The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
14th May to 24th May, 1946

One Hundred and Thirty-Seventh Day: Thursday, 23rd May, 1946
(Part 7 of 10)

[DR. SAUTER continues his direct examination of Baldur von Schirach]

[Page 344]


Q. There is only one point of that Hitler Youth programme, if I may call it that, with which I would like to deal, because it has been particularly stressed against you in the Indictment. That is your collaboration with the Lawyers' League, that is to say, your occupation with law. In that connection I would like to know why you, the Reich Youth Leader, were interested in legal problems at all. What were you striving for, and what did you achieve? Please, will you tell us that briefly, because it has been emphasized in the Indictment.

A. May I remind you that the youth of the State were regarded by me as being a Youth State. In that Youth State all professions and all tasks were represented. My collaboration with the Lawyers' League was due to the necessity of training legal advisers for our youth who could offer them the necessary legal protection. I was anxious that those Hitler Youth Leaders who were studying law, should return to the organization to deal with just such tasks within the organization.

That type of training developed into a large organization within the ranks of youth, which was equivalent to the organization of doctors within this youth organization; our medical organization comprised approximately 1,000 doctors, men and women. These legal men assisted the staff, in the district and other units of our youth organization, putting through those demands which I had first made some years before the seizure of power, and which I had championed in the State later on, namely, the demands for free time and for paid vacation for the young worker.

This legal work of our youth led to the founding of faculties for Youth Law and Working Youth Law, etc., attached to the universities at Kiel and Bonn. In particular it had the result that those demands which I voiced in a speech in 1936 before the Youth Legal Committee of the Academy for German Law could be carried through.

Q. Just one moment.

DR. SAUTER: This is the speech of which excerpts are reproduced, in Schirach Document Book, No. 63. It is copied from Das Archiv of October 1936.


Q. Herr von Schirach, perhaps you can tell us very briefly which social demands you, as Reich Youth Leader, made regarding youth. You said earlier, "free time." What did you mean by that?

A. In the first place, a shortening of working hours for young people, the abolition of night work for young people, a fundamental prohibition of child labour, extended weekends, and three weeks' paid vacation every year.

In 1937, at Liegnitz, I noticed that at that time fifty per cent of the youthful workers had no holidays at all, and that only one per cent had fifteen to eighteen days per annum. In 1938, on the other hand, I had put through the Youth Protection Law, which prohibited child labour, moved up the age of protection for juveniles from 16 to 18 years, prohibited night work, and realised my demand regarding the extended week-end, while specifying at least fifteen days vacation per annum for youngsters. That was all I could achieve. It was only part of what I wanted to achieve.

DR. SAUTER: These are the demands which are contained in the following documents in the Document Book: 40 to 41, and 60 to 64. I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of these.


Q. Witness, I now come to another problem, and that is your position within the Party. Some time ago we were shown a chart here giving a clear picture

[Page 345]

of the organization of the Party. Was that plan correct or what was your position within the Party?

A. My position in the Party was not correctly depicted in that chart, at least not as far as the channels of command are concerned. According to the chart which was exhibited here, the channel of command would have been from the Reich Leader for Youth Education to the Chief of the Party Chancellery, and from there to Hitler and from Hitler to the Reich Youth Leadership Office of the Party. That, of course, is an erroneous picture.

I was not in Party headquarters in order to give my orders through the Gauleiter and district leaders. I was there because I was the representative and head of the youth movement, so that if you want to describe my position and the position of my organization in the framework of the NSDAP correctly, you would actually have to draw a pyramid, the apex of which, that is to say, my position in Party headquarters, should be on the same level as the Reichsleiter. I was the only person in the youth movement who was connected with the Party.

Q. And the other leaders and sub-leaders of the youth movement?

A. Some of them may have been Party members, but not all. At any rate, they were not members of the Gauleiter's or Kreisleiter's headquarters. The entire staff of the youth movement, the entire youth organization, stood alongside the Party as a separate unit.

Q. Witness, as the Youth Leader of the German Reich, were you a civil servant?

A. Yes.

Q. And since 1st December, 1936, I believe, you were the chief of a Reich office at the highest level?

A. Only since 1st December, 1936, was I a civil servant.

Q. And the title was?

A. Youth Leader of the German Reich.

Q. As the chief of a supreme Reich department, were you actually independent with reference to the Minister of the Interior and the Minister for Education?

A. Yes, that was, after all, the purpose of creating an independent Reich agency.

Q. Did you thereby become a member of the Reich Cabinet, as has been claimed?

A. I am sure I did not. I heard here for the first tune that I was supposed to have been a member of the Cabinet. I never participated in a Cabinet meeting. I never received an appointment or any official paper which would have made me a member of the Cabinet. I never received invitations to attend Cabinet meetings. I never considered myself a member of the Cabinet, and I believe that the ministers did not consider me a member either.

Q. Were you in any way informed of the resolutions passed by the Reich Cabinet, for instance, by having the minutes of the meetings sent to you?

A. No. Resolutions passed by the Reich Cabinet, in so far as any were passed after 1st December, 1936, only came to my attention in the same way as they came to the attention of any other higher official or employee of the Reich who read the Reich Law Gazette or the Ministerial Gazette of the Reich. Records and minutes were never sent to me.

Q. Well then, when you became a supreme Reich authority, did you receive your staff which you needed through a ministry, or how did you obtain that staff for yourself?

A. A few youth leaders who had worked in my staff for a number of years were made civil servants through me. I did not receive a single official from any ministry to deal with matters relating to the youth organization. The entire supreme Reich department, if I remember correctly, consisted of no more than five officials. It was the smallest of the supreme Reich departments, something I was particularly proud of. We carried out a very large task with a minimum of personnel.

