Source: Law-Reports of Trials of War Criminals, The United Nations War Crimes Commission, Volume XII, London, HMSO, 1949

[Some sections have been highlighted provisionally until hyperlinks can be added to appropriate files. Page numbers precede text]

 

THE GERMAN HIGH COMMAND TRIAL

TRIAL OF WILHELM VON LEEB AND THIRTEEN OTHERS

UNITED STATES MILITARY TRIBUNAL, NUREMBERG,
30TH DECEMBER. 1947 - 28TH OCTOBER, 1948

Part II 

Part I Part II Part III Part IV Part V Part VI Part VII Part VIII 

Evidence Relating to Counts I and IV. Crimes against Peace Conspiracy
Evidence Relating to Counts Two and Three. War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.

War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity
Crimes Against Civilians

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(iii) Evidence Relating to Counts I and IV. Crimes against Peace-Conspiracy

(Footnote: As will appear from the outline of the Judgment, all the accused were found not guilty under Count I of the Indictment. As to the Conspiracy Count (Count IV) it will likewise appear from the Judgment that this Count was dismissed by the Tribunal " as tendering no issue not contained in the preceding Counts.")

It was clear from the evidence that none of the accused had held positions on a policy-making level. Regardless of whether they had at any time had or had not actual knowledge of, or were involved in, concrete plans and preparations for aggressive wars or invasions, it was established by the evidence that they were not in a position which enabled them to exercise any influence on such a policy. No matter what their rank or status, it was clear from the evidence that they had been outside the policy-making circle close to Hitler and had had no power to shape or influence the policy of the German State. They had in their capacities as Commanders and Staff Officers below the policy level, and on orders, taken part in the planning of campaigns, preparing means for carrying them out and had fought the wars and carried out the invasions after they had been instituted.

The defence asserted that there was considerable opposition to Hitler’s plans and orders by the higher military leadership. General Franz Halder, who was Chief of the German General Staff from 1938 to 1942, testified that

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Hitler’s plans to invade the Sudetenland caused the formation of a plot for a coup to overthrow Hitler, but that this plot was abandoned because of the Munich Pact. The success of Hitler at Munich, however, increased his prestige with all circles of the German people, including the higher military leadership.

In 1939, Hitler advised certain of the high military leaders of his decision to attack France by violating the neutrality of the Low Countries. On 11th October, 1939, the accused, von Leeb, wrote to his Commander-in-Chief, von Brauchitsch, inclosing a memorandum prepared by him advising against this course of action. In it he argued that the invasion would develop into a long-drawn-out trench warfare, and then continued :

" . . . Besides, we will not be in a position to rally allies to our cause. Even, now, Italy is sitting on the fence, and Russia has accomplished everything it had aimed at by virtue of our victories, and by this has again become a predominant and directly decisive factor as far as Central Europe is concerned. Furthermore, Russia’s attitude remains uncertain in view of its continued diplomatic relations to the Western Powers. The more we tie ourselves down in the West the more freedom the Russians will have for their decisions. On the other hand, Belgium and, in the course of the years, the United States of America as well will join our enemies, and the Dominions will exert all their strength to give effective assistance to the Mother country."

Then, in discussing the political repercussions which would follow from is proposed action, he said :

" Any violation of Belgium’s neutrality is bound to drive that country into the arms of France. France and Belgium will then have one common foe : Germany, which, for the second time within 25 years, assaults neutral Belgium ! Germany, whose government solemnly vouched for and promised the preservation of and respect for this neutrality only a few weeks ago ! I have already elaborated under paragraph 1 on the fact that in such a case it is highly probable that France will immediately rush strong forces to the aid of the Belgians, which means that there will be heavy fighting already on Belgian soil. "

"If Germany, by forcing the issue, should violate the neutrality of Holland, Belgium, and Luxemburg, a neutrality which has been solemnly recognized and vouched for by the German Government, this action will necessarily cause even those neutral States to reverse their declared policy towards the Reich, which up till now showed some measure of sympathy for the German cause. The Reich, which cannot count on Italy’s or Russia’s military assistance, will become increasingly isolated also economically. Especially North America, whose population easily falls for such propaganda slogans, will become more inclined to submit to England’s and France’s influence."

Then on 31st October, 1939, von Leeb wrote von Brauchitsch a letter in which he said :

" I consider the military annihilation of the English. French. and

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Belgians a goal which cannot be attained at present. For only if they are annihilated would they, if attacked, be ready for peace.

