The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-04/tgmwc-04-28.08
Last-Modified: 1999/09/19


Q. I have asked: Can you actually and truthfully confirm
that the measures taken by the Wehrmacht Command, in the
District Administrative Areas then occupied by the Germans,
were directed to the purpose of diminishing the Slavs and
Jews by 30 million? Do you now understand the sentence?

A. I am of opinion that this method would have definitely
led to the extermination of 30 million, had it been
continued and had conditions not been changed by the
eventual development of the situation.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I have no further questions to put to the
witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Has the defence any questions?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY DR. EXNER (Counsel for the General
Staff of the O.K.W.):

Q. Witness, you said you were Chief of anti-Partisan
Operations?

A. Chief of the anti-Partisan Combat Units.

Q. If such chaotic conditions really did exist, why did you
not alter the system?

A. Because I was never given the requisite authoritative
powers.

                                                   [Page 32]

Q. Why?

A. Because I was never given authoritative powers. I could
not command, I had no disciplinary powers, and I was not an
appointing authority.

Q. Did you make a report on existing conditions to your
superior officer?

A. Every day. I had a permanent staff at Himmler's
Headquarters.

Q. Did you suggest any changes?

A. Persistently.

Q. And why were these changes never realised?

A. I think I have already expressed myself quite clearly; I
was of the opinion that these changes were not desired.

Q. You also, as you have previously informed us, reported to
your superior authorities on the number of enemy dead,
wounded and prisoners after each operation. Tell me; what,
approximately, was the proportion of enemy prisoners to the
enemy dead?

A. The figures varied from case to case. You cannot cram
both feet into the same shoe. It was a fact that prisoners
far outnumbered the dead, although this certainly was not
the case in the years when orders were given that no
prisoners should be taken.

Q. The system was harsher at first, you say, and milder
later on?

A. Yes, it was milder in a way, since now we received
definite orders where the prisoners were to be deported and
to whom they were to be handed.

Q. Can you name orders which you received from any military
authorities directed to or aiming at the annihilation of 30
million Slavs?

A. I have already answered the question when I stated that
no such orders were ever issued in writing.

Q. Do you know that the reports which you submitted to
Himmler concerning the actions you had carried out were re-
submitted by Himmler directly to the Fuehrer?

A. May I be rather more explicit in replying? At first I had
a permanent staff at Himmler's headquarters. My Chief of
Staff was there permanently when I was at the front. Between
the Wehrmacht offices, i.e. O.K.W., O.K.H. and my own staff,
there was a constant interchange of reports. It was not as
if reports on Partisan activities always reached me in the
first instance, since areas existed which were under the
direct supervision of the O.K.H. This means that the
Wehrmacht reported just as freely to us as we reported to
the Wehrmacht. After these reports had been collected by my
staff from day to day, they were passed up to Himmler, who
forwarded them on again.

Q. To whom?

A. The Chiefs of the Wehrmacht. They have already confirmed
to me, in captivity, that these reports reached them.

Q. Did Jews participate in the Partisan Groups?

A. It was undeniable that in individual Partisan Groups Jews
did participate, commensurate in number to the number of the
Jewish population.

Q. In individual groups? Was it not more in the nature of an
exception?

A. Yes, it was definitely in the nature of an exception.

Q. I do not therefore quite understand why actions taken
against the Partisans should
lead to the extermination of the Jews.

A. I did not say that. We have been talking about the
question of the Einsatz groups.

Q. Tell me, do you know the Dirlewanger Regiment? Do you
remember that?

A. That is the Dirlewanger Brigade, as I explained to the
prosecutor a short time ago.

Q. Was that Brigade at any time under your command?

A. Yes, in 1941.

Q. Was it a formation of the Army or of the S.S.?

                                                   [Page 33]

A. No. It was not a formation of the Waffen S.S.; it was
provided by the General S.S., i.e., Amt. Berger.

Q. Can you tell me who was present at Himmler's speech?

A. There were about 12 S.S. Gruppenfuehrer present.

Q. Were any officers of the Wehrmacht present?

A. No.

DOCTOR EXNER: Thank you very much.

BY PROFESSOR DOCTOR KRAUS (Counsel for defendant Schacht):

Q. On the 18th of August, 1935, you were present, in
Konigsberg, when the former President of the Reichsbank,
Schacht, made a speech at the "Ostmesse" (Eastern Fair)?

A. Yes.

Q. What was your profession at that time?

A. I was Oberabschnittsfuehrer.

Q. Were you present at the speech in your professional
capacity?

A. Yes, as Oberabschnittsfuehrer of the S.S.

Q. You suddenly left the room in the middle of the speech as
a protest?

A. Yes, in the middle of the speech I left the room.

Q. As a protest?

A . That is so.

Q. Then you did not agree with the speech?

A . I did not leave on account of the speech but as a
protest against the contents of the speech.

Q. May I ask, why you protested?

A. It is a well-known fact that I had, in East Prussia,
conducted a violent campaign against the then Gauleiter
Koch, which led to his suspension. Koch and I were so
bitterly opposed to each other that I could not understand
why Reichsminister Schacht should pay compliments to this
man, this man whom I knew to be corrupt, and, God knows,
this is scarcely a reason for complimenting any one.

Q. I still do not understand. Were you protesting against
Schacht or against Koch?

A. I think Herr Schacht must have known that this was a
protest against Koch. In any case I had the matter explained
to him later on, and finally we reached an agreement through
mediators.

Q. Witness, you have said that a change came into the
treatment of the Partisans. You said it was ordered, that
these Partisans were to be placed at the disposal of the
Labour Service. Where did this order originate?

A. I cannot tell you that in detail, I only know that
Sauckel himself travelled in the Eastern zone, made long
speeches and said it would be best if Partisan prisoners
were placed at the disposal of the Labour Services.

Q. I asked where this order originated. Did it originate
with Himmler or, as you have said, with the Sauckel
Organisation?

A. No. Not the Sauckel Organisation, who could never issue
orders in connection with the Partisans. I presume that
Sauckel himself instigated the orders but that they
originated with Himmler or the O.K.W. I no longer know.

Q. What do you know of the existence of the Sauckel
Organisation? What did it consist of?

A. It was generally known that this organisation existed for
the purpose of introducing manpower into the Reich for work
in the armament industry.

Q. I did not refer to it in the sense of a definite
organisation; that is not what I meant. I apologise. This
was merely a lapsus lingua.

Then you did not know that Sauckel had an organisation of
his own and that this organisation controlled the entire
impressment of labour and the entire administrative machine?

                                                   [Page 34]

A. No, I know nothing at all about it.

THE PRESIDENT: I want the attention of the defendant's
counsel. What I want to say is that unless counsel and the
witnesses speak slowly (is that coming through? Can you hear
me now?) and make adequate pauses between the questions and
the answers, it is impossible for the interpreters to
interpret properly, and the only result is that the
questions and answers do not come through to the Tribunal,
nor do the defendants' counsel get the benefit of the true
meaning of the answers which have been given in the
examination-in-chief, and everything that you may think you
gain by rapidity of cross-examination, you lose by the
inadequacy of the translation. I will repeat, that you
should pause at the end of your sentences and at the end of
your questions, so as to give the interpreter's voice time
to come through.

BY DR. STAHMER (Counsel for defendant Goring):

Q. Witness, you have said that from 1942 onwards you were
Chief of the anti-Partisan Groups. As such, it was your duty
to fight the Partisans in the East?

A. Yes, that is true, to fight the Partisans.

Q. Now, did you say that there was a certain lack of clarity
as to what should be understood by the term "Partisan"; the
concept of "Partisan" had been nebulous during the entire
period. Is that correct?

A. In the essential meaning, yes. In my opinion a
distinction should have been drawn between Partisan and
Partisan suspects. Troops did not always understand this
distinction. A Partisan was a man carefully selected and
trained by the enemy. He was also very well armed. I always
insisted that special emphasis be laid on this concept and
that it should not be said indiscriminately, if fire opened
from a wood, a house or a village, that everyone present was
a Partisan. This idea does not apply, since Partisans wanted
to disappear rapidly after a successful action; they relied
on the element of surprise.

Q. Now, what did you do in a positive way in order to
clarify this concept of "Partisan"?

A. As I have previously said, ever since 1941, even before I
was Chief of the anti-Partisan Forces, not only I but also
General Schenkendorff, handed in a continuous number of
memos suggesting how to combat these gangs. For instance, we
submitted such memos repeatedly to the Central Army Group;
we organised schools on the Partisan fighting in Russia.
Schenkendorff and I, together, worked out a series of
regulations on Partisan fighting. These were never
published. Immediately after I was appointed Chief of the
anti-Partisan Forces, that is, in the beginning of 1943, my
staff took up its work and prepared another series of
regulations for Partisan fighting. It was, however, some
months before these regulations were finally published, in
1944, when it was really already too late.

Q. Who published these regulations?

A. These regulations were published as a Wehrmacht
regulation in 1944.

Q. What were their contents?

A. They were entitled "Bandenbekampfungsvorschrift"
(Regulations for the Fighting of Partisans).

Q. What were their contents?

A. They referred to Partisan warfare, to reconnaissance,
both small- and large-scale reconnaissance, and to methods
of carrying on the fight and so forth.

Q. These regulations appeared not earlier than 1944. Having
to conduct the fight against Partisans in the entire East,
was it not your duty to inform your forces how they should
behave?

A. First of all I had no authority to issue commands. I have
already said so. I could only make suggestions. Secondly,
there were never any definite anti-Partisan forces. Any kind
of formations might be assigned to this job according

                                                   [Page 35]

to circumstances. It is wrong to assume that I had troops
whose only purpose was the fighting of Partisans. I should
like to emphasise that the document appointing me Chief of
the anti-Partisan forces stated: Authorised to fight the
Partisans is only either the Higher S.S. or Police Officer,
or the competent Wehrmacht commander. I myself, in that
regulation, simply had the character of an Inspector, in
spite of my continuous request for authority to issue
commands.

THE PRESIDENT: You must go slowly and you must pause between
your sentences.

Q. As General of the Waffen S.S. you must have had power to
issue commands?

A. I only had authority to issue commands when I conducted
an undertaking personally.

Q. But you were appointed for the fighting of Partisans and
therefore you must have had combat units?

A. No, I had no such units.

Q. But then with what did you conduct your fight against the
Partisans?

A. According to circumstances, I went to the respective
Commander-in-Chief and discussed with him the problem at
stake, and requested the necessary troops, unless they were
given to me, as it often happened, by the O.K.W. or the
O.K.H. directly.

Q. You requested troops. Those troops assigned to you were
under your command therefore?

A. As I said before, only when I personally conducted the
undertaking. Either the respective General of the Wehrmacht
or, in the field of Civil government, the Higher S.S. Police
Leader were in command. It was expressly noted in the
regulations for the fighting of Partisans that I could only
request authority to issue commands where the competence of
the Higher S.S. Police Leaders or of two Wehrmacht
Commanders overlapped, thus making necessary a Higher
Command for the handling of the difficulties.

Q. Did you ever conduct an action personally?

A. I did so in the year 1943.


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