The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/13

Q. Did you come to an agreement, and within the confines of
this agreement was any help really given and in what manner?

A. Yes, considerable help was given. An agreement was
reached, according to which all foreign civilian detainees,
with the help of the Red Cross, were to be taken from all
camps in the Reich and released to their home countries. But
in the first place by granting Burckhardt's request during
these discussions I achieved the aim that the leading
departments of the Reich would be involved to such an extent
that they could no longer detach themselves from this
agreement and that, I think, was my greatest success with

Q. Is it true that to get about 3,000 French and Belgian
detainees through the front line at that time you got in
touch with General Kesselring at his headquarters?

A. I sent a wireless message to the headquarters asking that
as soon as an American and British agreement to this was
come to, the Germans also should allow such internees to go
through the fighting lines.

Q. That is enough.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kauffmann, he said 12th March, but he did
not give the year.

DR. KAUFFMANN: I do not understand - yes, 12th March.




Q. What is the total number of people who, due to your
intervention, reached their homeland?

A. You must differentiate here between two different
periods. The first period is before the personal meeting on
12th March and the other after that.

Q. In my opinion you can give me a brief answer to that
question. The period of time does not matter.

A. At least 6,000 civilian detainees coming from France and
Belgium and all the Eastern European States including the
Balkan States were included in these talks. At least 14,000
Jewish detainees were handed over to the Red Cross in the
town of Gungkirchen for their immediate care. This applies
to the whole camp of Theresienstadt.

Q. And is it finally correct - please answer very briefly
either in the affirmative or in the negative, that because
of your intervention at Constance on Bodensee a special
liaison department with the Red Cross was installed for the
purpose of facilitating and carrying out this programme

A. A liaison department with the Red Cross was established
in Lindau and at Constance.

                                                  [Page 287]

Q. That is enough.

The prosecution holds you responsible for a wireless message
you are supposed to have sent to Fegelein in which it says:
"Please report to the Reichsfuehrer that all measures
regarding Jews, political and concentration camp internees
in the Protectorate, have been carried out by me personally

I ask you: Did you send such a wireless?

A. It did not get sent because the technical connection was
not re-established.

THE PRESIDENT: What is the number?

DR. KAUFFMANN: Mr. President, I did not mention a number. It
was not presented in Court but it is contained in the trial
brief on Page 14.

THE PRESIDENT: I think it is 519-PS. It was presented to the

A. (continued): The wireless message was planned - the text
probably was written by the adjutant who was accompanying
me. I did not write it personally and, as I said, it could
not be sent.

On 19th April, 1945, I had been given authority to act
independently in accordance with the discussions with
Burckhardt with reference to foreign civilian detainees and
regarding the entering of all camps by the Red Cross. On
that occasion I stated in Hitler's and Himmler's presence
that my route would go through. Prague to Linz and Innsbruck
and that I would pass by Theresienstadt. I said that there
were not only Jewish detainees there who were to be looked
after by the Red Cross but also Czechoslovak political
detainees. I suggested that their release should also be
carried out. That is the explanation for that wireless
message. But not until 19th April at six o'clock in the
evening was I given full power in the matter.

Q. But the prosecution might assume from that statement, and
rightly so, that you might have had jurisdiction over
concentration camp questions. Is that so?
Please answer this question with "yes" or "no":

Is it true that the powers you have mentioned as being given
to you on 19th April, 1945, were the first powers you ever
had in that connection?

A. Yes. I would not have needed a renewed authority at all
if I had had it up to that time.

Q. In a speech Himmler made on 3rd October, 1943, at Posen
which he delivered to the Higher S.S. and Police Leaders you
are called Heydrich's successor. The prosecution considers
that this is a confirmation of the entire executive power
and extraordinary authority which you had.

Does this formal expression, which was certainly used in
this connection, do justice to the situation or not?

A. No, I protest strongly - I have done so during all the
interrogations - against being called Heydrich's successor.
If in my absence Himmler referred to me as such, or if such
a notice or announcement was published earlier in the Press,
coming from him, then this was done without my knowledge and
without my wish, and the Press notice to that effect
resulted in a violent reaction to Himmler on my part. The
day which you mentioned here I was ill in Berlin with an
inflamed artery, and therefore did not join this discussion.

One could not possibly compare my powers and authority with
Himmler's. I want to say quite briefly now that to the very
last day of my activity I was paid 1,820 RM, which is the
salary of a general of the police, and that Heydrich's
income from his office was more than 30,000 RM, not because
he was paid for a higher rank but in recognition of his
completely different position. Any comparison is out of the

Q. Now, my next question. Is it correct that Himmler was
frightened of Heydrich because, from his point of view,
Heydrich had been given too much authority, and that for
that reason he thought that by calling on you he had found
the very man who would be completely safe for him, Himmler?
In this connection the prosecution has drawn a parallel
between you and Heydrich, and, as I have already just said,
has described you as the second Heydrich.

                                                  [Page 288]

A. The relationship between Himmler and Heydrich can be
characterised shortly as follows: Heydrich was by far the
more intelligent of the two. He was first of all an
unusually docile and obedient ...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kauffmann, we do not want to know
anything about Heydrich's intelligence. The witness has said
over and over again that he was not his successor.


Q. In that case I will repeat the question which I put
earlier, and which is the following:

Did Himmler, by calling on you, think he had found a man who
was completely safe for him, Himmler?

