Source: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggresion. Vol. II. USGPO, Washington, 1946,pp.956-1004

[Note: The characters in brackets, eg, (2233-N-PS) refer to the official document numbers included in the series Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression.  A list of legal references and documents relating to Seyss-Inquart is on pages 1004-1014.  For information on the referencing of Internet sources see Chapter 4 of S D Stein Learning, Teaching and Researching on the Internet. Addison Wesley Longman 1999-published Nov.1998]

Error Submission Form

Individual Responsibility of Defendants

Artur Seyss-Inquart

[Nuremberg Tribunal Charges

Part I

Positions Held
Promotes Seizure of Power in Austria (Part 1)

A. POSITIONS HELD BY SEYSS-INQUART.

(1) Positions Held by Artur Seyss-Inquart in the Order Set Forth in the Indictment.

(a) Member of the NSDAP (Nazi Party), 13 March 1938 to 8 May 1945.
(b) General in the SS, 15 March 1938 to 8 May 1945.
(c) State Councillor of Austria, May 1937 to 12 February 1938.
(d) Minister of Interior and Security of Austria, 16 February 1938 to 11 March 1938.
(e) Chancellor of Austria, 11 March 1938 to 15 March 1938.
(f) Member of the Reichstag, April 1938 to 8 May 1945.
(g) Member of the Reich Cabinet, 1 May 1939 to 1945.
(h) Reich Minister without Portfolio, 1 May 1939 to September 1939.
(i) Chief of the Civil Administration of South Poland, early September 1939.
(j) Deputy Governor-General of the Polish Occupied Territory, 12 October 1939 to 18 May 1940.
(k) Reich Commissar for Occupied Netherlands 18 May 1940 to 8 May 1945. (2910-PS)

(2) Positions Held in Addition to Those Set Forth in the Indictment.

(a) Reich Governor of Austria, 15 March 1938 to 1 May 1939.(2910-PS)
(b) President of the German Academy, Munich, 1943 (3457-PS)

(3) Previous Occupations of Seyss-Inquart.

(a) Commissioned officer in a Tyrol-Kaiserjaeger Regiment of the Austrian Army in World War I, 1914-1918.
(b) Lawyer in Vienna, Austria. (3425-PS)

B. SEYSS-INQUART USED HIS POSITIONS AND INFLUENCE SO AS TO PROMOTE THE NAZI SEIZURE AND CONSOLIDATION OF CONTROL OVER AUSTRIA.

(1) Seyss-Inquart was a member of the Nazi Party and held the rank of General in the SS.

Seyss-Inquart has admitted that he became a member of the Nazi Party on 13 March 1938; that he was made a General in the SS on 15 March 1938, and held both membership and rank until 8 May 1945. (2910-PS)

Seyss-Inquart, in a letter to Goering, on 14 July 1939, asserted that he had been a member of the Nazi Party since 1931. The following is an excerpt from that letter:

"Until July 1934, I conducted myself as a regular member of the Party. And if I had quietly in whatever form paid my membership dues, the first one according to a receipt, I paid in December 1931." (2219-PS)

In a voluntary statement signed by Seyss-Inquart, with the advice of his counsel, he discussed his affiliation with the Nazi Party as follows:

"I supported also the National Socialist Party as long as it was legal, because it declared itself with particular deter-mination in favor of the Anschluss. From 1932 onward I made financial contributions to this Party, but I discontinued financial support when it was declared illegal in 1934." (3425-PS).

In contrast with the foregoing assertions of the defendant, Seyss-Inquart wrote a letter to Heinrich Himmler on 19 August 1939 in which he confirmed the fact that he became a member of the Nazi Party in 1931 and also stated that he continued his membership in the Nazi Party even after it was declared illegal in Austria. The following is an excerpt from that letter:

"Concerning my membership in the Nazi Party, I want to state that I never was asked to enter the Nazi Party but I asked Dr. Kier in December-1931 to take care of my relation to the Party. At that time I saw the basis of the solution of the Austrian question only in the Party. I wrote this already in the year 1929 to Dr. Neubacher to adjust his hopes which he had put in the Austria-German Volksbund. After that, I paid my membership fees and, as I remember, direct to the Gau Wien. The payments were made even after the party was forbidden. Some time later, I got in direct touch with the Ortsgruppe in Dornbach. The membership fees were paid by my wife but the Blockwart couldn't possibly have any doubt that those payments were for my wife and myself since the amount of the fees, S 40 [40 Schillings] a month, was a sure indication of this fact and I was treated in every respect as a Party member. Besides that, I was, since 1932, a member of the Steirischen Heimatschutzes Kammerhofer. In this organization I made every effort to absorb the Steirische Heimatschutz in the Party and mainly on account of my efforts, von Habicht declared that the members of the Steirische Heimatschutz were members of the Party. That proves that I felt myself, in every respect, as a member of the Party and I was regarded as belonging to the Party and as I said before, already in December 1931." (3271-PS)

(2) Seyss-Inquart, even before he became a member of the Nazi Party, belonged to an organization conceived and founded upon principles which later became those of the Nazi Party.

