The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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             KARL OTTO KURT KAUFFMANN -- Resumed


Q. Witness, do you remember Hitler saying in his Reichstag speech on
20th February, 1938:

     "National Socialism possesses Germany entirely and completely.
     There is no institution in this State which is not National

Do you remember these words, or if you do not remember the exact words
do you remember the sense of these words being stated by Hitler?

                                                               [Page 86]

A. I remember the sense of the words, but not the words themselves.


My Lord, the extract from the speech is in Document Book 5, in Document


Q. Do you agree with the sense of these words?

A. No.

Q. Do you think it was an exaggeration?

A. I am convinced that not all institutions were at that time National

Q. But you would agree that the vast majority of institutions were
National Socialist?

A. They were in the process of becoming National Socialist, but that
process had not been completed.

Q. So you would agree that what Hitler states as a fact was the aim for
which he was working?

A. Yes.

Q. And the method by which he was working for that aim was through the
system of political leadership conducted by the Leadership Corps?

A. By that means the aim could be reached only in part.

Q. It was one essential method of possessing Germany in the sense of
getting complete control of the minds and hearts and feelings of the
population of Germany, was it not?

A. No, in my opinion, only at the beginning.

Q. Only the beginning? But that was the work which had gone on from 1933
up to 1938, when these words were spoken by Hitler?

A. It was part of the success of the Party before the seizure of power
and after the seizure of power.

Q. Let me just put a few more words of Hitler's to show you how he
expresses it:

"National Socialism" -- it is the same speech -- "National Socialism has
given the German people that leadership which, as a party, not only
mobilizes the nation but organizes it."

Is Hitler correct in giving that description of the leadership?

A. Yes; I would say "yes."

Q. Well, now I just want to take the matters which Dr. Servatius has
referred to and ask you about the share of the Leadership Corps in them.
Let us take the question of the Jews first.

Speaking generally and not with sole reference to your own Gau of
Hamburg, did the political leadership take an active part in the
demonstration of November, 1938 ?

A. The information I received about that action for other Gaue gave me
the impression that such actions had indeed taken place but that, with
exceptions, the men responsible for these actions had in no case been
political leaders.

Q. Now, if you say that, will you look at Heydrich's order of 10th


My Lord, your Lordship will find that on Page 79 of the Document Book




Q. Witness, you will find it on Page 96 of the German Document Book. If
it is not 96, it is 97. Have you found it?

You see, this was an order from Heydrich issued on 10th November, at
1.20, and I just want you to look at paragraph one:

                                                               [Page 87]

     "The chiefs of the State Police or their deputies must get in
     telephonic contact with the political leaders who have jurisdiction
     over their districts and arrange a joint meeting with the
     appropriate inspector or commander of the Order Police to discuss
     the organization of the demonstrations. At these discussions the
     political leaders have to be informed that the German Police have
     received from the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police
     the following instructions in accordance with which the political
     leaders should adjust their own measures."

Now, you remember the general instructions were as to the burning of
synagogues, the arrest of 20,000 Jews to be taken to concentration
camps, and the destruction or appropriation of Jewish property. What
were "their own measures" which the political leadership were to take
with regard to that?

A. First, may I point out that in the German text of that document the
passage which says that the Gauleiter had jurisdiction is not included.
I cannot find it.

Q. The point I am asking you about -- we will deal with that in a
moment, but what I want to know from you is, what were "their own
measures" which the political leaders were to take with regard to this
attack oil the Jews?

A. I can only say the following: I, myself, did not take part in the
meeting of 9th November, 1938. I was not informed from Munich about the
proposed. action, but in the evening of 9th November I heard from the
chief of the Hamburg State Police that an action of that kind was

Q. That is, the leader of the Hamburg State Police was carrying out the
instructions of this paragraph after getting in touch with you. I
thought you were able to speak for Gauleiter generally, apart from Gau
Hamburg, and I want you to tell the Tribunal what were their own
measures which the leadership of the Party were to carry out? I mean you
must have heard it discussed afterwards. 'Fell us what they were. What
were the leaders of the Party to do?

A. You asked me in your previous question about my personal experiences.
I had to answer that I myself was informed by the chief of the State
Police that it was proposed to carry out this action. For the Gau
Hamburg -- that is what I was asked about just now -- I gave the order
that officials of the State and criminal police were to safeguard the
business streets and residential districts of Jews in Hamburg
immediately. This measure was in the hands of Commissioner Winke of the
criminal police, to whom I sent a Gau inspector to assist him. After
receiving the information through the State Police I immediately called
up all the Kreisleiter and made them responsible for the prevention of
this action in their districts.

