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 5 of 9)

[COLONEL STOREY continues]

[Page 217]

Now I next come to the subject where the Gestapo and the S.D. executed or confined persons in concentration camps for crimes allegedly committed by their relatives and in that connection I offer Document L- 37 in the first volume, Exhibit USA 506.

That is a letter dated 19th July, 1944. I call your Honour's attention to the fact that it is dated in 1944, sent by the Commander of the Sipo and S.D. for the District of Radom to the Foreign Service Office in Tomassow.

Parenthetically, that big Haftbuch that we introduced in evidence has a number of cases in connection with the District of Radom, and your Honour will remember that it is a list of the people in the District of Tomassow.

The subject of this letter is "Collective responsibility of members of families of assassins and saboteurs." I will read after the word "precedents."

"The Higher S.S. and Police Fuehrer Ost has issued on 28th June, 1944, the following order:

The security situation in the Government General has in the last nine months grown so much worse that from now on the most radical means and the harshest measures must be enforced against the alien assassins and saboteurs. The Reichsfuehrer S.S., in agreement with the Governor General, has ordered that, in all cases where assassinations of Germans or attempts at such have occurred, or saboteurs have destroyed vital installations, not only the perpetrators who are caught are to be shot but also all male relatives are to be executed and their female relatives who are over 16 years are to be put into concentration camps. It is of course strictly understood that, if the perpetrator or the perpetrators are not apprehended, their names and addresses must be correctly ascertained. Among male relatives can be considered for example: the father, sons (in so far as they are over 16 years of age), brothers, brothers-in-law, cousins and uncles of the perpetrator. Proceedings must take place in the same manner against the women. By this procedure it is intended to secure collective responsibility of all men and women relatives of the perpetrator. It furthermore affects. to the utmost the family circle of the political criminal. This practice has already shown, for example, by the end of 1939, the best results in the new Eastern territories, especially in the Warthe district. As soon as this new method for combating assassins and saboteurs becomes known to these foreign people - this may be achieved by oral propaganda - the female members of a family to which members of the resistance

[Page 218]

movement or bands belong, as shown by experience, will exert a curbing influence."
Now the S.D. and Gestapo also conducted third degree interrogations of prisoners of war, and I refer to Document 1531-PS, Exhibit USA 248. This document contains an order of 12th June, 1942, signed by Mueller, which authorised the use of third degree methods in interrogations where preliminary investigation indicated that the prisoners could give information on important facts such as subversive activities, but did not authorise their use to extort confessions of the prisoner's own crimes.

Now I quote from Page 2 of the English translation, paragraph 2:

"Third degree may, under this supposition, only be employed against Communists, Marxists, Jehovah's Witnesses, saboteurs, terrorists, members of resistance movements, parachute agents, anti-social elements, Polish or Soviet-Russian loafers or tramps. In all other cases, my permission must first be obtained."
Then I pass to paragraph 4 at the end:
"Third degree can, according to the circumstances, employ, among other methods:

Very simple diet (bread and water) ; hard bunk; dark cell; deprivation of sleep ; exhaustive drilling; also flogging (for more than 20 strokes a doctor must be consulted)."

On 24th February, 1944, the Commander of the Sipo and the S.D. for the district of Radom published an order issued by the Befehlshaber of the Sipo and the S.D. at Cracow, which is Document L-89, Exhibit U.S.A. 507, in the first volume. This followed closely the provisions of the previous decree that I have just quoted from, and I quote the first paragraph after the list of offices on the first page:
"In view of the variety of methods used to date in intensified interrogations and in order to avoid excesses, also to protect officials against eventual criminal proceedings, the Befehlshaber of the Security Police and of the S.D. in Cracow has issued the following order for the Security Police in the Government General, which is based on the regulations in force for the Reich."
And then the regulations are quoted. The significance of this document is that it proves that as late as 1944 third degree interrogations were still being conducted by the Gestapo.

I next pass to the activity of the Gestapo and the S.D. as being primary agencies for the persecution of the Jews, and I do not intend to go into any of the evidence previously introduced, except to refer to the participation of these organisations.