" To associate the successes in the East with the wishful thinking in regard to the West would be a fatal deviation from reality.

" In the political field, we have Poland as security in our hands, don’t we ? If that doesn’t suit our opponents, then let them attack. "

The whole nation is filled with a deep longing for peace. It doesn’t want the impending war and regards it with no feeling of sympathy whatsoever. If the Party offices are reporting anything else, they are withholding the truth. The people are now looking forward to having peace result from the policies of their Fuehrer, because they feel quite instinctively that it is impossible to destroy France and England and that any more extensive plans must therefore be held in abeyance. As a soldier, one is forced to say the same.

" If the Fuehrer were now to make an end to the present situation, under conditions which were in some measure acceptable, no one would interpret this as a sign of weakness or of yielding, but rather as recognizing the true status of power. The granting of an autonomy for Czechoslovakia and allowing the remainder of Poland to stand as a nation would probably meet with the complete understanding of the entire German people. The Fuehrer would then be honoured as a prince of peace, not only by the entire German people, but assuredly also by large parts of the world as well.

" I am prepared to stand behind you personally to the fullest extent in the days to come and to bear the consequences, desirable or necessary."

In spite of this, the plans went on for the invasion which, however, was delayed until the following May. Von Leeb testified that this delay was brought about by the efforts of von Bock, Halder, and himself, in the hope that the additional time might allow a diplomatic settlement. The reasons given for the delay were purely military ; for instance, that the roads were impassable and the equipment defective. The moral aspect was not considered.

So it seems clear that there was some opposition among the military leadership to Hitler’s plans, but that in spite of their opposition, they allowed themselves to be used by him. Von Leeb was asked by a member of the Tribunal why it was that this leadership was impotent and helpless against Hitler, to which he replied :

" Hitler was a demon, he was a devil; General Halder has testified here that you couldn’t know what was going on in his mind. That, perhaps, is how it happened that those wills which were opposing his one will were too weak to be successful. Above all, this will was represented in our top-level leadership, but we could not get at him. There was no way of convincing Hitler. He knew everything better than everybody else, and that is how disaster took its course

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" If now in retrospect you look back on the whole situation, one might perhaps think that we, the high military leaders, should have formed a more united front in opposition to Hitler. Let’s perhaps take the following case. Herr von Brauchitsch and the three of us, the three army group commanders, one day confront Hitler and tell him, ‘ So far and no further.’ Behind us is the whole of the German Army. I don’t believe that that would have made a strong impression on Hitler. He would have had the four of us arrested and put into a concentration camp."

The testimony of General Halder, referred to by von Leeb, was in response to a request that he give briefly his impression of Hitler, and is as follows :

" This is a very difficult task. A personality which was so unusual is difficult to sketch with very few words. The picture which I gained of Hitler is as follows : An unusual power of intellect ; an amazingly quick comprehension ; but not a trained person who could adapt himself to logical lines of thought ; a person with very strong emotional tendencies ; his decisions were conditioned by what he called intuition, that is his emotions, but no clear logically thought-out considerations ; his intellect also included an amazing power of imagination and phantasy which in an astonishing degree had its repercussion in his lines of thought or events ; substantial parts of his character were a tremendous tenacity and energy of will-power which also enabled him to surmount all obstacles, even in minor matters. The thing that most impressed me about Hitler was the complete absence of any ethical or moral obligation ; a man for whom there were no limits which he could not transcend by his action or his will ; he knew only his purpose and the advantage that he pursued ; that for him was the imperative call. As far as it seemed to me, he was a very lonely man who lacked the capacity to enter into personal contact with other human beings and thus to relax and to release his personality. He was thus always torn by tension which made co-operation with him extremely difficult. I was not prepared for your question, Your Honour. This is a question about which many books will yet be written, and I shall be grateful to your Honours if you would be satisfied with this brief sketch of mine."

In the closing statement of General von Leeb on behalf of all the defendants, he referred repeatedly to the difficulties confronting them, saying :

" However, in the Third Reich, under the dictatorship of Hitler, we found ourselves faced with a development which was in contrast to our principles and nature. It is not true to say that we as officers changed-the demands made of us became different.

" We sought to oppose this evolution under the Third Reich, but we lacked the means which might have been effective under a dictatorship."

Again he said :

" In regard to Hitler’s instructions, which went against our humane and soldierly feelings, we were never merely his tools without a will of our own. We did oppose his instructions as far as we deemed this to be possible or advisable, and we have toned their wording down and rendered them ineffective or mitigated them in practice."

