The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/13

Q. Well, will you indicate them in some way, so that the
Tribunal can look at the signatures which you admit are your
own, and compare them with the signature on this Document
3803-PS, Exhibit USA 802?

A. The signatures on these papers which are written in
pencil are mine; they are my own.

Q. All of them?

A. All three.

Q. All right.

A. But not the one in ink.

Q. Very good.

(The documents were submitted to the Tribunal.)

COLONEL AMEN: Shall I continue, your Lordship?

THE PRESIDENT: One moment, please.

Go on, Colonel Amen.


Q. Defendant, you have heard the evidence with respect to
the establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto and the clearing of
the Ghetto.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you passing from this document?

COLONEL AMEN: Yes, your Honour.

THE PRESIDENT: We had better adjourn for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

DR. THOMA: Mr. President, I have to begin submitting my
evidence in the next few days and I do not know yet whether
my Document Book 1 is admissible. Will you please also tell
me on what day and at what time this can be discussed?

(A short pause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, the Tribunal thinks that, subject
to anything you have to say, half-past twelve tomorrow -
that is Saturday morning - would be a good time at which we
could decide the admissibility of your documents.

DR. THOMA: Thank you very much indeed.

COLONEL AMEN: If the Tribunal please, I want to revert for a
moment to Document 3803-PS with the signature.


Q. Defendant, have you the original of that exhibit before

                                                  [Page 315]

A. Yes.

Q. Will you look at the signature and tell me whether you do
not find written by hand, just above the signature, the
letters "D-E-I-N"?

Q. Yes.

Q. And as I understand it, that word means "yours"; in other
words, it is an intimate expression used only between close
personal friends, is that not correct?

A. In German there are only two forms of concluding a letter
- either "Ihr "I-H-R," or "Dein," D-E-I-N." We use the
latter - " Dein" - if we are on close terms, friendly terms.
Blaschke, the Mayor of Vienna, is a friend of mine.

Q. Now, would it not be an absolutely ridiculous and
unthinkable thing that a stamp or facsimile would be made up
which contained not only a signature but the expression
"Dein" above the signature?

A. That would be nonsensical; I wholly agree with that, but
I did not say that it must be a facsimile signature. I just
said that it is not my signature.

It is either a facsimile or it has been put underneath with
another signature. The author of this letter - you did not
allow me to finish before - as seen from the code in the
upper left-hand comer is to be found in Sections IVa and b.
Every-one in the department, and the entire German Reich,
knew that the Mayor of Vienna, Blaschke, and myself had been
close personal friends since our mutual political activity
in Vienna, that is for about ten years, and had used the
familiar form of address, "Du." Therefore, if I had been
absent from Berlin, and the letter was urgent - as I assume
to be the case from the contents - the official might have
considered it justifiable to write in this form. I did not
authorise him and, of course, he had no right to do so, but
that is the only way I can explain it.

Q. Then, defendant, at least you agree that it is not a
facsimile signature - is that correct?

A. It would be most unusual to have a stamp with the word,
"Dein." It would be entirely out of the question. Therefore,
the official himself must have written the signature.
Everybody knew that I was on familiar terms with Blaschke
and therefore the word "Dein" had to appear if he used my
signature at all.

Please look at the figure 30 also. From many samples of my
writing you can see that I do not write like that at all.

Q. Defendant, is it not equally ridiculous to think that a
person, or an official - as you term him - in signing such a
letter on your behalf would try to imitate your signature?

A. Quite right, but, sir, it would be a matter of course,
when writing to the Mayor of Vienna, a man with whom the
official perhaps knew I was on familiar terms, to put my
name typewritten under a personal letter. But after all that
would really be impossible. If I was not in Berlin he had
only two possibilities open to him: either to type it in or
to make it seem as though I, Kaltenbrunner,
were actually there.

Q. Is it not a fact that you are simply lying about your
signature on this letter, in the same way that you are lying
to this Tribunal about almost everything else you have given
testimony about? Isn't that a fact?

A. For a whole year I have had to submit to this insult of
being called a liar. For a whole year I have been
interrogated hundreds of times both here and in London, and
I have been insulted in this way and even worse. My mother,
who died in 1943, was called a whore, and other similar
things were hurled at me. This term - liar - is not new to
me, but I should like to state that in a matter of this kind
I certainly would not tell an untruth, seeing that I claim
to be believed by this Tribunal on far more important

Q. I am suggesting, defendant, that when your testimony is
so directly contrary to that of twenty or thirty other
witnesses and far more documents, it is an almost incredible
thing that you should be telling the truth, and that every
witness and every document should be false. Don't you agree
to that?

A. No. I cannot admit that. So far I have had the feeling
each time a docu-

                                                  [Page 316]

ment has been submitted to me today, that it could, at first
glance, be immediately refuted by me in its most vital
points. I ask, and I hope that the Tribunal will allow me to
refer to single points and to come into closer contact with
individual witnesses, so that I may defend myself.
Throughout the preliminary interrogations your colleague
always adopted the attitude that I was making denials and
being hostile on insignificant points. This is a form of
expeditious trial proceedings with which I am not familiar.
Had he questioned me about really important things in order
to get at the truth, I believe we would have been able to
obtain really important results. I am perhaps the only
defendant who, on receiving the Indictment and being asked
"Are you ready to make any further statements to the
prosecution," said, "Immediately, and to sign them too.
Please produce them. From today after receiving the
Indictment, I am at the disposal of the prosecution for any
information." Is it not so? Please confirm it. That
gentleman (he points to an interpreter) interrogated me. I
have always been ready, that is, during the last five
months, to give information on any question, but I have not
been asked.

THE PRESIDENT: You must try to restrain yourself. And when
you see the light, speak slower. You know about the light,
don't you?


Q. Is it not a fact, defendant, that on the occasion of your
last interrogation, you stated that you did not wish to be
questioned any more, because the questions seemed to be
designed to help the prosecution rather than to help your
case, and that you were told that in that event you were not
being questioned any more; that you were also informed that
there were other documents and other material with which you
had not been confronted and that if you desired, at any
time, to come back and be questioned with respect to those
matters, you should tell your lawyers so and send a note,
and that the interrogator would be very happy to continue
questioning you? Is that not a fact, yes or no?

A. No, Sir, that was not the case. I made that statement
repeatedly when I was being interrogated on points of
detail. It was in the evening and it was getting very late.
I believe it was about eight, I can remember the room very
well. I was led out of the room. The interpreter, whom I saw
here this morning, was sitting at a long table with two or
three other officials. They said, "You have received the
Indictment today," and I said, "Yes, I have." They said,
"Are you aware that from now on you will have to speak with
the General Secretary about your defence? Do you wish to be
interrogated further?" to which I replied, "Yes, I am at
your disposal at any time." Whereupon this interpreter
looked at me in a rather startled manner, for he did not
expect that statement from me; apparently all the others had
said, "No, we are glad that these interrogations are at an
end; now we can work on our defence."

Q. Now, defendant, I want to read to you from your last
interrogatory; after a question as to whether the testimony
was being sufficiently helpful to you for you to wish to
continue, you answered as follows:

  "A. This would at least be as important for my defence as
  the material which is helping the prosecutor's case and
  about which the interrogator has asked me repeatedly;
  therefore, I have the feeling that I am still in the
  hands of the prosecutor and not in the hands of a judge
  in charge of a preliminary hearing. As the Indictment has
  been served, I find myself now in a position where I can
  prepare my own defence, and I therefore do not think it
  right that you should continue to look for material which
  would incriminate me. Please do not regard this as any
  criticism or rebuttal, because I have never been informed
  about the procedure to be followed in these hearings and
  I do not know about it, but according to my knowledge of
  legal procedure, this is incorrect. I have never been
  given the opportunity of confronting other witnesses and
  of reminding them that this and that did not happen in
  this and that way, etc.

                                                  [Page 317]
  Q. Is your statement made in the form of an objection to
  further questioning?
  A. If, as I stated it now, there is a possibility of my
  being confronted with witnesses and of doing something
  about testimony in my favour, I would be very glad to
  continue, but even so I have the feeling that it would be
  better to do this during the evidence at the trial
  itself. I believe I should discuss this first with my
  defence counsel.
  Q. Well, if there is any question in your mind about
  whether you should go further in any interrogatory by the
  Office of Chief of Counsel, or the U.S. representative to
  the International Military Tribunal, I think you should
  talk to your counsel too. You have never been under any
  compulsion to answer either before or since this
  Indictment was served. I think you will agree that your
  treatment has been fair in all circumstances.
  A. Yes," -and so on.

Is that not correct?

A. Yes, sir, it confirms exactly what I have been telling
you. The material that you just read states that I did not
agree that interrogations and discussions should be broken
off suddenly. I said that I had never had any opportunity of
speaking with the witnesses with whom I was confronted. It
confirms that I asked you to bring me face to face with the
witnesses, so that I might talk with them. I do not deny
that I also said that I was glad that now I could start to
prepare my defence. Actually that is so. But I did not say
in the course of such a lengthy statement - it has not been
read out to me - that I no longer placed myself at the
disposal of the interrogator. I stated just the opposite -
and you read that too - that I was at the disposal of the

Q. Defendant, let us get to the Warsaw Ghetto. Do you recall
from the evidence before this Tribunal, that some 400,000
Jews were first put into the Ghetto and then in the final
action, S.S. troops cleared out about 56,000, of whom more
than 14,000 were killed. Do you recall that evidence?

A. No, I do not recall any details; what I know about this
matter, I have already stated.

Q. Did you know that substantially all these 400,000 Jews
were murdered at the extermination plant at Treblinka? Did
you know that?

A. No.

Q. What did you have to do with the final destruction of the
Warsaw Ghetto - nothing as usual?

A. I had nothing to do with it, as I already stated.

Q. I ask to have the defendant shown Document 3840-PS, which
will become Exhibit USA 803. Were you acquainted with Karl

A. No, that name is not known to me.

Q. Does it help you to remember if I suggest to you that he
was General Stroop's adjutant?

A. I did not know General Stroop's adjutant, nor the name
which you just mentioned to me, "Kaleske," I did not know
that either.

Q. Let us get to his affidavit. Have you got it before you

A. Yes.

  Q. "My name is Karl Kaleske. I was Adjutant to Doctor von
  Sammern-Frankenegg from the summer of 1942 until April,
  1943, while he was S.S. and Polizeifuehrer of Warsaw. I
  then became Adjutant to S.S. and Polizeifuehrer Stroop
  until August, 1943. The action against the Warsaw Ghetto
  was planned while von Sammern-Frankenegg was S.S. and
  Polizeifuehrer General Stroop took over the command on
  the day of the commencement of the action. The function
  of the Security Police during the action against the
  Warsaw Ghetto was to accompany the S.S. troops. A certain
  number of S.S. troops were assigned to the task to clear
  a certain street. With every S.S. group there were from
  four to six Security policemen, because they knew the
                                                  [Page 318]
  very well. These Security policemen were under Doctor
  Hahn, Commander of the Security Police for Warsaw. Hahn
  received his orders not from the S.S. and
  'Polizeifuehrer' of Warsaw, but directly from
  Kaltenbrunner in Berlin. This applies not only to the
  Ghetto action but to all matters. Doctor Hahn frequently
  came to our office and told the S.S. and Polizeifuehrer
  that he had received such and such an order from
  Kaltenbrunner about the contents of which he wanted to
  inform the S.S. and Polizeifuehrer only. He would not do
  this for every order, but only for certain ones.
  I remember the case of three hundred foreign Jews who had
  been collected in the Polski Hotel by the Security
  Police. At the end of the Ghetto action Kaltenbrunner
  ordered the Security Police to transport these people
  away. During my time in Warsaw the Security Police was in
  charge of matters concerning the Underground. The
  Security Police handled these matters independently of
  the S.S. and Polizeifuehrer, and received its orders from
  Kaltenbrunner in Berlin. When the leader of the
  Underground in Warsaw was captured in June or July, 1943,
  he was flown directly to Kaltenbrunner in Berlin.

Are these statements true or false, defendant?

A. These statements are, without exception, wrong.

Q. Just like all the other statements of all the other
persons that have been read to you today? Is that correct?

A. This statement is not correct. It is not true and can be

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