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 Seventh Day: Saturday, 13th April, 1946
(Part 3 of 5)

[Page 334]

COLONEL AMEN: So I think it was sent to the prosecution for the very purpose for which I am now endeavouring to utilise it.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, apart altogether from the question of privilege

[Page 335]

between counsel and his client, how do you say that this document which is a letter apparently from a private individual addressed to Dr. Kauffmann, copy of which is sent you, is evidence at all?

COLONEL AMEN: Because, your Lordship, there is included in this defendant's Document Book a letter which is on precisely this same point. In other words, this defendant has raised this point in his own defence. He did not read the letter -

THE PRESIDENT: That is not quite the point. This letter to Dr. Kauffmann, of which you have a copy, is not, as I understand, a sworn statement.

COLONEL AMEN: It is not sworn, no sir.

THE PRESIDENT: How does it become evidence then? The witness is not here.

COLONEL AMEN: It has the same probative value that many letters introduced here in evidence have. In fact, I think it has considerably more than many of them because it is a letter from an official, from the mayor, who has conducted an inquiry and has ascertained what I consider to be one of the most important matters in the case, namely whether -

THE PRESIDENT: No, I do not want to hear at the moment what is in the letter.

COLONEL AMEN: I cannot think of a thing that was more pertinent than this letter or more important to be brought out at this trial, particularly when it - well, you do not want me to go into that, particularly when it is something which the defendant has sought to interpose as his own defence and which now turns out -

THE PRESIDENT: But he has not sought to introduce it for his own defence.

COLONEL AMEN: Well, I say he has sought to introduce that issue by the letter in his Document Book so that even were it not otherwise perhaps relevant it surely becomes so when the defendant has raised that precise issue in his own documents. But even aside from that it seems to me that it is one of the most important issues in this case.

I will not characterise it in words since your Lordship does not wish me to but I can hardly think of anything more pertinent than the matter set forth there in the form of an official communication.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, the only question I was asking you was how the particular document which is an unsworn document came to be competent evidence. Has it been seen by the witness who is under cross-examination?

COLONEL AMEN: Well, as an official communication, sir, in the course of the discharge of his official duties as a mayor, to defendant's counsel. It is a part of his job.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Kauffmann.

DR. KAUFFMANN: Mr. President, I do not wish to speak now about the question of procedure. I merely want to mention that this letter -

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute -

DR. KAUFFMANN: I do not want to deal at great length with the question of procedure, which we touched upon just now, but I wish to emphasise that these two documents have nothing to do with the case of Kaltenbrunner as such. As I have just said, anyone may look at the document, but, since this document has nothing to do with Kaltenbrunner, it has from the first no value as evidence.

COLONEL AMEN: Well, it has even further probative value, your Lordship, in that if the matters referred to in this letter were known, as described in the letter, to the people in Oranienburg, surely the person who occupies the position as Chief of the R.S.H.A. in Germany must certainly have the knowledge which the smallest local civilian appears to have.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal rules that the document is inadmissible.

COLONEL AMEN: That was to have been my last document, your Lordship, so that concludes the cross-examination, except for one point. There is a witness

[Page 336]

named Hoess, who is called on behalf of the defendant, and through whom I would like to introduce two exhibits. It he is not to be called, however, then I would like to introduce those exhibits through the defendant. So I am wondering whether we could obtain a definite statement as to whether or not the witness Hoess is actually to be called by the defence.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kauffmann, are you proposing to call Hoess?



COLONEL AMEN: I have no further questions to put to the defendant.

THE PRESIDENT: I am afraid I did not hear what you said, Colonel Amen.

COLONEL AMEN: I have no further question.

THE PRESIDENT: Then the defendant can return to his seat. Wait a minute.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Mr. President, we have a few questions to put to the defendant.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov, we understood the other day that the counsel for the prosecution had agreed that there should only be one cross-examination of the defendant Kaltenbrunner.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: We wish to request the Tribunal to allow us to put a few questions to the defendant, which will not take very long, but which are quite indispensable for further questioning.

THE PRESIDENT: In the opinion of the Tribunal, counsel ought to settle before-hand what questions are indispensable and then have them put by the counsel who cross-examine. That is the whole object of the scheme.

Sir David, when we saw you on this subject, did you not tell us that all the prosecutors had agreed that so far as this defendant was concerned he should only be cross-examined by one?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, that was the position. I understand that the Soviet Delegation have some special points, and they were going to ask, as a matter of grace of the Tribunal, whether they could put them. That is what my Soviet colleagues have informed me.


M. DUBOST: My explanation will be very brief, Mr. President. In principle the prosecution entrusts one man to ask all these questions. However, it is impossible for the entire investigation and examination to be carried out by one member of the prosecution only, because we do represent four different nations which have, not divergent, but certainly individual interests. The only person qualified to speak in the interests of a nation is the representative of that nation. I think, therefore, that the Tribunal should permit us to ask questions from time to time when we ask to be allowed to do so.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, you aren't applying now, are you, for leave to have a third cross-examination - you are just speaking on general principles?

M. DUBOST: Mr. President, it is a question of principle. The prosecution has limited itself in order to economise on time, but it requests the Tribunal for authorisation to intercede, when it is necessary to do so, in order to represent the interests of a country.

I will not ask any questions which might have occurred to me following the interrogation by my colleague of the United States; I do not wish to retard the proceedings. However, I think that the Tribunal could tell us that, in principle, we remain free to ask questions which concern our countries, especially so, since we alone are competent to represent the interests of our countries and cannot transfer this confidence to one of our colleagues.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov, could you inform the Tribunal what questions, what points you want to cross- examine upon?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Yesterday, when the defendant was replying to Colonel Amen's questions and denying his participation in the extermination of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, he stressed that the Chief of Police in occupied Poland, Kruger, was allegedly directly subordinated to Himmler and had no connection

[Page 337]

with Kaltenbrunner at all. In the Polish documents which have just reached me and in connection with which the Soviet Delegation has changed the order which it had primarily intended to observe, in these Polish documents there is ...

THE PRESIDENT: I understand that point. Are there any other points?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: The second point refers to another document already submitted by the Soviet Delegation, and this point has not been covered by the preceding question, but it is of intense interest from the viewpoint of the documents previously presented. It is in regard to these two questions that I wish to examine the defendant.

THE PRESIDENT: You are aware that we are going to adjourn at half-past twelve for the purpose of dealing with the documents of the defendant Rosenberg, but you may certainly cross-examine upon these points if you will do it as shortly as you can.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: I believe, Mr. President, that we shall be able to finish the cross-examination in fifteen minutes.



Q. Witness, Colonel Amen yesterday submitted to the Tribunal a document which disclosed your active participation in the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto. Rebutting this accusation you dwelt at great length on the fact that the Police Chiefs in the occupied territories were directly subordinated to Reichsfuehrer S.S. Himmler and had nothing to do with you. Do you confirm this statement?

A. Yes, but it should be supplemented. I also said yesterday that the Higher S.S. and Police Chief in the Government General was subordinate to Himmler and that, in turn, the S.S. and police leaders of the smaller districts were subordinate to him.

Q. Perhaps you can tell us to whom the police officials were subordinate?

A. The commanders of the Security Police, the Public Order Police and the Waffen S.S. were subordinate to the Higher S.S. and to the Chief of Police; they were also subordinated to the Chiefs of Police and S.S. in the smaller districts.

Q. Perhaps you can remember your second statement as well, when you declared yourself opposed to Kruger's extreme tendencies to ruthlessness towards the Polish Jews and that you had even attempted to restrain him?

A. I have stated that I agreed with Frank in favouring the release of Kruger, that is, his transfer from the Government General.

Q. I would like to hand Frank's diary to the defendant. Let him turn to Page 13, where Kruger is mentioned, and then to Page 16. Read and follow if it has been carefully translated:

"There is no doubt, says Kruger, that the removal of the Jews has had a favourable effect on pacification ... "
A. That passage has not been submitted to me here. I have Page 13 of the document in my hand.

Q. Well then, we shall show you Page 16, beginning with the words "There is no doubt ... " I begin again:

"There is no doubt but that the removal of the Jews has also had a favourable effect on pacification. It was, for the police, one of their gravest and most unpleasant tasks, but it had to be carried out by order of the Fuehrer, since it was essential to the interests of Europe.

One was forced to remove the Jews from the armament industries and from any industry connected with the war economy."

I omit one paragraph and would ask you to do the same.
"We are forced to remove the Jews from the armament industries and from all industries and factories of military and economic interest unless their

[Page 338]

employment was exclusively justified by important considerations of a military nature. In such cases the Jews will be centralised in the large camps and from there sent, by day, to the munition factories. The Reichsfuehrer S.S., however, wants these Jews to be removed from the factories as well. He had a long conversation on this subject with General Schindler and is of opinion that this wish of the Reichsfuehrer S.S. cannot be carried out in full. There are, among the Jewish workers, specialists, skilled mechanicians and other qualified artisans who cannot at present be replaced by Poles without serious consequences."
I draw your attention to the next sentence:
"He therefore requests the S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer, Dr. Kaltenbrunner, to describe the situation to the Reichsfuehrer S.S. and to request him to refrain from removing these skilled Jewish workers. The best, physically speaking, of the Jews had been retained in the industries, the so-called 'Maccabeans' who worked magnificently, as well as female workers who had proved physically stronger than the male Jews. The same had also been experienced in the clearing of the Warsaw Ghetto. In any case, these tasks were extremely difficult."
I omit a sentence and quote the following:
"It has been proved that here too the Jewesses, arms in hand, had fought the men of the Waffen S.S. and the, police to the end."
Does this passage not prove that Kruger considered you as his commanding officer and that when the majority of Jews had already been murdered in Poland and only a very small number of good specialists were left, Kruger appealed to Himmler, through you - as his Chief - to allow these Jews to live? Does this not bear witness to the fact that Kruger considered you as his Chief and acted through you?

A. No, Mr. Prosecutor, this document proves something quite different. Firstly, he himself says here that the evacuation of the Warsaw Ghetto had previously taken place; secondly he says that he begs me to go to Himmler and to remonstrate with him. What I said to him is not contained in the document and the fact that, on that occasion I told Himmler for the first time "Now I know what is going on" and protested against it, does not appear in this document. But surely I must be given the opportunity to declare and prove here that I took steps against this action; and if you cross- examine Frank or the witnesses -

COLONEL SMIRNOV: One moment, you have already mentioned this, witness.

A. I have not finished. I have not yet finished this point. If you question the witnesses on the subject of "Government General" you will discover exactly how on that occasion I paid my first and only visit to the Government General and what I experienced and learned there became the subject of a discussion with Himmler. You cannot accuse me on the one hand of knowing of all these things without giving me, on the other hand, the opportunity to describe what were my reactions. In the last two years of the war circumstances placed me in a position where I was able to see what was happening in the Reich and later on, near the end, also in the Government General. But you are not giving me an opportunity to explain how I reacted, I, the man who had the misfortune to get such a position at the end of the war.

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