The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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DR. SEIDL: I shall then quote under No. 12 a note for the

  "Concerning Dachau concentration camp.
  I. Memorandum.
  The proposal of the State Minister of the Interior to
  quash the inquiry now pending at the public prosecution
  office at the Provincial Court, Munich II, into the
  deaths of the prisoners Handschuh, Frantz and Katz, who
  were in protective custody, was the subject of a
  discussion during the meeting of the Council of Ministers
  on 5th December, 1933. As a result, the State Minister of
  justice communicated the following to the undersigned
  The criminal proceedings regarding the happenings in the
  Dachau concentration camp are to be continued with all
  determination. The facts are to be cleared up with the
  utmost speed. If necessary, the provincial police are to
  be brought in to assist. Any attempts to hush up the case
  must be opposed by all available means.
  The Oberstaatsanwalt (Public Prosecutor) at the
  Provincial Court, Munich II, was instructed, in
  accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers,
  to continue the proceedings immediately with all energy,
  and to bring about the clearing up of the incidents as
  soon as possible. He will apply for preliminary Court
  investigations and see to their being completed rapidly -
  in the case of Frantz and Katz immediately, and in the
  case of Handschuh after the arrival of the documents from
  the Political Police, who have been requested to return
  them. He (the Public Prosecutor) has been instructed to
  keep the State Ministry of Justice informed about the
  course of the proceedings and to produce the files with
  an attached report about the result of the preliminary
  investigation once this is completed, stating also what
  further action is intended. The Public Prosecutor at the
  Oberlandesgericht (Court of Appeal) in Munich has been
  notified and instructed that he also, for his part, is to
  pay particular attention to the proceedings. The
  preliminary investigations will probably be conducted by
  Landgerichtsrat (Provincial Court Counsellor) Kissner,
  competent for the district of Dachau.
  The liaison officer with the Political Party, I.
  Staatsanwalt (First Public Prosecutor) Dr. Stepp, was
  instructed, according to orders, to communicate the
  decision of the Council of Ministers to the commanding
  officer of the Political Police, Himmler, and to the
  chief of the Bavarian Political Police."

DR. SEIDL: Thank you, Mr. President.

BY DR. PELCKMANN (for the SS):

Witness, once again I shall come back to the document which
has just been read out by my colleague Seidl. When this
document was put to you, you pointed out that this was an
instruction concerning an affair which took place very early
in 1933. During your interrogation you, yourself, said that
in the course of your investigation in later years you
discovered that murders had been hushed up by means of false
reports on the facts being sent in. For that reason I would
like to ask you once more: Is it correct that you, in the
course of your

                                                  [Page 370]

investigation in later years, and as soon as you discovered
cases of concealment, fought against such procedure with all

A. That was precisely one of our main activities. We were
fighting against those cases of hushing-up which cropped up
in the course of proceedings which were being carried out.
Repeatedly, in many different camps, we were able to
ascertain by our commissions that such cases of concealment
did exist, and in those cases we at once called the guilty
party to account.

Q. And in your SS legal system, in 1933, could you fight
against such type of crimes?

A. The legal system of the SS, that is to say a system of
criminal justice, did not exist then. Responsibility for
carrying out such criminal proceedings lay with the criminal
prosecution department of the general legal system, and this
becomes apparent from this document. It was their task to
bring to judgement the guilty men responsible in such cases.

Q. A report, a document has been put before you, D-924,
Exhibit GB 570, which refers to the horrible shooting of
deportees, carried out by the escorting troops. You defined
your attitude toward them. I noticed that you could not
quite have completed your statement, because I believe that
you wanted to say something more concerning your personal
impressions. Would you like to do that now?

A. Yes. I wanted to say that here we are concerned with a
convoy of prisoners and the accompanying troops; what I said
about guards was only with reference to those guards in
camps, that is to say those sentries who were posted on
watchtowers, and others outside and around the camp carrying
out guard duty, and who, after having completed their guard
duty, returned to their billets; men, therefore, who had
nothing to do with the internal arrangements of the camps.
In case of doubt, such transports were carried out by
members of the commandant's staff.

Q. From the document containing the statistics regarding the
strength of the SS on the 30th of June, 1934, and I regret
that the document number is not visible on my copy, I should
like to put to you the figure of 794,000 members of the SS.
Witness Brill told us yesterday of higher figures,
approximately 900,000 to a million in 1944. Since witness
Brill is no longer present, I should like to ask you, if you
are sufficiently informed, whether the difference may be
attributed to the fact that the figure mentioned by witness
Brill also included the dead, those who had been killed, and
therefore the figure given by witness Brill was not an
incorrect statement on his part.

