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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
9th August to 21st August 1946

Two Hundred and Second Day: Tuesday, 13th August, 1946
(Part 1 of 10)

[Page 118]

TUESDAY, 13th AUGUST, 1946

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will sit in closed session tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock. That is to say, it will not sit in open session after I o'clock tomorrow.

Major Barrington, had you finished?


THE PRESIDENT: Are there any other Chief Prosecutors who want to cross-examine? Then, Dr. Boehm, do you wish to re- examine?

DR. BOEHM (counsel for the SA): Mr. President, I should like to ask a few brief questions on the cross-examination yesterday.



Q. Witness, will you please answer these questions as briefly as possible. Do you know the basic principle, the foremost in the SA, equal rights for everyone?

A. Yes, I know this principle. It was also taught in the schools.

Q. Is it true that the higher position of an SA man, which was mentioned here yesterday, meant only the respect held for him in the national community on the strength of his contribution to the realization of the aims of the Third Reich?

A. The SA man was always educated to observe order and discipline and to obey directives and the law.

Q. Were the privileges which were mentioned here yesterday something different from the respect for the SA man as a political soldier?

A. The SA man had no privileges. He could earn certain rights in connection with his services which enabled him to advance more easily, socially speaking, but otherwise he was subject to the law in all respects.

Q. You mentioned yesterday that the SA man was not armed, that he only carried an SA dagger. From Sturmfuehrer up, he had in addition firearms for which he needed a licence like every German who wanted to carry firearms.

A. Yes.

Q. Now, within the SA, within the circle of persons in question here, did the individual who carried a pistol have a right to use it against other nationals?

A. No, the SA man who carried a weapon had to know, just like any other citizen, that he could use it only in emergencies for his own defence.

Q. Article 10 was read yesterday to you stating that the high position of the SA man must not be disgraced by insulting, slighting or unjust treatment.

A. The rights were the consequences of certain duties. If the SA man was under special obligation he had to have special rights. But never - that was constantly emphasized - could he overstep the existing laws in any way.

Q. Article 18 says especially that the SA man may use weapons that were entrusted to him to the extent I have just stated, only in the execution of his duties and for legitimate self - protection. Does this not mean that the SA man, like every other German citizen, had to obey the existing regulations concerning the possession and the use of weapons?

[Page 119]

A. I have already said so once. The SA man was subject to the existing rules. That means, of course, that he needed a police licence or a proper pass stating how and when he was entitled to use his weapon.

Q. Was it not true that the SA man, because he was in the SA and because more was demanded from him than from any other citizen, would receive more severe punishment if he committed an offence with his weapon?

A. An order was in existence that the SA man, when he was on trial, was to be punished especially severely, or special standards were to be applied in determining his punishment if he had committed any offence.

Q. Another quotation from the service regulations of 12th December, 1933, was read to you yesterday, stating that all violations of discipline were to be punished. Does that not mean that violations, that is, discipline infringements, were punished by the supreme SA command and that order was a ruling principle in the SA?

A. The leaders particularly made especially strenuous efforts to see to it that every SA man kept within the limits of the law. In addition, we had strict orders that an SA man, if he had committed any offence anywhere in civil life, had to be reported, particulars of his case obtained from the judicial authorities, and then be subjected to disciplinary punishment.

Q. The document which was shown to you yesterday, of 12th December, 1933, on Page 33, No. 6, says, "Right is what aids the movement; wrong is what harms it." Did this phrase mean anything more than the English proverb, "My country, right or wrong"?

A. According to any conception and interpretation, it means that the man has rights within the framework of his duties and that on the other hand, if he does wrong, and oversteps the limits of the law, he also thereby harms his Fatherland.

Q. The training directives were also shown to you, on Pages 7 and 9. There has been talk here of police duties, of drilling, shooting practice, exercises in open country, sports and so on. I am asking you now whether the pentathlon in the Olympic Games did not consist of just the same things? Did not the athletes taking part march into the stadium in good order and in a way made possible only by previous exercise? Did they not also shoot and drill; did they not also engage in sports, all the forms of sports which are listed here?

THE PRESIDENT: Do you not think this is really more a matter of argument than examination? We have had this argument as to whether or not it was for sport or whether or not for military purposes over and over again. We have got to make up our minds about it. It does not help very much to have it put in again in re-examination.

DR. BOEHM: Yes, Mr. President. I would not have asked this question if the witness had not been referred to the fact that sports were the last mentioned of the exercises in these training directives. I should like to point out that the other exercises which are listed here were also carried out in the pentathlon of the Olympic Games, and I hardly think that they involve a military significance or militaristic attitude.

May I now ask the witness one more question?


Q. Incidentally, you did not answer my previous question: Were not the same or very similar exercises carried out in the pentathlon of the Olympic Games?

A. I was interrupted earlier by the President. I, myself, was present at the Olympics and I know the individual forms of sport well. We carried out all the drills so that we could appear in public in a disciplined fashion like all sport organizations and make a good impression. Because we were later to organize these large-scale games, we chose in general the exercises of the Olympics, and

[Page 120]

these were taught and practised by us. We shot, we held obstacle races and we used all these exercises in our training.

Q. On Page eight of the training directives, which were submitted to you yesterday, it says with regard to drilling - this would be the only exercise resembling military training - "that the training be put into effect energetically. After exercise in the basic movements, applied drill tests should be tackled, as they occur in drill movements necessary in political assignments." In connection with the wording of these instructions, did you think of military training or militaristic training when it was a question of drill within the SA?

A. For us the drill and, the training of the men as individuals as well as in closed formations were always done for the purpose of presenting a unified picture in public appearances.

