Source: Law Reports of the Trials of War Criminals. United Nations War Crimes
Commission. Vol. XIII. London: HMSO, 1949
TRIAL OF ULRICH GREIFELT AND OTHERS
UNITED STATES MILITARY TRIBUNAL, NURBMBERG,
10TH OCTOBER, 1947-10TH MARCH, 1948
I Part II Part
III Part IV Part
V Part VI
(iv) Abortions on Eastern Workers
Another method applied was to prevent the birth of children by women of the Eastern occupied territories, Poland and the U.S.S.R. Abortions were prescribed wherever pregnancy had occurred as a result of sexual intercourse between members of the Nazi occupying authorities and local women. These instructions were issued by Himmler in March, 1943 :
“ Where pregnancy is caused by sexual intercourse between a member of the SS or the Police and a non-German woman, residing in the occupied Eastern territories, an interruption of pregnancy is to be carried out positively by the competent physician of the SS or the
Police, unless that woman is of good stock, which is to be ascertained in advance in every case.
“ The Russian physicians or the Russian Medical Association, which must not be informed of this order, are to be told in individual cases, that the pregnancy is being interrupted for reasons of social distress, It must be explained in such a way, that no conclusions to the existence of a definite order may be drawn.”
This order was later extended to women working in the Reich as slave labour. The organisation RUSHA took an active part in the carrying out of the above-described orders, chiefly through its heads Hofmann and
Hildebrandt. Its role consisted mainly in conducting racial examinations of the pregnant women, under the following specific instructions :
“ . . . If it is found by this racial examination that a racially valuable is to be expected, then the consent for abortion is to be denied. If on the basis of the racial examination the offspring is expected not to be racially valuable, the consent for abortion is to be granted.
“ The racial examination is to be carried out rapidly. Further directives concerning the carrying out of the racial examination and the treatment of the cases in which the consent for abortion is to be denied are issued by the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police, or by the RIB-Main Office SS. . . . ”
It is on the basis of such examinations that decisions regarding abortions were taken.
The fate of the children allowed to be born was that of complete Germanization from the cradle ; this was shown in a letter from Himmler’s office to RUSHA :
“ The reception into the care of the NSV or of Lebensborn of the child of good racial stock will necessitate in most cases its separation from the mother who remains at her working place. Particularly for this reason the reception into that care of the child of good racial stock is only possible with the mother’s consent. She has to be made to consent to it through interpretations by the caretaking office which set forth the advantages but not the ends of this procedure. . . .”
The Tribunal took note of the fact that the mother was “ to be made to consent.”
Taking away of Infants of Eastern Workers
As distinct from the kidnapping of grown up children for Germanization, the accused were involved in a programme of stealing newly born infants of Eastern workers brought to Germany as forced or slave labourers in factories and agriculture. This was done in connection with the abortion policy, in cases where pregnancy was not discovered until it was too late to perform an abortion or the child was born before pregnancy was discovered. The following instructions were given in a Decree of 27th July, 1943 :
“ After giving birth the foreign working women have to resume work as soon as possible according to the instructions of the Plenipotentiary for the assignment of labor. . , ,
“ The children born by the foreign working women may in no case be attended by German institutions, be taken into German children’s homes, or else be reared and educated together with German children. Therefore, special infant-attendance-institutions of the simplest kind, so-called ‘ Foreigners’ children’s nursing homes,’ have been erected within the billets where these children of foreigners are attended to by female members of the respective nationality. . . . It is therefore important that the children of foreigners who, partly, are of a similar race and bearers of German blood and may therefore be considered as valuable are not assigned to the ‘ Foreigners’ children’s nursing home,’ but if possible, they are to be saved for the German nationality and to be educated as German children.
“ For this reason an examination of the racial characteristics of the father and mother has to be carried out in cases where the father of a foreigner’s child is of German or of kindred race (Germanic) . . .”
