|Source: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggresion. Vol. II. USGPO,
[Note: The characters in brackets, eg, (2233-N-PS) refer to the official document numbers included in the series Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression. A list of legal references and documents relating to Alfred Rosenberg is on pages 616-624. For information on the referencing of Internet sources see Chapter 4 of S D Stein Learning, Teaching and Researching on the Internet. Addison Wesley Longman 1999-published Nov.1998]
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A. THE POLITICAL CAREER OF ROSENBERG.
The political career of Alfred Rosenberg embraced the entire history of National Socialism and permeated nearly every phase of the conspiracy, In order to obtain a full conception of his influence upon and participation in the conspiracy, it is necessary to review his political history and to consider each of his political activities in their relation to the thread of the conspiracy, which stretches from the inception of the party in 1919 to the defeat of Germany in 1945.
It is interesting to note that for Rosenberg the 30th of November 1918 marked the
An official German pamphlet entitled, "Dates in the History of the NSDAP", discloses that Rosenberg was a member of the German Labor Party (afterwards the National Socialist German Workers Party) in January 1919, and that Hitler joined forces with Rosenberg and his colleagues in October of the same year (3557-PS) . Thus, Rosenberg was a member of the National Socialist movement even before Hitler himself.
An extract from "Das Deutsch Fuehrer Lexikon", 1934/ 35 (3530-PS) completes the biographical data on Rosenberg:
In July 1941 Rosenberg was appointed Reichsminister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. (2886-PS)
B. ROSENBERG'S PART, AS OFFICIAL NAZI IDEOLOGIST, IN PREPARING FOR THE SEIZURE OF POWER AND THE LAUNCHING OF AGGRESSIVE WAR.
Rosenberg was the official National Socialist ideologist. Through the ideological tenets which he expounded he exerted an influence upon the unification of German thought, a unification which was an essential part of the conspirator's program for seizure of power and preparation for aggressive war.
Rosenberg wrote extensively on, and actively participated in, virtually every aspect of the National Socialist program. His first publication was the "Nature, Basic Principles, and Aims of the NSDAP", which appeared in 1922. Rosenberg spoke of this book in the following terms:
Thus, the original draftsman of and spokesman for the party program was Rosenberg.
Without attempting to survey the entire ideological program advanced by Rosenberg in his various writings and speeches, certain of his statements may be considered as indicating the nature and scope of the ideological program which he championed. There was not a single basic tenet of the Nazi philosophy which was not given authoritative expression by Rosenberg.
(1) The theory of racism. Rosenberg wrote the "Myth of the Twentieth Century", published in 1930. At page 479 of this work (3553-PS), Rosenberg expressed the following views on the race question:
(2) "Lebensraum". Rosenberg expounded the "Lebensraum" idea, which was utilized as the dynamic impulse behind Germany's waging of aggressive war. In his journal, the "National Socialist Monatshefte" for May 1932, he wrote :
(3) Persecution of Christian Churches. Rosenberg expressed his theory as to the place of religion in the National Socialist State in the "Myth of the Twentieth Century", additional excerpts from which are cited in (2891-PS):
In the place of traditional Christianity, Rosenberg sought to implant the neo-pagan myth of the blood. At page 114 in the "Myth of the Twentieth Century" (2891-PS) he stated:
Rosenberg's attitudes on religion were accepted as the only philosophy compatible with National Socialism. In 1940 Bormann, in writing to Rosenberg, made this statement:
Rosenberg actively participated in the program for elimination of church influence. Bormann frequently wrote Rosenberg in this regard, furnishing him information as to proposed action to be instituted against the churches and, where necessary, requesting that action be taken by Rosenberg's department. See 070-PS dealing with the abolition of religious services in the schools; 072-PS dealing with the confiscation of religious property ; 064-PS dealing with the inadequacy of anti-religious material circulated to the soldiers ; 089-PS dealing with the curtailment of the publication of Protestant periodicals; and 122-PS dealing with the closing of theological faculties.
