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[The witness Morgen resumed the stand.]
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, I have two pictures to show to you. This has nothing to do with your examination concerning the concentration camps.
[Turning to the President.] They are the same pictures, Your Lordship, which I showed to the witness Eizenberg yesterday. They have now received an exhibit number from me, Exhibit Number SS-2 and Exhibit Number SS-3. As I said yesterday, they are taken from the book, written in Polish, which the Prosecution submitted a few days ago, on Pages IX and XI.
[Turning to the witness]: What is the rank of this SS man, Witness?
MORGEN: That cannot be an SS man. He is not wearing an SS uniform. I never saw such a uniform. On the left arm, the man wears the insignia of the Police and the Police shoulder patch.
HERR PELCKMANN: That is enough, Witness. I shall show you the second photograph. Please answer the question just as briefly.
MORGEN: That is not an SS uniform either, but a fancy uniform.
HERR PELCKMANN: Thank you, Witness. Yesterday you had already begun the description of the so-called extermination camps and the system of the extermination camps, but I should like to go back to conditions in the concentration camps which are to be distinguished from the so-called extermination camps.
You had given a description of the outward impression given by these camps which was extraordinarily pleasing. In order not to give any false impression, will you please describe in general the negative observations which you made.
. MORGEN: I was asked whether from my impressions of the concentration camps I gained the idea that they were extermination
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camps. I had to say that I could not get this impression. I did not mean to say that the concentration camps were sanatoria) or a paradise for the prisoners. If they had been that, my investigations would have been senseless.
Through these investigations I gained insight into the extremely dark and dismal side of the concentration camps. The concentration camps were establishments which, to put it mildly, were bound to give rise to crimes as a result of the application of a false principle. When I say the principle was at fault, I mean the following: The prisoner was sent to the concentration camp through the Reich Security Main Office. A political agency decided about his freedom, and its decision was final. Thereby the prisoner was deprived of all legal rights. Once in the concentration camp, it was almost impossible to regain freedom, although at regular intervals the cases were reviewed. The procedure was so complicated that, aside from exceptional instances, the great majority could have no hope. The camp, the Reich Security Main Office, and the agency which had assigned the individual to the camp, had to agree to his release. Only if these three, agencies reached an agreement could a release be effected. Thereby, not only the reason for the arrest was taken into consideration, but through a monstrous order of SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl the production side was also important. If a prisoner was needed in the camp because he was a good man, even though all conditions for release existed, he could not be released.
The concentration camps were surrounded by a sphere of secrecy. The, prisoner was not allowed any free contact with the public.
MR. DODD: Mr. President, we do not have the first responsibility, of course, for this defense. But I have discussed with Mr. Elwyn Jones my objection, he has it in here, and he finds no fault with it. It seems to me that what we are hearing here is a lecture on the Prosecution's case, and I do not see how it in any sense can be said to be a defense of the SS.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, the Tribunal thinks that the latter part of the evidence does not have much bearing on the case of the SS. They think it would be better that you should get on with the case for the SS.
HERR PELCKMANN: The charge against the SS is essentially based on the assertion that the SS as a whole is responsible for the concentration camps.
I am endeavoring to explain to the Tribunal the concentration camp organization from the very beginning, including all those questions which have not yet been explained either by the Prosecution or the witnesses, in order to find out the absolute truth. And I believe that it is necessary for the Tribunal to know this truth in
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order to be able to judge whether the charge of the Prosecution that the SS as a whole is responsible for the atrocities and the mass exterminations in the concentration camps or in the extermination camps is justified. I assert ...
THE PRESIDENT: Kindly go on with your case, Dr. Pelckmann. Will you kindly go on and make it as short as you can upon these matters which seem to be rather remote.
HERR PELCKMANN: From all the testimony of witnesses which I submit here on this point, it will be shown that the concentration camp organization was an entity.
THE PRESIDENT: Go on with your case. You are to go on with your case, and not argue with me.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, what were the further negative observations which you made? Please be brief on this point as the Court wishes.
MORGEN: The prisoner could not contact the public freely, and so his observations were not made known to the public. By this isolation in the concentration camp he was practically under the sway of the camp. This meant that he had to fear that at any time crimes could be committed against him. I did not have the impression from these facts that their purpose was to produce a system of crimes; but, of necessity, individual crimes were bound to result from these conditions.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, the events and the atrocities and the mass exterminations in the concentration camps are precisely what was charged against the SS. Please describe how these crimes are to be classified in three categories, and what these crimes have to do with the total planning of the SS. According to your information, I distinguish between atrocities caused by conditions beyond control, atrocities caused by supreme orders, and atrocities caused by individual criminal acts.
MORGEN: To a great extent the horrible conditions at times prevailing in some concentration camps did not arise from deliberate planning, but developed from circumstances which in my opinion must be called force majeure, that is to say, evils for which the local camp leaders were not responsible. I am thinking of the outbreak of epidemics. At irregular intervals many concentration camps were visited by typhoid fever, typhus, and other sicknesses caused especially by the arrival of prisoners from the Eastern areas in the concentration camps. Although everything humanly possible was done to prevent these epidemics and to combat them, the death rate which resulted was extremely high. Another evil which may be considered as force majeure was the fluctuating numbers of new
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arrivals and the insufficient billets. Many camps were overcrowded. The prisoners arrived in a weakened condition because, due to air raids, the transports were under way longer than expected. Towards the end of the war, there was a general collapse of the transportation system. Supplies could not be carried Gut to the necessary extent; chemical and pharmaceutical factories had been systematically bombed, and all the necessary medicines we ' re lacking. To top all, the evacuations from the East further burdened the camps and crowded them in an unbearable manner.
HERR PELCKMA.NN: That is enough on this point. Will you go on to the second point, the supreme orders?
MORGEN: As supreme orders I consider the mass extermination of human beings which has already been described, not in the concentration camps but in separate extermination places. There were also execution orders of the Reich Security Main Office against individuals and groups of persons.,,
The third point deals with the majority of individual crimes of which I said ...
THE PRESIDENT: Which is the witness talking about when he talks about extermination camps? Which are you talking about? Which do you call extermination camps?
HERR PELCKMANN: Please answer the question, Witness.
MORGEN: By extermination camps I mean those which were established exclusively for the extermination of human beings with the use of technical means, such as gas.
THE PRESIDENT: Which were they?
MORGEN: Yesterday I described the four camps of the Kriminalkommissar Wirth and referred to the Camp Auschwitz. By "Extermination Camp Auschwitz" I did not mean the concentration camp. It did not exist there. I meant a separate extermination camp near Auschwitz, called "Monowitz."
THE PRESIDENT: What were the other ones?
MORGEN: I do not know of any other extermination camps.
HERR PELCKMANN: You were speaking of atrocities on the basis of individual acts of a criminal nature. Please continue.
MORGEN: One must distinguish between the types of perpetrators. There were even killings of one prisoner by another, for example, because of revenge. If a prisoner had escaped, then during the search, because one did not know where the prisoner was hiding-perhaps in the camp itself-the whole camp had to line up on the parade grounds. That often lasted for hours and sometimes a whole day. The prisoners were tired and hungry, and the long wait, standing sometimes in the cold or rain, excited them
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very much, so that when the prisoner was recaptured, the other prisoners, out of revenge for his having brought this upon them, beat him to death when the opportunity presented itself.
There were many cases in which prisoners who had the impression that one among them was a spy, attempted to kill this prisoner in self-defense. There were cases where individual prisoners, due to physical weakness, could not keep pace with the others as regards work and who, on top of it, aroused the disgust of the other prisoners by bad behavior, for instance, by stealing bread or similar acts. If one considers that a large part of the prisoners were professional criminals who had already been sentenced before, it seems plausible that these people killed such fellow prisoners. This was done in many ways.
HERR PELCKMANN: You need not explain that at the moment, we will come back to it later. But will you describe another type of perpetrator?
MORGEN: Now I come to killings committed by members of the camp against prisoners and by prisoners against fellow prisoners. To give a specific example I should like to describe the case of the commander of the Concentration Camp Buchenwald, Koch, who was legally tried and executed. The following individual case happened. A prisoner who was an old Party member was sent to the Concentration Camp Buchenwald. As one of the old guard he had obtained a job as Kurdirektor. He misused this position to force Polish household employees under threat of dismissal to commit perverted actions with him, although he himself was very syphilitic. This man was sentenced to a long term of penal servitude by a regular court and after that sent to the concentration camp. Koch found his files, considered the sentence an error, and thinking himself authorized to correct this error of justice, had the prisoner put to death.
