4000bce - 399
400 - 1399
1400 - 1499
1500 - 1599
1600 - 1699
1700 - 1799
1800 - 1899
1900 - 1999
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will sit in closed session on Thursday afternoon. That is to say, it will not sit in open session after 1 o'clock on Thursday. It will sit in open session on Saturday morning until 1 o'clock.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, was the Waffen-SS a special fighting unit for the combating of partisans, and was the fight against the partisans considered to be a war of extermination?
HAUSER: The fight against partisans is a general military and political police measure, which can be assigned to any troop; front line troops of the Army and of the Waffen-SS were used only in exceptional cases, for instance when they were in the rear areas. There were usually no partisan fights in the operational areas; they mostly took place in the rear areas only. This fighting was mainly the task of the Security Division of the Army and special defense battalions, and besides these of police troops. Units of the Waffen-SS at the front were not especially trained for this kind of fighting and were assigned this duty just as little as Panzer divisions of the Army, for instance. In the East, units of my divisions were never used in the fight against partisans at any time. Therefore it was not a special task for SS units, and they were not especially trained or instructed for this purpose.
HERR PELCKMANN: What relation existed between the Waf-fen-SS on the one hand, the Security Police and Order Police and the so-called Einsatzgruppen and the Einsatzkommandos of the SD on the other?
HAUSER: These various branches of the organization of Heinrich Himmler unfortunately wore the same uniform, though they had different insignia. The only thing they had in common was their chief, Heinrich Himmler. The various branches were completely separate from each other even before the war. This separation was intensified more and more during the war. The units of the Waffen-SS were under the command of the Army authorities. The other branches, SD, Police, et cetera, were subordinate to Himmler.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you hear anything about the SD Einsatzgruppen?
HAUSER: At the beginning of the campaign I had heard, ver-bally, about as much about the SD Einsatzgruppen as the command-ers-in-chief of the army groups knew, namely, that they were used in the rear areas alongside the Secret Field Police, with the task of screening the population and securing material from the enemy administration centers. I never had any personal contact with any of these branches and therefore I cannot give you any further infor-mation about their activity.
HERR PELCKMANN: Is it therefore true that only during your arrest did you hear anything at all about the participation of small units of the Waffen-SS, altogether about three to four companies, besides the Police and Gendarmerie?
HAUSER: Only during my arrest here did I hear of these matters.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did the Higher SS and Police Leader belong to the officers corps of the Waffen-SS?
HAUSER: The Higher SS and Police Leaders did not belong to the Waffen-SS. They had no authority to command and they had nothing to do with us.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did the Waffen-SS furnish the guard units and the so-called command personnel for the concentration camps?
HAUSER: The guards of the concentration camps and the per-sonnel in the command did not belong to the Waffen-SS. Only in the course of the war were these units designated as Waffen-SS in order to release them from military service and give them freedom to carry out their police duties. The members of the Waffen-SS considered this measure, which they learned of only after the war, a deliberate deception on the part of Himmler. We did not have anything to do with the men of the concentration camps and the guard personnel.
HERR PELCKMANN: It has not become quite clear yet, Wit-ness, just what you meant when you said "to release them from military service." Will you explain that in more detail?
HAUSE: All persons who served at home and in the Police had to be exempted from military service in the Army by the Wehr-kreis or district commander in order to carry out their police tasks. That did not apply when all guard units were designated as Waf-fen-SS, for these were a part of the Armed Forces. In the main offices in Berlin these units, in order to differentiate them, were designated nominal Waffen-SS. But all this I learned only here later.
HERR PELCKMANN: The Prosecution asserts that the Waf-fen-SS was only a part of the whole SS organization and that as such it was needed for the carrying through of the joint criminal conspiracy. Please comment on this.
HAUSER: I believe that it can be gathered from all of my testi-mony that the Waffen-SS was a completely independent unit and connected with other organizations only through the person of Heinrich Himmler. This separation of the various branches was undoubtedly intensified during the war. Therefore, we could not have harbored common criminal plans with the others or partic-ipated in carrying them through.
HERR PELCKMANN: Surely you felt yourself to be a part of the Army?
HAUSER: We were completely incorporated into the Army, and the designation "fourth branch of the Army," although it was not an official designation, was really much to the point.
HERR PELCKMANN: Apart from the accusation concerning the concentration camps, the Prosecution further asserts that the Waf-fen-SS, on the basis of its training, was a particularly cruel military tool; and that is to be shown, allegedly, by the participation of the Waffen-SS men in the evacuation of the Warsaw ghetto and, so says the Prosecution, in the violations of international law such as the murder of prisoners of war. Is that correct?
HAUSER: I already testified, yesterday, that our training was not organized to that end, that our method of fighting was super-vised and ordered by the Army, and that we did not gain prestige through cruel methods. The commanders who had personal pride in leading a clean fighting unit against the enemy saw to that. I learned only here of the participation of small units of the Waf-fen-SS in the evacuation of the Warsaw ghetto or in the executions which took place in Bohemia and Moravia. This can only be a question of small details of replacement units which were temporar-ily subordinated for a brief period o f time.
I regret to say that during my arrest I heard of two trials against members of the Waffen-SS. One of these proceedings has not been concluded as yet, and my conscience does not allow me to make any comments on it.
HERR PELCKMANN: You mean the killing of prisoners?
HAUSER: Yes. These incidents are not the result of training, but rather the failure of individuals, perhaps the giving way of nerves when in difficult situations deep in enemy territory. But these accusations should not be generalized. Even if there had been ten instead of only two cases, the ratio as applied to the entire membership of the Waffen-SS of 1 million men would mean there would be one case to every 100,000 men. Such incidents are the results of the intensification of combat on the ground and in the a long war; incidents which have occurred on both sides air during and will always continue to occur. You cannot hold the bulk of the Waffen-SS responsible.
HERR PELCKMANN: What influence did Heinrich Himmler actually have on the moral attitude of the members of the Waffen-SS?
HAUSER: Heinrich Himmler most assuredly tried in peacetime to exert his influence on the small Verfuegungstruppe. During the war this was practically impossible. He did not address troops of the Waffen-SS. On occasion he did talk to some officers and com-manders of some divisions in the field. It was generally known that Heinrich Himmler, who had done only 1 year's military service, had no conception of the military and underestimated the military tasks and the work involved. He liked to play the role of the strong man through exaggeration and through superlatives. If someone comes along with big words, the soldier on the front does not pay much attention.
Therefore, the influence of Himmler was very insignificant during the war. He wore his uniform, of course, but the reputation of the Waffen-SS was established by its officers, by the example they set and by their daily work.
HERR PELCKMANN: Was the influence of Himmler on the com-manders perhaps stronger than on the masses of SS soldiers?
HAUSER: Quite the contrary. The commanders, of course, were under him so far as military obedience was concerned. But they had the right to criticize through their own experience of life and of the world, and as a matter of fact this criticism was necessary in the face of Himmler's extravagant and romantic ideas. These men had enough experience so that they could translate his statements into the language and manner of thought of the soldier. The critical attitude toward Heinrich Himmler increased continually during the war. In most cases he believed that he could dispense with the advice of an experienced soldier. Objections were cut off short with the words, "This is the typical viewpoint of a general"-viewpoints which he opposed.
HERR PELCKMANN: Is it correct that Heinrich Himmler in his speeches broke. out into exorbitant invective against the Jews and the Slavs?
HAUSER: I know only about the speech at Kharkov in 1943, in which he mentioned three points which called forth our criticism and opposition. I have already expressed myself on the one point, namely, the terror which was to precede us. His distasteful statements about the Jews referred to Germany only and did not indi-cate extermination in any way.
His references to the superior numbers of our Eastern enemy could only be interpreted by the common soldier to mean that this very superiority in numbers would have to be offset in battle.
HERR PELCKMANN: What special points of criticism did the officer corps direct against Heinrich Himmler?
HAUSER: Without doubt he thought that after the war the various organizations which were subordinate to him, the SS and perhaps the Police also, could be united into one organization, which was just the opposite of the situation during the war, and our intentions were directed against this.
HERR PELCKMANN: To what extent were the crimes in con-centration camps, such as the extermination of the Jews, known to the Waffen-SS? I should like you to remember that you speak not only for yourself as a highly placed general, but that you also speak for the simple SS man, based on your own experience, of course.
HAUSER: It sounds quite unlikely, and foreign countries do not wish to believe that the members of the Waffen-SS as well as myself knew nothing of the crimes of which we have heard here. This perhaps may serve as an explanation: At home only those who had victims in the concentration camps learned, anything about them; only the ever-present secret opposition spread stories and rumors. This was kept from the SS man. If he happened to hear something by chance, he thought that it was hostile prop-aganda. Foreign radio broadcasts or newspapers were unknown to him for they were forbidden at home. The bulk of the Waffen-SS was facing the enemy. The war tasks grew from year to year and the efforts became more intense. The SS man did not have the time or opportunity to check rumors, and like myself he was sur-prised and indignant about all these things which Himmler had done contrary to what he had preached to us in peacetime.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do you know the speech of Himmler's made at Posen, in which he mentioned the fact that thousands and tens of thousands of Jews had been killed?
HAUSER: I did not hear that speech at Posen, and only learned of it here during my arrest. As far as I know, the speech was addressed to the leaders at home and in the occupied countries.
Members of the Waffen-SS were not present at all, or if so, only in insignificant numbers.
HERR PELCKMANN: The units for the guarding of the concen-tration camps were designated as Waffen-SS as well, and ranks of the Waffen-SS were given to persons connected with the concen-tration camp system. Did you know anything about these matters during the war?
HAUSER: I have already mentioned that the designation of con-centration camp guards as Waffen-SS men became known to me only after the war. However, I must add that Heinrich Himmler deliberately tried to efface the dividing lines between his various organizations before the eyes of the public, and examples of that are precisely the designation of the concentration camp guard units as Waffen-SS and the giving of ranks in the Waffen-SS to persons who had nothing to do with the fighting troops.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do you consider that the Waffen-SS, in its majority, participated in the crimes which indubitably were committed?
HAUSER: No. The Prosecution chains the Waffen-SS to the fate of Heinrich Himmler and a small circle of criminals around him. The Waffen-SS is taking this quite bitterly for it believes that in its majority it fought decently and fairly. It is far removed from these crimes and from the man who is responsible for them. I should like to ask the High Tribunal to please listen to the accounts and the judgments of the front soldiers on your side. I believe that they will not fail to show us respect. Wherever specific incidents occurred they were exceptions. The Waffen-SS considers it quite unjust that it is being treated differently from the mass of the German Armed Forces and it does not deserve to be outlawed as a criminal organization.
HERR PELCKMANN: Mr. President, I have no further ques-tions to this witness.
MAJOR JONES: Witness, you heard Himmler's Kharkov speech in April 1943 to the commanding officers of the three SS divisions in the East, did you not?
HAUSER: Yes, I heard that speech.
MAJOR JONES: And you remember that he ended his speech by saying:
"We will never let that excellent weapon fade, the dread and terrible reputation which preceded us in the battle for Kharkov, but will constantly add new meaning to it."
Do you remember his saying that?
HAUSER: Yes, indeed.
MAJOR JONES: And your units of the Waffen-SS constantly added new meaning to your reputation for terror, did you not?
HAUSER: No. I have already expressed quite the contrary yesterday and today. I considered it as an insult to say that our successes were dependent on terror. Quite the contrary, I said that our successes resulted from the brave fighting of officers and men.
MAJOR JONES: Yesterday you told the Tribunal that the relations of the Waffen-SS with the local population were good, and that your Waffen-SS troops did not take hostages or destroy villages as punishments, or commit War Crimes. That was your evidence, was it not?
HAUSER: I said that the relations were unobjectionable and good, that we did not displace any part of the population to work in Germany.
MAJOR JONES: I want you to listen now to some documents I am going to put in with regard to the SS generally and with regard to the Waffen-SS in particular; first, two documents from your own sources.
The first, My Lord, is Document D-419, to be Exhibit GB-552. I am not proposing to cross-examine the witness as to these numerous documents, My Lord. It appears to be the, desire of the Tribunal that they should be put in as speedily as possible.
THE PRESIDENT: If they are new documents, you can cross-examine him upon them.
MAJOR JONES: If Your Lordship pleases. The first Document, D-419, is a report by a general of artillery named Petzel, dated 23 November 1939, with regard to the internal situation in the Warthegau, western Poland, incorporated into the Reich, as the document describes it.
I need not trouble you with the first page of the document, the report of 2 December and the letter of 30 November, but if you read the letter of General Petzel dated 23 November 1939, the second paragraph reads:
"The great work of construction in all spheres is not furthered by the intervention of SS formations, which are assigned for special racial political tasks and which are not subordinate in this respect to the Reichsstatthalter. There is a tendency to interfere, beyond the limits of these
tasks, in all fields of administration and of forming a 'state within the state.'
"This phenomenon does not fail to have its effect on the troops, who are indignant about the way the tasks are car-ried out and thereby generally get into opposition to the administration and the Party. I shall exclude the danger of serious differences by strict orders. The fact that this makes a serious demand on the discipline of the troops cannot be dismissed without further ado."
Then, the next paragraph:
"In almost all large towns, public shootings have been car-ried out by the aforementioned organizations; the selections varied enormously and were often incomprehensible, the ex-ecutions frequently brutal.
"In some districts all the Polish estate owners were arrested and interned with their families. Arrests were almost always accompanied by looting.
"In the towns, evacuations were carried out, during which blocks of houses were cleared at random, the inhabitants loaded on- to lorries at night and then taken to concentra-tion camps. Here also looting was a constant accompanying phenomenon. The quartering and feeding in the camps was such that the medical officer of the corps feared the outbreak of epidemics which would be a danger to the troops....
"In several towns actions against the Jews were carried out which turned into the most serious excesses. In Turek three SS cars under the leadership of a Higher SS Leader drove through the streets on -30 October 1939 while the people in the streets were hit on the heads at random with oxen reins and long horsewhips. Among the victims were also people of German blood. Finally a number of Jews were driven into the synagogue; there they had to crawl in between the benches while singing, during which time they were continuously whipped by the SS men. They were then forced to take down their trousers in order to be hit on the bare behind.
"A Jew who out of fright had dirtied his trousers was forced to smear the excrement into the faces of the other Jews.
"In Lodz it has become known confidentially that SS Ober-fuehrer Melhorn has issued the following orders:
"1) From November no unemployment relief may any longer be paid to Poles and Jews, only forced labor is paid for. (This measure has already been confirmed.)
"2) From 9 November, Jews and Poles will be excluded from the distribution of rationed foodstuffs and coal.
"3) Unrest and incidents are to be created by provocation in order to facilitate the carrying out of the racial political work."
The rest of the document I need not trouble you with.
That is an insight into the activities of the SS in Poland in November 1939.
The next German document is the Document D-578.
My Lord, my attention has been drawn to another sentence in the Document D-419, which I should like to draw the Tribunal's attention to, the last paragraph but one:
"As the military commander of Posen has already reported to the High Command of the Army, the men feel very strongly about the disproportion between their pay and the daily rate of pay of other formations which is many times higher than theirs."
The Document D-578 is a report by a German Brigade Com-mander of the 1st Mountain Brigade, Colonel Pericic. It is dated 26 September 1943. This document, My Lord, will be Exhibit GB-553. It is a report on the activities of the SS units in the area of Popovaca in Bosnia. I only want to trouble you with the first two paragraphs:
"On 16 September 1943 an SS unit of 80 men marched from Popovaca to Osekovo for the compulsory purchase of cattle. I was not notified by anybody about the arrival of this unit in the technical operational area of the 1st Mountain Brigade and about the activity of this unit in the area for which I alone am responsible.
