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

Nineteenth Day: Thursday, 13th December, 1945
(Part 5 of 10)

[MR. DODD continues]

[Page 366]

In the so-called "Eastern territories" these victims were apprehended for extermination in concentration camps without any charges having been made against them. In the Eastern occupied territories charges seemed to have been made against some of the victims. Some of the charges which the Nazi conspirators considered sufficient basis for confinement in the concentration camps are shown by reference to Document L-215, which becomes Exhibit USA 243. This document is the summary of the file, the dossier, of 25 persons arrested in Luxembourg for commitment to various concentration camps and sets forth the charges made against each person. Beginning with the paragraph after the name "Henricy", at the bottom of the first page, and quoting:-
"The name: Henricy. Charge: For associating with members of illegal resistance movements and making money for them, violating legal foreign exchange rates, for harming the interests of the Reich and being expected in the future to disobey official administrative regulations and act as an enemy of the Reich. Place of confinement: Natzweiler."
Next comes the name of "Krier" and the charge:-
"For being responsible for advanced sabotage of labour and causing fear because of his political and criminal past. Freedom would only further his anti-social urge. Place of confinement: Buchenwald."
Passing to the middle of Page 2, after the name "Monti":-
"Charge: For being strongly suspected of aiding desertion. Place of confinement: Sachsenhausen."

[Page 367]

Next, after the name "Junker":-
"Charge: Because as a relative of a deserter he is expected to endanger the interests of the German Reich if allowed to go free. Place of confinement: Sachsenhausen."
"Jaeger" is the next name and the charge against Jaeger, quoting:-
"Because as a relative of a deserter he is expected to take advantage of every occasion to harm the German Reich. Place of confinement: Sachsenhausen."
And down to the name "Ludwig" and the charge against Ludwig:-
"For being strongly suspected of aiding desertion. Place of confinement: Dachau."
Not only civilians of the occupied countries but also prisoners of war were subjected to the horrors and the brutality of the concentration camps; and we refer to Document 1165-PS, Exhibit USA 244. This document is a memorandum to all officers of the State Police signed by Muller, the Chief of the Gestapo, dated 9th November, 1941. The memorandum has the revealing title of, and I quote, "Transportation of Russian Prisoners of War, Destined for Execution, into the Concentration Camps."

I wish to quote also from the body of this memorandum which is found on Page 2 of the English translation and I quote directly:-

"The commandants of the concentration camps are complaining that 5 to 10 per cent. of the Soviet Russians destined for execution are arriving in the camps dead or half dead. Therefore the impression has arisen that the Stalags are getting rid of such prisoners in this way.

It was particularly noted that, when marching, for example, from the railroad station to the camp, a rather large number of prisoners of war collapsed on the way from exhaustion, either dead or half dead, and had to be picked up by a truck following the convoy.

It cannot be prevented that the German people take notice of these occurrences.

Even if the transportation to the camps is generally taken care of by the Wehrmacht, the population will attribute this situation to the S.S.

In order to prevent, if possible, similar occurrences in the future, I therefore order that, effective from today on, Soviet Russians, declared definitely suspect and obviously marked for death (for example with typhus) and therefore not able to withstand the exertions of even a short march on foot, shall in the future, as a matter of basic principle, be excluded from the transport into the concentration camps for execution."

More evidence of the confinement of Russian prisoners of war in concentration camps is found in an official report of the investigation of the Flossenburg concentration camp by the Headquarters of the United States Third Army, the Judge Advocate Section, and particularly the War Crimes Branch, under the date of 21st June, 1945. It is our Document 2309- PS, and is Exhibit USA 245. At the bottom of Page 2 of the English text the last two sentences of that last paragraph say, and I quote:-
"In 1941 an additional stockade was added at the Flossenburg Camp to hold 2,000 Russian prisoners. Of these 2,000 prisoners only 102 survived."
Soviet prisoners of war found their allies in the concentration camps too and at Page 4 of this same Document 2309-PS it will show, particularly Paragraph 5, on Page 4, and I quote it:-

[Page 368]

"The victims of Flossenburg included among them Russian civilians and prisoners of war, German nationals, Italians, Belgians, Poles, Czechs, Hungarians, British and American prisoners of war. No practical means was available to complete a list of victims of this camp; however, since the foundation of the Camp in 1938 until the day of liberation it is estimated that more than 29,000 inmates died."
Escaped prisoners of war were sent to concentration camps by the conspirators, and these camps were specially set up as extermination centres ; and we refer to Document 1650-PS, being Exhibit USA 246. This document is a communication from the Secret State Police of Cologne and it is dated the 4th March, 1944. At the very top of the English text it says "To be transmitted in secret - to be handled as a secret Government matter." In the third paragraph, quoting:-
"Concerns: Measures to be taken against captured escaped prisoners of war who are officers or non-working non- commissioned officers, except British and American prisoners of war. The Supreme Command of the Army has ordered as follows:
1. Every captured escaped prisoner of war who is an officer or a non-working non-commissioned officer, except British and American prisoners of war, is to be turned over to the Chief of the Security Police and of the Security Service under the classification 'Step III', regardless of whether the escape occurred during a transport, whether it was a mass escape or an individual one.

