RuSHA trial

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The defendants read the indictment on July 7, 1947.

The RuSHA trial (or, officially, The United States of America vs. Ulrich Greifelt, et al.) was the eighth of the twelve trials for war crimes the U.S. authorities held in their occupation zone in Germany in Nuremberg after the end of World War II. These twelve trials were all held before U.S. military courts, not before the International Military Tribunal, but took place in the same rooms at the Palace of Justice. The twelve U.S. trials are collectively known as the "Subsequent Nuremberg Trials" or, more formally, as the "Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals" (NMT).

In the RuSHA Trial, the 14 defendants were all officials of various SS organizations responsible for the implementation of the Nazi "pure race" programme: the Rasse- und Siedlungshauptamt (RuSHA), the office of the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism (Reichskommissar für die Festigung des deutschen Volkstums, RKFDV, a post held by Heinrich Himmler), the Repatriation Office for Ethnic Germans (Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle, VoMi), and the Lebensborn society. The charges centered on these racial cleansing and resettlement activities.

The judges in this case, heard before Military Tribunal I, were Lee B. Wyatt (presiding judge), Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia; Daniel T. O'Connell of the Superior Court of Massachusetts, and Johnson T. Crawford from Oklahoma. The Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution was Telford Taylor. The indictment was served on July 7, 1947; the trial lasted from October 20, 1947 until March 10, 1948.

Indictment[edit]

  1. Crimes against humanity by implementing "racial purity" programmes by kidnapping children, forcing "non-Aryan" pregnant women to undergo abortions, plundering, deportation of populations from their native lands in occupied countries and resettling of so-called "ethnic Germans" (Volksdeutsche) on such lands, sending people who had had "interracial" sexual relationships to concentration camps, and general participation in the persecution of Jews.
  2. War crimes for the same reasons.
  3. Membership of a criminal organization, the SS.

All defendants were indicted on counts 1 and 2. Inge Viermetz was excluded from count 3. All defendants pleaded "not guilty".

Defendants[edit]

Name Function Charges Sentence
    1 2 3  
Ulrich Greifelt Chief of Staff of RKFDV G G G lifetime imprisonment; died 1949
Rudolf Creutz Deputy to Greifelt G G G 15 years; released 1955-died 1980
Konrad Meyer-Hetling Office head in RKFDV I I G Time already served (since May 27, 1945);
released after the judgment; died 1973
Otto Schwarzenberger Office head in RKFDV I I G Time already served (since May 2, 1945);
released after the judgment
Herbert Hübner Chief of Poznań office of RKFDV and
representative of RuSHA in western Poland
G G G 15 years; released 1951
Werner Lorenz Head of VoMi G G G 20 years; released 1955-died 1974
Heinz Brückner Office head at VoMi G G G 15 years; released 1951
Otto Hofmann Head of RuSHA until April 20, 1943,
later head of the SS in southwestern Germany
G G G 25 years; released 1954 died 1982
Richard Hildebrandt Head of RuSHA, Hofmann's successor G G G 25 years; died 1952
Fritz Schwalm Chief of Staff of RuSHA and head of the "Immigration
Office" (Einwandererzentrale, EWZ) in Łódź
G G G 10 years;released 1951
Max Sollmann Head of the Lebensborn society I I G Time already served (since July 6, 1945);
released after the judgment
Gregor Ebner Head of Health Dept. of Lebensborn I I G Time already served (since July 5, 1945);
released after the judgment; died 1974
Günther Tesch Head of Legal Dept. of Lebensborn I I G Time already served (since May 13, 1945);
released after the judgment
Inge Viermetz Deputy to Sollmann I I   acquitted

I — Indicted   G — Indicted and found guilty

The four Lebensborn members were not found guilty on counts 1 and 2 of the indictment. The tribunal considered the Lebensborn society not responsible for the kidnapping of children, which was carried out by others.[1]

Greifelt died in the Landsberg prison on February 6, 1949. Hildebrandt was turned over to Polish authorities. He was put on trial for war crimes again in Poland and sentenced to death. He was hanged on March 10, 1952. Hübner, Brückner, and Schwalm were released in 1951. Also in that year, the sentences of Hofmann and Lorenz were reduced to 15 years, and that of Creutz to 10 years. Hofmann was released in 1954.

References[edit]

External links[edit]