The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/11/08

Q. I will put the question to you again. I am surprised that
you cannot understand the question. I will try again.
You denied on Saturday that the SS was the heart of Nazism.
Would you agree with me that it was the fist? This, the
fist. (Indicating.)

A. Oh, the fist. I assume that the prosecutor means to say
that with this fist we waged an attack. I can only point out
that we, as Schutzstaffel, had to protect leading

Q. What I meant by the fist was that the SS supplied the
brute force of Nazism. Is that not so?

A. I can only repeat what I described. Before 1933 we were a
very small group of men who, up to 1933, amounted to about
25,000 to 30,000 in the whole of Germany. Germany had about
65 million people in 1933, but it was in no proportion to
the size of the Party, and after 1933 -

Q. You are not answering my question, you know. You are
wandering off into details that have no relevance to my
question at all. I suggest to you that the killings by the
SS on the 30th of June, 1934, were a characteristic use of
the SS as the fist of Nazism.

A. The events of the 30th of June, 1934, were, according to
my firm conviction and to that of my comrades, the result of
a state of emergency, and the orders which were given were
adhered to because they were the orders of the head of the

Q. You denied on Saturday that the SS had taken any part in
the shootings of the 30th of June, 1934. Are you seriously
saying to the Tribunal that that is your evidence on that

A. I can only say that in my district the General SS were in
the barracks of the Wehrmacht and the police, not on the
street, and they did not shoot. The shootings -

Q. So you are saying that it was the Wehrmacht and the
police that did the shooting, that it was the forces of
General Keitel and the others who were doing the shooting,
are you?

A. I did not mention those two names, nor did I say that the
Wehrmacht had carried out the shootings. In answer to the
question of the defence counsel, I

                                                  [Page 265]

said why I believed there was a state of emergency. I said
that I received instructions to establish contact with the
Commander of the Wehrkreis, but that does not mean that the
Wehrmacht was to supply execution detachments or anything
like that, but that they only wanted the Wehrkreis Commander
to give his consent to their being billeted in the barracks.

Q. You were a frequent visitor to Dachau, were you not?

A. Yes.

Q. And you saw nothing there except good shower baths, good
food, satisfactory sanitation; that was a rest camp? That
was your evidence on Saturday about Dachau, was it not?

A. I did not use the words "rest camp." I had been a soldier
since 1904 and I had an idea what troop billets and a camp
should look like. I can only repeat that everything was
scrupulously clean, the sanitary installations which I saw
were in excellent order, that the prisoners were well
nourished and, as I saw during the war, on the average their
food was like the food of every German outside. I can only
say here on oath what I myself saw with my own eyes.

Q. Did you ever ask to see the punishment cells, the
completely dark cells where people were kept for three
months on bread and water?

A. I can recall that on such a tour through the camp I went
through the cells. Unlike the huts, that was a stone
building -

Q. If you answer my questions, we shall get on faster.

A. Yes.

Q. Did you ever see the completely dark cells?

A. I must say that one cannot see from the outside whether a
cell is dark. Of course, any cell in any prison can be
darkened. I did not see any. As Chief of Police I know that
for refractory prisoners there are cells without windows. I
did not see them, but I will admit that there could have
been such cells.

Q. Did you ever ask to see the camp regulations for the
punishment of prisoners who committed offences in the camp?

A. No, I did not demand that. The camp commandant made an
exhaustive report during the tours. I had no authority to
intervene in his affairs before these guests.

Q. I just want you to look at what the regulations were as
early as May, 1933.

MR. ELWYN JONES: I put the Document D-922, my Lord, which
will be Exhibit GB 548.

Q. (continuing.) Now, these are the regulations for the camp
of Dachau which was on your doorstep, you know, and you see
in paragraph 3 the punishments that can be imposed on

  "Cells may be mild, medium, or severe. The maximum term
  of the first two kinds is eight weeks, and three months
  for the "severe" cells. This kind of punishment is
  generally carried out in solitary confinement. In the
  case of medium cells, the person undergoing punishment
  receives a hard bed and only bread and water for food.
  Severe cells are the same as the medium, but the cell is
  completely dark."

And then, if you will look at paragraph 8 of the
regulations, you will see that there is given power of life
and death to the camp commandant of Dachau and his staff.
And paragraph 18 sets out the procedure to be followed in
the event of charges of disobedience for which a death
penalty is decided by a camp court, which consists of the
camp commandant, one or two officers, to be nominated by the
camp commandant, and an SS man belonging to the guard

  "The prosecution is also to be undertaken by an SS man
  belonging to the camp commandant's office who is to be
  nominated by the camp commandant. In the case of an even
  vote, the president of the camp court has the casting
  vote. The president is the camp commandant at the time."

                                                  [Page 266]

Did you know that the power of life and death had been given
in that way to these SS men who were running the
concentration camps, witness?

A. This document has no heading and no signature. May I
point that out? I have not seen these regulations.

Q. I would be obliged if you would answer my question. Did
you know that the power of life and death was given to the
SS officials who ran these concentration camps, as far back
as 1933?

A. I did not know that. I cannot imagine such a thing. I
assumed that executions were ordered by higher authorities,
but I cannot pass judgement on that.

Q. But you were the Higher SS and Police Chief for many
years. You were Himmler's man, you know, were you not?

A. In my testimony I have repeatedly stated that the Higher
SS and Police Chief, the Oberabschnittsfuehrer of the
General SS and the Chief of Police; had no influence
whatever on internal arrangements in the camp and were not
the superiors of the camp commandant.

Q. But whether you had influence or not, you were a
confidant of Himmler, his personal representative. Are you
saying to the Tribunal that you did not know what the
details of Himmler's murderers' organization were?

A. As to these punitive regulations about which I am
reproached, and which imply jurisdiction over life and
death, I can only say that they were unknown to me, and that
Himmler never once spoke to me about these things; nor did I
ever receive regulations concerning concentration camps.

Q. Did you ever hear of Oswald Pohl?

A. Yes.

Q. He was the head of the Economics and Administrative
Office of the SS, was he not, the WVHA?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you know that this organization, using SS personnel,
was employing murder as a means to establish loot on a
colossal scale for the benefit of the Waffen SS and other SS

A. Yes; I heard that from reports on this trial in the camp
where I was. I had never heard before that gold teeth, etc.
were collected.

Q. Did you know of the great business in death that was
bringing millions of marks to the coffers of the Reichsbank?
And it was involving numerous departments of the Third

A. No, I did not know that.

Q. Let me just read to you Oswald Pohl's affidavit, given to
Dr. Kempner upon this matter - it is Document 4045-PS, which
will be Exhibit GB 549 - so that perhaps your memory may be
refreshed. The affidavit reads:

  "1. My name is Oswald Pohl. I was born in Duisburg,
  Germany, on 30th of July, 1892. Since 1st February, 1934,
  1 was chief of the Economics and Administration Main
  Office of the Elite Guard (Schutzstaffel) (WVHA). I
  occupied this position permanently until Germany's
  2. Through my activity as Chief of the WVHA I remember
  clearly two large business deals between my office and
  the Reich Ministry of Economics and the Reichsbank of
  Herr Walter Funk. One deal concerned clothing from
  persons killed in concentration camps. In this connection
  Himmler endeavoured to procure through Reich Economics
  Minister Walter Funk a higher allotment for the SS in the
  uniform material distribution. The other business deal
  concerned the business connection of my office with the
  Reichsbank President, Walter Funk, and the Reichsbank
  with regard to jewellery, rings, gold teeth, foreign
  exchange and other articles of value from the possessions
  of people, particularly Jews, who had been killed in
  concentration camps.
  3. The connection of my office with the Reichsbank with
  regard to clothing of persons who had been killed in
  concentration camps was instituted in the

                                                  [Page 267]

