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may have gained on the basis of military orders a personal defense to the crimes committed by the Gestapo during the period of their membership. But such special instances justifiable in subsequent proceedings, can in no way affect the basic character of the Gestapo as a single department of the Government with no greater degree of compulsion to join and no greater legal restraint from resigning than any other department of the State.
It takes character to stand up against great evil—this has always been so. It may be necessary for a man to brave some humiliation and some sacrifice, in order to refuse to do the evil bidding of an evil master. But responsibility for the crimes of these organizations should not be evaded by the application of a dry, technical or meaningless concept of compulsion. III. The Criminal Activities of the Five Organizations.
From the establishment of the Nazi Party in 1920, until the conclusion of the war in 1945, these organizations were used by the conspirators for the execution of their schemes and each committed one or more of the crimes described in Article VI of the Charter and participated in the general conspiracy. The Leadership Corps was the first of the organizations to appear on the stage. The next step was the creation in 1920 of a semi-military organization, the SA, to secure by violence a predominant place for the Party in the political scene. Out of this group, the more select and fanatical SS was formed in 1925, to replace the SA while the latter was banned, and then to join with it in laying the groundwork for the revolution. Upon the seizure of power in 1933, the next organization, the Reich Cabinet, took its place in the conspiracy. With the Government in their hands, the conspirators hastened to suppress all potential opposition, and to that end they created the Gestapo and the SD. Internal security having been guaranteed, they then obtained for promotion of their plans of aggrandizement the last of their implements in the form of the military.
Each of these was necessary to the successful execution of the conspiracy—the Leadership Corps to direct and control the Party through which political power had to be seized; the SA and SS to oppose political opponents by violence and, after 1933, to fasten the Nazis' control on Germany by extra-legal activities; the Cabinet to devise and enact the laws needed to insure continuance of the regime; the Gestapo and the SD to detect and suppress internal opposition, and some servile soldiery to prepare and carry out the expansion of the regime through aggressive war.
Each of the organizations continued to play a necessary and vital part at all times throughout the conspiracy. The program of the Nazi regime stemmed from the Nazi Party. As Hitler said
in 1933.50 "It is not the State which gives orders to us, it is we who give orders to the State," and again in 1938 Hitler stated51 "National Socialism possesses Germany entirely and completely since the day when, five years ago, I left the house in Wilhelmplatz as · Reich Chancellor * * The greatest guaranty of the National Socialist revolution lies in the complete domination of the Reich and all of its institutions and organizations, internally and externally, by the National Socialist Party.” It was the Leadership Corps that formulated the policy of that Party. It was the Leadership Corps that held the Party together. It was the Leadership Corps, through its descending hierarchy of fuehrers, down to the Blockleiter who controlled forty households, that kept a firm grip upon the entire populace. Every crime charged in the indictment was a crime committed by a regime controlled by the Party, and it was the Leadership Corps which controlled the Party and made it function.
While the Party, through the Political Leaders, gave orders to the State, it was the Reich Cabinet—the law-making, executive and administrative representative of the State—that transformed those orders into laws. Just as the Leadership Corps made the Party function, so the Cabinet made the State function. Every crime which we have proved was a crime of the Nazi State, and the Reich Cabinet was the highest agency for political control and direction within the Nazi State.
But policy and laws are not enough. They must be put into effect and carried into operation. The four other organizations were the executive agencies of the Party and the State. When it was a question of enforcing laws, of detecting, apprehending, imprisoning and eliminating opponents or potential opponents, the SD, the Gestapo, the SS and the machinery of concentration camps came into play. The close relationship between the SD and the Gestapo and the importance of the former in selection of Nazi officials is disclosed by the defense affidavit of Karl Weiss who averred that all political police officials were screened by the SD before being accepted into the Gestapo.52 And the SD violated the integrity of German elections by reporting how the people voted in secret ballots.53 When the policy called for war, the paramilitary organizations like the SA and SS laid the foundation, and top militarists prepared the plans for a powerful German army. When it became a question of exterminating the population of conquered territories, of deporting them for slave labor and of confiscating their property, the OKW and the SS had to plan joint operations and, in collaboration with the Gestapo, to carry them into effect. Thus, the Party planned, the Cabinet legislated, and the SS, SA, Gestapo and the military leaders executed. The manner in which this was done can be illustrated by taking up a num
ber of the principal crimes alleged in the Indictment and showing how the five organizations participated in the commission of each crime.
The basic program for aggression is to be found in the Nazi Party program of twenty-five points proclaimed by Hitler in 1920 and declared unalterable.54 It included demands for the unification of all Germans in Greater Germany, for the abrogation of the treaties of Versailles and St. Germain, for land and colonies and for the creation of a national army. As the Party Manual shows,55 this platform was the table of commandments, and from it was drawn the dogma for every Political Leader. All members of the Leadership Corps bound themselves to follow these precepts and to spread this doctrine.
As early as April 1933, the Cabinet, by resolution, created the Reich Defense Council, a body of cabinet members whose function was to prepare the nation for war.56 In October 1933, the Cabinet proclaimed Germany's withdrawal from the League of Nations and the Disarmament Conference.57 A year and a half later, in March 1935, it reestablished the Wehrmacht and provided for compulsory military service.58 Its war planning measures were carried further by its enactment in May 1935 of a secret unpublished Reich Defense Law, providing for the appointment of a plenipotentiary-general for war economy with sweeping powers, and its decision that the plenipotentiary should begin his work at once, even in peacetime. In February 1938, on the eve of the seizure of Austria, a second component of the Reich Cabinet, the Secret Cabinet Council, was created to advise Hitler in conducting foreign policy. And it was the defendant von Neurath, the President of that council who took diplomatic steps to justify and excuse this aggressive action.61 After the seizure had been accomplished, it was the Cabinet which provided for the reunion of Austria with the Reich.62 Six months later, in September 1938, by another secret and wholly unpublished law,68 the Cabinet provided for a three-man college of plenipotentiaries whose function64 was to have prepared at all times complete plans and ready measures for the sudden and not-to-be-declared war. In November 1938, it was a Cabinet law which provided for the integration of the Sudetenland with Germany,65 and in March 1939 for the incorporation of Memel into Germany.66 The Tribunal will remember the dramatic meeting of the Reich Defense Council held in June of 1939 where preparations were completed for the coming war and detailed plans were approved such as using prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates for war production, compulsory work for women in war time, and the bringing of hundreds of thousands of workers from the Protectorate to be housed together in hutments.67 In August 1939, on
the eve of the attack on Poland, the Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich, the third component of the Reich Cabinet, was created out of members of the Cabinet to act as a smaller working group in the exercise of legislative and executive wartime powers. Thereafter, it was this component of the Reich Cabinet, rather than the ordinary cabinet, which enacted most of the legislation for carrying on the war, but with the knowledge and participation of the entire membership of the ordinary Cabinet.
While the Cabinet was thus preparing the legal and administrative framework for aggression, the other organizations were actively engaged in related preparations to the same end. An aggressive militaristic psychology on the part of the people and the building up of a powerful army were essential to prepare the nation for war. To the attainment of these ends the SA assiduously devoted itself. First in 1933 by engaging in an intensive propaganda campaign demanding colonies, Lebensraum, the abrogation of the Treaty of Versailles, falsely attributing aggressive designs to Germany's neighbors and generally spreading the now well-known party bromides.88 Almost simultaneously, it organized a training program for German youth in the technique of modern war, at first, in dark secrecy but finally in the open when it felt itself sufficiently prepared and was sure of no outside interference.69 But the SA did not confine itself to mere preparations. When the first aggressive action, that against Austria was taken, units of the SA marched through the streets of Vienna and seized the principal government buildings, and in the plans for the seizure of the Sudetenland, the SA formed a part of the Henlein Free Corps and furnished it with supplies and equipment."
The activities of the SS were similar to the SA and even more wide-spread.72 Like the SA, it served as a para-military organization in the years preceding 1938. Like the SA, it participated in the aggression against Austria and in the conspiracy to undermine Czechoslovakia, through the Henlein Free Corps. Its activities are distinguishable from those of the SA in these matters only because it played the more important part.73 Its professional combat forces joined with the army in marching into the Sudetenland and Bohemia-Moravia, and in the invasion of Poland.74 One of its main departments, the Volksdeutsche Mittlestelle, was a center for fifth column activities.75 The SD of the Reichsfuehrer SS operated a network of spies throughout the world and its agents were spying in the United States before Germany declared war upon America.76 The largest branch of the SS, the Waffen SS, was created and developed for the sole purpose of carrying on the war and participated, as an SS army, in all
phases of the war in the East and in the West.?? Its shameful record of war atrocities needs no amplification here. The Gestapo and SD were likewise involved in the commission of crimes against the peace. The very incident that served as an excuse for the invasion of Poland, and thus set off the entire war, was executed by the Gestapo and the SD. I refer to the simulated Polish attack on the radio station at Gleiwitz, where concentration camp prisoners were dressed in Polish uniforms, murdered and left as evidence of a Polish raid, so as to afford Hitler a justification for the attack upon Poland. Of course the professional military clique planned and participated in all aggressions from the militarization of the Rhineland in 1936 to the attack on Soviet Russia in 1941.7
The waging of these wars of aggression was possible for Germany only by the utilization of millions of enslaved workers, and the slave labor program was possible only with the assistance of these organizations. Sauckel was the master slaver but he needed a million party whips to enforce his merciless dictates. The SS, the Gestapo and the SD at his bidding drove the foreign serfs within the Reich borders under the lash of deceit, of kidnapping, of heart-breaking family separations, of arson, of torture and of murder.80 The Leadership Corps in cooperation with the Nazi labor front and with industrial management were Sauckel's receiving agents for these unfortunate ones.83 At the Reich level and at the Gau level members of the Leadership Corps helped arrange for the conditions of bedding, feeding and restraining these wretched humans giving them less attention and less decent concern than primitive man often gave to his brutes.84 The Gauleiters functioning as Reich Defense Commissars, at the order of Speer and Sauckel, and under the most revolting conditions of conveyance shunted the slaves from receiving depots to armament industries85 where like stanchioned beasts they were submitted to sub-human indignities and worked to death. Medical care and even the most simple medical supplies were refused them. Denied even the social advantages of the barnyard they struggled under less than good stable standards.se With a crassness unknown to ordinary domestic animal care directives providing for the abortion of female laborers were distributed to Gauleiters and Kreisleiters and their staffs.87 Their keepers were of the Gestapo and the SD and the cell blocks of the concentration camp awaited any who chafed under the cruelty.88 Urged on by Speer, the Gauleiters utilized prisoners of war for slave labor purposes 89 and Rosenberg's minions in the Eastern territories under the spur of Sauckel's demands gleaned new millions for thralldom." The army harnessed thousands for the construction of military fortifications and for military production, and Keitel carried out