The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2001/01/10

Q. You say that at this conference in July, 1943, the
colonel was acting. , Field-Marshal Keitel and General

A. Yes.

Q. How do you know that?

A. First of all, the meeting took place in General
Reinecke's office. The colonel who was presiding was his
chief of staff, and we had been ordered to come to a meeting
at the General Wehrmachtsamt at such and such a time, and
the colonel also mentioned General Field-Marshal Keitel's

Q. But you cannot say whether it was actually ordered by

A. No, I did not see the order.

Q. Well, then, you do not know it?

A. No, I only know what the colonel told us officially.

Q. You also said you supposed the High Command of the Army
had been informed, namely, by Professor Handloser.

A. Yes.

Q. What facts made you assume this?

A. I personally made a report to Generaloberstabsarzt
Handloser, and Handloser expressed his opinion about the
matter to me. It was an extremely serious matter for us
doctors, for if there really should be a plague epidemic it
was clear that it would not stop at the fronts, but it would
come over to us too. We had to bear a very great

Q. You have deviated a little. We will come back to this
point. I wanted to know whether you can give any facts to
prove that the High Command of the Army was informed?

A. No. I cannot.

Q. It is a pure assumption, then?

A, Yes. But it is quite obvious -

Q. Never mind if it is obvious or not, I want to know
whether you know of any facts?

A. No, I cannot give any facts.

Q. Do you know to whom Professor Handloser was subordinate?

A. To three persons. He was Chief of the Wehrmacht Medical
Department and in that capacity was under Field-Marshal
Keitel of the OKW. He was Army Medical Inspector and in that
capacity was under the Commander  of the Reserve Army,
Generaloberst Fromm, and later Reichsfuehrer SS and
Juettner, and thirdly, he was Army Doctor, that is, Chief
Medical Officer of the Army, and in this capacity was
subordinate to the Chief of the General Staff of the Field

Q. You were also questioned about the reasons why this
bacteriological warfare was not carried out. What actual
reasons are known to you?

A. The head of the institute at Posen, Professor Blome,
reported the destruction and total loss of the Posen
institute to me when he visited me. He told me of his

Q. Do you yourself know whether a military command authority
gave the positive order that this bacteriological warfare
was not only to be prepared but was also to be carried out?

A. No, I did not see any order.

Q. Then these were merely preparations?

                                                   [Page 95]

A. Preparations for bacteriological warfare was what I said.

Q. With which high-ranking general did you yourself speak
about this bacteriological warfare?

A. I did not speak to any general.

Q. Do you know from your own knowledge whether any high-
ranking general was informed of these intentions? I am
asking you whether you know it?

A. I was not present when a general was informed about them.

Q. Then you do not know it?

A. No.

Q. Do you know how far apart the enemy troops and our troops
were usually at the front?

A. That differed a great deal.

Q. What was the normal distance?

A. 1 am not a front soldier. I would not like to speak of a
subject of which I know nothing.

Q. We will assume that the enemy troops were normally at a
distance of 600 to 1,000 metres from our own troops. Would
you, as a doctor, consider the use of plague bacteria safe
and not dangerous for our own troops?

A. I would always consider the use of plague bacteria as
dangerous, no matter what the distance was.

Q. Well, let us assume that such a devilish idea as actually
to use bacteria did exist. Would that not have involved our
troops in serious danger?

A. Not only our troops but the whole German people; for the
refugees were moving from east to west. The plague would
have spread very swiftly to Germany.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, it is useless to ask the same
question over again. The witness has already said so.


Q. May that not have been one of the reasons why this
warfare was not used?

A. According to the statements made to me by Herr Blome, who
was head of the institute and who had been appointed by the
Reichsmarschall, no. He was using all his efforts trying to
cultivate his cultures somewhere else.

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, may I ask for the recess now
and ask a few more questions of the witness later?

THE PRESIDENT: No, Dr. Laternser, the Tribunal thinks you
should finish now.


Q. You say, on Page 7 of your written statement, that in
Norway 400 Yugoslav prisoners of war were shot out of hand
because an epidemic had broken out among them. You say that
this was a labour camp of the Waffen SS.


Q. This incident was reported to you?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you report it to your superior?

A. Yes.

Q. What was done?

A. A letter was immediately sent to the Chief Medical
Officer of SS and Police. Professor Grawitz and through
these official channels the affair was reported to the
office which was the supervisory agency for this camp.

Q. Do you know whether any legal steps were taken?

A. I do not know how the SS courts work. I do not know.

Q. Then you write on the same page: "Specially cruel
treatment was meted out to the Russian prisoners of war by
the High Command of the Wehrmacht."

A. Yes

                                                   [Page 96]

Q. Then you write that the Russian prisoners of war were
given inadequate food.

A. Yes.

Q. Now I ask you, when were those observations made
concerning the inadequate food? Immediately after the
capture in the reception camps behind the front or in prison
camps in Germany?

A. I am not speaking of what happened in the reception camps
immediately after the fighting. There, even with the best
intentions, the State which has taken prisoners is not
always able to care for them as might be necessary. I am
speaking of a later period when the prisoners had been in
the hands of the Germans for weeks and I am speaking of
camps which were in the Baltic countries. They were not
taken to Germany. The Russian prisoners were brought to
Germany only later. The conditions in these camps were
extremely poor.

Q. Were these bad conditions due to bad intentions?

A. I assume that these bad conditions were due to basic
ideological questions -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, the Tribunal did not allow the
statement to be put in and you are now cross-examining upon
a subject which is totally distinct from the subjects upon
which the witness has given evidence.

DR. LATERNSER: These statements are in the written statement
of the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you must have heard that we did not
allow the written statement to be put in evidence. We asked
that the witness should be examined orally and he was
examined orally, and the written statement is not yet in


Q. I have one more question, witness. Did you ever write
down your objections to this bacteriological warfare?

A. Yes, in the memorandum which I mentioned before.

Q. When did you submit that memorandum?

A. In 1942; may I now -

Q. That is enough. The conference took place in July, 1943.
Afterwards did you put your divergent views on this point in

A. No, I did not put anything into writing.

Q. After you reported to him, did your superior put his
objections in writing?

A. Not that I know of. General Oberstabsarzt Handloser was
at headquarters and I in Berlin. He came once a week or once
every two weeks. We reported to him and then he went back to

DR. LATERNSER: I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: Before we continue I will deal with three
applications. First of all, the application of Dr. Kauffmann
of 20th August, 1946. It appears originally to have been
dated 15th August. That application will be granted, and an
affidavit by the witness Panzinger may be put in evidence,
provided it is put in evidence before the end of the trial.

With reference to the application by Dr. Pelckmann, dated
originally 22nd August, 1946, the application is denied.

The two applications by Dr. Dix dated 20th and 21st August,
both applications are denied.

Now, is there any further cross-examination on behalf of the

Does the Soviet prosecution desire to re-examine?

                                                   [Page 97]

COLONEL POKROVSKY: The questioning by the Soviet prosecution
is finished, Mr. President. We have no more questions.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness may retire.

THE PRESIDENT: Now, Dr. Pelckmann.

DR. PELCKMANN (for the SS and SD): First, I should like to
refer to two points. In the letter of 23rd August I
announced that my final speech cannot be translated.
Secondly, I should like to remind the that Tribunal that the

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, sixty pages of it have already
been translated, I understand.

DR. PELCKMANN: Yes. The French translation, however, has not
been made yet. Furthermore, I beg to point out to the
Tribunal that the answers to the interrogatory which I sent
to the witness Rauschnigg have apparently not been received

Your Lordship and gentlemen of the Tribunal, when, on 27th
February, 1933, the German Reichstag was destroyed by fire,
the Nazis willed that out of those flames the Third Reich,
that was to last for a thousand years, should be born. When,
a little more than twelve years later, the whole of Germany
was engulfed in a sea of flames, that Reich went down in
rubble and ruins.

Both of those historic events were followed by trials. Their
meaning was and is to determine who were responsible for
those two crimes of human history.

The German Supreme Court did not solve that task. It is true
that it acquitted with remarkable courage, as Mr. Jackson
has stated, the indicted Communists, but it failed to
determine and certainly to sentence those who were really
guilty, who hired the unfortunate tool, van der Lubbe, and
who performed the deed with him. Thus, under the impact of
public opinion, the truth has been muzzled and has been
concealed by the Nazi Government. Formal justice has been
satisfied. The culprit had been sentenced but that divine
power, Truth, and the deepest human insight remained hidden.
These alone would have been able to open the eyes of the
German people at that time and to hold it back from the

Now this High Tribunal, this Court of the World, faces the
task of passing judgment. Whose guilt was that world
conflagration? Who was responsible for the destruction of
foreign lands and finally for the downfall of our German
Fatherland? And again there exists the danger that this
Court too should pass merely a formal verdict, naming guilty
ones - but that the deepest and last truth should remain
hidden by the power of psychosis which, in accordance with
the laws of psychology and psycho-analysis, would be the
natural consequence of the many years of struggle between
the Hitler regime and the free peoples of the world.

Will this Tribunal be in a position to save, by its verdict,
Germany and all the world from an abyss deeper and more
horrible than anything experienced before?

This trial is a criminal trial. It is truly the greatest as
far as the number of defendants and people concerned, and
above all, the most important which ever was recorded by
legal history, but yet, in all its characteristics, a
typical criminal trial. Therefore, it followed that Anglo-
Saxon legal principle which governed the Charter, which was
reaffirmed during the public proceedings, the principle that
the prosecution had to collect and to present only those
factors which could incriminate, never those that could
excuse the accused. Effectively, the prosecution is
supported by the mass psychosis to which all the witnesses
of the test causes celebres of world history are subject,
for reasons which international scientists, particularly Le
Bon have given in detail. Openly and cheerfully I  confess
that in the course of the defence which I conducted I did
not use the

                                                   [Page 98]

corresponding principle of painting in black and white. I,
too, was endangered by the possible mass suggestion exerted
by those hundreds of thousands of voices which reached me
from the internment camps, and I was tempted to defend any
price - losing by that, that basis of facts, as they
actually were. This result shows already the dangerous
reaction brought about by such a mass accusation and its
political consequences.

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