The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Testimony-Abroad/Herbert_Kappler-02

Last-Modified: 1999/06/14

I did this, being sure that through the Italian police the
news would get out, and thus the Jews would be able to
escape.  I remember that at the preparatory stage Dannecker
came to to me one day very happy and told me that he already
had all the information he required.  He showed me a box
containing many envelopes and told me that each squad
received a well-defined task to carry out, in specific
streets and buildings.  He also said that he already had all
names and addresses of the Jews.  I remember that he pulled
an envelope out of the box to prove to me the efficiency of
his organization, and he showed me the contents of the
envelope.  I remember that in it there were listed the
addresses of localities far apart from one another, which
meant that this squad had to go from one end of the town to
the other, in order to carry out its mission.

I also remember that Dannecker at first requested of the
Italian police that its men remain within the German
military barracks and be forbidden to leave, in order to
prevent any leakage of information about the operation.  I
could not object to this, but a few days later I put an end
to the confinement to barracks of the Italian policemen with
the  excuse of a shortage of food rations.  In this way I
managed to break the secrecy on which Dannecker was
insisting.  Following the round-up, I learned that the Jews
were on a train and that they would be leaving without any
food rations.  I rushed to the Italian Ministry of the
Interior and informed Prefect Testa, who was in charge of
the provisioning service.  Prefect Testa promised that he
would provide supplies for them.

I am now looking at a photocopy of a telex sent by Sergeant
Richnow to General Wolff.  This memorandum contains the full
text of the radio message sent from my office to Department
VI/E, which is the office of the police commander dealing
with foreign affairs.

The radio message contained in this letter does bear my
signature, but I did not draft it, since, as I have already
explained, the operation against the Jews was organized and
carried out by Captain Dannecker.  The fact that this radio
message carries my signature may be explained if one takes
into account the organizational functioning of police
offices, under which every order and every communication
originating in my office had to bear my signature.  For that
reason, I am not familiar with most of the details
concerning the content of this radio message.  I learned
about some of the details in the course of my own trial,
more precisely as to the place to which the Jews were taken
after the round-up.

I remember that, during his stay in Rome, Dannecker lived in
a hotel, but I cannot remember the name of the hotel.  More
precisely, I already gave this information to the examining
judge in the course of my trial.  The judge told me that,
upon investigation, the information had been verified, and
also told me the name of the hotel at which Dannecker had
stayed.  On that occasion I also found out Dannecker's first
name - Theodor.
The photocopy of the telex mentioned above is attached to
this file.

Additional questions from the memorandum from the District
Court of Jerusalem of 20 June 1961, were put to the witness.

Questions submitted by the Attorney General of the State of
I already replied to the additional question of the Attorney
General, when I responded to Question No. 9 posed to me by
the Defence Attorney of the Accused.
The additional questions from the Defence Attorney of the

(1): I reject the version that the orders for the operations
against the Jews of Rome were given by General Wolff.  As
for the telegram sent on 17 October 1943 from my office, I
repeat: That telegram was sent not to General Wolff but to
Department VI/E, since radio-telegraph communication from
the transmitter in my office was possible, at that time,
only with the radio station of that Department.  In fact,
Department VI/E was the communications centre of the Head
Office for Reich Security.

As for the rest, I refer to what I stated when I answered
Question No. 9 put to me by Counsel for the Accused.

(2): I am unable to respond to this question, because I
heard the name Adolf Eichmann only after the year 1945; I
learned this name from the press.  I reject the possibility
that mail and orders concerning Jews which reached my office
bore the signature of Eichmann.  I am certain of what I am
saying, because I had occasion to send proposals and counter-
proposals to all those who had sent me instructions and
reminders concerning the Jewish Question.  Therefore, I
would certainly remember the name Eichmann, if I had had any
previous knowledge of it.

(3): I have already answered this question.  General Harster
was head of the Security Police in Italy.
At this point the questions of the Attorney General of the
State of Israel were put to the witness.
(1): I have never belonged to the Security Service.  The
Security Service was a party organization, and its task was
to provide information for the Party.  If necessary, this
information was passed on to the police unit concerned.  To
be exact, one of the offices under my command, or rather,
two offices under my command, did have tasks of collecting
such information, and they were actually composed of
personnel which belonged to the Security Service.

