The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/10

THE PRESIDENT: You are not looking at the words; what he is
asked is, "Was the regular channel ...?" That is the
question. "What was the regular channel for orders from
Himmler to you and Muller?"

A. Your Lordship, I have already explained the question how
Himmler himself arranged the authority. Just think of June,
1944, of Heydrich's death. From that day on - it is a
written order and was announced publicly - Himmler took
charge of the entire R.S.H.A. and assumed all the duties
which had been Heydrich's. In January, 1943, I was appointed
Chief of the R.S.H.A., after it had been announced that the
executive power and competence of the State Police and
Criminal Police remain with him, that no change was to be
made, and that the Chiefs of Amt IV and V, Muller and Nebe,
would continue to be directly under him. For that reason the
organisational scheme as it existed at the time of Heydrich
was no longer applicable for Amt IV and V when I joined the

Q. Now, Question 3(a): There it says, "And did Kaltenbrunner
know about the conditions in the concentration camps?" Here
also it is not explained just what is meant by "conditions"
in concentration camps, but it is most likely to be
interpreted that those conditions which have been attested
by witnesses are meant. The witness said "yes."

A. Dr. Kauffmann, you are overlooking a very important
sentence, the last one, on Question No. 3. Here the
prosecution asks: "Did the W.V.H.A. have supervision over
all concentration camps for administration, for the
utilisation of

                                                  [Page 262]

labour, and maintenance of discipline?" This sentence is
tremendously important for the following reasons: the
prosecution attempts to shift the entire guilt for the
destruction of human life from the W.V.H.A. to the R.S.H.A.,
and, if the High Tribunal wants to find the truth ...

THE PRESIDENT: Just a minute, This is again a long
argumentative speech. The only point which arises, it seems
to me, upon this Question 3(a), is, "Did a conference take
place between Kaltenbrunner, Pohl, and the chief of the
concentration camps?" If he says that they did not, then
that is an answer that he makes to the affidavit; ,that is
the only question of fact.

DR. KAUFFMANN: Yes, that was the question; I am of the same


Q. Please answer "yes" or "no" to the question which was
just put to you. Did such conferences between Pohl, Muller,
and yourself take place?

A. I never had conferences with Pohl and Muller. I had to
have semi-annual conferences with Pohl because Pohl was, as
Chief of the W.V.H.A., the Finance Minister for the entire
S.S. and Police and the funds for my entire Intelligence
Service had to come from Pohl in so far as the Reich Finance
Ministry did not provide for all the personnel.

Q. Now, please answer one further question. The
administration of concentration camps, the general
treatment, food, etc., who was charged with that

A The entire competence and jurisdiction in concentration
camps, from the moment an internee stepped through the gate
of a concentration camp until his release or his death in
the concentration camp, or, the third possibility, until the
end of the war, at which time he was liberated, rested
exclusively with the W.V.H.A.

Q. Now another question so that we may have a complete
picture. I am assuming that these things were exclusively
under the jurisdiction of the W.V.H.A., which had nothing to
do with the R.S.H.A. But it is correct, isn't it, that only
through measures of the Secret Police - by the issue of
orders for protective custody - only through these measures
could internment in these camps take place. I just want to
define clearly these limitations.

A. There is no doubt that that is correct in respect to
individual internments on the basis of individual orders for
protective custody, and I admit these orders were illegal,
as I have already stated. The bulk of the internments,
however, did not take place on orders from the R.S.H.A. but
came from the occupied territories - and from there came,
for instance, the big transports which Fichte mentioned in
the first document.

Q. But these then were, no doubt, the offices which were in
charge of internments, the Gestapo or the Gestapo Allocation
Office (Leitstellen).

A. No, not alone.

Q. But they did participate?

A. No, not alone. Internment could be the result of an order
for protective custody by the Gestapo, by the Kripo, or by
the courts.

Q. Now will you please make a statement to Question 5, the
action in Denmark?

THE PRESIDENT: Have you dealt with Question 4 yet?

DR. KAUFFMANN: Not yet, Mr. President.


