The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Twenty-Sixth Day: Thursday, 3rd January, 1946
(Part 2 of 15)

[COLONEL JOHN H. AMEN continues]

[Page 245]

Q. What, if anything, did you have to do with making up that chart?

A. This chart was made during my interrogation.

COLONEL AMEN: For the information of the Tribunal, the chart of which the witness speaks is Exhibit US.A. 493.

Q. Will you tell the Tribunal whether that chart correctly portrays the basic organization of the R.S.H.A., as well as the position of Kaltenbrunner, the Gestapo, and the S.D. in the German Police system?

A. The organisation, as represented in that chart, is a correct representation of the organisation of the R.S.H.A. It shows correctly the position of the S.A. as well as the State Police, the Criminal Police, and the S.D.

Q. Referring once more to the chart, please indicate your position in the R.S.H.A. and state for what period you continued to serve in that capacity.

(At this point the witness pointed to Amt III on the chart.)

Q. What were the positions of Kaltenbrunner, Mueller, and Eichmann in the R.S.H.A., and state for what periods of time each of them continued to serve in his respective capacity?

A. Kaltenbrunner was Chief of the Sicherheitspolizei and the S.D.; as such, he was also Chief of the R.S.H.A., the internal organisational term for the office of the chief of the Sicherheitspolizei and the S.D.

Kaltenbrunner occupied this position from 30th January, 1943, until the end of the war. Mueller was Chief of Amt IV, the Gestapo. When the Gestapo was established, he became Deputy Chief, and as such he subsequently was appointed Chief of Amt IV of the R.S.H.A.. He occupied this position until the end of the war.

Eichmann occupied a position in Amt IV under Mueller and worked on the Jewish problem from 1940 on. To my knowledge, he also occupied this position until the end of the war.

Q. Will you tell us for what period of time you continued to serve as Chief of Amt III?

A. I was Chief of Amt III from 1939 to 1945.

Q. Turning now to the designation "Mobile Units" with the Army, shown in the lower right-hand corner of the chart, please explain to the Tribunal the significance of the terms "Einsatzgruppe" and "Einsatzkommando".

A. The concept "Einsatzgruppe" was established after an agreement between the Chiefs of the R.S.H.A., O.K.W., and O.K.H., in regard to the use of the Sipo in the area of operation. The concept "Einsatzgruppe" first appeared during the Polish campaign.

The agreement with the O.K.H. and O.K.W., however, was first arrived at before the beginning of the Russian campaign. This agreement specified that an official of the Sipo and the S.D. should be assigned to the Army Groups, or the Armies, and that this official would have at his disposal mobile units of the Sipo and the S.D. in the form of Einsatzgruppen, subdivided into Einsatzkommandos. The Einsatzkommandos should be assigned to the Army Units as needed, to the particular Army Group or Army.

Q. State, if you know, whether prior to the campaign against Soviet Russia, any agreement was entered into between the O.K.W., O.K.H., and R.S.H.A.?

[Page 246]

A. Yes, the Einsatzgruppen, just described by me, and the Einsatzkommandos were used in the Russian campaign, according to a written agreement between the O.K.W., O.K.H., and R.S.H.A..

Q. How do you know that there was such a written agreement?

A. I was often present when the negotiations which Schellenberg conducted with the O.K.H. and OKW were being discussed, and I also had a written copy of this agreement in my own hands when I took over the Einsatzgruppen.

Q. Explain to the Tribunal who Schellenberg was. What position, if any, did he occupy?

A. Schellenberg was finally the Chief of Amt VI in the R.S.H.A.; at the time when he was conducting these negotiations as ordered by Heydrich, he belonged to the Amt.

Q. On approximately what date did these negotiations take place?

A. The negotiations took several weeks. The agreement must have been reached about one or two weeks before the beginning of the Russian campaign.

Q. Did you yourself ever see a copy of this written agreement?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you have occasion to work with this written agreement?

A. Yes.

Q. On more than one occasion?

A. Yes; and in regard to more than one question which had to do with the use of Einsatzgruppen in the Army.

Q. Do you know where the original or any copy of that agreement is located to-day?

A. No, I do not.

Q. To the best of your knowledge and recollection, please explain to the Tribunal the entire substance of this written agreement.

A. First of all, the agreement stated the fact that Einsatzgruppen should be set up and that Einsatzkommandos should be used for joint efforts in this operation. Up to that time the Army had completely taken over the tasks that the Sipo should have done itself.

THE PRESIDENT: What is it that you say the Einsatzkommandos did under the agreement?

A. The second was the authority of the Army in regard to the Einsatzgruppen and the Einsatzkommandos. The agreement specified that the Army Groups or Armies should be responsible for marching and maintenance so far as the Einsatzgruppen were concerned. Particular instructions came from the Chief of the Sipo and S.D.

COL. AMEN: Q. Let us understand. Is it correct that an Einsatz Group was to be attached to each Army Group or Army?

A. Every Army Group was to have attached to it an Einsatzgruppe. The Einsatzkommandos, in their turn, were to be attached to the Armies by the Army Group.

Q. And was the Army Command to determine the area within which the Einsatz Group was to operate?

A. The operational region of the Einsatzgruppe was determined by the fact that the Einsatzgruppe was attached to a specific Army Group and therefore marched with it, whereas the Einsatzkommandos functioned in territories as determined by the Army Group or Army.

> [Page 247]

Q. Did the agreement also provide that the Army Command was to direct the time during which they were to operate?

A. That was included under the concept "March."

Q. And also to direct any additional tasks they were to perform?

A. Yes. As far as the actual instructions of the Chiefs of the Sipo and S.D. were concerned, they were guided by the general practice that they could issue orders to the Army if the operational situation made it necessary.

Q. What did this agreement provide with respect to the attachment of the Einsatz Group Command to the Army Command?

A. I cannot remember whether anything specific was said about that. At any rate, an attachment was established.

Q. Do you recall any other provisions of this written agreement?

A. I believe I can state the essential content of that agreement.

Q. What position did you occupy with respect to this agreement?

A. From June, 1941, to the death of Heydrich in June, 1942, I led Einsatzgruppe D, and was the Deputy of the Chief of the Sipo and the S.D. with the 11th Army.

Q. And when was Heydrich's death?

A. Heydrich was wounded at the end of May, 1942, and died on 4th June, 1942.

Q. How much advance notice, if any, did you have of the campaign against Soviet Russia?

A. About four weeks.

Q. How many Einsatz Groups were there, and who were their respective leaders?

A. There were four Einsatzgruppen, Group A, B, C and D. Chief of Einsatzgruppe A was Stahlecker; Chief of Einsatzgruppe B was Nebe; Chief of Einsatzgruppe C Dr. Rausche, and later, Dr. Thomas; Chief of Einsatzgruppe D, Bierkamp.

Q. To which army was Group D attached?

A. Group D was not attached to any Army Group, but was attached directly to the 11th Army.

Q. Where did Group D operate?

A. Group D operated in the Southern Ukraine.

Q. Will you describe in more detail the nature and extent of the area in which Group D originally operated, naming the cities or territories?

A. The most Northern city was Czernowitz; then Southward to Mogilev-Podelsk; South-west to Odessa; North-east of that, Melitopol, Mariupol, Taganrog, Rostov and the Crimea.

Q. What was the ultimate objective of Group D?

A. Group D was held in reserve for the Caucasus. An Army Group was provided for this operation.

Q. When did Group D commence its move into Soviet Russia?

A. Group D left Duegen on 21st June, reaching Romania in 21 days. There the first Einsatzkommandos were already being demanded by the Army, and they marched at once to the goals set by the Army. The entire Einsatzgruppe was made use of at the beginning of July.

Q. You are referring to the 11th Army?

A. Yes.

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