From Schirach's IMT testimony: I had the impression that the functionaries of the labor employment administration felt that they had to keep strictly to Sauckel's orders, and in those industrial plants which I visited I was able to ascertain that the requirements stated in the directives were in fact fulfilled. I remember that Sauckel once came to Vienna--I think in 1943--and that on that occasion he addressed all his labor employment functionaries and repeated orally everything that he had stated in his directives. He spoke of the foreign workers in particular, demanding just treatment for them; and I remember that on this occasion he even spoke of putting them on the same footing as German workers. After the Gauleiter assemblies the Fuehrer always held forth in a comparatively large circle just as he did in his speeches. Interviews in the real sense of the word did not exist. He always made speeches. Fixed dates on which Gauleiter could have interviews with Hitler almost ceased to exist once the war had begun . . . .
[A Gauleiter] could ask for an interview [with Hitler], but he did not get it; he received an answer from Bormann, usually in the form of a telegram. That happened to me very frequently, because I made such requests; one was asked to submit in writing the points one wanted to discuss, after which one either received an answer or did not receive one.
From the IMT testimony of Hartmann Lauterbacher: In March 1943, when I made an unofficial visit to Vienna, a very long conversation took place between von Schirach and myself. At that time, von Schirach talked very pessimistically about the prospects of the war and told me that we should soon be fighting outside Vienna, in the Alps and along the Rhine. On that occasion he said that he had not been able to see Adolf Hitler for a very long time; that he had had no further opportunity of reporting to him, as had formerly been the case; and that the Chief of the Party Chancellery, Bormann, had consistently prevented him from seeing the Fuehrer and talking to him alone; and that he therefore no longer had any opportunity whatsoever of discussing Viennese questions or general questions with Hitler. In this connection he also stated that Bormann came to him with objections and complaints every day, cancelling orders and directives he had issued in his capacity of Gauleiter in Vienna, and that in view of all this, it was no longer possible for him to remain in office and to shoulder the responsibility.
At a later stage of that conversation, in the course of which we considered all kinds of possibilities, he said that, as he had sworn an oath of allegiance to Hitler, he felt bound to remain in office whatever happened and that, above all, he could not take the responsibility in the present military situation for abandoning the population over which he had been appointed Gauleiter. He saw the catastrophe coming but said that even his resignation or any action that he might take would not have any influence on the leaders of the State or on Hitler himself and that he would, therefore, remain true to his oath, as a soldier would, and retain his appointment . . . .
I, like all other Gauleiter of the NSDAP, constantly received instructions from Sauckel with regard to the recruitment of labor; that is to say, regarding the welfare of these civilian workers. The instructions which I received as Gauleiter consisted almost exclusively of repeated demands to do everything to satisfy the foreign workers in matters of accommodation, food, clothing, and cultural welfare. It was naturally carried out within the limits of existing possibilities. I myself inspected such camps and especially such factories on my official trips. Apart from that I had, as my Gau supervisor of the German Labor Front, a man who assisted me in this task on such occasions. After the air raids from which Hanover and Brunswick suffered particularly badly from 1943 onwards, I found conditions in foreign civilian labor camps-just as I did in the living quarters of German people-to be what I would call, perhaps not shocking, but certainly very serious; and after that I tried as far as possible to have these destroyed dwellings repaired, for instance, or to have new ones built.
From Goering's IMT testimony: He [Schirach, sent me a wire] suggested that I should tell the Fuehrer to make a change in the Foreign Office immediately [because of the fall of Mussolini] and to replace Ribbentrop with von Papen.
From Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer: [I]n the course of tea-time chatter Bormann would tell [to Hitler] unfavorable anecdotes from Vienna in order to damage Baldur von Schirach, the Hitler Youth leader. But Bormann carefully avoided agreeing with Hitler's subsequent negative remarks. On the contrary, he thought it prudent to praise Schirach afterward—the kind of praise, of course, which would leave an unpleasant aftertaste. After about a year of this sort of thing Bormann had brought Hitler to the point of disliking Schirach and often feeling outright hostility toward him. Then—when Hitler was not around—Bormann would venture to go a step further. With an air of casually dismissing the matter but in reality annihilating the man, he would remark contemptuously that of course Schirach belonged in Vienna since everybody there was intriguing against everybody else . . . . Bormann had already done his work by the spring of 1943.Early 1943: Bormann sends a letter [the text of which I have been unable to locate] to all Gauleiter which Schirach considers was meant solely for him telling the Gauleiter to report whether they had any ties with foreign countries.
