The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Twenty-Third Day: Wednesday, 19th December, 1945
(Part 1 of 8)

[Page 105]

DOCTOR SAUTER (Counsel for the defendant von Schirach): Mr. President, yesterday a table was shown on the screen, in which the construction of the Reich Cabinet was exposed, which is under accusation as an organisation. And on this chart, under the heading "Other Participants in the Meetings of the Cabinet," the defendant von Schirach was also mentioned. The defendant von Schirach has explained to me and asked me to inform the Court that he never took part in any meeting of the Reich Cabinet; that he was never named a member of the Reich Cabinet; that he never took part in any resolution passed by the Reich Cabinet.

THE PRESIDENT: The point that the defendant is taking seems to me to be premature. This is not the stage for you to argue the question whether your client is a member of the Reich Cabinet or not. The argument upon the whole question will take place after the evidence and after the prosecution have had the opportunity of putting forward their arguments as to the criminal nature of the Reich Cabinet. You or other counsel on behalf of those concerned will be able to put forward your arguments. We do not desire to hear arguments now about the criminal nature, but to hear the evidence. Is that clear?

DOCTOR SAUTER: Yes. I shall then return to this point while the witnesses are being heard, and shall then bring witnesses to prove that the defendant von Schirach was never a member of the Reich Cabinet.

COLONEL STOREY: If the Tribunal please, yesterday afternoon we had just started on the participation of the S.A. in the first point -- the dissemination of ideology or propaganda. In an article which appeared in Der S.A.-Mann, at Page 1 of the issue of January, 1934, which is Document 3050-PS, and I refer to Page 25 of the English translation -- Document 3050-PS, Page 25, if your Honour pleases -- the portion shown in red brackets. It is dated the 6th January, 1934:

"The new Germany would not have come into existence without Der S.A.-Mann, and the new Germany would continue to exist if Der S.A.-Mann would now, with the feeling of having fulfilled his duty, quietly and unselfishly and modestly step aside, or if the new State would send him home, much like the Moor who has done his duty. On the contrary, Der S.A.-Mann, following the will of the Fuehrer, stands as a guarantor of the National Socialist revolution before the gates of power, and will remain standing there at all times. For there are still gigantic missions awaiting fulfillment which would not be thinkable without the presence and the active co-operation of the S.A. What has been accomplished up till now, the taking over of the power in the State, and the ejection of those elements which are responsible for the pernicious developments of the postwar years,

[Page 106]

as bearers of Marxism, Liberalism, and Capitalism, are only the preliminaries, the spring-board, for the real aims of National Socialism. Being conscious of the fact that the real National Socialist construction work would be building in an empty space, without the taking over of power by Adolf Hitler, the Movement and Der S.A.-Mann as the aggressive bearer of its will, primarily have directed all of their efforts to achieve the goal by continued striving, and to obtain the foundation or the realisation of their desires in the State by force. Out of this comes the further mission of the S.A. for the completion of the German revolution: first, to be the guarantor of the power of the National Socialist State against all attacks from without as well as from within: second, to be the high institute of education of the people for the living National Socialism."
The function of S.A. as the propagandist of the Party was more than a responsibility which S.A. took unto itself. It was the responsibility recognised by the law of Germany. Document 1395-PS, is a copy of the law entitled, "Law on Securing the Unity of Party and State," which I have referred to before -- and it was promulgated by the Reich Cabinet in 1933 -- I desire to read Article 3, on Page 1 of the English translation:
"The members of the National Socialist German Party and the S.A., including their subordinate organisations, as the leading and driving force of the National Socialist State, will bear greater responsibility toward the Fuehrer, People, and State. In case they violate these duties they will be subject to special jurisdiction by Party and State. The Fuehrer may extend these regulations in order to include members of other organisations."
Thus were the S.A. members the ideology bearers of the Nazi Party -- the soldiers of an idea -- to use the expression employed by the Nazi writers. And permit me to emphasize that the S.A. was the propagandist agency, the principal agency employed by the conspirators to disseminate their fanaticism among the people of Germany.

If your Honour pleases, I had ended the quotation. I am sorry if I did not refer to it.

I need hardly point out the importance of this function to the successful carrying out of the conspiracy, for it is self-evident that the Nazis could not have carried their conspiracy to the stages which they did, had not the minds of the people of Germany been cruelly and viciously influenced and infected with their evil ideologies.

