The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Twenty-First Day: Monday, 17th December, 1945
(Part 9 of 16)

[COLONEL STOREY continues]

The power of Hoheitstraeger to call upon other Party formations.

The Hoheitstraeger among the Leadership Corps were entitled to call upon and utilise the various Party formations as necessary for the execution of the Nazi Party policies.

The Party Manual provides with respect to the power and authority of the Hoheitstraeger to requisition the services of the S.A.; and I quote from Page 11 of this same Document 1893-PS:--

"The Hoheitstraeger is responsible for the entire political appearance of the Movement within this zone. The S.A. leader of that zone is tied to the directives of the Hoheitstraeger in that respect. The Hoheitstraeger is the ranking representative of the Party to include all organisations within his zone. He may requisition the S.A. located within his zone from the respective S.A. leaders if they are needed for the execution of a political mission. The Hoheitstraeger will then assign the mission to the S.A.

Should the Hoheitstraeger need more S.A. for the execution of a political mission than is locally available, he then applies to the next higher office of sovereignty which, in turn, requests the S.A. from the S.A. office in his sector."

[Page 26]

According to the Party manual, the Hoheitstraeger had the same authority to call upon the services of the S.S. and N.S.K.K. as they possessed with respect to the S.A.

With respect to the authority of the Hoheitstraeger to call upon the services of the Hitler Jugend, the Party Manual states -- and I quote from Page 11, the last paragraph of that translation:--

"The Political Leader has the right to requisition the H.J. -- that is the Hitler Jugend -- in the same manner as the S.A. for the execution of a political action.

In appointing leaders of the H.J. and the D.J., the office of the H.J. must procure the approval of the Hoheitstraeger of his zone. This means that the Hoheitstraeger can prevent the appointment of leaders unsuited for the leadership of youth. If his approval has not been procured an appointment may be cancelled if he so requests."

An example of the use of the Party formations at the call of the Leadership Corps of the Party is provided by the action taken by the Reichsleiter for Party Organisation of the National Socialist Party, Dr. Robert Ley, leading to the deliberate dissolution of the Free Trade Unions on 2nd May, 1933. I quote from Document 392-PS, Exhibit USA 326, which is a copy of the directive issued by the defendant Ley on 21st April, 1933, reproduced on Pages 51-52 of the 'Social Life in New Germany' by Professor Mueller. In this directive the late defendant Ley directed the employment of the S.A. and the S.S. in the occupation of trade union properties and for taking trade union leaders into protective custody. I now quote from Paragraph 6 of Page 1 of Document 392-PS. It is the third or fourth paragraph from the bottom of the page:--
"S.A. as well as S.S. are to be employed for the occupation of trade union properties and for the taking of the parties concerned into protective custody.

The Gauleiter is to proceed with his measures on a basis of the closest understanding with the competent Regional Factory Cell Director."

I also quote from the second paragraph of Page 2 of that same document:--
"The following are to be taken into protective custody: All Trade Union Chairmen, the District Secretaries and the Branch Directors of the 'Bank for Workers, Employees and Officials, Inc.'"
I now offer in evidence Document 2474-PS, Exhibit USA 327, which is a copy of a decree issued by the defendant Hess as Deputy of the Fuehrer, dated 25th October, 1934, which under the authority of the Hoheitstraeger with respect to Party formations. I quote from the numbered Paragraphs 1, 5 and 6 of Page 1 of Document 2474-PS which reads as follows (Page 1 of the English translation):--
"The Political leadership within the Party and its political representation towards all offices, State or others, which are outside of the Party, lie solely and exclusively with the Hoheitstraeger (Bearers of Sovereignty) that is to say with me, the Gauleiter, Kreisleiter, and Ortsgruppenleiter. The departmental workers of the Party organisations, Reichsleiter, office directors, etc., as well as the leaders of the S.A., S.S., H.J., and the subordinate affiliations, may not enter into binding agreements of a political nature with State and other offices except when so authorised by their Hoheitstraeger.

[Page 27]

In places where the territories of the units of the S.A., S.S., H.J. and the subordinate affiliations do not coincide with the zones of the Hoheitstraeger, the Hoheitstraeger will give his political directives to the ranking leader of each unit within his zone of sovereignty."
It was the official policy of the Leadership Corps to establish close and co-operative relations with the Gestapo. The Tribunal will recall that the head of the German Police and S.S., Himmler, was a Reichsleiter on the top level of the Leadership Corps. Without offering in evidence a decree issued by the defendant Bormann as Chief of Staff, Deputy of the Fuehrer, dated 26th June, 1935, I ask the Court to take judicial knowledge; and I quote:--
"In order to effect a closer contact between the offices of the Party and its organisations with the Directors of the Secret State Police (Gestapo), the Deputy of the Fuehrer requests that the Directors of the Gestapo be invited to attend all the larger official rallies of the Party and its organisations."
That is from the 1937 edition, Page 143, dated the 26th June, 1937, "The Decrees of the Deputy of the Fuehrer."

With reference to the meetings and conferences among the Hoheitstraeger of the Leadership Corps, it is the contention of the prosecution that the members of the Leadership Corps constituted a distinctive and identifiable group or organisation. It is strongly supported by the fact that the various Hoheitstraeger were under an absolute obligation to meet and confer periodically, not only with the staff officers on their own staffs, but with the political leaders and staff officers immediately subordinate to them. For example, the Gauleiter was bound to confer with his staff officers (such as his deputy and so forth, which included the school leader, propaganda leader, Press leader, his Gau Party Judge, etc.) every 8 to 14 days. Furthermore, the Gauleiter was obligated to meet with the various Gauleiter subordinate to him once every 3 months for a three-day convention, for the purpose of discussing and clarifying Nazi policies and directives, for hearing basic lectures on Party policy, and for the mutual exchange of information pertinent to the Party's current programme. The Gauleiter was also obliged to meet at least once a month with the leaders of the Party formations and affiliated organisations within his Gau area, such as the leaders of the S.A., and S.S., Hitler Jugend and others. In support of these statements, I quote from Page 8 of Document 1893-PS. I don't think it is necessary to read all of that.

"Leader conferences in the district:

A. District Leaders.", Page 8.

If your Honour pleases, with your permission I will omit the reading of that, because it was really summarised in my previous statement. I will quote Subparagraph (d):--
"(d) The bearer of sovereignty will meet at least once a month with the leaders of the S.A., S.S., N.S.K.K., H.J., as well as the R.A.D. and the N.S.F.K. who are within the zone, for the purpose of mutual orientation."
The Organisation Book of the Party imposes a similar requirement of regular and periodical conferences and meetings upon all the other Hoheitstraeger, including the Kreisleiter, Ortsgruppenleiter, Zellenleiter and Blockleiter.

The clear consequence of such regular and compulsory conferences and meetings by all the Hoheitstraeger, both with their own staff officers and with

[Page 28]

the political leaders and staff officers subordinate to them, was that basic Nazi policies and directives issued by Hitler and the leader of the Party Chancellery, the defendant Bormann, directly through the chain of command of the Hoheitstraeger, and functional policies issued by the various Reichsleiter and Reich officeholders down functional and technical channels, were certain to be notified to, received and understood by, the bulk of the membership of the Leadership Corps.

If I may digress from my text and call attention to this chart, You will see the dotted lines connecting down from the Party level, Gau level, to similar offices in the lower level.

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