(4) Persecution of the Jews. Rosenberg was particularly zealous in his pursuit of the "Jewish Question". On 28 March on the occasion of the opening of the Institute for the Exploration of the Jewish Question, he set the keynote for its activities and indicated the direction which the exploration was to take. He spoke in part as follows:
Rosenberg had called an Anti-Jewish Congress in June 1944, but the Congress was cancelled due to military events. (1752-B')
Rosenberg did not overlook any opportunity to put these anti-Semitic beliefs into practice. He recommended for instance that instead of executing 100 Frenchmen as retaliation for attempts on lives of members of the Wehrmacht, there be executed 100 Jewish bankers, lawyers, etc. (001-PS) . The recommendation was made with the avowed purpose of awakening the anti-Jewish sentiment.
(5) Abolition of Versailles Treaty. In the realm of foreign policy, in addition to demanding "Lebensraum," Rosenberg called for elimination of the Treaty of Versailles, and cast aside any thought of revision of that treaty. In his book, "Nature, Principles and Aims of the NSDAP", Rosenberg wrote:
(6) Foreign Nazi Penetration. Rosenberg conceived of the spread of National Socialism throughout the world and, as will be subsequently shown, took an active part in promoting the infection of other nations with his creed. In the "Nature, Principles and Aims of the NSDAP", he stated:
Thus, Rosenberg gave authoritative expression to the basic tenets upon which National Socialism was founded, and through the exploitation of which the conspiracy was crystallized in action.
(7) Ideological training and education. Rosenberg's value to the conspiratorial program found official recognition in his appointment in 1934 as the Fuehrer's Delegate for the Entire Spiritual and Philosophical Education and Supervision of the NSDAP. His activities in this capacity were many and varied. The National Socialist Year Book for the year 1938, at page 180, describes as follows the functions of Rosenberg's office as the Fuehrer's delegate :
As the Fuehrer's delegate, Rosenberg thus supervised all ideological education and training in the Party.
It was Rosenberg's belief that upon the performance of his new functions as ideological delegate depended the future of National Socialism. An excerpt from an article by Rosenberg appearing on. page 9 of the March 1934 issue of "The Educational Letter" states:
In his capacity as the Fuehrer's Delegate for Spiritual and Ideological Training, Rosenberg assisted in the preparation of the curriculum for the Adolf Hitler schools. These schools selected the most suitable candidates from the Hitler Jugend and trained them for leadership within the Party. They were the elite schools of National Socialism. An excerpt from "Documents of German Politics" reads as follows:
"Voelkischer Beobachter, 19 January 1937.-' As stated by Dr. Ley, Reichsorganisationsleiter, on 23 November 1937 at Ordensburg Sonthofen, these Adolf Hitler Schools, as the first step of the principle of selecting a special elite, form an important branch in the educational system of the National Socialist training of future leaders [Fuehrernuchwuchs] ' "Voelkischer Beobachter dated 24 November 1937.-* * * The curriculum has been laid down by Reichsleiter Rosenberg, together with the Reichsorganisationsleiter and the Reich Youth Leader." (3529-PS)
Rosenberg exercised further influence in the education of Party members through the establishment of community schools for all organizations of the Party. The following statement is taken from the 1934 edition of "Das Dritte Reich:
Rosenberg's program was endorsed by Schirach as well as by Himmler, Ley, and others. Virtually every phase of National Socialist training came under Rosenberg's influence, and unified ideological concepts were in. culcated in every echelon of the party due to his influence. The 1936 edition of "Das Dritte Reich", under the heading "Education in the Ordensburg" states:
(8) Plunder of art treasures. In his capacity as the Fuehrer's delegate, Rosenberg established the Institute for the Exploration of the Jewish Question, in Frankfort on Main. (This institute, commonly known as the "Hohe Schule", has been referred to in the discussion of the Plunder of Art Treasures in Chapter XIV.) Into its library there flowed books, documents, and manuscripts which were looted from virtually every country of occupied Europe. As Ideological Delegate Rosenberg conducted the fabulous art looting activities of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, activities which extended to France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark, the Occupied Eastern Territories, Hungary, and Greece. The extent of the plunder is indicated in document 1015B-PS which contains a detailed account of the seizure of over 21,000 valuable objects of art, and in document L-l 88 in which the looting of the contents of over 71,000 Jewish homes is described.
