million Reich marks. In a third instance, he suggested that French property confiscated from "enemies of the Reich and the people" and administered by the Reich Finance Minister should be transferred to the chief of the civil administration in Lorraine as representative of the RKFDV so that it would be available for the strengthening of Germanism rather than for general purposes.
In his desire to confiscate as much Polish and Jewish property as possible, Greifelt did not hesitate to take church property. For example, on 11/18/1940 the Superior of a nunnery, Mother Salesia, complained to Cardinal Bertram in Breslau that the convent for sick and infirmed sisters had been seized by a Mr. Steffens, an agent of the RKFDV. When the Mother Superior protested on the ground that the seizure was against the law, Steffens replied,"For us no law exists. We yield only to force. I am using that force herewith and declare this building seized as of the 26th of this month. It is easier for sixty nuns to find shelter than it is for 500 racial Germans".
This complaint of the Superior was submitted to the defendant Greifelt and by him forwarded to Himmler. Himmler agreed with Greifelt's suggestion that the convent should remain seized. Himmler protested, however, the payment of a rental, but Greifelt replied that a way was found even to avoid that.
Greifelt paid no more respect to cultural property than he did to church property. By a decree of 12/1/1939, Himmler as RKFDV ordered the seizure of all cultural property in Poland including archives, museums, public collections, documents, books, paintings, and the like. This confiscation order, which was executed by the Staff Main Office, extended to all cultural property in the incorporated Polish territories as well as the General Government unless it was owned in the amount of 75% or more by Germans or ethnic Germans.
In the Amt III, "Industrial Economy", of the Staff Main Office there was a division called "Procurement of Furniture and Household Goods", the primary function of which was the confiscation of personal effects of Jews for use by ethnic German resettlers. In an office memorandum of 9/18/1944 to Greifelt, it is pointed out that confiscated Jewish furniture supplied to the resettlers in Bohemia and Moravia alone was valued at 26 million kronen.
In addition to the confiscation of property in Poland, the Staff Main Office plundered on a large scale in the Southeast and in the West. In connection with the expulsion of Slovenes from Lower Styria and Upper Carinthia, the defendant Greifelt, the Staff Main Office, and VoMi deprived the expelled Slovenes of practically all their property. Instructions issued by Greifelt provided that the expelled Slovenes could take movable property and furniture only to a small extent and within the scope of possible transportation. Moreover, all real estate, inventory, and stocks of merchandise were confiscated. Similar measures were taken with respect to the property of persons deported from Luxembourg, Alsace, and Lorraine. Moreover, not only did the Staff Main Office plunder property directly, but it also cooperated closely in the confiscation and disposition of huge amounts of industrial property by the HTO, which was turned over to resettlers.
The participation of RuSHA, under the defendants Hofmann and Hildebrandt, in the spoliation of property was primarily in execution of its policy of planting out SS men, especially ex-servicemen, as colonists. RuSHA was given exclusive jurisdiction by Himmler over the resettlement of members of the SS in rural areas. As far back as 1940, plans were drawn up by Hofmann for the settlement of SS men in the East. By 1942, he was prompted to say that he was "sure that the East belongs to the SS". These resettlements were made possible by the confiscation of large amounts of property, particularly in Russia. For example, in a letter of 12/30/1942 Hofmann pointed out that SS men were managing 600000 hectares of land in an area stretching from the Ukraine to the Baltic Sea.
The plunder of property by the VoMi and Lebensborn defendants will be dealt with in our discussion concerning the persecution of the Jews.
We now come to the systematic and relentless annihilation of the Jewish peoples by the Nazis which constitutes one of the blackest pages in the history of the civilized world. This mad program of wholesale slaughter also included other groups considered racially inferior, such as the Poles, but the Jew was especially marked for destruction. This crime of genocide was part of the Nazi doctrine of total warfare, war waged against populations rather than against states and armed forces. One must search as far back as the massacres by Genghis Khan and by Tamerlane to find anything remotely comparable to the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis. Hans Frank, former Governor General of the occupied Polish territories, and a defendant before the International Military Tribunal, spoke the truth when he testified:An introduction to this crime of mass murder can perhaps best be given in the words of Reich Leader SS Himmler. On 10/4/1943, he said to a meeting of SS Gruppenfuehrer at Poznan:"A thousand years will pass and this guilt of Germany will still not be erased".
"I also want to talk to you, quite frankly, on a very grave matter. Among ourselves it should be mentioned quite frankly, and yet we will never speak of it publicly. Just as we did not hesitate on 6/30/1934 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 of it. It was that tact which is a matter of course and which I am glad to say, is inherent in us, that made us never discuss it among ourselves, never speak of it. It appalled everyone, and yet everyone was certain that he would do it the next time if such orders were issued and if it were necessary.
"I mean the clearing out of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish race. It's one of those things it is easy to talk about--'The Jewish race is being exterminated' says one Party member, 'that's quite clear, it's in our program--elimination of the Jews, and we're doing it, exterminating them.' And then they come, 80 million worthy Germans, and each one has his decent Jew. Of course the others are vermin, but this one is an A-1 Jew. Not one of all those who talk this way has witnessed it, not one of them has been through it. Most of you must know what it means when 100 corpses are lying side by side, or 500 or 1000. To hale stuck it out and at the same time--apart from 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, for we know how difficult we should have made it for ourselves, if--with the bombing raids, the burdens, and the deprivations of war--we still had Jews today in every town as secret saboteurs, agitators, and troublemongers. We would now probably have reached the 191617 stage when the Jews were still in the German national body.
"We have taken from them what wealth they had. I have issued a strict order, which SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl has carried out, that this wealth should, as a matter of course, be handed over to the Reich without reserve."
And so the arm of destruction was the SS. The SS organizations in which these defendants were leaders, participated in and received loot from the persecution and extermination of the Jews. As early as 1/1939, Heydrich, Chief of the Security Police and SD, was appointed by Goering to bring about a "solution" of the Jewish problem through furtherance of emigration and evacuation. The initial steps for the "final solution" of the Jewish problem, that is, the extermination of the Jews, were taken shortly after the invasion of Poland. On 9/21/1939, Heydrich directed as follows:
"The first preliminary measure for the final aim is the concentration of the Jews from the countryside into larger towns. This has to be carried out with acceleration. A distinction has to be made (1) between the area of Danzig and West Prussia, Poznan, eastern Upper Silesia, and (2) the remaining occupied territories. The area as mentioned under number (1) has to be cleared of Jews as far as possible, at least it has to be aimed at establishing only a few concentration towns. In the areas as mentioned under number (2), as far as possible concentration points are to be established, so that the measures later to be taken will be facilitated. It has to be considered that only such towns will be established as concentration points which either are railway centers or at least are situated at railway lines."
At the time the defendant Hildebrandt was Higher SS and Police Leader in Danzig-West Prussia and units under his command engaged in the evacuation of Jews from that area.
On 7/31/1941, Heydrich was ordered by Goering to bring about the "final solution" of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe. Following the issuance of this directive, the wholesale slaughter of the Jews began. With the advance of the German armies in
Russia, Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and SD murdered Jews and communist intellectuals by the hundreds of thousands. Otto Ohlendorf, the leader of Einsatzgruppe D operating in southern Russia, presently a defendant before a Military Tribunal, estimated that 90000 men, women, and children were liquidated by his unit alone.
