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

Twentieth Day: Friday, 14th December, 1945
(Part 5 of 9)

[MAJOR WALSH continues]

[Page 417]

The prosecution could offer this Tribunal a wealth of evidence on the total number of Jews who died by Nazi hands, but it is believed that cumulative evidence would not vary the guilt of these defendants.

I do wish, however, to offer one document, a statement, to establish the deaths of 4,000,000 Jews in camps and the deaths Of 2,000,000 Jews at the hands of the State Police in the East, making a total of 6,000,000, Document 2738-PS, Exhibit USA 296. This is a statement - Adolph Eichmann, Chief of the Jewish Section of the Gestapo, is the source of the figures quoted - made by Dr. Wilhelm Hottl, Deputy Group Leader of the Foreign Section of the Security Section, Amt. VI of the R.S.H.A. Dr. Wilhelm Hottl, in affidavit form, made the following statement, and I quote from Page 2:-

"Approximately 4,000,000 Jews had been killed in the various concentration camps, while an additional 2,000,000 met death in other ways, the major part of whom were shot by operational squads of the Security Police during the campaign against Russia."
May I, in conclusion, emphasise that the captured documents in evidence are, almost without exception, from the official sources of the Nazi Party.

THE PRESIDENT: You only read that one statement, but where does the person who made the affidavits get his information from?

MAJOR WALSH: I shall be pleased to read that in there, sir. I made the statement that Eichmann was the source of the information given to Dr. Wilhelm Hottl, one of his assistants, and on Page 1 it says:-

[Page 418]

"According to my knowledge Eichmann was at that time the leader of the Jewish Section of the Gestapo, and in addition he had been ordered by Himmler to get hold of the Jews in all the European countries and to transport them to Germany. Eichmann was then very much impressed with the fact that Roumania had withdrawn from the war in those days. Moreover, he had come to me to get information about the military situation which I received daily from the Hungarian Ministry of War and from the Commander of the Waffen S.S. in Hungary. He expressed his conviction that Germany had lost the war and that he personally had no further chance. He knew that he would be considered one of the main war criminals by the United Nations, since he had millions of Jewish lives on his conscience. I asked him how many that was, to which he answered that, although the number was a great Reich secret, he would tell me since I, as an historian, would be interested, and that he would probably not return anyhow from his command in Roumania. He had, shortly before that, made a report to Himmler, as the latter wanted to know the exact number of Jews who had been killed."
It was on that basis of this information, sir, that I read the following quotation -

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn now.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

THE PRESIDENT: The motion that was made this morning on behalf of the defendant Kaltenbrunner is denied, and the affidavit is admitted and will not be stricken from the record. But the Tribunal wished me to say that it is open to the defendants' counsel, in accordance with the Charter and the Rules, to make a motion, in writing, if they wish to do so, for the attendance of Pfaffenberger for cross- examination and to state in that motion the reasons therefor.

DR. KURT KAUFFMANN (Counsel for defendant Kaltenbrunner): I am here in a similar position. The case in question is that of Pfaffenberger, and I beg that the evidence given by Dr. Hottl, which was incorporated into the record this morning, be stricken from the record for two reasons. As far as I know Dr. Hottl is here in Nuremberg.

THE PRESIDENT: One minute. Do you understand that the Tribunal has just denied the motion that you made this morning?

DR. KAUFFMANN: Yes, I understood that correctly.

THE PRESIDENT: What is your motion now?

DR. KAUFFMANN: I should like to ask that the evidence given by Dr. Hottl be stricken from the record for a reason - and several other reasons depend on it - which is different from the one I gave this morning in the Pfaffenberger case.

As can be seen from the affidavit, Dr. Hottl was interrogated on 26th November; that is but three weeks ago. Moreover, I heard that Dr. Hottl is kept under arrest here in Nuremberg. No delay would result if we ask that this witness be brought before the Court.

This man held a significant position in the S.S. and, therefore, I suggested some time ago, in writing, that he be called as a witness. I am convinced that there is a large amount of important evidence which he can reveal to the Court. Dr. Hottl's disposition is infinitely important. The death of millions of people is involved. His evidence is based in the greater part on

[Page 419]

conclusions drawn by him, and he knew the facts described only from hearsay. I am of the opinion that the case will look entirely different and request that the Tribunal will not direct me later on, after weeks or months, to bring this witness into Court.

MAJOR WALSH: If the Court please: Dr. Hottl's affidavit, Document 2738-PS, was read in part into the record this morning for the sole purpose of showing the approximate number of Jews, according to his estimates that had met death at the hands of the German State. No other portion of his testimony was referred to and the evidence offered was for the sole purpose of establishing his estimate of the number. His position in the Party and in the State, as well as the position of Adolf Eichmann, the source of his information, was also stated for the record.