(2): I started my career with the Order Police, and later I
transferred to that unit which eventually became the
Security Police.  In January or February 1939 I was assigned
to the Embassy in Rome as Police Attache.

(3): My official title was Police Attache.

(4): My responsibilities were to explore the organizational
structure of the Italian police, to exchange information
pertaining to international Communism, or rather to
international Communist organizations, to provide
information in cases of political and military espionage
which might interest Italy and Germany, to co-operate with
the consular authorities and to aid German citizens in all
that concerned matters regarding the police.

(5): I have already replied to this.  On September 8, the
German Embassy was closed down, and in practice I ceased to
belong to it.  I have already said, in response to questions
put to me by the Defence, that I presented myself to General
Kesselring and was posted by him in the manner which I have
already described.

(6): My responsibilities as Kommandeur of Rome were confined
largely to securing the rear of the Fourteenth Corps, which
was engaged in an effort to stop the advance of the enemy
armed forces which had landed at Salerno, then at Anzio.
Generally, the Kommandeur was subordinate to the
Befehlshaber , but when a police headquarters was located in
an area of military operations, it was usually placed, for
operational purposes, under the orders of the troops
operating there.  I had direct relations with all military
commanders, and once a week I had to report in person to
Kesselring.  He told me once on the telephone - and that was
during the night of the landing at Anzio - that I would be
personally responsible to him with my head for the security
of the city of Rome.  Other, minor, responsibilities
included providing intelligence on what was happening behind
the enemy lines.  These, in fact, were tasks of espionage
and sabotage for the benefit of the fighting forces.  In
fact, my responsibilities were strictly connected with the
conduct of military operations.

(7): When I was Police Attache at the Rome Embassy, I used
to receive, by diplomatic mail, communications sent to me
directly, with all sorts of requests concerning police
matters from various central authorities which required
particular information.  These requests might arrive from
the Ministry of the Interior or from any office dealing
especially with police matters.  I seem to remember that,
during the period in which I was attached to the Embassy, I
did not receive any requests to supply information or give
reports about the Jewish Question.  I do remember, however,
that people from the political office of the Embassy asked
me about my opinion concerning the Jewish Question in Italy.
The matter was brought up for discussion in the presence of
the entire Embassy staff, and we all agreed that there was
no room for a Jewish Question in Italy (without wanting in
any way, or being able in any way, to discuss the Jewish
Question as it presented itself in Germany).

(8): I deny that the Ambassador gave me specific
instructions concerning my duties as Police Attache.  He
could not have been competent to do so.  He could only have
prevented me from carrying out any of my tasks which were
considered not to conform to the rules of diplomacy.  On the
other hand, it is possible that at times there were
differences of opinion between myself and the Ambassador
about some specific questions.  In fact, it was my duty to
report to him about all my activities and to submit to him
copies of all my reports.  As a matter of practice, I
sometimes reported to him about my activities after having
reported about them to Berlin, and sometimes I gave him
advance notice.  It was a matter of trust.

(9): As Police Attache, I was part of the administrative
structure of the senior staff of the Head of the Security
Police Services.  As for my position in the hierarchy, I was
subordinate to all and to nobody, because all central
offices, as I have indicated, were able to turn to me to
obtain police information or to transmit through me requests
to the Italian police.  I did not have any executive
position, and therefore nobody was able to charge me with
carrying out concrete operational activities.  To sum up: I
was a Police Attache with information and liaison duties.

(10): I have already replied to this.  After 8  September,
my duties were radically changed, as I have explained above.

(11): I have already replied to this.  I heard about
Eichmann only in 1945 and later.

