The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
December 17, 1945 to January 4, 1946

Twenty-Fifth Day: Wednesday, 2nd January, 1946
(Part 7 of 9)

[LT. WHITNEY R. HARRIS continues]

[Page 227]

The Tribunal will recall evidence heretofore received, and I refer to Page 254 (Part I) of the transcript of these proceedings, of the telephone conversation between Goering and Seyss- Inquart, in which Goering stated that Kaltenbrunner was to have the Department of Security.

I continue quoting the last paragraph from this article:

"During the liquidation of the Austrian National Government and the reorganisation of Austria into Alps and Danube Districts, he was

[Page 228]

appointed Higher S.S. and Police Leader with the Reich Government in Vienna, Lower Danube and Upper Danube in Corps Area 17, and in April, 1941, he was promoted to Major General of Police."
Kaltenbrunner thereby became the little HimmIer of Austria.

According to Der Grossdeutsche Reichstag, Vierte Wahlperiode, 1938, published by F. Kienast, at Page 262, our Document 2892-PS, Kaltenbrunner joined the Nazi Party and the S.S. in Austria in 1932. He was Party Member 300179 and S.S. Member 13039. Prior to 1933 he was the "Gauredner " and legal adviser to S.S. Division 8. After 1933, he was the leader of S.S. Regiment 37, and later the leader of S.S. Division 8. Kaltenbrunner was given the highest Nazi Party decorations, the Golden Insignia of Honour and the Blutorden. He was a member of the Reichstag after 1938.

I now offer Document 3427-PS, as Exhibit next in order USA 512. This is also an article which appeared in Die Deutsche Polizei, the magazine of the Security Police and S.D., 12th February, 1943, at Page 65, and I quote:

"S.S. Gruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner Appointed Chief of the Security Police and of the S.D.
Berlin, 30th January, 1943.

Upon suggestion of the Reichsfuehrer S.S. and Chief of German Police, the Fuehrer has appointed S.S. Gruppenfuehrer and Major General of Police Dr. Ernst Kaltenbrunner as Chief of the Security Police and of the S.D. as successor of S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer and Lieutenant General of Police Reinhard Heydrich, who passed away 4th June, 1942."

The Tribunal has heard frequent references made to the speech of Himmler delivered on 4th October, 1943, at Posen, Poland, to Gruppenfuehrers of the S.S., our Document 1919- PS, heretofore received as Exhibit USA170, in which, with unmatched frankness, Himmler discussed the barbaric programme and criminal activities of the S.S. and the Security Police. Near the beginning of the speech Himmler referred to, and I quote merely this one sentence: "Our comrade, S.S. Gruppenfuehrer Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who has succeeded our fallen friend Heydrich."

Kaltenbrunner carried out the responsibilities as Chief of the Security Police and S. D. to the satisfaction of Himmler and Hitler, for on 9th December 1944, according to the "Befehlsblatt " of the Security Police and S.D.

DR. KAUFMANN (Counsel for defendant Kaltenbrunner): May I interrupt just for a second ? I understood the decision of the Tribunal to be that the proceedings against Kaltenbrunner were to be postponed until Kaltenbrunner is fit for trial and now the matter of Kaltenbrunner is being discussed.

THE PRESIDENT: No, the decision which the Tribunal indicated before was based upon the view that the evidence could be divided between evidence which bore directly against Kaltenbrunner and evidence which bore against the organisation of the Gestapo, but, when you attended before us in closed session, it was explained that it was impossible to do that and that the evidence was so inextricably mingled that it was impossible to direct the evidence solely to the organisation and not to include that against Kaltenbrunner. Accordingly the Tribunal decided that they would go on with the evidence, which the prosecution desired to present, in its entirety, but that they would give you the opportuinty of cross-examining any witnesses who might be

[Page 229]

called, at a later date. Of course, you will, in addition to that, have the fullest opportunity of dealing with any documentary evidence which bears against Kaltenbrunner when the time comes for you to present the defence on behalf of Kaltenbrunner.

Do you follow that ?

DR. KAUMANN: Of course.

THE PRESIDENT: You will have the opportunity of cross-examining any witness who is called this afternoon or to-morrow, at a later date, a date which will be convenient to yourself. And in addition, with reference to any documentary evidence such as is now being presented by counsel for the United States, you will have full opportunity at a future date of dealing any way that it seems right to you to do.