Racial examinations were conducted by RUSHA and these examinations determined whether or not the infants were to be taken away from their mothers. Children considered to be racially impure were also to be taken away and put in separate assembly centres, completely segregated from German and other children. A confidential report made to Himmler disclosed the treatment to which such “ impure ” infants were subjected :
“ I found that all of the babies located in this home were undernourished. As I was told by
SS-Oberfuehrer Langoth only 1/2 liter milk and 11/2 cubes of sugar per baby per day are furnished to the home on the basis of a decision of the Land Food Office. With this ration the babies must perish from undernourishment in a few months. I was informed that this agreement exists concerning the raising of these babies. . . .
“ There exists only one way or the other. Either one does not wish that these children remain alive-then one should not let them starve to death slowly and take away so many liters of milk from the general food supply ; there are means by which this can be accomplished without torture and pain. Or one intends to raise these children in order to utilise them later on as labor. In this case they must be fed in such a manner that they will be fully usable as workers . . .”
Those more particularly involved in the carrying out of this policy were RUSHA’s heads Hofmann and
Hildebrandt. The Tribunal dismissed, for lack of evidence, the prosecution’s contentions that, in addition to RUSHA, Lebensborn and its members were also implicated in the taking away of infants.
(vi) Punishment for Sexual Intercourse with Germans
In pursuance of the same racial policy, workers from occupied countries in Germany were subjected to still more drastic measures involving their personal security and their lives. With the advent of foreign workers in Germany there followed incidents of sexual intercourse between them and Germans ; the Nazis issued decrees outwardly meant to protect the German race, and by doing so they ordered and provoked the murder of numerous inhabitants of occupied countries.
On 3rd July, 1940, Pancke, then chief of RUSHA, sent a report to Himmler’s deputy,
Bormann, suggesting the first measures to be taken. He said :
“ At present, there are hundreds of thousands of prisoners in Germany of all nationalities and degrees, partly in camps, but for the most part, however, as workers.
“ . . . The dangers of inter-mixing and bastardizing of our people are extraordinarily grave. They lie to a great extent in the almost unlimited lack of knowledge throughout our nation of the problems of blood.”
As a result, the Reich Main Security Office, Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA), which was the top Gestapo Office, promulgated decrees which provided that if a foreigner had sexual intercourse with a German woman, he should be arrested and examined by a racial examiner of RUSHA. The fate of the arrestee depended entirely on RUSHA’s findings. Those considered to be racially inferior were subject to “ special treatment,” that is to death, or to seclusion in a concentration camp. Those found to be racially valuable were subject to Germanization. The “ Special treatment ” was prescribed in the following terms :
“ Special treatment is hanging . . .
“ Sexual intercourse is forbidden to the manpower of the original Soviet Russian territory.
“ For every case of sexual intercourse with German countrymen or women, special treatment is to be requested for male manpower from the original Soviet Russian territory, transfer to a concentration camp for female manpower.
“ When exercising sexual intercourse with other foreign workers, the conduct of the manpower from the original Soviet Russian territory is to be punished as a severe violation of discipline with transfer to a concentration camp.
“ The intercourse between other foreign workers employed in the Reich and the manpower from the original Soviet Russian territory also brings great dangers to be dealt with by the security police, therefore, it should also be fought with measures against the foreign workers. . . .”
These instructions were subsequently extended to subjects of other nations, such as Czechs. The complicity of RUSHA and its leading members in carrying out the instructions was proved by numerous documents. Thus, for instance, Hofmann made the following orders :
“ With regard to illicit sexual intercourse of labourers of foreign stock the following ordinances are in force :
“ All serious offences such as assault and sexual offences and sexual intercourse with German women and girls are to be reported at once to the Security Service (Security Police) ; as a matter of principle the department of justice will not be contacted in the beginning. As a rule both parties will be arrested.
“ After being investigated as to his nationality the party of foreign race is subject to a racial evaluation by the competent RuS Field Leader ; a potential suitability toward Germanization is to be explored.
“ When a case of sexual intercourse is detected, the Amtsarzt (official physician) has to ascertain whether the participating German woman is pregnant. It is to be stated how far the pregnancy is advanced and whether another and what person beside the one of foreign stock in question might have fathered the prospective child (this investigation to be made by the Youth Office). If the person of foreign stock is fit for Germanization and if both parties are evaluated favourably under the racial viewpoint, marriage is possible under certain conditions ; however, marriage between laborers from Serbia, or other Eastern
labourers, and German girls are not permitted for the time being. A female worker of foreign stock, caused by the German man (in abuse of his position) to submit to sexual intercourse, will be taken into protective custody for a brief period, thereafter assigned to a different job. In other cases the female worker of foreign race is to be confined to a concentration camp for women. Pregnant women are to be sent to a concentration camp only after they have given birth and stilled the baby.”
Similar orders were issued by Hildebrandt.
(vii) Impeding the Reproduction of Enemy Nationals
Measures, concerning mainly inhabitants of Poland, were taken to prevent their reproduction and thus.contribute to the destruction of non-German races. They took the form of various decrees, and were chiefly aimed at drastically curtailing marriages.
They were taken in close connection with yet another measure, the so-called German People’s List (Deutsche
Volksliste). This list was introduced for Poland and was later extended to other foreign nationals. It classified Polish citizens into four groups. Group 1 included so-called ethnic Germans who had taken an active part in the struggle for the Germanization of Poland ; Group 2 included those ethnic Germans who had not taken such an active part, but had “ preserved ” their German characteristics ; Group 3 comprised individuals of alleged German stock who had become “
Polonized,” but who it was believed, could be won back to Germany, and also persons of non-German descent married to Germans or members of non-Polish groups, who were considered desirable so far as their political attitude and racial characteristics were concerned. Finally, Group 4 comprised persons of German stock who had become politically merged with the Poles. After registration in the List, individuals from Groups 1 and 2 became automatically German citizens. Those from Group 3 acquired German citizenship subject to revocation, and those from Group 4 received German citizenship through naturalization proceedings. Persons ineligible for the List were classified as stateless, and all Poles from the occupied territory, that is from the Government General of Poland, as distinct from the incorporated territory, were classified as non-protected.
By a decree of 25th April, 1943, classes protected under the List were allowed to marry among themselves subject to restrictive measures. Re-
strictions were imposed by Himmler, who raised the marriageable age to 28 for men and 25 for women. According to the decree of 25th April, 1943, persons protected and persons non-protected were prohibited from intermarrying without special permission from the Main Staff Office.
An earlier decree of 9th February, 1942, provided that persons from Group 3 were prohibited from marrying persons from Group 4, persons of alien race, or Germans holding citizenship subject to revocation who were not classified in Group 3. And there were further restrictions of a similar nature.
According to a memorandum issued by the Prague office of RUSHA on 6th August, 1944, persons of Polish and Ukrainian descent were to be prevented “ as a matter of principle ” from marrying each other.
It soon became apparent that in spite of all the above decrees, the measures undertaken were not bringing forth the desired results. As recorded at a conference between members of RUSHA and VOMI it was established that “ because of the raising of the marriage age for Poles the number of legitimate children was reduced, resulting in an increase of the number of illegitimate children.” The conference recommended the following measures to discourage the birth of illegitimate children :
“ With regard to the question of reducing the number of illegitimate children, it was the general concensus of opinion to allow the unwed Polish mothers a minimum subsistence for the care of the child, the subsistence to be paid for by the Polish fathers and to be paid out only if the care of the child is not assured by either the unwed mother or her family. This was to prevent any negligence. Here it must be the primary principle not to spend one German penny for Polish welfare. This method of putting the illegitimate, racially undesirable Polish child at a definite disadvantage, even though it will not, in general, reduce the number of illegitimate children, will at least not encourage a rise in the number of illegitimate children. The Main Race and Settlement Office suggested that the father of the illegitimate child be required to make especially large payments, but that the money become part of a general fund from which the necessary sums might then be paid out. In cases where the paternity cannot be established, all potential fathers will be equally liable to payment. This measure is not likely to increase the pleasure of having an illegitimate child ; all surplus money might be turned over to German youth welfare. . . .”
