The Nizkor Project

Twenty-Fourth Day: Thursday, 20th December, 1945
(Part 1 of 8)

MAJOR FARR: May it please the Tribunal, when the Tribunal rose yesterday, we were discussing the number of persons who might be involved in the concentration camp programme' with which the S.S. was concerned nothing better illustrates the integrated character of the whole organisation than that programme.

W.V.H.A., one of the departments of the Supreme Command, handled the administration and control of that camp programme and dealt with the victims once they were in the camp. They were assisted by the Death Head Units, who furnished the guard personnel for the camps, and subsequently by the " Allgemeine S.S.," which took over guard duties during the war.

R.S.H.A. -- the police arm of the S.S. -- played a part in the concentration camp programme, because through it the victims were apprehended and taken to the camps. Thus the S.D. appears in the picture, the personal staff, the first department of the Supreme Command, the top office so to speak of the whole organisation, and naturally had much to do with the work of all subordinate departments.

Thus when the question is asked how many persons in the S.S. had something to do with the concentration camp programme, it is a question which I think it is impossible to answer. You might point out how many persons were involved in the Death Head Units, who originally furnished the guard details. You might estimate how many persons were in the " Allgemeine S. S.," but to say just what percentage of the whole organisation was involved in that programme is something which I find myself unable to do.

I had just pointed out --

THE PRESIDENT:Can you say that one or other branch of the S.S. provided the whole of the staff of the concentration camps?

MAJOR FARR: By the staff, I take it, you mean guards at the camp, the guard personnel. You cannot do that. For example, the Death Head Units originally started off as being the units which furnished all the guard personnel. Subsequently, their task was taken over by members of the "Allgemeine S.S."

THE PRESIDENT: Those are both branches of the S.S.?

MAJOR FARR: Both are branches, yes. Now with respect to the camp commandants, for instance, normally all high ranking officers in the S.S. were members of the " Allgemeine S.S.," so doubtless such personnel would be drawn from that branch. It is certainly not impossible that some members of the " Waffen S.S." may have been called on to act as guards in certain camps. I do not think you can say that there is no component of the S.S. which may not have had some of its personnel involved in the programme.

THE PRESIDENT: That was not exactly what I meant. What I meant was: could you say that one or other branches of the S.S. furnished the whole staff of the concentration camps?

[Page 154]

MAJOR FARR: I do not think I can say that. I think I could say this --

THE PRESIDENT: What other organisation was it that furnished a part of the staff of the concentration camps?

MAJOR FARR: You mean an organisation other than the S.S.


MAJOR FARR: I know of none.

THE PRESIDENT: Then the answer would be "Yes"?

MAJOR FARR: I thought your Honour was referring to any one branch of the S.S., which was concerned alone with that. The S.S., so far as I know, is the only organisation which played a part in the concentration camp picture, except at the very end of the war when I think, as Colonel Storey said yesterday, some members of the S.A. were also involved as guard personnel of concentration camps.

THE TRIBUNAL (MR. BIDDLE): Do you know the total personnel at the end of the war?

MAJOR FARR: Of the entire S.S.


MAJOR FARR: That is something you would have to estimate. I quoted to the Tribunal yesterday the figures that d'Alquen gave as the strength of the " Allgemeine S.S." in 1939. He said then that there were about 240,000 men in the AllgemeineS.S." There were, at that time, about four regiments of Death Head Units, several other regiments of the " Verfilgungstruppe," a few thousand personnel involved in the S.D., so that I should say in 1939 you had about 250,000 to 300,000 members of the S.S. With the outbreak of the war, the " Waffen S.S." was built up from a few regiments of the Verfflgungstruppe to about 31 divisions at the end of the war, which probably would mean that the " Waffen S.S." by 1941, had had some 400,000 to 500,000 persons involved. I take it that 400,000 to 500,000 members of the " Waffen S.S." would be in addition to personnel of the "Allgemeine S.S.," who were subject to compulsory military service in the Wehrmacht. So that, if I had to estimate, I would say that probably some 750,000 persons would be the top figure of personnel who had been involved in the S.S. from the beginning, but that is only an estimate.

