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 10 of 10)

[MAJOR WALSH continues]

[Page 391]

And on Page 5 of this Document L-18, last half of Paragraph 1, I read:-
"During the removal of the Jews into a certain quarter of the town several sluices were erected at which all the work-shy and asocial Jewish rabble were caught during the screening and treated in a special way.

Owing to the peculiar fact that almost 90 per cent. of artisans working in Galicia were Jews, the task to be solved could be fulfilled only step by step, since an immediate evacuation would not have served the interest of War Economy."

And again, on Page 5, Paragraph 2, the latter part, beginning with "cases were discovered":-
"Cases were discovered where Jews, in order to acquire any certificate of labour, not only renounced all wages, but even paid money themselves. Moreover, the organising of Jews for the benefit of their employers grew to such catastrophical extent, that it was deemed necessary to interfere in the most energetic manner for the benefit of the German name.

Since the Administration showed itself too weak to master this chaos, the S.S. and Police Leader simply took over the entire disposition of labour for Jews. The Jewish labour agencies, which were manned by hundreds of Jews, were dissolved. All certificates of labour given by firms or administrative offices were declared invalid, and the cards given to the Jews by the labour agencies were revalidated by the police offices by stamping them.

In the course of this action, again, thousands of Jews were caught in possession of forged certificates or certificates of labour surreptitiously obtained by all kinds of pretexts. These Jews also were exposed to special treatment."

If the Court please, at this time I would like to arrange for the showing of a very short motion picture, perhaps one of the most unusual exhibits that will be presented during the trial. With the Court's permission I would like to call upon Commander Donovan to assist.

THE PRESIDENT: Need we adjourn for it or not?

MAJOR WALSH: No, sir. The picture itself is very, very short, sir.


COMMANDER DONOVAN: May it please the Tribunal, the United States now offers in evidence Document 3052-PS, Exhibit USA 280, entitled "Original German eight millimetre Film of Atrocities against Jews".

[Page 392]

This is a strip of motion pictures taken, we believe, by a member of the S.S., and captured by the United States military forces in an S.S. barracks near Augsburg, Germany, as described in the affidavits now before the Tribunal.

We have not been able to establish beyond doubt in which area these films were made, but we believe that to be immaterial.

The film offers undeniable evidence, made by Germans themselves, of almost incredible brutality to Jewish people in the custody of the Nazis, including German military units.

It is believed by the prosecution that the scene is the extermination of a ghetto by Gestapo agents, assisted by military units. And, as the other evidence to be presented by the prosecution will indicate, the scene presented to the Tribunal is probably one which occurred a thousand times all over Europe under the Nazi rule of terror.

This film was made on an eight millimetre home camera. We have not wished even to reprint it, and so shall present the original, untouched film captured by our troops. The pictures obviously were taken by an amateur photographer. Because of this, because of the fact that part of it is burned because of the fact that it runs for only one and a- half minutes, and because of the confusion on every hand shown on this film, we do not believe that the Tribunal can properly view the evidence if it is shown only once. We therefore ask the Tribunal's permission to project the film twice as we did before the defence counsel.

This is a silent film. The film has been made available to all defence counsels, and they have a copy of the supporting affidavits, duly translated.

(The film was shown.)

May it please the Tribunal, while the film is being rewound I wish to say that, attached to the affidavits offered in evidence, is a description of every picture shown in this film. And, with the Tribunal's permission, I wish to read a few selections from that at this time, before again projecting the film, in order to direct the Tribunal's attention to certain of the scenes.

Scene 2: A naked girl running across the courtyard.

Scene 3: An older woman being pushed past the camera, and a man in S.S. uniform standing at the right of the scene.

Scene 5: A man with a skull-cap and a woman are manhandled.

Scene 14: A half-naked woman runs out of the crowd.

Scene 15: Another half-naked woman runs through the house.

Scene 16: Two men drag an old man out.

Scene 18: A man in German military uniform, with his back to the camera, watches.

Scene 24: A general shot of the street, showing fallen bodies and naked women running.

Scene 32: A shot of the street, showing five fallen bodies.

Scene 37: A man with a bleeding head is hit again.