More far-reaching measures were undertaken concerning the prevention of births to foreign women working on farms in Germany, as a result of sexual intercourse with foreign workers. The following measures were introduced :
“ Comprehensive sterilization of such men and women of alien blood in German agriculture who, on the basis of our race laws-to be applied even more strictly in these cases-have been declared inferior with regard to their physical, spiritual and character traits.
" A ruthless but skillful propaganda among farm workers of alien blood, to the effect that neither they nor their children, produced on the soil of the German people, could expect much good, in other words
immediate separation between parents and children, eventually complete estrangement ; sterilization of children afflicted with hereditary disease . . .”
“ An inconspicuous distribution of contraceptives among farm workers of alien blood.
“ General and strictest compliance with the principle of taking away for good from their mothers all newly born children of female farm workers of alien blood as well as children of German women if the father is of alien race, at the latest 4 weeks after their birth, and then sending them to geographically remote homes. . . .”
The evidence showed that those involved in the execution of these measures were the members of RUSHA, VOMI and the Main Staff Office. Representatives of the first two made suggestions concerning measures to be enacted, and requested and obtained the right to have individual cases decided by Higher SS and Police Leaders, which resulted in decisive intervention on the part of the Main Staff Office. The latter prepared the decrees concerning marriages. Greifelt signed several of them. Lorenz, as Chief of RUSHA, and Brueckner as Chief of Amt VI
(RUSHA’s office safeguarding the German race in the Reich), were responsible for the actual crimes committed pursuant to the above programme. VOMI was also involved, and Hofmann and Hildebrandt had, here again, full knowledge of the programme and actively took part in its execution.
(viii) Forced Evacuations, Resettlement and Germanization of inhabitants of occupied territories
By far the most important in scope and consequences was the method of imposing Germanism by forcibly evacuating and resettling inhabitants of occupied countries, and subjecting them to Germanization and slave labour.
Evacuations and resettlement were conducted in connection with the classification of the populations affected under the scheme of the German People’s List. In addition to the four groups previously explained, a subdivision was made within each group which included three categories of cases. ‘ C ’ cases concerned those regarded to be racially and politically reliable ; ‘ A ’ cases concerned those considered to be less politically reliable, but still of racial value ; ‘ S ’ cases comprised the remainder, that is individuals found to be of alien blood and of no racial value. Generally, ‘ C ’ cases were transferred from their country of origin to the Eastern territories incorporated to the Reich, it being assumed that they would speed up Germanization of these territories. As being less reliable, ‘ A ’ cases were transferred to Germany proper in order to be more easily absorbed. The remainder, i.e., ‘ S ’ cases, were either evacuated to the Government General of Poland or else confined in concentration camps and/or used as slave labour.
Evacuations of local inhabitants took place in all territories designated to become German by the bringing in of German resettlers. They affected in the first place Poles, but were soon followed by Yugoslavs from Slovenia and Frenchmen from Luxembourg, Alsace and Lorraine. German re-settlers came to take their place from many other countries, including Russia, Poland and Greece. One way in which this was implemented can be illus-
trated by a directive issued by Greifelt regarding the resettlement of the Yugoslav population from Slovenia (Southern Corinthia) :
“ The Slovenian intelligentia will be submitted to a racial examination. The racially valuable elements (groups I and II) will not be evacuated to Serbia but will be transferred to Germany proper to be Germanized.
“ The above change does not affect the ordinance to the effect that a sharp selection will be made from among the native population of Southern Corinthia and that the undesirable population must be evacuated in accordance with existing directives.”
The whole scheme was operated by coercion with the constant use of intimidation, deceit or mere force. Most of those affected, both evacuees and
resettlers, were compelled to pass through the German People’s List procedure and then to leave their native land. By January, 1944, nearly 3 million Poles alone had been registered under the List procedure, and hundreds of thousands had been deported to the Government General or to the Reich as slave labour. A corresponding number of resettlers were transferred from their countries and resettled on the Polish property left behind by those evacuated.
