The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-12/tgmwc-12-110.09

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-12/tgmwc-12-110.09
Last-Modified: 2000/01/22

Q. I will question you now concerning the tasks of the
German Reich with regard to this matter of oil. Will you
look at Page 14 of this same report? You will find it at the
very end. This is how you define these tasks:

  "The problem of the Eastern Territory consists in
  transferring the Baltic peoples into the German cultural
  framework and the preparation of the military frontiers
  of Germany on a vast scale. The task of the Ukraine is to
  provide Germany and Europe with foodstuffs and the
  continent with raw materials. The task in the Caucasus is
  above all of a political nature, and represents the
  decisive extension of continental Europe under German
  supervision from the Caucasus toward the Near East."

Did you read this passage?

A. Yes.

Q. You do not deny that these were the actual plans?

A. I affirm that this is set down correctly, and that it is
in accord with the hope that Eastern continental Europe
might, some time, be incorporated into the total economic
system and economic supply of the rest of the continent, as
had been the case before 1914, for at that time the Ukraine
was a country of exports of raw materials and foodstuffs.

Q. Yes, your plan concerning the Ukraine, is well known. In
this connection I will put the last question concerning
aggression. After having seen these documents which you do
not deny, do you admit the aggressive and plundering
character of Germany's war against the Soviet Union and your
personal responsibility for the planning and preparation of
this aggression? Answer briefly. Do you admit this or do you

A. No.

Q. No? Very well.

A. No, because I did not consider this a war of aggression
on our part, but vice versa.

Q. Of course, but we will not go into details,

                                                   [Page 79]

I have a few more questions to put to you concerning the
German policy in the Eastern Territories.

Who was the highest official in the German administration
and Reich Commissariat?

A. The Minister for the occupied Eastern Territories was
responsible for the administration and legislation in the
Eastern Territory, and the Reich Commissar for the
Territorial Governments.

THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko, the Tribunal has already
heard all about the administration, the former
administration and personnel of the administration.

GENERAL RUDENKO: Mr. President, I have only two or three
more questions in this particular sphere.


Q. Did the General Reich Commissar have the authority to
issue orders for the arrest and execution of hostages?

A. At this moment I cannot recall whether he had such
authority by law or whether that came under direct police
jurisdiction. I cannot answer this question with assurance,
for at the moment I do not recall a decree to that effect.
But it is not entirely impossible; I do not know.

Q. It was possible. Very well.

I would like to remind you that you personally foresaw in
your directive the possibility of issuing such an order. We
will pass right on.

A lot has been said here about German policy in occupied
territories. I will therefore only put another few questions
to you.

First of all, as regards the Ukraine, you here described the
situation in such a light as to show that Koch was the sole
person responsible for oppressive policy and that you
opposed him and were on the contrary, the benefactor of the
Ukrainian people.

A. No, that is not correct, I never said that I was a

Q. In your document which has been submitted by your defence
counsel and which I will therefore not submit to you,
Document 19-RO, Riecke wrote in a letter to all
Reichsleiters of the Press in November, 1942:-

"Koch has declared 'that the Ukraine is for us only an
object of exploitation and that it must pay the expenses of
the war and that the people must, as a second grade people,
be utilised to a certain extent for the solution of military
problems even if they have to be caught with a lasso.'"

This was the policy of Koch in the Ukraine. There are
documents which were submitted by your counsel. I will ask
you now. Did you write to Koch on December 14?

A. May I reply to that? I have not the original document in
front of me. I only know that it was a letter written by
Riecke to me containing a bitter complaint, which so many
others also did, and that he requested me ...
Q. Of Koch?

A. Yes ...

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has been all over this matter of
Koch as to the Ukraine today and so it is not helping the
Tribunal to go over it again.

GENERAL RUDENKO: All right, Mr. President.


Q. Yesterday you stated here repeatedly, in your
explanations as regards the atrocities and extermination of
the Soviet population, that you were not informed and that
these were police measures. Did I understand you correctly?

A. No, that is not exactly true. I was informed of many
battles with partisans and bands and, as I have stated,
about many shootings, and also I was told about the fact
that German agricultural leaders, German officials and
policemen and peaceful Soviet farmers were attacked by these
partisans and bands and were murdered by thousands.

