The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/13

Q. How can you explain it that Muller was in a position at
all to exercise such power, and that even during your term
of office - 1943-5 - this state of affairs continued without
your having the possibility to stop the man? Was it known to
you that Muller had these powers? In this connection, will
you tell the Tribunal what the size of Department IV of the
Secret State Police was and how it might be explained that
you weren't informed about those hundreds or even thousands
of orders and instructions?

A. Muller was the chief of the Secret State Police
Department. When he was appointed I don't know, but I assume
that it must have been as early as 1943 or 1944, or at the
very latest 1945. But much earlier, as I know today, he had
the closest contact with Himmler and later with Heydrich. He
originated from the Bavarian County Police, where Himmler
met him. He had his personal confidence for at least twelve
or fifteen years. He participated in and carried out with
him every action which Himmler ordered in pursuance of his
aims as Chief of the German Police. This confidence, I might
say, grew steadily for twelve or fifteen years and remained
unshaken to the very last days of the war. Muller also
remained in Berlin after he had the order to remain with
Himmler. Himmler relied on him as his blind and trusty

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kauffmann, the question that you have put
to him, or the questions which you put - you put several -
he doesn't seem to be answering. The main question was
whether he knew of these actions of Muller. He is giving us
a long speech now about how much confidence Himmler had in
Muller. He hasn't said anything else yet.

DR. KAUFFMANN: Mr. President, I think that this question
particularly ought to be dealt with at some length, because
what the Gestapo and Muller are being accused of is what
Kaltenbrunner is accused of, as chief of the organisation.

THE PRESIDENT: What I was pointing out to you was that you
had asked him several questions in one, and the main part of
the question was whether he knew that Muller had these
powers and was exercising them.


Q. Answer that question now briefly and clearly.

A. The relationship between Himmler and Muller was so
immediate that there was no cause for him to give me any
reports. I had no knowledge, and Himmler, as early as
December 1942, stated clearly that the chiefs of Departments
IV and V were his immediate subordinates, as had been the
case since Heydrich's death.

Q. Now, it is going to be put to you, that based on certain
statements of witnesses and other evidence it must be
assumed that conferences of department chiefs must have
taken place between you and Muller, and that it appears
improbable that you had no general knowledge of the things
which Muller decreed. Isn't that accusation justified?

A. It appears to be justified, but isn't. What is called a
conference of department chiefs here was a joint lunch which
was not taken every day but let us say three or four times a
week, a joint lunch of adjutants, department chiefs, and any
guests who might have been in Berlin at the time. That
personal atmosphere alone made it quite impossible for
internal or very secret events to have been discussed in
front of all these people.

Q. In 1943 and the following years were you always in
Berlin, or I think I had better say were you mostly resident
in Berlin, or did your work as Chief of the Intelligence
Service make it necessary for you to leave Berlin often?

                                                  [Page 283]

A. I was absent from Berlin a great deal. I think I can say
that half of all the working time was spent away from
Berlin. I was only constantly in Berlin from the moment that
the headquarters were transferred there.

Q. When was that?

A. That was in the months of February and March, 1945. I was
away from Berlin from 28th March until 15th April, then
again from 19th April until the last day of the war. During
the year 1943 I didn't reach Berlin until May, because up to
that time I had my own Organisation in Vienna to reshape so
that it could be taken over by my Berlin department, except
that once, during the first or second week in February,
1943, I stayed in Berlin so as to pay visits, and from the
middle of 1943 to February, 1945, I was away on trips for at
least half the time. I have covered more than 400,000
kilometres by plane and car in my duties.

Q. What were your activities when you were absent from
Berlin? Did you have no immediate and direct contact with
Muller during that time?

A. Certainly not with Muller. During all these journeys of
mine in the entire Reich, I never entered one single service
department of the State Police, excepting the Secret State
Police office in Linz where my family was living for a short
while and from where I could send teleprints to my
department in Berlin; thus it was for purely technical
reasons. I had no other possibility of obtaining a
teleprinter there.

Q. I am now going to discuss an affair of which you are
accused by the Prosecution. In a few words, these are the
facts concerned. During the suppression of the revolt in
Warsaw in 1944, inhabitants of the town of Warsaw were taken
to concentration camps. The prosecution put the figure at
about 50,000 to 60,000. Further deportations are supposed to
have ceased due to an intervention of the defendant Frank
with Himmler, and you are said to have been involved by the
fact that defendant Frank and his State Secretary Buehler
had asked you to get these people out of the concentration
camps and return them to their homes. To begin with, I ask
you, did any conference on that subject take place in your

A. A conference between Buehler and myself took place. The
subject was something quite different and I ask you to let
me state it clearly. The so-called uprising of Warsaw was
quelled in a purely military action. I think that the battle
took place under the command of the Chief of the Anti-
Partisan units, von dem Bach-Zelewski. I do not know which
unit he was commanding, but I must assume that there were
mixed troop units of the Armed Forces and the Police. Any
participation of my office in this purely military action is
out of the question from the start. What Himmler and the
troop units did with the prisoners was naturally not
reported to me. The reason why Buehler came to see me was
quite a different one. Frank, I think for one and a half
years or more, had been trying to get Hitler to employ a
different policy in the Government General. Frank was in
favour of increased autonomy for the Polish people. In
October, 1944, I think, on the occasion of a National Polish
Holiday, Frank had been planning to announce the increase of
their autonomy. Hitler's refusal, in which he was encouraged
by Himmler and also various other factors, was definite.
Therefore he sent Buehler to me with the proposal that I
should make suggestions through the information service to
the same end, that is, the participation of the Poles in the
administration of the country and in the high positions of
the government. I promised him both these things. He went on
to say "on this occasion Frank wants a generous amnesty to
be pronounced in Poland and that includes the release of the
prisoners from the Warsaw uprising. Can't you help us with
that?" I asked him: "Where are those prisoners?"

He replied: "Himmler has sent them to prisoner-of-war or
concentration camps." My answer could only have been: "Then
he must have employed them in any case in the armament
industry and it will be hard to get them out from there, but
I shall support an amnesty." According to my knowledge that
was the state of the case.

                                                  [Page 284]

Q. Would it have been possible for you to bring about a
release by using all your influence?

A. No, during the time I was in office, as I have repeatedly
stated during interrogations before the trial, I have
received at least 1,000 individual applications for release
and every single case was put before Himmler or sent to him
- put before him mostly, since I put them  in my report file
and discussed them with Himmler during my periodical reports
to him. In perhaps two-thirds of all the cases I was
successful to the extent that he arranged a release. But as
regards the broad measures which Frank wanted to achieve
with the help of Buehler, I never had the possibility of
making a decision or of bringing one about; the matter was
entirely in Himmler's hands and was determined by the policy
which he and Hitler agreed on regarding Poland.

Q. I now put before you a statement from the witness
Schellenberg. On 3rd January he stated before this Tribunal
that the evacuation of the concentration camp at Buchenwald
had been ordered by Kaltenbrunner. "Kaltenbrunner" he said,
"had said 'Yes, this is correct; this evacuation is due to a
Fuehrer order which had been confirmed to him,
Kaltenbrunner, by the Fuehrer.'" Please give an explanation
of this.

A. The statement is absolutely incorrect. It is certainly
incorrect because Hitler quite definitely never ordered an
evacuation or a non-evacuation of concentration camps. Such
an order could only originate from Himmler.

THE PRESIDENT: Was there an affidavit or did he give the
evidence, Schellenberg?

DR. KAUFFMANN: It  was a statement of a witness.

THE PRESIDENT: It was given in evidence, was it?

DR. KAUFFMANN: Yes, it is a statement of a witness on 3rd


DR. KAUFFMANN: But, then, who did actually give such an

A. It could certainly only have been an order from Himmler
himself. The channel of command is quite clear, Himmler-Pohl-
Glucks, and the Camp Commandant. It isn't impossible that
Himmler may have given the order direct to the commandants
of the camps. That I don't know.

Q. I want to interpose a question. Did you get information
of this order?

A. No, I neither heard of it nor would these orders in any
way have had to be connected with me, since I had ordered
exactly the contrary regarding Mauthausen. Why, in the case
of Mauthausen, I was able to give an order for the first and
only time, I shall explain later. It has to do with the
powers given to me on 19th April, 1945. Until then I never
had any possibility at all of giving any such order in the
name of Himmler.

Q. In the same connection, I mention the statement made by
the witness Berger on 3rd January. I will read one or two
sentences. "The commandant of Dachau,"' says Berger, "or his
deputy, telephoned about twelve o'clock and stated to me
that he had received this order, that is the order for the
evacuation, from Kaltenbrunner after he had been summoned by
the Gauleiter of Munich, the Reich Commissioner." I ask you:
Do you know anything about the evacuation of Dachau?

A. No. This statement of Berger must be doubted quite
definitely because he was the man who had been given full
authority by Himmler, concerning Bavaria and all the
territory West of it. That was given to him the same day I
received full power regarding Austria. Therefore it would be
for me ...

Q. Did the concentration camp at Dachau come under Berger's
sphere of power just mentioned by you or did it come, under
your sphere of command?

