Source:Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression. Volume I. USGPO, Washington, 1946/pp.978-1008

[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 the persecution of the Jews appears on pages 1008-1022.  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]

The Persecution of the Jews

The Nuremberg Charges

Part I

Part II
Part III

Introduction
Hate-Propaganda Against Jews
Discriminatory Decrees Against Jews
Anti-Jewish Boycotts, Raids, and Violence
The Program for the Complete Elimination of the Jews

Registration
Segregation into Ghettos
Forced Labor
Extermination

Starvation
Annihilation

Results of the Extermination Program

It had long been a German theory that the First World War ended in Germany's defeat because of a collapse behind the lines. In planning for future wars it was determined that the home front must be secured to prevent a repetition of this 1918 debacle. Unification of the German people was essential to successful planning and waging of war. Hence, the Nazi political goal must be sought :-" One race, one State, one Fuehrer." Free trade unions must be abolished, political parties (other than the NSDAP) must be outlawed, civil liberties must be suspended, and opposition of every kind must be swept away. Loyalty to God, church, and scientific truth was declared to be incompatible with the Nazi regime.

The anti-Jewish policy was part of this plan for unification because it was the conviction of the Nazis that the Jews would not contribute to Germany's military program, but on the contrary would hamper it. The Jew must therefore be eliminated. This view is clearly borne out by a statement contained in a speech of Himmler's at a meeting of SS Major Generals on 4 October 1943 :

"We know how difficult we should have made it for ourselves if with the bombing raids, the burdens and deprivations of war, we still had the Jews today in every town as secret saboteurs, agitators, and trouble mongers ; we would now probably have reached the 1916-17 stage when the Jews were still in the German national body." (1919-PS)

The treatment of the Jews within Germany was as much a part of the Nazi plan for aggressive war as was the building of armaments and the conscription of manpower.

I. HATE-PROPAGANDA AGAINST JEWS

The objective of the elimination and extermination of the Jews, could not be accomplished without certain preliminary'measures. One of these was the indoctrination of the German people with hatred against the Jews.

The first evidence of the Party policies in this direction was expressed in the Party program of February 1920 (1708-PS). Paragraphs (4) and (6) of that program declared :

"* * * Only a member of the race can be a citizen. A member of the race can only be one who is of German blood without consideration of confession."

* * * * * * *

"* * * The right to determine matters concerning administration and law belongs only to the citizen; therefore, we demand that every 'public office of any sort whatsoever, whether in the Reich, the county or municipality, be filled only by citizens." (1708-PS)

Hitler, at page 724 and 725 of Mein Kampf, spoke of the Jew. If the National Socialist movement was to fulfill its task, he declared:

"It must open the eyes of the people with regard to foreign nations and must remind them again and again of the true enemy of our present day world. In the place of hate against Aryans-from whom we may be separated, by almost everything, to whom, however, we are tied-by common blood or the great tide of a common culture-it must dedicate to the general anger the evil enemy of mankind as the true cause of all suffering.

"It must see to it, however, that at least in our country he be recognized as the most mortal enemy and that the struggle against him may show, like a flaming beacon of a better era, to other nations too, the road to salvation for a struggling Aryan mankind." (2662-PS)

A flood of abusive literature of all types and for all age groups was published and circulated throughout Germany. Illustrative of this type of publication is the book Der Giftpilz. (1778-PS) . This book brands the Jew as a persecutor of the labor class, a race defiler, a devil in human form, a poisonous mushroom, and a murderer. This particular book was used to instruct school children to recognize the Jew by caricatures of his physical features, (pages 6 and 7) ; and to teach them that the Jew abuses little boys and girls, (page 30), and that the Jewish Bible permits all crimes (pages 13-17). Streicher's periodical, Der Stuermer, (issue no. 14 for April 1937) in particular, went to such extremes as to publish the statement that Jews at the ritual celebration of their Passover slaughtered Christians:

"The numerous confessions made' by the Jews show that the execution of ritual murders is a law to the Talmud Jew. The former chief rabbi, and later monk, Teofite, declared that the ritual murders take place especially on the Jewish Purim in memory of the Persian murders, and Passover in memory of the murder of Christ. The'instructions are as follows:

"The blood of the victims is to be tapped by force. On Pass-over it is to be used in wine and matzos. Thus, a small part of the blood is to be poured into the dough of the matzos and into the wine. The mixing is done by the Jewish head of the family. The procedure is as follows:

"The family head empties a few drops of the fresh and powdered blood into the glass, wets the fingers of the left hand with it and sprays, blesses, with it everything on the table. The head of the family then says, 'Thus we ask God to send the ten plagues to all enemies of the Jewish faith.' Then they eat, and, at the end the head of the family exclaims, 'May all Gentiles perish, as the child whose blood is contained in the bread and wine.' 

"The fresh, or dried and powdered blood of the slaughtered is further used by young married Jewish couples, by pregnant Jewesses, for circumcision and so on. Ritual murder is recognized by all Talmud Jews. The Jew believes he absolves himself thus of his sins." (2699-PS)

The Jew-baiting publication, Der Stuermer, was published by Streicher's publishing firm (2697-PS). In one issue of this periodical, Streicher, speaking of the Jewish faith, said:

"The Holy Scripture is a horrible criminal romance abounding with murder, incest, fraud and indecency."

* * * * * * *

"The Talmud is the great Jewish book of crimes that the Jew practices in his daily life." (2698-PS)

This propaganda campaign of hate, of which the above quotations are but random samples, was too widespread and notoriaus to require further elaboration.

2. DISCRIMINATORY DECREES AGAINST JEWS

When the Nazi Party gained control of the German State, the conspirators used the means of official decrees as a weapon against the Jews. In this way the force of the state was applied against them.

Jewish immigrants were denaturalized (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 480, signed by Frick and Neurath).


Native Jews were precluded from citizenship (1935 Reichsgesetzbkatt, Part I, page 1146, signed by Frick).


Jews were forbidden to live in marriage or to have extramarital relations with persons of German blood (1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1146, signed by Frick and Hess).


Jews were denied the right to vote (1936 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 133, signed by Frick).


Jews were denied the right to hold public office or civil service positions (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 277, signed by Frick) .

Jews were relegated to an inferior status by the denial of common privileges and freedoms. Thus, they were denied access to certain city areas, sidewalks, transportation, places of amusement, restaurants (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1676).

Progressively, more and more stringent measures were ap-plied, even to the denial of private pursuits. They were excluded from the practice of dentistry (1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 47, signed by Hess).

The practice of law was denied to them (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1403, signed by Frick and Hess).

The practice of medicine was forbidden them (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 969, signed by Frick and Hess).

They were denied employment by press and radio (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 661).

They were excluded from stock exchanges and stock brokerage (1934 Reichsgesetzblattt, Part I, page 661).

They were excluded from farming (1933 Reichsgesetzbbtt, Part I, page 685).

In 1938 they were excluded from business in general and from the economic life of Germany (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1580, signed by Goering).

The Jews were also forced to pay discriminatory taxes and huge atonement fines. Their homes, bank accounts, real estate, and intangibles were expropriated. A report of a conference under the chairmanship of Goering, and attended by Funk, among others, which was held at 11 o'clock on 12 November 19.38 at the Reich Ministry for Air, quotes Goering as saying:

"One more question, gentlemen, what would you think the situation would be if I'd announced today that Jewry shall have to contribute this one billion as a punishment."

* * * * * *

"I shall choose the wording this way that German Jewry shall, as punishment for their abominable crimes, etc., etc., have to make a contribution of one billion; that'll work. The pigs won't commit another murder. I'd like to say again that I would not like to be a Jew in Germany." (1816-PS)

Following these whimsical remarks a decree was issued over the signature of Goering, fining German Jews the sum of one billion Reichsmarks (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1579, dated I2 November 1938, signed by Goering).

Similiar decrees are contained in 1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 282, signed by Goering; and in 1941 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 722, signed by Frick and Bormann.

Finally, in 1943, the Jews were placed beyond the protection of any judicial process by a decree signed by Bormann and Frick, among others; the police were made the sole arbiters of punishment and death (1943 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 372, signed by Frick and Bormann).

