The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/13

Q. Were you acquainted with Martin Sandberger, Group Leader
VIa of the R.S.H.A.?

A. He was the first assistant of this man Schellenberg who
has been mentioned, and he acted as intermediary between
Himmler and Schellenberg.

COLONEL AMEN: I ask to have the defendant shown Document
3838-PS, which will become Exhibit USA 800.

Q. I call your attention to the first two paragraphs only of
that affidavit:

  "In my capacity as group leader VIa at the R.S.H.A., the
  following became known to me:
  In February, 1945, I was told by group leader S.S.
  Standartenfuehrer Steinle that he had to represent
  Schellenberg at the daily Section Chief meetings. On that
  occasion, Muller (Section IV) presented to Kaltenbrunner
  a list of persons who were in confinement in or close to
  Berlin, for Kaltenbrunner to decide if they were to be
  transported to Southern Germany or if they were to be
  shot, because the Russian Armies were closing in on
  Berlin. Steinle did not know who these people were.
  Kaltenbrunner made his decisions in an extremely hasty
  and superficial manner and Steinle expressed his
  indignation to me about the frivolity of the procedure. I
  assumed that Kaltenbrunner had ordered a number of
  shootings, because if evacuation had been ordered, there
  would have been no talk about the frivolity."

Is that affidavit true or false?

A. The statement is not correct and, although it surprises
me, I can immediately contradict it. Perhaps I may draw
attention to the following points:

The document was prepared at Oberursel on 19th November,
1945, and is based on the testimony of the witness
Sandberger. In the second half of the first paragraph - no,
I beg your pardon, in the second paragraph, he says "As I
was informed by Schellenberg in September, 1945, at an
internment camp in England when taking a walk ..." You can
gather from the second part that he, together with
Schellenberg, was in an interrogation camp near London, in
which I also was kept for ten weeks, and that they had
detailed discussions. It is important, because something
more will have to be said about this man Schellenberg, i.e.
as to whether Sandberger received this information from
Steinle before February, 1945, or whether he got it through
Schellenberg in London when they were interned together.
That can only be ascertained by having this man Sandberger
questioned here through my defence counsel. Until then, I
must contradict this statement altogether.

Q. All right.

A. Secondly. - No - I have by no means finished what I have
to say. Secondly, Sandberger states that he had heard from
Steinle something that he, Steinle, had heard. Personally I
would not attach too much credit to any information at third
or fourth hand, and I would strongly challenge a statement
of the kind Steinle has made. I had not the authority to
make such decisions nor could Steinle, Sandberger or
Schellenberg ever have doubted that only Himmler personally
could have made such decisions as these.

                                                  [Page 311]

Thirdly, only once did I hear of such treatment of
detainees. I intervened and made that known here. This was
in the case of Schuschnigg, who was in one such camp which
was threatened by the Russians. On 1st February, 1945 - I
remember this date very well and it can be confirmed by
another defendant here - I replied to this other defendant
when he asked "Can we not do something for Schuschnigg so
that he will not fall into the hands of the Russians? Will
you or shall I make the suggestion to the Fuehrer, to have
him released from detention or at least to take him
somewhere where he will not fall into the hands of the
Russians but rather into American hands?" Whereupon, one of
us - I cannot remember which, possibly both of us - took
this proposal to Hitler.

THE PRESIDENT: Surely you are going very far afield. The
Tribunal quite understands that you point out, which is
obvious, that this is hearsay evidence. The only question
for you is whether Muller did on this occasion present a
list of names to you, and we understand that you say he did
not. We do not want to hear argument about it.

A. No, your Lordship, Muller did not, submit such a list to
me, but I must define my attitude to this document which has
just been shown to me for the first time. I do not want it
to appear to the Tribunal that I can only defend myself
after I have been in close consultation with my lawyer for
hours. I want to tell the prosecutor at once that this is
not true. I must in some way fight to be believed. I cannot
give an answer straight away and I cannot make it easier for
the prosecutor except by requesting him to bring this
witness Sandberger into court - they can discuss with him at
length in the meantime - so that I may tell him why it is
not true. I must be able to tell the Tribunal why these
things are untrue.

Q. Defendant, are you familiar with any of the so-called
"Bullet" orders that were directed to the Mauthausen
Concentration Camp? "Yes" or "No"?

