Archive/File: imt/nca/supp-b/nca-sb-02-pohl.11 Last-Modified: 1997/12/10 Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Supplement B Disposition of Concentration Camp Inmates as Allied Armies Pushed into Germany Excerpts from Testimony of Oswald Pohl, taken at Nurnberg, Germany, 10 June 1946, 1400-1700, by Lt. Col. Smith W. Brookhart, Jr., IGD. Also present: Richard Sonnenfeldt, Interpreter; Charles J. Gallagher, Reporter. [Page 1599] Q. Was there any special order given by Himmler to you as to the disposition of the inmates of concentration camps that were not as yet overrun by the Allied Armies? A. In the Fall of 1944 Himmler gave a written order that in case a concentration camp was threatened by the approaching enemy, the particular concentration camp should come under the jurisdiction of the local Higher SS and Police Leader, and that then the Higher SS and Police Leader of that region should decide at his own discretion what disposition should be made of the inmates. A. And then what happened? A. I do not know whether Himmler gave the directives to Kaltenbrunner beyond that. Q. What was done under that order? A. According to the provisions of this order the Higher SS and [Page 1600] Police Leader took all measures necessary in the evacuation of these camps, and for the treatment of the inmates. Q. You mean they were to do that, didn't you? A. They were to do that, and I give my opinion that they did it. Q. How long did Himmler's order to this effect remain in force? A. I never heard that it was rescinded. I remember that Gruppenfuehrer Katzmann evacuated his camps up in the north, and later Obergruppenfuehrer Schmauser evacuated Auschwitz, and Gross-Rosen. I remember particularly towards the end I still received teletypes from Martin, who was Higher SS and Police Leader of this region, what to do with the concentration camp in Flossenburg, and I was still in Berlin, I remember that. Q. What did he do? A I not know. I left Berlin shortly after that, and all further connections ceased. Q. What did you tell him to do. A. I told him that in accordance with the orders of Himmler, he himself would have to know what to do, because I in Berlin could not possibly judge what the conditions were down there. Q. You say you do not recall any rescission of this Himmler order. A. No. Q. Is that what you want to swear to? A. Yes, I swear to that. I never heard of Himmler either altering or rescinding this order. Q. You know it was recalled at least twice, don't you? A. No, I do not know that. Q. How do you account for the order from Himmler to you for extermination of all prisoners in the concentration camps, which order you attempted to destroy, but failed to do so? A. I do not remember any such order. Q. You do not deny it existed? A. Well, I do not remember having seen such an order.
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