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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
27th May to 6th June, 1946

One Hundred and Fortieth Day: Tuesday, 28th May, 1946
(Part 3 of 10)

[Page 57]


Q. Witness, do you know anything about the fact that in the last weeks an order came to form franc-tireur units. What was von Schirach's attitude to that?

[Page 58]

[Gustav Dietrich Hopken] A. I do not know that franc-tireur units were to be formed, but I do know that a "Freikorps Hitler" was to be formed. They were to be in civilian clothes. Schirach ordered that no people from the Reichsgau Vienna were to be assigned to this Freikorps.

Q. Why not?

A. Because at that time he considered resistance senseless. Secondly, because he considered it contrary to International Law.

Q. My last question to you, witness. You were with Schirach to the last, until he left Vienna?

A. Yes.

Q. Did Schirach give an order to destroy bridges or churches, residential quarters, and so forth in Vienna?

A. No, I do not know of that.

Q. What do you know?

A. That orders to blow up bridges or for any defence measures were given only by the military authorities, as far as I know.

Q. But not by Schirach?

A. No.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, I have no more questions to put to this witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Does any other Defendant's Counsel want to ask questions?

(No response.)

THE PRESIDENT: The Prosecution?



Q. Witness, would you see all of the files that were in von Schirach's office during the time that you were his adjutant?

A. I have already told you, or I told the defence counsel, that most of the mail went through the Central Bureau.

Q. I want to show you a document that is in evidence here and ask you if you can tell us whether or not you have seen this before.

(The document is handed to the witness.)

Have you ever seen that document before?

A. I do not know this document officially, as I see it is dated 28th May 1942, at which time I was an officer in the Luftwaffe.

Q. I see, you did not mean the Tribunal to understand that you were familiar with everything that was in von Schirach's files, because certainly this document was there during the years that you were his adjutant. You never saw it. It is marked "Central Bureau," and you had charge of these very files, yet you never saw this teletype to Bormann? So you certainly did not know everything that was in his files, did you?

A. I said that the majority of the mail went through my office, but, of course, since I was not in Vienna at this time but only came to Vienna in April 1943, I was not able to look through all the back documents arid letters in the files of the Reich Governor. That would have taken years.

THE PRESIDENT: The translation just came through to me that you went to Vienna in April 1942. Is that right?

A. 1943.


Q. Let me ask you something else. You were there in the last days, I assume, when the city was taken by the Allied Forces, were you not?

A. I was in Vienna until April 1945.

Q. What was done with von Schirach's files, when the end was very obviously coming? What did you do with all those files over which you had control?

[Page 59]

A. I was not in charge of any files. I was chief of the bureau and I -

Q. Well, you know what I mean - chief of the bureau or of the office where these files were kept. What I want to know is what did you do with the files.

A. I gave no orders in this connection.

Q. Do you know what became of the files?

A. No, I do not.

Q. They were taken out of the office sometime before the city was captured, do you not know that?

A. No, I do not know that.

Q. Were the files there the last day that you were there?

A. Probably, yes

Q. I do not want a "probably." I want to know if you know and if you do, to tell us. Were they there or not the last day that you were in the office?

A. I gave no orders to destroy them or to remove them.

Q. I did not ask you if you gave orders. I asked you if you know what became of them and whether or not they were in the office the last day that you were there?

A. I do not know what happened to them. Nor can I say whether they were still there on the last day.

Q. Do you not know that they were all moved to a salt mine in Austria?

A. No, I do not know that.

Q. You have never heard that, or that they were taken out of the office and were later found by the Allied Forces in a salt mine?

A. No, I do not know that.

Q. I do not mean that you heard they were found there, but you certainly knew that they were taken out of the office?

A. No, I do not know. I also gave no orders.

Q. Well, now, let me put this proposition to you, and then perhaps you can give an explanation of it to the Tribunal. This document that I have just shown to you and these reports that you examined for Dr. Sauter were all found in Schirach's files in a salt mine. Would you have any explanation for that?

A. No, I cannot explain that.

Q. They were found together. Would that mean anything to you, or would you have any explanation for it?

A. No, I have not. I can only explain that by saying that probably the chief of the Reich Governor's office or one of his officials who was in charge of these things gave the order to that effect, of course, without my knowledge and without any order from me.

Q. Tell the Tribunal exactly what day you closed your office in Vienna, or the last day that you were in this office.

A. It might have been the 3rd or 4th of April.

Q. When was the city taken?

A. I read in the newspaper afterwards that the city finally fell into the hands of the Allies on 13th April.

Q. Did you all leave your office on the 3rd or 4th of April? Did von Schirach leave as well, and all the clerical staff, etc.?

A. Schirach and I and his adjutant left the office on this day, or rather, Schirach had previously set up his office at his home and was working there.