Scene 39: A soldier in German military uniform, with a rifle, stands by as a crowd concentrates on a man coming out of the house.

Scene 44: A soldier with a rifle, in German military uniform, walks past a woman clinging to a torn blouse.

Scene 45: A woman is dragged by her hair across the street.

(The film was shown again.)

[Page 393]

We submit to the Tribunal for its permanent records this strip of eight millimetre film.

MAJOR WALSH: It is difficult from this point to follow the thread of chronological order or a topical outline. So numerous are the documents and so appalling the contents that in this brief recital the prosecution will make no effort to itemise the criminal acts. Selected documents, however, will unfold the crimes in full detail.

Before launching a discussion of the means utilised to accomplish the ultimate aim, that is the extermination of the Jewish people, I now turn to that fertile source of evidence, the diary of Hans Frank, then Governor General of Occupied Poland. In a cabinet session on Tuesday, 16th December, 1941, in the Government Building at Cracow, the defendant Frank made a closing address to the session. I offer now in evidence that part of Document 2233D-PS, Exhibit USA 281, identified CV 1941, October to December, and from Page 76, Line 10 to Page 77, Line 33 of the original and of the entire translation before the Court, I quote:

"As far as the Jews are concerned, I want to tell you quite frankly that they must be done away with in one way or another. The Fuehrer said once: 'Should united Jewry again succeed in provoking a world-war, not only will the blood of the nations which have been forced into the war by them, be shed, but the Jew will have found his end in Europe.' I know that many of the measures carried out against the Jews in the Reich at present are being criticised. It is being done intentionally, as is obvious from the reports on the morale, to talk about cruelty, harshness, etc. Before I continue, I want to beg you to agree with me on the following formula: We will on principle have pity on the German people only and nobody else in the whole world. The others, too, had no pity on us. As an old National Socialist I must say this: This war would be only a partial success if the whole of Jewry should survive it, while we had shed our best blood in order to save Europe. My attitude towards the Jews will, therefore, be based only on the expectation that they must disappear. They must be done away with. I have entered into negotiations to have them deported to the East. A great discussion concerning that question will take place in Berlin in January, a discussion to which I am going to delegate the State Secretary, Dr. Buehler. It is to take place in the Reich Security Main Office with S.S. Lt. General Heydrich. A great Jewish migration will begin, in any case.

But what should be done with the Jews? Do you think they will be settled down in the 'Ostland' in villages? This is what we were told in Berlin: Why all this bother? We can do nothing with them either in the 'Ostland' or in the 'Reichskommissariat'. So liquidate them yourselves.

Gentlemen, I must ask you to rid yourselves of all feeling of pity. We must annihilate the Jews, wherever we find them and wherever it is possible, in order to maintain the structure of the Reich as a whole. This will, naturally, be achieved by other methods than those pointed out by Bureau Chief Dr. Hummel. Nor can the Judges of the Special Courts be made responsible for it because of the limitations of the framework of the legal procedure. Such outdated views cannot be applied to such gigantic and unique events. We must find in any case a way which leads to the goal, and my thoughts are working in that direction.

[Page 394]

The Jews represent for us also extraordinarily malignant gluttons. We have now approximately 2,500,000 of them in the Government General, perhaps with the Jewish mixtures and everything that goes with it, 3,500,000 Jews. We cannot shoot or poison those 3,500,000 Jews, but we shall nevertheless be able to take measures which will lead, somehow, to their annihilation, and this will be done in connection with the gigantic measures to be determined in discussions from the Reich. The Government General must become free of Jews, the same as the Reich. Where and how this is to be achieved is a matter for the offices which we must appoint and create here. Their activities will be brought to your attention in due course."
This, if the Tribunal please, is not the planning and scheming of an individual, but is the expression of that official of the German State, the appointed Governor General of Occupied Poland. The methods used to accomplish the annihilation of the Jewish people were varied and, although not subtle, were highly successful.

