The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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MR. ELWYN JONES: If your Lordship pleases.


Q. The first document, D-419, is a report by a General of
Artillery named Detail, dated 23rd November, 1939, with
regard to the internal situation in the Warthegau, Western
Poland, incorporated into the Reich as the document
describes it.

I need not trouble you with the first page of the document,
the report of 2nd December and the letter of 30th November,
but if you read the letter of General Detail dated 23rd
November, 1939, the second paragraph runs:

  "The great work of construction in all spheres is not
  furthered by the intervention of SS formations which are
  given special racial political tasks and which are not
  subordinate to the Reichsgovernor in this. Here the
  tendency makes itself felt of interfering decisively in
  all spheres of administration beyond the framework of
  these tasks, and of forming a 'State within the State.'
  This phenomenon does not fail to have its effect on the
  troops, who are indignant about the way the tasks are
  carried out and thereby generally become opposed to
  administration and Party.
  I shall exclude the danger of serious differences by
  strict orders. The fact that this makes a serious demand
  on the discipline of the troops cannot be dismissed
  without further ado."

Then, the next paragraph:

  "In almost all large towns, public shootings have been
  carried out by the aforementioned organizations, the
  selections varied enormously and were often
  incomprehensible, the executions frequently unjust.
  In some districts all the Polish estate owners were
  arrested and interned with their families. Arrests were
  almost always accompanied by looting.
  In the towns, evacuations were carried out, during which
  blocks of houses were cleared at random, the inhabitants
  loaded on to lorries at night and then taken to
  concentration camps. Here also looting was a constant
  accompanying phenomenon. The quartering and feeding in
  the camps was such that the Corps Chief Medical Officer
  feared the outbreak of epidemics which would be a danger
  to the troops.
  In several towns actions against the Jews were carried
  out which turned into the most serious excesses. In Turck
  three SS cars under the leadership of a Higher SS Leader
  drove through the streets, on 30th October, 1939, while
  the people in the streets were hit on the heads at random
  with horse-whips and long whips. Amongst the victims were
  also people of German blood. Finally a number of Jews
  were driven into the synagogue; there they had to crawl
  in between the benches whilst singing, during which time
  they were continuously whipped by the SS men. They were
  then forced to take down their trousers in order to be
  hit on the bare behind.

                                                  [Page 304]

  A Jew who out of fright had dirtied his trousers was
  forced to smear the excrement into the faces of the other
  In Lodz it has become known confidentially that SS
  Oberfuehrer Melhorm has issued the following orders:
     (1) From the 9th November no unemployment relief may
     any longer be paid to Poles and Jews, only forced
     labour is paid for. (This measure has already been
     (2) From 9th November, Jews and Poles will be excluded
     from the distribution of ration foodstuffs and coal.
     (3) Unrest and incidents are to be created by
     provocation in order to facilitate the carrying out of
     the racial political work."

The rest of the document I need not trouble you with.

That is an insight into the activities of the SS in Poland
in November, 1939.

The next German document is the Document D-578.

MR. ELWYN JONES: My Lord, my attention has been drawn to
another sentence in Document D-419, to which I should like
to draw the Tribunal's attention, the last paragraph but

  "As the military commander of Posen has already reported
  to the High Command of the Army, the men feel very
  strongly about the disproportion between their pay and
  the many times higher daily rate of pay of other

Document D-578 is a report by a German Brigade Commander of
the 1st Mountain Brigade, Colonel Pericic. It is dated 26th
September, 1943. This document, my Lord, will be Exhibit GB
553. It is a report on the activities of the SS units in the
area of Popovaca in Bosnia. I only want to trouble you with
the first two paragraphs:

  "On 16th September, 1943, an SS unit of 80 men marched
  from Popovaca to Osekovo for the compulsory purchase of
  cattle. I was not notified by anybody about the arrival
  of this unit in the technical operational area of the 1st
  Mountain Brigade and about the activity of this unit in
  the area, for which I alone am responsible.
  A short time after their arrival in Osekovo this unit was
  attacked by partisans. Under the pressure of the
  numerically superior partisans, this unit had to retreat
  in the direction of the railway station, which they
  succeeded in reaching, but they had four men seriously
  and several lightly wounded, among them the unit
  commander. One man missing, and they also lost an
  armoured car. The unit commander then reported from
  Popovaca by telephone that when he had to retreat, he had
  killed all persons who were in the open because he had no
  chance to distinguish between the loyal population and
  the partisans. He himself said that he killed about 100
  persons in this incident."

Now I want to put in some documents from the victims of some
of these atrocities, first from the Yugoslav Delegation, the
Document D-945.