The responsibility of the Gestapo and S.D. for the mass extermination programme carried out by the Einsatz Groups of the Sipo and S.D. annihilation camps to which Jews were sent by the Sipo and S.D. has already been considered, and I simply cite to the Tribunal the Document 2615-PS, which has previously been introduced, and in which the number of Jews executed was referred to by Eichmann. I simply recall to your attention the fact that Eichmann was head of Section B 4 of the Gestapo. That section of the Gestapo dealt with Jewish affairs, including matters of evacuation, means of suppressing enemies of the People and the State, and the dispossession of rights of German citizenship.

[Page 219]

The Gestapo was also charged with the enforcement of discriminatory laws, which have heretofore been introduced.

I now invite your Honour's attention to Document 3058-PS, Exhibit USA 508. I should like to point out to your Honour that it is a red- bordered document signed by Heydrich himself and addressed to the defendant Goering. It is dated 11th November, 1938. I pass this to the reporter, and before it is passed to the reporter it is to be noted that there is an appendix attached to it to the effect that the matter had been called to the attention of the defendant Goering.

Now this concerns a report of activities of the Gestapo in connection with the anti-Jewish demonstrations which you will recall were in the fall of 1938. This is a report from Heydrich personally to the defendant Goring. It is addressed to the Prime Minister, General Field- Marshal Goering, and is dated 11th November, 1938, and the previous documents showed that these activities occurred just before, and the order for it in connection with the Jewish uprooting or extermination:

"The extent of the destruction of Jewish shops and houses cannot yet be verified by figures. The figures given in the reports: 815 shops destroyed, 171 dwelling houses set on fire or destroyed, only indicate a fraction of the actual damage caused, as far as arson is concerned. Due to the urgency of the reports, those received to date are entirely limited to general statements such as 'numerous ' or 'most shops destroyed.' Therefore the figures given must have been exceeded considerably.

191 synagogues were set on fire and another 76 completely destroyed. In addition, 11 parish halls, cemetery chapels and similar buildings were set on fire and 3 more completely destroyed.

Twenty thousand Jews were arrested, also seven Aryans and three foreigners. The latter were arrested for their own safety.

Thirty-six deaths were reported and those seriously injured were also numbered at thirty-six. Those killed and injured are Jews. One Jew is still missing. The Jews killed include one Polish national, and those injuries include two Poles."

I want to call your Honour's special attention to the paper appended to that document:
"The General Field Marshal" - that is Goering - "has been informed.
No steps are to be taken. By order."
It is dated 15th November, 1938, and signed. The signature is illegible.

Now in that same connection Heydrich was charged by the defendant Goering with this entire programme, and we next offer in evidence the original of that order, Document 710-PS, Exhibit USA 509. That is an order dated 31st July, 1941. It is written on the stationery of the Reich Marshal of the Greater German Reich, Commissioner for the Four Year Plan, Chairman of the Ministerial Council for National Defence, and it is dated at Berlin 31st July, 1941, and directed to the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, S.S. Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich.

"Complementary to the task that was assigned to you on 24th January, 1939, which dealt with arriving at - through furtherance of emigration and evacuation - a solution of the Jewish problem, as advantageous as possible, I hereby charge you with making all necessary preparations

[Page 220]

in regard to organisational and financial matters for bringing about a complete solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe.

Wherever other Government agencies are involved, these are to co- operate with you.

I charge you furthermore to send me, before long, an overall plan concerning the organisational, factual and material measures necessary for the accomplishment of the desired solution of the Jewish question."

Signed, "Goering."

The Tribunal has already received the evidence as to what was the final solution of the Jewish problem as conceived by Heydrich, and executed by the Security Police and S.D. under him and under the defendant Kaltenbrunner. It was enslavement and mass murder.

Now, finally, in this presentation the last activity of the Gestapo and S.D. to which I will refer is that these organisations were the primary agencies for the persecution of the churches. Already evidence has been received concerning the persecution of the churches. In this struggle the Gestapo and the S.D. played a secret but very highly significant part.

