The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. Why were you suggesting that the blame should be passed
on to the French? You knew there was murder in connection
with this collection, did you not? You knew it perfectly
well, witness.

A. I just said that I transmitted an inquiry from Professor
Hirt; and that explains that I could not put an inquiry of
my own in this form, for I as a layman could hake no opinion
in this matter. I stated that this was an inquiry by Hirt
which was transmitted by me.

Q. Were you able to carry out the suggestion of the de-
fleshing of these bodies?

A. I cannot tell you anything about that for I cannot quite
imagine how it was done.

Q. Happily, again there is a document which indicates the
whole story. Just look at it because it is clear that you
have no intention of telling the truth. Document No. 091,
Exhibit GB 579. There are two following notes from Himmler's
file. The first note, signed by SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Berg:

  "On 12th October, 1944, I had a telephone conversation
  with SS Standartenfuehrer Sievers and asked him if the
  Strassburg skeleton collection had been completely
  dissolved as directed by SS Standartenfuehrer Baumert. SS
  Standartenfuehrer Sievers could not advise me on that
  matter since he had not as yet heard anything further
  from Professor Hirt. I told him that in case the
  dissolution had not yet been carried out, a certain part
  of the collection should be preserved. However, guarantee
  should be given that a complete dissolution could be made
  in time in case Strassburg should be in danger. SS
  Standartenfuehrer Sievers promised me that he would find
  out about it and let me know."

And then the next entry on 26th October, 1944, a note for
Dr. Brandt:

  "During his visit at the Operational HQ on 21st October,
  1944, SS Standartenfuehrer Sievers told me that the
  collection in Strassburg had been completely dissolved in
  the meantime in conformance with the directive given him
  at the time. He is of the opinion that this arrangement
  is for the best in view of the whole situation."

A. The authenticity of my testimony can be seen from the
remarks of the Hauptsturmfuehrer Berg, for he says
"Standartenfuehrer Sievers could not advise

                                                  [Page 406]

me on that matter since he had not as yet heard anything
further from Professor Hirt." So in every respect I was
always dependent upon the statements, reports and proposals
of Dr. Hirt. My own attitude in these matters did not play
any role whatsoever. As I have already mentioned in the
interrogations before the Commission, I was not responsible
for any action taken nor could I prevent any action.

Q. You were the business manager in this scientific
experiment in murder, were you not? That was your function?
You were a vital cog in the machine of this "Ahnenerbe"?

A. It was by no means an essential part, as may be seen from
the Commission findings. "Ahnenerbe" comprised more than
fifty branches and had great research projects on a
scientific basis in accord with its original intentions. It
occupied itself with these projects so exclusively that
these matters which, I think, were very unfortunately
brought into relationship with it by Himmler, hardly played
any part in it at all. In vain did I try to prevent this

Q. You go as far as to admit that certain unfortunate
matters did arise in connection with the work of the
"Ahnenerbe," do you?

A. I never disputed that in the past.

Q. What was your connection with the experiments on human
beings as regards poison gas or poisoned chemical "Lost,"
experiments on counter-agents for wounds caused by your
preparation, "Lost"?

A. Professor Hirt developed a therapeutic treatment for the
curing of "Lost" injuries. In the development of this method
of therapy, he experimented on himself, an experiment which
damaged his health, as can be seen from the documents
submitted here now.

Q. Did he experiment on anyone other than himself?

A. Himmler was interested in these experiments and was quite
excited when he heard that Hirt had done them on his own
person; and in this connection he referred to the Fuehrer
decree that in the case of such experiments volunteer from
inmates or criminals who had been sentenced to death should
be chosen. Thereupon Hirt, and only at Himmler's request,
conducted controlled experiments on twenty persons, that is,
when he had already ascertained from his own experiments
that lasting injury would not occur. Himmler further pointed
out, and this was his first contact with Hirt in the work,
that it was much more important that animals should be
procured for the experiments, for, at the outbreak of war
the supply of these had diminished to such an extent that
the necessary scientific work could no longer be carried

Q. Just a moment, witness. Can you not answer my questions
without going into these lengthy speeches? Did you
substitute human beings for animals for the purpose of these

A. You mean in connection with Professor Hirt?

Q. Certainly.

A. Yes, I just said that after the experiments on his own
person he experimented on twenty people who reported
voluntarily for this purpose.

Q. Did you write to Brandt in connection with the Lost"
experiments, explaining certain difficulties that you were
meeting with at the Natzweiler concentration camp?

A. I do not have the document before me.

Q. Do not worry yourself. Just try to answer my question. Do
not worry whether you have the document before you. I
appreciate it will be embarrassing if it is found. Just
answer my question. Did you write to Brandt in connection
with these "Lost" experiments, describing difficulties you
were meeting with concentration camp?

A. I do not remember in detail what difficulties were
involved. It may be that I wrote that.

                                                  [Page 407]

Q. Try to recollect what you wrote about in connection with
these "Lost" experiments, will you?

A. Well, I can only mention now, as before, that these
things came to me on the basis of notes and reports from
Hirt and that I transmitted these matters without being able
to recall them in detail, because these were single
incidents among the vast amount of my work, so that I could
no longer remember after this length of time.

Q. I appreciate the mass of work you were involved in. I
have four or five other experiments in murder to draw your
attention to. But just look at Document No. 092, Page 19 of
your Lordship's document book, GB 58. That is a letter from
Brandt to you. It is addressed to you, SS Standartenfuehrer
Sievers, the Ahnenerbe Society, dated 3rd December, 1942. "I
have your note of 3rd November, 1942, again in front of me
today. At the time I could only speak to SS
Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl very briefly. If I remember
correctly, he even sent me a letter informing me that he
would have the deficiencies which you described taken care
of, but I did not have time to enumerate them in detail. I
had just received your letter the same morning on which I
went to see SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl. Therefore, it was
impossible for me to read it beforehand. I only remembered
what you had told me during our last conversation. If it
should be necessary for me to take this matter up again,
will you please let me know." Now, what were those
deficiencies which you had described in your note to Pohl?
Just try to remember them.

A. I cannot tell you what was involved in particular here.
Please show me the note.

Q. Can you not recollect at all what the difficulty was? Was
it connected with the payment for the prisoners to be
experimented on?

A. I do not recall that.

Q. In any event, these experiments in connection with the
"Lost" went on as far as April, 1944, did they not?

A. I cannot tell you that from memory.

Q. Try to recollect. Did they not go on until April, 1944?
Just look at Document No. 015. You are being totally
uncooperative. That would be Exhibit GB 581. That is another
of your letters to the Reichsfuehrer SS. On Page 6 of your
document book, my Lord. To the Reichsfuehrer SS Personal
Staff: Department A. It is dated 11th April, 1944. Top
secret. It is from you to Brandt. Subject: Fuehrer's order
of 1st March, 1944.

  "Dear Comrade Brandt. In accordance with orders, I got in
  touch with SS Brigadefuehrer Professor Dr. Brandt and
  informed him in Beelitz on 31st March about the research
  work conducted by SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Professor Dr.
  Hirt. On this occasion I handed to him the plan for the
  treatment of L.-injuries ..." That is "Lost" injuries, is
  it not, witness?

A. Yes.

  Q. "... worked out by Professor Hirt, a copy of which I
  enclose for you for presentation to the Reichsfuehrer SS,
  if the occasion should arise. Professor Brandt tells me
  that he will be in Strassburg in the first week in April,
  and that he intends to discuss details with Professor
  Hirt then."

Now, you see that those experiments on human beings with
this poison "Lost" went on right through to 1944, did they

A. No, it is not true that way. This letter refers to the
following: Professor Brandt was made General Commissar for
questions pertaining to fighting material. I received a copy
of this report appointing him, with instructions that now,
since his appointment had taken place, I should get Hirt to
talk with Brandt. Hirt told me that he could not travel to
Mr. Brandt at Beelitz just for that. Therefore, at the
request of Hirt, I went to see Brandt.

                                                  [Page 408]

All right, witness. I want you to turn now to another aspect
of your work, the Rascher experiments. You remember telling
me that you had no insight into the Rascher experiments?

A. I stated that I had a general insight, but knew nothing
of particulars.

Q. I want you to look now at your diary for the year 1944,
the Ahnenerbe diary, Document 3546-PS. It has already been
marked Exhibit GB 551. Your Lordship will find a few
extracts from it at Page 29 of the document book. Witness, I
have made, certain extracts from your diary, and it might be
convenient for you to follow those extracts, and if you want
to check them against your own diary, you will be able to do
so. They show how in that year you were intimately connected
with Rascher and all these other murderous activities. The
first entry is for the 6th January, 1830 hours. SS
Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Rascher. Paragraph (c) Letter from
RFSS to Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl about assistance for
scientific research work. Rooms for carrying through of
freezing experiments. They were at Dachau, were they not?

A. Yes, they were to be carried through, but as I have
already said in the Commission interrogations, this was not
done. These are notes about a conversation with Rascher in
which he was reporting on these matters.

Q. Witness, are you saying that the freezing experiments at
Dachau were not carried through?

A. Rascher told me that he would not be able to carry
through these experiments, that they would have to be
carried through in a locality requiring constant extreme
temperatures, and so these experiments did not take place.

Q. But you actually saw some of these experiments yourself
being carried out, did you not, in Dachau? You were in
Dachau from time to time?

A. I am afraid that there is some confusion here between the
freezing experiments by the Luftwaffe and the freezing
experiments which were to be carried out later on in
connection with the extreme cold in the East. Here in the
year 1944 we are concerned with the experiments in freezing

Q. Which are the freezing experiments that you used to

A. I know only the freezing experiments carried on under the

Q. Did you see any of them being carried on?

A. I had the order to accompany Professor Hirt, who,
together with Rascher, was to work on this problem and to
arrive at a solution. I was present at one of those

Q. Now we will go to Document 3546-PS, a little further. I
have selected some random entries from it to show your close
association with this matter. "Twenty-third January, 1130
hours, Lecture to RFSS together with Obersturmbannfuehrer
Dr. Brandt. (1) We shall receive the reports of Professor
Schilling." Now, Professor Schilling is the man who has been
sentenced to death for his malaria experiments at Dachau, is
he not?

A. Yes.

Q. He was also part of your team of scientists, was he not?'

A. We had nothing, to do with Schilling at this lecture

Q. You only received his reports, that was all; was it?

A. That was the first time that the work of Schilling was
mentioned to me at all. And Himmler explained at this
meeting that Schilling had arrived at results on
immunisation which attracted attention. This report was to
be given to us so that the Entomology Institute could take
cognizance of the things that Dr. Mar had done in malaria
experiments with the anopheles mosquito.

Q., We will go on to the next entry in the diary, the 28th
of January. Your own diary has a daily entry of all the
details, but here is another extract: "Co-operation with
Institute R, Dachau." That is Rascher's institute at Dachau,
is it not?

A. Yes.

                                                  [Page 409]

Q. Then the 29th of January, "With Hauptsturmfuehrer Rascher
and Dr. Pacholegg to Dahlem." Who was Dr. Pacholegg?

A. Dr. Pacholegg was an inmate whom Rascher was using to
work with him.

Q. You know him quite well yourself, I take it?

A. I saw him perhaps two or three times.

Q. He was present at some of the experiments that you
watched, was he not?

A. They concerned work on a styptic preparation, Polygal -

Q. Just answer my question. Dr. Pacholegg was present at
some of the experiments which you watched, was he not?

A. He was a co-worker of Rascher's. Whether he was there all
the time, I do not know.

Q. If you refuse to answer my question I shall not put it
again. We will continue further in your diary. Second
February, CA-Work experiments, First pictures of living
cancer cells. 21. Protectional vaccination for spotted fever
by Professor Haagen. The protectional vaccination for
spotted fever in Natzweiler goes on with good results.

Your Lordship, I have about half an hour of cross-

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 9th August, 1946, at 1000 hours.)

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