Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Document No. 2176-PS

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Office of the Judge Advocate
APO 403
AG 092 (3 JA-132) GNMCJ 17 June 1945

SUBJECT: Report of Investigation of Alleged war Crimes.

TO: Commanding general, Twelfth Army Group, APO 655, U.S Army.


1. This investigation was conducted in conformity with Letter, European Theater of Operations, 24 February 1945, by Eugene S. Cohen, ASN O-1573121, Major, 514th Quartermaster Group. APO 403, United States Army, Investigator-Examiner, during the period 6 May 1945 to 15 June 1945, and pursuant to directive of Commanding General, third United States Army, a Copy of which is attached as Exhibit 1.


2. Murder by shooting, beating, use of poison gas, drowning, starving, injections, stoning, exposure, burning, and choking of nationals of twenty-three (23) nations, including members of the United States armed forces, of the German Civilian population working under the German armed forces and of other nationals under the orders of said German armed forces, in violation of Article 2 of the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention (Par 73, rules of Land Warfare, Article 2 of same, Par 25, 26, 30, and 31, rules of Land Warfare).


3. a. the testimony of all witnesses examined in the course of this investigation and which is attached and made a part hereof was secured through the use of interpreters where requisite, after the witness had been sworn by me, through the interpreter, under the authority of Article of War 114, in the following form: "You swear (or affirm) that the evidence you shall give in this investigation now being conducted by me shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help you God." Where practicable, the witness was given an opportunity to sign his testimony in my presence and, in all cases, it was signed after such testimony had been read back to the witness in his own language by the interpreter. The use of a stenographic reporter was impracticable under existing conditions.

The interpreter was sworn in the following form: "You swear (or affirm) that you will truly interpret this investigation now being conducted by me. So help you God."

b. The transcribed testimony of each such witness whose name is below listed is hereto attached as an Exhibit-the number of which is indicated immediately following the witness' name. As a further aid, the name of each camp in the chain at which the said Exhibit was prepared is listed alongside the name of the witness:

c. Other Exhibits:


(a) (Exhibit 4 is a report by an International Committee set up by this investigation, and same is sworn to in due form by the two witnesses named. The report is further documented with the names of others who helped compile the facts and figures).

(b) Journal Record of Victims between certain dates, including information as to name, nationality, residence, date of birth, date of death, manner of death, and the name of guards performing the actual execution. (Ex. #214)

(c) "Totenbuch," or Book of the Dead, representing names of victims, nationality, residence, date of birth, date of death, and manner of death, between certain dates.This is a sample of small journals which were later incorporated in the permanent records which number sixteen (16 Volumes and which will be submitted in a supplemental report. (Ex. #215)

(d) Specimen of poisonous gas used in gas chamber at Mauthausen and gusen No. 1. and No. 2. (Ex. #216)

(e) Rubber hose used by SS Guards to beat prisoners in the Mauthausen Chain of Camps. (Ex. #217)

(f) Heavy whip used by SS Guards to beat prisoners in the Mauthausen Chain of Camps. (Ex. #218)

(g) Cat of Nine Tails Whip used by SS guards. (Ex. #219)


4. A Certificate by the Investigator-Examiner is attached hereto in separate form, summarizing the camp and methods of working them in the present investigation.

a. Between 1,500,000 and 2,000,000 political prisoners are known to have been incarcerated and labeled for extermination at the mauthausen system of concentration camps from available records. The Chain consisted of between 23 and 30 individual camps between the years 1941 and 1945, the number varying as the smaller of these were occasionally evacuated when certain jobs had been finished (see Exhibits 4, 81, and 213).

b. Of the camps affiliated with Mauthausen, the present investigation covered 13 of them of which the largest were mauthausen, gusen, Number 1 and Number 2, Ebensee, Steyr, and gunskirchen. Others in the list situated in Third Army Territory were linz, Numbers 1, 2, and 3, Wells, Lenzing, Schlier, and Enns. The victims of this Chain of camps were murdered by the SS guards working in these camps under the command of Franz Ziereis, Commandant and George Bachmayer, Assistant Commandant, both now deceased, whose headquarters were at the fortress in Muathausen (see Exhibits 209, 210, and 212).

c. Evidence reveals that the orders for the systemic decimation of these prisoners originated in Berlin under the direct orders of SS Fuehrer Heinrich Himmler (see Exhibit 4).

d. American forces liberated this camp on 5 May 1945 and this Investigator-Examiner and his team commenced this investigation on 6 May 1945.

e. The victims of the Mauthausen Chain of concentration camps are in the process of compilation and will be submitted in a supplementary report.

5. It may be added that one of the functions of the international Committee formed by this investigator to assist in the investigation of these camps was to arrange for each nation to copy the names of each of its dead from the available records in order to notify the next of kin. Therefore, it is confidently concluded that each such nation already has a list of its own dead with all information regarding their manner of death and the statistics thereupon. this International Committee was selected from the inmates by the team and consisted of the most distinguished members selected by the prisoners themselves. The Committee numbered six men as principals and many assistants have greatly helped the investigation in securing the best witnesses and covering all phases in the preparation of this case for trial (see Exhibit 4).

6. Enemy individuals

a. See Exhibit 2.

b. Wanted notices for all perpetrators are in the process of preparation.


The evidence collected in this case shows very clearly that the whole purpose of the Mauthausen Chain of concentration camps was extermination of human beings for no other reason than their opposition to the Nazi way of thinking. There is no doubt that Mauthausen was the basis for long term planning. It was constructed as a gigantic stone fortress on top of a mountain flanked by small barracks.

