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 Sixth Day: Friday, 12th April, 1946
(Part 11 of 12)

[COLONEL AMEN continues his cross examination of Ernst Kaltenbrunner]

[Page 318]

Q. That is what you have said about all the other statements I read to you today, is that not so?

A. Sir, I must -

Q. Is that so?

A. If you bring false accusations against me I must declare them false. I cannot say "yes" to everything of which you accuse me, just because the prosecution is wrong in determining who was Himmler's representative.

Q. All right, go ahead and say whatever you want.

A. I ask you to bear in mind what I have said about the jurisdiction and subordination of all higher police leaders and S.S. leaders in the occupied territories. All of them were directly subordinate to Himmler. The S.S. and police leaders of a smaller territory were subordinate to the Higher S.S. and Police Leader. The branches of the uniformed police and of the Security Police were assigned to them and they had the exclusive right to give them orders. The entire organisation which operated in the occupied territories was excluded from the command jurisdiction of the Central Office of the Reich.

There are men here who can testify to the truth of what I have said. Bach-Zelewski who was questioned here, was only in the occupied territories and knows conditions there. There is also the defendant Frank who worked with the Supreme S.S. and Police Leader, who later became Secretary of State.

Q. Your lawyer can call these people. All I am asking you is whether or not this document is true or false, and then requesting you to make any brief pertinent explanation you might wish to.

A. This document is not correct.

Q. We know about potential witnesses all over Germany, and we know all these defendants in the box have knowledge about most of these affairs, but that is not what I am asking you about.

I am merely asking you whether what was in that paper was true or false and you have said it is false. Now, is there anything else you feel you have to say about it?

A. It is not correct and this witness -

Q. Well, you have said that six times.

A. - does not know the conditions.

Q. Well, how about General Stroop? Did he know anything about it?

[Page 319]

A. If he was S.S. and Police Leader of Warsaw, and you have shown me his diary and his film report, then, of course, yes. Stroop was subordinate to the Supreme S.S. and Police Leader. Stroop had to carry out the action on the order of Himmler and with the help of the Supreme S.S. and Police Leader.

Q. Stroop was a pretty good friend of yours, was he not?

A. I probably have not seen Stroop more than two or three times in my life.

Q. Well, if Stroop were here he at least would be in a position to tell the truth, would he not, about this Warsaw Ghetto affair?

A. He would at least have to confirm my statement that he was subordinate to the Supreme S.S. and Police Leader in the Government General and that he was not subordinate to me. I should be very glad if he could confirm that immediately. From your words I must assume that he is in custody here.

Q. Well, he is not in custody here, but fortunately we have an affidavit from him on exactly these matters about which I have been questioning you.

COLONEL AMEN: I ask to have the defendant shown Document 3841-PS, which will become Exhibit USA 804.


Q. We will find out whether Stroop confirmed what you are trying to tell the Tribunal.

You will accept what Stroop says, will you, witness?

A. I have not read the document.

Q. No, but I say, knowing Stroop and knowing the position which he held, you do not question that he would tell the truth about the happenings in the Warsaw Ghetto: isn't that what you have just said, in effect?

A. The truth of a witness's testimony has been questioned before and rightly so. But as I do not know the document I cannot define my position as to Stroop's statement.

Q. All right, we will read it.

"My name is Juergen Stroop. I was S.S. and Polizeifuehrer District Warsaw from 17th or 18th April, 1943, until the end of August, 1943. The action against the Warsaw Ghetto was planned by my predecessor, S.S. Oberfuehrer Doctor von Sammem-Frankenegg. On the day when this action started I took over the command and von Sammern- Frankenegg explained to me what was to be done. He had the order from Himmler before him and in addition I received a teletype from Himmler which ordered me to clear the Warsaw Ghetto and raze it to the ground. To carry this out, I had two battalions of Waffen-S.S., one hundred army men, units of Uniformed Police and seventy- five to a hundred Security Police. The Security Police had been active in the Warsaw Ghetto for some time, and during this programme it was their function to accompany S.S. units in groups of six or eight, as guides and experts in Ghetto matters. Obersturmbannfuehrer Doctor Hahn was commander of the Security Police of Warsaw at that time. Hahn gave the Security Police its orders concerning their tasks in this action. These orders were not given to Hahn by me, but came from Kaltenbrunner in Berlin. As S.S. and Polizeifuehrer of Warsaw I gave no orders to the Security Police. All orders came to Hahn from Kaltenbrunner in Berlin. For example, in June or July of the same year, I was together with Hahn in Kaltenbrunner's office and Kaltenbrunner told me that while Hahn and I must work together, all basic orders to the Security Police must come from him in Berlin.

After the people had been taken out of the Ghetto - they numbered between fifty and sixty thousand - they were brought to the railway station. The Security Police had absolute supervision of these people and was in charge of the transport of these people to Lublin.

Immediately after the Ghetto action had been completed, about three hundred foreign Jews were collected at the Polski Hotel. Some of these people

[Page 320]

were already there before the action, and some were brought there during the action. Kaltenbrunner ordered Hahn to transport these people away. Hahn himself told me that he had received this order from Kaltenbrunner.

All executions were ordered by the Reich Main Security Office, Kaltenbrunner.

I have read this statement over and I have understood it completely. I have made the statement freely and without compulsion. I swear before God that this is the full truth.

Signed: Juergen Stroop."

Do you say that that statement of Stroop is true or false?

A. It is untrue and I request that Stroop be brought here.

Q. You will find that instead of its bearing out your story it confirms in substantially every detail the story told by Kaleske, who was Stroop's adjutant at the time. Isn't that true, defendant?

A. It is not true, in so far as witness Stroop is one step closer to my story, for on Page 1 he declares he had received the orders regarding the Warsaw Ghetto from Himmler and this is something which Kaleske has never said anywhere.

Q. I will accept that, defendant.

A. An interrogation of General Stroop will clarify this point, also that Hahn had, of course, received orders from the Gestapo in Berlin. Needless to say the officers of the Security Police worked together with Amt IV, particularly as far as interrogatories by commission (Rechtshilfsverfahren) were concerned. But what matters in an action taking place in the Government General and in Warsaw is the question of what organisation was involved and all witnesses versed in these matters will have to agree that this was the sphere of activity of the Supreme S.S., and Police Leader in the Government General, not of the Reich Main Security Office. It is completely incorrect that these Security Police forces in Warsaw, and officials such as Hahn, were not subordinate to the S.S. and Police Leader.

It can be testified to and confirmed that all Security Police offices, especially where an action of this kind was involved, could have only one leader and one chief, and that the local leader. But if, sir, you would give me the opportunity of defining my position to these witnesses' statements more comprehensively, I could bring the matter forward properly.

Q. And now, defendant, I want to refer you to Document 3819- PS, already in evidence as Exhibit GB 306, which consists of notes of a conference in the Reich Chancellery on 11th July, 1944, signed by Lammers, and the subject of testimony before this Tribunal the other day. You recall having attended that meeting, I presume.

(Witness handed document.)

A. No, I do not know the purpose of that meeting.

Q. You do not deny that you were there, do you?

A. I do not know. This is the first time I have seen this document.

Q. Now, look at Page 12, in the middle of the page, the sentence there "In Paris, the evacuation of which was considered - "

DR. KAUFFMANN (counsel for defendant Kaltenbrunner): Mr. President, for the clarification of this question, I ask whether it might have been more appropriate and correct if the prosecution had questioned Lammers about this matter when Lammers was here in the witness stand.

THE PRESIDENT: Was this put to Lammers?

COLONEL AMEN: Frankly, your Lordship, I do not know. The document was introduced and identified, and I am not sure whether he was asked about it or not. Sir David says that he introduced the document with Keitel, at the foot of Page 9.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, go on.


Q. Have you found the place, defendant?

A. Yes, I have found the place.

[Page 321]

"In Paris, the evacuation of which was considered, 100,000 to 200,000 workers could be seized. In this connection - "
A. No, sir, I have not found the place.

Q. Well, it's just above the paragraph which commences, "The Chief of the Security Police, Dr. Kaltenbrunner." Can you find that spot?

A. Yes, I have it now.

Well, passing to that sentence:

"The Chief of the Security Police, Dr. Kaltenbrunner, declared himself willing, when asked by the General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour, to place the Security Police at his disposal for this purpose, but pointed out its numerical weakness. For the whole of France he had only 2,400 men available. It was questionable whether entire age groups could be seized with these weak forces. In his opinion, the Foreign Office must exercise a stronger influence on the foreign governments."
Is that a true reflection of what took place at that meeting, defendant?

A. I cannot agree with the wording of the document, but I might say in explanation that according to the introduction on Page 1, it was a "Chefbesprechung" (Discussion of Chiefs), and that does not include me, for I was Chief of the Reich Main Security Office. "Chefbesprechung" means the chief ministries and the chief Reich departments.

By questioning the witness Lammers, it would have to be determined whether I was there on the orders of the Ministry of the Interior and Chief of the German Police, Himmler. That would have been possible. That I was there on the instruction of Himmler is evident from the numbers mentioned. It mentions here that only 2,400 men were at our disposal. Neither the Security Police nor the S.D., nor both together ever had any number like that at their disposal. It must have included all the forces, even the uniformed police and other small organisations, which were subordinate to Himmler.

Therefore, one thing, at least, is missing in this document, that is the explanation that Kaltenbrunner, on orders of Himmler, was giving the latter's views; that at least is missing. But by questioning the witness, Dr. Lammers, I am sure we can clarify this matter.

In any case, I would like to point out that it was my opinion that I could not be helpful in this matter because, first of all, negotiations between the Foreign Office and the competent foreign, i.e. the French Government, were necessary. Measures to be taken there could not be introduced without the agreement of the French Government.

Q. All right, defendant. Now, do you recall evidence given before this Tribunal about efforts made by Germany to incite the Slovaks to revolt against Czechoslovakia, and about Hitler using the insurgency of the Slovakians as one of the excuses for occupying Czechoslovakia in March, 1939?

A. I do not know who testified to that.

Q. Well, in any event, during the years 1938-9, it is a fact, is it not, that you were the State Secretary for Security in Austria? Is that right? (Note: State Secretary for Security was here wrongly interpreted into German as Staatssekretaer fur die Sicherheitspolizei-State Secretary for the Security Police.) A. No, I was not State Secretary for the Security Police. I was State Secretary for the security system of the Austrian Government at Vienna, and there is an essential difference, because the Security Police in Austria was instituted in and directed from Berlin.

Q. Well, all right.

A. And in Austria I had not the slightest influence over the Security Police, not even over my Minister.

Q. When did you become Supreme S.S. and Police Leader for Upper Austria with your headquarters in Germany?

[Page 322]

A. That is a complete misstatement. In Upper Austria there was no Supreme S.S. and Police Leader, only in Austria.

Q. Well, when was it?

A. That was after the liquidation of the Austrian Government and after its affairs had been settled - and can be verified from the Reichsgesetzblatt. It was probably in the summer of 1941.

Q. And isn't it a fact that you, yourself, directed the activity of the Slovakian rebels and assisted them with explosives and ammunitions? Answer that yes or no, please.

A. No.

Q., Do you recall having participated in any conference with respect to a plan for instigating this revolt of Slovakia?

A. It is not correct; it is false. I did not participate in instigating anything like that. I did take part in the first government conferences in Slovakia and in the presence of the delegate of the German Reich.

Q. Did your friend Spacil assist you in carrying out these plans?

A. That I cannot recall today. In any case, they were not German plans. If you investigate the political situation in Slovakia at that time, you will see that it did not need any instigation on the part of the German Reich. The Hlinka movement under the leadership of Dr. Tuka, and also of Dr. Tiso, I believe, had made this decision a long time before.

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