The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/09/08

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Since your Lordship was good enough to ask me
whether I wanted to put any questions, I have had some further
information and I should be very grateful if you would be good enough to
allow me to ask one or two questions.

Q. Would you direct your mind to a conversation between the defendant
Kaltenbrunner, Gruppenfuehrer Nebe and Gruppenfuehrer Mueller, in the
Spring of 1944, in Berlin at Wilhelmstrasse 102?

A. Yes.

Q. With what was that conversation concerned?

A. That conversation, as far as I could gather -- since I took no part
in it -- concerned the subsequent invention of excuses for the shooting
of about 50 English and American prisoners of war. The conversation in
its particulars and to the best of my recollection, was as follows:
there had evidently been a request from the International Red Cross
inquiring as to the whereabouts of 50 English and American prisoners of
war. This request for information by the International Red Cross appears
to have been passed on to the Chief of the Security Police and the S.D.
via the Foreign Office. From the conversation I could . . .

Q. Just one moment : was it already in the form of a protest against the
shooting of prisoners of war?

A. I believe it was lodged in the form of a protest, since from
fragments of this conversation I gathered that there was a discussion as
to how the shooting of these prisoners of war, which had already taken
place, could be covered up or disguised.

Q. How this could be done?

A. Or had been done.

Q. Did Kaltenbrunner discuss this with Mueller and Nebe?

A. Kaltenbrunner discussed this matter with Mueller and Nebe, but I
merely heard fragments of the conversation. I heard, incidentally, that
they meant to discuss the details in the course of the afternoon.

Q. Did you hear any suggestion put forward as to what explanations
should be offered to explain away the shooting of these prisoners?

A. Yes, Kaltenbrunner himself offered these suggestions.

Q. What were the suggestions?

A. That the greatest part be treated as individual cases, as "having
perished in air raids" ; some, I believe, because they "offered
resistance" i.e., "physical resistance", while others were "pursued when

Q. You mean- -- shot while trying to escape?

A. Yes, shot in flight.

Q. And these were the excuses which Kaltenbrunner suggested?

A. Yes. these were the excuses that Kaltenbrunner suggested.

                                                              [Page 298]

Q. Now, I want you to try and remember as well as you can about these
prisoners. Does any number remain in your mind?
Can you remember any number of prisoners that they were discussing or
how these explanations arose? About how many?

A. I remember only that the number 50 was mentioned over and over again,
but how the particulars went I cannot say because I just followed
fragments of the conversation, I could not follow the exact

Q. But the number 50 remains in your mind?

A. Yes, I heard 50.

Q. Can you remember anything of the place or the camp in which these
people had been, who were said to have been shot?

A. I cannot tell you under oath. There is a possibility that I might add
a little bit. I believe it was Breslau, but I cannot state it exactly,
as a fact.

Q. Can you remember anything of what service the people belonged to?
Were they Air Force or Army? Have you any recollection on that point?

A. I believe they were all officers.

Q. Were officers?

A. Yes.

Q. But you cannot remember what service?

A. No, that I cannot tell you.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I am very grateful to the Tribunal for letting
me ask these questions.

COLONEL AMEN: That is all for this witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, the witness can go then.

(The witness withdrew.)

COLONEL AMEN I wish to call as the next witness Alois Hijllriegel.

THE PRESIDENT What is your name?

THE WITNESS : Alois Hoellriegel.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you take this oath?

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 in German.)

THE PRESIDENT: You can sit down if you want to.


Q. What position did you hold at the end of the war?

A. At the end of the war I was Unterscharfuehrer at Mauthausen.

Q. Were you a member of the Totenkopf S.S.?

A. Yes; in the year 1939 I was drafted into the S.S.

Q. What were your duties at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp?

A. I was, until the winter of 1942, with a guard company and I stood
guard. From 1942 until the end of the war I was detailed to the inner
service of the concentration camp.

Q. And you therefore had occasion to witness the extermination of
inmates of that camp by shooting, gassing and so forth?

A. Yes, I saw that.

Q. And did you make an affidavit in this case to the effect that you saw
Kaltenbrunner at that camp?

A. Yes.

Q. And that he saw and was familiar with the operation of the gas
chamber there?

A. Yes.

                                                              [Page 299]

Q. Did yuou also have occasion to see nay other important personages
visiting tnat concentration camp?

A. I remember Pohl, Gluecks, Kaltenbrunner, Schirach and Gauleiter of
the Steyermark, Uiberreuther.

Q. And did you personally see Schirach at that concentration camp at

A. Yes.

Q. Do you remember what he looks like so that you could identify him

A. I think that he has probably changed a little in recent times, but I
would certainly remember him.

Q. How long ago was it that you saw him there

A. It was in the fall of 1942. Since then I have not seen him.

Q. Will you look around the Courtroom and see whether you can see
Schirach in the Courtroom?

A. Yes.

Q. Which person is it?

A. In the second row, the third person from the left.

COLONEL AMEN: The affidavit to which I referred was Exhibit USA 515.

THE PRESIDENT: What is the PS number?



Q. I now show you a copy of Document 2641-PS and ask you whether you can
recognise the place where those individuals are standing?

A. As far as I can recognise it at a glance, it is a quarry ; whether it
is at Mauthausen or not one cannot determine exactly, because the view
is too small.

Q. Would you repeat that answer please?

A. Certainly, as far as can be seen from this picture, I cannot see
clearly if this is the Wiener-Graben quarry near Mauthausen. It might
easily be another quarry. A larger range of vision is required. But I
think that visits were often made there. I assume that this is the
Wiener-Graben quarry.

