The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1998/04/08

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, the Tribunal does not think
that it is necessary to go further into the organisational
questions at this stage, but it is a matter which must be
really decided by you because you know what the nature of
the evidence which you are considering is. So far as the
Tribunal is concerned, they are satisfied at the present
stage to leave the matter where it is. But there is one
aspect of the witness's evidence which the Tribunal would
like you to investigate, and that is whether the practices
of which he has been speaking continued after 1942, and for
how long.


Q. Can you state whether the liquidation practices which you
have described continued after 1942 and, if so, for how long
a period of time thereafter?

A. I do not think that the basic order was ever lifted. But
I cannot remember sufficient details to enable me to make
concrete statements on this subject, at least not in
reference to Russia; for very shortly thereafter the retreat
began, so that the operational region of the Einsatzgruppen
became smaller and smaller. I do know whether other
Einsatzgruppen with similar orders were provided for other

Q. The question was up to what date does your personal
knowledge of these liquidation activities go.

A. As far as the liquidation of Jews is concerned, I know
that appropriate withdrawals of the order were made about
six months before the conclusion

                                                  [Page 255]
of the war. Furthermore, I saw a document according to which
the liquidation of Soviet Commissars was to be terminated. I
cannot recall a specific date.

Q. Do you know whether in fact it was so terminated?

A. Yes, I believe so.


Q. The Tribunal would like to know the number of men in your
Einsatz Group.

A. There were about five hundred people in my Einsatzgruppe,
besides those who were added to the group from the country
itself to help out.

Q. Including them, did you say?

A. Excluding those who were brought into the group from the
land itself.

Q. Do you know how many there would be in other groups?

A. I should estimate that at the beginning, seven to eight
hundred men; but, as I said before, this number changed
rapidly in the course of time for this reason, that
individual Einsatzgruppen themselves acquired new people or
succeeded in getting additional personnel from the R.S.H.A..

Q. The numbers increased, did they?

A. Yes, the numbers increased.


COLONEL AMEN: Now, here are perhaps just a half dozen of
these questions I would like to ask, because I do think they
might clear up, in the minds of the Tribunal, some of the
evidence which has gone before. I shall be very brief, if
that is satisfactory to the Tribunal.



Q. Will you explain the significance of the different widths
of the blue lines on the chart?

A. The thick blue line between the name Himmler, as
Reichsfuehrer S.S. and Chief of the German Police and the
initials R.S.H.A. is designed to show the identity of the
offices of the chiefs of the Sicherheitspolizei and the S.D.
and their tasks. This is a department in which  ministerial
questions of leadership as well as individual executive
matters were treated, that is to say, the closed circle of
operations of the Sipo and the S.D. The organisational
scheme, however, seen from the legal administrative point of
view, represents an illegal state of affairs since the
R.S.H.A. never actually had official validity.

The formal, legal situation was different from that which
appears on this chart. Party and State offices were
amalgamated here with different channels. Under this
designation neither orders nor laws with a legal basis were
issued. That is due to the fact that the State Police, in
its ministerial capacity, was subordinate to the Ministry of
the Interior just as before, whereas the S.D., despite this
organisation, was an organ of the Party.

Therefore if I wished to reproduce this scheme legally
according to the administrative situation, I should have to
put, for example, in place of Amt IV the Amt Political
Police of the former Sicherheitspolizei Hauptamt. This Amt
Political Police existed formally to the very end and had
its origin in the Police Department of the Ministry of the
Interior. At the same time,  the Secret State Police Amt,
the Central Office of the

                                                  [Page 256]

Prussian Secret State Police, the leading organ of all the
political police offices of the different provinces
[Laender], continued to exist formally.

Thus, ministerial questions continued to be handled under
the leadership of the Minister of the Interior; in so far as
the emphasis on the formal competence of the Ministry of the
Interior was necessary, it appeared under the heading "Reich
Minister of the Interior" with the filing notice "Pol," the
former designation of the Police Department of the Ministry
of the Interior and the appropriate filing notice of the
competent department of the former Sicherheitspolizei
Hauptamt. For example, filing notice "Pol-S" meant
Sicherheitspolizei; "V" meant Amt Verwaltung und Recht
(Department Administration and Law).

The R.S.H.A. was therefore nothing more than a camouflage
designation which did not correctly represent the actual
conditions but gave the Chief of the Sipo and the S.D. as a
collective designation for the Chief of the
Sicherheitspolizei Hauptamt and the Chief of the S.D.
Hauptamt (an office held until 1939) the opportunity of
using one or the other letterhead at any given time.

At the same time it gave him the opportunity of an internal
amalgamation of all forces and the opportunity of a division
of activity-areas according to the point of view of
practical effectiveness. But the fact remains that in this
department State offices did remain in a way dependent on
the Ministry of the Interior, and similarly the departments
of the S.D. remained Party departments.

The S.D. Hauptamt, or the R.S.H.A., had formally only the
significance of an S.S. Main Office, a main office in which
the S.S. members of the Sipo and the S.D. belonged to the
S.S. But the S.S., that is to say, Himmler, as Reichsfuehrer
S.S., gave these state offices no official authority to
issue orders.


Q. I am not sure that I follow altogether what you have been
saying, but is what you have been saying the reason why you
are shown on the chart as concerned with Amt III, which
refers, apparently, only to inside Germany, while, according
to your evidence, you were the head of Einsatz Group D,
which was operating outside Germany?

A. The fact that I led an Einsatzgruppe had nothing to do
with the fact that I was also Chief of Amt III. I was given
that as an individual, not as Chief of Amt III; and in my
capacity as leader of an Einsatzgruppe I came into a
completely new function and into an office completely
separate from the former one.

Q. I see. And did it involve that you left Germany and went
into the area invaded in the Soviet Union?

A. Yes.


Q. Will you explain the significance of the dotted blue
lines, as compared with the solid blue lines on the right
hand side of the chart?

A. The solid lines indicate a direct official channels,
whereas the dotted lines signify that here as a rule there
were no direct channels.

Q. Was the term "S.D." ever used to include both the Sipo
and the S.D.?

A. In the course of years the term "S.D." was used more and
more incorrectly. It came to be established as an
abbreviation for Sipo and S.D.,

                                                  [Page 257]

without actually being suitable for that. "S.D." was
originally simply a designation for the fact that someone
belonged to the S.S.via the S.D. Main Office. When the S.D.
Main Office was dissolved and was taken over into the
R.S.H.A., the question arose as to whether the designation
S.D., which was also worn as insignia on the sleeve of the
particular S.S. man, should be replaced by another insignia
or a new abbreviation, e.g. R.S.H.A.. Things did not reach
that point because the camouflage of the R.S.H.A. would
thereby have been endangered. But when, for example, I read
in a Fuehrer order that in France people were to be turned
over to the S.D., that was a case in point of the false use
of the designation S.D., since there were no such offices in
France, and, on the other hand, the S.D., in so far as it
functioned in departments, e.g., Amt III, in offices, had no
executive power but was purely an intelligence organ.

Q. Briefly, what was the relationship between the S.S. and
the Gestapo?

A. The relationship between the S.S. and Gestapo was this:
The Reichsfuehrer S.S., as such, took over the tasks of the
police and attempted to combine more closely the State
Police and the S.S., that is to say, on the one hand to
employ only those members of the State Police who were
eligible for the S.S., and, on the other hand, to use the
institutions of the S.S., e.g., education and training of
the younger generation by the Waffen-S.S., in order in this
way to draw the younger generation into the State Police.
This amalgamation was later extended by him in an attempt to
bring about the same relationship between the S.S. and the
Ministry of the Interior, i.e., the whole internal

Q. About how many full-time agents and honourary auxiliary
personnel did the S.D. employ?

A. One cannot use the concept SD in this connection either.
It is necessary to distinguish here between Amt III and Amt
VI. Amt III, as the interior intelligence service, had about
three thousand main office members, including men and women.
On the other hand, the interior intelligence service worked
essentially with honourary personnel, that is to say, with
men and women who could serve the internal intelligence
services with their professional experiences and with
experiences based on their surroundings. I would judge that
the number of these persons was roughly thirty thousand.

Q. Will you briefly give the Tribunal a general example of how a
typical transaction was handled through the channels indicated on the

A. First, a general example, invented to make things clear. Himmler
discovered through experience that more and more saboteurs were being
dropped from planes into Germany and were endangering transportation
and factory sites. He told this to Kaltenbrunner in the latter's
capacity as Chief of the Sipo and instructed him to make his
organisation aware  of this state of affairs and to take measures to
see to it that these saboteurs would be seized as soon and as
completely as possible. 

Kaltenbrunner instructed Amt IV, that is to say, the State Police,
with the preparation of the necessary order to the regional offices.
This order was drawn up by the competent office of experts in Amt IV
and was either transmitted by Mueller directly to the State Police
offices in the Reich or, what is more probable because of the
importance of the question and because of  necessity and in order to
bring to the attention of the other 

                                                  [Page 258]

offices and officials to this fact, was given by him to Kaltenbrunner,
who signed it and issued it to the regional offices in the Reich.

On the basis of this order it was, for example, determined that the
State Police offices should report the measures they were taking as
well as any successes they might have. These reports went back through
the same channels from the regional offices to the offices of experts
in Amt IV, thence to the Chief of Amt IV, thence to the Chief of the
R.S.H.A., Kaltenbrunner, and thence to the Chief of the German Police

Q. And, finally, will you give a specific example of typical
transaction handled through the channels indicated on the chart? 

A. The example of the arrest of the leaders of the leftist parties
after the event of the 20th of July: This order was also transmitted
from Himmler to Kaltenbrunner; Kaltenbrunner passed it on to Amt IV
and an appropriate draft for a decree was formulated by Amt IV, signed
by Kaltenbrunner and sent to the regional offices. The reports were
returned from the subordinate offices back to the higher offices along
the same channels. 

COLONEL AMEN: May it please the Tribunal. The witness is now available
to other counsel. I understand that Colonel Pokrovsky has some
questions that he wishes to ask on behalf of the Soviets. 

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