The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Twenty-Second Day: Tuesday, 18th December, 1945
(Part 4 of 8)

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COLONEL STOREY: Activities were initiated in Hungary as indicated by Document 158-PS, Exhibit USA 382, which I now offer in evidence. This was a copy of a message initialed by Utikal, Rosenberg's Chief of Staff. The first paragraph of this document states:
"The Einsatzstab of Reichsleiter Rosenberg for the occupied territories has dispatched a Sonderkommando under the direction of Stabseinsatzsfuehrer Dr. Zeiss, who is identified by means of his Service Book Number 187, for the accomplishment of the missions of the

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Einsatzstab in Hungary outlined in the Fuehrer's Decree of 1st March, 1942."
I now offer into evidence Document 171-PS, Exhibit USA 383, which is an undated report on the "Library for Exploration of the Jewish Question." The fifth paragraph states:
"The most significant book-collections today belonging to the stock of the Library for Exploration of the Jewish Question are the following..."
The ninth item of the list which follows refers to "Book- collections from Jewish Communities in Greece (about 10,000 volumes)."

It was only natural that an operation conducted on so vast a scale, extending as it did to France, Belgium, the Netherlands. Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark, the Occupied Eastern Territories. the Baltic States, the Ukraine, Hungary and Greece, should call upon a multitude of other agencies for assistance. Among the other agencies co-operating in the plunder programme were several of those which stand indicted here as Criminal Organisations. The co-operation of the Wehrmacht High Command was demanded by the Hitler order of 1st March, 1942, which I now offer in evidence as our Document 149-PS, Exhibit USA 369, which is signed personally by Adolf Hitler and is also in the Jumbo type. The order decrees the ideological fight against the enemies of National Socialism to be a military necessity, and reaffirms the authority of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg to conduct searches and seizures of suitable material for the Hohe Schule. The fifth paragraph states:

"The measures of execution concerning co-operation with the Wehrmacht are assured by the Chief of the O.K.W. with the consent of Reichsleiter Rosenberg."
While I am on that document, which is referred to later, I should like to read the other portions. I call attention of your Honour to the distribution. It is distributed to all duty stations of the Armed Forces, the Party, and the State. It says:
"Jews, Freemasons, and related ideological enemies of National Socialism are responsible for the war which is now being waged against the Reich. The co-ordinated, ideological fight against those powers is a military necessity. I have therefore charge Reichsleiter Rosenberg to carry out this task in co-operation with the chief of the O.K.W. His `staff for special purposes' in the occupied territories is authorised to search libraries, record-offices, lodges and other ideological and cultural institutions of all kinds for suitable material, and to confiscate the said material for the ideological task of the N.S.D.A.P. and the later scientific research work of the `Hohe Schule.' The same regulation applies to cultural material which is in possession of Jews; and of unobjectionable origin."
The final passage is:
"The necessary measures within the territories of the East under the German Administration are determined by Reichsleiter Rosenberg in his capacity as Reichsminister for the Occupied Eastern Territories."

Signed: Adolf Hitler."

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Storey, I think the Tribunal would find it convenient, and it would save time, if the documents, when they are referred

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to, were read in full in so far as you want to read them, rather than returning to read one passage and then returning to a document later on.

COLONEL STOREY: Yes, Sir. May I explain why that was, Sir? I was trying to fit in this presentation with the Leadership Corps. It was quoted in two places and I didn't notice it until I started.

THE PRESIDENT: What I am saying is that I think it is much easier to follow the documents if all the parts of the document which you wish to read are read at one time, rather than to read one sentence, then come back to another sentence, and then possibly come back to a document for a third sentence. I don't know whether that will be possible for you to do.

COLONEL STOREY: We will try to work it out that way, Sir.


COLONEL STOREY: Co-operation of the S.S. and the S.D. is indicated in a letter from Rosenberg to Bormann dated 23rd April, 1941, Document 071-PS, Exhibit USA 371, which I now offer in evidence. This letter states in the fifth sentence of the first numbered paragraph:

"It is understood that the confiscations are not executed by the regional authorities, but that this is conducted by the Security Service (S.D.) as well as by the police."
Farther down in the same paragraph it is stated:
It has been communicated to me in writing by a Gauleiter that the chief office of the Reich Security (R.S.H.A.) of the S.S. has claimed the following from the library of a monastery: The Catholic Handbook, Albertus Magnus; Edition of the Church Fathers, History of the Papacy, by L. V. Pastor; and other works."
The second and last paragraph stated that:
I should like to remark in this connection that this affair has already been executed on our side with Security Service (S.D.) in the most loyal fashion."
The defendant Goering showed special diligence in furthering the purposes of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, a diligence which will be readily understood in view of the fact that he himself directed that second in priority only to the demands of the Fuehrer were to be "those art objects which served the completion of the Reichsmarshal's -- that is Goering's - - collection."

