Изображения страниц

(8191-PS). There Hitler dictated Mein Kampf to him (3132-PS). After their release, Hess remained extremely close to Hitler. In 1925, he became officially his private secretary and A. d. C. (3192-PS).

During the Party crisis which resulted from the sudden resignation of Gregor Strasser, head of the Party's Political Organization, in December 1932, Hitler called on Hess to take charge of the newly formed Central Political Committee of the Party, in order to restore its strength and unity (3132-PS).

Shortly thereafter, Hess took part in the decisive negotiations which brought the Nazi conspirators into power on 30 January 1933 (3132-PS).



Upon the conspirators' accession to power, Hess was appointed Deputy to the Fuehrer of the NSDAP (3196-PS). His broad powers and responsibilities in that position were officially described as follows:

"All the threads of the Party work are gathered together by the Deputy of the Fuehrer. He gives the final word on all intra-Party plans and all questions vital for the existence of the German people. The Deputy of the Fuehrer gives the directives required for all the Party work, in order to maintain the unity, determination and striking power of the N.S.D.A.P. as the bearer of the National-Socialist philosophy." (3163-PS; Chart Number 15).

Through Hess the Conspirators established the control of the Party over the State. As a first step he obtained a seat in the Cabinet, which had in effect become the sole legislative organ of the Reich (2001-PS; 2426-PS; 1395-PS). As a Cabinet Minister, Hess signed the laws which further strengthened the political power of the Nazi Party. Among these enactments were the law of 1 August 1944 consolidating the positions of Chief of State and Leader of the Party (2003-PS); and the law of 20 December 1934 against treacherous attacks on Party and State (1393-PS).

Through a long series of decrees Hess obtained control over every aspect of public and private life in Germany, in order to subvert it to the aims of the conspiracy, as represented by the Party.

(1) Hess gained control over all legislation.

A Hitler Decree of 27 July 1934 provided for Hess's participation in the drafting of all legislation (D-138). In a circular to


Cabinet members on 9 October 1939, Hess stated that he would in the future veto every bill which reached him too late to allow him enough time for its thorough study from the Party point of view (D-139). A letter from Chief of the Reich Chancellery Lammers, on 12 April 1938, announced a supplementary decree extending Hess's participation, especially with regard to the drafting of laws affecting individual States (D-140; see 1942-PS). (2) Hess gained control over all government appointments, including those of the judiciary and university teachers.

A decree of 24 September 1935 provided for the consultation of Hess in the appointment of Reich and State civil servants (3180-PS). A decree of 10 July 1937 provided for the participation of the Fuehrer's Deputy in the appointment of Reich and State civil servants (3184-PS). A decree of 14 October 1936, signed by Hess, regulated the status of Reich and State civil servants (3183-PS). A further decree of 3 April 1936 provided for Hess's participation in the appointment of Labor Service officials (3182-PS).

(3) Hess gained control over Local Government Administration.

This control was effected through the German Municipality Act of 30 January 1935 provided for the participation of Party delegates (2008-PS).

(4) Hess gained control over the administration of annexed territories.

Thus, the Ordinance of 10 June 1939 provided for Hess's participation in the administration of Austria (Reichsgesetzblatt 1939, Part I, p. 995) while another Ordinance of the same date provided for Hess's participation in the administration of the Sudetenland (Reichsgesetzblatt 1939, Part I, p. 997).

(5) Hess, in his capacity as Deputy Leader of the Party, gained control over the German Youth.

An order of 10 July 1934 set up a University Commission of the NSDAP under Hess; an Order of 18 July 1934 placed the NS German Student League directly under Hess; and an Order of 14 November 1934 delegated to the Student League exclusive jurisdiction over the political and ideological education of German students (3132-PS). A Hess Decree of 3 June 1936 established the NS Aid Fund for the Struggle in the Universities (3203-PS; see also 3132-PS and 1392-PS).

The success of this entire program of legislation was described by Hitler as follows:

"In this Reich everybody who has a responsible position is a
National Socialist
Every institution of this Reich



is under the orders of the supreme political leadership * * * The Party leads the Reich (2715-PS; see 1774-PS and 3163-PS).

In order to enable the conspirators to buttress their power through the armed terror of the SA and SS, Hess, while not actually in control of these Party formations, nevertheless gave them active support. Thus, he was instrumental in establishing the Hitler Grant (a large fund contributed annually by heavy German industry under the chairmanship of Krupp) and in directing part thereof to the support of the SA and SS (D-151).

When several SA men were convicted for mistreatment of inmates of the Hohnstein concentration camp, two members of the jury which had voted the conviction were expelled from the party (784-PS).

Finally, when Himmler, Reich Leader of the SS, organized the SD, Hess issued an order establishing the SD as the sole political information service of the Nazi Party, its functions to be exercised through the SS (3385-PS).