"A short time after their arrival in Osekovo this unit was attacked by partisans. Under the pressure of the numerically superior partisans, this unit had to retreat in the direction of the railway station, which they succeeded in doing, but they had four men seriously and several lightly wounded, among them the unit commander. One man was missing, and they also lost an armored car. The unit commander then reported from Popovaca by telephone that when he had to retreat, he had killed all persons who were in the open because he had no chance to distinguish between the loyal population and the partisans. He himself said that he killed about 100 persons in this incident."
Now I want to put in some documents from the victims of some of these atrocities, first from the Yugoslav Delegation, the Document D-945.
Witness, you appreciate that the Prinz Eugen Division was a division of the Waffen-SS, do you not?
[There was no response.]
THE PRESIDENT: Witness, did you hear that question?
MAJOR JONES: Witness, I asked you.
HAUSER: Yes, this division belonged to the Waffen-SS.
MAJOR JONES: The Document D-945, My Lord, will be Ex-hibit GB-554. It is an extract from a report to the Yugoslav State Commission for ascertaining the crimes of the occupiers and their accomplices. I want to read the second and third paragraphs:
"In accordance with the order of the commander of the 118th German Division, an SS battalion of the Prinz Eugen Division and a battalion of the Teufel Division under the command of the German Lieutenant Colonel Dietsche, carried out on 27 March 1944 and on the following days a 'purge action' from Sinj in the direction of..."various villages whose names are set out.
"On 28 March this SS battalion overran the villages of Otok Cornji, Ruda, and Dolac Dolnji one after the other and car-ried out horrible massacres, destructions by fire and looting. Those beasts murdered on a single day in the three above-named Dalmatian villages 834 people-besides grown-up men, also women and children-set on fire 500 houses and looted everything there was to be looted. They removed rings, watches, and other valuables from dead bodies. The mass slaughter was carried out in all the villages in the same horrible manner. The German soldiers gathered women, children, and men in one place and then opened fire on the crowd with machine guns, threw bombs at them, looted their property, and burned the bodies. In the House Milano-vic-Trapo 45 burned bodies were found. In another house in the same village of Otok 22 unburned corpses were found in a pile. In the village of Ruda they collected all the people in one place and killed all of them. Those who hap-pened not to be collected were killed when they were found. Not even the smallest babies at their mothers' breasts were spared. In some places the victims were soaked in petrol and set on fire. They also killed those who offered them hos-pitality out of fear. They also killed those people who were forced to follow them to carry their ammunition and other things. According to the evidence of reliable witnesses, the massacres were prepared beforehand, and this all the more so as the above-mentioned villages gave no reason whatsoever previous to the 'purge action' for any kind of reprisals..."
That report is signed by the President of the State Commission, Dr. Dusan Nedeljkovic, university professor.
Then the Document D-940, which will be Exhibit GB-555, which is another extract from the Yugoslav State Commission report signed by the same President of the State Commission, Dr. Dusan Nedeljkovic, on the crimes of the 7th SS Division, Prinz Eugen, in reads:
"The various German divisions operating in the area of occupied Yugoslavia marked their path by traces of devasta-.9
tion and annihilation of the peaceful population-traces which will testify to the criminal character of the German conduct of the war for many years to come. The operations of the German divisions were in reality punitive expeditions. They destroyed and burned down whole villages and ex-terminated the civil population in a barbarous manner, without any military necessity whatsoever.
"The 7th SS Division, Prinz, Eugen, is famed for its cruelty." Then I go on to the next paragraph:
"Wherever it passed-through Serbia, through Bosnia and Herzegovina, through Lika and Banija or through Dalmatia -everywhere it left behind scenes of conflagration and dev-astation and the bodies of innocent men, women, and children who had been burned in the houses.
"At the end of May 1943 the Prinz Eugen Division came to Montenegro to the area of Niksic in order to take part in the fifth enemy offensive in conjunction with the Italian troops. This offensive was called 'Action Black' by the German occupying forces. Proceeding from Herzegovina, parts of the division fell upon the peaceful villages of the Niksic district.
"Immediately after its invasion, this formation, opening fire with all its arms, commenced to commit outrageous crimes on the peaceful villages for no reason at all. Everything they came across they burned down, murdered, and pillaged. The officers and men of the SS Division Prinz Eugen committed crimes of an outrageous cruelty on this occasion. The vic-tims were shot, slaughtered, and tortured, or burned to death in burning houses. Where a victim was found not in his house but on the road or in the fields some distance away, he was murdered and burned there. Infants with their mothers, pregnant women, and frail old people were also murdered. In short, every civilian met with by these troops in these villages was murdered. In many cases whole families who, not expecting such treatment or lacking the time for escape, had remained quietly in their homes, were anni-hilated and murdered. Mole families were thrown into burning houses in many cases and thus burned.
"It has been established from the investigations entered upon that 121 persons, mostly women, and including 30 persons aged 60-92 years and 29 children of ages ranging from 6 months to 14 years, were executed on this occasion in the horrible manner narrated above.
"The villages.. ."and then follows the list of the villages- "were burned down and razed to the ground."
Then it accounts for the destruction of furniture. Besides this the German soldiers drove all the cattle away from the villages and plundered jewels and money before burning these villages. Then over on the next page:
"For all of these most serious War Crimes those responsible besides the actual culprits-the members of the SS Division Prinz Eugen-are all superior and all subordinate com-manders as the persons issuing and transmitting the orders for murder and devastation.
"Among others the following war criminals are known: SS Gruppenfuehrer and Lieutenant General of the Waffen-SS Phleps; Divisional Commander, Major General of the Waffen-SS Von Oberkamp; Commander of the 13th Regiment, later Divisional Commander, Major General Schmidthuber; Com-mander of the 14th Regiment, later Divisional Commander, SS Standartenfuehrer Bachmann; SS Sturmbannfuehrer Dietsche; the Commander of the Italian 16th Regiment. .."-and then there follow the names of about another 10 high-ranking Ger-man SS regimental and other commanders.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, shouldn't you ask whether they are Waffen-SS?
MAJOR JONES: Those men, Witness, were members of the Waffen-SS, were they not? Just look at the names.
HAUSER: I know part of these names. They were leaders in the Waffen-SS.
MAJOR JONES: Let us take them in turn-Phleps, divisional commander?
MAJOR JON-ES: He was a lieutenant general like yourself; wasn't he one of your colleagues in the Waffen-SS?
MAJOR JONES: And, SS Major General of the Waffen-SS Karl Ritter von Oberkamp. He was an SS, was he not?
HAUSER: I know the next few names: Oberkamp, Schmidthuber, and Dietsche; the rest of the names I do not know.
MAJOR JONES: But you do not deny that they were officers -from the description of them, that they were officers in the Waffen-SS?
HAUSER: I would assume so, even though I do not know the origin of this report. These are most likely reports which were gained by hearsay and were put together somehow.
MAJOR JONES: I won't trouble you with the value of the reports as documents, Witness. That is a matter for the Tribunal.
Now I want you to listen to documents which I am putting in on behalf of the Polish Delegation, again relating to the SS. The first series of documents relates to the shooting of hostages on the command of SS functionaries and by SS men. The first is Docu-ment 4041-PS, which will be Exhibit GB-556, which consists of 31 posters for the years 1943 to 1944, signed by the Chief of the SS and Police in Warsaw, or in some cases by the Commander of the Security Police and of the SD for Warsaw, announcing the killing of hostages.
The Tribunal will see that in those grim records of murder there are listed varying numbers of the victims of the Nazi occupa-tion. In Poster Number 25, for instance, on Page 16, there is a list of 270 hostages shot; Poster 29, Page 20, there are 200 hostages shot; Poster 31, Page 26, there are 100 hostages. These SS shoot-ings were certainly not an original SS conception. I hand in the two documents, 4038-PS and 4039-PS which are ...
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Elwyn Jones, I think you should ask the witness whether---or put it to him, whether there is any connection between the Waffen-SS and this document.
MAJOR JONES: If Your Lordship please.
HAUSER: Unfortunately I have an English copy before me. I am not completely conversant with the English language and could not follow the question, but I gather that these are all measures which were taken in Warsaw. Just as in the case of the first document which dealt with the Warthegau, the Waffen-SS had nothing to do with Warsaw. These were definitely things ...
THE PRESIDENT: Wait until you are given the proper copy.
MAJOR JONES: I am not suggesting, naturally, My Lord, that all the documents I am putting in relate only to the Waffen-SS branch of the SS organization. The whole Prosecution's case on the SS is that there was a unity between the various sections of the SS.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but you should give him the opportunity of making his point if he 'wishes to.
MAJOR JONES: Yes, Your Lordship.
[Turning to the witness.] Have you had an opportunity of look-ing at those posters now, Witness?
HAUSER: I have seen that the signatures are only those of SS and Police Leaders, who had nothing to do with the Waffen-SS, as I have already stated earlier today.
The same applies to the incidents in the Warthegau where, in November of 1939, there were no units of the Waffen-SS. Docu-ments 3 and 4 are the only ones that apply to the Waffen-SS where they mention the Prinz Eugen SS Division. I cannot check the date on that since I have never been to the, Balkans.
THE PRESIDENT: Was the Teufel Division also Waffen-SS? Was it Keitel's division?
HAUSER: No. There never was a Teufel Division.
MAJOR JONES: You say there never was a Teufel Diirision in Yugoslavia?
HAUSER: Not in the Waffen-SS, no.
MAJOR JONES: I shall call some subsequent testimony with regard to that, My Lord, if the Tribunal would allow me, at a later stage, to cross-examine on the whole question of the unity of the SS. It would involve putting in old documents and I understand that there was a certain reluctance on the part of the Tribunal to permit me to do that; but I should be quite content to draw the Tribunal's attention ...
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Elwyn Jones, the Tribunal doesn't desire you not to cross-examine but only not to read out and put to the witness documents which have already been put in; you can put the facts which are in the document to the witness for the purpose of cross-examination.
MAJOR JONES: If Your Lordship please. Then at a later stage in my cross-examination I will return to that subject if the Tri-bunal permits me to do so. I should like to put these documents in first, if I may.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Elwyn Jones, I think what the Tribunal meant was that it did not want you to put long passages or short passages from documents which the witness has never seen and which ' are already in evidence but you may cross-examine the witness upon any document apart from that.
If Your Lordship please. Then I shall return to cross-examination on this general issue after I have put these documents in, if I may, My Lord.
I put in Documents 4038-PS'and 4039-PS, to be Exhibits GB-557 and 558, which show that the SS shootings in Warsaw were a con-tinuation of the practice of the civil power of the Government General from the period before March 1941. I need not trouble the witness with these documents.
Then the Document D-956, to be Exhibit GB-559, which is an official Polish report on German crimes in Poland. I only desire to draw the Tribunal's attention to an entry on Page 184 of that report relating to the shooting of hostages, which says that the approximate number of Poles killed in Warsaw from the beginning of the public executions until the insurrection, from 5 -October 1943 until 1 August 1944, was about 8,000, most of whom had been caught in manhunts in the Warsaw streets.
HERR PELCKMANN: Your Lordship, may I be permitted to make a reference to the method of procedure?
Mr. Jones said that he does not wish to submit to the witness the document which he is now submitting to the High Tribunal. I am of the opinion that a submission of documents is possible at this stage only in connection with the cross-examination; that is, for ascertaining whether the statements of the witness are credible or not. Otherwise, the Prosecution could introduce new incriminat-ing material without any connection. I should like to ask in that case to give the witness an opportunity to comment.
I MAJOR JONES: I have no objection at all, of course, to the witness seeing all the documents. I was only, in the interest of time, referring to one sentence in this document which the witness heard interpreted, and I should have thought that was sufficient; but by all means I should let the witness see all the documents.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, the Tribunal has already ruled that these documents can be put in in this way, and Mr. Elwyn Jones is referring to specific passages in the documents and you have the opportunity of re-examination and you have a copy of the document, and you can put any question you like upon the docu-ment when you come to re-examine.
MAJOR JONES: I next present some documents relating to atrocities committed by the SS in connection with the destruction of Warsaw. First. is the Document 4042-PS, which will be Exhibit GB-560, which consists of three affidavits from another official Polish report entitled The German Crime in Warsaw in 1944.
1 The first affidavit is by the witness Alexandra Kreczkiewicz, who states that:
"In August, I lived at.... The SS men ordered me to move into a house across the" road. Our house as well as the house next door was set on fire. In August we were informed that we would fare badly and would be shot . Several hundred persons were assembled in our house; on 4 August at 11 o'clock, the Germans sur-rounded the house and gave us the order to evacuate the apartments. We heard some shots at the entrance, which started an awful crying of children and women. Several persons were killed and wounded. The Germans drove us into a potato field and ordered us to lie down; there could be no question of escape as we were closely guarded. A few minutes later we were ordered to get up and we were driven under a bridge which was nearby. To the question of one of the women as to where we were being taken to, we got the answer: German women and children are perishing by your fault; therefore, all of you must perish.' We were lined up and a group of 70 people was separated from us and ordered to go behind the bridge on the hill; the rest, including myself, were assembled' near a wall behind a barbed wire fence. From different points nearby we heard shots; the victims of the Germans were dying. We were huddled together and I was on the outer edge of the crowd. At a distance of 5 meters, one of the executioners very quietly loaded his machine gun; another one was preparing his camera to take pictures of the executions. Several Germans were guarding us; we -heard several shots, noises, groans. I fell down wounded and lost consciousness. After a while I came back to my senses and I heard how they were finishing off the wounded. I did not move and I simulated death; they left one of the Germans on guard and the rest of them went away. The executioners set fire to the huts and the houses in the neighborhood. I was scorched by the heat and almost suffocated by the smoke and my dress was smouldering. The German was still on guard, so quietly I tried to smother the flames on me."
Then she describes how she ran to a cellar and she says ...
THE PRESIDENT: This is a woman, is it?
MAJOR JONES: This is a woman. At the end:
"The group of people shot in my presence numbered some 500 persons, of whom no more than three or four managed to escape. All the executioners were SS men."
The next is an affidavit from the witness Bronislav Dylak, who describes the SS atrocities in a hospital in Warsaw:
"Very badly wounded in the stomach I was hospitalized in the field hospital, Dluga Street 7. On 7 September 1944 the Germans ordered the nurses and those of the inmates who were able to walk to abandon the hospital leaving behind the heavily wounded.
"I was in this latter group and we stayed in the ward situated in the cellar. In the whole hospital there were still a few hundred sick and heavily wounded who could not leave the hospital. Shortly after the nurses had left the hospital in the evening the German SS arrived; shooting started. First those who, with a superhuman effort, left their beds and dragged themselves to the doors and the staircases to get out and save themselves were immediately killed by the Germans. Two murderers burst into our ward. One had a candle in his hand-it was already dark. The other, with a pistol, shot and killed the men lying in beds, while shout-ing 'bandits.'
"Together with a few of the inmates of our ward, I was miraculously saved because the passage to our beds was obstructed by other beds. Our hall had been partitioned in two wards; I was in the second and smaller room, the entrance to which was obstructed. In the first room all were killed; the second ward was saved by a pure miracle, maybe because somebody was calling the murderers away. We heard many shots from the other wards. The execution went on throughout the hospital.
"Later on, the Germans checked whether everybody was dead. My comrade lying next to me stained himself with blood on his chest and head in order to simulate death. One of the Germans, speaking Ukrainian, went about among the killed and struck them in their faces with his gun. It was a terrible night. A hand grenade, thrown through the window into our ward ripped my friend's belly. Finally the building was set on fire. The fire spread very quickly; those who tried to escape were killed. A woman in our ward succeeded in pushing aside inflammable stuff near the entrance, thereby preventing our ward from catching fire. All other wards, as well as the staircase, were on fire; the smoke, the smell of burning corpses, indescribable thirst.. ."-And then the last sentence-"Thus, out of several hundred heavily wounded at the hospital in Dluga Street 7, only a few score were left alive."
