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of an international character, but in no case does it entail the criminal responsibility of the state. Any action on the part of the state in the sphere of international relations is committed by physical persons, by officials and by the agents of that state. In carrying out' such acts, these individuals may be guilty of the · most varied offenses in violation of either the common or the criminal law. In the latter case, i.e. when their individual criminal responsibility is involved, they bear this responsibility in appropriate cases, in conformity with the laws and before the courts of their own country, as well as—if such is the case-in conformity with the laws and before the courts of a foreign state.
In the present case, not only did the Hitlerite State violate principles of international law, resulting in measures taken against the states, but also some individuals, in committing these acts, have personally committed criminal offenses, for which they bear the criminal responsibility in accordance with the Charter before the International Military Tribunal.
Concerning the Concept of Conspiracy The defense counsels are unanimous in trying, by different ways and versions, to dispute the charges of criminal conspiracy made against the defendants. Extracting from various sources onesided and selected definitions of the conspiracy, the counsels have tried to prove that Goering, Hess, Ribbentrop and others cannot be considered as accomplices of the conspiracy. I should like to quote here several arguments proving the groundlessness of the statements of the defense.
The conspiracy implies the existence of a criminal society created and acting to achieve common criminal purposes. Such a society doubtlessly existed. It stands to reason that in this case the threads and levers uniting the members of this conspiratory criminal society are very complicated, as the conspirators had seized the government of a country.
In any criminal society, and particularly in a numerous society with many ramifications, single accomplices commit criminal acts comprised by the general plan of the conspiracy, but they can practically remain unknown to a number of the members of this society. Nevertheless, as these crimes result from a single criminal plan, common to the whole society, the accomplices who have not personally committed these separate criminal actions and were not practically informed of them, bear the responsibility for them.
In this special case the existence of the conspiracy is not precluded by the circumstance that, for instance, Schirach could be
unaware of some of the measures taken by the slave trader Sauckel or the pogrom maker” Streicher. Neither is the existence of the conspiracy precluded by the differences of opinion among individual accomplices of the conspiracy concerning particular questions such as the intrigues of Goering against Bormann etc. Such dissensions may take place in any band of robbers or thieves, but the gang does not cease to exist on account of this.
In nearly every society there exists a certain hierarchy among its members. Very often the head of a criminal band usurps the unlimited power over the other members of the band, even the very right of life and death. However it seems that it never occurred to any lawyer in the world to deny the existence of a criminal society only because its accomplices were not alike and one of them had power over the others.
It is at any rate strange to deny the existence of the conspiracy in the present case on account of the indisputable fact that great personal power was concentrated in the hands of the ring leader -Hitler. In the same way the existence of the conspiracy does not preclude, but on the contrary it implies, a definite distribution of the parts played by the accomplices of the criminal group, when achieving the common aim (one coordinates the entire criminal activity, the other is in charge of the questions of ideological training, the third one prepares the army, the fourth organizes the work of the war industry, the fifth carries on the diplomatic preparations, etc.) Therefore, the Fascist conspiracy does not cease being a conspiracy, but is a conspiracy which presents special danger, because the whole machinery of the state and enormous resources of men and material are in the hands of the conspirators. In the hands of the international criminals, in the hands of Goering, Keitel and other defendants, the enormous forces of people become an instrument of very great crimes.
This is the reason why these special traits that distinguish the conspirators of Fascist Germany from any other gang lend it a special dangerous character without changing the legal character of the conspiracy.
Thus I complete the analysis of the legal arguments of the defense, which were examined in detail by my honorable colleagues. As you have seen, your Honors, the arguments of the defense were found to be inconsistent and incapable of refuting the charges.
Now I shall consider the question concerning the guilt of individual defendants.
GOERING In Hitlerite Germany the defendant Goering was next in importance to Hitler himself. He was his first successor. He took upon himself extensive powers, and seized the most responsible posts.
He was the President of the Cabinet of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich, he was the Fuehrer for the direction of German economy—the Plenipotentiary General for the Four Year Plan and the Commander-in-Chief of the Airforce. The main point is that this extensive field was utilized by him and all his forces were dedicated to the organization and the realization of the crimes which are set out in the Indictment.
As we already know, the essential element of this conspiracy consisted in the submission of Europe prior to world supremacy of the Hitlerite Germany, regardless of any methods, however inhuman and criminal. To achieve this aim, a way had to be cleared, as Hitler declared already in February 1933 at a conference with the prominent German industrialists, and the Parliament system must be destroyed. Goering took upon himself this task. He exterminated ruthlessly the political opponents of Fascism, and for this purpose carried out mass arrests of the members of political parties unfavourable to the Naziism.
He organized concentration camps, where he interned without trial all people who disagreed with Fascism. He created the Gestapo, which from the day of its birth established a bloody regime of terror. He demanded of all the officials in the camps and the Gestapo to hesitate before nothing—and savage punishments of the people, mutilations and massacres, became—under his direction—the elementary working methods.
It is he, Goering, who declared: “Each bullet fired from the pistol of a policeman, is my bullet, and if anyone calls it murder, this means that I have committed murder” (from Goering's book "Rebirth of a Nation”-published by him in 1934; 2324-PS, USA 233).
He thus cleared the way for Fascism, and paved the way for the unhampered progress and the realization of the Fascist conspiracy. Goering was tireless in his efforts to annihilate everybody and everything which hampered the consolidation of this conspiracy. And Hitler praised him for this. For example, on 13.7.1934 he declared to the Reichstag that Goering: “* with his iron fist smashed the attack against the National Socialist state before it could take force”. (3442-PS, USA 576) All this terroristic activity of Goering's was calculated to clear the way for the realization of the fundamental idea of the Fascist
conspiracy, i.e. the conquest of Europe, and to achieve world supremacy of the Hitlerite Germany.
The legal proceedings have proved Goering's guilt in the planning and the preparation of aggressive wars by the Hitlerite Germany. Numerous documents have been presented to the Tribunal, testifying to the active part played by Goering in the initiation of aggressive wars. I shall remind you of Goering's declaration in 1935 at a conference of the Luftwaffe officers. At that conference he declared that it is his intention “to create the Luftwaffe which shall strike the enemy as an avenging blow. Even before the attack, the enemy must feel that his causę is lost”, and this intention, as we know, he put into effect, preparing for war from day to day (3441-PS, USA 437).
At the conference of the leaders of German air industry, on 8 July 1938, Goering hints that war is near, and that, if Germany come victorious out of it, she will be the most powerful state in the world, dominating the world market and she will become rich. To obtain this objective “We must be prepared to take risks”. Such was the slogan which Goering threw on that occasion. (R-140, USA 160)
On 14.10.1938, not long before he presented demands to Czechoslovakia Goering declares that he has began carrying out a vast program in comparison with which previous undertakings were insignificant. (1301-PS, USA 123) "In the shortest possible time, the Luftwaffe must be increased fivefold; the Navy must be rearmed at a much greater speed, and the Army must be rearmed much more extensively
especially as regards the heavy artillery and the heavy tanks. At the same time, the production of war materials and explosives must be intensified.
The active participation of Goering in the preparation for aggression against the USSR has been established beyond all doubt. (447-PS, USA 135) The Tribunal will find proof of Goering's active participation as early as November 1940 in the development of a plan for the attack against the USSR, in the record of the conference of 29 April 1941 on the organization of the economic staff “Oldenbourg”, in the record of the conference which took place on 23 February 1941 at the house of General Thomas, as well as in the testimony of Goering himself during the session of 21 March 1946.
It was Goering who, together with Rosenberg, Keitel and Bormann, at the conference with Hitler on 16.7.1941, gave concrete form to the plans for the dismemberment of the Soviet Union, the enslavement of its peoples and the plundering of its riches. (L-221, USA 317) The plan to “level Leningrad to the ground and hand it over to the Finns" was conceived with his participation. It was he who recommended that hangman of Koch for the
post of Reichskommissar for the Ukraine, as a “personality with great initiative and good training".
Therefore, it can be considered that the guilt of Goering in the planning and the preparation of aggressive wars by the Hitlerite Germany has been fully established, and for this he must bear responsibility.
My colleagues have already drawn the attention of the Tribunal to the criminal treatment of the prisoners of war. I shall only remind the Tribunal of the testimony given by the witness Moris Lamp during the evening session of 25.1.1946, concerning the executions of Soviet, British, French and other officers in the Mauthausen camp, the extermination camps of Auschwitz and Majdanek, the Notes of People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of USSR, Molotov, of 24.11.1941 and 27.6.1942, presented to the Court, concerning the monstrous treatment inflicted by the German military authorities on the Soviet war-prisoners, for which Goering is personally greatly responsible. I shall also remind about the depositions of the witness Halder on 31.10.1945 which described the conference at Hitler's office on the non-application of the Hague covention with respect to the treatment of Russian war-prisoners and the order issued from Hitler's headquarters on 12.5.1941 concerning the treatment of captured Russian commanding officers and political workers. (884-PS) All these facts of crimes, established beyond doubt before the Court, have no need for further clarification, as the Defense was unable to advance in their statements any arguments refuting them.
In the “12 Commandments for the behaviour of the Germans in the East" of 1 June 1941, the sixth commandment reads as follows (USSR-89):
“You must clearly understand that for a whole century you are the representatives of great Germany and the standardbearers of National Socialism in new Europe. You must, therefore, with full conscience of your worth, carry out the most ruthless and most cruel measures which shall be requested of you by the State.”
The initiation of the systematic persecution and extermination of the Jewish population, is connected with the name of Goering. It was he who signed the misanthropic Nurnberg decrees, the decrees for the expropriation of Jewish property for the imposing on the Jews of the penalty of one billion and other decrees; such activity was in full keeping with the whole world of Goering's cannibalistic conception of the world.
At the trial Goering denied that he was an adherent of the racial theory whilst in 1935, he made a speech before the Reichstag in the defense of the Nurnberg racial provocators. On that occasion, he loudly declared (3458-PS, USA 588):