The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-20/tgmwc-20-193.06

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-20/tgmwc-20-193.06
Last-Modified: 2000/11/05

Q. On Page 51 of the Trial Brief it says, referring to
Document 071-PS:

  "In connection with the planned confiscation of
  scientific, religious and art archives, an agreement was
  reached between Rosenberg and Heydrich on the basis of
  which the SD and Rosenberg were to co-operate closely in
  the confiscation of public and private collections."

Was there any such close co-operation between the SD and the
staff of the defendant Rosenberg, his agencies or any of his

A. No. In this document we are again confronted by the
customary mistake concerning the Security Police and the SD.
Such co-operation, if it existed, would have had to be known
to me, since Group IIIC would have been competent for it.

DR. GAWLIK: Mr. President, I now come to my last point.
Shall I begin it?

THE PRESIDENT: Have you any questions to ask upon it? It
looks as if you had, so perhaps we had better adjourn.

DR. GAWLIK: There are 34 questions.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)




Q. I come now to my last point, the persecution of the
Church, Trial Brief, Paragraph VII b. I should like to call
the attention of the Tribunal to the fact that the SD is
charged with its activities only until the 12th of May,
1941. Page 60 of the English text of the Trial Brief. My
taking of testimony limits itself to the time since the
creation of the RSHA in 1939 up to 12th May, 1941.

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. Which does that mean, May,
1940, or May, 1941?

DR. GAWLIK: The 12th of May, 1941, Page 64, the last section
but one of the Trial Brief, where it states that the
political treatment of the Church was divided between the
Gestapo and the SD and from that point on was taken over
entirely by the Gestapo.


Q. Did Division IIIC handle Church questions?

A. No.

Q. Did any other office in Division III handle Church

A. No. Since the foundation of Amt III, no Church matters
were handled in that office at all.

Q. What was handled in Amt III?

A. In Amt III, Group IIIC, only general religious matters
were handled in various spheres of life.

Q. In what manner were the matters regarding religious life

A. The principles of the handling were the same as for any
other sphere of life. It was the task of Amt III to observe
all the religious wishes, cares, proposals and movements of
the German population and the influence of the German
religious movements and the Christian creeds on the opinion,
spirit and attitude of the German people in the Reich and to
report on them.

Q. The prosecution has stated that the persecution of the
Churches was one of the fundamental purposes of the SD and

                                                  [Page 220]

That is Page 1999 of the English transcript.

Did the SD have this basic purpose in common with the
Security Police?

A. To my knowledge as responsible head of a department, no
such common purpose existed.

Q. Did the SD on its own initiative have and realize any
such programme?

A. No. That would have been against all the principles of
our work.

Q. Did the SD, Amt III, practically engage in the
persecution of the Churches?

A. No.

Q. Was the SD, Amt III, in any way involved by the Gestapo
in an alleged persecution of the Church?

A. No. Between the Gestapo and Amt III there was a complete
separation of material, personnel, and organization.

Q. Was the SD involved in the persecution of the Church by
any other office of the Party and State?

A. No. The SD worked quite independently in this sphere. No
offices of the Party or of the State were entitled to give
direct assignments to the SD.

Q. Were the regular and honorary members of the SD under
control in the matter of their attitude toward the Church,
and induced to leave the Church by means of threats?

A. No. I know nothing about that, and it would also have
been contrary to our fundamental conceptions. Until the end,
a large number of regular and honorary officials were and
remained members of the Christian Churches. I might mention
that the head of Amt III himself left the Protestant Church
as late as 1942.

Q. Did the SD, Amt III, undertake any secret proceedings in
the fight against the Church? This question is relevant to
Page 58 of the Trial Brief.

A. Neither in this sphere nor in any other sphere of
activity of Amt III were there any concealed aims or secret
proceedings. As head of a department, I would have had to
know of them.

Q. I submit to you prosecution Document PS-1815. Will you
look at Page 59 of this, please?

A. May I ask ... the document does not go up to Page 59; is
it Page 29 or 39?

Q. It must be 29 or 39.

A. I have both pages here.

Q. Will you look at Page 1?

A. I have Page 1 here.

Q. There it says that the former workers should be detailed
to the Gestapo for the time being.

Was this order given on the ground that organization, tasks,
aims and activities in the sphere of Church affairs were the
same in Amt III of the SD and Amt IV of the Gestapo?

A. This order was given for an entirely different reason.
Since Amt III and Amt IV were entirely different offices,
the transfer of the former SD employees to Amt IV would have
taken too long, and for that reason this planned transfer
was undertaken in the form of an order so as to save time
for the work.

Q. Will you now comment on Page 29 of the prosecution
document? That is Number 18. Will you look at the first two
sentences. Can it not be seen from that that the SD handled
Church matters in collaboration with the State Police and
the Criminal Police?

A. The document before me shows that SD, Amt III, did not at
all participate in this connection. At the time of this
conversation in 1942, Amt III, according to the order of
separation which was previously mentioned, was not allowed,
on principle, to handle Church matters.

                                                  [Page 221]

Q. Will you now look at Page 1 and Page 2. On the basis of
these two pages, the prosecution has suggested - I refer to
Page 58 of the Trial Brief - that the handling of Church
matters had until then been divided between the Gestapo and
the SD, and that the SD files on Church opposition were then
to be transferred to the Gestapo, but the SD was to retain
material concerning Church influence on public life. Will
you make a statement on this?

A. I have said that SD, Amt III, ever since its foundation,
had never handled Church matters. The old material that was
to be given on the basis of this order to Amt IV was general
informational material which was not suitable for the
executive police tasks assigned to Amt IV. In general, the
order submitted to me was formulated by Amt IV and
consequently took into consideration the point of view of
Amt IV.