Another case of an entirely different sort is the following: Koch believed that a certain little Jewish prisoner, who had marked physical peculiarities, was following him to his various offices in the various camps. In superstitious fear of bad luck, he one day gave instructions to have this prisoner killed.
Another case: Koch believed that his criminal activity, or certain personal relationships, were known to some prisoners. In order to protect himself, he had them killed.
HERR PELCKMANN: How were these killings made possible, and how could the other inmates of the camp know about them?
MORGEN: The procedure was very simple. The prisoners in question were called, without being given reasons, and had to report at the gate of the camp. That was nothing striking, because almost every hour prisoners were picked up there for questioning,
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for removal to other camps, and so forth. These prisoners, without the other prisoners becoming aware of it, came to the so-called Kommandantur prison, which was outside the camp. There they were held for a few days, often one or two weeks, and then the jailer had them killed, mostly in the form of a sham inoculation; actually, they were given an injection of phenol into the arteries.
Another possibility of secret killing was the occasional transfer to the hospital. The doctor simply stated that a man needed treatment. He brings him in and after some time he puts him into a single room and kills him there. In all these cases the record showed that the prisoner in question had died of such and such a normal illness.
Another case: The prisoner was assigned to a detail of hard work, generally the so-called "quarry detail." The Kapo. of this detail is given a hint and makes the life of the prisoner more and more unbearable by making him work incessantly and vexing him in every respect. Then the day arrives when the prisoner loses patience and in order to escape, this torture, breaks through the. cordon of sentries, whereupon the guard, whether he wants to or not, has to shoot him.
These different forms of killing varied from case to case. By that very fact they were outwardly, unrecognizable, because they took place in secret places by various methods at various times. This presupposed that the commander who did this, like Koch here, relied on certain men who were absolutely devoted to him and who had key positions, such as the doctor here, who was arrested, the overseer, who was also arrested-and who committed suicide right after-and upon the aid of Kapos who were devoted to him and who co-operated with him. Where this co-operation was not possible, such excesses and crimes could not occur.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you find such! cases and such camps?
MORGEN: Yes. I have already mentioned the result of our investigations. Since the majority of the camps was set up during the war with new personnel and in the old camps the personnel in key positions was replaced by new people, this co-operation could no longer take place.
HERR PELCKMANN: Would it be wrong to assume that all camps and all camp commanders and all camp doctors acted in the way you have just described?
MORGEN: According to my exhaustive investigations, I can only say that this assumption would be completely wrong. I really met commanders who did everything humanly possible for their prisoners. . I met doctors whose every effort was to help sick prisoners and to prevent further sickness.
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HERR PELCKMANN: We will go back to the mass exterminations, one case of which you described. You spoke of Kriminalkommissar Wirth, who was not a member of the SS and whose staff did not consist of SS men. Why was Wirth given the assignment?
MORGEN: I have already mentioned that Wirth was Kriminalkommissar with the Criminal Police in Stuttgart. He was Kommissar for the investigation of capital crimes, particularly murder. He had quite a reputation in discovering clues, and before the seizure of power lie became known to the general public for unscrupulous methods of investigation which even led to a discussion in the Wurttemberg Landtag (Diet). This man was now used in order to cover up the traces of these mass killings. It was thought that on the basis of his previous professional experience this man was unscrupulous enough to do this job, and that was true.
HERR PELCKMANN: You mentioned the Jewish prisoners who aided in the killings. What became of these people?
MORGEN: Wirth told me that at the end of the actions he would have these prisoners shot and in doing so, would despoil them of the profits which he had allowed them to make. He did not do this all at once, but by means of, the deceptive methods already described he lured and segregated the prisoners and then killed them individually.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you hear from Wirth the name Hoess?
MORGEN: Yes. Wirth called him his untalented disciple.
HERR PELCKMANN: Why?
MORGEN: In contrast to Wirth, Hoess used in principle entirely different methods. I would best describe them when we come to the subject of Auschwitz.
HERR PELCKMANN: Was the name Eichmann mentioned at that time?
MORGEN: I cannot remember that the name Eichmann was mentioned at that time, but later I heard of it, too.
HERR PELCKMANN: How did you come on the trail which led to Auschwitz?
MORGEN: I got a clue by a remark of Wirth himself. Now I had only to find a reason to institute investigations in Auschwitz itself. I beg to bear in mind that my assignment was limited; I had to investigate crimes of corruption and crimes committed in connection with them.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, didn't he explain how he came to investigate Auschwitz yesterday?
HERR PELCKMANN: No, it was something entirely different, Your Lordship.
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MORGEN: Yesterday I spoke only of Lublin and Wirth. I said I received information about Hoess and wanted to try to get into the camp and needed a reason. I found this reason very soon.
The Protectorate Police had heard about the smuggling of gold in the Protectorate. The traces led to Berlin. The customs officials for Berlin-Brandenburg had found out persons who were on the staff of the Concentration Camp Auschwitz, and had turned over the proceedings to the SS and Police Court in Berlin. I learned of it there and I took charge of these proceedings-they dealt with enormous gold smuggling-and shortly thereafter went to Auschwitz.
HERR PELCKMANN: Then you were in Auschwitz proper?
MORGEN: Yes, I went to Auschwitz, and before I started with the investigation itself ...
THE PRESIDENT: When did you go there?
MORGEN: I cannot give the date exactly, but it must have been the end of 1943 or the beginning of 1944.
HERR PELCKMANN: The method of extermination there was probably similar to the one you described yesterday?
MORGEN: I thoroughly investigated the entire stretch of territory and studied the layout and installations. The prisoners arrived on a side track in closed transport cars and were unloaded there by Jewish prisoners. Then they were segregated into* able-bodied and disabled, and here already the methods of Hoess and Wirth differ. The separation of the disabled was done in a fairly simple way. Next to the place of the unloading there were several trucks and the doctor gave the arrivals the choice to use these trucks. He said that only sick, old persons and women with children, were allowed to use them. Thereupon these persons swarmed toward the transportation prepared for their use, and then he needed only to hold back the prisoners that he did not want to send to. destruction. These trucks drove off, but they did not drive to the Concentration Camp Auschwitz, but in another direction to the Extermination Camp Monowitz, which was a few kilometers away. This extermination camp consisted of a number of crematories which were not recognizable as such from the outside. They could have been taken for large bathing establishments, and that is what they told the prisoners. These crematories were surrounded by a barbed wire fence and were guarded from the inside by the Jewish labor details which I have already mentioned. The new arrivals were led into a large dressing room and told to take their clothing off. When this was done ...
HERR PELCKMANN: Is that not what you described yesterday?
MORGEN: Of course,
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HERR PELCKMANN: What precautions were taken to keep these things absolutely secret?
MORGEN: The prisoners who marched off to the concentration camp had no inkling of where the other prisoners were taken. The Extermination Camp Monowitz lay far away from the concentration camp. It was situated on an extensive industrial site and was not recognizable as such and everywhere on the horizon there were smoking chimneys. The camp itself was guarded on the outside by special troops of men from the Baltic, Estonians, Lithuanians, Latvians, and also Ukrainians. The entire technical arrangement was almost exclusively in the hands of the prisoners who were assigned for this job and they were only supervised each time by an Unterfuehrer. The actual killing was done by another Unterf-i1hrer who let the gas into this room. Thus the number of those who knew about *these things was extremely limited. This circle had to take a special oath...
THE PRESIDENT: Were these Unterfuehrer in the SS?
MORGEN: They wore SS uniforms.
THE PRESIDENT: Didn't you take the trouble to ascertain whether they were proper members of the SS?
MORGEN: I said that they were people from the Eastern territories.
THE PRESIDENT: I do not care what you have already said. What I asked you was, didn't you take the trouble to ascertain whether they were members of the SS?
MORGEN: I beg your pardon, Your Lordship. I do not understand your question. They could not be members of the General SS. As far as I could learn, they were volunteers and draftees who had been recruited ' in the Baltic countries where they had carried out security tasks, and who were then somehow especially selected and sent to Auschwitz and Monowitz. These were special troops, who had only this particular task and no other. They were completely outside of the Waffen-SS ...
THE PRESIDENT: I didn't ask you if they were in the Waffen SS. Did you ask questions as to why they were put into SS uniforms?
MORGEN: No, I did not ask that question. It seemed incomprehensible to me. It is probably due to the fact that the commander of the Concentration Camp Auschwitz ...
THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. You said, as I understand it, that you considered it incomprehensible why they wore the SS uniforms. Didn't you say that?
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THE PRESIDENT: Were there no officers of the SS there at all?
MORGEN: One officer, the commander of this company, I believe a Hauptsturmfuehrer Hartenstein, or something like that.
THE,PRESIDENT: Why didn't you ask him why these men were put into SS uniforms?
MORGEN: The extermination camp was under the direction of SS Standartenfuehrer Hoess. Hoess was commander of the Concentration Camp Auschwitz, and also of the extermination camp, Monowitz. Around Auschwitz were a number of labor camps and I have already said ...
THE PRESIDENT: I didn't ask you where. What I am asking you is why you didn't ask these two SS men why they put these men into SS uniforms?
MORGEN: I assumed that this was done for camouflage reasons so that this extermination camp would not be distinguished outwardly from the other labor camps and the concentration camp itself. As a soldier it was incomprehensible to me that this damage to the reputation of the SS was tolerated as it had nothing to do .with this extermination.
THE PRESIDENT: You yourself were a high SS officer, were you not?
MORGEN: I was Sturmbannfuehrer of the Waffen-SS.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, what I am asking you is this: why, in those circumstances, you made no inquiry about it, and why you didn't ask these high SS officers there, "What is the meaning of these men being put into SS uniforms?"
MORGEN: I did not understand the question.
THE PRESIDENT: Go on.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, I should like to ask you the question myself. Why did you not ask the higher SS leaders whom you met there why these people were working in SS uniforms?
MORGEN: I said ' that I had the impression that this was clone for reasons of camouflage so that the camp would not be distinguished from the other camps through the use of different uniforms.
HERR. PELCKMANN: This explanation which you gave yourself is the reason why you did not question the officers, is that true?
MORGEN: At any rate I cannot remember having asked the officers about it. I did not speak to any officers except to the commander, Hoess, and the commander of the guards of the extermination camp.
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HERRPELCKMANN: Have you described everything which ...
THE PRESIDENT: Go on.
HERR PELCKMANN: Have you said everything in answer to the question as to how secrecy was secured?
MORGEN: Another important point may perhaps be mentioned. Certain Jewish prisoners with connections abroad were selected and were made to write letters abroad telling how well-off they were in Auschwitz, so that the public got the impression that these well-known people were alive and could write that they were doing well.
HERR PELCKMANN: Thank you. Now, Witness, under normal circumstances what would you have had to do after you had learned of all these terrible things?
MORGEN: Under normal circumstances I would have had to have Kriminalkommissar Wirth and Commander Hoess arrested and charged with murder.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you do that?
HERR PELCKMANN: Why not?
MORGEN: The answer is already entailed in the question. The circumstances prevailing in Germany during the war were no longer. normal in the sense of State legal guarantees. Besides, the following must be considered: I was not simply a judge, but I was a judge of military penal justice. No court-martial in the world could bring the Supreme Commander, let alone the head of the State, to court.
HERR PELCKMANN: Please do not discuss problems of law, but tell us why you did not do what you realized you should have done?
MORGEN: I beg your pardon; I was saying that it was not possible for me as Obersturmbannfuehrer to arrest Hitler, who, as I saw it, was the instigator of these orders.
HERR PELCKMANN: Then what did you do?
MORGEN: On the basis of this insight, I realized that something had to be done immediately to put an end to this action. Hitler had to be induced to withdraw his orders. Under the circumstances, this could be done only by Himmler as Minister of the Interior and Minister of the Police. I thought at that time that I must endeavor to approach Himmler through the heads of the departments and make it clear to him, by explaining the effects of this system, that through these methods the State was being led straight into an abyss. Therefore I approached my immediate superior, the chief of the Criminal Police, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Nebe; then I turned to
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the chief of the Main Office SS Courts, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Breithaupt. I also approached Kaltenbrunner and the chief of the Gestapo, Gruppenfuehrer Muller, and Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl of the Economic and Administrative Main Office, and the Reichsarzt, Gruppenfuehrer Dr. Grawitz. But aside from taking these necessary steps, I saw a practical way open to me by way of justice; that is, by removing from this system of destruction the leaders and important elements through the means offered by the system itself., I could not do this with regard to the killings ordered by the head of the State, but I could do it for killings outside of this order, or against this order, or for other serious crimes. For that reason, I deliberately started proceedings against these men, and this would have led to a shake-up of this system and its final collapse. But these activities had another far-reaching effect in the near future, for through the big concentration camp trials against Commander Koch, of whom I spoke earlier, and against the head of the political section at Auschwitz-Kriminalsekretur Untersturmfuehrer Grabner, whom I charged with murder in 2,000 cases outside of this extermination action-the whole affair of these killings had to be brought to trial. It was to be expected that the perpetrators would refer to higher orders also for these individual crimes. This occurred; thereupon the SS jurisdiction, on the basis of the material which I supplied, approached the highest government chiefs and officially asked, "Did you order these killings? Is the legal fact of murder no longer valid for you? What general orders are there concerning these killings?" Then the supreme State leadership would either have to admit its mistakes and thereby bring the culprits definitely under our jurisdiction also with regard to the mass exterminations, or else an open break would have to result through the abrogation of the entire judicial system. If I may anticipate, on account of the trial in Weimar against Koch and Grabner, this problem became acute as I had fore.;. seen; the proceedings were suspended and the SS jurisdiction put these questions, which I mentioned before, publicly and officially to the Reich Security Main Office. For this very purpose a judge was sent there, who had the task of investigating all sections of the Reich Security Main Office, to see whether such orders were in existence. As I heard, the result was negative. Thereupon an attempt was made to take direct steps against Hoess, but in the meantime the front had advanced, Auschwitz was occupied and the judge who had, been sent there had to stop at the beginning of his fruitless investigations, and in January 1945 complete disorganization set in which made further legal prosecution impossible. If I may go, back, the immediate effects of the judicial investigation were that in all concentration camps the killing of prisoners by so-called "euthanasia" stopped immediately, because no, doctor could feel sure that he would not be arrested from one moment to the next. Everybody
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bore in mind the example that was set by the case of the doctor of Buchenwald. I am convinced that through this intervention and action the lives of thousands of prisoners were saved. The killing system was severely shaken; for it is noteworthy that on my second visit to Lublin, shortly after I first approached Kriminalkommissar Wirth, I did not find him there. I learned that in the meantime Wirth had suddenly received ' orders to completely destroy all his extermination camps. He had gone to Istria with his entire command, and was guarding streets there, and while doing so he was killed in May 1944. When I heard that Wirth and his command had left Lublin I immediately flew there in order to find out whether he was merely transferring his field of activity and would continue elsewhere, but that was not so.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, were. you in danger of your life in all these investigations?
MORGEN: It was clear that the discovery of these horrible crimes was extremely unpleasant to those responsible for them. I knew that a human life meant nothing to these people and that they were ready for anything. As proof, I may cite the following: after I had arrested Grabner, the chief of the political section in Auschwitz, and the investigating commission ...
THE PRESIDENT: You aren't forgetting that you said you were going to take 45 minutes with this witness, are you, Herr Pelckmann?
HERR PELCKMANN: No, Your Lordship, I have not forgotten, and I regret exceedingly that it is taking longer than I expected, but I believe that I owe the Tribunal this explanation of the facts.
THE PRESIDENT: It seems of very little importance whether this man was in danger of his life or not.
HERR PELCKMANN: From the point of view of the defense, Your Lordship, I am of a different opinion, since for the conditions and possibilities of opposing this system, and for Number 1 of the ruling of the Court of 13 March, or rather Number 2, compulsion and orders are of decisive importance.
THE PRESIDENT: Go on, Herr Pelckmann. The Tribunal does not think it is important.
MORGEN: May I say one more sentence on that subject: the investigating commission of the Reich Criminal Police Department at Auschwitz was quartered in wooden hutments, and after it had worked with success for some time, unknown persons at night destroyed the hutments by fire with all the documents. The investigations in Auschwitz were interrupted and made difficult for a long time. You may see from that how ruthless was the opposition
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to us. I, myself, received enough warnings and threats, but whether I was actually in danger of my life I cannot say.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did the directing personnel of the Concentration Camp Auschwitz in any way justify the assumption that they knew of these exterminations? I emphasize again-if I understood you correctly the Concentration Camp Auschwitz, with its many labor camps, had nothing to do with the extermination camp and was separate from it?
MORGEN: As I have already said, Hoess was simultaneously commander of Auschwitz and Monowitz; he is to be considered the chief of the personnel, aside from the one leader of the Monowitz troops. I dealt only with these two, and these two knew about it.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you speak to the doctor of the Concentration Camp Auschwitz?
MORGEN: Yes. When I arrived, the doctor showed me the mortality figures at the time he took over. He pointed out with a gleam in his eye how since his transfer to Auschwitz these huge figures had dropped precipitately through extensive hygienic measures and changes. In this connection he came to talk about Grabner. Grabner had expected him to kill pregnant Polish women. The doctor had refused since it was irreconcilable with his professional duties. Thereupon Grabner had reproached him for not realizing the importance of his, Grabner's, tasks. The doctor did not give in and a quarrel arose which was carried on before the commander, and neither Hoess nor Grawitz said anything. Thus the doctor, at the time when I met him by accident, was in a distressed frame of mind and said "What shall I do?" I said to him "What you have done so far, absolute refusal, is quite in order, and tomorrow I will arrest Grabner."
THE PRESIDENT: What does this have to do with the SS unless the doctor was in the SS; perhaps he was.
HERR PELCKMANN: It is well known that the doctors were SS doctors, and the witness is describing how an SS doctor in this Concentration Camp Auschwitz opposed the suggestion of Grabner. He is describing that as a typical case.
THE PRESIDENT: Herr Pelckmann, the Tribunal thinks you have been quite long enough over this witness. You are going into matters too much in detail.
HERR PELCKMANN: You said previously that you had reported to the various agencies and named three of them, I believe. Please describe how Nebe reacted. What was Breithaupt's attitude? What did Kaltenbrunner and Muller say? What was Pohl's attitude, and how did the Reich Physician Grawitz react?
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MORGEN: First I reported to my immediate superior, SS Gruppenfuehrer Nebe, as chief of the RKPA. Nebe was an extremely taciturn man, but I could see that his hair stood on end when I made my report. He was absolutely silent. Then he said that I must immediately report this matter to Kaltenbrunner. The chief of the Hauptamt SS Courts, Obergruppenfuehrer Breithaupt, also became very much excited. He said that he would immediately go to see Himmler and report this to him and try to have a personal interview with Himmler arranged for me. The Reich Physician also did not know what to say. Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, however, took another attitude. Previously, or about the same time, I had had the commander of the Concentration Camp Hertogenbosch arrested, who h,-.d caused the death of 10 women through punitive measures. Wh6n I reported this to Pohl he said these were trifles. He said, "What do the lives of 10 women matter in view of the thousands of German women dying every night in the air raids?"
HERR PELCKMANN: Please be more brief on the others.
MORGEN: After I had already reported to Obergruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner about the actual corruption crimes, the deadly crimes which I discovered about 6 months later, a conversation took place in the presence of Nebe, Kaltenbrunner, and Muller. This discussion was extraordinarily one-sided. Kaltenbrunner and Nebe were absolutely silent while Muller, white with rage, was infuriated with me and did not give me a chance to get in a word. When I looked at him calmly, he suddenly jumped up and rushed out of the room and left me alone, while the other two gentlemen turned away from me. In the afternoon I went to see Muller again and personally told him_ my point of view once again, but Muller was still absolutely against it.
HERR PELCKMANN-,, Very well, did you ...
THE PRESIDENT: What was the date of this conversation with Kaltenbrunner?
MORGEN: That was immediately after the charge was raised against Grabner. I assume in July or August 1944.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you report these things to other circles of the SS?
MORGEN: No. I wanted to inform and win over those people, who really had something to say, to my point of view. Nothing else counted. Besides that, I was bound by Basic Order Number 1, concerning secrecy on State affairs, and could only approach the chiefs of the main offices personally. Any mistake I would have made in contacting other offices would have had serious results for we and would have given my enemies a pretext for protracting the investigation.
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THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, he said he did not report it. Surely that is sufficient. We don't want to know more about it. He did not report. We are not trying the witness.
HERR PELCKMANN: I beg your pardon, I believe that is a mistake, if I understood correctly. He said he did report.
THE PRESIDENT: He said he made no other report, as I understood it, except this that he has spoken of.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, will you comment on that?
MORGEN: That is true. Aside from the chief of the Main Office of the SS, no one else was informed.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you not consider it your duty to inform the public or to clear your conscience somehow by raising the cry "murder"?
MORGEN: I would have needed access to the technical means for doing this, that is to the press and the radio, which I did not have. If I had blurted that out at every street comer, no one would have believed me, because this system was beyond human imagination. I would have been locked up as insane.
HERR PELCKMANN: The Camp Dachau was here described as a pure extermination camp by the Prosecution and by certain witnesses. Is that true?
MORGEN: I believe that from my investigation from May to July 1944 1 know the Concentration Camp Dachau rather well. I must say that I had the opposite impression. The Concentration Camp Dachau was always considered a very good camp, the prisoners considered it a rest camp, and I actually did get that impression.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you see the internal arrangements, the hospital, and so forth?
MORGEN: I examined all these facilities carefully, and I must say the hospital was in excellent order. I went through all the wards. There was no noticeable overcrowding, and remarkably enough the number of medical instruments which were at the service of the prisoners was astonishing. Amongst the prisoners themselves were leading medical specialists.
HERR PELCKMANN: Very well. You want to say that conditions were good. But you thereby contradict the testimony of the witness, Dr. Blaha, which was made the subject of evidence here. Do you know his testimony?
MORGEN: I have read the testimony of Dr. Blaha in the press, and here I have had the opportunity to look through the record of the Trial. I must say I am amazed at this testimony. I am of the opinion that Blaha, from his own knowledge, cannot make such
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statements. It is not true that a prisoner in a concentration camp can move about freely and have access to the different sections and installations.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks he can say that he disagrees with the evidence of Blaha, but not that Blaha was not telling the truth. He disagrees, he said it. We think you might get on. How much more time do you anticipate that you'll take?
HERR PELCKMANN: Five minutes, Your Lordship.
You were just about to say, Witness, why you did not agree with the testimony of Blaha?
MORGEN: I said ...
THE PRESIDENT: He has given his own evidence about the matter, and he says he is in contradiction with Blaha. We don't want further details about it.
HERR PELCKMANN: Mr. President, if I understood correctly, the witness is to give more credible testimony. If he does not say that on such and such points of the testimony of Blaha he has such and such an objection, the Prosecution can say he did not comment on it. That is my endeavor. Please instruct me, Your Lordship, if I am mistaken.
THE PRESIDENT: He has given his account on the camp at Dachau. The Tribunal has before it the evidence and testimony of Blaha. The Tribunal can see for itself if the evidence is inconsistent. That is sufficient.
HERR PELCKMANN: I only attempted to give the reasons, but if the Court does not wish to go into it further, I will withdraw the question.
[Turning to the witness.] Will you briefly sum up? I would rather go on to the last question which is of importance regarding your credibility. Did you give the testimony in the way you have given it here once before?
MORGEN: Yes. At the time of the collapse I was chief justice in Breslau. When I came to Germany after some time, I heard the CIC was looking for me on account of my knowledge about concentration camps. I reported to the CIC headquarters Mannheim-Seckenheim, 7th Army, and said I was ready to help clear up these crimes. I gave my testimony on the same lines which I attempted to follow today. I went to the CIC headquarters, Oberursel, and after I had given my testimony, I was locked up in a bunker in Dachau, together with the accused people whom I had previously arrested myself.
HERR PELCKMANN: Very well. Do you know the pamphlet SS-Dachau which I submitted to the Tribunal yesterday and which
8 Aug. 46 ,
I should like to designate as Exhibit SS-4? Do you know this document? Answer "yes" or "no."
HERR PELCKMANN: On Page 46, there is the testimony of a Mrs. E. H. Was this testimony made before you as the investigating judge?
MORGEN: Yes, this was a Mrs. Eleanora Hodis, a prisoner in Auschwitz; I questioned her under oath.
HERR PELCKMANN: And did you examine * the article and make certain this was the evidence which the woman gave? Yes or no.
HERR PELCKMANN: When was that?
MORGEN: In the fall of 1944.
HERR PELCKMANN: The testimony is against Hoess?
HERR PELCKMANN: Were proceedings then instituted against Hoess?
MORGEN: Yes. The testimony was submitted to Hoess in the original.
HERR PELCKMANN: The testimony concerns conditions in Auschwitz; is that true?
HERR PELCKMANN: It is not true that it concerns the situation in Dachau?
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will take a recess.
[A recess was taken.]
DR. RUDOLF MERKEL (Counsel for the Gestapo): Mr. President, I should like to be permitted to put three brief questions to this witness, concerning nonparticipation and ignorance on the part of the Gestapo as far as the mass extermination is concerned.
THE PRESIDENT: You may.