3: ANTI-JEWISH BOYCOTTS, RAIDS, AND VIOLENCE

Simultaneously with the passage of these decrees and their execution, still another weapon was wielded by the Party and the party-controlled state. This was the openly sponsored and official anti-Jewish boycotts. The published diary of Joseph Goebbels, at page 290, contains this entry for 29 March 1933:

"The boycott appeal is approved by the entire cabinet." (24O9-PS)

Again, on 31 March 1933, he wrote:

"We are having a last discussion among a very small circle and decide that the boycott is to start tomorrow with all severity." (2409-PS)

Streicher and Frank, together with Himmler, Ley, and others, were members of a central committee who conducted the 1933 boycott against the Jews. Their names are listed in National Socialist Party correspondence for 29 March 1933. (2156-PS)

In this early 1933 violence against the Jews, raids were conducted on synagogues by uniformed Nazis. Attending members of the synagogues were assaulted, and religious insignia and emblems were desecrated. A report of such an occurrence was contained in an official dispatch from the American Consul General in Leipzig, dated 5 April, 1943, which stated:

"In Dresden several weeks ago uniformed Nazis raided the Jewish prayer house, interrupted the evening religious service, arrested 25 worshippers, and tore the holy insignia or eniblems from their headcovering worn while praying." (2709-PS)

At a meeting in Nurnberg, before the representatives of the German press, Streicher and Mayor Liebel of Nurnberg revealed in advance to the gathered members of the press that the Nurnberg synagogue was to be destroyed. The minutes of this meeting, dated 4 August 1938, read as follows:

"The breaking up of the synagogue (information must still. be secret)

"On August 10, 1938 at 10 o'clock a. m., the breakup of the synagogues will commence. Gauleiter Julius Streicher will personally set the crane into motion'with which the Jewish symbols, Star of David, etc., will be torn down. This should be arranged in a big way. Closer details are still unknown." (1724-PS)

Streicher himself supervised the demolition, according to a newspaper account of 11 August 1938, which described the scene:

"In Nurnberg the Synagogue is being demolished; Julius Streicher himself inaugurates the work by a speech lasting more than an hour and a half. By his order then-so to speak as a prelude of the demolition-the tremendous Star of David came off the cupola." (2711-PS)

These accounts of violence were not localized anti-Semitic dem-onstrations, but were directed and ordered from a centralized headquarters in Berlin. This fact is established by a series of teletype messages sent by the Berlin Secret State Police' Headquarters to police chiefs throughout Germany on 10 November 1938, which contained instructions pertaining to the prearranged demonstration (3051-PS). One of these confidential orders, signed by Heydrich, provides :

"Because of the attempt on the life of the Secretary of the Legation von Rath in Paris tonight, 9-10 November 1938, demonstrations against Jews are to be expected throughout the Reich. The following instructions are given on how to treat these events:

"1. The Chiefs of the State Police, or their deputies, must get in telephonic contact with the political leaders who have jurisdiction over their districts and have to arrange a joint meeting with the appropriate inspector or commander of the Order Police to discuss the organization of the demonstrations. At these discussions the political leaders have to be informed that the German police has received from the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police the following instructions, in accordance with which the political leaders should adjust their own measures.

"a. Only such measures should be taken which do not in-volve danger to German life or property. (For instance synagogues are to be burned down only when there is no danger of fire to the surroundings.)

"b. Business and private apartments of Jews may be de-stroyed but not looted. The police is instructed to supervise the execution of this order and to arrest looters." (3051-PS)

4. THE PROGRAM FOR THE COMPLETE ELIMINATION OF JEWRY

At this point the gradual and mounting campaign against the Jews was prepared for the achievement of its ultimate violent ends. The German people had been indoctrinated, and the seeds of hatred had been sown. The German state was armed and prepared for conquest. The force of world opinion could now safely be ignored. Already the Nazi conspirators had forced out of. Germany 200,000 of its former 500,000 Jews. The Nazi-controlled German state was therefore emboldened, and Hitler in anticipa-tion of the aggressive wars already planned cast about for a provocation.