Q. Did you, in your Gau, burn the synagogues

A. No, I --

Q. I want to be exact. Were the synagogues burned in Hamburg? That is
what I should have asked you.

A. As a result of my measures, no excesses took place during the first
night, that is the night from the 9th to the 10th. There were minor,
insignificant disturbances in the night from the 10th to the 11th, and
in spite of my measure, one synagogue was set on fire, I assume by
elements from outside.

Q. All over Germany generally, if my memory is right, there were at
least seventy-five synagogues burned. In general, apart from your own
Gau, is it not right that following this order of Heydrich the
leadership corps co-operated with the police to see that synagogues were
burned, Jews were arrested, Jewish property affected and non-jewish
property left secure?

A. I know of no order and no directive which commanded the corps of
political leaders, even outside the Gau Hamburg, to take part in that
action. I was only informed that after the meeting of the 9th of
November, Reichminister Dr. Goebbels made a request which then in
practice led to excesses in individual Gaue, or in many Gaue. I also
know that the chief executive of the Four-Year Plan at that time said a
few days after that action at a meeting in Berlin that this measure,

                                                               [Page 88]

which he condemned in the strongest terms, was not in conformity with
the intentions of the Fuehrer and his own intentions, and he mentioned
the Gau Hamburg as an exception.

Q. You remember that you told me a few moments ago that this was an
occurrence which only took place in individual instances. Here is the
order of Heydrich, telling the police generally to get in touch with the
leadership corps so that they could co-operate with the police to carry
out his orders, which were, broadly, to attack the Jews and see that
they did not do any harm to non-Jews while doing it. It is quite wrong,
as you said a few moments ago, that this was an individual matter. The
leadership corps were brought into this through the order of Heydrich,
who was then Himmler's lieutenant-chief of the Secret Police, is that
not so?

A. No, that is not correct. The corps of political leaders could not
accept orders from Heydrich. Orders to the political leaders could be
issued solely by the Gauleiter, who received his directives from the
Fuehrer or from his deputy, or from the Party Chancellery.

Q. Well, do you remember what took place after that occurrence? Do you
remember a meeting of the Party Court?

A. No.

0. Let me remind you about the Party Court.. You will find that in
Document 3063 at Pages 8I to 88 of the same document book.

A. Yes, I have found the page.

Q. You have found the page. Page 81. A meeting of the Supreme Party
Court of the Party, and it begins with a report about the events and
judicial proceedings in connection with the anti-Semitic demonstrations
of 9th November, 1938. Immediately following is "Enclosure 2" which

     "It was probably understood by all the Party leaders present from
     the oral instructions of the Reich propaganda director, that the
     Party should not appear outwardly as the originator of the
     demonstrations, but in reality should organize and execute them.
     Instructions in this sense were telephoned immediately (thus a
     considerable time before transmission of the first teletype) to the
     bureaux of their districts (Gaue) by a large part of the Party
     members present."

And if you will look on to the next paragraph but one:

     "At the end of November, 1938, the Chief Party Court, through
     reports from several Gau Courts, heard that these demonstrations of
     9th November, 1938, had gone as far as plundering and killing of
     Jews to considerable extent, and that they had already been the
     object of investigation by the police and the State Prosecutor."

And then after that it says

     "The deputy of the Fuehrer agreed with the interpretation of the
     Chief Party Court, that known transgression in any case should be
     investigated under the jurisdiction of the Party:
     1. Because of the obvious connection between the events to be
     judged and the instructions which the Reich propaganda director,
     Party member Dr. Goebbels, gave in the town hall at the social
     evening. Without investigation and evaluation of this connection a
     just judgment did not appear possible. This investigation, however,
     could not be left to innumerable State Courts."

And then paragraph 2 says that matters which concerned the vital
interests of the Party should also receive Party clarification first and
that the Fuehrer should be asked to cancel the proceedings in the State
Court. Now if you look on -- I do not want to take too much time -- you
will see that there were then sixteen cases which came up before the
Supreme Party Court, and the first three cases are matters -- oh, yes,
there is just one point I should have drawn attention to. just before
you come to the first case:

                                                               [Page 89]

     "Gauleiter and Gruppenleiter of the branches served as jurors at
     the trials and decisions. The decisions which, for reasons to be
     discussed later, contain in part only the statements of the facts,
     are attached."