DR. MERKEL: Witness, if I understood you correctly, the crimes of Kriminalkommissar Wirth in Lublin were discovered because of a report of the Security Police in Lublin.
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DR. MERKEL: Did the Security Police in Lublin participate in these crimes in any way?
MORGEN: No. As I saw it that was not the case.
DR. MERKEL: The witness Best stated that the camps at Treblinka. and Maidanek were under the supervision of the Security 'Police. Is that correct?
MORGEN: I know nothing about that. Wirth explained that he had four extermination camps. I believe the name Treblinka was mentioned in that connection.
DR. MERKEL: According to your conviction, this camp as well was under Wirth?
MORGEN: I assumed that.
DR. MERKEL: Did you wish to execute an order of the SS Court to arrest Eichmann?
MORGEN: I asked the SS Court at Berlin to investigate Eichmann on the basis of my report. The SS Court in Berlin thereupon submitted to the chief of the Reich Security Main Office, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner, in his capacity as highest judge, a warrant to arrest Eichmann.
Dr. Bachmann reported to me that on the submission of this matter rather dramatic incidents took place.
Kaltenbrunner immediately called in Muller, and now the judge was told that an arrest was in no event to be considered, for Eichmann was carrying out a special secret task of utmost importance entrusted to him by the Fuehrer.
DR. MERKEL: When was that?
MORGEN: That was in the middle of 1944.
DR. MERKEL: Thank you, I have no further questions to put to this witness.
DR. GAWLIK: Your Lordship, may I be permitted to put a few questions, please?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
DR. GAWLIK: Witness, you spoke about orders of the Reich Security Main Office. From which offices of the Reich Security Main Office did these orders come?
MORGEN: Do you mean the orders for the mass extermination?
DR. GAWLIK: Yes.
MORGEN: I stated that the SS jurisdiction ...
DR. GAWLIK: Answer the question briefly, please. Which offices issued these orders?
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MORGEN: I said that the investigating judge could not establish the origin of such orders to my knowledge.
DR. GAWLIK: You spoke of the orders of the Reich Security Main Office, did you not?
MORGEN: I said that the accused Koch and Grabner, in answering for their killings, referred to, orders of the Reich Security Main Office and maintained that these orders had to be destroyed as soon as they were received. That was purely an assertion and therefore this statement had to be investigated.
DR. GAWLIK: Did you ascertain-that the Offices III, VI, and VII were in any way participating in these measures?
MORGEN: I have already testified that Wirths undertaking directly. . .
DR. GAWLIK: Can you answer this question with a "yes" or "no"?
MORGEN: I could not determine that.
DR. GAWLIK: Thank you. I have no further questions to the witness.
THE PRESIDENT: Does the Prosecution wish to cross-examine?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: The Prosecution very carefully considers the question of cross-examining this witness. We do not accept his evidence as to Buchenwald, Dachau and as to conditions in concentration camps generally. We feel, however, the Tribunal has been shown such an overwhelming amount of evidence, including films and exhibits of the consistent pattern of cruelties in the concentration camps, of the smelling chimneys of the crematoria, and of the persons who carried out these actions, that we consider that any further discussion of these matters should be by way of comment and that it would not be right to take up the time of the Tribunal by confronting this witness with the details of that evidence which is so fully in the Tribunal's mind.
THE PRESIDENT: The witness may retire. Is that your case?
HERR PELCKMANN: Yes.
[The witness left the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: The Prosecution wants to cross-examine the witness Sievers. We will call for Wolfram Sievers.
[The witness Sievers took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: What is your name?
WOLFRAM SIEVERS (Witness): Wolfram' Sievers.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me:
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I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing.
[The witness repeated the oath.]
THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.
MAJOR JONES: You are Wolfram Sievers, and from 1935 on you were Reich manager of the Ahnenerbe (Ancestral Heritage Society), were you not?
SIEVERS: I was the Reich manager of the Ahnenerbe.
MAJOR JONES: You recollect that on 27 June you gave evidence 'before the Commissioner appointed by this Tribunal?
MAJOR JONES: I am referring to the transcript of your evidence before the Commission.
Do you recollect that Dr. Pelckmann, the counsel for the SS, announced that he was calling you to show that this Ahnenerbe did not know of the biological experiments of the group by Dr. Rascher, performed on concentration camp inmates?
MAJOR JONES: And do you remember that when Dr. Pelckmann asked you:
"Did you have any possibility of having an insight into the circumstances relating to or the planning of the methods or the carrying out of these scientific research works of the military scientific department," you answered "No?"
SIEVERS: I recall that.
MAJOR JONES: And when I cross-examined you upon your testimony do you recall telling the Commissioner that Himmler and Rascher were very close friends and you did not know exactly what went on? Do you remember that?
SIEVERS: I said that I was informed about these matters only in general but not in particular.
MAJOR JONES: In my final question to you in cross-examination I asked you:
"How many people do you estimate were murdered in connection with Rascher's and other experiments carried out under the guise of Nazi science?" And to that question you gave this answer: "I cannot say because I had no insight into these matters."
Do you remember that?
SIEVERS: Yes, indeed.
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MAJOR JONES: Well now, I want to see whether or not you did have insight into these matters. Did you ever hear of Professor Hirt's skeleton collection?
SIEVERS: That is in connection with the anatomy at the University of Strasbourg...?
MAJOR JONES: I asked you, did you hear about it?
SIEVERS: Yes, indeed, I did hear of it.
MAJOR JONES: You played a very active part in the creation of that collection of skeletons, did you not?
SIEVERS: I did not understand the end of the question.
MAJOR JONES: You played an active part in the collection of these skeletons?
MAJOR JONES: I want you to look first at the Document Number 116.
It is an insertion into the Tribunal's document book at Page 1901. It follows Page 19 in Your Lordship's document book. It win be Exhibit GB-573.
[Turning to the witness.] Now we shall be able to test your ignorance of this collection. This is a letter from Brandt to the Reich Security Main Office, dated 6 November 1942. Brandt was Himmler's adjutant, was he not?
SIEVERS: He was his personal secretary.
MAJOR JONES: Now, this letter:
"Subject: Organization of a skeleton collection in the Anatomical Institute of Strasbourg.
"The Reichsfuehrer SS has ordered that everything necessary for the research work of the director of the Anatomical Institute Strasbourg, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Professor Dr. Hirt, who is at the same time chief of a branch of the Institute for Scientific Research for Specific Military Purposes in the Amt Ahnenerbe, should be placed at his disposal. By order of the Reichsfuehrer SS, I therefore request you to make the organization of the planned skeleton collection possible. SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Sievers will contact you for details."
Now, that Sievers is you, is it not?
MAJOR JONES: Were you contacted for details?
SIEVERS: This refers to the organization of the Anatomical Institute of the University of Strasbourg which had recently been reopened by us, that is, to the reorganization of the so-called Anatomical Museum, an institution which exists in all universities.
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MAJOR JONES: This was just a piece of academic research, was it?
MAJOR JONES: Where were you going to get the skeletons from?
SIEVERS: Particulars were to be handled by Professor Hirt ...
MAJOR JONES: Now just answer my question, Witness, because you know perfectly well the answer to it. Where were you going to get those skeletons from?
SIEVERS: They were to be put at our disposal by Auschwitz.
MAJOR JONES: Now, I want you to look at a letter in furtherance of Brandt's communication which you sent to Brandt, containing suggestions as to where those skeletons should come from.
It is Document Number 085, which will be GB-574. It is at Page 11 of the document book, My Lord. It is at Page 14 and 15 of the German document book.
Now, that is a letter headed Das Ahnenerbe, dated 9 February 1942, marked "secret." It is addressed to Brandt, Himmler's adjutant. It is your letter, Witness, is it not, it is your signature at the bottom of it?
MAJOR JONES: I will read it out.
"Dear Comrade Brandt:
"I am sorry I was not able to send to you before Professor Dr. Hirt's report, which you requested in your letter of 29 December 1941, because Professor Hirt was taken seriously
Then there follow details of his illness.
"Due to this, Professor Hirt was merely able to write a preliminary report which, however, I should like to submit to you. The report concerns:
"L His research in the field of microscopic living organs; the discovery of a new method of examination and the construction of a new research microscope.
'T. His proposal for securing skulls of Jewish-Bolshevik commissars."
Then there is your signature and you forwarded that letter and Professor Hirt's report and his suggestions, and this is Hirt's report:
"Subject: Securing of skulls of Jewish-Bolshevik commissars for the purpose of scientific research at the Reich University of Strasbourg.