THE TRIBUNAL (MR. BIDDLE): Then you have no break down to show how many of those were civilians, clerks, stenographers, soldiers and so on ?

MAJOR FARR: No. When we are talking about S.S. members, we are not talking about stenographers who worked in the office, who were not members of the S.S. By S.S. members, we mean personnel who took the oath and appeared on the membership list, either as a member of the " Allgemeine S.S.," the Death Head Units, or the " Waffen S.S." I would think that my figure Of 750,000 was a figure including members of the S.S., " Allgemeine S.S.," the " Totenkopfverbande," and the " Waffen S.S."

I was pointing out the shift of control of concentration camps to W.V.H.A. in 1942, which was coincident with the shift in the basic purpose of the camps, which heretofore had been concerned with custody of individuals for political and security reasons. The basic purpose of the camps was to furnish manpower, and 1 now want to point out to the Court the agencies of the S.S. which were involved in that manpower drive.

The Tribunal has already received evidence of an order, which was issued in 1942, shortly after the transfer to W.V.H.A. of concentration camp control, directing Security Police to furnish at once 35,000 prisoners qualified

[Page 155]

for work in the camps. That order is our Document 1063-PS, and was received in evidence as Exhibit USA 219.

35,000 prisoners were, of course, merely the beginning. The S.S. dragnet was capable of catching many more slaves. I offer in evidence a carbon typewritten copy of a directive to all the departments of the S.S. Supreme Command, issued from Himmler's field headquarters on the 5th and 6th August, 1943. It is Document 744-PS. I offer it as Exhibit USA 455. That directive appears on Page 2 of the translation. It implements an order signed by the defendant Keitel, directing the use of all males, captured in guerilla fighting in the East, for forced labour. The Keitel directive appears on Page 1 of the translation.

I shall read only the Himmler directive appearing on Page 2 of the translation. The Tribunal will note that it is addressed to every main office of the S.S. Supreme Command. I read that list of addresses of the directive:

1. Chief of the personnel staff of Reichsfuehrer S.S.
2. S.S. Main Office.
3. Reich Security Main Office (R.S.H.A.).
4. Race and Resettlement Main Office S.S.
5. Main Office, Ordinary Police.
6. S.S. Economic Administrative Main Office.
7. S.S. Personnel Main Office.
8. Main Office S.S. Court.
9. S.S. Supreme Command -- Headquarters of the 'Waffen S.S.'
10. Staff Headquarters of the Reich Commissar for the Consolidation of Germanism.
11. Main Office Centre for Racial Germans.
12. Office of S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer Heissmeyer.
13. Chief of the Guerilla-fighting Units."
I point out to the Court that every one of the main offices appearing on the chart is a recipient of that directive. The next addresses are the Higher S.S. and Police Leaders in the various regions. .

I continue to quote the body of the directive

" To figure 4 of the above-mentioned order I direct, that all young female prisoners capable of work are to be sent to Germany, through the agency of Reich Commissioner Sauckel.

Children, old women and men are to be collected and employed in the women's and children's camps, established by me on estates as well as on the border of the evacuated area."

In April 1944 the S.S. was called on to produce even more labourers this time 100,000 Jews from Hungary. The Tribunal will recall the minutes of the defendant Speer's discussion with Hitler on the 6th and 7th of April, 1944, which were found in our Document R-124 at page 36, and were read to the Court, in evidence as Exhibit USA 179, minutes in which Speer referred to Hitler's statement that he would call on the Reichsfuehrer S.S. to produce 100,000 Jews from Hungary.

The last source of man-power had not been tapped. To Jews, deportees, women and children, there was added the productive power of prisoners of war. It was through the S.S. that the conspirators squeezed the last drop of labour from such prisoners.

[Page 156]

I refer to statement by the defendant Speer, which appears in our Document R-124 at Page 13 of the translation, the document itself having already been introduced in evidence as Exhibit USA 179. The statement is found at Page 7, last paragraph of the original, Page 13 of the Document R-124, the next to the last paragraph on Page 13. That appears in volume 2 of the document book. I quote:
"Speer: We have to come to an arrangement with the Reichsfuehrer S.S. as soon as possible so that P.W.'s he picks up are made available for our purposes. The Reichsfuehrer S.S. gets from thirty to forty thousand men per month."
In order to insure S.S. control over the labour of prisoners of war, the Reichsfuehrer S.S. was finally appointed as head of all prisoner- of-war camps on 25th September, 1944. I offer in evidence the letter referring to his appointment. It is our Document 058-PS. It is Exhibit USA 456. It will be found in Volume 1 of the document book. That letter is a circular letter from the Director of the Party Chancellery, dated the 30th of September, 1944, and signed "M. Bormann." I quote, beginning with the first paragraph:
"1. The Fuehrer has ordered under the date 25 September, 1944:

The custody of all prisoners of war and interned persons, as well as prisoner-of-war camps and institutions with guards, are transferred to the Commander of the Reserve Army from October 1, 1944."

Passing to paragraph 2 of the letter, I shall read sub-paragraphs (a) and (c), I quote:
2. The Reichsfuehrer S.S. has commanded:

(a) In my capacity as Commander of the Reserve Army, I transfer the affairs of prisoners of war to Gottlieb Berger S.S.-Lieut- General Chief of Staff of the Volksturrn."

Passing now to sub paragraph (c):
"(c) The mobilisation of labour of the prisoners of war will be organised with the present labour mobilisation office in joint action between S. S. -Lieut.-General Berger and S.S.-Lieut.- General Pohl.

The strengthening of security in the field of prisoners of war affairs is to be accomplished between S.S.-Lieut.-General Berger and the Chief of the Security Police, S.S.-Lieut.-Gen. Dr. Kalteribrunner."

Thus the S.S finally took over direction and control of prisoner-of- war camps.

So impressive were the results obtained from S.S. concentration camp labour, that in 1944 the defendant Goering called on Himmler for more inmates for use in the aircraft industry. The Tribunal will recall his teletype to Himmler, our Document 1584-PS, Part 1, which was read in evidence by Mr. Dodd, as Exhibit USA 221. Let me now read Himmler's reply to that teletype. It is our Document 1584-PS, Part 3, and will be found on Page 2 of Part 3 Of 1584-PS. I offer it in evidence as Exhibit USA 457. 1 quote the beginning of that letter:

"Most Honoured Reichsmarshal:

Following my teletype letter of 18 February 1944 1 herewith transmit a survey on the employment of prisoners in the aviation industry.

[Page 157]

This survey indicates that at the present time about 36,000 prisoners are employed for the purposes of the Air Force. An increase to a total of 90,000 prisoners is contemplated.

The production is being discussed, established and executed between the Reich Ministry of Aviation and the Chief of my Economic Administrative Main Office, S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Waffen S.S. Pohl respectively:

We assist with all the forces at our disposal.

The task of my Economic Administrative Main Office, however, is not completely fulfilled with the delivery of the prisoners to the aviation industry, as S.S.-Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl and his assistants take care of the required working speed through constant control and supervision of the work-groups (Kommandos) and therefore have some influence on the resulting production. In this respect I may suggest consideration of the fact that in enlarging our responsibility through a speeding-up of the total work, better results can definitely be expected."

I pass now to the last two paragraphs of the letter, which will be found on the next page of the translation:
"The movement of manufacturing plants of the aviation industry to subterranean locations requires further employment of about 100,000 prisoners. The plans for this employment on the basis of your letter of 14 February 1944 are already under way.

I shall keep you, most honoured Reichsmarshal, currently informed on this subject."

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