                                                   [Page 80]

Q. Very well. We know that the partisans who fought against
enemies of the country were called bandits by you and
treated accordingly. I do not argue that. But I am speaking
of the extermination of the civilian population, of old men,
women and children. Did you know that?

A. In these battles we tried very much to protect the
farming population and others too, and when we heard about
what appeared to us to be excessive measures by the police,
we put the most severe demands to them that, even in the
full heat of battle, every effort was to be made to protect
peaceful citizens. The police told us that it was easy to
make those demands from behind a desk, but if, in White
Ruthenia, the partisans murder and burn five hundred White
Ruthenian Burgomasters with their families in their houses
and we are shot at from the rear, then terrible conflicts
were unavoidable.

Q. I will remind you that in your directive concerning
occupied territories and organisation of administration and
the primary task for administration, you personally planned
as your first task the police measures. Do you deny this
now? I ask you, do you deny this now?

A. If it is Document 1056, I proposed seven urgent measures.
I cannot tell you at the moment which is the first one here.
I ask that you submit this document to me.

Q. All right. I will ask that you be shown one paragraph of
this document. "The police measures" which is in the very
first place.

THE PRESIDENT: Has this document been put to him?


THE PRESIDENT: What is the use of going into it again?

GENERAL RUDENKO: Mr. President, defendant Rosenberg asked
for it. I would only like to say that the defendant tried to
say that he was not informed and that these were purely
police measures. I am now going to prove that he made his
primary task the carrying out of these police measures.

A. It goes without saying that in an occupied territory in
the middle of such a war the police are responsible for
their own security measures. And the third point is "the
supply of the population with foodstuffs in order to avoid
famine." I repeat, "supply of the population in order to
avoid famine."

Q. Very well. Very well. We heard about this in detail
yesterday. I have a few last questions to put to you. First
of all, I would like to ask you about the Yuman incident.
The document has already been submitted to the Tribunal, but
I consider it my duty as a representative of the Soviet
Union to put to you this question concerning the shooting of
Soviet citizens for the pure reason that a stretch of land
was needed as a hunting ground. You remember this document?

A. Yes, I gave an extensive explanation of it yesterday.

THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko, this has been gone into
already, before the Tribunal. Why should the Tribunal's time
be taken up by going over and over again the same ground? We
have said that We Would not have things done cumulatively.

GENERAL RUDENKO: Mr. President, a few details of this
question are of great importance, and the defendant did not
explain them, therefore I would like very much to ask this

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, the Tribunal will adjourn to
consider the matter.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: First of all, the Tribunal will rise tomorrow
afternoon at half-past four. Now, as to this question, the
Tribunal thinks that the matter has been sufficiently gone
into, but, if there is a particular point which has not been
dealt with before, a question may be asked in that

GENERAL RUDENKO: Very well, Mr. President.

                                                   [Page 81]

Q. Defendant Rosenberg, on 2 April, 1943, you addressed a
letter to Himmler regarding this incident, regarding the
shooting of hundreds of Soviet citizens in the region of
Yuman because this place was needed as a hunting ground.
Didn't you address such a letter to Himmler? What were the
results of this letter?

A. First, I wrote to the responsible Chief of the German
Police and I had to wait for whatever measures of security
in the Ukraine he would take, as a responsible official.
When I did not receive any further information, I used this
case for a personal complaint to the Fuehrer.

Q. When did you report it to Hitler?

A. This complaint to the Fuehrer was dealt with in the
middle of May, 1943, and, although it was a rather lengthy
complaint, which I had reached him several weeks earlier,
only 5 or 6 weeks elapsed between 2 April and the day it was
dealt with, the middle or end of May. That is, I believe, a
very short time for dealing with a complaint because, first
it had to be investigated rather thoroughly by Lammers and
Bormann; then it had to be reported to the Fuehrer. The
Fuehrer then had to make his decision and give his
directives; and then I was summoned.

Q. When was this complaint discussed for the last time?

A. In May, between the middle and the end of May, 1943.

Q. Was it discussed in the presence of Koch?

A. Yes, indeed.

Q. Yesterday you told the Tribunal that Koch presented a
report to Hitler, a memorandum from the Main Forestry

A. Yes.

Q. Therefore this memorandum confirmed that it was a
struggle against the guerrillas?

A. Not exactly like that; but it said that this forest
district had to be utilised for the necessary supply of
timber for the Armed Forces or the Administration, and that
these forests harboured many restless partisans and
guerrilla bands; therefore, there was great danger for the
workers in these districts, and it had come to skirmishes
between them and partisans and guerrilla bands; and, since
one could not watch over all of them, a transfer of certain
groups from these forest districts into forest areas further
south took place. Koch added that then many of these people
who had been transferred expressed their thanks for having
received better land than they had had before. That was the
information that Koch had given.

Q. They were grateful that one December night they were
evicted from their houses and taken away hundreds of
kilometers, and hundreds of them were shot. They appreciated
that very much. However, I should like to ask you the
following: In your letter to Hitler, on 29 April, 1943, you
also attached the memorandum from the Main Forestry Office,
and in this memorandum from the Forestry Office it is stated
- I am going to read this passage. You should remember this
incident, this terrible incident when men were shot because
hunting ground was needed.

In the memorandum of the Forestry Office it is stated:

  "There is no doubt that several villages located in the
  forest region of Yuman were evacuated principally in
  order to create a hunting area."

This is stated in the memorandum of the Forestry Office.

A. I only want to point out that we are dealing here with an
assistant for forestry in Berlin, who had added that, on the
basis of his reports. What Koch had produced was a report
from the Chief of the People's administration in the

Q. All right. The last question in connection with this
incident: Did you believe Koch when he stated that?

                                                   [Page 82]

A. It is difficult to answer that conscientiously, but was a
... (a) description of actual conditions by the Forestry
Administration was included, and I could not protest against
that version, which was well-founded, and I had to admit to
myself that I had made a mistake in this protect.

Q. You did not protest against that, I quite understand. I
shall finish by just reminding you of one quotation from
your letter:

  "Hundreds of people in and around Yuman were shot by a
  whole police company 'because they were communistically
  inclined.' No Ukrainian believes that. The Germans are
  also astonished by this argument because, of this was
  done for the safety of the country, then the communist-
  infected elements in other regions should have been
  executed at the same time."

I have here to put to you the last question. Here in the
Tribunal yesterday several times you declared that you
wanted to resign from your post. Moreover, you spoke about
your letter to Hitler, dated 12 December, 1944, where you
asked for directives for the future - regarding this my
colleague, Mr. Dodd, has already reminded you that at that
date, December, 1944, the Reich Minister of the Eastern
Territories no longer had any territories, because the
Germans were out of Russia by that time. I would like to ask
you the following question:

How could you ask to be relieved of your post, you, who for
years had dreamed about getting this position of Reich
Minister and even becoming a member of the Secret Cabinet?
You asked Hitler for this position of Reich Minister. Do you
remember that?

A. In the first place I was never a member of the so-called
Secret Cabinet. That is not correct.

Q. (Interposing) Well, I shall correct myself. You dreamed
of becoming a member of the Secret Cabinet.

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. And also dreamed of becoming Reich Minister; is that also

A. When the question as to my post became acute, there was a
long discussion one way and another about the form of that
task. Dr. Lammers, as Deputy of the Fuehrer, told me that
the Fuehrer intended either to appoint a Reich Inspector
because he wanted to ...

Q. Defendant Rosenberg, please. So that we shall not linger
too long on that question, I am going to submit to the
Tribunal a document. This is your personal letter, the last
document ...

THE PRESIDENT: In the first place, I do not know what the
question is, and you are interrupting the witness before he
has answered any question.

GENERAL RUDENKO: No, Mr. President. I have one aim here,
namely, to shorten my interrogation in accordance with the
desire of the Tribunal. So I am going to submit the letter
of Rosenberg of 6 February, 1938, addressed to Hitler, where
he requests this post from Hitler. That is a short letter. I
ask permission to submit the document. We are submitting
this document as Exhibit USSR 117.

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.