Q. Very good. Just lay the picture aside for the time being.

Did you have occasion to observe the killing of inmates of the
concentration camp by their being pushed off a cliff?

A. Yes.

Q. Will you tell the Tribunal what you saw with respect to that

A. I remember it was in 1941. At that time I was with a guard company on
the tower which closed off the area of the quarry. I was able to observe
in the morning about six to eight prisoners who came with two S.S. men
of my acquaintance. One was Spatzenecker and the other,
Unterscharfuehrer Eichenhofer; they moved ...

THE PRESIDENT: Wait, you are going too fast. You should go slower.

A. I saw that they were approaching the precipice near the quarry. I
saw, from my watch-tower, that these two S.S. men were beating the
prisoners and I realised immediately that they intended to force them to
throw themselves over the precipice or else to push them over. I noticed
how one of the prisoners was kicked while lying on the ground, and the
gestures showed that he was supposed to throw himself down the
precipice. This the prisoner promptly did under the pressure of the
blows -- presumably in despair.

                                                              [Page 300]

A. I estimate that it was 30 to 40 metres.

Q. Was there a term used amongst you guards for this practice of having
the prisoners fall from the top of the precipice?

A. Yes. In Mauthausen Camp they were called paratroopers.

COLONEL AMEN The witness is available to other counsel.

THE PRESIDENT Has the Russian Prosecutor or the French Prosecutor or any
defence counsel any questions?

BY DR. SAUTER (Counsel for defendant von Schirach)

Q. Witness, I am interested in the following points.

You said previously that in 1939 you were taken into the S.S.?

A. That is true, on 6th September....

Q. One moment, please repeat your answer.

A. That is right. On 6th September, 1939, I was taken into the S.S. at
Ebersberg near Linz.

Q. Had you no connection at all with the Party before then?

A. Yes. In April, 1938, I enlisted in the Civilian S.S., because I was
out of work and without any support, and I thought, I will join the
Civilian S.S. ; there I will get work, in order to be able to marry.

Q. Then, if I understood you correctly, you were drafted into the S.S.
in 1939, because you had already enlisted in the Civilian S.S. in the
spring Of 1938?

A. I cannot say that exactly. Mlany were drafted into the Armed Forces,
into the Air Force and into the General S.S.

Q. Are you an Austrian?

A. Yes.

Q. Then at that time you lived in Austria

A. Yes, at Graz.

Q. I am interested in a certain point in regard to the defendant von
Schirach. You saw the defendant von Schirach at Mauthausen. How often
did you see him there?

A. I cannot remember so exactly -- once.

Q. Once?

A. Yes.

Q. Was von Schirach alone at Mauthausen, or was he with other people?

A. He was accompanied by other gentlemen. There was a group of about ten
people, and among them I recognised von Schirach and Gauleiter

Q. There are supposed to have been 20 persons at least and not 10, on
that occasion.

A. I did not know at that time that I might have to give these figures I
did not count them.

Q. This point is important to me, because the defendant Schirach told me
it was a, visit of inspection, an official inspection tour of the
concentration camp Mauthausen, occasioned by a meeting of the Economic
Advisors of all six Gaue of the Ostmark.

A. Yes, I naturally did not know why he came to the camp, but I remember
that this group came with von Schirach and Schutzhaftlagerfuehrer
(Protective Custody-Camp Leader) Bachmeyer. At any rate I could see that
it looked like an inspection.

                                                              [Page 301]

Q. Did you know that this inspection was announced in we camp severai
days before and that certain preparations were made in the camp because
of it?

A. I cannot remember any specific preparations, but I do remember it was
during the evening hours. I cannot tell you the exact hour ; it was the
time of the evening roll-call. The prisoners had assembled for roll-call
and all the troops on duty also had to fall in. Then this group came in.

Q. Did you or your comrades not know on the day before that this
inspection would take place the very next day?

A. I cannot remember that.

Q. And did it not strike you that certain definite preparations had been
made in this camp?

A. I cannot remember that any preparations were made.

DR. SAUTER : I have no further questions to ask this witness.

BY DR. STEINBAUER (Counsel for defendant Seyss-Inquart):

Q. Witness, you described an incident which, according to the conception
entertained by civilised people, cannot be designated anything but
murder -- i.e., the hurling of people over the side of the quarry. Did
you report this incident to your superiors?

A. These incidents happened frequently and it is to be assumed with a
100 per cent. degree of accuracy, that the superiors knew about them

Q. In other words, you did not report this. Is it true that on pain of
death not only the internees but also the guards were forbidden to
report incidents of this sort to a third person?

A. Yes.

DR. STEINBAUER: I have no other question.



0. Would you just look at that picture again?

A. Yes.

Will you look at it carefully and tell me whether that is the quarry
underneath the cliff which you have just described?

A Yes, as far as I can tell from this picture, I assume with a 100 per
cent. degree of accuracy that it is the quarry Wiener-Graben ; but one
would have to see niore, more background, to decide whether it is really
this quarry. One sees too little, but I think quite certainly . . .

Q. Do you recognise the individuals whose faces appear in the picture?

A. Yes.

0. Will you tell the Tribunal the ones whom you recognise?

A. I recognise of course Reichsfuehrer S.S. Himmler first of all, next
to him the Commandant of Mauthausen Concentration Camp and away to the
right I recognise Kaltenbrunner.

COLONEL AMEN: That is all, may it please the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can go and we will adjourn for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

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