2. Since the transfer of the prisoners of war to the Security Police and Security Service must not become officially known to the outside under any circumstances, other prisoners of war must by no means be informed of the capture. The captured prisoners are to be reported to the Army Information Bureau as 'escaped and not captured'. Their mail is to be handled accordingly. Inquiries of representatives of the Protective Power of the International Red Cross and of other aid societies will be given the same answer."

The same communication carried a copy of an order of S.S. General Muller, acting for the Chief of the Security Police and S.D., directing the Gestapo to transport escaped prisoners directly to Mauthausen; and I quote the first two paragraphs of Muller's order, which begins on the bottom of Page 1 and runs over to Page 2 of the English text. Quoting:-
"The State Police Directorates will accept the captured escaped officer prisoners of war from the prisoner of war camp commandants and will transport them to the concentration camp Mauthausen following the procedure previously used, unless the circumstances render a special transport imperative. The prisoners of war are to be put in irons on the transport - not on the station if it is subject to view by the public. The camp commandant at Mauthausen is to be notified that the transfer occurs within the scope of the action 'Kugel'. The State Police Directorates will submit semi-yearly reports on these transfers giving merely the figures, the first report being due on 5th July, 1944."
Passing the next three sentences, we come to this line:-
"For the sake of secrecy the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces

[Page 369]

has been requested to inform the prisoner of war camps to turn the captured prisoners over to the local State Police Office and not to send them directly to Mauthausen."
It is no coincidence that the literal translation for the German word 'Kugel' is the English word 'bullet', since Mauthausen, where the escaped prisoners were sent, was an extermination centre.

Nazi conquest was marked by the establishment of concentration camps over all Europe. In this connection we refer to Document R-129. It is a report on the location of concentration camps, signed by Pohl, who was an S.S. General in charge of concentration camp labour policies. Document R- 129 is Exhibit USA 217.

I wish to refer particularly to Section 1, Paragraphs 1 and 2 of this document, which are found on Page 1 of the English translation. It is addressed to the Reichsfuehrer S.S. and bears the stamp "Secret":-

"Reichsfuehrer: Today I report about the present situation of the concentration camps and about measures I have taken in order to carry out your order of the 3rd March, 1942:

1. At the outbreak of war there existed the following concentration camps:

(a) Dachau-1939, 4,000 prisoners; today, 8,000.

(b) Sachsenhausen-1939, 6,500 prisoners; today, 10,000.

(c) Buchenwald-1939, 5,300 prisoners; today, 9,000.

(d) Mauthausen-1939, 1,500 prisoners; today, 5,500.

(e) Flossenburg-1939, 1,600 prisoners; today, 4,700.

(f) Ravensbruek-1939, 2,500 prisoners; today, 7,500."

And then it goes on to say in Paragraph 2, quoting:
"In the years 1940 to 1942 nine further camps were erected:
(a) Auschwitz.
(b) Neuengamme.
(c) Guson.
(d) Natzweiter.
(e) Gross-Rosen.
(f) Lublin.
(g) Niederhagen.
(h) Stutthof.
(i) Arbeitsdorf."
In addition to the camps in the occupied territory mentioned in this Document R-129, from which I have just read these names and figures, there were many, many others. I refer to the official report by the United States Third Army Headquarters, to which we have already made reference, Document 2309-PS, on Page 2 in the English text, Section IV, Paragraph 4, quoting:_
"Concentration Camp Flossenburg was founded in 1938 as a camp for political prisoners. Construction was commenced on the camp in 1938 and it was not until April, 1940, that the first transport of prisoners was received. From this time on prisoners began to flow steadily into the camp. (Exhibit B-1.) Flossenburg was the mother camp and under its direct control and jurisdiction were 47 satellite camps or outer-commandos for male prisoners and 27 camps for female workers. To these outer- commandos were supplied the necessary prisoners for the various work projects undertaken.

[Page 370]

Of all these outer-commandos Hersbruck and Leitmeritz (in Czechoslovakia), Oberstaubling, Mulsen and Sall, located on the Danube, were considered to be the worst."
I do not wish to take the time of the Tribunal to discuss each of the Nazi concentration camps which dotted the map of Europe. We feel that the widespread use of these camps is commonly known and notorious. We do, however, wish to invite the Tribunal's attention to a chart which we have had prepared. The solid black line marks the boundary of Germany after the "Anschluss", and we invite the Tribunal's attention to the fact that the majority of the camps shown on the chart are located within the territorial limits of Germany itself. They are the red spots, of course, on the map. In the centre of Germany there is the Buchenwald camp located near the city of Weimar, and at the extreme bottom of the chart there is Dachau, several miles outside Munich. At the top of the chart are Neuengamme and Bergen-Belsen, located near Hamburg. To the left is the Niederhagen camp in the Ruhr Valley. In the upper right there are a number of camps near Berlin, one named Sachsenhausen (formerly Oranienburg, which was one of the first camps established after the Nazis came into power). Near to that is the camp of Ravensbruck, which was used exclusively for women. Some of the most notorious camps were indeed located outside Germany. Mauthausen was in Austria. In Poland was the infamous Auschwitz; and to the left of the chart is a camp called Hertogenbosch which was located in Holland, as the chart shows; and below it is Natzweiler, located in France.

The camps were established in networks, and it may be observed that surrounding each of the major camps-the larger red dots - is a group of satellite camps, and the names of the principal camps, the most notorious camps, at least, are above the map and below it on the chart; and those names, for most people, symbolise the Nazi system of concentration camps as they have become known to the world since May or a little later in 1945.

I should like to direct your attention briefly to the treatment which was meted out in these camps. The motion picture to which I have made reference a short time ago and which was shown to the members of this High Tribunal, has disclosed the terrible and savage treatment which was inflicted upon these Allied nationals, prisoners of war and other victims of Nazi terror. Because the moving picture has so well shown the situation, as of the time of its taking at least, I shall confine myself to a very brief discussion of the subject.

The conditions which existed inside these camps were, of course, we say, directly related to the objectives which these Nazi conspirators sought to achieve outside the camps through their employment of terror.

It is truly remarkable, it seems to us, how easily the words "concentration camps" rolled off the lips of these men. How simple all problems became when they could turn to the terror institution of these camps. I refer to Document R- 124, which is already before the Tribunal as Exhibit USA 179. It is again that document covering the minutes of the Central Planning Committee on which the defendant Speer sat, and where the high strategy of the high Nazi armament production was formulated. I do not intend to read from the document again, because I read from it this morning, to illustrate another point, but the Tribunal will recall that it was at this meeting that the defendant Speer and others were discussing the so-called slackers,

[Page 371]

and the conversation had to do with having drastic steps taken against these workers, who were not putting out sufficient work to please their masters. Speer suggested that "there is nothing to be said against the S.S. and Police taking steps and putting those known as slackers into concentration camps," and he used the words "concentration camps ". And he said "Let it happen several times and the news will soon get around."

Words spoken in this fashion, we say, sealed the fate of many victims. As for getting the news around, as suggested by the defendant Speer, this was not left to chance, as we shall presently show.

The deterrent effect of the concentration camps upon the public was a carefully planned thing. To heighten the atmosphere of terror, these camps were shrouded in secrecy. What went on in the barbed wire enclosures was a matter of fearful conjecture in Germany and countries under Nazi control; and this was the policy from the very beginning, when the Nazis first came into power and set up this system of concentration camps. We refer now to Document 778-PS, Exhibit USA 247. This document is an order issued on the 1st October, 1933, by the camp commander of Dachau. The document prescribed a programme of floggings, solitary confinement and executions for the inmates for infractions of the rules.

Among the rules were those prescribing a rigid censorship concerning conditions within the camp ; and I refer to the first page of the English text, paragraph numbered Article 11, and quoting:-

"By virtue of the law on revolutionaries, the following offenders, considered as agitators, will be hanged: anyone who, for the purpose of agitating, does the following in the camp, at work, in the quarters, in the kitchens and workshops, toilets and places of rest: talks politics, holds inciting speeches and meetings, forms cliques, loiters around with others; who, for the purpose of supplying the propaganda of the opposition with atrocity stories, collects true or false information about the concentration camp and its institution, receives such information, buries it, talks about it to others, smuggles it out of the camp into the hands of foreign visitors or others by means of clandestine or other methods, passes it on in writing or orally to released prisoners or prisoners who are placed above them, conceals it in clothing or other articles, throws stones and other objects over the camp wall containing such information, or produces secret documents; who, for the purpose of agitating, climbs on barracks roofs and trees, seeks contact with the outside by giving light or other signals, or induces others to escape or commit a crime, gives them advice to that effect or supports such undertakings in any way whatsoever."

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