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"We have large collections of skulls of almost all races and peoples at our disposal. Of the Jewish race, however, only ,very few specimens of skulls are available, with the result that it is impossible to arrive at precise conclusions from examination. The war in the East now presents us with the opportunity to overcome this deficiency. By procuring the skulls of the Jewish-Bolshevik commissars, who represent the prototype of the repulsive, but characteristic, subhuman, we have the chance now to obtain scientific material.
"The best practical method for obtaining and collecting this skull material could be followed by directing the Wehrmacht to turn over alive all captured Jewish-Bolshevik commissars to the Feldpolizei. The Feldpolizei, in turn, would be given special directives to inform a certain office at regular intervals of the numbers and places of detention of these captured Jews, and to give them close attention and care until a special delegate arrives. This special delegate, who will be in charge of securing-the material (a junior physician of the Wehrmacht or the Feldpolizei, or a student of medicine equipped with a motor car and driver), will be required to take a previously stipulated series of photographs, make anthropological measurements, and, in addition, determine as far as possible descent, date of birth, and other personal data.
"Following the subsequently induced death of the Jew,, whose head should not be damaged, the physician will sever the head from the body and will forward it to its proper point of destination in a hermetically sealed tin can especially made for this purpose and filled with a conserving fluid. Having arrived at the laboratory, the comparison tests and anatomical research on the skull, as well as determination of the race membership and of pathological features of the skull form, the form and size of the brain, et cetera, can be undertaken by photos, measurements, and other data supplied on the head and the skull itself."
That was the report which you forwarded to Brandt?
SIEVERS: Yes, that was the report of Professor Hirt.
MAJOR JONES: How did the collection of these skeletons from the living proceed?
SIEVERS: I cannot give you the exact details. In earlier interrogations I pointed out that Professor Hirt would have to be asked himself about this matter.
MAJOR JONES: Now, Witness, I want to give you another opportunity of telling the truth. Are you saying to this Tribunal
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that you do not know what happened with regard to the progress of that collection of skulls and skeletons?
SIEVERS: That may be seen from the report itself. Persons were then assigned for this task by order of Himmler.
MAJOR JONES: Who put the actions into operation; did you have anything to do with it, with the collection of the bodies?
SIEVERS: No, nothing at all, and I do not know either in what way this whole matter developed, since the direct correspondence and the conferences which had taken place previously between Himmler and Hirt are things I know nothing about., Hirt was an old ...
MAJOR JONES: Well now, Witness, I have given you an opportunity of protecting yourself from perjury. You have not taken it. Look at the next Document Number 086, which is on Page 13 of the document book. It will be GB-575. That is another of your letters. It is another letter of yours, again to Himmler's adjutant. It is marked "secret." It is dated 2 November 1942. Page 13 of your document book, My Lord.
"Dear comrade Brandt: As you know, the Reichsfuehrer SS has directed that SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Professor Dr. Hirt be supplied with everything needed for his research work. For certain anthropological researches-I already reported to the Reichsfuehrer SS on them-150 skeletons of prisoners, or rather Jews, are required, which are to be supplied by the Concentration Camp Auschwitz. The only thing that remains to be done is for the Reich Security Main Office to receive an official directive from the Reichsfuehrer SS. This however, can also be given by you, acting for the Reichsfuehrer SS."
You had already been discussing this with Himmler, Witness, had you not? You were his agent for collecting these living men to turn them into skeletons?
SIEVERS: That does not apply in this form. The entire matter covered such a long period of time that I am not able to reconstruct the entire connection on the spur of the moment, as I was concerned only with particulars.
MAJOR JONES: I am sure you are not in a hurry to reconstruct them, as I am sure you could do. For the second time in regard to this matter you have taken an oath, and I want you to give some indication that you know what an oath means. You are a man of education.
Look at the next document, Number 089, to refresh your memory as to how distant you were from this matter. It becomes GB-576.
THE PRESIDENT: It came through as 089. Do you mean 089?
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MAJOR JONES: 089, Page 16 of Your Lordship's document book.
[Turning to the witness.] That is a letter from Brandt to the RSHA, dated 6 November 1942, marked "Secret." It is for the attention of SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann of the RSHA. Reference is "Establishment of a collection of skeletons at the Anatomical Institute at Strasbourg."
MAJOR JONES: "The Reichsfuehrer SS has issued a directive to the effect that SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Professor Dr. Hirt, who is the director of the Anatomical Institute at Strasbourg and the head of a department of the Institute for Scientific Research for Specific Military Purposes in the Office Ahnenerbe, be furnished with everything he needs for his research work. By order of the Reichsfuehrer SS, therefore, I ask you to be of assistance in bringing about the planned collection, SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Sievers will get in touch with you to discuss the details."
Do you still say you know nothing of the details of this matter?
SIEVERS: I did not say that at all. Here we are concerned with the entire historical development of this matter, and in that connection I just cannot say from what moment on this matter started, for that can be traced back directly to conversations between Himmler and Hirt, which took place before Hirt became director of anatomy at Strasbourg University. In that capacity, he had the opportunity of carrying out his task of setting up a modern anatomical institute supplied with the necessary modern scientific facilities and collections. Thereupon Hirt, in view of his previous conversations with Himmler, made the application as may be seen from the report. Then I received the order to help Hirt in this task assigned to him by Himmler. I do not know whether Himmler himself ...
MAJOR JONES: Just a moment, Witness. How many human beings were killed to create this collection of skeletons?
SIEVERS: 150 people are mentioned in this report.
MAJOR JONES: That was all you assisted in murdering, was it?
SIEVERS: I had nothing to do with the murdering of these people. I simply carried through the function of a mailman.
MAJOR JONES: You were the post office, another of these distinguished Nazi post offices, were you?
SIEVERS: If you wish to refer, as I gather from-your question, to my interrogation before the Commission, I must point out that in the interrogation before the Commission only the group Rascher was under discussion.
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MAJOR JONES: I asked you quite clearly when I cross-examined you before the Commission: "How many people do you estimate were murdered in connection with the Rascher and other experiments carried out under the guise of Nazi science?" and you told me, "I cannot say, because I had no insight into these matters at all." Fortunately there are records of what you witnesses say available.
Now, just turn to the next document, Number ...
SIEVERS: Even today I cannot give definite dates, and I do not know the exact number of persons used by Rascher for experiments. Therefore I cannot tell you that there were a certain number, since I do not know.
MAJOR JONES: You swore to the Commissioner that you had no insight into these matters. Turn to Document 087, so that your memory may be refreshed.
That will be GB-577. It is Page 14 of Your Lordship's document book.
[Turning to the witness.] This is another of your letters. It is headed: "Amt Ahnenerbe," "Institute of Scientific Research for Military Purposes." You were the director of that institute, were you not?
SIEVERS: Yes. I was the Reich manager.
MAJOR JONES: Yes. This is dated 21 June 1943. It is marked "Top Secret," to the RSHA, Department IV B 4, for the attention of SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann. "Subject:' Establishment of a collection of skeletons."
"Referring to your letter of 25 September 1942 ... and the personal conversations which have since taken place on this subject, I wish to inform you that our collaborator, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Haagen, who was in charge of, the above special project .. broke off his experiments in the Concentration Camp Auschwitz on 15 June 1943 because of the existing danger of epidemics.
"Altogether 115 persons were experimented on..."
Let me just pause there for a moment. What form of experiments were going on on these human beings with a view to the collection of skeletons? What sort of experiments were they, Witness?
SIEVERS: Anthropological measurements.
MAJOR JONES: Before they were murdered, they were anthropologically measured? That was all there was to it, was it?
SIEVERS: And casts were taken.
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MAJOR JONES: It does not take very long to make an anthropological measurement or to take a cast, you know, Witness. There were some other experiments than measurements and casts carried out on these unfortunate victims of your science, were there not?
SIEVERS: I am not familiar with this type of work in Auschwitz. I know only that anthropological measurements were taken, but I do not know how long these measurements took.
MAJOR JONES: I will continue your letter now, which makes it quite clear that there must have been something far more sinister than anthropological measurements.
"Altogether 115 persons were experimented on. 79 were Jews; 30 were Jewesses, 2 were Poles and 4 were Asiatics. At the moment these prisoners are segregated by sex and are under quarantine in two hospital buildings of the Concentration Camp Auschwitz.
"For further experimentation on these selected prisoners it will be necessary to have them transferred to the Concentration Camp Natzweiler. This transfer should be made as speedily as possible in view of the existing danger of an epidemic at Auschwitz. A list of the people selected is attached.
