The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Twenty-Second Day: Tuesday, 18th December, 1945
(Part 5 of 8)

[COLONEL STOREY continues]

[Page 73]

If your Honour please, there is one thing Colonel Seay called my attention to. I refer to it merely for the record. In one of the previous documents, 090-PS, Exhibit USA 372, which is in the other document book, there

[Page 74]

was a statement that clearly established that the expenses of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, that is, the staff's operational expenses, were financed by the Nazi Party.

If the Tribunal please, I now offer Document Book "X," which I believe has been passed to your Honours; and also Colonel Dostert's staff has prepared a chart of the "Reichsregierung" in different languages, and I believe your Honours have copies. There is one copy, here in German that I shall be glad to pass to counsel who are especially concerned with this case. They have one copy in German. I don't know who it is----

THE PRESIDENT: You mean counsel for the Reich Cabinet?

COLONEL STOREY: Yes, Sir. May I say also, by preliminary reference, that we examined the records in the collection office this morning, and only one letter of intervention has been filed on behalf of the Reich Cabinet, and that was by the defendant Keitel.

We will now consider the "Reichsregierung." Some preliminary remarks about this group have already been placed before the Tribunal by Mr. Albrecht in his comments upon the Government chart. It will be necessary, however, for sake of coherence, to repeat briefly some of the statements made by him, and therefore we beg the indulgence of the Tribunal.

The "Reichsregierung," meaning Reich Cabinet, unlike most of the other groups named in the Indictment, was not especially created by the Nazi Party to carry out or implement its nefarious schemes and purposes. The "Reichsregierung" -- commonly referred to as the Cabinet -- had, before the Nazis came to power, a place in the constitutional and political history of the country. As with other cabinets of duly constituted governments, the executive power of the realm was concentrated in that body. The Nazi conspirators realised this only too well. Their aim for totalitarian control over the State could not be secured -- they realised -- except by acquiring, holding and utilising the top level machinery of the State. And this they did.

Under the Nazi regime the "Reichsregierung" gradually became a primary agent of the Nazi Party with functions and policies formulated in accordance with the objectives and methods of the Party itself. The institution of the "Reichsregierung" became -- at first gradually and then with more rapidity -- polluted by the infusion of the Nazi conspirators into the Cabinet. Many of them -- sixteen to be exact -- sit before you today in the dock. There was no plan, scheme or purpose -- however vile or inhuman or illegal in any sense of the word -- that was not clothed with the semblance of legality by the Nazi "Reichsregierung." It is for that reason that we will ask this Tribunal -- after the proof has been offered - - to declare that body, as defined in the Indictment, to be a Criminal Organisation. The proof will be divided into two main categories, the first of which will tend to establish the composition and nature of the "Reichsregierung" under the Nazis, as well as delineating briefly its functions and powers, while the second will tend to establish -- and conclusively we believe -- the reasons why the brand of criminality should be affixed to that group.

The term "Reichsregierung" literally translated reads ''Reich Government." Actually, as we said, it was commonly taken to refer to the ordinary Reich Cabinet. In the Indictment the term ''Reichsregierung" is defined to include not only those persons who were members of the ordinary Reich Cabinet, but also those persons who were members of the Council of Ministers for the Defence of the Reich, and the Secret Cabinet Council. However,

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the really important subdivision of the three is -- as the proof will show -- the ordinary Cabinet. Between it and the other two there was in reality only an artificial distinction. There existed, in fact, a unity of personnel, actions, functions, and purposes that obliterated any academic separation. As used in the Indictment, the term "ordinary Cabinet" means Reich Ministers, that is, heads of departments of the Central Government, Reich Ministers without portfolio, State Ministers acting as Reich Ministers, and other officials entitled to take part in meetings

I might state here that there were, altogether, forty-eight persons who held positions in the ordinary Cabinet. Seventeen of them are defendants before the Tribunal. Bormann is absent. Of the remaining thirty-one, eight are believed to be dead.

Into the ordinary Cabinet were placed the leading Nazi collaborators, the trusted henchmen, and then, when new governmental agencies or bodies were created, either by Hitler or the Cabinet itself, the constituents of these new bodies were taken from the roles of the ordinary Cabinet.

In 1933 when the first Hitler Cabinet was formed on 30th January, there were ten ministries that could be classified as departments of the Central Government. I have here a typed copy of the minutes of the first meeting of that Cabinet. These were found in the files of the Reich Chancellery and bear the typed signature of one Weinstein, the counsellor of the ministry, who was described in the minutes as responsible for the protocol, that document already appears in Document B; but I again refer the Tribunal to Page 4 of the translation, which is Document 351, as shown in your document book, and contains a list of those present.


COLONEL STOREY: Yes, Sir, 351-PS, Exhibit USA 389.

The ten ministers referred to therein are set forth. They are -- and I read:

"Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs, the defendant von Neurath; Reich Minister of the Interior, the defendant Frick; Reich Minister of Finance, von Krosigk; Reich Minister of Economy" --and then I skip to the bottom of the page -- "Reich Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Hugenberg; Reich Minister Of Labour, Seldte; Reich Minister of Justice" -- no name is given, the post was filled two days later by Guertner -- Reich Defence Minister von Blomberg; and the Reich Postmaster-General and Reich Minister for Transportation, von Eltz Ruebenach."
In addition you will note that the defendant Goering was there as Reich Minister -- he had no portfolio then -- and as Reich Commissar for Aviation. Dr. Peregke was there as Reich Commissar for Procurement of Labour. Two State Secretaries were present: Dr. Lammers of the Reich Chancellery and Dr. Meissner of the Reich Presidential Chancellery.

