Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-15-criminality-03-07 Last-Modified: 1996/12/28 The destruction of the free trade unions in Germany, (cf. Section 5 of Chapter VII), was made possible by the following Cabinet laws: Law of 4 April 1933 concerning factory representative councils and economic organizations (controlling employee representation) (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 161) (1770-PS); Law of 19 May 1933 concerning Trustees of Labor (abolishing collective bargaining) (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 285) (405- PS); Law of 20 January 1934 regulating National Labor (introducing leadership principle into industrial relations (1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 45) (1861-PS); and Law of 26 June 1935 establishing Reich Labor Service (compulsory labor service) (1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 769). (1389-PS) Even the anti-Jewish Nurnberg laws of 15 September 1935, although technically passed by the Reichstag, were nevertheless worked out by the Ministry of the Interior. Dr. Franz A. Medicus, who served as Ministerialdirigent in the Ministry of the Interior, made this statement in a book published in 1940 (2960-PS): "*** The work of the Reich Ministry of Interior forms the basis for the three Nurnberg Laws passed by a resolution of the Reichstag on the occasion of the Reich party meeting of Freedom. "The 'Reich Citizenship Law' as well as the 'Law for the protection of German blood and German honor' (Blood Protection Law) opened extensive tasks for the Ministry of Interior not only in the field of administration. The same applies to the 'Reich Flag Law' that gives the foundation for the complete re-organization of the use of the flag ***" (2960-PS). (b) Decrees of The Council of Ministers. Decrees of the Council of Ministers similarly supplied the "legal" basis for other criminal actions of the Nazi conspirators. Among these laws are the following: Decree of 5 August 1940 imposing a discriminatory tax on Polish workers in Germany ( 1940 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1077); Decree of 4 December 1941 regarding penal measures against Jews and Poles in the occupied Eastern Territories (1941 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 759) (2746-PS); and Decree of 30 June 1942 concerning [Page 117] the employment of Eastern Workers (1942 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 419). (2039-PS) Almost immediately upon Hitler's coming to power, the Cabinet participated in the Nazi conspiracy to wage aggressive war. This fact appears clearly from the minutes of the second session of the working committee of the Delegates for Reich Defense, dated 22 May 1933 and signed by Keitel (EC-177); from a letter dated 24 June 1935 and signed by von Blomberg, the Reichs Minister of War, which transmits a copy of the secret, unpublished Reich Defense Law of 21 May 1935 and also a copy of the decision of the Reich Cabinet of 21 May 1935 in the Council for the Defense of the Reich (2261-PS); and from a letter dated 5 September 1939 transmitting a copy of the secret, unpublished Reich Defense Law of 4 September 1938 (a note dated 4 September 1938 attached to this law states that the Reich Defense law of 21 May 1935 and the decisions of the Cabinet previously mentioned are repeated) (2194-PS). These three documents, important in the conspiracy to wage aggressive war emphasize the participation of the Reich Cabinet and Reich Ministers, through legislative enactments, in the conspiracy. The Reich Defense Council was a creation of the Cabinet. On 4 April 1933 the Cabinet decided to form that agency (2261- PS). The circumstances of its creation were discussed at the meeting of 22 May 1933 (EC-177): "Thoughts about a Reich Defense Council "All great European powers which are at freedom to arm, have a RVR. One does not have to refer to history to prove the necessity of this institution. The war has shown conclusively that the cooperation with the various ministries has not been close enough. The consequences did not fail to materialize. The soldier is not in a position to have a say in all matters. The disadvantages of the past system were caused by parallel efforts of the various ministries in matters of the Reich defense. To avoid these mistakes a central agency has been created which occupies itself already in peacetime in the widest sense with the problems of Reich Defense. This working staff will continue its existence in time of war. "In accordance with the cabinet decision of the 4 April 1933 the Reich Defense Council, which until now had been prepared for war emergency, will go into immediate action. "In time of peace its task will be to decide about all measures for the preparation of the defense of the Reich, while survey- [Page 118] ing and utilizing all powers and means of the nation." (EC-177) The composition of the Reich Defense Council is thereupon set out. Hitler was President; the Minister of Defense was his deputy; and he, plus six more ministers (there were only ten at that time) and the Chiefs of the Army and Navy Command Staffs were permanent members. The remaining ministers, as well as "leading industrialists", were subject to call. Of the defendants who were then members of the Council, there was von Neurath a Foreign Affairs Minister; Frick as Interior Minister, Goering as Air Minister; and Raeder as Chief of the Navy Command Staff. (EC-177) The presence of Cabinet ministers was indispensable. The cabinet by that time could legislate for the Reich. It had a definite role to play in this planning, as Keitel pointed out (EC-177): "Col. Keitel:-- Points out once more the urgency of the tasks, since it had been possible to do only very little in this connection during the last years. He asks the delegates to consider the Reich Defense at all times and represent it accordingly at the drafting of new laws. Experiences of the wars are available and are at the disposal of the various ministries; (e.g. Reich Archives, Memorandum of an administrative official about gasoline supply). All these sources must be taken advantage of for the future. The task of the full time delegates is also to bring about a close cooperation of the ministries with each other." (EC-177) Each separate ministry, moreover, was scheduled for a definite task. "*** In the work plans the questions and ideas are laid down, which have come up in the Reichswehr Ministry and must be considered in case of mobilization. Up to the present time the support on the part of other Ministries was frequently based only on personal helpfulness since any authority from above was lacking. The following work plans are finished. "a. Work Plan for the Reich Ministry of Economics. Work Plan for the Reich Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Work Plan for the Reich Ministry of Labor. "These three are composed in one work plan for the preparation of a war economy. "b. Work Plan for the Reich Postal Ministry. [Page 119] "c. Work Plan for the Reich Traffic Ministry. "Request the plans to be worked through carefully by the competent Ministries. The plans will be discussed beginning of June, when proposals for improvements may be made. The other Ministries which have no work plans yet will receive them later on. The Office of Air Raid Protection will work out a work plan in conjunction with the Reich Commissariat for Aviation." (EC-177) The secrecy of all undertakings was stressed: "Security and Secrecy." "Question has been brought up by the Reich Ministries. "The secrecy of all Reich Defense work has to be maintained very carefully. Communications with the outside by messenger service only, has been settled already with the Post Office, Finance Ministry, Prussian Ministry of the Interior and the Reichswehr Ministry. Main Principle of security: No document must be lost since, otherwise, the enemy propaganda would make use of it. Matters communicated orally cannot be proven; they can be denied by us in Geneva. Therefore; the Reichswehr Ministry has worked out security directives for the Reich Ministries and the Prussian Ministry of the Interior." (EC-177)
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