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THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, you have an application, I think, to make. Haven't you been told about it?
DR. WALTER SIEMERS (Counsel for Defendant Raeder): No.
THE PRESIDENT: You wanted to apply for the witness Vice Admiral Buerckner; and also another request, that you should visit Vice Admiral Buerckner, and for three documents, a Pocket Book of the Fleets for the years 1908 to 1914 and a Handbook of Seapower and Prestige at Sea for the years 1906, 1912, and 1914; and thirdly, a historical work on the German Navy.
DR. SIEMERS: That is correct, Mr. President. I made these appli-cations to the General Secretary for information purposes.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, that application is very late in the day unless there are special reasons for it. The Tribunal has already indicated that they propose only to hear or to grant applications for witnesses and documents for very special reasons and therefore they would like to hear you as to what the special reasons are.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, I cannot yet see how far it will be necessary to go into some points in the course of the evidence for the General Staff. There are a few points which I would like to check and that is why I made this application to the Tribunal, but I requested it in order to be given the possibility of obtaining information for myself in the course of the Trial.
THE PRESIDENT: You are asking to go on a long journey to see Vice Admiral Buerckner before any evidence is called which makes it necessary.
DR. SIEMERS: As far as I know, Buerckner is in Ansbach.
THE PRESIDENT: Isn't it a fact that Vice Admiral Buerckner was here when he was summoned as a witness for the Defendant Jodl and that then he was not called and therefore left Nuremberg?
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, I do hope that this will not become necessary. The testimony for the General Staff - however, was only just now given before the Commission, and several questions arose which I would like to discuss, because these are matters which did not come up in the earlier testimony for the individual defendants
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider the application
DR. SIEMERS: I would like to add one thing, Mr. President had previously asked and I had been told by the General Secretary that no difficulties would arise from this and that if I wanted t( speak to Admiral Buerckner again I could do so. So I did not think at the time that such great difficulties would be met with. I request the Tribunal, if it be possible, to grant me this opportunity.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider the matter.
[The witness Schlegelberger resumed the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Does Counsel for the Reich Cabinet want to re-examine this witness?
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Witness, a letter was shown to you yester-day, a letter which you had written to Reich Minister Dr. Lammers. How did you come to write that letter?
SCHLEGELBERGER: Of this letter to Dr. Lammers I wish to say the following:
On 6 March, at the request of the, SS racial office, a conference took place concerning the treatment of part-Jews. I no longer know where the conference took place. In any case, it was not in the Ministry of Justice. At this conference proposals were made, which I considered absolutely impossible. The part-Jews were, without distinction, to be treated like Jews and deported to labor camps in Poland. In order to prevent decisions which I thought absolutely intolerable I applied to Reich Minister Lammers. I should like to emphasize here that to the Ministry of Justice this matter was only of secondary importance insofar as compulsory divorce was also suggested in connection with these proposals-a measure which was certainly very important but was a question of only secondary importance compared with the problem as a whole.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Yesterday another one of your letters was then shown you, which was dated 5 April 1942 and which had been sent to various Party offices. The contents of this letter seem to be connected with the advisers' conference of 6 March. Can you say something more specific about these connections?
SCHLEGELBERGER: When I consider both letters, I can only say the following: Apparently, I had not been given the necessary support by Reich Minister Lammers. But under all circumstances, I wanted to have the proposal defeated. I realized that no progress would be made by a purely negative attitude, and, therefore, I had to make a positive proposal with the aim of limiting the number of people affected as much as possible. Therefore, I proposed to exclude the following persons completely: First, part-Jews of the second degree, that is, part-Jews who had only one non-Aryan grandparent; also to be excluded were, secondly, those of the part--Jews of the first degree who were not capable of reproduction and, thirdly, part-Jews of the first degree who still had children living who were not half-Jews themselves. There still remained, there-fore, only a limited number of part-Jews of the first degree. With regard to these, I proposed that they be given the opportunity to escape deportation by being sterilized. Finally, I opposed the compulsory divorce. Today I should only like to repeat what I said yesterday in my conclusion: I deeply regret that because of the juris-dictional conditions prevailing at that time and due to the forces- at work at the time, I could not make a better proposal.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Yesterday you were cross-examined and questioned about the retirement of the former Economics Minister Dr. Schmitt. Is it correct that Dr. Schmitt's retirement was the result of an illness lasting a month, that he had become incapable -of work after he collapsed in a faint during a session, and that therefore his retirement came about purely from reasons of his personal health?
SCHLEGELBERGER: That is what I was told.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Thank you. Then I have no further questions.
THE PRESIDENT: Witness, with reference to your letters to Dr. Lammers, which I understand were of the 6th of March and the-6th of April 1942, about which you have just been asked-you remember them?
SCBLEGELBERGER: I remember the letters.
THE PRESIDENT: What I understand is that the conditions in the working camps in Poland were, in your opinion, such that it would be preferable for half-Jews to be sterilized?
SCHLEGELBERGER: That is my opinion.
THE PRESIDENT: The witness may retire.
[The witness left the stand.]
I call on Dr. Pelckmann, Counsel for the SS.
MAJOR F. ELWYN JONES (Junior Counsel for the United Kingdom): If Your Honor pleases, before Dr. Pelckmann calls his SS witnesses, I have an application to make to the Tribunal with regard to the witness Sievers, who gave evidence before the Com-mission.
Yesterday, My Lord, about 16 new documents of great impor-tance came to Nuremberg. They are from Himmler's files. Some of these documents are letters written by this man, Sievers, him-self. A.11 of them relate to the work of an important component
part of the SS, namely, the Ahnenerbe, the SS Ancestry Heritage Research Organization, of which Sievers was the head executive.
These documents also relate to the Institute for Scientific Research for War Purposes. My application is for leave to cross-examine Sievers before the Tribunal upon these documents. I make this application in view of the very great importance of these documents.' In my submission their contents should go upon the record of this Trial. I do submit that the documents should be put to Sievers personally. In my submission they wholly controvert the testimony he gave to the commissioner, and I imagine the Tribunal itself may well want to question Sievers. It is in any event my intention, if you will allow me, to put these documents in. I do not think it will take much more time if I put them to the witness himself.
THE PRESIDENT: The witness of whom you are speaking has been called before the Commission, I understand?
MAJOR JONES: Yes, My Lord.
THE PRESIDENT: But he has not been called before the Tribunal nor applied for?
MAJOR JONES: No.
THE PRESIDENT: He is still in Nuremberg?
MAJOR JONES: Yes, My Lord.
THE PRESIDENT: He is not one of the witnesses who has been granted to Dr. Pelckmann?
MAJOR JONES: No, Sir; he is an additional witness.
THE PRESIDENT: I see.
MAJOR JONES: Dr. Pelckmann opposes my application.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Very well.
We will hear you upon that now, Doctor.
HERR HORST PELCKMANN (Counsel for SS): Your Lordship, I regret that I must oppose the request of the Prosecutor for per-mission to cross-examine the witness Sievers. I should like to say beforehand that by doing this I do not want to hinder the further clarification of the case of the SS and the further clarifica-tion of the charges against Sievers. My reasons are of a more fundamental kind and as follows. In no case can the cross-examina-tion take place before the Tribunal now. Sievers is not one of the witnesses I have summoned before the Tribunal. The cross- examination can take place, if at all, only before the Commission. I must also oppose it, however, purely for reasons of procedure.
The Prosecution has for months, and perhaps years, been in pos-session of a very large quantity of documentary material, which had been confiscated. It was also in a position through its extensive auxiliary organizations, such as the CIC and the intelligence serv-ice, to examine witnesses who are in camps and whom it had already interrogated for more than a year. Therefore, it had every opportunity to prepare the cross-examination before the Com-mission. In my opinion, it would not be permissible for the Prose-cution, despite these advantages which it has over the Defense, to continue taking evidence before the Commission now.
I shall expressly withdraw my objection if the request which I made months ago, to be allowed to look carefully through the Allied document offices for material for the Defense, is granted. I would consider that fair, in case the Tribunal wants to grant the request of the Prosecution. I would then be finally in a position to submit documentary material in rebuttal. I shall also expressly withdraw my objection if I am permRted, on the basis of the exculpating documents found in this way, to continue to examine witnesses before the Commission just as the Prosecution has now requested in the case of the witness Sievers. One can see that the Prosecution was able to produce further incriminating evidence only by a thorough investigation of the documentary material in the document offices. In view of this, would it not be fair if the Defense, too, were given this opportunity to look for evidence in rebuttal?
MR. DODD: Mr. President, before the Tribunal rules on this application, I would like to make one statement. This is the second time, at least, that Dr. Pelckmann has inferred that because he has been denied access to the document room that there is something oppressive about it as regards the Defense.
I want the record to be perfectly clear that we know what is in that document room, and we know perfectly well there is no document there that rebuts any evidence that has been offered in this case, and if there were, it would have been made available to this Tribunal and to these defendants. I think it is fair to say that we rather resent this implication from the Defense at this stage of these proceedings.
HERR PELCKMANN: May I add something to this? In my document book, if that is what counsel for the Prosecution meant, there are documents which I have found either in written material which has not yet been available or else in documents which I obtained after an exact description through the General Secretary and after decisions by the Court.
However, I must say that I am by no means in a position to indicate the exact documents, as the High Tribunal requires in such cases, if I am not placed in a position in advance, just as the Prosecution is, to investigate the material in question. And this is the salient point. We see in this case how the Prosecution, in contrast to the Defense, especially with respect to the organizations, is able- to collect material ...
THE PRESIDENT: We have already heard you say that, and we fully understand the point.
The Tribunal grants the application that this witness should be produced for cross-examination here. That witness has already given evidence before the Commission, and in the opinion of the Tribunal, it is of importance that his evidence should be given fully and should be brought to light fully before the Tribunal. As these documents have only just come into the hands of the Prose-cution, the Tribunal thinks it right 'that the documents should be put to the witness. It is the most convenient and the shortest course that they should be put to the witness before the Tribunal.
As to Dr. Pelckmhnn's objections that the Defense are not being treated fairly with reference to the investigation of the documents, the Tribunal thinks there is no foundation for this complaint. It would not be proper to allow the Defense to have what is in- the nature of a fishing investigation into the thousands. of documents which are in the hands of the Prosecution. If the Defense can specify any document that they want, they will be given a view of that document.
I have already said that in my opinion any document which is helpful to the Defense ought to be disclosed to them. That is the practice in the English courts, at any rate, and Mr. Dodd has informed the Tribunal now that if there were any document which were in any way helpful to the Defense in the Prosecution's docu-ment room, it would be made available to the Defense.
HERR PELCKMANN: I should like to say only that I did not say that the Defense was not being treated fairly, I said only ...
THE PRESIDENT: I am explaining to you why the Tribunal do not think it is possible that the Defense Counsel should be allowed to rove about in the Prosecution's document room.
Now you may call your Witnesses.
HERR PELCKMANN: I call the witness Freiherr von Eberstein.
[The witness Von Eberstein took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name?
FRIEDRICH KARL FREIHERR VON EBERSTEIN (Witness): Friedrich Karl Freiherr von Eberstein.
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. Go ahead.
HERR PELCKMANN: I will be very grateful to Your Lordship if the interpretation could be organized in such a way that tech-nical terms and the definitions of offices and personnel could be rendered, as much as possible, in the original text, the German text, because mistakes could frequently arise in the interpretation. In the SS organization there are so many special definitions which it is difficult to keep apart in an interpretation.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Tribunal thinks that it would be convenient to them if both the German denomination and the English were given-or the other language were given.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, were you before 1933 and after 1933 a member of the General SS (Allgerneine SS)?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, indeed.
HERR PELCKMANN: Had you already entered the so-called General SS in 1928?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, indeed.
HERR PELCKAUNN: Witness, I should like to ask you to pause after each question, just as I am going to try to pause after each answer.
In 1928 did the SS have its own commander or was it under the commander of the SA?
VON EBERSTEIN: In 1928 the SS was under the Supreme SA Leadership. The Chief of Staff at that time was a Captain Von Pfeffer. Himmler was not yet Reichsfuehrer of the SS. The SS was led by a certain Heid under the Chief of Staff.
HERR PELCKMANN: In spite of this did the SS already form a special organization?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, it was together with the SA under the Supreme SA Leadership.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you belong to the General SS only in an honorary capacity, that is to say, not in a professional posi-tion, or were you
VON EBERSTEIN: I belonged to the SS outside my regular profession. I had been a civil servant since 1934.
HERR PELCKMANN: Well, did you get any payments as an SS leader?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, I had my salary. Before 1933 1 lived on my own fortune, and later I received the salary and in addition was reimbursed for my traveling expenses and got an extra allow-ance of 150 marks a month for sundries.
HERR PELCKMANN: If I understood you correctly, you re-ceived your salary as a civil servant?
VON EBERSTEIN: As a civil servant, yes indeed.
HERR PELCKMANN: And only a certain allowance extra for the expenses you had in the SS service?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, indeed.
HERR PELCKMANN: What were the reasons for your entering in the SS?
VON EBERSTEIN: At that time, in 1928-29, 1 was asked to join the SS because I had already been in the Party for some years and they considered my services valuable because I had been an officer. I joined the SS very willingly.
HERR PELCKMANN: Were you a veteran of the World War?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, I took part in the World War as an officer.
HERR PELCKMANN: What rank did you hold in the SS in 1930?
VON EBERSTEIN: In 1930 1 was Sturmfuehrer and Standarten--Adjutant.
HERR PELCKMANN: What rank did you hold in 1933?
VON EBERSTEIN: In 1933 1 was SS Gruppenfuehrer.
HERR PELCKMANN: Through your activities, did you acquire a good insight into the aims and activities of the SS before and after 1933?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
HERR PELCKMANN: You are a member of the German nobility, Witness?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
HERR PELCKMANN: Even in democratic countries, it is gen-erally assumed that the nobility belongs to the respectable classes of the population. How does it happen that you became a member of an organization which, according to the allegation of the Prose-cution, is supposed to have been criminal?
VON EBERSTEIN: I stood at all times for Germany, in keeping with the tradition of my family; and so when I became a member of the Party and of the SS, I felt that I was fulfilling a patriotic duty. Moreover, before 1933 a great number of aristocrats and members of German princely houses joined the SS, such as, for example, the Prince von Waldeck, the heir apparent of the Grand Duke von Mecklenburg, et cetera.
HERR PELCKMANN: After 1933 was this movement even stronger?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, after 1933, the Prince von Hohenzollern--Sigmaringen became a member, as well as the heir apparent of the Duke of Brunswick, Prince Lippe-Biesterfeld, General Graf von der Schulenburg, and many others.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do you know that Archbishop Gr6ber of Freiburg became a sponsoring member of the SS?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, I know that.
HERR PELCKMANN: I refer the Tribunal to Document Num-ber SS-45, which I shall hand in later.
[Turning to the witness.] Do you believe on the basis of your experience at that time that the membership of such prominent personages made an impression on members of all classes in Germany?
VON EBERSTEIN: On the bourgeois classes of our population, most certainly.
HERR PELCKMANN: I mean, made an impression in the sense that people said, if such fine people belong to the SS and work for its aims, then the aims governing the organization must be really good and legal. Do you mean that in this sense?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes. In any case I am of the opinion, and it was also the opinion of my comrades, that at no particular time could we assume that the organization was following criminal aims.
HERR PELCKMANN: But did not the SS commit many acts of violence just before 1933, and was this not one of its aims?
VON EBERSTEIN: No. As its very name says, "Protection Detachment" (Schutzstaffel), this organization of the Party was set up in order to protect the leading personalities. Moreover, I might point out that as early as 1930 Hitler, in the trial of the Reichs-wehr officers, swore that his revolution would be an intellectual one and he planned to win the power in Germany by legal means. And, indeed, that came about through the elections, and so he became Chancellor of the German Reich.
HERR PELCKMANN: Please describe the activities of the SS, for instance in the year 1930 when you were in Thuringia, their numbers, increase in membership, and other such details.
VON EBERSTEIN: As I have already said, the SS was set up in 1928 and 1929 in Thuringia. Up to about the time of the Reich Party rally in 1929, we had in all Thuringia approximately 45 or 50 SS men. At the Reich Party rally there were SS men from all Germany, approximately 700 men. In 1930 there were election fights in Thuringia, which necessitated the intensified commitment of these few SS men in order to protect the speakers. There can be no question of any other service besides that of protecting the speakers. There were some roll calls at which it was announced which speakers each SS man had to accompany. This protection was made necessary by the extraordinarily bitter political battle, and one was glad if the men returned to their quarters in the evening without having been wounded.
HERR PELCKMANN: How large was the SS in comparison with the other Party organizations at that time? Please speak more slowly. I notice that the interpreters are having trouble keep-ing up with you.
VON EBERSTEIN: I beg your pardon. The SS was by far the smallest formation of the Party. According to an order of the Supreme SA Leadership, it could never have more than 10 percent of the numerical strength of the SA.
HERR PELCKMANN: Where were you in 1933?
VON EBERSTEIN: In 1933 1 was in Weimar, Thuringia.
HERR PELCKMANN: And in what position?
VON EBERSTEIN: As leader of SS Oberabschnitt Mitte, the biggest Oberabschnitt of the SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: How many SS men were under you at the time?
VON EBERSTEIN: After the seizure of power there were 10,000 to 15,000.
HERR PELCKMANN: What area did this number cover?
VON EBERSTEIN: The Free State of Saxony, the Free State of Thuringia and the Prussian Province of Saxony.
HERR PELCKMANN: How is the growth of the SS at this time to be explained?
VON EBERSTEIN: The increase can be explained, first, by the fact that the National Socialist Government had 'come to power and a large number of people wanted to show their loyalty to the new State. Secondly, after the Party, in May 1933, had ordered that no more members would be accepted, many wanted to become members of the affiliated organizations, such as the SS and SA, and thereby gain membership in the Party later on. But then again there were also others who sought the pleasures of sport and the comradeship of young men and were less politically inter-ested. The reasons were very diverse.
HERR PELCKMANN: But after this period of sudden growth, were the members carefully screened, and were the former entrance requirements, namely, completely irreproachable conduct, clean way of life, high professional efficiency, made even stricter?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, indeed. From about February or March 1934, Himmler ordered an investigation of all those SS members who had joined in 1933, a thorough reinvestigation which lasted until 1935, and at that time about 50,000 to 60,000 members throughout the entire Reich were released from the SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: Was it necessary to be a Party member in order to be admitted to the General SS?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, not at all. I already mentioned that before.
HERR PELCKMANN: But if Party membership was not neces-sary, can it then be correct that the SS, as the Prosecution main-tains, was the core of the Nazi regime, a group ideologically welded together, so that one can conclude therefrom that the strictest Nazi conditions, Nazi standards, were imposed upon admittance?
VON EBERSTEIN: The core of the regime was the political party as such, and this, indeed, lay in the hands of the Hoheits-träger. The leadership of the people was conferred upon the Hoheits-träger by Hitler as a privilege which they had and which they maintained until the end. That was the core of the regime. In the SS, to be sure, certain standards of selection were adhered to.
HERR PELCKMANN: But what did this selection refer to?
VON EBERSTEIN: The selection standards required a cer-tificate of good conduct from the Police. It was required that people be able to prove that they led a decent life and performed their duty in their profession. No unemployed persons or people who were unwilling to, work were accepted. In this respect, a careful selection was always required.
HERR PELCKMANN: But were not these principles of selection also extended to so-called racial conditions: height, health, origin?
VON EBERSTEIN: That was also prescribed; yes, indeed.
HERR PELCKMANN: And so, Witness, to sum it all up, the selection was not only made according to political but also to other circumstances which you have described?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, indeed.
HERR PELCKMANN: In 1933 and 1934, as an SS Gruppen-fuehrer and leader of the largest Oberabschnitt of the General SS, did you know of any excesses against Jews?
VON EBERSTEIN: No.
HERR PELCKMANN: During the testimony on another organi-zation we heard here of the so-called boycott of Jews in 1933 and 1934. Did you not, together with your men, participate in this?
VON EBERSTEIN: The SS did not participate in this boycott--I might say these excesses. In Dresden when I heard about these matters I held a muster and strictly forbade my men to take part in them.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you believe that you were com-mitting a crime against humanity through the efforts to diminish the influence of the Jewish people in public life and economy to the percentage they represented in the total population?
VON EBERSTEIN: No.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you want to attain this goal, which according to your ideology was probably in your mind, by the use of violence?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, under no circumstances. Indeed the SS had no influence at all on these matters.
HERR PELCKMANN: Was not the SS particularly strict to see to it that points of the Party program should not be realized by individual actions?
VON EBERSTEIN: Even before 1933 there were extraordinarily strict regulations. These regulations prohibited any individual action. For example, we had a very strict regulation against car-rying any weapons, because it would have endangered the political activity of the Party if the Police had found weapons on us at that time. Even later on, Himmler repeatedly issued strict orders not to undertake any kind of action.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you believe that by the repression of Jewish influence, which according to the National Socialist principles was constantly in your minds as an ideology-did you believe that thereby you were already making preparations for a new war, and, indeed, that by this planned new war the influence of an opposition within Germany would be made impossible?
VON EBERSTEIN: This is an artificial interpretation, in my opinion. I do not understand it. As far as the SS was concerned the Jewish problem had been solved by the State, by the an-nouncement of the Nuremberg laws in 1935, laws which, by the way, surprised us. I remember, too, that at that time Hitler had warned us very strongly against going beyond these laws and pointed out the tremendous responsibility which was placed in the hands of the German people by this law.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you perhaps believe that you could do something to prepare a war of aggression if you, or if the Party, or if the State excluded Communists or Socialists from public life?
VON EBERSTEIN: No.
HERR PELCKMANN: Well, did., you ever consider anything like this at all?
VON EBERSTEIN: No. This question appears to me confused for the circumstances were such that these matters never entered
HERR PELCKMANN: What preparations did you notice in the SS for a war of aggression?
VON EBERSTEIN: No preparations.
BERR PELCKMANN: Was the General SS given military training?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, it was not trained militarily, for sport and small caliber rifle shooting and drill exercises cannot be considered military training. May I also point out that Himmler forbade me and other SS leaders to participate in troop maneuvers as reserve officers of the Aimed Forces after 1934 or 1935. From this alone it is perfectly obvious that no military training was given to the SS men or even planned. Moreover, every SS member like any other German citizen, had to perform his military service within the Armed Forces and not in the Waffen-SS.
BERR PELCKMANN: I quote from Document Number SS-5 which will be submitted later:
"The General SS is entirely an organization of professional men."
This is a quotation from a publication, National Political Course for the Armed Forces Organization and Duties of the SS and the German Police:
"The greatest duties are imposed upon the man between the ages of 21 and 35, especially up to the age of 25. In these first 4 years it means marching, competitive games and sports of every kind.... Every SS man up to the age of 50 will have to pass some kind of efficiency test annually. Why is this? Most of the men are employed in civil professions; perhaps one-half to three-fifths of those in the SS are city dwellers. The city worker very often has a standing, or in the case of the intellectual worker, a sedentary occupation; in addition to that, there are the bad social conditions in the great cities, and in my opinion this is a grave problem from the military point of view. Most men of the twentieth century -no longer walk, but use the subway, and so forth."
I quote further:
"If we are to remain young we must participate in sport. But all this remains only theoretical if the men are not
tested every year and a certain degree of ambition is not kindled among them so that they really participate in sport."
Witness, does this quotation describe the attitude that was typical of the activity of the SS, especially after 1933?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
HERR PELCKMANN: Can you remember statements made by Hitler and other Party leaders at gatherings, and also at the Reichstag or in newspapers, which always contained protestations for peace and even expressed horror and fear of the ghastliness of war?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
HERR PELCKMA.NN: Were there further tasks, for example, being in attendance and maintaining order at Reich Party rallies? Please describe this.
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, the SS always had to maintain order at the great mass reviews of the Party. Besides preserving order, they had to accompany honorary guests and also take care of them. Those were always difficult and tiring days for the men, especially when they also had to participate in the parade. There is nothing else I can say about this.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you have to take care of the honorary guests?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, I just mentioned that. At Party rallies I myself as well as other high SS leaders, had the,task of guiding high-ranking guests around. At one of the last Party rallies I per-sonally conducted the British Ambassador.
HERR PELCKMANN: Where were you, Witness, on 30 June 1934?
VON EBERSTEIN: In Dresden.
HERR PELCKMANN: Had you already heard before this date that R61un was plotting a so-called Putsch?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, about 8 days before 30 June 1934, 1 was ordered to Berlin by Himmler where the latter officially informed me that R6hm was planning a coup d'état and gave me orders to hold my SS men in a state of quiet readiness for an emergency and to assemble them in barracks when the alarm was sounded. For this purpose he also referred me to the defense area commanders. And so in this way I received this information in advance.
BEER PELCKMANN: Did the General SS take part in any kill-ings on 30 June 1934? What do you know about this from your activities at that time?
VON EBERSTEIN: The General SS did not carry out any kill-ings: in my territory. Indeed, it remained in barracks on all the decisive days.
HERR PELCKMANN: Please describe in detail how, in spite of all this, killings still took pl
ace, as I am informed.
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes. In the course of the day of 30 June a certain SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Beutel came to me from the SD with a special order which he had received from Heydrich. He was a younger man, this Beutel, and he did not know what to do, so he came to me to obtain my advice, as an older man. He had an order in which there were listed approximately 28 names, and in a post-script it appeared that some of these men were to be arrested and others were to be executed. This document had no signature on it and therefore I advised this Obersturmbannfuehrer to get positive clarification as to what should take place and warned him emphat-ically against any rash action. Then, as far as I know, a courier was sent to Berlin and this courier then brought back eight orders of execution which came from Heydrich. The order read approx-imately as follows: By order of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor-and then followed the name of the person concerned-so and so is con-demned to death by shooting for high treason.
These documents were signed by Heydrich. The signature was undoubtedly genuine and they were stamped with the official stamp of the office which Heydrich directed in Berlin; and on the basis of these documents eight members of the SA and the Party-eight persons in all-were shot by the political police of Saxony in Dresden.
Besides that, a Hitler Youth leader was shot in Plauen and still another person in Chemnitz. That is what I know about it, at least about my area.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you have anything to do with these shootings as leader of the General SS?
VON EBERSTEIN: No; in no way. This order of the State leadership was executed by the political police. I could neither have supported it nor prevented it.
HERR PELCIWANN: Did you believe that Röhm was actually planning a treasonable undertaking and that the danger for the German Government and the German people was so imminent that only immediate action, that is to say, the shooting of those guilty, could save the situation?
VON EBERSTEIN: I believed absolutely that a state of national emergency existed. I had to believe so all the more since the highest German Police official, namely, Himmler, had told me so himself and had also expressly indicated that I should co-operate, in case of an alarm, with the defense area commander, who had a very authoritative office.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do you remember that immediately after these events the press published two telegrams from President Von Hindenburg? One of them was to the Fuehrer, of 2 July 1934; and the other one, 2 July 1934, to Göring. I quote Document Number SS-74, which will be handed in later. Hindenburg's tele-gram to Hitler:
"From the reports which had been brought to me, I see that by your decisive initiative and by your brave personal risk you have nipped all the treasonable activities -in the bud. You have saved the German people from a grave danger. For this I express to you my heartfelt gratitude and my sincere respect. With best greetings, Von Hindenburg."
The telegram from Hindenburg to Göring:
"For your energetic and successful action in crushing the attempt at high treason, I express to you my gratitude and respect."
Did you read these telegrams at that time in the press?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do you remember the speech which Hitler made before the German Reichstag on 13 July 1934, in which he also described how an immediate danger had apparently been hover-ing over Germany?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do you remember this-and I will quote only a very brief extract from Document Number SS-105 ...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, don't you think that you can summarize this rather more? This witness has said that so far as his district is concerned the SS had nothing to do with the Röhm affair and it does not seem to be necessary to put all the details of it to him.
HERR PELCKMANN: I believe that I have only the following point to add to the Röhm Putsch-but perhaps that has already been exhaustively discussed-that, in fact, even afterward no suspicion of an illegal action could arise. That is what I wanted to do with this evidence to which I am referring.
THE PRESIDENT: You realize, don't you, as we have said over and over again, that we don't want to have the evidence given before the Commission repeated before us. What we wish is to have a summary and only the most important points dealt with and any new points; and, of course, we wish to see the witnesses in order to see whether they are credible.
HERR PELCKMANN: Yes, I will keep that in mind, Your Lordship.
THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we had better adjourn now.
[A recess was taken.]
THE PRESIDENT: With reference to the applications by Dr. Sie-mers, both of those applications are rejected. Dr. Siemers, of course, may go and visit Vice Admiral Buerckner if he wishes to do so, but the particular application which he made in that respect is rejected and so is the other application which he made for certain documents which are in public libraries.
HERR PELCKMANN: One more question about 30 June, Wit-ness. Do you recall from Hitler's speech, that he said that some innocent persons had been killed and that he guaranteed to have these cases judged by the regular courts?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
HERR PELCKMANN: At that time did you hear the opinion, which you have also reported here today, expressed everywhere in your circle of friends that a state of emergency had existed?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, not only in the SS but also from other Germans.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, where were you on 9 Novem-ber 1938?
VON EBERSTEIN: On 9 November 1938 1 was in Munich.,
HERR PELCKMANN: What position did you hold at that time in the General SS?
VON EBERSTEIN: In the General SS I was SS Obergruppen-fuehrer and Chief of the SS Oberabschnitt South. In addition, I was Police President of Munich.
HERR PELCKMANN: Please describe how you first heard of excesses against Jewish businesses during this night?
VON EBERSTEIN: On that day, in accordance with my official duty, I had to accompany Hitler to the meeting of the "old fighters" in the old City Hall. There Hitler was told that Legation Counsellor Vom Rath had died of his injuries. Hitler was very strongly affected by this and refused to speak, as he had always done before. During this dinner he had a very serious discussion with Goebbels. I could not understand what was being discussed. Shortly thereafter Hitler drove to his apartment. I had to accompany him there on my official duty. Immediately afterward I had to direct the security measures and the blocking-off of traffic on the Odeon Platz, a job for which I was responsible. Every year, on the night of 9 to 10 Novem-ber, a meeting was held there and new recruits were sworn into the Waffen-SS. When I came to the Odeon Platz it was reported to me that a synagogue was burning and that the firemen were being interfered with.
Shortly thereafter I received a telephone call from the Chief Magistrate (Landrat) of Munich who told me that Planegg Castle on the Munich city limits, which belonged to the Jewish Baron Hirsch, had been set afire by unknown persons. The, constabulary asked for assistance. This was about 11:45 p.m. At midnight Hitler came to the swearing-in ceremony. Since I could not leave my post, I sent the next highest SS leader, Brigadefuehrer Diehm, to the synagogue to establish order there. Besides that, I sent a police raiding squad under an officer to Planegg in order to ascertain the perpetrators and put out the fire.
Immediately after the roll call, after the recruits were sworn in, the other higher SS leaders and myself were ordered to report to Himmler. There in the hotel the Deputy Gauleiter Niepolt informed me that following Hitler's departure from the Rathaus, Goebbels had made a wild speech attacking the Jews. As a result of this con-siderable excesses had occurred in the city. I immediately drove through the city in a car in order to survey the situation. I saw shop windows which had been smashed; a few stores were burning. First, I immediately intervened myself and then threw all the avail-able police on the streets with instructions to protect Jewish busi-ness establishments until further notice. In addition to that, in co-operation with one of the municipal offices of Munich, I saw to it that the shop windows were boarded up to prevent thefts and so forth.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, the witness is saying that he took every step to prevent these excesses. I don't think we want the details. I don't think that we want to hear the details of the steps he took to prevent these things and to keep order. The Prosecution can cross-examine if they want to.
HERR PELCKMIANN: Mr. President, is it not possible for me to submit to the witness just what he will be asked by the Pros-ecution? I consider it important that the witness himself should ...
THE PRESIDENT: The witness has been telling us, for several minutes, what happened on the 9th and 10th of November 1938, and we think we know enough. We know the general nature of what he said and we don't want the details of it. If you think that he has not said that the SS did not participate in the excesses, you can ask him that question. He says as far as he is concerned that he did not take part, but that he tried to stop it. We don't want to hear the details of how he tried to stop it.
HERR PELCKATANN: What orders, Witness, did you give to the General SS against participating in the excesses and did the SS subordinate to you obey these orders?
VON EBERSTEIN: I told BrigadeFuehrer Diehm that I strictly prohibited any action and I threatened severe punishment. We in the SS considered this action downright indecent.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do you know, Witness, that an Adjutant
Schallermeier, on the night before 10 November, took dictation from Himmler, more or less to the effect that he disliked the whole action as mere propaganda of Goebbels and that Hitler had told Himmler that the SS was to keep out of this action?
VON EBERSTEIN: I do not know this document.
HERR PELCKMANN: I refer to the affidavit, Document Num-ber SS-5, which will be discussed later.
You said, Witness, that this whole action was detested by the leaders and members of the SS. Do you attribute this to the basic attitude of the SS toward the Jewish question, or do you attribute it, as does a version which I have heard from another source, to the feeling that it was a pity that German national assets of such considerable value had been destroyed?
VON EBERSTEIN: I can only say -that the SS, just like the Party, was anti-Semitic, but quite apart from any material loss, we considered this indecent and the SS did not participate in it.
HERR PELCKMANN: One more question on the preparation for wars of aggression: Do you know whether the General SS made preparations for the entry into Austria and whether it par-ticipated in this entry?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, the General SS did not participate in it. My Oberabschnitt covered the whole German-Austrian border. I would positively have had to know something about it.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do you know of any other preparation for an attack on Poland, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, France, and Russia, by the General SS?
VON, EBERSTEIN: I know nothing of it and the General SS would certainly not have been in any -position to attack a foreign state.
HERR PELCKMANN: After the beginning of the war, did the General SS continue to exist and what task did it then have to fulfill?
VON EBERSTEIN: The General SS had practically ceased to exist during the war. Of the 10,000 men which I had in my Oberabschnitt, there were only 1,200 left h% the country, when the Volkssturm was called up in November 1944. These 1,200 men had all been assigned to war work at home and were no longer available for SS service. They had been taken into the Armed Forces and the Waffen-SS to the last man.
HERR PELCKMANN: And so there were no more regular duties, such as you have described as existing in peacetime?
VON EBERSTEIN: No. There were even no men left for the tasks which still had to be performed, that is, the support of the work of the welfare detachments of the Waffen-SS, the care for the wounded in the hospitals, and the care for the dependents of our fallen comrades. We did this work with honorary members and even with women.
HERR PELCKMANN: Were the members of the General SS enlisted in place of the so-called Death's-Head units (Totenkopf Verbuende) to guard the concentration camps?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, a small percentage, just as members of other branches of the Party, members of the Kyffhiiuserbund, mostly men who could no longer be used at the front. These men were all liable for duty by virtue of the emergency service order. Toward the end of the war, members of all the branches of the Armed Forces, even citizens of allied states, provided guards for the concentration camps.
HERR PELCKMANN: I refer in this connection to Document Number SS-26 and Number SS-28. It has been asserted by the Prosecution that the General SS established concentration camps immediately after 1933, and that killings and atrocities occurred. What do you know about this?
VON EBERSTEIN: No concentration camps were established by the General SS. The concentration camps were established by the State. To what extent atrocities occurred there I cannot judge.
HERR PELCKMANN: Can you recall the case of an SS leader, Engel, in Stettin, in this connection?
VON EBERSTEIN: No. I knew Engel from the SS, but what he had to do with this I do not know. He was in northern Germany and I in southern Germany.
HERR PELCKMANN: In Munich you were Oberabschnitts-fuehrer of the General SS; at the same time you were Police Pres-ident and from 1939 on you were Higher SS and Police Leader. Please comment as to whether the position of Oberabselmittsfuehrer of the General SS was fundamentally connected, first with the posi-tion of Police President, and second, with the position of the Higher SS and Police Leader.
VON EBERSTEIN: As a matter of fundamental principle I can say "no" in both cases. There were exceptions. The Police Pres-idents of Duesseldorf, Nuremberg, and Munich were Oberabschnitts-fuehrer at the same time. In the second case I can say that the majority of'Oberabschnittsfuehrer of the General SS from 1939 on, that is, from the outbreak of the war, were also Higher- SS and' Police Leaders. An exception existed in Berlin, where the Higher SS and Police Leader was Heissmeyer, who was not Oberabschnitts-fuehrer of the General SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: Is the assertion of the Prosecution correct that the Higher SS and Police Leader established very 'Close con-nections between the General SS and the Police?
VON EBERSTEIN: No. The SS and Police were separate organi-zations and were only united at the top, in the person of Himmler. The General SS and the Police had entirely separate tasks.
THE PRESIDENT: I don't understand what you, are saying. I thought you said that you were the head of the SS in Munich and also the Police President.
HERR PELCKMANN: Mr. President, in order to inform the Court ...
THE PRESIDENT: Didn't you say that you were the head of the SS in Munich and the south and also Police President?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: And then you say the Police and the SS were only united in the person of Himmler.
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes. The sphere of duty of the Higher SS and Police Leader-I have not yet had an opportunity to describe this-he had no power of command over the Police, but he was only a representative of Himmler, without any power to issue orders. Thereby ...
THE PRESIDENT: Do you mean that you had no power to give orders to the Police?
VON EBERSTEIN: In Munich, as Police President, yes. That was my state office that was my profession. In other towns, how-ever, where the Oberabschnittsfuehrer was not Police chief, he could not ...
THE PRESIDENT: I am talking about Munich. In Munich you were the head of the SS and you were a
lso Police President?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: The two organizations were united in you, is that right?
VON EBERSTEIN: In my case, yes, but not generally.
THE PRESIDENT: I am not talking about generally, I am talk-ing about Munich. Then you go on to say that the Police and the SS were only united in the person of Himmler. Those two state-ments seem to me to be contradictory.
VON EBERSTEIN: I remarked before that only in three cases in all Germany were the Police Presidents at the same time leaders of the General SS. It was an exception in my case, in Munich, in DfIsseldorf, and in Nuremberg. Otherwise ...
THE PRESIDENT: I thought you said Dresden, too.
VON EBERSTEIN: In Dresden I was not in the Police.
THE PRESIDENT: I did not say you were. I thought you said the Police President in Dresden was also the head of the SS.
VON EBERSTEIN: No, that must have been misunderstood. I did not say that.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, the misunderstanding probably arose because of a third function which has not yet been discussed. Please tell us, did the following three positions have any basic connection with each other: First, the Police President, secondly, the Higher SS and Police Leader, and thirdly, the SS Oberab-schnittsfuehrer? As a matter of fundamental principle, did these three have any personal connection in their structure?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, that in Munich was an exception. In my case they actually coincided but not in other parts of the Reich.
HERR PELCKMANN: And now please distinguish between police president and Higher SS and Police Leader. Please make clear to the Court what the difference is between these two positions.
VON EBERSTEIN: The police president was a state adminis-trative official, while the position of Higher SS and Police Leader was created only during the war, without being designated an official authority or a regional commander; for according to the official instructions from the Reich Minister of the Interior, his sole task was to represent the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police in his defense area (Wehrkreis). He did not have any authority to issue orders to the Police. According to the decree of the Reich Minister of the Interior, the chiefs of the main offices of the Order Police and Security Police remained the superiors of the Police. The power to issue orders rested with them. They used their own chain of command, while the Higher SS and Police Leader was secondary to them, without any authority to issue orders to the Police.
HERR PELCKMANN: And now, please, answer the question: Is the assertion of the Prosecution correct, that the Higher SS and Police Leader formed a close connection between the General SS and the Police?
VON EBERSTEIN: That was impossible ...
THE PRESIDENT: You have already asked him that once and he has answered it. Let us go on to the next question.
HERR PELCKMANN: Is the more sweeping assertion of the Prosecution correct, that the General SS and the Police officially formed one unit, and so was a state within a state? Is this asser-tion correct?
VON EBERSTEIN: No.
HERR PELCKMANN: Or this question, since I do not want to burden the High Tribunal with details, I shall refer to the deposi-tions in the affidavits, Number SS-86 to Number SS-88, which I shall hand in later.
You have already said, Witness, that the Higher SS and Police Leader had no power to issue orders to the Order Police or to the Security Police. But did the Higher SS and Police Leader have the power to issue orders to the Waffen-SS or to the General SS?
VON EBERSTEIN: The Higher SS and Police Leader had no power to issue orders to the Waffen-SS; to the General SS only if he was leader of the SS Oberabschnitt of the General SS at the same time, not otherwise.
I ask to be allowed to add something to my previous answer. The Higher SS and Police Leader had the right, but not the duty, to carry out inspections, and he could make suggestions. For my part, I am only in a position to testify on the activities of the Higher SS and Police Leader in the home territory. What the procedure was in the occupied territories I cannot judge. I
HERR PELCKMANN: To sum up your testimony, could one say that the title, Higher SS and Police Leader, is misleading?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
HERR PELCKMANN: Concerning the testimony of the witness on the position of the Higher SS and Police Leader in the occupied territories with regard to Germany, I refer to an affidavit, Num-ber SS-87.
[Turning to the witness.] In your capacity as Higher SS and Police Leader, did you ever receive information from the Reichsfuehrer SS on the treatment of enemy fliers when they had to make emergency landings?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
HERR PELCKMANN: For what purpose did you receive this information and how did you apply it?
VON EBERSTEIN: This announcement said it was not the task of the Police to interfere in d1tereations-I believe that was the expression-between the German population and enemy fliers who had bailed out. Nothing was said about any kind of treatment in this announcement. This announcement was signed by Himmler; and the Higher SS and Police Leaders were ordered by Himmler to inform the commanders of the Order Police and the inspectors of the Security Police thoroughly of the contents of this an-nouncement.
HERR PELCKALANN: Were corresponding announcements sent previously or subsequently to Party offices by the Fuehrer's Party Chancellery, Reichsleiter Bormann?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, to a great extent. There were an-nouncements in the V61kischer Beobachter, in the paper Das Reich, and besides that, the Gauleiter of my district commented on them. Moreover, the commander of the Order Police and the inspector of the Security Police received this order from their superiors as well; I should like to remark that this was so throughout the entire Reich. A similar order was also issued by the main office of the Order Police, giving the same information to the Police offices, as well as by the Reich Security Main Office.
HERR PELCKMANN: On the basis of these decrees, did the at-titude of the Police in your district change in any way in cases of landings by enemy fliers?
VON EBERSTEIN: In no way. It was a fundamental principle for us to adhere to the provisions of the Geneva Convention or the Hague Rules on Land Warfare; I do not know which of the two agreements applies here, but in any case it meant that pris-oners should receive proper treatment.
HERR PELCKMANN: In spite of this, did the lynching of fliers occur in the district under you?
VON EBERSTEIN: No. Lynchings did not occur, but, unfor-tunately, there were some shootings of fliers. It so happened with us that the fliers were taken out of the Police stations and then shot. As I have now learned from the press, trials have- been held on this account and the murders atoned for. I have been under arrest now for 15 months and get my information only from the papers. The reports of the trials indicate that the Police treated the fliers decently in every respect, bandaged their wounds, and turned them over to the Air Force, as was prescribed.
HERR PELCKMANN: Was it improper or a violation of the Hague Rules on Land Warfare if the fliers were arrested by the Police and not by the Armed Forces?
VON EBERSTEIN: I can give no judgment on these regulations of international law, as I said before.
THE PRESIDENT: He is not a witness on law. This is a matter for us to judge.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, was there a general order in existence since the beginning of the war that fliers who had made emergency landings had to be taken to a place of safety by the Police?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes. The regulations read as follows: Fliers who bail out should be arrested by the Police. Besides that, accord-ing to German law, any other citizen was able to do this. Then they were to be taken to the Police. The Police stations had orders to inform the nearest Air Force office that the Police held enemy pilots and that the Air Force was to come for them. There was a binding rule that these captured fliers were to be turned over to our Air Force.
HERR PELCKMANN: What did you, as Higher SS and Police Leader have to do with the Gestapo and the SD?
VON EBERSTEIN: Nothing. According to existing regulations, the inspector of the Security Service informed the Higher SS and Police Leader of what happened in the sphere of the Gestapo or Security Service. These two agencies, the Security Service and the Gestapo, received their orders directly from the offices concerned, Amt III or Amt IV of the Reich Security Main Office.
HERR PELCKALANN: And so you had no power to issue orders to the inspectorates of the Security Police and the SD?
VON EBERSTEIN: I believe you made a mistake by saying, "inspectorates." I could not have any power of command over inspectorates.
HERR PELCKMANN: You had no power to issue orders to the, Security Police and the SD?
VON EBERSTEIN: No.
HERR PELCKMANN: What did you, as leader of the Oberab-schnitt of the General SS, have to do with the Gestapo or the SD?
VON EBERSTEIN: As Oberabschnitt leader I did not have anything to do with them.
HERR PELCKMANN: Was it so throughout the Reich that the leaders of the General SS had no power to issue orders to the Gestapo and the SD?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes. The General SS had no executive powers, and besides that it was not allowed to become active as an intelligence service, that is, in the sphere of the Security Service.
HERR PELCKMIA~NN: Did your corps area (Oberabschnitt), or did the divisional areas (Abschnitte), regiments (Standarten), and companies (Stuerme) of the General SS have any official connection with the Gestapo or the SD?
VON EBERSTEIN: No.
HERR PELCKMANN: As Higher SS and Police Leader, or as Oberabschnittsfuehrer of the General SS, what did you have to do with concentration camps up to September 1944?
VON EBERSTEIN: Nothing.
HERR PELCKMANN: Is it true for all the Reich that the Police Presidents, the Higher SS and Police Leaders, and the leaders of the General SS had nothing to do with concentration camps?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
HERR PELCKMANN: What offices were responsible, first for delivery to and release from concentration camps, and secondly for the administration of the concentration camps?
VON EBERSTEIN: For commitment to and release from a con-centration camp, Amt IV of the Reich Security Main Office was competent. For the administration and the internal affairs of the concentration camps, the Economic and Administrative Main Office of the SS was responsible, and of course Amtsgruppe D, In-spectorate of Concentration Camps.
HERR PELCKMANN: Therefore, can one conclude from your answer that for killings and atrocities committed against, prisoners in concentration camps, neither the Police President of the district in question nor the Higher SS and Police Leader of this district, nor the leader of the Oberabschnitt of the General SS was responsible?
VON EBERSTEIN: None of the offices mentioned was respon-sible for such things. The concentration camp system was a strictly independent apparatus, with its own chain of command.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do you know the concentration camp at Dachau from your own experience?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes. In the course of the years from 1936 on, when I was transferred to Munich, I often received orders from Himmler that I was to take high German and foreign officials to Dachau to show them the concentration camp. Among others, I took the Royal Yugoslav Minister of the Interior there, once some high American police officials, a number of commanders of pris-oner-of-war camps, high political personages from Italy, and so forth.
HERR PELCKMANN: Then since you say you had nothing else to do with the concentration camps, that was your only oppor-tunity to obtain permission to enter them? And if I have under-stood you correctly, you received permission through the Reich Security Main Office just like the guests who were inspecting the camp?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes; that is, I received orders to go there, and the guests received permission. It was done in the following way: Either Himmler's staff or the RSHA informed the competent camp commanders through the inspectorates of the concentration camps, that guests were coming with me as their guide.
THE PRESIDENT: We do not think you need go into the details of the exact way in which the orders went. We do not want the details.
HERR PELCKMANN: Aside from the Rascher case, which I shall discuss in a minute, did you ever have any official reason to visit the camp at Dachau?
VON EBERSTEIN: No.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you, perhaps for other reasons, neces-sarily have the desire to obtain accurate information about con-ditions in the camp, perhaps because you had heard that mass killings were carried-out there and that the people were starving to death?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, because from what I saw when I visited the camp everything was in order. The kitchen installation was shown, the hospitals, the dental station, the operating rooms, showers, barracks; and there was also an opportunity here to see numerous prisoners who, in my judgment, in peacetime-that is, before 1939-were in an outstandingly good state of health. After 1939-that is, during the war-they gave the impression of being normally fed.
There were also thousands of prisoners, in Munich, for example, who were employed in the removal of bomb debris in public squares and streets and everyone could see the prisoners. From my point of view, on the basis of the knowledge I gained during my visits to the camp, I had no reason to inspect them; and I had no right to do so, either.
HERR PELCIQVIANN: On these visits could you, because of your position, see more or less than the visitors whom you accompanied?
VON EBERSTEIN: I cannot judge. The tours led through the whole camp. For example, in the fall of 1944, the commanders of prisoner-of-war camps were shown through. They were all experts who were quite familiar with camps and went around wherever they liked in order to inspect everything.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you ever hear anything about bio-logical experiments on living persons in the concentration camp at Dachau, and if so, when?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes. In the spring of 1944, in the course of Criminal Police investigations against an SS Hauptsturmfuehrer, Dr. Rascher, a physician, and his wife. The Raschers were accused of Kindesunterschiebung. That is a word which is very difficult to translate. In our law it means the illegal appropriation of other people's children.
Secondly, Rascher was accused of financial irregularities in con-nection with the research station at Dachau, where these biological experiments were carried on. This research station was directly subordinate to Himmler, without any intermediate authority.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you know anything of those experi-ments beforehand?
VON EBERSTEIN: No. It was only by accident that I found out about them.
HERR PELCKMANN: Please describe your investigation so that the Court may see that you did not close your eyes to such things.
VON EBERSTEIN: By reason of the events which had already been reported to the Criminal Police in Munich, I forced an entry, into the camp at Dachau. I call your attention to the fact that it was already 1944, and communications were so bad that I could not wait long for approval. In a teletype message to the inspectorate I stated that anticipating its approval I would go with the officials to Dachau to make police investigations. I still had no idea of the biological experiments, but knew only of the two offenses mentioned first'. And when in a talk with the camp commander I merely men-tioned the name of Rascher, he, as well as the camp doctor, who had been summoned there, said that they considered Rascher a dangerous, incredible person who was carrying on the most abomi-nable experiments on living human beings. He, Rascher, was vested with full powers from Himmler; and the camp commander and his personnel were so intimidated that up to the time w
hen I inter-vened, they did not dare oppose Rascher's activity in any way.
They felt that I would afford them, the protection of a high SS leader and so we came to discuss the experiments. Naturally, I did not release Rascher, who had been previously arrested by the Crim-inal Police, for fear of hushing up things and I immediately made a personal report to Himmler in his field headquarters at Eigen near Salzburg; and, indeed, I did this-without being asked and on my own decision.
Before that Himmler had already reproached me bitterly by telephone for interfering at all. He accused me 6f attempting to stage a sensational trial. I made the situation clear to Himmler, upon which he was very reserved toward me and said I did not understand anything about these things. He said that Herr Rascher deserved great merit for his research work. He promised he would keep the documents which I had brought and submit the Rascher case to the Supreme SS and Police Court for punishment. The Supreme SS and Police Court was competent because Himmler was Rascher's superior in this research office and Rascher was imme-diately subordinate to him. Unfortunately, he was not subject to the jurisdiction of my court.
HERR PELCKMANN: Were any proceedings brought against Rascher?
VON EBERSTEIN: No.
HERR PELCKMANN: What became of Rascher?
VON EBERSTEIN: Rascher remained under arrest as before. I kept complaining without interruption for weeks and months to Himmler's office and to the Supreme SS and Police Court. I learned later from the latter office that Himmler had not turned over the files to them at all.
HERR PELCKMANTN: Did you learn later that Rascher was in a concentration camp?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes. Rascher remained under arrest in the detention house of the SS barracks, Munich-Freimann, to all appear-ances until the barracks-at least the detention house was evacuated because of the approach of the American troops-. He was then sent to Dachau and I learned from the press that he must have been shot during the last few days. I cannot give any further information about this, since I was relieved of my post on 20 April 1945.
THE PRESIDENT: Before we adjourn, perhaps you can tell us how long you are going to be with this witness.
HERR PELCKMANN: I assume 45 minutes, Your Lordship.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 5 August 1946 at 1000 hours.]