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 6 of 10)

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COLONEL AMEN: The affidavit of Dr. Mildner dated 9th April, 1946, will become Exhibit USA 791, and the affidavit of Wilhelm Hoettl which I am about to read, dated 10th April, 1946, will become Exhibit USA 792.
"I, the undersigned, Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl, make the following affidavit in response to cross-interrogation relating to an affidavit executed by me on 30th March, 1946, answering questions put by Dr. Kauffmann for presentation to the International Military Tribunal.

(1) With respect to Question No. 3. Please give the following information:

(a) Explain the basis of your statement that when persons belonging to the S.D. were transferred to the Einsatz Commandos of the Sipo and S.D., they resigned from the S.D. Your attention is invited to the fact that Ohlendorf, the head of the S.D., has testified to the contrary.

(b) Explain the basis for your statement that Einsatz Commandos had nothing to do with executions. Your attention is invited to the fact that your testimony in this regard is likewise in direct conflict with the head of the S.D., Ohlendorf.

(c) What was Hitler's so-called 'Commissar order' and when did you first acquire knowledge of this order?

Answer to 1(a): In my affidavit I did not speak of a permanent separation from the S.D. but of a leave of absence for the time of activity with an Einsatz Commando. By that was meant that they did not exercise their S.D. functions during this time, that this function was inactive.

Answer to 1(b): My affidavit appears to have been misunderstood concerning this point. I did not state that Einsatz Commandos had nothing to do with executions but only that not all Einsatz Commandos were concerned with them. I mentioned as an example the Einsatz Commandos in Africa, Hungary, and Slovakia. In connection with that, I said that these Commandos had nothing to do with executions; by that I meant not directly with the actual executions.

Answer to I (c): I, myself, do not know the so-called 'Commissar Order' of Hitler. Dr. Stahlecker, who commanded an Einsatz group of the Sipo and the S.D. in Russia, told me in the summer of 1942 that the executions of commissars and Jews were carried out on the basis of the 'Commissar Order' which covered the extermination of the Jews under the reason of their being bearers of Bolshevism.

2. With respect to Question 4. Is it not a fact that Heydrich, as Chief of Sipo and S.D., gave the initial instructions to Eichmann concerning the extermination of Jews; that in the R.S.H.A. Eichmann's immediate superior was Muller, Chief of the Gestapo; that Muller was first the deputy of Heydrich and later of Kaltenbrunner?

Answer to 2: Yes, I heard from Eichmann, probably in August, 1944, that Heydrich had given him these directives. It is also correct that Muller,

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Chief of the Gestapo, was Eichmann's immediate superior. As far as I know, Muller was the deputy of Heydrich and later of Kaltenbrunner only in the field of the Gestapo, as likewise were the other office chiefs on their respective fields.

3. With respect to Question 5.

Is it not a fact that you know from your discussions with Kaltenbrunner and with Eichmann that they came from the same community in Austria and were exceptionally close friends; that Eichmann always had direct access to Kaltenbrunner and that they frequently conferred together; that Kaltenbrunner was well pleased with the manner in which Eichmann carried out his duties; that Kaltenbrunner was very interested in the extermination work performed by Eichmann; that you personally know that Kaltenbrunner went to Hungary for the purpose of discussing the extermination programme in Hungary with officials of the Hungarian Government and with Eichmann and other members of his staff in Hungary? Please confirm or correct these statements and make any statement necessary to clarify your answer.

Answer: I heard from Eichmann that he knew Kaltenbrunner from Linz and that they served there together in 1932 in an S.S. Sturm (Company). I do not know that they were exceptionally close friends or that Eichmann always had direct access to Kaltenbrunner and that they conferred frequently.

I do not know the details about their official relationship. I do not know whether Kaltenbrunner also had conferences concerning the programme of extermination of Jews in Hungary during his stays in Hungary in the spring of 1944. Winkelmann, the former Senior S.S. and Police Leader in Hungary, must know exactly about that, since, according to my knowledge, he visited, together with Kaltenbrunner, persons in the Hungarian Government.

4. With respect to Question 6.

(a) Is it not known to you that Muller, Chief of the Gestapo, always conferred with Kaltenbrunner on matters of importance relating to the functions of his office - particularly with respect to executions of special inmates?

(b) Did you know that Kaltenbrunner was the Higher S.S. and Police Leader and State Secretary for Security in Austria, after the Anschluss until his appointment as Chief of the R.S.H.A., a period of five years, during which time his attention was devoted exclusively to Police and Security matters?

(c) What is the basis of your statement that the Intelligence Service took up the main part of Kaltenbrunner's attention and all his interest?

Answer to 4(a): Details concerning the official relationship between Muller and Kaltenbrunner are not known to me. However, I noticed that on several occasions Muller was with Kaltenbrunner to report about the work of his department.

Answer to 4(b): Kaltenbrunner was not exclusively occupied with Police and Security matters during his activity as Higher S.S. and Police Leader in Austria or as State Secretary for Security respectively. Without a doubt he had political interests besides, since the Higher S.S. and Police Leaders were the representatives of Reichsfuehrer S.S. Himmler in all matters.

Answer to 4(c): I could note that by virtue of my official relationship with him, members of other departments also frequently expressed themselves in the direction that he favoured and furthered Amt III, and particularly Amt VI and the Mil (Military Amt).

5. With respect to Question 7.

Answer the following:

(a) What did you personally have to do with concentration camps and what, therefore, is the basis for your answer to this question?

(b) Did you know that all orders for commitments to, releases from, and executions in concentration camps came from the R.S.H.A.?

(c) Did you know that the R.S.H.A. gave direct orders to commandants

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of concentration camps? State such orders of which you have personal knowledge.

(d) What are the atrocities committed in concentration camps to which you refer in your answer to this question, and when and in what manner did you learn that atrocities were committed in concentration camps?

Answer to 5(a): Personally, I had nothing at all to do with concentration camps. However, I liberated a number of persons from concentration camps, and, therefore, know the difficulties that were made by the concentration camp staffs who always called attention to orders of the W.V.H.A. (Wirtschaftsund Verwaltungshauptamt der S.S.) of the S.S. in such cases since the inmates were needed for the armament industry.

Answer to 5(b): It is known to me that orders for commitment into concentration camps and discharges therefrom came from the R.S.H.A. I did not know that all such orders came from the R.S.H.A. I have no knowledge of orders for executions by the R.S.H.A.

Answer to 5(c): I do not know any details and do not know personally any orders concerning this. In the cases in which I intervened for discharges I addressed myself either to Kaltenbrunner directly or to Amt IV. When the processing was of long duration, I received the answer several times from officials of Amt IV that difficulties had come about through the W.V.H.A. of the S.S.

Answer to 5(d): When Hungary was occupied by German troops in March, 1944, several of my Hungarian acquaintances went to concentration camps. After I had achieved their liberation, they told me of bad treatment and atrocities in the Mauthausen concentration camp. At that time, I sent an official communication concerning this to the director of the Linz Gestapo Office, with the request to inquire into this matter with the concentration camp commandant Ziereis. Ziereis, however, denied this, as I was informed in the reply. In August, 1944, Eichmann told me that there were extermination (Vernichtungslager) camps besides concentration camps.

6. With respect to Question 9.

What is the basis for your opinion that Kaltenbrunner opposed Hitler and Himmler on the programme for the physical extermination of European Jewry?

Answer to 6: Kaltenbrunner told me after his conferences with representatives of the International Red Cross in March, 1945, that he was against Hitler's and Himmler's programme in the question of the extermination of the European Jews. In my response to question 9 that Kaltenbrunner had given no orders for killing of Jews, the words 'according to my knowledge' are missing.

7. With respect to Question 11.

Who was the American whom you told Kaltenbrunner that you had contacted in a neutral country in 1943? Did Kaltenbrunner agree to travel to Switzerland with you to meet a representative of the Allied Powers with whom you were in touch through the Austrian Resistance Movement; and, if so, whom?

Answer to 7: The American liaison man in 1943 was a member of the U.S. Legation in Lisbon. I do not recall his name. The connection via the Austrian Resistance Movement with an American organisation in Switzerland existed only from the beginning of the autumn of 1944. Kaltenbrunner agreed to travel there with me about 20th April, 1945.

8. With respect to Question 12.

On what date did Kaltenbrunner order the commandant of Mauthausen concentration camp to hand over the camp to approaching troops; at whose insistence did Kaltenbrunner issue this order, and for what reason?

Answer to 8: I cannot state the exact date of Kaltenbrunner's order to the

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commandant of Mauthausen concentration camp to hand over the camp to the approaching troops. It should have been during the last days of April, 1945. It is not known to me at whose insistence and for what reason he gave this order; possibly this was connected with his discussions with S.S. Standartenfuehrer Becher whom I met with him at the time.

The above statements are true; I made this declaration voluntarily and without compulsion-, etc.

Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl."

DR. KAUFFMANN: Does the High Tribunal wish the defendant to state his position or reply to these two documents?

THE WITNESS: I request that I may do so right away.


Q. Then please give us your views first on the Mildner document. I shall call your attention, perhaps, to Question No. 2 which seems relevant to me. It says:

"Is it not true that in the year 1942 and again in 1943 the commandant at Auschwitz, pursuant to orders of Gruppenfuehrer Muller, showed an extermination installation to you?"
It would seem from this that the Chief of Amt IV knew about these matters.

[Ernst Kaltenbrunner] A. Dr. Kauffmann, may I interrupt you? As far as I could notice in the last sessions a procedure of so-called "surprise affidavit" is being employed against me. This "surprise affidavit" is applied for the first time in my case. In spite of that I am glad and grateful, even without having had the opportunity to see this affidavit, to express my views on each point.

As to Dr. Mildner, Question No. 1: He is asked about the positions which he held in the Security Service. He enumerated the positions which he held from 1939 to 1944. During the time I was in office he served as an Inspector of the Sipo and the S.D. in Kessel; as a Deputy in Amt IV; as a Deputy Inspector in Vienna in 1944 and as a Commander of the Sipo in Vienna also in 1944. He said: "All of these appointments after January, 1943, were made by Kaltenbrunner as Chief of the Security Police and the S.D."

That is incorrect. I never appointed anybody to these high positions such as were held by Mildner.

Were Mildner asked about this before this Tribunal, he would have to confirm it. He was apparently not questioned on that point by the prosecution. In case of an appointment of an official for the Security Police and the S.D. I was asked and notified, simply because, as an inspector of the S.D. and of the Security Police, he had to have a strong Intelligence Section, that is a sub-division of Amts III and IV which were at my disposal as far as Intelligence was concerned. Therefore, as Chief of the Intelligence Service I had to know who was inspector of such a subdivision in Vienna, Kassel or in Copenhagen. Later he also had to have my Intelligence orders for his groups. That was the only reason why I had to be notified of such appointments. It was not my function to appoint any official of the Sipo; that is a definite misrepresentation arising from this affidavit of Dr. Mildner.

In reply to Question 2, if it is said that in his positions in Chemnitz and Kattowitz, in the years 1939 and 1941, he had to transport prisoners to Auschwitz for imprisonment and execution, then, in the first place, this falls into the period before I had assumed office, and, secondly, this was purely an executive measure of those agencies of which I was never in charge and never took over. He, therefore, can never have acted there as my deputy. Further, he was asked whether it was not true that:

"the Gestapo-S. S. - Standgericht (court-martial) often met in Auschwitz" and "that he sometimes attended the trial of prisoners," in other words that he attended the executions. "That in the year 1942, and again in 1943, the

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commandant of Auschwitz, on orders of Muller, showed him - that is Mildner - extermination installations; that he was acquainted with the extermination installations at Auschwitz since he had to send Jews from your territory to Auschwitz for execution."
In my opinion, I could perhaps be incriminated on one point. The question was this: "Did Muller once, in the year 1943, see such installations or did he attend the shootings?" First of all, the prosecution did not show whether this "once" took place before or after I assumed office.

Q. Will you please be a little briefer and more to the point?

A. Excuse me, Doctor, but I have to be able to refute every single word.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kauffmann, we do not want the witness to argue upon this document. If he has anything to say about the facts, then he can do it, but not argue on it.

DR. KAUFFMANN: Yes, that is my opinion, also.


Q. I am asking you: An especially important and incriminating point, it seems to me, is Question No. 3. Explain if you will; I read:

"Did all orders for arrest, commitment to punishment and individual executions come from the R.S;H.A.?"; and then: "Was the regular channel for orders of individual executions from Himmler through Kaltenbrunner to Muller, and then to the concentration camp commandant?" And then the answer: "Yes."
Please answer briefly.

A. I have already explained today that the authority and power to order executions rested only with the Minister of Justice and with Himmler. Nobody else in the entire Reich had the possibility or the authority to order them. Further, despite the official channels - Himmler, Kaltenbrunner, Muller - such an order from Himmler was never forwarded to me; these orders must have gone from Himmler direct to Muller. To put this question to Muller is wrong, for the simple reason that Muller was not with me and cannot know whether I ever received such an order from Himmler. It is only a conclusion which he draws from the normal organisational set-up.

Q. That is a matter for the defence later on; you needn't talk about that.

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