The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/11/03

Q. Is it correct that most of the officers of the police
came from the police?

A. The leaders of the detachments (Kommandos) and the staff
were mostly police officials, and as far as I can remember,
mostly officials from the Criminal Police.

M. MONNERAY: With the permission of the Tribunal I will hand
in two documents, which are Affidavits F 964, and F 965,
which become Exhibits RF 1535 and RF 1536. These documents
indicate, for two regions of France, that the great majority
of the officers of these military police came from the
police originally.


Q. Is it correct that hostages in the occupied territories
were handed over to Sipo?

A. I did not understand that question.

Q. Is it correct that in the occupied territories hostages
were handed over by the Army to Sipo?

A. That varied in the different territories. As far as I
know, hostages in France were shot by the armed forces; in
Norway, upon order of the Reich, Commissioner Terboven, as
far as I know, by Sipo. I could not say of my own knowledge
how it was in Belgium.

Q. Did you receive any reports on third-degree
interrogations, indicating how rigorous these interrogations

A. You mean reports during my term of office?

Q. That was in Berlin.

A. No, I have said that as an official basis of information
we only found out what had been printed in the Norwegian
White Book. Apart from that nothing was known to me.

M. MONNERAY: I should like to submit to the Tribunal a
report from the Commander of Sipo and SD at Marseilles, of
6th July, 1944, concerning arrests of members of the French
resistance, of the interrogation of these members, and of
deaths which ensued. This is Document F 979, which becomes
Exhibit RF 1537. With the permission of the Tribunal I would
like to read an extract of this document.

  "The arrested men, Nos. 1 to 16, were killed - "

THE PRESIDENT: What page of the document?

M. MONNERAY: On Page 2 of the French translation, Mr.
President, an extract.

  "The arrested men, Nos. 1 to 16, as well as the forty-
  three prisoners named, were killed while attempting to
  escape on a large scale on 13th June, 1944. Several
  others were killed in the neighbourhood of Salon on 15th
  June, 1944 in an attempted escape. No. 17 is still
  required by special section AF."

And farther on,

  "No. 21 died at our office."


Q. Concerning the "Nacht und Nebel" decree, you said to us
that the Gestapo services in Berlin were opposed to it.

A. Yes.

Q. I would like to submit to you Document PS-668, which has
already been submitted as Exhibit USA 504.

A. I have explained that the State Police, for technical
reasons, were against that decree. But since it was a decree
which had been issued by the German

                                                  [Page 174]

Government, the decree had of course to be carried out by
the State Police as well as by other offices.

Q. And your office, IV-D-4, which signed this document,
chose the most rigorous solution?

A. The solution which was indicated by the decree.

Q. The Army had asked your office to suggest the solution,
had it not?

A. Do you mean the solution in this special case, or the
decree in general?

Q. I ask you; witness, whether it is correct that the Army
requested you to give a solution to the problem of knowing
whether the relatives of a deceased Frenchman should be
advised of his decease or not. Is it true that you chose the
most rigorous solution?

A. From this document I can only gather that apparently an
inquiry was sent by the OKW, and that the Gestapo office
gave the answer, stating what was required by the terms of
this decree.

Q. Is it correct that on Page 2 the Army answers you that it
agrees with your proposal?

A. Apparently.

Q. Did you yourself give instructions, personal
instructions, concerning the application of the "Nacht und
Nebel" decree?

A. That was not my task. I had as ministerial agent only to
pass on the terms of the decree to the competent offices,
and the rest was done by the local offices.

Q. Did you have any connection with the concentration camp

A. I only had connection with the concentration camps from
the time when I was charged with the care of the French
ministers, because Prime Minister Reynaud and M. Mandel
first lived in cells at Oranienburg, and I had to see them
there frequently in order to find out what they needed. And
the same happened later with the concentration camp at
Buchenwald where Prime Minister Blum and M. Mandel were
quartered in a small house, a cottage, in the settlement
where the management was quartered. And concerning the
castle of Gitter, the guards posted there were taken from
units of the concentration camp at Dachau. Those were the
only cases in which I had indirect contact with the
administration of concentration camps.

THE PRESIDENT: It is time to adjourn.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

THE PRESIDENT: It will perhaps be convenient to counsel for
the organizations to know that the Tribunal proposes to take
all the oral evidence, the witnesses for the organizations,
first, and then that they should comment upon their
documents afterwards, because some of the documents, namely
affidavits, have not yet been got ready. I think that will
probably be convenient to counsel for the organizations.

And the Tribunal proposes to sit on Saturday morning in open
session until one o'clock.




Q. You told us a while ago that, except for the protection
of certain French political persons, you had nothing to do
with the control of the concentration camps?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you establish regulations for the concentration

A. No.

Q. Did you send instructions to the concentration camps?

A. I cannot remember.

                                                  [Page 175]

M. MONNERAY: I should like to show the witness, with the
permission of the Tribunal, Document PS-2521, which will
become Exhibit RF 1538. This document is not in the document
book, it is a new item.


Q. On Page 2 of this document, we find an extract of the
"Nacht und Nebel" decree for the use of the concentration
camp offices. This document is dated 4th August, 1942, and
comes from Office IV-D-4.

A. Yes. That is a factual transmission of the "Nacht und
Nebel" decree to the Inspectors of the KL (concentration
camps). I can no longer remember from when they started
carrying out the "Nacht und Nebel" decree in concentration

Q. The document is signed by yourself, is it not?

A. It says: signed, Dr. Hoffmann, and there is a stamp
there, too. I must have signed it at some time.

Q. Is it a document that was drawn up in your office?

A. From its appearance, I must assume so.

Q. Was it your office that gave instructions and
explanations about this decree?

A. Yes. That is quite clear, and was never disputed.

Q. You told us this morning that the State and the State
leadership did not act according to the ideas of the police?

A. Yes, that was so in many cases.

Q. Do you consider that the subject matter of the "Nacht und
Nebel" decree conforms to police conceptions?

A. No.

Q. That is to say, you think that this decree is contrary to
police conceptions?

A. Yes. I have stated that this decree was given out without
any suggestion by the police, and in my statements
concerning our conception of the origin and set-up of the
military organizations, I declared that this decree was not
in conformance with it. If, however, this decree was issued
by the supreme State leadership, then, of course, the police
had to act according to these principles and could only try
to put through their own views within the framework of this

Q. In other words, whether the Gestapo approved of the
measures taken or not, they co-operated in carrying them

A. Yes, indeed.

Q. Had the Gestapo the right to proceed to carry out

A. No. However, I did hear that in one sector, which did not
come under my jurisdiction, regulations of that sort did

Q. What sector?

A. As far as I know, the branch dealing with Polish

Q. Did your office IV-D receive any information on the right
of the Gestapo to carry out executions?

A. I cannot remember whether we received decrees of that

Q. I should like to show you Document PS-1715, which will
become Exhibit RF 1539. It is a document signed by
Kaltenbrunner which was sent to all the offices of the
Gestapo for their information and to your office, IV-D.

A. I should like to call your attention to the fact that my
department, IV-D was the group in which all occupied
countries were comprised. This document is addressed to the
Gruppenleiter IV-D, not to Department 4, Dora IV. This
document, therefore, was not sent to my department. Since no
executions were carried out in the Western sector, the
document was not sent to my department.

Q. But the documents correspond to the reality. The Gestapo
could carry out executions.

A. From my own knowledge, I cannot give you any further
details about the handling of this problem in practice.

Q. Were you acquainted with Eichmann?

                                                  [Page 176]

A. I know that Eichmann was in charge of the Jewish branch
in the Main Reich Security Office

Q. Your office received no information about anti-Jewish
activities in occupied territories, did it?

A. My office received the monthly reports from the
commanders in the occupied territories. In these, for
example, the deportation of Jews was reported on and I have
already explained that I learned the fact of the Jewish
deportations for the first time from them, and I talked to
Eichmann on this matter and asked why these facts were riot
previously made known to the department, and he refused to
reply because he said that he acted only on the basis of
superior orders.

Q. Did Eichmann have deputies in the occupied territories?

A. I know that he had his special deputies with the various
BDS commanders.

Q. Did these deputies have the right to give orders to the
Gestapo offices?

A. I cannot give you any information from my own knowledge
about the exact position of these deputies of Eichmann's.
Eichmann was theoretically a part of the Gestapo office.

Q. A part of Office No. IV, was he not?

A. Theoretically he belonged to Office IV, but conducted ...
but he conducted a very intense activity of his own and I
also emphasized that this may be traced back largely to the
fact that he did not ... that he did not come from the

Q. Were you kept constantly posted on Eichmann's deputies in
the various occupied territories?

A. Only from the monthly reports of the commanders.

Q. And these reports told you, for instance, the number of

A. Yes.

Q. Did the forces of the commanders of the Gestapo or the
Sipo in the occupied territories assist in these

A. As far as I know, yes.

Q. What were the functions of Office II of the RSHA?

A. Department II of the Main Reich Security Office dealt
with administrative and economic questions as well as, from
the beginning until, I believe, 1944, questions of passports
and the interning of foreigners, as well as the justiciary

Q. Were the office officials chiefly officials from the
executive or administrative branch of the police?

A. Office II consisted mainly of administrative officials
and lawyers.

Q. According to you, this office was very poorly informed as
to what happened in the executive branch?

A. Yes, because essentially they dealt with legal and
administrative questions.

Q. Do you know what were the functions of Office II?

A. If I am not mistaken, it was questions of jurisdiction.

Q. I should like to show you a document which has already
been submitted as PS-501, Exhibit USA 288. According to this
document, the gas vans which were intended to exterminate
populations in the Eastern territories, especially Jews,
were supplied by this Office II, which according to this
document was perfectly aware of the extermination. Was it in
this way that the separation between these offices and the
executive offices was established?

A. As far as I can see from the document, Office B II was
the technical section which dealt with motor vehicles, and
as far as the contents are concerned, it deals with special
motor vehicles, and it is obviously a report on the
serviceability of the vehicles to the central office for the
management of motor vehicles in Berlin.

Q. You admit that this is a document which speaks of certain
special vehicles intended for extermination?

                                                  [Page 177]

A. So far as I can see from running over the document
rapidly, you could draw that conclusion from the contents.

Q. Dr. Hoffmann, one last question -

THE PRESIDENT: M. Monneray, I think the document speaks for itself.

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