The treatment of the defense counsel Diessem while it is not a crime in this case, also evidences determination to exterminate, which had its repercussion in the reprimand of Diessem for interfering with the Cuhorst determination (Tr. 2325-29).
The Prosecution contends that under all the facts and circumstances in this case, a murder and extermination for political reasons has been established beyond a reasonable doubt.
There is also in this record the case against the Convent at Untermarshtal, which under all the evidence in the case was a persecution on religious grounds beyond a reasonable doubt. We call attention of the Court to the fact that it is incredible that the defendant Cuhorst did not know that the Gestapo had confiscated the property prior to this trial. We also call their attention to the fact that the evidence shows that the affidavit of the Mother Superior, Uphremia Berger 266 contains a statement attributed to the defendant Cuhorst, made at the trial, in which he said the "Sisters have been convicted but the seizure of the monastery has not yet been justified." Cuhorst meticulously covered the facts in all of his cases in his testimony and in this one particularly but he never denied making this statement.
We further call attention to the fact that the Nazi burgeomeister, of Muuderkingen did not serve his sentence, but that the non-Nazi burgeomeister of Untermarchtchal and one of the Sisters, served their sentences and that they were the only people of all the people convicted who served any prison sentence.
266. Ex. 498, NG 706, III B Sup.
On the face of the facts in this case, and having regard to the acts of Cuhorst against the priests, Wassmer and Blattman,267 for listening to foreign radio stations and Heimtuecke, we must conclude that Cuhorst's conviction and sentencing of the Sisters at Untermarchtal was a persecution upon religious grounds, and one calculated to aid the confiscation of religious property.
We must also never forget his statement: "Viola, my friends, now to the slaughter bench", uttered before he entered the room to act in a so-called judicial capacity. Both the witness Eberhardt Schwarz and the witness Loduchowski assert that Cuhorst made this statement and neither of them were shaken on cross-examination.
Under the record in this case and the other case records, it is the contention of the Prosecution that the defendant is guilty of Crimes against Humanity beyond a reasonable doubt.
Crimes against Humanity - OESCHEY Oeschey, epitome of aggressive war from the judge's bench, now pleads in defense that he too, saw the same disintegration of German justice that is now charged in the indictment.
He wrote his brother, in 1942, that the Nazi judicial process had become a farce; 268 yet in the cases of Strobel269 and others270 he sent the defendants to their deaths for maligning Hitler. The artifice by which Oeschey 267.
Ex. 571, NG 909 268.
Sec Tr. 8778; Oeschey Ex. No. 9 (Oeschey I 28) 269.
Pros. Ex. Nos. 149, 227, 228, 236 and 479. 149-III C 53, 227-III J 79, 228-III J 84, 236-III J 74, 479-III-A Sup. 86.
270. Case Montgelas, Case Wahlrab and case Popp, Pros, Ex. No. 494, III Sup. 50, see also Pros. Ex. 583 for Nazi press account of these cases.
could opine like the democrat at home, yet from the bench exterminate similar opinions like a Nazi is plain from his handling of the Strobel case. He declared Strobel's prosecution for malicious political remarks a mistrial half-way through, announced that instead the Law Against Habitual Criminals was to be applied, and with no other notice immediately sentenced Strobel to death on the inconceivable basis of unrelated prior thefts for which Strobel had served time.271 Oeschey's motive of political extermination, in view of the fact that no death penalty was possible for malicious utterance whereas for "habitual criminals" it was272 is here too apparent for argument.
Hand in hand with extermination of political opposition, according to Nazi precept, went extermination of the alleged "inferior" races, and Oeschey followed that path. His opinion in the Kaminska-Wdowen case is an atrocity in racial propaganda, in that case with two judicial murders as the forfeit.273 With the indicted offense a mere scuffle amounteing in any civilized society, to at most a minor assault,274 he seized upon the Law Against Poles and Jews to condemn the Pole Kaminska;275 technically barred from similarly treating the Ukrainian Wdowen since the latter was not a Pole, he dubbed him a "public enemy" and accomplished death for both. Oeschey's reason for so doing, in the face of the insignificance of these indicted misdemeanors, is clearly stated in his published opinion:276 271.
