The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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         Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Supplement B
      Composition and Activities of "Himmler's Friends"
                              
     Excerpts from Testimony of Oswald Pohl, taken at
     Nurnberg, Germany, 8 June 1946, 1030-1230, by Lt.
     Col. Smith W. Brookhart, Jr., IGD. Also present:
     Dr. Joseph Maier, Interpreter; Charles J.
     Gallagher, Reporter.
     
Q. You have mentioned dealings with Ohlendorf. Will you
elaborate on what particulars you dealt with Ohlendorf, or
had contact with him?

                                                 [Page 1597]
                                                            
A. Whenever I met Ohlendorf it was only within that special
circle of Friends of Himmler's. I never looked him up in an
official capacity.

Q. What were the occasions when you met with Ohlendorf?

A. Every month the circle of Friends of Himmler's got
together. There were about thirty persons present and
Ohlendorf was among them. I say, these were the occasions on
which I got together with him.

Q. Where were these meetings?

A. Usually in the House of Aviators in Berlin.

Q. When were these meetings? What time of the day, and how
long would they last?

A. They usually started at 7:30 in the evening and would
last until about ten or ten-thirty, when people began to go
away.

Q. How large was the average attendance?

A. The average attendance was twenty persons. Sometimes
thirty persons. I don't know all the people that belonged to
that particular circle of Friends of Himmler's. I just saw
the people that happened to be there.

Q. Did the same people attend every month?

A. That varied. At one meeting one fellow would not appear,
and another fellow would appear at another meeting. That
varied, and I was not there either every time.

Q. You mentioned before that economic and business leaders
often attended these monthly dinners for the friends of
Himmler's. Who, for instance?

A. The majority of people who attended were economic and
business leaders. Among them were Baron von Schroeder,
Lindemann who I beleive was the president of the German
Economic Chamber, Emil Helfferich from Hamburg, Ritter von
Halt, the successor of the Reichsport Leader Tschammer-
Osten, Professor Meyer of the Dresdener Bank in Berlin, and
Herr Flick, the noted central German industrialist.

Q. Were there other industrial or business leaders at these
dinners who you can now recall?

A. Dr. Binge, who was a representative of a large concern. I
am not sure whether that was Siemens. Yes, I seem to recall
that he was the Director General of Siemens. Then there was
one Rosterig of Kastel --Harthein, but which firm he
represented I don't know. One Herr Loscher, formerly of the
Reich Finance Ministry, and subsequently a leader of an
economic concern either subsidized or established by the
Reich Government.

Q. Then you can think about those and give us other names

                                                 [Page 1598]
                                                            
later. Now as you talked to Ohlendorf what did you usually
discuss?

A. It was usually the case that we of the SS would spread
among the group, and talk to the other guests. We would not
sit together, you see. Thus it happened that Ohlendorf and I
did not talk very much to each other.

Q. Was this habit of spreading SS representatives among the
other guests a prearranged matter?

A. Yes, it was. We were told not to sit together. The
seating arrangement at the table was such that the SS was
spread among the other guests. Himmler had his personal
guests sit near him, and we were supposed to entertain them.

Q. What were you told to discuss with the guests?

A. We did not have any definite instructions as to what to
talk to them about. We were simply asked to entertain them.

Q. Who among the SS approached these leaders for financial
support?

A. The manager of this affair was Brigadefuehrer Kranefuss.
He issued the invitations on behalf of the Reichsfuehrer SS
Himmler, and even I received an invitation every time. He
arranged the seating order around the table, and it was he
who discussed all the internal matters with the economic
leaders there. They were not restricted to these gatherings
for their talks or discussions. That is, the economic
leaders were not restricted to these social gatherings.
These activities must have taken place outside as well.

Q. I am concerned with the manner in which these industrial
and business leaders were approached for financial aid. What
do you know about that?

A. I would not know anything about this. All of this was
attended to by Kranefuss. How he did it I do not know.

Q. When did you learn about it, after the money came into
the treasury of the SS?

A. I never received the money; that was received by the
personal staff, that is Wolff.

Q. You mean to tell us you knew how the money was spent, and
not where it came from?

A. I have no idea.

Q. Yes, you do.

A. I am telling you the truth. They never came through my
hands. Everything was attended to by Obergruppenfuehrer
Wolff, who had his own treasurer.

Q. You are not stupid, and you were well informed in these

                                                 [Page 1599]
                                                            
matters. You probably had a better insight of the SS
organization's financial problems and its financial reserves
than any other man.

A. That is true.

Q. Now tell us what were the amounts in a general way that
were received from these industrial leaders, and what was
done with them?

A. I must say under oath I do not know anything about the
amount of money given by these industrial leaders. All I
know is that Brigadefuehrer Kranefuss, and
Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff, and Baron von Schroeder, that
among these three men all things were discussed. One could
observe from the whole discussion that developed between
Kranefuss and Schroeder, that they were on very good terms
with each other, and they settled these matters among each
other.

Q. How much money was turned over to Hitler out of this
fund?

A. I have no idea. I do not believe that Hitler received any
money from these funs connected with the personnel
administration of Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff, who did not
permit anybody to take any look at it.


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