At the same time the Einsatzgruppen were being formed in 7/1941, Himmler issued an order to the defendant Lorenz, as Chief of VoMi, and Heydrich, directing Lorenz to take all measures necessary to register ethnic Germans in the occupied Russian territories and to lay the foundation for German domination by the assignment of reliable anti-Bolshevik agents. It stated that this work was to be done in close cooperation with the Einsatzkommandos of the security police. This order also affected Lebensborn under the defendant Sollmann. A subordinate in that organization was directed to take care of children of "good" blood in the occupied Russian territories. Pursuant to this order, agents of VoMi were assigned to work directly with the Einsatzgruppen. The Einsatzgruppen carried out deportations of so-called ethnic Germans for VoMi. For example, an operational situation report of Einsatzgruppe A, dated 2/16/1942, pointed out that people of German extraction were deported in the most considerate way possible, but that these people could not be permitted to take with them more than one piece of luggage. Property taken from Jews and Communists murdered by the Einsatzgruppen was turned over to VoMi for use in resettlement operations.
The Goering order of 7/31/1941 to Heydrich stated that, "Whenever other governmental agencies are involved, these are to cooperate with you". On 11/29/1941, Heydrich wrote to the defendant Hofmann, at that time Chief of the SS Race and Settlement Main Office, as follows:
The conference mentioned in Heydrich's letter to Hofmann took place on 1/20/1942 and was attended by Hofmann; also present were officials from the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Office of the Governor General, and the Foreign Office, among others. Heydrich pointed out at the conference that "the Reich Marshal's request to have a draft submitted to him on the organizational physical, and material requirements with respect to the final solution of the European Jewish problem necessitated this previous general consultation by all the central offices directly concerned, in order that there should be coordination in policy". After reviewing the steps which had been taken to force the emigration of Jews from Germany, Heydrich stated that:"On 7/31/1941, the Reich Marshal of the Greater German Reich commissioned me to make all necessary preparations in organizational, factual, and material respect for the total solution of the Jewish problem in Europe, with the participation of all interested central agencies, and to present to him a master plan as soon as possible. A photostatic copy of this commission is included in this letter.
"Considering the extraordinary importance, which has to be conceded to these questions, and in the interest of the achievement of the same viewpoint by the central agencies concerned with the remaining work connected with this final solution, I suggest that these problems be made the subject of a combined conversation, especially since Jews are being evacuated in continuous transports from the Reich territory including the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia to the East ever since 10/15/1941".
The problem of the extermination of the Jews living in such satellite countries as Romania and Hungary was dealt with and the conference notes state that:"In the course of this final solution of the European Jewish problem, approximately 11 million Jews are involved... Under proper direction the Jews shall now in the course of the final solution be brought to the East in a suitable way for use as labor. In big labor gangs, under separation of the sexes, the Jews capable of work are brought to those areas and employed in road building in which task undoubtedly a great part will be eliminated through natural attrition. The remnant that finally is able to survive all this--since this is undoubtedly the part with the strongest powers of resistance--must be treated accordingly, since these people, representing the result of a natural selection, are to be regarded as the germ cell of a new Jewish development, should they be allowed to go free".
A considerable portion of the conference was devoted to discussing the extent to which the final solution should be extended to Jews of mixed blood and Jews married to Germans. As to marriages between Jews of mixed blood, the conference report states that, "SS Gruppenfuehrer Hofmann is of the opinion that extensive use must be made of sterilization; since the person of mixed race, when confronted with the choice as to whether he is to be evacuated or sterilized, would prefer to submit to the SS Race and Settlement Main Office assisted in the "final" solution of the Jewish problem by the compilation of elaborate files on full Jews and Jews of mixed blood in the Reich and German-occupied territories. These files were made available to Adolf Eichmann of the RSHA who was personally in charge of the Jewish extermination program under Heydrich. Captured documents show that such card files were maintained in the Netherlands, Norway, France, and Belgium, among other countries. The close cooperation between the Race and Settlement Office and Eichmann is shown by a cable from an agent in the Paris office of RuSHA suggesting that Eichmann be contacted in order to assign a deputy to that office. Since there were 60000 Jewish families in the occupied part of France, the agent stated that the work would be plentiful."SS Gruppenfuehrer Hofmann intends to ask to have an official of the Race and Settlement Office sent along to Hungary for general orientation, when the affair is started there by the chief of the Security Police and SD."
Another indication of the activities of RuSHA in the persecution of the Jews is found in a letter of 5/27/1944 from a RuSHA official in Belgium to the Berlin office. The letter dealt with the fate of a German citizen Margarete Gertrude Sydower and her Jewish husband. Both were German refugees, having fled to Belgium in 1939. The Genealogy Office of RuSHA was asked to check its Jewish files and advise whether the wife was of pure Aryan decent. This information was needed in order to determine whether the Jewish husband should wear the Star of David. The
letter ends with the following remark: "Sydower does not reject the idea of voluntary sterilization".
This was one of those "voluntary" solutions proposed by Hofmann to Heydrich where the Jew was offered the alternative of deportation and certain death, or sterilization.
The extermination of the Jews was not limited to the Einsatzgruppen.
Indeed, the slaughter in the charnel houses of Auschwitz, Treblinka, Maidanek, Belzec, and Sobibor was on a vaster scale. These extermination camps were all located in Poland. After the invasion of Poland, all Jews were forced to register, live in ghettos, and wear the yellow star. The "final solution" of the Jewish problem could, therefore, be resolved with almost assembly line precision. Trainloads of Jews were evacuated from the ghettos to such camps as Auschwitz where the test of life or death was physical ability to work. Hoess, the commandant of Auschwitz, estimated that 2.5 million Jews were exterminated and a further 500000 died from disease and starvation between 5/1940 and 12/1943 in that camp alone. Hoess described the screening process in the following language:
Extermination centers similar to Auschwitz existed at Treblinka, Maidanek, Belzec, and Sobibor in the vicinity of Lublin, and the procedure there was the same. The victims were stripped of their clothing, money, and valuables. The hair of the women was cut off, later to be manufactured into mattresses. Then, herded like so many cattle, the naked men, women, and children were driven to their deaths in the gas chambers. Gold teeth were pulled from the mouths of the corpses. An attempt was even made to manufacture soap from the fatty parts of the bodies, while the ashes remaining after cremation were used for fertilizer. This was indeed a gruesomely commercial exploitation of death on a mass basis."We have two SS doctors on duty at Auschwitz to examine the incoming transports of prisoners. The prisoners would be marched by one of the doctors who would make spot decisions as they walked by. Those who were fit for work were sent into the camp. Others were sent immediately to the extermination plants. Children of tender years were invariably exterminated, since by reason of their youth they were unable to work. Still another improvement we made over Treblinka was that at Treblinka the victims almost always knew that they were to be exterminated and at Auschwitz we endeavored to fool the victims into thinking that they were to go through a delousing process. Of course, frequently they realized our true intentions and we sometimes had riots and difficulties due to that fact. Very frequently women would hide their children under their clothing, but of course when we found them we would send the children in to be exterminated".
As a result of this large-scale extermination action, huge quantities of clothing and other valuables became available. A substantial quantity of this bloody loot was transferred to VoMi under the defendant Lorenz for distribution to persons resettled by the Staff Main Office, VoMi, and RuSHA. The administrative task of collecting and distributing the property confiscated from murdered and enslaved Jews, which was known as Action Reinhardt, was handled by the WVHA, the Economic and Administrative Main Office of the SS. Prior to 12/1943, the WVHA had accounted for personal property in excess of 180 million Reich marks from Jews exterminated in the Lublin area alone. This included foreign currency from 48 different countries, not the least of which was $1.3 million in United States bank notes and gold coin. Also carefully listed and evaluated were 162711 articles of considerable value, among them jewelry, watches, and gold spectacle frames. Nearly 200 freight carloads of clothes, linens, and rags were disposed of on orders of the WVHA.