Section C2 of the S.D. dealt with education and religious life. Section Bi of the Gestapo dealt with political Catholicism, Section B2 with political Protestantism, and Section B3 with other churches and Freemasonry.

The Church was one of the enemies of the Nazi State, and it was a peculiar function of the Gestapo to combat it. It issued restrictions against church activities, dissolved church organisations, and placed clergymen in protective custody.

I now want to offer in evidence Document 1815.-PS, Exhibit USA 510. This is a very large file, this original document, and I want to quote only portions of it. This was a file of the Gestapo regional office at Aachen. It discloses that the purpose of the Gestapo in combating the churches was to destroy them, and I want to read the first page of the English translation from the beginning.

This is dated "12th May, 1941, at Berlin, from the R.S.H.A., Section IV, B, 2, to all Staatspolizeileitsteller. For information: The S.D. Leit-Abschnitte ; the Inspectors of the Sipo and S.D."

I understand this word "Abschnitte " means sub-divisions.

The subject is "Concerning the study and treatment of political Churches.

"The chief of the R.S.H.A. has issued an order, effective immediately, in which the S.D. and Sipo Study and Treatment of Political Churches, which has hitherto been divided between the S.D.-Abschnitte and Stapostellen, shall now be taken over entirely by the Stapostellen"
- which I understand means Regional Offices of the Gestapo.

Then it refers to the plan for the division of work issued by the R.S.H.A. on 1st March, 1941.

"In addition to combating opposition, the Stapostellen thus take over the entire Gegnernachrichtendienst "
- I understand that word means counter-intelligence
"in this sphere.

In order that the Stapostellen should be in a position to take over this work, the Chief of the Sipo and S.D. has ordered that the Church Specialists, hitherto employed in the S.D.-Abschnitte, should be temporarily transferred to the same posts at the Stapo Offices and

[Page 221]

operate the "Nachrichtendienstliche Arbielt "
- which, means Intelligence Service in the Church. -
On the orders of the Chief of the R.S.H.A., and in agreement with the heads of Amt III, II, and I, those Church Specialists specified in the attached list " -
THE PRESIDENT: Is it necessary to give us the details of this?

COLONEL STOREY: No, Sir, I do not think so.

At any rate, if your Honour pleases, we quote from it, and it is simply a direction as to how they will proceed.

Now then, later, on 22nd and 23rd September, 1941, they called a conference of these so-called Church Specialists attached to the Gestapo Regional Offices which I have mentioned. This was held in the lecture hall of the R.S.H.A. in Berlin. Notes were taken, and this same document contains notes of that conference. The programme is shown and the plan worked out, in connection with the churches. I will just read the closing statement to these so-called Church Specialists; it is very short:

"Each one of you must go to work with your whole heart and a true fanaticism. Should a mistake or two be made in the execution of this work, this should in no way discourage you, since mistakes are made everywhere. The main thing is that the enemy " - meaning the church - " should be constantly tackled with determination, will, and effective initiative."
And then, finally, the last thing I would like to refer to in this document is on the eighth page of the English translation, which sets out their immediate aim and their ultimate aim ; it is on Page 8 of the English translation:
"The immediate aim: The Church must not regain one inch of the ground it has lost.

The ultimate aim: Destruction of the Confessional Churches to be brought about by the collection of all material obtained through Nachrichtendienst activities, which will, at a given time, be produced as evidence for the charge of treasonable activities during the German fight for existence."

I understand that long German word means intelligence activities.

Now, if your Honour pleases, this concludes the factual, documentary presentation which I shall make in connection with the S.D. and Gestapo. Closely allied with it is the case against Kaltenbrunner, as the representative of these organisations, which will be presented immediately after lunch by Lieutenant Whitney Harris. Also, there will be one or two witnesses who will be introduced in connection with these organisations and in connection with Kaltenbrunner.

