The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
4th April to 15th April, 1946

One Hundred and Fifth Day: Thursday, 11th April, 1946
(Part 1 of 10)

[Page 237]

DR. SAUTER (counsel for the defendant Funk): Mr. President, on Saturday last, when sickness prevented me from attending the session, the question came up in which sequence the defence for the defendants Dr. Funk and Dr. Schacht should be handled, and the President has expressed the wish to hear my statement on the subject as soon as possible. I have discussed the matter with my client and the defence counsel for Dr. Schacht and I agree to and suggest that the defence for the defendant Schacht come first and that the case of the defendant Funk, for reasons of suitability, should follow after the evidence for the defendant Schacht has been completed. For the information of the Tribunal I wanted to inform you of that, Mr. President. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly.

MR. DODD: If your Honours please, I should like to call the attention of the Tribunal to the fact that with respect to the documents for the defendant Rosenberg, we have finished our conversations with Dr. Thoma on a number, and there are several matters which will require a hearing before the Tribunal. We were not able to agree on some of them and, as I said yesterday, we are prepared to be heard on the applications of Dr. Schacht.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, we will arrange a time for that. Now, Dr. Kauffmann.

DR. KAUFFMANN (counsel for Kaltenbrunner): Mr. President, I am now beginning the defence in the case of the defendant Kaltenbrunner. I need not emphasise how extraordinarily difficult this defence is, considering the unusual severity of the charges preferred. I intend to present the evidence in the following way: with the permission of the Tribunal, I shall first read two small documents from the short document book; then, with the permission of the Tribunal, I shall call the defendant to the witness stand and after that, I shall examine one or two witnesses.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks that that course would be appropriate but I wanted to draw your attention ...

DR. KAUFFMANN: There were four witnesses who were called for the prosecution - Ohlendorf, Hoellriegel, Wisliceny -

THE PRESIDENT: You asked for leave at an earlier stage to cross-examine witnesses called for the prosecution - Ohlendorf, Hoellriegel, Wisliceny, and Schellenberg; and the Tribunal then ordered that they might be recalled for cross- examination but that they must be called before your witnesses. Therefore, the Tribunal wants to know whether you wish to call any of those for cross-examination. You do not?

DR. KAUFFMANN: No, Mr. President, I do not wish to call either Ohlendorf, Wisliceny, Hoellriegel or Schellenberg.


DR. KAUFFMANN: May I now read these two documents? To begin with there is the affidavit of the witness Dr. Mildner in the document book. I am asking that notice be taken of it. It is KR-1.

[Page 238]

"I, the undersigned, Dr. Mildner, at present in prison in Nuremberg, make the following affidavit in answer to the questions put to me by attorney, Dr. Kauffmann, for presentation to the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg:

Question 1: Give particulars of your career.

Answer: I was entrusted with certain tasks of the Gestapo for about ten years. From 1938 to 1945 I was under Amt IV, which is the Gestapo of the Reich Main Security Office in Berlin. I was in the R.S.H.A. in Berlin itself for only about three months, that it to say, from March to June, 1944. The rest of the time I was mostly the chief of provincial branches of the Gestapo .

Question 2: What can you say in regard to Kaltenbrunner's personality?

Answer: From my own knowledge I can confirm the following: I know the defendant Kaltenbrunner personally. In his private life he was beyond reproach. In my opinion his promotion from Senior S.S. and Police Leader to Chief of the Security Police and the S.D. was due to the fact that Himmler, after the death, in June, 1942, of Heydrich, his chief rival, would suffer no man beside or under him who might have endangered his position. The defendant Kaltenbrunner was no doubt the least dangerous man for Himmler. Kaltenbrunner had no ambition to gain influence by outstanding deeds and eventually to push Himmler aside. There was no question of lust for power in his case. It is wrong to call him "The little Himmler."

Question 3: What attitude did Kaltenbrunner adopt toward Amt IV (Gestapo)?

