The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. More slowly.

A. ... and that officials who worked in it could not,
because of that work, be prosecuted for breaking their oath
of silence, as had happened repeatedly up to then. At that
time the agreement was made dependent on the fact that any
State task could be mentioned. As, first of all, the
Security Service hardly appeared in the public eye at that
time, 1938, and then because work in the field of public
life had not yet been officially recognized by the Party and
so could not be mentioned in the decree, Heydrich quoted the
support of the Security Police, because no one outside could
check that.

Q. Did the SD have the task of watching the members of the

A. No.

Q. Can we conclude from the fact that inspectors of the
Security Police and SD were established that there was a
connection between these two organizations?

A. No, the inspectors only had a certain power of
supervision over the organization in particular cases. All
directives, task assignments and so forth came from Berlin.

Q. What was the relation between the Departments III and the
offices of the commanders, that is, the commanders of the
Security Police and the SD?

A. I do not quite understand that question. Relation to

Q. To the Security Police.

A. The Departments III of the offices of the commanders were
departments just as Departments IV. They worked on Security
Service tasks, whereas Departments IV worked on State Police
tasks. They were departments of the offices of the
commanders and not parts or establishments of Office III of
the Main Reich Security Office any more than the Departments
IV were establishments of Office IV of the Main Reich
Security Office.

                                                  [Page 190]

Q. Now I come to a short discussion of the individual war
crimes with which the SD is charged. First, the

I refer to VI-A among the facts offered in evidence in the
trial brief.

Were the Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos which were used
in the East a part of the SD?

A. No, these Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos were
establishments of an entirely original kind.

Q. Was the organization of the domestic SD used for the
activities of the Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos? That
is something important.

A. That question, in the way it has been put, must be
answered by No. It is not true that any parts of that
organization were transferred to the Einsatzgruppen. If
individual members of the SD entered the Einsatzgruppen or
Einsatzkommandos, then it is comparable to military
induction. Just as a civil servant who is drafted is
assigned different tasks, or at least can be assigned them,
this was likewise the case with the SD. If the
Einsatzgruppen had to perform Security Service tasks, such
as making reports, the directives came to the Einsatzgruppen
from Office III (Amt 3).

Q. Did the members of the SD and its subordinate offices
obtain any knowledge about mass shootings and other crimes -
war crimes or crimes against humanity through the reports
from the East, or reports from the Einsatzgruppen?

A. Such reports from Einsatzgruppen were never forwarded to
the subordinate offices in the Reich, so that the members of
these offices could not have any knowledge of these
incidents, either.

Q. Was the SD responsible for the establishment,
arrangement, guarding and administration of concentration

A. No.

Q. Could you give me any reasons for that answer?

A. There are no reasons for it. The Security Service never
had anything to do with these matters because it lacked
jurisdiction there.

Q. Did the SD establish any concentration camps?

A. No.

Q. Did the SD organize any concentration camps?

A. No.

Q. Was the organization of the SD used for the guarding of
concentration camps?

A. No.

Q. Did the SD have authority over the transfer and treatment
of concentration camp inmates?

A. No.

Q. Did the Domestic Intelligence Service receive an order
from Himmler not to intervene in the case of clashes between
Germans and English and American flyers?

A. No, the Security Service could not have had any order,
because it had no police functions and there could have been
absolutely no question of any intervention.

Q. Did the Domestic Intelligence Service set up summary
courts martial in order to pass judgement on persons in
special and shortened proceedings?

This question refers to Item VI-H of the trial brief.

A. Holding summary courts martial was not one of the
functions of the SD at all, and so neither were courts
martial of this kind because drat again would have been an
executive measure which had nothing to do with the Security

Q. Did the Domestic Intelligence Service Office III only
execute people in concentration camps or keep them prisoners
because of crimes which allegedly had been committed by
their relatives? This question refers to Item VI-J of the
trial brief.

A. The Security Service had nothing to do with that.

                                                  [Page 191]

Q. Did the SD hold any "third-degree" interrogations? This
question refers to Item VI-L.

A. The Security Service did not carry out any interrogations
at all, consequently not any with the third degree.

Q. Will you briefly describe the aims, tasks, activities,
and methods of the Group III-A of the Main Reich Security
Office of which you were in charge at times?

A. It was the task of Group III-A to observe the effects of
legislation, administration of justice, and administrative
measures on the German people, and compile these
observations in the form of reports and make them accessible
to executive offices. It was furthermore the tasks of Group
III-A, and in particular Department III-A-4, to give the
executive offices a continuous picture of the general mood
and attitude of the German population in regular reports.

Q. Was membership in the SD voluntary, or the result of some
legal decree?

A. That question cannot be answered by yes or no. I might
take my own group as an example. In my group, at the end, I
had rather over 60 employees. About 75 per cent. of these
worked there on the basis of legal decrees. For instance,
all my four chiefs of departments had been transferred to
the Security Service, ordered there on emergency service or
detailed there. I believe that for the entire Security
Service one could estimate that about 50 to 60 per cent.
were working there on the basis of a legal decree. That
comparatively high number results from the fact that,
firstly, at the beginning of the war a large number of
regular workers had been inducted; secondly, that the scope
of the work had been increased in extent, and that therefore
men and in part women auxiliary workers had to be sent for
service in the occupied territories, and that thirdly, the
entire work of the Security Service grew during the war, and
the personnel had to render compulsory emergency service and
so on, according to the legal measures that had been passed
for this purpose.

DR. GAWLIK: Mr. President, I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Does the prosecution wish to cross-examine?


MAJOR MURRAY: If the Tribunal please, Major Murray cross-
examining for the United States Chief Prosecutor.