All these forcible transfers of populations were carried out in most inhumane conditions. Shortly after Poland was conquered, the German Commander-in-Chief in the East made the following descriptions of the existing state of affairs in a draft report :
“ The resettlement scheme is causing particular and steadily increasing alarm in the country. It is quite obvious that the starving population, struggling for its very existence, can regard the wholly destitute masses of evacuees, who were torn from their homes over night, as it were, naked and hungry, and who are begging shelter from them, only with the greatest anxiety. It is only too understandable that these feelings are intensified to immense hatred by the numerous children starved to death on each transport and the train loads of people frozen to death . . .”
Himmler himself, in a speech to Party comrades, acknowledged that during evacuations people froze to death on transport trains in the East, but he said : “ I imagine that we have to be ruthless in our settlement, for these provinces must become Germanic, blond provinces of Germany.”
Strict instructions were issued to apply ruthless methods. The Nazi Governor-General of Poland, Frank, submitted the following report to Hitler on 25th May, 1943, on the deteriorating position in Poland :
“ According to my own conviction, the reason for the complete destruction of public order is to be found exclusively in the fact that the expelled persons were in some cases given only 10 minutes and in no case more than 2 hours, to scrape together their most necessary belongings to take with them. Men, women, children and old people were brought into mass camps, frequently without any clothing or equipment ; there they were sorted into groups of people fit for work, less fit for work and unfit for work (especially children and aged persons), without regard to possible family ties. All connections between the members of families were thus severed, so that the fate of one group remained
unknown to the other. It will be understood that these measures caused an indescribable panic among the population affected by the expulsion, and led to it that approximately half of the population, earmarked for expulsion, fled. They fled, in their despair, from the expulsion district and have thus contributed considerably to the increase of the groups of bandits which existed for some time in the Lublin district and which act with continuously increasing audacity and force.”
The evidence examined by the Tribunal disclosed the implication in the above policy of Germanization of the Main Staff Office of
RKFDV, involving in particular, Greifelt and Creuz as Higher SS and Police leaders and Himmler’s deputies, and also of VOMI and RUSHA and their leading staff. A decree of Himmler of 9th May, 1940, contained by implication the following general reference to the above accused :
“ Among the people of alien (not German) nationality in the annexed Eastern districts as well as in the Government General, there are often such who are eligible for Germanization on the basis of their racial suitability. I therefore ordered that a selection of the racially most valuable families of nordic nature be made, according to directives issued by me, and I intend to put them into plants in the old Reich. Since this is not a question of utilization of labor in the ordinary sense, but an extremely important national-political task, the accommodation of this group of persons cannot be done in the usual way through the labor offices.
“ For this reason 1 entrust the Higher SS and Police Leaders in their capacity as my deputies for the Strengthening of Germanism with this task of the distribution of people and at the same time with the utilization of this group of persons. . . . It should be endeavoured to accommodate able-bodied sons and daughters, who are not necessarily needed in the same plant, in other, more distant places.”
Other documentary evidence showed the part taken by Greifelt and the Main Staff Office. Thus, apart from his already quoted directive concerning Slovenes from Yugoslavia, in a letter to Himmler of 22nd September, 1941, regarding racial examinations of inmates of Baltic refugee camps, Greifelt reported that 70 per cent. were “ fit for immediate labour service ” ; that 28.5 per cent. were “ foreign elements which should be brought back to their land of origin ” ; and that 1.5 per cent. were “ considered as politically incriminated or suspected or asocial ” and were “ as such to be handed to the Chief of the Security Police for commitment to a concentration camp.” In another report to Himmler of 19th November, 1941, concerning the settlement of Lithuanian Germans, Greifelt suggested a complete resettlement scheme, including the disposal of property of those deported. He also issued express instructions regarding the slave labour of persons deported from Alsace, Lorraine and Luxembourg. It was shown that
Creuz, Greifelt’s deputy, had similarly been responsible for plans and orders. In the matter of the use of undesirable inhabitants as slave labour, he outlined the entire re-Germanization programme in a report of 25th March, 1943, in the following terms :
“ The selection of the persons is made by the Branch office of the SS Main Race and Settlement Office,
“ The persons found suitable for being Germanized will be turned over to the individual Higher SS and Police Leaders in Germany proper according to the plannings to be drawn up by the Main Staff Office.
