The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-01/tgmwc-01-07.04

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-01/tgmwc-01-07.04
Last-Modified: 1999/09/04

I now proceed with the next paragraph of the affidavit:

"The Austrian Legion was kept in readiness in Germany.
Although it was taken back some miles further from the
Austrian frontier, it remained undissolved in spite of the
assurance which had been given to dissolve it. The Austrian
Government received positive information to this effect from
time to time, which it passed on to me and I had direct
information to the same effect from reliable persons coming
from Germany to Vienna who actually saw the Legion."

The fact of the reorganisation of the Nazi Party in Austria
is corroborated by a report of one of the Austrian Nazis.

I offer in evidence our document 812-PS, as exhibit USA 61.
It contains three parts. First, there is a letter dated 22nd
August, 1939, from Dr. Rainer, then Gauleiter at Salzburg to
the defendant Seyss-Inquart, then Austrian Reich Minister.
That letter encloses a letter dated July 6th, 1939, written
by Dr. Rainer to Reich Commissar, Gauleiter Josef Burckel.

DR. LATERNSER (Counsel for defendant Seyss-Inquart): I
object to the presentation of the letters contained in
document 812. Of course, I cannot object to the presentation
of this evidence to the extent that this evidence is to
prove that these letters were actually written. However, if
these letters are to serve as proof for the correctness of
their contents, then I must object to the use of these
letters, for the following reason. Particularly, the third
document is a letter which, as is manifest from its
contents, has a particular bias, for this reason, that in
this letter it is explained to what extent the Austrian Nazi
Party participated in the Anschluss.

It purports, further, to expose the leading role played by
the group.

From the bias that is manifest in the contents of this
letter, this letter cannot serve as proof for the facts
brought forth in it, particularly since the witness Rainer,
who wrote this letter, is available as a witness and, as we
have discovered, is at present in Nuremburg.

                                                  [Page 225]

I object to the use of this letter to the extent it is to be
used to prove the correctness of its contents, because the
witness who can testify to that is, at the present time, in

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will hear Mr. Alderman in answer
to what has been said.

MR. ALDERMAN: I think perhaps it would be better to read the
letter before we argue about the significance of its

THE PRESIDENT: Well, are you relying upon the letter as
evidence of the facts stated in it?


THE PRESIDENT : Whom is the letter from, and whom is it to?

MR. ALDERMAN: The first letter is from one Rainer who was,
at that time, Gauleiter at Salzburg, to the defendant Seyss-
Inquart, then Reich Minister of Austria.

That letter encloses a letter dated 6th July, 1939, written
by Rainer to Reich Commissar and Gauleiter Josef Burckel. In
that letter, in turn, Rainer enclosed a report on the events
in the N.S.D.A.P. of Austria from 1933 to 11th March, 1938,
the day before the invasion of Austria.

I had some other matters in connection with this that I did
want to bring to the attention of the Tribunal before it
passes judgement upon the admissibility.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not think that the defendant's counsel
is really challenging the admissibility of the document; it
is the contents of the document.

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes. On that, in the first place, we are
advised by defendant's counsel that this man Rainer is in
Nuremberg. I would assume he is there.

We have also an affidavit by Rainer stating that what is
stated in these communications is the truth. However, it
seems to us that the communications themselves, as
contemporaneous reports by a Party officer at the time, are
much more probative evidence than anything that he might
testify before you to-day.

DR. LATERNSER: I have already said that this letter has
these characteristics, that is it biased, and that it tends
to emphasise and decorate the participation of the Austrian
Nazi party in the Anschluss. Therefore, I must object to the
use of this letter as objective evidence, in that it was not
written with the thought in mind that it would be used as
evidence before a court. If the writer had known that, the
letter undoubtedly would have been formulated differently.

I believe that the witness is in Nuremberg. In that case - a
principle which is a basis for all trial procedure - the
witness should be presented to the Court personally,
particularly since, in this case, the difficulties that
apply in the case of Messersmith do not apply here.

THE PRESIDENT : The Tribunal is of the opinion that the
letters are admissible. They were written to and received by
the defendant Seyss-Inquart. The defendant can challenge the
contents of the letters by his evidence.

If it is true that Rainer is in Nuremberg, it is open to the
defendant to apply to the Tribunal for leave to call Rainer
in due course. He can then challenge the contents of these
letters, both by the defendant Seyss-Inquart's evidence and
by Rainer's evidence. The letters themselves are admitted.

MR. ALDERMAN : May it please the Tribunal, I agree quite
fully with the statement that, if it had been known that
these letters were to be offered in evidence in a court of
justice, they very probably would have been differently
written. That applies to a great part of the evidence that
we shall offer in this case. And I would say that if the
photographer who took the photograph of the Memorial Plaque
had known that his photographs would be introduced in
evidence in a conspiracy case, he probably never would have
snapped the shutter.