And the third affidavit is by Maria Bukowska, who states that:
"On 7 August 1944, by order of the SS, the inhabitants of the whole district had to abandon their houses, which were immediately set on fire. There were several thousands of us who were driven and pushed about by the SS. All who fell down, as well as anyone who tried to help them, were beaten."-And further on in the statement-"We are march-ing on; there is shooting once more. A car full of SS men approaches and officers get out. They inspect our column and take away three young, pretty girls, the two sisters N.
and another girl, unknown to me. The car drives off, the girls cry out, trying to defend themselves against molesta-tions of the SS officers. An old woman has fallen; she cannot go on any more. An SS officer shoots her in the neck."-And then at the last-"In the church at Wola the rest of our belongings are taken away from us. All the young girls, sometimes no more than 12-14 years of age, are left behind, while the older ones, with the children, are led to the western station and then by railway to Pruszkow."
Those were crimes of the SS, were they not, Witness?
HAUSER: That was not the Waffen-SS. They are always only a group of men who belonged to Himmler and who had nothing whatsoever to do with the fighting troops. We never fought at Warsaw.
MAJOR JONES: Are you denying that the Waffen-SS took part in the destruction of Warsaw?
HAUSER: I have not been there and therefore I cannot make any comments. But to my knowledge, there was no fighting there; it was a riot which was quelled, as several witnesses have testified.
MAJOR JONES: It was a revolt-and then the mass exter-mination by the SS troops; that's what happened in Warsaw, wasn't it?
HAUSER: The Waffen-SS participated only to a very small extent because the Waffen-SS was in combat.
MAJOR JONES: Next, I put in the Document D-954, to be Exhibit GB-561, which are depositions by Professor Tomkiewicz of the University of Warsaw and Dr. Lorentz, Director of the National Museum in Warsaw, on the looting and deliberate piece-meal destruction of Warsaw by German formations, including SS men. I attempt to summarize the documents.
The next, Document 2233(dd)-PS, is a further extract from the diary of the Defendant Frank showing the co-operation between the SS and the civil power in the course of this murderous event.
THE PRESIDENT: What is the reference?
MAJOR JONES: 2233(dd)-PS, My Lord, Exhibit GB-562. That is an entry from the diary of the Defendant Frank from 16 Octo-ber 1944:
"The Governor General received SS Oberfuehrer Dirlewanger and SS Untersturnifuehrer Ammann in the presence of SS Sturmbannfuehrer Pfaffenroth. SS Oberfuehrer Dirlewanger reports to the Governor General on the employment of his combat group in Warsaw. The Governor General thanks SS Oberfuehrer Dirlewanger and expresses to him his ap-preciation for the excellent employment of his combat group in the fighting in Warsaw.... Lunch on the occasion of the presence of SS Oberfuehrer Dirlewanger."
Now, Dirlewanger was the commander of the units operating in Warsaw, was he not?
THE PRESIDENT: Can you offer any evidence as to what units these officers were commanding?
MAJOR JONES: I am just going to put it to the witness, My Lord.
[Turning to the witness.] Dirlewanger was the commander of the units operating in Warsaw, was he not?
HAUSER: Dirlewanger was the commander of a ' picked troop of men from the concentration camps. He had no connection with the Waffen-SS. I did not meet him personally, nor his troops, so I can give no further testimony from my own knowledge.
MAJOR JONES: Were the officers of his units SS officers?
HAUSER: I cannot give you information as to that... for I do not know these units.
MAJOR JONES: I shall be producing further documentary evidence on this issue at a later stage, My Lord.
Now I want to put in an affidavit dealing with the participation of the SS in the extermination of the Jews, and this part will be specific evidence as to the 'participation of the Waffen-SS. The first is Document D-939, Exhibit GB-563. That is an affidavit by Izrael Eizenberg, and he states:
"I lived in Lublin and from there I was sent to Maidanek in the beginning of 1942. However, as a prisoner I continued to work for the Germans, who employed me as an expert for electro-mechanical jobs in the various SS buildings and SS offices in Lublin. I worked as an electro-mechanic in the palace building of the SS and Police Leader Globocznik and in the headquarters of the SS in Lublin, Warsaw Street 21. The Waffen-SS were also there. On the outer wall the notice 'Waffen-SS' could be seen and on the pass which I received at the entrance, the words 'Waffen-SS' were also marked. I knew all the officers, for instance, Oberschar-fuehrer Riedel, Rottenfuehrer Mohrwinkel, Unterscharfuehrer Schramm and so on. I know that' the leaders of the Waffen-SS, as well as the regiment of the Waffen-SS-whose seat was in the same building where I worked -participated directly in all the expulsions of the Jews from the district of Lublin. During these expulsions thousands of persons were killed on the spot and the rest sent away for extermination. I myself have seen how, in the winter of 1941, the Waffen-SS of 21 Warsaw Street participated in the deportation of several hundred Jews to Maidanek, whereby several persons were killed on the spot. At that time my father was also deported because of his long beard, as this action mainly concerned Jews with beards. I know that Rottenfuehrer Mohrwinkel directed this action and was promoted to the rank of Untersturmfuehrer in appreciation of his work. I worked for the Waffen-SS until November 1942, that is, until I was transported to Radom. They par-ticipated the whole time in all the crimes of the SS in Lublin and in the district. I wish to point out that these SS men 'kept their horses in the stables on the airdrome where there was a notice, 'Mounted Regiment Waffen-SS."'
Then the next document is D-953, which will be Exhibit GB-564.
THE PRESIDENT: I think you should give the witness an opportunity to speak about this document if he prefers.
MAJOR JONES: If Your Lordship wishes.
Witness, you heard me reading out of that last affidavit of Izrael Eizenberg. You see that he alleges that the Waffen-SS participated directly in the collection of Jewish people for extermination and he refers to the Mounted Regiment of the Waffen-SS-that was in the Lublin district engaged in- these operations. These were men of the Waffen-SS, weren't they?
HAUSER: The names that were read2off were not the names of officers. They are names of Rottenfuehrer and Scharfuehrer. Of course, I do not know the names of every man in a unit. I have no proof that they were members of the Waffen-SS. In 1942 the front lines were not in Lublin but were quite a bit further to the east. Perhaps they were replacement troops. The name "Mounted Unit" was mentioned once, and that was a replacement troop of A mounted brigade about which I cannot give you further par-ticulars.
MAJOR JONES: Are you merely seeking to distinguish between Waffen-SS that were engaged in action on the lines and SS units engaged in other activities on the rear? Don't you think ...
HAUSER: Normally only troops of replacement units can be used behind the lines because the other units were constantly at the front.
MAJOR JONES: This affidavit establishes perfectly clearly that these were SS troops, does it not? What other troops could they be?
HAUSER: Riders of the Waffen-SS could have been men of an Einsatzgruppe who had a task behind the lines.
MAJOR JONES: You mean they were masquerading under the name of the Waffen-SS units?
HAUSER: That is not probable.
MAJOR JONES: I want you to turn to another document which might assist you in this matter, Document D-953, which will be Exhibit GB-566. The last is GB-565. I beg your pardon, Your Lordship, but this will be Exhibit GB-565. This is an affidavit by David Wajnapel:
"A few weeks after the entry of the German troops, into Radom, Police and SS arrived. Conditions became immedi-ately worse. The house in the Zeromskist, where their head-quarters were, became a menace to the entire population. People who were passing this street were dragged into the gateway and ill-treated by merciless beatings and by the staging of sadistic games. All SS officers as well as the men took part in this. Being a physician, I often had the oppor-tunity to give medical help to seriously injured victims of the SS.
"After a short time the SS uniform became a menace to the population. I myself was beaten up until I bled by four SS men in the street in spite of my doctor's' armlet. Later on two ghettos were established in Radom. In August 1942 the so-called 'deportation' took place. The ghettos were sur-round
ed by many SS units who occupied all -the street exits, People were driven out to the streets, and those who ran away were fired at. Sick people at home or in hospitals were shot on the spot, among others also the inmates of the hos-pital where I was working as a doctor. The total number of people killed amounted to about 4,000. About 3,000 people were spared and the rest-about 20,000 people-were sent to Treblinka. The whole action was directed and executed by the SS. I myself saw that the SS staff were on the spot forming groups and issuing orders. In the streets and in the houses SS men ill-treated and killed people without wait-ing for orders.
"After the 'deportation' the remaining people were crowded into a few narrow lanes and we came under the exclusive rule of the SS and became the private property of the SS who used to hire us out for payment to various firms. I know that these payments were credited to a special SS account at the Radom Bank Emisyjny. We had to deal with SS men only. Executions carried out by the SS in the ghetto itself were a frequent occurrence. On 14 January 1943 another 'depor-tation' to Treblinka took place. On 21 March 1943 there took place throughout the whole district the so-called action against the intelligentsia, which action, as far as I know, was decided upon at an SS and Police Leaders' meeting in Radom. In Radom alone about 200 people were shot at that time; among others, my parents, my brother and his 9 month-old child met their deaths.
"On 9 November of the same year all Jewish children up to 12 years of age as well as the old and sick were gathered from Radom and from camps situated near Radom and shot in the Biala Street in Radom. SS officers as well as SS men participated in this.
"From March 1943 on I stayed 18 months in Blizyn Camp. The camp was entirely under the SS and the Radom Police Chief's control. Its commander was Untersturinfuehrer Paul Nell. The guards were composed of SS privates and non-commissioned officers. The foremen were Waffen-SS men who had been wounded at the front. They all behaved in an inhuman manner by beating and ill-treating us. Shootings of people were frequent occurrences. Originally, sentences were passed by the SS and Police Leaders, later on by the camp commander. The SS men were certainly well-informed about the bloody deeds which were committed by the SS in Poland, in particular they told me personally about mass murders of Jews in Maidanek (in November 1943). This incident is an open secret. It was common knowledge among the civil population as well as among the lowest-ranking SS men. When the camp was taken over by the Maidanek Concentration Camp new guards were sent to our camp, but there was no difference between them and the previous ones. In July 1944 the whole camp, including myself, was sent to the Auschwitz Camp, which could be entered only by SS men. The conditions of this camp are well known. I escaped during the evacuation of the camp into Germany. On the way, the SS escort machine-gunned exhausted pris-oners and later on, near Rybnik, the rest of the marching column. Several hundred people were killed at that time."
Now, Witness, throughout that affidavit the participation of the SS troops is underlined. Do you deny the SS participated in the murders of Jewish people in view of af4davits like that?
HAUSER: The Police and SS were specifically mentioned in this document and there is no Waffen-SS in places where the Police worked with the SD. I have emphasized several times in connection with the camps which have been named that they had nothing in common with the SS except, most unfortunately, the name.
Of all the examples cited by the Prosecution's attorney I must admit only that the Prinz Eugen Division and the mounted units of Warsaw are members of the Waffen-SS. Beyond that, I cannot tell anything on the basis of my own experiences.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you read the last paragraph to him?
MAJOR JONES: The last paragraph may help you on this:
"I emphasize that during the few years of war, due to being a Jew and a doctor, I met a great number of SS men from the Waffen-SS as well as of other formations and of various ranks, but I must state that I noticed no difference between them as far as their inhuman attitude toward the civilian population was concerned."
The Waffen-SS was always the cause for any of these police actions against the local population. That was its function on the whole, certainly.
HAUSER: No, the Waffen-SS was incorporated into the Army.
MAJOR JONES: Did you ever, on this particular point, see Hitler's directive about the future of the SS?
HAUSER: I did not understand your question.
MAJOR JONES: Did you ever see Hitler's directive?
HAUSER: I am not familiar with the directives by Hitler regard-ing the future of the SS.
MAJOR JONES: Yes. In that directive, which is, I think, familiar to the Tribunal-it is Document D-665, Exhibit GB-280-Hitler points out that the function of the Waffen-SS is to be the spearhead of Nazism, to be used as an agent for effective action against resistance at home and against opposition in foreign countries. Did you not see those instructions of Hitler's on the role of the Waffen-SS?
HAUSER: Is that perhaps a directive sent by Hitler to the military offices dealing with the future of the Waffen-SS after the war?
MAJOR JONES: That was a directive of 1941, which was dis-tributed to regimental units and was made available to the Waffen-SS. I have not got the document available at the moment. Do you say you never heard of that?
HAUSER: No, I know of only one order, which was an oral one and which contained the measures and intentions with regard to the organization after the war; a directive which went to the various Army units only.
THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps this would be a convenient time to break off.
[A recess was taken.]
MAJOR JONES: If Your Lordship please, I want to make a slight correction of the exact numbers of these documents.
The Document D-953 was put in twice as GB-564 and 565. D-953 will be Exhibit GB-564 and the next, Document D-955, will be Exhibit GB-565.
THE PRESIDENT: The last document you mentioned will be what-564i 565? You mentioned some other document after that.
MAJOR JONES: The next, Document D-955, which I am jus putting in, will be Exhibit GB-565. This is a final affidavit from Jewish merchant, Mojzesz Goldberg, and it reads:
"1) On 23 June 1941 1 was called up into the Soviet Army in Lemberg. In the middle of July I was taken prisoner by the Germans. At a locality 5 kilometers from Podwoloczysk the SS companies sought the Jews out of the whole mass of prisoners and shot them on the spot. I remained alive as they did not recognize me as a Jew. I stress the fact that it was the Waffen-SS who did this.
"2) After my captivity was ended, I lived in Radom and worked from June 1942 to July 1944 for the Waffen-SS at 3 places: the SS Veterinary Reinforcement Detachment, Ko-scinski Street; the Garrison Administration of the Waffen-SS, Planty 11; and the Building Directorate of the Waffen-SS, Slowacki Street 27. As I worked so long for the SS, I know the names and faces of all the officers and NCO's of the above-named detachments of the Waffen-SS very well. At the head of the SS Veterinary Reinforcement Detachment were Sturmbannfuehrer Dr. Held and Hauptsturmfuehrer Schreiner; at the head of the Garrison Administration there was Ober-sturmfuehrer Grabau (at present in Dachau Camp) and at the head of the Building Directorate, Oberscharfuehrer Seiler. All the persons mentioned took a direct part, together with their companies, in carrying out the expulsions in Radom on 5, 16, and 17 August 1942, during which some thousands of people were shot on the spot. I know that the SS Veterinary Rein-forcement companies went to the provincial towns to carry out the 'expulsions' of Jews. I heard individual soldiers boasting about the number of Jews they had killed. I know from their own stories that these same companies participated in the actions against Polish partisans and also set the sur-rounding Polish villages on fire."
Witness, do you still say that the Waffen-SS had no part in the atrocities that were committed in Poland?
HAUSER: It is my impression that this document is not credible. How could units of veterinary companies participate in such measures? I cannot say more than that because'I do not know the particular units.
MAJOR JONES: It is a document, by a man who worked for 2 years for the Waffen-SS, who knew them personally, who spoke to them. He is a man of 36 years who suffered at their hands and he has mentioned in detail whatever the Waffen-SS units are concerned with. Do you still say that the Waffen-SS had no part in these matters?
HAUSER: These are units in the rear, which apparently did not belong to the Waffen-SS. I cannot say more than that.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you know the names of any of the officers who are mentioned in this letter?
THE PRESIDENT: Have you ever been in Radom?
THE PRESIDENT: Do you know whether there were Waffen-SS at any of these places named in this affidavit?
HAUSER: I did not understand, Your Lordship.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you know whether there were Waffen-SS headquarters of units at any of the places named in that affidavit?
HAUSER: The units which were mentioned cannot, to my knowl-edge, have been stationed there; nor any headquarters, either.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, the person making the affidavit states the units which were quartered at particular places in Radom, and what I was asking was whether you knew what units were stationed at those places?
HAUSER: No, that I cannot say.
MAJOR JONES: Witness, you have said that the Waffen-SS units respected international law and committed no atrocities in the field.
With your permission, My Lord, I am now proposing to hand in a summary of the charges submitted to the United Nations War Crimes Commission by the national commissions of the various countries which suffered at the hands of the Waffen-SS. In addition to this summary, I can hand in certified true copies of the charges themselves which set out the facts of the incidents that are com-plained of. I submit that such charges and such summaries have probative value. It is true that the charges themselves have not yet resulted in trials and that the culprits named have not themselves been tried. The reasons for that are manifold, but I do submit that these summaries of charges have probative value and I invite the Court's ruling with regard to them.
THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps you can tell us a little bit more about the nature of the documents you are seeking to put in evidence?
MAJOR JONES: The documents I am seeking to put in evidence set out, under the names of the various Waffen-SS divisions, the unit involved, the date of the commission of the offense complained of, the place, the nature of the incident itself, and the source of the information. They are from the files of the United Nations War Crimes Commission, or a SHAEF Court of Inquiry which put the matter up to the United Nations War Crimes Commission.
THE PRESIDENT: As to the witness, it is only a reference. It does not contain the evidence or summary of the evidence, does it?
MAJOR JONES: It contains the summary of the evidence. The certified charges which I shall hand in to the Tribunal contain much fuller details than the summary itself I intend to use on the witness There is no objection to Your Lordship's looking at one of them.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Elwyn Jones, are you submitting the reports under Article 21 in any way?
MAJOR JONES: That is my submission, My Lord. They are official reports submitted by the national authorities to the United Nations War Crimes Commission and they embody evidence of wit-nesses and are reduced into summary reports formed as charges.
If Your Lordship would care to look at one of the charges as an illustration without prejudice to the question whether the Tribunal would admit the document or not, it might be helpful. If Your Lordship please, my learned friend Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe is in a position to list the arrangement of the United Nations War Crimes Commission with regard to these charges, and it might be helpful if Sir David would indicate the machinery to the Tribunal. ,
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, one might commence with Article 21, that says:
"It"-the Tribunal-"shall also take judicial notice of official governmental documents and reports of the United Nations, including the acts and documents of the committees set up in the various Allied countries for the investigation of war crimes..."
My Lord, the procedure which was set up was that the United Nations War Crimes Commission, under the chairmanship, first of Lord Findlay and then of Lord Wright, would gather the material, examine it, and send it back to the respective prosecuting nation. The procedure was that the national office sent a report to the United Nations War Crimes Commission who then considered it and sent it back to the authority in the various countries that dealt with the prosecution of the crimes.
My Lord, what is being put forward at the moment is a synopsis of the report sent by various countries to the United Nations War Crimes Commission, in the form of the suggested charges that should be brought and a summary of the supporting evidence. These are available and authenticated, and the document which we should like to use, for the convenience of the Tribunal, is a synopsis of these charges, showing the unit, the date, the place, the incident, and the source, including the United Nations War Crimes Commission's files.
THE PRESIDENT: But, Sir David, as I understand what you said, these documents, of which this is a summary, would come for-ward to the United Nations War Crimes Commission for some action by them, for some form of approval, after which they would send them back to the countries concerned and they would be sent to a Tribunal for the purpose of trying those individuals for whom the United Nations War Crimes Commission approved the trial. This is a summary of charges which has not been approved by the United Nations War Crimes Commission.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: They may or may not. It is the earlier stage of a report of the United Nations War Crimes Com-mission. Each of the United Nations had its national office for inves-tigating and reporting on War Crimes. That was an essential step the national office had-first of all, to collect the evidence, put forward the charge, and put forward that report to the United Nations War Crimes Commission. It then came back with an approval or a comment of the United Nations War Crimes Com-mission to the prosecuting authority of the various countries.
If, My Lord, simply for the sake of clarification, I can give my own example when I was in the charge of this: The British national office was in charge of Sir Thomas Barnes, the Treasury Solicitor, who collected the reports from the various committees of inquiries. He sent these forward to the United Nations War Crimes Com-mission. They made their comment. It then came back to me and I decided whether there would be a prosecution or not. My Lord, I am putting this forward as an authenticated report of the United Nations. It is the committee which each country established in order to collect the evidence and to forward that evidence to the United Nations body. My Lord, what we are now submitting is the fact that each of the United Nations, by an authoritative committee, collected the evidence, summarized the evidence, and put it forward, which in its form does ipso facto give it probative value.
THE PRESIDENT; You say, don't you, that it falls exactly within the words of the third-last line of Article 21. It says, in the following words: "... documents of the committees set up in the various Allied countries for the investigation of war crimes..."
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That is so, yes.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to look at the docu-ment and see just exactly what is its make-up. Do you have an original document?
SIR DAVID MAXWEL
L-FYFE: My Lord, this is one which is certified by Colonel Ledingham, the Secretary General of the United Nations War Crimes Commission. My Lord, here is one which has been accepted by the United Nations War Crimes Commission, as many of them have.
THE PRESIDENT: We have looked at the document. Now, before the Tribunal adjourns for the purpose of considering this matter, they would hear anything further you wish to say, Sir David.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, I would call your attention to the number, of course, that had reached the stage of being approved by the United Nations War Crimes Commission. That would be necessary to my argument.
THE PRESIDENT: What you are asking is that you wish to make use of the summary which you have?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I want to make that comment.
THE PRESIDENT: The approval of the decision rests with the national authority?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: When I was the Attorney General, it rested with me. I understand the same procedure is in effect in other countries where it rests with the national authority.
[Herr Pelckmann approached the lectern.]
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Pelckmann.
HERR PELCKMANN: Whether the evidence which is now before the Prosecution is in the appropriate form and whether as a report from Allied Governments or from the United Nations War Crimes Commission it can be used according to Article 21 is something which I cannot personally judge. I leave that confidently. in the hands of the Tribunal. What appears important to me is that accord-ing to Article 21 the High Tribunal can take cognizance of these things-but, in my opinion, only during the Prosecution's presenta-tion of evidence. We are now in the middle of submitting evidence for the Defense, and if the Prosecution are making these reports the subject of their cross-examination, then there does not seem to be any objection to that, according to rules of procedure. But a mere judicial notice by the Tribunal, without making- these reports the subject of cross-examination, I deem inadmissible if the witnesses for the SS who are being called now have to comment on these documents.
THE PRESIDENT: Isn't that really a matter for the Tribunal to decide? It is a matter of whether the documents should be put in now when the witness can comment on them. Whether it comes under Article 21 is a matter to be decided; that is a matter of law.
Whether it should be put in now or after seems to be a matter entirely for the Tribunal.
HERR PELCKMANN: I considered it important to say that if the High Tribunal accept these reports as evidence under Article 21, then, as I see it, I can only assume that the presentation of evidence by the Prosecution has been completed in order to put it before the witness. If the documents are put to the witness, I would consider it fair if, in view of the extraordinary bulk of the documents, the Defense would be given ample time to prepare for examination on these documents. That would take at least two days. The use of these documents by the Tribunal, even if it were for official notice only, without examining the witness about them, is, I think, not permissible, since the presentation of evidence by the Prosecution has been completed and-this would mean an inadmissible extension of the material for one side and a limitation for the Defense.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider what you say. The Tribunal will adjourn.
[A recess was taken.]
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal does not in any way accept Dr. Pelckmann's submission that it is inconvenient or unfair to the Defense that documents should be put in at this stage. It considers that in all the circumstances of the case and having regard to the late stage at which the Trial has arrived, and having regard to the nature of the document which is offered in evidence by the Prose-cution, the Tribunal ought not to admit the document now.
MAJOR JONES: Witness, with what division of the Waffen-SS did you serve during the course of the war?
HAUSER: For two years I led the 2d Division, and later ...
MAJOR JONES: Just one moment. What was it called? Mat was its name?
HAUSER: The division later was called "Das Reich"; formerly it had the name "VD Division." From the beginning of 1942 to 1944, the 2d SS Panzer Corps; from 1944 on I was in the Army again.
MAJOR JONES: I don't want to leave the Reich Division for a moment. During what period were you serving with the Reich Division?
HAUSER: I did not understand exactly.
MAJOR JONES: In what periods were you serving with the Reich Division? From what date?
HAUSER: Beginning with its setting up in the autumn of 1939 until I was wounded a second time in October 1941.
MAJOR JONES: You did not return to serve with that division at all?
HAUSER: I did not serve with that division later on because I was then commanding general and commander-in-chief of an army.
MAJOR JONES: So that the Reich Division was the only division you served with in the field as a divisional commander, was it?
HAUSER: No, there were others there after me who commanded.
MAJOR JONES: But the Das Reich was the only division which you commanded personally during the course of the war?
HAUSER: During the time when I was divisional commander I was the only commander of this division.
MAJOR JONES: Did you command any other Waffen-SS division apart from Das Reich?
HAUSER: There were two and later three divisions which belonged to my Panzer Corps.
MAJOR JONES: What were those divisions?
HAUSER: First of all there was the 1st Division, the Leibstan-darte; then the 2d Division, Das Reich; and the 3d, the "Totenkopf" Division. Later, in 1944, the 9th and 10th Divisions belonged to it.
MAJOR JONES: What were the names of these divisions?
HAUSER: The names were Hohenstaufen, Götz von Berlichingerf -I beg your pardon, Frundsberg.
MAJOR JONES: During what period was the Leibstandarte Division under your command?
HAUSER: The Leibstandarte was under my command from the beginning of 1943, about the end of January, until the beginning of August.
MAJOR JONES: From January 1943 to August 1943?
MAJOR JONES: You were in command of that division when it was fighting near Kharkov-you were in command of the corps, rather, in which the Leibstandarte Division was, when it was fight-ing near Kharkov in the spring of 19,43, weren't you?
HAUSER: The division was under my command during the fighting around Kharkov.
MAJOR JONES: Have you any knowledge of the fact that Staro-verovka, the town, was burned by the 2d Regiment of the Leibstandarte Division?
HAUSER: No, I know nothing of that.
MAJOR JONES: And that that regiment also burned down Stanitchnoye?
HAUSER: No, that I do not know.
MAJOR JONES: And that it burned down Yefrenovka, murder-ing the civilian population, in the spring of 1943, near Kharkov?
HAUSER: I do not know that and I cannot believe it either, because the fighting at that time did not give enough time for tasks other than military tasks.
MAJOR JONES: Fighting did not give your troops time to burn down villages as they went through-are you saying that? That was one of the outstanding characteristics of your form of warfare on the Eastern Front, wasn't it?
HAUSER: No, I deny that. The conception of "scorched earth" was not created by us. If villages went up in flames during the fighting, that is often unavoidable. I do not believe that the villages were set on fire intentionally because it was in the interest of the operations we were carrying out that these villages be retaken.
MAJOR JONES: It was because of incidents like those burnings that Himmler was telling the officers of your three SS divisions of the terrible reputation they had created, wasn't it? Those were typical instances of your forms of warfare on the Eastern Front, weren't they?
HAUSER: No, Heinrich Himmler did not say anything about that in that speech. He mentioned the terror, which I personally rejected.
MAJOR JONES: The Reich Division, when was that under your command?
HAUSER: The Reich Division was under my command at the same time, from the end of January 1943 until August of the same year.
MAJOR JONES: Did you command it subsequently. at all, as corps commander or army commander?
HAUSER: Only afterward, when I was commanding an army, did the division come under my command again, in Normandy.
MAJOR JONES: Did you receive any reports of the numerous murders and burnings of villages that the Das Reich Division was responsible for in France in the month of June 1944?
HAUSER: I know from the Indictment the accusation. that in southern France, during the fight against the De Gaulle army, there was fighting during which villages had been set on fire. At that time the division was not yet under my command. I was still in the East. I learned of these events only here during my captivity.
MAJOR JONES: I am referring not to villages burned during action, but villages burned as punitive measures by units of your Waffen-SS division. Did you never hear reports of those incidents?
HAUSER: I have heard of this one case in southern France only here in the Indictment.
MAJOR JONES: In June 1944, for instance, the Panzer Grenadier Regiment 3 burned the village of St. Germain-de-Belair. You know nothing of that?
HAUSER: No, at the moment I do not know.
MAJOR JONES: And Oradour-sur-Glane? It was the Reich Division that was responsible for that atrocity, wasn't it, when 793 men, women, and children were deliberately murdered? You never heard of the atrocities of Oradour-sur-Glane performed by the Reich Division when it was a component part of your corps?
HAUSER: I have heard this name and the accusation here, during my captivity, from the Indictment. Before that I had no knowledge of it. It apparently concerns an individual company belonging to that division, which was put into action through local orders of the field Kommandantur.
MAJOR JONES: The Panzer Grenadier Regiment, was that not under your command?
HAUSER: No, at that time it was not yet under my command because I only returned to France from the East at the end of June.
MAJOR JONES: That was characteristic use of the units of Waffen-SS for these terror purposes then, was it not-the very point I have been putting to you for many minutes through this cross--examination?
HAUSER: I have repeatedly expressed that it was not a typical characteristic of this division.
MAJOR JONES: The Death's-Head Division, when did you com-mand that?
HAUSER: The Death's-Head Division, too, was under my com-mand at the same time, from the end of January 1943 until August 1943.
. MAJOR JONES: Did you know that the 1st Regiment, the 7th Com-pany of a detachment belonging to the Totenkopf Division, had in Warsaw murdered about 45,000 Jewish men, women, and children? Didn't you hear of that?
HAUSER: In what year was that supposed to have happened?
MAJOR JONES: In the year 1943, when you were commanding the corps to which this division belonged, the Totenkopf Division, with the great tradition of murders in concentration camps.
HAUSER: The division as such came under my command not during the fighting at Warsaw but at Kharkov. That is apparently again a confusion between the men and the guard units of the con-centration camps.
MAJOR JONES: Did you know that the 1st Regiment, the 7th Company of the Totenkopf Division, had shot 40 Russian prisoners of war near Kharkov in August 1943, for instance?
HAUSER: No; in August 1943 the Totenkopf Division was no longer near Kharkov. It was further south at the Mius River.
MAJOR JONES: Would that be a convenient time to adjourn? I have only a few more questions to put to this witness.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
MAJOR JONES: Witness, did you know that the Prinz Eugen Division had been responsible for the massacre at Lidice in June 1942?
HAUSER: I did not understand the name of the place.
MAJOR JONES: It is a very famous place, Lidice, L-i-d-i-c-e.
HAUSER: No, I already left the division in the year 1941 and had nothing to do with it after that time. I heard nothing about this.
MAJOR JONES: Did you hear the name today for the first time?
HAUSER: Yes, I rather think so.
MAJOR JONES: Oh, the whole world knows of the massacre of Lidice. Are you saying seriously to the Court you never heard of it? You have admitted that the Prinz Eugen Division was an SS division, have you not?
MAJOR JONES: I want you to look at Document D-944, to be Exhibit GB-566, because you have said that units of the Waffen-SS did not set fire to villages or commit atrocities against the inhabitants. This is a statement from the Yugoslav comn-Assion for ascertaining war crimes, taken from a member of the SS, Leander Holtzer; and he declares:
"In August 1943 the 23rd Company under the command of company leader Untersturmbannfuehrer Schuh set fire to a village on the railway line Jablanica-Prozor by order of the battalion commander, Obersturmbannfuehrer Wagner. The inhabitants of the village were shot in the meantime.
"In August 1943, on the orders of the same person, the 23rd Company set fire to a village on the railway line Niksic-Avtovac; and the inhabitants of the village were shot. The order for the shooting came from Jablanica and the villages were 'burned down already in the morning. The shootings in Pancevo were carried out by the police agent Gross, former master dyer, and Brunn, a former master miller from the SS Division Prinz Eugen, from Pancevo. The latter received a reward of 20,000 dinars for the hangings at the cemetery."
Did you know members of the Waffen-SS were from time to time employed for hanging prisoners?
HAUSER: It is striking that this company was called the 23rd. We had no numbering of this sort. Besides, I cannot tell you any-thing about it since I never commanded this division. The Prinz Eugen Division included many racial Germans from the Balkans; and the first commander, Fritsch, also was a "Volksdeutscher." I believe that the war in the Balkans bore, on both sides, a different aspect from that found elsewhere.
MAJOR JONES: Now, finally, I want to deal with the unity of the SS organization. I suggest to you that the Waffen-SS, the Allgemeine SS, the SD, and the Police branches of the SS formed one great unit of the Nazi State. Do you agree with that?
HAUSER: No. I stated again and again that this apparent unity did not exist; that we had no connection with the Allgemeine SS nor with the SD, but were independent under the command of the Army. Only small details of the Waffen-SS were assigned to tasks in the rear areas under the command of the Higher SS and Police Leader. And that seems also to have applied hi Warsaw, where the rear formations of the cavalry brigade ...
MAJOR JONES: For the purposes of discipline and promotion, the Waffen-SS came under Himmler, did it not?
HAUSER: Only in juridical matters. In the first instance the divisional commander had the jurisdiction, but sentences beyond a fixed maximum were subject to Himmler's confirmation.
MAJOR JONES: Listen to what the leader of the SS, Himmler, says about the unity of his own organization, this armed SS. This is when he was addressing the officers of the SS Leibstandarte of Adolf Hitler:
"This Waffen-SS will live only if our entire SS lives, if the entire corps is actually an order which lives according to its inherent laws and realizes that one part cannot exist without the other. One cannot imagine you without the Allgemeine SS; and the latter cannot be imagined without you. The Police is not to be imagined without the SS, nor can we be imagined without the executive of the State, which is in our hands."
That is an extract from Document 1918-PS.
Then he said again in 1943:
"It must be so and it must so come about that this SS organi-zation with all its branches, the Allgemeine SS, which is the common, basis of all of them, the Waffen-SS, and the Order
Police, the Sipo, with the whole economic administration, schooling, ideological tra
ining, the whole question of kindred, is one bloc, one body, one organization, even under the tenth Reichsfuehrer SS."
That is from Document 1919-PS. Is not that a true picture of the SS?
HAUSER: He does not say it was so, he says it must be so and it should be so, because he knew that unity did not exist.
MAJOR JONES: Then finally I want to put to you Hitler's ideas about the Waffen-SS. This is Document D-665, Exhibit GB-280, which I referred to this morning.
THE PRESIDENT: You didn't give us the number for that docu-ment which you said took place in 1943.
MAJOR JONES: That is the famous 1919-PS, My Lord, Exhibit USA-170.
[Turning to the witness.] These are Hitler's ideas on the Waffen--SS. He says that the Greater German Reich in its final form would not include within its structure anything but national entities who are right from the beginning well-disposed toward the Reich:
"It is therefore necessary to maintain beyond the core of the Reich a State military police capable of representing and im-posing the authority of the Reich at home in any situation."
Then he goes on:
"Having returned home in the ranks of the Army after having proved their worth in the field, the units of the Waffen-SS will have the authority to execute their tasks as 'State Police'..."
That again is a picture of the unity of the SS by the leader of the Nazi State. Are you saying that he was wrong and that you were right in this matter?
HAUSER: No, those are his ideas for the future, ideas which had not yet been realized, but which he intended to have realized after the war.
MAJOR JONES: I have no further questions.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Mr. President, I would like to put only a very few questions to this witness, as supplement to the detailed cross-examination which was conducted by my honorable British colleague. I am submitting to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR-520 the report ...
THE PRESIDENT: Have you fresh matters to go into or fresh documents to put in?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I have a few fresh documents which I would like to submit, and in connection therewith I have a few questions to put to the witness-only three or four questions.
I am submitting to the Tribunal as Document USSR-520 a sum-marized statement of the Yugoslav State Commission, which deals especially with the actions of the SS Mountain Division Prinz Eugen. Mr. Elwyn Jones has already quoted documents referring to this division. This is a very explicit document.
I would like the witness to pay attention to Pages 3, 4, and 5 of the document; that is a list of the persons annihilated during one single action. These are not only the names of single persons but the names of the families which were killed by this division. Now I would like the witness to follow me while I am reading two para-graphs from this voluminous document. I quote Page 5 of the Russian text:
"After the murder had been carried out, these SS troops went in the direction of the villages of Srijane, Bisko, Gornji-Dolec, and Putisic in order to continue there mass murder and arson..."
THE PRESIDENT: Can you tell us which page it is in the English?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Page 6, Mr. President, Page 6. It is the fourth paragraph from the end -of the document, from the -last paragraph. May I continue?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: "After the murder had been carried out, these SS troops went in the direction of the villages of Srijane, Bisko, Gornji-Dolec, and Putisic in order to continue there mass murder and arson. All the cattle they found in the burned-down villages they took with them.
"The entire series of these crimes, which were committed in March 1944 in the district of Split, stands out distinctly be-cause it is the climax of a brutal cynicism, which till now was unknown in the history of criminality. The criminals locked up women and children in stables filled with hay and straw, delivered speeches to them, and thereafter burned them alive."
I am asking you, Witness, are not these heinous crimes against humanity in sharp contradiction to your description of the Waffen-SS?
HAUSER: Of both these paragraphs I can only say that Split is situated in the Balkans. More than that, I do not know. I do not know which units are meant here. I cannot comment on the docu-ment at all.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I want to submit to you another document, a statement by one of your old acquaintances. I think you will remember the name, August Schmidthuber. Do you remem-ber the name of this general?
HAUSER: Yes, I know that name.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Maybe you will recall that he commanded a battalion of the Division Das Reich in the period when you were the commander of that division.
HAUSER: He was in the division before I commanded it, and that is why I remember him, but later on he served in the Balkans for a long time.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I would like to quote only one sentence from the statement of this major general of the Waffen-SS. You will be shown this passage at once; I submitted the original to the Tribunal. Please listen to this paragraph, Page 3 of the Russian text:
"A war correspondent told me that the commander of my 1st battalion, Kasserer, had a large number of citizens locked up in a church in Krivaya Rekà" - I emphasize "in a church" - "and then ordered the church to be blown up. I do not know how many persons perished."
Do you consider this action as a very serious crime against humanity or not?
HAUSER: This appears to be hearsay evidence; it is not the testimony of an eye witness.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: No, this is the statement of a division commander, who speaks about the official report of a war correspondent. It is the report of a general of the Waffen-SS, a firsthand statement and not hearsay.
HAUSER: But this is the statement of a war correspondent who is supposed to have heard it from a battalion commander. But I cannot comment on this, because I was not there and this division was never under my command.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Well, perhaps you can comment on another document. I would like to show you Document USSR-513. Did I understand you correctly yesterday when you asserted that the SS troops did not murder hostages?
HAUSER: Yes, and moreover I think I said that the divisions which were-under my command did not even take hostages.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I will read three sentences only of a proclamation by SS Sturmbannfuehrer Breimeier, who was commanding a battalion of the Prinz Eugen Division. Please follow me:
"On 3 November 1943, around 2000 hours, a German soldier on the Velika Street in Sinj was ambushed and killed. Since, despite all efforts, the culprit has not been found and the population has not supported us in this matter, 24 civilians will be shot and one hanged. The sentence will be carriedout on 5 November 1943 at 0530 hours." --Signed-- "Breimeier, SS Sturmbannfuehrer and Battalion Commander."
I omit what follows; it is of no importance. Is this not a typical example of hostage shooting carried out by the Waffen-SS?
HAUSER: I hear the name Breimeier for the first time. I do not know whether he held a court-martial beforehand. If this account here is correct, then he was not entitled to do this.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Very well. Perhaps I will succeed in convincing you by photographic evidence-Photograph Number 7, with the two heads cut off.
With the permission of the Tribunal I will read a brief extract from the report of the State Commission of Yugoslavia. The original, which we have certified, will be submitted to the Tribunal. It is now being submitted to the witness. Will you listen under what conditions these persons were beheaded:
"On 9 June 1944 and on the following days the SS troops from Trieste committed atrocities and crimes against the Slovene population in the Slovene coastal area, as we have already stated above..."
I omit the next two sentences, which are cumulative.
"On that day Hitler's criminals captured two soldiers of the Yugoslav Liberation Army and the Slovene partisan battal-ions. They brought them to Razorie, where they mutilated their faces with bayonets, put out their eyes and then asked them if they could see their comrade Tito now. Thereupon they called the peasants together and beheaded the two vic-tims before Sedefs house. They-then placed the heads on a table. Later, after a battle, the photographs were found on a fallen German. From this it can be seen that they confirm the above-described incident, namely the crime of bloodthirsty German executioners in Razorie."
Do you not consider these acts typical crimes against humanity?
HAUSER: If they were perpetrated by men of the Waffen-SS, they would be crimes, but that is not proved here, and moreover the deeds of only one of 35 divisions in the Balkans would then be generalized as typical of the whole corps of the Waffen-SS.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Then I will show you an original German document, which is Document USSR-133 and which is a letter of information from the German High Command to the Italian High Command. I will quote only two sentences. You stated yester-day that the Waffen-SS did not kill prisoners. Did I understand you correctly?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMMNOV: I will then ask you to listen to two sentences quoted from a German document. First, at the beginning of the page:
"The western group of the SS division is near Ripac in front of barricades, which are being removed."
I omit two sentences, and continue:
"As a result of the successful engagement, 23 dead and 34 wounded and more than 100 enemy dead have been counted, 47 prisoners shot"-please pay attention to these three words-"47 prisoners shot, and 363 provisionally appre-hended."
Do you not think that when a letter of information from one command to another officially mentions executions of prisoners of war, these proceedings practiced by the Waffen-SS are very cruel indeed?
HAUSER: This is the report of a first lieutenant on crimes which an SS detachment is supposed to have committed-without giving details of the unit to which this detachment belonged. I cannot comment on this.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I believe that the number of 47 soldiers shot is concrete evidence. Are you of a different opinion?
HAUSER: I have no proof that men of the Waffen-SS did this.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Then please answer a few other questions. Do you know where the 3rd SS Tank Corps was engaged in the territory of the U.S.S.R?
HAUSER: The 3rd Tank Corps? The 3rd? Is that a corps, a Panzer corps? I believe it was used in the southern sector.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: No, it was engaged in Estonia. Do you know General Steiner?
HAUSER: Yes, the commanding general was General Steiner.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Do you know where the Toten-kopf Division was engaged?
HAUSER: Yes, we discussed that today already.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: It was engaged at Demyansk, Pavlovsk, and other districts of the Novgorod region, is that not right?
HAUSER: Did you say Demyansk? Did I hear that correctly?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes.
HAUSER: Yes, one division was there.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: That division was commanded by Major General Eicke, is that not right?
HAUSER: Eicke? Eicke; yes, indeed.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Do you know where the Adolf Hitler Division was engaged?
HAUSER: Do you mean at the time when the Totenkopf Division was at Demyansk? I believe it was also in the southern sector at Demyansk-I believe that was in 1942 or 1941.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Quite right. This division was commanded by General Simon, is that not right?
HAUSER: Simon was the successor of Eicke, yes. That is the same division.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: All right. Then will you tell me, when did Obergruppenfuehrer Dietrich command the Adolf Hitler Division? Was that later?
HAUSER: No, he was in command until the summer of 1943.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Do you know where the 134th SS Division was engaged?
HAUSER: We did not have such high numbers.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: And the 97th SS Division, Golden Idly?
HAUSER: That did not exist, either. We had at the most 35 to 40 divisions ...
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: But the Golden Lily was an SS division. Is that right?
HAUSER: I hear that name for the first time. What is the name?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Golden Lily.
HAUSER: No, that is entirely new to me.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: And, the Storm Brigade Lange-marek-did you ever hear of that name or nGt?
HAUSER: There was a Battalion Langemarck which must also have been a part of the 3rd German Panzer Corps.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Do you know Stunubannfi.1hrer Sehling?
HAUSER: I did not understand the name.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Sehling.
HAUSER: No. No, I do not know him.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: And do you know Lieutenant General Lueneberg?
HAUSER: Lingeberg, yes.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: No, Lueneberg.
HAUSER: Oh yes; he was the commander of the SS Police Division.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Quite right, it is the name of an SS Police Leader.
HAUSER: Yes, General Lueneberg was the commanding officer of the SS Police Division.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: That is correct. Thank you.
Mr. President, I am submitting to the Tribunal a document of the Extraordinary State Commission about the activities of the Waffen--SS troops against the civilian population and prisoners of war in the occupied territories. This report was compiled on the basis of evidence which had been submitted by the Extraordinary State Commission. It is signed by the responsible secretary of the Extraor-dinary State Commission, Bogoiavlensky, and is sealed. This report might aid the Tribunal in its examination of the material already submitted by the Extraordinary State Commission.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you, Colonel Smirnov, the original of this document?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: May I see it?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov, have you put in yet the report of the Extraordinary Commission?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President. A series of reports by the Extraordinary State Commission has been submitted, reports about the Estonian S.S.R., about Kiev, Kharkov, et cetera. This document is a summary of the material which has already been submitted.
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smimov, does this document consist of extracts from the Extraordinary Commission's report?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: No, Mr. President. Strictly speaking, it is only a detailed list of the various military units engaged in different regions of the U.S.S.R. They are not extracts from the report of the Extraordinary State Commission, but a list of separate units or SS detachments engaged in the different areas. Mostly these are the facts which serve as evidence in judging individual units. They are all mentioned in the reports of the Extraordinary State Commission which we have already put in.
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov, I think the Tribunal appre-ciates that you have done this for the convenience of the Tribunal, that this document has been prepared for the convenience of the Tribunal, but the Tribunal thinks they had better refer only to the report of the Extraordinary Commission itself which has already been offered in evidence.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President. I have no further questions to put to the witness.
THE PRESIDENT: Witness, what unit were you commanding at the time war against Russia broke out?
HAUSER: At the beginning of the campaign against Russia I was commander of the Division Das Reich.
THE PRESIDENT: Das Reich? Where was that division stationed
at the outbreak of the war?
HAUSER: It was in action in the middle sector of the Eastern Front.
THE PRESIDENT: The middle sector of the Eastern Front? Was it employed in the original attack upon the Soviet Union?
HAUSER: The attack was west of the Beresina, and south of Brest-Litovsk. However, the division was not deployed there, it was brought up later,
PRESIDENT: You mean it was not deployed there upon the first day?
HAUSER: No, it was brought up as a rear echelon unit.
THE PRESIDENT: How long after the attack opened?
HAUSER: Yes, several' divisions were drawn up at the pene-tration points, one behind the other, for the motorized divisions could advance on good roads only.
THE PRESIDENT: I asked how long after the attack opened was your division deployed?
HAUSER: Only 2 to 3 days after the outbreak of hostilities.
THE PRESIDENT: And are you telling the Tribunal that at that time or about that time you never heard of the order to kill commissars?
HAUSER: I have already testified that we did not receive this order regarding the commissars and that the division did not act according to it. I know only that later on we received an order for the "separation" of the commissars, and I have already stated that the troops had very little to do with this matter, since the com-missars were not recognized by the troops.
THE PRESIDENT: You say you did not receive the order. What I asked you was: Did you hear of the order?
HAUSER: When the second order arrived concerning the "separation," I believe I heard that a previous order had gone out, but that the High Command had not transmitted it to many offices.
THE PRESIDENT: This order to kill the commissars?
HAUSER: That first order, of which I spoke, we did not receive.
THE PRESIDENT: Now, when you received the second order, you said you had heard of the other order, and what I wanted to know is if the other order was the order to kill the commissars?
HAUSER: I did not quite understand the question.
THE PRESIDENT: You said you received a second order to separate the commissars, and at that time you heard of the first order. What was the first order?
HAUSER: I believe that I heard of the first order to kill the commissars, but only later, when the other order for the "separation!' had already come through.
THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire now.
HERR PELCKMANN: May I have another word, Your Honor?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly. I thought you were through.
HERR PELCKMANN: In the course of the cross-examination of this witness the British and the Russian Prosecution submitted, as far as I was able to judge, 20 to 30 completely new documents. Not all of these documents were used in the questioning of this witness.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, the purpose of re-examination is to ask questions and not to argue.
HERR PELCKMANN: I am not going to do that, Mr. President. I shall not put any questions dealing with these documents to which I shall return later. But the Prosecution did not put any questions either, and I am of the opinion that these documents cannot be used. One document is in the Polish language, and unfortunately I cannot read it and therefore cannot put questions on it. Witness, I should like to refer you, as an example, to a poster in a document in English, entitled German Crimes in Poland, and comprising 184 pages. Will you please read the poster and will you tell me what connec-tion it has with the Waffen-SS, and if possible tell the High Tribunal the page on which it is found.
HAUSER: This poster, after Page 184, contains an announcement of the SS and Police Leader. It is therefore an instrument of the Higher SS and Police Leader and, as I have stated repeatedly, has nothing whatever to do with the Waffen-SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: Now I am having submitted to you another document, Document 4039-PS, a document about which you were not questioned by the Prosecution. Please tell me what con-nection this document has with the Waffen-SS?
HAUSER: This is an announcement of the chief of the Warsaw district-that is an official subordinate to the Governor General which has no connection with the Waffen-SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: Is there nothing mentioned about the Waffen-SS in this document?
HAUSER: It says here only that the German Wehrmacht ...
HERR PELCKMANN: Please speak clearly. I was asking you whether the document contains anything at all about the Waffen-SS?
HAUSER: I am sorry I have to say "No." There is nothing about the Waffen-SS in this document.
HERR PELCKMANN: I should like further to show you Docu-ment 4038-PS. This document was also not submitted to you by the Prosecution. Please read it carefully and then tell me what connec-tion it has with the Waffen-SS.
THE PRESIDENT: What number is that?
HERR PELCKILANN: It is 4038-PS, Your Lordship.
HAUSER: This also' is an announcement by the chief of the Warsaw district who was subordinate to the Governor General and has no connection with the Waffen-SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: I should further like to submit Document D-954, or the figure might be 957, it is not quite clear. This is an interrogation of 27 May 1946 of the witness ...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, I think all these documents speak for themselves, and if they don't refer to the Waffen-SS, the Tribunal will take note of that fact.
HERR PELCKMANN: Yes, Mr. President. But then I should like to know just why these documents were submitted. May I respect-fully say that they are not relevant at all. As you suggest, Mr. Pres-ident, I shall not submit this document.
Can you judge, Witness, whether this book, D-956, which you had in your hands, contains anything at all about the Waffen-SS?
HAUSER: I looked at it only briefly, but I could not establish any connection.
HERR PELCKMANN: Thank you.
You were reminded, Witness, of the speech of Himinler at Kharkov. You said that Himmler's idea that terror had been of use to the troops was wrong. Did you -express your view about this to Himmler, and if so, in what way?
HAUSER: I made my view known to Himinler on the same day and, as is customary with military subordinates, I spoke to him alone.
HERR PELCKMANN: The SS Division Prinz Eugen was men-tioned. How many divisions of the Waffen-SS were there?
HAUSER: To my knowledge, there were more than 35 divisions. I believe there were even more, but they did not all exist at the same time. One of these divisions was the Division Prinz Eugen, of which I have already said that it contained many racial Germans in its ranks.
HERR PELCKMANN: Is it true that Serbs and Croats also served in this division?
HAUSER: I cannot give you any particulars on that point. We had several divisions in the Balkans which contained Croats, Mon-tenegrins, and Moslems.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do you know that the war - in the Balkans was waged with particular intensity on both sides, and were atrocities by the other side ever reported to you? I am not asking this to ascertain whether the other side committed atrocities; I am asking only to determine that on the basis of isolated atrocities, one cannot draw conclusions about a system of the enemy.
HAUSER: I had no personal insight into the campaign in the Balkans. But from history I know that even before the first World War such excesses did take place in the Balkans.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do you know through reports from the Eastern Front-and again I want to qualify the question to make my intention quite clear...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, the witness has already told us that he knows nothing about the war in the Balkans, and there-fore any questions you put to him will have no significance to us.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, do you understand that I am now asking you about the Eastern Front?
HAUSER: Yes, incidents of that type did take place. And reports -of them were collected at headquarters and were forwarded, I believe, through the OKH and, I think, by the Red Cross at Geneva; but I cannot give you particulars.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do you know that reports of that sort were collected?
HERR PELCKMANN: And would you conclude therefrom that the Red Army did things like that systematically?
HAUSER: You can hardly expect me to state whether these things were done systematically or not.
GEN. RUDENKO: Mr. President, I would like to make the fol-lowing brief statement. The Defense has in the course of the pro-ceedings tried more than once on the basis of inventions published in Fascist White Books to draw attention to, atrocities committed by the opponent. This practice has already been categorically rejected by the Tribunal and I therefore consider that the question now put by the defendant's counsel is also inadmissible.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, the Tribunal considers that you have no right to ask this witness for his opinion about these matters. You must confine yourself to asking him questions as to facts, and what he knows about facts. And you can make any argu-ment about those facts that you like when you come to make your argument.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, in order to clarify the meaning of my previous question, I should like to ask you this: If you could now see the deeds which allegedly on the basis of these documents were committed by the SS, would you, nevertheless, say that these things were not representative of a system but were isolated in-cidents arising out of the severity of the battle, and caused partly by the lack of discipline on the part of certain foreign elements, incidents which for these reasons could happen everywhere?
THE PRESIDENT: You should not begin by asking the witness for his opinion. He has already given it to us, you know; he has already said, when he was being cross-examined About those incidents in which the Waffen-SS took part, that they were indi-vidual instances. He has already said that.
HERR PELCKMANN: [Turning to the witness.] You have seen the document which says that hostages were shot and a Yugoslav was hanged. If you had received knowledge of a case like that among your troops, would you have taken any steps?
HAUSER: A case like that falls in the first instance under the jurisdiction of the divisional commander as the judicial authority. If I, as the commanding general, would have received reports like that, I would have taken steps, and I would have appointed a military court to deal with the case. And that indeed is what happened several times.
HERR PELCKMANN: You were asked about the case of Oradour in France. Do you know whether your units, that is, when they were under your command, participated in this crime?
HAUSER: I know this incident only from the Indictment, and I have no further knowledge of it. Apparently, it %-as a criminal act of a single company leader. It took place at an earlier date. If it- had been brought to my knowledge and if the division commander had been subordinate to me, I would have given Him the order to appoint a military court to try the case.
HERR PELCKMANN: Your unit was used in Normandy; is that correct?
HAUSER: Yes, but Oradour is not in Normandy.
HERR PELCKMANN: It is in southern France? Was your unit, while it was under your command, responsible for it?
HAUSER: No, neither the unit nor I.
HERR PELCKMANN: The Prosecution has confronted you with quotations from Document 1919-PS, Exhibit USA-170.
[Turning to the Tribunal.] I should be very grateful if this docu-ment could be put at my disposal so that I could show it to the witness. I think that without seeing the whole of the document, the witness cannot give a comprehensive reply.
[A document was handed to Herr Pelckmann.]
[Turning to the witness.] This is the order given by Himmler or by Hitler about the future tasks of the SS. I cannot show it to you, because it is in English. But I shall quote the following from this document:
"The Greater German Reich in its final form will not within its boundaries contain only racial units which are from the beginning well-disposed to the Reich. But in our Reich of the future, police troops will be in possession of the necessary authority only if..."
Please describe this order, on the basis of what you know of it, and tell us to what, and to what period of time these statements actually refer.
HAUSER: I know this order only through oral information. It was transmitted to the military commands apparently in order to assuage their misgivings about the growth of the Waffen-SS. The order refers only to the future. It speaks of the Greater German Reich as the Reich of the future. But naturally what in particular Hitler meant by this is beyond my knowledge.
HERR PELCKMANN: This directive seems to indicate that the Waffen-SS was to receive police tasks in the future. Was that the basic principle of the Waffen-SS during the war?
HAUSER: No. I must deny that. Perhaps Hitler at the time thought of something like the military boundary which used to exist in Austria; the men worked there, and in emergencies formed the border defense unit.
HERR PELCKMANN: In your questioning by the Russian pros-ecutor, one particular unit was mentioned from a list of alleged crimes committed by Waffen-SS units, and you were asked whether you knew the commander, General Steiner. You answered "yes" to that question?
HERR PELCKMANN: I want to read an affidavit, one of the affidavits which I shall submit later on. This is Affidavit Number SS-1, which shows what strict views this Lieutenant General Steiner had on the discipline of his troops. I quote from the middle of this affidavit:
"Our attention had been called to an alleged spy."-says Walter Kalweit, who signed the affidavit-"We tried to open the door of the neighboring house, but were unsuccessful. Thereupon we broke a window, entered the house, and searched it thoroughly, without, however, finding a Soviet spy. Since we were forced to realize that we had made a mistake, we left the house by the way in which we had entered it, and regretted very much having broken a window pane.
"Two hours later, two Oberscharf-Uhrer of the field police force of the divisional staff 'Wiking' arrested us. On the way to the divisional court, we asked the policemen the reason for our arrest. They replied that the Ukrainian woman, owner of the house which we had searched, had complained to the divisional staff on account of the broken window pane, and that the commander of the division, General Steiner, had decreed an immediate strict investigation of this case before the divisional court, and Ernst Gugl and I were interrogated singly by a judge holding the rank of Hauptsturmfuehrer.
"The judge said to me that an order of the day of General Steiner had instructed members of the SS Division Wiking that it was their duty to behave decently toward the Ukrainian civilian population. My comrade Gugl and I had violated this order, since without permission or instruction we had forced our way into a Ukrainian home by destroying a window pane."
I omit a few sentences.
"After the case had thus been cleared up, the judicial officer drew up a record of the interrogation and charged me with taking it to General Steiner's orderly officer, Hauptsturm-fuehrer Von Schalburg, who commented on the report as follows-these were his words:
"'It is a good thing that your behavior was clean; otherwise you could have counted on severe punishment. General Steiner charged me with reporting to him personally the result of the investigation, and I am happy that I do not have to give him bad reports about his Wiking men ... Tell al.1 your comrades that the Wiking Division is fighting chivalrously and clean.' "
After hearing this example, Witness, can you confirm, first, that this was the basic attitude of General Steiner and of his troops, and second, that it was the basic attitude of the Waffen-SS, both at the front and in the rear zones.
HAUSER: Steiner was one of the first commanders who under my orders helped to build up the Verfuegungstruppe. I know he maintained strict discipline. Whether it was necessary to have judicial proceedings on account of a window pane may be doubtful. However this is the conception adopted by the old leaders of Ver-fuegungstruppe right from the beginning of the Waffen-SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: I am sorry, Mr. President, there are so many documents. I am just searching for a last one which I wanted to make the subject of my re-examination.
Of the numerous affidavits submitted by the British Prosecut
ion, one was deposed by Dr. Stanislaw Piotrowski on 29 July 1946 here in Nuremberg. May I request that this witness be called for cross--examination before the Tribunal? It is obvious that the witness is present here and no reason therefore exists why we should be satis-fied with an affidavit.
THE PRESIDENT: What is the number of the document?
HERR PELCKMANN: The number is D-939, Your Lordship.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, hadn't you better finish with the witness first and then make your motion afterwards, if you want to make a motion about cross-examination?
HERR PELCKMANN: I have no further questions to put to this witness, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.
HERR PELCKMANN: I am sorry, Mr. President, I made a mistake. It is not Dr. Piotrowski; it is Izrael Eizenberg. That is the name of the witness.
THE PRE91DENT: D-939, it is?
HERR PELCKMANN: Yes.
M. SERGE FUSTER (Assistant Prosecutor for the French Re-public): Mr. President, might I ask a question to make one point clear?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, it is very inconvenient to do it at this, late stage. Why didn't you do it before?
M. FUSTER: It is not very important, My Lord. I will with-draw it.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well. The Tribunal will adjourn now.
[A recess was taken.]
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Elwyn Jones, the Tribunal understands that the witness, who is ...
MAJOR JONES: Izrael Eizenberg.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Is he present in Nuremberg?
MAJOR JONES: He is now in Stuttgart, My Lord, and is avail--able to be called if the Tribunal thinks it is necessary.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Tribunal thinks, unless there is some particular objection, in view of the nature of the evidence, that possibly he -ought to be called for cross-examination.
MAJOR JONES: The Prosecution has no objection to make at all, provided that we have additional time to get the witness here.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, then will you have him brought here as soon as possible?
MAJOR JONES: Yes, Your Lordship.
HERR PELCKMANN: I shall now call the witness Reinecke.
[The witness Reinecke took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name, please?
GUNTHER REINECKE (Witness): Guenther Reinecke.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after tie-it is usual to hold your hand up when you are sworn. I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the truth-and will withhold and add nothing.
IThe witness repeated the oath.]
THE PRESIDENT: The witness may sit down.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, what positions did you hold in the SS?
REINECKE: I was an SS Oberfuehrer, chief of department in the Amt "SS Courts," and Chief Judge of the Supreme SS and Police Court.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you have legal training?
REINECKE: I had my legal training at the universities of Inns-bruck and Munich. In 1931 1 passed my first state examination and in 1934 1 passed the second state examination which entitled me to occupy the position of a judge. In 1933 1 became Doctor of Law at Munich.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you or the other SS judges have any special training at all in special schools?
REINECKE: Neither I nor the other SS judges had special training at special schools. The SS judges came from positions in the legal profession and were before the war high-ranking legal personalities, public prosecutors, or lawyers, or some of them were transferred during the war from courts of the Wehrmacht to courts of the SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you, on the strength of your activities, gain insight into the organization and the work of the units and groups which were headed lay Himmler, and which one generally describes as the SS?
REINECKE: Yes. For nearly 10 years I worked in the legal field of the SS. In that sphere I had to deal extensively with the develop-ment, the -organization, and the activity of the entire SS, the chief of which was Himm1er. From that angle I gained very considerable insight and from that angle I can give my testimony here.
HFJM PELCKMANN: According to the Prosecution, the SS infiltrated into the entire life of the State. In this connection, the Prosecution referred to the numerous offices and powerful positions which the so-called Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler occupied. Is it true that the actions of the Reichsfuehrer SS were, generally speaking, actions of the SS?
REINECKE: No. Heinrich Himmler united in himself a number of powerful positions in the Party and the State, and finally also in the Armed Forces. He was Reichsfuehrer SS, Chief of, the German Police, Reich Minister of the Interior...
HERR PELCKMANN: Please speak more slowly, Witness, these are difficult expressions.
REINECKE:... he was Reich Commissioner for the Preservation of German Nationality, Chief of the Replacements of the Armed Forces, Chief of the Prisoner-of-War Organization, and finally, commander-in-chief of two army groups. All these powerful positions had nothing to do with his post as Reichsf0d=er SS. His nomination to these positions of power followed on orders from above, due to his personality, but not to the fact that he was Reichs-Mhrer SS. There is no connection between the SS and these positions of power which Himmler held.
In particular, certain powerful positions which Himmler held are emphasized in the Indictment as indicating that the SS was acting through his person. These were his positions as Reichsfuehrer SS, Chief of the German Police, Reich Commissioner for the Preservation of German Nationality, and Chief of the Prisoner-of-War Organi-zation.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do the tasks involved in these four positions form part of the activities of the SS as an organization?
REINECKE: No. Activities of the SS as an organization are only those in which Himmler, in his capacity as Reichsfuehrer SS, is acting in connection with the SS. As Chief of the German Police he had been given a task which lay entirely in the sphere of the State. His position as Commissioner for the Preservation of German Na-tionality was entirely a matter of the Reich. And his position as Chief of the Prisoner-of-War Organization was entirely a duty of the Armed Forces.
HERR PELCKMANN: The wording of former German decrees which transferred these tasks to Himmler always referred to him as Reichsfuehrer SS. What was the reason for that?
REINECKE: That is correct. Reichsfuehrer SS was the first position held by Himmler at the beginning of his career. It is typical of the usage of language in the National Socialist Reich not to refer to a person by name but by title of his position. That usage can be found in numerous decrees, but it refers only to the person and not to the organizations with which the person's title may be connected. Many laws of economic-political content have references-to give an example-to Hermann Göring as Reich Marshal, but that did not mean that the German Air Force was active in an economic-political sphere.
HERR PELCKMANN: You have just mentioned organizations -plural of the SS. As you know, your testimony before the Com-mission is already in the hands of the Tribunal, and in that testimony you said that one had to distinguish between five different and independent spheres of activity which the Prosecution wrongly summarized under the heading of "SS"; they are: General SS, Mraffen-SS, SD, Police, and the concentration camp organization. What reasons do you offer for your statement that these were independent organizations? Will you start with the General SS?
REINECKE: The General SS was a formation of a political party and nothing else. It remained a formation of a political party until 1939, when it ceased to exist at the beginning of the war. At that time, 70 percent of the members of the General SS entered military service, mostly in the Wehrmacht, a smaller percentage in the Waffen-SS. But even the remaining 30 percent were nearly all drafted by the Wehrmacht in the course of the following war years, so that the General SS was practically disbanded during the war. At no time has the General SS been charged with duties of the State, and it was never active in the execution of such State duties. Its members were and remained civilians who only wore uniforms when on duty - namely, twice weekly, quite often on Sundays; their duty consisted of standing guard at Party meetings, of attending sports or training.
HERR PELCKMANN: It is alleged by the Prosecution that the General SS was the backbone of the entire SS, which latter consisted of the General SS, Waffen-SS, Police, and concentration camp service; is that correct?
REINECKE: No, that is not correct, and it is in contradiction to the historical development of the General SS. Nor was the General SS the reservoir from which the other organization which were mentioned drew their replacements. The General SS had either very loose or no connection at all to the other organizations named.
HERR PELCKMANN: Furthermore, the Prosecution stated that the General SS had not only infiltrated into the organizations of the State, but into the very machinery of the State; is that correct?
REINECKE: No, that again is not correct. It is correct-that is true-that high-ranking persons in the General SS -were promoted to positions in the State, for instance to the positions of presidents of police. It is also correct that such persons came to occupy eco-nomic positions, directors of industrial enterprises and so on. But all these appointments were connected with the individuals nominated, not with the organization.
Might I draw attention to the fact that particularly the positions of the police presidents were, during the first years after 1933, mostly not at all occupied by members of the SS, but by members of the SA. On the contrary, in the course of time a development in the opposite direction is to be noted, insofar as the General SS was infiltrated by persons and organizations completely alien to the character of the SS. Himmler appointed people in positions in the State and economy to be honorary members of the SS without their being connected with the SS in any way. In 1936, for instance, the so-called Kyff--häuserbund, a union of veterans, was taken over into the SS by Himmler, but it had never before at any time had anything to do with the SS and it never became an organic entity of the General SS. The same applied in 1938. In that year Himmler suddenly awarded honorary ranks both to the Order Police and to the Security Police; both were given uniforms of the SS though they were entirely separate organizations with tasks quite different from those of the General SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: Were these persons to whom Himmler awarded ranks in the General SS the so-called honorary leaders?
REINECKE: Yes, these were the honorary leaders of the SS to whom I referred just now.
HERR PELCKMANN: Was it characteristic of the honorary leaders that they never did duty in the SS?
REINECKE: Yes, you are quite right. Due to the fact that they already occupied some position of importance, these honorary leaders were awarded ranks and with them the right to wear the uniform. But they themselves had never done a single day's duty in the General SS and even after their nomination they would have no contact at all with the members of the SS. That is what was generally understood by the title "honorary leader of the SS."
HERR PELCKMANN: Would it be correct to include-to mention a few names-the Defendants Hess, Ribbentrop, Neurath, Sauckel among such honorary leaders who had no official duty in connection with the General SS?
REINECKE: All the persons whom you have mentioned were typical honorary leaders in the SS, as I have described them.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did they have the power to issue orders?
REINECKE: When they were appointed to be honorary leaders they received only the right to wear the uniform as I have said. Their nomination did not bestow on them the power to issue orders.
HERI~ PELCKMANN: Now I want to deal with the Waffen-SS. Can you give any information on the Waffen-SS?
REINECKE: The Waffen-SS, from the beginning, was a self-con-tained independent organization, which ' it remained until the end of the war. The Waffen-SS originated in the so-called Verfuegungs-truppe. They were still loosely connected with the General SS, for members of the General SS volunteering for service in the Ver-fuegungstruppe became recruits, of the Verfuegungstruppe. At the same time, the SS Verfuegungstruppe was joined by German citizens of other organizations of the Party and other German citizens who were not connected with the Party at all. During the later develop-ment the connection, which had always been very loose, disappeared entirely.
The Waffen-SS is an independent organization, which is also shown by the fact that, for example, members of the General SS and members of the Party who were serving in the Waffen-SS lost their membership in the General SS and in the Party for the period of service. It is typical of this independence that even the highest leader in the General SS did not by any means join the Waffen-SS with the same rank which he held in the General SS, but that in the Waffen-SS he was treated exactly as any other citizen; in other words, he had to begin as a recruit. The difference and the proof for my assertion that the Waffen-SS was an independent organization are also evident from the fact that in the case of civil proceedings against members of the General SS, the NSDAP would appear on their behalf, whereas in civil proceedings against members of the Waffen-SS organization the German Reich would prosecute.
HERR PELCKMANN: Was there any connection between the General SS and the Waffen-SS on one side and the SD on the other?
REINECKE: No; no connection whatever existed. The Security Service developed into an intelligence organization which became an independent organization not later than 1934; as such it had nothing whatsoever to do with the General SS and the Waffen-SS except that Himmler was their joint chief.
HERR PELCKMANN: What was the relationship between the Waffen-SS or the General SS and the Police?
REINECKE: I believe that this question must certainly exclude the Waffen-SS. TheWaffen-SS had a definitely military character and its activities were military; that is to say, it was at the front during the entire war. Therefore any connection to the Police could not possibly have been established. But even the General SS had no direct organizational contact with the Police. The Police was an instrument of the State and had state executive powers. The appointments, for example, of high-ranking officers of the General SS to the posts of Higher SS and Police Leader, again, do not point to any organic connection between the two organizations. The Higher SS and Police Leader had in that particular position no power to issue orders to the General SS unless he was at the same time the head of an Oberabschnitt of the General SS. On the other hand, he had no real power to issue orders to the Police either. Members of the Police have in fact, to stress the difference out-wardly also, never at any time worn SS uniform. Similar relations existed between the General SS and the Waffen-SS on one side and the Security Police on the other. As I have already stated, in 1938 the Security Police quite suddenly received ranks in the SS and the right to wear the SS uniform. That, however, does not indicate that there was any organizational connection to the General SS. The Security Police received state executive powers; the chief of the General SS, on the other hand, never had such executive powers. He could not order arrests or confiscations nor could he carry out any other executive function. It was noticeable that at the beginning of the war and during the war the Security Police, wearing SS
uniform, moved outwardly more and more into the foreground. This was the time when the members ...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, is it possible that this evidence could have been given at greater length before the Commission? Did you hear what I said?
HERR PELCKMANN: Yes, Mr-President.
THE PRESIDENT: Don't you think you cou
ld shorten it?
HERR PELCKMANN: Yes, Mr. President. The witness has already come to the end of that particular part of his testimony.
THE PRESIDENT: You have been asked over and over again to shorten the evidence and you seem to me to be making no effort to do it.
HERR PELCKMANN: I thought it necessary to clear up the question of the Higher SS and Police Leaders with particular care, because it is extremely intricate even for us Germans.
[Turning to the witness.] What was the connection in the occupied territories between the Higher SS and Police Leaders and the General SS?
REINECKE: There was absolutely no connection at all, because in the occupied territories the General SS did not even exist. The General SS was an institution for German citizens and for that reason it did not exist in the occupied territories. The Higher SS and Police Leaders in the occupied territories fulfilled police func-tions only; they had no connections or ties with the General SS and could not have had such connections for the reasons which I have described.
HERR PELCKMANN: Why did the General SS not exist in the occupied territories?
REINECKE: As I have just said, the General SS was a formation of a political party, in which only German citizens were accepted. For that reason the General SS could not exist in the occupied territories.
HERR PELCKMANN: Is it correct, then, to say that acts or even crimes of the Higher SS and Police Leaders in the occupied terri-tories could not incriminate the General SS at all?
REINECKE: That is- absolutely correct.
HERR PELCKMANN: I should now like to take up the discussion of a document. I gave you the document during the recess, Witness, and perhaps you would be good enough to state the number of it to the High Tribunal. It is the document which was put to the witness Von Eberstein yesterday.
REINECKE: It is Document 4024-PS, and is the correspondence between the Higher SS and Police Leader in the operational zone of the Adriatic,Coast, Globocznik, and Heinrich Himmler and Oswald Pohl.
HERR PELCKMANN: Is it possible for you to ascertain from the document in which capacity the author of these letters, Globocznik, was acting? Was he acting in his capacity as Higher SS and Police Leader in Trieste or-as far as I can remember-as Higher SS and Police Leader in Lublin?
REINECKE: The document shows quite clearly that Globocznik, in this case, was acting as SS and Police Leader in Lublin and not as Higher SS and Police Leader, Adriatic Coast. This is actually con-tained in the document itself. I myself know from my own activity that at the end of 1943 or at the beginning of 1944, Globocznik was relieved of his post as SS and Police Leader in Lublin and was given the post of Higher SS and Police Leader, Adriatic Coast. The date of the document therefore appears to be wrong. The date of the docu-ment is 5 January 1943, but that must be an error; it should read 1944, as the letterhead shows.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do the activities described by Globocznik in this document implicate the, General SS? That is to say, did Globocznik carry out the activities which he is describing in the capacity of leader of the General SS?
REINECKE: It is obvious from the document that Globocznik was acting in his capacity as SS and Police Leader, charged with a secret special task, the so-called "Aktion Reinhard." He is acting solely as police executive. An~ connection between this activity and the organization of the General SS or any of its members does not exist in any way.
HERR PELCKMANN: Are you drawing your conclusion that this was a special order directly from Himmler from the fact that the report is addressed to Himmler directly and not, as it should have been, to the Higher SS and Police Leader at Kraków, Krueger?
REINECKE: That is quite true, but it is also apparent from other passages in this correspondence. The expression "special task" is dearly used in the correspondence; furthermore, the correspondence is headed "secret" and it also mentions that only four copies of this in secret" matter are in existence and that the document sent by Globocznik to Himmler is the original.
HERR PELCKMANN: You are still reading from Document 4024-PS?
REINECKE: Yes, that is the document I am reading.
HERR PELCKMANN: Would you look to the top of Page 3? I think that indicates quite clearly who was dealing with those matters, and on whose authority Globocznik was acting.
REINECKE: Page 3 of this document shows that the Aktion Reinhard was divided into four parts: (a) resettlement, (b) use of labor, (c) use of materials, (d) seizure of hidden values and real estate. It also shows that Globocznik was communicating with Oswald Pohl personally, as well as with Himmler, on this matter. Pohl was chief of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office, which...
THE PRESIDENT: What is the point of all this evidence? We have the documents before us.
HERR PELCKMANN: This document was shown yesterday to the Higher SS and Police Leader in the Reich, Von Eberstein, in order to prove through Globocznik's action-and Globoczniles letterhead also reads "Higher SS and Police Leader," though he was active abroad-that the Higher SS and Police Leaders committed crimes, and further to prove that the General SS was also implicated in these crimes, because, according to the view of the Prosecution, which I am trying to prove wrong, the Higher SS and Police Leaders were simultaneously acting on behalf of the General SS. This witness Reinecke, since he was a high judge and thus able to have knowledge of the entire organization of the SS, is in a position to state whether this view, this assertion, of the Prosecution is correct ...
THE PRESIDENT: Surely he can say so then without going all this time on this document. If he wanted to say whether Globocznik was acting on behalf of the SS or was not, why does he not say so and get done with it?
HERR PELCKMANN: After seeing the document and judging it on the basis of your knowledge of the organization of the SS, would you say that Globocznik was acting on behalf of the Waffen-SS or on its order, or on behalf of the General SS or on its order?
REINECKE: The contents of the document show clearly that Globocznik was neither acting on behalf of the General SS or on its order nor on behalf of the Waffen-SS. The document shows clearly that it was a special task given to Globocznik by Himmler personally, a task which had nothing to do with either of these two organizations.
HERR PELCKMANN: Of the various groups which you men-tioned earlier, groups which are regarded by the Prosecution as a single organization, we have not yet dealt with the system of the concentration camps. How did the concentration camp system fit into the SS, and was there an organic tie between the concentration camp system and the SS?
REINECKE: An organic tie did not exist. The concentration camp system had a police character corresponding to its purpose. The organization of the concentration camp system was therefore a task of the Reich, and Himmler was entrusted with this task in 1933 or 1934. At that time he created a special organization for guarding the concentration camps, and this organization was known as the Totenkopfverbände (Death's-Head Units). This organization did not grow out of the General SS and never had any organic connection with it later. The first guards of the concentration camps were only to a very limited extent former members of the General SS. They also included members of the SA and of the other Party organizations, members of the Party, and people who belonged to no party, but who, due to the conditions of that time, were un-employed and looking for work and food and a new sphere of activity. From these initial stages the Totenkopfverbände developed independently, and its members were given training similar to that of the Police. In 1939 they joined the Waffen-SS organization, which was at that time being formed. The task of guarding concentration camps was then turned over ' mainly to men unfit for service at the front. A small number of members of the General SS who were unable to serve at the front, members of the SA, too, members of the Kyffhäuserbund, and finally thousands of members of the Armed Forces were then assigned to guard duty at the concentration camps.
HERR PELCKMANN: You said that in 1939 the Totenkopf-verbände joined the Waffen-SS. I shall have to ask you about this specially, because during the examination of the last witness, Toten-kopf "units" and Totenkopf "divisions" had obviously been confused. Will you please give the exact definition of these two categories. What is meant by them?
REINECKE: The Totenkopfverb5nde were the guard units in the concentration camps until the beginning of the war. At that time they were transferred to various parts of the Waffen-SS. The Totenkopf Division had nothing whatever to do with the Totenkopf-verbuende. The Totenkopf Division was a division of the Waffen-SS which was formed in the first years of the war and was used at the front as a complete division.
HERR PELCKMANN: You just said that the Totenkopfverbände were transferred to the Waffen-SS in 1939. Did they, after they were transferred to the Waffen-SS, still have something to do with the guarding of concentration camps?
REINECKI~: After their transfer to the Waffen-SS they had no longer anything to do with-the guarding of concentration camps; they were assigned to the various divisions of the Waffen-SS soldiers.
HERR PELCKMANN: It has been alleged by the Prosecutor that the unification of the SS as an organization was guaranteed by the establishment of a common command, and in that connection the Prosecution referred to the 12 head offices of the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police, depicted on the organizational chart which the Prosecution submitted. Were these 12 head offices leading organs of the SS?
REINECKE: No, they were not leading organs of the SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: In order to shorten the proceedings, I shall ask you now about the head offices and their connection with the SS. Were the -head offices of the Order Police and the Reich Security Main Office also the command post for the General SS or the Waffen-SS?
REINECKE: No. The head office "Order Police" was the head-quarters of the German Police, and the head office "Security Police" was the headquarters of the Security Police. Both were services of domestic administration, and were organically departments of the Ministry of the Interior. At no time did they have the authority to issue orders to the General SS or to the Waffen-SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: Was the head office of the Reich Commis-sioner for the Preservation of German Nationality and the so-called Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle an authority for the General SS or Waffen-SS?
REINECKE: No. Both of these head offices were authorities of the Reich and discharged only tasks of the Reich. Their members were civil servants and certainly not soldiers of the Waffen-SS or officials of any part of the General SS. Neither of these head offices had the authority to issue orders to the General SS or the Waffen-SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: In brief, were the remaining eight head offices command posts of the General SS or Waffen-SS?
REINECKE: Of the remaining eight head offices one must exclude two, namely the head office "Heissmeyer" and the head office "Personal Staff." The head office "Heissmeyer" had nothing at all to do with the SS, but was an office headed by Heissineyer and belonging to the Reich Ministry of Education. The head office "Personal Staff" was also not an authoritative office but the office of Himmler's adjutant, the collecting point of the various sections which were subordinate to Hinimler personally or which were carry-ing out his personal orders, but which had nothing to do with the organizations of the General SS and the Waffen-SS as such. These sections included, for example, the so-called "Lebensborn" society and the so-called "Ahnenerbe." The Reich medical officer Grawitz was also connected with this head office and carried out biological experiments, acting on Himmler's personal orders and without the co-operation of the organizations.
HERR PELCKMANN: Further details are, I think, unnecessary. I have one last question with regard to the organizations. Did the remaining six head offices represent a unified high command of the SS?
REINECKE: No, these six head offices were not a unified SS high command either. They were six departments working side by side with equal rights, and dealing with particular subjects; they were in a position to give orders but were not unified in the hands of a single person.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did not Himmler and his immediate staff represent a unified high command which as the central authority issuing orders would guarantee unified control and direction of the activities in the various fields of the head offices?
REINECKE: No, Himmler did not have such a staff. He himself interfered in the general direction of the whole SS only very rarely, and never in favor of unifying its command.
HERR PELCKMANN: Are not your statements here in con-tradiction to the writings and speeches of Himmler himself, for instance, in contradiction to his speech at Posen, in which he empha-sized the uniformity of the organization under his command?
REINECKE: No, these speeches do not contradict the testimony I have given. Himmler was undoubtedly speaking of unity in this speech, and he was certainly planning for such unity, but that unity was in no way a reality. Himmler's speeches are therefore to be regarded as containing only plans for the future. Instead of working more closely together, as Himmler had intended, these organizations, due to their varied tasks, steadily drifted away from each other. Himmler was aware of this fact as his speeches clearly show, and it was for that very reason that he took advantage of the occasion to explain to his chiefs and leaders his own views on the uniformity of the organization. Real organizational unity did not, in fact, exist at any time.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did this lack of unity also affect the juris-diction of the SS?
REINECKE: This was quite evident from the arrangements regarding jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of the SS did not apply at all to the General SS, but was created mainly for the Waffen-SS, and it also applied to the Police, because Himmler had declared the Police to be an active service -for the duration of the war. At the beginning of the war there were only a few Police units fighting at the front as military units, but as the war, particularly the air war, continued, the entire German Police was declared to be a special task force and therefore came under the jurisdiction of the SS.
The same applied to the Security Police. In their case Himmler also issued a decree, in 1940, stating that the entire Security Police were being considered as a special task force for the duration of the war. Consequently, the Security Police also came under the juris-diction of the SS legal department. But that the Reich Security Main Office and all its departments remained, organizationally, completely independent and without any connection at all to the General SS or Waffen-SS, is apparent from the fact that Himmler at the same time took the whole conduct of pretrial investigations, where members of the Reich Security Main Office were involved, out of the hands of the SS jurisdiction and transferred it to a special pretrial investigation department which was part of the Reich Security Main Office.
The outcome of this was that although legal proceedings against members of the Reich Security Main Office could still be carried out and sentences could be passed, even the SS jurisdiction was denied any insight into the matters of the Reich Security Main Office and thereby any control was impossible,
The members of the guard units of concentration camps came under the jurisdiction of the SS legal department, because at the beginning of the war they had nominally become members of the Waffen-SS, that is, for reasons of economy and supply and also for reasons of unifor
m control they were nominally attached to the Waffen-SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: Now you say, Witness, that the General SS did not at all come under the SS and Police jurisdiction. Then under whose jurisdiction were the members of the General SS?
REINECKE: The jurisdiction of the SS came into force in Octo-ber 1939, at a time when the General SS was already beginning to dissolve. Before that time the General SS came under, the jurisdic-tion of the German courts. Members of the General SS were, there-fore, prosecuted and sentenced by ordinary German criminal courts, and insofar as any members of the General -SS stayed at home, they continued to come under the jurisdiction of the German courts during the war, although the jurisdiction of the SS was already in existence.
HERR PELCKMANN: Then to make it quite clear, Witness, the General SS was in times of peace and of war under the jurisdiction of the ordinary German civil courts. Is that correct?
HERR PELCKMANN: The Prosecution has alleged that from the very beginning the SS was designed for illegal purposes, that from the very beginning it, acted illegally, and that no differences can be made between the various periods with which we are concerned. Does the development of the jurisdiction of the SS confirm this allegation in any way?
REINECKE: If an organization has criminal aims and pursues criminal activities, then logically the jurisdiction of such an organi-zation must, through its organization, its laws, and its activities, indicate that it covers such criminal aims and criminal activities. Precisely the reverse is the case. The SS, from the beginning of its formation, fought against crime on principle and at all costs, and it had a perfectly orderly administration of justice.
HERR PELCKMANN: How was the orderly administration of justice in the SS guaranteed?
REINECKE: By the so-called disciplinary law.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do. I understand correctly that members of the General SS came in the first place under the jurisdiction of the regular German civil courts?
REINECKE: Yes, I said so before.
HERR PELCKMANN: Then in spite of that, there was a dis-ciplinary procedure, that is to say, a certain type of jurisdiction applicable to the members of the General SS. Is that correct?
REINECKE: That is what I was just going to explain. This specific disciplinary law consisted in the right of exclusion which every civil society has. The law provided, on the principle of selection, that people who had been previously convicted could not enter the SS at all and that people who committed punishable acts while members of the SS had to leave the SS. This principle was the best method of selection, because it automatically prevented the perpetration of crime.
The legal training in the field of this disciplinary law and the application of the disciplinary law itself, in addition to the admin-istration of German law by the regular German courts, guaranteed that the SS would remain free of dubious elements. An agreement had been reached between the Reich Ministry of Justice and the Reich leadership of the SS that, on the one hand, the regular Ger-man courts would notify the SS if they had uncovered punishable acts of a member of the SS and on the other hand, the SS would notify the Reich Ministry of Justice if the SS had found one of its members guilty of a crime.
This agreement was strictly followed. A special liaison officer to the Ministry of Justice was appointed, and the result was that in the first place, criminal elements were, in fact, eliminated from the SS, and that secondly, crimes punishable under German penal legis-lation were, in fact, tried by the ordinary German legal authorities.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, would you please make your sentences a little shorter? It would help the interpreter.
Why was a special jurisdiction introduced for the Waffen-SS at the beginning of the war? Was this done perhaps ...
THE PRESIDENT' The Tribunal thinks you are going into this far too much in detail, Dr. Pelckmann.
HERR PELCKMANN: Your Lordship, this subject has not yet been dealt with before the Commission, and I believe that in accord-ance with the decision of the Tribunal I can introduce new subjects which are important. But I shall attempt, Mr. President, to be brief.
[Turning to the witness.] Did you understand my last question, Witness?
HERR PELCICAANN: Why was a special jurisdiction introduced for the Waffen-SS at the beginning of the war? Was its purpose to cover up crimes?
REINECKE: This special jurisdiction was created because SS units were used as troop units and therefore, for these units, courts-martial had to exist. This jurisdiction was created by law and not by some order of Himmler, and it introduced for the Waffen-SS the same laws and the same legal organization which already existed for the Wehrmacht. It cannot by any means be said, therefore, that this legal system was introduced to cover up criminal acts. In fact, the exact reverse is true.
HERR PELCMIANN: But the Prosecution alleges specifically that the SS was trained for terror, atrocities, and crimes. That is contradicted, is it not, by your assertion that crime was fought against in the SS at all costs? Does it not give this impression?
RE INECKE: Training in the SS was systematically directed to decency, justice, and morality. Institutions existed which guaranteed that this training was carried out in full. Not only was the law, including international law, taught in the Junker schools of the SS but legal proceedings were held openly before the entire units. The head office "SS Courts," as the central department of the legal system, issued its own literature to insure that these principles of decency and justice became firmly established among all members of the SS. The legal training as it was handled in the SS was the exact opposite of the Prosecution's assertion.
HERR PELCKMANN: The Prosecution might reply that this strict legal training, this fight against crime before and during the war just proves how necessary it was, since the- SS was full of criminals. Would the Prosecution be right in saying so?
REINECKE: No, it would not be right. Special principles of selection prevailed in the SS. The SS was bound by so-called fundamental laws to observe a particularly moral conduct. Offenders in the SS who infringed on a law incurred heavier guilt and there-fore deserved severer punishment. And that explains the more severe punishment of SS members in comparison with members of the Armed Forces or German civilians.
MRR PELCKMANN: Himmler was the highest legal authority. What were his powers? Could he, for instance, direct a court to pass a certain judgment?
REINECKE: No, Himmler could not do that. On the whole he observed the legal rules. As the highest legal authority he had, of course, the right, bestowed on him by Hitler, to quash any sentence, but he made use of this right only in very rare cases. The judge was independent, bound only by the law. His independence was guaranteed by law. The findings and sentences of the SS courts were reached by a majority vote. Any interference by the highest legal authority, Himmler, was not possible~ He had, however, the right to order a retrial of the case, or he could quash the sentence. He could, therefore, have a case retried several times if he did not
agree with the verdict. But even in this case the decisions of the courts of the SS reached on the basis of the existing laws were always finally upheld.
Sentences passed by the SS courts were sometimes canceled by
the highest legal authority, Himmler, up to, three or four times because he considered the penalty too high or to(> low. The judges always arrived at the same sentence on the basis of the law, and eventually their decision was upheld.
HERR PELCKMANN: Your description of the legal procedure and the correct administration of justice contradicts the assertion
of the Prosecution that the SS had been designed for matters for which neither the Party nor the State wished to, assume respon-sibility.
REINECKE: What I have said here about the legal training of the SS corresponds both to the historical development of the SS and to the facts. The apparently unbridgeable gap between the asser-tion of the Prosecution and my testimony is explained by the fact that the Prosecution simply considers the SS as an organizational unit, which it has never been.
The Prosecution contends that wherever Himmler acted, the SS acted, and also that wherever the State executive acted, the SS acted. But these organizational connections did not exist, and for that reason the allegations of the Prosecution in that respect are not correct.
HERR PELCKMANN: Since numerous documents dealing with crimes committed allegedly by members of the Waffen-SS were submitted to the last witness, I have to ask you: Did the Waffen-SS commit crimes against the civilian population in the occupied territories and at the front, and were these crimes committed systematically and in violation of international agreements, in violation of the penal law existing in the countries concerned, and in violation of the general principles of penal law of all civilized nations?
REINECKE: No, there can be no question of that. It is clear that on the part of the Waffen-SS violations of international law occurred in individual cases, just as they took place on the other side also. But all these were isolated occurrences and not systematic. All these individual acts were prosecuted under the jurisdiction of the SS and the Police in the most severe manner. In the head office "SS Courts" there existed a department which guaranteed and carried out an over-all control of the entire legal system. From this viewpoint I can testify in this courtroom that in such individual cases the courts in every theater of war and during the entire duration of the war passed sentences for murder, looting, man-slaughter, assault, rape, ill-treatment, and also for killing prisoners of war; and in trying such cases the race or nationality of the person concerned had no influence whatever. All these were individual and not systematic acts, and this is confirmed by the criminal statistics of the head office "SS Courts." The absolutely strict admin-istration of the law kept criminality 'below the normal level. It varied between 0.8 percent at the beginning and 3 percent at the end of the war.
HERR PELCKMANN: But by order of Hitler dated 13 May 1941, a document which was submitted here, the prosecution of such crimes was prohibited, was it not? Is that not a contradiction of your testimony regarding the prosecution of such cases?
REINECKE: No, it is not a contradiction, because that order of Hitler, though declaring the prosecution of such cases not com-pulsory, nevertheless left the decision of whether or not the case should be tried to the discretion of the highest legal authority. During the entire period of my long practice I...
THE PRESIDENT: What is the reference to the order of Hitler?
HERR PELCKMANN: I much regret, Mr. President, that at this moment I cannot state the number. It is the order which was issued before the beginning of the Russian campaign and which says that only for the maintenance of discipline should excesses of the troops be punished. If I may, I shall state the number tomorrow.
I have only one more question, Mr. President, before closing this chapter.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Mr. President, I think I can give you the information. This directive is signed by Keitel and its title is "The Struggle against the Partisans." It is USSR-16.
PRESIDENT: You say you have only one more question?
HERR PELCKMANN: I have only one more question before closing this particular chapter; I will start a new one, if I may, tomorrow morning.
It was alleged by the Prosecution, Witness, that the so-called courts-martial of the SS and the Police murdered the civilian popu-lation in the occupied territories under the cloak of administering the law. What were the courts-martial of the SS and Police?
REINECKE: Such courts-martial of the SS and Police never existed at any time. There were, as I know from my own experience courts-martial of the Security Police in Poland. I have learned that such courts-martial existed also in the other occupied territories. These were courts-martial of the Security Police, that is t say, entirely an affair of the Police, which had nothing whatever t do with the jurisdiction of the SS and the Police.
HERR PELCKMANN: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Well now, win you ten us what are the subjects upon which you are going to question this witness tomorrow?
HERR PELCKMANN: The organization of the concentration camps and the SS legal system.
THE PRESIDENT: You have been dealing with the SS legal system today. That is the subject you have just concluded. You have told us that the judges of the SS were independent. That is the p of the legal system, isn't it?
HERR PELCKMANN: Mr. President, I wanted to deal wit special questions connected with the jurisdiction in concentration camps.
THE PRESIDENT: What questions are you going to deal with?
HERR PELCKMANN: I would like, tomorrow, to deal with the organization of the concentration camps, with the SS and Police jurisdiction, and with the connection between the two.
THE PRESIDENT: I have got down that you are going to deal with the concentration camps and the legal system in concentration camps. What else?
HERR PELCKMANN: Nothing else, Your Lordship.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Tribunal wishes me to tell you that they think you have been much too long and they will expect you be much shorter tomorrow morning.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 7 August 1946 at 1000 hours.]