Q. Had he taken any files from his office to his home?

A. Only what he needed immediately to carry on his business; that is, the matters which were being dealt with at the moment.

Q. Did you leave some one in charge of the files when you left there, you and von Schirach on the 3rd or 4th of April, and if you did, who was it that you left in charge?

A. I did not leave any one to supervise. The file clerks did that of their own accord.

Q. I am trying to understand - and I think it would be helpful to the Tribunal - whether or not you just walked out of this office and left everything there, or

[Page 60]

whether just you and von Schirach left and left other people there, or whether the place was in such chaos that nobody remained. I have not any accurate picture of it, and I think it is of some importance. You ought to be able to tell us. You left there with him. What was the situation on the 3rd or 4th of April? The city was about to be taken in another ten days. It was under siege. There was much co nfusion. What were you doing about your files and all your other papers in your office when you walked out that day? You certainly just did not walk out and not give some directions.

A. I believe that we are not clear about the character of the Central Bureau. The Central Bureau, of which I was in charge for the last few months, had no powers, no executive powers, but all of these things were done by the competent Reich Governor, that is, the Regierungsprasident and he probably -

Q. I do not need any explanation of how your office was organized. I want to know if the papers were left there or not, or if anybody was left with them.

A. The papers, as far as I know, were left there, and the archivists were instructed to take care of them.

Q. Did you order any papers to be destroyed before you walked out that day, the 3rd or 4th of April, anything at all?

A. I gave no orders to destroy anything in the Reich Governor's Office; I had no authority to do that.

Q. Did anybody to your knowledge order anything to be destroyed, whether you did or not?

A. Whether such an order was given and who gave it, I do not know.

MR. DODD: I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: What is the document you put to him?

MR. DODD: Exhibit USA 865. It is Document 3877-PS, a teletype to Bormann from von Schirach on the 28th of May 1942.


MR. DODD: Exhibit USA 865.

I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you want to re-examine the witness, Dr. Sauter?


By DR. SAUTER: (Counsel for the defendant von Schirach):

Q. Witness, I should like to go back to what the prosecution just asked you.

The documents of the Reich Governor's office apparently are supposed to have been found in a salt mine.

Did you have any supervision over the documents of the Reich Governor's office?

A. No, I had no supervision over these documents. I just explained that. For that reason, I could not give any order to remove them. I know only that valuable objects, pictures and so on, were removed, but much earlier.

Q. And the other employees of the Central Bureau, were they Viennese? Did they stay in the office, or what do you know about that?

A. Most of them were Viennese, of course, and probably remained behind. I shook hands and said goodbye to them, and then we separated. I also asked whether I could do anything for them, and then I left Vienna.

DR. SAUTER: I have no more questions, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.

Perhaps we had better adjourn now.

(A recess was taken.)

[Page 61]

THE PRESIDENT: With reference to the application on behalf of the defendant Bormann the Tribunal allows witness number one, Fraulein Elsa Kruger.

The Tribunal allows witnesses numbers three and four, Dr. Klopper and Helmuth Friedrich.

The Tribunal also allows the witness, whose name I have inserted instead of number two - Christians, I think it was.

With reference to the documents applied for, numbers one to seven, the application is refused. But the Tribunal will consider any application for documents which the defendants' counsel, who may be appointed to argue the general questions of law on behalf of all the defendants, may wish to have translated.

Document number 11 may be translated.

Counsel for the defendant Bormann may see the documents which are mentioned under III in the application and counsel for the defendant Bormann may also use the documents contained under heading "B."

The final decision upon the admissibility of all these documents is, of course, a matter which will be decided at the time the documents are presented.

There is one other thing that I want to announce, and it is in answer to the application of Dr. Servatius, on behalf of the defendant Sauckel.

I am told that the witness Timm is in Nuremberg prison. The witness Biedemann is also in Nuremberg prison. The witness Hildebrandt will probably arrive in Nuremberg today. His whereabouts had been unknown and he has only just been located. The witness Jager is in the British Zone, and the British Secretary is trying through the military authorities, to obtain his attendance. The witness Stothfang has not been located. There appears to be a mistake in the identity of the person who was reported to the General Secretary previously. The witness Mitschke has never been located, although every effort is now being made to locate him.

That is all.

DR. SAUTER: I ask permission to call a further witness, Fritz Wieshofer. I shall examine this witness only very briefly, because most points have already been clarified through the other witnesses.

FRITZ WIESHOFER, a witness, took the stand and testified as follows:


Q. Will you state your full name?

A. Fritz Wieshofer.

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. Herr Wieshofer, how old are you?

A. Thirty-one years old.

Q. Married?

A. Yes.

Q. Children?

A. One son.

Q. Were you a member of the Party?

A. I applied for membership in 1938.

Q. You only applied for membership?

A. Yes.

Q. Were you a member of the SS or the SA?

[Page 62]

A. I was in the Waffen SS.

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