The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/13

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DR. KAUFFMANN (counsel for defendant Kaltenbrunner): Mr.
President, yesterday the case of Sagan was mentioned by the
defendant, but regarding his own participation he made only
a few statements. The prosecution is assuming that he was an
immediate participant even before the flyers had been shot.
The two witnesses, Westhoff and Wielen, in my opinion,
produced evidence in favour of the defendant, and I am now
asking the Tribunal to tell me whether the defendant may
have permission to speak in detail regarding the manner in
which he was actively concerned in the affair, or whether
the Tribunal is satisfied with the treatment he has given
this problem.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks that if the defendant has
knowledge of the facts connected with it, he had better give
them. He needn't give them in any greater detail than is
necessary, but in view of the evidence of the witness
Wielen, I think he ought to deal with it.




Q. You stated yesterday that you heard about the case Sagan
for the first time after the event had taken place. Do you
maintain that position today?

A. Yes.

Q. In what manner did you become acquainted with the case
Sagan later on, and what did you do about it?

A. I was never officially informed of it, but roughly six
weeks after the event I received knowledge of it. At the
time these flyers escaped and at the time the orders were
given - Hitler-Muller-Nebe, I imagine, or possibly Himmler-
Fegelein-Nebe - I'm not sure, I was not present in Berlin
but was in Hungary and, after a number of calls, finally
finished up in a visit to Minister Speer in Dahlem. On the
2nd or 3rd April I returned to Berlin. Up to that time, no
one had informed me of it. The first time I heard of the
affair was when the Foreign Office made representations, or
rather, demanded from Nebe and Muller that the case should
be clarified so that they could answer a note which, I
believe, had been sent to the Foreign Office by the
Protecting Power.

The description of the witness General Westhoff is, in my
opinion, misleading. I think he said something about
mentioning the case Sagan approximately four weeks after the
shooting, during another conversation with me. I think that
it was at least six weeks afterwards. It should be possible
to ascertain when the Foreign Office made that inquiry. Then
it would be possible to ascertain the exact date.

Q. Later on; when you talked to Muller and Nebe, what was
decided upon as a camouflage for this matter and what was
thought of?

A. No camouflage was decided on nor discussed in our office,
but when Muller and Nebe said that they would have to reply
to the Foreign Office's inquiry and in that connection
informed me of that dreadful order for the first time, I
asked them who had given that order, and they replied
"Himmler." I told them that they ought to get in touch with
him immediately and ask him how the case should be

                                                  [Page 279]

dealt with further. I refused to have any connection with
it. It had been unknown to me until that time, and I
considered it a dirty affair.

Q. But was it not mentioned in that connection that it would
be said that the flyers had lost their lives through bombs
or that they had been shot whilst trying to escape? What do
you know in that respect? The witness Schellenberg has
stated that there were such conversations.

A. Such words may have been said, yes. It has been described
here how the large-scale searches were handled, and in
connection with these manhunts, there were shootings. Even
Germans were shot in those circumstances. An S.S.
Oberfuehrer in the Alsatian territory was shot when he
passed a road block which had been erected for a manhunt and
refused to stop. Two or three of the flyers were killed by
bombs, as I was told. I think that was along the Baltic
coast in Kiel or Stettin, and I understand that two Criminal
Police officials also lost their lives in this unfortunate
affair. Their widows received pensions subsequently. That is
something that ought to be ascertainable. In this connection
bombing and losses through bombing were certainly mentioned,
but a camouflage of the whole affair was not discussed in
our office; in any case the answer was prepared by Muller,
Nebe and Himmler in Himmler's headquarters. I know that
immediately after the inquiry from the Foreign Office the
two left by air for Himmler's headquarters.

Q. Are you trying to say then that the statement according
to which these flyers had lost their lives by bombs, or been
shot whilst escaping, did not originate from you?

A. No, certainly not; it did not originate from me.

Q. With reference to the church policy of Department IV, the
prosecution is accusing you of the following: So-called
"Bible students," or Jehovah's Witnesses, had often been
sentenced to death only because they, on the strength of
their inner convictions, refused to serve in the war in any
way. My question to you is this: Do you know of this state
of affairs; what part did you take in it?