Pros. Ex. 479, III A Sup. 86.
272. Pros. Ex. 112 (Book II).
273. Pros. Ex. Nos. 201 III H 25 and 201A III H, see also case Kwasnik, Pros. Ex. 232, III J 115.
274. Pros. Ex. Nos 229 and 235, 229-III J 87, 235-III J 93.
275. Pros. Ex. No. 201, supra, p. 11, III H 25 276.
Ibid, p. 17, His racial discrimination was equally reprehensible against Jews; see Schoenbaum case, Tr. 8767. Cf. Guentner case, Tr. 8754-6 re. Party members.
"The German nation which is engaged in a hard defensive struggle, rightly expects the most severe methods against such alien elements... particular significance."
He also significantly discusses, in this opinion, the danger to German "honor" of largo numbers of laborers from eastern countries in the Reich, and points to labor in war industry as the only justification for their toleration at all.277 It is beyond belief that Oeschey was in any doubt concerning the slave status of most foreign defendants appearing in his court.
Nor, on the stand, did he appear in any doubt concerning the justice of the judicial standard "sound sentiment of the people". Yet this weapon of his for dealing death under the Public Enemy Law was directly challenged by at least one group of civic officials. The miller Zollner was condemned to death as a "Public Enemy" for grinding and selling grain contrary to the War Economy Decree, because Oeschey ruled that the "sound sentiment of the people" demanded it.278 But the local mayor and others risked their positions by appealing both to Oeschey and to Thierack for clemency, to no avail, on the basis that "the sentiment of the people without exception" regarded Zollner's fate as unjustifiably severe.279 Another bizarre example of this devilish concept of "sound sentiment of the people" by which Oeschey branded defendants as "Public Enemies", is the contrast between the cases Sponsel280 and Barth et al.
281 For theft of postal 277.
Ibid, p. 20 278.
Pros. Ex. 581, Tr. 8770-77.
279. Ibid. See Oeschey's affidavit, Pros. Ex. No. 580, wherein he describes this precept as "a wishy-washy rubber-like phrase of no practical use to jurisprudence."
280. Pros. Ex. No. 189, III E 8 281.
Pros. Ex. No. 190; see testimony of witness Goeringer, Tr. 1263 et sec., for verdict.
parcels destined for Wehrmacht soldiers, the feelbe-minded woman Spomsel met death as a "Public Enemy" because "sound popular sentiment" demanded it; yet for theft of similar parcels sent by the International Red Cross to English and American prisoners of war, Barth and his accomplices received prison terms ranging from five years to three months. With such a judicial weapon in the hands of a man with Oeschey's ideology, the process of law did in truth become a "farce".
Just as with Rothaug, concentration camp atrocities were brought to Oeschey's judicial attention; yet at the bidding of the SS and Gestapo he cloaked and concealed such horrors by sentencing their revealers for "malicious remarks." 282 When civilian resistance and zest for the war understandably disintegrated under Allied advances into the Altreich, it is not surprising that Gauleiter Holz recalled Oeschey from the Army to whip Franconia back in line.
As president of the civilian court martial, he fulfilled that mission of homefront terrorization until he could no longer get through the streets to the courtroom.283 During these last days Oeschey transformed himself from a judge to an Executioner for Himmler. With Himmler in command of the Reich Defense Commissars, and Gauleiter Holz being immediately subordinate to Himmler as Commissar for Franconia, and Holz having completely superseded the Ministry of Justice in control of court martial decisions.284 Oeschey's role as a 282.
Case of Sauer et al, Tr. 8756-67; see Heubeck case, ibid.