From Goering's IMT testimony: This letter of Bormann's was not directed to the Gauleiter to establish whether they personally had connections abroad. Bormann sent, by order of the Fuehrer, a letter to all Gauleiter, and it was not a pro forma letter intended solely for Gauleiter Schirach, but was intended for all. They were to check the political leaders within their jurisdiction to establish whether any of their co-workers or any political leader subordinate to them had family ties or connections abroad, especially in enemy countries, whereby the individual affected might, in some circumstances, have a conflict of conscience or might be of questionable reliability. That was a general directive of the Fuehrer, which also applied to the Officer Corps and not solely to the case of Schirach. I was at headquarters when Schirach's letter arrived and Bormann gave it to the Fuehrer. Schirach replied that, before he could take any steps in this matter with regard to his collaborators or subordinates, he needed some clarification by the Fuehrer as far as his own person was concerned. He went on to describe in brief, in his letter, his family ties in the United States of America, on his mother's side, and also mentioned in this letter that his connection with his relatives abroad was a very cordial one and asked whether, under these circumstances, it was still possible for the Fuehrer to retain him in his position as Gauleiter.June 24, 1943: During a visit to the Berghof by Schirach and his wife, Schirach falls out with Hitler. He will spend the final days of Hitler's Reich in fear of arrest, or worse.
From Schirach's IMT testimony: The difference between Hitler and myself arose primarily over an art exhibition, and the breach between Hitler and myself in 1943 was in the beginning the result of differences of opinion over the cultural policy. In 1943 I was ordered to the Berghof where Hitler, in the presence of Bormann, criticized me violently on account of my cultural work and literally said that I was leading the cultural opposition against him in Germany. And further, in the course of the conversation he said that I was mobilizing the spiritual forces of Vienna and Austria and the spiritual forces of the young people against him in cultural spheres. He said he knew it very well indeed. He had read some of my speeches, primarily the Duesseldorf speech; he had discovered that I had authorized in Weimar and in Vienna art exhibitions of a decadent nature; and he offered me the alternative, either to end this kind of opposition work immediately--then for the time being everything could remain as in the past--or he would stop all Government subsidies for Vienna.
This scene made a frightful impression on me, for it represented to me a breach of Hitler's promised word, since he had granted me absolute freedom of action when he appointed me to the Vienna mission. I then recognized that he nourished an icy hatred toward me, and that behind these statements on cultural policies something else was concealed. Whether he was dissatisfied in every detail with the way I conducted my office in Vienna at the time, I do not know. He rarely expressed himself directly about such matters. From his entourage I learned only of occasional happenings.
I then—and that led to the complete and final break between Hitler and myself a few weeks after I had received this order, if I may call it so, received a strange invitation for myself and my wife to spend some time on the Berghof. At that time I innocently believed that Hitler wished to bridge the gap between us and to let me know, in one way or another, that he had gone too far. In any case, at the end of a 3 days' visit—I cut my stay short—I discovered that this was a fundamental error on my part. Here I will limit myself to a few points only. I had intended—and I also carried out my intention—to mention at least three points during my visit. One was the policy toward Russia, the second was the Jewish question, and the third was Hitler's attitude toward Vienna.
I must state, to begin with, that Bormann had issued a decree addressed to me, and probably to all the other Gauleiter’s, prohibiting any intervention on our part in the Jewish question. That is to say, we could not intervene with Hitler in favor of any Jew or half-Jew. That too was stated in the decree. I have to mention this, since it makes matters clearer.
On the first evening of my stay at the Berghof, on what appeared to me a propitious occasion, I told Hitler that I was of the opinion that a free and autonomous Ukraine would serve the Reich better than a Ukraine ruled by the violence of Herr Koch. That was all I said, nothing more, nothing less. Knowing Hitler as I did, it was extremely difficult even to hazard such a remark. Hitler answered comparatively quietly but with pronounced sharpness. On the same evening, or possibly the next one, the Jewish question was broached according to a plan I made with my wife. Since I was forbidden to mention these things even in conversation, my wife gave the Fuehrer a description of an experience she had had in Holland. She had witnessed one night, from the bedroom of her hotel, the deportation of Jewish women by the Gestapo. We were both of the opinion that this experience during her journey and the description of it might possibly result in a change of Hitler's attitude toward the entire Jewish question and in the treatment of the Jews. My wife gave a very drastic description, a description such as we can now read in the papers.
Hitler was silent. All the other witnesses to this conversation, including my own father-in-law, Professor Hoffmann, were also silent. The silence was icy, and after a short time Hitler merely said, "This is pure sentimentality." That was all. No further conversation took place that evening. Hitler retired earlier than usual. I was under the impression that a perfectly untenable situation had now arisen. Then the men of Hitler's entourage told my father-in-law that from now on I would have to fear for my safety. I endeavored to get away from the Berghof as quickly as possible without letting matters come to an open break, but I did not succeed.
Then Goebbels arrived on the next evening and there, in my presence and without my starting it, the subject of Vienna was broached. I was naturally compelled to protest against the statements that Goebbels at first made about the Viennese. Then the Fuehrer began with) I might say, incredible and unlimited hatred to speak against the people of Vienna. I have to admit, here and now, that even if the people of Vienna are cursing me today, I have always felt very friendly toward them. I have felt closely attached to those people. I will not say more than that Joseph Weinheber was one of my closest friends. During that discussion, I, in accordance with my duty and my feelings, spoke in favor of the people under my authority in Vienna.
At 4 o'clock in the morning, among other things, Hitler suddenly said something that I should now like to repeat for historical reasons. He said, "Vienna should never have been admitted into the Union of Greater Germany." Hitler never loved Vienna. He hated its people. I believe that he had a liking for the city because he appreciated the architectural design of the buildings on the Ring. But everybody who knows Vienna knows that the true Vienna is architecturally Gothic, and that the buildings on the Ring are not really representative . . . .
I only want to say that so total a break resulted from that discussion--or, rather explosion--of Hitler's that on that very night at about 0430 I took my leave and left the Berghof a few hours later. Since then I had no further conversations with Hitler.
From Goering's IMT testimony: At that time the Fuehrer had not been kindly disposed to von Schirach for several months and had repeatedly considered withdrawing him from office. He said on this occasion--and that is how I came into possession of this letter, for he handed it to me: "Schirach seems to plan for his future protection. I have a certain suspicion." Then, in the presence of Bormann, I told the Fuehrer very clearly and definitely that this was entirely unfounded; that I could not understand his attitude toward Schirach, and that Schirach had done the only possible and decent thing when, before dismissing any of his collaborators or subordinates for such reasons, he demanded the clarification of his own position, since his connections were known; and that, in my opinion, this letter had no other purpose . . . . I know that Bormann and Himmler were opposed to Schirach. Whether they wanted to give this letter an entirely different interpretation in order to induce the Fuehrer to recall Schirach and eliminate him, and how far Himmler's suggestion went, whether protective custody was considered, I do not know. But I heard about these things from other sources later on.
From Schirach's IMT testimony: I must now refer to something else in this connection. Reich Marshal Goering, in the witness box, mentioned a letter of mine which Hitler had shown him, and Herr Von Ribbentrop has stated here that he was present at a conversation during which Himmler suggested to Hitler that I be indicted before the People's Court, which meant in reality that I should be hanged. I must add one thing more: What Goering said about this letter is mainly true. I wrote in quite a proper manner about family relations in that letter. I also wrote one sentence to the effect that I considered war with America a disaster . . . .
The letter was correct. It was written by hand, and no secretary read it. It went by courier to the head of the State. It is also possible that it was addressed in care of Bormann. I cannot remember exactly. It went by courier, and that letter contained nothing else but the clarification required for replying to questions put to me in a circular which Goering mentioned in his statement here. That letter caused Hitler to have an absolute loathing for me; and at about the same time a file was started against me in the Reich Security Main Office. That was due to the fact that I had described in a small circle of political leaders--of high-ranking political leaders--the foreign political situation such as I saw it, as I was accustomed to do from the days of my youth. One of these leaders was an SS intelligence officer and reported what I said, and then the file was started. The material was compiled in order to eventually bring me to trial. That I was never brought to trial I owe solely and exclusively to the circumstance that both in the Army and at home my comrades from the Youth Leadership stood solidly behind me, and any proceedings against me would have led to trouble. After 20 July 1944 my situation became very precarious. My friends in the Army, therefore, placed a company of hand-picked men at my disposal. They were under the orders of the former adjutant of Generaloberst Fromm. The company was directly subordinate to me. It took over the protection of my person and remained with me to the end.
From Schirach's IMT testimony: The ... document, which is signed by one Otto Kohler, who calls himself the "D. J. leader"--probably German youth leader--in Subdivision 7, to that document I can only say that it was taken from a book about German youth in Hungary which appeared in 1943. In the Batchka we had a very large settlement of Germans, people who had been living there for 150 or 200 years, and this youth leader organized the German youth there with the approval of the Hungarian Government and the Hungarian Minister of Education and in collaboration with other Hungarian authorities. It was an entirely legal measure, and no controversy existed about it between the two countries. These young people were not members of the German Hitler Youth, but they belonged to Hungarian youth groups of the German minority in Hungary. Of course we visited these youths. When, for instance, I was a guest in Budapest, the Hungarians themselves asked me whether I would like to visit the villages and the youth of the German minority. Neither the Regent nor any other government authority had any objections to this. There was no reason why I should ask German youth leaders to engage in espionage in Hungary. I could just as easily have asked Hungarian youth leaders with whom I was on very good terms . . . .
The foreign office of the Reich Youth Leadership was, if I may say so, the "foreign office" of the younger generation. It was the task of the foreign office to maintain contact with other national youth organizations, to invite youth leaders from abroad, to organize tours of foreign youth organizations through Germany, and to arrange visits of German youth to other countries, in co-operation with the foreign offices of those countries; in a case like this, the foreign office of the Reich Youth Leadership would approach the Foreign Office, and the Foreign Office would approach the ambassador or representative of the country involved. The Organization of Youth Abroad to which you are referring was an organization subordinate to the Organization of Germans Abroad, the head of which was Gauleiter Bohle, who has already been heard in this court. This youth abroad consisted of German nationals who formed units of the Hitler Youth in the countries where they were living.
From Schirach's IMT testimony: I began to read it, but I did not read the whole book. The youth leaders certainly did not read the Myth of the Twentieth Century.1944: Schirach publishes a small book entitled A Good Year 1944, with the sub-title Christmas Gift of the War Welfare Service of Reich Leader Von Schirach.
From Schirach's IMT testimony: That is correct [that I had difficulties with Reichsleiter Bormann because of the book]. I had that Christmas gift made for, I believe 80,000 to 100,000 soldiers and sent to them at the front as late as 1944. I did not hear anything directly from Bormann, but he suddenly asked for 10 copies of that book; and I was informed by people who were near the Fuehrer in his headquarters that he used that book in some way in order to incite Hitler against me. In spite of many hints by Bormann, I never left the Church.
Also in the collection of poems, The Flag of the Persecuted, which I do not have here unfortunately but which was distributed among the youth in a very large edition, where my revolutionary poems can be found, there are poems of a Christian content which, however, were not reprinted by the Party press in the newspapers and therefore did not become so well-known as my other verses. But I should like to express quite clearly that I was an opponent of confessional youth organizations, and I wish to make it just as clear that I was not an opponent of the Christian religions.
As far as my religious attitude is concerned, I always identified myself with the thoughts expressed in Wilhelm Meister's Wanderjahre about religions in general and the importance of the Christian religion in particular. I should like to say here that in my work as an educator I was mistaken in holding the opinion that positive Christianity existed outside of the Church.
However, I never made any anti-Christian statements; and I should like to say here for the first time in public that in the closest circles of the Hitler Youth I have always expressed a very unequivocal belief in the person and teachings of Christ. Before educators of the Adolf Hitler School--a fact which naturally was never allowed to come to the knowledge of the Party Chancellery--I spoke about Christ as the greatest leader in world history and of the commandment to "Love thy neighbor" as a universal idea of our culture. I believe that there are also several testimonials by youth leaders about that in your possession, Mr. Attorney.
From Schirach's IMT testimony: Heuaktion? I do not remember it. I do not know what is meant by that. I do not remember it at the moment; I do not know it. Yes [I now recall], that is an action which I now remember in connection with this Trial. The only thing I can say on this in an official capacity is what Axmann told me during the war--I cannot recall the exact year--namely, that he had placed a large number of young Russians in apprentice hostels and apprentice workshops at the Junkers works in Dessau, and that these youths were extremely well accommodated and looked after there. I had not been in any way concerned with this action before, but as I stated at the beginning of my testimony here, I assume responsibility for the actions of youth in this war; I adhere to that statement. I do not think however, that youth is responsible in this case, and I recall the Defendant Rosenberg's statements that he was complying with the wishes of the Army and an army group in this affair. I cannot add to what I have already said about this program. The war commitment of German youth was under immediate direction of the Reich Youth Leader. From my own knowledge I can give only general but no detailed information . . . . In 1939 and 1940, as long as I was Reich Youth Leader, I myself directed that war commitment.June 30, 1944: Kaltenbrunner informs the mayor of Vienna, SS Brigadefuehrer Blaschke, that four evacuation trains with some 12,000 Hungarian Jews, would be arriving soon: "I beg you to arrange further details with the State Police Office, Vienna, SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr. Ebner, and SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Krumey, of the Special Action Command Hungary, who is at present in Vienna."
From Schirach's IMT testimony: I do not know of the correspondence between the Codefendant Kaltenbrunner and the mayor of Vienna. To my knowledge Camp Strasshof is not within Gau Vienna at all. It is in an altogether different Gaul The designation, "Vienna-Strasshof," is, therefore, an error. The border runs in between the two. I know of that matter only from this courtroom, but I remember that mention was made about the use of Jewish workers in connection with the building of the Southeast Wall or fortifications. The Southeast Wall, however, was not in the area of Reich Gau Vienna. It was a project in the area of Gau Lower Danube, Lower Austria, or Styria. I had nothing to do with the construction of the Southeast Wall; that was in the hands of Dr. Jury, that is, the ... Organization Todt. And in the other part of the border it was in the hands of Dr. Uiberreither, the Gauleiter of Styria, and his technical assistants. I cannot understand what connection there should be with Gau Vienna. Whether the mayor intended to divert some of these workers for special tasks in Vienna is not known to me. I do not know about that matter.July 20, 1944: Hitler survives an assassination attempt (bomb explosion) during a war conference.
From Schirach's IMT testimony: I have already said that I do not wish to minimize my responsibility in this connection. But it was not until later that I was informed of this matter. Not I, but somebody else was Youth Leader of the German Reich in that year; and he made the agreement with the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force and the Reichsfuehrer SS. I was at Vienna, and the date was 20 July 1944. You will remember that the history-making events of that time were occupying all officials in Germany to a very great extent. Later I heard about this matter from Axmann, and I know that the accommodation, training, feeding, and the whole treatment of these Russian youths was actually excellent. I do not believe that those are these young people who were accommodated in apprentice hostels and who under exceptionally well-ordered conditions received very good professional training. Youth leaders were active within the framework of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories. And on the basis of what I have heard here during the Trial, I can perfectly well understand that the generals in the East said that the young people must be taken out of the combat zone. The point was that these youngsters from 10 to 14 years of age had to be taken away from the front.Mid-1944: According to Schirach's Nuremberg testimony, Dr. Colin Ross, a friend, informs him of the mass murder of the Jews in the East.
From Schirach's IMT testimony: Counsel, if I at that time [September 1942] had known anything about the destruction--that is the extermination of the Jews--I would not be sitting here today. As far as I can recall, I heard about an extermination of the Jews for the first time through the following incident: Dr. Colin Ross came to Vienna in 1944 and told me that he had received information, via the foreign press, that mass murders of Jews had been perpetrated on a large scale in the East. I then attempted to find out all I could. What I did discover was that in the Warthegau (a Gau, a district on the Polish border) executions of Jews were carried out in gas vans. These shootings in the East ... the executions, the shootings on Russian territory, mentioned in the documents submitted in the course of the cross-examination in the Kaltenbrunner case, were not known to me at that time. But at a later date--it was before 1944--I heard about shootings in the ghettos of the Russian area and connected this with developments on the front, since I thought of possible armed uprisings in the ghettos. I knew nothing of the organized annihilation which has been described to us in the Trial . . . .
I believe I have to explain something more about it. I asked myself what can one do to prevent it? And I still ask myself, day after day, what did I do to prevent it? I can only answer practically nothing, since from 1943 on I was politically dead. Beyond what I had attempted in 1943 on the Berghof, I could do nothing at all . . . . I asked numerous questions of everyone I could reach, in order to get definite information. I Could not obtain any really definite information. Most people had no information. I only received positive-that is, detailed-information by way of the Warthegau.
From Schirach's IMT testimony: Yes [a considerable number went to the SS], but Hauptbannfuehrer Nickel's letter bears a stamp with the words "Reich Minister for Occupied Eastern Territories." That means he was not acting on behalf of the Reich Youth Leader's department but on behalf of the Reich Ministry for the East ... I hear this for the first time from this document. I was not informed of the activities of the Eastern Ministry in Russia, and I do not know what assignment the Eastern Ministry gave to Hitler Youth Leader Nickel. I assume responsibility for what was done on my orders, but anything done on the orders of others must be their responsibility. I received no written or verbal report from Nickel. His report, as can be seen from the letter, went to the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, and to what extent the Reich Youth Leader was being informed is not known to me. I myself do not know what took place. What I do know of the entire affair I very clearly stated in my testimony with reference to the Junkers works and the professional training which these youngsters were given in Germany. Apart from that I have no further knowledge . . . . I have no knowledge of it, but I assume responsibility for it.January 27, 1945: Soviet troops enter the Auschwitz camp complex and liberate 7,000 prisoners.
From Schirach's IMT testimony: It [Auschwitz] is the greatest, the most devilish mass murder known to history. But that murder was not committed by Hoess; Hoess was merely the executioner. The murder was ordered by Adolf Hitler, as is obvious from his last will and testament. The will is genuine. I have held the photostat copy of that will in my hands. He and Himmler jointly committed that crime which, for all time, will be a stain in the annals of our history. It is a crime which fills every German with shame.
The youth of Germany is guiltless. Our youth was anti-Semitically inclined, but it did not call for the extermination of Jewry. It neither realized nor imagined that Hitler had carried out this extermination by the daily murder of thousands of innocent people. The youth of Germany who, today, stand perplexed among the ruins of their native land, knew nothing of these crimes, nor did they desire them. They are innocent of all that Hitler has done to the Jewish and to the German people.
I should like to say the following in connection with Hoess' case. I have educated this generation in faith and loyalty to Hitler. The Youth Organization which I built up bore his name. I believed that I was serving a leader who would make our people and the youth of our country great and happy and free. Millions of young people believed this, together with me, and saw their ultimate ideal in National Socialism. Many died for it. Before God, before the German nation, and before my German people I alone bear the guilt of having trained our young people for a man whom I for many long years had considered unimpeachable, both as a leader and as the head of the State, of creating for him a generation who saw him as I did. The guilt is mine in that I educated the youth of Germany for a man who murdered by the millions. I believed in this man, that is all I can say for my excuse and for the characterization of my attitude. This is my own--my own personal guilt.
I was responsible for the youth of the country. I was placed in authority over the young people, and the guilt is mine alone. The younger generation is guiltless. It grew up in an anti-Semitic state, ruled by anti-Semitic laws. Our youth was bound by these laws and saw nothing criminal in racial politics. But if anti-Semitism and racial laws could lead to an Auschwitz, then Auschwitz must mark the end of racial politics and the death of anti-Semitism. Hitler is dead. I never betrayed him; I never tried to overthrow him; I remained true to my oath as an officer, a youth leader, and an official. I was no blind collaborator of his; neither was I an opportunist. I was a convinced National Socialist from my earliest days--as such, I was also an anti-Semite. Hitler's racial policy was a crime which led to disaster for 5,000,000 Jews and for all the Germans. The younger generation bears no guilt. But he who, after Auschwitz, still clings to racial politics has rendered himself guilty. That is what I consider my duty to state in connection with the Hoess case.
From the IMT testimony of Fritz Wieshofer: I talked about these orders with Herr von Schirach. Von Schirach was always against the idea contained in the order, and he always said that these airmen, too, should be treated as prisoners of war. Once he said: "If we do not do that, then there is the danger that our enemies, too, will treat their prisoners, that is Germans, in the same manner."
During one of the last air attacks on Vienna, in March 1945, an American plane was shot down and crashed near the headquarters of the Gau command post. That command post was on a wooded hill in Vienna to which part of the population used to go during air attacks. Von Schirach was watching from a 32-meter high iron structure on which he would always stand during air attacks, and he observed that a member of the American crew bailed out of the aircraft. He immediately ordered the commander in charge of this command post to drive to the place of the landing so as to protect the American soldier against the crowd and bring him to safety. The American soldier was brought to the command post and after the air attack he was handed over to the Air Force Command XVII as a prisoner of war.
From Schirach's IMT testimony: I can tell you exactly from memory what Himmler said at that time. Himmler came to Vienna towards the middle, or the end of March, to talk to the Commander of Army Group South. On this occasion—the Commander of Army Group South was, of course, not stationed in Vienna, he had ordered all the Reichsstatthalter of the Ostmark up to Vienna and granted them full authority to enforce martial law in the future, since Vienna and some of the other Ostmark Gau had by that time become almost front-line zones. At this conference Himmler told his adjutant to call Ziereis in, while the papers for full powers were being typed in the next room. That is how I came to meet Ziereis for the second time in my life.
And now Himmler did not, as Marsalek said, tell Ziereis that the Jews were to be marched on foot from the Southeast Wall to Mauthausen, but he did say something else which surprised me enormously. He said: "I want the Jews now employed in industry to be taken by boat, or by bus if possible, under the most favorable food conditions and with medical care, et cetera, to Linz or Mauthausen."
I do not quite remember whether he said they should be taken to Mauthausen, but he also said to Ziereis: "Please take care of these Jews and treat them well; they are my most valuable assets." From this declaration I assumed, in the very beginning—it was my very first, fleeting impression—that Himmler wished to deceive me in some way or another, and then it became clear to me that with these instructions he was following certain foreign political intentions, in the last moments of the war, in emphasizing the excellent treatment of the Jews.
What Marsalek therefore said about making them go on foot is not correct. As I have already mentioned, Himmler, under all circumstances, wanted the best possible treatment to be given to the Jews. I gained the impression—and later on it was confirmed by other things we heard—that he wished, at the last minute, to somehow redeem himself with this treatment of the Jews.
From the IMT testimony of Fritz Wieshofer: As adjutant I was responsible for the handling of the mail, engagements for conferences, seeing to it that files were presented on time at conferences, travel arrangements, and so on. The forced evacuation of Jews from Vienna, as far as I know, was handled by the RSHA. The representative in Vienna was a certain Dr. Brunner, an Obersturmfuehrer in the SS.
In some cases, Jews who were affected by this forced evacuation made written applications to von Schirach to be left out of the transport. In such cases, von Schirach, through the Chief of his Central Bureau, took the matter up with Dr. Brunner's office and asked that the request of the applicant be granted. I would say that generally this was done by the Chief of the Central Bureau. I remember two cases where I myself received instructions to intervene with Dr. Brunner, not by writing or telephoning, but by going to see him personally.
Dr. Brunner only told me, on the occasion of one of these interventions, that the action of resettling the Jews would be a resettlement from the district of Vienna into the zone of the former Government General. He also told me in what way this was being carried out. For instance he said that women and small children would travel in second-class carriages; that sufficient rations for the journey and milk for small children would be provided. He also told me that these resettled persons, upon arrival at their destination, insofar as they were capable of working, would immediately be put to work. First of all, they would be put into assembly camps, but that as soon as accommodation was available, they would be given homes, et cetera. He also told me that because of the numerous interventions by Herr von Schirach his work had been made very difficult.
From Schirach's IMT testimony: Yes [Himmler granted me those powers], and that made me lord of life and death. I appointed the members of the court martial. An outstanding lawyer was the president (I think he was president of a district court, or something of the kind. I cannot quite remember; I have forgotten.). I never convened the drumhead court martial and I never once imposed a death sentence. If I remember rightly, the military court martial of the local military commandant passed four death sentences on four military traitors. My court martial never met and never passed a death sentence. The Vienna commandant was, of course, president of that particular court, and I was the head of court martial "Schirach." . . . .
It has escaped my knowledge, that much I must admit, how far crippling and destructive measures were executed in the military and armament sectors, pursuant to direct instructions from the Reich Government. For instance, the dynamiting of bridges was a military precaution. The order could never have emanated from me. Hitler reserved for himself the right to issue the orders for blowing up the bridges over the Danube. The Chief of Army Group South, Generaloberst Rendulic, prior to giving the order for blowing up these bridges, had to consult the Fuehrer's headquarters by telephone.
From the IMT testimony of Unterbannfuehrer Gustav Dietrich Hoepken: I know that so-called courts martial were to be set up with the purpose of speedily sentencing people who objected to the conduct of the war or who showed themselves to be defeatists. This court martial was set up in Vienna, or rather appointed, but it did not meet once, and thus did not pronounce any sentences.
I do not know that franc-tireur [a plain-clothed partisan] units were to be formed, but I do know that a "Freikorps Hitler" was to be formed. They were to be in civilian clothes. Schirach ordered that no people from the Reichsgau Vienna were to be assigned to this "Freikorps." ... Because at that time he considered resistance senseless. Secondly, because he considered it contrary to international law.
From Schirach's IMT testimony: The order for the defense of Vienna originated with Hitler. The defense of Vienna was a matter for the military authorities, that is, the commandant of the city of Vienna, the military commander who was in charge of the 6th SS Panzer Division [which was] Sepp Dietrich, and the officer commanding the Army Group South, Generaloberst Rendulic. In carrying out the order that Hitler had given them regarding the defense of Vienna, they defended Vienna. For the defense of Vienna I gave only such orders as related to the Volkssturm, or those dealing with the food supply of the city and similar matters with which I was charged. I personally had nothing to do with the actual defense of the city. For even the work of destruction which was necessary in the course of the military defense of the city is to be traced back to orders which originated from the Fuehrer's headquarters and had been transmitted to the officer commanding the Army group, and to the city commandant . . . .