“ The Higher SS and Police Leaders are competent for the selection of the work assignments . . . ; the definite decision, . . . is theirs exclusively. . . .
“ Until 31st January, 1943, 14,592 persons from the former Polish territories have been selected by the Branch Office of the SS Main Race and Settlement Office and were transferred into Germany proper. . . .
“ It is emphasised that the care of the persons suitable for re-Germanization shall not degenerate into an exaggerated kind of welfare. It was also often necessary to discipline some obstinate persons in the harshest manner and to keep them in line through the use of compulsory measures.
“ If there still exists, as is understandable, a lack of willingness for re-Germanization, it is nevertheless to be expected that the next generation, on account of its racial orientation, will have almost completely merged with Germanism. The case and education of juveniles is therefore considered the main task in the procedure of
Slave labour included also the use of young girls as domestic workers in German households. In a decree of 9th October, 1941, Himmler ordered as follows :
“ One of the greatest calamities is at present the shortage of female domestic help, especially in families with many children.
“ I therefore order that girls of Polish and Ukrainian descent, who meet the requirements of the racial evaluation groups I and II shall be selected by the racial examiners of the Main Race and Settlement Office and shall be brought into the Reich territory. The selection is not to be limited only to those persons who are to be evacuated, but, as far as possible, to all available girls. In this connection not only the Warthegau but also the other incorporated Eastern Territories, the General Government and, after prior understanding is reached with locally competent offices, the former
Esthonian, Latvian and Lithuanian territories are to be considered.
“ Assignments may only be made to households of families with many children who are firm in their ideology and fit for training such girls.”
Domestic servants thus forcibly brought to Germany were also subjected to Germanization. In a report to Himmler of 20th February, 1942, Creutz stated the following :
“ Regarding the status of the allocation of female domestic help eligible for re-Germanization I wish to report as follows :
“ 521 female domestics suitable for re-Germanization were allocated to non-farming households until 31st December, 1941 (total number of allocated persons including children : 10,520).
“ The selection of the persons eligible for re-Germanization is made by the Field-Office of the Main Race and Settlement Office in
Litzmannstadt. The allocation in the Reich is carried out by the locally competent Higher SS and Police Leaders.
“ The Field Office of the SS-Main Race and Settlement Office makes its selections primarily from among the evacuated Poles. In addition, pursuant to the personal order of the Reichsfuehrer-SS, it has the responsibility of removing qualified female domestics, eligible for re-Germanization, from the reincorporated Eastern territories (especially from the Warthegau), and of transferring them to the Reich proper. It receives the names of girls in the Warthegau through my deputy. Furthermore, it contacted the local employment offices and welfare offices in the allocation of the girls.”
The evidence regarding RUSHA disclosed that it took part in the entire scheme of resettling and Germanizing foreign populations and using them as slave labour. In all three of these closely connected operations RUSHA carried out its usual task of selecting and racially evaluating the so-called ethnic Germans and foreigners. The treatment of all these persons depended on RUSHA’s findings and recommendations. RUSHA’s responsibility for racial examinations in this sphere as well is stressed in the following draft instructions for the Immigration Centre :
“ The Race and Settlement Office (RUS) determine the racial suitability of the resettler according to general directions by the Reichsfuehrer- SS. The results are listed in a card index. This race and settlement card index is also centrally stored in Litzmannstadt and is consulted when determining the final settlement.”
The examinations took place after the resettlers had been brought to VOMI camps. On the basis of ‘ A,’ ‘ C ’ and ‘ S ’ classifications some resettlers were allowed to settle down in the Eastern territories, some were taken to Germany as labourers and some were sent to the Government General of Poland. Those chiefly responsible for these activities were
Hofmann, Hildebrandt and Schwalm. Numerous documents were pro-duced in evidence to this effect.