283. Testimony of witness Hodges, Tr. 3363-71 to which cf. Tr. 3251 date of Montgelas trial and execution, Tr. 3486.
284. Tr. 8788 Party force for last-ditch resistance is obvious.
He set his standards for this last "court" in his first case, i.e. Montgelas,285 and his following judgments were no less atrocious. As crimes against humanity inflicted upon his fellow countrymen these court martini cases dwarf any brief description here, nor do they need it. The crime is clear; sentences of death for defeatistic remarks at a time when no other remark was sensibly possible, in a last desperate attempt to prolong aggressive war and to retain whatever unlawful gains had been thereby acquired. At least one such case again Montgelas, so shocked even the legal circles of Nuernberg-Fuerth that the District Court conducted exhaustive investigations of responsibility therefore, a few months before the present case went to trial. 286 In addition to the fact that the Montgelas case was decided on the basis of facts which clearly showed and must have shown to the defendant Oeschey, Gestapo entrapment, the court will recall the testimony of the witness Hodges 287 to the effect that on the 17 day of April 1945, eleven days after Montgelas was executed on the 6 of April 1945, following his trial on the night of the 5 of April 1945, the American troops entered and took Nurnberg.
Thus we have a case in which Oeschey knew that Montgelas was entrapped, that his so-called undermining statements were made in a hotel room to a woman Gestapo agent, that there was no evidence that the woman had ever received the statement, and that the Americans were expected to take Nurnberg at any 285.
Pros. Ex. Nos. 494, 150, 148 and 149 494-III B Sup 50, 150-III C 35, 148-III C 50, 149-III C 53.
286. Pros. Ex. No. 150, supra.
287. Tr. p. 3367-3369 time.
There can be no case which more clearly shows an intent to murder and exterminate a human being on political grounds before the next chance to commit this particular murder would be taken from Oeschey, Gauleiter Holz, and the Nazis with whom he willingly cooperated in carrying out this program.
In the same category is the Gottfried case of trial by Court martial as contained in the affidavit of the witness Huemmer who was closely examined on the affidavit on the 4 June 1947. Huemmer described the offense of Gottfried, namely that Gottfried came to the citizens of a village near Uffenheim, told the villagers that he had met the American soldiers, that they had given him chocolate, and seemed to be decent people, and that they should now have their village destroyed by defending it against them. Gottfried for this was sentenced to death and was executed under Oeschey on the 15 of April, when the probability of the Americans capturing Nuernberg and depriving Oeschey and Holz of the right to exterminate a man on political grounds was oven more imminent than in the Montgelas case. The witness Filbig 288 who attended the trial, supports Huemmer.
That Oeschey was determined to exterminate people on racial grounds is also evidenced by the folllwing cases: Witrak, Etcheverria, Giani and Sala, Jancovic, and Manziuk, 289 all of whom were non-German nationals and who were given death sentences under factual situations which the court will find by applying the standards we have set out herein above, were 288.
Tr. p. 3351.
289. Witrak; Ex. 494, NG-952, III B Sup.; Ex. 583, NG-856 Etcheverria; Ex. 582, NG-990Giani-Sals; Ex. 229, NG-650, III J, 87 Jancovic; Ex. 244, NG-459, III D, 115. Manziukl: Ex. 149, NG-653, III C. 53.
clearly based upon racial grounds and no other.
Under the standards fixed as applied to the evidence, the defendant Oeschey is clearly guilty of personally acting as a principal, taking a consenting part in, and being connected with, the Nazi sponsored plan and enterprise to murder, exterminate, enslave, imprison, and persecute human beings on racial and political grounds. This constitutes a crime against humanity.
MR LAFOLLETTE WILL NOW READ THE NEXT PART.
MR. LAFOLLETTE: The Sonnenberg Massacre - Klemm From January 1, 1944 until the end of the war the defendant Klemm was State Secretary, second in command to his close friend and long time associate Minister of Justice Thierack.
On January 30, 1945, at approximately midnight 290 six hundred to eight hundred German national political prisoners, some Russians, and women and children who had been marched in from Grandna, were shot down in cold bolld by a special commando of Gestapo from the station at Frankfurt on Oder.291 One day in the last part of January 1945, Robert Hecker, an official of Department V of the Ministry having control of prisoners and prisons, was talking with the General Public Prosecutor at the Kammergericht at Berlin, named Hansen.