Hess also sought to destroy the influence of the independent churches among the German people, in order to wipe out every opposition to the aims of the conspirators. Thus, Hess's Chief of Staff, Bormann, issued numerous orders and communications from Hess's office against the independent churches. Among these were the Secret Order of 27 July 1938 making clergymen ineligible for party offices (113-PS); the Party Directive of 14 July 1939 making the clergy and theology students ineligible for Party membership (840-PS); the letter of 22 February 1940 discussing ways and means of eliminating religious instruction from the schools (098-PS); the report of 25 April on the progressive substitution of National Socialist mottoes in place of morning prayers in the schools (070-PS); the letter to Rosenberg of 17 January 1940 concerning the undesirability of religious literature for members of the Wehrmacht (101-PS); the instructions of 8 March 1940 against the further issuance of newsprint to confessional newspapers (089-PS); and the letter to the Minister of the Interior, in May 1938, agreeing to the invalidation of the Concordat between Austria and the Holy See (675–PS; 838– PS and 107-PS).



Hess was one of the members of the conspiracy who professed as early as 1933 the aim of complete world domination (2385–PS). In pursuance of that aim Hess threw the power of the Party

which he directed, behind the war preparations of the conspiracy. Hess himself described the Party, in this connection, as the mechanism with which to "organize and direct offensively and defensively the spiritual and political strength of the people" (2426PS).

Hess's tasks in the preparations for aggressive wars fell mainly into the fields of military preparedness, political planning, and fifth-column activities.

(1) Rearmament. Even before 1933 Hess took a personal interest in the secret military training program of the uniformed Party organizations (1143–PS).

After the conspirators had come to power, Hess was one of those who echoed the cry of "guns for butter" in his speeches (2426-PS).

Hess signed the law which reintroduced universal military conscription in Germany on 16 March 1935 (1654-PS). Hess admitted that signing this law was no mere formality for him, but rather the realization of one of his most important aims, when he declared in a speech to Army officers in 1937:

"When I spoke about conscription after the 16th of March 1935, in what used to be the most radical industrial plant of Munich * * * to thousands and thousands of the same workers who but a few years before had been singing the Internationale, I was interrupted again and again by such applause and cheers as I would never have believed possible. That was the most beautiful and at the same time the most moving demonstration of my life (3124-PS).

When the Nazi conspirators were ready to launch their aggressive wars in the fall of 1938, Hess and the Party agencies under his control cooperated with the Army High Command in the mobilization of the German Army (388-PS, Item 32).

(2) Political Planning for War. When the Reich Defense Council was reorganized in September 1938, Hess became one of its members with the express assignment of assuring "the political direction of the nation" (2261-PS).

Hess was also made a member of the Ministers' Council for the Defense of the Reich upon its creation in 1939. Here he continued to exercise an important war-planning function with the specific task of "guaranteeing the unity between Party and State" within that body (2018-PS; 2608-PS).

Hess's functions in the field of political planning for war were not limited to the domestic sphere. He was also a member of the Secret Cabinet Council formed to advise Hitler on foreign policy planning (1377-PS; 3189-PS).

(3) Fifth Column Activities. Hess' most important contribution to the conspirators' preparations for aggressive war lay in his organization of the German fifth-columns abroad through the Foreign Organization (Auslands Organisation (AO)) of the Nazi Party and its various affiliated semi-official organizations. Through these channels Hess succeeded in building up conspiratorial shock-troops in foreign countries, composed of citizens of these countries who were of German "racial stock." These foreign citizens were incited by Hess to acts of treason against their country in furtherance of the plans of the conspiracy. It was the subversive activities of these fifth-column groups which prepared the way for the conspirators' destruction of independence of many countries. Principal among these were Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland.

As his chief instrument in this conspiratorial campaign Hess created the Foreign Organization of the Nazi Party on 3 October 1933. This office was placed directly under Hess, who from then on was known to take the greatest personal interest in its rapid development and expansion (3258-PS; 3401-PS; 3254-PS).

The Foreign Organization extended its activities not only to German citizens living abroad but to all persons allegedly of German ancestry regardless of their foreign citizenship. In the early years after the conspirators' rise to power and up to 1937 this aim was openly admitted by the responsible heads of the Foreign Organization (3258–PS).

Hess announced that it was the task of the Foreign Organization to organize all persons of the German race who lived abroad and to turn them into active Nazi supporters, thus making them subservient to the purposes of the conspiracy. In his speech at the 1937 Congress of the Foreign Organization, Hess declared:

"You stand before me as a slice of the great German racial community, the racial community which extends beyond the borders of our Reich, for National Socialism has not only at home created a national community transcending all classes and groups in a way previously unknown, but it has also included German racial comrades [Volks-Genossen] in foreign countries. It has made them conscious and proud members of this racial community! "Under the leadership of the Foreign Organization, Germandom abroad is also becoming more and more filled with the National Socialist spirit. The Foreign Organization of the NSDAP has brought together the Germans out there, who even long after the seizure of power were disunited and split

* * *

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »