The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/11/13

Q. Did you wish to execute an order of the SS Court to
arrest Eichmann?

A. I asked the SS Court at Berlin to examine Eichmann on the
basis of my report. The SS-Court in Berlin, thereupon,
submitted the order to intern Eichmann to the Chief of the
RSHA in his capacity as judge, SS Obergruppenfuehrer

Dr. Bachmann reported to me that on the submission of this
matter, rather dramatic incidents took place.

Kaltenbrunner immediately called in Muller, and now the
judge was told that an arrest was not to be considered in
any event, for Eichmann was carrying out a special secret
task of the utmost importance entrusted to him by the

Q. When was that?

A. That was in the middle of 1942.

DR. MERKEL: Thank you, I have no further questions to put to
this witness.

DR. GAWLIK (on behalf of the SD): Your Lordship, may I be
permitted to put a few questions, please?



Q. Witness, you mentioned the orders of the RSHA. From which
office did these orders come?

A. Do you mean the orders for the mass extermination?

Q. Yes.

A. I stated that the SS jurisdiction -

Q: Answer the question briefly, please. Which office issued
these orders?

A. I said that the investigating judge could not establish
the origin of such orders to my knowledge.

Q. You spoke of the orders of the RSHA, did you not?

A. I said that the accused Koch and Grabner, because of the
killings they committed, referred to orders of the RSHA and
said that these orders had to be destroyed as soon as they
were received. That was purely an assertion and therefore
this statement had to be investigated.

Q. Did you ascertain that the Offices III, VI and VII were
in anyway participating in these measures?

A. I have already testified that Wirth's undertaking
directly -

Q. Can you answer this question with a yes or no?

A. I could not determine that.

DR. GAWLIK: Thank you. I have no further questions to the

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: The prosecution very carefully
considers the question of cross-examining this witness. We
do not accept his evidence as to Buchenwald, Dachau, and as
to conditions in concentration camps generally. We feel,
however, the Tribunal has been shown such an overwhelming
amount of evidence, including films and exhibits of the
consistent pattern of cruelties in the concentration camps,
of the smelling chimneys of the crematoria, and of the
persons who carried out these actions, that we consider that
any further discussion of these matters should be by way of
comment, and that it would not be right to take up the time
of the Tribunal by confronting this witness with the details
of that evidence which is so fully in the Tribunal's mind.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness may retire.

Is that your case?


THE PRESIDENT: The prosecution wants to cross-examine the
witness Sievers. We will call for Wolfram Sievers.

                                                  [Page 399]

WOLFRAM SIEVERS, a witness,: took the stand and testified as


Q. What is your name?

A. Wolfram Sievers.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me:

I swear by God, the Almighty and Omniscient, that I will
speak the pure truth and will withhold and add nothing.

(The witness repeated the oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.



Q. You are Wolfram Sievers and from 1935 on you were Reich
manager of the Ahnenerbe (Ancestral Heritage Society), were
you not?

A. I was the Reich manager of the Ahnenerbe.

Q. You recollect on the 27th June you gave evidence before
the Commissioner appointed by this Tribunal?

A. Yes.

Q. I am referring to Page 1925 of the transcript of your
evidence before the Commission.

Do you recollect that Dr. Pelckmann, the counsel for the SS,
accounted that he was calling you to show that this
Ahnenerbe did not know of the biological experiments of the
group led by Dr. Rascher, performed on concentration camp

A. Yes.

Q. And do you remember, the record is on Page 1932 of the
transcript, that when Dr. Pelckmann asked you:

  "Did you have any possibility of having an insight into
  the circumstances relating to or the planning of the
  methods or the carrying out of these scientific research
  works of the military scientific department?" you
  answered "No"?

A. I recall that.

Q And when I cross-examined you upon your testimony, do you
recall telling the Commissioner that Himmler and Rascher
were very close friends and you did not know exactly what
went on? Do you remember that?

A. I said that I was informed about these matters only in
general but not in particular.

Q. In my final question to you in cross-examination, I asked

  " How many people do you estimate were murdered in
  connection with Rascher's and other experiments carried
  out under the guise of 'Nazi science?" and to that
  question you gave this answer:
  "I cannot say because I had no knowledge of these

Do you remember that on Page 1939 of the transcript?

A. Yes, indeed.

Q. Well, now, I want to see whether or not you did have
knowledge of these matters.

Did you ever hear of Professor Hirt's skeleton collection?

A. That is in connection with anatomy at the University of
Strassburg -

Q. I asked you did you hear about it?

A. Yes, indeed, I did hear of it.

Q. You played a very active part in the creation of that
collection of skeletons, did you not?

A. I did not understand the end of the question.

Q. You played an active part in the collection of these

A. No.

Q. I want you to look first at Document No. 116.

                                                  [Page 400]

It is an insertion into the Tribunal's Document Book at Page
1901. It follows Page i9 in your Lordship's document book.
It will be Exhibit GB 573.