The importance of Rosenberg's activities as official ideologist of the Nazi party was not overlooked. The Hart biography of Rosenberg, entitled, "The Man and His Work" (3559-PS), states that Rosenberg won the German National prize in 193'7. The creation of this prize was the Nazis' petulant reply to the award of the Nobel prize to Carlin Assietsky, an inmate, of a German concentration camp. The citation which accompanied the award to Rosenberg read as follows:
The contribution which Rosenberg's book, "The Myth of the Twentieth Century," made to Nazi ideological propaganda was appraised in the November 1942 edition of the official National Socialist book review publication, "Bucher Kunde", as follows:
The significance of ideological training in promoting the aims of the conspiracy is emphasized in a brief statement which Hitler made to his supreme commanders on 23 November 1939. On that occasion, Hitler said:
The contribution which Rosenberg made through formulation and dissemination of National Socialist ideology was fundamental to the conspiracy. As aspostle of neo-paganism, exponent of the drive for "Lebensraum," glorifier of the myth of nordic superiority, and as one of the oldest and most energetic Nazi proponents of anti-Semitism, he contributed materially to unification of the German people behind the swastika. He provided the impetus and philosophy of National Socialism.
C. ROSENBERG'S ACTIVITIES ABROAD, THROUGH THE APA, IN PREPARATION FOR AGGRESSIVE WAR.
Rosenberg also actively contributed toward the preparation for aggressive war through the international activities of the APA (The Foreign Policy Office of the NSDAP) . Rosenberg became a Reichsleiter, the highest level of rank in the Leadership Corps, and was made chief of the Foreign Political Office of the NSDAP in April 1933 (3530-PS). The Organizational Manual of the NSDAP (2319-PS) describes the functions of the APA as including the influencing of public opinion abroad so as to convince foreign nations that Nazi Germany desires peace. The following excerpt indicates the far-flung activities of the APA:
The Press activities of the APA, designed to influence world opinion in such a manner as to conceal the conspirators' true purposes and thus facilitate the preparation for waging aggressive war, were conducted on an ambitious scale. "A Short Report on the Activities of the APA of the NSDAP" describes the press activities as follows:
The nature and extent of the activities of the APA are amply disclosed in a "Report on the Activities of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the Party from 1933 to 1943," signed by Rosenberg (007-PS). This report contains a recital of widespread activities in foreign countries. These activities range from the promotion of economic penetration, to fomentation of anti-Semitism; from cultural and political infiltration to the instigation of treason. Activities were carried on throughout the world and extended to such widely separated points as the Middle East and Brazil. (007-PS)
(1) Activities in Hungary, Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg. Much of the APA's achievements were brought about through the subtle exploitation of personal relationship. Activities in Hungary proceeded as follows:
The APA endeavored to strengthen the War Economy by shifting the source of food imports to the Balkans:
Activities in Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg were confined to "observation of existing conditions" and "to the establishment of relations, especially of a commercial nature." (007-PS)
(2) Activities in Iran, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In Iran the APA achieved a high degree of economic penetration, in addition to promoting cultural relations:
Rosenberg further reports on APA activities in other parts of the world:
In view of the numerous "personal connections" maintained by the Bureau in many different countries, it is not difficult to surmise what Rosenberg meant when he stated at the conclusion of his report:
(3) Activities in Rumania. Annex Two of the report deals with activities in Rumania. Here the APA's intrigue was more insidious, its interference in the internal affairs of a foreign nation more pronounced. After describing the failure of what Rosenberg terms a "basically sound anti-Semitic tendency", due to dynastic squabbles and party fights, Rosenberg describes the APA's influence in the unification of conflicting elements:
Rosenberg's man, Goga, was supported by two "splinter parties" which had not joined the anti-Semitic trend of these two parties. Rosenberg has this to say:
Goga was appointed Prime Minister by the King in December 1937. The influence of Rosenberg's ideology had achieved a major triumph, for he states:
Rosenberg's intrigues made a significant contribution to Nazi preparations for aggressive war, and the benefit to Germany's position in the Balkans was great. Rosenberg reports that upon Goga's resignation he left a personal heir in Marshal Antonescu, who was appointed by Goga as Minister of War against the wishes of the King. Of Antonescu Rosenberg says:
It will be recalled that on 5 September 1940 Antonescu became President of the Rumanian Council of Ministers and immediately suspended the Rumanian constitution. King Carol abdicated on the following day, and Rumania existed as a German satellite throughout the war. Rosenberg's aims had been achieved.
The substantial contribution which Rosenberg had thus made to Germany's strategic plans for aggressive war is evident from a brief review of the military action which followed in the wake of his political maneuvers. Shortly after King Carol's abdication Antonescu "invited" German troops to "protect" the Rumanian oil fields. When Hungary subscribed to the Axis pact a few weeks later, Germany acquired a continuous land bridge to the Black Sea, through Austria, Hungary, and Rumania. When Bulgaria subscribed to the Pact in March 1941, a German thrust southward through Yugoslavia and Greece became feasible, for with Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria secure, the entire German eastern flank was safe from attack. A month later, Yugoslavia and Greece were invaded. Only when they were overcome was Germany free to attack the Soviet Union. Seven weeks after the fall of Crete, Germany launched her war on the U. S. S. R. Thus, Rosenberg's intrigue in Rumania provided a vital link in the chain of the German strategy of aggression.
(4) Relations with Quisling in Norway. Rosenberg also played a leading role in the development of fifth-column activities in Norway. He fostered the development of close relations between Germany and Quisling, procured financial backing for Quisling's activities, and brought him into contact with Raeder and Hitler. Rosenberg kept the Reich informed as to internal developments in Norway through his contacts with Hagelin, Quisling's deputy, and took an active part in the development of plans for a Quisling coup in Norway. The record is clear that Rosenberg provided the inspiration and the means for the betrayal of Norway by Quisling and Hagelin-treason for which the Norwegian Government has tried, condemned, and executed them. (007-PS; C-64; C-65; C-66; OO4-PS; 957-PS)
D. ROSENBERG'S PARTICIPATION IN THE CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT WAR CRIMES AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY IN THE OCCUPIED EASTERN TERRITORIES.
Rosenberg participated in the conspiracy to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity in the areas of the Occupied East which he administered for over three years. This area included the Baltic States, White Ruthenia and the Ukraine, and the Eastern portion of Poland.
(The mass murder and mistreatment of the Eastern peoples, and the spoliation of their territories is discussed in Chapter X on Forced Labor, Chapter XIII on Germanization and Spoliation, Chapter XI on Concentration Camps, Chapter XII on Persecution of the Jews, Section 5 of Chapter XV on the SS, and Section 6 of Chapter XV on the Gestapo and SD.) Rosenberg bears personal responsibility for these crimes.
Rosenberg may contend that some of these crimes were committed against his wishes. There is, indeed, some evidence that he protested on occasion, not out of humanitarian reasons, but on the ground of political expediency. Rosenberg may also attempt to place the blame for these crimes on other agencies and other defendants. The documents prove, however, that he himself formulated the harsh policies in the execution of which the crimes were committed; that the crimes were committed for the most part by persons and agencies within his jurisdiction and control ; that the other agencies which participated in the commission of these crimes were invited by him to cooperate in the administration of the East, although the brutal methods customarily employed by them were common knowledge; and that his Ministry lent full cooperation to their activities despite the criminal methods that were employed.
(1) Activities as "Commissioner for the Central Control of Questions Connected with the East European Region." Rosenberg was actively participating in the affairs of the East as early as 20 April 1941, two months prior to the German attack upon the Soviet Union. On that date he was designated by Hitler as 'Commissioner for the Central Control of Questions connected with the East European Region" (865-PS). The initial preparations undertaken by Rosenberg for fulfillment of his new task indicate the extent to which he cooperated in promoting the military plans for aggression. They also show that he understood his task as requiring the assistance of a multitude of Reich agencies and that he invited their cooperation.
Shortly after his appointment by Hitler, Rosenberg conducted a series of conferences with representatives of various Reich agencies (1039-PS). Cooperation of the following agencies in the administration of the Eastern Territories was contemplated and solicited by Rosenberg:
These arrangements, it should be noted, were made by Rosenberg in his capacity as Commissioner on Eastern Questions-before the attack on the Soviet Union, before Rosenberg was appointed Minister of the Occupied East, and before there was any Occupied Eastern Territory for Germany to administer.