VOMI was implicated in the scheme in that it provided camps for the resettlers and was in charge of the latter at this particular stage. It operated some 1,500 to 1,800 camps and at the end of the war there were still hundreds of thousands of persons confined in these camps as resettlers, evacuees and slave labourers. Lorenz and Bueckner, as heads of VOMI bore full re-sponsibility for the carrying out of this part of the scheme. The treatment of the inmates in the care of VOMI was illustrated by the following instructions issued to Lorenz by Himmler on 21st September, 1941 :
“ The escape of a Slovene is to be reported immediately by the Camp Commander of the VOMI to the Gestapo. The
Getapo, in turn, will notify immediately, the Higher SS and Police Leader
“ The family of the escapee as well as his relatives will be removed immediately from the camp and be taken to a concentration camp. Their children will be taken away from them and sent to a home.
“ At once investigation has to be made in the camp in order to determine who knew of the proposed escape and aided it. All men
who knew about the escape and lent a helping hand will be hanged in the camp.”
(ix) Compulsory Conscription of Enemy Nationals into the Armed Forces
The racial policy of the Nazis was carried out also by forcibly drafting into the German armed forces foreign subjects of real or alleged German stock. The evidence disclosed that tens of thousands of such foreign nationals, after having been registered in the German People’s List procedure, were conscripted into the Waffen-SS, or into the regular armed forces. Thus, for instance, the following facts were discovered in an information bulletin of 28th September, 1943 :
“ The first more extensive recruiting of ethnic Germans for the Waffen-SS took place in Rumania in 1940. This was done,under the pretence of recruiting labor for the Reich. In a later, second action, a thousand men belonging to this ethnic German group in Rumania were recruited. At that time these recruitments were not made for the purpose of strengthening the German army but with the idea-strongly backed by the Repatriation Office for Ethnic Germans (VOMI) and the present
SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Berger, that the participation of the ethnic Germans in the war within the ranks of the Waffen-SS would cause a still closer union between these ethnic German groups and the German people, and, especially after the war, in territories settled by ethnic Germans, lead to the development of a veteran’s generation like those in the German Reich. . . .
“ The political situation in the Serbian Banat made it possible, after the dissolution of the Jugoslav state, to collect the ethnic Germans living there into a unit, called the SS-division ‘ Prinz
Eugen.’ Above and beyond this all further available men of the ethnic German group in the Banat fit for service, were drafted into the police forces or served as temporary policemen in the
Banat. Of the ethnic German group in the Banat and Serbia, counting approximately 150,000 ethnic Germans, 22,500 are serving in the aforementioned units, that is to say, more than 14% of this whole number.”
The same bulletin gave a list, country by country, of the “ allotment of German ethnic groups,” enumerating the total number of persons in the Waffen-SS and Wehrmacht. The following two entries are ‘typical
examples : “ Rumania, Waffen-SS, 54,000 ; Slovakia, Waffen-SS, 5,590, Wehrmacht 257.”
Orders were issued to carry out enlistments with the use of compulsory measures and to punish the recalcitrants. This fact was stressed in a letter to the SS-Main Office of 12th July, 1943 :
“ . . . the SS and police court in Belgrade reported on 14th August, 1942, that the E.g. volunteer division Prince Eugen no longer was an organisation of volunteers, that on the contrary, the ethnic Germans from the Serbian Banat were drafted to a large extent under threat of punishment by the local German leadership, and later by the replacement agency.”
One of the punishments was the confinement to a concentration camp, and towards the end of the war they also included executions. This latter fact
was proved by a letter dated 28th September, 1944, from the Higher SS and Police Leader, Southeast, to deputies of the RKFDV :
“ In the individual case of a member of group 3 who refused acceptance of the German People’s List identification card in order to avoid being drafted into the army, the Reichsfuehrer has decided that in this and similar cases firm action will have to be taken and has ordered the execution of the individual in question.
“ If, in spite of having been properly instructed, persons enrolled in the German People’s List should refuse acceptance of their German People’s List identification cards a motion for special treatment will have to be submitted in future.”
It will be remembered that “ special treatment ” meant death by hanging.
Those of the accused charged specifically for this type of offence were Lorenz and
Brueckner. The Tribunal was satisfied with the evidence concerning Lorenz’s guilt, but found that the evidence submitted against Brueckner was “ insufficient ” to establish his culpability.
Part I Part II
Part III Part IV Part
V Part VI