The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
December 3 to December 14, 1945

Sixteenth Day: Monday, 10th December, 1945
(Part 5 of 9)

[MR. ALDERMAN continues]

[Page 256]

In announcing this act of perfidy to the world, Hitler issued a proclamation on the day of the attack. The text of this statement has already been brought to the Tribunal's attention by my British colleagues, and I should like merely to refer to it in passing here by quoting therefrom this one sentence.
"I have therefore today decided to give the fate of Europe again into the hands of our soldiers."
This announcement told the world that the die had been cast-the plans darkly conceived almost a full year before, and secretly and continuously developed since then, had now been brought to fruition. These conspirators, having carefully and completely prepared this war of aggression, now proceeded to initiate and wage it.

That brings us to the consideration of the motives for the attack. Before going into the positive reasons, I should like first to point out that not only was Germany bound by a solemn covenant not to attack the U.S.S.R., but that throughout the entire period from August, 1939, to the invasion in 1941, the Soviet Union was faithful to its agreements with Germany and displayed no aggressive intentions toward territories of the German Reich. General Thomas, for example, points out in his draft of "Basic Facts for a History of the German War and Armaments Economy," which is our Document 23S3-PS and which I put in evidence earlier as Exhibit USA 3S, that in so far as the German-Soviet trade agreement of 11th August, 1939, was concerned, the Soviets carried out their deliveries thereunder up to the very end.

Thomas points out that deliveries by the Soviets were usually made quickly and well, and since the food and raw materials being thus delivered were considered essential to the German economy, efforts were made to keep up their side too. However, as preparations for the campaign proceeded, the Nazis cared less about complying with their obligations under that agreement. At Page 315 of his book, Thomas says, and I read from Page 9 of the English translation:

"Later on the urgency of the Russian deliveries diminished, as preparations for the campaign in the East were already under way." - By that, clearly he speaks of German deliveries to Russia, not as to what the Russians delivered.

"The Russians carried out their deliveries as planned, right up to the start of the attack; even during the last few days, transports of india-rubber from the Far East were completed by Express transit trains."

Again at Page 404, this author brings this point out even more forcefully when he states, and I shall read the first paragraph on Page 14 of the English translation:
"In addition to the Italian negotiations, until June, 1941, the negotiations with Russia were accorded a great deal of attention. The Fuehrer issued the directive that, in order to camouflage-"
THE PRESIDENT: Are you reading now from a document?


THE PRESIDENT: Where is that?

MR. ALDERMAN : It is Page 14 of the English translation of these notes.


"The Fuehrer issued the directive that, in order to camouflage German troop movements, the orders Russia has placed in Germany must be

[Page 257]

filled as promptly as possible. Since the Russians only made grain deliveries when the Germans delivered orders placed by the Russians, and since, in the case of the individual firms, these deliveries to Russia made it impossible for them to fill orders for the German Armed Forces, it was necessary for the Wi Rue office to enter into numerous individual negotiations with German firms in order to co-ordinate Russian orders with those of the Germans from the standpoint of priority. In accordance with the wishes of the Foreign Office, German industry was instructed to accept all Russian orders, even if it were impossible to fill them within the limits of the time set for manufacture and delivery. Since in May especially large deliveries had to be made to the Navy, the firms were instructed to allow the equipment to go through the Russian Acceptance Commission, then, however, to make such a detour during its transportation as to make it impossible for it to be delivered over the frontier prior to the beginning of the German attack."
Not only was the Soviet Union faithful to the treaty obligations with Germany, but the evidence shows that she had no aggressive intentions toward any German territory. Our Document C-170, which is in evidence as Exhibit USA 136, is, as I have previously stated, a file on Russo-German relations found in the files of the Naval High Command covering the entire period from the treaty to the attack. The entries in this file demonstrate conclusively the point I have just stated. It will, I think, be sufficient to read to the Tribunal a few entries which include reports from the German Ambassador in Moscow as late as June, 1941. 1 shall read the first entry "165" on Page 21 of the English translation. That is 4th June.
"Outwardly, no change in the relationship Germany-Russia; Russian deliveries continue to full satisfaction. Russian government is endeavouring to do everything to prevent a conflict with Germany."
In entry 167, on Page 22 of the English translation, it says:
"6th June. Ambassador in Moscow reports: Russia will only fight if attacked by Germany. Situation is considered in Moscow much more serious than before. All military preparations have been made quietly - as far as can be recognised, only defensive. Russian policy still strives as before to maintain the best possible relationship to Germany."
The next one is entry 169, also on Page 22, the date, 7th June.
"From the report of the Ambassador in Moscow: All observations show that Stalin and Molotov, who alone are responsible for Russian foreign policy, are doing everything to avoid a conflict with Germany. The entire behaviour of the Government, as well as the attitude of the Press, which reports all events concerning Germany in a factual, indisputable manner, supports this view. The loyal fulfilment of the economic treaty with Germany proves the same thing". - Now, that is the German Ambassador talking to you.
The reasons, therefore, which led to the attack on the Soviet Union could not have been self-defence or treaty breaches. In truth, no doubt, as has been necessarily implied from the materials presented on planning and preparation, more than one motive entered into the decision of the Nazi conspirators to launch their aggression against the U.S.S.R. All of them, however, appear to blend into one grand motive of Nazi policy. The pattern into which these various reasons impelling the decision to attack may be said to fall, is the traditional Nazi ambition for expansion to the East at the