Answer: I know of no specific limitation of the defendant Kaltenbrunner's power with regard to the offices which came under the R.S.H.A. On the other hand, I can say that Muller, the Chief of Amt IV, acted independently by virtue of his long experience and did not give to anyone, not even the chiefs of the remaining offices of the R.S.H.A., any insight into his tasks and the methods of his Amt IV. He had, after all, immediate protection from Himmler.

Question 4: Did you ever see any executive orders by Kaltenbrunner?

Answer: I have never seen any original order - that is to say, anything signed in handwriting - from the defendant Kaltenbrunner. I know quite well that orders for protective custody bore facsimile signatures or typewritten signatures. This was a routine initiated during Heydrich's time.

Question 5: Did orders for executions rest in Kaltenbrunner's or Himmler's hands? Who was responsible for the setting up and running of concentration camps?

Answer: I know that execution orders rested in Himmler's hands. So far as I know no other officials of the R.S.H.A. could issue such orders without his permission. I know, furthermore, that concentration camps were run by a special main department, namely, the S.S. Main Office for Economy and Administration, the chief of which was Pohl. The concentration camps had nothing to do with the R.S.H.A. This applies to the whole administration: food, treatment, camp regulations, etc. The inspector of concentration camps was Gluecks. The official channels were therefore: Himmler, Pohl, Gluecks, Camp Commandant.

Question 6: Did Kaltenbrunner order any of the concentration camps to be evacuated?

Answer: It is not known to me that the defendant Kaltenbrunner had issued any orders regarding the evacuation of concentration camps.

Question 7: Did Kaltenbrunner issue the order to arrest all Danish citizens of the Jewish religion and transport them to the concentration camp at Theresienstadt?

Answer: No. The reason why I can answer this question exactly is because

[Page 239]

I myself, as a member of the Gestapo, was concerned with this matter in Denmark in September, 1943. The Chief of the Security Police and the S.D. had received the order in September, 1943, to arrest all Danish Jews and transport them to Theresienstadt. I flew to Berlin to have this order cancelled. Shortly afterwards a Himmler order arrived in Denmark according to which this anti- Jewish action was to be carried out. Kaltenbrunner, therefore, did not issue the order. I did not speak to him; in fact he was not even in Berlin.

Read and found correct.

Nuremberg, 29th March, 1946.

Signed: Dr. Mildner."

Then follows the certification.

The next affidavit comes from Dr. Hoettl.

MR. DODD: We are faced with a new problem. I do not think this question has arisen heretofore. The prosecution submitted a cross -interrogatory to this man Dr. Mildner, and we are not quite certain as to just how we should proceed. Should we now offer our cross-interrogatory, or at a later stage?

THE PRESIDENT: We think you should read it now.

MR. DODD: Very well.

DR. KAUFFMANN: Mr. President, may I just say one thing about that. This is the first time that I have heard that the prosecution has also put questions and obtained answers from the same witness. I think this is the first case of this kind which has been put before the Tribunal.

Would it not have been appropriate to have these answers communicated to me, since I put my affidavit at the disposal of the prosecution a very long time ago?

THE PRESIDENT: They certainly should be. The Tribunal thinks they certainly should have been communicated to you at the same time that they were received.

DR. KAUFFMANN: Is the answer to be read nevertheless? I would rather like to raise formal objection to that and ask the Tribunal for a decision.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, why were these not submitted to Dr. Kauffmann?

MR. DODD: This cross-affidavit and interrogatory was only taken yesterday, and the material just wasn't ready until this morning. We regret that, and had it been ready it would, of course, have been turned over to him. If he would like to have some time to look it over, we, of course, would not object.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kauffmann, in the circumstances we will postpone the reading of these cross-interrogatories in order that you may consider them, and, if you think it right, you may object to any of the questions or answers and we will then consider that matter.

DR. KAUFFMANN: Thank you.

May I now read the second and last document?


"I, the undersigned, Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl, make the following affidavit in answer to the questions put to me by attorney Dr. Kauffmann for presentation to the International Military Tribunal."
THE PRESIDENT: Can you give a number to this document?


Question 1: Give details about yourself. What was your official position in the S.D.? Where did you know Dr. Kaltenbrunner? Answer: I was born on 19th March, 1915, in Vienna; by profession, a historian. My occupation up to the time of the German collapse was that of Consultant to Amt VI - Intelligence Service Abroad - of the R.S.H.A. After Austria's Anschluss in 1938 I voluntarily joined the S.D. Coming from the National Catholic Youth Movement, I made it my aim to steer a moderate political course for my country.

[Page 240]

I made the acquaintance of Kaltenbrunner, in 1938; he knew that the above was my aim.

In 1941, on personal orders from Heydrich, I was called before the S.S. and Police Court for having religious ties and for lack of political and ideological reliability, and I had to join the ranks as an ordinary private. After Heydrich's death I was pardoned and, at the beginning of 1943, I was detailed to the Office of Schellenberg, Chief of Amt VI of the R.S.H.A. Here I was in charge of matters relating to the Vatican, as well as of matters relating to some States in the Balkans.

When Kaltenbrunner was appointed Chief of the R.S.H.A. at the beginning of 1943, I was continually in touch with him at work, particularly since he was trying to draw the group of Austrians in the R.S.H.A. nearer to him.

Question 2: Give an estimate of the numbers employed in the Main Office of the R.S.H.A. in Berlin.

Answer: At the Main Office in Berlin, Amt IV (Gestapo) approximately 1,500; Amt V (Criminal Police) 1,200; Amt III and Amt VI (Intelligence Service at Home and Abroad) 300-400 each.

Question 3: What is understood by S.D. and what were its tasks?

Answer: Heydrich organised the so-called Sicherheitsdienst (known as the S.D.) in 1932. Its task was to give the highest German authorities and the individual Reich ministries information on all events at home and abroad.

The S.D. was purely an information service and had no sort of executive authority. Only individual persons belonging to the S.D. were drafted to the so-called Special Action Commandos (Einsatzkommandos) in the East. They thereby assumed executive positions, and they resigned from the S.D. during that period. There were Special Action groups and Special Action Commandos of the Security Police and the S.D. up to the last; in Africa too, even in Hungary and Czechoslovakia up to 1944.

These Commandos had nothing to, do with executions. Their tasks had in the meantime assumed the nature of general security police matters. As far as I know, executions were only carried out in Russia, due to the so-called "Commissar Order" by Hitler.

Whether these Commandos stopped or continued their activity after Kaltenbrunner was named Chief of the R.S.H.A., I do not know.

Question 4: Do you know about the "Eichmann Operation" to exterminate the Jews?

Answer: I only learned details of the "Eichmann Operation" at the end of August, 1944. At that time Eichmann himself gave me detailed information. Eichmann explained, among other things, that the whole action was a special Reich secret and was known to only very few people. The total number of members of this Commando, in my opinion, could hardly have exceeded one hundred.

Question 5: What do you know about the relations between Eichmann and Kaltenbrunner?

Answer: I know nothing about the official relations between the two. However, Eichmann may well have had no direct official contact with Kaltenbrunner. He often asked me to arrange a meeting with Kaltenbrunner for him. Kaltenbrunner always refused.

Question 6: What was the relationship between Kaltenbrunner and Muller, the Chief of the Secret State Police (Gestapo)?

Answer: I cannot give any details about their official relations. It is a certainty, however, that Muller always acted quite independently. He had gained great experience in Secret State Police matters over a period of many years. Himmler thought a great deal of him. Kaltenbrunner did not think very much of him. Kaltenbrunner had neither technical schooling in police problems nor any interest in them. The Intelligence Service took up the

[Page 241]

main part of his attention and all his interest, especially in so far as it concerned foreign countries.

Question 7: Who was in charge of the concentration camps?

Answer: The S.S. Main Office for Economy and Administration had sole charge of the concentration camps; that is, not the R.S.H.A., and therefore not Kaltenbrunner. He, consequently, had no power to give orders and no competency in this sphere. Judging by my opinion of him as a man, Kaltenbrunner certainly would not have approved of the atrocities committed in the concentration camps. I do not know whether he knew about them.

Question 8: Did Kaltenbrunner issue or transmit an order according to which enemy aviators who made forced landings were to be given no protection in the event of lynch justice being carried out by the population?

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