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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
29th July to 8th August 1946

One Hundred and Ninety-Third Day: Friday, 2nd August, 1946
(Part 8 of 10)

[Page 227]

M. MONNERAY: Mr. President, I wanted to ask this witness questions on both documents to show how little faith one can attach to his depositions, since he declared before the Commission that it concerned a very exceptional case; whereas, as a matter of fact, it seems that it was a general measure of the SD, which was in force in many different parts of Germany.

THE PRESIDENT: If you want to cross-examine the witness as to the document, you can put questions from the document to him, but you cannot--at least the Tribunal does not want you to put the document to him.


Q. Witness, you told us, concerning wireless, that the SD furnished also very objective reports without any political intentions behind them, is that right?

[Hans Roessner] A. Yes. Every week we sent in reports about the reception of radio programmes by the German population, as objectively as possible, including all critical opinion.

M. MONNERAY: I have submitted to the Tribunal a Document PS- 3575, already produced in evidence as Exhibit USA 158, which established that in this domain also the SD had a mission which was not merely objective reporting.


Q. Witness, what was the work of Office III-B-3?

A. I cannot answer from memory as I no longer have the individual department in my head; in any case, certainly not with radio as that was the task of Amt III-C-4.

Q. Is it right to say that they looked after questions concerning race and health?

A. I answered just now that I no longer remember the duties of that office.

Q. Did you have anything to do with or did you receive reports through your colleagues about general situation reports concerning foreign workers in Germany?

A. No. I, personally, had nothing to do with these matters. The question was quite beyond the scope of my duties.

M. MONNERAY: I should like to show to the Tribunal Document 1753-PS, which becomes Exhibit RF 1542, and which contains a report from one of the departments of the SD concerning the possibility given by the RSHA to German doctors to practise abortion on female workers from the East, if they requested it.

[Page 228]

This report establishes that the statements of the SD in this matter are in no way objective statements, but that they definitely take a favourable view of the official policy of the Nazi State.

I submit another Document, PS-1298, which becomes Exhibit RF 1543, concerning slave labour by workers in Germany. In this document the person who wrote the report, who was an agent of the SD, after having mentioned the numerous desertions of foreign workers, recommends practical measures, such as reprisals against relatives by withdrawal of ration cards, and so forth.

Q. Witness, you call those objective reports which do not of themselves support the policy of the police, do you not?

A. Yes, for this is a report of one of the many subsidiary offices which existed under the Reichssicherheitshauptamt in order to obtain a cross-section of public opinion in which, of course, the opinions of members of the Party would also be represented.

Moreover, I would like definitely to refute the assertion of the Prosecutor that it involved any agent of the SD. Amt III was never concerned with this matter, nor had any agents in the home information department, as I already stated this morning. I must again state that concerning the technical questions which are contained in these documents, I can only take a subjective attitude because they did not belong to my department. I still maintain my fundamental declaration concerning the duties of the SD, even in the face of these documents.

Q. But, witness, this document was not addressed to the RSHA to be centralised; it was addressed to the office for the utilization of manpower. It is therefore a report in view of the execution of those treasures which are suggested, is that not so?

A. From the document which I have before me, it is not evident from what SD office it came.

Q. I am going to show you a photostatic copy of this report.

A. This also does not indicate in any way from which SD office the document was sent.

Q. Do you admit that the report is addressed to the Manpower Commitment Office?

A. Yes; but at the same time I would like to point out that under the signature it says, "Secretary": and the SD, as far as I know, never had any secretaries. There should be a SD or a SS rank shown there.

Q. And there is also written in the same document: "I am sending you herewith a copy of the report from the Inland SD."

A. Yes.

Q. In the occupied territories, the SD was represented by organizations under Amt III and Amt VI, is that not so?

A. No, Amt III - here again I can speak only of Amt III - had no organizations which were directly subordinate to it, but only individual SD agents of Amt III who carried out the specific SD tasks in the occupied territories.

Q. Amt VI of the RSHA looked after the SD abroad, did it not?

A. Yes.

Q. And it had its representatives within the German police organizations operating abroad, did it not?

A. About this I can say nothing because I never worked in that office.

M. MONNERAY: I offer to the Tribunal in evidence Documents F- 973 and F-974. Those are information sheets addressed to Section 6-ST-2. The two documents will become Exhibits RF 1544 and 1545. Those are information sheets and agents' reports addressed by the office.

THE PRESIDENT: Go on. Have they been translated? Have copies been given to the German counsel?

[Page 229]

M. MONNERAY: It has not been given to the interpreters because I am not going to read the whole document. The original is in German.

It is a report made out on a printed information form, sent out by the SD agents to the competent services of the Gestapo, concerning the Jewish question; and thereby the relations existing between the two offices can be established, contrary to the statements of the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Have these documents been translated into the various languages?

M. MONNERAY: Only into French, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you know the rule is that they must be translated into four languages. You must read it then, if that is so.

M. MONNERAY: With the permission of the Tribunal, I shall read only one of the two documents, Section 6-N-I.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Monneray, we have been a long time, and we have now apparently got to the stage that we have got to read this document, all these documents, which are of very remote importance. We have got to read them through because they have not been translated. It is taking up a long time; and it does not seem to be achieving any great result.

M. MONNERAY: Mr. President, I shall pass directly to the last point, concerning the transplanting of population.

Q. Do you know, witness, if the SD participated with the Gestapo in sending people into concentration camps?

A. I cannot say. From my personal knowledge, I can only say in general that Amt III had no executive duties at all. Also, therefore, it was not empowered to send any people into a concentration camp.

