The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
December 17, 1945 to January 4, 1946

Twenty-Fifth Day: Wednesday, 2nd January, 1946
(Part 4 of 9)

[COLONEL STOREY continues]

[Page 211]

The next subject: "The Gestapo and the S.D. Participated in Deportation of Citizens of Occupied Countries for Forced Labour and Handled the Disciplining of Forced Labour."

With reference to the presentation heretofore made concerning forced labour, I do not intend to repeat this. However, there were several references to the important position played by the Gestapo and the S.D. in rounding up persons to be brought into the Reich for forced labour, and references in two or three documents that were introduced. I simply want to cite those documents as showing the part that the Gestapo and S.D. played. Document L-61, Exhibit USA 177. It is set out in this document book - I am simply citing it - it is a letter of the 26th of November, 1942, from Fritz Sauckel, in which he stated that he had been advised by the Chief of the Security Police and S.D. under date of 26th October, 1942, that during the month of November the evacuation of Poles in the Lublin district would begin, in order to make room for the settlement of persons of the German race. The Poles who were evacuated as a result of this measure were to be put into concentration camps for labour, so far as they were criminal or anti-social.

The Tribunal will also recall the Christensen letter, which is our Document 3012-PS, Exhibit USA 190. In that letter it is stated that during the year 1943 the programme of mass murder carried out by the Einsatz Groups in the East should be modified in order to round up hundreds of thousands of persons for labour in the armament industry. That was in 3012-PS, which has heretofore been introduced as Exhibit USA 190. And that force was to be used when necessary. Prisoners were to be released so that they could be used for forced labour. When villages were burned down the whole population was to be placed at the disposal of the labour commissioners.

Now in that connection the direct responsibility of the Gestapo for disciplining forced workers is shown in our next exhibit, Document 1573-PS, Exhibit USA 498. This is a secret order signed by Mueller himself to the regional Gestapo Offices on the 18th June, 1941, and I quote from the document from the beginning. It is addressed:

"To all State Police Administrative Offices, attention S.S. Sturmbahnfuehrer Nosske or representative at Aachen.

Subject: Measures to be taken against emigrants and civilian workers who came from the great Russian areas and against foreign workers.

Reference: None.

To prevent the unauthorised and arbitrary return of Russian, Ukrainian, White Ruthenian, Cossack, and Caucasian emigrants and civilian workers from the territory of the Reich to the East, and to prevent attempts at disorder by foreign workers in the German production, I decide as follows:

(1) The managers of the branch offices of the Russian, Ukrainian, White Ruthenian, and Caucasian trustee office, as well as the relief committee and the leading members of the Russian,

[Page 212]

Ukrainian, White Ruthenian, Cossack, and Caucasian emigration organisations are to be notified immediately that, until further notice, they are not allowed to leave their domicile without permission of the Security Police. Also they are to be told to apply the same measures to the members who are under their care. Their attention is to be called to the fact that they will be arrested in case of unauthorised leaving place of work and domicile. I request to have a check on the presence of branch office leaders if possible by daily inquiries under pretext.

(2) Emigrants and foreign workers are to be arrested if it is warranted by the situation, in case they were charged with similar offences previously and are under the suspicion of having been active as informers for the U.S.S.R. This measure has to be prepared. It should, however, not be taken before the pass word ' Fremdvoelker' has been transmitted by means of 'urgent' telegram."

THE PRESIDENT: Do you think you should read the rest of that ?


THE PRESIDENT: Is it necessary to read the rest of that ?

COLONEL STOREY: I do not think so, your Honour.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

COLONEL STOREY: If the Tribunal please, I next offer in evidence Document 3330-PS, Exhibit USA 499, the second volume. Before I hand this document to the translator I should like to exhibit it to your Honours. It is an original telegram that was sent to the Gestapo office at Nuremberg. It was discovered by the C.I.C., by a Lieutenant Stevens, near Herzburg, Germany, and your Honours will notice that parts of it have been burned. It was in connection with some documents that had been buried and they were partially burned when they were buried. This is one of the telegrams. It is from the Secret State Police, the State Police Station at Nuremberg and Furth, and it is dated the 12th February, 1944. I quote from the telegram:

"R.S.H.A. IV F1 45-44.
The Border Inspector General.
Urgent - Submit immediately.

