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-Fifth Day: Monday, 5th August, 1946
(Part 8 of 9)

[Page 289]



Q. As I understood you, witness, you were very surprised when you learned about the killings in the concentration camps?

[Robert Brill] A. Yes.

Q. And you contend that the Waffen SS did not participate in the killings in the concentration camps?

[Page 290]

A. I said that. I and countless comrades of the Waffen SS knew nothing about them. The defence counsel told me that killings were carried out. I did not deny it.

Q. Will you tell us, please, who was in charge of the Kommandantur within the concentration camp? Was it not the Waffen SS?

A. No, they were not Kommandanturen of the Waffen SS. Certain members of the nominal Waffen SS were in the Kommandanturen; but there is a clear order of the High Command of the Waffen SS which I have already mentioned. It is included in the army circular of December, 1940, and stated that members of the Totenkopf (Death's Head) units do not do any military service in the sense of the SS. Members of the Totenkopf units -

Q. I would like to ask you to be more concise. So you contend that the Kommandanturen in concentration camps were Waffen SS Kommandanturen?

A. The Kommandanturen were not under the command of the Waffen SS; but members of the Waffen SS were in the Kommandanturen. There is a distinction.

Q. But these Kommandanturen were Waffen SS Kommandanturen?_

A. No, they were not Kommandanturen of the Waffen SS.

Q. Another question, before I refresh your memory on these matters. Is it not the staff of the Waffen SS who are responsible for the most terrible crimes committed in the concentration camps?

A. The inspectorate of the concentration camps was the supreme authority for the guards, personnel, and for the Kommandanturen of the concentration camps; and this inspectorate was responsible, as far as I know, for all concentration camps.

Q. What was the rank of Gluecks? Do you know that name?

A. Gluecks was the commander or Kommandant of the inspectorate of the concentration camps.

Q. I am asking you about his military rank. Was he a general of the Waffen SS?

A. I believe he was a lieutenant-general of the Waffen SS.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Sir, please allow me in order to refute the words of the witness to present a document which, although it is a private document, has an exceptional evidential value and without which the material of the proceedings would be incomplete. I am speaking now of a circular letter of the General Major of the Waffen SS, Gluecks, about the utilization of human hair in the concentration camps. If the Tribunal please, while evidence was presented concerning the Auschwitz concentration camps, we mentioned that seven tons of hair cut off from 740,000 women's heads had been found there. W e did not know till now what was the aim of the utilization of this hair; but now we have an original document which describes this purpose and which I am submitting. This document has been found in the archives .... I will quote the whole document with your permission:

"Secret. SS-General Economical and Administrative Department, Department D., Concentration Camp, Oranienburg, 6th August, 1942. Copy Number 13. Re: Utilization of cut hair. To: Concentration Camp Kommandants." And then thirteen concentration camps are mentioned. I omit their names.

"The Chief of the Central Economical and Administrative Department of the SS, on the basis of a report submitted to him, orders that all human hair cut in concentration camps be appropriately utilised. Human hair is to be spun into industrial felt and yarn. Out of combed and cut hair of women, hair-yarn stockings for U-boat crews are to be made, as well as hair-felt stockings for employees of the Reich railways.

Therefore, I order that the hair of women prisoners after due disinfection be collected. Cut hair of male prisoners can only be utilised of at least twenty millimetres in length."

[Page 291]

SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, therefore, gave his consent that by way of experiment the hair of male prisoners should be cut only when it reached a length of twenty millimetres.

In order to avoid facilitating escape through the increase in length of hair, in all cases where the Kommandant finds it necessary to earmark the prisoners, a strip of hair should be clipped by means of a narrow clipper right over the middle of the head.

The hair gathered in all the camps will be utilised by creating a special production unit in one of the concentration camps.

More detailed instructions as to the delivery of stores of hair will be given separately.

Reports on amount of hair gathered each month, male and female recorded separately, must be submitted on the 5th of each month, beginning with 5th September, 1942.

Signed: Gluecks, SS-Brigadefuehrer and General Major of the Waffen SS."

Q. Now, I would like you to look at the stamp. Do you see this stamp; it says: Waffen SS Kommandantur, Sachsenhausen. Do you still assert that the Kommandanturen of the concentration camps were not on the budget of the Waffen SS?

A. Yes. I will explain that. The Kommandanturen of the Waffen SS, the Kommandanturen of the concentration camps, were officially on the budget of the Waffen SS, as it was necessary to have all economic -

Q. So they were on the budget of the Waffen SS, were they not?

A. I said they were on the budget of the Waffen SS; but it was necessary for economic reasons to mention, so to speak, an organization of the Kommandanturen which had the possibility of working with Reich funds and with the Reich authorities.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: To clarify this question, my Lord, may I draw your attention to the stamp where it is said, "Kommandantur K.L., Sachsenhausen, Waffen SS." This proves that the Waffen SS was in charge of the Kommandantur. I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you want to re-examine?

DR. PELCKMANN: I will ask the witness one final question.


Q. Did you ever hear the expression "Nominal Waffen SS"?

A. Yes. The expression "Nominal Waffen SS" was used by us for the guards, personnel, and Kommandanturen of the Waffen SS, inasmuch as these Kommandanturen were in the Waffen SS at all. Within the Waffen SS, as I already explained on the regulation for replacement, we had the Waffen SS proper, that is, the troops; and then on the economic budget of the Waffen SS, we had various formations, which, at the order of Himmler, were put there so that they could enjoy the advantages of the Waffen SS in regard to dealings of an economic nature, etc., with the authorities.

