WITNESS TO HISTORY
VAE VICTIS (WOE TO THE VANQUISHED)
Berlin, April 28th 1945
EVE BRAUN TO HER SISTER
"I must write you these words so that you will not feel sad over our end here in the shelter. It is rather we who are filled with sorrow because it is your fate to live on into the chaos that will follow. For myself, I am glad to die here; glad to be at the side of the Fuhrer; foremost of all, glad that the horror now to come is spared me.
"What could life still give me? It has already been perfect. It has already given me its best and its fullest. Why should I go on living? This is the time to die; the right time. With the Fuhrer I have had everything. To die now, beside him, completes my happiness. Live on well and as happily as you can. Shed no tears nor be regretful over our deaths. It is the perfect and proper ending. None of us would change it now. It is the right end for a German woman."
Dr. JOSEPH GOEBBELS TO HIS STEPSON, HARALD
"My Dear Harald,
"We sit locked in the Fuhrer's shelter in the R.C., fighting for lives and honour. How this battle will end God alone knows. But I know that alive or dead, we will not leave this shelter unless we leave it with honour and glory.
"I hardly believe that we shall ever see each other again; therefore, it is likely that these will be the last lines you will ever receive from me. I expect from you, should you outlive this war, that you do only that which will honour your mother and father. It is not necessary that we be alive to influence the future of our people. It is likely that you will be the only one left to carry on the traditions of our family. Do this always in such a manner that we would never be ashamed of your actions.
"Germany will outlive this terrible war, but only if it has examples upon which to guide its reconstruction. Such an example we want to give here! You can be proud to possess such a mother as yours. Yesterday evening the Fuhrer gave her the gold Party insignia which he wore on his coat for so many years, and she justly deserved it.
"In the future you must know only one duty; to prove yourself worthy of the great sacrifice that we are prepared and determined to make here. I know that you will do that. Do not let yourself be confused by the uproar that will now reign throughout the world. The lies will one day break down under their own weight and the truth will again triumph. The hour will come when we shall stand pure and undefiled as our aims and beliefs have always been.
"Farewell, my dear Harald. Whether we shall ever see each other again lies in the hand of God. If it is not to be, then always be proud to have belonged to a family that even in the face of disaster remains true to the Fuhrer to the very last and true to his pure and Holy cause.
"All the best and my heartfelt greetings. Your Papa"
MAGDA GOEBBELS TO HER SON, HARALD
"My beloved son.
"We have already been here in the Fuhrer's shelter for six days; papa, your six brothers and sisters, and I. We are here to give our National Socialist way of life its only possible and honourable ending.
"Whether you will ever receive this letter I do not know, but perhaps some considerate soul will make it possible for you to receive my last greetings. You must know that it was against papa's wishes that I remained here with him, and that last Sunday the Fuhrer himself wanted to help me get out. You know your mother, for we are the same blood. For me there was no alternative. Our beautiful idea is being destroyed, and with it goes everything I know in this life as being fine, worthy of admiration, noble, and good.
"Life will not be worth living in the world that will come after Hitler and National Socialism.
"Therefore, I have also brought the children here with me. They are too precious for the life that will come after us; a merciful God will understand me when I myself help them to a merciful deliverance. You will live on, and for you I have but one request; never forget that you are a German. Do nothing against your honour and take care that you do nothing with your life that will have made our death purposeless.
"The children are wonderful. Without assistance they help themselves in these more than primitive surroundings. Whether they have to sleep on the floor, whether they are unable to wash, or whether they have nothing to eat, there is neither a word of complaint nor tears. Even for me the shell crashings are nerve-wracking. The small children comfort the even smaller, and the fact of their being here is a blessing if only because every now and then they coax a smile from the Fuhrer.
"Yesterday the Fuhrer removed his golden insignia and pinned it to my dress. I am proud and overjoyed. Got grant that I will have the strength to accomplish the last and most difficult task of all.