Treatment, of recaptured escaped eastern labourers (Ostarbeiter).

By order of the R.F.S.S. all recaptured escaped Eastern labourers without exception are to be sent to concentration camps, effective immediately. In regard to reporting to R.F.S.S., I request only one report by teletype to Section IV D (Foreign labourers) on 10th March, 1944, as to how many of such male or female Eastern labourers were turned over to a concentration camp, between to-day and 10th March, 1944.')

By these methods the Gestapo and S.D. maintained control over forced labour brought into the Reich.

The next subject I go into is that the Gestapo and S.D. executed captured commandos and paratroopers and protected civilians who lynched Allied fliers.

On 4th August, 1942, Keitel issued an order which provided that the Gestapo and S.D. were responsible for taking counter-measures against

[Page 213]

single parachutists or small groups of them with jspecial missions. In substantiation I offer now Document 513-PS as the exhibit next in order, Exhibit USA 500. I read from the first page of the translation, the first part of paragraph 3:
"Single parachutists captured by members of the Armed Forces are to be delivered to the nearest agency of the Chief of the Security Police and S.D. without delay."
Now, if the Tribunal please, to digress from the text: Colonel Taylor will present the Nazi High Command and a few of their orders. This is one thing and there is also another one, with which he is going to deal extensively. My purpose in introducing these orders now is to show the part that the Gestapo and S.D. played in connection with them.

The next order that I introduce is Document 498-PS, in the first volume, Exhibit USA 501. That is the celebrated commando order signed by the Fuehrer himself on 18th October, 1942. There were only 12 copies of this made and it bears the original personal signature of Adolf Hitler. One copy was sent to the Reichsfuehrer S.S. and Chief of the Security Police. That order, without reading it, and getting down to the part from which I want to quote, simply provides that all commandos, whether or not in uniform or unarmed, are to be slaughtered to the last man. I want to read down at the bottom, the beginning of paragraph 4, to show the part of the S.D.:

"If individual members of such commandos, such as agents, saboteurs, etc., fall into the hands of the military forces by some other means, through the police in occupied territories for instance, they are to be handed over immediately to the S.D."
Another one of those orders is Document 526-PS, Exhibit USA 502, to which I would like to refer. That document has to do with some alleged saboteurs landing in Norway. It is dated the 10th May, 1943, and is Top Secret. I quote the first paragraph as identifying a crew:
"On the 30th March, 1943, on Toftefjord (70 deg. lat.) an enemy cutter was sighted. Cutter was blown up by the enemy. Crew two dead men, 10 prisoners."
That is the crew. Near the bottom of that order, the third sentence from the bottom, is this statement
"Fuehrer order executed by S.D. (Security Service)."
We have heretofore introduced Document R-110, Exhibit USA 333, and that was the Himmler order of 10th August, 1943, which was sent to Security Police. That order provided that it was not the task of the Police to interfere in clashes between Germans and English and American terror fliers who had baled out. It was personally signed by Himmler and here is the signature. It has already been introduced in evidence, but I wanted to call the attention of the Court to it again.

May I next go to the subject where the Gestapo and the S.D. took civilians of occupied countries to Germany for secret trial and punishment. That is the so-called "Night and Fog Decree," issued on 7th December, 1941, by Hitler. That decree has not been introduced in evidence.

I now refer to Document L-90, in the first volume, Exhibit USA 503. Under that decree persons who committed offences against the Reich or occupation forces in occupied territory, except where death sentence was certain, were to be taken secretly to Germany and surrendered to the Security

[Page 214]

Police and S.D. for trial or punishment in Germany itself. And this is the original from which we quote, beginning on the first page of the translation. It is on the stationery of the Reichsfuehrer S.S. and Chief of German Police, Munich, 4th February, 1942. Subject: Prosecution of Offences against the Reich or the Occupation Forces.
"1. The following regulations published by the Chief of the Armed Forces High Command, dated 12th December, 1941, are being made known herewith:

(1) The Chief of the Armed Forces High Command.

