The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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[The testimony of Dieter Wisliceny continues.]

                                                  [Page 279]
Q. Who was Chief of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt at the
time the order was first issued?

A.  That would be Heydrich.

Q. Did the program under this order continue with equal
force under Kaltenbrunner?

A.  Yes; there was no alleviation or change of any kind.

Q. State, if you know, how long Kaltenbrunner knew Eichmann.

A.  From various statements by Eichmann I gathered that
Kaltenbrunner and Eichmann had known each other for a long
time. Both came from Linz, and when Kaltenbrunner was made
Chief of the Security Police, Eichmann expressed his
satisfaction. He told me at that time that he knew
Kaltenbrunner very well personally, and that Kaltenbrunner
was very well acquainted with Eichmann's family in Linz.

Q. Did Eichmann ever refer to his friendship or standing
with Kaltenbrunner as being helpful to him?

A.  Yes, he repeatedly said that, if he had any serious
trouble, he could, at any time, go to Kaltenbrunner
personally. He did not have to do that

                                                  [Page 280]
very often, since his relations with his immediate superior,
Gruppenfuehrer Mueller, were very good.

Q. Have you been present when Eichmann and Kaltenbrunner

A.  Yes; once I saw how cordially Kaltenbrunner greeted
Eichmann. That was in February, 1945, in Eichmann's office
in Berlin. Kaltenbrunner came to lunch every day at
Kurfuerstenstrasse 116; there the Chiefs met for their mid-
day meal with Kaltenbrunner; and it was on one such occasion
that I saw how cordially Kaltenbrunner greeted Eichmann and
how he inquired after the health of Eichmann's family in

Q.  In connection with the administration of his Office, do
you know to what extent Eichmann submitted matters to
Heydrich, and later to Kaltenbrunner for approval?

A.  The routine channel from Eichmann to Kaltenbrunner lay
through Gruppenfuehrer Mueller. To my knowledge reports to
Kaltenbrunner were drawn up at regular intervals by Eichmann
and submitted to him. I also know that in the summer of 1944
he made a personal report to Kaltenbrunner.

Q. Did you have an opportunity to examine files in
Eichmann's office?

A.  Yes; I frequently had occasion to examine the files in
Eichmann's office. I know that he handled all files
pertaining to questions with this particular order very
carefully. He was in every respect a definite bureaucrat; he
immediately recorded in the files every discussion he ever
had with any of his superiors. He always pointed out to me
that the most important thing was for him to be covered by
his superiors at all times. He shunned all personal
responsibility and took good care to take shelter behind his
superiors -- in this case Mueller and Kaltenbrunner -- and
to inveigle them into accepting the responsibility for all
his actions.

Q. In the case of a typical report going from Eichmann's
department through Mueller, Kaltenbrunner  to Himmler --
have you seen copies of such reports in Eichmann's file?

A.  Yes, such copies were naturally very often in the files.
The regular channel was as follows: Eichmann had a draft
made by an expert or he prepared it himself; this draft went
to Gruppenfuehrer Mueller, his Chief of Department; Mueller
either signed this draft himself or left the signing to
Eichmann. In most cases, when reports to Kaltenbrunner and
Himmler were concerned, Mueller signed them himself.
Whenever reports were signed unchanged by Mueller, they were
returned to Eichmann's office, where a fair copy and one
carbon copy were prepared. The fair copy then went back to
Mueller for his signature, and thence it was forwarded
either to Kaltenbrunner or to Himmler. In individual cases
where reports to Himmler were involved, Kaltenbrunner signed
them himself. I myself have seen carbon copies with
Kaltenbrunner's signature.

Q. Turning now to areas and countries in which measures were
taken affecting the Jews, will you state as to which
countries you have personal knowledge of such operations?

A.  Firstly, I have personal knowledge of all measures taken
in Slovakia. I also know full particulars of the evacuation
of Jews from Greece and especially from Hungary. Further, I
know about certain measures taken in Bulgaria and in
Croatia. I naturally heard about the measures adopted in
other countries, but was unable from my own observations or
from detailed reports, to gain a clear picture of the

                                                  [Page 281]

Q. Considering the case of Slovakia, you have already made
reference to the 17,000 Jews specially selected who were
sent from Slovakia. Will you tell the Tribunal of the other
measures that followed concerning Jews in Slovakia?

A.  I mentioned before that these first 17,000 laborers were
followed by about 35,000 Jews, including entire families. In
August, or the beginning of September, 1942, an end was put
to this action in Slovakia. The reasons for this were that a
large number of Jews still in Slovakia had been granted --
either by the President or by various Ministries -- special
permission to remain in the country. A further reason might
have been the unsatisfactory answer I gave the Slovakian
Government in reply to their request for the inspection of
the Jewish camps in Poland. This state of affairs lasted
until September, 1944; from August, 1942, until September,
1944, no Jews were removed from Slovakia. From 25,000 to
30,000 Jews still remained in the country.

Q. What happened to the first group of 17,000 specially
selected workers?

A.  This group was not annihilated, but all were employed
for enforced labor in the Auschwitz and Lublin concentration

Q. How do you know this?

A.  I know this detail because the Commandant of Auschwitz,
Hoess, made a remark to this effect to me in Hungary, in
1944. He told me, at that time, that these 17,000 Jews were
his best workers in Auschwitz.

Q. What was the name of that Commandant?

A.  The Commandant of Auschwitz was Hoess.

Q. What happened to the approximately 35,000 members of the
families of the Jewish workers that were also sent to

A.  They were treated according to the order which Eichmann
had shown me in August, 1942. Part of them were left alive
if they were able to work. The others were killed.

Q. How do you know this?

A.  I know that from Eichmann and, naturally, also from
Hoess, during conversations in Hungary.

Q. What proportion of this group remained alive?

A.  Hoess, at that time, in a conversation with Eichmann, at
which I was present, gave the figure of the surviving Jews
who had been put to work at about 25 to 30 per cent.

Q. Referring now to the 25,000 Jews that remained in
Slovakia until September, 1944, do you know what was done
with those Jews?

A.  After the outbreak of the Slovakian insurrection in the
fall of 1944, Huptsturmfuehrer [sic] Brunner, one of
Eichmann's assistants, was sent to Slovakia. My wish to go
to Slovakia was refused by Eichmann. Brunner then, with the
help of German police forces and also with forces of the
Slovakian Gendarmerie, assembled these Jews in several camps
and transported them to Auschwitz. According to Brunner's
statement, about 14,000 people were involved. A small group
which remained in Camp Szered was, as far as I know, sent to
Theresienstadt in the spring of 1945.

Q. What happened to these Jews after they were deported from
Slovakia, this group of 25,000?

A.  I assume that they also met with the so-called "final
solution," because Himmler's order to suspend this action
was not issued until several weeks later.

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