Q. Witness, you appreciate that the Prinz Eugen Division was
a division of the Waffen SS, do you not?

A. (No response.)

THE PRESIDENT: Witness, did you hear that question?


Q. Witness, I asked you -

A. Yes; this division belonged to the Waffen SS.

MR. ELWYN JONES: Document D-945, my Lord, will be Exhibit GB
554. It is an extract from a report to the Yugoslav State
Commission for Ascertaining the Crimes of the Occupiers and
their Accomplices. I want to read the second and third

                                                  [Page 305]

  "In accordance with the order of the commander of the
  118th German division, an SS battalion of the 'Prinz
  Eugen' Division and a battalion of the 'Teufel' Division
  under the command of the German Lieutenant-Colonial
  Dietsche carried out on 27th March, 1944, and on the
  following days a 'purge action' from Sinj in the
  direction of various villages whose names are set out.
  On 28th March this SS battalion overran the villages of
  Otok Cornji, Ruda and Dolac Dolnji one after the other
  and carried out horrible massacres, destructions by fire
  and looting. They murdered on a single day in the three
  above-named Dalmatian villages 834 people - women and
  children as well as grown men - set on fire 500 houses
  and looted everything there was to be looted. They
  removed rings, watches and other valuables from the dead
  bodies. The mass slaughter was carried out in all the
  villages in the same horrible manner. The German soldiers
  gathered women, children and men in one place and they
  opened fire on the crowd with machine guns, threw bombs
  at them, looted their property and set them on fire. In
  the house Milanevic-Trapo 45 burned bodies were found. In
  another house in the same village of Otok 22 unburned
  corpses were found in a pile. In the village of Ruda they
  collected all the people in one place and killed all of
  them. Those who happened not to be collected were killed
  when they were found. Not even the smallest babies at
  their mothers' breasts were spared. In some places the
  victims were soaked in petrol and set on fire. They also
  killed those who offered them hospitality out of fear.
  They also killed those people who were forced to follow
  them to carry their ammunition and other things.
  According to the evidence of reliable witnesses, the
  massacres were prepared beforehand, and this must have
  been the case as the above mentioned villages gave no
  reason whatsoever previous to the 'purge action' for any
  kind of reprisals ..."

That report is signed by the President of the State
Commission, Dr. Dusan Nedeljkovic, University professor.

Then the Document D-940, which will be Exhibit GB 555, which
is another extract from the Yugoslav State Commission report
signed by the same President of the State Commission, Dr.
Dusan Nedeljkovic, on the crimes of the 7th SS Division,
"Prinz Eugen," in Crna Gora (Montenegro); it reads:
  "The various German divisions operating in the area of
  occupied Yugoslavia marked their path by traces of
  devastation and annihilation of the peaceful population
  which will testify to the criminal character of the
  German conduct of the war for many years to come. The
  operations of the German divisions were in reality
  punitive expeditions. They destroyed and burnt down whole
  villages and exterminated the civil population in a
  barbarous manner, without any military necessity
  The 7th SS Division, 'Prinz Eugen,' is famed for its

Then I go on to the next paragraph:

  "Wherever it passed - through Serbia, through Bosnia and
  Herzegovina, through Lika and Banija or through Dalmatia
  - everywhere it left behind scenes of conflagration and
  devastation and the bodies of innocent men, women and
  children who had been burnt in the houses.
  At the end of May, 1943, the division 'Prinz Eugen' came
  to Montenegro to the area of Niksic in order to take part
  in the fifth enemy offensive in conjunction with the
  Italian troops. This offensive was called the 'Black
  Offensive' by the German occupying forces. Proceeding
  from Herzegovina, parts of the division fell upon the
  peaceful villages of the Niksic district.
  Immediately after its invasion, this formation, opening
  fire with all its arms, began to commit outrageous crimes
  on the peaceful villages for no reason at all. Everything
  they came across they burnt down, they murdered and
  pillaged. The officers and men of the SS division 'Prinz
  Eugen' com-

                                                  [Page 306]

  mitted crimes of an outrageous cruelty on this occasion.
  The victims were shot, slaughtered and tortured, or burnt
  to death in burning houses. Where a victim was found not
  in his house but on the road or in the fields some
  distance away, he was murdered and burnt there. Infants
  with their mothers, pregnant women and frail old people
  were also murdered. In short, every civilian met with by
  these troops in these villages was murdered. In many
  cases, whole families who, not expecting such treatment
  or lacking the time for escape, had remained quietly 1n
  their homes were annihilated and murdered. Whole families
  were thrown into burning houses in many cases and thus
  It has been established from the investigations entered
  upon that 121 persons, mostly women, and including 30
  persons aged 60-92 years and 29 children of ages ranging
  from 6 months to 14 years, were executed on this occasion
  in the horrible manner narrated above.
  The villages" - and then follows the list of the villages
  - "were burnt down and razed to the ground."

