The following presentation is Count Three from the International Military Tribunal of Major War Criminals, dealing with the western countries in occupied Europe.
Read by; M. PIERRE MOUNIER (Assistant Prosecutor for the French Republic):
COUNT THREE-WAR CRIMES. Charter, Article 6, especially 6 (b)
VIII. Statement of the Offense.
All the defendants committed War Crimes between 1 September 1939 and 8 May 1945, in Germany and in all those countries and territories occupied by the German Armed Forces since 1 September 1939, and in Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Italy, and on the High Seas.
All the defendants, acting in concert with others, formulated and executed a Common Plan or Conspiracy to commit War Crimes as defined in Article 6 (b) of the Charter. This plan involved, among other things, the practice of “total war” including methods of combat and of military occupation in direct conflict with the laws and customs of war, and the perpetration of crimes committed on the field of battle during encounters with enemy armies, against prisoners of war, and in occupied territories against the civilian population of such territories.
The said War Crimes were committed by the defendants and by other persons for whose acts the defendants are responsible (under Article 6 of the Charter) as such other persons when committing the said War Crimes performed their acts in execution of a Common Plan and Conspiracy to commit the said War Crimes, in the formulation and execution of which plan and conspiracy all the defendants participated as leaders, organizers, instigators, and accomplices.
These methods and crimes constituted violations of international conventions, of internal penal laws, and of the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal law of all civilized nations, and were involved in and part of a systematic course of conduct.
(A) Murder and ill-treatment’ of civilian populations of or in occupied territory and on the High Seas. Throughout the period of their occupation of territories overrun by their armed forces, the defendants, for the purpose of systematically terrorizing the inhabitants, ill-treated civilians, imprisoned them without legal process, tortured, and murdered them.
The murders and ill-treatment were carried out by divers means, such as shooting, hanging, gassing, starvation, gross overcrowding, systematic undernutrition, systematic imposition of labor tasks beyond the strength of those ordered to carry them out, inadequate provision of surgical and medical services, kicking’s, beatings, brutality and torture of all kinds, including the use of hot irons and pulling out of fingernails and the performance of experiments by means of operations and otherwise on living human subjects. In some occupied territories the defendants interfered with religious services, persecuted members of the clergy and monastic orders, and expropriated church property. They conducted deliberate and systematic genocide; viz., the extermination of racial and national groups, against the civilian population of certain occupied territories in order to destroy particular races and classes of people, and national, racial, or religious groups, particularly Jews, Poles, and Gypsies.
Civilians were systematically subjected to tortures of all kinds, with the object of obtaining information. Civilians of occupied countries were subjected systematically to “protective arrests”, that is to say they were arrested and imprisoned without any trial and any of the ordinary protections of the law, and they were imprisoned under the most unhealthy and inhumane conditions.
In the concentration camps were many prisoners who were classified “Nacht und Nebel”. These were entirely cut off from the world and were allowed neither to receive nor to send letters. They disappeared without trace and no announcement of their fate was ever made by the German authorities.
Such crimes and ill-treatment are contrary to international conventions, in particular to Article 46 of the Hague Regulations, 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and to Article 5 (b) of the Charter.
The following particulars and all the particulars appearing later in this Count are set out herein by way of example only, are not exclusive of other particular cases, and are stated without prejudice to the right of the Prosecution to adduce evidence of other cases of murder and ill-treatment of civilians.
1. In France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Italy, and the Channel Islands, (hereinafter called the “Western Countries”), and in that part of Germany which lies west of a Line drawn due north and south through the center of Berlin (hereinafter called “Western Germany”).
Such murder and ill-treatment took place in concentration camps and similar establishments set up by the defendants, and particularly in the concentration camps set up at Belsen, Euchenwald, Dachau, Breendonck, Grini, Natzweiler, Ravensbrück, Vught, and Amersfoort, and in numerous cities, towns, and villages, including Oradour sur Glane, Trondheim, and Oslo.
Crimes committed in France or against French citizens took the following forms:
Arbitrary arrests were carried out under political or racial pretexts; they were either individual or collective; notably in Paris (round-up of the 18th Arrondissement by the Field Gendarmerie, round-up of the Jewish population of the 11th Arrondissement in August 1941, round-up in July 1942); at Clermont-Ferrand (round-up of professors and students of the University of Strasbourg, which had been evacuated to Clermont-Ferrand, on 25 November 1943); at Lyons; at Marseilles (round-up of 40,000 persons in January 1943); at Grenoble (round-up of 24 December 1943); at Cluny (round-up on 24 December 1943); at Figeac (round-up in May 1944); at Saint Pol de Léon (round-up in July 1944); at Locmin6 (round-up on 3 July 1944); at Eysieux (round-up in May 1944); and at Meaux-Moussey (round-up in September 1944). These arrests were followed by brutal treatment and tortures carried out by the most diverse methods, such as immersion in icy water, asphyxiation, torture of the limbs, and the use of instruments of torture, such as the iron helmet and electric current, and practiced in all the prisons of France, notably in Paris, Lyons, Marseilles, Rennes, Metz, Clermont-Ferrand, Toulouse, Nice, Grenoble, Annecy, Arras, Béthune, Lille, Loos, Valenciennes, Nancy, Troyes, and Caen, and in the torture chambers fitted up at the Gestapo centers.
In the concentration camps, the health regime and the labor regime were such that the rate of mortality (alleged to be from natural causes) attained enormous proportions, for instance:
1. Out of a convoy of 250 French women deported from Compiegne to Auschwitz in January 1943, 180 had died of exhaustion at the end of 4 months.
2. 143 Frenchmen died of exhaustion between 23 March and 6 May 1943 in Block 8 at Dachau.
3. 1,797 Frenchmen died of exhaustion between 21 November 1943 and 15 March 1945 in the block at Dora.
4. 465 Frenchmen died of general debility in November 1944 at Dora.
5. 22,761 deportees died of exhaustion at Buchenwald between 1 January 1943 and 15 April 1945.
6. 11,560 detainees died of exhaustion at Dachau Camp (most of them in Block 30 reserved for the sick and the infirm) between 1 January and 15 April 1945.
7. 780 priests died of exhaustion at Mauthausen.
8. Out of 2,200 Frenchmen registered at Flossenburg Camp, 1,600 died from supposedly natural causes.
Methods used for the work of extermination in concentration camps were:
Bad treatment, pseudo-scientific experiments (sterilization of women at Auschwitz and at Ravensbrück, study of the evolution of cancer of the womb at Auschwitz, of typhus at Buchenwald, anatomical research at Natzweiler, heart injections at Buchenwald, bone grafting and muscular excisions at Ravensbrück, (et cetera), and by gas chambers, gas wagons, and crematory ovens. Of 228,000 French political and racial deportees in concentration camps, only 28,000 survived.
In France also systematic extermination was practised, notably at Asq on 1 April 1944, at Colpo on 22 July 1944, at Buzet sur Tarn on 6 July 1944 and on 17 August 1944, at Pluvignier on 8 July 1944, at Rennes on 8 June 1944, at Grenoble on 8 July 1944, at Saint Flour on 10 June 1944, at Ruisnes on 10 June 1944, at Nimes, at Tulle, and at Nice, where, in July 1944, the victims of torture were exposed to the population, and at Oradour sur Glane where the entire village population was shot or burned alive in the church. The many charnel pits give proof of anonymous massacres.
Most notable of these are the charnel pits of Paris (Cascade du Bois de Boulogne), Lyons, Saint Genis-Laval, Besancon, Petit Saint Bernard, Aulnat, Caen, Port Louis, Charleval, Fontainebleau, Boucome, Gabaudet, Lhermitage Lorges, Morlaas, Bordelongue, Signe. In the course of a premeditated campaign of terrorism, initiated in Denmark by the Germans in the latter part of 1943, 600 Danish subjects were murdered and, in addition, throughout the German occupation of Denmark large numbers of Danish subjects were subjected to torture and ill-treatment of all sorts. In addition, approximately five hundred Danish subjects were murdered, by torture and otherwise, in German prisons and concentration camps.
In Belgium, between 1940 and 1944, torture by various means, but identical in each place, was carried out at Brussels, Liége, Mons, Ghent, Namur, Antwerp, Tournai, Arlon, Charleroi, and Dinant.
At Vught, in Holland, when the camp was evacuated, about four hundred persons were shot.
In Luxembourg, during the German occupation, 500 persons were murdered and, in addition, another 521 were illegally executed, by order; of such special tribunals as the so-called “Sondergericht”. Many more persons in Luxembourg were subjected to torture and ill-treatment by the Gestapo. At least 4,000 Luxembourg nationals were imprisoned during the period of German occupation, and of these at least 400 were murdered.
Between March 1944 and April 1945, in Italy, at least 7,500 men, women, and children, ranging in years from infancy to extreme old age were murdered by the German soldiery at Civitella, in the Ardeatine Caves in Rome, and at other places.
(B) Deportation, for slave labor and for other purposes, of the civilian populations of and in occupied territories.
During the whole period of the occupation by Germany of both the Western and the Eastern Countries, it was the policy of the German Government and of the German High Command to deport able-bodied citizens from such occupied countries to Germany and to other occupied countries to force them to work on fortifications, in factories, and in other tasks connected with the German war effort.
In pursuance of such policy there were mass deportations from all the Western and Eastern Countries for such purposes during the whole period of the occupation.
These deportations were contrary to the international conventions, in particular to Article 46 of the Hague Regulations, 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and to Article 6 (b) of the Charter.
Particulars of deportations, by way of example only and without prejudice to the production of evidence of other cases, are as follows:
1. From the Western Countries:
From France the following “deportations” of persons for political and racial reasons took place each of which consisted of fromn1,500 to 2,500 deportees: 1940, 3 transports; 1941, 14 transports; 1942, 104 transports; 1943, 257 transports; 1944, 326 transports.
These deportees were subjected to the most barbarous conditions of overcrowding; they were provided with wholly insufficient clothing and were given little’ or no food for several days.
The conditions of transport were such that many deportees died in the course of the voyage, for example:
In one of the wagons of the train which left Compiegne for Buchenwald, on the 17th of September 1943, 80 men died out of 130.
On 4 June 1944, 484 bodies were taken out of a train at Sarrebourg.
In a train which left Compiegne on 2 July 1944 for Dachau, more than 600 dead were found on arrival, i.e. one-third of the total number.
In a train which left Compiggne on 16th of January 1944 for Buchenwald, more than 100 persons were confined in each wagon, the dead and the wounded being heaped in the last wagon during the voyage.
In April 1945, of 12,000 internees evacuated from Buchenwald 4,000 only were still alive when the marching column arrived near Regensburg.
During the German occupation of Denmark, 5,200 Danish subjects were deported to Germany and there imprisoned in concentration camps and other places.
In 1942 and thereafter, 6,000 nationals of Luxembourg were deported from their country under deplorable conditions and many of them perished.
From Belgium, between 1940 and 1944, at least 190,000 civilians were deported to Germany and used as slave labor. Such deportees were subjected to ill-treatment and many of them were compelled to work in armament factories.
From Holland, between 1940 and 1944, nearly half a million civilians were deported to Germany and to other occupied countries.
(C) Murder and ill-treatment of prisoners of war, and of other members of the armed forces of the countries with whom Germany was at war, and of persons on the High Seas.
The defendants ill-treated and murdered prisoners of war by denying them suitable food, shelter, clothing, and medical care and other attention; by forcing them to labor in inhumane conditions; by humiliating them, torturing them, and by killing them. The German Government and the German High Command imprisoned prisoners of war in various concentration camps, where they were killed or subjected to inhuman treatment by the various methods set forth in Paragraph VIII (A).
Members of the armed forces of the countries with whom Germany was at war were frequently murdered while in the act of surrendering.
These murders and ill-treatment were contrary to international conventions, particularly Articles 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the Hague Regulations, 1907, and to Articles 2, 3, 4, and 6 of the Prisoners of War Convention, Geneva, 1929, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and to Article 6 (b) of the Charter.
Particulars by way of example and without prejudice to the production of evidence of other cases, are as follows:
In the Western Countries:
French officers who escaped from Oflag X C were handed over to the Gestapo and disappeared; others were murdered by their guards; others sent to concentration camps and exterminated. Among others, the men of Stalag VI C were sent to Buchenwald.
Frequently prisoners captured on the Western Front were obliged to march to the camps until they completely collapsed. Some of them walked more than 600 kilometers with hardly any food; they marched on for 48 hours running, without being fed; among them a certain number died of exhaustion or of hunger; stragglers were systematically murdered.
The same crimes were committed in 1943, 1944, and 1945, when the occupants of the camps were withdrawn before the Allied advance, particularly during the withdrawal of the prisoners from Sagan on February 8th, 1945.
Bodily punishments were inflicted upon non-commissioned officers and cadets who refused to work. On December 24th, 1943, three French non-commissioned officers were murdered for that motive in Stalag IV A. Much ill-treatment was inflicted without motive on other ranks; stabbing with bayonets, striking with rifle-butts, and whipping; in Stalag XX B the sick themselves were beaten many times by sentries; in Stalag III B and Stalag III C worn-out prisoners were murdered or grievously wounded. In military jails, in Graudenz for instance, in reprisal camps, as in Rava-Ruska, the food was so insufficient that the men lost more than 15 kilograms in a few weeks. In May 1942, one loaf of bread only was distributed in Rava-Ruska to each group of 35 men.
Orders were given to transfer French officers in chains to the camp of Mauthausen after they had tried to escape. At their arrival in camp they were murdered, either by shooting or by gas, and their bodies destroyed in the crematorium.
American prisoners, officers and men, were murdered in Normandy during the summer of 1944 and in the Ardennes in December 1944. American prisoners were starved, beaten, and mutilated in various ways in numerous Stalags in Germany or in the occupied countries, particularly in 1943, 1944, and 1945.
(D) Killing of hostages.
Throughout the territories occupied by the German Armed Forces in the course of waging their aggressive wars, the defendants adopted and put into effect on a wide scale the practice of taking and killing hostages from the civilian population. These acts were contrary to international conventions, particularly Article 50 of the Hague Regulations, 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and to Article 6 (b) of the Charter.
Particulars, by way of example and without prejudice to the production of evidence of other cases, are as follows:
In the Western Countries:
In France hostages were executed either individually or collectively; these executions took place in all the big cities of France, among others in Paris, Bordeaux, and Nantes, as well as at Chateau-briant.
In Holland many hundreds of hostages were shot at the following among- other places: Rotterdam, Apeldoorn, Amsterdam, Benshop, and Haarlem.
In Belgium many hundreds of hostages were shot during the period 1940 to 1944.
M. CHARLES GERTHOFFER (Assistant Prosecutor for the French Republic) [Continuing the reading of the Indictment]:
(E) Plunder of public and private property.
The defendants ruthlessly exploited the people and the material resources of the countries they occupied, in order to strengthen the Nazi war machine, to depopulate and impoverish the rest of Europe, to enrich themselves and their adherents, and to promote German economic supremacy over Europe.
The defendants engaged in the following acts and practices, among others:
1. They degraded the standard of life of the people of occupied countries and caused starvation by stripping occupied countries of foodstuffs for removal to Germany.
2. They seized raw materials and industrial machinery in all of the occupied countries, removed them to Germany and used them in the interest of the German war effort and the German economy.
3. In all the occupied countries, in varying degrees, they confiscated businesses, plants, and other property.
4. In an attempt to give color of legality to illegal acquisitions of property, they forced owners of property to go through the forms of “voluntary” and “legal” transfers.
5. They established comprehensive controls over the economies of all of the occupied countries and directed their resources, their production, and their labor in the interests of the German war economy, depriving the local populations of the products of essential industries.
6. By a variety of financial mechanisms, they despoiled all of the occupied countries of essential commodities and accumulated wealth, debased the local currency systems and disrupted the local economies. They financed extensive purchases in occupied countries through clearing arrangements by which they exacted loans from the occupied countries. They imposed occupation levies, exacted financial contributions, and issued occupation currency, far in excess of occupation costs. They used these excess funds to finance the purchase of business properties and supplies in the occupied countries.
7. They abrogated the rights of the local populations in the occupied portions of the U.S.S.R. and in Poland and in other countries to develop or manage agricultural and industrial properties, and reserved this area for exclusive settlement, development, and ownership by Germans and their so-called racial brethren.
8. In further development of their plan of criminal exploitation, they destroyed industrial cities, cultural monuments, scientific institutions, and property of all types in the occupied territories to eliminate the possibility of competition with Germany.
9. From their program of terror, slavery, spoliation, and organized outrage, the Nazi conspirators created an instrument for the personal profit and aggrandizement of themselves and their adherents. They secured for themselves and their adherents:
(a) Positions in administration of business involving power, influence, and lucrative prerequisites;
(b) The use of cheap forced labor;
(c) The acquisition on advantageous terms of foreign properties, raw materials, and business interests;
(d) The basis for the industrial supremacy of Germany.
These acts were contrary to international conventions, particularly Articles 46 to 56 inclusive of the Hague Regulations, 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and to Article 6 (b) of the Charter.
Particulars, by way of example and without prejudice to the production of evidence of other cases, are as follows:
1. Western Countries:
There was plundered from the Western Countries from 1940 to 1944, works of art, artistic objects, pictures, plastics, furniture, textiles, antique pieces, and similar articles of enormous value to the number of 21,903.
In France statistics show the following:
Removal of raw materials:
Coal, 63,000,000 tons; electric energy, 20,976 Mkwh; petrol and fuel, 1,943,750 tons; iron ore, 74,848,000 tons; siderurgical products, 3,822,000 tons; bauxite, 1,211,800 tons; cement, 5,984,000 tons; Lime, 1,888,000 tons; quarry products 25,872,000 tons; and various other products to a total value of 79,961,423,000 francs.
Removal of industrial equipment: total-9,759,861,000 francs, of which 2,626,479,000 francs of machine tools.
Removal of agricultural produce: total-126,655,852,000 francs; i.e. for the principal products:
Wheat, 2,947,337 tons; oats, 2,354,080 tons; milk, 790,000 hectolitres, (concentrated and in powder, 460,000 hectolitres); butter, 76,000 tons; cheese, 49,000 tons; potatoes, 725,975 tons; various vegetables, 575,000 tons; wine, 7,647,000 hectolitres; champagne, 87,000,000 bottles; beer 3,821,520 hectolitres; various kinds of alcohol, 1,830,000 hectolitres.
Removal of manufactured products to a total of 184,640,0000,000 francs.
Plundering: Francs 257,020,024,000 from private enterprise, Francs 55,000,100,000 from the State.
Financial exploitation: From June 1940 to September 1944 the French Treasury was compelled to pay to Germany .631,866,000,000 francs.
Looting and destruction of works of art: The museums of Nantes,
Nancy, Old-Marseilles were looted.
Private collections of great value were stolen. In this way, Raphaels, Vermeers, Van Dycks, and works of Rubens, Holbein, Rembrandt, Watteau, Boucher disappeared. Germany compelled France to deliver up “The Mystic Lamb” by Van Eyck, which Belgium had entrusted to her.
In Norway and other occupied countries decrees were made by which the property of many civilians, societies, et cetera, was confiscated.
An immense amount of property of every kind was plundered from France, Belgium, Norway, Holland, and Luxembourg.
As a result of the economic plundering of Belgium between 1940 and 1944 the damage suffered amounted to 175 billions’ of Belgian francs.
(F) The exaction of collective penalties.
The Germans pursued a systematic policy of inflicting, in all the occupied countries, collective penalties, pecuniary and otherwise, upon the population for acts of individuals for which it could not be regarded as collectively responsible; this was done at many places, including Oslo, Stavanger, Trondheim, and Rogaland.
Similar instances occurred in France, among others in Dijon, Nantes, and as regards the Jewish population in the occupied territories.
The total amount of fines imposed on French communities adds up to 1,157,179,484 francs made up as follows: A fine on the Jewish population,’ 1,000,000,000; various fines, 157,179,484.
These acts violated Article 50, Hague Regulations, 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and Article 6 (b) of the Charter.
(G) Wanton destruction of cities, towns, and villages, and devastation not justified by military necessity.
The defendants wantonly destroyed cities, towns, and villages, and committed other acts of devastation without military justification or necessity. These acts violated Articles 46 and 50 of the Hague Regulations, 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and Article 6 (b) of the Charter.
Particulars, by way of example only and without prejudice to the production of evidence of other cases, are as follows:
1. Western Countries:
In March 1941 part of Lofoten in Norway was destroyed.
In April 1942 the town of Telerag in Norway was destroyed. Entire villages were destroyed in France, among others, Oradour sur Glane, Saint Nizier in Gascogne, La Mure, Vassieu, La Chappelle en Vercors. The town of Saint Dié was burnt down and destroyed. The Old Port District of Marseilles was dynamited in the beginning of 1943 and resorts along the Atlantic and the Mediterranean coasts, particularly the town of Sanary, were demolished.
In Holland there was most widespread and extensive destruction, not justified by military necessity, including the destruction of harbors, locks, dykes, and bridges; immense devastation was also caused by inundations which equally were not justified by military necessity.
(H) Conscription of civilian labor.
Throughout the occupied territories the defendants conscripted and forced the inhabitants to labor and requisitioned their services for purposes other than meeting the needs of the armies of occupation and to an extent far out of proportion to the resources of the countries involved. All the civilians so conscripted were forced to work for the German war effort. Civilians were required to register and many of those who registered were forced to join the Todt Organization and the Speer Legion, both of which were semi-military organizations involving some military training. These acts violated Articles 46 and 52 of the Hague Regulations, 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and Article 6 (b) of the Charter.
Particulars, by way of example only and without prejudice to the production of evidence of other cases, are as follows:
1. Western Countries:
In France, from 1942 to 1944, 963,813 persons were compelled to work in Germany and 737,000 to work in France for the German Army.
In Luxembourg, in 1944 alone, 2,500 men and 500 girls were conscripted for forced labor.
(I) Forcing civilians of occupied territories to swear allegiance to a hostile power.
Civilians who joined the Speer Legion, as set forth in Paragraph
(H) were required, under threat of depriving them of food, money, and identity papers, to swear a solemn oath acknowledging unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of Germany, which was to them a hostile power.
In Lorraine, civil servants were obliged, in order to retain their positions, to sign a declaration by which they acknowledged the “return of their country to the Reich”, pledged themselves to obey without reservation the orders of their chiefs and put themselves “at the active service of the Führer and of National Socialist greater Germany.”
A similar pledge was imposed on Alsatian civil servants, by threat of deportation or internment.
These acts violated Article 45 of the Hague Regulations, 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of international law, and Article 6 (b) of the Charter.
(J) Germanization of occupied territories.
In certain occupied territories purportedly annexed to Germany the defendants methodically and pursuant to plan endeavoured to assimilate those territories politically, culturally, socially, and economically into the German Reich. They endeavoured to obliterate the former national character of these territories. In pursuance of these plans, the defendants forcibly deported inhabitants who were predominantly non-German and replaced them by thousands of German colonists.
Their plan included economic domination, physical conquest, installation of puppet governments, purported de jure annexation and enforced conscription into the German Armed Forces.
This was carried out in most of the occupied countries especially in Norway, France (particularly in the Departments of Upper Rhine, Lower Rhine, Moselle, Ardennes, Aisne, Nord, Meurthe and Moselle), in Luxembourg, the Soviet Union, Denmark, Belgium, and Holland.
In France in the Departments of Aisne, Nord, Meurthe and Moselle, and especially in that of the Ardennes, rural properties were confiscated by a German state organization which tried to work them under German management.
The landowners of these holdings were dispossessed and turned into agricultural laborers. In the Departments of Upper Rhine, Lower Rhine, and Moselle the methods of Germanization were those of annexation followed by conscription.
1. From the month of August 1940 officials who refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Reich were expelled. On September 21st the expulsion and deportation of population began, and on November 22d, 1940 more than 70,000 Lorrainers or Alsatians were driven into the south zone of France. From July 31, 1941 onwards, more than 100,000 persons were deported into the eastern regions of the Reich or to Poland. All the property of the deportees or expelled persons was confiscated. At the same time, 80,000 Germans coming from the Saar or from Westphalia were installed in Lorraine and 2,000 farms belonging to French people were transferred to Germans.
2. From 2 January 1942 all the young people of the Departments of Upper Rhine and Lower Rhine, aged from 10 to 18 years, were incorporated in the Hitler Youth. The same measures were taken in the Moselle from 4 August 1942. From 1940 all the French schools were closed, their staffs expelled, and the German school system was introduced in the three departments.
3. On the 28th of September 1940 an order applicable to the Department of the Moselle ordained the Germanization of all the surnames and Christian names which were French in form. The same measure was taken on the 15th January 1943 in the Departments of Upper Rhine and Lower Rhine.
4. Two orders of the 23rd and 24th August 1942 imposed by force German nationality on French citizens.
5. On the 8th May 1941 for Upper Rhine and Lower Rhine, and on the 23rd April 1941 for the Moselle, orders were promulgated enforcing compulsory labor service on all French citizens of either sex aged from 17 to 25 years. From the 1st January 1942 for young men, and from the 26th January 1942 for young women, national labor service was effectively organized in the Moselle.
This measure came into force on the 27th August 1942 in Upper Rhine and Lower Rhine, but for young men only. The classes of 1940, 1941, 1942 were called up.
6. These contingents were drafted into the Wehrmacht on the expiration of their time in the labor service.
On the 19th August 1942 an order instituted compulsory military service in the Moselle, and on the 25th August 1942 the contingents of 1940 to 1944 were called up in the three Departments.
Conscription was enforced by the German authorities in conformity with the provisions of German legislation. The first induction board took place on the 3rd September 1942. Later, in the Upper Rhine and Lower Rhine new levies were effected everywhere of the contingents from 1928 to 1939 inclusive. The French men who refused to obey these laws were considered as deserters and their families were deported, while their property was confiscated.
These acts violated Articles 43, 46, 55, and 56 of the Hague Regulations, 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and Article 6 (b) of the Charter.
IX. Individual, Group and Organization Responsibility for the Crimes Stated in Count Three.
Reference is hereby made to Appendix A of this Indictment for a statement of the responsibility of the individual defendants for the charge set forth in Count Three of the Indictment. Reference is hereby made to Appendix B of this Indictment for a statement of the responsibility of the groups and organizations named herein as criminal groups and organizations for the crime set forth in this part three of the Indictment.
THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE®
REFERENCE: International Tribunal of Major War Criminals (LOC)
CONTRIBUTOR: Eddy Toorall