Seyss-Inquart has stated in writing that he had been a member of a secret organization known as the "German Brotherhood" (Deutsche Gemeinschaft). This is evidenced by the following excerpts from his letter to Himmler of 19 August 1939:

"It must be known to you that at the time of the Black-Red Coalition, there existed an extremely secret organization under the name of 'German Community.' Here met all sorts of Nationalists and Catholic elements who, at least at that time, were anti-Semitic and anti-Marxists. Dr. Doelter, who was my office chief, was one of the leaders of this asso-ciation and through him I came into this movement. Dolfuss was also active here. He was of my age and was a very active anti-Semitic. It is through success of the activities of this organization that the Black-Red Coalition. was broken and the Marxists never came back in the government. After the establishment of National Socialism, this organization was dissolved." (3271-PS)

The secret organization, "German Brotherhood", (Deutsche Gemeinschaft), was organized to promote the anti-Semitic and anti-Free Mason doctrines later adopted by the Nazi Party. This fact is evidenced by Seyss-Inquart's copy of the minutes of a meeting of this organization on 28 December 1918 and by its constitution and by-laws, a portion of which appear in the following quotation :

"The purpose of this organization is the liberation of the German people from Jewish influences, and combat against Jewry with all available means. The organization is secret. Since a contact of the organization with the public can't be avoided it has to be done under pretense of unsuspicious pur-poses and without showing the actual set-up," (3400-PS)

New members of this organization were required to make a sworn statement, i. e.:

"As a German man, I assure with my honor, as far as I know, there is no Jewish blood in my descendency. Furthermore, I am not connected by marriage with a wife or other com-panion of Jewish descendency, and I never will have relation with one of those. I am not a Free Mason, I assure to be forever a good member of the Deutsche Gemeinschaft and I will always represent the interest of the German people against the Jewish people and I am willing to fight the Jewish people with all my power, any place and at any time. I promise to obey all orders and decrees of the leadership of the organiza tion and to preserve complete secrecy about their institution, about the persons of the organization, and the events within it, as long as I live." (3400-PS)

New members were also asked the question: "In case you will be accepted, are you willing to employ only Aryan physicians, attorneys, and businessmen ?" (3400-PS)

(3) Seyss-Inquart, after the Austrian Nazi Party was declared illegal in July 1934, posed a s a non-member of the Nazi Party but continued to support it in its activities, principles, and objectives in a subversive manner.

Seyss-Inquart has stated that:

"Before the Anschluss, I worked for the legal, political activities of the Austrian Socialists under the conditions laid down in the Austrian Constitution. * * * From 1932 onwards I made financial contributions to this party but I discontinued financial support when it was declared illegal in 1934. From July 1934 until the year 1936 I supported individual National Socialists as lawyer and in collaboration with the welfare work Langoth in Linz. From July 1936 onwards, I endeavored to help the 'National Socialists to regain their legal status and finally to participate in the Austrian Government. * * * I was sympathetic towards the efforts of the Austrian Nazi Party to gain political power and corresponding influence because they were in favor of the Anschluss. * * * On 10 March 1938 I suggested to Chancellor Schuschnigg, as a solution to the difficulties resulting from his plebiscite plan, that the National Socialists be appointed to the Cabinet, after I became in May 1937 State Councillor and then on 16-2-1938 Minister of Interior and Security." (3425-PS)

Seyss-Inquart was an official in the Austrian Government, yet he rendered services, and physical and moral support to the illegal Austrian Nazi Party during those years, knowing that the radical elements engaged in terroristic acts.

