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

Part III

Participation in Conspiracy to Wage Aggressive War
Role in Authorizing, Directing, and Participating in a Conspiracy to Commit War Crimes

The Netherlands


The German Reichstag came under the control of the Nazi con-spirators with the advent of Hitler into the German Government and became a willing tool in the hands of Hitler and the conspirators.( See Sections 2, 3, and 4 of chapter VII on the acquisition and consolidation of totalitarian political control, and terrorization of political opponents.)

The members of the Reich Cabinet were the accomplices, aiders and abettors of Hitler and his closest Nazi lieutenants in the political planning and preparation for Wars of Aggression and Wars in Violation of International Treaties, Agreements and Assurances. (See section 3 of chapter XV on the Reich Cabinet.)

Seyss-Inquart was a member of the Reichstag and of the Reich Cabinet before the invasion of Poland, and occupied those positions until the unconditional surrender of Germany. Thus he is equally responsible for the acts and decisions of the members of those governmental bodies concerning the political planning and preparation of the Nazi Conspirators for Wars of Aggression and Wars in Violation of International Treaties, Agreements and Assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment. (2910-PS)


(1) Austria.

(a) Position and authority of Seyss-Inquart.

Seyss-Inquart was appointed Reich Governor of Austria by Hitler on 15 March 1938, and was put in charge of the Civil Administration. Austria had then ceased to exist as an independent nation and was a province of the German Reich. (2910-PS; 3425-PS)

Goering, as Delegate for the Four-Year Plan, commissioned Seyss-Inquart, who was then Reichsstatthalter in Austria, jointly with the Plenipotentiary of the Reich, to consider and take any steps necessary for the "Aryanization of business and economic life, and to execute this process in accordance with our laws" (Laws of the Reich). (3460-PS)

Seyss-Inquart. participated in the drafting of laws for the sequestration and confiscation of property of the so-called "ene-mies of the people and State." Evidence of this fact is found in the correspondence between Seyss-Inquart and Dr. Lammers, Chief of the Reichs Chancellery. On 24 October 1938 Seyss-Inquart wrote a letter to Dr. Lammers stating in substance that the law providing for the sequestration and confiscation of the property of enemies of the State was almost completed and ready for the signature of the Fuehrer, and expressing hope that the signature would be obtained soon. Dr. Lammers replied to Seyss-Inquart that the 'decree would be issued by the Reichminister of the Interior, a copy of which had been submitted to Hitler, who had expressed no objections. (3448-PS; 3447-PS)

The power and authority of Seyss-Inquart with respect to the sequestration and confiscation of the property of "enemies of the State" stemmed from a decree empowering the Reichsstatthalter in Vienna, or the office designated by him, to confiscate property of persons or societies which had promoted efforts inimical to the people of the State. This decree also attempted to legalize the confiscation of property ordered by the Secret State Police prior to the issuance of the decree. (3450-PS) This 'decree appeared to be a secret law, because it was not published. Yet its existence as law is evidenced by a letter written to the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police, Himmler, in January 1939, which shows that the decree was in fact issued on 18 November 1938. (3449-PS)

(b) Murder and illtreatment of civilians.

Seyss-Inquart was aware that so-called enemies of the State were imprisoned in con-centration camps. His knowledge of this matter is evidenced by his claim of credit for the transfer of his predecessor-Chancellor of Austria, von Schuschnigg-from one concentration camp to another in south Germany which was in the path of the armed forces of the United States. (3254-PS)

One of the most notorious concentration camps was Mauthausen, located in Austria and in existence while Seyss-Inquart was the Reich Governor of the Province of Austria. As has already been shown, this camp became noted as an extermination center. (2176-PS)

(c) Plunder of public and private property.

