The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/12/04

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Merkel, it is not necessary for you to
submit copies of the transcript of the Commission's
evidence; it comes to us directly from the Commission, so
you need not trouble about that.

DR. MERKEL: Very well, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: It is suggested to me that perhaps it would
be better for you to offer it in evidence and give it a
number in your list of numbers.

DR. MERKEL: Then I shall give the transcript of 9th July the
member Gestapo Exhibit 63; 19th July shall be Gestapo
Exhibit 64; 27th July, Exhibit 65, and 3rd August, Gestapo
Exhibit 66.

I should like to suggest that the submission of these
affidavits be effected in the following way so that time can
be saved. Twenty-two out of the 91 have been translated. I
shall now summarize the most important of these 91
affidavits according to subject matter, and I shall also
read some few brief passages from the affidavits which have
been translated, which seem of especial importance to me,
into the record. Of the remaining affidavits, I ask that the
Tribunal take judicial notice.

Besides these 91 individual affidavits, a collective
affidavit is at hand composed of 1265 individual affidavits.
This summary, in line with the resolution of the Tribunal of
5th July, 1946, was prepared by former members of the
Gestapo who are now imprisoned, and the authenticity of this
summary was certified by me. I ask your permission to read
also this brief summary into the record.

I turn to the first group, and I shall summarize Affidavits
Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 13, 71 and 90. They deal with the
occupied countries. Jewish questions here were handled by a
special detachment under the leadership of Dannecker. From
1940 to 1942 they were carried out by the French Government,
in agreement with the military commander and the German
Embassy. Detention camps in France were supervised by the
military commander.

                                                  [Page 265]

The recruitment of French labourers for the Reich area was
done by the Field Commanders. In May of 1942 the Secret
Field Police were arbitrarily taken into the Security
Police. Police executive power, until April of 1942, lay in
the hands of the French Police and of the German military
police units.

From Affidavit 2, which has been translated, I ask
permission to read the following: Page 1, paragraph 2:

  "From October, 1940, until October, 1941, I was chief of
  the branch office of the Security Police and of the
  Security Service in Dijon, and from December, 1943, up to
  the retreat from France, I was Commander of the Security
  Police and of the Security Service in Dijon.
  
  Composition of the Security Police Command Dijon:
  
  There were about 10 Gestapo members; 13 criminal police
  (Kripo) members, and 69 men for emergency service
  (Notdienstverpflichtete).
  
  As can be seen from the list, of the 92 male members of
  my command at the time, only ten belonged to the Gestapo.
  In this connection it must be taken into account that of
  these ten Gestapo members, the larger part did not
  volunteer for the Gestapo, but were transferred or
  ordered to it, or came to it for some other reason,
  without those concerned having been able to have any
  influence on the decision, or to resist it."

I pass the next sentence:

  "The Security Police Command Dijon must be regarded as an
  average command in France in respect to its strength as
  well as to its composition."

On Page 3 of this affidavit, after the heading "Jewish
Questions," I shall read the brief paragraph which follows.
It reads:

  "Recaptured prisoners of war were in no case brought to a
  concentration camp or shot by the Dijon office, but
  immediately turned over to the nearest competent Army
  office."

THE PRESIDENT: Where are you reading now?

DR. MERKEL: The second passage in Affidavit 2, at Page 3 of
the German original; it follows directly after the brief
heading, " Jewish Questions." It is the next paragraph.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

DR. MERKEL: I shall omit the next four paragraphs and read
on:

  "There were no special Security Police or Security
  Service prisons in the Dijon area. Furthermore, never
  were arrestees in any prisons executed by order of the
  Security Police (Sipo) or Security Service (SD), to
  prevent their liberation by Allied troops."

Dealing with Affidavit 3, I read the beginning of the second
paragraph:

  "In September, 1941, I was transferred from the infantry
  to the Secret Field Police, and without my having
  anything to do with it, in June, 1942, I was assigned to
  the office of the Commander of the Sipo and the SD in
  Poitiers."

Next paragraph:

  "The Security Police Command at Poitiers was composed of
  about five officials of the State Police and about five
  officials of the Criminal Police, about 80 former members
  of the Secret Field Police, who, like myself, were
  discharged from the Wehrmacht and engaged in compulsory
  war emergency service in the Security Police."

