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1923 aimed at the overthrow of the Weimar Republic by direct action, the Nazi conspirators set out through the Nazi Party to undermine and capture the German Government by “legal” forms supported by terrorism. They created and utilized, as a Party formation, Die Sturmabteilungen (SA), a semi-military, voluntary organization of young men trained for and committed to the use of violence, whose mission was to make the Party the master of the streets.
2. Control acquired
On 30th January, 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of the German Republic. After the Reichstag fire of 28th February, 1933, clauses of the Weimar constitution guaranteeing personal liberty, freedom of speech, of the press, of association and assembly were suspended. The Nazi conspirators secured the passage by the Reichstag of a "Law for the Protection of the People and the Reich" giving Hitler and the members of his then cabinet plenary powers of legislation. The Nazi conspirators retained such powers after having changed the members of the cabinet. The conspirators caused all political parties except the Nazi Party to be prohibited. They caused the Nazi Party to be established as a para-governmental organization with extensive and extraordindary privileges.
3. Consolidation of control
Thus possessed of the machinery of the German State, the Nazi conspirators set about the consolidation of their position of power within Germany, the extermination of potential internal resistance and the placing of the German nation on a military footing.
(a) The Nazi conspirators reduced the Reichstag to a body
of their own nominees and curtailed the freedom of popular elections throughout the country. They transformed the several states, provinces and municipalities, which had formerly exercised semi-autonomous powers, into hardly more than administrative organs of the central government. They united the offices of the President and the Chancellor in the person of Hitler; instituted a widespread purge of civil servants; and severely restricted the independence of the judiciary and rendered it subservient to Nazi ends. The conspirators greatly enlarged existing State and Party organizations; established a network
of new State and Party organizations; and “co-ordinated" State agencies with the Nazi Party and its branches and affiliates, with the result that German life was dominated by Nazi doctrine and practice and progressively mobilized for the accomplishment of
their aims. (b) In order to make their rule secure from attack and to
instil fear in the hearts of the German people, the Nazi conspirators established and extended a system of terror against opponents and supposed or suspected opponents of the regime. They imprisoned such persons without judicial process, holding them in "protective custody" and concentration camps, and subjected them to persecution, degradation, despoilment enslavement, torture and murder. These concentration camps were established early in 1933 under the direction of the defendant GOERING and expanded as a fixed part of the terroristic policy and method of the conspirators and used by them for the commission of the Crimes against Humanity hereinafter alleged. Among the principal agencies utilized in the perpetration of these crimes were the SS and the GESTAPO, which, together with other favored branches or agencies of the State and Party, were permitted to operate
without restraint of law. (c) The Nazi conspirators conceived that, in addition to
the suppression of distinctively political opposition, it
unions in Germany by confiscating their funds
(2) The Nazi conspirators, by promoting beliefs
and practices incompatible with Christian teaching, sought to subvert the influence of the Churches over the people and in particular over the youth of Germany. They avowed their aim to eliminate the Christian Churches in Germany and sought to substitute therefor Nazi institutions and Nazi beliefs and pursued a programme of persecution of priests, clergy and members of monastic orders whom they deemed opposed to their purposes and confis
cated church property. (3) The persecution by the Nazi conspirators of
pacifist groups, including religious movements dedicated to pacifism, was particularly relent
less and cruel. (d) Implementing their "master race" policy, the conspira