On 1st May, 1941, Goering issued an order to all Party, State and Wehrmacht services, which I am now offering into evidence as Document 1117-PS, Exhibit USA 384. It is an original bearing Goering's signature. This order requested all Party, State and Wehrmacht services, and I now quote:

"... to give all possible support and assistance to the Chief of Staff of Reichsleiter Rosenberg's staff.... The above-mentioned persons are requested to report to me on their work, particularly on any difficulties which might arise."
On 30th May, 1942, Goering claimed credit for a large degree of the success of the Einsatzstab. I offer in evidence a captured photostatic copy of a letter from Goering to Rosenberg, showing Goering's signature, which bears our No. 1015-I-PS, and which I offer in evidence as Exhibit USA 385. The last paragraph of this letter states as follows:
"...On the other hand I also support personally the work of the Einsatzstab wherever I can do so, and a great part of the seized cultural

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goods can be accounted for because I was able to assist the Einsatzstab with my organisations."
If I have tried the patience of the Tribunal with numerous details as to the origin, the growth and the operation of the art looting organisation, it is because I feel that it will be impossible for me to convey to you a full conception as to the magnitude of the plunder without conveying first to you information as to the vast organisational work that was necessary in order to enable the defendants to collect in Germany cultural treasures of staggering proportions.

Nothing of value was safe from the grasp of the Einsatzstab. In view of the great experience of the Einsatzstab in the complex business of the organised plunder of a continent, its facilities were well suited to the looting of material other than cultural objects. Thus, when Rosenberg required equipment for the furnishing of the offices of the administration in the East, his Einsatzstab was pressed into action to confiscate Jewish homes in the West. Document L- 188, which is Exhibit USA 386, and which I now offer in evidence, is a copy of a report submitted by the director of Rosenberg's office, West, operating under the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories. I wish to quote at some length from this document and I call the Tribunal's attention to the third paragraph on Page 3 of the translation:

"The Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg was charged with the carrying out of this task" -- that is, the seizure of art possessions -- "in addition to this seizure of property, at the suggestion of the Director West of the Special Section of the Einsatzstab, it was proposed to the Reichsleiter that the furniture and other contents of the unguarded Jewish homes should also be secured and dispatched to the Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories for use in the Eastern Territories."
The last paragraph on the same page states:
"At first all the confiscated furniture and goods were dispatched to the administrations of the Occupied Eastern Territories. Owing to the terror attacks on German cities which then began, and in the knowledge that the bombed-out people in Germany ought to have preference over the Eastern people, Reichsminister and Reichsleiter Rosenberg obtained a new order from the Fuehrer according to which the furniture, etc., obtained through the N Action was to be put at the disposal of bombed-out people within Germany."
The report continues with a description of the efficient methods employed in looting the Jewish homes in the West (top of Page 4 of translation).
"The confiscation of Jewish homes was carried out as follows: So-called confiscation officials went from house to house when no records were available of the addresses of Jews who had departed or fled, as was the case, for instance, in Paris, in order to collect information as to abandoned Jewish homes... They drew up inventories of those homes and subsequently sealed them... In Paris alone about twenty confiscation officials confiscated more than 38,000 homes. The transportation of the contents of these homes was completed with all the available vehicles of the Union of Parisian Removal Contractors, who had to provide up to 150 trucks, and 1,200 to 1,500 French laborers."
If your Honour pleases, I am omitting the rest of the details of that report because our French colleagues will present them later.

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Looting on such a scale seems fantastic. But I feel I must refer to another statement, for, though the seizure of the contents of over 71,000 homes and their shipment to the Reich in upwards of 26,000 railroad cars is by no means a petty operation, the quantities of plundered art treasures and books and their incalculable value, as revealed in the document I am about to offer, will make these figures dwindle by comparison.

I next refer to the stacks of leather-bound volumes in front of me, to which the Justice referred in his opening statement.

These thirty-nine volumes which are before me contain photographs of works of art secured by the Einsatzstab and are volumes which were prepared by members of the Rosenberg staff. All of these volumes bear our Number 2522-PS, and I offer them in evidence as Exhibit USA 388.

I am passing to your Honours eight of these volumes, so that each one of you -- they are all different -- might see a sample of the inventory. I call your Honours' attention to the inside cover page. Most of them have an inventory, in German, of the contents of the book, and then follows a true photograph of each one of these priceless art treasures separated by fine tissue paper.

There are thirty-nine of these volumes that were captured by our forces when they overran a part of Southern occupied German areas.

THE PRESIDENT: Is there anything known about the articles photographed here?

COLONEL STOREY: Yes, Sir: I will describe them later. I believe each one of them is identified in addition to the inventory.