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(iv) Evidence Relating to Counts Two and Three. War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity

(a) General Evidence

The following general factual findings of the International Military Tribunal as to the War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity committed by or under the responsibility of the German Wehrmacht  (Footnote: See the Judgment of the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg edition. pp. 226-238)  were not only not contested, but were also fully sustained by the evidence submitted in the present case :

WAR CRIMES AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

" The evidence relating to War Crimes has been overwhelming, in its volume and its detail. It is impossible for this Judgment adequately to review it, or to record the mass of documentary and oral evidence that has been presented. The truth remains that War Crimes were committed on a vast scale, never before seen in the history of war. They were perpetrated in all the countries occupied by Germany, and on the High Seas, and were attended by every conceivable circumstance of cruelty and horror. There can be no doubt that the majority of them arose from the Nazi conception of  ‘ total war,’ with which the aggressive wars were waged. For in this conception of  ‘ total war,’ the moral ideas underlying the conventions which seek to make war more humane are no longer regarded as having force or validity. Everything is made subordinate to the overmastering dictates of war. Rules, regulations, assurances, and treaties all alike are of no moment ; and so, freed from the restraining influence of international law, the aggressive war is conducted by the Nazi leaders in the most barbaric way. Accordingly, War Crimes were committed when and wherever the Fuehrer and his close associates thought them to be advantageous. They were for the most part the result of cold and criminal calculation. . . . "

"Other War Crimes, such as the murder of prisoners of war who had escaped and been recaptured, or the murder of Commandos or captured airmen, or the destruction of the Soviet Commissars, were the result of direct orders circulated through the highest official channels. . . .

" Prisoners of war were ill-treated and tortured and murdered, not only in defiance of the well-established rules of international law, but in complete disregard of the elementary dictates of humanity. . . .

" In the course of the war, many Allied soldiers who had surrendered to the Germans were shot immediately, often as a matter of deliberate, calculated policy. On 18th October, 1942, the defendant Keitel circulated a directive authorized by Hitler, which ordered that all members of Allied ‘ Commando ’ units, often when in uniform and whether armed or not, were to be ; ‘ slaughtered to the last man,’ even if they attempted to surrender. It was s further provided that if such Allied troops came into the hands of the military authorities after being first captured by the local police, or in any other way, they should be handed over immediately to the SD. This order was supplemented from time to time, and was effective throughout the

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remainder of the war, although after the Allied landings, in Normandy in 1944, it was made clear that the order did not apply to ‘ Commandos ’ captured within the immediate battle area. Under the provisions of this order, Allied ‘ Commando ’ troops, and other military units operating independently, lost their lives in Norway, France, Czechoslovakia, and Italy. Many of them were killed on the spot, and in no case were those who were executed later in concentration camps ever given a trial of any kind. . . . 

"In March, 1944, the OKH issued the ‘ Kugel ’ or ‘ Bullet ’ decree, which directed that every escaped officer and NCO prisoner of war who had not been put to work, with the exception of British and American prisoners of war, should on recapture be handed over to the SIPO and SD. This order was distributed by the SIPO and SD to their regional offices. These escaped officers and NCOs were to be sent to the concentration camp at Mauthausen, to be executed upon arrival, by means of a bullet shot in the neck.

" In March, 1944, fifty officers of the British Royal Air Force, who escaped from the camp at Sagan where they were confined as prisoners, were shot on recapture, on the direct orders of Hitler. Their bodies were immediately cremated, and the urns containing their ashes were returned to the camp. It was not contended by the defendants that this was other than plain murder, in complete violation of international law. [See The Stalag Luft III Trial, Ed.]

" When Allied airmen were forced to land in Germany, they were sometimes killed at once by the civilian population. The police were instructed not to interfere with these killings, and the Ministry of Justice was informed that no one should be prosecuted for taking part in them.

" The treatment of Soviet prisoners of war was characterized by particular inhumanity; The death of so many of them was not due merely to the action of individual guards, or to the exigencies of life in the camps. It was the result of systematic plans to murder. More than a month before the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the OKW were making special plans for dealing with political representatives serving with the Soviet Armed Forces who might be captured. One proposal was that ‘ political Commissars of the Army are not recognized as Prisoners of War, and are to be liquidated at the latest in the transient prisoner-of-war camps.’ The defendant Keitel gave evidence that instructions incorporating this proposal were issued to the German Army.