  year 1941 or 1942. At that time I received the order from
  the Reichsfuehrer SS and the German Police, Heinrich
  Himmler, who was my chief, to get in touch with the Reich
  Economics Minister, Walter Funk, to obtain a higher
  allotment of material for SS uniforms. Himmler instructed
  me to demand from Funk that we receive privileged
  treatment. The Ministry of Economics was receiving from
  the concentration camps a large delivery of clothing.
  This clothing had been collected in the extermination
  camp, Auschwitz, and other extermination camps, and then
  delivered to the proper office for used clothes.
  4. As a result of this order received from my superior,
  Himmler, I visited the Reich Economics Minister, Funk, in
  his offices. I waited only a short while in his ante-room
  and then met him alone in his office. I informed Funk of
  my instructions that I was to ask him for more material
  for SS uniforms, since we had been able to deliver such
  large quantities of old clothes resulting from the
  actions against Jews. The meeting lasted around ten
  minutes. It was openly discussed that we perhaps deserved
  privileged treatment on account of the delivery of old
  clothes of dead Jews. It was a friendly conversation
  between Funk and myself, and he said to me that he would
  settle the matter favourably with the gentlemen
  concerned. How the subsequent settlement between Funk and
  his subordinates and my subordinates was handled in
  detail, I do not know.
  5. The second business deal between Walter Funk and the
  SS concerned the delivery of articles of value of dead
  Jews to the Reichsbank. It was in the year 1941 or 1942
  after large quantities of articles of value, such as
  jewellery, gold rings, gold fillings, spectacles, gold
  watches and suchlike, had been collected in the
  extermination camps. These articles of value came packed
  in cases and addressed to the WVHA in Berlin. Himmler had
  ordered us to deliver these things to the Reichsbank. I
  remember that Himmler explained to me that negotiations
  concerning this matter had been conducted with the
  Reichsbank and Herr Funk. As a result of an agreement
  which my chief had made, I discussed with Reichsbank
  Director Emil Puhl the manner of delivery. In this
  conversation no doubt remained that the objects to be
  delivered were the jewellery and valuables of
  concentration camp inmates, especially of Jews, who had
  been killed in extermination camps. The objects in
  question were rings, watches, eyeglasses, gold bars,
  wedding rings, brooches, pins, frames of glasses, foreign
  currency and other valuables. Further discussions
  concerning the delivery of these objects took place
  between my subordinates and Puhl and other gentlemen of
  the Reichsbank. It was a large quantity of valuables,
  since the delivery continued for months and years.
  A part of these valuables of people killed in death camps
  I saw myself when Reichsbank President Funk and Vice-
  President Puhl invited us to an inspection of the
  Reichsbank vaults and afterwards to lunch. I do not
  remember exactly whether this was in 1941 or in 1942, but
  I do remember that I already knew Funk personally at that
  time from the clothing deals, as I have described above.
  Vice-President Puhl and several other gentlemen of my
  staff went to the vaults of the Reichsbank. Puhl himself
  led us on this occasion and showed us gold bars and other
  valuable possessions of the Reichsbank. I remember
  exactly that various chests containing objects from
  concentration camps were opened. At this point Puhl or
  Waldhecker, who accompanied him, stated in my presence
  and in the presence of the gentlemen of my staff that a
  part of these valuables had been delivered by our office.
  After we had inspected the various valuables in the
  vaults of the Reichsbank, we went upstairs to a room in
  order to have lunch with Reichsbank President Funk; it
  had been arranged that this should follow the inspection.
  Besides Funk and Puhl, the gentlemen of my staff were
  present; we were about 10 to 12 persons. I sat beside
  Funk and we talked, among other things,
                                                  [Page 268]

  about the valuables which I had seen in his vaults. On
  this occasion it was clearly stated that a part of the
  valuables which we had seen came from concentration

Q. Now, is the material contained in that affidavit news to
you, witness?

A. Yes, absolutely.

Q. You had no knowledge of it at all?

A. No.

Q. Did you know that SS personnel were used for the great
manhunt of Jewish people all over Europe?

A. I have read reports here during the trial that a certain
Eichmann, an SS member, had this task. I never saw Herr
Eichmann; I never had anything to do with him. I know the
facts from the report in this trial.

Q. Did you know that one of the objects of these manhunts,
apart from murder, was to secure loot for the SS and for
kindred Nazi organizations?

A. No, I did not know that. I may point out that I was
always in the country and never had anything to do with
these matters.

Q. Did you know your colleague, Higher SS and Police Chief
Globocnik - G-L-O-B-O-C-N-I-K?

A. Yes; I met Globocnik once at a Fuehrer meeting. I talked
to him once.

Q. He was a Higher SS and Police Chief like yourself, was he

A. No, I do not believe so. At that time he was Oberfuehrer
or Brigadefuehrer.

As such he could not be Higher SS and Police Chief. And it
was not in Germany. I know that.

Q. We may be at cross-purposes. I am speaking of the year
1943. In that year Globocnik was Higher SS and Police Chief
in the operational zone of the Adriatic coast, was he not?

A. That may be; I do not know. It is possible, but not in
the Reich.

Q. You have said, as to your own position as Higher SS and
Police Chief that you had no power of command over the SS
and no authority over the police. That seems to have been a
summary of your functions as Higher SS and Police Chief; is
that right?

A. Yes. I may remark that I expressly emphasized not only
before this Tribunal but before the Commission as well that
I cannot testify concerning the powers of the Higher SS and
Police Chiefs outside of Germany because their tasks were

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