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BY DR. THOMA (Counsel for Rosenberg):

Q. Herr Rosenberg, you were the official appointed by the
Fuehrer for the supervision of the entire Spiritual and
Ideological Education of the NSDAP and all its affiliated
organizations. Did you exert any influence on national law-
making in that capacity?

A. The Fuehrer once spoke to me in this connection and
explained to me that in the leadership of a large movement
and of a State three points of view had to be considered.
First, there were men who, because of their nature, being
impelled to, and best qualified for, studious examination of
problems as they arose, would have to expound them in
lectures and suggest solutions. Secondly, the leadership -
or he himself - would have to select those which contained
possibilities of realization; and thirdly, there were those
people who had the task of taking the selected ideas and, by
dint of painstaking labour, giving practical expression to
them in the economic, sociological and political spheres.

He conceived my task as coming under the first heading and
entrusted to me the supervision of education, with the idea
that I should adopt a constructive attitude, taking into
account my knowledge of the movement. The executive and law-
giving powers were in the hands of the corresponding
ministries; that is, the Ministry of Education and the Reich
Propaganda Ministry, and the general representation of the
Party was in the hands of the Party Chancellery. The Party
Chancellery occasionally asked me to define my position with
regard to this or that question but was not obliged to take
my views into consideration.

Q. Herr Rosenberg, did you have any influence on National
Socialist school policies?

A. I did not have any direct influence on school policies.
The school systems were an affair of the Reich Ministry for
Education - the actual internal organization of the schools
is not to be confused with the Party training - and the
organization of the universities was the task of another

Q. There were National Socialist educational institutions.
Can you tell me something about the centres, and what your
function was in, that connection?

A. The so-called National Socialist Educational Institutions
were special foundations under the leadership and direction
of the Ministry for Education and of the Reichsfuehrer S.S.
Himmler, intended for the training of a particular,
disciplined elite, and the inspection of these educational
institutions was in the hands of a special S.S. leader in
the Ministry of Education.

Q. Herr Rosenberg, you are also accused of religious
persecution, especially as it finds expression in your "Myth
of the 20th Century." Do you admit that on occasions you
were a little too severe towards the church?

A. Of course I will allow that, as far as traditional
confessions were concerned, I uttered rather severe,
critical judgement. I would like to emphasize

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in this connection, that in the introduction to my book I
described it as a work dealing with personal opinions.
Secondly, that this book was not addressed to the church-
going public, as is shown in the quotation on Page 125 of
the Document Book, Part 1; and thirdly, that I rejected a
policy of withdrawal from the church, as can be seen in the
Document Book, Part 1, Page 122, and that I opposed
political interference by the State in purely religious
confessions of faith, which is also shown unequivocally in
this book. I further rejected many proposals to have my book
translated into foreign languages. Only a Japanese
translation was submitted to me although I was not able to
recall having given my approval for the translation.

Q. Herr Rosenberg, you were not trained in theological
matters. Don't you believe that in some judgements as to
theological questions you were wrong?

A. I naturally never assumed that this book, which deals
with many problems, did not contain errors. I was, to an
extent, grateful to receive criticism with reference to my
book, and I made certain corrections, but some attacks I
could not consider justified, and I thought that later I
would certainly thoroughly revise this work, which, of
course, also contained political comments.

Q. Did you at any time use State Police measures against
your opponents in theology and science?

A. No. I would like to state here that this work was
published two and a half years before the assumption of
power and that it was naturally open to criticism from all
sides; but that the main criticism arose after the
assumption of power. I answered these attacks in two
pamphlets but I never made use of the police to suppress
these attacks or persecute the authors of them.

Q. Herr Rosenberg, in the R.S.H.A. (Reich Security Main
Office) there was an office for the persecution of political
churches. Did you have any connection with this department?

A. I know only that a co-worker of mine was in contact with
many Party offices as a matter of policy and, of course, was
also in touch with the S.S. Through him I received many
circular letters from churches, pastoral letters, the
circular letters of the Fulda Conference of Bishops, and
many others. No arrests of individual church leaders came to
my attention although, of course, later on I did find out
that during the war many monasteries had been confiscated,
ostensibly for political reasons, but I never was able to
find out in detail the political reasons involved. I must
mention that in the year 1935 a bishop sent an official
letter to the administrative head of his province asking him
to prohibit me from delivering speeches in that province.
That, to be sure, was of no avail; however, this church
dignitary was not harmed either by me or by anybody else.

