4000bce - 399
400 - 1399
1400 - 1499
1500 - 1599
1600 - 1699
1700 - 1799
1800 - 1899
1900 - 1999
[The witness Best resumed the stand.]
DR. HANS GAWLIK (Counsel for SD): Mr. President, may I be permitted to put three questions to the witness Best?
THE PRESIDENT: What special reason is there why you want to put questions to him?
DR. GAWLIK: I wanted to put these questions to Dr. Spengler, a witness who has been granted me but who has not arrived, and for that reason I would like to put the three questions to Dr. Best instead.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, for that special reason we will permit you to put the questions, but it is not to be regarded -as a general rule.
DR. GAWLIK: Turning to the witness.] I should like to show you a copy of the decree of 11 November 1938. I should like to refer to Page 4 of the German trial brief dealing with the Gestapo and SD. In this decree it says:
"The Security Service of the Reichsfuehrer SS (SD), as information service for Party and State has to fulfill important tasks, particularly for the support of the Security Police." Now, I should like to ask you, did you participate in the making of this decree?
DR. GAWLIK: Does this decree correctly represent the actual relationship between the Security Police and the SD?
BEST: In those years there were experiments constantly going on with the SD so that the scope of the tasks set up for the SD changed frequently. At the time when the decree mentioned was issued the chief of both the Security Police and the SD, Heydrich, was interested in having the SD gain an insight into the activity of the offices and agencies of the State. The exact wording of this decree was chosen in order to justify that aim sufficiently. In truth the scope of tasks to be put to the SD, whose model was to be the great foreign intelligence service, especially the British Intelligence Service, developed in such a manner that the SD was not to be an auxiliary branch of the Police but rather a purely political information organ of the State leadership, for the latter's own control of its political activities.
DR. GAWLIK: I have no further questions, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Does the Prosecution want to cross-examine?
LIEUTENANT COMMANDER WHITNEY R. HARRIS, U.S.N.R. (Assistant Trial Counsel for the United States): Dr. Best, you realize that you are one of two witnesses who have been called, out of possibly hundreds, to represent the Gestapo, before this Tribunal, do you not?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: And you realize that your credibility is. very important, do you not?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: You understand as a jurist of long standing the significance of the oath that you have taken?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: You stated yesterday, I believe that your publication, The German Police, was a purely private book and had no official status? Is that correct?
BEST: I said that it was my purely private work which originated without any contact with my superiors and without their knowledge. My chiefs-at that time Heydrich and Himmler-only knew of this work when the completed book was put before them.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: The question is whether this book of yours was or was not an official publication in any respect. Was it or was it not?
BEST: No, it was not an official publication.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: I ask that the witness be shown the Ministerialblatt of 1941, Page 119.
[The document was submitted to the witness.]
Now, you will notice that published in the Ministerialblatt for 1941 is a circular of the Reich Ministry of the Interior referring to your book and you will note that it states that:
the book is for offices and officials of Police, State, Party, and municipal administrations. This book represents a reference work which can also serve as an award for worthy officials. It is recommended that this book be acquired especially also by the libraries..."
And then the distribution is to various supreme Reich authorities. You see that there, do you not, Dr. Best.
BEST: Yes, indeed, and I can say only that this recommendation was published some time after the appearance of the book, without moreover, my having prior knowledge of it; and this recommendation is not to be considered more valuable than any recommendation of other books which had already been published and which subsequently were recognized as good and usable. I should like t emphasize again that before the publication of this book, I had no talked in any way with my superiors, nor with the agency which later published this recommendation.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Now I want to invite your attention t your book, Dr. Best, and particularly Page 99 of it.
You testified yesterday concerning the development of the Gestapo from the pre-existing political police. You say in your boo as follows; I am now quoting:
"In order to build up an independent and- powerful political police force, the like of which had not hitherto existed in Germany, regular officials of the former police force, on the one hand, and members of the SS, on the other hand, were brought in. With the uncompromising fighting spirit of the SS the new organization took up the struggle against enemies of the State for the safeguarding of the National Socialist leadership and order."
That is the correct statement of how the Gestapo came into being, is it not, Dr. Best?
BEST: To that I should like to say that that part of the me -which was newly taken into the SS-into the Political Police force was very small at first. I said yesterday that a certain number of employees were newly engaged. Then later, from among the candidates who applied for the regular career of the Secret State Police further members of the SS flocked in, so that the picture given in my book is absolutely correct, but the ratio in figures is not mentioned. I can say again today that the number of the regular officials-those old officials previously taken over as well as the candidates from the protection police-was much higher than the number taken in from the SS.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: All right. You said yesterday that you opposed the use of torture by the Gestapo in connection with interrogations and that you called Heydrich to account about that matter, did you not?
BEST: Yes, indeed.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: And you called Heydrich to account, as your superior?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: But you did not prohibit Heydrich from continuing his practice of using torture in interrogations, did you?
BEST: I was not in a position to prevent my superior from carrying out measures he had ordered or planned. In addition to that, I had nothing to do with the executive side in the Secret State Police, for I was. an administrative official and consequently was not competent if Heydrich decreed measures like that or approved of them. I can only say that in the small branch of the counterintelligence which I headed as a commissioner for some time, I prevented the use of this method.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: I want to pass briefly to your experiences in Denmark, Dr. Best, and by way of preliminary I wish to refresh your memory as to the testimony which you gave before the Commission on the 8th day of July 1946:
"Question: Have you met Naujocks?
"Answer: Naujocks was in Copenhagen once.
"Question: And what was his task in Denmark?
"Answer: He did not give me any details. I know only that he asked me to, provide a contact for him with the research office in Copenhagen.
"Question: Anyway, you have no idea why Naujocks was in Copenhagen, do you?
"Answer: I imagine that he was in Denmark on matters pertaining to intelligence duties.
"Question: And if he were to state and even to testify that he discussed the matter with you, you would say it was only a lie?
"Answer: I would say that I could not recall it and that in my memory he remains an intelligence service man."
Now, you were asked those questions and you gave those answers before the Commission, did you not, Dr. Best?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Yes. And when you gave those answers you knew that you were telling a deliberate falsehood under oath, did you not, Dr. Best?
Now, you can answer that question "yes" or "no," and then explain it if you like.
BEST: In the meantime, a report from Danish officials.
THE PRESIDENT: One minute, Wait. Answer the question. Do you or do you not know whether you were telling the truth then?
BEST: My statement was not correct. In the meantime I have been shown Naujocks' report and thereupon I was able to recollect exactly that in a general way he had told me about his mission. Even today I do not recall details, however.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Well, now, just so that you will remember that interrogation that you had with Dr. Kalki of the Danish Delegation 2 days later, on 10 July 1946, 1 am going to ask that you be shown the written statement which you corrected in your own handwriting and signed with your own signature.
[The document was submitted to the witness.]
Now, I invite your attention to the first paragraph, Dr. Best, in which you state as follows:
"Now that I know that Naujocks has testified as to his connection with the terrorist activities in Denmark, I am ready to testify further on this subject. If I did not testify about this earlier, it was because I did not know whether Naujocks had been captured and had confessed regarding these things. It was contrary to my feelings to drag him into this thing before the facts were known to me."
You gave that statement, did you not, Dr. Best, and that is your signature on there?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Now, Dr. Best, you know very well when Naujocks came to you in January of 1944 that there was planned to be carried out by the Gestapo terroristic measures against the people of Denmark, because you attended the conference at Hitler's headquarters on 30 December 19b at which that plan was worked out, didn't you?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: At that conference there were present in addition to yourself, Pancke, the Higher SS and Police Leader for Denmark; General Von Hannecken, the Military Governor for Denmark; and Hitler, Himmler, the Defendant Kaltenbrunner, the Defendant Keitel, the Defendant Jodl, and Schmundt. You reported these names in your own diary, didn't you?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: And you knew that at that meeting was agreed that in order to counteract murders and sabotage agains German interests in Denmark, that the Gestapo was to go up t Denmark and to carry out ruthless murders and to blow up home and buildings as a countermeasure, don't you?
BEST: It is not correct that an agreement was reached, but rather, that Hitler gave orders in spite of my opposition and also Pancke's to these plans.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Yes. Hitler gave the order to Himmler, who gave it to Kaltenbrunner, who gave it to Miller, who sent the Gestapo into action, and you know that those murders and that this willful destruction of property was carried out in Denmark as a result thereof, don't you?
BEST: This general fact is known to me, yes.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Yes, and you knew that these were carried out, because you protested about some of them. For example, you remember when these thugs blew up a streetcar in Odense, killing and injuring the passengers in it, don't you?
BEST: In the period following, again and again for various reasons I protested against the use of this method; reports or telegrams to this effect ...
THE PRESIDENT: You haven't answered the question. The question was, did you know that the streetcar had been blown up.
BEST: I do not accurately recall the individual cases, and therefore I do not recall for what special reason I made my protests. But I do know that I protested in very many cases.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Now, Dr. Best, I know that you have a very short memory, but I would have thought that you could have remembered the events that you recited on 10 July 1946. 'If you will look at your statement there that you gave to Dr. Kalki, you will find the following: "I used on such an occasion the blowing up of a streetcar in Odense, for instance." Don't you see that there, Dr. Best? The statement that you gave on the 10th...
BEST: Where do I find that, please?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: You will find that on about the middle of the document.
BEST: Wait just a minute. That is a wrong translation. I said the blowing up of a "Strassenzug" in Odense. That meant that along this street several houses were blown up simultaneously. It was not a car, but a row of houses.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Now, Dr. Best, you also remember the murder of four doctors in Odense, against which you protested because these doctors had been pointed out to you by National Socialist circles as being German sympathizers, don't you?
BEST: Yes, and apart from that, that was not the only reason. I called attention to the growing senselessness of these measures, for I had found out that some of these physicians were friendly to Germany.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Yes, and that was a terrible thing for the Gestapo to murder German sympathizers in Denmark, wasn't it? There were so few. Now, to whom did you make your protests against this murderous activity of the Gestapo?
BEST: My protest always went to the Foreign Office, which was the Ministry superior to me.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Yes, your protests went to the Defendant Ribbentrop, didn't they?
THE PRESIDENT: Commander Harris, have we got a reference to any document which records the meeting of 30 December 1943?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Yes, Sir. This is in evidence through the official government report of the Danish Delegation, Exhibit RF-901.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Now yesterday, Dr. Best, you testified that you learned that the Einsatzkommando of the Security Police and SD in Denmark was opposed to the Kugelerlass, didn't you? BEST: Yes.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Who-who in Denmark told you that this Einsatzkommando was opposed to the Kugelerlass?
BEST: I was told that by the head of the executive, Dr,. Hoffmann.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Yes, Dr. Hoffmann. He was the head of the Gestapo in Denmark, wasn't he?
BEST: Of the Gestapo branch with the commander of the Security Police.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Yes, and when did Dr. Hoffmann tell you that? Approximately?
BEST: I cannot remember exactly now whether through my being together with Dr. Hoffmann I was reminded of these facts or whether the individual measures which were turned down at that time were ever reported to me. It may be that this is a new piece of information for me, which confirms that this decree was never put into effect. No case of this kind ever occurred.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Now, Dr. Best, you just got through saying in your last answer that Dr. Hoffmann told you that the Gestapo was opposed to the Kugelerlass in Denmark and that he told you this in Denmark. Now, is that true or isn't it true?
BEST: I did not say when and where I learned of it. I said only that on the initiative of the Police the decree was not put into effect. I did not say when and where I was told this.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: What was the Kugelerlass?
BEST: Today I know, for I have read files and transcripts, that these were measures, I believe, dealing with prisoners of war who had escaped.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Now-when you were asked about your knowledge of the Kugelerlass before the Commission, you didn't say anything about having had a conversation with Dr. Hoffmann about it, did you?
BEST: According to my memory, I was asked only whether I had known the Kugelerlass already-t1uring my term of office. I did not see the decree at that time and I believe I have mentioned already that I read it only here.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: If the Tribunal please, I have two documents which I would like to offer into evidence at this time. These documents have come to our attention and have been made available only in the last 2 days. Consequently, it has been impossible for us to present them to anyone speaking for the Gestapo before the Commission, and I think that this witness can assist in identifying some of the names. And I would like to ask the permission of the T
ribunal merely to show these documents to the witness. They are quite long, and I will then try to summarize them as briefly as possible and develop what can'be developed out of them in the shortest possible time, perhaps 15 minutes for both -documents, Sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, go on, Commander Harris.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Then at this time I offer into evidence Document Number R-178, which becomes Exhibit USA-910, and I ask that the document be shown to the witness.
This document was captured by a combined British-American documents exploitation team and sent to the Prosecution from the Air Documents Research Center in London. It contains detailed correspondence concerning a complaint about a certain Major Meinel against the Gestapo officers in Munich, Regensburg, Nuremberg, and Fuerth over the screening out and murdering of Russian prisoners of war. I ask that the witness turn to Document F, which is Page 7 of the English translation.
You will note, Witness, that this is a report from the Gestapo office in Munich, in which are listed 18 camps screened by the Gestapo, showing a total of 3,088 Soviet prisoners of war screened, of which 410 are screened out as intolerable. You will note, following Page 8 of the English translation, that the 410 Russians sorted out belong to the following categories: officials and officers, Jews, members of intelligentsia, fanatical Communists, agitators and others, runaways, incurably sick. You will note on Page 9 of the English translation that of the 410 Russians so sorted out, 301 had been executed at the concentration camp at Dachau at the date of this report. On Page 10 of the English translation, Witness, you will find the following: Namely, that these 410 Russians screened out at Munich represent a percentage of 13 percent, whereas the Gestapo offices at Nuremberg, Fuerth, and Regensburg screened out an average of 15 to 17 percent. This report, which is signed by Schermer, states, quoting right at that same place:
"The complaints of the High Command of the Armed Forces that the screening of the Russians had been carried out in a superficial manner must be mos0emphatically refuted."
Now, Witness, do you know Schermer?
BEST: No; the name is ...
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: All right. Then I want you to turn to Document G. This is a report from the Gestapo office in Munich complaining about the attitude of Major Meinel; and on Page 13 of the English translation, you will find a statement that Meinel was thought to have complained to the High Command of the. Armed Forces that the Russians had been superficially screened out.
Now, you will note that a report was made against Major Meinel by the SD in which Meinel was reproached with having shown, to some extent, aversion against the National Socialist creed. For example, he mentioned God but not the Fuehrer in an order of the day.
THE PRESIDENT: Where does that come from?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Sir, you will find that on Page 13 of the English translation, in the middle of the page.
[Turning to the witness.] That was the mark of a bad National Socialist, was it not, Dr. Best-one who would put God before Hitler?
BEST: I do not know which question you want me to answer. With regard to the entire subject, I should like to emphasize that at the end of May 1940 1 left my position in the Security Police Division at the Reich Ministry of the Interior, and therefore I had no knowledge of these things, which transpired in the year 1941.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Then turn to Document G, Page 15 of the English translation. You will find this sentence:
"Experience, however, has shown that the Russians can be compelled to work only by the utmost severity and the use of corporal punishment."
Now, pass to Document H, Dr. Best. This appears on Page 17 of the English translation, this statement:
"Furthermore, I pointed out to Major Meinel that the work of the Gestapo Einsatzkommandos was done with the consent of the High Command of the Armed Forces, and according to rules which had been drafted in collaboration with the High Command of the Armed Forces' Organization of Prisoners of War."
Now, this document is signed by Schimmel. Was Schimmel known to you?
BEST: Schimmel? I cannot find the name Schimmel; but I do recall that there was a Regierungsrat I think, of that name, in the Gestapo.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Turn to Document I, then, Page 21 of the English translation. At the end of that, you will find that Meinel, in giving his reply to the accusations made against him, stated:
"When I mentioned that it weighed heavily on the officers' conscience to hand over the Russian prisoners, Regierungsrat Schimmel replied that the hearts of some of the SS men who were charged with executing prisoners were all but breaking." Now, on Document M, Witness, which is Page 26, you will find a notice that the Reich Commissioner for Defense was informed about these murders, and approved of them. This was for Defense Area VII. Do you know who the Reich Commissioner for Defense was in Defense Area VII who approved these murders?
BEST: A Reich Commissioner? You mean the Reich Defense Commissioner?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Yes, the Reich Defense Commissioner. That is what I said.
BEST: I do not recall the Reich Defense Commissioner in Area VII, for during that time I was away from the Reich and held a position outside the Reich boundaries.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: All right. Let us go on. There are many other cases of the screening of Soviet prisoners of war by the Gestapo for execution; that is, by local Gestapo offices within Germany proper. And I do not wish to take up further time about that. But I wish that you would turn to Document T, Witness, because I want to get evidence of the result of this conflict with Major Meinel. Document T is a teletype from the Gestapo office in Berlin, and it states:
"The prisoners of war who have been screened out."
THE PRESIDENT: What page is that?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Page 37, Sir:
"The prisoners of war who have been screened out will be transferred to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp owing to a decision arrived at in a conference with the High Command of the Armed Forces. Will you please inform the Higher SS and Police Leader today about this and also that Meinel is getting a different assignment."
Now, this teletype emanated from the RSHA, Department IV A. That was the Gestapo, was it not, Dr. Best?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: And you see it was signed by SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Panziger. Now you know who Panziger was, do you not?
BEST: Yes. He was the deputy of Miller.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Yes. And he was the head of this Department IVA, which was charged with the handling of opponents and sabotage, assassinations, protective security, and matters of that sort, was he not?
BEST: He was the head of the Department IV A. Just what was dealt with in this department I cannot recall.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Well, you can take my word for that.
That appears in Document L-219, for the Tribunal's information, and is already in evidence.
Now, I wish to offer the other documents. There are five documents here which are in a group, Sir, and I will offer them in order:
4050-PS, becomes Exhibit USA-911; 4049-PS becomes USA-912; 4052-PS becomes USA-913; 4048-PS becomes USA-914; 4051-PS becomes USA-915.
These documents have just come to us from the Berlin Document Center, and we have not yet been able to obtain the originals.
They sent to us only the photostatic copies. We have requested the originals, and they will be here, we are assured, in a matter of days. As soon as they come, we will, with the permission of the Tribunal and the approval of counsel, substitute the originals for these photostatic copies.
[Turning to the witness.] Now, Dr. Best, turning to Document 4050-PS first, you will see that this refers to the same SS Oberfuehrer Panziger. This is apparently a Foreign Office communication in which it says that Panziger reports that various changes have been made in the preparation of the matter discussed, and that he has promised a plan for the execution of our proposed action.
Now, if you will turn to the enclosure, which is Document 4049-PS, you will find just what that plan was. You will see there that the plan was to transfer 75 French generals from K15nigstein, in the course of which one general by the name of Deboisse Nvas to have a misfortune-namely, his car was to break down-in order to separate him from the others. This was to provide the opportunity to have the general shot in the back while attempting to escape.
You will find that this document goes on to recite all the details of completing this murder, including this interesting statement, that "A decision has as yet to be reached whether or not the burial of the urn should be carried out with military honors"; and it goes on to say that the question will be looked into once more by the SD. This is the basic report of November 1944.
Now, if you will turn to the next document, 4052 ...
THE PRESIDENT: Shouldn't you read the last paragraph on Page 2?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Yes, Sir, I will read that.
"Protecting Power investigations: It will be assured, through the selection of the persons concerned and in the preparation of all documentary evidence, that in the event of the Protecting Power being desirous of an investigation, the necessary documents are available for the dismissal of a complaint."
Now, turning to the next document, Witness, 4052-PS, you will find again the reference to this infamous SS Oberfuehrer Panziger. You see, Witness, Panziger had been promoted by this time. He states that the preparations in respect to the French generals had reached the stage where a report concerning the proposed procedure would be submitted to the Reichsfuehrer SS during the next few days. And you will find that he again explains this method of murder, and he says that they will carry it out by one of two methods, either by shooting during escape, or, secondly, through poisoning by carbon monoxide gas.
Now, you have noticed, Witness, that at the end of this document it shows that it was prepared for presentation to the Reich Foreign Minister, Herr Von Ribbentrop.
Now, the next document is a particularly interesting one. It is Document 4048-PS. This document is dated December 30, 1944.
THE PRESIDENT: Was Ambassador Ritter the ambassador in Paris?
LT. COTMDR. HARRIS: Witness, was Ambassador Ritter the ambassador in Paris?
BEST: I do not remember exactly. That must have been some time before I knew how the diplomatic posts were filled.
THE PRESIDENT: It does not matter.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: I am informed, Sir, that he was a liaison officer between the Foreign -Office and the Army. I am not sure of that, however.
Well, passing to Document 4048-PS, here is where the whole plan is laid out in summary form, and I would like to read this briefly. This is addressed to the Reichsfuehrer SS, and it says:
"The discussions about the matter in question with the chief of Prisoners of War Organization and the Foreign Office have taken place as ordered and have led to the following proposals:
"1) In the course of a transfer of five persons in three cars with army identifications, the escape is staged while the last car suffers a puncture.
"2) Carbon dioxide is released by the driver into the closed back of the car. The apparatus can be installed with the simplest means and can be removed again immediately. After considerable difficulties a suitable vehicle has now become available.
"3) Other possibilities, such as poisoning of food or drink, have been considered but have been discarded again as too unsafe.
"Provisions for the completion of the subsequent work in accordance with plans, such as report, post-mortem examination documentation, and burial, have been made. Convoy leader and drivers are to be supplied by the ESHA and will appear in Army uniform and with pay books delivered to them.
"Concerning the notice for the press, contact has been established with the Geheimrat Wagner of the Foreign Office. Wagner reports that the Reich Foreign Minister wishes to speak with the Reichsfuehrer about this matter. In the opinion of the Reich Foreign Minister, this action must be coordinated in every respect.
"In the meantime, it has been learned that the name of the man in question, has been mentioned in the course of various long distance calls between Fuehrer's headquarters and the chief of the Prisoners of War Organization; therefore, the chief of the Prisoners of War Organization now proposes the use of another man with the same qualifications. I agree with this and propose that the choice be left to the chief of the Prisoners of War Organization."
Now, by whom is this letter signed, Dr. Best?
BEST: At the foot there are the typewritten words, "Signed, Dr. Kaltenbrunner."
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: "Signed, Dr. Kaltenbrunner." Now, we will pass to the last document, 4051-PS. This is a report on a telephone conversation which carries us to January 12, 1945, and it says that-repeats that:
"A French prisoner-of-war general is going to die an unnatural death by being shot in fight, or by poisoning. Subsequent matters, such as reports, post-mortem examination documentation, and burial, have been taken care of as planned." It says that-the Reich Foreign Minister's instruction states that the matter is to be discussed with Ambassador Albrecht in order to determine exactly what legal rights the protecting power could claim in this matter in order to make our plans accordingly. Now, who is Ambassador Albrecht?
BEST: He was the head of the juridical department in the Foreign Office.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Now, did you know, Dr. Best, that General Mesny, a Frenchman, was killed on this road at about this time?
BEST: I know nothing about this matter, for at that time I was active in Denmark and heard nothing about matters of this kind.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: That concludes my cross-examination, if the Tribunal please. However, I have two documents which the French Delegation asks to be submitted. These are both documents signed by or on behalf of this defendant, Dr. Best, and with your permission, Sir, I will offer them in evidence now as -on behalf of the French Delegation.
The first is Document-F-967. This relates to the deporting of Jews and Communists from France, and states that they have to hold up these deportations for a while because of lack of transportation.
[Turning to the witness.] I ask you to identify your signature on that document if you will, Dr. Best, please?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: That will become Exhibit USA-916.
The next is Document F-972, which is also a document relating to the fight against Communists in France, and I ask that the witness identify that as coming from him and having been signed on his behalf.
LT. COMDR. HARRJS: That becomes Exhibit USA-917.
If the Tribunal please, I am informed that we have just discovered a new document which is of the utmost importance but which has not yet been in any way processed, and we would like the permission of the Tribunal to submit this document later on in the course of the proceedings if and as it is ready for submission.
THE PRESIDENT: Can't it be got ready today?
MR. DODD: Mr. President, I think it may be. It was just handed to me a handwritten translation. It was just discovered in the Document Center in Berlin and I think it is of such a nature that the Tribunal should know about it. I will try and have it translated before the close of the session today, but I think it is the kind of thing that should not escape the attention of the Tribunal.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Well, perhaps you will make further application when you have got the document ready.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Yes, Sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you wish to re-examine?
DR. MERKEL: First of all, two brief questions relating to the questions of the defense for the SD.
[Turning to the witness.] Who was at the head of the Intelligence Service after Canaris was dismissed?
BEST: I, as an outsider, learned that at that time the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces which in the past had been led as a whole by Canaris, was divided up and attached to various offices of the Chief of the Security Police. The defensive branch was turned over to Office IV, the so-called Gestapo branch; a further part to
Office VI, Foreign Intelligence Service; and then finally, the Office Mil was set up as something new.
DR. MERKEL: Did Himmler head the entire executive, especially after Heydrich's death?
BEST: Here also I can only state as an outsider that I learned that Himmler, after Heydrich's death, took over the leadership of the Security Police.
DR. MERKEL: One question relating to Denmark. What was the organizational difference between the Gestapo in the Reich itself and the Security Police units which were on duty beyond the boundaries of the Reich?
BEST: Within the Reich there were established state agencies of the Gestapo whose tasks were laid down in laws, decrees, orders, and regulations. In the occupied areas there were Einsatzkommandos composed of members of the Gestapo, the Criminal Police, the SD, and numerous other auxiliaries whose duties were not always alike nor clearly defined but varied according to instructions of the central offices in Berlin and sometimes according to the directives received from Higher SS and Police Leaders, Reich commissioners, and so forth.
DR. MERKEL: For how long have you known the witness Naujocks?
BEST: I believe that I met him some time before I left my job with the Security Police, but I saw him very seldom and had no personal connections with him at all.
DR. MERKEL: Do you know that Naujocks, about 6 months before the end of the war, deserted to the Americans?
BEST: I was told about that here.
DR. MERKEL: The murders, as described by Naujocks -- were they murders of the Gestapo?
BEST: No. The Gestapo proper, that is the executive branch of the commander of the Security Police, did not carry out these deeds. They were committed by special forces who were directly responsible to the Higher SS and Police Leader.
DR. MERKEL: Were the executions of Russian prisoners of war in German concentration camps known generally to the public?
BEST: No. At any rate, I can say that despite my prominent position I have learned of these matters now in the course of this Trial only.
DR. MERKEL: Does the recommendation of your book by the Reich Minister of the Interior mean that, according to this recommendation, the book received an official character?
BEST: I do not believe so, for without doubt in the same office and in the same way numerous books were recommended, books which in no way were published by State agency or published on behalf of that agency.
DR. MERKEL: Your Honor, I have no further questions.
DR. HANS LATERNSER (Counsel for General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces): Mr. President, I should like to clarify one question only which has arisen during the cross examination.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Laternser.
DR. LATERNSER: Witness, you were shown the Document R-178. On Page 26 of this document, in the center of the page you will find that the Reich Commissioner for Defense in the defense areas agreed to the selection of the Russian prisoners of war and their murder. Then the prosecutor asked you just who this Reich Commissioner for Defense was at the time and you said that you did not know. Now I should like to ask you, who usually was the Reich Commissioner for Defense. Was not that the Gauleiter?
BEST: Sometimes it was the Gauleiter and sometimes, if I remember correctly, they were senior officials, Oberprdsidenten and men of that kind; the ministers of the various states.
DR. LATERNSER: The Reich Commissioners for Defense, therefore, were not military offices, purely military agencies under the OKH, is that right?
BEST: No. As far as I remember-the organization at that time, the answer is "no."
DR. LATERNSER: Thank you very much. I have no further questions.
THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.
DR. MERKEL: I have another witness, and so as not to interrupt the interrogation, it would perhaps be better to have our recess now, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
[A recess was taken.]
DR. MERKEL: With the permission of the Tribunal, I call the witness Karl Heinz Hoffmann.
[The witness Hoffmann took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name, please?
KARL HEINZ HOFFMANN (Witness): Karl Heinz Hoffmann.-
THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me: I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing.
[The witness repeated the oath.] -
THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.
DR. MERKEL: When and how did you come to the Secret State Police?
HOFFMANN: After I passed the final juridical state examination in the year 1937, I applied to three administrative offices for a job. The first offer of employment I received was from the State Police, and I accepted it. After one year on trial at the State Police office at Koblenz, I was appointed deputy of the chief, and government political adviser. A year later, in 1939, I was transferred, in the same capacity, to Duesseldorf. There I was appointed to the position of Reich Defense adviser to the Inspector. Then when the Security Police was put to work in Holland I went there as a leading administrative executive. In September 1940 I was transferred to the Reich Ministry of the Interior, Gestapo office, and there I was put in charge of the Department for Western European Occupied Territories. In September 1943 I was sent to the BDS, Denmark, as chief of Department IV.
DR. MERKEL: You say that you were with two State Police offices. That was Koblenz and Duesseldorf as deputy chief?
DR. MERKEL: What was the relation of these Gestapo offices to the internal administration?
HOFFMANN: The chief was political expert to the Regierungspräsident and chief of the office of the Oberpräsident. In towns and districts in which there were no branch offices of the Stapo, its lower levels were represented by the district and local police officials, and the gendarmerie. Approximately 80 percent of all matters came from these police offices.
DR. MERKEL: Could the NSDAP issue any directives to the State Police?
HOFFMANN: According to existing laws they could not. Only in places where the Gauleiter also held the position of Oberpräsident or Reichsstatthalter it was possible.
DR. MERKEL: How was it in practice? How did it work out?
HOFFMANN: In practice, the intermediate and lower offices sometimes tried to interfere. But the Police rejected that, and the interference was mostly attempted when Party members only were involved in proceedings.
DR. MERKEL: Was it not the task of the Gestapo to further the ideological aims of the Party?
HOFFMANN: No. The tasks of the, State Police were purely counterintelligence against attacks directed against the State, and that within the legal provisions and regulations.
DR. MERKEL: Was the basic tendency of the Gestapo's work therefore aggressive or defensive?
HOFFMANN: It was defensive and not aggressive: That can be seen, first of all, from the following fact: When, in 1944, the duties of the counterintelligence offices were transferred to Police and SD offices, the State Police received only the purely counterintelligence tasks, whereas active espionage and sabotage were transferred to Amt Mil or Amt VI.
DR. MERKEL: Did officials of the Gestapo generally have any special privileges, for instance by being offered an opportunity to acquire objects which had been confiscated by the Gestapo, and put to auction?
HOFFMANN: It had been prohibited by a decree that officials of the State Police could acquire objects which had been confiscated and put to auction. In the same way, the officials had no opportunity to participate in the Aryanization of business establishments in any way, and the immediate acquisition of Jewish property was also prohibited for them.
DR. MERKEL: You took part as a leading administrative official when the Sipo entered Holland, did you not? Was there any special previous training of the employees for this assignment?
HOFFMANN: No. No mobilization measures at all were provided, such as the procurement of interpreters or the increase of the staff by any additional assistants. Also, the regulations about pay and other economic regulations were not clear, so that we were not prepared for such tasks.
DR. MERKEL: Did the Gestapo take part in a conspiracy the purpose of which was the planning, preparing, and waging of aggressive war?
HOFFMANN: I must answer that question in the negative. As adviser for Reich Defense to the Inspector of Defense Area VI, who was chief of 6 State Police offices, I had no previous knowledge of an aggressive war being prepared. When Norway and Denmark were occupied, I learned the news from the newspapers. As deputy leader of the Gestapo office in Duesseldorf, I did not have any previous knowledge of the date set for the offensive in the West. On the morning of that day I learned of, it by radio and the newspapers. When the campaign against Russia was started, I was an expert in the Gestapo office. Several days later only-it may have been 3 or 4 days-we were informed of the beginning of the offensive. Before that we had no idea whatsoever about such plans, that is to say, not any more than any German could have gathered from the political tension.
DR. MERKEL: What was in principle the composition of the personnel of a State Police office in Germany?
HOFFMANN: The Gestapo office at Koblenz, the personnel of which-I have reconstructed in my mind, consisted of about 45 to 50 agents in the criminal department who were mostly taken from the Security-- Police and Criminal Police, or else from -the former IA; 'and- in addition, about 15 to 20 administrative and technical officials besides clerks and assistants, bringing the estimated total for the entire office to about 100 persons.
I -. -DR. MERKEL- Was the employment of all these people on a voluntary basis in general or not?
HOFFMANN: On the whole, they were employees who had entered the police before 1933 and had been detailed or transferred to the State Police. According to my recollection, there were at the most 10 to 15 percent of them who had entered the organization voluntarily after 1933.
DR. MERKEL: What were the main tasks of a State Police office in Germany?
HOFFMANN: The main subjects that were dealt with were the combating of high treason, or treason, dealing with Church questions; questions which arose from the treatment of the Jews; so-called measures against the Treachery Act (Heimtueckegesetz); criminal acts within the Party; and certain important political questions from the whole complex formed by the press and economy.
DR. MERKEL: How was the question of protective custody dealt with during your term of office with the Gestapo?
HOFFMANN: The majority of the cases were dealt with by means of a warning by the State Police, and in many cases the result of the inquiry was negative. In those cases where custody was necessary, we saw to it that the perpetrators were brought' before the court. Protective custody was only applied for a short term in all those cases where the matter was not ready to be brought to the court. Protective custody by being transferred to a concentration camp was only proposed by the Gestapo if the personality of the perpetrator, judged by his previous behavior, gave reason to expect that he would continue to be an habitual offender against the regulations. To my knowledge, at the beginning of the war there were 20,000 inmates in the concentration camps of whom I estimate, at the most, one-half were held for political reasons.
DR. MERKEL: For what reasons were the other half kept there?
HOFFMANN: They were mostly criminals.
DR. MERKEL: Did the Gestapo take any measures to care for the families of the political inmates?
HOFFMANN: According to a decree of the Gestapo office, the State Police office, when taking people into protective custody, not only had to ask the welfare organizations to take care of the families, but the official who dealt with the particular case had to make sure periodically that they actually were looked after.
DR. MERKEL: Were inmates who were released from protective custody in a concentration camp forbidden to follow certain professions?
HOFFMANN: No, they could go into any profession.
DR. MERKEL: That applies also for the period during which you were in charge of the State Police office? Until what year?
HOFFMANN: That is during the time when I was Deputy Chief -until May 1940.
DR. MERKEL: The Prosecution has said that the Gestapo had fought the churches; what do you know about that from the time when you were in Koblenz and Duesseldorf?
HOFFMANN: Church matters during my period were dealt -with on the basis of a separation of Church and State; that is to say, we intervened when a priest violated the so-called "Pulpit Paragraph" which had been put into the penal code in the days of Imperial Germany or for violating the Treachery Act, or if Church organizations were active in worldly matters, which was prohibited by a decree.
DR. MERKEL: What was meant by "Jewish questions" during the period up to 1938?
HOFFMANN: The emigration of Jews.
DR. MERKEL: What was the number of officials who dealt with Jewish matters at the two offices of the Gestapo known to you?
HOFFMANN: At the Koblenz Gestapo office, one Kriminaloberassistent, who also dealt with matters pertaining to Freemasonry; at the Duesseldorf Gestapo office, one Oberinspektor with, I believe, two or three assistants.
DR. MERKEL: Was there any change brought about by the order of Heydrich of 10 November 1938 to arrest an unlimited number of Jews who were able to work?
HOFFMANN: That decree was a complete surprise for us, for the measure could in no way be expected on the basis of the measures which had heretofore been ordered. Since to my knowledge the majority of these Jews were released again later on, one could not recognize that as a basic change of the course pursued by the State leadership.
DR. MERKEL: Did you or the officials in your office have any knowledge that the deportation of Jews to the East which started approximately in 1942 really meant their destruction, biologically speaking?
HOFFMANN: No. At that time I was an adviser in the Gestapo office. During the discussions with the chief of Amt IV, nothing was ever said about that. The treatment of the Jewish question was at that time in the hands of Eichmann, who had not come out of the State Police, but had been transferred from the SD to the State Police. He and his personnel were located in a building set aside for that purpose and had no contact with the other officials. He particularly did not bring in the other departments by getting them to countersign, when for instance he ordered the deportation of Jews. To our objections in that regard he always answered that he was carrying out special missions which had been ordered by the highest authorities and therefore, it was unnecessary for the other departments to countersign-which would have given them the possibility to state their own opinions.
DR. MERKEL: Were there regulations about secrecy applied within the individual offices of the State Police too?
HOFFMANN: Yes; even within the offices themselves. It was an old police principle already before 1933 that individual cases should not be talked about. The secrecy was rendered more strict by the well-known Fuehrer decree. The SS and the Police courts punished any offenders most severely and all these punishments were regularly made -known to the officials.
DR. MERKEL: You were in charge of Amt IV D 4 in the Reich Security Main Office since 1941. What were the duties of that department?
HOFFMANN: Yes. The tasks dealt with the political and police problems of occupied territories from a uniform po
int of view and particularly with summarizing them in reports to higher and to other offices. Later, there was in addition the task of caring for the interned political prisoners and other personalities from these territories.
DR. MERKEL: What was your fundamental attitude, and therefore that of the main Gestapo office, about the origin of the national resistance movement in the occupied territories?
HOFFMANN: After these territories were occupied, the Allies also started to utilize the potential forces in these territories by setting up military organizations. At first this was voluntary-whoever wanted to join such a military organization arrived at the decision to enter such organizations for patriotic or political reasons. Once he had joined such an organization, he was subordinate to military, orders with all their consequences. The measures which he had to carry out were carried out as part of the Allied strategy as a whole and not in the interests of his own country. Therefrom, it resulted that all actions of the resistance movements were military actions which were not carried out spontaneously by the population. The result was that all measures of a general nature against the population were not only useless as reactions in answer to the activities of the military organization, but also harmful to German interests, because the members of these military organizations were not deterred by such measures from carrying through their orders. The consequence was that a combating of these forces was only possible on two lines: First, by Germany attempting through propaganda means to arrive at a policy which would deter people from making the political decision to fight against Germany; and secondly, to neutralize the active groups by capturing them.
DR. MERKEL: Why then did the State leadership not act in accordance with this fundamental conception of the Gestapo?
HOFFMANN: To begin with, because Himmler had not come from the ranks of the Police and because his decisions were not based on the current reports he received from the Police, but primarily on the basis of individual information which he received through other channels, particularly from the Higher SS and Police Leaders. Moreover, the Police were not able to make current reports on matters and simultaneously give an estimate of the situation. On the other hand, the Higher SS and Police Leaders and the local offices which represented the highest German authorities in the various territories again and again interfered with the work of the Police on the lower level.
DR.MERKEL: You just used the word "interfered." Did not the Gestapo have a-well-organized chain of command?
HOFFMANN: No. The offices assigned in the occupied territories were not only subordinated to the Secret State Police office centrally, but many other civilian and military authorities had influence and could, for instance, issue directives, especially the Higher SS and Police Leaders, Reich commissioners, and in part also, the military commanders.
DR. MERKEL: Can you give us two very striking examples?
HOFFMANN: First, the policy of Reich Commissioner Terboven, to carry out the shooting of hostages and other general measures against the population. For 3 years we fought in order to prevent his measures, and by reports made to Himmler we tried over and over to have him recalled. For instance, we took prisoners from Norway to Germany in order to get them away from his jurisdiction, and released them later in Germany. When ship sabotage in Denmark reached its climax in the autumn of 1944, a directive came from OKW to the military commander to have a decree of the Reich plenipotentiary introduced so that dockers and their relatives could be arrested if any acts of sabotage occurred in their docks. After heated controversy the measure was revoked because it was evident from our experience that the dockers had nothing to do with those acts at all.
DR. MERKEL: How were the Sipo and SD organized in the western occupied territories?
HOFFMANN: The organization was not uniform. In Norway and later in Belgium, there were commanders under the commanders-in-chief; in Denmark and the Netherlands there were branch offices, and in France there were commanders under the commander-in-chief. In all cases, the BDS was not only subordinate to Berlin but also to the Higher SS and Police Leader who again was immediately subordinate to Himmler, and who could therefore make decisions which did not go through the RSHA.
DR. MERKEL: What was the composition of the personnel of these offices?
HOFFMANN: There was a tremendous shortage of trained Criminal Police officers. Therefore, the State Police officers formed only a skeleton staff, which was supplemented by men of the
Criminal Police, but primarily by men drafted for that service, who had been transferred with units of the Secret Field Police to the Sipo. They represented more than 50 percent of the staff.
DR. MERKEL: Were the members of the Sipo in the western occupied territories volunteers or not?
HOFFMANN: No, they were transferred or detailed there. Only the native interpreters had volunteered with the State Police.
DR. MERKEL: Who ordered the deportation of Jews from Denmark?
HOFFMANN: That order came from Adolf Hitler through the Reichsfuehrer SS. The commander of the Security Police tried in vain to have it deferred, but he was not successful; to my knowledge, this was one of the reasons why he was recalled.
DR. MERKEL: What was done on the part of the State Police in order to mitigate those measures as far as possible?
HOFFMANN: The ordinary Police who were mainly charged to carry out these measures were informed that doors could not be broken open by force. Secondly, with the help of the Reich plenipotentiary, it was made possible that no confiscation of property was effected, and the keys of the apartments were turned over to the Danish Social Ministry.
DR. MERKEL: Was the deportation of Jews known in Denmark beforehand?
HOFFMANN: It had been known to the Danish population and discussed by them for a long time previously.
DR. MERKEL: Why was the Danish police dissolved and part of it deported to Germany?
HOFFMANN: Because the Danish police, in its entirety, was in the closest contact with the resistance movement and the British Intelligence Service. For instance the chief of the Danish police turned over information on the deployment of German troops on Jutland and Fyn to the British Intelligence Service, and was involved in carrying out sabotage work in case of invasion. Other leading officials were involved in a similar manner. Under these circumstances, the Armed Forces feared the Danish police might be used to attack them from behind.
DR. MERKEL: Did the State Police suggest and carry through deportations?
HOFFMANN: Deportations were not initiated by the State Police, but the Higher SS and Police Leader had already requested the approval of these measures by Himmler in the Fuehrer's headquarters when he announced his intentions to the State Police.
DR. MERKEL: Was there a uniform order to use physical cruelt3 or torture during interrogations?
HOFFMANN: Brutal treatment and torture were strictly prohibited and were condemned by the courts.
DR. MERKEL: Do you know of any cases in which interrogation officers were sentenced by courts?
HOFFMANN: I remember two Gestapo officials in Duesseldorf who were sentenced by a regular court for maltreatment of prisoners.
DR. MERKEL: Were third-degree methods used in interrogations in Denmark when you were in office there, and why?
HOFFMANN: Yes, third degree was carried out during interrogations. To explain this I have to point out that the resistance organizations occupied themselves with the following: First, attacks on German soldiers; secondly, attacks on trains, means of transport and Armed Forces' installations, in the course of which soldiers were also killed; thirdly, elimination of all so-called informers and people collaborating with the German Police or other German authorities.
In order to forestall those dangers and to save the lives of Germans the third-degree interrogation was ordered and carried out, but only in these particular cases. This restriction was observed in practice even in spite of the scope of the decree.
DR. MERKEL: What rule was set up about the application of third-degree methods at the conference of those concerned in Brussels in 1943?
HOFFMANN: At a conference of officials it was stated, on the basis of experience gained, that it was already decided for the aforementioned reasons that it was advisable to restri-6t the application of third-degree methods to the extent mentioned.
DR. MERKEL: On whose orders were hostages shot in France? Who suggested it?
HOFFMANN: As far as I know, it was a directive from Adolf Hitler. We constantly made reports in the Gestapo office protesting against these measures, to the same extent as in other occupied territories, for the reasons that I have just given.
DR.MERKEL: Why did the Gestapo especially reject the idea of shooting hostages as reprisal for the shooting of German soldiers in Paris?
HOFFMANN: Because we were of the opinion that these acts had been carried out by a relatively small group of people, and that general measures, therefore, would not only be useless but damaging in view of the considerations which I mentioned before. Facts really proved that in Paris these measures had been carried out by a group of not even 100 persons.
DR. MERKEL: Who ordered and carried out the deportation of workers from France to Germany?
HOFFMANN: That was a measure of the manpower administration. It is not known to me that the State Police had carried out any deportation of workers. I have to make one limitation concerning France where, upon the orders of the Reichsfuehrer, as far as I remember the so-called "Meerschaum Action" was carried out, in the course of which French nationals, I believe 5,000, who had committed minor political offenses were forcibly transferred to Germany in order to be used as workers.
DR. MERKEL: Who was responsible for the evacuation of Jews from France?
HOFFMANN: The evacuation of Jews was carried out by Eichmann's office as I have already explained, without it being possible for the regular offices of the State Police to do anything about it.
DR. MERKEL: Upon whose directive was the harbor district of Marseilles demolished?
HOFFMANN: That was a directive by the Reichsfuehrer, sent directly to the Higher SS and Police Leaders who, especially in France, had reached a closer collaboration with the Reichsfuehrer, by going over the heads of the Gestapo. In Berlin we heard about this order of the Reichsfuehrer's only afterwards.
DR. MERKEL: Did Himmler frequently issue such directives without first telling the Police?
HOFFMANN: While I was in Berlin that happened frequently. He did it on the basis of reports which he received from some other office or in spontaneous reaction to some act of sabotage or an attempted assassination.
DR. MERKEL: Do you, judging from your activity in Berlin, know of any cases of excessive methods during interrogations in the western occupied territories?
HOFFMANN: In the main this became officially known to us at the time only through the Norwegian White Book, which caused an investigation in Oslo and was used as a basis for our reports to the Reichsfuehrer with the obj6ct of obtaining the recall of Terboven.
DR. MERKEL: What do you know about the deportation of French ministers and generals to Germany?
HOFFMANN: This particular deportation was ordered by the Reichsfuehrer evidently after deliberation with only the Higher SS and Police Leader in France. At any rate the Secret State Police office did not know anything beforehand and was confronted with the order that Prime Minister Reynaud and Minister Mandel were to be put into prison cells. The Gestapo office, after much correspondence, succeeded in getting another accommodation for the French statesmen and in reaching an understanding that there would be better quarters from the beginning for those people who were later transferred to Germany.
DR. MERKEL: Do you have any knowledge that one of the French generals at Königstein was to be executed upon the orders of Panziger in November 1944?
DR. MERKEL: And that the general was to be taken away from Königstein in a car and then shot while allegedly trying to escape?
I put before you the documents which have, just been presented by the American Prosecution, 4048-PS to. 4052-PS, and. I want you to state your opinion as to what you know about them.
[Turning to the Tribunal.] I have only an English copy, but the witness understands English very well.
THE PRESIDENT: Is it in your document book?
DR. MERKEL: No, Mr. President, it is not in the document book and I could not put it in because these documents have just been presented by the American Prosecution during the session. The numbers are Documents 4048 to 4052-PS. They have just been presented during the cross-examination of Dr. Best.
Witness, I believe it is not necessary for you to read all the documents now. I want you only to refer briefly to these documents and answer my question, that is, if you know anything at all about this incident?
HOFFMANN: The dates of the documents are January 1945 and December 1944. During that time I was in Denmark and I was not in the Secret State Police office.
DR. MERKEL: Generally, was the deportation of foreign workers to Germany carried out by the Gestapo?
HOFFMANN: No. I recall from my activity that even the arrests of escaped workers in the western occupied territories were not carried out by the Gestapo. I remember particularly that in 1940 Reich Commissioner Seyss-Inquart stressed specifically that such things should not be done.
DR. MERKEL: Was the so-called Nacht und Nebel Decree of the OKW` brought before you in order to make it known to the State Police offices and commanders?
DR. MERKEL: Did you agree with that decree?
HOFFMANN: The Nacht und Nebel Decree had been issued by the OKW in conjunction with the Reich Ministry of Justice. The Gestapo office had nothing to do with the drafting of it. There were, to begin with, great difficulties, in the way of technical Police administration, because the act which had been committed abroad had to be clarified in Germany. If only for these reasons, we rejected it as being difficult to carry out.
Furthermore, its effect proved to be negative, for the relatives did not know anything about the person arrested, and this was in contradiction to our fundamental tendencies. The difficulties arose immediately when the first people were arrested and transferred to the State Police offices which had to clarify the proceedings. They showed that innocent people, too, were brought to Germany. We then succeeded in having, in spite of the terms of this decree, these people returned to their native country.
DR. MERKEL: Were the so-called Kugel Decree, the Commando Order, and the NN Decree applied in Denmark while you were there?
DR. MERKEL: What do you know about the application of these decrees in the other occupied we stern territories?
HOFFMANN: All these were decrees which were issued after I left Berlin and therefore I cannot say anything about them.
DR. MERKEL: Do you know whether the Gestapo in the occupied western territories had -special groups in the prisoners-of-war camps so as ' to select and execute those men who were racially or politically undesirable?
HOFFMANN: I cannot say anything about that because the decree was not known to me before the surrender.
DR. MERKEL: Did the decrees mentioned have the character of State Police decrees?
HOFFMANN: These decrees did not originate as the work of the professional Police, but they were ordered from above. The regular State Police officials therefore could not expect that such decrees would ever be issued, and besides, owing to the regulations on secrecy, the contents of these decrees were real
ly not known to the great majority of State Police officials.
DR. MERKEL: I have no further questions to put to the witness.
THE PRESIDENT: Do the Prosecution wish to cross-examine?
M. HENRI MONNERAY (Assistant Prosecutor for the French Republic): Dr.Hoffmann, you were a member of the Nazi Party, were you not?
M.MONNERAY: Since when?
HOFFMANN: Since I December 1932.
M. MONNERAY: And when you became a candidate for government service, and in particular the Police, you indicated too that you were a member of the Party, did you not?
HOFFMANN: I beg your pardon; I did not quite understand the question.
M. MONNERAY, When you put in your application for government service, that is for the Police, you indicated that you were a member of the Nazi Party, did you not?
HOFFMANN: Yes, of course.
M. MONNERAY: You said a short while ago that there was no connection between the Gestapo and the Nazi Party, did you not?
HOFFIVIANN: Yes, that is correct.
M. MONNERAY: Is it correct, though, that Police officials were subjected to political screening?
HOFFMANN: I did not quite understand the sense of the question. I am sorry, I did not quite understand the question.
M.MONNERAY: "Political screening" is a special term which you probably know; in German it is called "Politische Beurteilung."
M. MONNERAY: It is true, is it not, that important officials of the Police, before being appointed, were subjected to this political screening by the Party?
M. MONNERAY: Do you know the circular of the Party Chancellery according to which the authorities of the National Socialist Party were not obliged to consult the USC cards when it was a question of appointing new Police officials or of giving promotion?
HOFFMANN: Each official who entered was examined regarding his political attitude, and each one who was promoted was screened again.
M. MONNERAY: You were a member of the SS, were you not?
HOFFMANN: Under the assimilation decree I became a member of the SS in November 1939 after the outbreak of war.
M. MONNERAY: You had to send in an application, did you not?
HOFFMANN: We were directed by the office to make a formal application.
M. MONNERAY: And this application was similarly subjected to a political screening, was it not?
HOFFMANN: I assume so.
M. MONNERAY: And when you were in Duesseldorf, as deputy of the chief of the Gestapo services, you had under your orders some frontier Police offices?
M. MONNERAY: Is it true that these offices had exactly the same functions as the branch offices of the Gestapo?
HOFFMANN: No, not at first, they had only the duties of frontier Police. In my time, the political tasks of the Police were the business of the Landrat.
M. MONNERAY: You are speaking of what period?
HOFFMANN: I am speaking of the period of 1939 to 1940-until September 1940.
M.MONNERAY: I remind you of a circular of the Ministry of the Interior for Prussia and the Reich, of 8 May 1937, published in the Verordnungsblatt of 1937 of the Ministry of the Interior for the Reich and Prussia, Page 754, which stipulates in its third article that the police tasks at the frontier of the Reich are taken over by the Police commissariats and frontier offices.
HOFFMANN: Yes, that is correct. You must distinguish between the domestic political tasks and counterintelligence work. Counterintelligence, of course, was handled by the frontier Police, but not tasks of a domestic political nature, because most of the officials of the frontier Police did not have the necessary training to make criminal investigations independently.
M. MONNERAY: The same paragraph continues that the frontier offices of the Police are considered Gestapo offices and that they were coordinated with the Aussendienststellen.
HOFFMANN: I cannot understand the word; oh, yes-Aussendienststellen. The frontier Police was subordinated to the State Police office, Department III, which dealt with counterintelligence tasks. As the purpose of counterintelligence work is to counter aggression coming from abroad, it goes without saying that as in any police force on the border the frontier Police are the first who have to deal with these problems. I have just explained that the frontier Police essentially was not entrusted with the domestic political tasks of the Police.
M. MONNERAY: You said to us just now that people were sent to concentration camps at the request of the local Gestapo services. Is that true?
HOFFMANN: If an individual was to be sent to a concentration camp, the State Police office in Berlin had to make a request to the Gestapo office. It was only if the Gestapo office or, later on, the chief of the Security Police decided for protective custody, that the individual could be sent to the concentration camp. The transportation was provided through the usual channels of the Police administration.
M. MONNERAY: So it is a fact, Witness, that internments in concentration camps were made on the initiative of the local offices of the Gestapo?
HOFFMANN: On the demand of the local office of the State Police
M. MONNERAY: And ' the local Gestapo services, when making such a request at the same time arrested the individual?
M. MONNERAY: Did frontier posts also have the right to make requests for internment in concentration camps?
HOFFMANN: The frontier Police had only the duty of apprehending people at the frontier. They did not make any decisions independently. When the frontier Police arrested a person, all they did was to hand him over with a report to the State Police office, which continued to investigate the matter. The officials of the frontier Police were mostly beginners who were not yet able to carry out any criminal investigations. The frontier Police office was not an independent office that could make such requests. The duties of the frontier Police were in no way different from those before 1933.
M. MONNERAY: I would like to show you, Witness, a document which nevertheless dates from 1944 and which comes from the Duesseldorf Gestapo office. That is Document 1063-PS. Is it a fact that this letter was also sent to offices of the frontier Police to inform them that there was no permission to send arrested Eastern Workers back to Buchenwald concentration camp?
HOFFMANN: Excuse me; I did not quite understand the question because I was reading.
M. MONNERAY: Is it correct that this letter addressed to the frontier Police offices of the frontier Police informs them...
HOFFMANN: That can be seen from the contents. It is clear, of course, that a State Police office also sends its principal directives to the frontier, for the contents of this letter deal with the treatment of individuals who had been caught and that, of course, happened at the frontier. The letter also states that a Police office, having picked up such an individual, has to pass on all information when they hand over the case to the State Police office, that is, the principal office.
M. MONNERAY: It is correct, is it not, that this document indicates that requests for transfer to concentration camps which would come from frontier offices have to pass via Duesseldorf?
HOFFMANN: Yes, of course. To my knowledge, the frontier Police office could not have any direct connection with the Gestapo.
M.MONNERAY: So it is also correct that the frontier Police office could itself file requests for internment in concentration camps?
HOFFMANN: Only to the State Police office at Duesseldorf. But I must add that the document is dated 1944, and that since 1940 1 was no longer engaged in State Police work in Germany; and I cannot say whether there were any changes in the directives given for the frontier Police offices during my absence. This document does not give any cause to suppose there were, because I assume that the same decree was also sent to the Landräte.
THE PRESIDENT: In general, the Tribunal thinks that there is no use cross-examining the witness about documents which are not his own documents and about which he knows nothing. You can put the documents in.
M. MONNERAY: Do you know the institution of the Secret Field Police?
HOFFMANN: In the country there was only the Gendarmerie, and in the smaller towns, the so-called communal Criminal Police.
M. MONNERAY: I believe there is a mistranslation here. I mean the "Geheime Feldpolizei."
HOFFMANN: That institution is known to me, yes. I did not understand the question at first.
M. MONNERAY: Is it correct that most of the members of the Field Police came from the Police?
HOFFMANN: The units of the Secret Field Police were composed of a few Police officials, but mostly of soldiers who had been detailed for that purpose. With regard to the groups of the Secret Field Police which were transferred to Denmark, I estimate that within one unit there were about 10 to 15 percent of Police officials, and the remainder were soldiers who had been detailed for that duty and who previously had never had anything to do with the Police.
M. MONNERAY: Is it correct that most of the officers of the Field Police came from the Police?
HOFFMANN: The leaders of the detachments and the staff were mostly Police officials, and as far as I can remember, mostly officials from the Criminal Police.
M. MONNERAY: With the permission of the Tribunal I will hand in two documents which are affidavits, Documents F-964 and F-965, which become Exhibits RP-1535 and RF-1536. These documents indicate, for two regions of France, that the great majority of the officers of this military Police came from the Police originally.
[Turning to the witness.] Is it correct that hostages in the occupied territories were handed over to the Sipo?
HOFFMANN: I did not understand that question.
M. MONNERAY: Is it correct that in the occupied territories hostages were handed over by the Armed Forces to the Sipo?
HOFFMANN: That varied in the different territories. As far as I know, hostages in France were shot by the Armed Forces; in Norway, upon order of the Reich Commissioner Terboven, as far as I know, by the Sipo. I could not say of my own knowledge how it was in Belgium.
M. MONNERAY: Did you receive any reports on* third-degree
,interrogations, indicating how rigorous these interrogations were?
HOFFMANN: You mean reports during my term of office?
M. MONNERAY: That was in Berlin.
HOFFMANN: No, I have said that as an official basis of information we only found out what had been printed in the Norwegian White Book. Apart from that nothing was known to me.
M. MONNERAY: I should like to submit to the Tribunal a report from the commander of the Sipo and SD at Marseilles, of 6 July 1944, concerning arrests of members of the French resistance, of the interrogation of these members, and of deaths which ensued. This is Document F-979, which becomes Exhibit RF-1537. With the permission of the Tribunal I would like to read an extract of this document-on Page 2 of the French translation:
"The arrested men, Numbers I to 4, 6 to 12, as well as the 43 prisoners named under Number 16, were killed while
attempting to escape on a large scale on 13 June 1944. Numbers 13 to 15 were killed in the neighborhood of Salon on 15 June 1944 in an attempted escape. Number 17 is still required by special section AS."-and further on-"Number 21 died at our office on 9 June 1944."
[Turning to the witness.] Concerning the Nacht und Nebel Decree, you said to us that the Gestapo services in Berlin were opposed to it. Is that so?
M. MONNERAY: I would like to submit to you Document 668-PS, which has already been submitted as Exhibit USA-504.
HOFFMANN: I have explained that the State Police, for technical reasons, were against that decree. But since it was a decree which had been issued by the German Government, the decree had, of course, to be carried out by the State Police as well as by other offices.
M. MONNERAY: And your Amt IV D 4, which, signed this document, chose the most rigorous solution?
HOFFMANN: The solution which was indicated by the decree.
M. MONN-ERAY: The Armed Forces had asked your office to suggest the solution, had it not?
HOFFMANN: Do you mean the solution in this special case, or the decree in general?
M. MONNERAY: I ask you, Witness, whether it is correct that the Armed Forces requested you to suggest an answer to the question of whether the relatives of a deceased Frenchman should be advised of his death or not. Is it true that you chose the most rigorous solution?
HOFFMANN: From this document I can gather only that apparently an inquiry was sent by the OKW, and that the Gestapo office gave the answer, stating what was required by the terms of this decree.
M. MONNERAY: Is it correct that on Page 2 the Army answers you that it agrees with your proposal?
M.MONN-ERAY: Did you yourself give instructions, personal instructions, concerning the application of the Nacht und Nebel Decree?
HOFFMANN: That was not my task. I had as ministerial agent only to pass on the terms of the decree to the competent offices, and the rest was done by the local offices.
M. MONNERAY: Did you have any connection with the concentration camp services?
HOFFMANN: I had connection with the concentration camps only from the time when I was charged with the care of the French ministers, because Prime Minister Reynaud and M. Mandel first lived in cells at Oranienburg, and I had to see them there frequently in order to find out what they needed. And the same applied later to the Concentration Camp Buchenwald where Prime Minister Blum and M. Mandel were accommodated in a small house, a cottage, in
the settlement where the management was quartered. And concerning the castle of Gitter, the guards posted there were taken from units of the Concentration Camp Dachau. Those were the only cases in which I had indirect contact with the administration of concentration camps.
THE PRESIDENT: It is time to adjourn.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
THE PRESIDENT: It will perhaps be convenient to counsel for the organizations to know that the Tribunal proposes to take all the oral evidence, the witnesses for the organizations, first, and then that they should comment upon their documents afterward, because some of the documents, namely affidavits, have not yet been got ready. I think that will probably be convenient to counsel of the organizations.
And the Tribunal proposes to sit on Saturday morning in open session until I o'clock.
M. MONNERAY: You told us a while ago that, except for the protection of certain French political persons, you had nothing to do with the control of the concentration camps?
M. MONNERAY: Did you establish regulations for the concentration camps?
M.MONNERAY: Did you pass on instructions to the concentration camps?
HOFFMANN: I cannot remember.
M.MONNERAY: I should like to show the witness, with the permission of the Tribunal, Document 2521-PS, which will become Exhibit RF-1538. This document is not in the document book; it is a new item.
On Page 2 of this document we find an extract of the Night and Fog Decree for the use of the concentration camp offices. This document is dated 4 August, 1942, and comes from Amt IV D 4.
HOFFMANN: Yes. That is a factual transmission of the Night and Fog Decree to the inspector of the concentration camps. I can no longer remember from when they started carrying out the Night and Fog Decree in concentration camps. I assume that the reason was the difficulty of carrying out the procedure in the individual offices.
M. MONNERAY: This document is signed by yourself, is it not?
HOFFMANN: It says, "Signed, Dr. Hoffmann," and there is a stamp there, too. I must have signed it at some time.
M. MONNERAY: Is it a document that was drawn up in your office?
HOFFMANN: From its appearance, I must assume so.
M. MONNERAY: So it is certain that your office gave instructions and explanations about this decre
HOFFMANN: Yes. That is quite clear and that was never disputed.
M.MONNERAY: You told us this morning that the State and the State leadership did not act according to the ideas of the Police?
HOFFMANN: In many cases not according to our judgment; that is correct.
M. MONNERAY: Do you consider that the subject matter of the Night and Fog Decree conforms to Police conceptions?
M. MONNERAY: That is to say you think that this decree is contrary to Police conceptions?
HOFFMANN: Yes. I have stated that this decree was given out without any suggestion by the Police, and in my statements concerning our conception of the origin and the combating of the military organizations, I declared that this decree does not conform to it. If, however, this decree was issued by the supreme State leadership, then, of course, the Police had to act according to these principles and could only try to put through its own views within the framework of this decree.
M. MONNERAY: In other words, whether the Gestapo approved of the measures taken or not, they co-operated in carrying them out.
HOFFMANN: Yes, indeed.
M. MONNERAY: Had the Gestapo the right to carry out executions?
HOFFMANN: No. However, I did hear that in one sector, which did not come under my jurisdiction, regulations of that sort did exist.
M. MONNERAY: What department was that?
HOFFMANN: As far as I know, the branch dealing with Polish questions.
M. MONNERAY: Did your office, IV D, receive any information on the right of the Gestapo to carry out executions?
HOFFMANN: I cannot remember whether we received decrees of that sort.
M. MONNERAY: I should like to show you Document 1715-PS, which will become Exhibit RF-1539.
[The document was shown to the witness.]
It is a document signed by Kaltenbrunner and which was sent to all the offices of the Gestapo for their information and to your office, IV D.
HOFFMANN: I should like to call your attention to the fact that my department, D 4 - Dora 4 - was the group in which all occupied countries were comprised. This document is addressed to the Bruppenleiter IV D, not to Department 4 - Dora 4. This document, therefore, was not sent to my department. Since no executions were carried out in the western sector, the document was not sent to my department.
M. MONNERAY: But the documents correspond to the reality. The Gestapo could carry out executions.
HOFFMANN: From my own knowledge, I cannot give you any further details about the handling of this problem in practice.
M. MONNERAY: Were you acquainted with Eichmann?
HOFFMANN: From my activity, I know that Eichmann was in charge of the Jewish branch in the Reich Security Main Office.
M. MONNERAY: Your office received no information about anti-Jewish activities in occupied territories, did it?
HOFFMANN: My office received the monthly reports from the commanders in the occupied territories. In these reports, for example, the deportation of Jews was reported on and I have already explained that I learned the fact of the Jewish deportations for the first time from these reports, and that when I approached Eichmann on this matter and asked why these facts were not previousl made known to the department, he refused, saying that he acted only on the basis of superior orders.
M. MONNERAY: Did Eichmann have deputies in the occupied territories?
HOFFMANN: I know that he had his special deputies with various BDS commanders.
M. MONNERAY: Did these deputies have the right to give orders to the Gestapo offices?
HOFFMANN: I cannot give you any information from my own knowledge about the exact position of these deputies of Eichmann's. Eichmann was theoretically a part of the Gestapo office.
M. MONNERAY: A part of Department IV, was he not?
HOFFMANN: Theoretically he was attached to Department IV, but he conducted a very intense activity of his own and I also emphasized that this may be traced back largely to the fact that he did not come from the Police.
M. MONNERAY: Were you kept constantly posted on Eichmann's deputies in the various occupied territories?
HOFFMANN: Only from the monthly reports of the commanders.
M. MONNERAY: And these reports told you, for instance, the number of deportations?
M. MONNERAY: Did the Gestapo and the Sipo in the occupied territories collaborate in these deportations?
HOFFMANN: As far as I know, yes.
M.MONNERAY: What were the functions of Department II of the RSHA?
HOFFMANN: Department II of the Reich Security Main Office dealt with administrative and economic questions as well as-from the beginning until, I believe, 1944-with questions of passports and the interning of foreigners, and I believe with the judiciary.
M. MONNERAY: Were the employees of this office chiefly officials from the executive or administrative branch of the Police?
HOFFMANN: Amt II consisted mainly of administrative officials and lawyers.
M. MONNERAY: According to you, this office was very poorly informed as to what happened in the executive branch?
HOFFMANN: Yes, because essentially they dealt with legal and administrative questions.
M. MONNERAY: Do you know what were the functions of Department II D?
HOFFMANN: If I am not mistaken, it was questions of jurisdiction.
M. MONNERAY: I should like to show you a document which has already been submitted as Document 501-PS, Exhibit USA-288.
[The document was submitted to the witness.]
According to this document, the gas vans which were intended to exterminate the population in the Eastern territories, especially Jews, were supplied by this Department II, which according to this document was perfectly aware of the extermination. Do you still maintain that there was no connection between the administrative and the executive offices?
HOFFMANN: As far as I can see from the document, Department II D concerned the-concerned the technical section which dealt with motor vehicles, and as far as the contents are concerned, it deals with special motor vehicles, and it is obviously a report of a motor pool to the central office for the handling of motor vehicles, in Berlin.
M. MONNERAY: You admit that this is a document which speaks of certain special vehicles intended for extermination?
HOFFMANN: So far as I can see from running over the document rapidly, you could draw that conclusion from the contents.
M. MONNERAY: Dr. Hoffmann, one last question ...
THE PRESIDENT: M. Monneray, I think the document speaks for itself.
M. MONNERAY: Yes, Sir.
[Turning to the witness.] Did you often have the impression in the course of your activity in the Gestapo that the State leadership was asking you to carry out tasks which were contrary to what you would call Police duties?
HOFFMANN: In connection with certain questions during my activity in Berlin, as well as also later in Denmark, I had the feeling that certain duties were assigned to us which were contrary to our judgment as policemen; but in this respect, I must remark that I could only judge these questions from the point of view of a Police official. I could define my attitude to things only on the basis of my professional knowledge, and I did not know what had caused the leadership to make the decisions which they transmitted to us.
M. MONNERAY: You did not consider as criminal, for example, the order concerning certain categories of Soviet prisoners?
HOFFMANN: I must honestly say that I was absolutely unable to understand such an order, particularly since it could not be explained at all by Police reasons.
M. MONNERAY: But nevertheless, the Gestapo lent itself to the execution of these orders, did it not?
HOFFMANN: I cannot tell you that from my own knowledge.
M. MONNERAY: I have no further questions.
DR. MERKEL: Just a few questions, Mr. President.
[Turning to the witness.] Did the members of the Gestapo who had been assimilated into the SS by the assimilation decree come under the orders of the SS or the SD and did they perform their duties there?
HOFFMANN: No. The registration in the SS was merely a theoretical measure, and after my formal entry into the SS in the year 1939 I did not perform any service with either the SS or the SD.
DR.MERKEL: In the order of protective arrest issued by the RSHA was the concentration camp to which the prisoner was to be delivered already designated?
HOFFMANN: I think I remember that it was, but I cannot tell you exactly.
DR. MERKEL: Who carried out the arrests of those people against whom an order of protective arrest had been issued, in case these people were still at liberty?
HOFFMANN: Either the officials of the Gestapo directly, or possibly also the constabulary and the local Police authoriti6s.
DR. MERKEL: Who escorted the trainloads of prisoners to the concentration camps?
HOFFMANN: As far as I remember, this transportation was handled by the general Police administration in regular prisoner transport cars which traversed the entire Reich area according to a regular schedule.
DR. MERKEL: Did you or your office know anything about the true conditions existing in the concentration camps?
THE PRESIDENT: What do you mean by "regular schedules"? Do you mean special transports or do you mean ordinary trains?
HOFFMANN: They were special cars for prisoners which were used by the general Police administration between the individual prisons and which also carried ordinary prisoners. These cars were attached to the regular express and passenger trains, and in these trains.. the prisoners were transported. There were no special transports.
DR. MERKEL: Were the concentration camps under the Gestapo?
HOFFMANN: No. Concentration camps were under the inspector of concentration camps at Oranienburg and, as far as I know, this inspectorate was under the SS. Economic and Administrative Main Office.
DR. MERKEL: The very document just submitted by the Prosecution, 2521-PS, also speaks for this fact, does it not, since the return address is the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office at Oranienburg and it is addressed to the camp commanders of all the concentration camps?
DR. MERKEL: Did you know about the annihilation of Jews at Auschwitz?
HOFFMANN: No. I only heard about these things after the surrender.
DR.MERKEL: Did you know that Eichmann's activity was directly connected with the biological extermination of the Jews at Auschwitz?
HOFFMANN: As long as I was in office and before the surrender, I heard nothing about problems of that kind.
DR. MERKEL: When did you first receive reliable knowledge about these things?
HOFFMANN: After the surrender.
DR.MERKEL: I have no further questions for the witness.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Francis Biddle, Member for the United States): Witness, you spoke of a decree under which the Gestapo were permitted to use third-degree methods in Denmark, right?
HOFFMANN: Yes, indeed.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Was that decree in writing?
HOFFMANN: That was a written decree by the Chief of the Security Police and the SD.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): And was it signed?
HOFFMANN: Yes. But who signed it...
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Who signed it?
HOFFMANN: As far as I recall, the first decree was signed by Heydrich and the second one by Mueller on behalf of someone, but I cannot say for certain on whose behalf.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): What was the date of the first decree?
HOFFMANN: I believe it was 1937.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): What month?
HOFFMANN: That I cannot tell you anymore.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): What was the date of the second decree?
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Did you see both decrees yourself?
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr.Biddle): What was in the first decree?
HOFFMANN: The contents of the first decree provided that for the purpose of uncovering organizations hostile to the Reich, if no other means were available, the person involved could receive a certain number of blows with a stick. After a specified number, a physician had to be called in. This order could only be used for extracting a confession for conviction in individual cases. Approval for this had to be obtained in every case from the Chief of the Security Police and SD.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr.Biddle): Wait a minute. Was the decree limited to any particular territory, or did it cover all the occupied territories?
HOFFMANN: The decree of 1937 applied to the Reich territory, but I believe it then applied automatically to the activities of the Sipo in those regions where it was stationed. I cannot remember any limitations.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Were there any other methods of third degree which were allowed as well as beating in this first decree?
HOFFMANN: According to the second decree the only measures approved were those which were milder than blows with a stick-standing at interrogations, or fatiguing exercises. They are enumerated in the decree, but I do not remember them all.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): You remembered one of them standing up, for instance. What was the provision of the decree with respect to standing up during interrogations?
HOFFMANN: I personally never attended such an interrogation.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): I did not ask you that. I said, what was the provision with respect to standing up?
HOFFMANN: It only said that the person involved could be required not to sit down during the interrogation but had to stand.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): And how long were the interrogations? How long were they actually?
HOFFMANN: The decree did not mention that, but...
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): I said, how long were the interrogations? How long were they actually?
HOFFMANN: Well, under certain circumstances they naturally lasted very long. It was only in that way that standing up was' a severe measure.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr.Biddle): Was the number of strokes that could be used mentioned in the decree? Did it say how many times a man could be struck with a stick?
HOFFMANN: As far as I recall, this measure could be applied only once to the same individual; that is, it could not be repeated. And the number of blows, in my opinion, was specified in the decree.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): And then the doctor was called?
HOFFMANN: No, I believe it was this way. If a fairly large number of blows was provided for in advance, then the physician had to be present immediately.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): And what was the number of blows that was to be permitted, do you remember- that?
HOFFMANN: As far as I recall, 20; but I cannot tell you that exactly.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): And both decrees covered all of the German Reich, including the occupied territories, is that true?
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr.Biddle): And the decrees were effective in France, as well as in Denmark, isn't that true?
HOFFMANN: Yes, later. In the second decree, the power of approval of the Chief of the Security Police was delegated to the commanders. That was in 1942.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): So that after that the commanders could order beatings without going to the head of the Security Police?
HOFFMANN: Yes, after 1942.
THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.
DR.MERKEL: Mr. President, I should like to make one small correction-a little misunderstanding which I think I can clear up. While examining the witness, the Tribunal has just mentioned a commander in the occupied territories. I should like to be permitted to ask the witness whether he meant the commanders of the Security Police or the commanders-in-chief of the Security Police. They are two entirely different persons.
HOFFMANN: As far as I recall, the commanders-in-chief.
THE PRESIDENT: That's all. Thank you very much.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: If the Tribunal please, I would like to put one question to this witness, following the questioning of the Tribunal. I believe that the witness testified that in this second decree there was no provision for beatings.
[Turning to the witness.] Did I understand y
ou to say that, Witness?
HOFFMANN: No, I said, beatings and-but from now on still further measures which, however, were milder in nature than the beatings.
THE PRESIDENT: I thought when I took it down, that he said there were milder methods in the second decree, standing up and tiring methods.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Yes, Sir; that is what I understood but I now gather that the witness admits that under both decrees beatings were authorized; and that is all that I wish to establish.
DR.MERKEL: I have no further questions to the witness.
THE PRESIDENT: What is it you want, Colonel Karev?
COLONEL D. S. KAREV (Assistant Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R.): The Soviet Prosecution will request the permission of the Tribunal to present new documents concerning the criminal activity of the Gestapo.
TTHE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly
COL. KAREV: First of all, I want to submit to the Tribunal a document, Number USSR-258, containing excerpts from a list of hostages shot by the German Police in Yugoslavia. If the Tribunal considers it necessary I shall quote just two sentences out of this document.
At the end of Paragraph I of this document it says:
"The executions were effected according to the decisions and by order of the chiefs of the Gestapo or the SD."
Then I shall draw the attention of the Tribunal to Item "C" at the end of the second page, which states as follows:
". . according to different information, lists, death records, et cetera, the following number of victims has been established up till the present time..."
I omit here a detailed enumeration of the victims and merely draw the attention of the Tribunal to the fact that 237 persons were shot or hanged in the year 1942, altogether at the very least 1,575 persons.
Then I submit here Document Number USSR-465, which is the notification issued by the German Police about destroying a number of villages in Slovenia and of shooting all the men of those villages for helping the partisans. I draw the Tribunal's attention just to these two sentences again at the beginning which say:
"On 20 July 1942 the village of Hrastnigg and part of the villages of Kanker and Savoden were destroyed and the entire male population shot. The remainder were deported. The measure was taken because all adults had helped the partisans or at least by silently assenting had supported their activities."
One more sentence of the document, saying that in addition to all the measures taken here by the Gestapo, a number of civilians had to be shot as hostages.
The third document is USSR-416. I shall not read it. It is a list of Yugoslav and Allied subjects compiled in the year 1938. It states that Yugoslav subjects were frequently arrested without having been suspected or guilty of a crime. Next to every one of the 4,000 names listed there was a note as to whether the Gestapo was responsible for the arrest or another authority-the Reich Security Main Office. At any rate the document was found in the archives of the Gestapo in Yugoslavia.
The fourth document is Number USSR-418. It contains a copy of an order of the German Police captured in Yugoslavia with a decree of Himmler to arrest all persons who had expressed joy in connection with the tragedy overtaking the Germans at Stalingrad and to transfer them to a concentration camp.
I think, Mr. President, there is no need to read it all.
The next document is Number USSR-71. It is very brief and consists of a telegram sent by the German Police referring to officials of the diplomatic service, attach6s, diplomatic couriers, consuls, et cetera. The telegram was sent one day prior to the German declaration of war to or invasion of Yugoslavia, which in itself is a violation of international law. Document Number USSR-316 deals with the same subject concerning the application of this telegram to diplomatic couriers, consuls, et cetera.
The last document is USSR-518. It is the testimony of the former Lieutenant General Krappe of the German Armed Forces which states that the Gestapo killed their own agents for the purpose of keeping things secret and that thereupon an investigation before the superior had taken place. This is all that I wanted to submit.
If it is possible, I would like to request the Tribunal to permit me also to quote several other USSR exhibits referring to the criminal activity of the Gestapo. These documents had been submitted in connection with other questions, whereas they were not given due consideration with regard to the Gestapo. May I read them to the Tribunal? Or will the Tribunal dispense with them?
THE PRESIDENT: These are not documents which have already been put in evidence, are they?
COL. KAREV: No, Mr. President; these documents have been presented and accepted by the Tribunal, although not in connection with the activity of the Gestapo but with regard to other questions; therefore, I should like to draw the attention of the Tribunal to some excerpts which so far were disregarded, although the documents themselves were presented to the Tribunal before.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks that the appropriate time for you to deal with these documents will be when the case is argued on behalf of the Prosecution, if they are documents which have already been put in evidence.
COL. KAREV: They will; thank you, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDENT: Now, the witness may retire. Have you had all your witnesses?
DR. MERKEL: Yes, Mr. President. If I understood Your Lordship correctly, the presentation of documentary evidence is to take place after all the witnesses of all the organizations have been heard.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, the object of that being that all the documents can then be dealt with together, as some of the documents are not yet available. So we -will go on with the next organization.
DR. MERKEL: I should like to ask just one more thing. In my submission of documents may I refer to the documents which have only now been brought forth by the Prosecution and possibly introduce evidence to refute them? This concerns the documents which have been introduced today for the first time.
THE PRESIDENT: When you say "refute" you mean criticize the documents and argue upon them, I suppose.
DR. MERKEL: To argue upon them and possibly -introduce contradictory evidence against the new documents which were submitted today by means of new affidavits of one kind or another, or even documents.
THE PRESIDENT: The time for you to "refute", as you say, or to argue upon the documents which have been put in today by the Prosecution will be when you make your final argument. At the end of the oral evidence for all the organizations, all the organizations will offer their documentary evidence and comment upon it shortly, and then they will have time within which they may argue the whole case and at that time you will be able to argue and "refute," as you put it, the documents which have been put in today.
DR. MERKEL: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Now I call upon counsel for the SD. Will you please call your witnesses now?
DR. GAWLIK: I have interrogated seven witnesses before the Commission. I do not have the complete transcript yet and will hand it in later. With the approval of the Tribunal I shall call the witness Hoeppner.
[The witness Hoeppner took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name?
ROLF HEINZ HOEPPNER (Witness): Rolf Heinz Hoeppner.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me: I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing.
[The witness repeated the oath.]
THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.
DR. GAWLIK: First, I shall put a few preliminary questions in order to prove that the witness has the necessary knowledge to answer questions on the subject. When were you born?
HOEPPNER: On 24 February 1910.
DR. GAWLIK: Since when have you been a member of the SD
HOEPPN-ER: Since the beginning of 1934.
DR. GAVILIK: What activity did you carry on before then?
HOEPPNER: Before that I studied and performed preliminar3 legal service.
DR. GAWLIK: What law examination did you pass?
HOEPPNER: I passed the first and second state legal examinations.
DR. GAWLIK: What was your position in the SD?
HOEPPMER: First I was an honorary assistant and adviser in an Oberabschnitt, later Stabsfuehrer in a Leitabschnitt, then Abschnittsfuehrer and finally Gruppenleiter in the Reich Security Main Office.
DR. GAVTLIK: What group did you head?
HOEPPNER: I directed Group III A, law administration and communal life.
DR. GAWLIK: In what other spheres of duty did you work in the SD?
HOEPPNER: In the beginning, during my honorary activity, I worked on press matters. Later, on personnel and organizational questions, and as Stabsfuehrer and Abschnittsfuehrer I was responsible for the entire sphere of duty of the Security Service in my jurisdiction-
DR. GAWLIK: Now I shall turn to my first topic. I want to prove that the SD as an intelligence organization and the SS formation in the SD were completely different organizations. What doles the abbreviation SD mean?
HOEPPNER: The abbreviation SD means Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service).
DR. GAWLIK: What different meanings did the word have?
HOEPPNER: The word Sicherheitsdienst has two completely different meanings. First, it means the special SS formation SD, and second, the Security Service as an intelligence service.
DR. GAWLIK: Was the foreign intelligence service also characterized as SD?
HOEPPNER: Yes, it was also characterized as SD, and, indeed, as the SD-Ausland.
DR. GAWLIK: Was Amt VII known as SD also?
DR. GAWLIK: What was the activity of Amt VII?
HOEPPNER: Amt VII occupied itself with questions on archives and library matters and, as far as I know, it had a number of special scientific duties.
DR. GAWLIK: Was the SD as an SS formation completely different from the SD domestic intelligence service, and the SD foreign intelligence service?
DR. GAWLIK: To whom was the special SD formation of the SS subordinate?
HOEPPNER: The special SD formation of the SS was subordinate to the Chief of the Security Police and the SD.
DR. GAWLIK: Who belonged to this special formation?
HOEPPNER: This special formation consisted of, first the members of the intelligence branch of the Security Service, who came from the General SS. Secondly, there belonged to this special formation those who, after they worked in this int6lligence service, w, ere taken into Amt VII, and thirdly, there belonged to this special formation the SS members of the Security Police, that is the State Police and the Criminal Police, and finally, the members of formations who had a certain working connection with the Security Police.
DR. GAWLIK: Were there other persons as well who belonged to this special formation and who were not active with the Security Police or the SD?
HOEPPNER: Yes, by that I meant the fourth group which I just spoke of, who were taken into the SS as customs border guards.
DR. GAWLIK: Did this group of persons have any kind of common task?
HOEPPNER: No. The situation with respect to this group of persons was merely that they were first registered in the SD Main Office and later, after the Reich Security Main Office was founded in September 1939, in Amt I of this Reich Security Main Office.
DR. GAWLIK: Now, I come to the second topic: the relationship of the domestic intelligence service, Amt III, to the foreign intelligence service, Amt VI, and to Amt VIL Did Amter III, VI, and VII represent different organizations, or one unified organization of the SD?
HOEPPNER: They represented different organizations. I might give the reasons for that in a few words. First, the spheres of duty of these three offices were completely different. Amt III was concerned with the domestic intelligence service, Amt VI with the intelligence service abroad, and Amt VII with questions regarding libraries and archives. Second, the set-up of these organizations was completely different. In Amt III, domestic intelligence service, the chief value of the organization lay primarily in the regional office (Aussenstelle) and in the sector (Abschnitt). The method of world was therefore decentralized. Perhaps I might give the reasons for that in a few words: Amt VI, foreign intelligence service, involve a strong centralization of duties. Amt VII had nothing but a central office.
DR. GAWLIK: Was there any discernible connection between these offices, III, VI, and VII, with a general common purpose?
HOEPPNER: No. The aims of these offices were far too varied for that. The members of these offices hardly had any connection with each other.
DR. GAWLIK: Now I come to the third topic, the development of the SD until the establishment of the Reich Security Main Office and particularly to the question, whether during this time it was one of the duties of the SD to collaborate with others on a common plan and conspiracy. When was the SD domestic intelligence service established?
HOEPPNER: The SD was established in 1931-32.
DR. GAWLIK: From its formation up to the end of the, war did the SD have the same duties, the same purpose, and the same activities?
HOEPPNER, One could not say that by any means. The duties and objectives varied even-changed very much according to the political alignment. While the Security Service had the task of helping the General SS up, to about 1933 or the beginning of 1934, there was no longer any reason for this task after the parties 'with which the National Socialist Party had competed were dissolved and, therefore, there was no longer a legal opposition party, and the combating, that is, observation or repelling, of an illegal opponent became the task of the Gestapo.
DR. GAWLIK: What different periods are there to be distinguished from its establishment until the end of the war?
HOEPPNER: I just mentioned one period, the one from 1931 to about 1933 or 1934. The second period began in 1934. As an event, or perhaps better, as a sample of particular importance, I should like to begin with the order of the Fuehrer's deputy that the Security Service ...
DR. GAWLIK: Witness, first of all just give us the various periods. I will then question you briefly about specific periods.
HOEPPNER: The first period was from 1931 to 1934, the second was from the middle of 1934'until the formation of the Reich Security Main Office, and the third comprises the period from the-establishment of the Reich Security Main Office to the end of the war.
DR. GAWLIK: What was the aim-what was the aim, the duties, and the activity of the SD in the period from 1931 to 1934?
HOEPPNER: The task of the Security Service from -1931 to 1934 was that of a formation of the Party, namely, that of assisting the SS in their task of guarding the Fuehrer and protecting public meetings, by supplying the SS with as much information of rival opposition parties as possible from its intelligence service. For instance, what measures were being planned by other parties, and whether speakers were going to be attacked, or whether any meetings might be disturbed, and so forth.
DR. GAWLIK: At this time had the SD already been developed into a powerful, professional, thoroughly trained espionage system by its leader Heydrich?
Mr. President, in this connection I should like to refer to the trial brief against the SS, Page VIII B of the English text, VIII B at the top, Lines 1 and 2.
[Turning to the witness.] Please answer the question.
HOEPPNER: In answer to this question I have to start with my own observations which I made when I entered the Security Service in the beginning of 1934 and with what I learned from my comrades then and later about the preceding period. Before 30 January 1933 the Security Service represented a very small organization which had hardly more than 20 or 30 regular members and not many more honorary members, so that one cannot assume central direction and professional training, that is a real espionage network.
DR. GAWLIK: You spoke of 20 to 2
5 regular members-for what area?
HOEPPNER: For the area of the entire Reich.
DR. GAWLIK: Were there other members-honorary members?
HOEPPNER: The number of honorary members was not much larger.
DR. GAWLIK: Did the members of the SD make a general agreement among themselves to participate in crimes against peace, against the laws of war and against humanity?
HOEPPNER: No. If you speak of any agreement at all-since they hardly knew one another-they merely had the intention of helping the Party which was legally contending for power by defending it against rival opposition parties.
DR. GAWLIK: During the years 1933 and 1934 did the members of the Security Service pursue the aim of supporting any persons whatsoever who had undertaken a general and common plan to commit crimes against peace, against the laws of war, or humanity?
DR. GAWLIK: During the years 1931 to 1934, did the members of the SD know anything at all about such a plan?
HOEPPNER: I believe the case of the members of the SD was not very different to that of the overwhelming majority of the German people. Nothing was known.
DR. GAWLIK: Now I come to the second phase.
What was the aim and task of the SD during the period from 1934 until the creation of the Reich Security Main Office in the year 1939?
HOEPPNER: After a legal opposition party was no longer in existence, and there was merely an illegal political opponent, the combating of which, as I have already mentioned, was the task of the State Police which had been evolved from the Political Police department, the task of the Security Service had to change. First, it changed in this way, that other ideological and political forms and other ideological groups ...
DR. GAWLIK: Witness, can you perhaps state the tasks and aims more briefly?
HOEPPNER: Well, to name a few examples, Freemasons, Marxists, Jews-all these groups were classified in a more scientific and statistical way so that the Party would have material for training and other tasks.
The ultimate aim was to become the Party's sole political intelligence and counterintelligence service, from about July 1934 onward, something which, by the way, was never achieved, since there continued to be an enormous number of information services and sources of information, up to the end.
Even this task of scientific research work with regard to other political groups or other ideological organizations was not permanent either, for after a short time it became obvious that this research work, too, belonged to the sphere of activity of the Secret State Police because in the long run such an investigation of opponents could not be separated from the executive branch, from the information acquired in the daily interrogations, and so forth. Therefore, these tasks were changed when a very clear division of duties was made between the Security Service and the State Police, a division which, starting in the middle of 1938, was carried through especially in the year 1939 and practically ended with the creation of the Reich Security Main Office in September of 1939. After this division of duties the task of the Security Service would have been quite superfluous if it had not been for the fact that out of this Security Service, beginning with the so-called intellectual SD in 1933 and 1934, through a special advisory section for "culture" and a central department for "spheres of life, intelligence service" -- I said that out of this Security Service there developed a specific task for the domestic intelligence service, namely, the task of investigating the spheres of life of the German people according to developments and informing the executive offices about these developments as a whole.
THE PRESIDENT: As I said to the other counsel, we do not want these witnesses to go over exactly the same ground that they have gone through before the Commission.
We have got that evidence. We only want you to present them here in order that we may see what credibility is to be attached to their evidence and to deal with any particularly important or new subject which has not been dealt with before the Commission.
Now this witness seems to be going over exactly the same ground which he has gone over before the Commission and at great length. It is simply doing the same thing twice over.
DR. GAWLIK: My understanding, Mr. President, was that I would briefly summarize once more the results of everything which had been taken up in the Commission for longer than 2 days. And that is what I am doing. I am now bringing-the witness has been examined before the Commission for 2 days and now perhaps I shall present that material in 1 to 11h, or 2 hours. But I thought that it was precisely these various objectives of the Security Service for each year that would be of interest to the High Tribunal.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, will you try to present the summary within reasonable limits?
DR. GAWLIK: Yes, indeed, Mr. President.
[Turning to the witness.] What can you say about the significance of the work of the SD during this period?
HOEPPNER: The work of the SD during this period was of almost no importance. It was primarily concerned with finding its own proper task, with establishing an intelligence network, and with locating the necessary, basic material. Particularly important is the fact that during this time the Security Service hardly appeared in public.
DR. GAVVLIK: The Prosecution has declared that the SS and likewise the SD were elite groups of the Party, the most fanatical adherents of the Nazi cause, who assumed the obligation of blind loyalty to the Nazi principles and were ready to carry them out unswervingly, at any cost. In this connection I should like to refer to the trial brief against the SS, Page 7, A and B.
I ask you, Witness, were the regular and honorary workers in the SD selected according to those principles?
HOEPPNER: The regular and honorary workers were selected on the basis of being capable in some professional capacity and were men of decent character.
DR. GAWLIK: Please answer the question first of all with "yes" or ("no.")
DR. GAWLIK: And now please give your reasons.
HOEPPNER: I have already said that the regular and honorary members were selected because they were capable in some professional capacity and were of good professional character. It was not a prerequisite for either regular or honorary cooperation that anyone had to be a Party member or a member of the SS.
DR. GAWLIK: Did the SD do things for which no government office or political party, not even the Nazi Party, was willing to bear the full responsibility in public?
I should like to call the attention of the High Tribunal to the trial brief against the SS, Page 7, second paragraph.
DR. GAWLIK: Did the SD work secretly behind the scenes in the period which you described, from its establishment until 1939?
HOEPPNER: No. One could give a whole list of examples. First of all, the regular members wore uniforms. They had the SD insignia on their sleeves. The offices had signs and were listed in the telephone directory, et cetera.
DR. GAWLIK: During the period from 1934 to 1939 did the members of the SD make a common and general agreement to participate in crimes against peace, against the laws of war, or against humanity?
THE PRESIDENT: Would that be a convenient time to break off?
[A recess was taken.]
DR. GAWLIK: During the period from 1934 until 1939 did the members of the SD pursue the aim and task of supporting any individuals who had made a general and common plan for committing crimes against peace, the laws of warfare, and against humanity?
DR. GAWLIK: Did not the SD also support this sort of thing by obtaining information on actual or possible opponents of the Nazi leaders and so contribute to the destruction and neutralization of the opposition?
DR. GAWLIK: Can you give reasons for your answer to the question?
DR. GAWLIK: But please be brief.
HOEPPNER: It was the task of the Security Service to investigate failures in all spheres of life. Individual cases were examples. It was not its task to institute proceedings with any other offices against individuals.
DR. GAWLIK: Should not the members of the SD have been convinced by the reports on public opinion and the reports on the different spheres of life, especially after the occupation of the Rhineland until the beginning of the second World War, that everybody in Germany was expecting war?
HOEPPNER: On the contrary ...
DR. GAWLIK: Please, will you first answer the question with "yes" or "no"?
DR. GAWLIK: Now give the reasons please.
HOEPPNER: I said already, quite on the contrary. During that period there was hardly anybody in Germany who expected a war, and it was precisely these reports on the situation in different spheres of life, in the spheres, perhaps, of food production, economy, and industry, which showed that we were going to have armament to a limited extent, but not to an extent-but in no way gave any indications that we were working toward a war of aggression.
DR. GAWLIK: Now I come to the relation between the SD and the SS. Was the SD always an inseparable and important part of the SS?
I refer in this connection to the German transcript of 9 December where this has been alleged by the Prosecution.
Please answer my question.
HOEPPNER: No. I should like to give the following reasons for that: After the duty of the SS to help guard the speakers at meetings and to protect the Fuehrer had ended, the new task was conceived and further developed by the staff of the SD, completely independent of the-SS and the Reichsfuehrer SS.
DR. GAWLIK: The Prosecution has furthermore stated "the General SS was the basis, the root from which the various branches grew."
Will you comment on that with regard to the domestic intelligence service?
HOEPPNER: That could not be true for the domestic intelligence service because only about 10 percent of the regular workers had come from the General SS, and because at least 90 percent of all the honorary workers and confidential agents of the SD were neither members of the SS nor wanted to be members of the SS, nor, viewed from the standpoint of the organization, were they desired for membership in the SS.
DR. GAWLIK: Was there in the SS a uniform high command under which the individual main offices operated jointly, or worked together automatically in such a way that each branch of the SS fulfilled a special task within the scope of the whole?
I refer to the transcript of 19 December 1945. State your opinion on this.
DR. GAWLIK: Give me your reasons.
HOEPPNER: The only institution embodying the SS as a whole was the Reichsfillirer SS. The main offices which were under him were in no way high commands. Outwardly they represented various points of view on the same questions. They competed with each other, they were frequently jealous of each other. It was not even true that each of these main offices represented a branch which was necessary for the whole, as their duties, their jurisdictions overlapped. For instance, four or five offices shared the responsibility in questions of folkdom, and it was not possible, although this very suggestion was made by the Reich Security Main Office, to grant jurisdiction to one office only. Among these different main offices there was no directing office. The so-called main directing office had only to perform functions of the Waffen-SS. If any office had claimed that leadership, all the others would have rebelled against it immediately.
DR. GAWLIK: What was the influence of Himmler on the development of the tasks of the domestic intelligence service?
HOEPPNER: Himmler did not have a positive influence on the development of the specific tasks of the domestic intelligence service in the ordinary spheres of life. That task grew out of the work of the office, and it could have developed equally well in some other office. There were even a large number of cases in which the work suffered because it was entrusted to a man who was one leader among several, and, therefore, it was not always possible to send reports to the competent office via the Reichsfuehrer.
DR. GAWLIK: In order to prove a uniform will and a planned collaboration of the SD and SS the Prosecution referred particularly to the book by Dr. Best, The German Police, and the speech by Himmler about the organization and objectives of the SS and the Police. This concerns Documents 1852-PS and 1992-PS. Do you know the book by Dr. Best and do you know that speech by Himmler concerning the organization and objectives of the SS and Police?
HOEPPNER: On broad lines, yes.
DR. GAWLIK: Please give your opinion as to whether the relation between the SS and SD is described correctly in that book by Dr. Best and in the speech by Himmler?
HOEPPNER: This question essentially involves the clarification of the concept which in many speeches and publications was designated as a corps for the protection of the State, (Staatsschutzkorps), and this idea of a corps for protection of the State was expressed by Himmler and Heydrich very early, a little after 1936. Its contents changed, but although it appeared again and again in speeches, it was never really carried out. However, the individual parts of this so-called corps for protection of the State of Himmler's grew independently, developed independently; they were not a unit, so that we can say here that although it was indeed Himmler's wish to create this corps for the protection of the State, this idea never materialized.
DR. GAWLIK: Did the Higher SS and Police Leaders also have authority to issue orders to the SD, and did they have to supervise the activity of the SD? In this connection I refer to the trial brief against the Gestapo and SD, Page 12 of the English edition, and the trial brief against the SS, also Page 12 of the English edition.
HOEPPNER: The Higher SS and Police Leaders had neither authority to issue orders nor did they have to supervise the SD. They were merely representatives of the Reichsfuehrer within their territories without having any actual or disciplinary jurisdiction over the Security Service. Attempts made in that direction, in connection with the above-mentioned corps for protection of the State, were particularly averted by the domestic intelligence service.
DR. GAWLIK: Now I come to the relation between the SD and the Party. What was the organizational relationship between the domestic intelligence service and the political leadership of 'the NSDAP?
HOEPPNER: The domestic intelligence service was an institution of the Party, but it did not belong to the organization of the political leadership. Therefore, no organizational connection existed. The proper and definite duties of the domestic intelligence service were not given to it by the Party either. The task assigned to it by the Party, as I have already mentioned, had already been essentially completed in the years 1938-39.
DR. GAWLIK: Did the SD have the task of maintaining the Nazi leaders in power?
HOEPPNER: The Security Service had the task of ...
DR. GAWLIK: Can you first answer the question with "yes" or "no"?
DR. GAWLIK: Now please give me your reasons.
HOEPPNER: The Security Service had a different task. It had the assignment of observing the effects of the measures taken by the leaders of the State, the Party, the economy and the autonomous corporations, to determine what the people were saying about these measures, whether their results were positive or negative, and then to inform the leaders about its findings.
DR. GAWLIK: Was the domestic intelligence service the espionage system of the NSDAP? Here I refer to the trial brief against the SS, Pages 8a and 8b of the English edition.
HOEPPNER: No. First, the Security Service was not an espionage service at all. Secondly, it sent its reports to all principal offices, not only to those of the Party, bu
t also to the leading offices of the State.
DR.GAWLIK: Now I come to the next topic of evidence, the relation between the SD and the Gestapo. Were the Gestapo and the SD a uniform police system which became constantly more closely connected?
I refer to the trial brief against the Gestapo and SD. What was the connection between the Gestapo and SD organizations with respect to aims, tasks, activities, and methods?
HOEPPNER: First, in answer to the first question: it was not a question of a uniform police system, since the Security Service and a police system have absolutely nothing to do with each other. The Security Service and the Secret State Police were two entirely different organizations. While the Security Service had developed from an organization of the Party, the Secret State Police was a continuation of an already existing institution of the State.
While the task of the Security Service was to get a general view of the various spheres of life or the specific forms of activity of other ideological groups, and regarded the individual cases merely as examples, it was the task of the Secret State Police on the basis of existing laws, ordinances, decrees, and so on, to deal particularly with individual cases and to take preventive or prosecuting measures in an executive police capacity in continuation of an already existing State institution. While the Secret State Police worked with executive means, such as interrogations, confiscations, and so on, the Security Service never had executive powers.
DR. GAWLIK: Was it the task of the SD to support the Security Police as has been stated in decrees and other announcements, particularly in the circular letter released on 11 November 1938; in this- connection I refer to Document 1638-PS,
HOEPPMER: No, that was incorrectly expressed. Perhaps I may comment briefly on that circular letter of 11 November 1938.
We are concerned here with the fact that for the first time an agreement had been made between the Security Service and an office of the State. The chief purpose of this agreement was that the Security Service was thereby officially and publicly recognized by an office of the State and that officials who worked in it could not, on account of this collaboration, be prosecuted for breaking their oath of silence, as had happened repeatedly up to then. At that time the agreement was made dependent on the fact that any State duty could be referred to. As, first of all, the Security Service hardly appeared in the public eye at that time in 1938, and the work in the field of public life had not yet been officially recognized by the Party and could, therefore, not be mentioned in the decree, Heydrich quoted the support of the Security Police, because no one outside could check that.
DR. GAWLIK: Did the SD have the task of watching the members of the Gestapo?
DR.GAWLIK: Can we conclude from the fact that inspectors of the Security Police and SD were established that there was a connection between these two organizations?
HOEPPNER: No, the inspectors had a certain power of supervision over the organization in particular cases only. All directives, task assignments, and so forth, came from Berlin.
DR. GAWLIK: What was the relation of the Departments III with the offices of the commanders-in-chief and with the commanders of the Security Police and the SD?
HOEPPNER: I do not quite understand that question. Relation with whom?
DR. GAWLIK: With the Security Police.
HOEPPN'ER: The Departments III of the offices of the commanders and commanders-in-chief were departments in the same way as the Department IV. They worked on Security Service tasks, whereas Department IV worked on State Police tasks. They were departments of the office of the commander-in-chief, and not parts or establishments of Amt III of the Reich Security Main Office any more than the Department 4 were establishments of Amt IV of the Reich Security Main Office.
DR. GAWLIK: Now I come to a short discussion of the individual war crimes with which the SD is charged. First, the Einsatzgruppen.
I refer to VI A among the facts offered in evidence in the trial brief.
Were the Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos which were used in the East a part of the SD?
HOEPPNER: No; these Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos were establishments of an entirely original type.
DR. GAWLIK: Was the organization of the domestic SD used for the activities of the Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos? That is something important.
HOEPPNER: That question, in the way it has been put, must be answered by "no." It is not true that any units of that organization were transferred to the Einsatzgruppen. If individual members of the SD entered the Einsatzgrupppn or Einsatzkommandos, then it is comparable to military induction. Just as a civil servant who is drafted is assigned different tasks, or at least can be assigned them, this was likewise the case with the members of the SD. If the Einsatzgruppen had to perform Security Service tasks, such as making reports, the directives came to the Einsatzgruppen from Amt III.
DR. GAWLIK: Did the members of the SD and its subordinate offices obtain any knowledge about mass shootings and other crimes-war crimes or crimes against humanity-through the reports from the East, or by reports from the Einsatzgruppen?
HOEPPNER: Such reports from Einsatzgruppen were never forwarded to the subordinate offices in the Reich, so that the members of these offices could not have any knowledge, of these incidents, either.
DR. GAWLIK: Was the SD responsible for the establishment, arrangement, guarding, and administration of concentration camps?
DR. GAWLIK: Could you give me any reason for that answer?
HOEPPNER: There are no reasons for it. The Security Service never had anything to do with these matters because it lacked jurisdiction there.
DR. GAWLIK: Did the SD establish any concentration camps?
DR.GAWLIK: Did the SD organize any concentration camps?
DR.GAWLIK: Was the organization of the SD used for the guarding of concentration camps?
DR.GAWLIK: Did the SD have authority for the commitment and treatment of concentration camp inmates?
DR. GAWLIK: Did the domestic intelligence service receive an order from Himmler not to intervene in the case of clashes between Germans, and English and American fliers?
HOEPPNER: No, the Security Service could not have had any order, because it had no Police functions and there could have been absolutely no question of any intervention.
DR. GAWLIK: Did the domestic intelligence service set up summary courts martial in order to pass judgment on persons in special short proceedings?
This question refers to Item VI H of the trial brief.
HOEPPNER: Holding summary courts martial was not one of the functions of the SD at all, therefore not courts martial of this kind either, because that again would have been an executive measure which had nothing to do with the Security Service.
DR.GAWLIK: Did the domestic intelligence service, Amt III, execute people in concentration camps or keep them prisoners only on account of crimes which allegedly had been committed by their relatives? This question refers to Item VI J of the trial brief.
HOEPPNER: The Security Service had nothing to do with. that.
DR. GAWLIK: Did the SD hold any third-degree interrogations? This question refers to Item VI L.
HOEPPNER: The Security Service did not carry out any interrogations at all, consequently not any with the third degree.
DR. GAWLIK: Will you briefly describe the aims, tasks, activities, and methods of the Group III A of the Reich Security Main Office, of which you were in charge at times?
HOEPPNER: It was the task of Group III A to observe secondly, that the scope of the work had been increased in extent, and that therefore men and in part women auxiliary workers had to be sent for service in the occupied territories; thirdly, that the entire work of the Security Service grew -during the war, and the personnel had to render compulsory emergency service and so on, according to the legal measures that had been passed for this purpose.
DR.GAWLIK: Mr. President, I have no further questions.
THE PRESIDENT: Does the Prosecution wish to cross-examine?
MAJOR HARTLEY MURRAY (Assistant Trial Counsel for the United States): If the Tribunal please, Major Murray cross-examining for the United States chief prosecutor.
Witness, when did you become chief of Office III A in the RSHA?
HOEPPNER: In July 1944.
MAJOR MURRAY: Who was the chief of Amt III at that time and for some time prior thereto?
HOEPPNER: Amt III had only one chief, and that was the then Gruppenfuehrer Ohlendorf.
MAJOR MURRAY: At times you substituted for Ohlendorf, did you not?
HOEPPNER: I believe the entire question did not come through. I heard only "at times you substituted."
MAJOR MURRAY: At various times during your career, you took Ohlendorf's place as chief of Amt III, did you not?
HOEPPNER: No. When I was in that office, Ohlendorf was always there. Moreover, there was no general deputy for him. When he was away on business the chiefs of the various groups represented him for their own spheres, but during the period while I was in Berlin, that happened very rarely.
MAJOR MURRAY: Do you know Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl, who was
a member of Amt VI, RSHA?
HOEPPNER: May I ask for the name again, please? I did not understand the name.
MAJOR MURRAY: Perhaps I do not pronounce it properly: Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl, spelled H-o-e-t-t-l.
HOEPPNER: Hoettl? I met him here only for the first time.
MAJOR MURRAY: You do know that he held a responsible position in the SD, now that you have met him here?
HOEPPNER: No, I have not spoken to Hoettl here, either.
MAJOR MURRAY: With the permission of the Tribunal, I should like to read briefly from the affidavit of Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl, Document 2614-PS, dealing with the activities of the SD. This will be Exhibit USA-918. Dr. Hoettl executed this affidavit on 5 November 1945. 1 quote:
"It was the task of the SD to inform its chief, Himmler, and through him the Nazi regime about all matters within Germany, the occupied territories, and the other foreign countries. This task was carried out in Germany by Amt III, domestic intelligence service, and abroad by Amt VI, foreign intelligence service."
Skipping a few lines:
"For the task in Germany proper Amt III had organized a large net of informers who operated out of the various regional offices of the SD. This organization consisted of many hundreds of professional SD members who were assisted by thousands of honorary SD members and informers. These informers and honorary collaborators of the SD were placed in all fields of business, education, State and Party administration, et cetera. Frequently they performed their duties secretly in their place of work. This information service reported on the morale of the German people, on all the important events in the State, as well as on individuals."
Do you consider that a fair statement of the task of the SD? [There was no response.]
THE PRESIDENT: Witness, answer the question, please. Witness, answer the question. Do you consider it a fair statement of the work of the SD?, No, you need not go on reading the rest of the document. Answer the question.
HOEPPNER: It is a mixture of truths and untruths. I feel that the way and manner in which this report judges the Security Service is somewhat superficial. It does not give the impression, according to this document, that Hoettl worked in the domestic intelligence service very long.
MAJOR MURRAY: You know, do you not, Witness, that your chief, Ohlendorf, was, in 1941 and 1942, the head of Einsatzgruppe D in southern Russia? You were informed of that, were you not?
HOEPPNER: Yes, indeed.
MAJOR MURRAY: You knew also, did you not, that these Einsatzgruppen were made up from members of the SD and of the Gestapo and of the Criminal Police?
HOEPPNER: I knew that members of these organizations were detailed there for special service.
MAJOR MURRAY: You knew that they were commanded by SD members, did you not?
HOEPPNER: The Einsatzgruppen and Kommandos were commanded by members of widely different branches, by members of the State Police, Criminal Police, and also the Security Police. I myself, moreover, was never on special service.
MAJOR MURRAY: I would like to refer, if the Tribunal please, to the affidavit of Ohlendorf. This is Document Number 2620-PS, to become Exhibit USA-919. This affidavit has not been used in evidence before. This affidavit of Ohlendorf, which is very brief, states:
"The Einsatzgruppen and the Einsatzkommandos weie coninianded by personnel of the Gestapo, the SD, or the Criminal Police ... Additional men were detailed from the regular Police-"
and dropping down a few lines-
"Usually the smaller units were led by members..."
HOEPPNER: May I interrupt you? Excuse me, please.
It does not say here in the document that they were led by members of the regular Police. It says only that additional personnel was provided by the Order Police and the Waffen-SS.
MAJOR MURRAY: Yes, I skipped that. Skipping down a few lines:
"Usually the smaller units were led by members of the SD, the Gestapo, or the Criminal Police."
So that actually members of the SD were leading these Einsatzgruppen in the East, were they not?
HOEPPNER: The affidavit states that members of the Security Service as well as the State Police and the Criminal, Police were in charge of units of this kind.
MAJOR MURRAY: Now, as a matter of fact, the Einsatzgruppen officers wore SD uniforms in the performance of their tasks, didn't they?
HOEPPNER: Excuse me. I understood only a few words. The Einsatzgruppen wore these uniforms?
MAJOR MURRAY: The Einsatzgruppen officers wore the uniform of the SD while performing their duties in the East, is that true?
HOEPPNER: All members of the Einsatzgruppen wore field grey uniforms and wore the SD insignia on the sleeve. That was one of the main reasons for the many misunderstandings which occurred, because members of the Security Police also wore this SD insignia. .Chat applies to the special SS formation of the SD which was mentioned right in the beginning of today's examination. This confusion also arose because, beyond that, even those members of the Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos wore uniforms who were not SS members at all and who in peacetime had never wore a uniform in Germany proper. They were sent for special service as so-called uniformed personnel and received a service rank corresponding to their civil service grade.
MAJOR MURRAY: In any event, many members of the Einsatzgruppen were members of the SD and many of those officers wore the uniform of the SD while killing these people in the Eastern Territories; isn
't that true?
HOEPPNER: I do not quite understand the meaning of the question. There were very few people from the SD detailed to these Einsatzgruppen or Einsatzkommandos, least of all from the three branches mentioned, and during their entire period of service these men and leaders wore the uniform with the SD on the sleeve.
MAJOR MURRAY: If the Tribunal please, I should like to bring into evidence another brief document, Document 2992-PS, Exhibit USA-494. This is a portion of that affidavit which has not previously been read into evidence. It is the affidavit of Hermann Friedrich Gräbe. I am sure the Tribunal will recall that affidavit where this German citizen recounted the SS and SD men shooting large numbers of helpless individuals, the document which was referred to by the Attorney General of Great Britain a few days ago.
In the first part of that affidavit Gräbe states:
"The SS man acting as the executioner on the edge of the pit during the shooting of Jewish men..."
THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. This document is in evidence already, isn't it?
MAJOR MURRAY: It is, My Lord, but not this particular portion of it referring to the SD. I did not intend to repeat the other portions but this portion refers specifically to the SD and it is only two sentences that I intend to read. Paragraph 1:
"The SS man- acting as the guard on the edge of the pit during the shooting of Jewish men, women, and children, at the airport near Dubno, wore an SS uniform with a grey armband about 3 centimeters wide on the lower part of his sleeve, with the letters 'SD' in black on it, woven in or embroidered."
And dropping down to the last portion of the second paragraph: "On the morning of 14 July I recognized three or four SS men in the ghetto whom I knew personally and who were all members of the Security Service in Rovno. These persons also wore the armband mentioned above."
It is a fact, is it not, Witness, that many of the members of these Einsatzkommandos were members of, your SD organization?
HOEPPNER: I already said before that a few members of these Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos were members of the Security Service. It is not said here in any way that the people to whom reference is made in this document had anything to do with the domestic intelligence service; and if there was one among them who belonged to it-which is certainly not shown by the document, for it says merely that he wore a uniform with the SD insignia-then he had been detailed for that special service just as anyone else may be drafted into the Armed Forces. That is precisely the chief reason for a large number of mistakes which were made with that term SD, that even the members who were on special service all wore the same uniform.
MAJOR MURRAY: In any event, Ohlendorf was a member of the SD, was he not?
HOEPPNER: Ohlendorf was chief of Amt III but that had nothing to do with the fact that he also commanded an Einsatzgruppe. That Einsatzgruppe could just as well have been commanded by the chief of Amt IV or V, or by an inspector or anybody else. That has nothing to do with the activity of Ohlendorf as chief of Amt III.
MAJOR MURRAY: Now, Ohlendorf has testified that frequent reports were compiled by the Einsatzgruppen and sent back to the headquarters. Did you see any of these reports while you were in the headquarters of RSHA?
HOEPPNER: No. That was not possible because at the time when I came up to Berlin most of the Einsatzgruppen from the East had been recalled. At any rate, no further reports were coming in, and I am entirely of the opinion that in Amt III, the domestic intelligence service, only a very few' men saw the reports from the Einsatzgruppen.
MAJOR MURRAY: I would like to have shown to you a series of 55 weekly reports of the activities of the Einsatzgruppen, and, incidentally, the Einsatzgruppen are known as the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD.
HOEPPNER: No, no; there were no Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the Security Service, but rather there were only the Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D in the East; and, indeed, there were good reasons for that.
MAJOR MURRAY: Before submitting that document to you, Witness, I would like to have you examine Document Number 3876-PS, which has already been admitted in evidence as Exhibit USA-808; I call your attention to the title page of that document, signed by Heydrich, which reads as follows:
"I herewith enclose the ninth summary report concerning the activity of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD in the U.S.S.R. This report will be sent continuously in the future. Signed, Heydrich."
Aren't you mistaken, Witness, in, saying that these were not known as Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and SD?
HOEPPNER: No. These Einsatzgruppen figured as Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D. They were commanded by a deputy of the Chief of the Security Police and the SD with the army groups in question, or with an army.
The designation "Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD" is unfortunately wrong.
MAJOR MURRAY: Either Heydrich is wrong again, is he, and all the documents are wrong?
HOEPPNER: No, I do not want to say that the document is false, but I merely maintain that the expression is not correct. I ask you to look at the distribution list; it says there: "To the chiefs of Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D." Besides, the Einsatzkommandos were not called Kommandos of the Security Police and the SD, but, as far as I know, they had Arabic numerals from 1 to 12.
MAJOR MURRAY: This, of course, is a report of your chief,
Heydrich, and I won't enlarge on the point. Turn now to Pages 31 and 32. It is at the bottom of Page 32 in Heydrich's ...
HOEPPNER: One moment, please. There is no Page 31 or 32 in my document.
MAJOR MURRAY: It is a very short passage. I will read it to you:
"In White Ruthenia the purge of Jews is under way. The number of Jews in the part up to now handed over to the civil administration amounts to 139,000."
MAJOR MURRAY [Continuing.]:
"In the meantime"-in the last sentence "In the meantime, 33,210 Jews were shot by the Einsatzgruppe of the Security Police and the SD."
It doesn't say anything there about Groups A, B, C, or D, does it?
HOEPPNER: No, it says Security Police and SD. I only do not understand what that is supposed to have to do with the domestic intelligence service-Security Service.
MAJOR MURRAY: Except that Ohlendorf was the head of your service, wasn't he?
HOEPPNER: When he functioned as chief of Amt III-in Berlin; but during the time when he led the Einsatzgruppe D he was on special service, and the time on special service is treated exactly like the time of compulsory military service.
MAJOR MURRAY: Witness, are you informed of the fact that the SD was carrying on espionage activities in the United States prior to Germany's declaration of war against the United States?
HOEPPNER: I cannot imagine that the domestic intelligence
service would have worked in the United States. -
MAJOR MURRAY: I would like to offer in evidence, if the Tribunal please, Document Number 4053-PS, which becomes Exhibit USA-920. This document is a teletype message of the Foreign Office, dated 11 July 1941. 1 will read just one sentence from this one document:
"Reference teletype Number 2110 of 5 July from Washington. Herr RAM"-that was Ribbentrop, was it not?-"Herr RAM requests you to submit immediately a written report regarding who among those arrested in New York on suspicion of espionage worked with the Abwehr and who with the SD."
Witness, does not that look like the SD was carrying on espionage activities in New York long prior to the declaration of war on the United States?
1 Aug. 46
HOEPPNER: One of- the first questions which Herr Gawlik presented to me was whether the foreign intelligence service was also designated as SD. I said "yes," and further clarification showed that the domestic intelligence service and the foreign intelligence service were different organizations. Whether the foreign intelligence service, the foreign SD, Amt VI, had anything to do with this matter I cannot judge, because I never worked in Amt; VI and understand nothing about these things.
MAJOR MURRAY: Of course, when they were all part of the SD I mean they were all members of the SD. I have no more questions.
THE PRESIDENT: Would you re-examine if you want to?
Did the Soviet prosecutor want to ask any questions?
CHIEF COUNSELLOR OF JUSTICE L. N. SMIRNOV (Assistant Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R.): Mr. President, I did want to put a few questions to the witness, but these questions are in connection with one new document-quite an interesting document-which we received only today, and for this reason we have not had the translation into English made up. Therefore, I do not know whether it would be appropriate for me to put this question now when I do not have an English translation to present to the Tribunal.
THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we could do it in the morning. It would be translated by then. Perhaps you could do it in the morning?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Thank you very much, Mr. President, yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Gawlik, would you re-examine him now?
DR. GAWLIK: Mr. President, I do not know whether I will not also have more questions after the new document is presented. That, of course, I cannot judge now.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, if there is anything that arises from the new document, you could put the questions later on. You will have a further opportunity if necessary.
DR. GAWLIK: Yes.
[Turning to the witness.] Were the SS uniforms with the SD sign also worn by persons who had nothing to do with the SD?
HOEPPNER: Yes, I have explained that repeatedly.
DR. GAWLIK: Were the SS uniforms with the SD patch also worn by persons who had nothing to do with the SS?
HOEPPNER: Yes, indeed.
DR. GAWLIK: Can you make any, explanation as to why individuals who had nothing to do with the SD wore the SD patch?
1 Aug. 46
HOEPPNER: First, because all members of the Security Police also wore that uniform; secondly, because any man at all who served with an Einsatzkommando, or an Einsatzgruppe wore a uniform and the only uniform was the field-grey SS uniform with the SD patch.
DR. GAVTLIK: Why did they wear the SD patch?
HOEPPNER: Because it belonged to the uniform.
DR. GAWLIK: I have no more questions.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you got this document before you, 3867-PS?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. You see what it says there:
"I herewith enclose the ninth summary report concerning the activity of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD in the U.S.S.R."
That is the second paragraph; you see that-describing the report?
HOEPPNER: In my document book there are several loose documents. Is it the one of 27 February?
THE PRESIDENT: 27 February 1942, Page 17. Have you got it?
HOEPPNER: Yes, I have it.
THE PRESIDENT: First of all you see it says "...regarding report Number 9 concerning the activity of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD in the U.S.S.R."-and then the first enclosure. Heydrich encloses the ninth summary report concerning the activity of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD in the U.S.S.R.
THE PRESIDENT: And you said, as I understood it, that you did not understand why the SD were there, because the Einsatzgruppen were A, B, C, and D?
HOEPPNER: Yes, indeed.
THE PRESIDENT: That is what you meant, wasn't it, that you could not explain why the SD were there?
HOEPPNER: Yes, indeed.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, will you explain why when distribution is set out it is to be distributed to the chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen A,,.B, C, and D, and also to the commanders of the Security Police and the SD?
HOEPPNER: May I make a statement concerning this report?
If Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos of the Security Police and the SD are mentioned, then this designation is not accurate in this report, because that designation did not exist in the East. There were only Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D, and Einsatzkommandos Number 1, 2, 3, and so on.
THE PRESIDENT: Assuming that that is so, why then should the report be sent to the commanders of the Security Police and the SD in a separate distribution to them as well as the distribution to the chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen unless the SD has something to do with it? ,
HOEPPNER: I believe I was misunderstood somehow. It is a report about the activities of all the Einsatzgruppen which was summarized by the Chief of the Security Police of the SD and which then went to the individual Einsatzgruppen, as I assume, so that they would know what had happened in other Einsatzgruppen, and. so Einsatzgruppe D would know what had happened in Einsatzgruppen A, B, and C.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it isn't only sent to the Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D; it is also sent to the commanders of the Security Police and SD. What I am asking you is: Why is it sent to the commanders of the Security Police and the SD if they had nothing to do with it?
HOEPPNER: Yes-probably Heydrich wanted the Commanderin-Chief of the Security Police and SD in Kraków and the Higher SS and Police Leaders to be informed of what was done in these Einsatzgruppen, because it was also sent to the Higher Police Leaders in Breslau and Dresden, et cetera, who certainly had nothing to do with the activity of the Einsatzgruppen-to the Reich Defense Commissioners in Königsberg, Stettin, Breslau.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, your answer is that Heydrich made a mistake when he described it as the activity of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD; and when they sent out and distributed it to the commanders of the Security Police and SD, it was merely a matter of information; is that it?
HOEPPNER: Yes, indeed.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you see the final distribution on Pages 46 and 47 or is that the distribution of a different report; it is a report on the 23rd of April 1942.
HOEPPNER: Yes, 23 April 1942.
THE PRESIDENT: And will you look at Pages 46 and 47?
HOEPPNER: Yes, indeed.
THE PRESIDENT: About eight lines down, you see, it was distributed to Major General Kaltenbrunner, Vienna.
HOEPPNER: Yes, indeed.
THE PRESIDENT: And the last line but two, it was distributed to Governor General, Reich Minister, Dr.Frank.
HOEPPNER: I cannot find Reich Minister Dr. Frick.
THE PRESIDENT: Frank-Frank, I said.
HOEPPNER: Yes, for the attention of Oberregierungsrat Dr. Schepers.
THE PRESIDENT: And the same is true on Page 18 of the report of the 27th of February 1942.
HOEPPNER: 27 February.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, on the 27th of February 1942, it was also distributed to the same people?
HOEPPNER: Yes, indeed.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 2 August 1946 at 1000 hours.]