Even before the issuance of the above decree for the sequestration and confiscation of the property of the so-called enemies of the State, Seyss-Inquart wrote a letter to Hitler indicating that he had come into possession of from 700 to 900 valuable tapestries. Seyss-Inquart offered to display the most beautiful pieces so that the Fuehrer might make a selection. In this same letter Seyss-Inquart ex-pressed his pride and wonder over the manner in which Hitler had "solved the Sudeten problem." (3391-PS)

While Seyss-Inquart was Reich Governor of the Province of Austria a large quantity of valuable property, including works of art, belonging to the so-called enemies of the State, was seized, sequestered, and confiscated. A partial list of such property is found in a memorandum which referred to a report of the Reich Fuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police submitted with a let-ter dated 10 August 1938 and received in Berlin 26 September 1938. This inventory listed a total of 162 cases of confiscation, of which 113 cases had a value of some 93,366,358.24 marks. It is significant that the former owners of this property were Jews and political opponents of the Nazis. (3446-PS)

(2) Poland.

(a) Position and authority.

Seyss-Inquart was appointed Deputy Governor General of the Polish Occupied Territory by Hitler's decree of 12 October 1939, which also appointed Hans Frank Governor General of the Polish Occupied Territory. The official title of the government of Poland under the Nazi conspirators was the "General Government" (3147-PS). Prior to his appointment as Deputy Governor General of the Polish Occupied Territory from the early part of September 1939 to 12 October 1939, Seyss-Inquart was Chief of the Civil Administration of South Poland (291-O-PS). Seyss-Inquart as Deputy Governor General of the Polish Occupied Territory was second only to the Governor General, Frank. (2233-CC-PS)

The Chief of the Office of the Governor General of the Polish Occupied Territory and the Higher SS and Police Leaders were directly subordinate to the Governor General and his representa-tive. In turn the leaders of the General and Security Police were subordinated to the Higher SS and Police Leaders. (3468-PS)

According to Hans Frank, Seyss-Inquart organized the General Government of Poland. When Seyss-Inquart was about to depart to assume his new duties as Reich Commissar for the Occupied Netherlands, Frank eulogized Seyss-Inquart as follows:

"In the construction of the General-Government, your name will forever take a place of honor as originator of this or-ganization and State system. I express our thanks, Mr. Reichminister, for your. collaboration and for your creative energy in the name of all officers, employees, and laborers, of all SS organizations and the whole police force of the General-Government, and in the name of the District Chiefs, the Gau and city leaders, in the name of all otherwise on the or-der of the Reich and the Fuehrer her active persons. * * *" (3465-PS)

During November 1939 Seyss-Inquart made a tour of inspec-tion in Poland. While on this tour he gave lectures to the German officials of the General Government of Poland concerning their duties and German administrative policy in that country. He told these officials that the only principal aim of that policy was to satisfy the interests of the Reich and that they should promote everything of use to the Reich and hamper all that might damage the Reich. He instructed the officials that the German Govern-ment must utilize the General Government of Poland for German economic purposes. (2278-PS)

(b) Murder and illtreatment of the civilian population of oc-cupied territories.

While Seyss-Inquart was on the aforesaid tour of inspection, a Dr. Lasch, who was a District Governor, re-l ported to Seyss-Inquart that all criminals found in the penitentiaries were shot. The executions, however, were conducted in closed-off wooded areas and not in public. (2278-PS)

In his report concerning his tour of inspection Seyss-Inquart stated that the intellectuals of Poland were to a greater part locked up. He also passed on the suggestion made by District Governor Schmidt to use the "moorish" country around Cychov, Poland, as a reservoir for Jews because this measure might have a decimating effect upon the Jewish population of Poland. (2278-PS)

Hans Frank, in his capacity as Governor General of the Polish Occupied Territory, made an official report to Hitler in which he stated that, in the course of time, the German rule had led to a substantial deterioration in the "attitude" of the entire Polish people due to malnutrition, mass arrests, mass shootings, and rigorous methods used to obtain forced labor. In this report it was admitted that before 1939 the food supply of the Polish people was quite adequate to sustain them.( 437-PS)

(c) Plunder of public and private property.

During the aforesaid tour of inspection Seyss-Inquart ordered the seizure of all soap stocks, and informed the German officials that the seizure of soap and tea was to be regarded as most important. In addition he ordered a marshalling of goods such as oil, salt, manures, etc., in monopolies such as cooperative societies. He also directed that the Polish unemployment fund in a considerable amount be diverted to the repair of damaged buildings. (2278-PS)

Frank in his report to Hitler stated that there had been a confiscation of a great part of Polish estates, together with encroach-ments upon and confiscation of the assets of industries, trades, professions, and other private property. (437-PS)

(d) Conscription of civilian labor.

