The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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

Last-Modified: 1999/06/14

9 May 1961

The Competent Court of Justice, Frankfurt am Main
Re: Request for Legal Assistance

The main hearing in 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:

Richard Baer, Remand Installation, Frankfurt am Main,

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

     (1) that he was the last Commandant of the Auschwitz
     concentration camp;
     (2) that he never met the Accused;
     (3) that he never received any instructions from the
     Accused or his office to exterminate Jewish inmates of
     the camp.
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 rank did you hold in the SS?
     (2) What positions did you hold from 1939 to 1945?
     (3) As Commandant of Auschwitz, to which SS Head Office
     were you subordinate?
     (4) Did you have an official link with the Accused or
     his Section?
     (5) Did you receive orders or instructions from the
     (6) Was the Accused your superior?
     (7) As far as you know, did the Accused ever intervene
     in the activities of the concentration camp?
I would also request that the witness be asked the following
additional questions which were drawn up by the Attorney

     (1) When were you transferred to Auschwitz?
     (2) What was the scope of your duties during the time
     you served at Auschwitz?
     (3) What was the meaning of the terms: Auschwitz I,
     Auschwitz II, Auschwitz III?
     (4) Which of the camps referred to above was directly
     under your control?
     (5) Who were your predecessors as Commandant of the
     Auschwitz concentration camp?
     (6) Was Auschwitz II under your control?
     (7) Was Auschwitz II identical with the so-called
     (8) Do you know of visits made by Rudolf Franz
     Ferdinand Hoess to the Eichmann Operations Commando in
     (9) If so, what was the purpose of these visits?
     10) Who or what was the so-called authority or office
     responsible for delivering Jews to Auschwitz?
     (11) Did you know anything about the obligation to
     report to the delivering authority?
     (12) If so, what was the content of such reports?
     (13) Did you comply with the instructions which you
     found had been issued with regard to the obligation to
     report to the assigning authority?
     (14) What special regulations were issued to you during
     your service at Auschwitz with regard to the treatment
     of Jewish prisoners?
     (15) Which SS or Reich Head Office transmitted such
     instructions to you?
     (16) What do you know about the political department at
     Auschwitz, and to whom was it subordinate?
     (17) While you were serving in Auschwitz, did SS
     doctors or other SS personnel carry out so-called
     selections and subsequent gassings of Jews, Poles or
     (18) If so, on the basis of what directions or
     instructions were such selections and gassings carried
     (19) What were the main countries of origin of the
     transports of Jews which arrived at Auschwitz while you
     were serving there?
     (20) On what date did the last gassings of prisoners of
     the Auschwitz concentration camp take place?
     (21) When and from which office did you receive the
     order to cease gassings of concentration camp
I would 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,
Advocate Dr. R. Servatius, Hohenzollernring 14, Cologne, and
to afford them, on their part, the opportunity to ask the
witness 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

The Court of First Instance, Frankfurt (Main), 6 June 1961
- 932 Gs 1701/61-


Judge of First Instance Rieber as Judge

Court Official Schweidler as Authenticating Official at the
Court Office

In the criminal proceedings against Adolf Eichmann there

1. Mr. Erwin S. Shimron as the representative of the
Attorney General of the State of Israel;

2. Advocate Dieter Wechtenbruch, Munich, as Counsel for the

3. Advocate Dr. Hermann Stolting II as counsel for the
witness whose name appears below in the criminal proceedings
against him.  He was authorized to be present at the
examination of the witness, so that he would be informed
about these proceedings, if consultations with his client
should become necessary;

4.  The witness whose name appears below.

The witness was instructed about the penalties and
consequences of giving sworn evidence which is deliberately
or negligently false or incomplete, and also of giving
incomplete deliberately false or incomplete unsworn
evidence, as well as about the significance of the oath, and
the fact that he could refuse to provide information on
questions by answering which he or his relatives could be
exposed to the risk of criminal proceedings, and he was
admonished to tell the truth.

Personal details:

My name is Richard Baer, I am 49 years old, I am a trained
pastrycook, my last occupation was forestry labourer.  I
live in Dassendorf, District of the Lauenburg Duchy,
currently in custody at the Frankfurt (Main) Remand
Installation, Hammelsgasse, and am not related and not
connected by marriage to the Accused.

On the matter in question:

From around mid-May 1944 until evacuation and dissolution, I
was Commandant of the Auschwitz I concentration camp.
Auschwitz I included only the camp which was situated close
to the town of Auschwitz.  I was therefore not the
Commandant of all the camps which belonged to the Auschwitz
complex, but merely Commandant of this one camp.  In
addition, during my time there were two other independent
camps: Auschwitz II (Birkenau), under Commandant
Hauptsturmfuehrer Kramer, and Auschwitz III (Monowitz),
under Commandant Hauptsturmfuehrer Schwarz.  As far as I
know, this arrangement of these three camps, existing
independently of one another, each under its own Commandant,
was only introduced when I became Commandant of Auschwitz I;
it certainly was not introduced later.  As far as I know,
the Commandants who had held office previously, Hoess and
Liebehenschel, had been in charge of the entire complex, but
I am not entirely sure of this.  My rank was SS
Sturmbannfuehrer in the Waffen-SS, but when I took over the
command, I was only a Hauptsturmfuehrer.  I do not remember
what ranks Hoess and Liebehenschel held.  They were either
Sturmbannfuehrer or Obersturmbannfuehrer.  The ranks I have
indicated for Kramer and Schwarz are, I believe, ranks in
the Waffen-SS.  I do not know whether the two of them had a
rank in the general SS.  I myself did not.

When I took over the command, Hoess was there.  However, at
that time Hoess was a bureau chief in the Economic-
Administrative Head Office, Bureau Group D.  He was not a
Commandant any longer.  Before I arrived, Hoess had ceased
being Commandant - Liebehenschel had taken over this post,
previously occupied by Hoess.  However, when I took up my
office, Liebehenschel was not present and did not hand
matters over to me.

I do not know the Accused, Adolf Eichmann, nor did I have
anything to do with him.  I also did not know of him as
someone in the Head Office for Reich Security.

I do not wish to answer any further questions.  This refusal
to provide information also applies to answering point three
of the topics of proof on which I am being asked according
to the request for legal assistance.

All of the questions contained in the request for legal
assistance have been read out to me, and I am not prepared
to give any further information with regard to the questions
put to me, other than that which I have already stated.

I have been asked whether, when I took up my duties at
Auschwitz, I found warehouses containing goods and valuables
there.  I repeat that I am not prepared to give any further
information in addition to what I have already said.

Read out, approved and signed
(-) Richard Baer

In accordance with Paragraph 60 (3) of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, the witness was not sworn, as being suspect of

(-) Rieber, Judge of First Instance
(-) Schweidler, Court Official

I hereby certify that the attached photocopy corresponds to
the original.

Frankfurt (Main), 9 June 1961
Court of First Instance, Dept. 932
(-) Rieber, Judge of First Instance

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