The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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O. Had you not deposited a certain number of works of art which
had come from the Netherlands?

A. I know nothing about that.

Q. Well, I will pass on to something else. Who ordered the
confiscation of the property of the Royal House?

A. I personally.

Q. Therefore you took the initiative in this matter?

A. Well, not only was I the instigator, but I decided to do it
and I carried the decision through.

Q. So you only carried it through?

A. I also carried it through.

Q. I did not ask if you also carried it through. I asked quite
clearly, if you only executed this order?

A. No, I stated very clearly yesterday the reasons why I decided
to confiscate the Royal property. I also carried out the

Q. You maintained that it was the result of a speech made by the
Queen. Is that not what you stated yesterday?

A. Yes.

Q. I will show you Document F-828, which I submit as Exhibit RF
1533. This document is a letter from Reichsleiter Martin Bormann
to Reich Minister Dr. Lammers of 3rd July, 1941. At the beginning
of the letter Bormann discusses the speech of the Queen of
Holland, and in the last paragraph, which is the one which is
important to me, he writes:

  "The Fuehrer has therefore given the permission to confiscate
  the property of the Netherlands Royal House for which the
  Reich Commissar had already applied at an earlier date."

Do you still maintain that it was because of the speech made by
the Queen?

A. I beg your pardon. There was a hitch in the sound apparatus.

Q. Yes, there was, but in any case you have the document in your

A. Yes. I know what the question is here.

Q. Of course, you know it.

A. It had escaped my memory entirely, that I lead asked for that
permission at an earlier date. I really cannot remember. Perhaps
I discussed the question as to whether this property was to be
confiscated or not, but the only thing I do remember is my
suggestion at the time this speech was made. After all, that was
not the first speech made by the Queen of the Netherlands. She
had spoken in the same manner previously.

Q. That is an explanation, and the Tribunal will take note of it.

Now, as regards the plundering of the Netherlands and the attempt
to Nazify and Germanise that country - were these not the actions
of the Civil Government of which you were the head?

A. Yes and no. It is quite obvious to me that from the economic
point of view the Dutch people considered our conduct as
plundering. Seen from the legal

                                                       [Page 152]

point of view I do not think it was. I did not Germanise the
Netherlands in any way.

Q. Will you take Document 997-PS, Page 26 of the French text and
Page 22 of the German text? I refer to the section of your report
entitled: "Remarks." Have you got it? I will read the remarks
which you made concerning your own activities. That was on 18th
July, 1940:

  "(2) The administration is at present sufficiently under the
  direction and control of the German authorities and will be
  increasingly so in the future.
  (3) The national economy and communications have been set in
  motion again and adapted to a state of war. Plans are on foot
  for large-scale reconversion geared to the continental
  economy, and practically everything is ripe for this
  changeover. Stocks in the country have been placed at the
  disposal of the Reich War Economy. Nearly all the financial
  resources" - that is in 1940 - "have been made available and
  placed under the control of the Reich - all this on the basis
  of extensive co-operation by the Netherlanders."

Is that not exactly what you wrote? Is that not exactly what you

A. Yes, and I believe that any occupation power would fully
understand point 2, and point 3 expressed a constructive
conception of a new Europe.

Q. That is an opinion which the Tribunal will judge.

I would like to return briefly to the Jewish question. You stated
yesterday that you protested against the deportation of a
thousand Jews to Mauthausen or Buchenwald, and that there had
been no more deportations to these camps. But why did you not
protest against the transports to Auschwitz? Did you think that
this camp was very different from the other two?

A. Naturally, because Mauthausen and Buchenwald were
concentration camps, whereas I was informed that Auschwitz was an
assembly camp in which the Jews were to remain until such time as
the war would be decided, or some other decision would be made.

Q. Before coming to the Netherlands you had been *Adjutant
Governor General of Poland, had you not?
[N.B. French "Adjoint" which interpreter rendered as "Adjutant."]

A. Not adjutant, but deputy.

Q. Better still. Consequently you had heard about this camp, had
you not?

A. At that time Auschwitz did not even exist.

Q. But did you not know that the ashes of those thousand Jews,
who had been sent to Buchenwald or Mauthausen, were sent back to
their families against payment of seventy-five florins? This
happened in 1941. That did not prevent you later on from taking
other measures against the Jews, measures which necessarily led
to their being deported.

A. Because in my view this measure, which was first of all called
an evacuation, was something completely different from a
deportation to a concentration camp.

Q. But after all you knew the fate of these Jews who were
transported to a camp in this manner?

A. Most people - the great majority - did not know of their fate
as it is known to us today, and I testified yesterday as to my

Q. That is an opinion. You spoke yesterday of reprisals taken
against the newspaper in the Hague -

A. (Interposing.) In the Hague?

Q. Yes, in the Hague, and you stated -

THE PRESIDENT: (Interposing). Is this something you
cross-examined about yesterday?

M. DEBENEST: These are questions which were handed to me this
morning as a result of statements made yesterday by the
defendant. Otherwise I have finished.

                                                       [Page 153]

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks you should not go over this
matter again.

M. DEBENEST: Then I have finished, since all the questions
concern either hostages or -

There is still one question which I would like to ask, if the
Tribunal permits; it is a question about the flooding. All the
other questions I had in mind concern hostages, and if the
Tribunal so wishes, I will not ask them. However, may I be
permitted to ask a question concerning the flooding?

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks that you went over the
flooding yesterday.

M. DEBENEST: Then I have finished.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn this afternoon at 4.45
in order to sit in closed session.

MR. DODD: Mr. President, I have noticed that counsel for the
defendant Kaltenbrunner is here this morning. I understood there
was to be some cross-examination of this defendant by counsel for
Kaltenbrunner, and I thought we might save time if he preceded us
and finished his cross-examination.


DR. KAUFFMANN (Counsel for defendant Kaltenbrunner): Mr.
President, I beg to apologise for having incurred the Tribunal's
displeasure yesterday by not being here. But I had a very special
reason, for circumstances are sometimes stronger than the will.
If I may say this, I have been through a serious illness in the
last few years and I did not feel well, although I firmly
intended to be present at the session yesterday and had prepared
everything. I respectfully beg to be excused.

THE PRESIDENT: Certainly, Dr. Kauffmann, the Tribunal accepts
your explanation.

DR. KAUFFMANN: Thank you very much.


Q. Witness, since when have you known the defendant

A. It was either in 1935 or at the beginning of 1936 that I met
Dr. Kaltenbrunner, in connection with the "Langgott" relief work
for National Socialist families who were in need. This was a form
of support, tolerated by the police.

Q. What part did Kaltenbrunner play in Austria before the
Anschluss in March 1938? Did he belong to the radical elements or
was he a moderate?

A. At the time I was told that Kaltenbrunner was closely
connected with the SS, but he was not the leader of the illegal
SS. That was an engineer from Styria.

Q. Was it the engineer named Leopold?

A. No. I spoke several times to Zernatto about Kaltenbrunner. We
called him the "policeman of the 11th of July" in the Party; that
is to say, it was due to his influence that radical elements were
dissuaded from excesses, such as those of July 1934.

Q. And then Kaltenbrunner became Under-Secretary of State in

A. Yes.

Q. Was the suggestion for his appointment as Under-Secretary of
State made by Austrian circles, or did it come from Himmler and
Hitler, or the defendant Goering?

A. As far as I know, it was only made by Austrians. I myself did
not receive or accept any suggestions from the Reich regarding my
own ministry. The Party in Austria drew my attention to
Kaltenbrunner because we wanted also to have a man in the police

                                                       [Page 154]

Q. What were his actual tasks as Under-Secretary of State?

A. I think that as Under-Secretary of State, he did nothing at
all. After Skubl had retired, the President appointed him
Secretary of State. In that -capacity he had administrative and
economic functions. He could not intervene in the strictly
executive actions. For instance, if I wished a man to be released
from custody, then Kaltenbrunner would have had to get in touch
with the commander of the Security Police; and if he said "no,"
then he would have had to go to Heydrich.