Then it accounts for the destruction of furniture. Besides
this the German soldiers drove all the cattle away from the
villages and plundered jewels and money before burning these
villages. Then over on the next page:

  "For all of these most serious war crimes those
  responsible besides the actual culprits-the members of
  the SS division 'Prinz Eugen' - are all superior and all
  subordinate commanders as the persons issuing and
  transmitting the orders for murder and devastation.
  Among others the following war criminals are known: SS-
  Gruppenfuehrer and Lieutenant-General of the Waffen SS
  Phleps, Divisional Commander, Major-General of the Waffen
  SS von Oberkamp, Commander of the XIII Regiment, later
  Divisional Commander, Major-General Schmidthuber,
  Commander of the XIV Regiment, later Divisional
  Commander, SS Standartenfuehrer Bachmann, SS
  Sturmbannfuehrer Diltsche, the Commander of the Italian
  16th Regiment" - and then there follow the names of about
  another ten high-ranking German SS regimental and other

THE PRESIDENT: Well, should you not ask whether they are
Waffen SS?


Q. Those men, witness, were members of the Waffen SS, were
they not? Just look at the names.

A. I know some of these names. They were leaders in the
Waffen SS.

Q. Let us take them in turn: Phleps, Divisional Commander?

A. Yes.

Q. He was a Lieutenant-General like yourself; was he not one
of your colleagues in the Waffen SS?

A. Yes.

Q. Lieut.-General of the Waffen SS von Oberkamp Ritter Karl
... he was an SS, was he not?

A. I know the next two names: Schmidthuber and Diltsche. The
rest of the names I do not know.

Q. But you do not deny from the description of them that
they were officers in the Waffen SS?

A. I would assume so, even though I do not know the origin
of this report. These are most likely reports which
originated in an oral manner and were put, together somehow.

Q. I will not trouble you with the value of the reports as
documents, witness. That is a matter for the Tribunal.

Now I want you to listen to documents which I am putting in
on behalf of the Polish Delegation, again relating to the

                                                  [Page 307]

The first series of documents relates to the shooting of
hostages on the command of SS functionaries and by SS men.
The first is Document 4041-PS, which will be Exhibit GB 556,
which consists of 31 posters for the years 1943 to 1944,
signed by the Chief of the SS and Police in Warsaw, or in
some cases by the Commander of the Security Police and of
the SD for Warsaw, announcing the killing of hostages.

MR. ELWYN JONES: The Tribunal will see that in those grim
records of murder there are listed varying numbers of the
victims of the Nazi occupation. In Poster No. 25, for
instance, on Page 16, there is a list of 270 shot hostages.

Poster 29, Page 20, there are 200 shot hostages; Poster 31,
Page 26, there are 100 hostages. These SS shootings were
certainly not an original SS conception. I hand in the two
documents, 4038-PS and 4039-PS, which are -

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Elwyn Jones, I think you should ask the
witness whether ... or put it to him, whether there is any
connection between the Waffen SS and this document.

MR. ELWYN JONES: If your Lordship pleases.

THE WITNESS: Unfortunately I have an English copy before me.
I am not completely conversant with the English language and
could not follow the question, but I gather that these are
all measures which were taken in Warsaw. Just as in the case
of the first document which dealt with the Warthegau, the
Waffen SS had nothing to do with Warsaw. These were
definitely things -

THE PRESIDENT: Wait until you are given the proper copy.

MR. ELWYN JONES,: I am not suggesting, naturally, my Lord,
that all the documents I am putting in relate only to the
Waffen SS branch of the SS organization. The whole
prosecution's case on the SS is that there was a unity
between the various sections of the SS.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but you should give him the opportunity
of making his point if he wishes to.

MR. ELWYN JONES: Yes, your Lordship.


Q. Have you had an opportunity of looking at those posters
now, witness?

a. I have seen that the signatures are only those of SS and
Police Leaders, who had nothing to do with the Waffen SS, as
I have already stated earlier today.

The same applies to the incidents in the Warthegau where, in
November of 1939 there were no units of the Waffen SS.
Documents 3 and 4 are the only ones that apply to the Waffen
SS where they mention the "Prinz Eugen" SS Division. I
cannot check the data on that since I have never been to the

THE PRESIDENT: Was the "Teufel" Division also Waffen SS? Was
it Keitel's division?

THE WITNESS: No. There never was a "Teufel" Division.


Q. You say there never was a "Teufel" Division in

A. Not in the Waffen SS, no.

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