"It is requested to issue the necessary directives. Since this transfer of prisoners presents a certain amount of danger of spreading the epidemic to Natzweiler, we request that immune and clean prisoner clothing for 80 men and 30 women be sent from Natzweiler to Auschwitz immediately. At the same time lodgings should be prepared for the women at Natzweiler for a short time."
That is your letter. If your only interest in these unfortunate people was their anthropological measurements and the securing of their frail bones for skeletons, why did you not kill them straightaway? You must have made experiments on them, the results of which you wanted to discover, did you not?
SIEVERS: No, I know nothing whatever of experiments, and such experiments were not carried on.
MAJOR JONES: What happened to this collection of skeletons? Where was it assembled?
SIEVERS: It was taken to Natzweiler, and the further treatment was in the hands of Professor Hirt.
MAJOR JONES: After SS Professor Hirt and the other SS men had murdered these people, what happened to their bodies? Where were they sent?
SIEVERS: I assume that they were taken to the Anatomical Institute at Strasbourg.
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MAJOR JONES: Have you any doubt in your mind about that, Witness? You seem to be hesitant about admitting it. Have you any doubt?
SIEVERS: Well, I have seen no reports about that and did not receive any.
MAJOR JONES: Did you have anything to do with the disposal of those skeletons and those bodies ultimately? Did you have anything to do with the ultimate disposal of those bodies? I appreciate your difficulty in answering the question.
SIEVERS: No. That was in the hands of Professor Hirt. I was not at Strasbourg or Natzweiler in this connection at all.
MAJOR JONES: Did you make any suggestion as to what should happen to the collection at any time?
SIEVERS: It was much later, when questions arose concerning the occupation of Strasbourg and where the collection was to be deposited.
MAJOR JONES: What did you do, then?
SIEVERS: I believe a conference took place-I cannot exactly tell you with whom-to obtain a decision on the part of Himmler as to where the collection was to, be housed.
MAJOR JONES: Were you present at that conference?
SIEVERS: I did not talk with Himmler about that matter then.
MAJOR JONES: Did you make any suggestion as to what should happen and what should be done with the human bodies that you had assembled at Strasbourg? Did you have any suggestions to make?
SIEVERS: I cannot say any more. I no longer remember.
MAJOR JONES: Just try to recollect, will you? I'm sure you know. It was 1944. It's not very long ago. I'm sure it must be very vivid in your memory.
SIEVERS: I am sorry; I cannot give you an exact answer because I do not remember.
MAJOR JONES: Witness, when the Allied armies were approaching Strasbourg and the day of reckoning was coming for you, what suggestion did you make with regard to these bodies in Strasbourg? Tell the Court.
SIEVERS: I said that I asked Himmler to make a decision as to what was to become of this collection. This was an affair which originated from conversations and ideas between Himmler and Hirt, and I was drawn into it because of the administrative and technical dispatch of the matter; and therefore Himmler alone could decide what was to be done.
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MAJOR JONES: I've again given you an opportunity to protect yourself from perjury. Look at the Document Number 088 at Page 15 of Your Lordship's document book; it will be GB-578. This is another of the letters from your personal staff to Brandt, Himmler's adjutant; and it is addressed to the Reichsfuehrer SS, Personal Staff Department; and that's the Ahnenerbe. It was dated 5 September 1944. It is marked "Top Secret." The Allied armies were advancing towards Strasbourg, weren't they, by then?
SIEVERS: Yes, that is correct.
MAJOR JONES: The subject is "Collection of Jewish skeletons." "According to the proposal of 9 February.1942 and your approval of 23 February 1942 ... Professor Dr. Hirt has assembled the skeleton collection which was previously nonexistent. In view of the vast amount of scientific research connected therewith, the job of reducing the corpses to skeletons has not yet been completed. Since this requires some time for 80 corpses, Hirt requests directives as to what should be done with the collection stored in the morgue of the Anatomical Institute in case Strasbourg should be endangered.
"The corpses can be stripped of, the flesh and thereby rendered unidentifiable. This, however, would mean that at least part of the whole work had been done for nothing and that this unique collection would be lost to science, since it would be impossible to make plaster casts afterwards. The skeleton collection as such is inconspicuous. The flesh parts could be declared as having been left by the French at the time we took over the Anatomical Institute and would be turned over for cremating. Please advise me which of the following three proposals is to be carried out: 1) The collection as a whole to be preserved; 2) The collection to be dissolved in part; 3) The collection to be completely dissolved."
Why were you wanting to deflesh the bodies, Witness?
SIEVERS: In this connection I must say that this letter reached me as an inquiry from Professor Hirt and was passed on by me in this teletype letter. As I said previously, for this reason I could not exactly remember it, for as a layman the entire manner of treatment was totally unknown to me.
MAJOR JONES: Why were you suggesting that the blame should be passed on to the French? You knew there was murder in connection with this collection, didn't you? You knew it perfectly well, Witness.
SIEVERS: I just said that I transmitted an inquiry from Professor Hirt; and that explains that I could not put an inquiry of my own in this form, for I as a layman could have no opinion in this
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matter. I stated that this was an inquiry by Hirt which was passed on by me.
MAJOR JONES: Were you able to carry out the suggestion of the defleshing of these bodies?
SIEVERS: I cannot tell you anything about that, for I cannot quite imagine how it was done.
MAJOR JONES: Happily, again there is a document which indicates the whole story. Just look at it, because it is clear that you have no intention of telling the truth; Document Number 091, Exhibit GB-579. There are two following notes from Himmler's file. The first note, signed by SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Berg:
"On 12 October 1944 1 had a telephone conversation with SS Standartenfuehrer Sievers and asked him if the Strasbourg skeleton collection had been completely dissolved as directed by SS Standartenfuehrer Baumert. SS Standartenfuehrer Sievers could not advise me on that matter since he had not as yet heard anything further from Professor Hirt. I told him that in case the dissolution had not yet been carried out, a certain part of the collection should be preserved. However, every guarantee must be given that a complete dissolution could be made in time in case Strasbourg should be in danger. SS Standartenfuehrer Sievers promised me that he would find out about it and let me know."
And then the next entry, on 26 October 1944, a note for Dr. Brandt: "During his visit at the operational headquarters on 21 October 1944, SS Standartenfuehrer Sievers told me that the collection in Strasbourg had been completely dissolved in the meantime in accordance with the directive given him at the time. He is of the opinion that this arrangement is for the best in view of the whole situation."
SIEVERS: The authenticity of my testimony can be seen from the remarks of Hauptsturmfuehrer Berg, for he says "Standartenfuehrer Sievers could not advise me on that matter since he had not as yet heard anything further from Professor Hirt." So in every respect I was always dependent upon the statements, reports, and proposals of Professor Hirt. My own attitude in these matters did not play any role whatsoever. As I have already mentioned in the interrogations before the Commission, I was not responsible for any action taken, nor could I prevent any action.
MAJOR JONES: You were the business manager in this scientific experiment in murder, weren't you. That was your function? You were a vital cog in the machine of this "Ahnenerbe"?
SIEVERS: It was by no means an important part, as may be seen from the Commission findings. The "Ahnenerbe" comprised more
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than 50 departments and had great research projects on a scientific basis in accord with its original intentions. It occupied itself with these projects so exclusively that these matters, in which I think it became unfortunately involved through Himmler, hardly played any part in it at all. In vain did I try to prevent this connection.
MAJOR JONES: You go as far as to admit that certain unfortunate matters did arise in connection with the work of the Ahnenerbe, do you?
SIEVERS: I never disputed that in the past.
MAJOR JONES: What was your connection with the experiments on human beings in connection with the poison gas or poisoned chemical "Lost," experiments on counteragents for wounds caused by your preparation, "Lost"?
SIEVERS: Professor Hirt developed a therapeutic treatment for the curing of "Lost" wounds. In the development of this method of therapy, he experimented on himself, an experiment which seriously damaged his health, as can be seen from the documents submitted here now.
MAJOR JONES: Did he experiment on anyone other than himself?
SIEVERS: I shall continue., Himmler was interested in these experiments and was quite excited when he heard that Hirt had done these experiments on his own person; and in this connection he referred to a Fuehrer decree that in the case of such experiments volunteers from among prisoners or criminals who had been sentenced to death should be chosen. Thereupon Hirt, and only at Himmler's request, made checks on 20 persons, that is, when he had already ascertained from his own experiments that lasting injury would not arise any longer. He further pointed out that it was much more important-and this was really our first working contact with Hirt-that sufficient experimental animals should be procured for the experiments, for at the outbreak of the war the supply of experimental animals had diminished to such an extent that necessary scientific experiments could no longer be carried out ...
