The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants

Artur Seyss-Inquart

(Part 12 of 18)

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(2) Poland.

(a) Position and authority. Seyss-Inquart was appointed Deputy Governor General of the Polish Occupied Territory by Hitler's decree of 12 October 1939, which also appointed Hans Frank Governor General of the Polish Occupied Territory. The official title of the government of Poland under the Nazi con-

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spirators was the "General Government" (3147-PS). Prior to his appointment as Deputy Governor General of the Polish Occupied Territory from the early part of September 1939 to 12 October 1939, Seyss-Inquart was Chief of the Civil Administration of South Poland (2910-PS). Seyss-Inquart as Deputy Governor General of the Polish Occupied Territory was second only to the Governor General, Frank. (2283-CC-PS)

The Chief of the Office of the Governor General of the Polish Occupied Territory and the Higher SS and Police Leaders were directly subordinate to the Governor General and his representative. In turn the leaders of the General and Security Police were subordinated to the Higher SS and Police Leaders. (3468-PS)

According to Hans Frank, Seyss-Inquart organized the General Government of Poland. When Seyss-Inquart was about to depart to assume his new duties as Reich Commissar for the Occupied Netherlands, Frank eulogized Seyss-Inquart as follows:

"In the construction of the General-Government, your name will forever take a place of honor as originator of this organization and State system. I express our thanks, Mr. Reichsminister, for your collaboration and for your creative energy in the name of all officers, employees, and laborers, of all SS organizations and the whole police force of the General-Government, and in the name of the District Chiefs, the Gau and city leaders, in the name of all otherwise on the order of the Reich and the Fuehrer her active persons. ***"

During November 1939 Seyss-Inquart made a tour of inspection in Poland. While on this tour he gave lectures to the German officials of the General Government of Poland concerning their duties and German administrative policy in that country. He told these officials that the only principal aim of that policy was to satisfy the interests of the Reich and that they should promote everything of use to the Reich and hamper all that might damage the Reich. He instructed the officials that the German Government must utilize the General Government of Poland for German economic purposes. (2278-PS)

(b) Murder and illtreatment of the civilian population of occupied territories. While Seyss-Inquart was on the aforesaid tour of inspection, a Dr. Lasch, who was a District Governor, reported to Seyss-Inquart that all criminals found in the penitentiaries were shot. The executions, however, were conducted in closed-off wooded areas and not in public. (2278-PS)

In his report concerning his tour of inspection Seyss- Inquart

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stated that the intellectuals of Poland were to a greater part locked up. He also passed on the suggestion made by District Governor Schmidt to use the "moorish" country around Cychov, Poland, as a reservoir for Jews because this measure might have a decimating effect upon the Jewish population of Poland. (2278-PS)

Hans Frank, in his capacity as Governor General of the Polish Occupied Territory, made an official report to Hitler in which he stated that, in the course of time, the German rule had led to a substantial deterioration in the "attitude" of the entire Polish people due to malnutrition, mass arrests, mass shootings, and rigorous methods used to obtain forced labor. In this report it was admitted that before 1939 the food supply of the Polish people was quite adequate to sustain them. (437-PS)

(c) Plunder of public and private property. During the aforesaid tour of inspection Seyss-Inquart ordered the seizure of all soap stocks, and informed the German officials that the seizure of soap and tea was to be regarded as most important. In addition he ordered a marshalling of goods such as oil, salt, manures, etc., in monopolies such as cooperative societies. He also directed that the Polish unemployment fund in a considerable amount be diverted to the repair of damaged buildings. (2278-PS)

Frank in his report to Hitler stated that there had been a confiscation of a great part of Polish estates, together with encroachments upon and confiscation of the assets of industries, trades, professions, and other private property. (437-PS)

(d) Conscription of civilian labor. Seyss-Inquart, as Deputy Governor General of the Polish Occupied Territory, attended most staff meetings held by Frank, the Governor General. Among the subjects discussed and decided upon at those meetings was the conscription and deportation of vast numbers of Polish nationals to the Reich for forced labor. Some of these deportees were employed in instruments of war production in violation of Articles 6, 23h, 46, and 2 of the Hague Regulations 1907, as well as the Prisoner of War Convention (Geneva 1929). On 11 January 1940 one Frauendorfer reported in the presence of Seyss-Inquart that daily transports, each carrying 1,000 workers, were going to the Reich. Thus Seyss-Inquart aided and abetted in these violations.

According to Frank approximately 160,000 agricultural workers and 50,000 industrial workers were conscripted and deported from Poland to the Reich up to and including 21 April 1940. Because the total quota had been fixed at 500,000 and because there were not enough "voluntary enlistments" solution to the prob-

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lem was sought in the use Of coercive measures. Seyss- Inquart participated actively in the discussions on this matter, and thus aided materially in the solution of the problem. (2233-N-PS)

(e) Germanization of occupied territories. The Nazi government of the Polish Occupied Territory was determined to make Poland entirely German. (Evidence of this intention is discussed in Chapter XIII.) In addition, Frank in his report to Hitler reported that there had been an expropriation of property and expulsion of Polish nationals therefrom for German settlements in Poland. (437-PS)

(3) The Netherlands.

(a) Position and authority of Seyss-Inquart. Seyss-Inquart was appointed Reich Commissar for the occupied Netherlands territories by decree of Hitler dated 18 May 1940. This decree made Seyss-Inquart "guardian of the interests of the Reich" and invested him with "supreme civil authority." Seyss-Inquart was made responsible only to Hitler, and empowered to promulgate laws by decree for the occupied Netherlands territories. (1376-PS; 2910-PS)

(b) Abrogation and modification of Netherlands legislation not justified by military necessity. In his capacity as Reich Commissar of the occupied Netherlands territories Seyss-Inquart authorized and directed the abrogation or modification of Netherlands legislation not demanded or justified by military exigency. This action was in violation of Article 43 of the Hague Regulations, 1907.

The acts abolished included Provincial and Municipal Laws. (3340-PS; 3342-PS)

Ordinary criminal laws not in conflict with the permissible objectives of the occupying power were abrogated, suspended, or radically changed. Administrative courts martial were established by decree of Seyss-Inquart as Reich Commissar which empowered the Leader of the Superior SS and the Police and Special Agents appointed by the Reich Commissar to deviate from existing law. This decree also prescribed harsh penalties for misdemeanors, extending from 10 years to life imprisonment, and include the death penalty (i) for participation in "activities likely to disturb or endanger public order and security" and (ii) for intentional violation of the orders of the Reich Commissar. (2111-PS)

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