(12): In Italy, there were several Kommandeure, but in Rome
there was no Kommandeur, but rather an Aussenstelle (Field
Office), and I was placed at the head of it.  As I said,
this Aussenstelle in fact carried out the duties of the
commander, and probably in Rome it was not replaced with a
commander, because Rome was in an area of military
operations.  In fact, in all of Italy there was a Kommandeur
in Milan and Bolzano, and Aussenstellen in Rome and other
cities.  All these offices were subordinate to the
Befehlshaber of Verona.

(13): I do not know whether at the Verona police
headquarters - which was the central headquarters of police
in Italy - there existed a Specialist Officer for Jewish

(14): See previous reply.

(15): In the winter of 1943-44, a circular arrived with
instructions to set up a special office to deal with the
Jewish Question.  I replied at that time that the precarious
conditions in Rome and the seriousness of the task I had to
fulfil (securing the rear of the army), as well as the
shortage of manpower at my disposal (only thirty men)
prevented me from implementing the contents of this
circular.  Therefore, there was never a Specialist Officer
for Jewish Affairs in my office.

(16-17): See answer No. 15.

(18): No one instructed me to ask the Jews of Rome to
provide fifty kilograms of gold.  This was my last attempt
to prevent the round-up which Dannecker was about to carry
out.  I remember that it really was a last attempt, which I
made when Dannecker's arrival in Rome proved to me that the
round-up was going to be carried out very soon, and if
something new and decisive was not found, the round-up would
be carried out relentlessly.  To this day I am convinced
that, had it not been for a series of unfortunate mishaps,
and especially if Kaltenbrunner had been in Berlin at that
time, when I reported about this initiative of mine, and
when I actually sent the gold, then the whole round-up might
have been prevented.

(19-20): I do not remember exactly on which day I received
the gold from the Jews.  On the other hand, I do remember
that I sent it to Berlin two days later, through a major
from Berlin, whose name I do not now remember.

(20): I know that the gold reached its destination, but my
accompanying letter, which was addressed to the Head of the
Security Police, Kaltenbrunner, was not delivered, because
the addressee was not in Berlin.  He received it a fortnight
later, and by then the round-up was already a fact.  I sent
the gold to Kaltenbrunner, because at that time our
espionage services did not have sufficient funds, and there
was urgent need to provide them with additional means, so
that they could continue with their tasks.  Therefore, I did
not ask the Jews to hand over jewelry, but only gold bars or
hard currency with an equivalent value, so that this could
provide the necessary means for the espionage services.  I
demanded the gold or the currency as a voluntary
contribution.  I turned to Kaltenbrunner because he was, up
to that moment, not a party to any of the discussions among
us as to whether it was opportune to carry out the round-up
in Rome, and also because he was particularly interested in
the intelligence services.  I wanted him to understand that,
by arresting or deporting the Jews, we would be blocking the
possibility of getting useful information by utilizing the
existing relations between Jewish circles of Rome and those
of neutral or enemy countries.

This idea of mine may have been foolish or naive, but my
intention was exactly to prevent the round-up and the

(21): As I have said, I do not know from whom I received the
order to deport the Jews of Rome.  The deportations were
intended to be to Germany, and not to Northern Italy.

(22): As far as I know, nobody determined the number of Jews
to be deported.  Dannecker tried to seize all of them.

(23): I have already replied to this in answer to Question
No. 5 of the Defence.

(24): I do not remember whether the order specified what
would be the fate in store for the deported Jews.  It may be
that the order said they would be used in concentration
camps as a labour force, but it may also be that this was
just the impression which I got when I read the order.

(25): I never knew that the deported Jews were to be
directed to a different destination from that specified in
the original order (i.e., to Germany).

(26): I have already replied to this: The operation was
organized and carried out by Dannecker.

(27): Dannecker, as far as I can remember, told me that
1,007 persons had been arrested.  He gave me that
information, so that I could arrange for food for these
Jews.  Let me be more precise:  Actually, I myself asked
Dannecker how many persons were to be deported, in order to
provide them with the necessary food rations.  This was in
accordance with what I have already explained above, in my
reply to Question No. 5 from Counsel of the Accused.  I do
not know where the Jews were deported to.

(28): I do not know who was authorized to determine the
destination of the deportees.