Now we shall be able to test your ignorance of this
collection. This is a letter from Brandt to the Main Office
for the Security of the Reich, dated 6th November, 1942.

Brandt was Himmler's agent, was he not?

A. He was his personal expert.

Now, this letter:

  "Subject: Organization of a skeleton collection in the
  Anatomical Institute of Strassburg.
  The Reichsfuehrer SS has ordered that everything
  necessary for the research work of SS Captain
  (Hauptsturmfuehrer) Professor Dr. Hirt, who is at the
  same time director of a branch of the Institute for
  Scientific Researches for Specific Purposes in the Office
  Ahnenerbe, should be placed art his disposal. By order of
  the Reichsfuehrer SS, I therefore request you to make the
  organization of the planned skeleton collection possible.
  The SS Lt.-Col. (Obersturmbannfuehrer) Sievers will
  contact you for details."

Now, that Sievers is you, is it not?

A. Yes.

Q. Were you contacted for details?

A. Here we are concerned with the building up of a
department of anatomy at the University of Strassburg which
had been newly taken over, and this was a matter of
reconstruction of the so-called anatomical museum, something
quite customary with all anatomical departments in
universities everywhere.

Q. This was just a piece of academic research, was it?

A. Yes.

Q. Where were you going to get the skeletons from?

A. Particulars were to be handled by Professor Hirt -

Q. Now just answer my question, witness, because you know
perfectly well the answer to it.

Where were you going to get those skeletons from?

A. They were to be put at our disposal from Auschwitz.

Q. Now, I want you to look at a letter which you sent to
Brandt, in furtherance of Brandt's communication containing
suggestions as to where those skeletons should come from.

It is Document No. 085, which will be Exhibit GB 574. It is
at Page 11 of the document book, my Lord. It is at Pages 14
and 15 of the German Document Book.

Now, that is a letter headed "The Ahnenerbe," dated 9th
February, 1942, marked "Secret." It is addressed to Brandt,
Himmler's adjutant. It is your letter, witness, is it not,
it is your signature at the bottom of it?

A. Yes.

Q. I will read it out.

  "Dear Comrade Brandt:
  Professor Dr. Hirt's report, which you requested in your
  letter of 29th December, 1941, is submitted in the
  enclosure. I was not able to send it to you before
  because Professor Hirt was taken seriously ill."

Then there follow details of his illness.

  "Because of this, Professor Hirt was merely able to write
  a preliminary report which, however, I should like to
  submit to you. The report concerns:
  1. His research with the microscope on living organs; the
  discovery. of a new method of examination and the
  construction of a new research microscope.
  2. His proposal for securing skulls of Jewish-Bolshevik

Then there is your signature and you forwarded that letter
and Professor Hirt's report and his suggestions, and this is
Hirt's report:

                                                  [Page 401]

  "Subject: Securing of skulls of Jewish-Bolshevik
  commissars for the purpose of scientific research at the
  Reich University, Strassburg.
  We have a nearly complete collection of skulls of all
  races and peoples at our disposal. Of the Jewish race,
  however, only very few specimens of skulls are available,
  with the result that it is impossible to arrive at
  precise conclusions from examining them. The war in the
  east now presents us with the opportunity to overcome
  this deficiency. By procuring the skulls of the Jewish-
  Bolshevik commissars, who represent the prototype of the
  repulsive but characteristic subhuman, we have the chance
  now to compile good, scientific documents.
  The best practical method for obtaining and collecting
  this skull material could be handled by directing the
  Wehrmacht to turn over alive all captured Jewish-
  Bolshevik commissars to the Field Police. They, in turn,
  are to be given special directives to inform a certain
  office at regular intervals of the numbers and place of
  detention of these captured Jews and to give them close
  attention and care until a special delegate arrives. This
  special delegate, who will be in charge of securing the
  material (a junior physician of the Wehrmacht or even the
  Field Police or a student of medicine equipped with a
  motor car and driver), will be required to take a
  previously established series of photographs, make
  anthropological measurements and, in addition, determine
  as far as possible other personal data of the prisoners.
  Following the subsequently induced death of the Jew,
  whose head should not be damaged, the physician will
  separate the head from the body and will forward it to
  its proper point of destination in an hermetically sealed
  tin can, especially made for this purpose and filled with
  a conserving fluid. Having arrived at the laboratory, the
  comparison tests and anatomical research on the skull, as
  well as determination of the race membership and of
  pathological features of the skull form, the form and
  size of the brain, etc., can proceed by means of photos,
  measurements and other data supplied on the head, and the
  skull itself."

That was the report which you forwarded to Brandt?

A. Yes, that was the report of Professor Hirt.

Q. How did the collection of these skeletons from the living

A. I cannot give you the exact details. In earlier
interrogations I pointed out that Professor Hirt would have
to be asked himself about this matter.

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