Q. Witness, when did you become chief of Office III-A in the

A. In July, 1944.

Q. Who was the chief at that time and for some time prior

A. Office III had only one chief, and that was the then
Gruppenfuehrer Ohlendorf.

Q. At times you substituted for Ohlendorf, did you not?

A. I believe the entire question did not come through. I
heard only "at times you substitute."

Q. At various times during your career, you took Ohlendorf's
place as chief, did you not?

A. No. When I was in that office, Ohlendorf was always
there. Moreover, there was no general deputy for him. When
he was away on business the chiefs of the various groups
represented him for their own territories. But during the
period while h was in Berlin, that happened very rarely.

Q. Do you know Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl; who was a member of
Office 6, RSHA?

A. May I ask for the name again, please? I did not
understand the name.

Q. Perhaps I do not pronounce it properly. Dr. Wilhelm
Hoettl, spelled H-o-e-t-t-1.

A. Hoettl? I met him here for absolutely the first time.

                                                  [Page 192]

Q. You do know that he held a responsible position in the
SD, now that you have met him here?

A. No, I have not spoken to Hoettl here, either.

MAJOR MURRAY: With the permission of the Tribunal, I should
like to read briefly from the affidavit of Dr. Wilhelm
Hoettl, Document 2614 PS, dealing with the activities of the
SD. This will be Exhibit USA 918. Dr. Hoettl executed this
affidavit on 5th November, 1945. I quote:

  "It was the task of the SD to inform its chief, Himmler,
  and through him the Nazi regime about all matters within
  Germany, the occupied territories, and the other foreign
  countries. This task was carried out in Germany, by
  Department III - Information Service for Germany proper -
  and abroad by Department VI - Foreign Information

Omitting a few lines:

  "For the task in Germany proper Department III had
  organized a large net of informers who operated from the
  various regional offices of the SD. This organization
  consisted of many hundreds of professional SD members who
  were assisted by thousands of honorary SD members and
  informers. These informers and honorary collaborators of
  the SD were placed in all fields of business, education,
  State and party administration. Frequently they performed
  their duties secretly in their organizations. This
  information service reported on the morale of the German
  people, on all the important events in the State, as well
  as an individuals."


Q. Do you consider that a fair statement of the task of the

THE PRESIDENT: Answer the question, please. Witness, answer
the question:

Do you consider it a fair statement of the work of the SD?
No, you need not go on reading the rest of the document.
Answer the question.

A. It is a mixture of truths and untruths. I feel that the
way and manner in which the Court ... in which this report
judges the Security Service is somewhat superficial. It does
not give the impression, according to this document, that
Hoettl worked in the Domestic Security Service very long.

Q. You know, do you not, witness, that your chief,
Ohlendorf, was in 1941 and 1942 the head of Einsatzgruppe D
in Southern Russia? You were informed of that, were you not?

A. Yes, indeed.

Q. You knew also, did you not, that these Einsatzgruppen
were made up from members of the SD and of the Gestapo and
of the Criminal Police?

A. I knew that members of these organizations were detailed
there for special service.

Q. You knew that they were commanded by SD members, did you

A. The Einsatzgruppen and Kommandos were commanded by
members of widely different organizations, by members of the
State Police, Criminal Police, and also the Security Police.
I myself, moreover, was never on special service.

MAJOR MURRAY: I would like to refer, if the Tribunal please,
to the affidavit of Ohlendorf. This is Document 2620-PS, to
become Exhibit USA 919. This affidavit has not been used in
evidence before. This affidavit of Ohlendorf which is very
brief states:

  "The Einsatzgruppen and the Einsatzkommandos were
  commanded by personnel of the Gestapo, the SD, and the
  Criminal Police. Additional men were detailed from the
  regular police."

And dropping down a few lines: "Usually the smaller units
were led by members - "

THE WITNESS: May I interrupt you? Excuse me, please.

                                                  [Page 193]

It does not say here in the document that they were led by
members of the regular police. It says only that "additional
personnel was provided by the regular police."


Q. Yes, I omitted that. A few lines farther on: "Usually the
smaller units were led by members of the SD, the Gestapo, or
the Criminal Police." So that actually members of the SD
were leading these Einsatzgruppen in the East, were they

A. The affidavit states that members of the Security Service
as well as the State Police and the Criminal Police were in
charge of units of this kind.

Q. Now, as a matter of fact, the Einsatzgruppen officers
wore SD uniforms in the performance of their tasks, did they

A. Excuse me. I only understood a few words. The
Einsatzgruppen wore these uniforms?

Q. The Einsatzgruppen officers wore the uniform of the SD
while performing their duties in the East, is that true?

A. All members of the Einsatzgruppen wore field-grey
uniforms and wore the SD insignia on the sleeve. That was
one of the main reasons for the many misunderstandings which
occurred, because members of the Security Police also wore
this SD insignia. That was the case with the special SS
formation of the SD which was mentioned right at the
beginning of today's examination. And because beyond that
even those members of the Einsatzgruppen and
Einsatzkommandos wore uniforms who were not SS members at
all and so who, in peace time, had never worn a uniform in
Germany proper. They were sent into special service as so-
called uniformed personnel and received a service rank
corresponding to their civil service grade.

Q. In any event, many members of the Einsatzgruppen were
members of the SD and many of those officers wore the
uniform of the SD while killing these people in the Eastern
territories; is that not true?

A. I do not quite understand the meaning of the question.
There were very few people from the SD detailed to these
Einsatzgruppen or Einsatzkommandos, at least from the three
branches mentioned, and during their entire period of
service these men and leaders wore the uniform with the SD
on the sleeve.

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