DR. BOEHM: I have no more questions to put to the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, I should now like to call the next witness, Schaefer.

WERNER AUGUST MAX SCHAEFER, a witness, took the stand and testified as follows:


Q. Will you state your full name, please?

A. Schaefer.

Q. Is that your full name?

A. Werner August Max Schaefer.

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, what are you by profession?

A. I am a Regierungsdirektor in the Reichsstrafvollzug. (Government director dealing with the execution of court sentences.)

Q. Were you a member of the NSDAP or any of its branches?

A. I have been a member of the party since 1928.

Q. Were you a member of the SA?

A. I have been a member of the SA since 1932. I became an SA Oberfuehrer in 1938.

Q. The witness Reimund Geist said in an affidavit that a thousand local assembly places of the SA were used to keep people under arrest. Do you know anything about that and is this allegation true?

A. Of the number of a thousand local assembly places, used to keep people under arrest, I know nothing.

Q. Would you have known anything about such places if they had existed in that number?

A. If they had existed in that number, one would certainly have known of them; actually, a few of these places did exist for a short time; after conditions had become settled, they were dissolved or taken over and administered by the Gestapo.

Q. Is it correct to say that these arrest places were an emergency measure during a period in 1933?

A. Yes, it was definitely an emergency measure. At that time, at the time of the change of power, we were in a state of latent civil war in Germany. It was therefore necessary to arrest active opponents in order to put into effect what the

[Page 121]

Fuehrer had decreed in connection with the assumption of power, namely, that the revolution was to be carried out without bloodshed.

Q. Is it true that extensive finds, of weapons caused the arrests in 1933, and that these arrests were carried out to avoid chaotic conditions, which would have resulted if these weapons had not been confiscated?

A. Yes. A large number of such weapons were found and it did not remain unknown to us that a large number of our active opponents were willing to use these weapons to bring about such chaotic conditions.

Q. Can one say that the SA in confiscating the weapons at that time was carrying out an assignment of the State?

A. Yes. It was a State assignment of the Prussian Minister of the Interior and Ministerprasident Goering, who used the SA as an auxiliary police force on that occasion.

Q. Dr. Diehls says in an affidavit that it was his task to prevent the transfer of the central political police into the SA and to follow up the innumerable complaints about illegal actions by the SA, since some SA Fuehrer appointed as police presidents from July to November, 1933, had allowed lawless conditions to arise. Since you were in that district, what can you say about Dr. Diehls's statement?

A. As far as I recall - and I remember it very well - Diehls stood in very friendly relationship with the then SA Chief of Staff, Roehm, and also with the local chief of the Berlin- Brandenburg Group, Ernst. Therefore, I cannot understand that he considered and termed it his main task as chief of the Gestapo to follow up any complaints which were received about the SA. I should like to point out the fact that these undisciplined elements, which could damage the movement and the SA, were prevented from doing so within the SA by a special SA liaison staff at Gestapo headquarters. I know personally that it was Gruppenfuehrer Ernst who at that time arrested such undisciplined elements on his own initiative and kept them in a separate sector of the Oranienburg concentration camp. It was, therefore, not a task of the head of the Gestapo to take action against undisciplined elements of the SA or the movement; his tasks were quite clearly on another level.

Q. Diehls has now restricted his originally far-reaching affidavit, restricted it particularly to Berlin. What was the attitude of Count Helldorf who was removed by Hitler on 20th July, 1944, in this respect?

A. I know Count Helldorf from my activity as SA Fuehrer in Berlin. Shortly after the seizure of power he was, as far as I know, for a short time in the Prussian Ministry of the Interior and was then police president in Potsdam. I can only say that, as police president, Count Helldorf did everything required and necessary to maintain an orderly police organization. For this purpose he employed old, reliable police officials. As police president he was also my superior with regard to the concentration camp at Oranienburg. I should mention that he paid frequent surprise visits to Oranienburg and inspected with great thoroughness the conditions and administrative organization of the camp. He was known to me as a man who advocated the maintenance of absolutely correct behaviour and discipline.

Q. I also draw your attention to Diehls's statement that the SA formations forcibly entered prisons, abducted prisoners, removed files, and established themselves in the offices of the police. Is that true? Did such conditions ever exist?

A. I cannot recall such conditions. They would surely have been known to me if they had existed, for I was frequently in Berlin; but I must say that I did not hear of such occurrences. Later too I should have heard something about them when I became an official in the Penal Execution Administration of the Reich. In my opinion my Berlin colleagues would certainly have reported such events to me, but that was not done.

Q. You were at that time commandant of Oranienburg and were in Berlin together with the men of the police or of the Gestapo almost every day.

[Page 122]

A. I was not in Berlin every day, but I was there quite frequently so that such things certainly would not have escaped my notice.

Q. Considering the statement made in his affidavit for the SA that altogether fifty people were the victims of the revolution in Berlin, do you think that Diehls's assertion that it was his task to try to transfer the SA camps to the control of the Government in order to avoid mass murder is true?

A. This statement of Diehls's is undoubtedly incorrect. I can say that it in no way corresponded to the ideology of the SA to remove political opponents by committing mass murder. Diehls himself in his affidavit gives the figure of fifty victims in Berlin, as you have just read, and that proves what I say. One must not forget that a large part of the political opponents of yesterday were now marching with the SA and that therefore there still existed many personal ties with the camp of the political opponents. If this intention to remove political opponents by mass murder had existed at all, its execution would have met with the greatest resistance in the SA itself; and I may say frankly here that what Diehls asserts was in no way true.

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