Q. I go over to Question 4. "Is it not a fact that in July
or August, 1944, an order was issued to commanders and
inspectors of the Sipo and S.D. by Himmler through
Kaltenbrunner, as Chief of the Sipo and S.D., according to
which the members of all Anglo-American Commando Groups
should be turned over to the Sipo by the Armed Forces?" Mr.
President, I wanted to deal with this question
comprehensively at a later time and by means of documents,
but, if you wish me to, I can deal with it now.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not care how you deal with it. I thought
you were taking him through this document.

                                                  [Page 263]


A. May I perhaps answer it right away? The answer to this
question is very simple. The prosecution itself, through a
document, has in a completely different form charged that
the State Police had, by falsifying the facts, incriminated
itself. In that document the prosecution states that Muller
gave the approval; but here the deponent is told: "issued by
Himmler through Kaltenbrunner as Chief of the Sipo and S.D."
And that document, as far as I recall - I do not know the
number - is signed by Muller.

Q. I will submit that document to you. It is Document 1650-
PS, Exhibit USA 246. This document is headed: "Gestapo
Office, Cologne, Branch Office Aachen." It is teletype and
dated "4th March, 1944. Top Secret."

"Subject: Measures against escaped prisoners of war who are
officers or non-commissioned officers with the exception of
British and American prisoners of war."

THE PRESIDENT: Surely that has nothing to do with it. This
is a document of March, and the document that the question
refers to is in July or August.

DR. KAUFFMANN: I can't hear.

T14E PRESIDENT: The document you have now put forward is a
document in March, 1944. The Question No. 4 relates to a
document of July or August, 1944.

DR. KAUFFMANN: July or August, 1944? I have no such
document, your Honour. Perhaps the defendant can tell us now
whether such an order by Himmler existed and whether such a
Himmler order was transmitted by him; "yes" or "no."

A. I heard about the existence of such an order for the
first time here. I believe it is a mistake on the part of
the prosecution that the question was put to Mildner as July
or August. I believe the prosecution means the document of
4th March, 1944.

Q. Then you are saying that this order from July is not
known to you?

A. I did not know this order nor did I know about it during
my term of office.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kauffmann, it is perfectly obvious, isn't
it, that the document to which you are referring has nothing
to do with this question at all, because this document of
March concerns measures to be taken against captured,
escaped prisoners of war who are officers or non-
commissioned officers, except British and American prisoners
of war. That is the document.

DR. KAUFFMANN: I have not any document of July or August,

THE PRESIDENT: I don't know whether there is a document of
July or August, 1944, at all; what I am saying to you is
that the document which you put to the witness now, of
March, 1944, can't be the document referred to in Question
No. 4, for it deals with an entirely different subject.

DR. KAUFFMANN: Yes. That is right, your Honour. I believe I
can explain this. I assume that the testimony by the witness
refers to the so-called "Commando order" of Hitler of 18th
October, 1942, and that a result of this order is meant
here. I believe it is that way.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, can you tell us whether the
prosecution, in putting this question, was referring to a
document of March, 1944, or whether it was referring to a
document of July or August, 1944?

COLONEL AMEN: We, your Lordship, were not referring to any
document that was brought up by the witness. But in the
meantime we have confirmed the existence of this order of
July or August, 1944, from another document - which I think
we have here at the table - referring to this order or an
order of the same date. Now, the witness's feeling was that
that document had been destroyed after reading. But that
there was such an order apparently is borne out by another
document which we have here which has not come before the
Tribunal in any way at all.

THE PRESIDENT: But has the document to which Dr. Kauffmann
has referred of March, 1944, got anything to do with it?

COLONEL AMEN: That is not the document and has nothing
whatsoever to do
with it.

                                                  [Page 264]

DR. KAUFFMANN: Then shall I pass on to the next question,
your Honour?



Q. It is the question of the persecution of Jews in Denmark.
Will you make a statement on that?

A. The statement in the affidavit of Mildner which was read
by you this morning is alone correct.

Q. Is that your statement?

A. I never had anything to do with the removal of Jews from
Denmark. Such an order could only have been given by
Himmler; and that this was a direct order given by Himmler
was confirmed by Mildner.