Seyss-Inquart, as Deputy Governor General of the Polish Occupied Territory, attended most staff meetings held by Frank, the Governor General. Among the subjects discussed and decided upon at those meetings was the conscription and deportation of vast numbers of Polish nationals to the Reich for forced labor. Some of these deportees were employed in instruments of war production in violation of Articles 6, 23h, 46, and 62 of the Hague Regulations 1907, as well as the Prisoner of War Convention (Geneva 1929). On 11 January 1940 one Frauendorfer reported in the presence of Seyss-Inquart that daily transports, each carrying 1,000 work-ers, were going to the Reich. Thus Seyss-Inquart aided and abetted in these violations. (2233-B-PS)

According to Frank approximately 160,000 agricultural work-ers and 50,000 industrial workers were conscripted and deported from Poland to the Reich up to and including 21 April 1940. Be-cause the total quota had been fixed at 500,000 and because there were not enough "voluntary enlistments", solution to the problem was sought in the use of coercive measures. Seyss-Inquart participated actively in the discussions on this matter, and thus aided materially in the solution of the problem.( 2233-N-PS)

(e) Germanization of occupied territories.

The Nazi government of the Polish Occupied Territory was determined to make Poland entirely German.( Evidence of this intention is discussed in Chapter XIII.) In addition, Frank in his report to Hitler reported that there had been an expropriation of property and ex-pulsion of Polish nationals therefrom for German settlements in Poland. (437-PS)

(3) The Netherlands.

(a) Position and authority of Seyss-Inquart.

Seyss-Inquart was appointed Reich Commissar for the occupied Netherlands territories by decree of Hitler dated 18 May 1940. This decree made Seyss-Inquart "guardian of the interests of the Reich" and invested him with "supreme civil authority." Seys-Inquart was made responsible only to Hitler, and empowered to pro-mulgate laws by decree for the occupied Netherlands territories. (1376-PS; 2910 0-PS)

(b) Abrogation and modification of Netherlands legislation not justified by military necessity.

In his capacity as Reich Com-missar of the occupied Netherlands territories Seyss-Inquart au-thorized and directed the abrogation or modification of Nether-' lands legislation not demanded or justified by military exigency. This action was in violation of Article 43 of the Hague Regulations, 1907.

The acts abolished included Provincial and Municipal Laws. (3340-PS; 3342-PS)

Ordinary criminal laws not in conflict with the permissible objectives of the occupying power were abrogated, suspended, or radically changed. Administrative courts martial were estab-lished by decree of Seyss-Inquart as Reich Commissar which em-powered the Leader of the Superior SS and the Police and Special Agents appointed by the Reich Commissar to deviate from exist-ing law. This decree also prescribed harsh penalties for mis-demeanors, extending from 10 years to life imprisonment, and include the death penalty (i) for participation in "activities likely to disturb or endanger public order and security" and (ii) for intentional violation of the orders of the Reich Commissar. (2111-PS)

Existing marriage laws were amended by Seyss-Inquart so as to require approval of the Reich Commissar instead of the con-sent of parent or guardian in the case of Dutch girls. The statutory waiting period was also abolished. Thus, intermarriage of Germans with female persons of Netherlands nationality were facilitated and promoted. (3339-PS)

Existing legislation concerning Netherlands nationality was modified by Seyss-Inquart so as to favor Germany. (3341-PS).

Additional decrees not justified or demanded by the military interests of the occupant were issued by Seyss-Inquart as Reich Commissar. These decrees amended or superseded and distorted existing laws concerning press, education, social services, cor-porate life, trade unionism, medical care, art, science, and divers phases of the political, social, economic, and industrial life of the Netherlands. Some of these enactments, including the dis-criminatory decrees against the Jews, are considered in greater detail hereafter. (1726-PS)

(c) Germanization of Netherlands Territory.