[Page 258]

expense of the U.S.S.R. This Nazi version of an earlier Imperial imperative the "Drang nach Osten" or the drive to the East, had been a cardinal principle of the Nazi Party almost since its birth, and rested on the twin bases of political strategy and economic aggrandisement. Politically such action meant the elimination of the powerful country to the East, which might constitute a threat to German ambitions and acquisition of "Lebensraum", while on the economic side, it offered magnificent opportunities for the plunder of vast quantities of food, raw materials and other supplies, going far beyond any legitimate exploitation under the Geneva Convention principles for military purpose. Undoubtedly the demands of the German War economy for food and raw material served to revive the attractiveness of the economic side of this theory, while the difficulties Germany was experiencing in defeating England reaffirmed for the Nazi conspirators the temporarily forgotten Nazi political imperative of eliminating, as a political factor, their one formidable opponent on the continent.

As early as 1923, Hitler outlined this theory in some detail in Mein Kampf, where he stated - and I quote from Page 641 of the Houghton Mifflin English edition - as follows:-

"There are two reasons which induce me to submit to a special examination the relation of Germany to Russia:

1. Here perhaps we are dealing with the most decisive concern of all German foreign affairs; and

2. This question is also the touchstone for the political capacity of the young National Socialist movement to think clearly and to act correctly."

And again at Page 654 of the same edition:-
"And so we National Socialists consciously draw a line beneath the foreign policy tendency of our pre-war period. We take up where we broke off 600 years ago. We stop the endless German movement to the South and West, and turn our gaze toward the land in the East. At long last we break off the colonial and commercial policy of the pre-war period and shift to the soil policy of the future.

If we speak of soil in Europe today, we can primarily have in mind only Russia and her vassal border States."

The political portion of this economy or purpose is clearly reflected in the stated purposes of the organisation which the defendant Rosenberg set up to administer the occupied Eastern territories. I have already discussed this material and need not repeat it now. In a speech, however, which he delivered, two days before the attack, to the people most interested in the problem of the East, Rosenberg re-stated, in his usual somewhat mystic fashion, the political basis for the campaign and its inter- relationship with the economic goal. I should like to read a short extract from that speech, which is Document 1058-PS, and which I now offer in evidence as Exhibit USA 147. The part I read is from Page 9 of the German text:-
"The job of feeding the German people stands, this year, without a doubt, at the top of the list of Germany's claims on the East; and here the Southern territories and the Northern Caucasus will have to serve as a balance for the feeding of the German people. We see absolutely no reason for any obligation on our part to feed also the Russian people with the products of that surplus territory. We know of course that this is a harsh necessity, bare of any feelings. A very extensive evacuation

[Page 259]

will be necessary, without any doubt, and it is sure that the future will hold very hard years in store for the Russians. A later decision will have to determine to what extent industries can still be maintained there (wagon factories, etc.). The consideration and execution of this policy in the Russian area proper, is for the German Reich and its future, a tremendous and by no means negative task, as might appear, if one takes only the harsh necessity of the evacuation into consideration. The conversion of Russian dynamics towards the East is a task which requires the strongest characters. Perhaps this decision will also be approved by a coming Russia later, not in 30 but maybe in a 100 years."
As I have indicated, the failure of the Nazi conspirators to defeat Great Britain had served to further strengthen them in their belief in the political necessity of eliminating the Soviet Union as a European factor, before Germany could completely achieve her role as the master of Europe.

The economic motive for the aggression was brought out clearly in our discussion of the organisation set up under Goering and General Thomas, to carry out the economic exploitation of the territories they occupied. The purely materialistic basis for the attack was unmistakable, and if any doubt existed that at least one of the main purposes of the invasion was to steal the food and raw material needed for the Nazi war machine regardless of the horrible consequences such robbery would entail, that doubt is dispelled by Document 2718-PS which I introduced earlier during my opening statement as Exhibit USA 32, showing clear and conscious recognition that these Nazi plans would no doubt result in starving to death millions of people by robbing them of their food.

Along the similar line, on 20th June, 1941, General Thomas wrote a memorandum in which he stated that General Keitel had confirmed to him Hitler's present conception of the German economic policy concerning raw material. This policy expressed the almost unbelievably heartless theory that less manpower would be used in the conquest of sources of raw materials than would be necessary to produce synthetics in lieu of such raw materials. This is our Document 1456-PS, and I offer it in evidence as Exhibit USA 1481 should like to read the first two paragraphs.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we better do that after the adjournment.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

THE PRESIDENT: I understand that the defendant Kaltenbrunner is now in Court. Will you stand up, please. (Whereupon the defendant Kaltenbrunner stands up in the defendants' box.)