A. I made a detailed statement on this "Kugel" order
yesterday and I stated that I did not know of it.

Q. Did you ever issue any oral orders supplementing the so-
called "Bullet" order, you yourself: Did you ever issue any

A. No.

COLONEL AMEN: I ask to have the defendant shown Document
3844-PS, which will become Exhibit USA 801.

Q. Were you acquainted with Josef Niedermayer, defendant?
Josef Niedermayer?

A. No. I do not recollect having known anybody of that name.

Q. Well, perhaps this will refresh your memory. Paragraph 1:

  "From the autumn of 1942 until May, 1945, the so-called
  cell-barracks of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp were
  under my supervision.
  Paragraph 2. At the beginning of December, 1944, the so-
  called "Bullet" orders were shown to me in the political
  department of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. These
  were two orders, each of which bore the signature of
  Kaltenbrunner. I saw both of these signatures myself. One
  of these orders stated that foreign civilian workers who
  had repeatedly escaped from labour camps were, on
  recapture, to be sent to the Mauthausen Concentration
  Camp under the 'Bullet' action.
  The second order stated that the same procedure was to be
  followed with officers and non-commissioned officers who
  were prisoners of war, with the exception of British and
  Americans, if they repeatedly escaped from prisoner-of-
  war camps. These prisoners of war were also to be brought
  to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp.
  Paragraph3. On the strength of this 'Bullet' order and
  the oral instructions of Kaltenbrunner which accompanied
  it, 1,300 foreign civilian workers, officers and non-
  commissioned officers were brought to the Mauthausen
  Concentration Camp. There they were lodged in block
  number 20, and
                                                  [Page 312]
  fed so badly, according to orders, that they starved.
  Eight hundred of them died from hunger and illness. The
  bad food and the lack of medical care were the result of
  the personal orders of Kaltenbrunner."

Is that statement true or false, defendant?

A. It is not correct. I believe that I can invalidate this
document. May I draw your attention to Page 2? On Page 2,
paragraph 3, it says in the third line:

"1,300 foreign civilian workers, officers and non-
commissioned officers were brought - ." From the words "...
civilian workers - "

Q. Defendant, I am primarily interested in paragraph 2,
which has to do with the fact that the person who makes the
affidavit saw two "Bullet" orders bearing your signature. Is
that, so far as you know, true or false?

A. False; I said yesterday, and I repeat it today under
oath, that these "Kugel" orders were not known to me. To
dispute the credibility of the witness and the evidential
value of the document, I must be able to raise my arguments
on those points about which it is particularly obvious that
the prosecution is wrong. That is, in the third line of
paragraph 3, here the witness - who has a completely
different signature to that of the person who has written
the rest of the statement - and this is a fact to which I
would like to invite the attention of the Tribunal - the
witness completely forgot that the "Bullet" order, the text
of which has been read out here repeatedly, referred to
officers and non-commissioned officers, but not to civilian
workers. How can he use an erroneously quoted order when
making a statement? I could not pass the death sentence for
murder on the strength of a civilian paragraph such as 820
of BGB, nor could I, on the strength of the "Bullet" order,
lock civilian workers up in a camp. The witness, in his
haste and anxiety to oblige, had forgotten these details.

Nor do I believe that this man has ever seen a document
which bears my signature. Such a document was never
submitted to me either.

Once again, I must ask that this witness - and I am sure
there will be some more on the Mauthausen question - that
this witness and all the others should be brought here and
questioned as to how their statements came to be made.

Q. Defendant, do you recall the testimony of the witness
Wisliceny with respect to your participation in the forced
labour programme on the defences below Vienna?

A. I had not quite finished answering your last question;
excuse me, but I still have something vital to say on this

Q. I thought you were through with that.

A. Yes, I thought so too, but I have just remembered
something important.

Q. All right.

A. It is very relevant that I should refer you to what I
said about the "Kugel" order yesterday, or the "Bullet"
order. I stated that it became known to me in December or
January, 1944 or 1945, and what my reaction was, and how I
opposed it. These circumstances also explain the fact that I
could not, shortly before that, have signed this order

Apart from that, it is totally impossible for Kaltenbrunner
to have signed a "Bullet" order, when it is clear to the
prosecution here that it had already been signed in 1941 by
Hitler. This is why I wanted to make that final remark about
the document.

Now, will you please be good enough to repeat the next

Q. I want to call your attention to the testimony of
Wisliceny with respect to your participation in the forced
labour programme on the defences below Vienna. Are you
familiar with what he said in this court?

A. No.

Q. Well, I will read it to you. It is very short:

                                                  [Page 313]

  Question: With reference to the Jews who were left in
  Budapest - what happened to them?
  Answer: In October-November, 1944, about 30,000 - perhaps
  a few thousand more - were taken out and brought to
  Germany. They were to be used for work on the defences in
  Vienna. They were mostly women. A small number of these
  people were put into the labour camps on the Lower
  Danube, and they died there from sheer exhaustion. A
  small percentage, perhaps 12,000, were taken to Vienna,
  the boundary part to the West, and about 3,000 were taken
  to Bergen and Belsen and then to Switzerland. Those were
  Jews that had come from Germany."

Now, defendant, do you recall having had any correspondence
with the Burgermeister of the City of Vienna with respect to
the assignment of this forced labour?

A. I have never written a single letter to the Burgermeister
of Budapest, and I should very much like to ask you to show
me any such letter.

Q. I didn't say Budapest, I said the Burgermeister of the
City of Vienna, or I intended to, if I did not.

A. The Mayor of Vienna? I cannot remember having had any
correspondence with him either. I think I may be able to
explain the matter to you by saying that these fortification
works which must be meant here, did not come under the City
of Vienna, but under the district of the Lower Danube. I did
not know that Vienna had a joint frontier with Hungary.

Q. Well, you have already testified that you had nothing to
do with participating in this forced labour programme: is
that not correct?

A. Yes.

Q. All right.

COLONEL AMEN: I ask to have the defendant shown Document
3803-PS, Exhibit USA 802.

(The document was submitted to the witness.)

Q. I call your attention to the first three paragraphs. You
will note that the letter comes from yourself, and reads as

  "To: To the Burgermeister of the City of Vienna, S.S.
  Brigadefuehrer Blaschke.
  Subject: Assignment of Labour Force to Essential War Work
  in the City of Vienna.
  Re: Your letter of 7th June, 1944.
  Dear Blaschke:
  For the special reasons cited by you I have in the
  meantime given orders to direct several evacuation
  transports to Vienna-Strasshof. S.S. Brigadefuehrer Dr.
  Dellbruegge had, as a matter of fact, already written to
  me concerning the same matter. At the moment it is a
  question of four transports with approximately 12,000
  Jews. They should reach Vienna within the next few days.
  According to previous experience it is estimated that 30
  per cent of the transport will consist of Jews able to
  work - approximately 3,600 in this case - who can be
  utilised for the work in question, it being understood
  that they are subject to removal by you at any time. It
  is obvious that these people must be put in a well-
  guarded, enclosed place of work and accommodated in
  secured camps, and this is an absolute prerequisite for
  making these Jews available.
  The women and children among these Jews who are unable to
  work, and who are all being kept in readiness for special
  action, and will therefore one day be removed again, must
  stay in the camp also during the day.
  Please discuss further details with the State Police
  Headquarters in Vienna, S.S. Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr.
  Ebner and S.S. Obersturmbannfuehrer Krumey

                                                  [Page 314]

   from the Special Action Command (Sondereinsatzkommando)
   Hungary, of whom the latter is at present in Vienna.
   I hope these transports will be of help to you in
   carrying out the urgent work you have in view.
   Heil Hitler.
   Yours Kaltenbrunner."

Now, do you recall that communication?

A. No.

Q. Do you deny having written that letter?

A. Yes.

Q. Well, I think, defendant, that this time your signature
is affixed to the original of this letter. Have you the

A. Yes.

Q. Is that not your signature?

A. No, that is not my signature. It is a signature either in
ink or it is a facsimile, but it is not mine.

Q. Defendant, I want to show you samples of your signature
which you gave in the course of your interrogatories, and I
ask you to tell me whether or not these are your signatures.

A. I have already made hundreds of such signatures, and they
are probably right. The one in pencil, the document signed
in pencil, has been signed by me.

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