I have from time to time made reference to certain utterances and actions of the defendant Rosenberg as one of the leaders and policy makers of the Nazi Party and German State. It is perhaps reasonable to assume that the defendant Rosenberg will claim for many of his actions that he pursued them pursuant to superior orders. I have before me, however, a captured document, 001-PS, marked "secret," dated 18th December, 1941, entitled "Documentary Memorandum for the Fuehrer - Concerning: Jewish Possessions in France ", Exhibit USA 282. I dare say that no document before this Tribunal will more clearly show the defendant Rosenberg's personal attitude, his temperament and convictions toward the Jews, than this memorandum, wherein he, in his own initiative, urges plundering and death. I offer in evidence Document 001-PS. The body of the memorandum reads as follows:-

"In compliance with the order of the Fuehrer for protection of Jewish cultural possessions, a great number of Jewish dwellings remained unguarded. Consequently, many furnishings have disappeared because a guard could, naturally, not be posted. In the whole East the administration has found terrible conditions of living quarters, and the chances of procurement are so limited that it is not possible to procure any more. Therefore, I beg the Fuehrer to permit the seizure of all the home furnishings of Jews in Paris, who have fled or will leave shortly, and those of Jews living in all parts of the occupied West, to relieve the shortage of furnishings in the administration in the East.

2. A great number of leading Jews were, after a short examination in Paris, again released. The attempts on the lives of members of the Armed Forces have not stopped; on the contrary they continue. This reveals an unmistakable plan to disrupt the German-French co- operation, to force Germany to retaliate and, with this, evoke a new defence on the part of the French against Germany. I suggest to the Fuehrer that, instead of executing 100 Frenchmen, we substitute 100 Jewish bankers, lawyers, etc. It is the Jews in London and New York who incite the French Communists to commit acts of violence, and it seems only fair that the members of their race should pay for this. It is not the little Jews but the leading Jews in France who should be held responsible. That would tend to awaken the anti-Jewish sentiment.

Signed A. Rosenberg."

[Page 395]

(Dr. Thoma approached the lectern.)

THE PRESIDENT: May I ask you to speak slowly so that your application will come to me through the earphones correctly.

DR. THOMA (Counsel for defendant Rosenberg): I request to take this opportunity, at a moment when the prosecutor has presented extensive documentary evidence against my client, Rosenberg, to voice an objection to Document 212-PS, Exhibit USA 272. The prosecutor claims that this document was an instruction by the Minister for the East. It begins with the words -

THE PRESIDENT: None of that has come through on the earphones. I do not understand you. You had better begin again.

DR. THOMA: The prosecutor presented a short while ago Document 212-PS, Exhibit USA 272, claiming its contents to be instructions given by the Minister for the East about the treatment of Jews. In this document he is supposed to have given instructions that violations of German regulations, especially violations of the compulsory labour laws, could only be punished by death in the case of Jews. This document did not originate with the defendant Rosenberg; also I do not consider it relevant -

THE PRESIDENT: More slowly, please.

DR. THOMA: This document did not originate with the defendant Rosenberg, It bears neither date nor address nor his signature. I, therefore, object to the assumption that this document originated with the defendant Rosenberg.

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. I do not think that counsel for the prosecution said that the Document 212-PS, emanated from Rosenberg. I did not so understand him.

DR. THOMA: I understood him to say that it was an instruction given by the Minister for the East. If I am not mistaken, he also said it was dated April, 1941. At that time there was no Ministry for the East. Rosenberg was only named Minister for the East in July, 1941.

THE PRESIDENT: I will ask the counsel for the prosecution.

MAJOR WALSH: It is my understanding, sir, that that Document 212-PS, was taken from the captured files of Rosenberg.

DR. THOMA: That is true, it was found among the papers of the defendant Rosenberg; the defendant Rosenberg claims, however, that he has never seen this document, that he knows nothing about it and that it has never passed through his hands.

THE PRESIDENT: Rosenberg, when he is called as a witness, or when you appear to speak for him, will be able to say that he has never seen the document before. All that counsel for the prosecution has said - and it appears to be true - is that the document was found in Rosenberg's file. You can say or prove by Rosenberg's evidence when you call Rosenberg - if you do call him - that he never saw the document. Do you understand?


THE PRESIDENT: It is 5 o'clock now, so we will adjourn.

(The Tribunal adjourned to 1000 hours on 14th December, 1945.)

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.