I now proceed to the other functions of the S.A. which I mentioned previously. The next is its use in the early stages of the conspiracy, as the "strong-arm" of the N.S.D.A.P. In the early stages of the Nazi movement, the employment of the S.A. as the propagandist instrument of the Party, involved, and was combined, with the exercise of physical violence and brutality.

As said by Hitler in Mein Kampf -- and this excerpt appears at Page 4 of Document 2760-PS, Page 4 of the English translation, Exhibit USA 256 -- I quote:

"The young Movement from the first day, espoused the standpoint that its idea must be put forward spiritually, but that the defence of this spiritual platform must, if necessary, be secured by strong-arm means."

[Page 107]

I will read the rest of that paragraph:
"Faithful to its belief in the enormous significance of the new doctrine, it seems obvious to the movement that, for the attainment of its goal, no sacrifice can be too great."
So, in the early days of the Nazi movement, in order that the Nazis might better spread their fanatical philosophies, the S.A. was employed as a terroristic group, so as to gain for the Nazis possession and control of the streets. That is another way of saying that it was a function of the S.A. to beat up and terrorize all political opponents. The importance of this function is indicated in Document 2168- PS, Exhibit USA 411, which was written by S.A. Sturmfuehrer Bayer on orders from S.A. headquarters. I refer to Page 3 of the English translation of that document, the third paragraph from the bottom:
"Possession of the streets is the key to power in the State -- for this reason the S.A. marched and fought. The public would never have received knowledge of the agitative speeches of the little Reichstag faction and its propaganda, or of the desires and aims of the Party, if the martial tread and battle song of the S.A. Companies had not beat the measures for the truth of a relentless criticism of the state of affairs in the governmental system. They wanted the Young Movement to keep silent. Nothing was to be read in the Press about the labour of the National Socialists, not to mention the basic aims of its platform. They simply did not want to awaken any interest in it. However, the martial tread of the S.A. took care that even the drowsiest citizens had to see at least the existence of a fighting troop."
The importance of the work of the S.A. in the early days of the movement was indicated by Goebbels in a speech which appeared in Das Archiv, October, 1935. This is our Document 3211-PS, Exhibit USA 419. It is on the first page of the English translation, No. 3211, quoting:--
"The inner-political opponents did not disappear due to mysterious unknown reasons, but because the Movement possessed a strong arm within its organisation, and the strongest arm of the Movement is the S.A. The Jewish question will not be solved separately, but by laws which we enact, for we are the anti-Jewish Government."
Specific evidence of the activities of the S.A. during the early period of the Nazi movement, from 1922 to 1931, is found in a series of articles appearing in Der S.A.-Mann, entitled "S.A. Battle Experiences Which We Will Never Forget." Each of these articles an account of a street or a meeting-hall battle waged by the S.A. against a group of political opponents in the early days of the Nazi struggle for power. These articles demonstrate that during this period it was the function of the SA to employ physical violence in order to destroy and subvert all forms of thought and expression which might be considered hostile to the Nazi aims or philosophy.

A number of such articles have been translated, and the titles are sufficiently descriptive to constitute evidence of the activities the S.A. in the early stages of the Nazi movement. I should like to quote from a few of these titles by giving the page reference of this big newspaper volume.

Here is one of 24th February, 1934, Page 4. The title: "We Subdue the Red Terror."

The 8th September, 1934, Page 12. The article is entitled: "Nightly Street Battles on the Czech Border."

[Page 108]

The 6th October, 1934, Page 5: "Street Battle in Chemnitz."

Another one of the 20th October, 1934, Page 7. The title: "Victorious S.A."

I will skip several of them. Here is one of 26th January, 1935, Page 7. The title: The S.A. Conquers Rastenburg."

Another on 23rd February, 1935, Page 5: "Company 88 Receives Its Baptism of Fire."

One of 20th October, 1934, Page 7. The article is: "S.A. Against Sub-Humanity."

Finally, I mention the one of 10th August, 1935, Page 10. The title is, "The Blood Sunday of Berlin."

And then there is a portrait in the article of 11th September, 1937, Page 1, which symbolises the S.A.-Mann as the "Master of the Streets."

