The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XIV

Existing marriage laws were amended by Seyss-Inquart so as
to require approval of the Reich Commissar instead of the
consent of parent or guardian in the case of Dutch girls.
The statu-

                                                  [Page 989]
tory waiting period was also abolished. Thus, intermarriage
of Germans with female persons of Netherlands nationality
were facilitated and promoted. (3339-PS)

Existing legislation concerning Netherlands nationality was
modified by Seyss-Inquart so as to favor Germany. (3341-PS).

Additional decrees not justified or demanded by the military
interests of the occupant were issued by Seyss-Inquart as
Reich Commissar. These decrees amended or superseded and
distorted existing laws concerning press, education, social
services, corporate life, trade unionism, medical care, art,
science, and divers phases of the political, social,
economic, and industrial life of the Netherlands. Some of
these enactments, including the discriminatory decrees
against the Jews, are considered in greater detail
hereafter. (1726-PS)

(C) Germanization of Netherlands Territory. Seyss-Inquart in
his capacity as Reich Commissar for the occupied Dutch
Territory, took affirmative steps to assimilate the
territory under his jurisdiction politically, culturally,
socially, and economically into the German Reich. This
action violated Articles 43, 46, 55, and 56 of the Hague
Regulations, 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general
principles of criminal law, the internal penal laws of | the
countries in which such crimes were committed, and Article 6
(b) of the Charter.

The more of offensive crimes in the above category, such as
economic exploitation and enforced conscription are
considered in -detail elsewhere in this section. Other
"Germanization" measures, such as the decrees promoting
marriage between German males and female Netherlanders, and
altering citizenship laws in favor of Germany, have been
previously adverted to.

When he assumed office on 29 May 1940, Seyss-Inquart said in
a speech at The Hague:

     "We neither will oppress this land and its people
     imperialistically nor will we impose on them our
     political convictions. We will bring this about in no
     other way -- only through our deportment and our
     example." (3430-PS)

The bona fides of the above statement is belied by a public
statement made by Seyss-Inquart two years later. In a speech
at Hengelo on 19 May 1943 he revealed his true purpose:

     "Several times it has been held against me that I have
     let national socialism come to the fore in all phases
     in public life. As far as I am concerned that is no
     reproach, it is a historical mission, which I have to
     fulfill here." (3430-PS)

Full disclosure of Seyss-Inquart is intentions and actions
with respect to nazification and exploitation of Holland was
made in

                                                  [Page 990]
a Top Secret report prepared by him and sent to Berlin
covering the situation in the Netherlands during the period
29 May 1940 to 19 July 1940. This report was forwarded by
Lammers of the Reich Chancellery to Rosenberg. Seyss-Inquart
prefaces the report by describing his mission as not merely
the guarding of Reich interests and maintaining order, but
also the building of close economic ties between the
Netherlands and the Reich. The report catalogues in
considerable detail the measures initiated by Seyss-Inquart,
discusses the building up of the NSDAP in the Netherlands,
and adverts to the proposed creation of Nazi para-military
and corresponding organizations. It also mentions the
efforts made to bring about an assimilation of interests
between Holland and Germany in the fields of economics and
agriculture, culture, art, and science. The report points
out that the allocation of supplies made, and financial and
currency arrangements prescribed, were favorable to the
Reich; that such transactions were signed by Dutch officials
so that the "appearance of being voluntary" was preserved.

(d) Spoliation of property. In his capacity as Reich
Commissar for the Occupied Netherlands territory Seyss-
Inquart authorized, directed, and participated in the
exploitation of the material resources of the Occupied
Netherlands territory for purposes unrelated to the needs of
the Army of Occupation. These acts were all in violation of
Article 6 (b) of the Charter and Articles 43, 46-49, 52 of
the Hague Regulations, 1907.

These crimes, for which Seyss-Inquart is responsible not
only by virtue of his position as the dominant civil
representative of the Reich Government in the Occupied
Netherlands territory but also because of his direct
participation in the initiation and execution of such
criminal policies, took the following form:

Control and exploitation of the Netherlands economy in the
interest of the German total war effort.

Levy of excessive occupation charges on the Netherlands.

Exaction of large sums of money and gold as "external
occupation costs," or "contributions to the war against

Requisitioning of gold and foreign exchange of Dutch
nationals for purposes unrelated to the needs of the
occupation army.

Use of German reichsmarks as currency in the Netherlands for
purposes unrelated to the needs of the occupation army, with
compulsory free exchange of such Reichsmarks for gulden by
the Netherlands Bank.

(Evidence of the foregoing methods of exploitation of the
occupied Netherlands and correlative enrichment of the Reich
is discussed in Chapter XIII.)