On Page 2 of this affidavit, under the heading "Commando
Order," I should like to read the following:

  "This order is known to me only in its basic substance
  through Wehrmacht reports, the Press, etc." I shall omit
  the next sentence. "This order was not carried out in the
  Poitiers region. I can mention two examples: In June,
  1842, in a joint operation by the Security Police and the
  Wehrmacht,

                                                  [Page 266]

  a camp of 40 English parachute troops was raided, and
  during the short fight, three Englishmen were killed, the
  rest being taken prisoner and handed over to the
  Wehrmacht, although it was established that the group had
  carried out sabotage on a railroad three kilometres from
  Poitiers, more than 200 kilometres behind the invasion
  line, and had organized French partisans and provided
  them with arms."

And the next paragraph as well:

THE PRESIDENT: What does that mean, "200 kilometres behind
the invasion line" in reference to June, 1942?

DR. MERKEL: That is the town of Poitiers, which is about 200
kilometres behind the invasion line.

THE PRESIDENT: There was no invasion in 1942.

DR. MERKEL: In June, 1944. That is a typographical error.

THE PRESIDENT: Go on.

  DR. MERKEL: "Likewise, in March, 1944, in the same
  territory, five American airmen, who were met wearing
  civilian clothes and in company of forty armed partisans,
  were taken prisoner and turned over to the Luftwaffe."

Next I should like to summarize those affidavits numbered 5,
6, 7, 8 and 14. Mr. President, I beg your pardon that the
numbers are not in consecutive order, but this can be
explained through the fact that these affidavits, in so far
as they came from camps, were received at very great
intervals. Also the witnesses who deposed affidavits here in
the Nuremberg prison arrived one at a time, therefore it is
unavoidable that these affidavits are not numbered
consecutively. I should like to repeat the numbers: 5, 6, 7,
8 and 14. They prove that the Gestapo not only did not take
part in the excesses of 9th and 10th November, 1938, but
took steps against them and in numerous cases it undertook
arrests of members of the SA, the Party, and the SD. The
20,000 Jews who were arrested were largely released again
after their emigration papers had been procured.

Numbers 15 to 27, 29 to 34, 72, 73, 76, 84, and 85 deal with
the following: The offices of the Security Police and the
Security Service in occupied countries were not made up of
voluntary members. Administrative officials or technical
officials of the Gestapo had nothing to do with carrying out
orders, and in view of the strictest secrecy which was
preserved, they could not know anything about details.
Employees and persons in compulsory emergency service cannot
be considered as accomplices in, or as having knowledge of,
the possibly criminal nature of the organization. New
members were not brought in by voluntary recruitment, but
rather as a result of assignment, orders and transfers.

I shall read the following into the record from Affidavit
No. 15, the second paragraph:

  "In May, 1919, I was assigned to the Political Police,
  newly established as Dept. VI with Police Headquarters in
  Munich."

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. Are you reading affidavit No.
15?

DR. MERKEL: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: You say the second page, the second
paragraph, and you begin something about 1919. I do not see
that.

DR. MERKEL: No, Mr. President, it is the first page, second
paragraph, right at the beginning of the affidavit.

THE PRESIDENT: On the first page, it begins "On 1st January,
1913."

DR. MERKEL: "On 1st January, 1913." I had only omitted this
first sentence and the third sentence begins with:

                                                  [Page 267]

  "In 1933 I, with almost all other members of this office,
  was transferred to the Bavarian Political Police which,
  with almost the same personnel set-up, was in turn
  transferred to the Secret State Police in Munich. The
  entire personnel was screened politically by the SD,
  resulting in a large part of the civil servants and
  employees of the former political department of Police
  Headquarters being judged negatively."

Then I shall read from Page 2 of the German text, under No.
2:

  "While I was in charge of the office from 1933 to 1939 I
  always pointed out to the officials under me that it was
  forbidden to ill-treat prisoners. I did not hear of any
  of my officials laying violent hands upon a prisoner."

From No. 4 I shall read the next to the last sentence of the
first paragraph:

  "I learned that persons frequently pretended to be
  Gestapo officials. These persons also committed criminal
  acts. Because of the increase of such incidents, Himmler
  issued a decree according to which all persons who
  impersonated Gestapo officials were to be put into a
  concentration camp."

From Affidavit 16 I should like to read the following on
Page 1, the fourth paragraph:

  "On the basis of my activity with the Gestapo office in
  Berlin I can confirm that the Gestapo office was made up
  almost exclusively of officials of the former General
  Criminal Police as well as of the Berlin Police
  Administration, who were without exception ordered to
  duty in the State Police."

