The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/12/9

Q. In the Prussian police system, and in the police system
of the other States, were only S.A. members used, or was it
rather that all Germans who at that time volunteered to
enter the police service were examined and according to the
results of this examination were then used or not used?

A. There was a purging of the police according to our ideas,
that is, an investigation was made to see which elements
were so strongly bound to the Party of the opponents, that
is, to hostile Parties, that their use no longer seemed
possible. These people were eliminated. But that was a very
small percentage in comparison with the actual total number
of police. They were replaced; and municipal police, in
particular, who wore uniforms, were increased. Voluntary
applications for this came from all sides. Of course,
members of our organisations were in part favoured; but a
number of people were also taken who were not in these
organisations, and those who came from the organisations had
to take test of aptitude for the police services. Many of
them did not pass the test and were not taken. That is how
it was as long as I was concerned with the police. What
happened later I cannot tell you exactly.

                                                  [Page 180]

Q. Is it correct that the S.A. after 1934, besides training
for sports, was used mainly for emergencies, to line the
route on the occasion of marches, to shovel snow, to clean
up bomb damage, and so forth?

A. After 1934 the importance of the S.A. declined
tremendously. This is understandable, for their chief task
no longer existed, after the taking over of power. They were
used to the widest extent in the activities just mentioned
by you. Then during the war they had pre-military duties,
and after the war they were to be the chief collecting point
for the former military clubs, so that they would then be
brought together in the S.A. as veterans' associations. That
was the intention, in order to give the S.A. a further
sphere of activities.

Q. Do you know that the Steel Helmets, by virtue of an
agreement between the Fuehrer and Seldte, were taken into
the S.A. reserves in a body?

A. Yes.

Q. Is it correct that after 1933, like the "Steel Helmets,"
the riding-clubs of that time were also taken into the S.A.
by means of the so-called co-ordination?

A. I believe that is correct.

Q. Was the S.A. leadership and its members before or after
1933 at any time informed of the results of Cabinet
consultations, or of the decisions taken by the Cabinet?

A. I have already said in my general remarks just bow the
leadership of the S.A. should be regarded. No, of course
not.

Q. The Indictment asserts, in connection with the
presentation of the charge of aggressive war and the
participation of the S.A. in such a war, that the S.A. took
part in this preparation, in that before the war it annually
trained about 25,000 officers in special schools. You must
surely have known something about that.

A. The training of officers of the Armed Forces was carried
out solely in the Armed Forces' own military schools, and I
could never understand how the S.A. could be in a position
technically and as regards organisation to train officers
for the Armed Forces. In addition, it seems to me that the
training of 25,000 officers a year is far in excess of the
number of officers needed for the Armed Forces. It would
have been very nice if we had had so many, but this number,
at all events for several years, is just as incorrect as the
statement that the S.A. had to train officers. The training
of officers was done by the Armed Forces entirely and
exclusively.

Q. But men do seem to have been trained. Do you know where
these men were trained and for what purpose? Do you know
anything about Fuehrer Schools?

A. Yes, there were Fuehrer Schools for every organisation.
Every organisation had its schools where it taught and
trained those who in its own cadres were to have some sort
of leading position. I can only imagine that the prosecution
was perhaps confused, or perhaps wanted to say that some of
the S.A. leaders had received a certain preliminary pre-
military training in the reading of maps or something
similar. That, however, is beyond the scope of my knowledge.

Q. May I ask you to explain the relation of the
"Feldherrnhalle" to the S,A. or the Armed Forces? Was there
a formation or a regiment by the name of "Feldherrnhalle"?
What was particular about this?

A. After the S.S. had been allowed several formations
(Standarten) by the Fuehrer as armed units and these
actually represented military formations, as, for instance,
the "Leibstandarte," Grossdeutschland" and others, the S.A.
leadership requested to be granted at least one unit which -
it might arm with rifles and small arms - as a parade unit,
I might say - and this unit was called "Feldherrnhalle."
Lutze, the then S.A. leader, suggested to the Fuehrer that I
should be made the head of this unit. It is a position of
honour to be the head of a regiment or a "Standarte." When I
saw this unit for the first time - I

                                                  [Page 181]

believe in a body at a Party rally at Nuremberg - it pleased
me immensely because it had only outstanding, especially
selected young men.

Really I thanked the S.A. rather badly for this special
honour, for after seeing this excellent unit I dissolved it
a few weeks later and took it over in a body into the
Luftwaffe and made of it my first Paratroop regiment. So,
after a brief existence, this unit became simply an Armed
Forces formation, a regiment of the Air Force. Because of
this procedure, which was unpleasant for the S.A., it was
quite some time, I believe, before the S.A. leader Lutze
decided to form a similar unit with the name of
"Feldherrnhalle," and he kept this unit very much smaller;
it did sentry duty for the supreme S.A. leadership, and he
did not make me the head of this unit a second time.

Q. According to my information, information I personally
received from S.A. Gruppenfuehrer and ObergruppenFuehrer and
other information which I obtained myself through reading,
the "Feldherrnhalle" was not armed until it passed into the
Air Force. Is that correct?

A. No, that is not correct. I think, but I cannot say so
under oath with certainty, they received rifles shortly
before, but only rifles. But as I said before, I do not know
exactly.

In this connection, as the prosecutor has referred to this
point, I should like to emphasise that this regiment was
already provided for as a Paratroop regiment in "Case
Green." After "Case Green" had been peacefully settled, that
is, after the Sudetenland question had been solved
peacefully and long after the occupation of the Sudetenland,
I made this regiment bale out and land there, as originally
intended, but purely for purposes of practice and
manoeuvres. This was the landing at Freudenthal which the
prosecution has mentioned. By this time they were already in
blue uniforms when they landed and were therefore already a
regiment of the Air Force. Merely as a matter of courtesy I
had invited the S.A. leader Lutze to watch this
demonstration.

Q. In this war did the S.A. ever play a strategic or
tactical role in connection with the deployment of forces?

A. No; the S.A. as such was never used in combat within the
Armed Forces as the S.A. or as an S.A. unit, either
tactically or otherwise. It may be that toward the end there
were certain S.A. units in the Volkssturm.

Q. Is it correct that the S.A. as a body co-operated with
the Armed Forces in the occupation of Austria, the
Sudetenland and the Czech State?

A. In the case of Austria, the Austrian S.A., which was
there on the spot, did not take part in the occupation for
it had been called up in a few places there as auxiliary
police. The actual so-called Austrian Legion, which was in
the Reich, was at my express command and at the express wish
of Seyss-Inquart held back for a long time and was not
allowed to go home until after the absolute consolidation of
the Austrian situation. It did come from Austria originally.
How far units of the S.A. marched into the Sudetenland after
the zone was given over to Germany I do not know. I heard
that there were also Sudeten Germans involved here who had
had to flee prior to that time and who were now returning.
In connection with the occupation of the rest of the
Czechoslovakian State, I cannot possibly imagine that closed
S.A. formations played any part in the entry of our troops.

Q. Could the members of the S.A. possibly have known that,
according to the intention of the S.A. leadership, they
would or could be used for the carrying out of punishable
acts?

A. I did not quite get the substance of that question.

Q. Could the members of the S.A. have known that, according
to the intention of the S.A. leadership, they might possibly
be used to commit crimes?

A. Crimes, never.

Q. Now, I have a last question, but I believe that in a
certain sense you have already answered it. Did the members
of the S.A. know, or could they

                                                  [Page 182]

know or ought they to have known, the aims and purposes of
the S.A. at any time, so that they could recognise the
intention of the S.A. leadership, or of the staff
leadership, to commit Crimes against Peace, War Crimes and
Crimes against Humanity as stated in the Indictment?

A. I have already answered this.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, I should like to ask you to permit
me to put one more basic question, namely, the question of
honorary leadership.

Q. There were honorary leaders in the S.A.; for instance,
the Obergruppenfuehrer, Gruppenfuehrer, Brigadefuehrer,
Standartenfuehrer and Sturmfuehrer. Witness, I should like
you to explain to me what the significance of the honorary
leader in the organisation of the S.A. was, as far as the
training of the S.A. and the issuing of orders to the S.A.
were concerned - what kind of influence he might have had.

A. The honorary leaders of the S.A. were appointed for all
sorts of reasons and motives. They had an exclusively
representative function, that is to say, they took part in
Party ceremonies wearing the S.A. uniform. They were by no
means active members of the S.A. and were not informed of
any internal activities of the S.A. or of operations and
other tasks. Their function was purely decorative.

DR. MERKEL (counsel for the Secret State Police):

Q. Witness, can one say that the Gestapo in the year 1933,
when it was created by you, was a National Socialist combat
unit, or was it rather a State organisation such as, for
example, the criminal police or other State and Reich
authorities?

A. I have already emphasised that this was a purely State
organisation built around the already existing political
police force which was merely being reorganised and brought
into line with the new State principles. At this time it had
not even the slightest connection with the Party. The Party
had no influence or authority to give orders or directives
of any sort; it was exclusively a State institution. The
members who were in it already, or who came into it, were at
this time officials with all the rights and duties of such.

Q. To your knowledge, did the position change in any way
between the time the State police was taken over by Himmler
and 1945?

A. Until 1934 it was exactly as I described it. Then with
the further expansion, the S.S. element did certainly become
stronger and perhaps more people from this sector were
brought in, but even these - at that time they all had to
pass an examination - became and remained officials. I heard
later that nothing changed as far as this official character
was concerned, but gradually in the course of the years all
officials, whether they wanted to or not, had, I believe, to
take on some rank in the S.S., so that a Gestapo official,
who perhaps until the year 1939 or 1940 had had nothing to
do with the S.S., and whose employment dated from the old
days - that is, he had been a police official of the Weimer
Republic - was automatically given some rank or other in the
S.S. But he remained an official, that is, the Gestapo was
an apparatus for officials in the German Police Force.

Q. Do you know whether it is true that after the seizure of
power Himmler, in his capacity as Police President of
Munich, was at the same time the Head of the political
police and the criminal police in Bavaria?

A. As far as I know and as I have already explained, Himmler
was first of all Police President of Munich; very shortly
afterwards - it may perhaps have been one or two weeks - he
called himself Police Commander of Bavaria, and then in the
course of one and one-half months - it all took place very
quickly

                                                  [Page 183]

he became - what he called himself I do not know exactly -
in fact the Supreme Police Chief of all German provinces and
free cities, with the exception of Prussia.

Q. You said before that the officials of the Gestapo were
taken into the S.S. Did this happen voluntarily, or was
there some coercion on the part of the administrative
offices to make these officials part of the S.S.?

A. I believe - I heard this only from individual officials
whom I had known before - that they had to do this. They
were not taken into the S.S., but they received an official
rank in the S.S. It was probably Himmler's idea that the
S.S. and the police, both of which were under his
leadership, should be amalgamated. How he contemplated that
and how it worked out in detail I cannot say. Therefore, I
may perhaps have stated some things incorrectly here, but I
did it to the best of my knowledge.

Q. You said before that the 1933 officials from the
political police existing at that time were taken into the
State police. Was this done on the basis of a voluntary
application by these officials or were they commanded or
transferred in individual cases without their concurrence?

A. You are not correct when you say that the officials of
the political police of the previous State were simply
incorporated into the Gestapo; on the contrary, in this
sector the weeding out was very drastic, because up till
then - it was a political police force - it contained
representatives of those Parties which were hostile and
opposed to us. They had to be removed. Consequently new
people came in, especially as the numbers were considerably
increased. These new officials were taken from the other
police departments, from the criminal police and elsewhere;
and, as I have already stated, were in some cases brought in
from outside as new recruits, and our people were naturally
given special consideration. To what extent normal transfers
took place - whether Herr Muller was transferred from the
criminal police to the Secret State Police and whether he
was asked about this - that I do not really know. I believe
not. I left that to the Head of the Secret State Police.
After I had set up the general directives, I could not be
bothered with every single official in the Criminal Police
H.Q.

Q. Do you know Obergruppenfuehrer Muller, the Chief of
Division IV in the Reich Main Security Office?

A. I knew him.

Q. Did you know that he and his immediate associates came
from the Bavarian Political Police, as it existed before
1933?

A. I did not know that; I only knew that he came from
Bavaria.

Q. Do you know that the Secret State Police did not take
part in the disturbances on 9th November, 1938?

A. It has always been my conviction that they did not take
part in them. I saw a document here which instructed them
not to intervene. I do not believe that they took part.

Q. If I understood you correctly, you said recently that on
this 9th of November, after your return to Berlin, you at
once called up the Chief of the Gestapo. Did you make this
call only because you wanted more precise information, or
did you make it because you thought the Gestapo had taken an
active part in these disturbances, had
organised them and carried them out?

A. If I had been convinced that the Gestapo had instigated
these disturbances I would certainly not have asked them for
information. I gave the order to my collaborators through
the police - in this case through the Gestapo, because they
had the necessary connections - or to the criminal police -
it was all the same to me. I could address myself only to
the Chief of Police, who was Heydrich, and say that I wanted
a report quickly on what had happened. A report which merely
stated the facts.

Q. Is it correct that when you gave up your position as
Chief of the Police to Himmler you made the statement that
it was unworthy of a German official to

                                                  [Page 184]

ill-treat prisoners, and that you would not fail to deal
most severely with any officials who were guilty of such
acts?

A. The speech I made on this occasion is known and it
contains such passages.

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