Q. Point (c) of the Question No. 5 says that: "Shortly after
your return to Copenhagen you" - that is, the witness
Mildner - " received a direct order by Himmler sent through
Kaltenbrunner, as Chief..."

A. No such order went through my hands and I never received
an order like that from Himmler. It is absolutely
impossible, because Denmark had its own Higher S.S. and
Police Leader who was the direct representative of Himmler
there, and who was immediately subordinate to him and not to
R.S.H.A. This Higher S.S. and Police Leader was at the same
time Commander of the Sipo. Organisationally I could not
give such an order to Denmark.

Q. In Question 6 it is asked: "Is it not a fact that the
action of 'Special Commando Eichmann' was not a success;
that Muller ordered you" - that is Mildner - "to make a
report  which went directly to the Chief of the Sipo and
S.D., Kaltenbrunner?"

The witness Mildner answered that in the affirmative. Is
such a report from Denmark known to you?

A. I not only do not know this report, but I know with
certainty - I spoke to Himmler not once but a dozen times
about this - that he received every report from Eichmann
directly, in many cases even without informing Muller.

Q. Then let us turn to Hoettl's affidavit. As far as I can
see there are no important changes from the affidavit given
me. Does the High Tribunal wish me to put questions on that

Then let us turn to Question 5(b). In answer, Hoettl stated:

  "It is known to me that orders for commitments into
  concentration camps and releases from them came from the
  R.S.H.A. I did not know that all such orders originated
  with the R.S.H.A. I have no knowledge of orders for
  executions by the R.S.H.A."

What can you say to that?

A. Orders for execution could only have come through
R.S.H.A. when Himmler had ordered Muller to forward these
orders. But I believe that took place only in a few isolated
cases and mostly after Muller had informed Himmler that a
court had passed judgement.

DR. KAUFFMANN: Mr. President, the defendant asked me several
minutes ago to make a statement with reference to Document
1063-PS which we have discussed. He had disputed his
signature; I believe that he wishes to say now that it is
his signature. It is the document of the R.S.H.A. of 26th
July, 1943. Do you want the document?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kauffmann, is it 1063-PS? Have you the
original there?

DR. KAUFFMANN: I have only a photostatic copy; not the
original, your Honour.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, what is the question?


Q. Are you ready?

A. Yes. There is a mistake on your part, Dr. Kauffmann. I
have not disputed my signature, but have stated that I must
assume that I received knowledge of this order only after it
had been published and that the original order presumably

                                                  [Page 265]

not carry my signature. That is what I said. But I do
remember now, through the clause: "verified" etc., that it
was apparently an order of which the original was signed by
me at the time. Furthermore I remember from the first few
words of the decree - "The Reichsfuehrer S.S. has approved,
etc." - that this order was based on a personal report which
I must have made to Himmler, and that with this report - I
call you attention to the date, 26th July, 1943 - I
apparently made the first attempt with Himmler to mitigate
or relax the conditions; so that in minor cases, in which
people had hitherto been committed to concentration camps
they should no longer be so committed but should be placed
in labour education camps; and that there was to be a
differentiation between concentration camps and labour
education camps. Therefore, in my opinion it was the result
of my first attempt with him against the system of
concentration camps.

And third, I would like to point out that this decree
carries the number IIc and thereby is not a decree which
came from the Police executive offices such as Gestapo or
Kripo but from the administrative level.

Q. That is a sufficient explanation.

The prosecution holds you responsible for the commitment of
politically and racially undesirable persons into
concentration camps. How many concentration camps became
known to you after your appointment as Chief of the

A. At the time of my appointment I knew three concentration
camps. At the end of my official activity there were twelve
in the entire Reich.

Q. How many were there in all?

A. There was a thirteenth. That was the S.S. prison camp
near Danzig. There were altogether thirteen concentration
camps in the Reich.

Q. How can you explain the chart which you saw here, with
the many red dots which were alleged to be concentration

A. That presentation is definitely misleading. I saw this
chart hanging here. All the armaments centres, factories,
etc., in which internees from concentration camps were used
for labour must have been marked as concentration camps. I
cannot explain in any other way the deluge of red dots.

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