For an example of the nature of these articles, one appeared the Franken edition of the S.A.-Mann for 30th October, 1937, Page 3. It is entitled, "9th November, 1923, in Nuernberg," and I should like to quote from Pages 14 and 15 of Document 3050-PS, which is an English translation of this article:--

"We stayed overnight in the Colosseum (that means Nuernberg). Then in the morning we found out what had happened in Munich. 'Now a revolution will also be made in Nuernberg', we said. All of a sudden the Police came from the Master Guard and told us that we should go home, that the `putsch' in Munich had failed. We did not believe that and we did not go home. Then came the State Police with fixed bayonets and drove us out of the hall. One of us then shouted: 'Let's go to the Cafe Habsburg!' By the time we arrived, however, the Police again had everything surrounded. Some shouted then, 'The Jewish place will be stormed.... Out with the Jews!' Then the police started to beat us up. Then we divided into small groups and roamed through the town, and wherever we caught a Red or a Jew we knew, a fist fight ensued.

Then in the evening we marched, although the Police had forbidden it, to a meeting in Fuerth. On our way the police again attempted to stop us. It was all the same to us. In the next moment in our anger we attacked the police so that they were forced to flee. We marched on to Geissmann Hall. There again they tried to stop us. But the Landsturm, which was also there, attacked the protection forces like persons possessed and drove them from the streets. After the meeting we dissolved and went to the edge of town. From there we marched in close column back to Nuernberg. In Will Street near Plaerrer the police came again. We simply shoved them aside. They did not dare to attack, for this would have meant a blood bath. We decided beforehand not to take anything from anyone. In Fuerth they had already noticed that we were up to no good. A mass of people accompanied us on the march. We marched with unrolled flags and sang so that the streets resounded: `Comrade give me your hand; we want to stand together firmly; even if they misunderstand the S.A., the spirit must not die; Swastika on the steel helmet, black-white-red armband; we are known as Storm Troop (S.A.) Hitler!"

I now skip to the use of the S.A. to consolidate the power of the Party.

[Page 109]

The third function of the S.A. was to carry out various programmes designed to consolidate Nazi control of the German State, including particularly the dissolution of the trade unions and the Jewish persecutions.

The S.A. groups were employed to destroy political opposition by force and brutality wherever necessary. An example of this is shown in Document 3221-PS, Exhibit USA 422, and that is an original affidavit made in the State of Pennsylvania, in the United States of America, by William F. Sollman, which we now quote in its entirety:--

"William F. Sollman, Pendle Hill School, Wallingford, Pennsylvania, being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says: From 1919 until 1933 I was a Social- Democrat and a member of the German Reichstag. Prior to 11th March, 1933, I was Editor-in-Chief of a chain of daily newspapers with my office in Cologne, Germany, which led the fight against the Nazi Party. On 9th March, 1933, members of the S.S. and S.A. came to my home in Cologne and destroyed the furniture and my personal records. At that time I was taken to the Brown House in Cologne, where I was tortured, being beaten and kicked for several hours. I was then taken to the regular Government prison in Cologne, where I was treated by two medical doctors and released the next day. On 11th March, 1933, I left Germany.

Signed and sworn to."

Prior to the organisation of the Gestapo on a national scale, local S.A. meeting places were designated as arrest points, and the S.A. members were employed in the taking into custody of Communists and other persons who were actually or supposedly hostile to the Nazi Party. This activity is described in Document 1759-PS, Exhibit USA 420, which is an original affidavit made by Raymond H. Geist. Mr. Geist was formerly United States Consul in Berlin. He is now in Mexico City. I should like to quote from a portion of his affidavit, the first being on Page 5 of the English translation, about the middle of the page, starting:--
"At the beginning of the Hitler regime, the only organisation which had meeting-places throughout the country was the S.A. (Storm Troopers). Until the Gestapo could be organised on a national scale, the thousands of local S.A. meeting-places became the arrest points. There were at least 50 of these in Berlin. Communists, Jews, and other known enemies of the Nazi Party were taken to these points, and if they were enemies of sufficient importance they were immediately transferred to the Gestapo Headquarters. During 1933 and 1934, when the Gestapo became universally organised, the S.A. were gradually eliminated as arresting agents, and the S.S. were incorporated as administrative and executive officials into the Gestapo. By the end of 1934, the S.A. had been fairly well eliminated and the S.S., the members of which wore elegant black suits and were therefore called Elite Guards, became almost identical as functionaries with the Gestapo."

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