The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-03/tgmwc-03-26.08

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-03/tgmwc-03-26.08
Last-Modified: 1998/04/10

                                                  [Page 265]


Q. When you spoke of the written agreement between the
leaders of the Einsatz Groups and the Army, do you know
whether or not the functions and purposes of the Einsatz
Groups were described in the agreement? Did the agreement
say what the groups were going to do?

A. I no longer remember that. In any case it was not the
task of liquidation.

Q.  Do you understand the question?

A. Yes. I cannot quite remember if there was a general
clause in the agreement about the tasks and activities of
the Security Police in the operational area, but I am
certain that it contained nothing regarding the task of

Q.  You stated that there had been a general order for the
liquidation of all Jews. Was that order in writing?

A. No.

Q.  Do you know who gave the order?

A. Is this question with regard to the activities of the

Q.  Yes.

A. Regarding the Einsatzgruppen, the order came first via
Himmler, Heydrich and Streckenbach to the Einsatzgruppen and
then was repeated a second time by Himmler personally.

Q.  Did a similar order go to the Army?

A. I know of no such order to the Army in this form.

THE PRESIDENT:  Now do any of the defendants' counsel wish
to cross-examine this witness?


BY DR. NELTE (Counsel for defendant Keitel):

Q. Witness, you said that several weeks before the opening
of the Russian campaign, there were conferences regarding
the tasks of the Einsatzgruppen and the Einsatzkommandos.
Were you personally present at these conferences?

A. May I briefly correct this by saying that the main
subject was not the tasks of the Einsatzgruppen but the set-
up within the operational area...

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a moment.

Q. Will you repeat that, please?

A. May I make a correction by saying that according to my
recollection the main subject was not the tasks of the
Einsatzgruppen but the establishment of these mobile
organisational units for activities within the operational
area of the Army.

Q. In other words, this concerned tasks within the sphere of
the Army?

A. Yes.

Q. You testified that the written agreement was concluded
between the R.S.H.A. on one hand and the O.K.W. and O.K.H.
on the other. Are you familiar with the difference in
authority between the O.K.W. and the O.K.H.?

A. Yes.

                                                  [Page 266]
Q. Who was present from the O.K.W. at these conferences?

A. I cannot mention any one name because I personally was
not present at these conferences, but these conferences were
conducted by Heydrich on the one hand and by his deputy,
Schellenberg, on the other.

Q.  Schellenberg also spoke on this question in an affidavit
presented here, but he mentioned Quartermaster-General
Wagner as the official with whom he had to deal. Can you
remember now whether this was also occurred at the
conferences to which you are referring?

A. At any rate, the name of Quartermaster-General Wagner is
one of the few names mentioned which I do remember in
connection with these conferences.

Q. Is it known to you that Quartermaster General Wagner had
nothing to do with the O.K.W. as an institution?

A. Yes.

Q. I take it that you cannot therefore name any personality
who might be regarded as representative of the O.K.W.?

A. No, I cannot. I merely said that I have remembered, that
is, I still have in my mind's eye the letterhead O.K.W.-
O.K.H. I took this double heading to mean that essential
negotiations with Canaris were probably being carried out,
that arrangements with Canaris were therefore included in
this agreement and that this accounted for the letterhead
O.K.H. plus O.K.W., which, to me as well, had appeared
unusual, since the O.K.H., per se, was naturally in charge
of all marching and maintenance problems.

Q.  A joint letterhead O.K.W.-O.K.H., as such, did not, of
course, exist. In your case then it could have been only a
typewritten copy?

A. I can still visualise a mimeographed sheet.

Q.  Do you know which signatures were on this document which
you visualise?

A. I cannot remember; I am sorry.

Q. One of the Judges already put the question that orders
would naturally result from an similar agreement. Is the
name of the O.K.W., or the signature perhaps, included in
any one such order?

A. Now, I do not understand what kind of orders you mean.

Q. When an agreement is made between two different
organisations such as the R.S.H.A. on the one hand and,
shall we say the O.K.H. on the other, then the office
entrusted with the execution of that which has been agreed
upon must be informed thereof in a form known as an "Order"
in military parlance. Is such an order known to you as
originating from the O.K.W.?

A. Please understand that no such orders from the Army or
the O.K.W. were received by me. I merely had orders or
wishes expressed by the Army.

Q. From the Army or from your Superior Command?

A. Of course. No. I am speaking now... If I think of the

Q. Therefore, there was no connection of any kind between
you, as Leader of the Einsatzgruppe, and the O.K.W. as such?

A. No immediate connection. I know very well that individual
reports reached the O.K.W. through official channels.

Q. If you know that, can you tell me to which office?
Because, after all, O.K.W. covered a great many.

A. I should assume that it eventually reached Canaris.

DR. NELTE: I thank you.

                                                  [Page 267]

DR. EGON KUBUSCHOK (Counsel for the Reichsregierung):

Q. Witness, in your position as Chief of the S.D., you were
probably able to have some idea about the trustworthiness of
the members of the Reich Cabinet with regard to respecting
the secrecy of supremely important matters. Please answer
this question, whether the order which has been discussed to-
day regarding the liquidations, in your opinion, originated
in the Reich Cabinet and whether this order, in your
opinion, was made known to the individual members of the
Reich Cabinet?

A. I am convinced that both questions are to be answered in
the negative.

Q.  I should like to ask the witness a few more questions on
behalf of the defendant Speer, since counsel for the
defendant Speer is absent and I have taken over this task
out of esprit de corps.

Witness, is it known to you that the defendant Speer,
contrary to Hitler's orders, took measures to prevent the
destruction of industrial and other installations?

A. Yes.

Q.  That these measures also extended beyond the interior of
Germany to the then still-occupied area of Upper Silesia, et

A. I believe that the period of time during which  this was
known to me was so late that, except for some small areas in
the West, it no longer applied to any area in the East.

Q.  One more question which you might perhaps know about. Do
you know if the defendant Speer prepared an attempt on
Hitler's life in the middle of February of this year?

A. No.

Q.  Do you know that Speer undertook to turn Himmler over to
the Allies so that he could be called to account and
possibly clear others who were innocent?

A. No.

Q.  This question will perhaps be answered in the
affirmative by another witness.

Are you well informed regarding the events of the 20th of

A. To a considerable extent.

Q.  Is it known to you that the circle of plotters of 20
July had also planned to keep the defendant Speer as head of
his Ministry?

A. Yes.

Q.  Do you know any details about that?

A. From the participants in the plot of the 20th of July, I
merely learned that they had considered him, on a drafted
organisational scheme, as continuing in his post as head of
the Armament Ministry.

Q.  Witness, do you believe that this intention of the
plotters of the 20th of July was due to the fact that the
defendant Speer, in view of his activities, was considered
not only in these circles, but even elsewhere, merely as an
expert and not as a politician?

A. The question is very hard to answer. It is very difficult
not to be considered a politician if one has been so closely
connected with those authorities of the Reich who made the
final political decisions, and if one has, perhaps, been an
essential contributor to the suggestions and proposals from
which the decisions evolved. On the other hand, Minister
Speer was known or believed to be not purely a politician.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.