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THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Pelckmann.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, on Saturday you said that the accused witness Rascher had finally been in a concentration camp. Did you approve of this settlement of the affair?
VON EBERSTEIN: No. I was of the opinion that these criminal deeds should be punished by court proceedings.
HERR PELCKMANN: If you did not approve of this settlement without a formal trial, what were you able to do about it and what conclusions could you have drawn?
VON EBERSTEIN: I repeat that I never ceased applying to Himmler's office and I made inquiries of the Supreme SS and Police Court. I may point out that the binding regulations of the Kriegsstrafverfahrensordnung (the war penal code) provided that Himmler alone was competent. All I could have done was to make a complaint about Himmler to Hitler, but in view of the existing situation, this was a practical impossibility. Neither an oral nor a written complaint or report from me would ever have reached Hitler.
I may explain that, despite my high position in the State and the Party and the 9 years of my official activity in Munich, I was admitted to see Hitler only once, for about 10 minutes, when he wanted a report from me on the traffic measures on the occasion of a big demonstration. That was the only time.
The only other thing I could have done was to resign. Due to the existing regulations, this would doubtlessly not have been accepted.
There was a last alternative either to commit dishonorable suicide or to refuse obedience as a soldier, for I was a general of the Waffen-SS and was bound by my oath of allegiance to the flag. Then I would have been court-martialed and sent to a concentration camp even at that time already.
HERR PELCKMANN: You just said that you were a general of the Waffen-SS. So far you have told the Tribunal only that you were a member of the General SS. When and for what reason did you become a general of the Waffen-SS, although up to then you had had nothing whatever to do with the Waffen-SS?
VON EBERSTEIN: In the fall of 1944 Himmler became com-mander-in-chief of the reserve army. When he took over this office, the Prisoners of War Organization also came under his jurisdiction. In the fall of 1944 Himmler transferred to the Higher SS and Police Leaders the responsibility for safeguarding prisoner-of-war camps against mass escapes and against attempts from the outside to liberate prisoners. For this purpose, the Higher SS and Police Leaders were made senior commanders of the prisoners of war in their defense areas. According to international regulations regarding prisoners of war, police could not be used to guard prisoners of war, so the Higher SS and Police Leaders were taken over into the Waffen-SS and appointed generals of the Waffen-SS.
THE PRESIDENT: If you could go a little bit faster, if you could speak a little bit faster, I think it would be convenient to, the Tribunal.
HERR PELCKMANN: The Prosecution construes the fact that Himmler, in September of 1944, as commander-in-chief of the reserve army, became Chief of the Prisoners of War Organization to mean that the SS was now in charge of prisoners of war. Is that true? '
VON EBERSTEIN: That is not true. Apart from the senior commander of prisoners of war, no other member of the SS had anything to do with prisoners of war.
HERR PELCKMANN: The Prosecution further asserts that through the transfer of these prisoners-of-war tasks to Himmler or to the senior commander of prisoners of war in the fall of 1944, the inhuman treatment and destruction of Allied prisoners of war was systematically promoted by the SS. Is that true?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, because the camp commanders of the Armed Forces continued to be responsible for the running and administration of the camps from the inside. The task assigned to us was security, which began only outside the camp. Moreover, during the visits which I paid to the individual camps during the 6 months of my competency, I always asked the prisoners-of-war spokesmen personally whether they had any complaints. Not a single complaint of this kind was made to me by these men.
HERR PELCKMANX: As senior commander of prisoners of war from the fall of 1944 on, did you have anything to do with the employment of prisoner-of-war labor?
VON EBERSTEIN: No. The employment of prisoner-of-war labor was regulated by an Armed Forces staff for the employment of labor in co-operation with the regional labor offices or with the parties needing labor. The senior commander of prisoners of war did not deal with this subject.
HERR PELCKMANN: From the fall of 1944 on, was there any change in your jurisdiction over concentration camps or your lack of jurisdiction over them, as you described it on Saturday?
VON EBERSTEIN: In the fall of 1944, as in the case of prisoner--of-war camps, the Higher SS and Police Leader was made respon-sible for safeguarding concentration camps from the outside, for the reasons just mentioned, with a view to maintaining the security of the State.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did the RSHA remain responsible for the delivery of prisoners to the camps and did Amtsgruppe D of the Economic and Administrative Main Office remain responsible for the administration of camps?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, Amt IV of the RSHA for internment and release; and for the internal administration of the camp, the inspection of concentration camps, Amtsgruppe D of the Economic and Administrative Main Office.
I HERR PELCKMANN: Can you give an example from the last phase of the war of how difficult it was for you, because of your limited powers, to prevent the death of thousands of concentration camp inmates?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes. At the beginning of March 1945 the Gauleiter and Reich Defense Commissioner Giesler in Munich ordered me to come to him, and made the monstrous request that I should use my influence with the commander of Dachau that at the approach of the American troops the prisoners-there were 25,000 people there at the time-were to be shot. I refused this demand with indignation, and I pointed out that I could not give any orders to the commander, whereupon Giesler said to me that he, as Reich Defense Commissioner, would see to it that the camp would be bombed to bits by our own forces. I told him that I con-sidered it impossible that any German Air Force commander would be willing to do this. Then Giesler said he would see to it that something would be put into the soup- of the prisoners. That is, he threatened to poison them.
As danger seemed imminent, I sent a teletype inquiry to the Inspector of Concentration Camps and asked on my own initiative for a speedy decision by Himmler as to what was to be done with the prisoners in case the American troops approached. Shortly afterward the news came that the camps were to be surrendered as a whole to the enemy. I showed that to Giesler. He was very indignant because I had frustrated his plans and because I was of a different opinion. Shortly afterward we had another clash regard-ing the defense of Munich, which was completely hopeless. The Armed Forces commander was fired 8 days before me, and on 20 April I was also dismissed and all my offices were taken away from me and I was without power.
THE PRESIDENT: The man you are speaking of, the Gauleiter, was Gauleiter of what district? What Gau?
VON EBERSTEIN: Munich and Upper Bavaria. He was also Bavarian Minister President and Bavarian Minister of the Interior and Reich Defense Commissioner.
HERR PELCKAL4-NN: Witness, you have just described the various characteristics of Gauleiter Giesler. According to the struc-ture of the internal administration at the time, did he formally have the right to take the actions which he intended to carry out?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes. In all questions concerning the defense of the country, the Reich Defense Commissioner could impose his will on the strength of the existing regulations for the Reich Defense Commissioners. In addition as I have already said, the man was Bavarian Minister President, and as such the supreme powers in the province were united in his person.
HERR PELCKMANN: In some of the final speeches of my fellow counsel for the chief defendants it was said that in the course of the war the SS-it was put in this form-the SS came to represent the Government in Germany. Will you please describe in whose hands, according to your opinion and your experience at the time and by virtue of your high position, in whose hands the executive power was, from 1933 to 1945?
VON EBERSTEIN: In any case, not in the hands of the SS. During the war, important functions of the Reich power were in the hands of the Reich Defense Commissioners, who could take part in everything except the Reich special administration. I need only refer to the Reich law of, I believe, 16 November 1942. Moreover, through the influence of Martin Bormann, everything inside the Reich was uniformly directed more or less by the Gauleiter and the Reich Defense Commissioners. The SS was at no time a decisive factor. The General SS, as I testified on Saturday, no longer existed -at all, and the troops of the Waffen-SS were at the front.
HERR PELCKMANN: One more question, Witness. When and in what way did you learn that members of the Jewish population in your district were deported to the East?
VON EBERSTEIN: I believe in 19411. learned about it by chance, that is, from a report of the Criminal Police of Munich-from the morning report-that in the preceding night a number of suicides had taken place in Munich, That attracted my attention as being something quite unusual. I tried to clear up the matter by asking the chief of the Criminal Police why there had been these suicides. I believe there were six or eight in one night. He referred me to the Gestapo. Through the chief of the State Police I learned that the deportation of, I believe, a few hundred Jewish inhabitants of Munich or the district-I do not know whether they were all from Munich-had been ordered for that day. In answer to my question as to where they were to be sent, I was told that it was a resettlement and they would be put to work in the East, and I was informed that the trains had already been arranged for with the Reichsbahn head-quarters and that on instructions from the RSHA to the Gestapo the selection of those concerned had been effected after discussion with the Israelite community, which was quite credible. The persons in question were in possession of certain amounts of money, of ration cards, and a certain amount of baggage. The train included cars with implements for fortifications, that is, pickaxes, spades, et cetera. That is what I learned at the time.
HERR PELCKMANN: How was it that you learned of these things in this -way? Should you not have been informed previously in one of your official capacities?
VON EBERSTEIN: I could have been informed, but I can only describe how it actually happened.
HERR PELCKMANN: Then if I understood you correctly, there was no obligation on the Gestapo offices to inform you, was there?
VON EBERSTEIN: For the Gestapo undoubtedly not, but cer-tainly for the inspector of the Security Police.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, you have attempted, in answer-ing my questions, to say that you, as a leader of the General SS, committed no crimes as the Prosecution asserts-I have given some examples-and that the members of the General SS did not commit such crimes, so that in your opinion one cannot say that the General SS was a criminal organization. But I must now submit to you that in the course of a prolonged hearing proof of criminal deeds has been given. I remind you of the thousands of deaths in the concen-tration camps, of the thousands of Jews shot in the East by Einsatz-gruppen and Einsatzkommandos, and I remind you of the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Now I ask you, what did you know of these things up to 1945?
VON EBERSTEIN: I knew nothing. During the whole war, without interruption, I was in Munich, and was never sent to occu-pied territories. I heard of the horrible mass murders and of the gassings while I was in prison. Today I know that it was impos-sible for a person who was not initiated to penetrate into the secret sphere of these extermination camps. There were indications here and there. In my official capacity I now and then saw foreign papers which had been confiscated, but they contained things which, according to my opinion and experience, were not true. I therefore considered reports about such atrocities as fabrications of the enemy propaganda. I did not -listen to enemy radio broadcasts. As the Tribunal knows, this was forbidden to every German and since it was our job to punish people who broke this law, I did not think that I should be allowed to do it myself. As for the mass of the men of the General SS, I am firmly convinced that they neither had a part in these atrocities nor did they know about them. I am firmly convinced that in view of the mutual confidence that existed between my men and me, they would certainly have asked me questions when they came to visit me on front leave. They would have asked me, "Obergruppenfuehrer, do you know about these things? Is it true?" Not a single man asked me anything like that.
HERR PELCKMANN: On the basis of your knowledge of the organization and the facts that you have learned after the beginning of the Trial or after the collapse, do you maintain that the majority of the members of the General SS, for whom you are testifying here, had no, part in these crimes?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
HERR PELCKMANN: At the wish of the Court I have reduced the number of witnesses to the absolute minimum of five witnesses. I will bring only such witnesses who, due to their high position in the organization, can give the Court comprehensive answers on organizational questions, that is, basic questions. Therefore, not-withstanding your high rank, I must ask you how much, according to your conviction, the mass of these many thousands of unknown members of the SS knew? I will reserve the affidavits, documents, and other proof for later.
VON EBERSTEIN: If I, in my position and in spite of the gen-eral view I had of things inside, the country, knew nothing, how could the men at , the front or the few who remained at home know about it? The horrible things that happened later on in the concen-tration camps and which came to light after the collapse and the capitulation I personally can only explain by the general state of things during those last months. People lost their heads; hundreds of thousands of people were put on the move; thousands of detainees were brought from the border territory and crowded into the few camps which were still available. In southern Germany, in Dachau, there was an uninterrupted stream of people coming in throughout the winter. There was a typhus epidemic which claimed many victims. I learned of that also by chance only because the Gauleiter and Reich Defense Commissioner asked for workers to clear up after air attacks, and from a call to the camp, commander I learned that these workers could not be supplied due to a typhus epidemic.
Later, I heard at a conference that this epidemic had claimed many victims. Moreover, in the last few weeks, railroad traffic was disconnected. The supply line was completely blocked, and there was already a good deal of hunger. Upon my remark that it should
be possible to stop this epidemic the commander told me there were no more medical supplies, the pharmaceutical factories having been destroyed too. Only thus can I explain the terrible pictures, which we all know, which have been shown here. In any case, the mass of the men of the General SS and the German population could, not have known about all this as no one could look into the camps. The General SS, for which I am speaking here, and the Waffen-SS, too, could not have prevented it.
HERR PELCKMANN: Concerning the point which the witness mentioned, about the secrets in the concentration camps and the difficulty of penetrating into them, I refer particularly to, the con-tents of affidavits-Numbers SS-64 to 67 and 69-affidavits of SS judges who concerned themselves with these things.
I have no more questions, Mr.
President. Thank you.
MAJOR JONES: Witness, you denied on Saturday that the SS was the heart of Nazism. Would you agree with me that it was the fist?
VON EBERSTEIN: I did not quite understand. I beg your pardon.
MAJOR JONES: I will put the question to you again. You denied on Saturday that the SS was the heart of Nazism. Would you agree with me that it was the fist?
VON EBERSTEIN: I did not understand the word before "SS."
MAJOR JONES: I will put the question to you again. I am surprised that you cannot understand the question. I will try again.
You denied on Saturday that the SS was the heart of Nazism. Would you agree with me that it was the fist? This, the fist [indicating].
VON EBERSTEIN: Oh, the fist. I assume that the prosecutor means to say that with this fist we waged an attack. I can only point out that we, as Schutzstaffel, had to protect leading personal-ities.
MAJOR JONES: What I meant by the fist was that the SS supplied the brute force of Nazism. Is that not so?
VON EBERSTEIN: I can only repeat what I described. Before 1933 we were a very small group of men who, up to 1933, amounted to about 25,000 to 30,000 men in the whole of Germany, which had about 65 million people in 1933; and that this group was in no pro-portion to the size of the Party, and after 1933 ...
MAJOR JONES: You are not answering my question, you know. You are wandering off into details that have no relevance to my question at all. I suggest to you that the killings by the SS on the 30th of June 1934 were a characteristic use of the SS as the fist of Nazism.
