The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/09/26

                                                  [Page 224]


THIRTY-THIRD DAY
MONDAY, 14TH JANUARY, 1946

THE PRESIDENT: Would you have the witness brought in? I
think one of the defendants'
counsel was about to cross-examine him.

DR. BABEL (Counsel for the S.S. and S.D.): I would like to
put the following question to the witness. I am asking these
questions in order to understand better the previous
statements of the witness and for my own information.

The witness was from 1941 to 1945 in the concentration camp
and should be well informed on conditions as they were. His
memory seems to be excellent.

CROSS-EXAMINATION OF DR. FRANZ BLAHA

(resumed):

BY DR. BABEL:

Q. Do you know how the relations of the inmates changed
during the various periods of time; I mean the relations
between the political and criminal inmates? What was the
number of the political and criminal inmates?

A. In Dachau it was not always the same. There were
political and actual criminals and the so-called "asocial"
elements. Naturally, I am just speaking about the German
prisoners, the members of the other nations were only
political prisoners. The German inmates alone were divided
into red, green and black prisoners.

Q. Can you indicate their approximate relations? About half,
three-quarters, one-fourth?

A. I am sorry, I did not hear you.

Q. Can you give me figures? About how many of these - half,
three-quarters, or how many? Can you give me an approximate
number?

A. I would say about 5,000 German prisoners. Out of that
number, 3,000 were political prisoners; about 2,000 were
considered green and black.

Q. Was it like that during the whole four or five-year
period?

A. It changed periodically because many died; some Germans
left; many were drafted; and there were many new arrivals.
In the last year there were always more and more political
prisoners, for many of the green were taken to the front.

Q. What approximately was their total number in 1941, 1943,
and 1945?

A. We had 8 to 9,000 in 1941; in 1943 from 15 to 20,000; and
toward the end of 1944 until the beginning of 1945 we had
more than 70 to 80,000.

Q. One more question: You mentioned you had first worked on
the plantations. What do you mean by that?

A. Plantations, that refers to a large estate of the S.S.
where many spices, medical herbs and things of that sort
were raised.

Q. Was this plantation inside the camp?

A. No, it was in the near vicinity of the camp, not a part
of it.

Q. You mentioned armament works; and I gathered from your
testimony that these armament factories were partially
within the camp and partially without. Is that true?

A. At first they were only outside the camp. Then, as a
result of the bombings, certain sections were moved into the
interior of the concentration camp.

Q. Now, regarding the guards: What was the number of the
guards in 1941?

                                                  [Page 225]

A. The actual guard duty was done by about three S.S.
companies; but at Dachau there were in addition a large
garrison of S.S. and a Kommandantur. Guards were taken from
other S.S. formations from time to time, when it was
necessary. The number varied, and depended on how many
guards were needed. For regular duty there were about three
companies.

Q. Did they serve guard in the armament plants during
working hours?

A. Yes. Every labour detachment had a commander and, in
addition, these so-called guards, who went with the
detachment to their place of work and brought the prisoners
back again to the camp.

Q. While you were at the camp, did you notice any
mistreatment of the prisoners by these guards in the course
of their daily activities.

A. Yes; many.

Q. Often?

A. Yes.

Q. For what reasons?

A. The reasons varied, depending upon the nature of the
guards or the commandant.

Q. You said you were busy and active?

A. Quite busy.

Q. How did you have the opportunity to observe such
mistreatment?

A. I performed many autopsies of people either shot at work
or beaten to death. I dissected these bodies and reported on
these autopsies.

Q. You said they were shot. Did you see these shootings
yourself?

A. No.

Q. How do you know that they were shot?

A. I received the bodies from their place of work, and my
duty was to ascertain the cause of death: whether the man
has been beaten to death, whether the skull or ribs were
fractured, or whether there were internal haemorrhages. Had
he been shot, a record had to be made - an official report -
sometimes; sometimes, but rarely, when an investigation was
made, I was called in as witness.

DR. BABEL: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, do you wish to re-examine the
witness.

MR. DODD: I have no further questions to ask the witness at
this time.

THE PRESIDENT: Does any other member of the prosecuting
staff want to re-examine? Colonel Pokrovsky?

COLONEL POKROVSKY:  At this stage of the trial I have no
more questions to ask the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Then the witness can go.