Mauthausen, in addition to its permanency of construction, had facilities for a large garrison of officers and men, and had large dining rooms and toilet facilities for the staff. It was conducted with the sole purpose in mind of exterminating any so-called prisoner who entered within its walls.

The so-called branches of Mauthausen were under direct command of the SS officials located there. All records, orders, and administrative facilities were handled for these branches through Mauthausen. The other camps, including Gusen and Ebensee, its two most notorious and largest branches, were not exclusively used for extermination but prisoners were used as tools in construction and production until they were beaten or starved into uselessness, whereupon they were customarily sent to Mauthausen for final disposal.

The responsibility for the deaths of these victims lies definitely with the Nazi Party and with the SS men who executed its commands. Men like Himmler, Zieries, Bachmayer, Schulz, Giesler, Pelzer, and other names in Exhibit 2 are but the arch criminals. However, although direct evidence is not established against all the members of the SS guards in this disreputable Chain, the inescapable presumption is that all of them are prima facie guilty of these mass murders and the burden of proof is upon them individually to prove his innocence. In this connection the SS organization was purely a voluntary one and its purposes were obviously criminal, in violation of The Hague and Geneva Conventions, and the rights of humanity.

It is the belief of the Investigator-Examiner that the theory of "Association des Malfaiteurs" should be employed most stringently in a case as virulent and as atrocious as the Mauthausen setup (see Certificate attached hereto).

/s/Eugene S. Cohen
JA Section, Third US Army, Investigator-Examiner.
3 JA-132


I hereby certify as follows:

1. The Mauthausen Chain of Concentration Camps varied in number from twenty to thirty or more, depending on the needs of any specific work assignment.

2. As shown in Exhibits 21, 22, and 201, the captured records indicated the names of most of these camps, which varied in size from the huge fortress of Mauthausen itself, to a small detached lager similar to Steyr or Lenzing. Lenzing for example, like Steyr (See Exhibits 86, 194 and 195) were detachments from Mauthausen sent and billeted in barracks to run two large factories.

3. The map herein included as Exhibit 201 shows the locations of these named camps with most important route number leading to them. It is thus seen that the majority of these camps were located East of the River Enns (which flows into the Danube and passes through Steyr and Enns-Township, Austria), and, therefore, are of Russian concern, since this river is the present international Occupation boundary between ourselves and the Soveit Union.

4. However, the remainder of the camps (as shown in Exhibit 201), amounting roughly to about 13, have been accounted for in this present investigation. (See list of Exhibits.) The so-called most notorious of these camps are, of course, first Mauthausen (ranked with Auschwitz as by far the largest and worst of all Concentration Camps); Ebensee (ranked by many as worse than Dachau yet only an inferior Aussenlarger (Branch to Mauthausen); Gusen, divided into two large branches named Numbers one and two and of large size in themselves; gunskirchen and Steyr, (see Exhibit 84), numbering at capacity five thousand people. (See Exhibit 195.)

5. Many of these camps were evacuated almost immediately upon liberation, even so large a one as Gunskirchen. (See Exhibit 84.) This camp was said to have numbered as many as 20,000 prisoners at one time, but however, Gunskirchen, like Steyr and Lenzing and the Linz Group (Exhibit 22), and even Ebensee, were not equipped for Mass Murder (Extermination), like Mauthausen and the Gusens, and when deaths were "required" other than through starving, beatings, exposure, or lack of hygienic treatment, the prisoners were dispatched either to Mauthausen or the gusens where all were labelled for eventual annihilation. (See Exhibit 4 as a conclusive Exhibit which in itself, makes a complete case against the perpetrators involved.)

6. The total count of victims is impossible to estimate, but with hartheim Castle (a building used for mysterious disposal of people), (see Exhibit 213) almost 2,000,000 are counted from the German Records themselves. (Also see gain Exhibit 4).

7. As to the perpetrators or murderers, a complete list of leaders and some 10,000 (approximately) other SS names are included in this investigation. Descriptions are included whenever possible and at all events, Name, rank, Date of birth, Last Residence, and Residence of Next of Kin (to whom they might return) are given. (See Exhibit 2, and valuable Exhibit 213 which lists the victims between certain dates, giving their names, nationalities, Dates of Birth, Day of death, Method of Death, and Names of Guards doing the killing).

8. All Camps presently investigated are as follows:

Mauthausen, Gusen (Nos. 1 and 2) Linz (Nos. 1, 2, and 3), and Ebensee. Wels, Gunskirchen, Lenzing, Steyr, and Schlier are also taken care of as part of the chain and as indicated heretofore. All others were either in russian or British areas. All these camps have been treated as one case. However, a Supplemental report is now being prepared to follow the present one in a short time. it should be noted that Franz Ziereis, commandant of the Mauthausen Chain and Georg Bachmayer, Assistant Commandant, are now dead. (See exhibits 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 209 and 210.)

9. besides the books made Exhibits in this present report, sixteen Totenbucher (Books of the dead, as described in Exhibit 4) have been photographed in micro-film and although ready cannot be received in time to submit in this present report.

Additional Still photographs and more than 1000 feet of motion pictures have been taken by an official Signal Corps Team and will also be submitted in the Supplemental Report.

/s/ Eugene S. Cohen
Major, QMCorps, Investigating Officer.
Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Office of the United States Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality
Washington, DC : United States Government Printing Office, 1946

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