In his speech before the Reichstag on 30 January 1939, Hitler declared :

"If the international Jewish financiers within and without Europe succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, the result will not be the Bolshevization of the world and the victory of Jewry, but the obliteration of the Jewish race in Europe." (2663-PS)

The chief editor of the official organ of the SS, the "Schwarze Korps," expressed similar sentiments on 8 August 1940:

"Just as the Jewish question will be solved for Germany only when the last Jew has been deported, so the rest of Europe should also realize that the German peace which awaits it must be a peace without Jews." (2668-PS)

Other officials of the Party and State voiced the same views. Rosenberg wrote for the publication "World Struggle," which in the April and September 1941 issues declared:

"The Jewish question will be solved for Europe only when the last Jew has left the European continent." (2665-PS)

Hans Frank entered this apologetic note in his diary:

"Of course, I could not eliminate all lice and Jews in only a year's time. But in the course of time: and above all, if you will help me, this end will be attained." (2233-C-PS)

A. Registration.

The first step in accomplishing the purpose of the Nazi Party and the Nazi-dominated state, to eliminate the Jew, was to require a complete registration of all Jews. Inasmuch as the anti-Jewish policy was linked with the program of German aggression, such registration was required not only within the Reich, but successively within the conquered territories. For example, registration was required, by decree, within Germany (Reichsgesetzblatt Part I, 1938, page 922, 23 July, signed by Frick) ; within Austria (Reichsgesetzblatt, Volume 1, 1940, page 694, 29 April) ; within Poland (Kurjer Krakowski, 24 October, 1939) ; in France (Journal Official No. 9, page 92, 30 September, 1940) ; in Holland (Verordnungsblatt, No. 16, 10 January, 1941, signed by Seyss-Inquart) .

B. Segregation into Ghettos.

The second step was to segregate and concentrate the Jews within restricted areas, called ghettos. This policy was carefully worked out, as is illustrated by the confidential statement taken from the files of Rosenberg (212-PS). This memorandum of Rosenberg's, entitled "Directions for Handling of the Jewish Question", states :

"The first main goal of the German measures must be strict segregation of Jewry from the rest of the population. In the execution of this, first of all, is the seizing of the Jewish population by the introduction of a registration order and similar appropriate measures * * *"

* * * * * *

" * * * All rights of freedom for Jews are to be withdrawn. They are to be placed in ghettos and at the same time are to be separated according to sexes. The presence of many more or less closed Jewish settlements in White Ruthenia and in the Ukraine makes this mission easier. Moreover, places are to be chosen which make possible the full use of the Jewish manpower in case labor needs are present. These ghettos can be placed under the supervision of a Jew-ish self-government with Jewish officials. The guarding of the boundaries between the ghettos and the outer world, is, however, the duty of the Police.

"Also, in the cases in which a ghetto could not yet be established, care is to be taken through strict prohibitions and similar suitable measures that a further intermingling of blood of the Jews and the rest of the populace does not continue." (212-PS)

In May 1941 Rosenberg, as the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, issued directions confining the Jews to ghettos in the Ukraine:

"After the customary removal of Jews from all public offices, the Jewish question will have to have a decisive solu-tion, through the institution of ghettos." (1028-PS)

The policies set forth in the foregoing utterances of Rosenberg were not accidental, isolated, or the views of one individual. They were the expressed State policies. Von Schirach played his part in the program of ghettoization. His speech before the European Youth Congress held in Vienna on 14 September 1942 was reported on page 2, column 2 of the Vienna edition of the "Voelkischer Beobachter!  of 15 September, as follows:

"Every Jew who exerts influence in Europe is a danger to European culture. If anyone reproaches me with having driven from this city, which was once the European me-tropolis of Jewry, tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of Jews into the ghetto of the East, I feel myself compelled to reply : I see in this an action contributing to European culture." (3048-PS)

One of the largest ghettos was within the city of Warsaw. The official report made by SS Major General Stroop concerning this ghetto is entitled "The Warsaw Ghetto Is No More." (1061-PS)

The report thus describes the ghetto:

"The Ghetto thus established in Warsaw was inhabited by about 400,000 Jews. It contained 27,000 apartments with an average of 2 1/ 2 rooms each. It was separated from the rest of the city by partition and other walls, and by walling-up of the thoroughfares, windows, doors, open spaces, etc. * * *" (1061-PS).

Conditions within this ghetto are indicated in the statement of the report that an average of six persons lived In every room. (1061-PS)

Himmler received a report from the SS Brigade Fuehrer Group A, dated 15 October 1941, which further illustrates the establishment and operation of the ghettos. (L-180) The report states :

"Apart from organizing and carrying out measures of ex-ecution, the creation of ghettos was begun in the larger towns at once during the first day of operations. This was especially urgent in Kowno because there were 30,000 Jews in a total population of 152,400."

* * * * * * * *

"In Riga the so-called 'Moskau Suburb' was designated as a ghetto. This is the worst dwelling district of Riga, already now mostly inhabited by Jews. The transfer of the Jews into the ghetto district proved rather difficult because the Latvians dwelling in that district had to be evacuated and residential space in Riga is very crowded. 24,000 of the 28,000 Jews living in Riga have been transferred into the ghetto so far. In creating the ghetto, the Security Police restricted themselves to mere policing duties, while the establishment and administration of the ghetto as well as the regulation of the food supply for the inmates of the ghetto were left to civil administration ; the labor officers were left in charge of Jewish labor.

"In the other towns with a larger Jewish population ghettos shall be established likewise." (L-180)

Jews were forced into ghettos in the Polish Province of Galicia. The conditions in these ghettos are described in the report from Katzmann, Lt. General of Police, to Krueger, General of the Police East, dated 20 June 1943, and entitled "Solution of Jewish Question in Galicia." (L-18) :

"Nothing but catastrophical conditions were found in the ghettos of Rawa-Ruska and Rohatyn * * *."

* * * * * *

"* * * The Jews of Rawa-Ruska, fearing the evacuation, had concealed those suffering from spotted fever in under-ground holes. When evacuation was' to start the police found that 3,000 Jews suffering from spotted fever lay about in this ghetto. In order to destroy this center of pestilence at once every police officer inoculated against spotted fever was called into action. Thus we succeeded to destroy this plague-boil, losing thereby only one officer. Almost the same con-ditions were found in Rohatyn * * *."

* * * * * * *

"Since we received more and more alarming reports on the Jews becoming armed in an ever increasing manner, we started during the last fortnight in June 1943 an action throughout the whole of the district of Galicia with the intent to use strongest measures to destroy the Jewish gangsterdom. Special measures were found necessary during the action to dissolve the ghetto in Lwow where the dugout mentioned above had been established. Here we had to act brutally from the beginning, in order to avoid losses on our side; we had to blow up, or to burn down several houses. On this occasion the surprising. fact arose that we were able to catch about 20,000 Jews instead of 12,000 Jews who had registered. We had to pull at least 3,000 Jewish corpses out of every kind of hiding places; they had committed suicide by taking poison. * * *"

* * * * * * *

"* * * Despite the extraordinary burden heaped upon every single SS-Police officer during these actions, mood and spirit of the men were extraordinarily good and praiseworthy from the first to the last day * * *." (L-18)

These acts of removal and slaughter were not entirely without profit. The report continues:

"Together with the evacuation action, we executed the confiscation of Jewish property. Very high amounts were confiscated and paid over to the Special Staff 'Reinhard'. Apart from furniture and many textile goods, the following amounts were confiscated and turned over to Special Staff 'Reinhard' * * * .

"20.952 kilograms of gold wedding rings.
7 Stamp collections, complete.
1 Suit case with pocket knives.
1 basket of fountain pens and propelled pencils.
3 bags filled with rings-not genuine.
35 wagons of furs." (L-18)

The thoroughness of the looting is illustrated by an item listing 11.73 kilograms of gold teeth and inlays. (L-18)

By the end of 1942, Jews in the General Government of Poland had been crowded into fifty-five localities, whereas before the German invasion there had been approximately 1,000 Jewish settlements within this same area. This fact is reported in the 1942 Official Gazette for the General Government, No. 94, page 665, 1 November 1942.

Part II
Part III

Document compiled by Dr S D Stein
Last update 23/01/99
Stuart.Stein@uwe.ac.uk
ęS D Stein

Holocaust Index Page
Genocide Index Page
ESS Home Page