The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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DR. PELCKMANN: I have especially asked for their
translation. I have not submitted any summaries of them to
the Commission as they must be presented in their entirety.
No. 70 is as important for the question of legal hearing of
the broad mass of SS men as the presentation of the digest
of the 136,000 affidavits. In order to shorten my
presentation I have arranged the individual affidavits in
groups and I hope that by giving the numbers I have made it
possible for the Tribunal to obtain a general view of the
various groups.

Group I contains the affidavit showing that the SS was a
single group bound by oath in which no distinction can be
made as to its composition or as to time. This is asserted
by the Trial Brief on Pages IX and X in the German version.
Moreover, that is asserted in the transcript on Pages 1607
and 1608 of the 19th and 20th December.

SS Affidavit 116, Petri, proves that the purpose of the
Fuehrer Order of 17th August, 1938, Exhibit USA 443, was not
to form an organic connection between the General SS;
Totenkopf units and Verfugungstruppen but, on the contrary,
to separate these various branches of the SS.

Now I sum up a group of affidavits, 13, 52, 49, 48, 42, 56,
55, 45, 54, 46, 97, 98, 53, 50, 51 and 38. I might remark,
your Lordship, that a translation in English of these
affidavits and also of No. 52 has already been made and is
being distributed. I beg your pardon, it is only in French,
your Lordship. With these affidavits

                                                  [Page 308]

I wish to prove the following: certain groups are charged in
the general Indictment of the SS. They cannot be brought
under the concept of a common conspiracy if only for the
reason that they had only a very temporary relationship to
the SS or none at all. They are the patron members of the
SS, the Bauernfuehrer (peasant leaders), the so-called
Ehrenfuehrer (honorary leaders), the SS Frontarbeiter, the
so-called SS-Eisenbahnbaubrigaden (railroad construction
brigades), the Postschutz (postal protection), the national
political education institution. Furthermore, the Fuehrer
des Reichskriegerbundes (leaders of the Reich Soldiers'
League)that is something similar to the Stahlhelm - the SS
Sportgemeinschaften (sport associations), also the Reiter
Groups which were transferred to the SS - the so-called
Reitersturme (troopers) which had exactly the same
characteristics and history as the SA Reitersturme - and
finally the students who were taken into the SS on a
compulsory basis.

The following two affidavits, 118 and 101, deal with the
Lebensborn organization. They prove that the tasks of this
organization were to support families with many children and
to care for mothers and children, including illegitimate
children and unmarried mothers, but they did not afford the
opportunity for the illegal begetting of children and the
taking away of children for the use of the State as the
prosecution has asserted.

SS Affidavit 47 is a valuable supplement to the testimony of
the witness Liebrich, an SS doctor, before the Commission.
It proves that doctors were taken into the SS exclusively on
the basis of their professional ability. Leading doctors and
leading authorities were taken into the SS to raise its
prestige. It is asserted that the activity of the SS doctors
of the General SS was also recognized by foreign countries,
and examples of international authorities were given.

SS Affidavits 95 and 96 prove that the SS woman auxiliaries
were neither members of the SS nor sponsors. These girls
carried out the same work as the Intelligence and Staff
assistants in the Wehrmacht and must not be confused with
the female supervisors in the concentration camps for female

There follows a large group of affidavits on the question of
Germanisation, a lengthy and very difficult accusation by
the prosecution. They are Affidavits 2, 112, 114, 113, 110,
115, 44, 71, 73, 75, 77, 79, 11, 43, 72, 76, 76, 78, and 80.
May I add at this point that in putting such a large group
together care has been taken to see that these individual
affidavits are not cumulative. The affidavits supplement
each other and thus give a complete picture of the points of
the Indictment and the defence. These affidavits prove that
the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle and the so-called Staff Main
Office of the Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of
German Nationhood - I repeat for the interpreters -
Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle and Stabshauptamt des
Reichskommissars fur die Festigung des Deutschen Volkstums -
were not SS agencies but were State authorities. That is the
formal side of the defence.

The material side is found in another part of these
documents just quoted.

The SS was not entrusted with evacuation measures,
Germanisation measures and the settlement of Germans in the
occupied territories. SS Affidavit 89 proves that the Chief
of the Prisoner-of-War Department, even after Himmler's
appointment, was purely a Wehrmacht office.

When Himmler was appointed chief of the Prisoner-of-War
Department nothing was changed in the organization of the
Prisoner-of-War Department. The SS did not influence in any
way the treatment of prisoners of war.

I will now differentiate between the documents in the next
group II, and sum them up. They deal with the assertion of
the prosecution that there had been organisational unity
between the SS and the police. This unification is supposed
to have taken place under the so-called "Higher SS and
Police Leaders." That assertion of the prosecution is on
Pages 12 and 16 of the German Trial Brief. It is in the
transcript of the 19th and the 20th December. The following
affidavits will refute this statement: 86, 87, 88 and 10.