A. I have the knowledge necessary to answer the question
because, working in the legal system, I constantly had to
have information concerning the strength of the SS. I know
that the statement by witness Brill corresponds to the
facts. It is a fact, as stated by defence counsel, that the
figure given by witness Brill includes the losses suffered
by the Waffen SS. The figures contained in this document
must be increased by the number of killed in the course of
the war, both of men and leaders either low-ranking or
senior, of the Waffen SS, in order to draw your conclusions
regarding the real strength of the Waffen SS.

Q. On Page 28 of the same document you have the numbers in
the various offices. The final total is 39,415 members of
the SS. Do you still have the document before you, witness?

A. No, unfortunately, I have not.

(The document was handed to the witness.)

Q. You said that the figure representing the SS Economic and
Administrative Department, which was responsible for the
administration of the entire concentration camp system, was
24,051 persons. Does this mean persons who were carrying out
purely clerical work? Were there in fact 24,051 clerical
workers in that department? Or what does that figure mean?

A. The SS Economic and Administrative Department was a much
inflated organization which particularly, as its name
indicates, had at its disposal a large)

                                                  [Page 371]

organization of firms and industries. All the members of
such industries were formally attached to the Administrative
Economic Department, and in order to classify them "uk,"
that means to relieve them from compulsory service in the
armed forces, they were, as a matter of form, assigned to
the Waffen SS.

Q. As I understood you earlier, you also said that the
guards should be counted into that figure?

A. I had not finished my answer to that question. The guards
in the concentration camps and the entire personnel in
concentration camps were also counted in the Economic and
Administrative Department, division "D," as concerns
personnel and organization, and thus they were exclusively
under the jurisdiction of Pohl as the Chief of the
Administrative and Economic Department. I assume that the
figure of those guards is included in the figure of 24,051.

Q. Please would you look at the figure of 987 of the SS
attached to the "Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of
German Nationalism," or "Consolidation of German Folkdom,"
Central Department for Racial Germans. That is merely an
example, but were these 987 men the only employees of that

A. I know from my own experience as SS judge that the
department called "Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening
of German Nationalism" or "Consolidation of German Folkdom"
had at its disposal thousands of people who, as I said
yesterday, were civil servants and were in no way connected
with the SS. That figure of 987 members of the SS can be
explained just as all the other figures can be explained.
They became members of the SS for the same reason, that of
being unfit for active service, and they had to be assigned
to an armed unit performing military duties in order not to
be called up. Those persons had no real connection with the
SS organization in any case, but it was merely the technical
reasons which I have described which led to their being
taken over by the SS.

Q. Well, then, these statistics which are before us show
approximately 800,000 members of the SS. Is it correct,
witness, that as against that the statistics show that the
concentration camp system employed only about 25,000 members
of the SS?

A. In June, 1944, which is the date of this document, that
is the correct proportion of men employed in concentration
camps in comparison to the total strength of the SS which is
clearly evident from this document.

DR. PELCKMANN: May I now submit to your Lordship the
document which I unfortunately did not have at my disposal
this morning.


Q. Witness, I will show it to you. Would you mind having a
look at it? You know this document?

A. Yes, that document became known to me during the last
twelve months.

Q. On Page 46 of that document there appears the testimony
of a detainee who is referred to by the initials "E. H." It
gives the impression that the testimony was given before
American interrogating authorities and it reveals -

THE PRESIDENT (Interposing): Is this document in evidence?

DR. PELCKMANN: Your Lordship, it is not in my document book.
I am merely putting it to the witness, but as your Lordship
desired to see the book, I submitted it to the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but - Well, what is the book? I do not
know what it is. What is it? Where does it come from?

DR. PELCKMANN: I beg to be permitted to ask the witness just
one question with reference to this.

THE PRESIDENT: No, no, you may not do that until you have
told me where the book comes from. Where does the book come

                                                  [Page 372]

DR. PELCKMANN: It comes from the library here. I just got it
from the library. It is an official publication -


DR. PELCKMANN: - of a Colonel Quinn. On Page 46 there is the
testimony of this detainee, and it would give the impression
that that testimony had been given before interrogating
authorities of the American Army.


Q. Can you say anything with reference to that testimony,
which describes atrocious conditions and crimes?

A. Yes, I can give you information on that subject. This
testimony is -

THE PRESIDENT: But, Dr. Pelckmann, the document is not yet
in evidence, unless you offer it. Now, if you offer it, it
is different. But you are carefully trying to contradict it.
What is the good of contradicting a document which is not in
evidence? We have never seen it.

DR. PELCKMANN: If your Lordship would hear the witness, then
you would discover that I am not trying to contradict the

THE PRESIDENT: Do you want to offer the document in evidence

DR. PELCKMANN: First of all, I should like to put it to the
witness and then if I get your permission I should very much
like to offer it in evidence.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, you offer it in evidence and you
are relying upon the document, are you? Are you relying upon
it or are you not?

DR. PELCKMANN: As far as I can quote from Page 46, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: If you want to put it in for the purpose of
relying on Page 46, you can do that.

DR. PELCKMANN: And the following - the following pages - the
entire testimony signed "E. H."



Q. Witness, you understood my question?

A. Yes.

Q. Please will you answer it?

A. This testimony by "E. H." is the testimony of a female
detainee, Eleanora Hodis from Auschwitz, and was made in the
late autumn of 1944, under oath, before an SS judge. An
investigating commission of the SS Judicial Department had
instituted proceedings against Grabner, head of the
Political Department at Auschwitz, and various other
participants, for the murder of detainees, and these people
were indicted for murder in 2,000 cases.

As always, considerable difficulties were put in the way of
clearing up the situation. The female detainee, Eleanora
Hodis, declared herself willing to assist; the investigating
commission of the SS Court with her testimony, provided
judges would guarantee her life. That guarantee was given,
and it was possible to get Hodis out of Auschwitz and
transfer her to Munich. In Munich, at the date indicated,
she gave her testimony, with those gruesome details which
were to form the basis of proceedings instituted against
Hoess and many other people However, because of the collapse
(of Germany) the proceedings could not be carried through.

Q. Is it correct, therefore, witness, that the conditions
which are described'
here existed in the concentration camp of Dachau as it would
appear -

A. No.

Q. - by being included in this book, because, after all,
this book deals with
the concentration camp of Dachau?

                                                  [Page 373]

A. No, that is not correct. The testimony given by the
witness Hodis refers exclusively to the atrocious and
gruesome conditions at Auschwitz, and has nothing whatever
to do with the camp of Dachau.

DR. PELCKMANN: Finally, your Lordship, I merely beg to be
allowed to refer to Document D-959 which has been submitted
by the British Delegation.

When discussing the question -

THE PRESIDENT: Give that document you just put in some

DR. PELCKMANN: The document "SS Dachau" -

THE PRESIDENT: You can give it a number afterwards. Do not
delay now.

DR. PELCKMANN: I will merely look up the number of documents
I have submitted up to now and then I will give them

When the prosecution defined their attitude regarding the
admissibility of that document, they said that it was
regretted that the document could be submitted only so very
late. In other words, as we all know, it ought to have been
submitted during the presentation of evidence. At this
stage, with reference to the hundreds of statements
regarding the activity of the Waffen SS in Czechoslovakia, I
cannot now define my attitude, and I, too, regret that the
document arrived so very late. However, as it has now been
admitted and as the Tribunal is taking judicial notice of
it, I think I ought to have the possibility of referring to
the details which are brought up in support of the case for
the prosecution - its value cannot be assessed otherwise -
so as to have the opportunity to define my attitude. For
that purpose I should like to have a certain amount of time.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, the Tribunal thinks that you
must go on with your case and that you cannot be given
further time. The Tribunal has said that they are bound to
take judicial notice of the document under Article 21, and
this witness has told us he had never heard of the incidents
- two incidents, I think - to which counsel drew his

DR. PELCKMANN: I am afraid I did not understand the
translation of the last part of what you said, Mr.

THE PRESIDENT: I said that you must go on with your case and
that the Tribunal had admitted that document under Article
21, and that with reference to the two incidents to which
counsel for the prosecution referred, this witness has said
that he has never heard of them.

DR. PELCKMANN: I have no further questions to this witness.

DR. GAWLIK (counsel for the SD): With reference to the
Document D-96o, submitted during cross-examination, I have a
few questions to put to the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Which document? Which document?

DR. GAWLIK: D-960, Exhibit No. 569.

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