The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Testimony-Abroad/Walter_Huppenkothen-01

Last-Modified: 1999/06/14

31 May 1961

To the Competent Court of Justice, Cologne

Re: Request for Legal Assistance

The main hearing of the criminal proceedings against the
Accused Adolf Eichmann is at present taking place in this

In the context of this main hearing, I request you to extend
legal assistance to this Court by the examination on oath of
the following witness:

Walter Huppenkothen, Koeln-Weidenpesch, Theklastr. 14

The witness is to be examined on the following allegations
of the Accused:

     (1) that in the Head Office for Reich Security the
     Accused did not have a special position, compared with
     other Specialist Officers of the same rank;
     (2) that as Head of Section IVB4 (IVA4b), the Accused
     had no independent power of decision regarding the
     basic measures adopted against the Jews;
To complete the testimony of the witness, I would request
that the witness also be asked the following questions which
were drawn up by Counsel for the Accused:

     (1) What was the last rank you held in the SS?
     (2) What were your official functions in the Head
     Office for Reich Security?
     (3) Is it true that the Chief of Department IV,
     Mueller,  was particularly strict in insisting that the
     rules on secrecy be observed?
     (4) Is it true that transgressions were punished as
     (5) What was the penalty for treason in war time?
     (6) In how many buildings were the Sections of
     Department IV housed?
     (7) Was Section IVB4 in a special position because it
     was housed in a special building?
     (8) Is it true that, generally, Mueller dealt directly
     with the heads of sections?
     (9) May it therefore be deduced from the fact that
     Mueller normally dealt with him directly, that the
     Accused was in a special position?
     (10) Is it true that Mueller frequently gave special
     assignments to Sections not competent to deal with
     them, or to individuals, without the knowledge of the
     competent head of section?
     (11) Are you familiar with special assignments which
     Mueller gave to the Accused's deputy, SS
     Sturmbannfuehrer Guenther?
     (12) Is it true that for major decisions Mueller
     obtained instructions from his superiors, and that in
     individual cases of any importance he himself decided
     on his own initiative, thus leaving practically no room
     for his subordinates to take decisions?
     (13) Is it true that the tasks of the Gestapo were
     defined in precise detail and that ordinances and
     decrees set very strict limits on the manner and form
     of its activities?
     (14) What leads you to the conclusion that the Central
     Office for Jewish Emigration in Prague was under the
     control of the Accused, in addition to his Section in
     the Head Office for Reich Security?
     (15) What were the orders which the Accused received
     directly from Himmler?
I would also request that the witness be asked the following
questions, which were drawn up by the Attorney General:

     (1) Was it customary for members of Department IV
     personnel to live in their office buildings?
     (2) What was the significance of the fact that Eichmann
     and his staff lived in the office building of Section
     (3) Did the personnel of Department IV have social
     gatherings at the residence of the department chief?
     (4) Who took part in these gatherings?
     (5) Were office matters also talked about at these
     (6) Were there special secrecy regulations about the
     activities of the Accused's Section?
     (7) Why, unlike other personnel of the Security
     Service, was the Accused assigned specifically to
     Department IV?
     (8) Why - even if only on paper - was the Accused under
     the control of the head of Group IVB, who held a lower
     rank than Eichmann?
     (9)  Who were the Accused's predecessors?
     (10) In what respect did their tasks differ from those
     of the Accused?
     (11) After the reorganization of the Head Office for
     Reich Security in 1944, why was the Accused's Section
     transferred to Group IVA?
     (12) When were you appointed Commander of the Security
     Police and the Security Service in the Lublin District,
     and for how long did you hold this position?
     (13) During your term of office in Lublin, were you in
     charge of a Department IV, and who was its head?
     (14) Who was the head of Group IVB?
     (15) Who was the head of Section IVB4 (in Lublin
     normally called IV4B, or in short, Judenreferat (Jewish
     Affairs Section))?
     (16) As far as you know, did the Jewish Affairs Section
     under the Lublin Commander of Security Police receive
     orders, in matters of substance, from the Head Office
     for Reich Security in Berlin?
     (17) Which office in the Head Office for Reich Security
     issued the special directives for the Jewish Affairs
     Sections through your office to the Jewish Affairs
     Specialist Officer in Lublin?
I request you to summon to the examination of the witness
the representative of the Attorney General of the State of
Israel, c/o H.E. Ambassador, Dr. F. E. Shinnar, Israel
Mission, Cologne, as well as Counsel for the Accused, Dr. R.
Servatius, Hohenzollernring 14, Cologne, and to afford them
the opportunity to ask the witness, on their part, any
questions which might arise from his answers.

There is no objection on the part of this Court to the
aforementioned representatives of the parties obtaining
copies of the record of the examination.

Please forward the original of the record of the examination
to this Court.

(-) Moshe Landau
President of the Trial Court

Court of First Instance, Department 15 Cologne, 19 June 1961
Case No.: 6150/61

Criminal Proceedings Uagainst Adolf Eichmann on the charge
of murder

Amtsgerichtsrat (Judge of the First Instance) Meller as

Just.-Ang. (Court Official) Weise, as Authenticating Clerk
at the Court Office

and, for the Attorney General of the State of Israel, Mr.
Erwin S. Shimron of Jerusalem, with power of attorney.

There appeared for the Accused's Advocate Dr. Servatius:
Advocate Wechtenbruch of Munich and the witness whose name
appears below:

Personal details: My name is Walter Huppenkothen, employee,
53 years of age, Koeln-Weidenpesch, Theklastr. 14. I am not
related and not connected by marriage to the Accused.

