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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
16th April to 1st May, 1946

One-Hundred-and-Eleventh Day: Thursday, 18th April, 1946
(Part 8 of 10)

[DR. SEIDL continues his redirect examination of Hans Frank]

[Page 129]

Q. And now one last question. The prosecution submitted Document 661-PS. This document also has a USSR exhibit number, which I don't know at the moment. This is a document which has been made to have a bearing on the activities of the Academy for German Law, of which you were president. The document has the heading "Legal Formation of Germany's Polish Policy along Racial-Political Lines" (the Legal part serves as a text for the Committee on the Rights of National Minorities in the Academy for German Law). I'm having this document submitted to you. Please, will you tell me whether you've ever had this document in your hands before.

A. From whom does it come?

Q. That is the striking part; it is Exhibit USA-300.

A. Does it state anywhere who drew it up or something of the sort?

Q. The document has no author; nor does it show on whose order it was compiled.

A. I can say merely that I've never seen the document, that I never gave an order that it be drawn up; thus I can say really nothing about it.

Q. It states here that it was found in the Ministry of Justice in Kassel. Was there a Ministry of Justice in Kassel in 1940?

A. A Ministry of Justice in Kassel?

Q. Yes.

A. That hasn't existed since 1866.

DR. SEIDL: I have no further questions.

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

DR. SEIDL: In that case, with the permission of the Tribunal, I shall call witness Dr. Bilfinger.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov.


THE PRESIDENT: This document which you produced as Exhibit USSR-223, which consists of extracts from defendant Frank's diary, are you offering that in evidence? Apparently some entries from Frank's diary have already been offered in evidence; others have not. Are you wishing to offer this in evidence?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: This document is already submitted in evidence under two numbers; the first number is 22-PS, which was submitted by the American prosecution, and the second is 223, USSR Exhibit, and was already submitted by us on 15 February, 1946.

THE PRESIDENT: I see. Have these entries which you have in this document been submitted under Exhibit USSR-223? You see, the PS number does not necessarily mean that the documents have been offered in evidence. The PS numbers were applied to documents before they were offered in, evidence; but the USSR-223 does imply that it has been offered in evidence.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: This document has already been presented in evidence.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov, what the Tribunal wants to know is whether you wish to offer this USSR-223 in evidence, because unless it was read before it hasn't been offered in evidence or it hasn't gone into the record.

[Page 130]

COLONEL SMIRNOV: We already read an excerpt on 15 February, and it is, therefore, already read into the record.


RUDOLF BILFINGER, a witness, took the stand and testified as follows:-


Q. Will you stand up, please, and will you tell us your full name?

A. Rudolf Bilfinger.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me?

I swear by God, the Almighty and Omniscient, that I will speak the pure truth and will withhold and add nothing.

(The witness repeated the oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.



Q. Witness, since when were you active in the R.S.H.A. and in what position?

A. From the end of 1937 until the beginning of 1943 I worked in the R.S.H.A. as Government councillor (Regierungsrat) and later as higher government councillor (Oberregierungsrat) and expert on legal questions, legal questions in connection with the police.

Q. Is it correct that on two occasions and at different times you were head of the department "Administration and Law" attached to the commander of the Security Police and the S.D. in Cracow?

A. Yes. In the autumn of 1940 and in 1944 I was head of the department "Administration and Law" attached to the commander of the Security Police and the S.D. in Cracow.

Q. What were the tasks you had to fulfil at different times in the Government General - in broad outline.

A. In 1940 I had the task of taking over from the Government General a number of branches of the police administration as subordinate to the Higher S.S. and Police Leader.

Q. What was the legal position of the Higher S.S. and Police Leader, and what was his relation to the Governor General? Did the Higher S.S. and Police Leader receive his instructions in regard to the Security Police and the S.D. from the Governor General? Or did he receive them directly from the Reichsfuehrer S.S. and Chief of the Police, Himmler.

A. The Higher S.S. and Police Leader from the very beginning received his instructions directly from Reichsfuehrer S.S. Himmler.

Q. Is it furthermore true that the Commander of the Security Police in the Government General and of the S.D. also received direct orders and instructions from Department IV, the Gestapo, and from Department V, the Criminal Police in the R.S.H.A.?

A. Yes, the Commander of the Security Police received many orders directly from the various departments of the R.S.H.A., particularly from Departments IV and V.

Q. Did the institution of the State Secretariat for Security, which took place in 1942, bring about a change in the legal position of the Governor General with reference to measures of the Security Police and the S.D.?

A. The appointment of a State Secretary as such did not alter the legal position of the Governor General or of the State Secretary. New spheres of activity were merely added to the State Secretariat for Security.

Q. Do you know of a decree of Reichsfuehrer S.S. and Chief of the German Police, Himmler, in the year 1939, and what were its contents?

A. I did know of a decree, probably dated 1939, dealing with the appointment of the Higher S.S. and Police Leader, which ruled that the Higher S.S. and Police Leader would receive his instructions directly from Himmler.

[Page 131]

Q. The institution of the State Secretariat dated from 7 May, 1942, and is based on a Fuehrer decree. The application of this decree called forth another decree which deals with the transfer of official business to the State Secretary for Security, dated 3 June, 1942. Do you know the contents of that decree?

A. The essential contents of the decrees cited by you are known to me.

Q. Is it correct that on the basis of this decree the entire political police and the criminal police, as had been the case before, were again subordinated to the State Secretary for Security within the framework of the Security Police?

A. These two branches from the very beginning were under the Higher S.S. and Police Leader and later on under the State Secretary for Security. To this extent the decree did not bring about a change, but was merely a confirmation.

Q. Is it known to you that in Appendix B of that decree there are 26 paragraphs in which all the branches of the Security Police are transferred to the Higher S.S. and Police Chief as State Secretary for Security?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know that in this decree, in Appendix B, Jewish matters are also mentioned specifically?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know that in paragraph 21 of Appendix B it deals with:-

"Fields of activity of the Security Police: representation of the Government General at conferences and meetings, particularly at conferences and meetings with the central offices of the Reich, which deals with the above-mentioned fields of activity ..."?
A. I know that this particular matter was dealt with but whether in paragraph 21 or another paragraph I don't remember.

Q. Is it also true that on the basis of this decree the remaining spheres of influence or power over the Administrative Police were removed from the administration of the Government General and handed over to the State Secretary for Security, who was directly under Himmler?

A. That was the intention and the purpose of this decree. But, contrary to the wording, a certain few branches were not taken away from the administration, about which there was continual conflict. As regards the remainder, however, all branches of the police administration were taken away.

Q. Witness, did the administration of the Government General have anything to do with the establishment and administration of concentration camps?

A. To the best of my knowledge, no.

Q. You were with the Chief of the Security Police and S.D. in Cracow. When did you yourself hear of concentration camps at Maidanek, Treblinka and Lublin for the first time?

A. May I correct you? I was attached to the Commander of the Security Police.

Q. Yes, the Commander of the Security Police.

A. I heard of Maidanek for the first time when Lublin and Maidanek were occupied by the Russians; and through propaganda I heard for the first time what the name Maidanek meant, when Governor General Frank ordered an investigation regarding events in Maidanek and responsibility for these events.

Q. According to your own observation, generally sneaking, what were the relations like between the Governor General and the S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer Krueger, and what were the reasons for those relations?

A. Relations between them were very bad from the beginning. The reasons were partly questions of organisation and of the use of the police and partly differences of opinion.

Q. What do you mean by differences of opinion? Do you mean different opinions regarding the treatment of the Polish population?

A. I can still recollect one example which concerned the confirmation of

[Page 132]

Police Drumhead Court Martial sentences by Governor General Frank. In opposition to Krueger's opinion, he either failed to confirm a number of sentences or else mitigated them considerably. In this connection I remember such differences of opinion.

Q. Were these sentences which were passed in connection with the so-called A.B. action?

A. I know nothing of an A.B. action.

Q. You came to the Government General later, did you?

A. I came to the Government General in August, 1940.

DR. SEIDL: I have no further questions for this witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the defendants' counsel want to ask questions?

DR. MERKEL (Defence Counsel for the Gestapo): May I put a few questions to the witness.


Q. Witness, the prosecution states that the Secret State Police was a circle of persons formed in accordance with a mutual intention, and that membership in it was voluntary. Since you had an especially high position in the R.S.H.A., I ask you to tell me briefly what you know about these questions?

A. Of the members of the Secret State Police only a small part were volunteers. The former officials, the officials of the former Political Department of the Central Police Office, constituted the nucleus of the membership of the Secret State Police. The various State Police Offices were created from these former Political Departments of the Central Police Office, and at the same time practically all the officials from these former Political Departments were taken over. In Berlin, for example, there was Department 1-A of the Central Police Office.

Apart from that, administrative officials were transferred from other administrative authorities to the Secret State Police, or were detailed to go there. In the course of the years people from other administrations and offices were forced to transfer to the Secret State Police. Thus, for instance, the entire Customs Frontier Service was transferred to the Secret State Police in 1944 by order of the Fuehrer. At about the same time all intelligence personnel were transferred.

In the course of the war numerous members of the Waffen S.S. who were no longer eligible for active military service were detailed to the Secret State Police. In addition many people who originally had had nothing to do with police work were drafted as emergency employees of the Secret State Police.

Q. If I summarise it by saying that the Secret State Police was a Reich authority and that the German Law Governing Civil Servants applied in the case of its employees, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Was it possible for the officials to resign from the Secret State Police easily?

A. It was extremely difficult and, in fact, impossible to resign from the Secret State Police. One could resign only in very special circumstances.

Q. It has been stated here with reference to the composition of the Secret State Police personnel that there was the following proportion: executive officers: about 20 per cent.; administrative officials: about 20 per cent.; and routine employees: approximately 60 per cent. Are these figures about right?

A. I have no general information about the composition of the personnel but for certain offices about which I knew more, these figures would probably be approximately right.

Q. Under whose jurisdiction were the concentration camps in Germany and in the occupied countries?

A. The concentration camps were under the jurisdiction of the Economics and Administration Main Office under S.S. Gruppenfuehrer Pohl.

[Page 133]

Q. Did the Secret State Police have anything to do with the administration of the concentration camps?

A. No. It may be that at the beginning certain concentration camps here and there were administered by the Secret State Police directly for a short period. That was probably the case in individual instances. But in principle even at that time, and later on without exception, the concentration camps were administered by the Economics and Administration Main Office.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.