THE PRESIDENT: I meant whether the articles, the furniture or pictures themselves, have been found.

COLONEL STOREY: Yes, Sir, most of them were found in an underground cavern, I believe in the Southern part of Bavaria; and these books were found by our staff in co- operation with the group of U.S. Army people who have assembled these art treasures and are now in the process of returning them to the rightful owners. That is where we got these books.

I should like to refer, while your Honour are looking at these, just to the aggregate totals of the different paintings. Here are the totals as shown by Document 1015-B- PS, which is in the document book. As they are totalled, I don't think your Honours need follow the document; you can continue looking at the books if you like.

"Up to 15th July, 1944, the following had been scientifically inventoried:

21,903 Art Works.

5,281 paintings, pastels, water-colours, drawings.
684 miniatures, glass and enamel paintings, books and manuscripts.
583 plastics, terra-cottas, medallions and plaques.
2,477 articles of furniture of value to art history.
583 textiles (Gobelins, rugs, embroideries, Coptic materials, majolica, ceramics, jewellery, coins, art treasures made with precious stones).
5,825 objects of decorative art (porcelains, bronzes, faience, majolica ceramics, jewelry, coins, art objects with precious stones).
1,286 East Asiatic art works (bronzes, plastics, porcelains, paintings, folding screens, weapons).
259 art works of antiquity (sculptures, bronzes, vases, jewellry bowls, cut stones, terra-cottas)."

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The mere statement that 21,903 art works have been seized does not furnish an adequate conception of their value. I refer again to the statement in the document: "The extraordinary artistic and material value of the seized art works cannot be expressed in figures" and to the fact that they are objects of such a unique character that their evaluation is entirely impossible. These thirty-nine volumes are by no means a complete catalogue. They present, at the most, pictures of about 2,500 of the art treasures seized, and I ask you to imagine that this catalogue had been completed and that, in the place of thirty-nine volumes, we had 350 to 400 volumes. In other words, if they were prepared in inventory form as these thirty-nine volumes, to cover all of them, it would take 350 to 400 volumes.

We had arranged, your Honours, to project just a few of these on the screen, but before we do that, which is the end of this part of the presentation, I should like to call your Honours' attention to Document 015-PS. It is dated 16th April, 1943. It is a copy of a letter from Rosenberg to Hitler. The occasion for the writing of this letter was the birthday of the Fuehrer, to commemorate which Rosenberg presented some folders of photographs of pictures seized by the Einsatzstab. And I imagine, although we have no authentic evidence, that probably some of these were prepared for that occasion. In the closing paragraph of the letter, Document 015-PS, Exhibit USA 387, he says:

"I beg of you, my Fuehrer, to give me a chance during my next audience to report to you orally on the whole extent and state of this art seizure action. I beg you to accept a short written intermediate report of the progress and extent of the art seizure action, which will be used as a basis for this later oral report, and also to accept three volumes of the temporary picture catalogues which, too, show only a part of the collection you own. I shall deliver further catalogues, which are now being compiled, when they are finished."
Rosenberg then closes with this touching tribute to the aesthetic tastes of the Fuehrer, tastes which were satisfied at the expense of a continent, and I quote:
"I shall take the liberty during the requested audience to give you, my Fuehrer, another twenty folders of pictures, with the hope that this short occupation with the beautiful things of art which are so near to your heart, will send a ray of beauty and joy into your revered life."
THE PRESIDENT: Will you read all the passage that you began; five lines above that beginning with the words, "These photos represent ----"

COLONEL STOREY: "These photos represent an addition to the collection of fifty-three of the most valuable objects of art delivered some time ago to your collection. This folder also shows only a small percentage of the exceptional work and extent of these objects of art seized by my service command (Dienststelle) in France and put into a safe place in the Reich."

If your Honours please, at this time we would like to project on the screen a few of these photographs. The photographs of paintings which we are now about to project on the screen are taken from a single volume of the catalogue and are mere representative of the many volumes of pictures of similar works. The other items, photos of which are to be projected, were picked from various volumes on special subjects. For example, the Gobelin tapestry which you are about to see is merely one picture from an entire volume of tapestry illustrations. Each picture that

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you will see is representative of a number of volumes of similar pictures, and each volume from which these single pictures were taken represents approximately a tenth of the total number of volumes which would be necessary to illustrate all the items actually plundered by the Einsatzstab. We will now have the slides, just a few of them.

(Photographs were projected on the screen in the court room.)

This first picture is a portrait of a woman, painted by the Italian painter Palma Vecchio.

The next picture is a portrait of a woman by the Spanish painter Velasquez.

This picture is a portrait of Lady Spencer by the English painter Sir Joshua Reynolds.

This picture is a painting by the French painter Watteau.

This is a painting of "The Three Graces" by Rubens.