A. German law used as a basis for proceedings against this
sect of Jehovah's Witnesses was the "Law for the Protection
of the Defence Strength of the German Nation." Under this
law anyone who was interfering with German armed strength by
refusing to serve in the forces could be punished by
detention or death. According to this law, military, as well
as civilian courts, pronounced even the death sentences
against these Jehovah's Witnesses. Death sentences, of
course, were not pronounced by the Secret State Police.

In this connection an unjust harshness against people of
this belief, such as members of Jehovah's Witnesses, was
repeatedly mentioned.

I approached the Party Chancellery and the Ministry of
Justice, and Himmler and Hitler during my reports, and
pointed the facts out to them, and during several
conferences with Thierack I demanded that this type of
handling under the law should cease. As a result, two things
were done immediately. On the occasion of the first
conference, after Thierack had made an inquiry at Bormann's
office and Hitler's office, the latter of whom he evidently
did not see personally, a directive was at once issued to
the Public Prosecutor's office stating that sentences which
had already been pronounced were to be annulled.

During a further conference another step was taken, which
was that the public prosecutors in general were given
instructions not to demand the death sentence any longer.

The third step was that Jehovah's Witnesses were no longer
brought before the court.

I consider it to be the definite result of my personally
mentioning this to Thierack - who later discussed it with
Hitler himself - that this handling of the law against these
sects was completely done away with.

Q. I am now submitting Document 1063....

A. May I supplement my statement by saying the following:
These developments

                                                  [Page 280]

and this alteration of German law became known abroad at
that time. I remember quite well, for instance, that a very
well-known Swedish medical officer thanked me personally and
stated that this deed had been well received in Sweden.

THE PRESIDENT: This really is an unnecessary detail about
what happened with some Swedish person outside of Germany,
as to what he thought of his actions.



Q. I am now coming to Document 1063-PS, Exhibit USA 219.
This is a directive from the Chief of the Security Police,
dated 17th December, 1942. It is a secret letter, and it is
addressed to all commanders of the Security Police and S.D.;
and it goes, for information reasons, to Pohl, to the Higher
S.S. and Police Leaders and the Inspectors of Concentration
Camps. It is a directive according to which at least 35,000
persons capable of work are to be delivered to concentration
camps by the end of January, 1943, at the latest. The letter
is signed by Muller.

I am asking you, do you know of this letter, or do you know
of any such affair at all?

A. I neither know the letter, nor do I know about the

THE PRESIDENT: Will you give us the number again?

DR. KAUFFMANN: Document 1063-PS, Exhibit USA 219.


A. From the date of the letter, it becomes apparent that
this was written before I came into office. It was not made
known to me afterwards either. The signature is "Muller,"
who acted on Himmler's behalf, as is shown from line 2. It
is a typical case, which proves how unlimited Muller's
authority was and the extent of his authority, if he could
issue a decree like this.

I gather from the whole content of this letter - it refers
to a date at the end of January, 1943 - that it is
impossible that this affair had been reported to me.

Q. The prosecution holds you responsible in the following
connection: There was an agreement between the former
Minister of Justice Thierack, and Himmler, dated 18th
September, 1942, according to which. Jews, Poles, and so
forth, were to be subjected to penal police proceedings
instead of being dealt with by ordinary law courts. I ask

Did you know of this agreement, and, if so, what attempt did
you make so as to reinstate ordinary law proceedings so far
as that was possible?

A. Such an agreement between Thierack and Himmler is not
known to me. As you said, it was made in the autumn Of 1942,
I believe. But I worked hard and constantly to bring it
about that all police courts should be done away with in
favour of proper law proceedings, and submitted proposals to
that effect. I am legally trained, and for that reason I
have more respect for the courts than Himmler. This was one
of the main reasons why we never understood each other, and
it was one of the main reasons for differences which cropped
up even during our first discussions in 1942.

I can't understand Thierack either, making such an agreement
with Himmler, because later on, as I know myself, he
repeatedly spoke against the police-court system.

