The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/11/08

Q. Was it typical of the honorary leaders that they never
did duty in the SS?

A. Yes, you are quite right. The honorary leaders were
awarded ranks and with them the right to wear the uniform
merely because they already occupied some position of
importance. But they themselves had never done a single
day's duty in the General SS and even after their nomination
they would have no contact at all with the members of the
SS. That is what was generally understood by the title
"honorary leader of the SS."

Q. Would it be correct to include - to mention a few names -
the defendants Hess, Ribbentrop, Neurath, Sauckel among such
honorary leaders who had no official duty in connection with
the General SS?

A. All the persons whom you have mentioned were typical
honorary leaders n the SS, as I have described them.

Q. Did they have the power to issue orders?

A. When they were appointed to be honorary leaders they only
received the right to wear the uniform, as I have said.
Their nomination did not give them power to issue orders.

Q. Now, I want to deal with the Waffen SS. Can you give any
information on the Waffen SS?

A. The Waffen SS, from the beginning, was a self-contained
independent organization, which it remained until the end of
the war. The Waffen SS grew out of the so-called Special
Disposal Groups. They were still loosely connected with the
General SS, because from the General SS recruits, if they
volunteered, were transferred to the Special Disposal
Groups. At the same time, the SS Special Disposal Groups
were joined by German citizens through other organizations
of the Party and other German citizens who were not
connected with the Part at all. During the later development
of the Waffen SS, these connections, which had always been
loose, gradually disappeared entirely. The Waffen SS became
an independent organization, which is also shown by the fact
that, for example, members of the General SS and members of
the Party who were serving in the Waffen SS found that their
membership of the General SS or of the Party lapsed for that
period. It is typical of the independence of the Waffen SS
that even the highest leader in the General SS did not by
any means join the Waffen SS with the same rank which he
held in the General SS, but that in the Waffen SS he was
treated exactly as any other citizen; in other words, he had
to begin as a recruit. The difference and the proof for my
assertion that the Waffen SS was an independent organization
are also evident from the fact that in the case of civil
proceedings against members of the General SS, the NSDAP
would appear on

                                                  [Page 335]

their behalf, whereas in civil proceedings against members
of the Waffen SS organization, the German Reich would

Q. Was there any connection between the General SS and the
Waffen SS on one side and the SD on the other?

A. No, no connection whatever existed. The Security Service
developed into an intelligence organization which became an
independent organization not later than 1934; as such, it
had nothing whatsoever to do with the General SS and the
Waffen SS, except that Himmler was their joint chief.

Q. What was the relationship between the Waffen SS or the
General SS and the police?

A. I believe that one must certainly exclude the Waffen SS.
The Waffen SS had a definite military character and its
activities were military; that is to say it was at the front
during the entire war. Any connection with the police could
not possibly therefore have been established. But the
General SS, too, had no direct organisational contact with
the police. The police was an organization of the State, and
had State executive powers. The appointments, for example,
of high-ranking officers of the General SS to the posts of
Higher SS and Police Leader, again, do not point to any
organic connection between the two organizations. The Higher
SS and Police Leader had in that particular position, no
power to issue orders to the General SS unless he was at the
same time the head of an Oberabschnitt of the General SS. On
the other hand, he had no real power to issue orders to the
police, either. Members of the police have in fact, to
stress the outward difference also, never at any time worn
SS uniform. Something similar applies to the relationship
between the General SS and the Waffen SS on one side and the
Security Police on the other. As I have already stated, in
1938 the Security Police quite suddenly received ranks in
the SS and the right to wear the SS uniform. That, however,
does not indicate that there was any organisational
connection with the General SS. The Security Police received
State executive powers, the Chief of the General SS, on the
other hand, never had such executive powers. He could not
order arrests or confiscations, nor could he carry out any
other executive function. It was noticeable that at the
beginning of the war and during the war, the Security
Police, wearing SS uniform, moved outwardly, more and more
into the foreground. This was the time when the members

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, is it possible that this
evidence could have been given at greater length before the
Commission? Did you hear what I said?

DR. PELCKMANN: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you not think you could shorten it?

DR. PELCKMANN: Yes, Mr. President. The witness has already
come to the end of that particular part of his testimony.

THE PRESIDENT: You have been asked over and over again to
shorten the evidence and you seem to me to be making no
effort to do it.

DR. PELCKMANN: I thought it necessary to clear up the
question of the Higher SS and Police Leaders with particular
care, because it is extremely intricate even for us Germans.


Q. What was the connection in the occupied territories
between the Higher SS and Police Leaders and the General SS?

A. There was absolutely no connection at all, because in the
occupied territories the General SS did not even exist. The
General SS was an institution for German citizens and for
that reason it did not exist in the occupied territories.
The Higher SS and the Police Leaders in the occupied
territories fulfilled police functions only; they had no
connections or ties with the General SS and could not have
had such connections for the reasons which I have described.

Q. Why did the General SS not exist in the occupied

                                                  [Page 336]

A. As I have just said, the General SS was a formation of a
political party, in which only German citizens were
accepted. For that reason the General SS could not exist in
the occupied territories.

Q. Is it correct, then, to say that acts or even crimes of
the Higher SS and Police Leaders in the occupied territories
could not incriminate the General SS at all?

A. That is absolutely correct.

Q. I should now like to take up the discussion of a
document. I gave you the document during the recess,
witness, and perhaps you would be good enough to state the
number of it to the High Tribunal. It is the document which
was put to the witness von Eberstein yesterday.

A. It is Document 4024-PS, and is the correspondence between
the Higher SS and Police Leader in the Operational Zone
Adriatic Coast, Globocnik, and Heinrich Himmler and Oswald

Q. Is it possible for you to ascertain from the document in
which capacity the author of these letters, Globocnik, was
acting? Was he acting in his capacity as Higher SS and
Police Leader in Trieste or was he acting as Higher SS and
Police Leader in Lublin, as far as you can remember?

A. The document shows quite clearly that Globocnik, in this
case, was acting as SS and Police Leader in Lublin and not
as Higher SS and Police Leader, Adriatic Coast. This is
actually contained in the document itself. I myself know
from my own activity that at the end of 1943 or at the
beginning of 1944, Globocnik was relieved of his post as SS
and Police Leader in Lublin, and was given the post of
Higher SS and Police Leader, Adriatic Coast. The date of the
document, therefore, appears to be wrong. It is 5th January,
1943, but that must be an error; it should read 1944, as the
letterhead shows.

Q. Do the activities described by Globocnik in this document
implicate the General SS; that is to say, did Globocnik
carry out the activities which he is describing in the
capacity of leader of the General SS?

A. It is obvious from the document that Globocnik was acting
in his capacity as SS and Police Leader, and we are here
concerned with a secret special task, the so-called "Action
Reinhard." He is acting solely as police executive. Any
connection between this activity and the organization of the
General SS, or even any of its members, does not exist in
any way.

Q. Are you drawing your conclusion, that this was a special
order directly from Himmler, partly from the fact that the
report is addressed to Himmler directly, and does not go
first, as it should have done, to the Higher SS and Police
Leader at Krakow, Krueger?

A. That is quite true, but it is also apparent from other
passages in this correspondence. The expression "special
task" is clearly used in the correspondence; furthermore,
the correspondence is headed "Secret Reich Matter," and it
also mentions that only four copies of this "Secret Reich
Matter" are in existence and that the document sent by
Globocnik to Himmler is the original.

Q. You are still reading from Document 4024?

A. Yes, that is the document I am reading.

Q. Would you look to the top of Page 3? I think that
indicates quite clearly who was dealing with those matters,
and on whose authority Globocnik was acting.

A. Page 3 of this document shows that the "Action Reinhard"
was divided into four parts: (A) resettlement, (B) use of
labour, (C) use of materials, (D) seizure of hidden values
and real estate. It also shows that Globocnik was
communicating with Oswald Pohl personally, as well as with
Himmler, on this matter. Pohl was Chief of the SS Economy
and Administration Central Department, which -

THE PRESIDENT: What is the point of all this evidence? We
have the documents before us.

                                                  [Page 337]

DR. PELCKMANN: This document was shown yesterday to the
Higher SS and Police Leader in the Reich, von Eberstein, in
order to prove through Globocnik's action-and Globocnik's
letterhead also reads "Higher SS and Police Leader," though
he was active abroad - that the Higher SS and Police Leaders
committed crimes, and further to prove that the General SS
was also implicated in these crimes, because, according to
the view of the prosecution, which I am trying to prove
wrong, the Higher SS and Police Leaders were simultaneously
acting on behalf of the General SS. This witness, Reinicke,
since he was a high judge and thus able to have knowledge of
the entire organization of the SS, is in a position to state
whether this view, this assertion, of the prosecution is
correct -

THE PRESIDENT: Surely he can say so then without spending
all this time on this document. If he wanted to say whether
Globocnik was acting on behalf of the SS, or was not, why
does he not say so and get done with it?

Q. After seeing the document, and judging it on the basis of
your knowledge of the organizations of the SS, would you say
that Globocnik was acting on behalf of the Waffen SS or on
its order, or on behalf of the General SS or on its order?

A. The contents of the document show clearly that Globocnik
was neither acting on behalf of the General SS nor on its
order, nor on behalf of the Waffen SS. The document shows
clearly that it was a "special task" given to Globocnik by
Himmler personally, a task which had nothing to do with
either of these two organizations.