292 Hansen told Hecker that it might be necessary to evacuate Sonnenberg penitentiary, that preliminary discussions as to the measures to be taken had been carried out with State Secretary. Klemm. However, Hansen told Hecker that he, Hansen, 290.
Ex. 293, NG-741, Bk. VII B, 34 Affidavit of Frau Leppin.
291. Testimony Criminalrat Herget at Gestapo Headquarters at Frankfurt on Oder.
292. Tr. 3048 and 3060.
could not tell Hecker about them, but Hecker should ask Klemm about these arrangements because Klemm had misgivings. 293 Hecker tried to see Klemm but could not get in office. A few nights while on night duty at the Ministry of Justice, Hecker received a call from the prison asking for instructions in regard to evacuation in case the Russians broke through at Kuestrin. Hecker called Thierack and was told the prison would have to be defended. Hecker reported this back to the prison.
The director of the prison then asked if there were any other instructions. Having had the conversation with General Public Prosecutor Hansen earlier, Hecker called his office; Hansen was at Brandenburg, but the official on duty at Hansen's office, the referent, a first prosecutor, told Hecker that according to the instructions which 293.
Tr. 3048 Court No. III, Case No. 3.had been issued, the police, the Gestapo,294 were to be informed in case of evacuation.
The prison called back later this same night and said that the immediate danger was over. That was all that took place that night.
Hecker then, a few days later, saw Ministerial Counsellor Eggensberger, who had been on night duty the night before Hecker saw him. Eggensberger had a conversation with Hansen while on duty, had written this conversation down and was reporting the following morning to Hecker, the competent official, what had happened in the line of duty the night before.295 Hecker further said that Eggensberger reported to him that the General Public Prosecutor at the Kammergericht in Berlin, and the Reich Defense Kommissar who was the Gauleiter of the province of Brandenburg had, pursuant to agreement, decided that only part of the prisoners should be transported away. The rest of the prisoners were to remain in the prison and be transferred to the Gestapo before the Russians could capture the prisoners. On the basis of this agreement, a part of the German prisoners were transferred to the Gestapo, while the officials of the prison, the rest of the German prisoners and the Polish prisoners who had been transferred from a prison in Posen, together with the director, had left on foot from Brandenburg.
Eggensberger further told Hecker that morning that Hansen had informed him that the agreement was made pursuant to an agreement and approval of Under State Secretary Klemm.
The witness Eggensberger, who is presently an official in the District Director's office under the French at Tuebingen, testified that while he was on night duty late in January or early February, he had received a call from the General Public Prosecutor Hansen telling him that during the night the prisoners of the Sonnenberg penitentiary would be handed over to the Gestapo, that a detachment of the Gestapo 294.
Tr. p. 3050.
295. Tr. p. 3050.
had arrived at Sonnenberg, and that the act was under way -the prisoners were being handed over to the Gestapo. Eggensberger testified that this surprised him and that he indicated his surprise in his voice or in his questions to Hansen. Whereupon Hansen informed him that this had to be done because the enemy constituted an immediate danger to the prison. Hansen said that this directive had originated with the Reich Defense Kommissar and Gauleiter Stuertz and that thereupon of Eggensberger asked Hansen "Does the Ministry know anything this directive?" to which Hansen answered: "Yes, this matter has been discussed with the Under Secretary of State Klemm." According to Eggenberger's recollection, Hansen advised him that Klemm had approved the matter and that Hansen was reporting according to agreement.
Eggensberger then testified that immediately he made a pencilled notation of this occurrence, and turned it over to Hecker the next morning. (Tr. 3084-6). This he did because Hecker was the proper official to receive the report. But Eggensberger states that recalling Hecker's conversation with him of a few days before about the call that Hecker had had from Sonnenberg, he asked Hecker, if he, Hecker, thought Klemm knew about it. Hecker's reply is unimportant and not binding on the defendant Klemm. But the fact that there was a conversation between Hecker and Eggensberger was testified to by both Hecker and Eggensberger.
