The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/11/08

Q. Quite right, it is the name of an SS Police Leader.

A. Yes, General Lueneberg was the commanding officer of the
SS Police Division.

Q. That is correct. Thank you.

Mr. President, I am submitting to the Tribunal a document of
the Extraordinary State Commission about the actions which
were committed by the Waffen SS troops in the occupied
territories against the civilian population and prisoners of
war. This document was compiled on the basis of evidence
already submitted by the Extraordinary State Commission. It
is signed by the Secretary of the Commission, Bogoiavlensky,
and is sealed. This report might aid the Tribunal in its
examination of the material already submitted by the
Extraordinary State Commission.

THE PRESIDENT: Have you, Colonel Smirnov, the original of
this document?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: May I see it?


THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov, have you put in yet the
report of the Extraordinary Commission?

                                                  [Page 326]

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President, a series of reports by
the Extraordinary State Commission has been submitted,
reports about the Esthonian SSR, Kiev, Kharkov, etc. This
document is a summary of the material which has already been

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov, does this document consist
of extracts from the Extraordinary Commission's report?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: No, Mr. President. Strictly speaking, it is
only a list of the various units engaged in different
regions of the USSR. It is not an extract from the reports
by the Extraordinary State Commission, but a list of
separate SS detachments engaged in the different
territories. Mostly these are the facts on which the
conclusions in the cases of the separate units were based.
They are all mentioned in the reports of the Extraordinary
State Commission which we have already put in.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov, I think the Tribunal
appreciates that you have done this for the convenience of
the Tribunal, that this document has been prepared for the
convenience of the Tribunal, but the Tribunal thinks they
had better refer only to the report of the Extraordinary
Commission itself which has already been offered in

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President. I have no further
questions to put to the witness.


Q. Witness, what unit were you commanding at the time war
against Russia broke out?

A. At the beginning of the campaign against Russia I was
commander of the Division "Das Reich."

Q. "Das Reich." Where was that division stationed at the
outbreak of the war?

A. It was in action in the middle sector of the Eastern

Q. The middle sector of the Eastern Front. Was it employed
in the original attack upon the Soviet Union?

A. The attack was west of the Beresina, and south of Brest-
Litowsk. However, the division was not deployed there, it
was brought up later.

Q. You mean it was not deployed there upon the first day?

A. No, it was brought up as a rear echelon unit.

Q. How long after the attack opened?

A. Yes, several divisions were drawn up at the penetration
points, one behind the other, for the motorized divisions
could advance on good roads only.

Q. I asked how long after the attack opened was your
division deployed?

A. Only two to three days after the outbreak of hostilities.

Q. And are you telling the Tribunal that at that time or
about that time you never heard of the order to kill

A. I have already testified that we did not receive this
order, and that the division did not act according to it. I
know only that later on we received an order for the
"separation" of the Commissars, and I have already stated
that the troops had very little to do with this matter,
since the Commissars were not recognized by them.

Q. You say you did not receive the order. What I asked you
was: Did you hear of the order?

A. When the second order arrived concerning the
"separation," I believe I heard that a previous order had
gone out, but that the High Command had not transmitted it
to man offices.

Q. This order to kill the Commissars?

A. That first order, of which I spoke, we did not receive.

                                                  [Page 327]

Q. Now, when you received the second order, you said you had
heard of the other order, and what I wanted to know is if
the other order was the order to kill the Commissars?

A. I did not quite understand the question.

Q. You said you received a second order to "separate" the
Commissars, and, at that time you heard of the first order.
What was the first order?

A. I believe that I heard of the first order to kill the
Commissars, but only later, when the other order for the
"separation" had already come through.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire now.

DR. PELCKMANN: May I have another word, your Honour?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly. I thought you had finished.

DR. PELCKMANN: In the course of the cross-examination of
this witness the British and the Russian prosecution
submitted, as far as I was able to judge; twenty to thirty
completely new documents. Not all of these documents were
used in the questioning of this witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, the purpose of re-examination
is to ask questions and not to argue.

DR. PELCKMANN: I am not going to do that, Mr. President. I
shall not put any questions dealing with these documents to
which I shall return later. But the prosecution did not put
any questions either, and I am of the opinion that these
documents cannot be used. One document is in the Polish
language, and unfortunately, I cannot read it and therefore
cannot put questions on it.



Q. Witness, I should like to refer you, as an example, to a
copy of a poster in a document in English, entitled "German
Crimes in Poland," and comprising 184 pages. Will you please
read it and will you tell me what connection it has with the
Waffen SS, and if possible tell the High Tribunal the page
on which it is found.

A. This poster is at the back of Page 184. It contains an
announcement of the SS and Police Leader, it is therefore an
instrument of the Higher SS and Police Leader and, as I have
stated repeatedly, has nothing whatever to do with the
Waffen SS.

Q. Now I am having submitted to you another document, 4039-
PS, a document about which you were not questioned by the
prosecution. Please tell me what connection this document
has with the Waffen SS?

A. This is an announcement of the District Chief of Warsaw,
that is an official subordinate to the Governor General, an
announcement which has no connection with the Waffen SS.

Q. Is there not something about the Waffen SS in this

A. It says here only that the German Wehrmacht -

Q. Please speak clearly, I was asking you whether the
document contains anything at all about the Waffen SS?

A. I'm sorry to have to say "No." There is nothing about the
Waffen SS in this document.

Q. I should further like to show you Document 4038-PS. This
document was also not submitted to you by the prosecution.
Please read it carefully, and then tell me what connection
it has with the Waffen SS?

