The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/12/6

                                                   [Page 37]

Tribunal has made an order with respect to further
proceedings on the charge against Organisations and the
applications of members thereof. I do not propose to read
that order, but it will be posted on the defence counsel's
information board, and will be communicated to them and to
the prosecution.

Dr. Jahreiss, had you finished your examination?


THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Does any other of the defence
counsel wish to examine the witness?


counsel for Kaltenbrunner):

Q. Witness, have you any recollection when the defendant
Kaltenbrunner first came into the public eye?

A. I have no knowledge of Kaltenbrunner's becoming
particularly prominent in the public eye. I heard the name
Kaltenbrunner for the first time when he appeared as
successor to General Canaris.

Q. Have you any recollection to the effect that he was made
the Chief of the R.S.H.A. in January, 1943?

A. I may have heard of it, but I have no certain
recollection of it.

Q. Kaltenbrunner states that in April, 1945, he tried to
save the country of Austria from further acts of war. Have
you, by chance, any recollection of that?

A. I merely heard that Kaltenbrunner was one of those
persons who were working for an independent Austria, but I
have no definite, accurate knowledge of the situation.

Q. Furthermore, Kaltenbrunner states that he, on the basis
of an agreement with the Red Cross at Geneva, had arranged
for the return of civilian internees to their homeland
through the firing line. He had communicated a request to
your office - not to you personally - to the effect that a
gap should be created in the fighting line to let these
civilian internees go home. Do you happen to remember that?

A. It is quite possible that such a request was actually
submitted. I did not gain any personal knowledge of it,
because I was away from my office a great deal.

Q. Witness, have you any recollection as to when
concentration camps were first established in Germany?

A. Yes. It was in 1933. I remember three concentration
camps, but I do not know exactly when they were established.
Oranienburg, which I passed by and flew over quite
frequently; Dachau, which had been discussed vehemently in
the newspapers, and Weimar-Nora, Weimar, a concentration
camp over which I flew quite frequently on my official
trips. I have no recollection of any other concentration
camps, but perhaps I may add that, as a matter of principle,
I have kept aloof from rumours which were particularly rife
during those periods of crisis, in order to devote myself to
my own duties, which were particularly heavy.

                                                   [Page 38]

Q. Regarding the internees in the concentration camps, did
you have any definite idea as to who would be brought there?

A. I had, an idea, without knowing where I got it from,
which seemed plausible to me, namely, that the National
Socialist Revolution would be achieved without loss of lives
and that political opponents would be detained until the
founding of the new State had given sufficient security for
them to return to public life. That is my knowledge of the
situation, from which I conclude, in order to answer your
question, that these people must, for the most part, have
been persons who were opposed to the National Socialist

Q. Have you ever thought what, in your conception, the
treatment in these concentration camps would be like? What
was your conception of the treatment of the prisoners in the
camps? There may be a difference as to whether you are
thinking of the earlier or later years?

A. I know nothing about the methods of treatment in the
camps. During the earlier years, when I was still active in
Germany, one heard rumours to the effect that treatment was
normal. In the later years I was abroad, that is to say, in
theatres of war outside Germany, and I was so far away that
I knew nothing whatsoever of these incidents and did not
seek any information on them.

Q. Is it right, therefore, to assume that, as far as the
atrocities, which did actually occur, were concerned, you
had no positive knowledge?

A. No, I did not have any positive knowledge, not even in
March, 1945, when I became Supreme Commander in the West;
even then the occurrences in the concentration camps were
completely unknown to me. This I attribute to two facts.
One, the personal attitude which I have expressed earlier,
that on principle I only concerned myself with my own
business, which in itself was sufficiently extensive, and
secondly, that within the State a Police State had developed
which was hermetically sealed and closed off from the rest
of the world.

Q. Have you any proof that, in your officers' circles, more
was known than you, according to what you have just said,
knew yourself?