I believe that Dr. Hottl, if he is desired for any other purpose by the defence, may be called by the defence, but the prosecution had no other purpose in utilising his evidence.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you wish to add anything more?

MAJOR WALSH: That is all I have, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal makes the same ruling in this case as in the case of Pfaffenberger, namely, that the affidavit is admitted in evidence but that it is open to defendants' counsel to make a motion, in writing, for the attendance of the witness for cross-examination and to state in that motion the reasons for it.

MAJOR WALSH: During the morning session the Court requested certain information concerning documents that had been offered and accepted in evidence. I refer to Document 1061- PS, the report "The Warsaw Ghetto Is No More". This report, I am told, was prepared for presentation at a meeting of the S.S. Police Leaders to be held on 18th May, 1943. This is indicated on Page 45 of the translation before the Court.

This document was captured by the Seventh United States Army and delivered by them to the G-2 of the United States Forces in the European theatre. In turn they were delivered to Colonel Storey of the United States Prosecutors' Staff some months ago.

THE PRESIDENT: Major Walsh, I think the Tribunal also wished to know whether you could tell us to whom the report had been made?

MAJOR WALSH: The report, sir, according to the teletypes, the daily teletypes, sir, were addressed to the higher S.S. and Police Fuehrer, S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Police Kruger, or his deputy.


MAJOR WALSH: The Court further inquired about Document L-53 and I have obtained some information concerning this document. This document was captured by T-Force of the Counter Intelligence Corps Detachment No. 220, found among the German records at Weimar, Germany, some time prior to 10th May, 1945.

The Court further inquired concerning this document the meaning of the letters "W.B." I regret that I have been unable to obtain definite information as to the meaning of "W.B." but it has been suggested to me that it might mean West-Bund or Western Ally because it is used in connection with the capture or the destruction of all prisoners, before capture by either the W.B. or the Red Armies, and I presume that it may mean West-Bund.

[Page 420]

The slaughter of the Jews in Europe cannot be expressed in figures alone, for the impact of this slaughter is even more tragic to the future of the Jewish people and mankind. Ancient Jewish communities with their own rich, spiritual, cultural and economic life, bound up for centuries with the life of the nations in which they flourished, have been completely obliterated. The contribution of the Jewish people to civilisation, the arts, the sciences, industry and culture, need not, I am sure, be elaborated before this Tribunal. Their destruction, carried out continuously, deliberately, intentionally and methodically by the Nazis, represents a loss to civilisation of special qualities and abilities that cannot possibly be restored.

I have not attempted to recount the multitudinous and diabolical crimes committed against the Jewish people by the State which these defendants ruled, because, with sober regard for contemporary and historical truth, a detailed description of some of these crimes would transcend the utmost resources of the human faculty of expression. The mind already recoils and shrinks from the acceptance of the incredible facts already related. Rather is it my purpose to elucidate the pattern, the successful and successive stages, the sequence and concurrence of the crimes committed, the predetermined means to a preordained end.

Yet, these cold, stark, brutal facts and figures, drawn largely from the defendants' own sources, and submitted in evidence before this Tribunal defy rebuttal.

From conception to execution, from Party Programme Of 1920 to the gloating declarations of Himmler and defendant Frank in 1943 and 1944, the annihilation of the Jewish people in Europe was man-made - made by the very men sitting in the defendants' box, brought to judgment before this Tribunal.

Before closing, may I acknowledge with appreciation the untiring services of that group of the Staff of the United States Prosecution, through whose painstaking search, analysis and study, this presentation of evidence was made possible, Captain Seymour Krieger, Lt. Brady Bryson, Lt. Frederick Felton, Sgt. Isaac Stone and Mr. Hans Nathan.

COLONEL STOREY: If the Tribunal please, the next presentation, concerning Germanisation and spoliation in occupied countries, will be presented by Captain Sam Harris.

CAPTAIN SAM HARRIS: May the Tribunal please. Documents relating to the Nazi programme of Germanisation and Spoliation have been assembled in a document book bearing the letter "U". These document books are now being distributed for the use of the members of the Tribunal. I ask your Honours to note that the tabs on the side of the document book are numbered 1 to 30. The index sheet at the front of the book keys these numbers to the EC and PS numbers.

For your Honours' convenience we have also numbered the pages of each exhibit in pencil at the upper right-hand corner.

The documents which we shall introduce were collected by Lt. Kenyon, who sits at my right, and by Doctors Derenberg and Jacoby. Without their untiring efforts, this presentation would not have been possible.