Q. Then it was a technical expression which was known everywhere, the Nominal Waffen SS?

A. Yes. The Waffen SS proper, that is the troops, were under a Kommando Amt of the Waffen SS unless they were at the front and thus under the army. And this inspectorate of the concentration camps was not under the Kommandant of the Waffen SS and received no orders from this side. The inspectorate of the concentration camps, Gluecks's office, had its own channel of command. As far as I know, it received its mail independently, and so forth; and as far as I know, it did not even come into closer contact with the WVHA, of which it was an Amtsgruppe.

DR. PELCKMANN: Thank you.

[Page 292]


Q. Witness, you said that the Kommandanturen were within the budget of the Waffen SS. Did you mean on the budget of the Waffen SS?

A. On the budget.

Q. Of the Waffen SS?

A. On the budget of the Waffen SS, as far as I know.

THE PRESIDENT: And was the inspectorate of concentration camps also on the budget of the Waffen SS?

A. I cannot definitely say that.

Q. How were the Waffen SS paid in the first place? Were they paid in the same manner as the Wehrmacht?

A. Yes.

Q. Were they paid the same amounts?

A. Yes.

Q. And was their budget in the budget of the Wehrmacht or was there a separate budget?

A. Yes.

Q. What do you mean, "yes"? Was it in the budget of the Wehrmacht, or was it a separate budget?

A. We were paid according to the rank pay order section of the army, that is, from the budget of the Wehrmacht.

Q. So in all respects as far as pay went, you were part of the regular army, is that right?

A. Yes, that is right.

Q. Why, then, did you keep this separate designation of Waffen SS if you were part of the Wehrmacht?

A. I assumed that Himmler and particularly Hitler wanted it that way. He wanted a Waffen SS, a special troop.

Q. You had separate uniforms, did you not? You had different uniforms from the Wehrmacht?

A. We had the same uniforms, only different insignia. That is, we had the same shoulder insignia, only in addition we had stars and stripes which the Wehrmacht did not have.

Q. To what extent, after you joined the army, were you still subject to Himmler's command?

A. We were not under Himmler's orders at all. Up to 1939 we were as SS Verfugungstruppe under Hitler's orders; and then the Waffen SS was also under the orders of Hitler as commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht.

Q. Did Himmler have anything to do with the Waffen SS?

A. Yes. For example, Himmler had the right to inspection; he had the right to make promotions; and on administration and care of the troops, and also, as far as I know, on legal matters, Himmler, i.e., his main office, had an influence.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.

DR. PELCKMANN: Your Lordship, to clear up the question which the Tribunal has just asked, I consider it necessary to call the head of WVHA, Amtsgruppe D, the witness Pohl.

THE PRESIDENT: Is he one of the witnesses that have been allowed to you?

DR. PELCKMANN: He is not one of those witnesses. I only want to prepare orally for my written application which I shall hand in.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks you had better call your next witness, Dr. Pelckmann.

[Page 293]

DR. PELCKMANN: The next witness will testify on the questions that were asked the last witness. I shall give my suggestion for the cross-examination of the witness Pohl in writing.

I call the witness Hauser.

PAUL HAUSER, a witness, took the stand and testified as follows:


Q. Will you state your full name, please?

A. Paul Hauser.

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. When were you born?

A. I was born on 7th October, 1880.

Q. You were a professional soldier?

A. Yes.

Q. When did you leave the Wehrmacht?

A. On 1st February, 1932, I left the Reichswehr as a lieutenant-general.

Q. How did you come to the SS?

A. In 1933, as a non-party member, I joined the Stahlhelm -

Q. Please speak more slowly, witness.

A. ... and with this organization I was transferred to the SA reserve in 1934 After the events in the summer of 1934 I was asked by Heinrich Himmler whether I would be willing to take over the establishment and direction of an officer- candidate school. I accepted this assignment, and in November, 1934, I joined the Verfugungstruppe.

Q. At what time and 1n what position did you acquire the knowledge which enabled you to appear here and testify as a witness for the SS?

A. From Easter, 1935, to the summer of 1936, I directed the school. Then I was inspector of the Verfugungstruppe from 1936 to 1939. During the war, for two years in each capacity, I led an SS division and an SS Panzer Corps, and then, from 1944 on, I was again in the army, as commander-in- chief of an army group.

I am in a position to give information on the Verfugungstruppe in peace time and on the Waffen SS during the war, as far as I became acquainted with them personally, and as far as they were under my orders. I do not know the General SS. During the war I was not employed at any central office.

Q. What was your last rank in the Waffen SS?

A. I was General (Generaloberst) of the Waffen SS.

Q. What was your last position?

A. At the beginning of 1945 I was commander-in-chief of Army Group D, on the southern flank of the Western front.

Q. About how many divisions were under you at that time?

A. This army group had twenty to thirty divisions, only two of which belonged to the Waffen SS.

Q. How did you as General of the Waffen SS get a leading position in the army?

A. That was a result of the close co-operation between the army and the Waffen SS. My employment in that capacity was suggested on the basis of my previous experience with the army.

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