It is interesting to note that under cross-examination, Eggensberger become much more positive. (Tr. 3089-90; 3092). He states that he did not ask Hansen if Klemm approved the agreement because he only asked him if the Ministry knew about the agreement, and that he remembers that Klemm's name was given him by Hansen, particularly because he was surprised that klemm had handled the matter rather than the Minister.
Before proceeding further, the Court will recall that later in the case the witness Eggensberger appeared for the defendant Klemm and did not change his story in any manner from that which he gave under direct and cross-examination as a witness for the Prosecution.
The court also will recall the demeanor of the witness Eggensberger on the stand and that demeanor is one of, carefully thought out, but direct answers to questions. This coupled with his obvious lack of desire to testify against or to injure then Klemm, should remove all reasonable doubt as to the correctness of Eggensberger's testimony.
The witnesses Eggensberger and Hooker corroborate each other on at least two important elements of their testimony. Not only under the rules were they not permitted to be in the courtroom while the other testified, but the court also judicially notes that at all times during which Hecker's testimony was given, he was in the Nuernberg jail whereas the witness Eggensberger came from Tuebingen in the French Zone, arrived in the morning and left immediately after his testimony.296 (Tr. 3880) The Prosecution later produced the witness, Franz Herget, who late in January 1945 was Kriminalrat at the Gestapo Headquarters in Frankfurt on the Oder.
He testified that during an evening of one of the last days of January, 1945, he Herget, received a telephone call from SS Oberfuehrer Fischer in Berlin, which call was for Hergets superior at Frankfurt, Obersturmbannfuchrer Richter; that 296:
The transcript discloses that the Prosecution asked that Eggensberger be permitted to testify in order to accommodate him on his return; that the court made inquiry of this matter and agreed that it might be done before Hergot got Richter on the phone, Fischer said to him that he, Fischer, had just boon wrung up by the General Public Prosecutor in Berlin in connection with the penitentiary at Sonnenberg; that at this moment, Richter came in and continued the conversation:
that Hergot heard Richter's end of the conversation and that Richter first refused to do what he was being ordered and finally agreed although visibly agitated; that later on that same evening, when they were alone, Richter told Hergot that Fischer had ordered Richter, pursuant to the direction of the General Public Prosecutor in Berlin, to send a commando to Sonnenberg and shoot the prisoners there. Hergot further testified that the next day or the day following, a commando went from Frankfurt-am-Oder to Sonnenberg and shot the prisoners.
Hergot further testifies that Richter was reduced in rank because of his original refusal to obey the order, was transferred to the Waffen SS in Berlin, and to Herget's best knowledge, was killed there. Ho further testified that Fischer died in Berlin, and the transcript also contains evidence that Hansen was dead before the proceedings started.
Although we know of no evidence in the record, it will probably be argued that there were two General Public Prosecutors in Berlin. This is true. One of them was at the District Court and the other, Hansen, was at the Kammergericht which was the court of appeals for Prussia, located in Berlin, as the witness Hooker testified.
Lautz Dec. 174, Lautz Book II 56, discloses that the Reich Minister of Justice had supreme supervision of the execution of justice and the administration of the institutions where prisoners were kept, that is the prisons and of their administration.
It also discloses that the General Public Prosecutor of the Court of Appeals is the supreme executive authority in this matter within his Oberladuesgericht District. "He is at the same time the supervisor of the officials in the prison service of the ---district---. " Sonnenberg is in Prussia, in the Province of Brandenburg. This the court judicially notes. Therefore, when Herget testifies as to directions issued by the General Public Prosecutor in Berlin, this official, of course, is readily identified as Hansen, for he is the official who had jurisdiction over the prison Sonnenberg and its affairs. This evidence of Herget, therefore, corroborates the fact that Hansen was in fact in the agreement for the massacre of the prisoners at Sonnenberg and corroborates the affidavit of Frau Leppin 297 that they were in fact murdered, and corroborates the testimony of Heeker that they were in fact turned over to the Gestapo.