" On 8th September, 1941, regulations for the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war in all prisoner-of-war camps were issued, signed by General Reinecke, the head of the prisoner-of-war department of the High Command. Those orders stated :

‘ The Bolshevist soldier has therefore lost all claim to treatment as an honourable opponent, in accordance with the Geneva Convention. . . . The order for ruthless and energetic action must be given at the slightest indication of insubordination, especially in the case of Bolshevist fanatics. Insubordination, active or passsive resistance, must be broken immediately by force of arms (bayonets, butts, and firearms) . . . Anyone carrying out the order who does not use his weapons, or does so with insufficient energy, is punishable . . .

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Prisoners of war attempting escape are to be fired on without previous challenge. No warning shot must ever be fired . . . The use of arms against prisoners of war is as a rule legal.’

" The Soviet prisoners of war were left without suitable clothing ; the wounded without medical care ; they were starved, and in many cases left to die.

" On 17th July, 1941, the Gestapo issued an order providing for the killing of all Soviet prisoners of war who were or might be dangerous to National Socialism. The order recited

‘ The mission of the Commanders of the SIPO and SD stationed in Stalags is the political investigation of all camp inmates, the elimination and further " treatment " (a) of all political, criminal, or in some other way unbearable elements among them, (b) of those persons who could be used for the reconstruction of the occupied territories . . . Further, the Commanders must make efforts from the beginning to seek out among the prisoners, elements which appear reliable, regardless of whether there are Communists concerned or not, in order to use them for intelligence purposes inside of the camp, and if advisable, later in the occupied territories also. By use of such informers, and by use of all other existing possibilities, the discovery of all elements to be eliminated among the prisoners must proceed step by step at once. . . .

‘ Above all, the following must be discovered : all important functionaries of State and Party, especially professional revolutionaries . . . all People’s Commissars in the Red Army, leading personalities of the State . . . leading personalities of the business world, members of the Soviet Russian Intelligence, all Jews, all persons who are found to be agitators or fanatical Communists. Executions are not to be held in the camp or in the immediate vicinity of the camp . . . The prisoners are to be taken for special treatment if possible into the former Soviet Russian territory.

" The affidavit of Warlimont, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Wehrmacht, and the testimony of Ohlendorf, former Chief of Amt III of the RSHA, and of Lahousen, the head of one of the sections of the Abwehr, the Wehrmacht’s Intelligence Service, all indicate the thoroughness with which this order was carried out. . . .

" In some cases Soviet prisoners of war were branded with a special permanent mark. There was put in evidence the OKW order dated 20th July, 1942, which laid down that :

‘ The brand is to take the shape of an acute angle of about 45 degrees, ‘ with the long side to be 1 cm. in length, pointing upwards and burnt on the left buttock . . . This brand is made with the aid of a lancet available in any military unit. The colouring used is Chinese ink.’

" The carrying out of this order was the responsibility of the military authorities, though it was widely circulated by the Chief of the SIPO and SD to German police officials for information..

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" Soviet prisoners of war were also made the subject of medical experiments of the most cruel and inhuman kind. In July, 1943, experimental work was begun in preparation for a campaign of bacteriological warfare ; Soviet prisoners of war were used in these medical experiments, which more often than not proved fatal. . . .

" The argument in defence of the charge with regard to the murder and ill-treatment of Soviet prisoners of war, that the U.S.S.R. was not a party to the Geneva Convention, is quite without foundation. On 15th September, 1941, Admiral Canaris protested against the regulations for the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war, signed by General Reinecke on 8th September, 1941. He then stated :

‘ The Geneva Convention for the treatment of prisoners of war is not binding in the relationship between Germany and the U.S.S.R. Therefore only the principles of general international law on the treatment of prisoners of war apply. Since the 18th century these have gradually been established along the lines that war captivity is neither revenge nor punishment, but solely protective custody, the only purpose of which is to prevent the prisoners of war from further participation in the war. This principle was developed in accordance with the view held by all armies that it is contrary to military tradition to kill or injure helpless people . . . The decrees for the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war enclosed are based on a fundamentally different viewpoint.’

" This protest, which correctly stated the legal position, was ignored. The defendant Keitel made a note on this memorandum :

‘ The objections arise from the military concept of chivalrous warfare. This is the destruction of an ideology. Therefore I approve and back  the measures.’