VON EBERSTEIN: The events of the 30th of June 1934 were, according to my firm conviction and to that of my comrades, the result of a state of emergency and the orders which were given were adhered to because they were the orders of the head of the State.
MAJOR JONES: You denied on Saturday that the SS had taken any part in the shootings of the 30th of June 1934. Are you seriously saying to the Tribunal that that is your evidence on that matter?
VON EBERSTEIN: I can only say that in my district the General SS were in the barracks of the Armed Forces and the Police, not on the street, and they did not shoot. The shootings...
MAJOR JONES: So you are saying that it was the Armed Forces and the Police that did the shootings, that it was the forces of General Keitel and the others who were doing the shootings, are you?
VON EBERSTEIN: I did not mention those two names, nor did I say that the Armed Forces had carried out the shootings. In answer to the question of the defense counsel, I told why I believed there was a state of emergency. I said that I received instructions to establish contact with the commander of the Wehrkreis, but that does not mean that the Armed Forces were to supply execution detachments or anything like that, but only that they wanted the Wehrkreis commander to give his consent to their being billeted in the barracks.
MAJOR JONES: You were a frequent visitor to Dachau, were you not?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
MAJOR JONES: And you saw nothing there except good shower baths, good food, satisfactory sanitation; that was a rest camp? That was your evidence on Saturday about Dachau, was it not?
VON EBERSTEIN: I did not use the words "rest camp." I had been a soldier since 1904 and I had an idea what troop billets and a camp should look like. I can only repeat that everything was scrupulously clean, the sanitary installations which I saw were in excellent order, that in peacetime the prisoners were well nourished and, as I saw during the war, on the average their food was like the food of every German outside. I can only say here on oath what I myself saw with my own eyes.
MAJOR JONES: Did you ever ask to see the punishment cells, the completely dark cells where people were kept for 3 months on bread and water?
VON EBERSTEIN: I can recall that such a tour through the camp was extended to the prison too. Unlike the huts, that was a stone building ...
MAJOR JONES: If you answer my questions, we shall get on faster.
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
MAJOR JONES: Did you ever see the completely dark cells?
VON EBERSTEIN: I must say that one cannot see from the outside whether a cell is dark. Of course, any cell in any prison can be darkened. I did not see any. As Police President I know that for refractory prisoners there are cells without windows but I did not see them. I will admit, of course, that there could have been such cells.
MAJOR JONES: Did you ever ask to see the camp regulations for the punishment of prisoners who committed offenses in the camp?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, I did not demand that. The camp com-mander made an exhaustive report during the tours. I had no authority to intervene in affairs, of which I had no, idea, before these guests.
MAJOR JONES: I just want you to look at what the regulations were as early as May 1933.
I put the Document D-922, My Lord, which will be Exhibit GB-548.
[Turning to the witness.] Now, these are the regulations for the camp of Dachau which was on your doorstep, you know, and you see in Paragraph 3 the punishments that can be imposed on prisoners:
"The confinement may be mild, medium, or severe. The maximum term for the first two kinds is 8 weeks, and 3 months for severe imprisonment. This kind of punishment is generally served in solitary confinement. In the case of medium confinement, the person undergoing punishment receives a hard bed and only bread and water for food. The same conditions as to medium confinement apply to severe imprisonment, but in a dark cell."
And then, if you will look at Paragraph 8 of the regulations, you will see that there is given power of life and death to the camp commandant of Dachau and his staff. And Paragraph 18 sets out the procedure to be followed in the event of charges of disobedience for which a death penalty is decided by a camp court, which consists of the camp commandant, one or two officers to be nominated by the camp commandant and an SS man belonging to the guard personnel:
"The prosecution is also to be undertaken by an SS man belonging to the camp commandant's office, who is to be nominated by the camp commandant. In the case of an even vote, the president of the camp court has the deciding vote. The president is the camp commandant at the time."
Did you know that the power of life and death had been given in that way to these SS men who were running the concentration camps, Witness?
VON EBERSTEIN: This document has no heading and no signature-may I point that out? I have not seen these regulations.
MAJOR JONES: I would be obliged if you would answer my question. Did you know that the power of life and death was given to the SS officials who ran these concentration camps, as far back as 1933?
VON EBERSTEIN: I do not know that. I cannot imagine such a thing. I assume that executions were ordered by higher author-ities, but I cannot pass judgment on that as an expert.
MAJOR JONES: But you were the Higher SS and Police Chief for many years. You were Himinler's man, you know, were you not?
VON EBERSTEIN: In my testimony I have repeatedly stated that the Higher SS and Police Leader, the Oberabschnittsfuehrer of the General SS, and the Police President had no influence whatever on internal arrangements in the camp and were not the superiors of the camp commander.
MAJOR JONES: But whether you had influence or not, you were a confidant of Himmler, his personal representative. Are you saying to the Tribunal that you did not know what the details of Himmler's murderers' organization were?
VON EBERSTEIN: As to these punitive regulations about which I am reproached, and which imply a jurisdiction, I can only say that they were unknown to me, and that Himmler never once spoke to me about these things; nor did I ever receive regulations concerning concentration camps.
MAJOR JONES: Did you ever hear of Oswald Pohl?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
MAJOR JONES: He was the head of the Economic and Admin-istrative Main Office of the SS, was he not, the WVHA?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes.
MAJOR JONES: Did you know that this organization, using SS personnel, was employing murder as a means to establish loot on a colossal scale for the benefit of the Waffen-SS and other SS organi-zations?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes; I heard that from the reports on this Trial while I was in the camp. I had never heard before that gold teeth, et cetera, were collected.
MAJOR JONES: Did you know of the great business in death that was bringing millions of marks to the coffers of the Reichs-bank? And it was involving numerous departments of the Third Reich.
VON EBERSTEIN: No, I did not know that.
MAJOR JONES: Let me just read to you Oswald Pohl's affidavit, given to Dr. Kempner upon this matter-it is Document 4045-PS, which will be GB-549-so that perhaps your memory may be re-freshed. The affidavit reads:
"1. My name is Oswald Pohl. I was born in Duisburg, Ger-many, on 30 June 1892. Since 1 February 1934 1 was Chief of the Economic and Administrative Main Office of the SS (WVHA), I occupied this position permanently until Ger-many's capitulation.
'T. Through my activity as Chief of the WVHA I remember clearly two large business deals between my office and the Reich Ministry of Economics and the Reichsbank of Herr Walter Funk. One deal concerned textiles from persons killed in concentration camps. In this connection Himmler endeavored to procure through the Reich Minister of Econom-ics, Walter Funk, a higher allotment of uniform cloth for the SS. The other deal concerned the business connection of my office with Reichsbank President Walter Funk and the Reichsbank with regard to jewelry, rings, gold teeth, foreign exchange, and other articles of value from the possessions of people, particularly Jews, who had been killed in concen-tration camps.
'T. The connection of my office with the Reichsbank with regard to textiles of persons who had been killed in concen-tration camps was instituted in the year 1941 or 1942. At that time I received the order from the Reichsfuehrer SS and the Chief of the German Police, Heinrich Himmler, who was my chief, to get in touch with the Reich Minister of Economics, Walter Funk, to obtain a higher allotment of textiles for SS uniforms. Himmler instructed me to demand from Funk that we receive preferential treatment. The Minister of Economics was receiving from the concentration camps a large delivery of textiles. These textiles had been collected in the exter-mination camp Auschwitz, and other extermination camps, and then delivered to the competent offices for used textiles. "4. As a result of this order received from my superior, Himmler, I visited the Reich Minister of Economics Funk in his offices. I waited only a short while in his anteroom and then met him alone in his private office. I informed Funk of my instructions that I was to ask him for more textiles for SS uniforms, since we had been able to deliver such large quantities of old textiles due to the actions against Jews. The meeting lasted around 10 minutes. It was openly dis-cussed that we perhaps deserved privileged treatment on account of the delivery of old clothes of dead Jews. It was a friendly conversation between Funk and myself and he said to me that he would settle the matter favorably with the officials concerned. How the subsequent settlement between Funk and his subordinates and my subordinates was handled in detail, I do not know.
"5. The second business deal between Walter Funk and the SS concerned the delivery of articles of value of dead Jews to the Reichsbank. It was in the year 1941 or 1942, when large quantities -of articles of value, such as jewelry, gold rings, gold fillings, spectacles, gold watches, and such had been collected in the extermination camps. These valuables came packed in cases to the WVHA in Berlin. Himmler had ordered us to deliver these things to the Reichsbank. I re-member that Himmler explained to me that negotiations con-cerning this matter had been conducted with the Reichsbank, that is, Herr Funk. As a result of an agreement which my chief had made, I discussed with the Reichsbank Director, Emil Puhl, the manner of delivery. In this conversation no doubt remained that the objects to be delivered were the jewelry and valuables of concentration camp inmates, espe-cially of Jews, who had been killed in extermination camps. The objects in question were rings, watches, eyeglasses, ingots of gold, wedding rings, brooches, pins, frames of glasses, -foreign currency, and other valuables. Further discussions concerning the delivery of these objects took place between my subordinates and Puhl and other officials of the Reichs-bank. It was an enormous quantity of valuables, since there was a steady flow of deliveries for months and years.
"A part of these valuables from people killed in death camps I saw myself when Reichsbank President Funk and Vice President Puhl invited us to an inspection of the Reichsbank vaults and afterward to lunch. I do not remember exactly whether this was in 1941 or in 1942, but I do remember that I already knew Funk personally at that time from the textile deals which I have described above. Vice President Puhl and several other gentlemen of my staff went to the vaults of the Reichsbank. Puhl himself led us on this occasion and showed us gold ingots and other valuable possessions of the Reichs-bank. I remember exactly that various chests containing objects from concentration camps were opened. At this point Puhl or Waldhecker, who accompanied him, stated in my presence and in the presence of the members of my staff that a part of these valuables had been delivered by our office.
"After we had inspected the various valuables in the vaults of the Reichsbank, we went upstairs to a room in order to have lunch with Reichsbank President Funk; it had been arranged that this should follow the inspection. Besides Funk and Puhl, the members of my staff were present; we were about 10 to 12 persons. I sat beside Funk and we talked, among other things, about the valuables which I had seen in his vaults. On this occasion it was clearly stated that a part of the valuables which we had seen came from concentration camps."
Now, is the material contained in that affidavit news to you, Witness?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, absolutely.
MAJOR JONES: You had no knowledge of it at all?
VON EBERSTEIN: No.
MAJOR JONES: Did you know that SS personnel were used for the great manhunt of Jewish people all over Europe?
VON EBERSTEIN: I have read reports here during the Trial that a certain Eichmann, an SS member, had this task. I never saw Herr Eichmann; I never had anything to do with him. I know the facts from the reports of this Trial.
MAJOR JONES: Did you know that one of the objects of these manhunts, apart from murder, was to secure loot for the SS and for kindred Nazi organizations?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, I did not know that. I may point out that I was always at home and never had anything to do with these matters.
MAJOR JONES: Did you know your colleague, Higher SS and Police Chief Globocznik?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes; I met Globocznik once at a Fi1hrer meeting. I talked to him once.
MAJOR JONES: He was a Higher SS and Police chief like your-self, was he not?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, I do not believe so. At that time he was Oberfuehrer or Brigadefuehrer. As such he could not be Higher SS and Police Leader. And it was certainly not in Germany, I know that.
MAJOR JONES: We may be at cross purposes. I am speaking of the year 1943. In that year Globocznik was Higher SS and Police chief in the operational zone of the Adriatic coast, was he not?
VON EBERSTEIN: That may be; I do not know. It is possible but not in the Reich.
MAJOR JONES: You have said as to your own position as Higher SS and Police chief that you had no power of command over the SS and no authority over the Police. That seems to have been a summary of your functions as Higher SS and Police chief; is that right?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes. I may remark that I expressly empha-sized not only before this Tribunal but before the Commission as well that I
cannot testify concerning the powers of the Higher SS and Police Leaders outside of Germany because their tasks were different ...
MAJOR JONES: That is enough. I can assist you in that case. I want you to look at a report of your colleague, Globocznik, on the "Action Reinhard" against the Jewish people of Poland.
It is Document 4024-PS, which will be Exhibit GBA50. It is a lengthy report. My Lord, with respect, it does merit the attention of the Tribunal.
Witness, you see that it is a report from Globocznik to Himmler, dated 5 January 1943. The letter starts:
"Reichsfuehrer, I am taking the liberty of submitting to you the enclosed report on the economic winding-up of the Action Reinhard."
In the next paragraph:
"A proper winding-up and my release are necessary because I carried out this activity within the framework of the SS"-I would like to underline these words "within the framework of the SS"-"and it must, therefore be wound up in a proper manner with regard to the competent Reich authorities."
Then in a later paragraph it goes- on:
"The summary accounting contains two parts:
"I) The economic part of the Action Reinhard with the items: a) accounting and delivery of the assets seized, -and b) ac-counting of the assets obtained by the work.
"2) The Settlers' Economic Association whose economic activity also depended on my mark, and which is now being transferred to civilian hands."
Witness, that so-called resettlement was one of the functions of the SS organization?
[There was no response.]
Then there follows on Page 2 of the German text of this report:
"There is one additional factor to be borne in mind, when
rendering the summary accounts for 'Reinhard,' which is that the vouchers dealing with it must be destroyed as soon as possible."
Now, the next document, Page 3 of the German text and Page 2 of the English ...
THE PRESIDENT: Where is this part about the vouchers being destroyed?
MAJOR JONES: Paragraph 3, My Lord. Globocznik marked it
"2-The Settlers' Economic Association"-in the next sentence to that.
[Turning to the witness.] Page 2 of the English text is a report -on the economic aspect of the Action Reinhard. There are four copies only of that report. It was gathered together in the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office.
"The entire Action Reinhard is divided into four parts: A) The evacuation itself; B) the employment of labor; C) the exploi-tation of property; D) seizure of hidden goods and landed property.
"A) The evacuation.
"This is settled and completed.
"In this case the prerequisite was to get hold of the people with the small forces available and to cause as little economic damage as possible to war production by methodically appro-priate measures.
"On the whole this has been achieved. Considerable damage occurred only in Warsaw, where, owing to ignorance of the position, the methods applied in the final action were entirely wrong."
Then I go to Paragraph B, employment *f manpower.
"The entire manpower was put into closed camps, to which essential war production was transferred.
"For this purpose the following conditions had to be created:
1) Establishment of all camps; 2) establishment of work shops with all the technical equipment, the purchase of machinery, the power supply, et cetera; 3) the organization of the supply ... ; 4) sanitation and hygiene..."
Then I want you particularly to notice:
"5) Security measures: a) Achieved by adequate security pre-cautions; b) by a protective organization within the camp; c) by adequate guarding. For this purpose the SS guards were created, the overwhelming majority of whom, led by Ger-mans, carried out their duties satisfactorily. Their reliability was increased by mixing these guards with Reich German guards from concentration camps. d) The prerequisites for a satisfactory security system were created by these camps being taken over by the concentration camp department of the WVHA.
"6) The proper administration and methodical treatment were made possible thanks to the extensive training of the Germa4 personnel. It became apparent that the working capacity of the Jews in the camps was constantly increasing."
And then there is described the creation of a works management tinder the name of "Osti" and the German Equipment Works:
"A total of 18 plants was established; it was intended to add more. About 52,000 workers were available. These conditions of work made it possible to accept urgent orders both from the armament inspectorate and from Speer's Reich Ministry, and thus replace bombed-out plants. The demand from these offices was considerable. Osti and the German Equipment Works were run by me, whereas other plants, such as the Heinkel Aircraft Works, were only looked after by me."
And then Paragraph C is on Page 5 of your German text: "Exploitation of property." This has been completed, as shown in Enclosure 2 which I shall come to in a moment.
"Seizure of hidden goods. The seizure of hidden goods and exploitation of property is divided into:
"I) Property such as machinery, raw materials, et cetera, handed over by the Osti to Aryans. To date the result is 6.3 million Reichsmark; a further 7 to 8 million Reichsmark are yet to be brought in."
"Seizure of Jewish claims at home and abroad by forcing the camp inmates to cede these claims to the Osti, which then carried out the recovery. The first attempt resulted in a cession of an amount of 11 million zlotys, of which at least half appeared obtainable. However, since it was also possible to discover that money had been smuggled abroad, this action could have brought valuable foreign currency to the Reich."
"Real estate was transferred to the Real Estate Administration of the Government General for exploitation..."
Then the measures taken were as follows:
"l) On 13 August 1943 the SS training camp of Trawniki was handed over by SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl.
"2) On 7 September .1943, in a conference with SS Ober-gruppenfuehrer Pohl, the taking over of 10 SS work camps in the Lublin District as subsidiaries of Lublin Concentration Camp was decided on and, in addition, the handing over of further work camps in the Government General. The head of the Lublin Concentration Camp was provided with adequate contracts. The conference was the result of a visit by SS Obergruppenfuehrer Krueger and SS Standartenfuehrer Schellin."
Then Paragraph 3:
"In pursuance thereof, a letter from the Commander of the Lublin Concentration Camp, dated 14 September 1943, to the SS work camps announced that they had become subsidiaries of the Lublin Concentration Camp." And then there follows the sentence-"The mixing of guards of foreign race with the German concentration camp guards from the Reich has also been started."
And I need not trouble you with the rest of that document.
If you will turn to Page 8 of the German text you will see the "Report on the administrative winding-up of Action Reinhard," just two pages, in the English text, from the one that I have just read. The first paragraph described the assets of this Action Reinhard.
Paragraph 3 of the text says:
"The assets which I collected were regularly delivered to the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office against receipts, and they in turn passed on the assets to the Reichsbank, the Reich Ministry of Finance, textile concerns, et cetera."
And then the next paragraph but one-perhaps it is only fair that I should read the next paragraph:
"On the orders of the Reichsfuehrer SS, articles needed for the supply of persons of the German race could be removed. The Reichsfuehrer SS forbade any appropriation for the purposes of the SS."-But you will see later how this was qualified -"What is remarkable about the accounting is that no hard and fast basis for the amount collected existed, as the collection of the assets was carried out under orders and only the decency and honesty, as well as the surveillance of the SS men who were used for this purpose, could guarantee a complete delivery."
Page 9 of the German text-I trust you are following this, Witness, because it is not without interest, you know. Page 9 of the German text sets out the assets, first sums of Reichsmark and zlotys.
"By far the greater portion was placed at the disposal of the SS economist in the Government General and the amounts were credited to the Action Reinhard in Reichsmark by the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office by an account-ing transaction and handed over to the Reichsbank."
Next page, Paragraph 2:
"Foreign currency in bank notes or coined gold was collected, sorted, and also handed over to the Reichsbank via the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office."
Then Page 10 of your German text:
"Jewels, gems, watches, and such like were sorted according to their value and delivered to the SS Economic and Admin-istrative Main Office. On orders from this office, watches of nonprecious metals were handed over to the troops, spectacles were repaired and placed at the disposal of wounded persons, and articles of no money value were handed over principally to Armed Forces authorities to cover urgent needs."
"Textiles, garments, underclothing, bed feathers,. and rags were collected and sorted according to quality. The sorted articles had to be searched for hidden valuables and finally disinfected. More than 1,900 wagons were then placed at the disposal of the authorities named by the Reich Ministry of Economics by order of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office. Out of these stocks not only foreign workers were clothed but a large portion was used for remanufacture. The best garments were separated and, by order of the Reichsfuehrer SS, were used for supplying persons of the Ger-man race. Shoes were also sorted according to the grade of usefulness and then either given to persons of the German race or to concentration camps for supplying inmates, or else taken to pieces and made into clogs for the prisoners."
Paragraph 5: 1
"Individual valuables of a special kind, such as stamps, coins, and the like, were sorted and delivered to the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office."
Paragraph 8 on Page 11 of your German text:
"Valuable furniture and household utensils were recondi-tioned and mainly put at the disposal of settlers of the Ger-man race. But furniture was also loaned to German and Armed Forces authorities against fictitious bills. Inferior goods were either destroyed or given to the population as a reward for good work at the harvest, et cetera."
The last paragraph: '
"The total value of the articles received is, according to the attached list, approximately 180 million Reichsmark. However, minimum values have been set up, so that the total value is most likely twice as much, quite apart from the value of the articles obtained which are in short supply, such as textiles, of which alone more than 1,900 wagons have been made available to German industry."
And then there follows a detail of these assets, on Page 12 of the report:
"Assets delivered from Action Reinhard. The following assets from the Action Reinhard were delivered to the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office, Berlin, for further transmis-sion to the Reichsbank or to the Reich Ministry of Economics: a) Reichsmark sums totalling 53,013,133.51 marks; b) currency in bank notes from all the principal countries in the world (half a million dollars being particularly worthy of note) to a total value of 1,452,904.65 Reichsmark; c) foreign currency in gold coins to a total value of 843,802.75 Reichsmark; d) pre-cious metals ... to a total value of 5,353,943 Reichsmark; e) other valuables such as jewelry, watches, spectacles, et cetera (the number of watches being particularly worthy of note, about 16,000 in working order and about 51,000 requiring repair, which have been placed at the disposal of the troops) value 26,089,800 Reichsmark; f) about 1,000 wagons of textiles to a total value of 13,294,400 Reichsmark. Grand total 100,047,983.91 Reichsmark.
"1,000 wagons of textiles and other assets, amounting to about 50 percent of the above-mentioned assets, which still have to be counted and valued, are warehoused here. It should be noted that the estimated values were based on the officially established rates of exchange or prices, which, however, would be much higher on the open market, for instance if the precious stones or precious metals were sold abroad, for the movement toward stable values is more pronounced there than with us. Besides, these sales abroad bring us foreign currency. If these prices were taken as a basis of evaluation here, this was done in order to be able to give a picture of the assets delivered; in general this evaluation is not authoritative. The value of the acquisition lies principally in the fact that such large quantities of urgently needed raw materials could thereby be gained and that, on the basis of the assets obtained, foreign currency can be brought in with which new materials can in turn be bought by Reich authorities."
Then there follows a list of Jewish property received for delivery up to the 3d of February 1943. This is ~t sort of interim report: Cash in hand, 53 millions; foreign currency in notes, 14 million-odd.
Then on Page 1-5 of the report: Currency in gold coins of various countries of the world, 843,000-odd Reichsmark; 5 million-odd in precious metals.
Then I want you to look at Page 16 of this report, Witness: Other valuables: 5 gold revolving pencils; 578 gentlemen's wrist watches; 13,455 gentlemen's pocket watches and miscellaneous ladies' jewelry; then the item 22,324 spectacles; and then next but one to that, 11,675 rings; then all the precious little possessions of these people, necklaces, a pair of mother-of-pearl opera glasses, each one itemized down to the very last sordid Reichsmark.
Then on the next page, Page 17, there are other little items of private possessions, making a total of 26 million Reichsmark.
HERR PELCKMANN: Mr. President, I ask for permission to interrupt the reading of this document for a moment. I object to the use of these documents in the examination of this witness. The witness is to be examined as to his credibility by the Prosecution. The submission of these documents does not serve this purpose. In his testimony the witness has said that he had no authority over concentration camp administration. Nevertheless, a document is shown to him concerning penal regul4tions in a concentration camp. He said he did not know it. Continuing on the same lines, the Prosecution attempts to submit a document...
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal is perfectly well aware that this is a new document and they will take into account everything that this witness says.
HERR PELCKMANN: I beg your pardon, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: I say, the Tribunal is perfectly well aware that this is a new document, and that the Tribunal will take into consideration everything that the witness says and how far it appears that he has had anything to do with the document in con-sidering the question of his credibility. Your objection is therefore rejected.
We had better adjourn now.
[A recess was taken.]
MAJOR JONES: Reading a number of extracts, the total posses-sions of Jewish Poles was 26 millions. For textiles, there were 462 wagons of rags, 251 wagons of bed feathers, 317 wagons of clothing and underclothing, and then follows a total of over 100 million Reichsmark. Pages 18 and 19-you need not trouble with that.
Then you turn to Page 20 of the German text and, My Lord, Page 16a of the English text. You see a report on the exports of the slave labor from one of these camps which was set up for the benefit of the German armament industry. There are listed the various details of the work on various manufactured articles: 41 Aryan leading personnel ran 5,445 Jewish workers who worked 1,115,000 working days in the first 10 months of the year 1943, with 31 mil-lion zlotys in the bank and till.
n the next page, Page 21 of the German text, dealing with the orders given to the slave camps: 83 percent of the orders were for the Armed Forces and 17 percent for civilian concerns.
Next, turn to Page 23 of the German text, Page 19 of the English text. It is the provisional balance sheet of the Action Reinhard till, Lublin, dated 15 December 1043:
"The following monies and values in kind were brought to the German Reich during the course of the Action Reinhard, Lublin during the period I April 1942 to 15 December 1943 inclusive."
The Tribunal will see from these figures that in the meantime additional loot had been obtained: Cash in hand, 17,470,796.66 Reichsmark; Reichsmark notes and coins, 3,979,523.50 Reichsmark to the Reichsbank Berlin, zloty notes and coins, 5,000,461 Reichs-mark; to the SS economist, Krak6w, 50,416,181.37 Reichsmark; loans for SS industrial concerns, 8,218,878.35 Reichsmark.
Then on the next page there is a table of the foreign currency that was looted currency, and then notes, and then there comes, once more, a list of the private possessions of the Poles and Jews that were taken away: Rings, ladies' gold wrist watches, gentlemen's gold pocket watches, ladies' watches with brilliants, ladies' watches of platinum, 29,391 spectacles, shaving equipment, pocket knives, alarm clocks, sunglasses, silver cigarette cases, clinical thermom-eters, all detailed to the last mark with a total of 43,662,000 Reichs-mark. Then the industry increased by 9 million more workers. There were 1,901 wagons of clothing, underclothing, bed feathers, and rags to an average value of 26 million Reichsmark. Total com-pilation of the total loot up to the end of December 1943: 178,745,000 Reichsmark.
Then there follows, on Page 28 of the German text, Page 23 of the English text, an account from the personal staff of the Reichsfuehrer SS, and which is an account of the national resettlement carried out by uprooting of farms to make room for German citizens and the clearing of some villages.
"All Poles, including those who are sent to, the Reich to work there, are to be given certifi6ates confirming what property they have left behind. They are to be informed that they will receive a suitable compensation sometime in the form of goods or cash."
Page 29 of the German text, 24 of the English text, Paragraph 6:
"The communications from persons previously sent to the Reich, which report that they are getting on well there, and the people7s realization of the fact that up to now nobody has been treated like the Jews, have already dispelled the feeling of dread which surrounded this system of classification."
Then I want you to turn to Page 31 of the German text, and the Tribunal will find it on Page 26 of the English text.
"Measures for further resettlement." that carried the head-ing, of the personal staff, Reichsfuehrer SS-"As many quarters express themselves against the transfer of populations on the grounds that it causes too much unrest among the foreigners, thus disturbing production, the following measures have been decided upon:
"L Verbal propaganda will spread news about the discon-tinuation of these transfers.
"2. No office will make any announcements before the date fixed for the resettlement. Planning will be done secretly.
"I The time for immigration will be fixed to take place after the spring tilling of the fields, so that the foreigners will carry out the cultivation of the land, and the new settlers will be able to profit by the harvest. This has the advantage that, due to the aforesaid circumstances, the foreigners will till their fields everywhere, while the German settlers will not run the danger of being possibly hindered in their spring work, in view of the short time available.
"4. The transfer of Poles should be carried out in such a manner that the good elements are put, as far as possible voluntarily, in districts cleared by the Security Police, and the transfer should be run under the heading, 'The Establishment of Security in Partisan Districts! The bad elements, if they are not employed as auxiliary workers, will be taken away gradually.
"5. The announcement of the time of resettlement will be made only on the day of the transfer of the population.
"6. All the organizations formed by the settlers in all the villages will be occupied in advance by the 'Landwacht' (Country Guard) who, having received previous training, are to save the use of our own SS forces."
Then on the next page there follows a memorandum by Glo-bocznik, setting out the details of the technique of resettlement. And I turn to the next document, Page 34 of the German text, 29 of the English text. That is Globocznik's final letter forwarding this report in dealing with the Reinhard Action. It is dated the 4th of November 1943, when, as the Tribunal sees, Globocznik was the Higher SS and Police chief in the operational zone of the Adriatic coastal area. It is addressed to Himmler:
"Reichsfuehrer: I concluded Action Reinhard, which I have been directing in the Government General, on 19 October 1943, and have dissolved all camps."
The last paragraph but three:
"During a visit you, Reichsfuehrer, held out to me the prospect that a few Iron Crosses might be awarded for the special per-formances of this hard task after the work had been con-cluded. Please let me know, Reichsfuehrer, whether I may submit suggestions in this connection.
"I beg to point out that such an award was also granted to the forces of the SS and Police Leader in Warsaw for the Warsaw action which formed a. comparatively small part of the total work."
In the final document, Himmler sends a letter to Globocznik, saying:
"I express to you my thanks and my acknowledgment for the great and unique services which you have performed for the entire German people by carrying out the Action Reinhard."
Witness, do you still say that you had no knowledge of the use of the SS for the collection of loot, for the use of resettlement, for the driving of people from their homes and for the enslavement of Poles and Jews?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, I had no knowledge of these things.
MAJOR JONES: When did you first discover that Jewish and
other people were being exterminated in concentration camps?
VON EBERSTEIN: I already testified to that a little while ago, that I learned of this extermination only after I was arrested.
MAJOR JONES: Your connection with the Rascher case in the spring of 1944 must have given you a very clear idea that exter-mination was going on. I repeat my question: Did, not your contact with the Rascher case in the spring of 1944 warn you clearly that extermination and killings were going on in concentration camps?
VON EBERSTEIN: I can refer to my personal experience and observation only, which in the case of Rascher proved to me for the first time that such things had occurred. I should like to repeat again that in the Reich territory we at home had no possibility of learning such things as are revealed by the documents before me.
MAJOR JONES: You arrested Rascher on the charge of fraud, did you not?
VON EBERSTEIN: Rascher, as I already testified on Saturday, was suspected first of all ...
MAJOR JONES: Just a moment. Are you going to answer my question directly? Did you arrest Rascher on a charge of fraud?
VON EBERSTEIN: I can only repeat that he was already under arrest, and after we learned of this crime, we kept him in custody until the end. It was a coincidence that we were holding him for the other crime-the two crimes for which he had been charged. Then, of course, he was closely guarded.
MAJOR JONES: You knew that Rascher had been carrying out experiments on humans and in the course of those experiments, that he had been killing them, did you not?
VON EBERSTEIN: That I learned from my conversation with the camp commander and the physician. .
MAJOR JONES: Was Rascher ever charged with murder?
VON EBERSTEIN: I already testified to that on Saturday- unfortunately he was not accused by Himmler. Himmler was the only one who could accuse him, as he was the competent judge at the court.
MAJOR JONES: Although you knew in the spring of 1944 that Himmler's organization was not only criminal but murderous, you continued to serve it for another year?
VON EBERSTEIN: I have already stated the cogent reasons why it was not possible for me to go against the order of my superiors.
MAJOR JONES: When you gave the evidence before the Com-mission on this Rascher matter, do you remember saying-it is recorded in the transcript for the 6th of July 1946-that when you discovered that Rascher was the responsible person for the experi-ments on living human beings, you saw to it that this crime was not carried out any more? Did you say that?
VON EBERSTBIN: Yes, indeed. Inasmuch as this man was not released from arrest as he otherwise probably would have been the other case had been cleared in the meantime-there was no longer any danger of his evading justice. So the man should have been released. However, we continued to hold him because we had received knowledge of this new crime.
MAJOR JONES: Did you take any steps to see to it that Rascher was not succeeded by another SS murderer?
VON EBERSTEIN: I do not understand what you mean by that question.
MAJOR JONES: I will explain myself. The Rascher experiments on human beings were continued in Dachau after Rascher was put into disgrace for fraud, were they not?
VON EBERSTEIN: No; the physician with whom I talked and who was the deputy he was brought before me by the camp com-mander-did not carry out any further experiments of that nature. He was the very man who had reported on the things that Rascher had done, and he told me that he refused to go on working.
MAJOR JONES: Are you telling the Tribunal that the experi-ments and biological research on human beings in Dachau stopped after the dismissal of Rascher?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, indeed. I am firmly convinced of that fact.
MAJOR JONES: I want you to look at the Journal of the Ahnen-erbe, the ancestral research organization, for 1944, which was kept by Sievers, the Reich manager of that organization. It is Document 3546-PS, which will be Exhibit GB-551. I have made certain extracts from the relevant passages for the convenience of the Tribunal. Now, if you confine your attention to the extracts, you can check them against the original if you wish to do so. You will see that Rascher's name appears in January, the conferences with him on the 28th of January, on the 29th of January, and then over in the next page in March and then in April there is a conference at Rascher's station.
Now, when exactly was it that you had Rascher arrested, what month was it?
VON EBERSTEIN: What month?
MAJOR JONES: What month was it that you had Rascher arrested?
VON EBERSTEIN: I cannot tell you. But surely you will find it in the files. On Saturday I already testified that it was in the spring of 1944. 1 cannot give you the exact date; however, I do know for certain that at the beginning of May, after the preliminary proceedings of this case were concluded, I went to see Himmler and took the documents, so that these things must have ceased as Rascher was under arrest.
MAJOR JONES: In looking at the extract for May, you will see the conferences of the Reichsarzt SS, in which Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Pluener took part. Did you not know that, Dr. P16tner took over from Rascher in. Dachau?
VON EBERSTEIN: I do not know the names of the various physicians.
MAJOR JONES: In the entry for the 27th of June, the extract of 31st of May- first, you see that Sievers had a conference with SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. P16tner first of all, with regard to Professor Schilling. I take it that you know who Professor Schilling is, do you not? Do you know Professor Schilling?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, indeed.
MAJOR JONES: He has recently been condemned to death for his experiments in Dachau, has he not?
VON EBERSTEIN: I read that in the papers.
MAJOR JONES: In May, you see, he was -having a conference with Dr. P16tner; the 27th of June there is a conference with regard to the creation of the scientific research station in the concentration camp. The 25th of July conference with SS Standarterfuehrer Maurer in Oranienburg about the use of inmates for scientific pur-poses; and then on the same page, the 26th of July, Hauptsturni-fuehrer Dr. Fischer goes on a quick journey through all concentration camps in order to fix finally the persons; and then the 21st of Octo-ber, the proceeding of research of SS Sturmbannfuehrer, Professor Dr. Hirt; and then the final entry for the 23d of October 1944, SS Standartenfuehrer Dr. Poppendiek, taking over of biological research by SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Pluener in Dachau. Are you still saying to the Tribunal that all experiments on human beings in Dachau stopped after Rascher went from there?
VON EBERSTEIN: I can only state that the name Rascher does not appear here and that I said under oath that he remained under arrest. I do not know what else went on there. Anyhow, when I learned of the happenings, I did everything to have the matter brought to court. What other experiments were made in the camp, as indicated in this report, I cannot know.
MAJOR JONES: Witness, you told the Tribunal that these ex-periments did not go on any more after the dismissal of Rascher. You told that to the Commission, did you not, and it is not true?
VON EBERSTEIN: I can only repeat that Rascher was under arrest and thus I assumed that these experiments had ceased.
MAJOR JONES: If your Lordship please, I am not attempting to cross-examine this witness with the matters discussed before the Commission. The Tribunal is in possession of all the documents with regard to the general matters I dealt with in the cross-examination.
THE PRESIDENT: Doctor Pelckmann, do you want to re-examine?
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, the Prosecution have submitted to you the regulations for punishment that applied to Dachau Con-centration Camp. I should like to ask you once more as a matter of principle, did you have anything to do with the administration of Dachau Concentration Camp or with the bringing in and the release of inmates at this concentration camp?
VON EBERSTEIN: I can only repeat that neither I nor other Higher SS and Police Leaders had anything to do with sending people to or releasing them from concentration camps. At all times, up to the very end, that was the competence of Amt IV of the RSHA, of the Gestapo.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you notice, Witness, that on the copy of this Document D-922 these regulations bear no date, nor is there any indication that these regulations were effective at all.
VON EBERSTEIN: The photostatic copy?
HERR PELCKMANN: Yes, the first one you received, D-922.
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes, I should like to remark that it has neither heading, nor signature, nor date.
HERR PELCKMANN: On my copy I can only see that a letter dated 29 May 1933, written by a Herr Wintersberger, was attached. I ask you, Witness, were you in Munich on 29 May 1933?
VON EBERSTEIN: I was at Weimar in Thuringia at that time.
HERR PELCKMANN: The Prosecution called you a confidential agent of the SS, and a personal deputy of Himmler. Will you reply to that? Were you the personal representative of Himmler?
VON EBERSTEIN: I think the statement I made on Saturday must have been misunderstood. I should like to repeat once more. According to the decree of the Reich Minister of the Interior in the year 1938, we, the Higher SS and Police Leaders, were the represent-atives of the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police. However, as far as their authority and the power with regard to orders were concerned, according to the text of this decree, the actual superiors of the Police were the heads of the main offices of the Order Police and the Security Police in the Reich Ministry of the Interior. The Higher SS and Police Leaders, according to the wording of the decree, had only, the right, not the duty, to carry out inspections, and they were merely pe
rmitted to make suggestions.
HERR PELCKMANN: Were inspections of concentration camps allowed as well?
VON EBERSTEIN: No. The concentration camps were sub-ordinate to Amtsgruppe D of the Economic and Administrative Main Office only. They had their own services and their own trans-port. It was only possible to enter the camp with the permission of that office.
HERR PELCKMANN: Regarding Document 4045-PS, the affi-davit of Pohl, did you ever discuss with Pohl problems concerning the concentration camps?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, never. Only once did I go to see Pohl in his office at Berlin-Lichterfelde. The conversation dealt purely with the acquisition of a site in Munich for an SS office-an office for the General SS, which was under me. We discussed the buying of this property. I believe this was in 1940. 1 did not speak to him about concentration camps or any other topic. Besides, I was not on friendly terms with him and had nothing in common with him.
HERR PELCKMANN: You saw the reports of Herr Globocznik, Document 4024-PS, and you said that the reports were completely unknown to you. But did you give out similar decrees or decrees which even remotely resembled them? Did you give directions like that to offices subordinate to you or did you receive such directions from offices over you?
VON EBERSTEIN: I never received orders from superior offices charging me with actions of that kind. At no time in my official capacity was I given an order like that. I am not acquainted with these peculiar affairs, and I should like to repeat that my comrades and I were horrified when we heard about these things in the camps where we are now being held.
HERR PELCIKMANN: You just mentioned your official capacity. Did you mean in your capacity as a leader of the General SS as wen as Police President and Higher SS and Police Leader?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes. I am including all the offices which I have ever held.
HERR PELCKMANN: When you look at the documents of Herr Globocznik, can you, from your general knowledge, tell us whether Globocznik was a leader of the General SS and whether he has done these things in that capacity?
VON EBERSTEIN: Globocznik was an SS leader from Austria, as far as I can remember. As I have already said, I saw and talked to him only once in my life. As can be seen from this document, he was-the document bears the heading, Higher SS and Police Leader "Kilstenland, " which would appear to be the Adriatic coast-Higher SS and Police Leader in occupied territory. I have already stated that the activity of the Higher SS and Police Leaders in the occupied territories differed entirely, from the activity of the Higher SS and Police Leaders in the Reich. As far as I am in- formed, the Higher SS and Police Leaders MJ the occupied territories received their orders from Himmler according to local conditions. This order or the report on the carrying out of an order, as it is shown in this document, is misleading and not in line with the tasks which were set us. All these things had to do with economic measures with which we in Germany had nothing whatever to do.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you, as Higher SS and Police Leader, have anything at all to do in Germany with economic measures?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, nothing at all.
HERR PELCKMANN: The Prosecution asked you if the experi-ments were continued at Dachau. Here before the Tribunal and before the Commission, you stated according to your conviction "no." The reason you gave for this was that Rascher was under arrest. Look again at the document submitted under 3546-PS and tell me after what date the name Rascher no longer appears in the conferences with Sievers.
THE PRESIDENT: Can we not see that document for ourselves? You are referring to a document and we can read the document as well as he can.
HERR PELCKMANN: Yes. I am just calling the witness' atten-tion to the debatable point in the document, but I will turn to the next question, Your Honor.
[Turning to the witness.] What was your reason for assuming that the experiments were not being continued at Dachau? You said Rascher was under arrest?
VON EBERSTEIN: Before seeing this copy here for the first time, I did not know that besides Rascher this Professor Schilling was active as well. I only learned about that from the proceedings in Dachau while under arrest. Up to that time I knew only about the research station of Rascher and that there was another man after Rascher, but I do not know his name. It is possible that it was the man mentioned in the document, namely Dr. Pluener. That is quite possible. I do not know the name of this man. He was quite hor-rified when he reported on the activities of his superior, Rascher.
THE PRESIDENT: This is a waste of our time, an absolute waste of time. The witness said there were no further experiments and when the document is put to him, he says he assumes. What is the use of examining him about this?
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, was the further reason for your assumption that the experiments were not being continued the result of your first protest to Himmler? Please remember Himmler's reaction to your report and tell the Tribunal if Himmler's reaction led you to assume that now since he had been detected he would be very careful about continuing these experiments?
VON EBERSTEIN: When I reported to Himmler he was very angry and he told me that these matters did not concern me at all and that besides Rascher had rendered great services to research of which I did not understand anything. I contradicted him and said it was quite impossible, whereupon Himmler said he would submit the documents and turn the case over to the Highest SS and Police Court. Of course, at that time I could not assume that Himmler knew about the details.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, to summarize your statements and the statement you have just made, I should like to ask you in conclusion whether you are today convinced that the mass of the members of the General SS feel that they have been deceived by their highest leaders, who have outrageously abused their concep-tion of loyalty?
VON EBERSTEIN: Yes. After discussing this with my com-rades-and I talked with many comrades during my arrest-I must say that the mass of these men were bitterly disappointed when they learned of these things. They cannot comprehend how Himmler could have brought them into contact with such dirty business. I am speaking not only of myself, but of all the men of the SS and these men kept faith to the very last for the sake of the Fatherland. But the leaders did not keep faith with us. We followed the leaders in good faith and were inspired by pure idealism.
THE PRESIDENT: What did you mean by the statement that the Allgemeine SS had ceased to exist in the last part of the war?
VON EBERSTEIN: Your Honor, I only wanted to make it clear that no Allgemeine SS were left in the country; it was practically dissolved. For instance, there were 10,000 SS men in my district in peacetime and at the end of 1944, when the Volkssturm was called up-that was the first time we made a check on how many men were still there-there were only 1,200 men, left, and even these were no longer free for duty since they were all employed on work connected with the war. They were working on the railways, in the postal service, on the land, so that to all intents and purposes the Allgemeine S8 had been dissolved. Even the command posts of the Sturmbann and the Standarte had been dissolved. The following is proof that nothing remained. When a guard of honor was required for a memorial service, it was not even possible to muster a guard of honor as all the men were with the colors. For all practical purposes, it was dissolved. For our social work we had to call in women, old people, and others who were not members of the SS at all but only sympathizers.
HERR PELCKMANN: Are you saying there were no SS men employed in any of the concentration camps in Germany?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, I do not assert that. There had been members of the SS with the command staffs from the beginning, but they no longer received orders from the General SS. Their names had been struck off our lists, because they were no longer on our rolls. They had worked in the concentration camps, I should say, since 1934 and led their own lives there. It can certainly be ascer-tained how many of these men there were in all. In proportion to the entire membership of the SS it was only a very small number. I do not know the exact number, but I do not think I am going too far when I say that at Dachau there were perhaps 50 or 60 men on the staff of the commander.
HERR PELCKMANN: Are you saying there were 50 or 60 men at Dachau who had ceased to be members of the SS?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, I do not really mean that. They still wore our uniform and were attached to the commanders of the concentration camp, but they actually had nothing in common with us for we hardly had any more contact with them. We met them only occasionally.
HERR PELCKMANN: Had you no responsibility for them?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, I was not responsible.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, another question. Had the Waffen-SS any contact with or any relation to the Allgemeine SS except through the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler?
VON EBERSTEIN: Only at the outset when the Verfuegungs-truppe (emergency troops) were formed. That was the organization from which the Waffen-SS originated. Men who wanted to become soldiers enlisted in the General SS. This is a topic on which a general of the Waffen-SS will testify as he is more informed on this point than I am.
We were merely on friendly terms; we visited each other. To issue orders...
THE PRESIDENT: After that first stage you agree that the Waffen-SS, except through Himmler, had no connection with the General SS?
VON EBERSTEIN: No, Your Lordship, they had no connection. They wore the same uniform and politically they held the same views. But, as I have said already, I am not in a position to testify as I never served in the Waffen-SS myself, but only received the rank of a Waffen-SS general when the Prisoners of War Organi-zation was turned over to us.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you know whether any of the Waffen-SS were used in concentration camps?
VON EBERSTEIN: There were special guard troops. In peace-time they were the Death's-Head Units and they wore their own insignia. Instead of the two lightning flashes which the Waffen-SS had on their collars they had a death's head. They were, so to speak, another troop unit, and since they were made up of young people they were replaced during the war by older men ...
THE PRESIDENT: Are you answering my question which was: Were any members of the Waffen-SS used in concentration camps? You are telling me about the Totenkopf.
VON EBERSTEIN: It may have been that during the war wounded men, perhaps those members of the SS who were no longer fit for service at the front, were transferred to the guard units-those who came out of the hospital, I assume. If you con-sider this as having a connection, then I suppose it is so.
THE PRESIDENT: Turning to another matter-this Gauleiter and Reich Commissioner for the Munich and south Bavarian district, how long had he been in office?
VON EBERSTEIN: The Reich Defense Commissioner Giesler-I assume that is the man you mean, Your Honor-was in office from the summer of 1942 until the end.
THE PRESIDENT: And you were in close contact with him, I suppose?
VON EBERSTEN: Yes, I had to take orders from him regarding matters of home defense.
My official relationship, if I may put it that way, as I have already testified, consisted in my being Police President and thus a Bavarian administration official, and as Giesler was the Reich Defense Commissioner and also Bavarian Minister of the Interior he was as such my superior.
THE PRESIDENT: Was there any other superior police officer over you?
VON EBERSTEIN: I did not understand the last part of the question. There seems to have been a technical disturbance.
THE PRESIDENT: Was there any police officer in Munich over you?
VON EBERSTEIN: No.
THE PRESIDENT: What police had you under you?
VON EBERSTEIN: As Police President up to 1942-I was no longer Chief of Police after 1942. I was replaced then by someone else - up to 1942 I was in charge of the Protection Police. In every large city of Germany there was a commander of the Protection Police who assisted the Chief of Police in the regulation of traffic and other tasks connected with public life. In addition to that there was at Police headquarters a Criminal Police office. The chiefs of police had nothing to do with the Political Police, the Gestapo, or the Security Service. These were 'offices which worked independ-ently.
THE PRESIDENT: Was the Gestapo under you?
VON EBERSTEIN: No.
THE PRESIDENT: The SD?
VON EBERSTEIN: No.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, then what police were under you?
VON EBERSTEIN: As Chief of Police I was responsible for the city of Munich and of all other ...
THE PRESIDENT: Will you tell me what police there were under you?
VON EBERSTEIN: Which police were subordinate to me? I have already stated as Chief of Police I had command of the Pro-tection Police and the Order Police, with about 1,700 officials, and I could use them just as they were needed in the city. In addition, I had the supervision of the Criminal Police-I could, give directions to them in my capacity as Chief of Police but not in my capacity as Higher SS and Police Leader. My other colleagues who were not chiefs of police, and, therefore, not higher officials, could only carry out inspections and make suggestions.
It is very hard to explain these matters, but these are the facts.
THE PRESIDENT: That is all. The witness can retire.
HERR PELCKMANN: Is it agreeable to you, Mr. President, if I do not call the next witness until 2 o'clock?
THE PRESIDENT: No. Call the witness.
HERR PELCKMANN: I should like to call the witness Brill.
[The witness Brill took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name, please?
ROBERT BRILL (Witness): Robert Brill.
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.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, what activity did you carry out which put you in a position to testify here about the affairs of the SS?
BRILL: For 12 years I was with the Waffen-SS. In 1933 I entered the service as a private in the Leibstandarte. I was made an officer and then for 4 years, with interruptions due to my service at the front, I was in the Erguenzungs Amt (training center) of the Waffen--SS. At the end of the war I was orderly officer in an SS Panzer division.
HERR PELCKMANN: What does that mean, "Erguenzungs Amt of the Waffen-SS?
BRILL: The Erguenzungs Amt of the Waffen-SS concerned itself with the enrollment and examination of recruits for the Waffen-SS as well as with the military supervision of the members of the Waffen-SS. I was the head of a main. department in the Erguenzungs Amt and as such I had under me the drafting and military super-vision. However, I had sufficient insight into other departments of the Waffen-SS so that I can testify here before this Court.
HERR PELCKMANN: Is it correct to say that you could watch the development as far as figures are concerned in the Waffen-SS?
HERR PELCKMANN: Would you give the Tribunal details as exactly as possible, paying special attention to the question of whether the enlistments in the Waffen-SS were voluntary or compulsory?
BRILL: The Waffen-SS originated from the SS Veruegungtruppe (emergency troops). The skeleton of the SS Verfuegungs-truppe was formed by several hundred men of the Leibstandarte. This had been set up in 1933 as a guard and representative body for the Reich Chancellery. Owing to the expansion of these repre-sentative tasks and guard duties, the Verfuegungstruppe in the years 1934 to 1939 was increased by volunteers from all classes of the Germa
n population. At the beginning of the war the Verfuegungstruppe had about 18,000 men. The service in the Verfuegungstruppe was a military service. In addition to that, there was on 1 Septem-ber 1939 the Death's-Head Unit which had about 8,000 men. To these two units were added about another 36,000 men between the fall of 1939 and the spring of 1940. These men had been drafted as an additional force for the Police by virtue of emergency service measures. These 36,000 men together with the Verfuegungstruppe and the Death's-Head Unit made up the Waffen-SS.
A directive of the High Command of the Armed Forces in the spring of 1940, which was published later in December 1940 as an Army service regulation, dealt with the military supervision, com-position, and recruiting of the Waffen-SS. At the beginning of 1940 we had 100,000 men in the Waffen-SS. There were 36,000 who had been drafted and 64,000 volunteers.
THE PRESEIDENT: We will recess now.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
[The witness Brill resumed the stand.]
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, you had just said that at the beginning of 1940 the Waffen-SS had 100,000 men of which 64,000 were volunteers and 36,000 draftees. Will you continue about the development?
BRILL: In the same year, 1940, we had 50,000 more recruits for the Waffen-SS; 2,000 to 3,000 were drafted'and the others were volunteers. In 1941 we received 70,000 men; 3,000 drafted, the rest volunteers. In 1942, 30,000 men were drafted.
THE PRESIDENT: Wouldn7t it be quicker and just as accurate to take all these figures as they have been given before the Com-mission? Presumably they are all in writing in the evidence given before the Commission. It is not necessary to repeat a series of figures of this sort for us. You could pass on to something which would be less statistical.
HERR PELCKMANN: Very well.
[Turning to the witness.] From the comparative figures of the draftees and the volunteers, one could say on the basis of your testimony that 40 to 50 percent of those called to the Waffen-SS were drafted forcibly. In your opinion, was this percentage the same at the end of the war?
BRILL: No, by no means. At the end of the war we had about 550,000 men in the Waffen-SS. Up to October 1944 there were 320,000 known casualties including dead, missing, and seriously wounded. Considering that the majority of the dead were our volunteers-I know this from carefully compiled reports on casualties-it results from this that at the end of the war there were more draftees than volunteers in the Waffen-SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: The Court will be interested in knowing where you have received such accurate knowledge.
BRILL: For 4 years I worked on this material. I prepared statistics and made reports so that I have retained these figures in mind very accurately. In my office in Berlin I handled card indexes, et cetera. They were there when I left in January 1945.
HERR PELCKALA-NN: Particularly for the years 1943 and 1944 you have made it clear how many men were drafted into the Waffen-SS. Statistics for the earlier years, 1940, 1941, and 1942, have not been compiled by the Commission. Perhaps you could give us examples of how nonvolunteers were taken into the Waffen-SS at such an early period.
BRILL: Yes. I have already mentioned the 36,000 men who were drafted by emergency decrees. In addition, in 1940 we drafted men from the Police to set up our field Gendarmerie. We drafted men from the Reichspost to secure our Army mail. We drafted the civilian employees of the SS Verfuegungstruppe. In 1941 we fre-quently drafted personnel from the Army for our cavalry units. I recall further that about 800 Army men were drafted into the Waffen-SS in the summer of 1941. Doctors and technicians also were drafted in 1940 and 1941; in addition, resettled persons who had become subject to military duty. Even for the resettlement details we drafted men who, did not report voluntarily. In 1942 we deviated considerably from the volunteer basis. About 15,000 racial Germans were drafted into our Prinz Eugen Division, about 10,000 men were drafted from the Police and the Army for the Police division, and 2,000 men of the Reichspost who were with the Army as so-called front auxiliaries were drafted into the Waffen-SS. They were civilian post office employees with the Army.
HERR PELCKMANN: Can you recall the transfer, on Hitler's order, of whole formations of the Air Force?
BRILL: Yes, that was particularly in 1944. Also in 1943 units of the Air Force were taken over. I recall, for example, an agree-ment of Reich Marshal Göring with our commander, Sepp Dietrich, of March 1943, when 3,000 men of the Air Force were transferred. In 1944 many men were transferred from the Army as well.
HERR PELCKMANN: And now, to go back to the volunteers, can you tell us anything about the motives for volunteering?
BRILL: Yes. In my office I read thousands upon thousands of applications for admission. I can say that up to 1939 the enthusiasm for the SS, for its decent and proper conduct, was the main reason for volunteering. Besides these, many volunteered for professional reasons.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did that change after the beginning of the war?
BRILL: After the beginning of the war, the main reason for volunteering was that the men wanted to do their military service in a clean, modern, elite formation. Professional reasons also played a part in volunteering. After the beginning of the war very few came to tnzungsamt.
HERR PELCKMANN: Letters from whom?
BRILL: Letters from the parents of these men.
HERR PELCKMANN: How old were these boys?
BRILL: They were mostly 17. They had Volunteered and their parents did not want them to, or, prompted by the speech of a recruiter of the Hitler Youth they had reported and their parents did not agree.
HERR PELCKMANN: Could a volunteer have recalled his appli-cation? Could he have left the Waffen-SS? Could he have left, say, because he learned of some crimes such as are alleged by the Prosecution?
BRILL: No, that would not have been possible. If the man once volunteered, there was no way out since he was drafted by an order from the Armed Forces which said that he had to answer the can if he wanted to avoid punishment. Once he had reported to the troops he was under military law and could not leave the Waffen-SS.
HERR PELCKh1ANN: Did you receive complaints in this con-nection? Were there complaints that these volunteers were used for any sort of crimes?
BRILL: Yes, we did receive complaints, but they were primarily complaints from draftees who thought that the Waffen-SS was given especially arduous duties and had exceptionally heavy casualties. For this reason, they wanted to go back again. It also happened that parents were afraid for their boys and also sent letters to us complaining that the boys were drafted at 17 by virtue of a Fuehrer order without the approval of their parents and asking that they should come back. We paid no attention to these complaints.
HERR PELCKMANN: As a member of the Erguenzungsamt, no doubt you know something about the process of selection for the Waffen-SS; for example, whether purely political reasons were decisive for the acceptance of a volunteer or of a draftee.
BRILL: I took part in inspections in the Leibstandarte and later directed them myself. I can say that we were interested only in healthy young men. We did not ask in inspections whether a man's father had Communist leanings or whether he and his parents were deeply religious. We were interested only in young spirited men of firm character. We accepted a young man who had not been in the SA or the General SS much more readily into the Waffen-SS than an older Party member who had a physical disability. We wanted young, upright, clean soldiers. Of course, later, in the case of those who were drafted and transferred, the selection was less rigid.
HERR PELCKMANN: For these inspections did you have any secret instructions concerning the selection?
BRILL: No. Our inductions always took place in public places. I remember that even before the war we held public inductions for the Waffen-SS in Danzig, which was still under Polish sover-eignty. The manner of making our selections was not kept secret either. Anyone could see it in the recruiting pamphlets, which were published by the millions.
HERR PELCKMANN: Besides Reich German soldiers did mem-bers from foreign countries serve in the Waffen-SS?
BRILL: Yes. Our honest racial Germans should be especially mentioned. They formed the majority of these alien soldiers. The Reich had reached agreements and state treaties with the countries that these people were to do their military service in the Waffen--SS. From the Germanic countries we took almost exclusively volunteers for our Viking Division and for the other Germanic units.
In 1943 and still more in 1944 we also set up alien units. Most of these people were volunteers, but many of them were drafted on the basis of the laws of their own countries. With these people, people of completely different racial, religious, and psychological backgrounds came into the ranks of the Waffen-SS, the more so as they were allowed to retain their own characteristics.
HERR PELCKMANN: Please give a brief survey of how great the number of such foreigners was, since it is important for the accusation that supposedly a unified ideological unit had been set up here.
BRILL: I can give this set-up from the end of 1933 to the end of 1934.
HERR PELCKMANN: You mean 1944, do you not?
BRILL: Certainly, 1944. I beg your pardon. Up to the end of 1944 we had drafted 410,000 Reich Germans, 300,000 racial Germans, 150,000 foreigners, and about 50,000 German soldiers into the Waffen-SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: I touch upon a question of the President to the previous witness, Von Eberstein. You surely know the rela-tionship of the General SS to the inductions into the Waffen-SS. For example, did a Fi1hrer of the General SS who was transferred into the Waffen-SS retain his rank?
BRILL: One cannot speak of a transfer in a military sense. The General SS was a voluntary organization. The Waffen-SS was a military body. It was certainly the case that up to 1942 a member of the General SS who wanted to join the Waffen-SS, first of all had to volunteer. Only after 1942 could we take the men without their volunteering; that is to say, the difficulty of getting replace-ments led us to do so. I would emphasize that it was quite possible for a man of the General SS to have volunteered prior to 1942 and to have been rejected because of physical disability. After 1942, of course, we no longer rejected members of the General SS. There was, of course, a possibility for a member of the General SS to do his military service in other branches of the Armed Forces and I estimate that the majority of the General SS was drafted into the Armed Forces at the beginning of the war. A Fuehrer of the General SS, unless he already had military rank in the Armed Forces, was taken into the Waffen-SS as a common soldier. On the other hand, officers of the Armed Forces were taken into the Waffen-SS with equivalent rank.
HERR PELCKMANN: Then would you conclude, Witness, that activity in the General SS was in no way evaluated as premilitary training, since a member of the General SS had to do, military ser-vice in the Waffen-SS or the Armed Forces from the beginning just as a nonmember did?
BRILL: Yes, of course. That is how it was.
HERR PELCKMANN: Is it true that in Germany the Waffen-SS was considered as the fourth branch of the Armed Forces and not, as the Prosecution says, the picked troop of the Nazis?
BRILL: Yes. I believe I can affirm this, at least for my field of duty. Only the selection was carried out according to SS directives, while acceptance for the Waffen-SS depended on the approval of the Wehrbezirkskommando. For the induction into the Waffen-SS the induction order of the Armed Forces was used. The volunteer con-tingents of the Waffen-SS were prescribed by the High Command of the Armed Forces, and forcible inductions always followed on the basis of the orders of the High Command of the Armed Forces. We can also say that we had no connection whatever with the Party, for the Party gave us no orders.
The few Party members who were in the Waffen-SS paid no Party dues for the period of their service. They did not receive awards of the Party. The whole replacement and supervision of the Waffen-SS was effected according to regulations of the High Com-mand of the Armed Forces, as specified in Army Service Regulation 8115. Since service in the Waffen-SS and in the Army were practically on the same footing we finally carried out in the fall of 1944 the long-sought merger of the SS replacement offices with the Army recruiting offices.
HERR PELCKMANN: Touching upon the question of the Pres-ident to the witness Von Eberstein, I should like to ask you something about the composition of the guard personnel of the concentration camps. Is it true, as the Prosecution asserts, that the General SS during the war took over the guard duty at the con-centration camps?
BRILL: In no way can that be said. The 8,000 men of the Death's--Head formation, of which I spoke previously, at the beginning of the war consisted only in part of members of the General SS. In October 1939, when the SS Death's-Head Division was set up, these men were transferred to this front unit. These men were replaced by emergency service draftees. They included, I should perhaps say, 3,000 men of the General SS. But these men were taken from the General SS by the Emergency Service Regulation, which could equally have been applied to the induction of other men, which was the case in part, for example with men of the Reichskriegerbund and of the Kyffhäuserbund. During the whole war the General SS did not replace the guards for concentration camps unless one or another SS man who was incapable of emergency service at the front was transferred there.
HERR PELCKMANN: Please tell us briefly what the purpose of the so-called Emergency Service Regulation was and to whom it could be applied.
BRILL: The Emergency Service Regulation was, in my opinion, and as far as I am informed, a regulation of the Reich according to which, in times of emergency, any member of the German Reich could be inducted for special services to the Reich. I have already mentioned this morning that 36,000 men were taken from the General SS on the basis of this regulation by the Reich Ministry of the Interior. The Reich Ministry of the Interior increased its contingent, as far as I know, to I million men for Police reinforce-ments and reserves, including these 36,000 men of the General SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: The Emergency Service Regulation and its effects are made clear by Document Number SS-26. Can you tell us who mainly took over the guarding of concentration camps during the war?
BRILL: During the war mostly racial Germans and members of the German Wehrmacht guarded the concentration camps. Let me explain this briefly. In 1940 and 1941 the guard personnel of the concentration camps were only replaced to a small extent. For the most part, there were members of the Kyffhäuserbund and the Reichskriegerbund, who in part were enrolled as inductees and in part as draftees by virtue of the emergency regulations.
In 1942 racial Germans and volunteers from the Reich who did not, however, volunteer as guards for concentration camps, but for the Waffen-SS, and who, because of unsuitability for service at the front, could not be put in the Waffen-SS, were made guards. In 1943 the replacements were done similarly. That year, too, another con-tingent of veterans was drawn in, and in 1944 the last young men among the concentration camp guards were to be se
nt to the front. In this year the great majority of the guards in the concentration camps were members of the Armed Forces. I know that the OKH reached an agreement with the Inspectorate of the Concentration Camps that the Army would take over the guarding. I myself saw the order which mentioned 10,000 men.
HERR PELCKMANN: Can you give us figures on the concentra-tion camp guards?
BRILL: Yes, since the SS Main Office was also entrusted with the supervision of the guards at the concentration camps.
HERR PELCKMANN: What does "Wehrueberwachung" mean?
BRILL: That means that every man was included in a card index so that in case of reclamation by his employer the office concerned would know exactly where the man was and when he would be available again.
As I was saying, the record of these men was kept at the SS Main Office. Therefore, I know that about 7,000 such men were racial Germans, that about 7,000 were from the Army, and some were from the Air Force, and that there were 10,000 men who had volunteered for the Waffen-SS, but as a result of unsuitability for front service they were simply detailed to the guard personnel of concentration camps. This included the Kyffhäuser members whom' I have already mentioned, also SA members, non-Party people, and so forth. There might have been about 6,000 men at the end of 1944 composed of Emergency Service draftees (Notdienstverord-neten), old veterans' organizations (Frontkämpferverbänden), and a few invalid members of the Waffen-SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: What do you mean, invalids?
BRILL: That means people who had been wounded at the front and were no longer fit for front service but were still able to per-form guard duty.
HERR PELCKMANN: Now can you tell us whether the majority of these concentration camp guards no matter where they came from, were volunteers or whether they were drafted?
BRILL: No one ever volunteered for guard duty at concentra-tion camps. The racial Germans as well as the Reich Germans who were used as guards were assigned there. The members of the Armed Forces also, as far as I know, did * not volunteer for this service but were sent there by order.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, what do you know about the administration of concentration camps?
BRILL: The highest administrative authority for concentration camps was the Inspectorate KL. This Inspectorate KL was in 1939 or at the beginning of 1940 in the hands of the Inspector General of the Death's-Head units. In 1942 the Inspectorate KL was transferred as Amtsgruppe D in the Economics and Administrative Main Office.
I had no insight into the internal affairs of this Amtsgruppe such as I had with many other SS agencies owing to my position. In the first place, this Amtsgruppe D, that is the Inspectorate KL, was not in the same building, with our Berlin office, and besides this we had no personal contact with the exception of the assignment of a few men, which was effected mainly by telephone.
HERR PELCKMANN: Can you, on the basis of your long service in the Waffen-SS and your position, give any information as to whether members of the Waffen-SS generally had the opportunity to learn anything about the crimes which are now charged against the SS as a whole, or whether you yourself could learn anything of them?
BRILL: Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly young men, were inducted into the Waffen-SS. These people were 13, 14-per-haps 16 years old at the beginning of the war. When they came into the Waffen-SS, they were only used at the front. And when they went home for a few days on leave, they did not worry about politics or enemy propaganda, but thought only of seeing their families. The tens of thousands of wounded men in hospitals had only one desire-to regain their health. They did not listen to the enemy radio either so that they could not have learned anything. I talked to many of these men, and I know they were interested only in their military service. Only one percent of those inducted into the Waffen-SS were employed in the offices and agencies of the Waffen-SS. Very few of these were in a position to learn anything. However, these men did not and would not tell us anything about the nature of their duties since there was -in every office of the Waffen-SS and the SS generally posted an order of the Fi1hrer saying "You must know only as much as belongs to your official duties, and concerning what you learn, you must be silent."
HERR PELCKMANN: Was the reason for this order of Hitler a military one?
BRILL: I believe this order of the Fuehrer was in effect for the whole of the Reich. It applied as well to the troops as to the various offices.
HERR PELCKMANN: The troops-do you mean the Armed Forces?
BRILL: Yes, the Armed Forces.
HERR PELCKMANN: Perhaps you know something about an-other point of the Indictment. When you were still with the staff of the Leibstandarte, did you learn anything, for example, about the proposed invasion of Austria?
BRILL: It was always the case with the Army that the ordinary soldier was the least informed. The Leibstandarte was no exception. I recall the entry into Austria very well. Although the Leibstandarte, as I believe, was one of the first formations to march into Austria, we made no preparations for this entry. I know definitely, since I was secretary with the staff, that neither the adjutant nor the Hauptsturmfuehrer in the staff knew anything half an hour before we left as to where we were going. When the Leibstandarte was in Austria, there was such enthusiasm that none of us gained the impression that a crime had been committed. The fact that we, as Leibstandarte - moved into Austria, was a matter of course to us because the Fuehrer was there and we, as his bodyguard, went to Austria, too.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, in view of the evidence which has been presented here, do you want to deny that millions of killings have taken place which are now being charged against the SS men?
BRILL: I have talked to many members from various intern-ment camps on this subject. I can only repeat what we told each other. The Allies have presented us a big puzzle with the discovery of this crime. We were always trained in honor, discipline, and decency. For 5 years we fought in faithful duty for our fatherland, and now we sit behind barbed wire and everywhere we are called murderers and criminals. I can only say and I say it for my comrades to whom I have spoken, too-we did not murder. We have nothing to do with, and have known nothing of the abominable atrocities of Himmler who betrayed and deceived us, too, by pre-ferring death to responsibility. By committing suicide, he placed himself outside the ranks of the former SS and that small circle of men who, perhaps through a false sense of obedience, became his assistants and knew how to keep silent. For until today we knew nothing about it.
HERR PELCKMANN: Thank you. I have no more questions.
MAJOR JONES: Witness, you have said that the SS and Waffen--SS in particular, was always trained in honor and decency. Himmler used to come and lecture to your division, the Leibstandarte, you know, did he not?
BRILL: I was not present at any speech which Himmler made to the Leibstandarte.
MAJOR JONES: Did you know that he made speeches to the -officers of the Leibstandarte?
BRILL- Yes. As far as I recall, there was a speech at Metz when I was already at the Erguenzungsamt. My comrades told me about it.
MAJOR JONES: Do you know what Himmler said?
MAJOR JONES: Did you not think it was right to ask them?
BRILL: Of course. I always asked, because as a former member of the Leibstandarte I was still interested in what was going on. But I did not discuss individual items such as, for example, the speech of the Reichsfuehrer.
MAJOR JONES: Because he was educating your division in what is the very opposite of honor and decency, you know. Did you know, for instance, of the mass murder of the leaders of the Polish nation by the SS?
BRILL: That cannot be possible. I read a great deal of the training material of the Waffen-SS. I did not read any request to commit such mass murders.
MAJOR JONES: Let me read to you two or three sentences from a speech Himmler made to the officers of your own regiment. I refer to Document Number 1918-PS, Exhibit USA-304:
"Very often the member of the Waffen-SS thinks about the deportation of this people here. These thoughts came to me today when watching the very difficult work out there per-formed by the Security Police, supported by your men, who helped them a great deal. Exactly the same thing happened in Poland in weather with 40 degrees of cold, where we had to haul away thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thou-sands; where we had to have the toughness-you should hear this but also forget it again immediately where we had to have the toughness to shoot thousands of leading Poles, other-wise one might later sorely regret it."
Are you saying that you did not know that Himmler said that to your regiment?
BRILL: In the first place, I did not know it. In the second place as far as I have heard, no members of the Waffen-SS did that. Himmler said "we." I do not know who this "we" is. As far as I heard, that cannot be gathered from the speech.
MAJOR JONES: Himmler was addressing the officers of your regiment, the Adolf Hitler SS Leibstandarte, and told them that the murders shall be the work of the Security Police, namely, your men, the men of your regiment. That is perfectly clear, is it not?
BRILL: No. That is not clear. The whole thing is wrong.
MAJOR JONES: Let me read to you another indication of the honor and decency in which you were apparently being inculcated.
At Page 10 of the German text of Himmler's speech, Page 3 of the English text, you will see how Himmler-you need not trouble to read it at the moment-you will see how Himmler was telling your regiment of the SS that out of the slave labor of the victims of his organization, money was to be raised for the benefit of the SS men. I will read to you what he said.
THE PRESIDENT: We have had this document read before, I think.
MAJOR JONES: Yes, My Lord, I am only going to refer to two sentences of it.
THE PRESIDENT: The witness said he was not there.
MAJOR JONES: That is so, My Lord. What I am suggesting is that this was an address to the officers of his own regiment. At the showing before the Commissioner, it was indicated he joined a month later.
When did you rejoin the Leibstandarte, Witness? In 1941?
BRILL: I joined in 1933.
MAJOR JONES: Did you rejoin it again in 1941?
BRILL: In 1941, from July to August, I was on the Russian front with the Leibstandarte.
MAJOR JONES: So you joined this regiment a few weeks after Himmler had addressed the officers of it?
BRILL: I do not know exactly when Himmler's speech was in Metz.
MAJOR JONES: If it is not desired that I should put the docu-ment to the witness, I certainly should not do so against the wish of the Tribunal.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would rather you did not.
MAJOR JONES: Can you explain to the Tribunal why it was that the Waffen-SS, the personnel of the Waffen-SS, were used in antipartisan activity?
BRILL: No. I do not know that the Waffen-SS was particularly used against the partisans. By virtue of my position, I know that 'the Waffen-SS was often subordinate to Army units in the rear areas and there, perhaps in exceptional cases, has been employed in antipartisan activities. On the whole, however, the Waffen-SS with its divisions was at the front. I know nothing of the special partisan units of the Waffen-SS.
MAJOR JONES: I suggest to you that for military or other tasks that call for ruthlessness or political fanaticism, the Waffen-SS was used. Is that not so?
BRILL: I do not know that. I know nothing about it. Please give me an example and I will comment on it.
MAJOR JONES: I will tell you what Field Marshal Göring has said about it to the Duce, in the Palazzo Venezia on 23 October 1942. I am referring to the Document D-729, Exhibit GB-281. He described Germany's method in fighting the partisans. He describes the taking away of livestock and the other details of the technique that was advocated; and then Göring says:
"Germany had experienced that, generally speaking, soldiers were of no use in carrying out such measures. Members of the Party discharged this task much more harshly and efficiently."
If you'll be good enough to listen to me reading it, Witness, it will come over the earphones.
"Members of the Party discharged this task much more harshly and efficiently. For the same reason armies that were strengthened by a political creed such as the German (or the Russian) fought harder than others. Also the SS, the guard of the old fighters of the Party, who have personal ties with the Fuehrer and who constitute an elite, confirm this principle."
That's correct, isn't it, Witness?
BRILL: I do not know whether the Reich Marshal gave any order to the Waffen-SS to combat the partisans. What the prose-cutor has just read is a statement of opinion to another statesman. I do not consider this an order to the Waffen-SS; and for that -reason I maintain my testimony that the Waffen-SS as a unit was not used for combating partisans.
MAJOR JONES: If it please Your Lordship, in' view of the evidence which is before the Tribunal on the employment of the Waffen-SS and on its pay measures, I am not going to proceed with the cross-examination as to the general matters with which this witness dealt. The Court has indicated that it does not desire me to put matters which should be put in cross-examination before the Commissioners and under these circumstances I have no further questions to ask but I will take my cross-examination before the Commissioners for the purposes of the Tribunal. '
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I am going to ask a very few short questions with your permission, My Lord.
As I understood you, Witness, you were very surprised when you learned about the killings in the concentration camps?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: And you contend that the Waffen--SS did not participate in the killings in the concentration camps?
BRILL: I said that I and countless comrades of the Waffen-SS knew nothing about them. The defendant's counsel told me that killings were carried out. I did not deny it.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Will you tell us, please, who was in charge of the command within the concentration camp. Was it not the Waffen-SS?
BRILL: No, they were not commands of the Waffen-SS. Certain members of the nominal Waffen-SS were with the commands; but there is a clear order of the High Command of the Armed Forces which I have already mentioned. It is included in the Army circular of December 1940, and states that members of the Death's-Head units do not do any military service in the sense' of the Waffen-SS -Members of the Death's-Head units.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I would like to ask you to be more concise. So you contend that the commands in concentration camps were not Waffen-SS commands?
BRILL: The commands were not under the High Command of the Waffen-SS; but I wish to point out that members of the Waffen-SS were with the commands. This is the difference.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Now, were these commands not commands of the Waffen-SS?
BRILL: No, they were not commands of the Waffen-SS.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Another question, before I refresh your memory on these matters. Is not the High Command of t1te Waffen-SS responsible for the most terrible crimes committed in the concentration camps?
BRILL: The Inspectorate of the Concentration Camps was the supreme authority for the guard personnel and for the commands of the concentration camps; and this inspectorate was responsible, as far as I know, for all concentration camps.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: What was the rank of Gueicks? Do you know that name?
BRILL: Gueicks was the chief of the Inspectorate of the Con-centration Camps.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I am asking you about his military rank. Was he a general of the Waffen-SS?
I believe he was a lieutenant general of the Waffen-SS.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Sir, please allow me, in order to refute the words of the witness, to present a document which, although it is a private document, has an exceptional evidential value and without which the material of the proceeding would be incomplete. I am speaking now of a circular letter of the Major General of the Waffen-SS, Gueicks, about the utilization of human hair in the concentration camps. If the Tribunal please, while evi-dence was presented concerning the Auschwitz Concentration Camps, we mentioned that 7 tons of hair cut off from 140,000 women's heads had been found there. We did not know till now what was to be done with this hair; but now we have an original document which I am submitting. This document has been found in the archives. I will quote the whole document, Document Number USSR-511, with your permission. I am quoting:
"Secret. SS Economic and Administrative Main Office, Amts-gruppe D, Concentration Camp, Oranienburg, 6 August 1942. Copy Number 13. Regarding: Utilization of cut hair. To the commanders of the concentration camps...."
And then 13 concentration camps are mentioned. I skip them.
"The chief of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, on the basis of a report submitted to him, has ordered that all human hair cut in concentration camps be appropriately utilized. Human hair is to be used for the manufacture of industrial felt and to be spun into yarn. Out of combed and cut hair of women, hair-yarn socks for U-boat crews are to be made, as well as hair-felt stockings for employees of the Reich railways.
"Therefore, I order that the hair of women prisoners after due disinfection be collected. Cut hair of male prisoners can only be utilized beginning with a length of at least 20 milli-meters.
"SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, therefore, gave his consent that by way of experiment the hair of male prisoners should be cut only when it reaches a length of 20 millimeters.
"In order to avoid facilitating escape through the increase in length of hair, in all cases where the commander deems it necessary to earmark the prisoners, a strip of hair should be clipped by means of a narrow clipper right over the middle of the head.
"The hair gathered in all the camps will be utilized by creating a special production unit in one of the concentration camps. More detailed instructions as to the delivery of the collected hair will be given separately.
"Reports on amount of hair gathered each month, male and female recorded separately, must be submitted on the 5th of each month, beginning with 5 September 1942.
"Signed: Gueicks, SS Brigadefuehrer and Major General of the Waffen-SS."
Now, Witness, I would like you to look at the stamp. Do you see this stamp? It says, "Waffen-SS Kommandantur, KL Sachsen-hausen." Do you still assert that the command of the camps was not composed of the Waffen-SS?
BRILL: Yes. I will explain that. The commands of the Waffen--SS-the commands of the concentration camps were officially on the budget of the Waffen-SS, as it was necessary to have all economic...
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: So they were on the budget of the Waffen-SS, were they not?
BRILL: I said they were on the budget of the Waffen-SS. For economic reasons it was necessary that the commands, in their dealings with the Reich, operate under the name of an organization which had the possibility of working with Reich funds and with the Reich authorities.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: To clarify this question, Mr. President, may I draw your attention to the stamp where it is said, "Kommandantur, KL Sachsenhausen, Waffen-SS." This proves that the Waffen-SS was in charge of the command. I have no further questions.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you want to re-examine?
BERR PELCKMANN: Witness, I will also ask the next witness about what I am asking you now in one final question. Did you ever hear the expression "nominal Waffen-SS"?
BRILL: Yes. The expression "nominal Waffen-SS" was applied by -us for the guards and commands of the Waffen-SS, insofar as these commands were in the Waffen-SS at all, that is to say in the "nominal Waffen-SS." Within the Waffen-SS, as I have already explained when mentioning the regulations for replacement, we had the Waffen-SS proper, that is, the troops; and then on the economic budget of the Waffen-SS, we had various formations which, at the order of Himmler, were put there so that they could enjoy the advantages of the Waffen-SS with regard to dealings of an economic nature, et cetera, with the authorities.
BERR PELCKMANN: Then the term "nominal Waffen-SS" was a technical expression which was known everywhere?
BRILL: Yes. The Waffen-SS proper, that is the troops, were under a command office of the Waffen-SS unless they were at the front and thug under the Army. And this Inspectorate of the Con-centration Camps was not under the command office of the Waffen-SS and received no orders from this office. The Inspectorate of the Concentration Camps, Gueicks' office, had its own channel of command. As far as I know, it received its mail independently, and so forth. It did not come into closer contact with the Waffen-SS and, to my knowledge, not even with the WVHA, although it was an Amtsgruppe of this office.
HERR PELCKMANN: Thank you.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Witness, you said that the Kom-mandaturen were within the budget of the Waffen-SS. Did you mean on the budget of the Waffen-SS?
BRILL: On the budget as far as I know.
THE TRIBUNAL (MR. BIDDLE): Of the Waffen-SS?
BRILL: On the budget of the Waffen-SS, as far as I know.
THE PRESIDENT: And was the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps also on the budget of the Waffen-SS?
BRILL: I cannot say that for sure.
TM PRESIDENT: How were the Waffen-SS paid in the first place? Were they paid in the same manner as the Wehrmacht?
THE PRESIDENT: Were they paid the same amounts?
THE PRESIDENT: And was their budget in the budget of the Wehrmacht or was there a separate budget?
THE PRESIDENT: What do you mean "yes"? Was it in the budget of the Wehrmacht, or was it a separate budget?
BRILL: We were paid according to the pay order of the Army, that is, from the budget of the Wehrmacht.
THE PRESIDENT: So in all respects as far as pay went, you were part of the regular Army, is that right?
BRILL: Yes, that's right.
THE PRESIDENT: Why then did you keep this separate designa-tion of Waffen-SS if you, were part of the Wehrmacht?
BRILL: I assume that Himmler and particularly Hitler wanted it that way. He wanted to have a Waffen-SS, a special troop.
THE PRESIDENT: You had separate uniforms, did you not? You had different uniforms from the Wehrmacht?
BRILL: We had the same uniforms, only different insignia. That is, we had the same shoulder insignia, only in addition we had stars and stripes which the Wehrmacht did not have.
THE PRESIDENT: To what extent after you joined the Army, were you still subject to Himmler's command?
BRILL: We were not under Himmler's orders at all. Up to 1939 we were as SS Verfuegungstruppe under Hitler's orders; and then the Waffen-SS was also under the orders of Hitler in his capacity as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
THE PRESIDENT: Did Himmler have anything to do with the Waffen-SS?
BRILL: Yes. For example, Himmler had the right of inspection, he had the right to make promotions; and with regard to administra-tion and the care of the troops, and also, as far as I know, on legal matters, Himmler, that is, his main offices had an influence.
THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.
HERR PELCKMANN: Your Lordship, to clear up the question which the Tribunal has just asked, I consider it necessary to call the head of W`VHA, Amtsgruppe D, the witness Pohl. It is not quite sure ...
THE PRESIDENT: Is he one of the witnesses that have been allowed to you?
HERR PELCKMANN: He is not one of these witnesses. I want only to prepare orally for my written application which I shall hand in.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks you had better call your next witness, Dr. Pelckmann.
HERR PELCKMANN: The next witness will be well qualified to testify on the questions that were asked the last witness. I shall make my suggestion for the cross-examination of the witness Pohl in writing.
I call the witness Hauser.
[The witness Hauser took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name, please?
PAUL HAUSER (Witness): Paul Hauser.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me: I swear by God the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the truth -and will withhold and add nothing.
[The witness repeated the oath.]
THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.
HERR PELCKMANN: When were you born?
HAUSER: I was born on 7 October 1880.
HERR PELCKMANN: You were a professional soldier?
HERR PELCKMANN: When did you leave the Armed Forces?
HAUSER: On 1 February 1932 I left the Reichswehr as a heuten-ant general.
HERR PELCKMANN: How did you come to the SS?
HAUSER: In 1933, as a non-Party member, I joined the Stahl-helm and with this organization I was transferred to the SA reserve in 1934. After the events in the summer of 1934, I was asked by Heinrich Himmler whether I would be willing to take over the establishment and direction of an officer candidate school. I accepted this assignment, and in November 1934 1 joined the Verfuegungstruppe.
HE RR PELCKMANN: At what time and in what position did you acquire the knowledge which enables you to appear here and testify as a witness for the SS?
HAUSER: From Easter 1935 to the summer of 1936 I directed the school. Then I was inspector of the Verfuegungstruppe from 1936 to 1939. During the war, for 2 years in each capacity, I led an SS division and an SS Panzer corps, and then from 1944 on I was again in the Army, as commander-in-chief of an army group. I am in a position to give information on the Verfuegungstruppe in peacetime and on the Waffen-SS during the war, as far as I became acquainted with them personally, and as far as they were under my orders. I do not know the General SS. During the war I was not employed at any main office.
HERR PELCKMANN: What was your last rank in the Waffen-SS?
HAUSER: I was Generaloberst in the Waffen-SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: What was your last position?
HAUSER: My last position, at the beginning of 1945, was Com-mander-in-Chief of Army Group D, on the southern flank of the Western Front.
HERR PELCKMANN: About how many divisions were under you at that time?
HAUSER: This army group had 20 to 30 divisions alternately, only two of which belonged to the Waffen-SS..
HERR PELCKMANN: How did you as a general of the Waffen--SS, get a leading position in the Army?
HAUSER: That was a result of the close co-operation between the Army and the Waffen-SS. I can have been recommended to this job only by reason of favorable opinions of my superiors in the Army.
HERR PELCKMANN: Let us go back to the initial stages. When was the Verfuegungstruppe created? How strong was it, and how did it develop?
HAUSER: The beginnings of the Verfuegungstruppe go back to the year 1933. In this year the Leibstandarte was created as a sort of bodyguard for Adolf Hitler. Following that, some battalions were formed for representational purposes. Only at the very beginning, in 1933 and 1934, were men of the General SS employed; later the very youngest of the age groups subject to military duty were recruited.
HERR PELCKMANN: What was the strength in 1936, and, for instance, in 1939?
HAUSER: In 1936 there were three infantry regiments and three technical battalions. In 1939 there were four infantry regiments one artillery regiment, and three technical battalions.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks this would be a con-venient time to break off.
[A recess was taken.]
TBE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn at half past 4 this afternoon.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, what was the purpose and the task of the so-called Verfuegungstruppe? Was it to serve as a new armed force alongside the Armed Forces?
HAUSER: The purpose and the tasks were laid down in the basic decree of Adolf Hitler of August 1938. According to that decree the Verfuegungstruppe was to belong neither to the Armed Forces nor to the Police. It was a permanent troop at the disposition of Adolf Hitler, and it was paid from State funds. The training was supervised by the High Command of the Army and replacements were taken from volunteers of the youngest age groups.
HERR PELCKMANN: Was the Verfuegungstruppe, therefore, meant to be a political nucleus? The Prosecution accuses it of being a special instrument for the oppression and elimination of political opponents and of having aided realization of the Nazi ideology by use of force.
HAUSER: That is not true., The Verfuegungstruppe had-neither political nor Police tasks. It developed gradually into a test troop which incorporated all the old soldierly virtues with the require-ments of our socialist age. It paid special attention to the relations between officers and men, encouraged advancement without special examinations, and did away with any and all exclusiveness.
HERR PELCKMANN: Were the members of the Verfuegungs-truppe expected to render blind obedience?
HAUSER: No. We swore obedience and loyalty to Adolf Hitler and to our superiors. Unconditional obedience leading to crime was not expected and was not sworn to.
HERR PELCKMANN: The Prosecution is particularly accusing the Verfuegungstruppe for inciting racial hatred and for the persecu-tion of the Jews as one of its special tasks. Was the troop trained for these purposes?
HAUSER: The political and ideological training could only be achieved by schooling. I, personally, as director of the school and as an inspector, have closely watched this training, for I was a new man myself and had first to acquaint myself with these ways of thinking. I can testify that race hatred and the extermination of Jewry or of the Eastern peoples was never taught and was never demanded.
HERR PELCKMANN: According to the Prosecution, this troop served for the purpose of preparing for an aggressive war. Was Germany's predominance by terror and the conquest of all Europe taught?
HAUSER: These young troops needed time and peace for the fulfillment of their tasks. Their commanders were all veterans of the first World War. They knew war and they knew what misery it had brought to us once already. The thought of terrorizing Ger-man domestic life or of dominating Europe never entered the mind of this small, young troop.
HERR PELCKMANN: Can it be deduced from the organization of this Verfuegungstruppe, even before the re-establishment of con-scription in 1936, that by its formation a breach of the Treaty of Versailles was intended?
HAUSER: Before the re-establishment of conscription, this tr6pp had consisted at the most of 4,000 to 5,000 men and could not be used -for either a defensive or an offensive war. And later, too, it was not prepared for war, as it had no divisional staff, no general staff, no replacement of men or officers. It was far from being ready for a war of aggression.
HERR PELCKMANN: What tasks did you personally have as inspector of the Verfuegungstruppe?
HAUSER: I was not a commander vested with power to issue orders but rather an inspector responsible for the training and education of the troop. Beyond that, I had to enforce orders which I received from Heinrich Himmler on questions of organization.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did the replacements consist of volun-teers? And where did they come from? What were the motives for their joining?
HAUSER: Until the beginning of the war replacements came from volunteers only. In the first years, that is in 1933 and 1934 -only, they came from the General SS.
The volunteers were recruited in the entire country. Their appli-cations, which were sent in in large numbers, were not determined by questions of
ideology. They were men who wanted to do their military service in a well-known and highly motorized unit.
THE PRESIDENT: What relations existed between the Ver-fuegungstruppe -and the other various branches of the organization which were under Heinrich Himmler's uniform command?
HAUSER: I have mentioned already that only at the time of the establishment of the troop did we have personal contacts with the local Oberabschnitte of the General SS. These contacts decreased, especially when the inspectorate was established as a main office, and they ceased to exist altogether even before the war. There were neither official nor personal relations with the Death's-Head units, which had the task of guarding the concentration camps-a task belonging more to the Police sphere. Not even in the joint garrison at Dachau were there any relations. Neither were there any official or private contacts with the SD. The tasks of the SD were not known. I might mention that in peacetime I hardly spoke a dozen words to Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich, the chief of the SD, when I once met him in the antechamber of Heinrich Himmler's office.
THE PRESIDENT: What can you tell us about the task of the Death's-Head units?
BRILL: The tasks of the Death's-Head units were laid down in the basic decree of August 1938. At times they furnished guards for the concentration camps, although they had no permission to enter the camps. Their replacements were recruited among the German youth or among men who had already served their term of military service. Their training was not supervised by the Armed Forces but it was on military. lines.
HERR PELCKMANN: Was service in the Death's-Head unit equal to service in the Armed Forces?
HAUSER: No, it did not count as service in the Armed Forces.
HERR PELCKMANN: And these young volunteers who were recruited, did they know that they were to be used to guard con-centration camps? '
HAUSER: I did not have an insight into the recruiting of the Death's-Head units, but I do not believe that they were told the aim.
HERR PELCKMANN: What do you know about the participation of the Verfuegungstruppe in the incidents of 30 June 1934 and 9 No-vember 1938?
HAUSER: I cannot speak about the participation on 30 June 1934 for at that time I was not in the Verfuegungstruppe, but I do know that the men of the Verfuegungstruppe were convinced that the executions which were carried out had been caused by acts of the State executive power. The Ver:Mgungstruppe was in no way con-nected with the excesses of 9 November 1938. The large majority, such as the Leibstandarte and the regiment at Munich and an the recruits, had gathered at Munich for the annual induction program.
HERR PELCKMANN: Now, what do you understand under the Waffen-SS?
HAUSER: After the beginning of the campaign in the autumn of 1939 three divisions at first were formed by men recruited from the Verfuegungstruppe, the Death's-Head units, and from men who had been trained for the Police. All these were grouped together with various other smaller units and received the name of Waffen--SS. These few divisions proved their worth, and with the increasing need for more troops for the war they were gradually increased up to more than 35 divisions. The main reason for this unplanned growth is due to the fact that all racial Germans who volunteered from the north, from the east, and from the southeast of Europe, served in the Waffen-SS. The total strength, all losses considered, may be estimated at about 900,000 men. Only one-third, to one-half may have been Reich Germans.
HERR PELCKMANN: At the end of the war?
HAUSER: Yes, at the end of the war.
HERR PELCKMANN: The Prosecution asserts that the Waffen--SS deliberately participated in a war of aggression. Is that assertion correct?
HAUSER: The members of the Waffen-SS did not have the im-pression that they were participating in a war of aggression, and that they were being used for that purpose. They lacked any and all insight as to whether the war was one of aggression or one of defense. Their oaths bound them to their duties. It was not possible for them to refuse to participate in a war.
HERR PELCKMANN: Was there a uniform or unified SS High Command during the war? To whom were the divisions subordinate during the war?
HAUSER: A unified SS High Command did not exist during the war. The main office in Berlin was the leading administrative
agency. All divisions of the Waffen-SS were incorporated into the Army and fought under the command and, in the final analysis, under the responsibility of the Army. I personally, in the 5 years and 6 months of the war, received orders only from the Armed Forces offices and agencies.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did Heinrich Himmler have any influence on the divisions of the Waffen-SS, and if so, what influence did he have?
HAUSER: The divisions which had been incorporated into the Army were subordinate to Heinrich Himmler only in matters dealing with personnel and replacements, with judicial questions and fundamental problems of organization.
HERR PELCKMANN: The Prosecution states that the Waffen-SS used special means of combat and that they deliberately fought cruelly, used terror methods, and carried out mass exterminations.
HAUSER: I must deny this emphatically. The troop was young, it had no tradition, and it had no name. It had to prove its worth first. The commanders had one ambition only, which was to win fame and prestige for this troop through courageous but fair methods of combat. Since some of the divisions fought together with the Army the generals of the Army would not have tolerated any methods deviating from regular fighting, and just as they took steps in tactical matters they would have stepped in if this accusa-tion of a terrorist method of fighting had been justified. They would have noticed it just as we would have noticed it, for at critical times the commanders are on the road for days on end and they see how the troops are fighting and can judge what methods are being used.
HERR PELCKMANN: Were the officers and men instructed about adhering to international law?
HAUSER: Even in peacetime, as part of their training, the officers and men were instructed on the rules of the Geneva Con-vention and the Hague Rules of Land Warfare. This instruction and supervision, of course, were continued during the war.
HERR PELCKMANN: Is it correct that Himmler once said that the successes of the Waffen-SS were to be credited to terroristic measures?
HAUSER: Heinrich Himmler once used this expression in a speech. I reported to him ' that it was completely wrong, that we had not gained our successes through terror methods but only through the courage of officers and men who were ready to sacrifice themselves to the last man if necessity arose.
HERR PELCKMANN:' What basic principles were applied by the troop for the treatment of prisoners of war?
HAUSER: The prisoners of war were treated according to the rules which applied in the Army, that is to say, that the billeting, the food, and the medical attention were just like in the Army. I myself, while lying wounded in different field hospitals, noticed that friend and foe were treated alike, and the old manner of dealing with prisoners was applied.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did these principles suffer any change by the naming of Himmler to the rank of commander-in-chief of the replacement army and thereby simultaneously to chief of the Prisoners of War Organization?
HAUSER: Not with regard to the Waffen-SS. But in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the replacement army Heinrich Himmler was also given authority over the Prisoners of War Organization, and he decreed that the Higher SS and Police Leaders at home be charged with the supervision of the security measures of the prisoner-of-war camps. I do not know the details however. I can only state that thereupon the Higher SS and Police Leaders were made generals of the Waffen-SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: The Prosecution asserts that the Waffen--SS, because of their will to destroy, committed Crimes against Humanity and crimes against the laws of war in the occupied coun-tries and arbitrarily destroyed cities and villages. Did the Waffen--SS participate in those measures?
HAUSER: I had occasion to see these troops in many theaters of war. I lived with the population in the East and West. The rela-tionship was always a good one. It was based on mutual aid and assistance. Where we had to call upon the population for work, for instance, in road building, they received food for their services. The arbitrary destruction of villages would only have made it more difficult for us to get accommodations. I do not remember a single case in which the front troops of my division had ever taken hostages or destroyed villages as a punishment.
HERR PELCKMANN: Before the Eastern campaign, had you known of a decree of Hitler's which allegedly said that excesses of the troops toward the civilian population were not to be punished?
HAUSER: That was not the wording of the order. Rather, it left the decision as to whether the troops, in their excesses toward the civilian population were legally to be prosecuted by the court itself, whereas formerly the court was under obligation to prosecute. I personally had ordered in my district that, with the view to main-taining discipline, such excesses were to be prosecuted by law, and the judgments which were reported to the Reichsfuehrer show that excesses were punished very severely.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do you know the Commissar Order?
HAUSER: The Commissar Order was addressed only to the corps. In 1941 we did not have any corps, that is general commands. Accordingly this decree was and is unknown to me, and therefore, we could not have been guided by it. I recall only having seen a later decree which demanded the segregation of the commissars. The troops, in reality, were not so much concerned with this order for the commissars were for the most part not recognized by the fighting troops.
HEAR PELCKMANN: Was the fight against the partisans a special task of the Waffen-SS, and was this to be considered a fight of extermination?
HAUSER: The fight against partisans is a purely military, polit-ical, police ...
[The proceedings were interrupted by technical difficulties in the interpreting system.]
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn for today.
[The Tribunal adjourned until August 6, 1946 at 1000 hours.]