The Klemm defense has shifted several times. A groat deal is attempted to be made of a supposed order empowering Himmler (this is the same Himmler who, according to the defendant Klemm and most of the other defendants, to other with Bormann. Thierack and Hitler ran all the affairs of the Ministry of Justice and the war, in view of the fact that they are the only people apparently responsible for anything that happened), being in charge of the Armed Forces in the area of Sonnenberg to issue the order for the massacre of the prisoners. The Herget testimony corroborates that of Hooker and Eggensberger and effectively puts an end to that defense. The order to the Gestapo at Frankfurt-an-Odor who shot these prisoners down did not come from Himmler, but came from Hansen We are next told that in the last days of the war, a Reich De 297.
Ex. 293, NG 741, Bk VII B 34.
fense Commissar had complete authority to give what orders he wished, and was responsible to no one and that therefore, this was the order of Gauleiter Stuertz to Hansen, from which we are to assume, to reason that the Reich Ministry of Justice could not interfere, and that therefore Hansen could not have called Klemm. for his approval or discussed the matter with Klemm, because he did not need to do so. Unfortunately for this defense, the defendant Klemm put in two exhibits, Exhibit 6 concerning the appointment of Reich defense Commissars of 1 September 1939, and Exhibit 8, concerning Reich Defense Commissars of 16 November 1942, which so far as we know were the final orders under which Reich Defense Commissars operated in the last days of the war. We quote verbatim from these two exhibits, as follows?
Klemm Exhibit 6, Decree concerning the appointment of Reich Defense Commissars of 1 September 1939.
"The Reich Defense Commissioners....are enabled.... to give orders to all civil authorities of their districts with the exception of the Highest Reich Authorities."
Klemm Exhibit 8, Decree concerning the Reich-Defense Konmissar had to obey the directives of the supreme Reich authority. The Lautz document books, and all the testimony in this case, clearly shows that the Ministry of Justice was the supreme Reich authority having control over the prisons in the Reich, including the Sonnenberg prison. It is very clear from Klemm's own documents that a Gauleiter as a defense Kommissar, and a Chief Public Prosecutor at the Court of Appeals for Prussia sitting in Berlin, could not make such an astounding decision as the sending of the Gestapo into a prison to shoot down the prisoners without the authority of the supreme Reich authorities.
That Klemm was the only person who negotiated this arrangement and approved it is evidenced by the statement of the witness Eggensberger that he was surprised that Klemm's name was given him by Hanson instead of Thierack's, and that it was this very surprise that made him so very positive that it was Klemm. But there is another corroborating fact--
the testimony of Hecker that a few days before he received Ms phone call from Sonnenberg he had mot Hansen and Hansen told Mm that an agreement was being worked out with reference to the evacuation of Sonnenberg with Klemm.
A further line of defense is the statement that although Klemm and Hanson had been together for at least a year in the Party Chancellery under Bormann, they were unfriendly and did not get along. The witness Eggensberger testified that Hansen was an unpleasant individual, but Eggensberger further says that whenever he had official negotiations with Hansen, and Eggensberger did not do exactly what Hansen wanted, Hanson informed Eggensberger that he, Hansen, had the extensive support and backing of State Under Secretary Klemm. In light of this evidence, we do not believe the court is any more impressed than we are with the story that Klemm and Hanson were enemies, and that Klemm advised people against Hansen as being too hot blooded and violent a Nazi. (After associating with Bormann and Thierack as long as he did, it is difficult for us to understand just what kind of a Nazi the defendant Klemm would consider to be too violent. The Court has a right to consider this fact in evaluating Klemm's testimony on this point and that of his witnesses.)