Q. Now, it has been established that in 1943 Kaltenbrunner was
appointed Head of the Reich Security Main Office. He has
testified here that he repeatedly tried not to accept that post.
Can you say anything about that?

A. I only know that I was at headquarters at the end of November
or the beginning of December 1942. On that occasion I also
visited the field headquarters of Himmler, and one of the
adjutants, I think it was Wolff, told me that the Reichsfuehrer
wanted to have Kaltenbrunner for the RSHA, and that Kaltenbrunner
was reluctant to accept. He was now going to be ordered to appear
at police headquarters and remain there for four weeks, where he
would be handled in such a way that he would take over the post.

Q. Have you any proofs that the actual reason for the appointment
of Kaltenbrunner as Chief of the RSHA was that he was to organize
and direct a political and military intelligence service?

A. I know certain things which go to prove that he did not have
control of security police matters to the same extent as
Heydrich, and I had definite personal knowledge regarding his
intelligence work. In Heydrich's time, the commander of my
security police, when he wished to get a decision from Berlin,
only talked about Heydrich. When Kaltenbrunner came into office,
I do not remember his mentioning Kaltenbrunner, but he talked
about the RSHA, and sometimes mentioned Muller. I myself, as far
as I can remember, only discussed security police matters with
Kaltenbrunner on two occasions. One was about Dr. Schuschnigg's
remaining in office, and Dr. Kaltenbrunner has already told you
about that. The second time was when a relative of mine was to be
taken to a concentration camp. I went to Kaltenbrunner because he
was the only man I knew in the RSHA and I assumed he had some
influence there. I knew nothing about the line drawn between the
various functions. On that occasion Kaltenbrunner telephoned to
Muller and spoke in a manner such as a superior would never adopt
when talking to a subordinate official. I have positive proofs of
his activities, because since 1944 I worked closely with
Kaltenbrunner. I placed at his disposal foreign currency for his
foreign intelligence service, that is, I obtained it for him from
the departments concerned; everything was done in conjunction
with the appropriate department in the Reich.

Q. Just now you mentioned Muller: Do you mean Gestapo Chief

A. Yes.

Q. Did you have the impression that this man really held the
reins as far as Security Police matters were concerned?

A. I can only say that I know that in the course of that
telephone conversation Kaltenbrunner said to Muller: "How will
you decide in this case?"

Q. Then you received military and political reports directly from
Kaltenbrunner? Is that true?

A. Yes, quite often. Those were the very secret reports of which
only four copies were made, I believe.

Q. Was this the case before Kaltenbrunner's appointment

A. No. Kaltenbrunner only introduced these reports at the end of
1943 or 1944, if I remember rightly.

Q. What was the difference between those reports and the reports
formerly prepared by Canaris?

A. I know nothing about the Canaris reports, of very little. I
know them only from the former Reich Security Main Office.

                                                       [Page 155]

Q. Is it true that the reports made by Kaltenbrunner were noted
for their particularly sharp and open criticism of all public

A. Yes. Kaltenbrunner's reports were above all really objective,
and not prepared reports serving certain ends.

Q. How big were these reports?

A. I think these reports generally ran into forty to sixty pages,
sometimes more, and they probably were issued every three to four
weeks, as far as I know; but there must have been special reports
as well.

Q. Do you know whether these special reports were addressed to
military offices or did they - the ones you have just mentioned -
sum up the situation from the military point of view?

A. The reports of which I am speaking were predominantly
political and they were addressed directly to the Fuehrer. In
connection with these reports I remember they contained
particularly severe criticism of the attitude of the Reich toward
the Poles and towards the Catholic Church, and that they were
written on stationery with the RSHA heading, which appeared to me
then to be an impossible state of affairs.

Q. You have just mentioned two criticisms. Can you perhaps tell
me, what was the gist of that criticism of the two spheres of
public life which you have just mentioned?

A. With regard to the Poles, it demanded quite tersely that the
Poles should once again be given an autonomous and independent
existence as a State, or at least they should be promised it; and
speaking of the Catholic Church, it demanded that all
administrative and other measures should be rescinded and that
the Catholic and Protestant churches should in no way be

DR. KAUFFMANN: Thank you very much. I have no further questions.

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