On 9/26/1942, August Frank, deputy chief of the WvHA, issued basic instructions to the Auschwitz and Lublin concentration camps on what he termed the "utilization of property on the occasion of settlement and evacuation of Jews". It was stated that in all future orders, property stolen from Jews would be considered as "goods originating from thefts, receipt of stolen goods, and hoarded goods". Excerpts from this order read as follows:
"d. Men's underwear, men's clothing, including footwear, are to be sorted and valued. After covering of their own requirements for concentration camp inmates and in exceptional cases for-the troops, the goods are to be delivered to the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle. In any case, the proceeds will go to the Reich.
"e. Women's clothing, women's underwear, including footwear, children's clothing and children's underwear, including footwear, are to be delivered against payment to the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle. Pure silk underwear is to be delivered to the Ministry of Economics, according to an order of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office [WVHA]. The same goes for the underwear, mentioned under d.
"f. Feather beds, quilts, blankets, suiting material, scarves, umbrellas, walking-sticks, thermos flasks, car protectors, perambulators, combs, handbags, leather belts, shopping bags, tobacco pipes, sun spectacles, looking glasses, cutlery, knapsacks, suitcases made of leather and synthetic material are to be delivered to the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle. The question of compensation will be settled later on. According to their own requirements, Lublin and Auschwitz may obtain quilts, blankets, thermos bottles, car protectors, combs, cutlery and knapsacks against payment from budget funds.
"g. Linen, such as sheets, quilt covers, pillowcases, towels, dishcloths, tablecloths, are to be delivered against payment to the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle."
The order concluded as follows:
In 10/1942, the defendant Lorenz and the WVHA were advised by Himmler that VoMi was to be furnished utensils and clothing from the warehouses in Lublin and Auschwitz concentration camps for over 100000 ethnic Germans. Each of those ethnic Germans was to be equipped with one dress or suit as well as other wearing apparel. In a letter of 2/6/1943, Pohl, the Chief of the WVHA, reported that 211 freight carloads of clothing had been made available to VoMi from the extermination camps of Auschwitz and Lublin for distribution among ethnic Germans. This shipment comprised more than two million separate articles. In the same letter Pohl stated that further deliveries designed for ethnic Germans in the Ukraine could not be carried out because of transportation difficulties, but that the whole delivery had been made to VoMi at Litzmannstadt [Lodz] from whence it would be distributed by VoMi as soon as the transportation situation was relieved."It has to be strictly observed that the Jewish Star is removed from all garments and outer garments which are to be delivered. Furthermore, items which are to be delivered have to be searched for hidden and sewed-in valuables."
The Staff Main Office under the defendant Greifelt also participated in the persecution of the Jews and the plunder of Jewish property. The destruction of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto in Poland is an example of this. As late as 1/1944, over 80000 Jews were confined there in an area of approximately 7.5 square kilometers. Sanitary conditions were catastrophic; there was no water supply, no gas, no sewage disposal. There were approximately 500 deaths per month.
The Jews in the Litzmannstadt Ghetto were apparently able to survive as late as 1944, because they were used to produce goods manufactured in plants within the ghetto. But in the summer of 1944 it was decided that the Litzmannstadt Jews were to be exterminated and the ghetto destroyed. Greifelt was advised of this decision by Greiser, the gauleiter of the Warthegau, and the Staff Main Office was assigned the task of demolishing the ghetto and confiscating the property of the Jews. Greifelt directed the defendants Schwarzenberger, Meyer-Hetling, and Huebner to work out the necessary details. In 8/1944, 60000 Jews were sent from Litzmannstadt to the concentration camps for execution. The destruction of the ghetto began in 10/1944 under the direction of Sturmbannfuehrer Hirschboeck, who was put in charge of the operation by the defendant Huebner. In a report of 11/15/1944, it was stated that 18 buildings had been thus far destroyed and furniture, textiles, and other material had been removed from about 700 households. As a result of this ghetto action, property in the amount of approximately 1 million Reich marks was confiscated from the Jews.
A number of the other defendants also showed considerable interest in the Jewish ghettos. At a meeting in 5/1944 of all the race and settlement field leaders, the agenda included a discussion of the solution of the Jewish Problems" in the Warthegau and a visit to the Litzmannstadt Ghetto. As the report on the meeting put it, The participants in the meeting, in the course of the conducted tour which lasted several hours, had an opportunity to view not only the ghetto's organization and its production, which from the viewpoint of war economy are considerable but to make spontaneous studies on racial diversities and common features of Judaism.' The defendant Schwalm of RuSHA was one of the participants in this meeting.
On 2/10/1943, the defendant Ebner wrote to Sollmann suggesting that medical instruments and furniture for a new Lebensborn institution in Otwock, Poland, be obtained from the Warsaw Ghetto. Exactly six days later, Himmler ordered the evacuation and destruction of that ghetto which was subsequently carried out with horrible savagery by Juergen Stroop, the Higher SS and Police Leader in Warsaw. Ebner's letter to Sollmann also contained an interesting proposal concerning the treatment of Poles suffering from tuberculosis. He pointed out that it was planned to use one of the houses in Otwock as a tuberculosis hospital for racial Germans. Ebner opposed this and proposed that Poles be evacuated from a hospital in Warsaw and quartered in barracks. He stated that the health authorities were probably not interested in curing Poles so long as Germans were not satisfactorily cared for.
Many of the Lebensborn homes were established and equipped with property taken from Jews. For example, the defendant Ebner and Tesch, together with Sollmann, engineered the acquisition of a Jewish sanatorium at Nordrach, Baden in 9/1942. Other property which was known to have been confiscated from Jews was taken over in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Holland, and Poland.
Mr. Neely: In this very same courtroom crimes have been revealed which were so revolting and marked with such bestiality that the civilized world has been shocked at the extent of "man's inhumanity to man". The outrages committed by the Nazis against the inhabitants of the occupied countries would be considered incredible except for captured orders and reports showing the fidelity with which these crimes were executed. All who cared to read have been informed of the mass killing of the Jews, the atrocities in concentration camps, the savage medical experiments, and many more ruthless forms of torture and extermination practised by the Nazi fanatics. But now we turn to a crime which in many respects transcends them all--a crime in which all fourteen of these defendants actively participated--the crime of kidnaping children.
This crime was not of an occasional or casual character, but was planned and disciplined. Himmler said in a speech at Bad Schachen in 10/1943 that:
In speaking of the conquered peoples in the East, he continued by saying:"Either we win over any good blood that we can use for ourselves and give it a place in our people or, gentlemen--you may call this cruel, but nature is cruel--we destroy the blood."
As early as 1939, a forewarning of the program about to be launched was given in a treatise prepared by the Office of Racial Policy in the NSDAP. It stated:"Obviously in such a mixture of peoples, there will always be some racially good types. Therefore, I think that it is our duty to take their children with us, to remove them from their environment if necessary by robbing or stealing them".