CRIMES AGAINST CIVILIANS

" The territories occupied by Germany were administered in violation of the laws of war. The evidence is quite overwhelming of a systematic rule of violence, brutality, and terror. On 7th December, 1941, Hitler issued the directive since known as the ‘ Nacht und Nebel Erlass ’ (Night and Fog Decree), under which persons who committed offences against the Reich or the German forces in occupied territories, except where the death sentence was certain, were to be taken secretly to Germany and handed over to the SIPO and SD for trial or punishment in Germany. This decree was signed by the defendant Keitel. After these civilians arrived in Germany, no word of them was permitted to reach the country from which they came, or their relatives; even in cases when they died awaiting trial the families were not informed, the purpose being to create anxiety in the minds of the family of the arrested person. Hitler’s purpose in issuing this decree was stated by the Defendant Keitel in a covering letter, dated 12th December, 1941, to be as follows:

‘ Efficient and enduring intimidation can only be achieved either by capital punishment or by measures by which the relatives of the criminal and the population do not know the fate of the criminal. This aim is achieved when the criminal is transferred to Germany.’

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" Even persons who were only suspected of opposing any of the policies of the German occupation authorities were arrested, and on arrest were interrogated by the Gestapo and the SD in the most shameful manner. On 12th June, 1942, the Chief of the SIPO and SD published, through Mueller, the Gestapo Chief, an order authorizing the use of ‘ third degree ’ methods of interrogation, where preliminary investigation had indicated that the person could give information on important matters, such as subversive activities, though not for the purpose of extorting confessions of the prisoner’s own crimes. This order provided :

'. . . 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 . . . Third degree can, according to circumstances, consist among other methods of very simple diet (bread and water), hard bunk, dark cell, deprivation of sleep, exhaustive drilling, also in flogging (for more than twenty strokes a doctor must be consulted).’

" The brutal suppression of all opposition to the German occupation was not confined to severe measures against suspected members of resistance movements themselves, but was also extended to their families. On 19th July, 1944, the Commander of the SIPO and SD in the district of Radom, in Poland, published an order, transmitted through the Higher SS and Police Leaders, to the effect that in all cases of assassination or attempted assassination of Germans, or where saboteurs had destroyed vital installations, not only the guilty person, but also all his or her male relatives should be shot, and female relatives over 16 years of age put into a concentration camp. .  .

" The practice of keeping hostages to prevent and to punish any form of civil disorder was resorted to by the Germans ; an order issued by the defendant Keitel on 16th September, 1941, spoke in terms of fifty or a hundred lives from the occupied areas of the Soviet Union for one German life taken. The order stated that ‘ it should be remembered that a human life in unsettled countries frequently counts for nothing, and a deterrent effect can be obtained only by unusual severity.’ The exact number of persons killed as a result of this policy is not known, but large numbers were killed in France and the other occupied territories in the West, while in the East the slaughter was on an even more extensive scale. In addition to the killing of hostages, entire towns were destroyed in some cases ; such massacres as those of Oradour-sur-Glane in France and Lidice in Czechoslovakia, both of which were described to the Tribunal in detail, are examples of the organized use of terror by the occupying forces to beat down and destroy all opposition to their rule.

" One of the most notorious means of terrorizing the people in occupied territories was the use of concentration camps. They were first established in Germany at the moment of the seizure of power by the Nazi Government. Their original purpose was to imprison without trial all those persons who were opposed to the Government, or who were in any way obnoxious to German authority. With the aid of a secret police force, this practice was

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widely extended, and in course of time, concentration camps became places of organized and systematic murder, where millions of people were destroyed.

" In the administration of the occupied territories, the concentration camps were used to destroy all opposition groups. The persons arrested by the Gestapo were as a rule sent to concentration camps. They were conveyed to the camps in many cases without any care whatever being taken for them, and great numbers died on the way. Those who arrived at the camp were subject to systematic cruelty. They were given hard physical labour, inadequate food, clothes and shelter, and were subject at all times to the rigours of a soulless regime, and the private whims of individual guards. . . .

" A certain number of the concentration camps were equipped with gas chambers for the wholesale destruction of the inmates, and with furnaces for the burning of the bodies. Some of them were in fact used for the extermination of Jews as part of the ‘ final solution ’ of the Jewish problem. Most of the non-Jewish inmates were used for labour, although the conditions under which they worked made labour and death almost synonymous terms. Those inmates who became ill and were unable to work, were either destroyed in the gas chambers or sent to special infirmaries, where they were given entirely inadequate medical treatment, worse food if possible than the working inmates, and left to die.