Q. Do you know that the SD collaborated with the Gestapo to check which Poles were capable of being Germanised and which of them, on the other hand, should be sent to concentration camps?

A. No, I have no factual knowledge of any of these questions.

M. MONNERAY: I would ask permission merely to read an extract of document R-112.

THE PRESIDENT: Is this new?

M. MONNERAY: It is a document which has already been offered in evidence, Exhibit USA 309.

THE PRESIDENT: Then you must not refer to it because the witness says he does not know anything about it.

M. MONNERAY: I would like merely to read the passage from this document which establishes, contrary to the statements of the witness, who does not know these facts, that the SD did in fact collaborate with the Gestapo in selecting Poles to be Germanised.

THE PRESIDENT: If there is anything in the document which shows that the witness is not telling the truth you can put that part of the document to the witness.

M. MONNERAY: The document refers to Amt III B of the SD and does not indicate any element which directly affects the witness. Therefore, it bears only on the general question of the activity of the SD and does not affect the witness personally.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Monneray, the witness has just said that Amt III did not have anything to do with deportation of populations. If this document shows that he did, then you can put that fact to him.

M. MONNERAY: That is why, Mr. President, I was asking permission to read a passage of this document.

[Page 230]

THE PRESIDENT: You can put the document to him.

M . MONNERAY: It is a letter of the 1st July, signed by Streckenbach. It emanates from Amt III B (1) and it is addressed to the Gestapo, office of the SD, in the newly occupied territories of the East. This document says, on Page 2, first point:

"The Gestapo Services must immediately ask the branch offices of the DVL, the SD departments and the Kripo departments for all available material on persons belonging to Group 4."
Third point: "The office chiefs of the State Police offices and the leaders of the SD offices, or their permanent representatives (B-agents in SD III) must participate in the racial examinations in order to see for themselves the people involved."

On Page 3, fourth point:

"After the selection, from the racial point of view, the chiefs of the State Police offices and the leaders of the SD departments, or their permanent representatives (B- agents in SD III) will verify in common (this is underlined in the document) the material available, and will if necessary ask the RSHA, Amt IV C2, for arrest and consignment to a concentration camp. In particularly difficult cases the documentary files will first of all have to be sent to the RSHA; Amt III B."
On Page 4, the last paragraph of this order, signed by Streckenbach:
"In execution of the current control of Germanisation, the SD services in the old Reich territory - "
THE PRESIDENT: One moment. As far as I understand the document it clearly applies to Amt III. Well, why do you not put it to him?

M. MONNERAY: I should like to ask the witness afterwards if he still maintains that Amt III had nothing to do with the Gestapo and had no authority to carry out arrests and send people to concentration camps.

First of all, I would like to finish reading the last paragraph.

THE PRESIDENT: All right, go on.

Q. " ... the SD services in Reich territory proper will carry on in a similar manner with the supervision of and reporting on Poles capable of being Germanised; they should afford all assistance to the 'advisers' on Germanisation."
The report is signed Streckenbach.


Q. Witness, this order really emanates from Amt III of the RSHA, does it not?

A. Apparently some mistake has occurred, Mr. Prosecutor, because according to the document before me, the document does not come from the RSHA at all, but from the Reich Commissioner for Germanisation. After the date of 1st July, 1942, there is III B (I), it is true, but it has the letterhead "Reich Commissioner for the Establishment of Germanisation," an office which is completely separated from the RSHA.

Q. Well, then, witness, is it correct to say that according to this order signed by Streckenbach, the services of the SD, in common with those of the Gestapo, were to check their files and to request, if necessary, the arrest of people concerned and have them sent to concentration camps? Will you please answer yes or no?

A. Unfortunately from my own experience I can give no information about that. In any case it is clear that the Reich Commissioner for Germanisation could give no orders to the SD, Amt III. Therefore, one remains quite vague, from this document, as to what the SD did in practice in this matter, and the specialist concerned should be questioned here.

[Page 231]

Q. You did not answer the question. According to this text, is it correct to state that the SD actively collaborated with the Gestapo in these matters.

A. I believe -

Q. Yes or no?

A. I cannot answer the question with yes or no, but I think I have already answered it when I said that the Reich Commissioner for Germanisation could give no orders to the SD. I cannot judge therefore what the SD actually did, as these are two entirely different offices. As far as I know the competent Gruppenleiter has already been heard before the Commission.

Q. You are still not answering the question. Is it true, yes or no, that according to this text the SD collaborated with the Gestapo in examining people and, if necessary, had them arrested and sent to concentration camps?

A. Unfortunately I must again repeat my answer to your second question. Since the Reich Commissioner could give no direct orders to the SD I cannot answer by yes or no as to whether the SD, on the basis of this order by the Reich Commissioner, actually collaborated with the Gestapo. And that is the question.

THE PRESIDENT: I think the document speaks for itself and now I think the Tribunal had better adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)


Q. One last question, witness, concerning this document. Who helped the "Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of Germanism"?

A. I did not quite understand the question.

(Question repeated.)

A. That was a supreme office.

Q. Which was under the authority of the chief of the SS, and the chief of the German Police, is that not true?

A. Himmler.

Q. You maintain that this letter of 1st July, which came from Himmler's offices and was addressed at the same time to the Gestapo office, the SD office, and the Criminal Police office, does not correspond with the real state of affairs.

A. From my own knowledge I can only point out once more that there are two completely different agencies concerned. To what extent the formulation of the document coincides with the actual work of the SD, I cannot, I repeat, judge from my own knowledge.

M. MONNERAY: I have no more questions to ask.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Gawlik - wait a minute.

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