The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/12/04

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Boehm, the translation we have got says:
On the occasion of my presence at the training of the SA
Armies Staff on 2nd June, 1940, I established that the
primary military physical training of the SA Staff,
especially under difficult conditions through about the
present time, has been practised by all concerned with great
zeal.

[N.B. Document 4011: The correct translation of the passage
contained in the original German text reads:

When I was present during the training of the
"Wehrmannschaften" (militiamen) on the 2nd June, 1940, I was
able to see that the basic military, physical training of
the SA was carried out under military conditions and was
pursued with great zeal.]

DR. BOEHM: Yes, of course, Mr. President, I should like to
make a distinction between the term "SA Wehrmannschaften,"
if there were any such, and the term "Wehrmannschaften," if
they did not belong to the SA.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not think it is any good arguing the
point. I was only asking what the meaning of the word was.
The witness has now explained to me that according to the
Hitler decree of January, 1939, certain men called
"Wehrmannschaften" were to be set up in the Reich, as he
says, ready for defence. If you can confirm that, it would
be useful perhaps.

DR. BOEHM: If the explanation of this term is sufficient, I
can continue.

THE PRESIDENT: Certainly.

BY DR. BOEHM:

Q. An affidavit of Rudolf Schoenberger is, supposed to show
that according to orders the Supreme SA Leadership was in
charge of the guarding of forced labour camps. This is the
first affidavit given in this connection. I should like to
ask you under whom the forced labour camps were operated?
Can you clarify this point, Herr Guettner? Did you ever
detail men as SA-Mannschaften or as SA units to the
Auxiliary Police or to any other authority to be employed or
used in these labour camps?

A. At no time did the duties of the SA include police tasks.
The guarding and supervision of forced labourers is also a
police task. If SA men were used for this, they were
seconded for this duty on a legal basis and were no longer
under the authority of the SA as regards orders. They
fulfilled their police tasks there,

                                                  [Page 217]

the same as anyone else fulfilled his task in some other
profession. He remained an SA man but, during the time he
was occupied in police tasks, he was on leave from the SA
and was no longer under the authority of the SA leadership.

Q. Not for orders either?

A. Not for orders either.

Q. Another document which I should like to show you is
Document 3661-PS. The prosecution also wants to use this
document, which is signed by a certain Gewecke, to show the
part of the supreme SA leadership or the organization in
attacks on Jews in Ostland. Therefore, I should like to ask
you, does not the letter heading of the District Commissar
in Schaulen show that this was the affair of the Reich
Commissariat Ostland? This letter was written on 8th
September, 1941, and the letter heading reads "The District
Commissar in Schaulen." Was the District Commissar in
Schaulen ever in any way subordinate to you?

A. I have repeatedly said that the Commissars in the
occupied Eastern territories as well as the forces allocated
and employed in the occupied territories were in no way
under the SA leadership, and as a result did not receive and
could not receive any instructions from the SA leadership.
This District Commissar was not under the authority of the
SA either.

Q. That makes the matter clear. The letter was signed by a
certain Gewecke. He was actually an SA man, but it is
interesting to point out in this connection that the
contents of this document show that this Gewecke complains
about attacks on Jews committed by the SS leadership.

The next document was submitted under D-970 and refers to
the Commander of the Security Police and the SD in the
Government General. In connection with this prosecution
document I should first like to state that Kattowitz or the
outpost Ilkenau is not in the Government General but in
Upper Silesia.

Now I should like to ask you, if you will pay attention to
the following sentence which I will quote:

  "Therefore, the Construction Staff at Kattowitz detailed
  a special detachment of 12 SA men to round up workers in
  the villages."

Does this not show that the office giving the order was not
an SA office but an official agency, namely, the
Construction Staff Kattowitz, which by coincidence chose SA
members amongst others? Did you understand me, witness?

A. Yes. Which question should I answer first?

Q. Was a Construction Staff at Kattowitz ever under your
jurisdiction?

A. No. Construction Staffs - presumably by these is meant
Construction Staffs of the Organization Todt - were never
under the SA leadership. If a Construction Staff brought in
SA men for such tasks, it no doubt took them from its own
personnel, who in this case were SA members. If they brought
in SA men who were not directly under their orders, that was
outside the powers of the SA leadership. If such men have
been guilty of illegal actions in this connection they
deserve just punishment. In any case, the SA leadership, as
the document shows, had no power over such employment. They
were employed by the Construction Staff, which was not
subordinate to the SA leadership.