"During this time, particularly after the Party was forbidden in July 1934, I knew that the radical element of the Party was engaged in terroristic activities, such as the attacks on railroads, bridges, telephone communications, etc. I knew that the governments of both Chancellors Dolfuss and Schuschnigg, although they held the same total German view-point in principle, were opposed to the Anschluss then because of the National Socialist regime in the Reich. I was sympathetic towards the efforts of the Austrian Nazi Party to gain political power and corresponding influence, because they were in favor of the Anschluss. On the day of the unsuccessful 'putsch,' 25 July 1934, I was at my home in Stannern near Iglau, Czechoslovakia. I learned later that the murder of Chancellor Dolfuss on that day was the outcome of a 'putsch' plan, in which SS circles were mainly involved, to arrest the Chancellor and put in an Austrian government with National Socialist participation. Eight or ten days before this unsuccessful 'putsch' Chancellor Dolfuss sent for me. We discussed the disturbances and troubled state of affairs created in Austria by the radical element of the Aus-trian National Socialists. I advised Chancellor Dolfuss to make an arrangement with Hitler because the Austrian National Socialists and even this radical element would obey Hitler's orders. I conjectured-later I found confirmation-that these terroristic activities had a certain support from the Reich. Chancellor Dolfuss told me he would think the matter over and made a tentative future appointment for a further discussion. I informed among others, also acquaintances, of this conversation whom I knew had influence among the Austrian National Socialists. About one week later Chancellor Dolfuss informed me that at the moment he had no time for further discussion." (3425-PS)

(4) Seyss-Inquart derived personal benefits and political power as the result of the subversive manipulations and terroristic activities of his fellow Nazi collaborators.

He was appointed State Councillor of Austria in May 1937, and Minister of the Interior and Security of that country as the direct result of Nazi manipulation. These facts he has admitted:

"My appointment as State Councillor was the result of an agreement between Austria and Germany on 11-7-1936. My appointment as Minister of the Interior and Security was one of the results of the conference between Chancellor Schuschnigg and Hitler at Berchtesgaden on 12-2-1938." (3425-PS)

Another result of the Berchtesgaden conference was that Austrian Nazis were thereafter allowed openly to demonstrate their conviction, an advantage which they exploited to the full.

"The Austrian National Socialists must certainly have taken my appointment as Minister of Interior and Security as an indication of their right to activity. Still more, however, the outcome of the agreement of 12-2-1938 allowed them to demonstrate their convictions. This right they utilized in more and more widespread demonstrations." (3425-PS)

(5) Seyss-Inquart used his affiliation with the Nazis to promote the absorption of Austria into the Greater German Reich according to plan as conceived by his fellow Nazi conspirators.

Seyss-Inquart had had a continuous and constant interest in the union of Austria and Germany for twenty years, and during all that time worked, planned, and collaborated with others until the union became an accomplished fact.

"In 1918 I became interested in the Anschluss of Austria with Germany. From that year on I worked, planned, and collaborated with others of a like mind to bring about a union. * * * It was my desire to effect this union of the two countries-in an evolutionary manner and by legal means. Among my Austrian collaborators were Dr. Neubacher, City Councillor Speiser, the University Professor Hugelmann, and Dr. Wilhelm Bauer, Professor Wettstein and others. Later, during the rise of National Socialism, Dr. Friedrich Rainer, Dr. Jury, Glaise-Horstenau, Major Klausner, Dr. Muehlmann, Globotschnigg, and others. * * * After I became State Councillor, I discussed several times with von Papen, the German Ambassador, the possibilities of an understanding be-tween the Austrian government and the Austrian National Socialists, respectively the Reich. We did not talk of the An-schluss as an actual program. However, we were both of the opinion that a successful understanding would bring about in the course of time the Anschluss by evolutionary means in some form. The last time I spoke to von Papen was in January 1938 in Garmisch where I met him by chance."( 3425-PS)

Seyss-Inquart contributed his efforts to revive the Austrian Nazi Party after the unsuccessful "putsch of July 25, 1934, and to provide relief for the families of arrested and condemned Nazis. He has described these activities in the following words:

"The effect of the 'Putsch' was a complete catastrophe to the National Socialist Camp. Not merely the leaders, but party members were arrested in so far as they did not escape ; the confiscation of their fortunes was announced ; the revolt which led to military actions in Steiriermark, Karnten and Oberoesterreich did cost victims; the political management was seriously compromised by the Nazis and above all, a most sinister looking situation was created in regard to foreign politics. In any case, the idea of a union had suffered a severe setback. I was in agreement about the effect with Dr. Neubacher, and it was our desire to assist easing the tension. Following this situation I felt urged to take up politics beyond the question of the 'Anschluss.' * * * The former National delegate to the 'Langoth' in Linz was working with Rheintaller. Dr. Neubacher and myself contacted this circle and met there some other men whose names I have forgotten, but who later did not play a particular role. After some time, the lawyer applicant from Linz, Dr. Kaltenbrunner, joined this circle. He was said to be an SS man. The main activi-ties consisted in organizing an institution to succor the needy families of those arrested and condemned Nazis. * * * As matters calmed down, the Austrian National Socialists collected themselves again into an illegal party, the organiza-tion was built up for better or worse according to the old schedule, those who returned from the Reich were considered to be more 'in the know' and authoritative. The institution of succor, 'Langoth, ' remained outside the party organization. But here were also men in the Nazi circles who considered an absolute dependence on the Reich as politically wrong and endeavored for an independent Austrian National Socialist Party. In effect, Dr. Rainer from Karnten belonged to those, and by his influence the future Gauleiter Klausner who is now dead; also Globotschnigg was in it, though I doubt he was sincerely convinced, and also others. Dr. Neubacher took a keener interest in political affairs and entered into relation-ship with the proper Party circles." (3254-PS)