This is a portrait of an old woman by the famous painter Rembrandt.

This painting of a young woman is by the Dutch painter Van Dyck.

Now this picture is a sample of sixteenth century jewelry in gold and enamel, decorated with pearls.

This is a seventeenth century Gobelin tapestry.

This picture is of a Japanese painting from the catalogue volume on East Asiatic art.

This is an example of famous china.

This is a picture of a silver-inlaid Louis XIV cabinet.

The last picture is of a silver altar piece of the fifteenth or sixteenth century, of Spanish origin.

That is the last picture.

I call to your attention again that each of the pictures you have just seen is merely representative of a large number of similar items illustrated in the thirty-nine volume catalogue which is, in itself, only partially complete. There is little wonder that the Fuehrer's occupation with these beautiful things of art, which were nearest to his heart, should have sent a ray of beauty and joy into his revered life. I doubt that any museum in the world, whether the Metropolitan in New York, the British Museum in London, the Louvre in Paris or the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow, could present such a catalogue as this; in fact, should they pool their treasures the result would certainly fall short of the art collection that Germany amassed for herself, at the expense of the other nations of Europe. Never in history has a collection so great been amassed with so little scruple.

It is refreshing, however, to know that the victorious Allied armies have recovered most of such treasures, principally hidden away in salt mines, tunnels, and secluded castles; and the proper governmental agencies are now in the process of restoring these priceless works of art to their rightful owners.

I shall next refer to Document 154-PS, which is a letter dated the 5th July, 1942, from Doctor Lammers, Reich Minister and Chief of the Chancellery, to the highest Reich authorities and services directly subordinate to the Fuehrer. This letter states and implements the Hitler order that was introduced in evidence, and explains that the Fuehrer delegated authority to Rosenberg's staff to search for and seize cultural property by virtue of Reichsleiter Rosenberg's position as representative of the Fuehrer for the supervision of the whole ideological and political education of the N.S.D.A.P.

The Tribunal will recall, however, that it is by virtue of holding this

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office that defendant Rosenberg occupied a place within the Reichsleitung or Party Directorate of the Leadership Corps. That is Exhibit USA 370, and it is offered merely for the purpose of showing the address to the highest Reich authorities and services directly subordinate to the Fuehrer.

In a letter to the defendant Bormann, dated the 23rd April, 1941, the defendant Rosenberg protested against the arbitrary removals by the S.D. and other public services from libraries, monasteries, and other institutions -- and he proposed that in the claims by the S.D. and his representative the final regulation as to the confiscation should be made by the Gauleiter. This letter has been offered previously as 071-PS, and I quote, beginning with the next to the last sentence at the bottom of page one of the English translation -- I am sorry, your Honour, that is in the other book ----

THE PRESIDENT: You cited 071-PS this morning.

COLONEL STOREY: Yes, Sir, and I will forego that at the moment, your Honour, because it refers to the other book. Finally, in connection with the presentation of this subject, I submit that the summary of evidence establishes that the defendants and their conspirators, Rosenberg and Bormann, acting in their capacity as political leaders of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party and as members thereof, participated in the Conspiracy or Common Plan alleged in Count I of the Indictment and committed acts constituting the crimes alleged. Accordingly we submit: (I) The Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party is a group or organisation in the sense in which those terms are used in Article 9 of the Charter; (2) The defendants and conspirators, Rosenberg and Bormann, committed the crimes defined in Article 6 of the Charter, and in that capacity as members of the Political Leaders of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party.

It was at all times the primary and central design and purpose of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party to direct, engage, and participate in the execution of the Conspiracy which contemplated and involved the commission of the Crimes as defined in Article 6 of the Charter.

And I should like now to call attention again to a chart which was identified in the beginning -- I believe by Major Wallis; it was taken from the publication which is entitled 'The Face of the Party.' This chart emphasises, more clearly than I can state the total and thorough control over the life of the German, beginning at the age of ten, at the bottom of the chart, and continuing through the various categories.

Notice the age of ten to fourteen, the Jungvolk. Then it goes to the Adolf Hitler School on the right, twelve to eighteen. The Hitler Jugend, fifteen to eighteen; the S.A., the N.S.K.K., N.S.F.K., nineteen to twenty. And then the labour service over at the left; and then again to the S.A., S.S., N.S.K.K., N.S.F.K.; and then into the Wehrmacht, and up through to the top box on the left of the top row of men, the Political Leaders of the N.S.D.A.P. Next, all of those buildings up there, as I understand, are the academies of the N.S.D.A.P., and then finally, at the top, to the Political Leaders of the German Volk, thus showing the complete evolution. This is the final exhibit, and with that I close the presentation of the Leadership Corps. The next presentation is the Reich Cabinet, the "Reichsregierung." We will take just a few moments.

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