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-Eighth Day: Friday, 24th May, 1946
(Part 10 of 11)

[MR. DODD continues his cross examination of Baldur von Schirach]

[Page 399]

Q. You know one of your youngsters wrote Streicher a letter telling him that he saw this kind of a show. Do you know about that? I am going to show you that letter in a little while, just to show you that it did happen, and that your young people wrote to Streicher about it.

And on the last page of the English text, for Sunday the 19th of July - I think it is Page 179 of your text - the motto for the day is "Our service to Germany is divine service." And that was a slogan you used on other Sundays, and as the Tribunal has pointed out, on Page 70 of your text, you say

[Page 400]

" - that this Sunday morning ceremony does not aim at presenting arguments or conflicts with confessional points of view, but at imbuing life and men with courage and strength to fulfil their greater and lesser tasks through unqualified faith in the divine power and the ideology of the Fuehrer and his movement."
Now, in no place where you made any reference to God did you ever fail also to mention Hitler or the leaders of the Party, did you?

A. Will you please indicate the passage that you quoted just now.

Q. It is on Page 70, right at the bottom of your Page 70.

A. Yes, it says here

"It does not aim at presenting arguments or conflicts with confessional points of view, but at imbuing life and men with courage and strength to fulfil their greater and lesser tasks through unqualified faith in the divine power and the ideology of the Fuehrer and his Party."
That does not, after all, mean that Hitler is compared to God, but I believe that in the answer I gave a few minutes ago, I did define my attitude.

Q. Let us see if you did. In your book Revolution of Education, on Page 148, do you remember this statement: "The flag of the Third Reich" - we will begin the whole sentence:

"On the contrary, the service of Germany appears to us to be ... the service of God. The banner of the Third Reich appears to us to be this banner; and the Fuehrer of the people is the Saviour whom He sent to save us from the calamity and peril into which we were actually plunged by the most pious parties of the defunct German Republic."
A. I should like to see the original of this text, please.

Q. All right.

A. Here I write:

"We consider that we are serving the Almighty when with our youthful strength we seek to make Germany once more united and great. In acknowledging loyalty to our Homeland we see nothing which could be construed as a contradiction of His eternal will. On the contrary, the service of Germany appears to us to be genuine and sincere service of God; the banner of the Third Reich appears to us to be His banner; and the Fuehrer of the people is the Saviour whom He sent to rescue us from the calamity and peril into which we were actually plunged by the most pious parties of the defunct German Republic."
This refers to the Central Party of the old Republic and other similar organizations of a confessional and political nature. I wrote this. I really do not see anything in that which could be construed into a deification of the Fuehrer For me, service to my country was service to the Almighty.

Q. All right, if that is your answer - I see it differently. Let us go on to something else so that we can get through. I do not want to neglect to show you, if you care to be shown, that communication to Streicher. It has already been presented to the Tribunal by the British Delegation, the British Prosecution. I think it was read from, but not put in, I am told.

In any event, do you know about that, witness? Do you know about the letter that the boys and girls of the Youth Hostel at Grossmullen wrote to Streicher in April of 1936, when they told him about seeing the Jews:

"Every Sunday our leader shows a play about the Jews with his puppet theatre."
I just want to know if you are aware of it.

A. I should like to say in this connection that the National Socialist Youth Home at Grossmullen, which is mentioned here, was not a Hitler Youth institution but was, I believe, a kindergarten run by the National Socialist Public Welfare Organization (NSV) or some other organization.

This is typical of the letters ordered by the publisher of Der Sturmer for recruiting purposes.

[Page 401]

Q. Just a moment. Did you not take over every Youth Hostel in 1933?

A. Yes.

Q. Well, what do you mean by saying that in 1936 this National Socialist Youth Hostel at Grossmullen was not a part of the Hitler Youth Organization?

A. It says here Youth Home (Heimstatte) not hostel (Herberge). I am not familiar with the expression "Heimstatte." That must refer to a home run by the National Socialist Public Welfare Organization or the National Socialist Women's League. We had only "Jugendheime" and "Herbergen."

Q. Well, does it not strike you as being strongly coincidental that in your programme for one of your youth camps you suggest a show which portrays a Jewish man with a great nose and ridicules him and teaches children to dislike him and laugh at him, and that from a youth camp a youngster writes to Streicher saying that she and other children saw such a show?

