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 8 of 10)

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

[Page 348]

Q. The year of "Understanding"?

A. Herr Ziemer says the slogan had been, "Every Youth a Pilot."

Q. And then in 1939, what was your slogan?

A. That was the year of "Duty Towards Health."

Q. The year of "Duty Towards Health"?

A. According to Herr Ziemer it was, "Hitler Youth Marches."

Q. And finally 1940, your last year?

A. It was the year of "Instruction." But he calls it, "We are Marching Against England."

But I want to add that the first slogan, "One People, One Reich, One Fuehrer." which Ziemer says was the official slogan of the year 1933 for German youth, arose first in 1938 when Hitler went into Austria. Before that, that slogan did not exist at all. It has never been the annual slogan of German youth.

Q. Witness, we must comply with the wish of the Tribunal and not go into the affidavit of Ziemer any further, with the exception of the one point which has been used by the prosecution in the Indictment against you in connection with the accusation of anti-Semitism. I pass over Herr Ziemer's further statements and come to this speech at Heidelberg. Will you tell me first of all, what Ziemer said, and then make your own comments.

A. Ziemer said that during a meeting of students in Heidelberg, I think either at the end of 1938 of the beginning of 1939, I had made a speech against the Jews, in connection with a rally of the National Socialist Student Union. He says that on that occasion I praised the students for the destruction of the Heidelberg Synagogue, and that following that I had the students file past me, and gave them decorations and certificates of promotion.

First of all, I have already referred to my activity in the student movement. Upon the request of the Deputy Fuehrer, Rudolf Hess, I handed the leadership of the student movement over to him in 1934. He then appointed a Reich student leader; and after that I did not speak in any student meetings.

As far as I can remember, I visited Heidelberg during the summer of 1937, and there I spoke to a youth group. This was one or one and a half years before Ziemer's date. And on one occasion I went to a festival play at Heidelberg.

Q. All of this is irrelevant.

A. I have no recollection of any meeting of this sort with students, and I have no recollection of ever having publicly stated my views about the Jewish pogrom of 1938. I will state later what I said in my capacity as Youth Leader regarding this.

Ziemer says - I am translating from the English text - he says that the day will come when the students of Heidelberg will take up their place side by side with the legions of other students to win the world over to the National Socialist ideology.

I have never publicly spoken like that before youth, nor in public, nor even before small circles. These are not my words. I did not say that. I had no authority whatsoever to confer decorations or certificates upon students. Medals of distinction for students did not exist. All decorations were conferred by the head of the State.

[Page 349]

I personally had the right to confer the golden Youth Decoration, and I think it was conferred by me about 230 times in all, almost entirely upon people who earned distinction in the field of education, but not upon unknown students.

Witness, the important point is whether it is correct that the speech given at the end of 1938 before the students at Heidelberg, during which the speaker referred to the wreckage of the synagogues, was not made by you, because at that time you had not had anything to do with the student movement for years. Is that correct?

A. I had nothing to do with the student movement, and I do not remember having spoken before such a meeting. I consider it quite out of the question that such a meeting of students took place at all. I did not make those statements.

Q. Have you got the affidavit before you?

A. Yes. I cannot find that particular passage at the moment.

Q. It says something which I have translated into German, namely, it mentions the "small, fat student leader." Have you got that passage? Does it not say so?

A. Yes, it says so.

Q. Well then, surely "small, fat student leader" cannot be applied to you.

DR. SAUTER: May I, Mr. President, in this connection, draw your attention to an affidavit which appears in Schirach's Document Book under No. 3, and which I herewith submit to the Tribunal. It is an affidavit of a certain Hopken, who, from 1st May, 1938, was the female secretary of the defendant von Schirach, and who, in this affidavit, under 16 - which is Page 22 of the Document Book - mentioning exact details, states under oath that, during the time with which we are here concerned, the defendant was not at Heidelberg at all.

I do not suppose it is necessary for me to read that part of the affidavit. I am asking the Tribunal to take judicial notice of it.

THE PRESIDENT: I think this would be a good time to break off.

(A recess was taken.)


Q. Witness, you have spoken, in a different connection, about the fact that you did not consider officers suitable as youth leaders. I would be interested to know how many members of the Leadership Corps of the Hitler Youth, in 1939 at the outbreak of the war, were reserve officers in the armed forces.