"A considerable part of the racially valuable groups of Polish people, who on account of racial reasons are not suitable for Germanization, will have to be deported to the rest of Poland. But here it has to be tried to exclude racially valuable children from the resettlement and to educate them in suitable educational institutions, preferably like the former military orphanages in Potsdam, or in a German family. The children suitable for this are not to be over 8 to 10 years of age because, as a rule, a genuine ethnic transformation, that is, a final Germanization, is possible only up to this age. The first condition for this is a complete prevention of all connections with their Polish relatives. The children receive German names which are ethnologically of accentuated teutonic origin. Their descendant certificate will be kept by a special department. All racially valuable children whose parents died during the war or later, will be taken over in German orphanages without any special regulation.
"For this reason a decree prohibiting the adoption of such children by Poles is to be issued. Any keeping of biologically healthy children in church institutions is prohibited.
"Children of such institutions if no older than approximately 10 years are to be transferred to German educational institutions.
"Poles with a neutral attitude who are willing to send their children to German educational institutions do not need to be deported to the rest of Poland".
The abduction of racially valuable" alien children was thus a part of the greater program of destroying or crippling national groups in the occupied territories. In turn, Germany itself would be strengthened by importing children selected in accordance with standards compatible with Nazi racial and biological theories. In addition, kidnaping of children was also used as a method of retaliation and intimidation against those who, for various reasons, invoked the Nazis' displeasure.
Many times throughout this proceeding we shall hear the defendants say how well these children were treated and of the wonderful care afforded them. In comparison to the treatment of other children whom these defendants rejected for Germanization this may well be true. But it is no defense for a kidnapper to say he treated his victim well. Even more important, we must ask ourselves why they were so treated. The answer is simple these innocent children were abducted for the very purpose of being indoctrinated with Nazi ideology and brought up as "good" Germans. This serves to aggravate, not mitigate, the crime.
In general, Lebensborn preferred to handle children not over 6 years of age. This age limitation is easily understood. At these tender years, the children could be more easily molded into the Nazi way of life. Also, it was much easier to conceal the true identity of these children and to deceive the foster parents into thinking they were German children whose parents had been killed in an air raid or some other form of military operation.
It was only natural that Lebensborn was designated as the organization to handle kidnaped children and to make all necessary arrangements for their placement into "proper" German families. Here was an organization which had already been established to insure the support of legitimate and illegitimate children of SS men and had as its original purpose the creation of "a numerous and healthy progeny of the SS". The facilities such as the hospitals and children's homes could be easily utilized and enlarged for the handling of kidnaped alien children. But more important was the existing staff of personnel well trained in the care of infants and their placement with foster parents. Also, their training as to the secrecy with which this program was carried out in order to conceal the true identity of these children posed no problem--Lebensborn from its very beginning stressed secrecy in the treatment of its cases because many children born and cared for originally in Lebensborn homes were illegitimate.
The steps employed in the abduction of alien children, their care, education, and placement in foster homes is detailed in an order of 2/19/1942 by the defendant Greifelt. In outlining this program, Greifelt stated:
"In order to be able to regain for German Folkdom, those children whose racial appearance indicates Nordic parents, it is necessary that the children, who are in former Polish orphanages and with Polish foster parents, are subjected to a racial and psychological process of selection. These children, who are considered to be racially valuable to German Folkdom, shall be Germanized...
"In agreement with the agencies concerned I am giving the following instructions for the execution of this regulation.
"(2) The Reich Statthalter of the Reich Gau Wartheland (Gau self-administration) will report the registered children to the Race and Settlement Main Office, Field Office Litzmannstadt.
"(3) In order to determine whether these children are suitable for Germanization, they will be racially examined by the Race and Settlement Main Office, Litzmannstadt.
"(4) Those children, who are racially examined by the Race and Settlement Main Office and described as suitable for Germanization, have to be examined thoroughly as to their state of health (a health record for each child, the Wassermann test, X-rays tuberculin test; thorough delousing of the children, etc.)
"II (1) My representative will report the children from 2 to 6 years, who have been considered suitable for Germanization, to Lebensborn. Lebensborn transfers the children at first to one of its own children's homes. Subsequently Lebensborn will see to it that the children are placed in childless families of SS members, with the purpose of a later adoption. The guardianship for these children transferred to the children's home of Lebensborn is taken over by Lebensborn.
"(2) My representative at Poznan will report all children from 6 to 12 years of age who have been considered suitable for Germanization to the inspector of the German folk schools.
The inspector of the German folk schools will accommodate those children in special folk schools, which answer the children's needs. Those children, who leave the German folk schools with positive results, are to be lodged in rural homes in Germany proper [Altreich].
"(4) At first all these children, who were staying in former Polish orphanages, are processed and provided with homes. After this action is finished, those children are examined, who were living with Polish foster parents. In order to avoid any alarm on the part of the Polish foster parents, they have expressly to be told that the children will be given free places at school, or else they will be accommodated in convalescent.
"(3) Special attention is to be given that the expression 'Polish children suitable for Germanization' may not reach the public to the detriment of the children. The children are rather to be designated as German orphans from the regained Eastern Territories."
While this order was limited by its terms to Polish children living in orphanages and with foster parents, our proof will show that substantially the same procedure was followed with respect to children taken from their natural parents.
In addition to selecting the children suitable for Germanization, RuSHA in many instances gave them German-sounding names. Thus, in a letter of 9/17/1942 from RuSHA to its suboffices with the Higher SS and Police Leaders, it was stated that:
The children were then sent to one of the numerous homes operated by Lebensborn. Here they were taught German and indoctrinated with Nazi ideologies while awaiting transfer into German families. All correspondence with their relatives and homeland was strictly forbidden."In agreement with the Staff Main Office of the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism and Lebensborn, the SS Race and Settlement Main Office is competent for the Germanization of names (first and second names) of orphans qualifying for Germanization.
"The SS Leader of the Office for Race and Settlement or the chiefs of the suboffices are commissioned to carry out the Germanization and are to take care of the racial selection at the same time. When Germanizing names, care must be taken that the new names are adapted as far as possible to the origin and sound of the previous name. In case where Germanization of the old names is not possible, new German names must be given. In this case commonly used German names must be chosen (of course not of a religious nature). The use of typical Nordic names must be avoided."
It was the duty of the defendant Ebner as Chief of the Health Division of Lebensborn to carry out physical examinations of these kidnaped children and to determine whether they should be adopted. Also, he was frequently called upon to establish the ages of children under his care. This was necessary, because in the majority of cases no birth certificates were available due to the manner in which the children had been taken from their homes and parents. Ebner was often confronted by defendant Tesch with, as Tesch put it, "another case where an expert opinion is required to find out the age of a child which is to be adopted". After this determination of age, then a fictitious place of birth was selected by Tesch, Chief of the Legal Department of Lebensborn. For example, he frequently selected Poznan as the place of birth of children from Polish areas. Then, after this data had been recorded, the children were given German-sounding names if for any reason this had not already been done by RuSHA. Thus, with this fictitious and falsified information everything was in order for adoption papers to be completed under the guidance of the defendant Tesch.
These then were the steps employed in the commission of the crime of kidnaping of children as alleged in the indictment. The defendants were entrusted with broad discretion and exercised considerable power in carrying out this program, which involved the abduction of hundreds of Czech, Polish, Yugoslav, and Norwegian children. But now we would like to turn from the procedures utilized in carrying out this program and briefly picture for the Tribunal a few instances showing where some of these children came from and the conditions under which they were obtained and selected for Germanization.