Q. I now come to the question whether you had knowledge of
the destruction of the Ghetto at Warsaw, which was carried
out in 1943. A report is available on this from the S.S. and
Police Leader in Warsaw, whose name was Strobe. The report
is addressed to the General of the Police Kruger, and refers
to the so-called solution of the Jewish problem in Galicia.

Now I ask you:

When did you hear of this solution of the Jewish problem in
Galicia, and did you exhaust every possible means to prevent
that solution?

A. First of all, in this connection, I must state that I
perhaps did not know enough about the tremendous instrument
of power which Himmler had created by putting under his
direct command the Higher S.S. and Police Leaders in the

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occupied territories. For Higher S.S. and Police Leaders -
in this connection for instance, in the Government General,
Kruger - were in charge of the S.S. and Police Leaders,
Strobe in this case. No department in the Reich was informed
of or participated in any action, neither before nor
afterwards, which went from Himmler through Kruger to
Strobe. Certainly, Berlin did not know anything of such an
order in advance.

Afterwards - though I can't tell you how long afterwards -
they wrote and talked regarding the Warsaw Ghetto both in
this country and abroad. Serious accusations were made in
foreign countries.

Yesterday, I started to state here that in this connection I
had delivered to Himmler the first file documents which I
had in my possession on his measures and policies. I did
that after reporting to the Fuehrer in November, 1943. On
that occasion I certainly talked to him about Warsaw too,
since it was one of the things he and his "final solution"
were being accused of abroad.

Q. I want to put a question here: How did the date of that
report compare with the actual date of the action against
the Jews in Galicia?

A. I can't remember when that action was. My reports first
to Hitler and a day later to Himmler were in November, 1943.

Q. I now come to a document which has already been mentioned
by the prosecution - L53, Exhibit USA 291. The prosecution
holds the defendant, as Chief of the Security Police and
S.D., responsible for the cleansing - as it is put - at
Security Police and S.D. camps and concentration camps. This
document is a letter from the commander of the Security
Police and S.D. at Radom, dated 21st June, 1944, according
to which the commander of the Security Police and S.D. in
the Government General had ordered that all the prisons
which are mentioned must be cleansed and that their inmates
must be liquidated. Look at this document, sender and
signature, and then make a statement in this connection
particularly regarding the question whether you knew of
these events.

A. I draw your attention to what I have just said. This
channel of command falls into the jurisdiction of the Higher
S.S. and Police Leader for an occupied territory. The
channel for orders - Himmler, Higher S.S. and Police Leader,
his expert, his senior officers, their commanders of the
Security Police - that channel has nothing whatever to do
with the centralised channel of orders coming from Berlin.

Q. In other words, you want to say that these Higher S.S.
and Police Leaders were immediately subordinate to Himmler?

A. Yes, indeed.

Q. Do you also want to say that you as Chief of the R.S.H.A.
had no possibility of interfering with orders and directives
from such Higher S.S. and Police Leaders?

A. It was out of the question, for they were immediately
subordinate to Himmler.

There was another way for opposing such men, as is obvious
from the interrogation of the defendant Frank. Repeatedly I
have of course received information over the radio about
wrong doings and crimes committed through these channels of

For instance, Kruger in the Government General was most
violently attacked by me. It was due to me too that Kruger
was removed from his position in Cracow, a fact which must
be contained in Frank's diary.

Q. I now turn to another document - 1573-PS, Exhibit USA
498. The prosecution is holding the defendant as, Chief of
the R.S.H.A. responsible that, under alteration of existing
methods, slave labourers had been used in the armament
industry. This document before us is a secret order, which
once again is signed by Muller. It is addressed to all
police service departments. The date is 18th June, 1941. The
order refers to measures against emigrants from Russian
territories and civilian workers. It states that for the
prevention of their return or any interference on their part
the persons concerned will be arrested if the occasion
arises. Until further notice these people may not change
their place of residence

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unless they have the permission of the Security Police, and
leaving their place of work without permission would be
punished with arrest.

Were such events known to you?

A. No. I can still only point out that this is an order from
Muller which appeared one and a half years before my
appointment. Muller, taking orders from Hitler directly and
enjoying tremendous power and authority, saw no reason to
inform me of this even later on.

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