A. I would judge that the Leadership Corps of the HJ had about 1,300 leaders. Those were leaders of the Banne, leaders of the districts or regions, and the corresponding staff of assistants. Of these 1,300 youth leaders, five to ten men were reserve officers.

Q. And how many active officers did you have at that time on your staff or in the Leadership Corps?

A. Active officers were not youth leaders and could not be youth leaders.

Q. Why not? Was that stipulated in the regulations?

A. Yes. An officer was not permitted to be a member of the Party or any one of its organs or affiliated organizations.

Q. Who was your responsible assistant for the physical education and sports programmes in the Hitler Youth?

A. Obergebietsfuehrer von Tschammer und Osten, who was also the Reich Sports Leader. In the Olympic year he co-operated very closely with me and voluntarily subordinated himself to me in December or November 1936. He was responsible to me for the entire physical education of the boys and girls.

Q. This Herr von Tschammer und Osten, who was very well known in the international sports world, was he an officer by profession?

A. According to my recollection he had been an officer during the first World War. Then he left the army and became a farmer. Later on he

[Page 350]

concerned himself only with questions of physical education and sport. One of his brothers was an active officer.

Q. Did von Tschammer und Osten become an officer during the second World War?

A. No, he did not.

Q. You remember that a document has been submitted here by the Soviet Prosecution, namely a report from Lemberg - in which it is stated that the Hitler Youth or the Reich Youth Leadership had conducted courses for young people from Poland, and these young people were to be trained as agents, spies and parachutists. You have stated today that you take the complete responsibility for the youth leadership. I ask you to tell us something about that.

A. We had absolutely no prerequisites for espionage training in our youth organization. Whether Heydrich on his part, without my knowledge and without the knowledge of my assistants, drafted youthful agents into Poland and used them within his intelligence service, it is not possible for me to say. I myself did not conduct any espionage training; I had no course for agents, and courses for training parachutists were out of the question because after all, I had no air force. Training of that kind could only have been conducted through the Air Force.

Q. Then you, as Reich Youth Leader, or, as it was called later, Reich Leader for Youth Education, never knew anything about these things before this trial? Can you state that under oath?

A. That I can state upon my oath, I should like to add that, shortly before the war, young refugees from Poland came to us, in large numbers, but they of course could not return to Poland. The persecution of the Germans in Poland is a historical fact.

Q. Witness, the prosecution has asserted that in the Hitler Youth a song was sung, "Heute gehort uns Deutschland, and morgen die ganze Welt" "Today Germany belongs to us, tomorrow the whole world" - that is the alleged title of that song, and that is supposed to have expressed the will for conquest of the Hitler Youth; is that correct?

A. The song says, in the original text which was written by Hans Baumann and is included in a document here: "Heute da hort uns Deutschland," "Germany hears us," not "belongs to us," "and tomorrow the whole world." But it had come to my knowledge also that the song, from time to time, was being sung in the form which has been mentioned here. For that reason I prohibited the singing of the song in a way differing from the original text. I also prohibited, years ago, the song, "Siegreich wollen wir Frankreich schlagen" "Gloriously we will conquer France"; from being sung by the German Hitler Youth.

Q. You prohibited the last mentioned song entirely?

A. Yes.

Q. Out of consideration for your French guests?

A. Not out of consideration for guests but because it was contrary to my political conceptions.

DR. SAUTER: So, Mr. President, I submit the correct text which I got from a song book. It is No. 95 of the Schirach Document Book. In connection with the question of whether the Hitler Youth intended a pre-military training of youth, I should like to put the following additional questions. Did the physical and sport training of youth apply only to the boys, Herr von Schirach?

A. No. Of course all young people received physical training.

Q. Also the girls?

A. Yes.

Q. Is it correct that your efforts directed toward the physical training and physical strengthening of youth also applied to the physically handicapped and to the blind, and other young people who from the very outset could not be used for military purposes?

[Page 351]

A. Very early in our work I included the blind and deaf and the cripples in the Hitler Youth. I had a periodical especially issued for the blind and had books made for them in Braille. I believe that the Hitler Youth was the only organization in Germany which took care of these people, except for special organizations of the NSV (National Socialist Welfare Organization) and so on.

DR. SAUTER: I ask, in connection with that, Mr. President, that you take notice of Document 27 of the Schirach Document Book. That is a long article entitled, "Inclusion of Physically Handicapped Young People in the Hitler Youth," where the deaf, dumb and blind are especially mentioned, to the effect that they should be trained to become fully capable of professional occupation.