"We have only one mind left to us; to be true unto death to the Fuhrer; that we be allowed to end our lives together with him is a merciful fate upon which we could hardly have counted.
"Harald, beloved boy, I give you the best life has taught me, to take on your way with you; be true; be true to yourself, true to your people, and, most of all, be true to your Fatherland - in each and every respect.
"To begin a new page is difficult. Who knows whether I shall still have time to fill it, but I want to give you so much of my love, so much strength, and to take from you all the sorrow of our deaths. Be proud of us, and try to keep us ever in a proud and joyous remembrance. Everyone must one day die. Is it not better, more honourable, and braver to have lived a short happy life rather than a long one and under disgraceful conditions?
"I put my arms around you with the deepest, most heartfelt mother's love.
"My beloved son, live for Germany! Your Mother
THE LAST WORDS OF THE CONDEMNED PRISONERS
"The victor will always be the judge, and the vanquished the accused."
"After the United States gobbled up California and half of Mexico, and we were stripped down to nothing, territorial expansions suddenly becomes a crime. It's been going on for centuries, and it will still go on."
"Hitler was our sovereign. It would have been intolerable for me to have him standing before a foreign court. You men knew the Fuhrer. He would be the first one to stand up and say, 'I have given the orders, and I take full responsibility.' But I would rather die ten deaths than have the German sovereign subjected to such humiliation."
"The death sentence - that doesn't mean a thing to me; but my reputation in history means a lot. That is why I am glad Doenitz got landed with signing the surrender. I wouldn't want my name attached to that thing in future history. A country never thinks well of its leaders who accept defeat. As for death - I haven't been afraid of death since I was twelve or fourteen-years old."
"Next to my own people, I feel closest sympathy with the English. Anyway, one thing is clear - Germany must rise either with the English or the Russians and the Russians seem to have the upper hand. They are clever, too. Fritsche tells me that they keep asking about me. Maybe I would be better off in their hands."
"The Russian atrocity film was a fake. Lots of these pictures were probably taken during their own revolution, like the baskets of heads. Those fields covered with bodies - such pictures are easy to get any time in war. And where did they get the fresh corpses to photograph? They couldn't have come right in ready to take the pictures. They must have shot those people themselves."
"The colonel gaoler ought to bear in mind that he is dealing with historical figures here. Right or wrong, we are historical personalities - and he is a nobody."
"The only allies who are still allies are the four prosecutors, and they are only allied against the twenty defendants."
"I still don't recognizes the authority of the court. Bringing the heads of a sovereign state before a foreign court is a piece of presumption which is unique in history."
"Yes, I still maintain my loyalty to the Fuhrer - in difficult times as well as good."
"Well, I didn't cut a pretty figure, did I? Don't forget that I had the best legal brains in England, America, Russia and France arrayed against me with their whole legal machinery - and there was I, alone!"
"Mass murder? I assure you we never for a moment had such things in mind. I only thought that we would eliminate Jews from positions in big business and government, and that was all. But don't forget that the Jews carried on a terrific campaign against us too, all over the world."
"I wanted to set my people an example that loyalty was not dead."
"My wife can influence me in a lot of things, but as far as my basic code is concerned nothing can sway me. She could have her way in the household, in getting me to do lots of things for her, but when it comes to these basic things in a man's life, it is not a woman's affair."
"My people have been humiliated before. Loyalty and hatred will unite them again. Who knows but that in this very hour the man is born who will unite my people - born of our flesh and bones, to avenge the humiliation we suffer now."
"What the American-controlled newspapers print now in Germany does not count for anything."
"It is no use complaining, Field-Marshall - these people do not have your breeding. They don't understand these things. It is just as I have always told you."
"No wonder you can't find any people with real leadership to take the responsibility of administration in Germany. Do you know why? Because the best nationalist leaders are in gaol and the rest figure that if they carry out de-nazification laws now, who knows but that in ten years - after America leaves, or a fight between East and West changes the situation - they will be brought before a German national court and tried for treason.
"And what do the German people think? I've already told you; whenever things are lousy, we have democracy! Make no mistake about it, the people know that they were better off when Hitler was in power before the war. And don't forget that Hitler was more than just a person to us."
"The next generation is finding its own leaders and they will fight for the protection of their own national interests. So you can take your morality and your repentance and your democracy, and peddle it elsewhere!"
"This is a political trial by the victors, and it will be a good thing for Germany when they realize that."
"Those who kow-towed to the prosecution and denounced the Nazi regime got it in the neck just the same. It serves them right."
"I am glad that it is not a life sentence, because those who are sentenced to life imprisonment never become martyrs."
"Just wait twenty years. Germany will have risen again!"
"Whatever the verdict of this court I shall be held innocent before the Judgement Seat of Christ."
"I should do it all again, even if it meant going to the martyr's stake to be burned. A temporary defeat in war is nothing in terms of history. Nothing can prevent the Germanic race from fulfilling its destiny. When America and Russia have exhausted themselves in war, then will be the time for Germany to rise from the Ashes."
"For me and old, fanatical, National Socialist, I took it all as fact - just as a Catholic believes in his church dogma. It was just truth without question; I had no doubt about that. I was absolutely convinced that the Jews were at the opposite pole from the German people, and that sooner or later there would have to be a clash between National Socialism and world Jewry."
"Every race has the right to protect itself, just as the Jewish race has done for thousands of years. You will have the same problem in America. The whites don't want to intermarry with Negroes. The Nuremberg Laws were for the protection of the Aryan race."
"Hanging! I didn't expect anything different." And, seconds before the trapdoor opened: "Germany for ever!"
"It is ironic, you know, for it was the Frenchman, de Gobineau, who started racial ideology."
"You can't go against the laws of nature. The Austrian and German people simply could not be kept apart. It was like trying to keep apart an irresistible force of nature. I'd just like to see them examine the Anschluss of Azerbaijan by the Russians with the same kinds of arguments and documents."
"On the contrary, my friends, this means the beginning of the Hitler legend."
GENERAL ALFRED JODL
"Hitler talked to me in July, 1940, about the possible hostilities with Russia. He wanted to be ready to forestall an attack by Russia in the autumn. Hitler was convinced that Russia would squeeze or attack us in the near future, and that England would encourage it."
"To the accusation on the bombing of Rotterdam I reply that the losses there were not as heavy as the bombing of Leipzig - after the allies knew that they had won the war. The attack on Russia was based on the opinion of the politicians that the non-aggression pact was not being observed by Russia."
"Now they want to hide the fact that there was a secret treaty with Russia. They cannot do it. I had the advance demarcation line right among my plans, and planned the campaign accordingly."
JOACHIM VON RIBBENTROP
"A few years from now the lawyers of the world will condemn this trial. You cannot have a trial without law."
"Of course I was one of the most faithful followers. The Fuhrer has a terrific magnetic personality. You can't understand it unless you personally experienced it. Six months after his death I still feel it. He fascinated everybody. Even if great intellects came together for a discussion, why, in a few minutes they just ceased to exist and the brilliance of Hitler's personality shone over all. Why, even at the discussions on the Munich Pact, Daladier and Chamberlain were simply overwhelmed by his charm."
"Can't you feel the terrific strength of Hitler's personality? Can't you see how he swept people off their feet?"
"The last time I saw Hitler was on April 23rd 1945. I felt sure that Hitler intended to remain in Berlin until the end. I was able to ask him what he wanted me to do if it came to the point of surrender. He said that I should try to remain on good terms with Britain. He always wanted that, you know. I was always for a rapprochement with Russia. Hitler thought we would be attacked sooner or later. Hitler will show that Hitler was right and I was wrong."
"We wanted a peaceful solution; a counter-balance to England's balance of power politics. They were constantly oppressing us. Just imagine going to war over Danzig; such a world catastrophe, just to prevent Germany from getting a piece of territory that belonged to her, because Britain was afraid Germany was getting too strong."
"I always approved of co-operation between Germany and Russia. England could have prevented the war merely by saying one word. If they had just told the Poles to makes peace, the whole war would have been avoided. But Britain was playing her balance-of-power policy in Europe. Our demands were so reasonable. It wasn't necessary to go to war about it."
"We Germans are a peculiar people; we are so loyal. People don't seem to understand that."
"We could have solved the Jewish problem peacefully with a quota system, or by transporting them to the east or to Madagascar."
"Germany did not break the Munich Pact. We made the mistake of losing the war. Incidentally, America has used its army to suppress opposition by force 150 times in the past 150 years."
"There you are! Unrestricted warfare in the whole Pacific Ocean, where America doesn't really belong! And when we make a protectorate of Bohemia or Moravia, which belonged to Germany for a thousand years, it is considered aggression."
Dr. ERNST KALTENBRUNNER
"I loved my country and my German people with all my heart! Good luck, Germany!"
Dr. FRITZ SCHAUKEL
"I die guiltless. I respect American soldiers and their officers, but not American justice."
"Crimes against Christianity? Did you ever pay any attention to the Russian crimes against Christianity?"
"The Russians have the nerve to sit in judgement, with thirty million lives on their conscience? Talk about persecution of the Church! Why! They are the world's experts. They killed priests by the thousands during their revolution. The persecution of the Church is a big question that goes back hundreds of years, and there are several sides to the question. The Lord only knows how much blood has been spilled by and because of the Church."
"Every American trembles before the power of the Press. Poor Hearst - just because he published a few articles of mine and has his picture taken with me, his whole newspaper syndicate was almost threatened with bankruptcy, with boycotts and all."
"Of course they do not want to discuss the Versailles Treaty. That treaty explains how the whole war came about. Even the Americans refused to sign that thing, because it was so evil. Wilson had drawn up his Fourteen Points so carefully, and then when the time came to make the peace treaty the French laid their secret treaties with the Poles and all the rest on the table, and said that was what they were fighting for - and the Fourteen Points were thrown into the waste paper basket."
"History also considers the murder of three thousand Chinese in the Opium War, and the degradation of some three million Chinese by the British through their opium traffic. And how about the 300,000 exterminated by an atomic bomb in Japan. And the air attacks on our cities? That is all mass murder too!"
"Anti Semitism has been strong in Poland for centuries. There is a religious slogan of the Middle Ages: 'Save the Faith and destroy the Jews!'"
"This trial is a trial of world Jewry."
"They are crucifying me now. I can tell. Three of the judges are Jews. I couldn't kill my wife and myself when we were in the Tyrol at the end of the war. I decided that I would have to bear my cross."
"After all, the Talmud itself told the Jews to preserve their racial purity. The Jews are making a mistake if they make a martyr out of me, you will see. I didn't create the problem; it existed for hundreds of years. I saw how the Jews were pushing themselves into all spheres of German life, and I said that they should be pushed out. After all, if you read the Talmud, you will see that the Gentiles should take measures to protect themselves against the Jews."
"It is the Feast of Purim, 1946."
.... and as he mounted the steps to the scaffold; "Heil Hitler! And now it goes to God!." And then as the black hood was about to be placed on his head, he said: "I am with God!"
"I call on the Almighty. May he have mercy on the German people and show them tenderness. More than two million German soldiers have died for their Fatherland and preceded me. I follow my own sons. All for Germany!"
"I salute you, my Germany!"
"I hope this execution is the last act in this tragedy of the Second World War and that its lessons will be learned and understanding will exist between the peoples. I believe in Germany."
THEIR POUND OF FLESH
"What seems especially obnoxious about the so-called war crimes trials is that they set a precedent for ending every future war with a massacre of the leaders of the defeated side." - William Henry Chamberlain. Author and journalist. Christian Science Monitor/Wall Street Journal
"Out of 3,000 people employed on the staff at the Nuremberg Courts, 2,400 were Jews." - Louis Marschalko, Special Correspondent; Playwright and Poet
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