MAJOR JONES: Just a moment, Witness. Can't you answer my questions without going into these lengthy speeches? Did you substitute human beings for animals for the purpose of these experiments?
SIEVERS: You mean in connection with Professor Hirt?
MAJOR JONES: Certainly.
SIEVERS: Yes, I just said that after the experiments on his own person he experimented on 20 people who volunteered for this experiment.
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MAJOR JONES: Did you write to Brandt in connection with the "Lost" experiments, explaining certain difficulties that you were getting with the Natzweiler Concentration Camp?
SIEVERS: I do not have the document before me.
MAJOR JONES: Don't worry yourself. Just try to answer my question. Don't worry whether you have the document before you. I appreciate it will be embarrassing if it is found. Just answer my question: Did you write to Brandt in connection with these "Lost" experiments, describing difficulties you were having from the concentration camp?
SIEVERS: I do not remember in detail what difficulties were involved. It may be that I wrote that.
MAJOR JONES: Try to recollect what you wrote about in connection with these "Lost" experiments, will you?
SIEVERS: Well, I can only mention now as before that these things came to me on the basis of notes and reports from Hirt and that I transmitted these matters without being able to recall them in detail, because these were single incidents among the great mass of my work, so that details could no longer remain in my memory after this length of time.
MAJOR JONES: I appreciate the mass of work you were involved in. I have four or five other experiments in murder to draw your attention to. But just look at the Document Number 092, Page 19 of Your Lordship's document book, GB-580. That is a letter from Brandt to you. It is addressed to you, SS Standartenfuehrer Sievers, the Ahnenerbe society, dated 3 December 1942.
"I have your note of 3 November 1942 in front of me today. At the time I could only speak to SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl very shortly. If I remember correctly, he even sent me a letter informing me that he would have the deficiencies which you described taken care of, but I did not have time to enumerate them in detail. I had just received your letter the same morning on which I went to see SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl. Therefore, it was impossible for me to read it before hand. I only remembered what you had told me during our last conversation. If it should be necessary for me to take this matter up again, will you please let me know."
Now, what were those deficiencies which you had described in your note to Pohl? Just try to remember them.
SIEVERS: I cannot tell you what that dealt with in detail. Please show me the note.
MAJOR JONES: Can you not recollect at all what the difficulty was? Was it connected with the payment for the prisoners to be experimented on?
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SIEVERS: I do not recall that.
MAJOR JONES: In any event, these experiments in connection with the "Lost" went on as far as April 1944, didn't they?
SIEVERS: I cannot tell you that from memory.
MAJOR JONES: Try to recollect. Didn't they go on until April 1944? Just look at Document Number 015. You are being totally uncooperative. That would be GB-581. That is another of your letters to the Reichsfuehrer SS. On Page 6 of your document book, My Lord. To the Reichsfuehrer SS, Personal Staff, Department A, your society. It is dated 11 April 1944. "Top secret." It is from you to Brandt.
"Subject: Fuehrer's order of 1 March 1944.
"Dear Comrade Brandt: In accordance with orders, I got in touch with SS Brigadefuehrer Professor Dr. Brandt and informed him in Beelitz on 31 March about the research work conducted by SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Professor Dr. Hirt. On this occasion I handed to him the plan for the treatment of L.-damage..."
That is "Lost" damage, is it not, Witness?
MAJOR JONES: ". . worked out by Professor Hirt, a copy of which I enclose for you for presentation to the Reichsfuehrer SS, if the occasion should arise. Professor Brandt tells me that he will be in Strasbourg in the first week in April and that he intends to discuss details with Professor Hirt then."
Now, you see that those experiments on human beings with this poison "Lost" went on right through to 1944, didn't they?
SIEVERS: No,' it is not true that way. This letter goes back to the following: Professor Brandt was made commissioner general for questions pertaining to chemicals for warfare. I received a copy of this report appointing him, with instructions that now, since his appointment had taken place, I should have Hirt talk with Brandt. Hirt told me that he could not travel to see Brandt at Beelitz just for that. Therefore, at the request of Hirt, I went to see Brandt.
MAJOR JONES: All right, Witness. I want you to turn now to another aspect of your work, the Rascher experiments. You remember telling me that you had no insight into the Rascher experiments?
SIEVERS: I stated that I had a general insight, but knew nothing of particulars.
MAJOR JONES: I want you to look now at your diary for the year 1944, the Ahnenerbe Diary, Document Number 3546-PS. It has
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already been marked Exhibit GB-551. Your Lordship will find a few extracts from it at Page 29 of the document book. Witness, I have made certain extracts from your diary, and it might be convenient for you to follow those extracts, and if you want to check them against your own diary, you will be able to do so. They show how in that year you were intimately connected with Rascher and all these other murderous activities. The first entry is for 6 January, 1830 hours. SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Rascher: Paragraph "c) Letter from Reichsfuehrer SS to Obergruppenfuehrer Pob-1 about assistance for scientific research work. d) Rooms for carrying through of freezing experiments."
They were at Dachau, weren't they?
SIEVERS: Yes, they were to be carried through, but as I have already said in the Commission interrogations, this was not done. These are notes about a conversation with Rascher in which he was reporting on these matters.
MAJOR JONES: Witness, are you saying that the freezing experiments at Dachau were not carried through?
SIEVERS: Rascher told me that he would not be able to carry through these experiments, that they would have to be carried through in a locality requiring constantly extremely cold temperatures, and so these experiments did not take place.
MAJOR JONES: But you actually saw some of these experiments yourself being carried out, didn't you, in Dachau? You were in Dachau from time to time?
SIEVERS: I am afraid that there is some confusion here between the freezing experiments by the Luftwaffe and the freezing experiments which were to be carried out later on in connection with the cold in the East. Here in the year 1944 we are concerned with the experiments in freezing ...
MAJOR JONES: Which are the freezing experiments that you used to watch?
SIEVERS: I know only the freezing experiments carried on under the Luftwaffe.
MAJOR JONES: Did you see any of them being carried on?
SIEVERS: I had the order to accompany Professor Hirt who, together with Rascher, was to work on this problem and to arrive at a solution. I was present at one of those experiments.
MAJOR JONES: Now we will go to the Document Number 3546-PS, a little further. I have selected some random entries from it to show your close association with this matter. "23 January,
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1130 hours, report to RFSS together with Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr. Brandt. 1. We shall receive the reports of Professor Schilling." Now, Professor Schilling is the man who has been sentenced to death for his malaria experiments at Dachau, isn't he?
MAJOR JONES: He was also part of your team of scientists, wasn't he?
SIEVERS: We had nothing to do with Schilling at this report...
MAJOR JONES: You only received his reports, that is all; was it?
SIEVERS: That was the first time that the work of Schilling was mentioned to me at all. And Himmler explained at this meeting that Schilling had arrived at results on immunization which attracted attention. This report was to be given to us so that the Entomology Institute could take cognizance of the results that Dr. May had obtained in malaria experiments with the anopheles mosquito.
MAJOR JONES: We will go on to the next entry in the diary, 28 January. Your own diary has a daily entry of all the details, but here is another extract: "Co-operation with Institute R, Dachau, that is Rascher's institute at Dachau, is it not?
MAJOR JONES: Then, 29 January, "With Hauptsturmfuehrer Rascher and Dr. Pacholegg to Dablem." Who was Dr. Pacholegg?
SIEVERS: Dr. Pacholegg was a prisoner whom Rascher was using as assistant.
MAJOR JONES: You knew him quite well yourself, I take it?
SIEVERS: I saw him perhaps two or three times.
MAJOR JONES: He was present at some of the experiments that you watched, was he not?
SIEVERS: They concerned work on a styptic preparation, Polygal...
MAJOR JONES: Just answer my question. Dr. Pacholegg was present at some of the experiments which you watched, was he not?
SIEVERS: He was a co-worker of Rascher's. Whether he was there all the time, I do not know.
MAJOR JONES: If you refuse to answer my question I shall not put it again. We will continue further in your diary:
"2 February. Ca-Research. First demonstration of live cancer cells and therapy. Hirt succeeded in demonstrating live cancer
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cells and proving that tripoflavine enters the core of the cells as a cancer-cell-destroying coloring matter.... Protective vaccination against typhus*) by Professor Haagen. Protective vaccinations against typhus are being conducted in Natzweiler with satisfactory results." Your Lordship, I have about half an hour of cross-examination. TBE PRESEDENT: We will adjourn now.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 9 August at 1000 hours.]
* The German term "Fleckfieber" has occasionally been given in English as "spotted fever." Since this term is also applied to other diseases, the medical term "typhus" has been given preference.