The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Now I offer Document 502-PS as the next exhibit, Exhibit USA 486. This
document is a Gestapo directive of 17th July, 1941.

If you will recall, Lahousen said this conference was in the summer of

It is addressed to commanders of the Sipo and S.D. stationed in camps
and provides in part as follows, and I read from the first page of the
English translation.

Now, if the Tribunal please, our colleagues, the Soviet prosecutors,
will present most of that document, and I am only going to read enough
to show that the Gestapo were the ones that took part in it. From the
beginning :

     "The action of commandos will take place in accordance with the
     agreement of the Chief of the Security Police and Security
     Service and the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces as of 16th
     July, 1941. Enclosure I.
     The commandos will work independently according to special
     authorisation and according to the general directive given to
     them in the limits of the camp regulations. Naturally the
     commandos will keep close contact with the camp commander and the
     intelligence officer assigned to him.
     This mission of the commandos is the political investigation of
     all camp inmates, the elimination and further treatment:
     (a) of all political, criminal, or in some other way undesirable
     elements among them;
     (b) of those persons who could be used for the reconstruction of
     the occupied countries."

Now I pass to the beginning of the fourth paragraph:

     "The commandos must use for their work as far as possible now,
     and even later, the experiences of. the camp commanders, which
     the latter have gathered from observation of the prisoners and
     examination of the camp inmates. Further, the commandos must make
     efforts from the beginning to seek out among the prisoners
     elements which would appear reliable, regardless whether there
     are communists concerned or not, in order to use them for
     intelligence purposes inside the camp, and, if advisable, later
     in the occupied territories also.
     By using such informers, and by use of all other existing
     possibilities, the discovery of all elements to be eliminated
     among the prisoners must follow step by step. The commandos must
     learn for themselves in every case by means of short questioning
     of the informer and possible questioning of other prisoners. The
     information of one informer is not sufficient to designate a camp
     inmate to be a suspect without further proof. It must be
     confirmed in some way, if possible."

                                                            [Page 204]

Now I pass to Page 4, the 3rd paragraph of the English translation,

     "Executions are not to be held in the camp or in the immediate
     vicinity of the camp. If the camps in the Government General are
     in the immediate vicinity of the border, then the prisoners are
     to be taken for special treatment, if possible, into the former
     Soviet territory."

And then the 5th paragraph:

     "In regard to executions to be carried out and to the possible
     removal of reliable civilians and the removal of informers for
     the Einsatzgruppe in the occupied territories, the leader of the
     Einsatzkommandos must make an agreement with the nearest State
     Police Office, as well as with the commandant of the Security
     Police unit and Security Service, and beyond these, with the
     Chief of the Einsatzgruppe concerned in the occupied

Proof that persons so screened out of the prisoner of war camps by the
Gestapo were executed is to be found in Document 1165-PS, from which I
do not intend to quote, and which has been previously introduced as
Exhibit USA 244. Document 1165-PS shows that those that had been
screened out were executed.

The first page of that document, is a letter from the Camp Commandant
of the concentration camp Gross-Rosen to Mueller, who was the Chief of
the Gestapo, dated the 23rd of October, 1941, referring to a previous
oral conference with Mueller and setting forth the names of 20 Soviet
prisoners of war executed the previous day.

The second page -- I am still referring to Document 1165 but not
reading from it, because it has already been quoted from -- is a
directive issued by Mueller on the 9th of November, 1941, to all
Gestapo offices, in which he ordered that all diseased prisoners of
war should be excluded from transports to concentration camps for
execution, because 5 to 10 per cent. of those destined for execution
were arriving in the camps dead or half dead.

I now offer Document 3542-PS, Exhibit USA 489, which is in the second
volume. This is an affidavit of Kurt Lindow, a former Gestapo
official, which was taken on the 30th of September, 1945, at
Oberursel, Germany, in the course of an official military
investigation by the United States Army, and I quote from that
document from the begininng:

     "I was Kriminaldirektor in Section IV of the R.S.H.A." --

I call your Honour's attention to the chart on the board that he was
Director of Section IV and head of the Sub-section IV A I --

     "from the middle Of 1942 until the middle Of 1944. I had the rank
     of S. S.-Sturmbannfuehrer.

