19 Dec. 45 |
read the fourth paragraph of the introduction to those rules, a passage which was not read when the document was originally introduced. The fourth paragraph on the first page of the translation and of the original is as follows:
"Tolerance means weakness. In the light of this conception, punishment will be mercilessly handed out whenever the interests of the Fatherland warrant it. The fellow countryman who is decent but misled will never be affected by these regulations. But let it be a warning to the agitating politicians and intellectual provocateurs, regardless of which kind: Be on guard not to be caught, for otherwise it will be your neck and you will be silenced according to your own methods."Those regulations were issued in 1933 by SS Führer Eicke, who, it is to be noted, was the commandant of the SS Totenkopf Verbünde.
Furnishing guard and administrative personnel was not the only function of the SS with relation to the camps. The entire internal management of the camps, including the use of prisoners, their housing, clothing, sanitary conditions, the determination of their very right to live, and the disposal of their remains, was controlled by the SS. Such management was first vested in the Leader of the SS Death's-Head Units who had the title of Inspector of Concentration Camps. This official was originally in the SS Hauptamt represented on the chart by the second box from the left.
During the course of the war, in March 1942, control of concentration camps was transferred to another of the departments of the SS Supreme Command, the SS Economic and Administration Department, commonly known as WHA. That department is indicated on the chart by the 3rd box from the left. And the Court will note under the top box the breakdown "Concentration Camps" which in turn is broken down into "Prison," "Labor," "Medical," and "Administration."
That change was announced in a letter to Himmler, dated 30 April 1942, from the Chief of WHA. The letter is our Document Number R-129 and it has already been received in evidence as Exhibit Number USA-217. I shall not quote from that letter now.
This shift of control to WVHA the economic department of the SS, coincided with a change in the basic purposes of the concentration camps. Political and security reasons, which previously had been the ground for confinement, were abandoned; and the camps were frankly made to serve the slave-labor program. The Tribunal will recall the evidence relating to that program which was presented last week by Mr. Dodd. I shall not deal at any length with the matter again, except to summarize the principal facts
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