17 Dec. 45

basis. The Party Gaue became the basic defense areas of the Reich, and each Gauleiter became a Reich Defense Commissar by a decree of the Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich of 16 November 1942, 1942 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 649, of which I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice. In the course of the war additional functions were entrusted to the Gauleiter, so that at the end, with the exception of certain special matters such as police affairs, almost all phases of the German war economy were co-ordinated and supervised by them. For instance, regional authority over price control was put under the Gauleiter as Reich Defense Commissars, and housing administration was placed under the Gauleiter as Gau Housing Commissars. Toward the end of the war the Gauleiter were charged even with the military and quasi-military tasks. They were made commanders of the Volkssturm in their areas and were entrusted with such important functions as the evacuation of civilian population in the path of the advancing Allied armies as well as measures for the destruction of vital installations.

The structure and organization of the Party Gaue were substantially repeated in the lower levels of the Reich Party organization such as the Kreise, Ortsgruppen, Zellen, and Blocks. Each of these was headed by a political leader who, subject to the Führer principle and the orders of superior political leaders, was a sovereign within his sphere. The Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party was in effect a "hierarchy of descending Caesars." Each of the subordinate Party levels, such as the Kreise, Ortsgruppen, and so on, was organized into offices, or Ämter dealing with the various specialized functions of the Party. But the number of such departments and offices diminished as the Party unit dropped in the hierarchy, so that, while the Kreis office contained all or almost all of the officer, in the Gau (such as the deputy, the staff office leader, an organization leader, school leader, propaganda leader, press office leader, treasurer, judge of the Party court, inspector, and the like), the Ortsgruppe had less, and the Zellen and Blocks still fewer.

The Kreisleiter was appointed and dismissed by Hitler upon the nomination of the Gauleiter and directly subordinate to the Gauleiter in the Party hierarchy. The Kreis usually consisted of a single county. The Kreisleiter, within the Kreis, had in general the same position, powers, and prerogatives granted the Gauleiter in the Gau. In cities they constituted the very core of Party power and organization. I quote again from Page 17 of Document 1893-PS, Page 17 of the English translation:

"The Kreisleiter carries over-all responsibility towards the Gauleiter within his zone of sovereignty for the political and ideological training and organization of the Political Leaders, the Party members, as well as the population".