DR. KAUFMANN: Yes. May I just say one word more? The misunderstanding from which I am suffering is probably due to the fact that I was of the opinion that witnesses were now to be heard, but now I hear that the evidence - that is to say, a vastly greater complex of evidence - is to be put forward. Now that I hear that the Tribunal is also admitting the evidence in its entirety I shall, of course, have to submit to this decision.

LT. HARRIS: Kaltenbrunner carried out the responsibilities as Chief of the Security Police and S.D. to the satisfaction of Hirmmler and Hitler, it for on 9th December, 1944, according to the " Befehlsblatt " of the Securi y Police and S.D., No. 51, Page 361, our 2770-PS, he received, as Chief of the Security Police and S.D., the decoration known as the Knight's Cross of the War Merit with Crossed Swords, one of the highest military decorations. By that time Kaltenbrunner had been promoted to the high rank of S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Police.

I invite the attention of the Tribunal to the organisation chart entitled "The Position of Kaltenbrunner and the Gestapo and S.D. in the German Police Systern," Exhibit USA 493. As Chief of the Security Police and S.D., Kaltenbrunner was the Head of the Gestapo, the Kripo and the S.D. and of the R.S.H.A., which was a department of the S.S. and the Reich Ministry of the Interior. He was in charge of the regional offices of the Gestapo, the S.D. and the Kripo within Germany, and of the Einsatz Groups and Einsatz Commandos in the occupied territories.

Directly under Kaltenbrunner were the Chiefs of the main offices of the R.S.H.A., including Amt III (the S.D. within Germany), Amt IV (the Gestapo), Amt V (the Kripo), and Amt VI (Foreign Intelligence).

I offer Document 2939-PS as Exhibit next in order, Exhibit USA 513. This is the affidavit of Walter Schellenberg, who was chief of Amt VI of the R.S.H.A. from the autumn of 1941 to the end of the war. I am going to read a very small portion of this affidavit, beginning with the sixth sentence of the first paragraph:

"On or about 25th January, 1943, I went together with Kaltenbrunner to Himmler's headquarters at Loetzen in East Prussia. All of the Amt Chiefs of the R.S.H.A. were present at this meeting, and Himmler informed us that Kaltenbrunner was to be appointed Chief of the Security Police and S.D. (R.S.H.A.) as successor to Heydrich. His appointment was effective as from 30th January, 1943. 1 know of no limitation placed on Kaltenbrunner's authority as Chief of the Security Police and S.D. He promptly entered upon the duties of the office and

[Page 230]

assumed direct charge of the office and control over the Amt. All important matters of all Amter had to clear through Kaltenbrunner."
During Kaltenbrunner's term in office as Chief of the Security Police and S.D., many crimes were committed by the Security Police and S.D. pursuant to policy established by the R.S.H.A. or upon orders issued out of the R.S.H.A., for all of which Kaltenbrunner was responsible by virtue of his office. Each of these crimes has been discussed in detail in the case against the Gestapo and S.D., and reference is here made to that presentation. Evidence now will be offered only to show that these crimes continued after Kaltenbrunner became Chief of the Security Police and S.D. on 30th January, 1943.

The first crime for which Kaltenbrunner is responsible as Chief of the Security Police and S.D. is the murder and mistreatment of civilians of occupied countries by the Einsatz Groups. There were at least five Einsatz Groups operating in the East during Kaltenbrunner's term in office.

The "Befehlsblatt" of the Security Police and S.D. - and this is contained in our Document 2890-PS, of which I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice - contains reference to Einsatz Groups A, B, D, G and Croatia during the period of August, 1943, to January, 1945.

I shall not read from the document which contains those excerpts, but the Tribunal will note those references to the name "Einsatz Groups," indicating that they were operating during the time that Kaltenbrunner was Chief of the Security Police and S.D. The Tribunal will recall Document 1104-PS, which has heretofore been received as Exhibit USA 483. I will only refer in passing to this document, which contained a lengthy and critical report on the conduct of the Security Police in exterminating the Jewish population of Sluzk, White Ruthenia. That report was submitted to Heydrich on 21st November, 1941. Yet, the same conditions of horror and cruelty continued to characterise the operations of Einsatzkornmandos in the East while Kaltenbrunner was Chief of the Security Police and S.D. I refer to Document R-135, which has heretofore been received as Exhibit USA 289, and I will not read anything from that but simply refresh the Tribunal's recollection of the report of Gunther, the prison warden at Minsk, under date of 31st May, 1943, to the General Commissioner for White Ruthenia, in which he pointed out that after 13th April, 1943, the S.D. had pursued a policy of removing all gold teeth, bridgework and fillings of Jews, an hour or two before they were murdered.

The Tribunal will also recall in this Exhibit the report of 18th June, 1943, to the Reich Minister for the occupied territories describing the practice of the police battalions of locking men, women and children into barns which were then set on fire.

The second crime for which Kaltenbrunner is responsible as Chief of the Security Police and S.D. is the execution of racial and political undesirables.

THE PRESIDENT: Lieutenant Harris, I think you are going perhaps a little bit too fast, and it is difficult for us to follow you when you are referring so quickly to these documents.

LIEUTENANT HARRIS: Thank you, sir.

The second crime for which Kaltenbrunner is responsible as Chief of the Security Police and S.D. is the execution of racial and political undesirables screened out of prisoner-of-war camps by the Gestapo. The Tribunal will recall Document 2542-PS, heretofore received as Exhibit USA 489.

[Page 231]
I believe, you will find that document in the Gestapo Document Book. It was introduced this morning.

THE PRESIDENT: The Lindow affidavit?

LIEUTENANT HARRIS: Yes. That is the Lindow affidavit that indicates that the programme of screening prisoner of war camps continued during 1943.

The third crime for which Kaltenbrunner is responsible as Chief of the Security Police and S.D. was the taking of recaptured prisoners of war -

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. You have not yet drawn our attention to any specific paragraph which shows that this programme was in operation after 1943; you are passing on to something else whilst I am looking at the document to see what I have got.

LIEUTENANT HARRIS: Referring specifically to the third paragraph, if the Tribunal please, which has heretofore been read into evidence.

THE PRESIDENT: That only says until about the beginning of 1943.

LIEUTENANT HARRIS: It says early in 1943 the department was dissolved and it went into the departments in Subsection IV B. The work concerning Russian prisoners of war must then have been done by IV B2a.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Well, that is all you want it for, is it not


The third crime for which Kaltenbrunner is responsible as Chief of the Security Police and S.D. was the taking of recaptured prisoners-of- war to concentration camps where they were executed. I invite the attention of the Tribunal to Document 1650-PS, which has heretofore been received as Exhibit USA 246. This is the secret Gestapo order, the" Kugel Erlass," or "Bullet Decree," under which escaped prisoners-of-war were sent to concentration camps by the Security Police and S.D. for execution.

This order, dated 4th March, 1944, was signed - and I quote - "Chief of the Security Police and of the Security Service, for the Chief," (signed) " Mueller."

I now offer Document L-158 as Exhibit next in order. This is Exhibit USA 54. I am not going to read this document since it is similar to the previous document offered, but I do wish to refer to the marked passages. First: "On 2nd March, 1944, the Chief of the Security Police and S.D., Berlin, forwarded the following O.K.W. order." Then follows the statement that upon recapture certain escaped prisoners of war should be turned over to the Chief of the Security Police and S.D.

The document goes on to say - and I quote - "In this connection the Chief of the Security Police and S.D. has issued the following instructions." Detailed instructions follow concerning the turning over of such prisoners to the commandant of Mauthausen under the operation "Bullet." Further, this order states - and I quote - this is at the very end of the order - "The list of the recaptured officers and non-working N.C.O. prisoners of war will be kept here by IV A I. To enable a report to be made punctually to the Chief of the Sipo and S.D., Berlin, statements of the numbers involved must reach Radom by 20th June, 1944."

I recall the attention of the Tribunal to Document 2285-PS, which was received this morning as Exhibit USA 490.

THE PRESIDENT: Has that Document L-158 already been put in evidence ?

[Page 232]

LT. HARRIS: No, Sir, I have just put in those portions. I have just put the document in evidence at this time, Sir. The document has not been read in its entirety for the reason that the contents, other than the quoted portions, are substantially the same as Document 1650, which has been read at length.

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