The letter from Rainer to Burckel indicates that he was
asked to prepare a short history of the role of the Party.
Perhaps I had better read the covering letter, addressed to
the defendant Seyss-Inquart:

   "Dear Dr. Seyss,
   I have received your letter of 19th August, 1939, in
   which you asked me to
                                                  [Page 226]
   inform you what I know of those matters which, among
   other,, are the subject of your correspondence with
   I do not wish to discuss sundry talks and all that, or
   what has been brought to my notice in the course of time
   by different people. I wish to clarify essentially my
   own attitude.
   On the 5th of July, 1939, I was asked by telephone by
   the Reich Commissar Gauleiter Burckel if I was in
   possession of the memorandum of Globus regarding the
   events of March. I told him that I had not this
   memorandum and that I never possessed a single part of
   it, and, further, that I did not then participate in the
   matter, and did not know its contents. Because of
   official requests by Burckel, I have entrusted him with
   a report accompanied by a letter written on the 6th of
   If Burckel now writes to you that certain statements
   were confirmed by me, I feel obliged to entrust you with
   a copy of each of those two documents, which were only
   written in single originals. I shall specially inform
   Burckel of this. I connect this with the declaration:
   that I have given - apart from those written
   explanations - no confirmations, declarations, or
   criticism whatsoever regarding you and your attitude and
   that I have authorised nobody to refer to any statements
   of mine.
   Since the beginning of our collaboration, I have always
   expressed and represented forcefully my ideas regarding
   yourself and my opinion of your personality.
   This conception of mine was the very basis of our
   collaboration. The events of February and March have not
   changed this, especially since I considered the
   political success of the 11th of March merely as a
   confirmation of the intentions and convictions which
   have equally induced both of us to collaborate.
   As far as Globus is concerned, you at, fully aware of
   his character, which I judged always and in every
   situation only by its good side. I believe that you have
   already talked to Globus about the occurrences between
   the 11th of March, 1938, and to-day; and I am convinced
   that he will tell you everything that is bothering him,
   if you will speak to him about this matter, as is your
   With best regards and Heil Hitler!
   Yours, Friedl Rainer."

And so Rainer writes his report, which is enclosed with this
letter, to show that the Party as a whole is entitled to the
glory which is exclusively ascribed to one person, Dr. Seyss-

I refer to the third paragraph of the first enclosure, the
report to Reich Commissar Gauleiter Josef Burckel:-

   "We saw in March and April how a false picture about the
   actual leadership conditions developed from this fact,
   which could not be corrected in spite of our attempts to
   that effect. This was an important factor for the
   varying moods of Globotschnik who hoped particularly
   that you would emphasise to Hitler, and also to the
   public, the role of the party during the events
   preceding 12th March, 1938. I limited myself to address
   this verbal and written declaration to party member
   Hess, and furthermore, to secure the documents about the
   March days. In addition, I spoke at every available
   opportunity about the fight of the party. I did not take
   steps to give just credit to other persons for the glory
   which was exclusively ascribed to one person, Dr. Seyss-
   Inquart, and I would not do that, primarily because I
   appear as a beneficiary, and furthermore, because I
   believe that I would not gladden Hitler by doing so. I
   am also convinced that Dr. Seyss-Inquart did not act
   crookedly, and furthermore that Hitler does not want to
   commit an act of historical injustice by special
   preference to his person, but that he is attracted to
   him personally. It really is of no great account to
   Hitler if this or that person was more or less
   meritorious in this sector of the great fight of the
   movement. If, in the last analysis, by far the greatest
   part is to be ascribed only to him; he
                                                  [Page 227]
   alone will be considered by history as the liberator of
   Austria. I, therefore, considered it best to accept
   existing conditions and look for new fruitful fields of
   endeavour in the party.
   If I should be asked to describe - without personal
   interest - the role of the party according to my best
   conviction, I am ready to do so at any time. For this
   reason I promised yesterday to submit to you again a
   short summary, and to make it available for your
   confidential rise. Of this letter and of this
   abbreviated description I retain the sole copy.
   Heil Hitler! Rainer."

Now, of course, all of these enclosures went to the
defendant Seyss-Inquart, and he had knowledge of the
contents of all of them.

It is a fact of history, of which the Court will take
judicial notice, that Seyss-Inquart was the original
Quisling. It so happened that the Norwegian Seyss-Inquart
gave his name to posterity as a meaningful name, but all
Quislings are alike.

The Tribunal will observe from this that the Rainer report
is hardly likely to be tendentious, as counsel says, or to
be prejudiced in favour of the defendant Seyss-Inquart's
contribution to the Anschluss. It tends, on the contrary, to
show that Seyss-Inquart was not quite so important as he
might have thought he was. Even so, Rainer gives Seyss-
Inquart credit enough.