A. I was in very close contact with my officers and I do not
believe that there can have been a large number of officers
who knew more about these things. Of course, I cannot give
information regarding individuals.

Q. Did you know that Hitler had decided to eliminate the
Jewish people physically?

A. That is absolutely unknown to me.

Q. Did you not have frequent opportunities to discuss
ideological questions with Hitler?

A. Whenever I was at Headquarters only military and similar
questions concerning my theatre of war were discussed during
the official part of the conversation. When I was invited to
a meal, then historical matters or matters of general
interest were usually discussed, but acute political
problems or ideological questions never came up for
discussion. I personally cannot remember any instance where
Hitler influenced me or any of the other Generals, in any
way whatsoever with regard to professing themselves active
National Socialists.

Q. Did you believe in Hitler's personality in a sense that
Hitler was determined to lead the German people to a better
Germany, with consideration for personal freedom and respect
for human dignity? What was your conception about that?

THE PRESIDENT: What is the relevancy of a witness's belief
upon a subject of that sort? What has it got to do with any
part of the case of the defendant Kaltenbrunner? The
Tribunal considers these sort of questions are a waste of
the Tribunal's time.

                                                   [Page 39]


Q. Is it correct that in the absolute leadership State,
which existed in Germany, any opposition by a human being to
an order was impossible?

A. In that form I would not deny that. One could certainly
represent one's own views against another view, but if one's
own views were rendered invalid by a decision, absolute
obedience became necessary, and its execution was demanded
and ensured, under certain circumstances, by the application
of penal law. Resistance to that order, or any order, was,
according to our knowledge of the personality and attitude
of Adolf Hitler, out of the question and would have achieved

Q. Would not a person attempting to resist a finally issued
order have to consider that he was risking his life?

A. During the later years that was an absolute certainty.

Q. Did you at any time think the war could not be won, and
if so, when?

A. In 1943, one had to consider the possibility that a
victorious peace could not be achieved. I emphasise
expressly that one had to expect that possibility, but by
observing certain organisational or operational measures,
the situation might still have been reversed.

Q. Did you ever discuss this question with someone of
importance  -the misgivings which you may have had about the
continuance of the war?

A. At various times when I discussed my own military sector,
I referred to certain difficulties which might influence the
outcome of the war in general; but as representative of
merely one military sector, I considered myself in no way
competent to judge the entire military situation, since I
could not, from my limited viewpoint, judge, for example,
the situation regarding production or the organisation of
manpower reserves. As I said before, I refused, as an
amateur, to make a statement on such matters, since my
statement might, under certain circumstances, have been
regarded as official, as it would have been signed by the
name of Field-Marshal Kesselring.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you kindly explain to the Tribunal what
relevancy the last two or three questions have to the case
of Kaltenbrunner?

DR. KAUFFMANN: He was in the same position - he could not,
as he says, resist an order. It would have meant the loss of
his life.

THE PRESIDENT: You asked the witness whether at any time
during the war he thought how long the war would last. What
has that got to do with Kaltenbrunner?

DR. KAUFFMANN: The prosecution accuses several defendants of
having continued the struggle in spite of the fact that they
knew it was hopeless, and of having prolonged the war. That
is the problem I wish to clarify in my last question.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not think it was put specifically
against Kaltenbrunner. If it is your last question you may
put it.


Q. If I understand you correctly, what you are trying to
explain is that the leading reason for your continuing to
fight was your duty towards your country?

A. That is a matter of course, though I had other objects in
view as well. One was, that although the possibility of a
political termination of the war was denied, at least
officially, I, personally, believed in it, and that I am
still convinced of it to-day may be proved by the fact that
I personally, together with Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff,
undertook negotiations through Switzerland with an American,
in order to prepare the issue for a political discussion to
that end.

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

THE PRESIDENT: Any other counsel for the defence?