The first three cases, which come from Rheinhausen, Niederwerren, and
Linz, are concerned with theft and rape. They are allowed to go on to
the State Courts. The next thirteen, which come from all over Germany,
very different places like Heilsberg, Dessau, Lesum, Bremen, Neidenburg,
Eberstadt, Luenen, Aschaffenburg, Dresden, Munich, and all over Germany
are thirteen cases of murdering Jews. Two of the perpetrators get the
very mild sentence of a warning and not being able to hold public office
because of disciplinary violation, and as to the remaining eleven, the
proceedings against them are suspended.

Now, I just want you to look at 102. If you will look at No. 6; that is,
the the shooting of a Jewish couple called Goldberg; No. 7, the shooting
of the Jew Rosenbaum and the Jewess Zwienicki; No. 10, shooting the
Jewess Susanne Stern; and there is No. 5. No. 5 is the shooting of the
16-year-old Jew Herbert Stein.

Now, you say that you did not deal with any of these situations
yourself, is that so?

A. I explained clearly that I gave orders to the contrary in my Gau.

Q. Yes. I asked you, as I said at the beginning -- I want you to tell
the Tribunal about it generally -- how it is that the Court of your
Party, which is supposed to deal with the discipline and decency of its
members, passed over thirteen cases of murder with two suspensions from
public office for three years, and the remaining eleven cases with all
action suspended. Do you not think that that was a disgraceful way to
deal with murder?

A. May I say first that among the thirteen cases which are quoted here
there is only one political leader.

Q. Well, you are not right, you know. Cases 9 and 10 involve
Ortsgruppenleiter; case 11 involves a Blockleiter. It is true that cases
2, to 8, 12, and 15 involve people with various ranks in the SA, and
cases 11, 14 and 16 involve cases with people in the ranks of the SS.
But actually I think you will find that cases 9, 10, and 11 involve the
political leadership. But that is not my point, witness. My point is

Here are these members of the Party brought up before the Court of the
Party, and the Court of the Party is condoning and conniving at murder.
Thai is my point, and I want you to give your explanation as to why you
condone and connive at murder.

A. I saw this document, which has just been submitted to me, for the
first time only after I was brought here to the Palace of Justice as a
witness. In view of my attitude toward the Jewish question and the
Jewish measures, I did not under any circumstances approve such handling
of cases as is mentioned here. I would never have approved of it, if I
had known about it.

Q. But, witness, if that is your personal view, then let us leave your
personal view for the moment. The Tribunal are considering the
leadership corps of the Party. Here is the highest Court of the Party.
If the highest Court of the Party. gives decisions of that kind of which
you intensely disapprove, does it not show that the highest Court of the
Party was rotten to its foundations?

A. The highest Court of the Party should have adopted a strong attitude
toward the Fuehrer. It apparently neglected to call to account the
creator of the whole action, the instigator of all these excesses.

Q. I am not going to take it in complete detail; but I just want you to
look at one paragraph of the explanation which the Party Court gives.
The full explanation is there, on Page 87.

My Lord, that is the second paragraph.

Will you turn to that? I am sure where that will be. It will be a few
pages on; 112, I think, witness. I just want you to try to help us on
this point.Have

                                                               [Page 90]

you got a paragraph that begins, "Also in such cases as when Jews were
killed without an order (enclosures 13, 14, and 15) or contrary to
orders (enclosures 8 and 9) . . . "? Now, mark the numbers---

A. No, I have not found that paragraph.

Q. Would you try at Page 113? The sergeant will help you.

A. Yes.

Q. Do you see, "Also in such cases" -- it begins -- "as when Jews were
killed without an order (enclosures 13, 14, 15) or contrary to orders
(enclosures 8 and 9), ignoble motives could not be determined. At heart
the men were convinced that they had done a service to their Fuehrer and
to the Party. Therefore, exclusion from the Party did not take place.
The final aim of the proceedings and also the yardstick for critical
examination must be, according to the policy of the Supreme Court, on
the one hand, to protect those Party comrades who, impelled by their
decent National Socialist attitude and initiative, had overshot their
mark, and, on the other hand, to draw a dividing line between the Party
and these elements who for personal reasons basely misused the Party's
national liberation battle against Jewry . . . " -- do you say that it
is decent National Socialist attitude and initiative to murder Jewesses
and children of sixteen?

A. My opinion in these matters is quite clear. I objected to the action,
and I do not at all approve the viewpoint of the Party Court. I am
convinced that the great majority of the Party members are of the same

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