The defendant submitted his plans to Hitler, Hess, and Goering for their approval, and contacted other German Nazis.

"After my appointment as State Councillor, Wilhelm Keppler, the German Secretary of State for Austrian affairs, arranged a visit for me with Hess and Goering. I explained my in-tentions and plans to them, namely, the attainment of the legal activity for the Austrian National Socialist, independent of the Reich Party. Hess expressed his interest and said to me among other things: he regretted that I was not one of the original 'old fighters. 'I believe that at that time Goering had already established direct connections with the Austrian State Secretary, Guido Schmid. After my appointment as Minister of Interior and Security of Austria, I went to Berlin to visit Hitler. I arrived in 'Berlin on 17-2-1938 where I was met by Keppler who took me to Himmler. This visit was not anticipated in my program. Himmler wanted to talk over police matters, I informed him, however, that I was not conversant to speak about them. I did not follow the suggestions which he made. I greeted Hitler with raised hand-permissible after the agreement of 12-2-advised him, however, immediately that as Austrian Minister, my responsibility lay with Austria. I explained to Hitler my plans, namely: I was to be the living guaranty for Dr. Schuschnigg of the evolutionary way. The Austria National Socialists must only conduct their activities according to the Austrian Constitution and on those lines find their way to the Reich; they must not make any totalitarian claim nor conduct a cultural struggle. The leadership of the Austrian National Socialists must be independent of the Reich and remain responsible to Austria. I would have, as Minister of Security, to oppose any kind of illegal activity. Against this the Aus-trian National Socialist would be permitted full freedom of activity to work for the closest cooperation of Austria and Germany. Hitler agreed to my plans but expressed certain doubts whether Dr. Schuschnigg would be willing to go so far. During my conference with Hitler, Keppler and Ribbentrop waited in the ante-room of Hitler's office." (3425-PS)

Seyss-Inquart's fellow Nazi conspirators regarded his position as Councillor of State in the Austrian Government as most important to them, because he had a mandate from the German Nazis in power, which he was attempting to carry out. Because his negotiations with Chancellor Schuschnigg seemed to be running aground, Seyss-Inquart sent a report of that fact to Keppler by courier, stating that he felt compelled to return his mandate, and expressing a desire to discuss the matter before acting ac-cordingly. Keppler immediately sought advice from Goering in a letter dated 6 January 1938. On that same day Goering's secretary was instructed to telephone instructions to Keppler to do anything to avoid the resignations of Councillor of State Dr. Seyss-Inquart and State Minister Glaise von Horstenau. Keppler received this telephone message on 7 January 1938, and on 8 Jan-uary 1938 wrote a letter to Seyss-Inquart informing him of Goering's instructions and relaying Gbering's request not to give up the mandate under any circumstances without discussing the matter with Goering.( 3473-PS; 3397-PS)

Despite assertions, in statements since his arrest and indict-ment, to the effect that he desired a union of Austria and Germany in an evolutionary manner and by legal means, Seyss-lnquart has on other occasions made statements to the contrary. His letter of 14 July 1939 to Goering is particularly illuminating on this point:

"I told myself in July 1934 that we must fight this clerical regime on its own ground in order to give the Fuehrer a chance to use whatever method he desires. I told myself that this Austria was worth a mass. I have stuck to this attitude with an iron determination because I and my friends have had to fight against the whole political church, and Free Masonry, the Jewry, in short, against everything in Austria. The slightest weakness which we might have displayed would undoubtedly have led to our political annihilation; it would have deprived the Fuehrer of the means and tools to carry out his ingenious political solution for Austria as became evident in the days of March 1938. I have been fully conscious of the fact that I am following a path which is not comprehensible to the masses and also not to my party comrades. I have followed it calmly and would without hesita-tion follow it again because I am satisfied that at one point I could serve the Fuehrer as a tool in his work, even though my former attitude, even now, gives occasion to very worthy and honorable Party comrades to doubt my trustworthiness. I have never paid attention to such things because I am satisfied with the opinion which the Fuehrer and the men close to him have of me." (2219-PS)