Q. Of the various groups which you mentioned earlier, groups
which are regarded by the prosecution as a single
organization, we have not yet dealt with the system of the
concentration camps. How did the concentration camp system
fit into the SS and was there an organic tie between the
concentration camp system and the SS?

A. An organic tie did not exist. The concentration camp
system had a police character corresponding to its purpose.
The administration of the concentration camp system was
therefore a task of the Reich, and Himmler was entrusted
with this task in 1933 or 1934. At that time, he created a
special organization for guarding the concentration camps,
and this organization was known as "Totenkopf organization,"
or "Totenkopf Units." That organization, too, did not grow
out of the General SS and never had any organic connection
with it later. The first guards of the concentration camps
were only to a very limited extent former members of the
General SS. They also included members of the SA and of
other Party organizations, members of the Party, and people
who belonged to no party, but who, in view of the conditions
of that time, were unemployed and required work and food,
and a new sphere of activity. From these initial stages, the
"Totenkopf Units" developed independently, and their members
were given training similar to that of the police. In 1939,
they joined the Waffen SS organization, which was at that
time being formed. The task of guarding concentration camps
was then turned over mainly to such persons who could not
serve at the front. A small number of members of the General
SS, who were unable to serve at the front, members of the
SA, too, members of the Kyffhauser Union and thousands of
members of the armed forces were then assigned to guard duty
at the concentration camps.

Q. You said that, in 1939, the Totenkopf Units joined the
Waffen SS. I shall have to ask you about this specially,
because during the examination of the last witness,
Totenkopf Units and Totenkopf Divisions had obviously been
confused. What is the exact designation of these two units?
What is meant by them?

A. The Totenkopf Units were the guard units in the
concentration camps until the beginning of the war. At that
time they were transferred to various parts of the Waffen
SS. The Totenkopf Division had nothing whatever to do with
the Totenkopf Units. The Totenkopf Division was a division
of the Waffen SS,

                                                  [Page 338]

which was formed in the first years of the war and was used
at the front as a complete division.

Q. You just said that the Totenkopf Units were in 1939
transferred to the Waffen SS. Did they, after they were
transferred to the Waffen SS, still have something to do
with the guarding of concentration camps?

A. After their transfer to the Waffen SS, they had no longer
anything to do with the guarding of concentration camps;
they were assigned to the various divisions of the Waffen SS

Q.. It has been alleged by the prosecution that the
unification of the SS as an organization was brought about
by establishing a common command, and in that connection the
prosecution referred to the twelve head offices of the
Reichsfuehrer SS and the Chief of the German Police,
depicted on the organisational chart which the prosecution
submitted. Were these twelve head offices leading organs of
the SS?

A. No, they were not leading organs of the SS.

Q. In order to shorten the proceedings, I shall ask you now
about the head offices and their connection with the SS.
Were the head office, Regular Police, and the RSHA command
posts of the General SS or the Waffen SS?

A. No. The head office, Regular Police, was the headquarters
of the German Police and the head office, Security Police,
was the headquarters of the Security Police. Both were
departments of interior administration, and were organic
parts of the Ministry of the Interior. At no time did they
have the authority to issue orders to the General SS or to
the Waffen SS.

Q. Were the State head office of the Reich Commissioner for
the Strengthening of German Nationalism and the so-called
Central Department for Germans Abroad, were they command
posts of the General SS or Waffen SS?

A. No. Both of these head offices were authorities of the
Reich and discharged only tasks of the Reich. Their members
were civil servants, and certainly not soldiers of the
Waffen SS or officials of any part of the General SS.
Neither of these head offices had the authority to issue
orders to the General SS or the Waffen SS.

Q. In brief, were the remaining eight head offices command
posts of the General SS or Waffen SS?

A. Of the remaining eight offices, one must exclude two,
namely, the "Unit head office Heissmeier" and the head
office "Personal Staff." The "Unit head office Heissmeier"
had nothing at all to do with the SS, but it was an office
headed by Heissmeier and belonging to the Reich Ministry of
Education. The head office "Personal Staff" was also not a
command post, but it was Himmler's Adjutant's office, the
collecting point of the various sections which were
subordinate to Himmler personally, or which were carrying
out his personal orders, but which had nothing to do with
the organizations of the General SS and the Waffen SS as
such. These sections included, for example, the so-called
"Lebensborn" society and the so-called "Ahnenerbe." The
Reich medical officer, Grawitz, was also connected with this
head office and carried out biological experiments, acting
on Himmler's personal orders and without the co-operation of
the organizations.

Q. Further details are, I think, unnecessary. I have one
last question with regard to the organizations. Did the
remaining six head offices represent a unified supreme
command of the SS?

A. No, these six head offices were not a unified SS command
either. They were six departments working side by side with
equal rights, and dealing with particular subjects; they
were in a position to give orders without having to be
unified in the hands of a single person.

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