A. This letter was not written from any Youth Camp.

Q. Well, I accept it if that is your answer.

A. I do not deny that this puppet play was shown and that this letter was written, but I believe the connection is too far-fetched, so to speak. The connection is a very remote one.

Q. You think the connection with the ridiculing of the Jews is very far-fetched?

A. No. I dispute the statement that this is a Hitler Youth institution. I believe actually it is a day nursery run by the National Socialist Public Welfare Organization or something similar.

Q. Well, maybe the explanation is that all the young people in Germany saw one of those shows. But, in any event, I want to take up the last matter on this subject with you.

This morning your counsel examined you about the confiscation of a monastery, I believe it was in Austria while you were there, Klosterneuburg. Do you remember?

A. We discussed Count Schwarzenberg's palace this morning. That was not a monastery. It was the property of a private citizen.

Q. Well, the document that Counsel Dr. Sauter referred to was R-146, Exhibit USA 678. It was a letter from Bormann to all Gauleiter, and it began by saying valuable Church properties had to be seized in Italy and in Austria. It was signed by Bormann. And then also on that document was a letter from Lammers saying that there had been some dispute as to whether the seized Church property should go back to the Reich or should remain in your Gau. You remember that, do you not? Well, now, you seized the monastery down there, did you not, in 1941, the Klosterneuburg? Klosterneuburg, you know what I am referring to. I may mispronounce it.

A. Yes. The well-known foundation Klosterneuburg, the famous monastery, served as a receiving office for collections of works of art, taken from our art museum.

Q. Yes. Now, what excuse did you have for seizing the monastery at that time?

A. I can no longer give you exact details with regard to this. I believe there were very few people in the monastery, that the large building was not being used to the fullest possible extent and that we urgently needed more space for the expansion of the experimental station run in conjunction with our State school of vinegrowing. I believe that is why this monastery was confiscated.

Q. All right. I am going to ask that you look at the Document 3927-PS, and I wish you would remember that this morning you told the Tribunal that you stopped the confiscation of churches and Church property in Austria. When you look at this document I wish you to recall your testimony.

THE PRESIDENT: Did you offer M-25 in evidence or not?

MR. DODD: I wish to do so, Mr. President. It is Exhibit USA 861. And this one, Document 3927-PS, becomes Exhibit USA 862.

[Page 402]


Q. Now, the first page of this document shows that it is marked secret. It is dated the 22nd of January, 1941. It is a letter addressed to Dellbruegge in your organization in Vienna.

He says that he hears there is a possibility of getting a Hitler School, which the City of Hamburg is also trying to get, and that he wants the monastery Klosterneuburg considered as the place for the Hitler School in Vienna.

This letter is written by Scharitzer, your deputy, as you described him yesterday.

Now, he enclosed a communication, a teletype letter, from Bormann, and if you turn the page you will see that it is dated the 13th of January. Bormann says it is strictly confidential:

"It is learned that the population does not show any indignation when monastery buildings are used to serve what appears to be a generally appropriate purpose."
He goes on to say:
"Their conversion into hospitals, convalescent homes, educational institutes, Adolf Hitler Schools, may be considered as serving a generally appropriate purpose."
Now, that communication was dated the 13th of January, and your deputy wrote the letter on the 22nd.

Now, turn another page, and you will find a Gestapo report on the monastery, dated the 23rd of January, 1941, addressed to your assistant Dellbruegge. I wish you would look where it says: "Oral order of 23rd January; 1941." Apparently somebody in your organization, you or your assistants, orally asked the Gestapo to get up a report on this monastery the very day that you wrote to Berlin asking that it be considered as a Hitler School.

There are some charges against the inhabitants of that monastery in this Gestapo report, but I ask you to turn over farther sand you will find where you wrote an order for the taking over of the monastery as an Adolf Hitler School on the 22nd February, 1941. I will show it to you if you like to see it, but that order bears your initials, the original does, Pages 15 to 17 of the photostat that you have.

Now, you framed up an excuse to seize that monastery, did you not, when you really wanted it for a Hitler School, and you did not have any just grounds for seizing it. And you get the Gestapo to write a report and then you never referred to the reason that the Gestapo framed up for you.

A. I myself, as head of these schools, was naturally extremely anxious to have such a school established in Vienna. At one time the idea expressed here of taking Klosterneuburg and housing one of the Adolf Hitler Schools in it did occur to me, and I probably did discuss it with Herr Scharitzer; but I dropped the idea completely. Klosterneuburg was never converted into an Adolf Hitler School.

Q. No. But it never was turned back to the Church people, either, was it?

A. No. As the museum space available in Vienna was not sufficient for the very large collections, we wanted to make this monastery into an additional large museum which would be open to the public. We began to carry out this plan; and a great part of the collections were transferred to the building. In addition, we needed the strongly built cellars of this monastery for the safe-keeping of the many art treasures which we had to protect against bombing attacks.

It occurred to me that we might house an Adolf Hitler School in this building and I discussed the possibility with one or two of my colleagues and then abandoned it, firstly, because it would have caused some ill-feeling if we had housed an Adolf Hitler School in a building which had formerly been consecrated ground, and secondly, because we badly needed the monastery for these other purposes.

I have nothing to add to my explanation.

Q. You will notice the date of that whole transaction and the communication from Bormann. When did you first discover that Bormann was so anti-religious and anti-Church as you told the Tribunal he was?

A. Bormann -

[Page 403]

Q. (Interposing) Just tell us when you found that out.

A. I was just about to. Bormann showed his anti-religious views most clearly in 1943; but they had already begun to appear in 1937.

Q. And this telegram from him was when? 1941?

A. 1941.

Q. Witness, when did you first start to do business with Himmler

A. I met Hitler -

Q. (Interposing) Himmler?

A. I met Himmler in 1929 when I visited the offices of the Party Leadership. At that time he was the propaganda chief of the party. That was our first meeting.

Q. I did not really want to know, although it is of interest, when you first met him. What I really wanted to know was when you with your youth groups started to really do business with him for the first time. And by "business" I mean arrangements such as the recruitment of young men into the Death's Head brigade of the SS.

A. I think I explained that this morning. One of the first agreements laid down was, I think, contained in the agreement regarding the patrol service, the date of which I do not recall. This was not, by the way, a pledge to supply reinforcements for Death's Head units, but for police units generally. These were special troops to be at the disposal of the police.

Q. How long did you continue to channel or divert young men from your youth organization to the SS? When was the last time that you remember this programme being effective?

A. I did not forcibly drive young people into the SS, but I permitted the SS to seek recruits among the young people, like any other organization.

Q. I did not ask you that. I asked you when you would say was the latest date when you were effectively helping Himmler to get young candidates from the young people of Germany through your Hitler Youth Organization. I do not expect an exact date. Approximately?

A. From 1940 on I tried constantly to have the youth taken into Army units. The SS, Waffen SS, carried on a very active recruitment among the youth up to the last days of the war. I could not prevent this recruitment.

Q. And you knew what use they were being put to in the last days of the war and in the mid-days of the war, did you not?

A. I did know that all young people who were taken in or who volunteered had to fight.

Q. I am talking about something other than fighting. You knew what was going on in the East, and you knew who the guards were in the concentration camps; did you not?

A. This morning I testified on what I knew about events in the East. I did not know that young men who volunteered to go into the Waffen SS were used during the war to guard concentration camps.

Q. You did not know who were the guards there, although you visited two of them yourself?

A. Those guards did not belong to the Waffen SS.

Q. I know, but your agreement with Himmler provided specifically for recruitment for SS Death's Head troops. A. When I concluded that agreement, I did not know that he effected the supervision of concentration camps chiefly by means of Death's Head units. Besides, I thought at that time that concentration camps were something quite normal. I said so this morning.

Q. You told the Tribunal yesterday that it was in 1944, I think, that you found out about the exterminations. And I want to talk to you about that a little bit, and ask you some questions. And the first one is, how did you find out? Was it only through this man Colin Ross?

A. I said that I heard of it through Colin Ross -

Q. All right.

[Page 404]

A. And, furthermore, that I asked numerous questions of everyone I could reach, in order to get definite information.

Q. Really I asked you if, from any other source, you found out? And you can answer that pretty simply. We know that you found out through Ross. Was there anyone else from whom you found out? A. I was just going to repeat what I said this morning -

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