                                                  [Page 309]

I will ask the Tribunal to pay special attention to the
explanation in Affidavit 87. These affidavits prove that the
Higher SS and Police Leaders within the Reich had no
authority to give orders to the Regular Police and to the
Security Police. On the contrary, those police branches
received their orders from their respective main offices,
and they were given directly and not through the Higher SS
and Police Leaders.

The presentation given by Dr. Best in Document PS-1852 does
not give the true facts and is wishful thinking.

The affidavits taken together in group 3 contain material to
refute the assertion of the prosecution that the SS was
trained in the doctrine of the Master Race and in racial
hatred, and that it prepared for war mentally and
physically. This assertion also appears in the Trial Brief
on Page 6 and in the transcript of the 19th and 20th of

They are Affidavits 57, 58, 6o and 83 and prove that the SS
was not trained in racial hatred and certainly not for
racial extermination, also that the SS was not trained for
war either mentally or physically.

The affidavits in group 4 deal with the following charges:
that the Waffen SS was an integral part of the whole SS.
That is found in the transcript of the 19th and 20th
December, 1945

Secondly that service in the Waffen SS was with a few
exceptions mainly voluntary at the end of the war, and,
thirdly, that the Waffen SS, because of their ideological
training, had fought in an inhuman manner and contrary to
International Law. Affidavit 84 shows that the Waffen SS as
a unit had no concept of Himmler's ideology, and above all
that the Waffen SS heard hardly anything about the other
sectors under Himmler's power, and that they were not
directed by Himmler in a military sense, but only in regard
to personnel questions, clothing and equipment.

The next four affidavits will be taken together, 36, 37, 39,
and 40. These prove that a considerable part of the Waffen
SS and also special groups such as the Customs Border
Protection and the SS Motor Transport Squadron, Auxiliary
Field Post, were taken into the SS on a compulsory basis.

The following affidavits, Nos. 1, 31, 32, 33, 34, and 81,
prove the following:

The Waffen SS were repeatedly instructed in the observance
of martial law. Martial law was in fact observed and
infringements were severely punished.

Affidavits 82 and 85 deal with the SS Police regiments in
the same way as the documents quoted previously. They prove
that these SS police regiments were purely regiments of the
regular police without connection with the SS. Also the
police divisions, to be distinguished from the police
regiments, were not at all under the SS up to April, 1942.
Only after that were they forcibly ordered into the Waffen

The "Dirlewanger" Brigade has been mentioned repeatedly.
Affidavit 35 deals with this. This affidavit says:

  "This brigade was not an SS unit but a unit set up on the
  direct orders of Himmler and composed of all kinds of
  persons on probation."

The next group are Affidavits 3 and 4. They prove that the
assertion of the prosecution that the SS had participated in
suppressing the SA on 30th June, 1934, is false. The General
SS in Frankfurt and Berlin, for example, was only told to
stand by. No arrests or shootings took place. I may say here
in this connection that a large quantity of evidence from
all over Germany is given in Affidavit 70. It is a cross-
section from a whole camp, a whole internment camp, which
will be presented in the digest.

The next group deals with another point of the Indictment:
participation of the SS in the Jewish pogrom of 9th
November, 1938. This comprises Affidavits 7, 6, 8, 9, 104,
and 105. They prove that the SS in Nuremberg, Offenburg,
Hamburg, Berlin and in Ulm did not participate in pogroms,
but were only used for protection on the 10th November.

                                                  [Page 310]

I consider Affidavit 5 of special importance in connection
with the question as to whether an order from above was
given to the SS to participate in these pogroms. It is by a
certain Schallermeier. I have just heard it is available in
English and I would be grateful if the Tribunal would permit
me to read it. I  shall-

THE PRESIDENT: Has it been digested in the transcript before
the Commissioners?

DR. PELCKMANN: It was digested in the transcript before the
Commission, your Lordship. I do not want to read the whole
document, your Lordship, but may I read only a small portion
of it which is especially important.

  "About 3 a.m. on November 10th (this is Schallermeier
  speaking) the Reichsfuehrer dictated to me in my room a
  statement which read as follows: 'On 9th November I went
  to the Fuehrer and towards 11.30 p.m. Gruppenfuehrer
  Wolff came to me and informed me about the order issued
  by the Gau 1 Propaganda Office in Munich. (I repeat Gau
  Propaganda Office.) I asked the Fuehrer what orders he
  had to give me. The Fuehrer replied that the SS should
  keep out of this action. The State Police offices were to
  take care of Jewish property and see that the Jews
  themselves were protected. The General SS who remained in
  barracks were only to be called in for protective
  measures if it proved necessary. I immediately passed on
  this Fuehrer order to Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich for the
  State Police offices and to the Oberabschnittsfuehrer for
  the General SS. When I asked the Fuehrer, I had the
  impression that he knew nothing about what was happening.
  The order came from the Reich Propaganda Headquarters and
  I presume that Goebbels, in his lust for power and
  foolhardiness, which had been obvious to me for some
  time, had sponsored this action at a time when the
  situation as regards foreign policy was at its worst.' "

May I correct myself. If I said this was Schallermeier that
was a mistake. This quotation was dictated by Himmler;
Himmler dictated this paragraph.

