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by the minutes of a meeting on 4 August 1942 dealing with the treatment of deported Alsatians (R-114). The minutes list those present at the meeting as follows:
and Settlement Staff, Strasbourg Leiter des Boden
amtes und Ansiedlungsstabes Strasburg]
Racial Germans (Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle)
settling (Rus-Hauptamt] Dr. Labes, D. U. T.” (R-114) The minutes read in part as follows:
"1. State of deportation in Alsace.
"B. “The representatives of the SS Main Offices present were united in this opinion: “II. 1. The Gauleiter's plans for evacuation can be approved in principle, since they confine themselves in fact to a class of persons, whose presence in the Reich would be insupport
able for racial and political reasons.” (R-114) (6) Resettlement of conquered territories by Germans. The SS not only destroyed or deported conquered peoples and confiscated their property, but it also repopulated the conquered regions with so-called racial Germans. Thousands upon thousands of these Germans were transported from all parts of Europe to join the greater Reich. Not all Germans were deemed reliable colonists, however. Those who were not, were returned to Germany proper for “re-Germanization” and “reeducation” along Nazi lines. A typical instance of the fate of such Germans is found in the decree of the Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Folkdom of 16 February 1942, dealing with the treatment to be accorded so-called “Polonized" Germans (R-112). By the terms
of that decree two other SS functionaries were charged with the responsibility for the re-Germanization program, the Higher SS and Police Leaders and the Gestapo. Paragraph III of the decree provides :
“III. The Higher SS and Police Fuehrer will further the reGermanization actions with every means at their disposal and continuously take stock of their success. In case they find that obstacles are put in the way of a re-Germanization action, they will report on their findings to the competent State Police (Superior) Office for appropriate measures. Where it proves to be impossible to attain re-Germanization even by forcible measures taken by the State Police, they will apply for a revocation of the naturalization through the Reich Fuehrer SS, Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Nationhood and give notice to the competent State
Police (Superior) Office:" (R-112) Paragraph IV of the decree provides :
"IV. In the course of fulfilling their duties imposed on them by this Decree the competent State Police (Superior) Offices will take in particular the following measures :"
"4. They will assist the Higher SS and Police Fuehrer in their
prisonment in a Concentration Camp.” (R-112) In the final stage of the process, the resettlement of the conquered lands by racially and politically desirable Germans, still other SS agencies participated. The National Socialist Yearbook for 1941 states that:
"Numerous SS-leaders and SS-men helped with untiring effort
is passed through 8 to 9 offices, following each other in organic order: registration office, card-index office, certificate and photo-office, property office, and biological hereditary and sanitary test office. The latter was entrusted to doctors and medical personnel of the SS and of the Armed Forces. The SS-Corps Areas [Oberabschnitte] Alpenland, North-West, Baltic Sea, Fulda-Werra, South and South East, the SS-Main Office (SS-Hauptamt], the NPEA (National Political Education Institution) Vienna, and the SS-Cavalry-School in Hamburg provided most of the SS-Officer and SS-Non-Coms who worked at this job of resettlement."
“The settlement, establishment and care of the newly won peasantry in the liberated Eastern territory will be one of the most cherished tasks of the SS in the whole future." (2163-PS)
E. Defendant's Membership in the SS.
In the course of its development from a group of strong armed bodyguards, some 200 in number, to a complex organization participating in every field of Nazi endeavor, the SS found room for its members in high places. Persons in high places moreover, found for themselves a position in the SS. Of the defendants charged in the indictment at least 7 were high ranking officers in the SS. They are the defendants Ribbentrop, Hess, Kaltenbrunner, Bormann, Sauckel, Neurath, and Seyss-Inquart. The vital part that Kaltenbrunner played in the SS, the SD, and the entire Security Police system is discussed in Section 6 on the Gestapo.
With respect to the other six defendants, the facts as to their membership in the SS are to be found in two official publications. The first is the membership list of the SS as of 1 December 1936. On line 2, page 8, of that publication, there appears the name “Hess, Rudolf,” followed by the notation, “By authority of the Fuehrer the right to wear the uniform of an SS Obergruppenfuehrer.” In the 1937 edition of the same membership list, line 50, page 10, there appears the name "Bormann, Martin," and in line with his name on the opposite page, under the heading "Gruppenfuehrer," appears the following date "20.4.37.” In the same edition, line 56, page 12, is the name "von Neurath, Konstantin" and on the opposite page, under the column headed “Gruppenfuehrer,” the date "18.9.37."
