The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. You declare that neither you personally nor the
Administration of the Government General were, in any way,
closely connected with the activities of the police. Have I
understood you correctly?

A. We had daily contact with the police, but we had
differences of opinion. Apart from that the police were not
under my jurisdiction; the chief of police was in no way
under my orders.

Q. In that case the police did not come within your

A. No.

Q. How then can you explain that no one but you carried on
successful negotiations with the police for the exploitation
of the real estate of Jews executed in the concentration
camps? Do you remember these negotiations?

A. I didn't quite understand you.

Q. I ask you: if you had no direct relations with the
police, how can you explain the fact that you, and no other
but you, was the person who carried on successful
negotiations with the police for the exploitation of real
estate belonging to Jews murdered in the concentration
camps? Do you remember these negotiations with the police?

                                                  [Page 164]

A. I do not remember any such negotiations, and I couldn't
have conducted them. In any case the administration was the
office which, under the arrangements of the Four-Year Plan,
had to carry out the order to confiscate Jewish property.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Mr. President, have I your permission to
submit a document handed to us by the American Prosecution,
Document 2819-PS? It is a directive issued by the
Administration of the Economic Department of the Government
General and addressed to the Governors of Warsaw, Radom,
Lublin and Galicia. Have I your permission to present this

   "Subject: Transfer of Jewish Movable Property from the
   S.S. to the Government.
   I inform you herewith that on 21 February, 1944, in the
   presence of various departmental presidents, an
   agreement was reached by State Secretary, Dr. Buehler,
   and the Higher S.S. and Police Leader,
   Obergruppenfuehrer Koppe, that movable Jewish property,
   insofar as it is or will in the future be in depots,
   will be placed at the disposal of the Government by the
   S.S. In execution of the agreement arrived at I order
   that the taking over of the goods stored in the various
   S.S. depots shall take place in the near future. Goods
   deriving from confiscation and safeguarding will
   likewise be turned over to me by the commander of the
   Security Police and the Security Service. Please get in
   touch with the local S.S.- and Police Leader in order to
   clarify the position."

Here I interrupt the quotation. After this, do you still
insist that you had no relations with the police?

A. I had to work together with the police daily. I don't
want to deny it for a moment, but I had no right to give
orders to the police.

Q. In any case the property of Jews murdered in the
concentration camps of Poland was, as a result of your
negotiations, transferred to warehouses in the Government

A. That is not correct. The property mentioned was not that
which originated from Jews who were killed, but property
which originated directly from Jews, and which was diverted
by the police from orderly conversion through the

Q. But could the Security Police or the S.D. be in
possession of property belonging to Jews who were not

A. Why not? Right from the beginning the police had taken
over Jewish problems, and therefore also came into
possession of their property in this manner.

Q. But did the storehouse at Auschwitz, on Chopin Street,
also keep the property of Jews who had not been murdered? Of
Jews who were still alive?

A. The "camps" which have been mentioned here aren't to be
interpreted as being concentration camps, but as depots
where goods were stored. [NB. The German word lager means
both "camp" and 11 depot" or "warehouse".]

Q. What other warehouses were there for storing the movable
property of Jews besides those in the concentration camps?

A. I didn't know what the position was as regards
concentration camps, since I have never entered or seen one;
but that the police took possession of movable Jewish
property, that, at any rate, is something I was told about
by the chief of my trustee department.

Q. I am asking you this: in 1944, when mass death sentences
were being carried out in Auschwitz and Maidanek, what
warehouses existed for the storage of Jewish movable
property besides those which stored such property belonging
to Jews executed in concentration camps? Do you know of any
other warehouses, and, if so, where they were located?

A. The Jews were deprived of their property on the spot. I
have never

                                                  [Page 165]

assumed that Jewish property was located in concentration
camps. I didn't know anything at all about these camps. And
where the police took that movable property to was not clear
to me, but depots must have existed.

Q. I would draw your attention to the date - 21 February,
1944. At that time were there any Jews still alive in Poland
or were the Jewish ghettos already quite empty?

A. The Jewish ghettos were empty, but there were still some
Jews; I know that, because they were being used in one way
or another in the armament industry. Jewish property could
not have been removed from the territory, it must have been
somewhere in the Government General, very probably near the
ghettos or wherever else the evacuation of Jews took place.
And this teleprint, I repeat, does not concern stores which
were in concentration camps; they were everywhere. Every
place had stored somewhere the property originating from the
resettlement of the Jews.

Q. Then the Jewish ghettos were already empty. In that case,
what did happen to the Jews from Poland.

A. When these Jewish ghettos were emptied I assumed they
were resettled in the North-East of Europe. The Chief of the
R.S.H.A. had definitely told me at the conference in
February, 1942, that this was the intention.

Q. On 21 February, 1944, the front passed through the
Government General. How and where could the Jews have been
transferred to the North-East?

A. According to the conference this was to take place in

Q. The document is dated 1944, 21 February, 1944.

A. Yes.

Q. I pass on to the next question. Tell me, does the fact
that the Police Chiefs attend all the conferences at the
Headquarters of the Governor General, and that the Governor
General arranged for special conferences to be held for
dealing exclusively with police matters, not indicate that
the very closest relations existed between the
Administration Offices of the Governor General and the

A. I already mentioned at the beginning that the view of the
Governor General was that he should have jurisdiction over
the police. This is the reason why the Governor General
repeatedly called the police for discussions round the
conference table. But that did not prevent the police from
going their own way and using methods of their own.

Q. But were no conferences held by the Governor General for
dealing directly and exclusively with police problems, and
with police problems only?

A. Yes, from time to time.

Q. Very well. Then will you tell me who took Kruger's place
when he was dismissed from his post as Chief of Police?

A. As far as I can remember Kruger was removed from his
position in Cracow in November, 1943, and was replaced by
Obergruppenfuehrer Koppe.

Q. What were your personal relations with Koppe?

A. Due to the fact that the relationship with the police
under Kruger had always been hostile and because, whenever
the administration had wished to co-operate with the police
it was always frustrated by Kruger, after he left Cracow I
tried to establish a comradely relationship with the new
Higher S.S. and Police Leader, so that in this manner I
could influence the work and methods of the police.

Q. Could you answer briefly: just what were your personal
relationships with Koppe? Were they good or bad?

A. They were a feeling of comradeship.

Q. I should like to show you one document. You, Mr.
President, will find the passage on Page 38, paragraph 2, of
the Russian translation.

I am reading the passage into the record. It is a statement
made by Frank to Himmler at the conference with Himmler on
12 February, 1944:

                                                  [Page 166]

  "Immediately after the greetings, Reichsfuehrer S.S.
  Himmler, entered into conversation with me and S.S.-
  Obergruppenfuehrer Koppe. The Reichsfuehrer asked me
  right at the beginning how I was co-operating with the
  new Secretary of State for Security, S.S.-
  ObergruppenFuehrer Koppe. I expressed my deep
  satisfaction at the fact that between myself and S.S.-
  ObergruppenFuehrer Koppe, as well as between State
  Secretary Dr. Buehler and himself, there existed an
  extraordinarily good relationship of friendly co-

Does that statement by Frank correspond to the facts,

A. At that time Koppe had been in the Government General
only a few weeks. This statement confirms just what I stated
here at the beginning, namely, that after Kruger had been
replaced by Koppe I tried through comrade-like relationship
with Koppe to gain influence over the police powers in the
Government General. Thus there wasn't any friction up to
that time.

Q. And between Koppe and Buehler, i.e., between Koppe and
yourself, there existed the most comradely collaboration; is
that correct?

A. I repeat, my relationship with Koppe was comradely. Apart
from that, the problems with which we had to deal brought me
into daily contact with him. For instance, there was this
question of Jewish property. One couldn't possibly have
discussed such a question with Kruger since he held the view
that all Jewish property belonged to the S.S.

Q. When Koppe took over the post of Chief of Police was
there any change with regard to the Polish population? Did
the police measures become less severe? Did they become less
repressive with Koppe's arrival?

A. I believe they were milder.

Q. I would like you to follow the minutes of one particular
Administrative Conference, of 16 December, 1943, held at
Cracow. Please show the witness the original. Incidentally,
is that your signature on the list of those present? On Page

A. Government meeting, 16 December, 1943? Yes, I signed
that, that's right.

Q. Tell me, do you remember who Ohlenbusch was?

A. Ohlenbusch was the President of the Chief Department of

Q. Was he in any way connected with the police or with the

A. Ohlenbusch participated in government meetings during
which the police were ordinarily present.

Q. But he himself, in his own function, did he have any
connection with the police or not?

A. As a State Official and Head of a Government Department
he did, of course, have connection with the police, official

Q. But he was an official of the civilian administration of
your organisation?

A. Yes, of course. As far as his official position was
concerned, he was subordinate to me.

Q. I am reading into the record a short extract from Page
176. Your Honour will find it on Page 33 of our document,
paragraph 3, Ohlenbusch's speech:

  "It would be well to consider whether, for reasons of
  expediency, one should not, as far as possible, carry out
  executions on the spot where the attempt upon the life of
  a German took place. One ought, perhaps, also to consider
  whether special execution sites should not be created for
  this purpose, for it has been observed that the Polish
  population streamed to the execution grounds, which were
  accessible to all, in order to place the blood-soaked
  earth into containers and take them to the Church."

Do you not consider this question a purely police question?
Do you not consider the question of organising secret
execution grounds as purely a matter for the police?

                                                  [Page 167]

A. Yes. I agree. For that reason this matter was by no means
approved of. But perhaps I may add that at the same time
German pedestrians in Cracow and Warsaw were being shot in
the back daily without any reason and that this affair was
due to the excitement which -

Q. I am asking you about something else, Witness. Do you not
consider the fact that this question was discussed at the
initiative of Ohlenbusch, as proof positive that even the
petty officials in the Civilian Administration interfered in
police matters and were in direct contact with the police.

A. No, I wouldn't say so. This wasn't suggested as a police
measure. It arose from the threat under which all Germans
lived at that stage of the occupation.

Q. This question of secret execution grounds - did it arise
on Ohlenbusch's initiative? I trust you are not going to
deny this.

A. What do you mean by this question?

Q. Did it arise on, was it provoked by the initiative of
Ohlenbusch? You are not going to deny it?

A. I don't know whether this was discussed at all. In my
opinion -

Q. (Interposing.) The type-written report of that conference
is before you, and you were present at that conference.

A. Yes, there are statements made by Ohlenbusch, if I am not
mistaken. Yes, it mentions President Ohlenbusch in here.
That's right.

Q. I shall proceed to the next question. Did S.S.
Obergruppenfuehrer Koppe not report on the subject at all
during the conference? I shall quote a brief excerpt which
your Honours will find on Page 34, paragraph 2. It is on
Page 180 of your Document Book.

   " ... For the railway outrage 150 Polish terrorists
   executed, and for the two German officials murdered, 50
   Polish terrorists executed, either on the spot or in the
   immediate vicinity. It must be remembered that the
   shooting of 200 people affects at least 3,000 people
   (including close and distant relatives)."

Q. Do you not consider this as evidence that with the
arrival of Koppe the same savage measures of repression were
used against the people of Poland?

A. Inasmuch as this mentions the shooting of 150 and 50
people, this obviously concerns the shooting of hostages,
which never did have the approval of the Governor General or
my approval. If I have nevertheless stated that, on the
whole, Koppe's regime appeared milder to me, then I must
stand by that statement of mine.

Q. Does this mean that the hostage system did not meet
either with your approval or with the approval of the
Governor General; is that correct?

A. It did not have my approval, and I don't think it had the
approval of the Governor General.

Q. Will you please look at Page 185 of the document in your
possession. I begin with the quotation:

  "The Governor General expressed his gratitude and
  recognition to S.S.-Obergruppenfuehrer Koppe for his
  effective work, and voiced his satisfaction at the fact
  that an expert with such high qualifications was at the
  head of the police organisation in the Government

He promised S.S.-ObergruppenFuehrer Koppe the active co-
operation of all offices in the Government General, and
expressed his best wishes for the success of his work. How
are we to interpret this statement?

A. This statement of the Governor General does not apply to
these 50 and 150 people. It applies to the work in general
which was to be done by Koppe in the Government General; and
one of the principles that was to be applied to that work -
which I helped to bring about - was that shootings of
hostages were to cease. It is quite possible that in this
case that principle had not yet been applied.

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