THE PRESIDENT In the copy I have, the defendant Goering appears as the Reich Minister for Aviation.

COL. STOREY Yes, Sir. I mentioned that he appears as Reich Minister and as Reich Commissar for Aviation.

THE PRESIDENT Oh, I see. I was reading from the first two pages of the document. You were reading from Page 4?



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COLONEL STOREY: I am informed that the Ministry was created later, but he is named Reich Commissar for Aviation.

In addition the defendant Funk was present as Reich Press Chief, and the defendant von Papen was present as Deputy of the Reich Chancellor and Reich Commissar for the State of Prussia.

Not long after that date new ministries or departments were created, into which leading Nazi figures were placed. On 13th March, 1933, the Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda was created. The decree setting it up appears in the 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 104, our document 2029-PS.

I assume that the Court will take judicial notice of the laws and decrees, as we have mentioned in the previous proceeding.

The late Goebbels was named as Reich Minister of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda. On 5th May, 1933, the Ministry of Air (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 241, our Document 2089-PS). On 1st May, 1934, the Ministry of Education. I refer to 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 365, our Document 2078-PS. On 16th July, 1935, the Minister for Church Affairs (1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 1029, our Document 2090-PS). The defendant Goering was made Air Minister; Bernhard Rust, Gauleiter of South Hanover, was named Education Minister and Hans Kerrl named Minister for Church Affairs.

Two ministries were added after the war started. On 17th March, 1940, the Ministry of Armaments and Munitions was established (1940 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 513, our Document 2091-PS) The late Dr. Todt, a high Party official, was appointed to this post. The defendant Speer succeeded him. The name of this department was changed to "Armaments and War Production" in 1943 (1943 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 529, our Document 2092-PS). On 17th July, 1941, when the seizure of the Eastern territories was in progress, the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories as created. The decree appointing the defendant Rosenberg to the post of Minister of this department has already been received in evidence as Exhibit USA 319.

During the years 1933 to 1945 one ministry was dropped -- that of Defence-- which was later called "War." This took place in 1938 when on 4th February Hitler took over command of the whole Armed Forces. At the same time he created the "Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces," or, in other words, the Chief of the O.K.W. This was the defendant Keitel. The decree accomplishing this change is published in the 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, at Page 111. It appears in our Document Book as 1915-PS, and I would like to quote a brief portion of that decree. It begins at the bottom of the second paragraph:

"He -- referring to the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces -- is an equal in rank to a Reich Minister."

"At the same time, the Supreme Command takes the responsibility for the affairs of the Reich Ministry of War; and, by my order, the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces exercises the authority formerly belonging to the Reich Minister."

Another change in the composition of the Cabinet during the years in question should be noted. The post of Vice- Chancellor was never refilled after the defendant von Papen left on 30th July, 1934.

In addition to the heads of departments that I have outlined, the ordinary

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Cabinet also contained Reich Ministers without portfolio. Among these were the defendants Hans Frank; Seyss-Inquart, Schacht, after he left the Economics Ministry, and von Neurath, after he was replaced as Minister of the Interior. There were other positions that were also an integral part of the Cabinet. These were the Deputy of the Fuehrer, the defendant Hess, and later his successor, the Leader of the Party Chancellery, the defendant Bormann; the Chief of Staff of the S.A., Ernst Roehm, for 7 months prior to his assassination; the Chief of the Reich Chancellery, Lammers; and, as we have already mentioned, the Chief of the O.K.W., the defendant Keitel. These men had either the title of or the rank of Reich Minister. I have already read portions of the law creating the Chief of the O.K.W., where his importance in Cabinet affairs is delineated. The importance of the defendants Hess and Bormann will soon be expounded, while that of the Chief of the Reich Chancellery, Lammers, will also soon become self-evident.

But there were others, such as State Ministers acting as Reich Ministers. Only two persons fell within this category: the Chief of the Presidential Chancellery, Otto Meissner, and the State Minister of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Karl Hans Frank. In addition, the Indictment names -- as belonging to the ordinary Cabinet -- "others entitled to take part in Cabinet meetings." Many governmental agencies were created by the Nazis between the years 1933 and 1945, but the peculiarity of such creations was that in most instances such new posts were given the right to participate in Cabinet meetings. Here the list is long but significant. Thus those entitled to take part in Cabinet meetings were the Commanders-in-chief of the Army and the Navy, the Reich Forest Master, the Inspector-General for Water and Power, the Inspector-General of German Roads, the Reich Labour Leader, the Reich Youth Leader, the Chief of the Foreign Organisation in the Foreign Office, the Reichsfuehrer S.S. and Chief of the German Police in the Reich Ministry of the Interior, the Prussian Finance Minister and the Cabinet Press Chief.

These, then, were the posts and some of the personnel in the ordinary Cabinet. They were all positions of such common knowledge and notoriety that the Tribunal can take judicial notice. Further, they all appear on the chart entitled "Organisation of the Reich Government," which was authenticated by the defendant Frick and is in evidence as Exhibit USA 3, which Mr. Albrecht introduced on the second day of the Trial. They are also capable of proof by laws and decrees published in the Reichsgesetzblatt and by notices in the semi-official monthly publication entitled 'Das Archiv,' which was edited by an official of the Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda -- all of which I submit are within the judicial purview of the Tribunal. The persons who held these posts in the ordinary Cabinet varied between the years 1933 and 1945.

Does your Honour wish to adjourn at 12:45?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, perhaps we had better.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

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