Q. What was your attitude toward the churches in the Eastern

A. After the entry of German troops in the Eastern
Territories the Wehrmacht of its own accord reinstated the
freedom of religious denominations, and when I was made
Minister for the East I officially acknowledged that
religious freedom, which was already being tolerated and
carried out practically, through a special "church
tolerance" edict at the end of December, 1941.

Q. The prosecution has presented quite a number of
documents, almost all of them letters by the Leader of the
Party Chancellery, to support their contention of religious
persecution. I would like to have you state your attitude
toward these documents, which have been submitted under
numbers 107, 116, 122, 129, 101.
Document 107 Exhibit USA 351, Document 116 Exhibit USA 685

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, you are going too fast for us to
get these numbers down. 107-PS, do you mean?


THE PRESIDENT: Will you kindly say PS if you mean PS; 107-
PS, 116-PS;

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DR. THOMA: Yes, I will add the USA Exhibit numbers, Document
107-PS - Exhibit USA 351.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I would rather have the PS number, if
you will give me the PS numbers or whatever the numbers are
as part of the exhibit number. 107-PS - 116-PS.

DR. THOMA: Yes, 116, 122, 129, 101, 100, 089, 064, 098, 072,

THE WITNESS: Document 107-PS was submitted by the
prosecution as proof of persecution of the churches. This
was a circular letter sent out by the Party Chancellery and
written by the leader of the Reich Labour Service. In this
circular, on Page 1, it is decreed that denominational
discussions were to be prohibited within the Reich Labour
Service. I believe that was done so that, particularly in
the Reich Labour Service, where young people of all classes
and backgrounds were taken in, denominational and religious
discussions would be avoided.

On Page 2 it says:

  "It is not the affair of the Reichsarbeitsdienst to
  forbid its individual members to have a church wedding or
  funeral, but the Reichsarbeitsdienst must definitely
  avoid taking part, as an organization, in church
  ceremonies which exclude Germans of other beliefs."

I considered this decree as the strictest adherence to
religious freedom, for it meant that members of the
Protestant faith could not be forced to attend Catholic
services and vice versa; furthermore, that persons who
perhaps belonged to any religious denomination could not, on
order of their organisation, be forced to attend the
services of one denomination or the other. Therefore, I
cannot see that in this case we are concerned with religious

Document 116-PS concerns itself with a letter of the Leader
of the Reich Chancellery sent to the Reich Minister for
Science and Education, and is dated 24 January, 1939. This
document was submitted to me for my information, I
emphasise, "for my information." It refers to correspondence
between the Party Chancellery and this Ministry regarding
the limitation of theological faculties, in which it is
emphasised firstly: that the terms of concordats and church
agreements would have to be taken into consideration;
secondly that it was necessary to methodically reorganise
the entire higher educational system; and finally, it states
that newly created fields of research, such as racial
research and archaeology, were also to be taken into

I could not see why, after six years of National Socialist
revolution, new fields of specialisation in scientific
research should not be included and should not receive due
consideration within the curriculum as a whole. I personally
was interested in seeing that the subjects of agrarian
sociology and the early history of Germany received proper
consideration, specifically with regard to Germanic
intellectual and spiritual history.

The same applies to Document 122, also dated April, 1939,
into which I do not need to go in detail. It sets forth
similar views by the Minister for Science, Education, and
National Culture, while emphasising how many theological
faculties are to be retained as necessary.

Document 129-PS is a letter of the Reich Church Minister to
a well-known German author, Dr. Stapel, who was especially
interested in religious reform. In this letter the Reich
Church Minister expresses the view that a common religious
denomination should be especially promoted which would
affirm the ideology of the National Socialist State in
particular and at the same time could enjoy and rely upon
the support of the Reich Church Minister.

In the preliminary interrogation a letter of mine was
submitted to me, written to the Party Chancellery relative
to this matter, in which I declared myself against the
calling of such a church congress by the Reich Church
Minister on the principal ground that it was not the
function of a Minister of Churches to

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join a religious denomination whose direct, even if
undeclared, head he was, or at least appeared to be. To me
he appeared to be in exactly the same position as myself.
If, in addition to publicising my own views, I had had the
intention of establishing or leading a religious
denomination, then I would have had to give up all my
functions, offices, and activities in the Party. That
followed from a point of view of principle which I held. The
Minister of Churches as a National Socialist Minister was,
in my opinion, obliged to be independent of all religious
denominations and ought not to promote a religion to which
he was sympathetic.