THE PRESIDENT: You are reading 16, are you? Which page?

DR. MERKEL: The paragraph from which I was reading is on
Page 1. It begins with "In 1935," and the fourth sentence,"
On the basis of my activity - "

THE PRESIDENT: "In 1935 without being consulted I was
ordered and transferred - ".

DR. MERKEL: Yes, yes, Mr. President, that is the paragraph.
And in this paragraph the fourth sentence, "On the basis of
my activity with the Gestapo office in Berlin." Then I shall
read the following paragraph:

  "As in the Gestapo office in Berlin, so too did the great
  majority of the police personnel of the State Police
  offices throughout the Reich consist of old professional
  police officials who had been transferred from the old 1-
  A section of the Criminal Police and from the remaining
  branches of the police to the State Police, or were
  ordered there, without their wishes being taken into
  consideration in this connection."

Then I omit a paragraph:

  "Transfers back were entirely out of the question because
  an order existed which absolutely prohibited them. If, in
  spite of this, requests were handed in for transfer back
  or transfer from the Gestapo to another branch of the
  police, such requests were usually answered with penal
  transfer. Such requests were not made because the Gestapo
  was considered a criminal organization, but mostly for
  purely personal reasons."

From Affidavit No. 18 I should like to read the following,
on Page 3 of the German original:

  "1. Officers: There were about 50 to 60 officers'
  positions in the whole Security Police Force.
  
  2. Administrative officials: The administrative officials
  were engaged exclusively in office work for the entire
  police administration. They were strictly separated from
  the executive officials by different regulations
  concerning their career, by different titles, and
  different duty passes. Above all they had nothing to do
  with executive work. A change in their position and
  activity never took place.
  
  3. Executive Officials: They executed the real tasks of
  the Gestapo which were laid down by law. In this
  connection it should be noted, however, that

                                                  [Page 268]

  a number of these officials also were engaged in pure
  office work as is the case in every office.
  
  4. Civilian Employees: The civilian employees were mainly
  clerks and other office personnel and personnel for
  subordinate work.
  
  5. Emergency Service Conscripts."

Here I shall read only the end of this paragraph:

   "No right whatsoever to complain existed if an emergency
   service conscript was sent to the Gestapo and not to any
   other governmental office or to some private
   enterprise."

I shall omit two paragraphs and shall read the third one
which follows:

  "I estimate that the Gestapo had about 10,000 emergency
  service conscripts by the end of 1944."
  
  "6. Men detailed from the Waffen SS: In order to
  guarantee the personnel requirements of the Gestapo,
  members of the Waffen SS who, due to wounds and other
  physical handicaps, could not be utilised at the front
  any more were detailed to the Gestapo in increasing
  numbers during the war."

THE PRESIDENT: I think we had better break off now.

(A short recess was taken.)

DR. MERKEL: From Affidavit No. 18, I should like permission
to read Section 7, relative to the members of the former
Secret Field Police:

  "With the transfer of the tasks of the Secret Field
  Police to the Security Police, at first in the occupied
  territories in the West, the members of the Secret Field
  Police were also taken over into the Sipo, respectively
  into the Gestapo. This transfer was done by order, so
  that none of the transferred men could have done anything
  against it."

And then the final sentence of that:

  "Altogether approximately 5,500 men were taken over."

And the first sentence of the following paragraph:

  "Particular importance was attached to secrecy in the
  Gestapo."

I pass the following sentence, and continue:

  "Particularly by means of the Fuehrer order of 1940,
  which was extended immediately by the Reichsfuehrer SS to
  include the Security Police, keeping of secrecy was
  pronounced the supreme duty of all members of the
  Security Police, and thereby of the Gestapo. This secrecy
  rule was circulated at certain intervals to all members
  of the individual offices, receipt being acknowledged by
  their certified signatures. In that connection it was
  pointed out time and again that any offences against the
  secrecy regulations would be severely dealt with, and, in
  important cases, even be punishable by death."

From Affidavit 2o, I beg, permission to read from Page 1,
second paragraph:

  "The members of the administrative service in the lower,
  middle and higher grades were, by order of the Gestapo,
  and after 1937 of the Main Office of the Security Police,
  taken out of their positions as civil servants in all
  offices, mainly, however, from the police administration,
  and were transferred to the Security Police and/or to the
  Gestapo."


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