Archive/File: imt/nca/supp-b/nca-sb-02-kaltenbrunner.18 Last-Modified: 1997/11/24 Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Supplement B Treatment of Commandos and Airborne Troops Excerpts from Testimony of Ernst Kaltenbrunner, taken at Nurnberg, Germany, 10 November 1945, 1430- 1545, by Lt. Col. Smith W. Brookhart, IGD. Also present: John Albert, Interpreter; Frances Karr, Reporter. [Page 1322] Q. Well, let us go back to the subject we took up earlier, before we got on the question of veracity. I showed you your letter of 23 January 1945 which makes reference to the earlier Hitler Order of 18 October 1942, as to how commandos were to be dealt with. Let me show you some other documents. The first two documents (540-PS) appear to be a draft followed by the letter that was signed. Those two are dated 30 January 1945 and 8 February 1945. I will read this paragraph into the record: "On recommendation of the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service (SD), the letter of 28 September 1944 is corrected as follows: "The Fuehrer's Order on the elimination of terrorists and saboteurs in the occupied territories of 30 July 1944, as well as 18 August, 1944 (No. OKW/WEST/Qu2/Verw. 1 009169/44g/Kdes) refers only to non-German civilian persons in the occupied territories. "For the treatment of commandos the Fuehrer's Order of 18 October 1942 (No. OKW/WEST Qu2/VerW. No. 003830/42 g.Kdes) is still valid." "By direction--" To which there is a reply, which contains this last paragraph: [Page 1323] "However, since the Security Service (SD) does not agree to this, a difference of opinion in this case appears to be immaterial. Earliest decision is requested since answer to SS General Doctor Kaltenbrunner is to be sent as soon as possible." Now, do these communications serve to refresh your recollection any? A. No. Q. You still deny knowledge of the letter of 23 January 1945? A. I do not recall the letter. Q. And you deny knowledge of any subsequent action taken by the Commander of the Southeast? A. Of course. Apart from the fact that this commander of the Southeast was not subordinated to me, he was subordinated to the armed forces commanders. Q. We understand how the police operated in conjunction with the army. It was not necessarily a direct channel of command. A. But this was a letter from the Supreme Commander of the armed forces to the Commander Southeast of the armed forces. Q. That is clear from the document but it makes reference to the letter that has to be sent to you as soon as possible. And they even revised the draft, which is the first copy, to include the sentence referring to you in the signed copy, showing that he had knowledge of your letter and the action that was to be expected. A. From that it can only be seen that the armed forces intended to write a letter to me. Whether rightly or wrongly and whether I was the right authority to write to, is open to question. In any case, the armed forces wanted to get in touch with the Gestapo, as can be seen from this exchange of letters and I am convinced that an officer of the Gestapo, namely that one mentioned on top of the letter, has written this document (pointing to 535-PS). Q. Well, this is the letter that you know nothing about, but that nevertheless established just how you accomplished your desires by writing to the Supreme Command of the armed forces. That is very clear. A. But I deny that I have written this letter. Q. No, you just didn't know about it, but now you deny it? A. I not only did not know the Hitler Order, but I also did not know this letter. Q. But you acknowledge your signature? A. I did not say that this is my signature, I only said that it resembles my signature and I also said it is possible that a [Page 1324] rubber stamp, bearing my signature, was used. I cannot recall a letter of such contents, signed by myself. Q. Would it be any more convincing to you if you saw the original letter, signed in ink? A. I could be more convinced but it would still not prove that I signed in ink. Q. There was only one Dr. Kaltenbrunner on 23 January 1945 who was the chief of the Sicherheitspolizei? A. But maybe this certain Ernst Kaltenbrunner was not in Berlin just at that time. Q. Just answer my question first. Is that true? A. Certainly. Q. And you were the man? A. No. I did not have the function which you imply this man had. Q. I do not imply anything. I ask you if you are the man who held this position? A. No. Q. You are not the man? A. There was no other Ernst Kaltenbrunner who was Chief of the Security Police. But this Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who sits opposite you and whom you call Chief of Security Police and SD on January 23, did not write this letter. (To the Interpreter) I did not say this. I said this Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who sits opposite you, did not have the function of Chief of Security Police and SD on January 23, 1945. Q. What was your function at that time? A. As I described to you frequently, I was in charge of the Intelligence Service. Q. You have, of course, denied responsibility for anything that was done in AmT IV and AmT V and AmT VI, except in a minor was in the latter case. A. I denied any responsibility as to AmT VI, as far as AmT MIL was concerned. The reports on foreign policy, made by AmT VI, I partly used in my reports. Q. The testimony of other witnesses, who served many years in the RSHA, is that you were, in fact, the Chief of the RSHA and that you exercised and executed control throughout the organization as you would have been expected to do. A. That testimony is incorrect. Q. And further, that during the period between Heydrich's death and your appointment to the Chief of RSHA, Amt Chiefs did deal directly with Himmler and that thereafter, everything cleared through you, with a few exceptions. [Page 1325] A. That testimony is also incorrect but I think it is also incorrect to use me for elaborating on the prosecutor's case against me. Q. Well, this is for your benefit, unless you find this boring. A. It is not boring to me. I have had the feeling in all my previous interrogations, that you are always looking for evidence of my guilt and that you are not taking into consideration any points which would be in my favor. I find myself now in the state of preparation for my defense and I do not find it appropriate that you continue to look for material which would incriminate me. Q. Is your statement made in the form of an objection to further questioning? A. In that sense as I stated it right now. If there is a possibility to be confronted with witnesses and do something about testimony in my favor, I would be very glad to continue. But even there, I have the feeling that it would be better to do this during the evidence at the trial itself. I believe I should discuss this first with my defense attorney. Q. If there is any question in your mind about whether you should go further in any interrogation by the Office of United States Chief of Counsel, I think you should talk to your counsel too. You have never been under any compulsion to answer either before or since this indictment was served. I think you will agree your treatment has been fair in all the circumstances. A. Yes. Q. Do you now desire to see your defense counsel and then send a message through your guard, if you are willing to submit to further questioning? A. Yes. I will do so. Q. In view of a doubt in your mind as to whether you should go forward any further with these interrogations, we will suspend. I do want to point out, however, that confrontation with documentary evidence has, of course, worked both ways. It is to put you on notice of things that are evidence against you and at the same time, to give you an opportunity to explain, if there is any explanation. That will be all for now. A. And after I have talked to my defense counsel on Monday I should report the result here, is that right? Q. Only if you desire or are willing to be interrogated further by the Office of the United States Chief of Counsel.
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