And the author of the affidavit goes on to say:

  "I myself had to type what I had taken down from
  dictation" - I add - "then this statement of Himmler was
  locked up in the safe and made secure."

Some very good material for judging as to the participation,
or rather the non-participation, of the SS in these events
of 9th November is again afforded to the Tribunal by
Affidavit 70, a digest from a camp.

The next group includes the following affidavits: 14, 15,
16, 19, 20, 21, 23, and 25. It deals with conditions in the
concentration camps.

These affidavits are to prove that the treatment meted out
in concentration camps, as described by those witnesses, was
generally speaking satisfactory.

Ill-treatment of prisoners was severely punished. Evidence
of this is given in the numerous examples in Affidavit 70,
which I have already mentioned, and in the digest of many
affidavits, the collective Affidavit 119-122.

Relevant to the question of authority in the concentration
camps and the part which this played within the whole SS
organization are Affidavits 99 and 100. They prove that the
intake into concentration camps from the employment of
prisoners was not turned over to the SS, in particular not
to the Waffen SS, but this intake was entered in the budget
of the German Reich.

The next group includes affidavits regarding experiments on
living human beings. I consider them valuable only in so far
as they provide an answer to the question: What did the
broad masses of the SS men know of these experiments?

Affidavit 17 is to prove that in Dachau prisoners
voluntarily submitted to freezing experiments after they had
been medically examined and given food to make them fit.
Affidavit 107 also deals with these experiments.

The following group of affidavits, 18, 22, 27, and 28, deal
with the question of secrecy regarding crimes, especially
crimes in concentration camps, and are to

                                                  [Page 311]

refute the assertion of the prosecution, on Pages 3419 and
3420 of the German transcript, that the whole German
population knew of the atrocities in concentration camps and
therefore the SS men knew about them, especially the SS men
outside the concentration camps. These four affidavits prove
that from all persons who came in contact in any way with
concentration camps statements of secrecy were demanded,
further that the concentration camp guards could not have
any insight into the actual conditions of protective custody
camps and that even within the garrisons (Kommandanturen) of
the camps one section was not informed about the activity of
the other section.

On the same question of how much the members of the SS knew,
I consider Affidavit 24 very important.

In answer to the explicit question of a Waffen SS Fuehrer,
who reported to him, Himmler said in April, 1944, that
everything was in order in the concentration camps, and that
the treatment of the prisoners was satisfactory.

Himmler made this same statement to the whole officer corps
of the 17th SS Division.

Affidavit 117 proves that the utmost secrecy prevailed in
the Fuehrer's headquarters and the degree of secrecy was
such that nothing was known about crimes in concentration
camps, the extermination of Jews and the activity of the

I again put three affidavits together, 63, 93 and 94. They
also show that the utmost secrecy was observed within
Himmler's sphere of command and especially concerning the
inspection of concentration camps.

The notorious speech of Himmler's at Posen in October, 1943,
is known to the Tribunal. It was made to an
Obergruppenfuehrer of the SS. The Schneider Affidavit, 29,
says the following:

  "Schneider was warned by Himmler personally to keep
  absolutely silent about the Posen speech if he valued his

Affidavit 41 shows that the Economic and Administrative Main
Office (Wirtschafts and Verwaltungshauptamt) was competent
for concentration camp administration through Amtsgruppe D.
This affidavit emphasized the extraordinary secrecy which
prevailed within this administrative organization.

Affidavit 12 reports that the Adjutant of the Chief of the
SS Personnel Main Office made inquiries of the RSHA and also
of the WVHA Amtsgruppe D. That was in 1943. This Chief of
the SS Personnel Main Office inquired whether rumours about
the murder of Jews were true. The offices mentioned answered
to the effect that those rumours were untrue, and that they
were definitely enemy propaganda.

THE PRESIDENT: We shall break off now, Doctor, please. Will
you be much longer in your summaries of these affidavits?

DR. PELCKMANN: No, your Lordship, these affidavits will not
take much longer, but a resume of the group affidavits,
which I must give so that the Tribunal will know what these
group affidavits deal with, will take a little longer.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 21st August, 1946, at 1000 hours.)

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