     From 1941 until the middle Of 1943, there was attached to
     Subsection IV A i (which is not shown on this chart, but was
     described in the beginning) a special department that was headed
     by the Regierungsoberinspektor, later Regierungsamtmann, and
     S.S.-Hauptsturmbannfuehrer Franz Koenigshaus. In this department
     were handled matters concerning prisoners of war. I learned from
     this department that instructions and orders by Reichsfuehrer
     Himmler, dating from 1941 to 1942, existed, according to which
     captured Soviet political Commissars and Jewish soldiers were to
     be executed. As far as 1 know, proposals for execution of such
     P.W's. were received from the various P.W. camps. Koenigshaus had
     to prepare the orders for
                                                            [Page 205]
     execution and submitted them to the Chiet of Section IV, Mueller,
     for signature (Milller being the Head of the Gestapo). These
     orders were made out so that one order was to be sent to the
     agency making the request, and a second one to the concentration
     camp designated to carry out the execution. The P.W's. in
     question were at first formally released from P.W. status, then
     transferred to a concentration camp for execution.
     The Department Chief, Koenigshaus, was under me in disciplinary
     questions from the middle of 1942 until about the beginning of
     1943, and worked, in matters of his department, directly with the
     chief of Group IV A, Regierungsrat Panzinger. Early in 1943 the
     department was dissolved, and absorbed into the departments in
     Sub-section IV B. The work concerning Russian P.W's. must then
     have been done by IV B 2a. Head of Department IV B 2a was
     Regierungsrat and Sturmbannfuehrer Hans Helmut Wolf.
     There existed in the PM. camps on the Eastern Front small
     screening teams (Einsatzkommandos), headed by a lower ranking
     member of the Secret Police or Gestapo. These teams were assigned
     to the camp commandos and had the job of segregating the P.W's.
     who were candidates for execution, according to the orders that
     had been given, and to report them to the Office of the Secret
I will not read the remainder of that affidavit.

Passing from that phase of the case : The Gestapo and S.S. sent re-
captured prisoners of war to concentration camps, where they were
executed, that is, prisoners of war who had escaped and were
recaptured. The Tribunal will recall that in a document heretofore
introduced, 1650-PS, was an order in which the Chief of the Security
Police and S.S. instructed regional Gestapo offices to take certain
classes of recaptured officers from camps, and to transport them to
Mauthausen. Concentration Camp, under the operation known as "Kugel."
That, if your Honour recalls, means "Bullet." That is the famous
"Bullet " Decree that has been previously introduced. On the journey
the prisoners of war were to be placed in irons. The Gestapo officers
were to make semi-annual reports, giving numbers only, of the sending
of these prisoners of war to Mauthausen. On the 27th of July, 1944, an
order was issued from the VI Corps Area Command on the treatment of
prisoners of war. That is Document 1514-PS in the second volume, which
I offer as Exhibit USA 491. This document provided that prisoners of
war were to be discharged from prisoner of war status and transferred
to the Gestapo under certain circumstances, and I quote from the first

     "Subject : Delivery of prisoners of war to the Secret State

Enclosed is the decree (I) referred to :

     "The following summarising ruling is issued with respect to the
     delivery to the Secret State Police :
     1. (a) According to the decrees (2) and (3), the commander of the
     camp has to deliver Soviet prisoners of war in case of punishable
     offences to the Secret State Police and to dismiss them from
     imprisonment of war, if he does not believe that disciplinary
     functions are sufficient to prescribe punishment for violations
     committed. Report of the facts is not necessary.
                                                            [Page 206]
     (b) Recaptured Soviet prisoners of war have to be delivered first
     to the nearest police office in order to ascertain whether
     punishable offences have been committed during the escape. The
     dismissal from imprisonment of war takes place upon suggestion of
     the police office (Section A6 of the decree No. 4) regarding the
     compilation of all regulations on the Arbeitseinsatz of prisoners
     of war who have been recaptured and refuse to work.
     (c) Recaptured Soviet officers who are prisoners of war have to
     be delivered to the Gestapo and to be dismissed from imprisonment
     of war. (Section C1 of Decree No. 4 and Decree No. 5.)
     (d) Soviet officer prisoners of war who refuse to work and those
     who distinguish themselves as agitators and have an unfavourable
     influence upon the willingness to work of the other prisoners of
     war, have to be delivered by the responsible Stalag to the
     nearest State Police office and to be dismissed from imprisonment
     of war. (Section C1 of Decree No. 4 and Decree No. 5.)
     (e) Soviet enlisted prisoners of war refusing to work who are
     ring-leaders and those who distinguish themselves as agitators
     and therefore have an unfavourable influence upon the willingness
     to work of the other prisoners of war, have to be delivered to
     the nearest State Police Office and to be dismissed from
     imprisonment of war. (Section C2 of Decree No. 4.)
     Soviet prisoners of war (enlisted men and officers), who with
     respect to their political attitude have been sifted out by
     Einsatzkonimando of the Security Police and the Security Service,
     have to be delivered upon request by the camp commander to the
     Einsatzkonimando and to be dismissed from imprisonment of war.
     (Decree No. 6.)
     (g)Polish prisoners of war have to be delivered, if acts of
     sabotage are proven, to the nearest State Police Office and to be
     dismissed from imprisonment of war. The decision rests with the
     camp commander. Report on this is not necessary. (Decree No. 7.)
     2. A report on the delivery and dismissal from imprisonment of
     war in the cases mentioned under paragraph 1of this decree to the
     Mil. District Command VI, Dept. of Prisoners of War, is not

     3. Prisoners of war from all nations have to be delivered to the
     Secret State Police and to be dismissed from imprisonment of war,
     if a special order of the O.K.W. or of the Mil. District Command
     VI, Dept. for Prisoners of War, is issued.

     4. Prisoners of war under suspicion of participating in illegal
     organisations and resistance movements have to be left to the
     Gestapo, upon request, for the purpose of interrogation. They
     remain prisoners of war and have to be treated as such. The
     delivery to the Gestapo and their dismissal from imprisonment of
     war has to take place only by order of the O.K.W. or of the Mil.
     District Command VI, Dept. of Prisoners of War.

                                                            [Page 207]

     In case of French and Belgian prisoners of war and interned
     Italian military personnel, approval of Mil. District Command VI
     ' Dept. of Prisoners of War, has to be obtained -- if necessary
     by phone -- before delivery to the Gestapo for the purposes of

This decree was known as the "Bullet Decree." Prisoners of war, sent
to Mauthausen Concentration Camp under the decree, were executed.

I now offer in support of that statement Document 2285-PS, Exhibit USA
490. It is in the second volume. Document 2285-PS is an affidavit of
Lt.-Col. Guivante de Saint Gast, and Lt. Jean Veith, both of the
French Army, which was taken on the 13th May, 1945, in the course of
an official military investigation by the United States Army. The
affidavit discloses that Lt.-Col. Gast was confined at Mauthausen from
15th March, 1944, to 22nd April, 1945, and that Lt. Veith was confined
from 22nd April, 1943 until 22nd April, 1945. I quote from the
affidavit, beginning with the third paragraph of Page 1, quoting :

     "In Mauthausen existed several treatments of prisoners, amongst
     them the 'action K or Kugel' (Bullet action). Upon the arrival of
     transports, prisoners with the mention 'K' were not registered,
     and received no numbers, and their names remained unknown except
     to the officials of the 'Politische Abteilung.' (Lt. Veith had
     the opportunity of hearing upon the arrival of a transport the
     following conversation between the Untersturmfuehrer Streitwieser
     and chief of the convoy: 'How many prisoners?' '15 but two K.'
     'Well, that makes 13 ').
     The prisoners were taken directly to the prison, where they were
     unclothed and taken to the 'Bathroom.' This bathroom in the
     cellars of the prison building near the crematory was specially
     designed for execution (shooting and gassing). The shooting took
     place by means of a measuring apparatus. The prisoners being
     backed towards a metrical measure with an automatic contraption
     releasing a bullet in his neck as soon as the moving plank
     determining his height touched the top of his head.
     If a transport consisted of too many 'K' prisoners, instead of
     losing time for the measurement they were exterminated by gas,
     laid on to the bathrooms instead of water."

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