MR. DODD: I have refrained all day from making any objection, but I think this examination has gone very far afield. We have made no charge against this defendant with respect to the blind, the deaf, the lame and halt.

He keeps going back to the Boy Scouts and we have not touched upon any of the relevant issues that are between us and this defendant. At the present rate I fear we will never get through.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, we have listened to this somewhat long account of the training of the Hitler Youth. Do you not think you can go on to something more specific now? We have a very fair conception, I think, of what the training of the Hitler Youth was, and we have all these documents before us.

DR. SAUTER: I shall try, Mr. President, to proceed according to your wishes as far as it is at all possible.


Witness, is it correct that you personally intervened with Hitler to prevent the re-establishment of cadet academies as institutions for purely military training?

A. Yes, that is correct. I prevented the re-establishment of cadet academies.

Q. I come now to a different chapter. The defendant has been accused of dissolving the Protestant and Catholic youth organizations. What can you say in answer to that?

A. First, the following: I wanted, as I have already explained, the unification of all our youth. I also wanted to bring the Protestant organizations, which were not very large numerically, and the numerically very large Catholic organizations, into the Hitler Youth, particularly because some of the organizations did not limit themselves to religious matters but competed with the Hitler Youth in physical training, marching, camping and so on. I therein saw a danger to the idea of unity in German national education, and above all I felt that among young people themselves there was a very strong tendency toward the Hitler Youth. The trend away from the denominational organizations is a fact. There were also many clergymen who were of the opinion that the development should perhaps take the following direction: All youth into Hitler Youth; the religious care of the youth through clergymen; sports and political work through youth leadership.

In 1933 or 1934 - but I think it was in 1933 - Reich Bishop Muller and the Protestant Bishop Oberheidt approached me on their own initiative and proposed to me to incorporate the Protestant youth organizations into the Hitler Youth. Of course I was very happy about that proposal and accepted it. At that time I had no idea that there was opposition to Reich Bishop Muller within the Protestant Church. I found out about that only much later. I believed that I was acting with the authority and in the name of the Evangelical Church, and the other Bishop who accompanied him further strengthened this belief of mine. Even today I still believe that with the voluntary incorporation of the Protestant youth into the State Youth Muller acted in accordance with the will of the majority of the Protestant youth themselves, and in my later activity as youth leader I frequently met former leaders of the Protestant youth organizations,

[Page 352]

who held leading positions with me and worked in my Youth Organization with great enthusiasm and devotion.

Through that incorporation of Protestant youth-I should like to stress this - spiritual ministration to youth was not limited or hindered in any way; there never was a restriction of church services for youth, either then or later. Since Protestant youth had been incorporated on the basis of an agreement between the Church and the Hitler Youth, there was practically only a dispute about youth education between the Catholic Church and the Hitler Youth.

In May or June 1934 I asked personally to participate in the negotiations for the Reich Concordat, because I wanted to eliminate entirely the differences between the Catholic Church and the Hitler Youth. I considered an agreement to be very important and, in fact, I was allowed to participate in these negotiations which took place in June 1934, in the Reich Ministry of the Interior, under the chairmanship of the Reich Minister for the Interior, Frick. On the Catholic side Archbishop Erober and Bishop Berning took part in the negotiations, and at that time I personally proposed a formula for co-operation, which met with an approach from the Catholic side, and I believed that I had found the basis for appeasement in this sphere.

The conferences were unfortunately interrupted on the evening of 29th June, and on 30th June, 1934 we experienced the so-called "Roehm Putsch," and the negotiations were never resumed. That is not my fault and I bear no responsibility for that. Hitler simply did not want to carry out the Concordat. I personally had the desire to achieve that agreement, and I believe that the representatives of the Church also saw from these negotiations, and from certain later conferences with me, that the difficulties did not originate with me. At any rate Bishop Berning came to me, I believe in 1939. We discussed current tensions between the youth leadership and the Church. I believe that he also took with him at that time the impression that it was not I who wanted to make difficulties.

The difficulties already arose at that time from the increasingly strong influence of Martin Bormann, who tried to prevent absolutely any kind of agreement between the Party offices and the Church, or between the youth leadership and the Church.

In the course of the dispute about the leadership of denominational organizations and their incorporation, animated public discussions sprang up. I myself spoke at various meetings. Statements were issued by the Church also, which, according to the state of affairs, were more or less temperamental. But I did not make statements inimical to religion in connection with that subject, nor did I at any time during my life.

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