MR. DODD: I should like to ask the Tribunal at this time to
take judicial notice of the findings and the sentences
imposed by the Military Court at Dachau, Germany on the 13th
day of December, 1945. The findings were dated the 12th and
the sentences on the 13th. I have here a certified copy of
the findings and the sentences, Document 3590-PS, which I
should like to offer as Exhibit USA 664.

THE PRESIDENT: Have copies of this been given to the
defendants?

MR. DODD: Yes. They have been sent to the defendant's
counsel Information Room.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well.

MR. DODD: I have one other matter that I should like to take
up very briefly before the Tribunal this morning. It is
concerned with a matter that arose after I had left the
Courtroom to return to the United States.

On the 13th December we offered in evidence Document 3421-
PS, and Exhibits USA 252 and 254. They were, respectively,
the Court will recall, sections of human skin taken from
human corpses and preserved; and a human head, the head of a
human being, which had been preserved. On the 14th

                                                  [Page 226]

day of December, according to the record, counsel for the
defendant Kaltenbrunner addressed the Tribunal and
complained that the affidavit, which was offered, of one
Pfaffenberger, failed to state that the camp commandant at
Buchenwald, Koch, along with his wife, was condemned to
death for having committed precisely these atrocities, this
business of tanning the skin and preserving the head. And in
the course of the discussion before the Tribunal the record
reveals that Counsel for the defendant Bormann, in
addressing the Tribunal, stated that it was highly probable
that the prosecution knew that the German authorities had
objected to this camp commandant Koch and, in fact, knew
that he had been tried and sentenced for doing precisely
these things. And there was some intimation, we feel, that
the prosecution, having this knowledge, withheld it from the
Tribunal. Now, I wish to say that we had no knowledge at all
about this man Koch at the time that we offered the proof;
we did not know anything about him except that he had been
the Commandant, according to the affidavit. But, subsequent
to this objection we had an investigation made, and we have
found that he was indeed tried in 1944 by an S.S. court, but
not for having tanned human skin nor for having preserved a
human head, but for having embezzled money, for what, as the
judge who tried him tells us - was a charge of general
corruption, and for having murdered someone with whom he had
some personal difficulties. Indeed, the judge, a Dr. Morgen,
tells us that he saw the tattooed human skin and he saw a
human head in Commandant Koch's office, and that he saw a
lampshade there made out of human skin. But there were no
charges at the time that he was tried for having done these
things.

I would also point out to the Tribunal, that, we say, the
testimony of Dr. Blaha sheds further light on whether or not
these exhibits, USA 252 and 254, were isolated instances of
that atrocious kind of conduct. We have not been able to
locate the affiant. We have made an effort to do so, but we
have not been able to locate him thus far.

THE PRESIDENT: Locate whom?

MR. DODD: The affiant Pfaffenberger, the one whose affidavit
was offered.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, Mr. Dodd.

DR. KAUFMANN (Counsel for defendant Kaltenbrunner): The
statement just made is undoubtedly significant, but it would
be of importance if we had the proof and the documents which
served to convict the Commandant and his wife, for
Kaltenbrunner told me that it was known in the whole S.S.
that the Commandant Koch and his wife had also - I am
emphasising "also" - been convicted because of these things.
It had been made known that the size, the magnitude of the
penalty had been determined by their inhuman behaviour.

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. As you were the counsel who
made the allegation that the Commandant Koch had been put to
death for his inhuman treatment, it would seem that you are
the party to produce the judgement.

DR. KAUFMANN: I never had the sentence in my hand. I
depended on the information which Kaltenbrunner gave me
personally and orally.

THE PRESIDENT: It was you who made the assertion. I do not
care where you got it from. You made the assertion;
therefore it is for you to produce the document.

DR. KAUFMANN: Yes, Sir.

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: May it please the Tribunal: briefs and
document books have been handed in. The documents in the
document book are in the order in which I shall refer to
them, and the references to them in the briefs are also in
that order. On the first page of the brief is set out the
extract from Appendix A of the Indictment, which deals with
the criminality of this defendant.

                                                  [Page 227]

THE PRESIDENT: Are you dealing first of all with Raeder or
with Donitz?

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: With Donitz. My learned friend, Major
Elwyn Jones, will deal with Raeder immediately after.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: My Lord, may I proceed?

THE PRESIDENT: Very well.