After thoughtful consideration, it is the will of the Fuehrer that the measures taken against those who are guilty of offences against the Reich or against the occupation forces in occupied areas should be altered. The Fuehrer thinks that in the case of such offences life imprisonment, even life imprisonment with hard labour, is regarded as a sign of weakness. An effective and lasting deterrent can be achieved only by the death penalty or by taking measures which will leave the family and the population uncertain as to the fate of the offender. The deportation to Germany serves this purpose.

The directives for the prosecution of offences as outlined below correspond with the Fuehrer's conception. They have been examined and approved by him. (Signed) Keitel."

And then follow some of the directives and descriptions.

This is a very long document, with enclosures, and we next turn to Page 4 of the English translation, near the bottom:

"In so far as the S.S. and the police are the competent authorities for dealing with offences committed under 1, they should proceed accordingly."
Next, in connection with the same document, on Page 20, Part II of the English translation, which is the secret letter addressed to the "Abwehr," I quote from Page 2. It is the letter dated 2nd February, 1942, passing down to the words "Enclosed please find:
"1. Decree of the Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of 7th December, 1941.

2. Executive order of the same date.

3. Communication of the Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces of 12th December, 1941.

The decree introduces a fundamental innovation. The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces orders that offences committed by civilians in the occupied territories and of the kind mentioned above, are to be dealt with by the competent Military Courts in the occupied territories only if (a) the death penalty is pronounced, and (b) sentence is pronounced within eight days of the prisoner's arrest.

Unless both these conditions are fulfilled, the Fuehrer and Supreme Commander does not anticipate that criminal proceedings within the occupied territories will have the necessary deterrent effect.

In all other cases the prisoners are in future to be transported to Germany secretly, and further dealings with the offences will take place there ; these measures will have a deterrent effect because (a) the

[Page 215]

prisoners will vanish without leaving a trace, (b) no information may be given as to their whereabouts or their fate."
Now, skipping the next paragraph, to the second paragraph below:
"In case the competent Military Court, and the Military Commander respectively are of the opinion that an immediate decision on the spot is impossible, and the prisoners are therefore to be transported to Germany, the Counter Intelligence Offices have to report this fact directlyto the R.S.H.A. in Berlin, SW11, PrinzAlbrecht Street 7, c-o Dr. Fischer, Director of Criminal Police, stating the exact number of prisoners and of the group or groups which belong together as the case may be. Isolated cases, where the superior commander has an urgent interest in the case being dealt with by a military court, are to be reported to the R.S.H.A. Copy of the entire report has to be sent to Office Foreign Countries Intelligence Department, Abwehr III.

The R.S.H.A., on the basis of available accommodation, will determine which office of the State Police has to accept the prisoners. The latter office will communicate with the competent Counter Intelligence Office and determine with it the particulars of the removal, particularly whether this will be carried out by the Secret Field Police, the Field Gendarmerie, or the Gestapo itself, as well as on the place and the manner of the actual handing over."

After the civilians arrived in Germany no word of the disposition of their cases was permitted to reach the country from which they came or their relatives.

I now offer Document 668-PS, Exhibit USA 504. This is a letter of the Chief of the Security Police and the S.D., dated 24th June, 1942, and I quote from the first page of the English translation:

"It is the intent of the directive of the Fuehrer and Commander- in-Chief of the Wehrmacht concerning prosecution of criminal acts against the Reich or the occupation forces in occupied territories, dated 7th December, 1941 " - that is the order that I first referred to -- "to create, for deterrent purposes, uncertainty over the fate of prisoners among their relatives and acquaintances, through the deportation into Reich territory of persons arrested in occupied areas on account of activity inimical to Germany. This goal would be jeopardised if the relatives were to be notified in cases of death. Release of the body for burial at home is inadvisable for the same reason, and beyond that also because the place of burial could be misused for demonstrations.