After the Nazis invaded the Republic of Czechoslovakia on 3/15/1939, the struggle which this small nation carried on against their oppressors, continued underground. By 9/1941 the Nazis decided upon a policy of pacification through terror, and on 9/27/1941 Reinhard Heydrich, in effect, replaced von Neurath [Defendant before International Military Tribunal. See Trial of the Major War Criminals, vols. I-XLII, Nuremberg, 1947.] who was given "sick leave", as Reich protector of Bohemia and Moravia. Heydrich was a man who shunned neither blood nor brutal violence. After unlimited power was placed in his hands, the wave of terror grew. Heydrich quickly became a man hated by the entire Czech nation.
The opportunity for revenge came. In the morning of 5/21/1942, Heydrich was driving to Prague from his country mansion in Panenske Brezany. He never reached his destination. In a suburb of Prague an armed attack ended his destructive activities. Heydrich was mortally wounded and died a few days later. It has been said by the physician who attended Heydrich that Hitler regarded his death as the equivalent of a German military disaster.
That which followed the assassination surpassed any previous conceptions of German fury. Searches, arrests, and executions had no end. But the worst was yet to come.
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On the evening of 6/10/1942 were heard these biting words of a Nazi radio announcer:
"From official sources comes the following communique: 'In the search for the assassins of SS Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich, definite clues were found showing that the inhabitants of the village of Lidice, near Kladno, had given support and assistance to the culprits. This information was verified with no help from the inhabitants. Their attitude towards the assassination was emphasized by further acts unfriendly to the Reich, such as the finding of forbidden printed matter, stores of arms and ammunitions, illegal radio sets, an exceptionally large quantity of rationed foods, and the uncovering of circumstances showing that several individuals were abroad in active service against the Reich. Because the inhabitants of this village, by their support and assistance to the assassins of SS Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich, broke the law so recklessly, the men have been shot, the women deported to concentration camps, and the children taken where they may have suitable upbringing. The buildings of the village have been razed to the ground and its name erased'."
Here was a mass murder, a crime which the Nazi Government claimed as its own before the entire world, an atrocity in contravention of every civilized conception of right and justice. The Nazi regime now appeared in its true light and proclaimed with a voice that shocked the world: we are bandits, plunderers, murderers, and kidnapers of innocent children; we have power and are not afraid to use it against any who antagonize us.
The same night, radio stations throughout the world announced the news of the annihilation of Lidice. None could conceive of a worse accusation against nazism than such a communique.
The Nazis wanted to erase the name of Lidice from the map forever; they desired that every member of its community be removed from the minds of mankind. They wanted to instill fear in the Czech people and bring them to their knees, but instead the name of Lidice became a symbol in the struggle of all democratic nations against Nazi Germany. This tragedy opened the eyes of all who doubted German criminality.
How this tragedy of Lidice came about is now shown by documents and the account of those few victims who are so fortunate to survive. From these we now form the complete picture.
The order for the annihilation of Lidice was transmitted by telephone from Karl Hermann Frank in Berlin, after a conversation with Hitler, to the commander of the security police and SD in Prague. This order, which was received at 1945 hours, 6/9/1942, directed:
"1. All adult men to be shot.
"2. All women to be sent to a concentration camp.
"3. All children are to be assembled and, as far as they are suited for Germanization, they are to be turned over to SS families in the Reich. The remainder is to be turned over for another education.
"4. The village is to be burned down and completely leveled.
On the same evening at the headquarters of the Kladno Gestapo, an order for a state of readiness was issued. Units of the German police arrived; trucks were loaded with drums of gasoline, and just before midnight the order was given to set out for Lidice. The entire village had previously been surrounded with SS men and German police. After arriving, the leaders met over Lidice's square where SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Wiesmann, chief of the Kladno Gestapo, announced that the Fuehrer had ordered the complete destruction of the village.
Then began the execution of the order. First the mayor of Lidice was summoned so that he might deliver to the members of the Gestapo all cash in the public treasury, all deposit books, papers and other valuables. In the meantime, SS men entered each home awakening the sleeping families and giving them approximately ten minutes to gather their money and valuables and leave the house.
After collecting the inhabitants in the village square, all possessions were taken from them. Then the terrified families were separated. The women and children were taken to the school building and the men to the Horak farmhouse. There the Gestapo brought the registration files and checked to determine whether all men of the village were present. In turn, the men, 173 in number, were lined up before a firing squad and killed. The remaining 11 who were not present because of employment on the night shift at a nearby factory were later executed in Prague, in addition to the 8 members of the Horak and Stribrnys families who were at the time held by the Gestapo. In all 192 men fell none were tried nor warned of their fate beforehand.
Before the execution of the men took place, the women and children who had been gathered in the Lidice school house were transported to the high school building in nearby Kladno. There, with German thoroughness, the women and children were registered separately. After two days of anxious waiting, the women were told that they were to be sent to a work camp where their husbands would join them. Also, they were deceived into thinking that their children would follow them when more comfortable means of travel had been provided. Slowly, as the name of each child on a prepared alphabetical list was called out, it was taken from its mother.
Numbed with pain, mothers were led into the school courtyard where they filed into trucks which took them to a train whose destination was the Concentration Camp Ravensbrueck. There they either died or remained until the liberation by the Allied armies.
In Kladno, three children were originally selected as suitable for Germanization by the branch office of RuSHA, but one was later excluded. Escorted by SS men and women, the remaining 88 children were taken from the Kladno school house, placed into trucks which took them to Libochovice and from there by rail to Litzmannstadt in Poland. Here they underwent tests imposed by the head of the Race and Settlement Office of Litzmannstadt, Walter Dongus, who divided them into two groups. In the first group were 7 children bearing the desired characteristics of the Nordic type and labelled for Germanization. Into the other group were placed the remaining 81.
The children chosen for Germanization were placed in a Lebensborn home in Puschkau near Poznan where they met the other two Lidice children who were originally selected in Kladno as being of "good race". After proper reeducation they were taken with new names and false papers and placed in German families as children of German origin. Of these 9 so selected all have been traced and returned to Czechoslovakia. Of these, two will appear before this Tribunal to give the account of their abduction and placement into foster homes.
The 81 children in the second group who were rejected as racially unsuitable by RuSHA were taken on 7/30/1942 to unknown destinations. In addition, the child originally selected for Germanization in Kladno, but later classified as "unfit", was deported on 7/23/1942 with the children of the destroyed town of Lezaky. Here ends all traces of these 82 children of Lidice. To the horror of the Lidice tragedy is added this further, perhaps the most painful, chapter. Nazi bestiality struck even at the youngest children not a year old and some not yet born; the 7 less than one year were taken from their mothers and placed in the foundlings' home and later in the children's home in Prague, where 6 were found after liberation.
At the time of the tragedy of Lidice, the Nazis did not even forget the 6 children yet to be born. Women who were pregnant were transported to a secret home of the Gestapo and confined until approximately three weeks after the child was delivered. Then the mothers were sent to Pankrac prison, later to Ravensbrueck Concentration Camp. Their babies were given false names and handed to German families. Of these six children, five died and one was later found. A child was born to one of the Lidice women in the Ravensbrueck Concentration Camp, but was immediately taken by the SS after birth and never seen again.
And so the final balance gives us these terrible facts: 192 men and 7 women shot; 196 women taken into concentration camps, of whom 43 died from torture and maltreatment; 105 children kidnaped, of whom only the fate of 22 has been established, 16 having been returned to their relatives. The village was burned, buildings levelled, streets taken up and all other signs of habitation completely erased. Those fortunate enough to survive this terrible tragedy and return once more as free people found no trace of their village, but only a silent plain over which now stands a cross with a wreath of thorns.