The Rainer report further tells of the disorganisation of
the Nazi Party in Austria and of its reconstruction. I now
quote the second and third paragraphs of the report,
appearing on pages 3 and 4 of the English text of 812-PS,
which is exhibit USA 61; and I believe it is on pages 1 and
2 of the original German of the report or Bericht, which is
the third part of the document:-

"Thus began the first stage of battle, which ended with the
July rising of 1934. The decision for the Jul rising was
right, the execution of it was faulty. The result was a
complete destruction of the organisation; the loss of entire
groups of fighters through imprisonment or flight into the
'Alt-Reich,'" - the old kingdom - "and with regard to the
political relationship of Germany to Austria, a formal
acknowledgement of the existence of the Austrian State by
the German Government. With the telegram to Papen,
instructing him to reinstitute normal relationships between
the two States, the Fuehrer had liquidated the first stage
of the battle; the Landesleitung Munich was dissolved, and
the party in Austria was left to its own resources.

There was no acknowledged leader for the entire party in
Austria. New leaderships were forming in the nine Gaus. The
process was again and again interrupted by the interference
of the police; there was no liaison between the formations,
and frequently there were two, three, or more rival
leaderships. The first evident, acknowledged speaker of
almost all the Gaus in Autumn 1934 was engineer Reinthaler
(already appointed Landesbauernfuehrer - leader of the
country's farmers - by Hess). He endeavoured to bring about
a political appeasement by negotiations with the Government
with the purpose of giving the N.S.D.A.P. legal status
again, thus permitting its political activities.
Simultaneously, Reinthaler started the reconstruction of the
illegal political organisations, at the head of which he had
placed engineer Neubacher."

Next are the secret contacts between German officials,
including the defendant von Papen, and the Austrian Nazis;
the use by the Austrian Nazis of personalities.

There are two cardinal factors concerning the Nazi
Organisation in Austria which should be borne in mind.

First, although the Fuehrer had, on the surface, cast the
Austrian Nazis adrift - as indicated in the document I have
just read - in fact, as we shall show, German officials,
including von Papen, maintained secret contact with the
Austrian Nazis in line with Hitler's desires. German
officials consulted and gave advice and support to the
organisation of the Austrian Nazis.

                                                  [Page 228]

In the second place, the Austrian Nazis remained an illegal
organisation in Austria, organising for the eventual use of
force in a so-called emergency. But, in the meantime, they
deemed it expedient to act behind front personalities, such
as the defendant Seyss-Inquart, who had no apparent taint of
illegality in his status in Austria.

Mr. Messersmith relates, in his affidavit, that he got hold
of a copy of a document outlining this Nazi programme. I
quote from page 8 of document 1760-PS, which is exhibit USA
57, the following:-
   "For two years following the failure of the 25th July
   Putsch, the Nazis remained relatively quiet in Austria.
   Very few terroristic acts occurred during the remainder
   of 1934 and, as I recall, in 1935, and most of 1936;
   this inactivity was in accordance with directives from
   Berlin, as direct evidence to that effect, which came to
   my knowledge at that time, proved. Early in January, the
   Austrian Foreign Minister, Berger-Waldenegg, furnished
   me with a document which I considered accurate in all
   respects, and which stated" - quoting from that
   "The German Minister here, von Papen, on the occasion of
   his last visit to Berlin, was received three times by
   Chancellor Hitler for fairly long conversations, and lie
   also took this opportunity to call on Schacht and von
   Neurath. In these conversations the following
   instructions were given to him :
   During the next two years nothing can be undertaken
   which will give Germany external political difficulties.
   On this ground, everything must be avoided which could
   awaken the appearance of Germany interfering in the
   internal affairs of Austria. Chancellor Hitler will,
   therefore, also for this reason, not endeavour to
   intervene in the present prevailing difficult crisis in
   the National Socialist Party in Austria, although be is
   convinced that order could be brought into the Party at
   once through a word from him. This word, however, he
   will, for foreign political reasons, give all the less,
   as he is convinced that the ends desired by him may be
   reached in another way. Naturally, Chancellor Hitler
   declared to the German Minister here, this does not
   indicate any disinterestedness in the idea of Austria's
   independence. Also, before everything, Germany cannot
   for the present withdraw Party members in Austria, and
   must, therefore, in spite of the very real exchange
   difficulties, make every effort to bring help to the
   persecuted National Socialist sufferers in Austria.
   As a result, Minister of Commerce Schacht finally gave
   the authorisation that from then on 200,000 Marks a
   month were to be set aside for this end (support of
   National Socialists in Austria). The control and the
   supervision of this monthly sum was to be entrusted to
   engineer Reinthaler, who, through the fact that he alone
   had control over the money, would have a definite
   influence on the Party followers. In this way it would
   be possible to end most quickly and most easily the
   prevailing difficulties in the Austrian National
   Socialist Party.
   The hope was also expressed to Herr von Papen that the
   recently authorised foundation of German 'Ortsgruppen"
   of the National Socialist Party in Austria (made up of
   German citizens in Austria) would be so arranged as not
   to give the appearance that Germany was planning to
   interfere in Austrian internal affairs."

The report of Gauleiter Rainer to Reich Commissar Burckel in
July of 1939 outlines the further history of the Party and
the leadership squabbles following the retirement of

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.