I therefore propose that the following rules be observed in the handling of cases of death:

(a) Notification of relatives is not to take place.

(b) The body will be buried at the place of decease in the Reich.

(c) The place of burial will, for the time being, not be made known."

Now passing to the next activity of the S.D. and Gestapo, which was that they arrested, tried and punished citizens of occupied countries under special criminal procedure and by summary methods. And I next offer in evidence Document 674-PS, Exhibit USA 505.

The Gestapo, under certain circumstances, arrested, placed in protective custody, and executed civilians of occupied countries. Even where there were courts capable of handling emergency cases the Gestapo conducted its own proceedings without regard to normal judicial processes.

[Page 216]

This document, 674-PS, Exhibit USA 505, is a letter from the Chief Public Prosecutor at Kattowitz, dated 3rd December, 1941, and it is addressed to the Reich Minister of Justice, attention Chief Councillor to the Government Stadermann or representative in office, Berlin. The subject is "Executions by the Police and Expediting of Penal Procedure, without Order; Enclosure: 1 copy of report." I quote from the beginning:
"About three weeks ago, six ringleaders (some of them German) were hanged by the Police, in connection with the destruction of a treasonable organisation of 350 members in Tarnowitz, without notification to the Ministry of Justice. Such executions of criminal agents have previously taken place also in the Bielitz district without the knowledge of the public prosecutor. On 2nd December, 1941, the head of the State Police at Kattowitz, chief councillor to the government Mildner, reported orally to the undersigned that he had ordered, with authority from the Reichsfuehrer of the S. S., as necessary immediate action, these executions by public hanging at the place of the crime, and that deterrents would also have to be continued in future until the criminal and actively anti-German elements in the occupied Eastern territories have been destroyed, or until other immediate actions, perhaps also by the courts, would guarantee equally deterrent effect. Accordingly, six leaders.of another Polish organisation guilty of high treason in the district in and around Sosnowitz were to be hanged publicly to-day as an example.

About this procedure the undersigned expressed considerable concern.

Besides the fact that such measures have been withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts and are contradictory to laws still in force, a justified emergency for the exceptional proceedings by the police alone cannot, in our opinion, be lawfully recognised.

The penal justice in our district within the limits of our jurisdiction is quite capable of fulfilling its duty of immediate penal retribution by means of a special form of special judicial activity established by a so-called ' Rapid Special Court.' Indictment and trial could be speeded up in such a way that between turning the case over to the public prosecutor and the execution no more than three days would elapse, if the practice of reprieve is simplified and if the decision, if necessary, can be obtained by telephone. This was expressed yesterday to the head of the State police at Kattowitz by the undersigned.

We cannot believe that execution by the police of criminals, especially German criminals, can be considered more effective in view of the shaken sense of justice of many Germans. In the long run they might, in spite of public deterrent, lead even more to further brutality of mind, which is contrary to the intended purpose of pacification. These deliberations, however, do not apply to future legal competence of a drumhead court-martial for Poles and Jews."

I next refer to document 654-PS, Exhibit USA 218, which has previously been introduced in evidence, but it bears on this subject, and I will merely summarise in a word what it provided.

It states that on 18th of September, 1942, Thierack, the Reich Minister of Justice, and Himmler came to an understanding by which anti-social elements were to be turned over to Himmler to be worked to death. That is

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in Document 654-PS, and a special criminal procedure was to be applied by the police to the Jews, Poles, Gypsies, Russians, and Ukrainians, who were not to be tried in ordinary criminal courts.

I refer to that document merely as bearing on the same subject.

Another document from which I will not quote, but will cite to your Honour, is the order of 5th November, 1942, issued by the R.S.H.A., and that is Document L-316, Exhibit USA 346. I do not think it is necessary to quote from that except to state that that letter provides that the administration -- in fact, the last statement in it just before the signature provides:

"The administration of penal law for persons of alien race must be transferred from the hands of the administrators of justice into the hands of the police."
That is the part that connects the police with it, and I will not quote from the document otherwise.

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