Soon after the destruction of Lidice, the defendant Sollmann visited Karl Hermann Frank in Prague to discuss the handling of Lidice children by Lebensborn. During the time these Czech children were in the Lebensborn home in Puschkau, correspondence concerning them was carried on between the defendant Viermetz and the chief of the home. Visits were paid to the Puschkau home by the defendants Viermetz, Tesch, and Sollmann, on which occasions they saw the children. Even as late as 1944, Lebensborn and RuSHA were making efforts to get hold of some the children who had been originally rejected for Germanization. In a letter of 6/13/1944 from the office of Frank to Himmler, it is stated:
"65 children of Czechs, who were executed under martial law, were housed collectively--46 of them in the internment camp at Swatoborschitz and nineteen in a children's home at Prague-Reuth. These are mostly children whose parents were living in the former villages of Lidice and Lezaky, the inhabitants of which were shot or put in a concentration camp in connection with the measures taken after the attempt against SS Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich."
Seven of these children, selected at an examination by the branch section office Bohemia and Moravia of the Race and Settlement Main Office SS as being suitable for Germanization, were housed in a children's home in the Warthegau.
But this is only the account of the Czech village of Lidice. There was not one, but many "Lidices" through occupied Europe. The Nazis, by the razing of Lidice only repeated in Czechoslovakia the wrongs which they had committed and continued to commit in the Ukraine, Poland, Yugoslavia, and other countries. Even the village of Lezaky in Czechoslovakia met the same fate on 6/24/1942--only two weeks after the annihilation which has just been described. Of the 13 children taken from this village only two were selected for Germanization by the Race and Settlement Office and sent to the Lebensborn home at Puschkau where they were later adopted by German families. Both of these children have been returned to Czechoslovakia, but the fate of the other eleven so-called "undesirables" is and will probably forever remain unknown."The commander of the security police and the SD has tried as early as the beginning of the past year, to obtain a decision through RSHA (Reich Security Main Office) on the further treatment of the children housed in Swatoborschitz and Prague-Reuth who were not found suitable for Germanization. In connection with this, a transfer to the East had been proposed. Today a transfer of these children from Bohemia and Moravia is no longer possible, because in the meantime some of the relatives found out the whereabouts of the children and illegally established a hardly to be controlled communication. This development was connected with the employment of Czech personnel which was necessary because of the lack of Germans. Some time ago a renewed examination of the children was carried out by the branch section Bohemia and Moravia of the Race and Settlement Main Office. On this occasion three more children, who could not be valued before on account of their youth, were designated as a bearable addition to our population and nineteen children as just bearable. It is true that the setting-up of the valuation scheme was done on a generous scale.
"It is intended to have the racially bearable elements of the collectively-housed children transferred through 'Lebensborn' to German families or to a children's home whereas the children over 16 years are to be sent to a concentration camp."
In an order classified "top secret" dated 6/25/1942, Himmler issued instructions for the execution of an action against so-called partisans in the area of upper Carniola and lower Styria in Yugoslavia. Paragraph 3 of this order reads as follows:
Lebensborn's participation in this criminal program is evidenced by a letter of 9/14/1942 from the deputy of the RKFDV in Yugoslavia to VoMi. This letter stated that:"The action has to prevent from doing further harm all elements having supported the bands of their own free will by men, provisions, arms, and shelter. The men of a guilty family, in many cases of the whole clan, are to be executed on principle, the women are to be arrested and taken to a concentration camp, the children are to be removed from their homes and concentrated in that part of the Gau that had originally belonged to the Reich. As to numbers and racial value of these children I am expecting separate reports..."
The letter also stated that the immediate transfer of the children through VoMi was agreed upon on 8/12/1942 in a conference at which the defendant Viermetz acted as representative for Lebensborn. At the time this letter was written the children had already been transferred to a camp located in Styria and it was stated that VoMi was to arrange for the transfer of children to Lebensborn."By order of the Reich Leader SS, dated 6/25/1942, the children of partisans and rebels who were classified according to the recognized groups by the SS Race and Settlement Main Office are to be transferred from Upper Carniola and Lower Styria into the Old Reich, there to be looked after by VoMi.
"The children of category 1 and 2 between 6 months and 12 years of age are to be handed over by VoMi to Lebensborn...which is responsible on its part for the care and/or adoption of those valuable children."
After these Yugoslav children were placed into the VoMi camps, they were subjected to racial examinations by agents of the Race and Settlement Office. During this time, the defendant Viermetz paid a visit to the camp and selected those destined for Lebensborn homes. According to the statement of an employee of Lebensborn, there was a race between Lebensborn and its counterpart in the Nazi Party as to who should get these children but it was made possible through the initiative and efforts of the defendant Viermetz to secure these children for Lebensborn.
Romanian children were also among those kidnaped by Lebensborn, as is evidenced by a report from the defendant Ebner to Sollmann dated 8/25/1941. Herein Ebner stated that 25 children had been brought from the Banat to Schloss Langenzell by VoMi, but "In regard to race, only a few children can be designated as a gain to our folkdom." As the result of a racial examination personally conducted by Ebner, he concluded that only 2 of the children were suitable for adoption, 18 were unfit for adoption because of age and should be turned over to foster parents or put to work, and 5 of them should be completely rejected for racial biological reasons. Of these five, Ebner recommended that one young girl should be sterilized immediately since, as he said, "The young men in the camp become gradually interested in her". He also proposed immediate sterilization of two of the boys, one because of TB suspicion and the other because "his skull looks degenerated, his ears are standing out and his shoulders are hanging."
Poland was one of the chief sources of children abducted from their families and placed by Lebensborn. After Greifelt's order became effective, the numbers grew in such proportions that a special police report center was installed, unknown to the public, to prevent the relatives of these children from contacting and finding them. During the course of this proceeding, the prosecution will offer into evidence numerous documents containing lists of Polish children taken from their homes and placed with Lebensborn for adoption as well as correspondence between these defendants as to the change of names and other technical problems concerning their adoption by Germans. In addition, two Polish children will testify before this Tribunal as to their abduction and placement into German families.
Mr. McHaney: The Nazi theories of race led logically to a concern with pregnancies among Eastern women working in Germany and the incorporated Polish territories. As a means of biologically weakening the Eastern nations and of keeping the women available as labor, an abortion program was decided upon.
Abortions were forbidden in Germany under paragraph 218 of the German Criminal Code. Yet, as early as 11/1939, a report was sent to the defendant Ebner that 33 Polish women and children of German descent had been taken into a Lebensborn home in Poland and abortions performed on three of them because they were pregnant by Polish soldiers. Later, this was systematized and German women were subjected to abortions when the putative fathers were non-German and the racial examiner decided that the expected child was not "racially valuable". This was supposed to prevent a "pollution" of the Nordic race.
However, the program was primarily directed against foreign citizens. In 3/1943, a decree was issued which purported to open the door to abortions on non-German workers and on 3/11/1943 the Reich Leader for Public Health ordered that abortions could be performed on Eastern workers at their request. Almost immediately Himmler decided that such consent was not absolutely necessary insofar as an SS man was involved. In a letter from his office, it was stated:
"The Reich Leader SS requests that in these cases where pregnancy is caused by sexual intercourse between a member of the SS or the police and a non-German woman, residing in the occupied Eastern territories, an interruption of pregnancy is to be carried out positively by the competent physician of the SS or the police, unless that woman is of good stock which is to be ascertained in advance in every case."