(29): It is true that in the period between the great round-
up of 17 October 1943 and June 1944, additional arrests of
Jews were made.  This was in accordance with the circular
that I have already mentioned above, and which provided,
inter alia for the institution of a Specialist Officer on
Jewish Affairs.  This circular also stated that the Italian
authorities had also authorized the arrests, and what is
more, they gave orders to the police and the Party
authorities, and also to civilians, for the arrest of all
Jews who could be found.  In accordance with this circular,
arrests were carried out, and those arrested had to be
handed over to German police stations.  In fact, I believe
that the Jews arrested after the round-up were brought to
Regina Coeli, where there were separate wings at the
disposal of the German command.  Those arrested were placed
in the charge of my office, and from time to time they had
to be sent to Northern Italy.

To be more precise, I gave categorical orders to my men, who
numbered seventy-five altogether (including drivers and
communication personnel), not to waste even a single minute
in hunting for Jews.

(30): The operations against the Jews which took place after
the round-up of 17 October were authorized by the circular
which I mentioned above, and which, as I have noted,
provided for the arrest of the Jews by the Italian police,
by civilians and whoever wished to help in their capture.  I
received this circular through the normal office channels,
but I do not remember who signed it.  This circular referred
to Italy only, and it made it quite clear that there were
agreements in force between the two governments.  I remember
that the Questore (head of police) of Rome, whom I summoned
to my office in order to ask what concern of his it was, and
what right he had to engage in the hunt for Jews, thus also
violating extraterritorial areas, replied that he could do
nothing, because these were the orders which he had
received.  Following this conversation, I consulted
Kesselring, and on his behalf I forbade the Police Chief of
Rome to violate the extraterritorial rights of the Vatican
under any circumstances.

(31): In the period between October 1943 and June 1944, I
did not arrange any transports of Jews in the direction of
Northern Italy.  I do not know whether transports of this
kind were carried out by the Italian police.  In that
period, in order to prevent searches for citizens in cinemas
and in the streets of Rome by military personnel, I reached
agreements with the military commanders who were at the
front and required manpower for various kinds of jobs, that
they would henceforth have to avoid carrying out searches.
I provided them with the manpower they needed, which I would
take from the Regina Coeli prison and from the prison of Via
Tasso, on the pretext that those persons had been charged
with minor crimes and had not yet been put on trial.  The
persons who were thus used by the military commanders
received food, in the course of their work, through those
commanders themselves.  The commanders also saw to it, at
the end, that they be released without being taken back to
prison.  There was no provision in our agreements by which
those commanders had to return those people.  Many detainees
regained their freedom in this way.  Among the people who
were handed over in this way were Jewish citizens as well,
who had been captured and detained before because of their
being Jews.

(32): I do not remember having known Messrs. Ullman and
Gassner as members of the Security Service.  I cannot
exclude the possibility that persons bearing those names did
serve under my command.  Yet I think that there were no such
persons.  At any rate, I do exclude the possibility that I
knew officers by those names, or that there were under my
command non-commissioned officers with some responsibility
by these names.

(33): The organization and structure of the peripheral
offices was similar, in miniature, to the basic structure of
the central offices.  There was the First Section, which
dealt with legal affairs.  However, at offices of minor
importance, such as mine, such a Section did not exist.
There did exist a Section No. 2, which dealt with manpower
and administration.  There was also a Section No. 3, which
dealt with providing general information and with
intelligence about the morale of the population on this side
of the lines.  This Section included officials subordinate
to the Security Service.  Section No. 4 dealt with the
Political Police - that is to say, the fight against the
resistance movement and its concrete and active
manifestations.  About thirty men were assigned to this
Section.  The Fifth Section was not set up in Rome at all,
contrary to what had been planned in another circular from
Central Headquarters.  It had to deal with the Judicial
Police - that is to say, with offences which were not
political but general.  The Sixth Section concerned the
provision of information from behind the lines and sabotage
operations.  Only two persons were assigned to my

Read, confirmed and signed:

Signature and seal of the representative of the Prosecutor
General's Office: Leopold Baumgartner

Two more signatures, illegible.

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