We are driven now to the only defense which is left, and that is Klemm's denial that he ever talked with Hansen on this matter, or that he ever approved and entered into an agreement with Hansen and Stuertz that in case the Russians approached too closely, the political prisoners at Sonnenberg were to be handed over to the Gestapo. We find this testimony in which Klemm says: "To the best of my knowledge and conscience and with reference to my oath, I can only say that I have never been informed; I never found out anything about the order of Gauleiter Stuertz and that here only from these documents on this trial I was informed."
First we want to say this. That this is the same Klemm, who likewise under oath, said he never saw anything happen on the night of the Pogrom in November 1938; that he never hoard of a Jew being persecuted in Holland, and that ho thought Theresienstadt was an idyllic place of repose in which tho Jews lived happily in the East.
Furthermore, at page 5039, we find that Klemm did have conversations about Sonnenberg with Thierack, apparently in the middle of January 1945 or near tho end, and we further find on P. 5041 that he did discuss the general subject of Sonnenberg and the problems involved therewith Hansen.
It is incredible to believe that at this stage of the war either Klemm or Hansen would have had the time to waste during their official day to engage in aimless discussions as to tho fact "that the authority over Sonnenberg had changed." And incidentally, we ask why it was necessary to discuss the authority and the change of authority of Sonnenberg, of all places?
Tho Prosecution admits that Hansen is dead. We do not believe that Eggensberg lied; that Herget lied or that Hecker lied. There is too much corroboration in tho testimony of these three witnesses, none of whom were ever brought together by the Prosecution at any time, and none of whom was ever told of tho testimony of tho others.
There is not a single untold and not corroborated essential fact in this record. There is no reason to believe that any witness lied and there is no reason to believe that Hansen lied when he spoke to Eggensberger. Under tho very laws which the defendant Klemm cites, Hanson was under an obligation to make an agreement with Klemm, and he advised Eggensberger that he called the Ministry to notify him that the agreement which he had made with him was being carried out.
The defendant Klemm has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of being a principal in the Crimes against Humanity, and also War Crimes, if the Court believes the Leppin testimony that Russians and Poles were victims of tho massacre at Sonnenberg prison. This was clearly an extermination upon political and racial grounds, and as to the Russians and Poles, it was murder in violation of every provision of the Hague convention.
ORGANIZATIONS JOEL The defendant Joel has been charged under Count 4 with membership, after September 1, 1939, in the SS and in tho SD.
The Prosecution has offered tho personnel records of tho Reich Ministry of Justice and of the SS Personnel Office as evidence of such membership. The SS records show that Joel received his initial appointment into tho SS in January 1938 and given SS No. 290, 890. He was promoted five times before the end of the war; the last promotion being on 9 November 1943 at which time Joel was General Prosecutor in Hamm. Tho rank and date of these promotions areas follows: SS-Utersturmfuehrer, 30 January 1938; SS-Obersturmfuehrer, 11 September 1938; SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer, 30 January 1939; SS-Sturmbannfuehrer, 26 September 1940; SS-Obersturmmbannfuehrer, 9 November 1943.
Joel denies that he over held membership in the SS, stating that it was a temporary arrangement made necessary by the fact that he had been appointed liaison officer between tho Reich Justice Ministry and the Gestapo. Further, that he was not considered as a full-time SS member. He denies having ever received an SS membership card.
Joel has testified that his liason work with tho Gestapo was terminated sometime prior to his appointment as General Public Prosecutor in Hamm. To follow the argument that his membership in tho SS was only temporary while ho hold the position of liaison man, it would also be necessary to conclude that ho no longer held SS membership after that time, but he continued to hold SS membership and, in fact, was promoted to the rank of Obersturmbannfuehrer on 9 November 1943, a promotion approved by Himmler himself.298 The alleged fact that Joel did not devote his full time to the SS ia not significant since it is clear from Pros. Exh. 630 that Streckenbach, head of tho Gestapo, in exempting Joel from military service in 1940 considered the possibility of using Joel, then holding the rank of SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer, full-time in his capacity as a member of tho SS. In the completing questionnaire both for the Reich 298 - Pros.
Exh, 423, p. 9 Ministry of Justice and for the SS personnel office, Joel supplied information giving his SS rank, his SS number and from time to time kept these personnel offices informed of his current address.