Seyss-Inquart in his capacity as Reich Commissar for the occupied Dutch Territory, took affirmative steps to assimilate the territory under his jurisdiction politically, culturally, socially, and economically into the German Reich. This action violated Articles 43, 46, 55, and 56 of the Hague Regulations, 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and Article 6 (b) of the Charter.

The more offensive crimes in the above category, such as economic exploitation and enforced conscription are considered in detail elsewhere in this section. Other "Germanization" meas-ures, such as the decrees promoting marriage between German males and female Netherlanders, and altering citizenship laws in favor of Germany, have been previously adverted to.

When he assumed office on 29 May 1940, Seyss-Inquart said in a speech at The Hague:

"We neither will oppress this land and its people imperialistically nor will we impose on them our political convictions. We will bring this about in no other way-only through our deportment and our example." (3430-PS)

The bona fides of the above statement is belied by a public statement made by Seyss-Inquart two years later. In a speech at Hengelo on 19 May 1943 he revealed his true purpose:

"Several times it has been held against me that I have let national socialism come to the fore in all phases in public life. As far as I am concerned that is no reproach, it is a historical mission,. which I have to fulfill here."( 3430-PS)

Full disclosure of Seyss-Inquart's intentions and actions with respect to nazification and exploitation of Holland was made in a Top Secret report prepared by him and sent to Berlin covering the situation in the Netherlands during the period 29 May to 19

July 1940. This report was forwarded by Lammers of the Reich Chancellery to Rosenberg. Seyss-Inquart prefaces the report by describing his mission as not merely the guarding of Reich inter-' ests and maintaining order, but also the building of close eco-nomic ties between the Netherlands and the Reich. The report catalogues in considerable detail the measures initiated by Seyss-Inquart, discusses the building up of the NSDAP in the Nether-lands, and adverts to the proposed creation of Nazi para-military and corresponding organizations. It also mentions the efforts made to bring about an assimilation of interests between Holland and Germany in the fields of economics and agriculture, culture, art, and science. The report points out that the allocation of supplies made, and financial and currency arrangements prescribed, were favorable to the Reich ; that such transactions were signed by Dutch officials so that the "appearance of being voluntary" was preserved. (997-PS)

(d) Spoliation of property.

In his capacity as Reich Com-missar for the Occupied Netherlands territory Seyss-Inquart authorized, directed, and participated in the exploitation of the material resources of the Occupied Netherlands territory for purposes unrelated to the needs of the Army of Occupation. These acts were all in violation of Article 6 (b) of the Charter and Articles 43, 4649, 52 of the Hague Regulations, 1907.

These crimes, for which Seyss-Inquart is responsible not only by virtue of his position as the dominant civil representative of the Reich Government in the Occupied Netherlands territory but also because of his direct participation in the initiation and exe-cution of such criminal policies, took the following form:

Control and exploitation of the Netherlands economy in the in-terest of the German total war effort.
Levy of excessive occupation charges on the Netherlands.
Exaction of large sums of money and gold as "external occu-pation costs," or "contributions to the war against Bolshevism."
Requisitioning of gold and foreign exchange of Dutch nationals for purposes unrelated to the needs of the occupation army.
Use of German reichsmarks as currency in the Netherlands for purposes unrelated to the needs of the occupation army, with compulsory free exchange of such Reichsmarks for gulden by the Netherlands Bank.
(Evidence of the foregoing methods of exploitation of the occu-pied Netherlands and correlative enrichment of the Reich is discussed in Chapter XIII.)

The Nazi conspirators were measurably aided in executing the foregoing policies in Holland by the cooperation of a local Nazi, Rost van Tonnigen, who was appointed President of the Nether-lands Bank and Treasurer in the Netherlands Ministry of Finance by Seyss-Inquart in the spring of 1941. The cooperative spirit with which van Tonnigen discharged his responsibilities in these posts was disclosed in the following excerpt from a report of the German Commissar of the Netherlands Bank:

"The new President of the Netherlands Bank, Mr. Rost van Tonnigen, is, in contrast to a large part of the leadership, penetrated in his movements and his official acts by the greater German thought, and convinced of the necessity of the creation of a greater European economic space. This ideological attitude in itself gives him the correct position on financial and monetary policy questions for his country in relation to the greater German economic space. Furthermore it makes easier cooperation with my office, a fact which deserves special mention in consideration of the frequently observed impossible conduct of the Netherlands agencies be-fore the entrance into office of the new President. I consider as a fortunate solution the fact that the Reichskommissar for the Occupied Dutch Areas has also entrusted Mr. Rost van Tonnigen with the Treasury of the Ministry of Finance [Schatzamt des Finanzministeriums]. Mr. Rost van Tonni-gen took over this office at the end of the month of April. Thus there is a guarantee that the financial and monetary policy of the country will be conducted according to unified points of view."( ECR-174); see also Verordnungsblutt, No. 22, 24 August 1940 (Fourth Order of the Reich Commissar for the Occupied Netherlands concerning certain Adminis-trative Measures) ; Lemkin, "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe," pp. 455-456.)

In addition to the responsibility which attaches to Seyss-In-quart as a result of his dominant position in the Netherlands, his appointment of Nazi-minded individuals to key positions, and his complete knowledge of and acquiescence in illegal Nazi policies, there is conclusive evidence of his initiation of such policies. In April 1942 "at the instigation of the Reich Commissar Seyss-In-quart" the Netherlands began to pay a "voluntary contribution to the war against Bolshevism" of 50,000,000 gulders per month, retroactive to 1 July 1941, of which ten million per month was paid in gold. (ECR-195)

By 31 March 1944, this contribution amounted to 2,150,000,000 RM. (EC-86)

The alleged "voluntary" character of the contribution is to be taken with considerable reserve in view of the admission contained in Seyss-Inquart's Top Secret report of 29 May to 19 July 1940, that the voluntary nature of previous financial and eco-nomic measures was in reality fictional. (997-PS)

However, the question whether or not the contribution is to be deemed at the direction of Seyss-Inquart or was in fact "voluntary" is immaterial. It is manifest that the then President of the Netherlands Bank and Treasurer in the Ministry of Finance, van Tonnigen, acted in the German interest and to the detriment of the Netherlands. His acts are attributable to the responsible head of the German Civil Administration in the Netherlands and the individual to whom he owed his appointment, Seyss-Inquart.

(e) Participation in activities of Einsatzstab Rosenberg.

Seyss-Inquart, in his capacity as Reich Commissar for the Occu-pied Netherlands territory, also cooperated with and acquiesced in the activities of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg in the territory under his jurisdiction. He is therefore responsible for his actions in this regard, which constituted crimes under Article 6 (b) of the Charter and violations of Articles 46, 47, and 56 of the Hague Regulations, 1907.

(The Einsatzstab Rosenberg, which commenced as a research library project, developed into a systematic program for the wholesale looting of art treasures and cultural objects in the conquered territories. Its activities are discussed in Chapter XIV.)

Implication of Seyss-Inquart in the crimina1 activities of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg is revealed in a detailed progress report of its chief Netherlands representative, Schimmer. The first paragraph of this report states as follows:

"The Working Group Netherland of the Eimatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg began its work in agreement with the com-petent representative of the Reichkommissar during the first days of September 1940. The execution of the post, con-forming with the Fuehrer's orders, coordinated itself with the liquidation, that is confiscation, according to civil law, of the various subversive institutions-as set forth in the cir-culars of the OKW, dated 5 July 1940, and of the Chief of the OKW to the Commander in Chief of the Wehrmacht in France, dated 17 September 1940, as well as to the Com-mander in Chief of the OKW in the Netherlands, dated 30 October 1940. The screening of the material of the various Masonic lodges was taken care of primarily, and the library and the archives of the following lodges were sifted and all useful material was packed." (176-PS)

There follows the specification of some 92 Masonic IOOF Lodges and Rotary Clubs which were screened and yielded 470 cases of valuable objects. Also, a large number of libraries and scientific and cultural institutions were listed with the statement that all books and archives contained therein were being catalogued preparatory to shipment to Germany. (176-PS)

The report concludes with the following statement indicating close integration in the Netherlands between Rosenberg's program of grand larceny and Seyss-Inquart's anti-Jewish program, viz:

"The Working Group, in executing the afore-mentioned tasks, is bound strictly to the pace set by the Reichskommissar for the handling of the Jewish questions and that of the international organizations. This pace again is deter-mined by the political evolution which is taking shape ac-cording to decisions made on a higher level, and which must not be hampered by individual acts." (176-PS)

Other documents captured from Rosenberg's files remove any doubt whatever as to Seyss-Inquart's full knowledge of the crim-inal activities of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg in Holland and his participation therein. On 11 September 1944 Rosenberg informed Seyss-Inquart by letter that orders had been issued for the seizure and transportation to Germany of the library of the Social In-stitute in Amsterdam. (091-PS; see also 1621-PS, a secret letter from Reichsfuehrer SS (Himmler) ordering SS Gen. Rauter in the Hague to seize medical apparatus at the Universities of Ley-den and Utrecht with the aid of Seyss-Inquart.)

(f) Conscription of civilian labor.

In his capacity as Reich Commissar for the occupied Netherlands territories Seyss-Inquart authorized and directed the deportation of vast numbers of Netherlands nationals to the Reich for forced labor in the instruments of German war production. These acts were all in violation of Articles 6 (b) and (c) of the Charter ; Articles 6, 23h, 46, and 52 of the Hague Regulations, 1907 (3737-PS) ; and the Prisoner of War Convention, Geneva, 1929. (3738-PS)

The deportation program in the Netherlands was initiated on 20 June' 1940, five weeks after the occupation of that country. The Germans at first deported only the unemployed, threatening them with curtailment of their dole for refusal. Thereafter in 1942 measures were taken to draft employed workmen. Dutch business concerns were combed in "Sauckel-actions" for available workers, who were forced to register at the labor offices. Workmen who refused were prosecuted by the SD, committed to one of the prisoners' camps in the Netherlands, and eventually put to work in Germany. By the end of April 1942 the program was in full operation, and not less than 22,000 workers were deported that month. Many Belgian concerns not considered essential were closed down to release manpower for deportation to Germany or for work in Dutch industries deemed essential to the German war effort. New measures of a drastic nature were inaugurated in the spring of 1943. All males between 18 and 36 were forced to register for "arbeitseinsatz" (war effort), which was synonymous with deportation. As time elapsed and the German military situation deteriorated, the measures taken became increasingly more ruthless. Whole sections of a town were lined off and people were seized in the streets or in their homes and transported to Germany. A total of approximately 431,500 Netherlands workers were deported to Germany and other foreign countries. (1726-PS)

Illustrative of the participation of Seyss-Inquart in the slave labor program are four proclamations which he caused to be issued, calling up Dutch civilians between certain ages for forced labor and threatening them with shooting in the case of non-compliance. (1162-PS)

Sauckel, General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labor, on 5 October 1945 disclosed, under oath, the part played by Seyss-Inquart in the forced recruitment of Dutch workers for German war production. The following is an excerpt from an interrogation of Sauckel:

"Q. For a moment I want to turn our attention to Holland. It is my understanding that the quotas for the workers for Holland were agreed upon, and then the numbers given to the Reichskommissar 'Seyss-Inquart to fulfill. Isn't that correct?
"A. Yes, that is correct.
"Q. After the quota was given to Seyss-Inquart, it was his mission to fulfill it with the aid of your representatives, was it not?
"A. Yes. This was the only possible thing for me to do and the same applied to the other countries." (3722-PS)

Seyss-Inquart has himself acknowledged under oath his active participation in deporting 250,000 Netherlands workmen between the ages of 17 and 42 toward the end of 1944, although he at-tempted to shift responsibility by stating that the order was issued by the Wehrmacht and that "I can't intervene against the Wehrmacht." However, he admitted:

"I didn't oppose it. I helped to carry it out in my province." (Transcript of Interrogation of Seyss-Inquart, afternoon session, 18 September 1945, pp. 19-20.)

(g) Murder and ill-treatment of civilian population, including killing of hostages.