I left Gau Vienna after the withdrawal of the last troops from the city (toward the end of the battle for Vienna) and after the command post of the 2d corps of the 6th SS Panzer Army had been moved to the region of the Lower Danube . . . . I prohibited any Werewolf organization in my Gau, but to avoid misunderstandings I must tell you that there was a youth battalion, a Volkssturm battalion, which bore the name of "Werewolf," but there was no Werewolf unit. I invariably refused, both for the young people and the adults, permission to participate in any form of combat contrary to the decrees of international law.
From the IMT testimony of Fritz Wieshofer: We did not take anything with us from Vienna. Von Schirach went by car, and the gentlemen on his staff went in two or three other cars. Nothing else was taken along from Vienna. We had not used the office since, I think, the spring or early summer of 1944, because the "Ballhausplatz," that is, the of lice of the Reich Governor, had a direct hit and von Schirach could no longer work there. He was working in his apartment. He had no files whatever in his apartment. They remained in the office, in that part of the Reich Governor's building which was still being used and in which one could still work. I know that an order existed, both for the State Administration as well as for the Party, that files must be destroyed when the enemy approached. Whether that was done or what actually happened to the files, I do not know. The order, as far as the Party channels were concerned, went to the deputy Gauleiter, and as far as the State Administration was concerned, to the Regierungspraesident.
From Nuremberg: A Nation on Trial by Werner Maser, translated by Richard Barry: No search was instituted for Baldur von Schirach because the Americans thought him to be dead. The rumor went round in Vienna, where Schirach had been Gauleiter, Reichsstatthalter and finally a Reich Defense Commissar, that Schirach had fallen in the fighting round Vienna on 12 or 13 April and that resisters had hung his body from the Floridsdorf Bridge over the Danube before the Russians moved in. The Allies did not know that a week earlier Hitler had ordered his former Reich Youth Leader over the radio to 'report for service in the field in his last rank' and Lieutenant (Reserve) von Schirach had done just that. (Schirach had reported to Sepp Dietrich who had used him as liaison officer between his headquarters and his subordinate corps and divisions.)
On orders from Sepp Dietrich, who was especially apprehensive of Hitler's rage for destruction in the final days of the war, Schirach, who was still head of Civil Administration, drove off during the night 1/2 May with his aide Wieshofer in the direction of the Tyrol; there he was to reconnoiter 'rear positions for the army, the refugees and the wounded crowding into the narrow Danube plain.' His car broke down and he was stranded in Schwaz near Innsbruck; there he was overtaken by news of the formation of a provincial government in Vienna, Doenitz's decisions regarding armistice negotiations and the fact that resistance groups had embarked on an intensive search for 'Nazis.' He threw away his uniform, now an encumbrance, called himself Richard Falk and camouflaged himself as a writer of novels. He heard the announcement from the London BBC that Schirach was dead and talked quite openly to American soldiers (he spoke perfect English). He had a room in the attic of a middle-class house where he worked peacefully on a novel, ''The Secrets of Myrna Loy,' giving his name as Richard Falk, he took books out of the Schwaz public library. His aide is the only person who knew him and helped him.
On 4 June 1945, however, on hearing the radio announcement that all Hitler Youth leaders from Bannfuehrer upwards were under automatic arrest and were to be charged, he gave himself up. He wrote a letter to the local American commander, whose office was in the 'Hotel Post' in Schwaz, stating: 'I, Baldur Benedikt von Schirach, will voluntarily give myself up to occupation authorities today in order to answer for my actions before an international court.' The Americans took this letter as a bad joke, telling that the bearer of it that Schirach was 'after all dead'; they finally arrested him, however, when he himself appeared at headquarters and said to the astonished and skeptical American officers (in English): "I am Schirach."
From Schirach's IMT testimony: I was then still at liberty and I sent a letter, through my adjutant, to the local American commander, stating that I should like to surrender voluntarily in order to be tried by an Allied court. That was in June 1945. The CIC officer who later discovered where I lived told me that I might have stayed there a good time longer. I personally am convinced that I could have remained in hiding there, and elsewhere, for years--as long as I wished.June 7, 1945: Justice Jackson sends off a progress report to President Truman: