The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-11/tgmwc-11-104.05

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-11/tgmwc-11-104.05
Last-Modified: 2000/01/10

Q. And you knew that such an order was transmitted?

A. General von Gravenitz brought such an order with him and,
as far as I know, the order was also transmitted further.

Q. Then you certainly must have known what "Stufe III"

A. No, that I did not know. I have said that I knew only
that there was an order to turn over these recaptured
prisoners to the Gestapo but I cannot remember details
because I never saw a written order.

Q. Can you then state that this order, as you see it there
before you, was issued by the O.K.W.?

A. No, that I cannot say.

Q. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

DR. KAUFFMANN (counsel for the defendant Kaltenbrunner): Mr.
President, permit me to put only a few questions which refer
to the defendant Kaltenbrunner. Witness ...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kauffmann, we are going to call the
witness Wielen afterwards. You realise that?


THE PRESIDENT: But you want to ask this witness questions,
don't you?

DR. KAUFFMANN: The name Kaltenbrunner has been mentioned
here and I have only a few questions.


Q. Witness, you mentioned a little earlier that you spoke
with the Gestapo and that you received no information from
it. Do you know with whom you spoke at that time?

A. No. The conferences with the Gestapo took place
continuously. In cases when we missed prisoners of war, and
we didn't know where they were, we continuously made
inquiries at the Gestapo. But, on one occasion I was with
Kaltenbrunner, namely, on the occasion of some other matter
which had nothing to do with Allied prisoners of war. And
since this occasion gave me the opportunity to talk to Herr
Kaltenbrunner personally, I immediately brought the matter
up for discussion and tried to have that order rescinded.
Kaltenbrunner and Muller were present at the time.

Q. Later on in Berlin after the case Sagan you talked to
Kaltenbrunner personally?

A. Yes.

Q. Was the case Sagan discussed there?

A. I talked about the matter there with Kaltenbrunner and I
expressly pointed out that this was an unbearable situation.

Q. About how long after the Sagan case, was that?

A. I can't tell you that any more now; it may have been four
weeks later.

Q. What was Kaltenbrunner's view on this problem? What did
he tell you?

A. Kaltenbrunner himself said next to nothing to me. But
rather Muller carried on the conversation and I left without
having been given either "yes" or "no."

Q. Was Muller also present during the second conference in

A. I only went to Berlin once.

Q. Wasn't the subject of that conversation in any way the
question as to how one was to form the Prisoner of War
Organisation in the future?

A. No.

Q. That is, that the case Sagan was discussed exclusively?

A. Not exclusively the case Sagan. I was ordered to see
Kaltenbrunner for

                                                  [Page 207]

another reason, a matter relating to German prisoners of
war, and made use of the opportunity to discuss the case
Sagan with him at once. That is the only time that I saw
Kaltenbrunner at all.

Q. During that conference you neither received a positive
nor negative answer?

A. That's correct.

Q. What was the impression with which you left that

A. The impression was that apparently not much could be

Q. Did you then report to your superiors about this

A. Yes, I duly informed the General Wehrmacht Office
(Allgemeines Wehrmachtsamt) about it.

Q. What was the content of that report?

A. That I had again spoken with Herr Kaltenbrunner about it.

Q. Well, that alone, witness, would certainly not be enough.
In this important matter you must certainly have reported
then about the business of that conference, not just about
the fact?

A. Of course I reported about the business; that I had
brought the matter up again, and that the Gestapo took the
attitude that they wanted to wait.

DR. KAUFFMANN: I have no further questions, Mr. President.

BY DR. STAHMER (counsel for the defendant Goering):

Q. Witness, did you depose the statement from your own
knowledge or did you learn of this fact only through Field
Marshal Keitel, namely, the fact that the meeting, mentioned
by you, between Hitler, Himmler and Keitel regarding the
escape of these eighty flyers, is supposed to have taken
place in the presence of Reich Marshal Goering?

A. I learned of it through Field Marshal Keitel.

DR. STAHMER: I have no further questions.

(Dr. Laternser, counsel for the O.K.W. and General Staff,
approached the lectern.)

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, if you are going to ask
questions on behalf of the High Command - is that what you
wanted to do?

DR. LATERNSER: I was going to ask the witness a few
questions on behalf of the O.K.W. and the General Staff.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness has given his evidence about the
fact that the O.K.W. had nothing to do with these matters in
connection with prisoner-of-war camps and he hasn't been
cross-examined with reference to that by the prosecution; so
that the matter is not in dispute. Therefore it appears to
the Tribunal that no question need be put by you.

(A short pause.)

You had better specify your question.

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, up to now the procedure was,
however, that whenever a witness appeared, every defence
counsel had the opportunity to ask the witness questions
which he considered necessary. Are we now going to depart
from that?

THE PRESIDENT: I didn't ask you to argue the matter; I asked
you to specify your questions.

DR. LATERNSER: Very well.


Q. Witness, were you yourself active in the Eastern

A Yes.

Q. In what capacity?

A. First of all in command of a battalion and then a

Q. In what sector was your unit engaged?

A. To begin with, in the Ukraine; later, before Leningrad,
and then at Staraja-Ruska.

Q. Before the beginning of the Eastern campaign did you give
special instructions to your company commanders?

                                                  [Page 208]

A. In what respect?

Q. After you had received the order to attack. I assume you
must have gathered your company commanders together as
battalion commander and discussed some orders with them
before the beginning of the advance.

A. I told them how they had to conduct themselves during the
battle, how they had to behave toward the Russian population
and how they had to act toward the prisoners of war.

Q. Yes, and what kind of instructions did you give your
company commanders?

A. I very briefly gave the company commanders instructions
that every prisoner of war was to be treated as they would
like to be treated themselves if they became prisoners.

Q. You said that specifically?

A. Yes, that was ordered.

Q. How did the troops behave when they marched in?

A. We fought practically all the way to Kiev, and were
marching and had hardly any contact with the civilian

Q. During the advance into Russia did you notice
considerable destruction?

A. Partly, yes; in part, villages had been destroyed, also
small towns had been destroyed.

Q. Railways?

A. Railways also, yes.

Q. Industrial works?

A. Yes, I saw that afterwards outside Leningrad; yes,

Q. In your sector was the order obeyed that Soviet
commissars were to be shot after being taken prisoners?

A. We had nothing to do with that. Prisoners of war that we
took were all sent back to the division right away. We
ourselves, the troop commanders - regimental and battalion
commanders - had nothing to do with it; had even no
opportunity at all to do this.

Q. Witness, you have not answered my question correctly. I
have asked you whether you had applied the order.

A. I knew nothing about it.

Q. Did you ever receive the order to attack the Jewish
population in Russia?

A. No.

Q. Did your troops ill-treat or shoot civilian persons or

A. No, there was a special-order for the maintenance of
discipline, stating that this was not to be permitted.

Q. Wag plundering allowed?

A. No, this was specifically forbidden.

Q. Did any plundering occur?

A. Not with my troops.

Q. Did members of your unit commit rape?

A. No, in no case known to me.

Q. Was the civilian population compelled to clear out of the
houses occupied by the troops?

A. No, there was merely an order saying those houses in
which the offices were set up had to be cleared. Other
houses did not have to be evacuated, and as a rule the
system was that I, for example, whenever I was billeted,
would always sleep in the same room with the people who
lived there.

Q. Have you experienced destruction which wasn't due to
military necessity?

A. No.

Q. Have you on occasion or frequently fed the hungry
civilian population from the field kitchens?

A. The regiment was ordered that all food which was surplus
in the regiment was to be issued to the population, mostly
at midday or in the evening, whenever we had any contact at
all with the population.

                                                  [Page 209]

Q. Yes. And then one last question: Do you consider it
possible that German soldiers invited Russian children for
coffee - and then killed these children by giving them
poisoned cake?

A. No.

DR. LATERNSER: I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: You aren't suggesting, are you, that this
witness is one for the High Command?


THE PRESIDENT: Are you suggesting that you ought to be
entitled to examine every witness who has any military rank
on behalf of the High Command?

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, as far as I understood it, it
has been the rule up to now as regards procedure that every
means of evidence, including witnesses who are presented
here, could be examined by each of the defence counsel, and
I have adhered to that rule up to now, and I felt that it
was my duty to put those questions which I have put to the

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, I asked you, very simply, are
you suggesting that you are entitled to ask questions on
behalf of the High Command of every person who is called
here who has any military rank?

DR. LATERNSER: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it seems to me that would be highly
cumulative. We shall then have evidence on behalf of the
High Command from possibly thirty or forty witnesses. And
when you say that it has been allowed in the past, every
other member of the defence has been confined to evidence,
so far as possible, which is not cumulative. That is the
reason why I interrupted you, because it seems to me if you
are going to do that, to claim the right to ask questions of
everybody who has military rank - and you have done it up to
now - the evidence is going to be extremely cumulative on
your part.

(A brief pause.)

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President ...

THE PRESIDENT: You see, Dr. Laternser, the questions you
have been putting to this witness are questions directed to
show that the regimental officers and soldiers in the German
Army behaved properly and could not be expected to behave
improperly. That doesn't seem to be really relevant to the
question whether the High Command or not is a criminal
organisation. And in any event it is - in my opinion, at any
rate - cumulative if you do that.

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, already so much weighty,
incriminating material has been presented, especially by the
Russian prosecution, seeking to implicate the Armed Forces,
that the Russian prosecution is definitely of the opinion
that relevant orders were issued from above, that is to say,
issued by the people comprising the circle of the General
Staff and the O.K.W. By questioning this witness, who was a
regimental commander, I wanted to establish whether any
effects extended downwards. The statements of the witness
have confirmed the fact that this was not the case.
Otherwise, I must ...

THE PRESIDENT: Anyhow, Dr. Laternser, we understand your
position now, and the Tribunal will consider how far you may
be allowed to proceed in future.

DR. LATERNSER: Very well.

THE PRESIDENT: Now, Colonel Pokrovsky.


Q. It seems to me, witness, that on 28th December, 1945, you
were interrogated by a representative of the Soviet
prosecution; is that not so?

A. Yes, Sir.

Q. You gave correct and accurate testimony, did you not?

A. Yes.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.