                                                   [Page 40]

BY DR. PELCKMANN (counsel for the defence for the S.S.):

Q. Witness, Dr. Kauffmann asked you whether the officers
corps, had any knowledge of the conditions and the
establishment of concentration camps. Do you know that
within the Armed Forces so-called National-Political
instruction courses were held?

A. Yes, I know of that.

Q. May I ask you whether you know that during one of the
Armed Forces National-Political courses of instruction,
which were held from 15th to 23rd January, 1937 - and I am
referring now to Document 1992A-PS concerning the
establishment of concentration camps - Himmler, the S.S.-
Fuehrer, in the presence of the assembled officers, made a
speech more or less to this effect:

  "Naturally, we make a difference between inmates who may
  be there for a few months for educational purposes, and
  those who will be there for a long time."

I omit a few sentences, and come to the ones which I
consider important:

  "The order begins by insisting that these people live in
  clean barracks. This can, in fact, only be achieved by us
  Germans, for there is hardly any other nation which would
  act as humanely as we do. Linen is frequently changed.
  The people are instructed to wash twice a day, and the
  use of tooth-brushes is advised, a thing which is
  sometimes unknown to them."

Do you know of the Armed Forces having been instructed in
this way, which, as we know to-day, does not correspond to
conditions as they really were?

A.. As I said earlier, we did not concern ourselves with
such questions at all, and this lecture by Himmler is
unknown to me.

DR. PELCKMANN: Unknown! Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Does any other defence counsel wish to ask
any questions? Then the prosecution may cross-examine.


Q. You understand, Witness, do you not, in giving your
testimony, as to the definition of the High Command and the
General Staff, as that definition is included in the
Indictment, that you are accused as a member of that group.

A. I understand.

Q. And that you are testifying here virtually as one of the

A. I understand.

Q. You have spoken of the establishment in Germany of a
Police State by the National Socialist Party, and I want to
ask you whether it is not a fact that the Police State
rested on two institutions, very largely, first, the secret
State police, and secondly, the concentration camps?

A. The control by the police is an established fact. The
concentration camp was, in my opinion, a final means to that

Q. Both the secret police and the concentration camp were
established by Hermann Goering, is that not a fact known to

A. The secret State police was created by Hermann Goering.
Whether it was formed by Himmler -

Q. Your lectures will be reserved for your own counsel, and
I shall ask to have you so instructed. Just answer my
questions. Was not the concentration camp also established
by Hermann Goering?

A. I do not know.

Q. You do not know that. Did you favour the Police State?

A. I considered it as abnormal according to German
conceptions that a State had been formed within a State,
thus keeping certain things away from public knowledge.

                                                   [Page 41]
Q. Did you ever do anything or can you point to anything
that you did in public life to prevent that abnormal
condition coming to Germany?

A. I cannot remember anything, except that during
conversations with my superiors I may have brought the point
up for discussion. But I emphasise expressly that in general
I confined myself to my own sphere and my own tasks.

Q. Do you want this Tribunal to understand that you never
knew that there was a campaign by this State to persecute
the Jews in Germany? Is that the way you want your testimony
to be understood?

A. Persecution of the Jews was not known to me.

Q. Is it not a fact that Jewish officers were excluded from
your army and from your command?

A. Jewish officers did not exist.

Q. Is it not a fact that certain officers of your army,
certain officers of the Luftwaffe, took steps to Aryanise
themselves in order to escape the effect of Goering's
decrees? Did you know about that?

A. I heard rumours to that effect.

Q. Aryanising, where the father was suspected of Jewish
ancestry, consisted in showing that the normal father was
not the actual father, did it not?

A. I admit that. Naturally there are other cases as well.

Q. Yes. It might be that the mother was suspected of Jewish

A. In exceptional cases certain facts were overlooked.

Q. Yes. Did you know anything about the Jewish riots - anti-
Jewish riots of 9th and 10th November in Germany in 1938?

A. Are you talking about the action "Mirror"
("Spiegelsache")? I am not sure which day you are talking

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