Evidence has already been introduced by Mr. Alderman to prove that the defendants conspired to wage aggressive war. It has also been proved that the desire for "Lebensraum" was one of the chief forces motivating the

[Page 421]

conspirators to plan, launch and wage their wars of aggression. We propose, at this time, to present evidence disclosing what the conspirators intended to do with conquered territories, called by them "Lebensraum", after they had succeeded in overpowering the victims of their aggressions.

We have broadly divided this subject into two categories; Germanisation and spoliation. When we speak of plans to Germanise, we mean plans to assimilate conquered territories politically, culturally, socially and economically into the German Reich. Germanisation, we shall demonstrate, meant the obliteration of the former national character of the conquered territories and the extermination of all elements which could not be reconciled with the Nazi ideology. By spoliation, we mean the plunder of public and private property and, in general, the exploitation of the people and natural resources of occupied countries.

We propose, with the permission of your Honours, to introduce at this time, in all, 30 documents. These documents lay bare some of the secret plans of the conspirators, to Germanise, to plunder, to despoil, and, to destroy. They do not, of course, tell the whole story of all the conspirators' plans in this field. In some instances proof of the plan is derived from the acts committed by the conspirators. But these few documents are particularly illuminating with respect to their plans for Poland, Czechoslovakia and Russia, and they indicate the outlines of carefully conceived plans for the rest of Europe. Others who follow will fill in this outline by showing a series of outrages committed on so vast a scale that no doubts will exist that they were committed according to plan.

Poland was, in a sense, the testing ground for the conspirators' theories upon "Lebensraum", and I turn to that country first.

The four Western provinces of Poland were purportedly incorporated into Germany by an order of 8th October, 1939. This order, which was signed by Hitler, Lammers and defendants Goering, Frick and Hess, is set forth in Reichsgesetzblatt, 1939, Part 1, Page 2042, and we ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice thereof. These areas of Poland are frequently referred to in correspondence between the conspirators as "incorporated Eastern territories". The remainder of Poland which was seized by the Nazi invaders was established as the Government General of Poland by an order of Hitler, dated 12th October, 1939. By that same order defendant Hans Frank was named Governor General of the newly created Government General, and defendant Seyss- Inquart was named Deputy Governor General. This order is set forth in Reichsgesetzblatt, 1939, Part 1, Page 2077, and we ask the Tribunal also to take judicial notice of it.

The plans with respect to Poland were rather complicated and I believe that the significance of specific items of proof may be more readily apparent if, in advance of the introduction of documents, I am permitted briefly to indicate the broad pattern of those plans.

We submit that the documents we are about to introduce on Poland show the following:-

First, the conspirators specifically planned to exploit the people and material resources of the Government General of Poland in order to strengthen the Nazi war machine, to impoverish the Government General, and to reduce it to a vassal State. At a later stage plans were

[Page 422]

formulated for creating islands of German settlements in the more fertile regions of the Government General, in order to engulf the native Polish population and accelerate the process of Germanisation.

Secondly, the incorporated area of Poland, which was deemed to be a part of the German Reich, was to be ruthlessly Germanised. To that end, the conspirators planned:

(a) To permit the retention of the productive facilities in the incorporated area, all, of which, of course, would be dedicated to the Nazi war machine.

(b) They planned to deport to the Government General many hundreds of thousands of Jews, members of the Polish intelligentsia, and other non-compliant elements. We shall show that the Jews who, were deported to the Government General were doomed to speedy annihilation. Moreover, since the conspirators felt that members of the Polish intelligentsia could not be Germanised and might serve as a centre of resistance against their New Order, they too were to be eliminated.

(c) They planned to deport all able-bodied Polish workers to Germany for work in the Nazi war machine. This served the two-fold purpose of helping to satisfy the labour requirements of the Nazi war machine and of preventing the propagation of a new generation of Poles. Mr. Dodd has already produced abundant proof on this topic, and I shall do no more than refer to it.

(d) They planned to mould all persons in the incorporated area who were deemed to possess German blood into German subjects, who would religiously adhere to the principles of National Socialism. To that end, the conspirators set up an elaborate racial register. Those who resisted or refused to co-operate in this programme were sent to concentration camps.

(e) They planned to bring thousands of German subjects into the incorporated area for purposes of settlement. Finally, they planned to confiscate the property - particularly the farms - of the Poles, the Jews and all dissident elements. The confiscation of the property of Jews was part of the conspirators' larger programme of extermination of the Jews. Confiscation likewise served three additional purposes: (1) it provided land for the new German settlers and enabled the conspirators to reward their adherents; (2) dispossessed Polish property owners would be shipped to Germany for work in the production of implements of war; and (3) by the separation of Polish farmers from their wives furthered the plan to prevent the growth of a new generation of Poles.

We turn now to the specific items of proof.

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