Archive/File: imt/nca/supp-b/nca-sb-02-pohl.09 Last-Modified: 1997/12/10 Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Supplement B Himmler's Desire to Save Jews for Bargaining in Peace Negotiations Excerpts from Testimony of Oswald Pohl, taken at Nurnberg, Germany, 7 June 1946, 1400-1615, by Lt. Col. Smith W. Brookhart, Jr., IGD. Also present: Joseph Maier, Interpreter; Mabel A. Lesser, Reporter. [Page 1595] Q. Do you know what caused Himmler to issue the order, late in 1944, to cease the exterminations? [Document referred to did not form part of prosecution case as finally prepared and hence is not published in this series.] A. I do not know anything about an order that Himmler was said to have issued to cease the extermination action. I had an order from Himmler to appear with Gluecks at his office but that was on a different matter altogether. Q. When and on what matter? A. That was in March 1945; that was the last time I saw Himmler. He asked Gluecks and me on that occasion how many Jews were still left in concentration camps. We figured out there must have been about 7,000 still left, I do not recall the exact figure. It was then that he gave me the order to visit all the concentration camp commandants to tell them that they were not to touch any Jews any longer. This order I executed but I never received any general order about ceasing the extermination action. Q. Do you mean that you were able to visit every concentration camp after March 1945? A. This was my order and as far as I could I visited every camp. It was my instruction to tell every commandant personally about this order that Himmler gave me. [page 1596] Q. What you mean to say is, every camp that had not been liberated or overrun? A. When I am referring to concentration camps I mean the 11 concentration camps that were under my jurisdiction. Of course I did not visit all the concentration camps. They were too numerous. Q. Let us have the names of the 11 camps in your jurisdiction. A. To be exact, I visited the commandants of the following nine concentration camps: Neuengamme, Oranienburg, Gross- Rosen, Auschwitz, Flossenburg, Buchenwald, Dachau, Mauthausen, and Bergen-Belsen. The other two, Stuffhof and Schirmeck, had been overrun by Allied Forces and I could not visit their commandants any longer. Q. How many Jews did you find in the nine camps you visited? A. I did not walk about and count the Jews there. The figure referred to was mentioned by Gluecks, who seemed to know about the figures better than anyone else. It seemed too small but that was the one that was mentioned as far as I recall. Q. You just told us that you visited the nine camps. You certainly didn't go there and not find out how many Jews there were that were to be affected by this order. What did you find? A. All I did was to deliver the order of Himmler. Q. You just played postman, was that it? A. Yes, that is true in this case. I played postman in that instance because that seemed very important to Himmler at the time, since Himmler was conducting certain negotiations with Count Bernadotte of Sweden and he wanted to have things fixed in that manner. Q. He wanted a few Jews as pawns for bargaining purposes, wasn't that it? A. Yes, that is true. That was my impression as well as Gluecks, -- that he wanted to have them for bargaining purposes in the peace negotiations.
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