There I should like to conclude, with just these remarks

The evidence shows that the Gestapo was created by the defendant Goering in Prussia in April, 1933, for the specific purpose of serving as a police agency to strike down the actual and ideological enemies of the Nazi regime, and that henceforward the Gestapo in Prussia and in the other states of the Reich carried out a programme of terror against all who were thought to be dangerous to the domination of the Conspirators over the people of Germany. Its methods were utterly ruthless. It operated outside the law and sent its victims to the concentration camps. The term "Gestapo" became the symbol of the Nazi regime of force and terror.

[Page 222]

Behind the scenes, operating secretly, the S.D., through its vast network of informants, spied upon the German people in their daily lives, on the streets, in the shops, and even within the sanctity of the churches.

The most casual remark of the German citizen might bring him before the Gestapo where his fate and freedom were decided without recourse to law. In this government, in which the rule of law was replaced by a tyrannical rule of men, the Gestapo was the primary instrument of oppression.

The Gestapo and the S.D. played an important part in almost every criminal act of the Conspiracy. The category of these crimes, apart from the thousands of specific instances of torture and cruelty in policing Germany for the benefit of the Conspirators, reads like a page from the Devil's notebook:

They fabricated the border incidents which Hitler used as an excuse for attacking Poland.

They murdered hundreds of thousands of defenceless men, women and children by the infamous Einsatz Groups.

They removed Jews, political leaders, and scientists from prisoner of war camps and murdered them.

They took recaptured prisoners of war to concentration camps and murdered them.

They established and classified the concentration camps and sent thousands of people into them for extermination and slave labour.

They cleared Europe of the Jews, and were responsible for sending hundreds of thousands to their deaths in annihilation camps.

They rounded up hundreds of thousands of citizens of occupied countries and shipped them to Germany for forced labour and sent slave labourers to labour reformatory camps.

They executed captured commandos and paratroopers and protected civilians who lynched allied fliers.

They took civilians of occupied countries to Germany for secret trial and punishment.

They arrested, tried and punished citizens of occupied countries under special crimifial procedures which did not accord fair trails, and by summary methods.

They murdered or sent to concentration camps the relatives of persons who had allegedly committed crimes.

They ordered the murder of prisoners in Sipo and S.D. prisons to prevent their release by Allied armies.

They participated in the seizure and spoliation of public and private property.

They were primary agencies for the persecution of the Jews and churches.

In carrying out these crimes the Gestapo operated as an organisation closely centralised and controlled from Berlin headquarters. Reports were submitted to Berlin and all important decisions emanated from Berlin. The regional offices had only limited power to commit persons to concentration camps. All cases, other than short of duration, had to be submitted to Berlin for approval.

The Gestapo was organised on a functional basis. Its principal divisions dealt with groups and institutions against which it committed the worst crimes - which I have enumerated.

[Page 223]

Thus, in perpetrating these crimes, the Gestapo acted as an entity, each section performing its parts in the general criminal enterprises ordered by Berlin. The Secret State Police should be held responsible as an organisation for the vast crimes in which it participated.

The S.D. was at all times a department of the S.S. Its criminality directly concerns and contributes to the criminality of the S.S.

And as to the Gestapo, it is submitted that it was an organisation in the sense in which that term is used in Article 9 of the Charter, that the defendants Goering and Kaltenbrunner committed the crimes defined in Article 6 of the Charter in their capacity as members and leaders of the Gestapo, and that the Gestapo, as an organisation, participated in and aided the conspiracy which contemplated and involved the commission of the crimes defined in Article 6 of the Charter.

And finally, I have in my hand here a brochure published in honour of the famous Heydrich, the former Chief of the Security Police and S.D., and I quote from a speech delivered by Heydrich on German Police Day, 1941, of which I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice:

"Secret State Police, Criminal Police, and S.D. are still adorned with the furtive and whispered secrecy of a political detective story. In a mixture of fear and shuddering-and yet at home with a certain feeling of security because of their presence - brutality, inhumanity bordering on the sadistic, and ruthlessness are attributed abroad to the men of this profession."
Those are the words of Heydrich, who was the former head of this organisation.

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