Q. Now will you look again at Page 19, please, where it
says, in summarising, that in Church matters the struggle
against opposition and the work in everyday life must go
hand in hand. Does this not indicate a collaboration of the
SD and State Police with the common aim of a struggle
against the Church?

A. No, because Amt IV, to my knowledge, never had the
fundamental task of a struggle against the Church. What is
formulated here, in this page, is the personal desire of an
inspector, who had no factual right to give orders either to
the Gestapo or to the SD.

Q. Now look at Page 24. Especially note Paragraphs r and 4,
where it says,

  "For the reasons stated, I request the 'Information
  service on opponents ' immediately to extend and intensify
  work in the field of Church policy."

Also note the half-sentence immediately afterwards,

  " ... as soon as informational connections have been made
  in this manner."

Does it not seem from that that the SD had an "Information
service on opponents" in the sphere of the Church?

A. No. It indicates exactly the opposite. The decree in
front of me is dated August, 1941, that is to say, after the
order separating the two services. If the SD, on the basis
of this order of separation, had transferred to Amt IV its
information service apparatus as "Information service on
opponents," then this decree of August, 1941, need not have
given the order finally to begin the establishment of an
information service in Amt IV. In general, the order was
given to a large number of State Police offices and it
cannot be simply a matter of one local case.

Q. I refer you now to Page 27, which discusses the transfer
of Amt "V" men (agents) to the Gestapo, and a common
leadership for these Amt "V" men. What have you to say as to
this order of the inspector in Dusseldorf?

A. I must first again point out that this can be only a
personal desire of the inspector, since he had no factual
power to give orders. Practically, such a desire could never
have been realised because, owing to the variety of the
tasks, it was completely impossible to provide common
confidential agents between Amt III and Amt IV with
practical assignments on specific questions. Each agent of
the SD would have refused to undertake police tasks as well.

Q. On the basis of your activity, what can you say on the
scope of the files which, as a result of the separation
order of 12th May, 1941, were handed over to the Gestapo by
the SD.

A. That will have varied considerably according to the way
in which cases were handled in the various offices.
Divisions with good information services would have had
correspondingly more material which would then have been
given to the State Police.

Q. On the basis of your knowledge, were the documents handed
over by the SD of any use for the police tasks of the State
Police against individuals?

A. No, they certainly were not, as the Information Service's
attitude toward the problems of Church and creeds on the
part of the SD was entirely different. Particularly, it was
never organized on the basis of individual cases.

                                                  [Page 222]

Q. According to your knowledge, were the files that were
then handed over actually worked on by the State Police?

A. I cannot make any statement in detail on this, but for
the reasons I have just given, a large part of the material
was never utilised any further, as it was completely useless
for police tasks.

Q. Did Amt III of the SD have the fundamental task and aim
of persecuting the Churches, or preparing a general
persecution of the Church, and did it work at all for the
persecution of the Church? That is to say, in the period
between 1939 and the order of separation of 12th May, 1941?

A. No, Amt III never did at any time receive such a
practical assignment, nor did it ever set itself such a

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Gawlik, you remember that you told us
before the adjournment that you had come to your last point.

DR. GAWLIK: Yes. I have only about six questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Then you can compress them into a short time.


Q. Did Amt III regularly inform leading offices of the Party
and the State on the questions pertaining to religious
matters, with a view to a common persecution of the Church?

A. No, the reports about religious matters in everyday life,
in the last period, came in very slowly and incompletely
because the department in Amt III had for years only one man
to work on these matters.

Q. What was the aim of the SD in informing other offices
about these matters?

A. Amt III in addition to its ordinary reports also pointed
out in public reports that according to its opinion it was
not a matter of a struggle for political power with the
Church but, in fact, of the vital questions of religion
affecting the German people, in conjunction with other
cultural questions.

Q. Did the reports of the SD lead to the preparation or
institution of measures g inimical to the Church?

A. No. On the basis of Amt III's reports, on several
occasions, strong criticism was directed against individual
measures against the Church on the part of individuals or
particular offices.

DR. GAWLIK: I have no further questions to ask.



Q. Witness, you said that you were mobilised in the SD in

A. I did not say that I was called up but that I was
detailed to the Reichssicherheitshauptamt on emergency duty.

Q. You forgot to state that you were already a member of the
SD before that?

A. I was asked by defence counsel, as far as I know, since
when I had been in the SD.

Q. Were you a member of the SD before 1940?

A. I did not understand the question exactly.

Q. Were you a member of the SD before 1940?

A. Yes. From 1934.

Q. You forgot that, did you not?

A. Not as far as I know. Besides, I said it all in detail
before the Commission.

Q. Is it a fact, witness, that before the seizure of power
by the Nazi Party the SD was a secret and illegal

A. May I ask again? Did you say before the seizure of power?

Q. Yes, before the seizure of power.

A. I cannot say anything about that, as I was not a member
of the SD.

                                                  [Page 223]

Q. After the seizure of power, was the SD utilised by the
Party? And on the other hand by the State, along with the
Gestapo, in order to fight opposition groups?

A. As far as I know, the SD always had an entirely different
information service task from that of the Gestapo.

Q. During the war, in the occupied territories, did the SD
appear at the same time as the Sipo (Security Police) within
the Einsatzkommandos (Operational detachments)?

A. I can unfortunately give no testimony about the
organization and activity of the Einsatzkommandos, as I was
never in occupied territory as a member of the SD.

Q. Do you know Streckenbach?

A. Yes.

Q. What were his functions?

A. As far as I know, he was for some years head of Amt 1.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.