18 Dec. 45

some of the statements made by him, and therefore we beg the indulgence of the Tribunal.

The Reichsregierung, meaning Reich Cabinet, unlike most of the other groups named in the Indictment, was not especially created by the Nazi Party to carry out or implement its nefarious schemes and purposes. The Reichsregierung — commonly referred to as the Cabinet — had, before the Nazis came to power, a place in the constitutional and political history of the country. As with other cabinets of duly constituted governments, the executive power of the realm was concentrated in that body. The Nazi conspirators realized this only too well. Their aim for totalitarian control over the State could not be secured, they realized, except by acquiring, holding, and utilizing the top-level machinery of the State. And this they did. Under the Nazi regime the Reichsregierung gradually became a primary agent of the Nazi Party with functions and policies formulated in accordance with the objectives and methods of the Party itself. The institution of the "Reichsregierung" became — at first gradually and then with more rapidity — polluted by the infusion of the Nazi conspirators into the Cabinet. Many of them — 16 to be exact — sit before you today in the dock. There was no plan, scheme, or purpose, however vile or inhuman or illegal in any sense of the word, that was not clothed with the semblance of legality by the Nazi Reichsregierung. It is for that reason that we will ask this Tribunal — after the proof has been offered — to declare that body, as defined in the Indictment, to be a criminal organization. The proof will be divided into two main categories, the first of which will tend to establish the composition and nature of the Reichsregierung under the Nazis, as well as delineating briefly its functions and powers, while the second will tend to establish — and conclusively we believe — the reasons why the brand of criminality should be affixed to that group.

The term "Reichsregierung" literally translated reads "Reich Government." Actually, as we said, it was commonly taken to refer to the ordinary Reich Cabinet. In the Indictment the term "Reichsregierung" is defined to include not only those persons who were members of the ordinary Reich Cabinet, but also persons who were members of the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich and the Secret Cabinet Council. However, the really important subdivision of the three is — as the proof will show — the ordinary Cabinet. Between it and the other two there was in reality only an artificial distinction. There existed, in fact, a unity of personnel, actions, functions, and purposes that obliterated any academic separation. As used in the Indictment, the term "ordinary Cabinet" means Reich Ministers, that is, heads of departments of the central government, Reich Ministers without portfolio, State Ministers acting