tors joined in a program of relentless persecution of the Jews, designed to exterminate them. Annihilation of the Jews became an official State policy, carried out both by official action and by incitements to mob and individual violence. The conspirators openly avowed their purpose. For example, the defendant ROSENBERG stated: “Anti-Semitism is the unifying element of the reconstruction of Germany." On another occasion he also stated: “Germany will regard the Jewish question as solved only after the very last Jew has left the greater German living space Europe will have its Jewish question solved only after the very last Jew has left the Continent." The defendant LEY declared: “We swear we are not going to abandon the struggle until the last Jew in Europe has been exterminated and is actually dead. It is not enough to isolate the Jewish enemy of mankind—the Jew has got to be exterminated." On another occasion he also declared: "The second German secret weapon is anti-Semitism because if it is consistently pursued by Germany, it will become a universal problem which all nations will be forced to consider.” The defendant STREICHER declared: “The sun will not shine on the nations of the earth until the last Jew is dead." These avowals and incitements were typical of the declarations of the Nazi conspirators throughout the course of their conspiracy. The program of action against the Jews included disfranchisement, stigmatization, denial of civil rights, subjecting their persons and property to violence, deportation, enslavement, enforced labor, starvation, murder and mass extermination. The extent to which the conspirators succeeded in their purpose can only be estimated, but the annihilation was substantially complete in many localities of Europe. Of the 9,600,000 Jews who lived in the parts of Europe under Nazi domination, it is conservatively estimated that 5,700,000 have disappeared, most of them deliberately put to death by the Nazi conspirators. Only remnants of the Jewish
population of Europe remain. (e) In order to make the German people amenable to their
will, and to prepare them psychologically for war, the Nazi conspirators reshaped the educational system and particularly the education and training of the German youth. The leadership principle was introduced into the schools and the Party and affiliated organizations were given wide supervisory powers over education. The Nazi conspirators imposed a supervision of all cultural activities, controlled the dissemination of information and the expression of opinion within Germany as well as the movement of intelligence of all kinds from and into Germany, and created
vast propaganda machines. (f) The Nazi conspirators placed a considerable number
of their dominated organizations on a progressively militarized footing with a view to the rapid transformation and use of such organizations whenever necessary as instruments of war.
(E) THE ACQUIRING OF TOTALITARIAN CONTROL IN GERMANY: ECONOMIC; AND THE ECONOMIC PLANNING AND MOBILIZATION
FOR AGGRESSIVE WAR
Having gained political power the conspirators organized Germany's economy to give effect to their political aims.
1. In order to eliminate the possibility of resistance in the economic sphere, they deprived labour of its rights of free industrial and political association as particularized in paragraph (D) 3 (c) (1) herein.
2. They used organizations of German business as instruments of economic mobilization for war.
3. They directed Germany's economy towards preparation and equipment of the military machine. To this end they directed finance, capital investment, and foreign trade.
4. The Nazi conspirators, and in particular the industrialists among them, embarked upon a huge re-armament programme and set out to produce and develop huge quantities of materials of war and to create a powerful military potential.
5. With the object of carrying through the preparation for war the Nazi conspirators set up a series of administrative agencies and authorities. For example, in 1936 they established for this purpose the office of the Four Year Plan with the defendant GOERING as Plenipotentiary, vesting it with overriding control over Germany's economy. Furthermore, on 28th August, 1939, immediately before launching their aggression against Poland, they appointed the defendant FUNK Plenipotentiary for Economics; and on 30th August, 1939, they set up the Ministerial Council for the Defence of the Reich to act as a War Cabinet.
(F) UTILIZATION OF NAZI CONTROL FOR FOREIGN AGGRESSION
1. Status of the conspiracy by the middle of 1933 and projected plans.
By the middle of the year 1933 the Nazi conspirators, having acquired governmental control over Germany, were in a position to enter upon further and more detailed planning with particular relationship to foreign policy. Their plan was to re-arm and to re-occupy and fortify the Rhineland, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles and other treaties, in order to acquire military strength and political bargaining power to be used against other nations.
2. The Nazi conspirators decided that for their purpose the Treaty of Versailles must definitely be abrogated and specific plans were made by them and put into operation by 7th March, 1936, all of which opened the way for the major aggressive steps to follow, as hereinafter set forth. In the execution of this phase of the conspiracy the Nazi conspirators did the following acts:
(a) They led Germany to enter upon a course of secret re
armament from 1933 to March, 1935, including the training of military personnel and the production of
munitions of war, and the building of an air force. (6) On 14th October, 1933, they led Germany to leave the
International Disarmament Conference and the League
of Nations. (c) On 10th March, 1935, the defendant GOERING an