A. He was determined never again to allocate to any man as
much executive power as Heydrich had enjoyed. The moment
Heydrich was dead, Himmler took over the entire department
and never let the executive powers out of his hands again.
He had learned, in the person of Heydrich, how dangerous the
Chief of the Security Police could become. He didn't want to
run that risk a second time.

Q. In other words, what you want to say, finally, is that
after Heydrich died, Himmler wanted to and did retain the
whole executive powers in his hands?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, another question. You stated yesterday that it was
only later on that you learned of the conception of the so-
called "final solution." In effect, such instructions went
from Himmler to Heydrich and to Eichmann as early as 1941,
or 1942. Is it true that you frequently met Himmler? Were
you a friend of his?

A. It is utterly wrong to call the relationship between
Himmler and myself friendship. Just like every other
official, I was treated by him in an extremely cool and
reserved manner. He wasn't a man who could enter into
personal relationship with anyone.

Q. It is natural for me to assume, if I put myself in the
position of the prosecution, that you must have had
knowledge of the "final solution" if you met Himmler
frequently. I therefore ask you again: Didn't Himmler at
some time put to you clearly what this "final solution" was?

A. No. I said yesterday that, on the basis of all documents
which accumulated during the summer and autumn of 1943,
including reports from enemy broadcasts and foreign reports,
I came to the conviction that the statement regarding the
destruction of Jews was true, and that, thus convinced, I
immediately went to see Hitler, and the next day Himmler,
and complained to both of them saying that I would not for
one single minute support any such action. Beginning with
that moment -

Q. Yes, well, you said so yesterday. You needn't repeat it

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kauffmann, he told us that before and you
told us that you would finish in an hour; you have now been
nearly an hour and a half.

DR. KAUFFMANN: I have only two or three questions.


Q. The trial brief of the prosecution contains a statement
of Schellenberg, and it runs as follows:

  "What am I going to do with Kaltenbrunner? He would have
  me completely under his thumb in that case."

This is stated by Schellenberg in an affidavit, and it is
supposed to have been said by Himmler. Please, will you give
a very brief statement regarding the fact whether you would
consider such a statement by Himmler at all probable?

A. I don't consider such a statement probable. If he did say
it, then it can only have been in connection with -

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal does not think that is a
permissible question to put to the witness.

DR. KAUFFMANN: In the trial brief a document of this kind
has been presented

                                                  [Page 289]

and charged against you but, if the President does not wish
that question, I shall be glad to withdraw it. I

THE PRESIDENT: It seems to be merely a matter of argument,
and you cannot criticise this affidavit, if the affidavit is
in evidence.


Q. I now come to the last question. I ask you whether it
would have been possible for you, after you gradually became
aware of conditions within the Gestapo and concentration
camps, etc., to have brought about a change? If that was the
case, can you say that by staying on in your position you
achieved any alleviation in this sphere and an improvement
of conditions?

A. I repeatedly applied to be sent to the front, but the
most burning question which I personally had to decide was:
"Will conditions be thus improved or alleviated? Will
anything be changed? Or is it my duty in my capacity to do
what is necessary to change all these painful conditions?"

Upon repeated refusals to my request to be posted to the
front, I had no other alternative than to try myself to
alter a system, the ideological and legal basis of which
could in reality not be altered by me, as had been proved by
all the orders issued before my time and offered in evidence
here. All that I could do was to try to modify these
methods, hoping that they would eventually be abolished

Q. Did your conscience permit you to remain in office?

A. When I considered the possibility of exerting more and
more influence on Hitler and Himmler and other persons, my
conscience would not allow me to leave my position. I
thought it my duty personally to take a stand against wrong.

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

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the defendants' counsel wish to ask
any question of the defendant?

BY DR. DIX (counsel for defendant Schacht):

Q. Do you know, witness, that Schacht, before he was taken
into custody by the Allied Forces, had been in a
concentration camp?

A. Yes.

Q. How long have you known that?

A. Since his wife wrote me a letter, and I think that she
requested me to present a petition so that she might get her
husband out.

Q. And about when was that?

A. I believe it was around Christmas, 1944.

Q. Do you know or have you any idea at whose suggestion
Schacht was interned in a concentration camp?

A. I believe that on the very same day I sent this letter
from Schacht's wife by courier to the office of the Adjutant
to Hitler, and received word through Fegelein or one of
Hitler's adjutants that Hitler was to be consulted in this
matter. Some time later I learned that Schacht had been
interned on Hitler's order because he was suspected of
working together with Goerdeler or in any case was one of
the instigators of the high treason plot and the attempted
assassination of Hitler on 20th July, 1944.

Q. I have a letter I received a short time ago, written by a
former concentration camp inmate, who was told by
Obersturmbannfuehrer Stawitzky ... Do you know him?

A. No.

Q. He was the last commandant of the concentration camp at
Flossenburg. In this letter I am told that this Stawitzky
had told him that he had been ordered to murder Schacht
along with the other prominent internees like Canaris. Do
you know anything about such an order for the murder of

                                                  [Page 290]

A. No.

Q. Do you consider it possible that Stawitzky might have
decided on such a step through his own authority?

A. No.

Q. If I interpret your answer correctly, such an instruction
could have come only from the highest level, that is, either
from Hitler or Himmler.

A. Yes, you may assume that. As far as Schacht is concerned,
it could only have been an order from Hitler himself.

DR. DIX: Thank you.

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