" The murder and ill-treatment of civilian populations reached its height in the treatment of the citizens of the Soviet Union and Poland. Some four weeks before the invasion of Russia began, special task forces of the SIPO and SD, called Einsatz Groups, were formed on the orders of Himmler for the purpose of following the German Armies into Russia, combating partisans and members of Resistance Groups, and exterminating the Jews and Communist leaders and other sections of the population. In the beginning, four such Einsatz Groups were formed, one operating in the Baltic States, one towards Moscow, one towards Kiev, and one operating ,in the south of Russia. Ohlendorf, former Chief of Amt III of the RSHA, who led the fourth group, stated in his affidavit :

‘ When the German Army invaded Russia, I was leader of Einsatzgruppe D, in the southern sector, and in the course of the year during which I was leader of the Einsatzgruppe D, it liquidated approximately 90,000 men, women, and children. The majority of those liquidated were Jews, but there were also among them some Communist functionaries.’

" In an order issued by the defendant Keitel on 23rd July, 1941, and drafted by the defendant Jodl, it was stated that :

‘ In view of the vast size of the occupied areas in the East, the forces available for establishing security in these areas will be sufficient only if all resistance is punished, not by legal prosecution of the guilty, but by the spreading of such terror by the Armed Forces as is alone appropriate to eradicate every inclination to resist among the population . . . Commanders must find the means of keeping order by applying suitable Draconian measures.’

 

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" The evidence has shown that this order was ruthlessly carried out in the territory of the Soviet Union and in Poland. A significant illustration of the measures actually applied occurs in the document which was sent in 1943 to the defendant Rosenberg by the Reich Commissar for Eastern Territories, who wrote :

‘ It should be possible to avoid atrocities and to bury those who have been liquidated. To lock men, women and children into barns and set fire to them does not appear to be a suitable method of combating bands, even if it is desired to exterminate the population. This method is not worthy of the German cause, and hurts our reputation severely. . . .’

" The foregoing crimes against the civilian population are sufficiently appalling, and yet the evidence shows that at any rate in the East, the mass murders and cruelties were not committed solely for the purpose of stamping out opposition or resistance to the German occupying forces. In Poland and the Soviet Union, these crimes were part of a plan to get rid of whole native populations by expulsion and annihilation, in order that their territory could be used for colonization by Germans. Hitler had written in Mein Kampf on these lines, and the plan was clearly stated by Himmler in July, 1942, when he wrote : ‘ It is not our task to Germanize the East in the old sense, that is, to teach the people there the German language and the German law, but to see to it that only people of purely Germanic blood live in the East.’ -

" In August, 1942, the policy for the Eastern Territories as laid down by Bormann was summarized by a subordinate of Rosenberg as follows :

‘ The Slavs are to work for us. In so far as we do not need them, they may die. Therefore, compulsory vaccination and Germanic health services are superfluous. The fertility of the Slavs is undesirable.’

" It was Himmler again who stated in October, 1943 :

‘ What happens to a Russian, a Czech, does not interest me in the slightest. What the nations can offer in the way of good blood of our type, we will take. If necessary, by kidnapping their children and raising them here with us. Whether nations live in prosperity or starve to death interests me only in so far as we need them as slaves for our Kultur, otherwise it is of no interest to me.’

" In Poland the intelligentsia had been marked down for extermination as early as September, 1939, and in May, 1940, the defendant Frank wrote in his diary of  ‘ taking advantage of the focussing of world interest on the Western Front, by wholesale liquidation of thousands of Poles, first leading representatives of the Polish intelligentsia.’ Earlier, Frank had been directed to reduce the ‘ entire Polish economy to an absolute minimum necessary for bare existence. The Poles shall be the slaves of the Greater German World Empire.’ In January, 1940, he recorded in his diary that ‘ cheap labour must be removed from the General Government by hundreds of thousands. This will hamper the native biological propagation.? So successfully did the Germans carry out this policy in Poland, that by the end of the war, one third of the population had been killed, and the whole country devastated

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" It was the same story in the occupied area of the Soviet Union. At the time of the launching of the German attack in June, 1941, Rosenberg told his collaborators :

‘ The object of feeding the German people stands this year without a doubt at the top of the list of Germany’s claims on the East, and there the southern territories and the northern Caucasus will have to serve as a balance for the feeding of the German people . . . A very extensive evacuation will be necessary, without any doubt, and it is sure that the future will hold very hard years in store for the Russians.’ "

Part I Part II Part III Part IV Part V Part VI Part VII Part VIII 


Stuart.Stein@uwe.ac.uk
Last Updated 10/09/01 08:09:13
S D Stein
 
Faculty of Economics and Social Science