Seyss-Inquart, in his capacity as Reich Commissar for the Occupied Netherlands Territory, authorized and directed the exaction of collective penalties, murder, and ill-treatment of the civilian population of the Netherlands, and the killing of hostages. All these actions constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity within the meaning of Article 6 (b) and (c) of the Charter, and violated (i) the Hague Regulations, 1907, Articles 46 and 50, (ii) the laws and customs of war, (iii) the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations and (iv) the internal penal laws of Netherlands.

Public utterances of Seyss-Inquart reveal his determination to resort to ruthless measures for the purpose of intimidating and repressing the civilian population. In a speech commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Germany's coming into power, at Weert on 29 January 1943, before workers and trades of the NSDAP, he spoke in part as follows:

"I will give my instructions. They must be executed by all. In the present situation a refusal to execute such instructions could be regarded only as sabotage. It is also clear, now more than ever, that every resistance which is directed against this fight for existence must be suppressed. Some time ago the representatives of the churches had written to the Wehrmacht commander and to me, and they presented their conception against the execution of death sentences which the Wehrmacht commanders announced in the mean-time. To this I can only say the following: The moment in which our men, fathers and sons with iron determination look towards their fate in the east and unflinchingly and steadfastly perform their highest pledge, it is unbearable to tolerate conspiracies whose goal is to weaken the rear of this eastern front. Whoever dares this must be annihilated. We must be severe and become even more severe against our opponents, this is the command of a relentless sequence of events, and for us perhaps humanly hard, but our holy duty. We remain human because we do not torture our opponents, we must remain firm by annihilating them." (3430-PS)

Endorsement of the policy of holding innocent persons respon-sible for the misconduct of others beyond their control is implicit in the following public statement of Seyss-Inquart made at Weert on 8 January 1945:

"I have given orders to suppress all appearances with a severeness corresponding to the brutality of the crime. If in connection with these measures Dutch citizens are affected and have to undergo difficulties and limitations of special na-ture, then they have to seek the cause therefor solely in these eruptions of the anarchistic mental attitude of a few culprits and the just-as-criminal-tolerance or apathy within their own circles." (3430-PS)

Evidence of Seyss-Inquart's application of this doctrine of vicarious responsibility is contained in a poster signed by him and warning the Dutch population to expect reprisals in the event of sabotage. The poster reads as follows:


"I consider all inhabitants responsible for the destruction ordamage to railroad installations, waterways with their installations, telephone cables and Post Offices occurring within the boundaries of their locality.
"The population of such localities may therefore expect re-prisals in the form of seizure of property and destruction of houses or groups of houses.
"I therefore advise the population to protect the means of transportation and communications by means of patrols or other appropriate measures.

"The Hague 24 Sept 1944 "/ s/ Seyss-Inquart
"The Reich Commissar for the Occupied Netherlands Territories." (1163-PS)

Another poster issued by the Superior SS and Police Chief pub-licized with remarkable candor the fact that 12 Netherlanders were executed "independent of further investigation" as reprisals for the killing of two Germans. That poster reads as follows:


"The Superior SS and Police Chief gives notice that on 20 November 1944 Schutzgruppenmann Janssen and on 13 December 1944 the Senior Officer Candidate Guse were shot in the back by criminal Netherlands elements. Both were robbed of their pistols.
"Independent of further investigation of the 'perpetrators, two houses were blasted and 12 Netherlanders were executed at the place of one of the crimes as reprisals.

"The Hague, 16 Dec 1944." (1163-PS)

In an interrogation under oath Seyss-Inquart has acknowledged that Netherlanders were shot as hostages' without trial. While he sought to shift responsibility to the SS he admitted that upon one occasion the SS called on him to furnish 50 hostages and that he gave five instead, all of whom were shot. (Transcript of Interrogation of Seyss-Inquart, 18 September 1945, p.20)

Other crimes against humanity are documented in the state-ment of the Dutch Government. The vastness of the scale of the commission of such crimes and the necessary notoriety thereof clearly implicate Seyss-Inquart as the responsible civil head of the German Government in the Netherlands territory. (1726-PS)

Seyss-Inquart Nuremberg Charges, Part 4
Seyss-Inquart Nuremberg Charges, Part 2

Document compiled by Dr S D Stein
Last update 08/01/99
ęS D Stein

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