After having been instructed on the meaning of the oath, the
witness stated, on the matter in question:

I worked in the Head Office for Reich Security.  The Head
Office for Reich Security was the highest authority of the
Security Police.  The original Chief of the Head Office for
Reich Security was Heydrich, followed by Kaltenbrunner.

The Head Office was divided into departments which were
designated by Roman numerals.  The departments were arranged
in groups, which were designated by capital letters.  The
groups were subdivided into sections which were given Arabic

Department IV controlled the work of the Secret State
Police.  That is my way of putting it - it was not the
official description.  The Head of the Department was SS
Gruppenfuehrer and Lieutenant-General of Police, Heinrich

Group B dealt mainly with matters of churches and sects.  It
also included the Accused's Section.  Group B was originally
under SS Sturmbannfuehrer Hartel.  He held this position
until after 1941.  I cannot now say when he left, or who
replaced him.  I do not know whether his position was later
filled at all.  I remember that the Group was temporarily
under the control of State Counsellor (Regierungsrat) and SS
Sturmbannfuehrer Roth.

Jewish Affairs belonged to Section IV, of which the Accused
was in charge.  What else it dealt with I cannot say today.

I myself was the Chief of Group IVE, which continued after
1944 as Section IVA3.  When I took over the Group in January
1941, I was State Counsellor and SS Sturmbannfuehrer.  At
the end I was Regierungsdirektor (Directing State
Counsellor) and SS Standartenfuehrer.

My Group was the central authority for police

I am a graduate in law, and after taking my examination as
Assessor (assistant judge), I entered the service of the
Secret State Police through the interior administration.  I
joined the Party and the SS on 1 May 1933.  Until I joined
the Head Office for Reich Security, I worked in State Police
offices as deputy head and head of department.

From 1941 to 1945 I worked exclusively at the Head Office
for Reich Security.  My group was also in charge of the
duties of the Inspector General for the Frontiers

After the attempt on Hitler's life on 20 July 1944, I was
put in charge of special duties which resulted from this
assassination attempt.  That meant that I had virtually no
further dealings with the Group, known then as Department
IVA3, although officially I was still Head of the
Department.  But I fulfilled these duties from the Head
Office for Reich Security.

Subsequently the witness was referred first to the questions
of the Defence on page two of the request for legal
assistance.  In this connection he stated:

(1): Has already been answered.

(2): Likewise.

(3): It is true that the chief of Department IV, Mueller,
saw to it that the provisions on preserving secrecy be
strictly observed.  Although the same rules on secrecy
applied as for any other authority, here they were applied
in an especially strict and meticulous fashion.  That also
meant, first and foremost, that no one got to know any more
about a matter that was to be kept secret than was necessary
in order to fulfil the duties allocated to him.  There were
therefore instances when someone's superior would not know
anything about an assignment given to his subordinate.  This
very strict approach was a result of the nature of the
office, as well as of Mr. Mueller's background as a former
official of the Detective Police, who was accustomed to
being very particular about such matters.

(4): It is true that transgressions were punished as
treason, since probably in all instances of such
transgressions the factual elements of relevant offence
existed.  I can also remember that criminal proceedings
would be instituted and sometimes withdrawn, and sometimes
also carried to the end.  Today, however, I cannot remember
any specific cases, in particular since I was not charged
directly with uncovering such cases.

It is true that when I joined the service Mueller said to me
most emphatically that he would apply the most stringent
sanctions to any infringement of the provisions on secrecy.
I cannot quote his exact words, but that was the gist, and I
almost felt offended by the way he made the point.  Mueller
was not a lawyer - he was from the Detective Police.

(5): In the Penal Code, the offence of treason was divided
into various factual definitions, as is also the case in the
new version today.  These were supplemented by the factual
definitions in the Military Penal Code.  The maximum penalty
was the death penalty.  Depending on the facts of the
matter, prison sentences could also be imposed.

Together with all its personnel, the Head Office for Reich
Security was subject to military jurisdiction, on the basis
of a special ordinance enacted in 1939.

The supreme judicial authority was the Chief of the Security
Police and the Security Service, i.e., the Chief of the Head
Office for Reich Security.  The competent court was subject
to his jurisdiction.  The applicable code was the Code of
Military Criminal Procedure.  The supreme judicial authority
had to issue orders for an investigation when notified of a
case, to rule as to whether proceedings were to be quashed
or charges preferred, and to confirm or not to confirm
judgments.  In addition, he appointed the members of the
court.  He could also quash proceedings in minor cases and
impose a disciplinary sanction instead of a judicial one.
Thus, supreme judicial authorities were in such a strong
position that very much depended on their influence on a
case.  Through their discretion, by virtue of their office,
they enjoyed wide powers of decision, as detailed in the
Code of Military Criminal Procedure.  In terms of
substantive law, the Military Penal Code applied alongside
the general criminal law.

Until 1942 or so the Sections of Department IV were housed
in some ten different buildings, all over Berlin, so there
was no contact among personnel, and the officials in charge
did not know one another.

There were about thirty Sections in all.

After some of the buildings were destroyed in part by
bombing, there was more decentralization in the matter of
housing.  The size of the Sections varied: some of the
Sections covered different fields.  There were Sections
employing several hundred persons, while others had the
Chief of Section with just a few staff and clerks.  Of the
Sections under my control, as far as I remember, the biggest
employed some twenty persons.  I was in charge of six

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