The usual procedure was as follows: When a foreign woman worker became pregnant, it had to be reported to the camp leader in the camp where she lived or to someone in the factory where she worked. All illegitimate pregnancies of foreign workers were then reported by the employer to the labor office (Arbeitsamt) and by that office to the youth office (Jugendamt) and Gestapo.
An application was then made out for the abortion, frequently by the labor office, a doctor, or the employer, rather than the woman herself. After the putative father had been located, racial examinations of the mother and father were conducted by the local RuS leader and he determined whether the child would be "racially valuable" or not. If the decision was in the affirmative, then the abortion could not be performed. But if the RuS field leader decided that the child would not be "racially valuable" then he induced the woman to have an abortion performed. All abortions had to be approved by an agent of the RKFDV.
Hildebrandt, as Chief of RuSHA, in a circular of 8/13/1943 to all RuS field leaders, emphasized the necessity of a racial examination before abortions could be performed on Polish women. He also ordered that the files of cases in which the RuS field leaders denied abortions were to be submitted to the Race and Settlement Main Office for examination as to inclusion in the re-Germanization program.
In 3/1944 the defendant Hofmann, acting as a representative of the RKFDV, issued a letter outlining the procedure to be followed in connection with applications for abortions in the area within his jurisdiction.
The Nazis paid lip service to the idea that all abortions were voluntary but this was obviously not the case. These unfortunate women working as slaves under terrible conditions in a hostile country found themselves subjected to all manner of pressure, both direct and indirect. They lived and labored under conditions which would not permit them to take care of their children. Moreover, every pregnancy had to be reported to the dreaded Gestapo. The suggestion of an abortion by that organization did not invite argument from Polish and Russian women. On 2/18/1944, a letter went out from the SD office in Koblenz to the branch offices stating that:
But even if it be assumed that all abortions were voluntary, they still constitute a crime. This was nothing more than another technique in furtherance of the basic crime of genocide and Germanization. It was even a crime under German law."As you know, racially substandard offspring of Eastern workers and Poles is to be avoided, if at all possible. Although pregnancy interruptions ought to be carried out on a voluntary basis only, pressure is to be applied in each of these cases....A pregnancy interruption should go off without incidents and the Eastern worker or Pole is to be treated generously during this period in order that this may get to be known among them as a simple and pleasant affair."
The responsibility for these abortions is quite clear. The consent of the representatives of the RKFDV was necessary in all cases. The racial examinations and real decisions were made by the RuS field leaders in accordance with directives issued by RuSHA under the defendant Hildebrandt.
In many instances cases of pregnancy among Eastern workers were not discovered until it was too late for an abortion to be performed or until after the child was actually born. Since these women were being utilized in the slave labor program, the time lost in caring for their children was regarded by the Nazis as an intolerable interference with the demands of labor. As in the case of the abortion procedure, racial examinations were conducted on the father and pregnant worker to determine whether "racially valuable" descendants could be expected. Thus, the decision as to the future treatment of the pregnant women, as well as the expected child, was the responsibility of the Race and Settlement Office. The defendant Hildebrandt, in outlining the duties of the race and settlement leaders in this connection stated:
"Though I have already done so in the regulations on the decisions of the interruption of pregnancies, I want to point out once more the grave responsibility which has been assigned to the SS leaders for racial and resettlement matters by this new order, i.e., to especially further all valuable racial strains for the strengthening of our people and to accomplish a complete elimination of everything racially inferior."
If the racial examination revealed that the pregnant woman was of especially valuable racial stock and met the high standards as set by Lebensborn, then the pregnant worker was sent to one of Lebensborn's maternity homes during the last stages of pregnancy. After childbirth, the mother was sent back immediately to work and the child was placed under the guardianship of Lebensborn to be brought up in one of its numerous children's homes or with "proper" German families. Racially valuable mothers were asked whether they were prepared to accept German citizenship. If so, proceedings for Germanization were then instituted and the mothers were promised that after marriage with a German in Germany proper the child would be returned to her.
If the results of the racial examination were positive, but were not to such a high degree as that just mentioned, then the birth took place in the sick quarters of the transient camps which housed the workers. Here the treatment afforded them was in many cases, if not all, inadequate. Their reception into a German hospital was only granted in exceptional cases or where it was necessary to further the training of students and midwives. Mothers in this category also were forced to return to work immediately after delivery of the children. The care of the child was then turned over to Lebensborn.
The taking of these racially valuable children was stated by Kaltenbrunner as being necessary to prevent the loss of German blood to foreign populations and to assure their being educated as German children.
If the racial examinations concerning the expectant child proved negative and an abortion was not performed, then the pregnant mother was placed into the sick quarters of the barracks in which they were living. These mothers were forced to work until a matter of days and hours before childbirth took place. As soon as the child was delivered, the mother was forced to return to work and the child placed into an assembly center for foreign children. These centers were later referred to as "Foreigners' Children's Nursing Homes" because, as SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Meine stated,But whatever name they were given, it did not in any way change these dirty, ill-kept and ill-equipped barracks provided for the care of these children. They were nothing more than subdivisions of billets provided for the housing of female workers; as Kaltenbrunner put it, they were "institutions of the simplest kind". These children could under no conditions be attended by German institutions, be taken into German homes, or be reared or educated together with German children. The only care given them was by chosen female members of their respective nationalities who were not only incompetent in most cases, but also too few in number to give adequate attention to the needs of these young children."The Reich Leader...considers it proper to introduce a pompous-sounding designation for the assembly centers for foreign children."
As to the fate of these so-called "undesirable children", there was a difference of opinion. Some of the Nazi officials were of the opinion that these babies of Eastern workers should be exterminated or subjected to such inadequate care that normal death would result from neglect, whereas others favored their being brought up for use as slave labor in the future. Himmler was asked to render an immediate decision on this matter. The urgency of this request was prompted by the fact that 62 infants of Eastern workers housed in a nursing home in Austria were living in overcrowded conditions and the babies were destined for certain death from undernourishment in a few months if the insufficient rations were not increased. It was suggested to Himmler that in the event he decided these babies should be brought up to be used for slave labor, then they should be fed properly; in the event that they should be put to death, then other measures were available rather than to expose them to a gradual starvation, thus wasting many liters of milk.
In accordance with the entire program of genocide, no means was overlooked whereby the ultimate aim of annihilation of the eastern nations could be accomplished. Marriages between protectees of the Reich and non-protectees were prohibited. Marriage of Poles to other Poles of Ukrainian descent were prevented because RuSHA feared that the Poles would thus be able to camouflage their Polish nationality. The marriages of members of Group III of the DVL with members of Group IV and with other non-Germans was prohibited by order of the Staff Main Office under Greifelt. This order was distributed by RuSHA to all its field leaders whose task it was to screen such marriage applications.