THE PRESIDENT: What number is that?

DR. PELCKMANN: It is 4038-PS, your Lordship.

THE WITNESS: This also is an announcement by the Chief of
the Warsaw. District who was subordinate to the Governor-
General and has no connection with the Waffen SS.

                                                  [Page 328]


I should further like to submit Document D-954, the figure
might be 957, it is not quite clear. This is an
interrogation of 27th May, 1946, of the witness -

THE PRESIDENT (interposing): Dr. Pelckmann, I think all
these documents speak for themselves, and if they do not
refer to the Waffen SS, the Tribunal will take note of that

DR. PELCKMANN: Yes, Mr. President. But then I should like to
know just why these documents were submitted. May I
respectfully say that they are not relevant at all.

As you suggest, Mr. President, I shall not submit this


Q. Can you judge, witness, whether Document D-956, which you
had in your hands, contains anything at all about the Waffen

A. I looked at it only briefly, but I could not establish
any connection.

Q. Thank you.

You were reminded, witness, of the speech of Himmler at
Kharkov. You said that Himmler's idea that terror had been
of use to the troops was wrong. Did you express your view
about this to Himmler, and if so, in what way?

A. I made my view known to Himmler on the same day and, as
is customary with military subordinates, I spoke to him

Q. The SS Division "Prinz Eugen" was mentioned. How many
divisions of the Waffen SS were there?

A. To my knowledge, there were at least thirty-five
divisions. I believe there were even more, but they did not
all exist at the same time. One of these divisions was the
Division "Prinz Eugen," of which I have already said that it
contained many Volksdeutsche in its ranks.

Q. Is it true that Serbs and Croats also served in this

A. I cannot give you the particulars on that point. We had
several divisions in the Balkans which contained Croats,
Montenegrins and Moslems.

Q. Do you know that the war in the Balkans was waged with
particular intensity on both sides, and were atrocities by
the other side ever reported to you? I am not asking this to
ascertain whether the other side committed atrocities; my
purpose is merely to establish the fact that, on the basis
of isolated atrocities, one cannot draw conclusions about
the general conduct of the enemy.

A. I had no personal insight into the campaign in the
Balkans. But from history I know that even before the First
World War such excesses did take place in the Balkans.

Q. Do you know through reports from the Eastern Front - and
again I want to qualify the question to make my intention
quite clear -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, the witness has already told
us that he knows nothing about the war in the Balkans, and
therefore any questions you put to him will have no
significance to us.


Q. Witness, do you understand that I am now asking you about
the Eastern Front?

A. Yes, incidents of that type did take place. And reports
of them were collected at headquarters and were forwarded, I
believe, through the OKH, and I think by the Red Cross at
Geneva. But I cannot give you particulars.

Q. Do you know that reports of that sort were collected?

A. Yes.

Q. And would you conclude therefrom that the Red Army did
things like that systematically

A. You can hardly expect me to state whether these things
were done systematically or not.

                                                  [Page 329]

GENERAL RUDENKO: Mr. President, I would like to make the
following brief statement. The defence has in the course of
the proceedings tried more than once on the basis of
inventions published in Fascist White Books, to draw
attention to atrocities committed by opponents. This
practice has already been categorically rejected by the
Tribunal, and I therefore consider that the question now put
by the defence counsel is also inadmissible.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, the Tribunal considers that
you have no right to ask this witness for his opinion about
these matters. You must confine yourself to asking him
questions as to facts, and what he knows about facts. And
you can make any comment about those facts that you like
when you come to make your argument.


Q. Witness, in order to clarify the meaning of my previous
question, I should like to ask you this: If you could now
see the deeds which allegedly on the basis of these
documents were committed by the SS, would you nevertheless
say that these things were not representative of a system
but were isolated incidents arising out of the severity of
the battle, and caused partly by the lack of discipline on
the part of certain foreign elements, incidents which for
these reasons could happen everywhere?

THE PRESIDENT: You should not begin by asking the witness
for his opinion. He has already given it to us, you know; he
has already said, when he was being cross-examined about
those incidents in which the Waffen SS Look part, that they
were individual instances. He has already said that.


Q. You have seen the document which says that hostages were
shot and a Yugoslav was hanged. If you had received
knowledge of a case like that among your troops, would you
have taken any steps?

A. A case like that falls mainly under the jurisdiction of
the divisional commander as the judicial authority. If I, as
the commanding general, received reports like that, I would
have taken steps, and I would have appointed a military
court to deal with the case. And that indeed is what
happened several times.

Q. You were asked about the case of Oradour in France. Do
you know whether your units, that is, when they were under
your command, participated in this crime?

A. I know this incident only from the Indictment, and I have
no further knowledge of it. Apparently it was a criminal act
of a single company leader. It took place at an earlier
date, however, and if it had been brought to my knowledge,
and if the division commander had been subordinate to me, I
would have given him the order to appoint a military court
to try the case.

Q. Your unit was used in Normandy; is that correct?

A. Yes, but Oradour is not in Normandy.

Q. It is in Southern France? Was your unit, while it was
under your command, responsible for it?

A. No, neither the unit nor I.

Q. The prosecution has confronted you with quotations from
Document US 117.

DR . PELCKMANN: I should be very grateful if this document
could be put at my disposal so that I could show it to the
witness. I think that without seeing the whole of the
document, the witness cannot give a comprehensive reply.

(A document was handed to Dr. Pelckmann.)

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