[Page 346]

Q. And now, witness, I want to come to a subject which is going to be rather extensive, and that is the affidavit which you have already mentioned, by Gregor Ziemer. It is a very lengthy affidavit which has been presented by the prosecution under No. 2441-PS.

Witness, what do you have to say in detail with regard to that affidavit? Do you know it? Do you know this man Gregor Ziemer?

A. No.

Q. Have you found out who he is and from where he gathered his alleged knowledge?

A. I gather from the affidavit that Herr Ziemer, before the war, was head-master of the American school in Berlin and that he has written a book which apparently deals with youth and school education in Germany; this affidavit being an extract from that book. The affidavit as such, if you regard it in its entirety, seems, I believe, to have more importance as propaganda than it tends to be objective. I want to start by quoting something from the very first page, which is the page containing Ziemer's affidavit; and in the last paragraph it says that street fights took place outside the American school between the Jewish children going to this school and the local youngsters. I need not deal with the difficulties which the school itself had, because that was not part of my sphere. But these street fights took place outside the school, and I think I ought to say something about them.

I never heard anything about these street fights, but I should have heard about them under all circumstances because during most of 1938 I was in Berlin. I should have heard of them, firstly through the youth organization itself, because the senior youth leaders would have been obliged to report to me if such incidents had taken place.

Furthermore, I should have heard about them through the Foreign Office, because if youngsters from the American colony had been molested, protests would certainly have gone through the embassy to the Foreign Office, and these protests would without fail have been passed on to me at once, indeed, reported to me by telephone.

I can only imagine that the whole affair is a very gross exaggeration. The American Ambassador, Wilson, even had breakfast with me - I think in the spring of 1939, and I do not think I am wrong - in Gatau.

Q. In the Foreign House?

A. In the Foreign House.

And we discussed a number of subjects privately. I believe that on this occasion or afterwards he would most certainly have mentioned such incidents if they had in reality occurred in the way Herr Ziemer is describing them.

Q. I believe I can go over to Page 2, where -

THE PRESIDENT (Interposing): Dr. Sauter, how much of this document has been read by the prosecution? As far as I know, very little.

DR. SAUTER: I beg your pardon.

THE PRESIDENT: How much of this affidavit has been read and put in evidence by the prosecution?

DR. SAUTER: I cannot tell you that offhand, Mr. President. But judging by practice, it seems to me that if a document is submitted to the Tribunal, judicial notice of the entire document is taken by the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: That is not so. We have stated over and over again that we only take judicial notice of those parts of documents which have been read to the Tribunal, unless they are documents of which full translations have been given. This document was, I suppose, presented in the course of the prosecution's case, and probably one sentence out of it was read at the time. I do not know how much was read; but you and the defendant ought to know.

[Page 347]

MR. DODD: There was only one paragraph read, Mr. President

THE PRESIDENT: One paragraph?

MR. DODD: One full paragraph, and perhaps one short one on Page 21.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I have it here.

MR. DODD: I think the prosecution covered the part dealing with the speech at Heidelberg.

THE PRESIDENT: And that is the only part of it that has been read, and that is, therefore, the only part of it that is in evidence.

THE WITNESS: Perhaps for the sake of credibility - and I shall not deal in detail with the accusations contained in that affidavit-I might be allowed to say that with one sole exception, all the annual slogans of the Hitler Youth are reproduced falsely in this affidavit, and that Gregor Ziemer nevertheless swears to the correctness of his statement.

THE PRESIDENT: Would it not be the best, if you want to reply to his affidavit, that you should direct the defendant's attention to the part which has been read? Then he can make an answer to that.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, in Ziemer's affidavit, which the defendant has told me he regards as a clearly inflammatory piece of writing, the annual slogans are mentioned which are supposed to have been issued by the defendant, that is, the "form" determining the work for the following year.

THE PRESIDENT: One passage of this document has been put in. If you want to put in the rest, you are entitled to do so. But I should have thought that it would have been the best way for you to answer the passage which has been put in. The rest of the affidavit is not in evidence.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, in that case my client would get the worst end of the bargain, because in other passages which have not been used by the prosecution

THE PRESIDENT (Interposing): I said you could use the other passages if you want to.

DR. SAUTER: Certainly, but I want to prove that Herr Ziemer's statements are not correct; that is why I have just been discussing the question of annual slogans with the defendant. This is only one example.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, the defendant is apparently saying that the affidavit is unreliable because of the slogans which are referred to in it. Is that not sufficient for your purpose?

DR. SAUTER: Yes; but I intend to prove that Herr Ziemer's statements are untrue. The defendant maintains that the statements contained in that affidavit are not true. But I am trying to prove to you that, in fact, Herr Ziemer has deliberately stated and sworn to untruths.

THE PRESIDENT: Surely, Dr. Sauter, there being one passage in this affidavit which is in evidence, you can deal with the question of the credit of the person who made the affidavit very shortly.


Witness, this Herr Ziemer, in his affidavit, has made statements regarding the annual slogans which you issued for the Hitler Youth. How these annual slogans were worded can be easily seen by the Tribunal from the affidavit. I am now asking you to tell us how the annual slogans of the Hitler Youth were worded during your time; that is, 1933 to 1940.

[Page 348]

A. Herr Ziemer mentions the slogans on Page 16 of the English document. Herr Ziemer says that in 1933 the slogan for German Youth had been "One Reich, One Nation, One Fuehrer." He probably means, "One People, One Reich, One Fuehrer." Actually, the year 1933 was the year of "Unity."

Q. What do you mean by "Unity"?

A. The Year in which German Youth joined ranks in one organization.

Q. Witness, I want to pass over a few years now and come to the year 1938. What was your slogan for the Hitler Youth in 1938?

A. 1938 was the year of "Understanding."

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