THE PRESIDENT: In accordance with Article 24 of the Charter, you must now plead either guilty or not guilty.

THE DEFENDANT KALTENBRUNNER: I do not believe that I have made myself guilty.

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please this Tribunal. I have just put into evidence Document 1456-PS as Exhibit USA 148. I now read from this document on Page 1:-

"The following is a new conception of the Fuehrer, which Minister Todt has explained to me and which has been confirmed later on by Field Marshal Keitel: Paragraph 1. The course of the war shows that we went too far in our autarkical endeavours. It is impossible to try and manufacture everything we lack by synthetic procedures, or

[Page 260]

other measures. For instance, it is impossible to develop our motor fuel economy to a point where we can entirely depend on it. All these autarkical attempts ask for a tremendous amount of manpower, and it is simply impossible to provide it. One has to choose. another way. What one does not have, but needs, one must conquer. The commitment of men which is necessary one single time, will not be as great as the one that is currently needed for the running of the synthetic, factories in question. The aim must also be to secure all territories which are of special interest to us for the war economy, by conquering them. At the time the Four Year Plan was established, I issued a statement where I made it clear that a completely autarkical economy is impossible for us, because the need of men will be too great. Nevertheless, my solution was always to provide the necessary reserves for depleted stocks, and secure their delivery in war-time through economic alliances."
On this macabre note I come to the end of the story of this aggression. We have seen the Nazi conspirators as they planned, prepared, and finally initiated their wanton attack upon the Soviet Union. Others will carry on the tale and describe the horrible manner in which they waged this war of aggression, and the countless crimes they committed in its wake. When I consider the solemn pledge of non-aggression, the base and sinister motives involved, the months of secret planning and preparation, and the unbelievable suffering intentionally and deliberately wrought - when I consider all of this, I feel fully justified in saying that never before - and, God helping us, never again - in the history of relations between sovereign nations, has a blacker chapter been written than the one which tells of the Nazi conspirators' unprovoked invasion of the territory of the Soviet Union. For those responsible - and they are here before you, the defendants in this case - it might be just to let the punishment fit the crime.

I now turn to the final phase of the detailed presentation of the aggressive war case, German collaboration with Italy and Japan, and aggressive war against the United States. The relevant portions of the Indictment are set forth in Subsection 7 under Section IV (F) of Count 1, appearing at Pages 9 and 10 of the printed English text of the Indictment. The materials relating to this unholy alliance of the three Fascist powers, and to the aggressive war against the United States, have been gathered together in a document book, marked with the letter "Q", which I now submit to the Tribunal.

Before moving to the subject matter of this tripartite collaboration, I should like to invite the attention of the Tribunal to the significance of this phase. In the course of the joint presentation by the British and American prosecution in the past several days, we have seen the swastika carried forward by force of arms from a tightly controlled and remilitarised Germany to the four corners of Europe. The elements of a conspiracy which I am now about. to discuss, project the Nazi plan upon a universal screen, involving the "Older World" of Asia, and the "New World" of the United States of America. As a result, the wars of aggression that were planned in Berlin, and launched across the frontiers of Poland, ended some six years later, almost to the day, in surrender observed upon a United States battleship, riding at anchor in the Bay of Tokyo.

[Page 261]

The first formal alliance between Hitler's Germany and the Japanese Government was the Anti-Comintern Pact signed in Berlin on 25th November, 1936. This agreement, on its face, was directed against the activities of the Communist International. It was subsequently adhered to by Italy on 6th November, 1937.

I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of these official State documents, in accordance with Article 21 of the Charter. The German text of these treaties - the original German-Japanese Anti- Comintern Pact, and the subsequent Protocol of Adherence by Italy - are to be found in Volumes 4 and 5 of the "Dokumente der Deutschen Politik ", respectively. The English translation of the German-Japanese Anti-Comintern Pact of 25th November, 1936, is contained in our Document 2508-PS; the English translation of the Protocol of Adherence by Italy of 6th November, 1937, is contained in our Document 2506-PS. Both of these documents are included in the document books which have just been handed up to the Tribunal.

It is an interesting fact, especially in light of the evidence I shall submit regarding the defendant Ribbentrop's active participation in collaboration with the Japanese, that it was he who signed the Anti-Comintern Pact for Germany, at Berlin, even though at that time, November, 1936, he was not the German Foreign Minister, but simply Hitler's Special Ambassador Plenipotentiary.

On 27th September, 1940, some four years after the Anti-Comintern Pact was signed, and one year after the initiation of war in Europe, the German, Italian and Japanese Governments signed another pact at Berlin, a ten-year military-economic alliance. Again I note that the defendant Ribbentrop signed for Germany, this time in his capacity as Foreign. Minister. The official German text of this pact, as well as the Japanese and Italian texts, together with an English translation, is contained in our Document 2643-PS, which has been certified by the signature and seal of the United States Secretary of State. I now offer in evidence Document 2643-PS as Exhibit USA 149.

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