Another statement of the defendant, which throws some light on this point, is found in his letter to Himmler dated 19 August 1939:

"On November 8, 1938, the Fuehrer invited several political leaders for supper. The Fuehrer asked me to be next to him. We discussed the situation in Ostmark. I told him that in accordance with his order, we started to dissolve the competence of the Austrian government by giving the powers partly to the Gauen and partly to the central leaders. But there still would remain certain affairs which would be common for all Gauen." (3271-PS)

Furthermore, Seyss-Inquart has made the following statement:

"I was happy that the Anschluss of Austria with the Ger-man Reich had come at last after so many vain endeavors since 1918 because I was in favor of the Anschluss of Aus-tria with the Reich under many conditions. I was aware at least to a certain extent of the harshness of the National Socialist regime, but I was of the opinion that these two Ger-man countries belonged together and that the German people should solve their own internal affairs and difficulties. I was convinced that the harshness of the National Socialist regime chiefly because of its achievement of the National aim-cancellation of discriminatory peace treaties and achievement of the right of self-determination-would in time be surmounted." (3425-PS)

The subversive machinations of the Austrian Nazis to bring about the absorption of Austria by the Greater German Reich was described in detail by Dr. Friedrich Rainer, a leading Austrian Nazi and a collaborator of Seyss-Inquart who became one of Hitler's Gauleiters, in a report prepared by him and forwarded to Buerckel. A copy of this report accompanied by a letter of transmittal was later sent to Seyss-Inquart by Dr. Rainer. In substance, the report related how the Nazi party lost a parlia-mentary battle in 1933, continued its efforts to force admission of its representatives into the Austrian government, and finally flowered into the unsuccessful "Putsch" of July 1934, which, in effect, destroyed the Nazi organization. Following the unsuccessful "Putsch", Hitler liquidated the first stage of the battle, and in-structed Franz von Papen to restore normal relationships between the two countries. Accordingly, a new method of political pene-tration was adopted. The result was that Hinterleitner, an Austrian Nazi got in touch with the lawyer Seyss-Inquart, who had connections with Dr. Wachter originating from Seyss-Inquart's support of the July uprising. Seyss-Inquart also had a good position in the legal field and especially well established relations with Christian Social politicians. Dr. Seyss-Inquart came from the ranks of the "Styrian Heimatschutz" and had become a Nazi party member when the entire "Styrian Heimatschutz" was in-corporated in the NSDAP. The reason for utilizing Seyss-Inquart appears in the foIlowing excerpt from the covering letter which accompanied Dr. Rainer's report to Reich Commissar Gauleiter Josef Buerckel, dated 6 July 1939:

"I think the main reason for the fact that the person of Dr. Seyss-Inquart seemed to Hitler and to public opinion to have stepped in the limelight in those March days, was that no position existed in the party which one might have presented oneself to the public, and that there was no man who had the guts to let himself be presented. The actual reason was that the party leadership had to remain secret during the whole illegal fight, secret even from the Reich German public." (812-PS)

Thus it is clear why Seyss-Inquart was surreptitiously, a member of the Austrian Nazi Party after it was declared illegal in 1934.

Dr. Rainer goes on to report that full recognition of the party leadership was given by Seyss-Inquart and also that the defendant was in permanent contact with Captain Leopold, who became a member of the staff of Hess. After Hinterleitner was arrested, Dr. Rainer became his successor as leader of the Austrian Nazi Party, and, on 16 July 1936, Dr. Rainer and Globocnik visited Hitler at Obersalzburg, where they received a clear explanation of the situation and the wishes of the Fuehrer. Subsequently, on 17 July 1936, all illegal Gauleiters met in Anif near Salzburg, where they received a complete report from Dr. Rainer on the statement of the Fuehrer and his political instructions for carrying out the fight. After the agreement between Germany and Austria on 11 July 1936, Hitler appointed Wilhelm Keppler as Chief of a mixed commission to supervise the execution of the agreement. At the same time Keppler was given full authority for the Nazi Party in Austria. (812-PS)

Arthur Seyss-Inquart Nuremberg Indictment, Part 2

Document compiled by Dr S D Stein
Last update 08/01/99
Stuart.Stein@uwe.ac.uk
ęS D Stein

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