Q. Has it escaped you that in Kattowitz there were SA
Einsatzkommandos of which you knew nothing? Would that have
been possible?

A. I said emphatically yesterday and I repeat today that the
term "Einsatzkommando" was completely foreign to the SA, as
we never formed Einsatzkommandos for such purposes. If
Einsatzkommandos existed and there were SA members in their
ranks, then that was not due to any instructions of the SA
and did not mean that it was approved of by the SA.

Q. The prosecution submitted a letter yesterday from the
Reichsfuehrer SS Office to the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of
the German Police in Berlin, in this case the Inspector of
Concentration Camps, dated 21st February, 1940.
Unfortunately I do not remember the exhibit number given
yesterday, but there can be no doubt about this letter
because I have a photostatic copy of it here.

                                                  [Page 218]

I should like to ask you, Herr Guettner, whether the supreme
SA leadership had a labour camp for drunkards and shirkers,
as was asserted yesterday by the prosecution and as this
document might be interpreted to indicate.

Regarding the camp Frauenberg near Admont, it says:

  "About twenty men of the SA guarded the camp."

What do you have to say about the document submitted by the
prosecution about the labour camp Frauenberg in Styria,
concerning the labour camp in which twenty SA men are said
to have been used as guards? Would you like to see the
document? Have you seen the document?

A. No.

(Witness handed document.)

Q; You will find this statement on the second page of the
document.

A. I must say, your Lordship, that after the Reichsfuehrer
SS took over the concentration camps, which as far as I know
was at the end of 1933, the SA as an organization had
nothing to do with concentration camps and the guarding of
concentration camps. If SA men were in fact used as guards,
then they were drafted by the authorities as auxiliary
police or something similar in order to carry out this task.
But in that case they were completely removed from the
responsibility and the authority of the SA.

Q. Another document which was submitted is Document 4013-PS,
which says:

  "This morning I had an inquiry from very reliable English
  quarters whether it would be possible for Austrians in
  Germany; behind the backs of Hitler and Habicht, to break
  into Austria. My informant added that so far the Austrian
  attacks had been ignored, but this information had come
  from such a reliable source that they simply had to
  contact us. I am afraid of a possible provocation by
  hired elements which, if announced to the world just at
  that time, could produce conflicts."

I should only like to ask you, is this one of the usual
hoaxes which in the past have been very frequent? Do you
know the document?

A. No. I do not know the document.

(Witness handed document.)

I may say that until yesterday I knew nothing about this
affair. I could not have helped hearing about it. The
refugee or expelled Austrians, the so-called Austrian
Legion, which was later Auxiliary Labour Camp North-West,
was purposely located a long way from the Austrian border,
several hundred kilometres, on the Rhine. This alone should
indicate that any border incidents or what the author of
this report suspected to be such, were quite out of the
question. In any case, I knew nothing about the affair until
now.

Q. Then the prosecution submitted another document
yesterday, D 951. On the second page of the document it
says:

  "According to the report of the VI Military District
  Headquarters, the SA Brigadefuehrer are also said to be
  considering forming such a staff guard and to be engaging
  SA men for one to one and a half year's service for this
  purpose. Numerically this would mean from six to eight
  thousand SA men permanently armed with rifles and machine
  guns in the area of the VI Military District alone."

The letter is apparently dated 6th March, 1934. The second
letter says:

  "The training is to be carried out with gun 98."

Have you seen this document?

A. No, but I heard of this yesterday.

(Witness handed document.)

Q. Do not these documents refer to the People's Militia
which Roehm intended to set up and in which he failed?
Please describe Roehm's plans for the People's Militia in
its political connection, and please be brief.

                                                  [Page 219]

A. First as to the staff guard: there were staff guards, in
part armed, to protect the offices and to set up quite
openly guards of honour and other guards. That six thousand
men were to be included in the staff guards in Hoechst on
the Main is quite out of the question. Herr von Blomberg
repeatedly made mistakes and apparently he did so in this
case too. These mistakes are especially clear from an
exchange of correspondence after the death of Roehm, in
which he attacked me personally because of an order of 8th
May, 1934, and in which he presented the facts quite
wrongly. When I and the Chief of Staff Lutze objected he
excused himself with the explanation that in such turbulent
times such mistakes could occur.

If the Tribunal wishes I can go into more detail.

Chief of Staff Roehm as he repeatedly said at Fuehrer
discussions, wanted to create in addition to the Reichswehr
a militia from the ranks of the SA amounting to 300,000 men.
He repeatedly emphasized that the State leadership had to
keep the word they had given to the old gentleman, meaning
Hindenburg, that is, that the Reichswehr could not be
touched.

He spoke quite openly with the military attaches of the
Western Powers about his militia plans. I myself was twice a
witness, and gained the unequivocal impression that
particularly the military attache of France in no way
objected to these plans.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not believe that we need to prolong this
discussion. The witness says, as I understand it, that this
document refers to a militia which Roehm wanted to set up.
Is that right?

DR. BOEHM: Yes, those were the plans of Roehm.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that is all we need there.

DR. BOEHM: Then I should like to add a short question: with
the death of Roehm were not these plans completely shelved,
that is, did they fall through?

A. To my knowledge these plans were not followed up in any
way. On the contrary, the comparatively few arms which the
staff guards had were called in and delivered up after 30th
June, 1934.

Q. Now I come to the next document, 3050-PS, the first page.
This document was submitted in cross-examination yesterday
and contains a collection of articles from the SA Mann,
which was commented on adequately before the Commission and
it was made sufficiently clear just what the SA Mann meant
to the individual members of the SA and what the influence
of the supreme SA leadership was upon this paper. However,
since these things have been brought up again, it is
necessary to comment on them again, even if only briefly. It
is fundamentally wrong, if one quotes articles, to quote
only excerpts.

THE PRESIDENT: You do not seem to understand. You are not
here to comment; you are here to ask questions of the
witness. If you want to ask questions of the witness, ask
them.

DR. BOEHM: Yes, Mr. President. I should like to quote an
article which has not yet been read, Document 3050-A. This
article must be quoted by me, Mr. President, because I
should like to ask a question about it, because - and I ask
that this be officially recognized - the article from the SA
Mann as submitted by the prosecution does not read as it
appears here.

The article reads:

  "Since marching is in the last analysis a sport exercise,
  the same principles are true of it as for any other
  sport. Health and hardening of the body are conditions
  for successful march training. This includes foot care
  which is especially important for those marching."

This article then goes on to describe foot care. I will not
take up your time with that. Then it points out that
marching is not only important for the soldier in the Army
but also for the political soldiers, the SA men. A
completely unmilitary

                                                  [Page 220]

matter in my opinion. In Document 3050-C, I see there is an
article also from the SA Mann of 24th March, 1934, with the
heading, "Off to the Land." It is the third article
submitted to the Tribunal under Document 3050. This is
supposed to prove that the SA had a military attitude.
Therefore the article should be submitted.

THE PRESIDENT: I have already told you that what you are
doing is making an argument on the document, 3050-PS; and
what you ought to do is to ask the witness a question as to
the document.

DR. BOEHM: Herr Guettner, the document which I read to you
now, in which I have pointed out mistakes should, according
to the prosecution, prove to you the military character of
the SA, because it speaks of foot care and because this
article appeared in the SA Mann. Did you order this article?

A. The supreme SA leadership did not order the articles in
the SA Mann. The editors were responsible for them. The SA
was not military in character and never attempted to be. If,
as was said yesterday, the paper SA Mann was to be used to
help in the education and training of the SA, that was
because -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Boehm, we do not want that argument over
and over again. We know perfectly well that you say these
documents about training were simply for sports; and the
witness has said it at least twenty times in the course of
the examination.

DR. BOEHM: Very well, Mr. President. Since these documents
were submitted yesterday, the witness must in some way
comment on this matter; and I must ask him about it and
inform him of the contents of these documents if he is to
comment on them in giving evidence. There is no other
opportunity.

THE PRESIDENT: He had ample opportunity to get familiar with
the documents. The documents were put to him yesterday.

DR. BOEHM: They were not put to him, Mr. President. No
questions were asked.

THE PRESIDENT: He stated yesterday that that was a lecture by Lutze.

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