The second publication is “Der Grossdeutsche Reichstag" for the Fourth Voting Period, edited by E. Kienast, Ministerial Director
of the German Reichstag, an official handbook containing biographical data as to members of the Reichstag. On page 349 the following appears: "von Ribbentrop, Joachim, Reichminister des Auswaertigen, SS Obergruppenfuehrer"; and on page 360 the following: "Sauckel, Fritz, Gauleiter and Reichsstalthalter in Thuringen, SS Obergruppenfuehrer"; and on page 389 the following: "Seyss-Inquart, Arthur, Dr. Jur., Reichsminister, SS Obergruppenfuehrer."
It is the prosecution's contention that the SS, as defined in Appendix B of the Indictment, was unlawful. Its participation in every phase of the conspiracy alleged in Count One is clear. As an organization founded on the principle that persons of "German blood” were a "master race," it exemplified a basic Nazi doctrine. It served as one of the means through which the conspirators acquired control of the German government. The operations of the SD, and of the SS Totenkopf Verbaende in concentration camps, were means used by the conspirators to secure their regime and terrorize their opponents as alleged in Count One. All components of the SS were involved from the very beginning in the Nazi program of Jewish extermination. Through the Allgemeine SS as a para-military organization, the SS Verfuegungstruppe and SS Totenkopf Verbaende as professional combat forces, and the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle as a fifth column agency, it participated in preparations for aggressive war, and, through its militarized units, in the seizure of Austria, the invasion of Czechoslovakia, the attack on Poland, and the waging of aggressive war in the West and in the East, as set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment. In the course of such war, all components of the SS had a part in the war crimes and crimes against humanity, set forth in Counts Three and Four,-the murder and ill treatment of civilian populations in occupied territory, the murder and ill treatment of prisoners of war, and the Germanization of occupied territories.
The evidence has shown that the SS was a single enterprise a unified organization. Some of its functions were, of course, performed by one branch or department or office, some by another. No single branch or department participated in every phase of its activity. But every branch and department and office was necessary to the functioning of the whole. The situation is much the same as in the case of the individual defendants at the bar. Not all participated in every act of the conspiracy; but all performed a contributing part in the whole criminal scheme.
The evidence has shown, not only that the SS was an organization of volunteers but that applicants had to meet the strictest standards of selection. It was not easy to become an SS member. That was true of all branches of the SS. During the course of the war, as the demands for manpower increased and the losses of the Waffen SS grew heavier and heavier, there were occasions when men drafted for compulsory military service were assigned to units of the Waffen SS rather than to the Wehrmacht. Those instances were relatively few. Evidence of recruiting standards of the Waffen SS in 1943 has shown that membership in that branch was as essentially voluntary and highly selective as in other branches. The fact that some individuals may have been arbitrarily assigned to some Waffen SS unit has no bearing on the issue before the tribunal, which is this, whether the SS was or was not an unlawful organization. Doubtless some of the members of the SS, or of other of the organizations alleged to be unlawful, might desire to show that their participation in the organization was small or innocuous, that compelling reasons drove them to apply for membership, that they were not fully conscious of its aims, or that they were mentally irresponsible when they became members. Such facts might or might not be relevant if they were on trial.
But in any event this is not the forum to try out such matters.
The question before this Tribunal is simply this, whether the SS was or was not an unlawful organization. The evidence has fully shown what the aims and activities of the SS were. Some of these aims were stated in publications. The activities were so widespread and so notorious, covering so many fields of unlawful endeavor, that the illegality of the organization could not have been concealed. It was a notorious fact, and Himmler himself admitted that in 1936, when he said:
“I know that there are people in Germany now who become sick when they see these black coats. We know the reason
and we don't expect to be loved by too many." It was at all times the exclusive function and purpose of the SS to carry out the common objectives of the conspirators. Its activities in carrying out those functions involved the commission of the crimes defined in Article 6 of the Charter. By reason of its aims and the means used for the accomplishment thereof, the SS should be declared a criminal organization in accordance with Article 9 of the Charter.