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This is not the time to review the evidence against particular organizations which, we take it, should be reserved for summation after all the evidence is presented. But it is timely to say that the selection of the six organizations named in the Indictment was not a matter of chance. The chief reasons they were chosen are these: collectively they were the ultimate repositories of all power in the Nazi regime; they were not only the most powerful, but the most vicious organizations in the regime; and they were organizations in which membership was generally voluntary.
The Nazi Leadership Corps consisted of the directors and principal executors of the Nazi Party, which was the force lying behind and dominating the whole German state. The Reichs Cabinet was the facade through which the Nazi Party translated its will into legislative, administrative, and executive acts. The two pillars on which the security of the regime rested were the armed forces, directed and controlled by the General Staff and High Command, and the police forces—the Gestapo, the SA, the SD, and the SS. These organizations exemplify all the evil forces of the Nazi regime.
These organizations were also selected because, while representative, they were not so large or extensive as to make it probable that innocent, passive, or indifferent Germans might be caught up in the same net with the guilty. State officialdom is represented, but not all administrative officials or department heads or civil servants; only the Reichsregierung, the very heart of Nazidom within the Government, is named. The armed forces are accused, but not the average soldier or officer, no matter how high ranking. Only the top policy-makers—the General Staff and High Command—are named. The police forces are accused, but not every policeman: not the ordinary police, which performed only normal police functions. Only the most terroristic and repressive police elements—the Gestapo and SD-are named. The Nazi Party is accused, but not every Nazi voter, not even every member; only the leaders, the Politische Leiter. (See Chart No. 14.) And not even every Party official or worker is included; only “the bearers of sovereignty,” in the metaphysical jargon of the Party, who were the actual commanding officers and their staff officers on the highest levels, are accused. The "formations" or strong arms of the Party are accused, but not every one of the seven formations, nor any of the twenty or more supervised or affiliated party groups. Nazi organizations in which membership
was compulsory, either legally or in practice (like the Hitler Youth and the Deutsche Studentschaft) ; Nazi professional organizations (like the Civil Servants Organization, the National Socialist Teachers Organization, and the National Socialist Lawyers Organization); Nazi organizations having some legitimate purpose (like the welfare organizations), have not been indicted. Only two formations are named, the SA and the SS, the oldest of the Nazi organizations, groups which had no purpose other than carrying out the Nazi schemes and which actively participated in every crime denounced in the Charter.
In administering preventive justice with a view to forestalling repetition of these crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, it would be a greater catastrophe to acquit these organizations than it would be to acquit the entire 22 individual defendants in the box. These defendants' power for harm is spent. That of these organizations goes on. If they are exonerated here, the German people will infer that they did no wrong and will easily be regimented in reconstituted organizations under new names behind the same program.
In administering retributive justice it would be possible to exonerate these organizations only by concluding that no crimes have been committed by the Nazi regime. Their sponsorship of every Nazi purpose and their confederation to execute every measure to attain those ends is beyond denial. A failure to condemn these organizations under the terms of the Charter can only mean that such Nazi ends and means cannot be considered criminal, and that the Charter of the Tribunal is considered a nullity.
2. THE NAZI PARTY LEADERSHIP CORPS
The Nazi Party Leadership Corps-it is proposed to demonstrate was responsible for planning, directing, and supervising the criminal measures carried into execution by the Nazi Party, which was the central core of the common plan or conspiracy charged in Count I of the Indictment. Moreover, it will be shown, the members of the Leadership Corps themselves actively participated in the commission of illegal measures in aid of the conspiracy. In the light of the evidence to be discussed, the Leadership Corps may be fairly described as the brain, the backbone, and the directing arms of the Nazi Party. Its responsibilities are more massive and comprehensive than those of the army of followers who blindly and faithfully did its bidding.
A. Composition, Functions, Responsibilities, and Powers of the Leadership Corps.
In considering the composition and organizational structure of the Leadership Corps, preliminary reference is made to the organization chart of the Nazi Party (Chart Number 1) as well as a chart of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party appearing at page 9 of a magazine published by the Chief Education Office of the Nazi Party entitled “Das Gesicht der Partei" (The Face of the Party). These charts and the evidence to follow show that the Leadership Corps constituted the sum of the officials of the Nazi Party: it included the Fuehrer; the Reichsleiter and Reich office holders; the five categories of leaders who were area commanders (called Hoheitstraeger, or “bearers of sovereignty”) ranging all the way from the 40-odd Gauleiter in charge of large districts down through the intermediate political leaders to the Blockleiter, charged with looking after 40 to 60 households; and what may best be described as the Staff Officers attached to each of the 5 levels of Hoheitstraeger.
Organized upon a hierarchical basis, forming a pyramidal structure, the principal Political Leaders on a scale of descending authority were:
Blockleiter (Block Leaders) and Staff Officers A large part of this and other evidence relating to the composition of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party is to be found in the 1943 edition of the Organization Book of the NSDAP, an authoritative primer on Nazi organizations which was edited by the defendant, Reich Organization Leader of the NSDAP, Dr. Robert Ley.
The Reichsleitung of the Leadership Corps consisted of the Reichsleiter or Reich Leaders of the Party, the Hauptaemter (Main Offices) and the Aemter (or Offices). The Reichsleiter of the Party were, next to Hitler, the highest officeholders in the Party hierarchy. All the Reichsleiter and Main Office and officeholders within the Reichsleitung were appointed by Hitler and, were directly responsible to him. The Organization Book of the NSDAP puts it as follows:
“The Fuehrer appoints the following Political Directors:
"In the Reichsleitung the arteries of the organization of the
German people and of the German State merge.” (1893-PS) To demonstrate that the Reichsleiter of the Leadership Corps included the most powerful coalition of political overlords in Nazi Germany, it is necessary only to mention their names. The list of Reichsleiter includes the following defendants on trial: Rosenberg, Von Schirach, Frick, Bormann, and Ley.
The evidence to be presented will show that Rosenberg was the leader of an organization named for him, the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, which carried out a vast program of looting and plunder of art treasures throughout occupied Europe. The evidence will further show that, as Representative of the Fuehrer for the Supervision of Nazi Ideology and Schooling, Rosenberg participated in an aggressive campaign to undermine the Christian churches and to supersede Christianity by a German National Church founded upon a combination of irrationality, pseudo-scientific theories, mysticism, and the cult of the racial state.
It will be shown that the late Defendant Ley, acting as the agent of Hitler and the Leadership Corps, directed the Nazi assault upon the independent labor unions of Germany and before destroying himself first destroyed the free and independent labor movement; and that he replaced it by a Nazi organization, the German Labor front or DAF, which he employed as a means of exploiting the German labor force in the interests of the conspiracy and to instill Nazi ideology among the ranks of the German workers.
It will be shown that Frick participated in the enactment of many laws which were designed to promote the conspiracy in its several phases. Frick shares responsibility for the grave injury done by the officials of the Leadership Corps to the concept of the rule of law by virtue of his efforts to give the color of law and formal legality to a large volume of Nazi legislation violative of the rights of humanity, such as the legislation designed to stigmatize and eliminate the Jewish people of Germany and Germanoccupied Europe. As chief of the Party Chancellery, immediately under Hitler, Bormann was an extremely important force in directing the activities of the Leadership Corps. As will be shown, a decree of 16 January 1942 provided that the participation of the Party in all important legislation, governmental appointments, and promotions had to be undertaken exclusively by Bormann. He took part in the preparation of all laws and decrees issued by the Reich authorities and gave his assent to those of the subordinate governments.
The list of Reichsleiter of the NSDAP set forth in the National Socialist Yearbook (1943 Edition) shows that the following 15 Reichsleiter were in office in 1943 (2473-PS):
“THE REICHSLEITERS OF THE NSDAP
Reichsleiter for the Press.