                                                  [Page 991]
The Nazi conspirators were measurably aided in executing the
foregoing policies in Holland by the cooperation of a local
Nazi, Rost van Tonnigen, who was appointed President of the
Netherlands Bank and Treasurer in the Netherlands Ministry
of Finance by Seyss-Inquart in the spring of 1941. The
cooperative spirit with which van Tonnigen discharged his
responsibilities in these posts was disclosed in the
following excerpt from a report of the German Commissar of
the Netherlands Bank:

     "The new President of the Netherlands Bank, Mr. Rost
     van Tonnigen, is, in contrast to a large part of the
     leadership, penetrated in his movements and his
     official acts by the greater German thought, and
     convinced of the necessity of the creation of a greater
     European economic space. This ideological attitude in
     itself gives him the correct position on financial and
     monetary policy questions for his country in relation
     to the greater German economic space. Furthermore it
     makes easier cooperation with my office, a fact which
     deserves special mention in consideration of the
     frequently observed impossible conduct of the
     Netherlands agencies before the entrance into office of
     the new President. I consider as a fortunate solution
     the fact that the Reichskommissar for the Occupied
     Dutch Areas has also entrusted Mr. Rost van Tonnigen
     with the Treasury of the Ministry of Finance [Schatzamt
     des Finanzministeriums]. Mr. Rost van Tonnigen took
     over this office at the end of the month of April. Thus
     there is a guarantee that the financial and monetary
     policy of the country will be conducted according to
     unified points of view." (ECR-174; see also
     Verordnungsblatt, No. 22, 24 August 1940 (Fourth Order
     of the Reich Commissar for the Occupied Netherlands
     concerning certain Administrative Measures); Lemkin,
     "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe," pp. 455-456.)

In addition to the responsibility which attaches to Seyss-
Inquart as a result of his dominant position in the
Netherlands, his appointment of Nazi-minded individuals to
key positions, and his complete knowledge of and
acquiescence in illegal Nazi policies, there is conclusive
evidence of his initiation of such policies. In April 1942
"at the instigation of the Reich Commissar Seyss-Inquart"
the Netherlands began to pay a "voluntary contribution to
the war against Bolshevism" of 50,000,000 guilders per
month, retroactive to 1 July 1941, of which ten million per
month was paid in gold. (ECR-195)

By 31 March 1944, this contribution amounted to
2,150,000,000 RM. (EC-86)

                                                  [Page 992]
The alleged "voluntary" character of the contribution is to
be taken with considerable reserve in view of the admission
contained in Seyss-Inquart's Top Secret report of 29 May
1940 to 19 July 1940, that the voluntary nature of previous
financial and economic measures was in reality fictional.

However, the question whether or not the contribution is to
be deemed at the direction of Seyss-Inquart or was in fact
"voluntary" is immaterial. It is manifest that the then
President of the Netherlands Bank and Treasurer in the
Ministry of Finance, van Tonnigen, acted in the German
interest and to the detriment of the Netherlands. His acts
are attributable to the responsible head of the German Civil
Administration in the Netherlands and the individual to whom
he owed his appointment, Seyss-Inquart.

(e) Participation in activities of Einsatzstab Rosenberg.
Seyss-Inquart, in his capacity as Reich Commissar for the
Occupied Netherlands territory, also cooperated with and
acquiesced in the activities of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg in
the territory under his jurisdiction. He is therefore
responsible for his actions in this regard, which
constituted crimes under Article 6 (b) of the Charter and
violations of Articles 46, 47, and 56 of the Hague

(The Einsatzstab Rosenberg, which commenced as a research
library project, developed into a systematic program for the
wholesale looting of art treasures and cultural objects in
the conquered territories. Its activities are discussed in
Chapter XIV.)

Implication of Seyss-Inquart in the criminal activities of
the Einsatzstab Rosenberg is revealed in a detailed progress
report of its chief Netherlands representative, Schimmer.
The first paragraph of this report states as follows:

     "The Working Group Netherlands of the Einsatzstab
     Reichsleiter Rosenberg began its work in agreement with
     the competent representative of the Reichskommissar
     during the first days of September 1940. The execution
     of the post, conforming with the Fuehrer's orders,
     coordinated itself with the liquidation, that is
     confiscation, according to civil law, of the various
     subversive institutions -- as set forth in the
     circulars of the OKW, dated 5 July 1940, and of the
     Chief of the OKW to the Commander in Chief of the
     Wehrmacht in France, dated 17 September 1940, as well
     as to the Commander in Chief of the OKW in the
     Netherlands, dated October 1940. The screening of the
     material of the various Masonic lodges was taken care
     of primarily, and the library and the archives of the
     following lodges were sifted and all useful material
     was packed." (176-PS)

                                                  [Page 993]
There follows the specification of some 92 Masonic IOOF
Lodges and Rotary Clubs which were screened and yielded 470
cases of valuable objects. Also, a large number of libraries
and scientific and cultural institutions were listed with
the statement that all books and archives contained therein
were being catalogued preparatory to shipment to Germany.

The report concludes with the following statement indicating
close integration in the Netherlands between Rosenberg's
program of grand larceny and Seyss-Inquart's anti-Jewish
program, viz:

     "The Working Group, in executing the afore-mentioned
     tasks, is bound strictly to the pace set by the
     Reichskommissar for the handling of the Jewish
     questions and that of the international organizations.
     This pace again is determined by the political
     evolution which is taking shape according to decisions
     made on a higher level, and which must not be hampered
     by individual acts." (176-PS)

Other documents captured from Rosenberg's files remove any
doubt whatever as to Seyss-Inquart's full knowledge of the
criminal activities of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg in Holland
and his participation therein. On 11 September 1944
Rosenberg informed Seyss-Inquart by letter that orders had
been issued for the seizure and transportation to Germany of
the library of the Social Institute in Amsterdam. (091-PS;
see also 1621-PS, a secret letter from Reichsfuehrer SS
(Himmler) ordering SS Gen. Rauter in the Hague to seize
medical apparatus at the Universities of Leyden and Utrecht
with the aid of Seyss-Inquart.)

(f) Conscription of civilian labor. In his capacity as Reich
Commissar for the occupied Netherlands territories Seyss-
Inquart authorized and directed the deportation of vast
numbers of Netherlands nationals to the Reich for forced
labor in the instruments of German war production. These
acts were all in violation of Articles 6 (b) and (c) of the
Charter; Articles 6, 23h, 46, and 2 of the Hague
Regulations, 1907 (3737-PS); and the Prisoner of War
Convention, Geneva, 1929.

The deportation program in the Netherlands was initiated on
20 June 1940, five weeks after the occupation of that
country. The Germans at first deported only the unemployed,
threatening them with curtailment of their dole for refusal.
Thereafter in 1942 measures were taken to draft employed
workmen. Dutch business concerns were combed in "Sauckel-
actions" for available workers, who were forced to register
at the labor offices. Workmen who refused were prosecuted by
the SD, committed to one of the prisoners' camps in the
Netherlands, and eventually put to work in Germany. By the
end of April 1942 the program

                                                  [Page 994]
was in full operation, and not less than 22,000 workers were
deported that month. Many Belgian concerns not considered
essential were closed down to release manpower for
deportation to Germany or for work in Dutch industries
deemed essential to the German war effort. New measures of a
drastic nature were inaugurated in the spring of 1943. All
males between 18 and 35 were forced to register for
"arbeitseinsatz" (war effort), which was synonymous with
deportation. As time elapsed and the German military
situation deteriorated, the measures taken became
increasingly more ruthless. Whole sections of a town were
lined off and people were seized in the streets or in their
homes and transported to Germany. A total of approximately
431,500 Netherlands workers were deported to. Germany and
other foreign countries. (1726-PS)

Illustrative of the participation of Seyss-Inquart in the
slave labor program are four proclamations which he caused
to be issued, calling up Dutch civilians between certain
ages for forced labor and threatening them with shooting in
the case of noncompliance. (1162-PS)

Sauckel, General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of
Labor, on 5 October 1945 disclosed, under oath, the part
played by Seyss-Inquart in the forced recruitment of Dutch
workers for German war production. The following is an
excerpt from an interrogation of Sauckel:

     "Q. For a moment I want to turn our attention to
     Holland. It is my understanding that the quotas for the
     workers for Holland were agreed upon, and then the
     numbers given to the Reichskommissar Seyss-Inquart to
     fulfill. Isn't that correct?
     "A. Yes, that is correct.
     "Q. After the quota was given to Seyss-Inquart, it was
     his mission to fulfill it with the aid of your
     representatives, was it not?
     "A. Yes. This was the only possible thing for me to do
     and the same applied to the other countries." (3722-PS)

Seyss-Inquart has himself acknowledged under oath his active
participation in deporting 250,000 Netherlands workmen
between the ages of 17 and 42 toward the end of 1944,
although he attempted to shift responsibility by stating
that the order was issued by the Wehrmacht and that "I can't
intervene against the Wehrmacht." However, he admitted:

     "I didn't oppose it. I helped to carry it out in my
     province." (Transcript of Interrogation of Seyss-
     Inquart, afternoon session, 18 September 1945, pp. 19-

                                                  [Page 995]
(g) Murder and treatment of civilian population, including
killing of hostages. Seyss-Inquart, in his capacity as Reich
Commissar for the Occupied Netherlands Territory, authorized
and directed the exaction of collective penalties, murder,
and illtreatment of the civilian population of the
Netherlands, and the killing of hostages. All these actions
constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity within
the meaning of Article 6 (b) and (c) of the Charter, and
violated (i) the Hague Regulations, 1907, Articles 46 and
50, (ii) the laws and customs of war, (iii) the general
principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws
of all civilized nations and (iv) the internal penal laws of

Public utterances of Seyss-Inquart reveal his determination
to resort to ruthless measures for the purpose of
intimidating and repressing the civilian population. In a
speech commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Germany's
coming into power, at Weert on 29 January 1943, before
workers and trades of the NSDAP, he spoke in part as

     "I will give my instructions. They must be executed by
     all. In the present situation a refusal to execute such
     instructions could be regarded only as sabotage. It is
     also clear, now more than ever, that every resistance
     which is directed against this fight for existence must
     be suppressed. Some time ago the representatives of the
     churches had written to the Wehrmacht commander and to
     me, and they presented their conception against the
     execution of death sentences which the Wehrmacht
     commanders announced in the meantime. To this I can
     only say the following: The moment in which our men,
     fathers and sons with iron determination look towards
     their fate in the east and unflinchingly and
     steadfastly perform their highest pledge, it is
     unbearable to tolerate conspiracies whose goal is to
     weaken the rear of this eastern front. Whoever dares
     this must be annihilated. We must be severe and become
     even more severe against our opponents, this is the
     command of a relentless sequence of events, and for us
     perhaps humanly hard, but our holy duty. We remain
     human because we do not torture our opponents, we must
     remain firm by annihilating them." (3430-PS)

Endorsement of the policy of holding innocent persons
responsible for the misconduct of others beyond their
control is implicit in the following public statement of
Seyss-Inquart made at Weert on

     "I have given orders to suppress all appearances with a
                                                  [Page 996]
     vereness corresponding to the brutality of the crime.
     If in connection with these measures Dutch citizens are
     affected and have to undergo difficulties and
     limitations of special nature, then they have to seek
     the cause therefor solely in these eruptions of the
     anarchistic mental attitude of a few culprits and he
     just-as-criminal-tolerance or apathy within their own
     circles." (3430-PS)

Evidence of Seyss-Inquart's application of this doctrine of
vicarious responsibility is contained in a poster signed by
him and warning the Dutch population to expect reprisals in
the event of sabotage. The poster reads as follows:

     "I consider all inhabitants responsible for the
     destruction or damage to railroad installations,
     waterways with their installations, telephone cables
     and Post Offices occurring within the boundaries of
     their locality.
     "The population of such localities may therefore expect
     reprisals in the form of seizure of property and
     destruction of houses or groups of houses.
     "I therefore advise the population to protect the means
     of transportation and communications by means of
     patrols or other appropriate measures.
     "The Hague 24 September 1944
     "/s/ Seyss-Inquart
     "The Reich Commissar for the Occupied Netherlands
     Territories." (1163-PS)

Another poster issued by the Superior SS and Police Chief
publicized with remarkable candor the fact that 12
Netherlanders were executed "independent of further
investigation" as reprisals for the killing of two Germans.
That poster reads as follows:

     "The Superior SS and Police Chief gives notice that on
     20 November 1944 Schutzgruppenmann Janssen and on 13
     December 1944 the Senior Officer Candidate Guse were
     shot in the back by criminal Netherlands elements. Both
     were robbed of their pistols.
     "Independent of further investigation of the
     perpetrators, two houses. were blasted and 12
     Netherlanders were executed at the place of one of the
     crimes as reprisals.
                    "The Hague, 16 December 1944." (1163-PS)

In an interrogation under oath Seyss-Inquart has
acknowledged that Netherlanders were shot as hostages
without trial. While he sought to shift responsibility to
the SS he admitted that upon one

                                                  [Page 997]
occasion the SS called on him to furnish 50 hostages and
that he gave five instead, all of whom were shot.
(Transcript of interrogation of Seyss-Inquart, 18 September
1945, p. 20)

Other crimes against humanity are documented in the
statement of the Dutch Government. The vastness of the scale
of the commission of such crimes and the necessary notoriety
thereof [| clearly implicate Seyss-Inquart as the
responsible civil head of the German Government in the
Netherlands territory. (1726-PS)

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