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: Briefs and documents books have been
handed in. The documents are in the document book in the
order in which I shall refer to them, and the references in
the brief to the documents are in that same order. On the
first page of the brief is set out the extract from the
Indictment as Appendix A, which deals with the allegations
against this defendant. It sets out the positions he held,
and charges him, first, with promoting the preparations for
war, set forth in Count 1; second, with participating in the
military planning and preparation for wars of aggression and
wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and
assurances, set forth in Count 1 and 2 of the Indictment;
and, thirdly, with authorising, directing, and participating
in the war crimes, set forth in Count 3 of the Indictment,
including particularly the crimes against persons and
property on the high seas.

Now, if at any place I appear to trespass on Count 3, it is
with the consent and courtesy of the Chief Prosecutor for
the French Republic.

My Lord, on the second page of the brief are set out first
the positions held by the defendant Donitz, and the document
in question is the first document in the document book, 2887-
PS, which has already been put in as Exhibit USA 12. The
members of the Tribunal will see that after his appointment
in 1935 as Commanding Officer of the Weddigen U-boat
Flotilla - that was, in fact, the flotilla to be formed
after the end of the World War in 1918 - the defendant, who
was in effect then Commander of U-boats, rose steadily in
rank, as the U-boat arm expanded, until he became an
Admiral. And then, on the 30th of January, 1943, he was
appointed Gross Admiral and succeeded the defendant Raeder
as Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy, retaining his
command of the U-boat arm. Then on the 1st of May, 1945, he
succeeded Hitler as leader of Germany.

My Lord, as appears from a number of documents which I shall
put in evidence, the defendant was awarded the following
decorations: On the 18th of September, 1939, the Iron Cross,
first class, for the U-boat successes in the Baltic during
the Polish campaign; this award was followed on the 21st of
April, 1940, by the high award of the Knight's Cross to the
Iron Cross, while on the 7th of April, 1943, he received
personally from Hitler the Oak Leaf to the Knight's Cross of
the Iron Cross, as the two hundred and twenty-third
recipient, for his outstanding services in building up the
German Navy and, in particular, the offensive U-boat arm for
the coming war. And now I put in the next document in the
document book, D-436, which becomes Exhibit GB 183. That is
an extract from the official publication Das Archiv on the
defendant's promotion to Vice-Admiral. It is dated the 27th
of September, 1940, and I read the last two sentences:

   "In four years of untiring and, in the fullest sense of
   the word, uninterrupted work of training, he succeeds in
   developing the young U-boat armed personnel and material
   till it is a weapon of a striking power, unexpected even
   by the experts. More than three million gross tons of
   enemy shipping sunk in only one year, achieved with only
   a few boats, speak better than words of the service of
   this man."

The next document in the document book, 1463-PS, which I put
in as Exhibit GB 184, is an extract from the diary of the
German Navy, 1944 edition, and it serves to emphasise the
contents of that last document. My Lord, I will not

                                                  [Page 228]

read from it. The relevant passage is on Page 2, and, if I
might summarise that, it describes in detail the defendant's
work in building up the U-boat arm, his ceaseless work in
training night and day to close the gap of seventeen years
during which no training had taken place, his responsibility
for new improvements, and for devising the "pack" tactics
which were later to become so famous. And then his position
is summarised further at the top of Page 3. If I might read
the last two sentences of the first paragraph on that page:

   "In spite of the fact that his duties took on
   immeasurable proportions since the beginning of the huge
   U-boat construction programme, the chief was what he
   always was and always will be: the leader and
   inspiration to all the forces under him."

And then the last sentence of that paragraph:

   "In spite of all his duties he never lost touch with his
   men, and he showed a masterly understanding in adjusting
   himself to the changing fortunes of war."

It was not, however, only his ability as a naval officer
which won the defendant these high honours: his promotion to
succeed the defendant Raeder as Commander-in-Chief of the
Navy, the personal position he acquired as one of Hitler's
principal advisers, and finally - earlier candidates such as
Goering, having betrayed Hitler's trust or finding the
position less attractive than they had anticipated - the
doubtful honour of becoming Hitler's successor. These
honours he owed to his fanatical adherence to Hitler and to
the Party, to his belief in the Nazi ideology with which he
sought to indoctrinate the Navy and the German people, and
to his masterly understanding in adjusting himself to the
changing fortunes of war, referred to in the diary, and
which the Tribunal may think, when I have referred them to
the document, may be regarded as synonymous with the
capacity for utter ruthlessness. His attitude to the Nazi
Party and its creed is shown by his public utterances.


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