A. Since Dachau is near Munich in Bavaria, of course it was
in Berger's sphere of command.

Q. Was Dachau evacuated at all?

A. I don't know; I never went to Bavaria after 19th April.

Q. The witness refers to the date 23rd April, 1945, or he
says, a little later.

                                                  [Page 285]

A. Yes, I forgot that.

Q. Where were you at that time?

A. On 19th April, at three o'clock in the morning, I left
Berlin and went via Prague to Linz, my goal being Innsbruck,
where I wanted to meet Burckhardt's representative again.
From that moment onwards, I no longer had any connection
with Berlin nor did I ever set foot on Bavarian soil or give
orders there. My sphere of duty stopped at the Austrian

Q. How can you explain such a statement?

A. The only way I can explain it is, that this must be a
mistake and if I am put face to face with Berger, I am
completely convinced that it can be cleared up.

Q. Could it have been an evacuation order bearing the
signature of Himmler?

A. Certainly, perfectly possible.

Q. Among other things you have been accused by the
prosecution of having committed a Crime against Peace, Will
you tell the Tribunal whether you did anything, and if so
what, during your time of office, to bring the war to an

A. I started in my appointment on 1st February, 1943. The
situation which I found in the Reich was such that on this
day - to be more exact 2nd February, 1943, with the fall of
Stalingrad - I felt convinced that the war was to be
regarded as absolutely lost for Germany. The conditions
which I found, coming from the completely different
atmosphere of Austria, only confirmed this point of view. I
recall that I paid my inaugural visit to Under Secretary of
State Luther in the Foreign Office, I think it was on 2nd or
3rd February; I talked to him from half-past eleven in the
morning until two o'clock in the afternoon, suspecting
nothing. We were talking about foreign political
intelligence tasks which we would have to carry out
together. At four o'clock in the afternoon the same Under
Secretary of State Luther was arrested by the Gestapo and
taken to a concentration camp.

I do not think I can produce a more graphic picture of the
situation to which I was transferred to show how such events

THE PRESIDENT: What is this in answer to? What is the
question it is in answer to?


Q. You ought to come to the point a little more quickly. The
question was, what you did to bring the war to the quickest
possible end?

A. I could quote a lot of factors in this connection. My
first effort was in the spring of 1943; I think it was even
in February, 1943, when I supported a very big alteration of
the church politics in order to win the Vatican for the
first peace mediations. That was my first effort in that

Q. I now mention the name Dulles. Did you have direct
contact or indirect contact with him and what was the
purpose of your taking up such contact?

A. Yes, I was in contact with him through Hoettl. Since May,
1943, I step by step won over Hoettl and other Austrians who
were politically in the opposition and learned of their
peace feelers directed to foreign countries. Through these
channels I heard of Mr. Roosevelt's representative for
Central Europe - I think he was his economic expert, a Mr.
Dulles, who was reported as being in Switzerland.

Q. I want to interpose a question in that connection. What
would have happened if Hitler had heard of that attitude of

A. My instructions to Hoettl and my knowledge of his
activity constituted, if you interpret it strictly, high
treason, since the Fuehrer's views were known to me at the
time - they were that there should be no contact regarding
peace and no discussions about peace. Hitler changed his
opinion only on 15th April, 1944, in a discussion with me in
the presence of a certain Wolf.

Q. In the course of this so-called peace policy which you
have described, did a representative make journeys to
Switzerland so as to make contact with this Mr. Dulles?

A. Yes, there were many journeys, not only by Hoettl, but by
several other persons. For instance, I mention a discussion
which I had with a Count Pototsky,

                                                  [Page 286]

whom I asked to get in touch with such circles and forward
the same information to Anglo-American circles also in

Q. I think we can leave this subject. In my opinion you have
related the essential parts.

A. These were not the only attempts, there were still
numerous others.

Q. I now come to your relations with the President of the
Red Cross, Professor Burckhardt, and I ask you, is it true
that you had a conference with Professor Burckhardt in 1945
with the aim that camps, prisoner-of-war camps, and
concentration camps, should be opened to the Red Cross so
that medical supplies could be taken into these camps?

A. Yes, I tried to achieve this with Burckhardt for a long
time. I was helped by the fact that he himself had asked for
a meeting with Himmler. Himmler, however, did not get
Hitler's permission for such a meeting because he at that
time was the commander on the Northern front of the River
Vistula. A meeting with Burckhardt could only have taken
place there at the front. I tried, therefore, to take upon
myself to arrange a meeting between Burckhardt and a
responsible personality in the Reich. After a lot of trouble
and in spite of many difficulties I succeeded. I had a
personal meeting with Burckhardt on 12th March.

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