On 1/10/1944, Himmler in his capacity as RKFDV, continuing previous restrictions, issued a decree forbidding marriages of male Polish protectees before the age of 28 and of female Polish protectees before the age of 25. This decree was enforced through the agency of RuSHA. But of course, this illegal limitation on marriages did not always prevent reproduction. Thus, a conference was held at the Reich Ministry of Justice to deal with the problem of claims of illegitimate Polish children against their Polish fathers. The defendant Brueckner attended for VoMi, and RuSHA was also represented. A memorandum on this conference made by RuSHA's representative stated, in part, the following:
During the course of the war, millions of foreign workers and prisoners of war, particularly from the East, were brought to Germany to labor in the fields and factories. Naturally, sexual contact between these people and the Germans could not be prevented. This caused great concern among the guardians of the purity of the Nordic race. In 7/1940 Pancke, then Chief of RuSHA, wrote a letter on this subject to the Fuehrer's deputy. He said that RuSHA agreed with the Office for Racial Policy of the NSDAP that the purity of the German race was in danger. Pancke suggested that appropriate laws be issued and that propaganda be carried on among Germans."Because of the raising of the marriage age for Poles the number of legitimate children is reduced resulting in an increase in the number of illegitimate children. The information most recently obtained showed that the number of illegitimate children is increasing to an even greater extent than the number of legitimate children is decreasing. It must be the purpose of the intended regulation to reduce the number of illegitimate children as far as possible, but in no way to cause a further increase.
"The demand of the SS Race and Settlement Main Office and the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle (Repatriation Office for Ethnic Germans) that German interests in an individual case must be determined by the competent Higher SS and Police Leader in each case, thereby resulting in a decisive intervention on the part of the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism, was approved. In deciding this matter, it must be determined whether this constitutes a desirable increase in population (Poles suitable for Germanization); this will then be determined by the SS Race and Settlement Main Office.
"With regard to the question of reducing the number of illegitimate children, it was the general consensus of opinion to allow the unwed Polish mothers a minimum subsistence for the care of the child, the subsistence to be paid for by the Polish fathers and to be paid out only if the care of the child is not assured by either the unwed mother or her family. This was to prevent any negligence. Here it must be the primary principle not to spend one German penny for Polish welfare. This method of putting the illegitimate, racially undesirable Polish child at a definite disadvantage, even though it will not, in general reduce the number of illegitimate children, will at least not encourage a rise in the number of illegitimate children. The Race and Settlement Main Office suggested that the father of the illegitimate child be required to make especially large payments, but that the money become part of a general fund from which the necessary sums might then be paid out. In cases where the paternity cannot be established, all potential fathers will be equally liable to payment. This measure is not likely to increase the pleasure of having an illegitimate child."
Soon a regular procedure was set up. If an Eastern worker who had had sexual intercourse with a German woman was unfortunate enough to be apprehended by the Gestapo, he was given a racial examination by an agent of RuSHA. In case he was declared to be racially undesirable, frequently he was subject to "special treatment. This term special treatment" is a particularly fine example of the euphemisms so much in vogue among the Nazis. To be blunt, it meant hanging. In the event the RuSHA field leader found the offenders racial characteristics to his liking, then his life wag spared if he agreed to undergo the Germanization procedure. In a letter to the RSHA dated 8/27/1941, a subordinate of the defendant Greifelt stated that in cases where the Poles recommended for "special treatment" were recognized by RuSHA as suitable for Germanization, the competent SS and police leaders were to determine the addresses of the other members of their families and forward such addresses to RuSHA so that the whole family could be examined and included in the Germanization process.
Eastern women who had sexual intercourse with German men were not subjected to "special treatment" but shipped to concentration camps, a rather dubious mercy. The "special treatment" of male offenders was extended to Czechs as well as Poles in 9/1942, according to a letter by Schultz of the race office of RuSHA.
The racial examination was entirely the province of RuSHA. The Race Office decided the procedures and the RuS field leaders made frequent visits to the concentration camps in order to make these examinations. Theoretically, it was the RSHA which decided to hang the man, but the decision of the RuSHA was the really important one. In a report on re-Germanization which was sent to Hofmann in 10/1942 by the race office of RuSHA, it was stated that the RSHA wanted a quicker decision as to eligibility for Germanization. This report went on to say that:
The defendant Schwalm, in a letter of 12/1943 asking for free railroad tickets for RuSHA, stated that members of RuSHA were being constantly charged with the examination of cases of "special treatment" ordered by the RSHA. This checking, he said, must be done immediately and in every case because the RSHA could make no decision without having had the judgment of RuSHA."A Reich Leader document is in preparation in conjunction with the Staff Main Office and Reich Security Main Office, according to which the consequences drawn from the establishment of the positive ancestry verdict will be carried out (inclusion in the re-Germanization procedure, obligation of marriage)."
In 2/1944, the RSHA issued a circular, in agreement with RuSHA, stating that ruthless measures must be taken against all severe offenses by foreign labor and that sexual intercourse with German women would be considered a severe offense. The RuS leader on the staff of the Higher SS and Police Leader for Danzig-West Prussia in 9/1944 wrote to the race office of RuSHA that more severe regulations on this subject had to be issued in that district. He said:
The Higher SS and Police Leaders played an important role in "special treatment" cases. The defendants Hofmann and Hildebrandt as former Higher SS and Police Leaders bear responsibility for numerous murders of Eastern workers through "special treatment". The Staff Main Office under the defendant Greifelt also participated in these atrocities."If, with regard to sexual intercourse, most severe rules are not laid down, any control of the blood policy is impossible."
In count three of the indictment it is charged that all of the defendants except Viermetz were members of the SS, an organization declared to be criminal by the International Military Tribunal, and that such membership is in violation of paragraph 1 (d) of Article II of Control Council Law No. 10. The declaration of criminality by the International Military Tribunal applies to all persons who were officially accepted as members of any branch of the SS, and who remained members after 9/1/1939, with knowledge that the SS was being used for the commission of criminal acts, or who were personally implicated in the commission of such crimes, "excluding, however, those who were drafted into membership by the state in such a way as to give them no choice in the matter, and who had committed no such crimes." [Trial of the Major War Criminals, vol. I, p. 273, Nuremberg, 1947.]
This Tribunal will be presented with no refined questions concerning voluntary membership in the SS or knowledge of its use for the commission of crimes. The defendants in this dock were full time, professional SS men; the SS was their way of life. Of the thirteen defendants charged in count three, all but three of them joined the SS in 1934 or earlier.
That these defendants not only knew of, but personally participated in, the systematic commission of crimes by the SS will be abundantly proved by the evidence. All of the defendants charged in count three were in positions of power and responsibility, holding high rank in the SS; four were lieutenant generals (Obergruppenfuehrer) and none was less than a major (Sturmbannfuehrer).
[Trial of the Major War Criminals, vol. I, p. 273, Nuremberg, 1947.]
Civilized usage and conventions to which Germany was a party had prescribed certain immunities for peoples unfortunate enough to dwell in lands overrun by hostile armies. Today, we have briefly outlined before this Tribunal the crimes committed by these fourteen defendants in which man's dearest and most sacred rights were denied to hundreds of thousands throughout Europe. These crimes represent but a partial fulfillment of their genocidal plans. One shudders to think how Europe would appear today if these defendants and their collaborators still remained in their positions of power.
From these defendants we shall soon hear variously formulated and developed apologies and excuses in justification or mitigation of their crimes. When they are heard, let this Tribunal not forget that these crimes were not of an occasional or casual character but were deliberate and integrated parts of the sinister program of genocide, a program to strengthen Germany at the expense of other peoples and nations. To the successful fulfillment of this program, all of the defendants in the dock devoted their untiring efforts and abilities. Each held a position of responsibility which was endowed with the power to decide the fate of men and to destroy all which interfered with their conception of a Germanic world. For their crimes we seek from this Tribunal a just restriction and a reaffirmation of man's right to live in peace and dignity under the law.