Document 101-PS is a letter from the Head of the Party
Chancellery, at that time also Chief of Staff and Deputy of
the Fuehrer, in which the protest is made that many
denominational writings tended to impair the resistance of
the troops, and he suggested that it would be better that my
office should issue such publications. An answer by me has
not been presented here - has not been shown to me. My
opinion had always been that, being in a Party office, it
was not for me to write religious treatises, but that, of
course, it ought to be left to every person individually, if
he had something pertinent to say, to put it in writing.

Document 100-PS is a reproach from the former Chief of Staff
of the Deputy of the Fuehrer, Bormann, that I had stated in
the presence of the Fuehrer that the Protestant Reich
Bishop, Muller, had written a very good book for the German
soldiers. Reichsleiter Bormann said that this book by Muller
did not appear suitable to him because, after all, it was
denominational propaganda in disguise. I do not believe that
the reproach directed at me for unhesitatingly approving of
Reich Bishop Muller 's expression of opinion given in a
proper way, and corresponding with his line of thought, can
be interpreted as religious persecution by me.

Document 089-PS is a letter by Bormann, which he sent to me
for my information, in Which he told me that he had proposed
to Reichsleiter Amann that, because of the general scarcity
of paper, religious writings, which had decreased by only 10
per cent., should be further curtailed. I didn't know to
what extent the curtailment of all periodicals was
undertaken at that time, I can only state that in the course
of the war even the publications about art, music, folk-
lore, German dramaturgy, etc., which were published by my
office, were constantly curtailed and abbreviated along with
the rest of the periodicals in the German Reich.

Document 064-PS is a letter of the head of the Party
Chancellery, in which I am informed about the letter of a
Gauleiter referring to an article by General von Ravenau
entitled "The Spirit and Soul of the Soldier." This
Gauleiter criticised the very denominationally bound
viewpoint of General von Ravenau and he protested against
the fact that this letter appeared in a series of articles
published by the Party. In that connection I would like to
say that this article by General von Ravenau appeared in a
series published by my Party office, and that I read this
letter personally beforehand and gave him the opportunity to
voice his opinion in this series, which contained many
political articles of a generally historical nature. I did
not withdraw this article.

Document 098-PS contains a new reproach against me by the
leader of the Party Chancellery. He said that Reich Bishop
Muller claimed that he had had directions from me to work
out basic principles for the organisation of religious
instruction in the schools.

Bormann set forth at great length that it was not a task of
the Party to engage in reform measures with respect to
religious instruction in schools. To this I would like to
say the following. I could not give any instructions at all
to Reich Bishop Muller on this topic, but the Reich Bishop
visited me on two occasions, and on one occasion he told me,
virtually with tears in his eyes, that he got no proper
response to his work. I told him, "Your Excellency, as a
military pastor, you are simply not well enough known to the
public. It

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would be quite appropriate if you would write a detailed
work setting forth your views and your objectives so that
the various units of the Evangelical, Church might get to
know your ideas, and in that way you can make your influence
felt in the manner you wish." The Reich Bishop may well have
spoken about this, and probably made a few additional
remarks. However, I do not believe that this accusation made
by Bormann can be construed as persecution of the churches

Document 075-PS is a special circular letter by the Chief of
the Party Chancellery, setting forth his personal views on
the relationship of National Socialism to Christendom. As
far as I remember, this document deals with the following: I
had once heard that Bormann, who had sent a writing of the
contents to a Gauleiter, also sent copies to all the
Gauleiters. I asked him to inform me of this. After much
delay I finally received this circular letter. I did not
consider it proper as a Party circular. I wrote Bormann -
and I believe the letter I sent to him should be found in my
records - that I did not consider a circular letter of that
sort suitable or proper. In addition I added in my own
handwriting, so that it would be taken seriously, that in my
opinion the Fuehrer would not approve of a circular letter
of this sort. Later I spoke with Bormann about this
personally and told him that each one of us had the right to
define his position towards this problem, but official Party
circulars, and especially in this form, were impossible in
my opinion. After this conversation Bormann was greatly
embarrassed and, as I incidentally heard from my co-
defendant Schirach, this circular letter, according to him,
was rescinded and declared null and void. However, I can
make no statement about that.

DR. THOMA : Mr. President, I would like to call attention to
the fact that I gave the number 075 to this document, but it
should actually be D-75.

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