On the occasion of Joel's introduction into the office in Hamm on August 17, 1943, the defendant Rothenberger referred to him as an SS member and his rank as SS Obersturmbannfuehrer.299 In 1945, when the question of his military deferment again arose: Gauleiter Hoffman of South Westphalia, intervened and, in a letter to the Reich Ministry of Justice, referred to the fact that Joel was known to be a member of the Waffen SS and that if he were to go into military service he would undoubtedly be assigned to SS activities.300 The defendant Joel has asserted, without offering any proof in support thereof, that membership through the SD Main Office cannot be considered legitimate membership in the SS.
Exhibits offered in behalf of tho defendant Joel by Ohlendorf, at present a defendant before Military Tribunal II a, states that "admission to the SS via the SD Main Office created a proper membership in the SS."301 The Prosecution is quite willing to accept the statement of Ohlendorf, the alleged mass-killer, as an authority on natters of SS organization.
Ohlendorf is in a position to know about Joel's association with tho SS because he had to approve Joel's transfer as liaison representative to another position in December 1942.302 We think it is perfectly clear from the record that Joel was an active SS member both before and after 1 September 1939. But, if the Court on the basis of Joel's statement to tho contrary believes, as Joel alleges, that he was a member of the SD and not of the SS, we ask tho Court to find him guilty of membership in that organization. We point out further that Joel's activity before the war as an investigator of concentration camps for tho Reich Justice Ministry and as liaison man between the Ministry and tho Gestapo imminently qualified him to be either an 299.
Pros. Ex. 54.
300. Pros. Ex. 550.
301. Joel Exh. 29, Doc, 35; Joel Exh. 24, Doc. 34.
302. Pros. Ex. 423, P. 12 SS or an SD member.
It would be a travesty on the unrofuted evidence and on fully warranted conclusions from all the facts in the record if Joel were declared to be not guilty of membership in one or the other of these organizations.
ORGANIZATION-Alstoetter The defendant Altstoetter joined the SS on 15 March 1937.
He was promoted seven times before the end of the war. The ranks and dated of these promotions are as follows:
20 April 1938 -- SS Utersturmfuehrer 20 April 1939 -- SS Obersturmfuehrer 1 November 1941 -- SS Hauptsturmfuehrer 1 October 1942 -- SS Sturmbannfuehrer 9 November 1942 -- SS Obersturmbannfuehrer 20 April 1943 SS --SS Standartenfuehrer 21 June 1944 - SS-Oberfuehrer Originally Alstoetter was assigned to the Legal Department of the Staff of the 48th SS--Standarte in Leipzig.
305 On March 1939, was transferred to the SS-Main Personnel Office and, as of 1 November 1941, again transferred to the Staff of the SS-Main Office.306 Evidence shows that he himself expressed the wish to become a member of the SS,307 which contradicts his assertion that he only joined for the purpose of obliging Himmler.
308 Nor is it correct that he was but an honorary member without performing his duties. He had to obtain his discharge from the SA before he could be accepted in the SS. He, himself, in a letter of 3 June 1943, refers to "further active proof of his loyalty" and to his "duties in his career as an SS-man",309 and the letter of Gebhardt of 4 February 1944 shows that Himmler had instructed all SS-Leaders to contact Altstoetter, before getting in touch with the courts in any legal matters.310 The Prosecution has thus proved that Altstoetter was a member of the SS, an organization declared criminal by the IMT, which included 303-Pros.
Ex. 421, NG728, P. 29 of Doc.
304-Ibid, P. 28 305-Tr. P. 8914 306-Pros.
Ex. 421, NG 748, PP4, 28 307-Ibid.
PP. 45, 48 308-Tr. P. 8910 309-Pros.
Ex. 426, NG 703, P. 7, Tr. P. 8955 310-Pros.
Ex. 426 NG 703, P. 2 311-Tr. P. 3152 in its judgment "all persons who have been officially accepted as members of the SS."