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trary, he expressly stated that he assumed full responsibility also for the time of his successor, as well as for what had been done under his successor in the Reich Youth Leadership. The keystone in this line is now fashioned by the statement which Schirach made here on 24 May 1946 and which went out of this room into the wide world, into all the German lands up to the last farm, up to the last workman's hovel.
Any man may err, he may even make mistakes that he later may not himself understand; Schirach also has erred; he has brought up the youth for a man whom he for many years held as unimpeachable and whom he must now brand as a diabolical criminal; in his idealism and out of loyalty he remained faithful and true to his oath to a man who deceived and cheated him and the German youth and who, as we learned here from Speer, up to his last breath placed his own interests higher than the existence and the happiness of 80 million people.
Schirach is perhaps the one defendant who not only clearly realized his mistakes, which you may judge whichever way you like, but who confessed them most honestly and who through his plain speaking prevented creation of a legend in the future. Such a defendant must be given the benefit of his trying to repair as far as lies within his possibilities the damage which in good faith he has caused.
Schirach has tried to do that: he took pains to open the eyes of our people about the "Fuehrer," in whom, together with millions of Germans he saw, through many years, the deliverer of the Fatherland and the guarantor of its future. The former leader of the Reich youth wanted before anything else to tell the German Youth openly that so far, quite unknowingly and with the best intentions, he had led them astray, and that now they must take another direction, if the German people and the German culture were not to perish. In this, Schirach did not think of himself; he was thinking of the youth of to-day, which not only is facing the ruins of our cities and dwellings, but is also wandering about among the wreckage of its former ideals; he was thinking of the German youth, which is in dire need of a new orientation and which must base its future existence on another foundation. Schirach hopes that the entire German youth has heard his words. What was particularly valuable in his confession of 24 May 1946 was his assurance that he alone bore the guilt for the young people, just as he formerly bore the command over them. If this point of view is acknowledged as being right, and if the necessary conclusions are drawn therefrom, the result would be for our German youth a valuable outcome of these trials. 3.qroq aid easg of jamst
Germany of Goethe and Beethoven, a Germany that knows loyalty and honesty and other good qualities which in past centuries were proverbial for the German character. You may believe us: in this epoch, as Germany regains consciousness after a severe illness, as she proceeds to rebuild a better future from the ruins of an evil past, a future for its youth which has no part in the crimes committed at this time 70 or 80 million German people are looking to you and are awaiting from you a verdict which will open the way for a reconstruction of German economy, of the German heart, and true freedom.
You are independent judges not bound by a written law, pledged to serve your conscience only, and called by destiny to give to the world a legal order which will preserve for future generations that peace which the past was unable to preserve for them. A wellknown democrat of the old Germany said this in a recent article on the Nurnberg Trial: In a monarchist State, justice would be administered in the name of the King; in a Republic, Courts would pronounce their rulings in the name of the people but you, the Nurnberg Tribunal, you should administer justice in the name of humanity.
It is, indeed, a wonderful thought for the Court, an ideal aim, if it could believe that its verdict could realize the commands of humanity and that for all time it could prevent crimes against humanity. But in certain respects this would still remain an unsteady foundation for your verdict. Because ideas on what humanity demands or prohibits in individual cases may vary, depending upon the epoch, the people, the attitude of the party according to which one judges.
I believe you may find a reliable foundation for your verdict when you revert to the phrase already coined by the ancient Romans, the phrase which endured throughout centuries and which certainly will still remain valid in ages to come:
Justitia est fundamentus regnorum. (Justice is the basis of every state.) Pronounce a judgment hailed not only by the victor nations of to-day as the last victory over Germany, but which history also will recognize as just; pronounce your verdict in the name of justice!
2. FINAL PLEA of Baldur von Schirach
On the 24th of May I made a statement here which I answer before God and my conscience and to which I fully stand even to-day at the end of the trial because it was and is in compliance with my honest innermost conviction.ne
could know it better than I? This youth always gave me the greatest pleasure. In their midst I was always happy and at all times I have been proud of them.sum ou
I know that in the years when I was the leader of German youth and in spite of the fact that their membership counted millions, youth, as a matter of principle and without exception, has remained removed from any actions of which it might have to be ashamed to-day. It knew nothing of the numerous cruelties which have been committed by Germans, and just as it knew of no wrongs, it has not desired any wrong. It must not be overlooked that even during the strongest embitterment of its days after a war nobody could expect to accuse the organization of German youth and its leaders of being criminal. Unselfish comradeship in a youth movement which showed the greatest love for the poorest children of the people, faith to the homeland, pleasure in outdoor life, and honest understanding of the youths of foreign peoples, that was the aim of our youth and those were the contents of its education from the first to the last day of my time as Reich youth leader. This youth truly does not deserve the serious fate which has come upon it. 20 brebi sit
My personal fate is of no importance, but the youth is the hope of our nation. And if in this last moment I may make a request, then it is this:
Will you, as judges, help so that the distorted picture will be removed which the world may have of the German youth to-day and which could not stand up under historical investigation. Will you tell the world in your findings that the distorted writings of a Gregor Ziemer used by the Prosecution contain nothing but the evil slander of a man who transfers his hatred against everything German to the German youth also. Will you, as judges, help also that the youth organizations of your peoples will once again take up the work together with the German youth where, in 1939, without the guilt of the young generation, it has been interrupted.
With a grateful heart our youth has listened to the words of Lord Beveridge who farseeingly and with passion, spoke for having German youth declared free of guilt. With great joy it will grasp the hand stretched out toward it across ruins and debris. Will you, gentlemen of the Tribunal, contribute with your judgment to create an atmosphere of joint respect for German youth, an atmosphere which is free of hatred and free of revenge. reven That is my last request, made with all my heart on behalf of our German youth! wound I kuibaeth ynef to indz mamy do ty vaqla Jophies add bah sbulille tonni