(a) "Solution" of the Jewish Problem. Emphasis must be placed on Rosenberg's basic attitudes regarding his new task, and the directives he knew he would be expected to follow. On 29 April 1941 he stated:
On 8 May 1941, instructions were prepared for all Reich Commissars in the Occupied Eastern Territories (1030-PS). The last paragraph of these instructions reads as follows:
In his "Instructions for a Reich Commissar in the Baltic Countries and White Russia" (officially referred to together as the "Ostland"), Rosenberg directs that the Ostland be transformed into a part of the Greater German Reich by Germanizing racially possible elements, colonizing Germanic races, and banishing undesirable elements. (1029-PS)
In a speech delivered by Rosenberg on 20 June 1941 he stated that the job of feeding Germans was the top of Germany's claim on the East; that there was no obligation to feed also the Russian peoples; that this was a harsh necessity bare of any feeling; that a very extensive evacuation would be necessary; and that the future would hold many hard years in store for the Russians.(1058-PS)
On 22 June 1941 the German armies invaded the U. S. S. R.
(b) Deportation of Prisoners of War for Labor in the Reich. On 4 July 1941 a representative of the Rosenberg Bureau attended a conference on the subject of mobilization of labor and utilization of Soviet prisoners of war. A memorandum of this conference (1199-PS) states that among the participants were representatives of the Commissioner for the Four-Year Plan, of the Reich Labor Ministry, of the Reich Food Ministry, and of the Rosenberg Bureau. The conference proceeded as follows:
(c) Germanization. On 16 July 1941, the day before Rosenberg's appointment as Minister of the Occupied East, he attended a conference at the Fuehrer's Headquarters. At that time Hitler stated that
"The Crimea has to be evacuated by all foreigners and to be settled by Germans alone." (L-221)
Hitler further stated that Germany's objectives in the East were three-fold, first, to dominate it; second, to administer it; third, to exploit it. (L-221)
Thus, the character of the administration contemplated for the Occupied East was well established before Rosenberg took office as Minister of the Occupied East. He knew of these plans and was in accord with them. Persecution of the Jews, forced labor of prisoners of war, Germanization and exploitation were basic points of policy at the time he assumed office.
(2) Activities as Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. O n 17 July 1941 Hitler appointed Rosenberg as Reichminister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, territories which included nearly all the area seized by Germany from the U. S. S. R. (1997-PS)
(a) Rosenberg's complete control over, knowledge of, and responsibility for all non-military German activities and policies in the occupied Eastern Territories. The organizational structure and chain of responsibility within the Ministry for the Occupied East emphasizes Rosenberg's responsibility.
A treatise entitled "The Organization of the Administration of the Occupied Eastern Territories" (1056-PS) is undated and unsigned, but further information regarding it may be obtained by reference to document EC-347, Goering's "Green Folder." Part II, subsection of EC-347 is entitled,
The two paragraphs which follow are identical to two paragraphs found in document 1056-PS. Thus, 1056-PS is identified as being a reproduction of Part I of the Brown Folder which was mentioned in the "Green Folder," and was issued by the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories.
The directives issued by the Rosenberg Ministry itself (1056- PS) prove the extent of Rosenberg's authority: he was the Supreme civilian authority in the Eastern Territories. There was a continuous chain of command from Rosenberg down to regional administrative officials, extending even to the local prison warden (1056-PS). The relationship which existed between the Rosenberg Ministry and other German agencies varied from full control by Rosenberg, to close cooperation with them made mandatory by his directives and by Hitler's orders. Finally, the various subdivisions of the Ministry were required to submit period-reports of the situation within their jurisdiction-so that the numerous reports of brutality which Rosenberg received were submitted to him pursuant to his orders. (1056-PS)
The treatise on the organization of Rosenberg's ministry states as follows:
The responsibility of the Reich Commissars is described as follows :
The SS was placed under Rosenberg's jurisdiction and control:
The scope of Rosenberg's control over the SS in the Occupied Eastern Territories is revealed in a decree signed by Rosenberg, dated 17 July 1941, and found in the Verordnungsblatt of the Reich Minister for the Occupied East, 1942 #2, pages 7 and 8. This decree provides for the creation of summary courtsmartial to punish crimes committed by non-Germans in the East, as determined by the Reich Commissar. The courts are to be presided over by a police officer or an SS leader, who have authority to order the death sentence and confiscation of property, and whose decisions are not subject to appeal. The General Commissar is given the right to reject a summary Courts' decision. Thus, the determination of the SS is subordinated to the authority of Rosenberg's Ministry.
The position of the General Commissar is defined as follows in the organizational treatise:
Regional Commissars are described as follows:
Main Commissars are described in these terms:
The order of superiority in the service among these various officials is stated as follows:
Thus, there is a continuous chain of command and of accountability from the Reich Minister, Rosenberg, down through each subdivision of the Ministry.
Furthermore, Rosenberg had authority to legislate for the entire area, and the jurisdiction of his Ministry was exclusive, aside from that of the military. The organizational treatise states :
The following passage shows that the economic exploitation of the territory was undertaken in fullest cooperation with the Commissioner of the Four-Year Plan:
"The Fuehrer has entrusted Reich Marshal Hermann Goering, as Commissioner for the Four Year Plan, with the supervision of the tasks of the war economy in the Occupied Eastern Territories. The economic inspectorates and economic commands are active there as his representatives [Organe] [see Green Folio], These economic inspectorates and economic commands will be substantially absorbed in the agencies of the civil administration after the establishment of the civil administration." (1056-PS)
Careful provision was made for channeling to Rosenberg complete and accurate information as to the situation throughout the territory governed by him:
The Second Section of this organizational treatise, entitled "Working directives for the Civil Administration," contains this statement:
The document continues as follows:
(b) Rosenberg's Use of His Authority and Power for Criminal Purposes. The manner in which Rosenberg's authority and power were wielded is illustrated in other sections of this volume, which show that in the Eastern Territories millions of Jews were exterminated; that millions of slave laborers were pressed into service under indescribable conditions; that the populace was degraded, starved, beaten, and murdered; and that the country was stripped of its resources. However, in order to illustrate the manner in which Rosenberg participated in the criminal activities conducted within his jurisdiction, four examples may be mentioned.
1. Seizure of Jewish Property. The first illustration is contained in the decree signed by Lohse, Reichscommissar for the Ostland, which is published in the Verordnungsbtatt of the Reichscommissar for the Ostland, 1942, No. 38, pages 158 and 159. This decree provides for the seizure of the entire property of the Jewish population in the Ostland, including the claims of Jews against third parties. The seizure was made retroactive to the day of the occupation of the territory by the German troops. This sweeping decree was issued and published by Rosenberg's immediate subordinate, and it must be assumed that Rosenberg knew of it and acquiesced in it. The power to enact such a decree, as previously outlined, arose by virtue of delegation of that power by Rosenberg to the Reichscommissar.
2. Extermination of Jews. The second illustration is the report of the prison warden of Minsk that 516 German and Russian Jews had been killed. The warden called attention to the fact that valuable gold had been lost due to the failure to knock out the tooth-fillings of the victims before they were done away with (R-135).
3. Deportations for Forced Labor. The third illustration is a letter which Rosenberg wrote to Sauckel on 21 December 1942 in the following terms:
As late as 11 July, 1944 the Rosenberg Ministry was actively concerned with the continuation of the forced labor program in spite of the retreat from the East. A letter from Alfred Meyer, Rosenberg's deputy, addressed to Sauckel, dated 11 July 1944 shows that this time it is Rosenberg's Ministry that is urging action:
4. Economic Exploitation. The final illustration of Rosenberg's criminal responsibility is contained in a secret letter from Rosenberg to Bormann dated 17 October 1944 (327-PS). It furnishes a graphic account of Rosenberg's activities in the economic exploitation of the Occupied East. The first paragraph reads:
There follows a list of nine companies-a trading company, an agricultural development company, a supply company, a pharmaceutical company, and five banking concerns. The mission of the trading company is stated to be:
The letter continues as follows:
"During this period, the Z. O. (Central Trading Corporation) , together with its subsidiaries, has collected: