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-Second Day: Tuesday, 13th August, 1946
(Part 9 of 10)

[THE PRESIDENT continues his examination of Theodor Gruss]

[Page 152]

Q. Do you know how many Stahlhelmer there were at the end of the war, approximately?

A. If you mean how many Stahlhelmer there were in the SA at the end of the war, I cannot answer that question, either. But there may have been about five hundred to six hundred thousand Stahlhelmer at the end of the war. As everything in Germany was in great confusion, one can only make an estimate.

Q. Then you really cannot give any approximately accurate figures for the Stahlhelm after 1934?

A. Do you mean the Stahlhelm as it continued to exist after 1934 as a Bund, or the Stahlhelm which was transferred into the SA?

Q. I meant the Stahlhelmer who were transferred to the SA.

A. Well, there must have been about one million.

THE PRESIDENT: Then the witness may retire, and the Court will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

MR. ELWYN JONES: If your Lordship pleases, would your Lordship allow me to mention one brief matter? During the SS case I submitted the Document 4043-PS, which was a statement by a Polish priest as to the killing of 846 Polish priests and clergymen at Dachau. The Tribunal did not accept the document at the time because it did not appear to be in satisfactory form. Now the Polish Delegation wishes me to submit a further certificate from a Dr. Pietrowski, who said that the priest's statement was made to him, in his presence, and in accordance with the stipulations of Polish law, and that is what constitutes in English law a solemn declaration. I discussed this matter with Dr. Pelckmann and he has no objection to the document going in in its present form.

[Page 153]

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider the matter. You may put in the document. .

MR. ELWYN JONES: Thank you. There are copies in Russian, French and German.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Boehm, have you another witness?

DR. BOEHM: May I be permitted to call the witness Juettner?


MAX JUETTNER, a witness, took the stand and testified as follows:


Q. Will you state your full name, please?

A. Max Juettner.

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 Juettner, from 1934 until 1945 You were chief of the main office "Leadership of the SA," and, beginning with 1939 You were, simultaneously, permanent deputy of the Chief of Staff of the SA. You are familiar with all questions concerning the SA even before 1933, are you not?

A. I only assumed on 1st November, 1933, my responsibilities in the supreme SA leadership. From the records, from conversations with the Chief of Staff Roehm and my comrades, I am informed on all essential matters concerning the SA even before this time.

Q. What did you do until your appointment to the SA leadership? What was your profession and political background?

A. Originally, I was an officer by career from 1906 until 1920. After my honourable discharge from the Army I entered the Central German Mining Company. There I started as a common labourer in the mines, but in the course of the years I worked myself up to a high official position of a large concern. Politically I belonged, after 1920, to the German National People's Party for several years. Later I belonged to no party; but from 1920, I had, besides my job, a leading position in the Central German Stahlhelm.

Q. What were the reasons for your appointment into the SA leadership?

A. My appointment into the SA leadership was connected with the incorporation of the Stahlhelm into the SA. The Central German Stahlhelm enjoyed a good reputation even among its political opponents. My especially good relations with the miners and the unions were well known to Roehm. The Central German Stahlhelm was especially successful in the social field. All this might have contributed to my appointment. I left the mining industry voluntarily and became a professional SA leader. In the summer of 1934 I was taken into the Party.

Q. That means, you went from the Stahlhelm into the SA?

A. Yes.

Q. Besides you, did other leaders of the Stahlhelm get into important positions in the SA?

A. I am unable to give you complete figures on that without referring to statistical material. But some time ago I compiled from memory the names of sixty higher and intermediate SA leaders alone who were formerly members of the Stahlhelm. That means that many former Stahlhelm members were given leading

[Page 154]

positions in the SA, In the course of time all key positions in the Stahlhelm, the leadership, the head of the office of the Chief of Staff

Q. Is that in the Stahlhelm or in the SA?

A. In the SA. All key positions in the SA were filled, in the course of time, with Stahlhelmer. They could be found in the leadership, in important positions in the Personnel Office, as head of the office of the Chief of Staff, as head of the Training Department, also in the group staffs (Gruppenstaben) and as leaders of units.

Q. Can it be said that the positions held by former Stahlhelmer in the SA were such that they were of little influence on the bulk of the SA?

A. That cannot be said. These SA leaders who came from the Stahlhelm and who held these positions, had considerable influence on the education, training and activity of the SA.

Q. About half an hour ago, a witness by the name of Gruss was examined here who was never a member of the SA, who did not know the conditions in the SA from personal experience, but who testified on a series of questions to which, in my opinion, only an SA man could supply the answers. Did you, during your membership in the SA from the year 1934 until the dissolution of this organization, ever observe any opposition on the part of the SA members who had come from the Stahlhelm?

A. I can answer this question clearly and unequivocally with "no." Numerous SA men came to me in the first few months who had formerly belonged to the Stahlhelm. Like myself, they felt regret that their fine old organization was no longer in existence, but they, as well as I, hailed the fact that they were now permitted to participate in this great community of the SA.

Q. Did you ever hear of any opposition on the part of these people who had come from the Stahlhelm? Did other SA men complain about this?

A. If I understand you correctly, you are talking of men who were already in the SA?

Q. Yes, men who transferred or were transferred from the Stahlhelm into the SA in the years 1933 and 1934.

A. These men, as far as I know, did not oppose the SA. I know of no such opposition.

Q. What was the strength of the SA in the year 1933?

A. In 1933, the SA had 300,000 men.

Q. And how many members were transferred into the SA in the years 1933 and 1934?

A. You mean members of the Stahlhelm?

Q. Yes, members of the Stahlhelm.

A. When the Stahlhelm was incorporated into the SA, the Stahlhelm had approximately 1,000,000 members, perhaps a little more. More than half of these were incorporated into the SA, about 550,000 men. This figure is identical with that which the former Bundesfuehrer Seldte has given.

Q. Do you differentiate between the Stahlhelm proper and another formation of the Stahlhelm? Would you say that the total of the men coming from the Stahlhelm who were taken over into the SA was approximately one million?

A. After the Stahlhelm was dissolved - I believe that occurred in 1935 - it is quite possible that altogether one million men came into the SA from the Stahlhelm.

Q . Well, then, the ratio in the years 1933 and 1934 was such that the SA consisted as to two-thirds of Stahlhelmer and as to one-third of SA men?

A. Added to this in 1933-1934 was the SA Reserve II - the Kyffhauserbund. Therefore, the above-mentioned ratio of two- thirds to one-third is not quite correct. But if the original figure, the original strength of the SA as of January, 1933 is taken into consideration, then what you have just said is true.

[Page 155]

Q. Then, shortly after 1933, the SA experienced a tremendous increase, i.e., from the original figure of 300,000 it grew to about 4,500,000 men by 1935; is that correct?

A. By 1934 that is true, yes.

Q. Then it was determined by the supreme SA leadership to reduce the SA, as many people had joined who really had no business there, and by 1939 approximately 3,000,000 men were eliminated from the SA, so that in 1939 the SA had approximately 1,500,000 members left; is that correct?

A. Yes, indeed, that is quite correct. The figure of 1,500,000 had, however, already been reached several years before. The reduction of the SA was brought about through the following eliminations:

1. The SA Reserve II, the Kyffhauserbund, with about 1,500,000 members.

2. After the death of Roehm, the NSKK.

3. Very many SA men who were active in the political leadership, such as Blockleiter, Zellenleiter, and so forth.

A. The Chief of Staff Lutze eliminated all those men who for professional or other reasons could not serve or did not wish to serve.

Q. Did you notice whether in the course of the reduction of this number from 4,500,000 to 1,500,000 many Stahlhelm members or former Stahlhelm members were eliminated from the SA?

A. In this connection I might perhaps refer to the Stahlhelm in Central Germany, of which I was the head. There, in the large industrial region around Halle, my old Stahlhelm organization after 1935 was actually the nucleus of the SA, which shows that still very many Stahlhelmer had remained in the SA.

Q. And those were the Stahlhelmer who remained in the SA till the end, till the SA was disbanded?

A. Yes; and they were not the worst members.

Q. Now if in 1935 and the following years, if an SA man who had come from the Stahlhelm had had the desire to leave the SA, could he have done so?

A. He could have done that without difficulty.

Q. Would it have resulted in particular difficulties for him?

A. As far as the SA is concerned none whatsoever.

Q. The witness Gruss asserted, among other things, that such an action would have made it impossible for him to join the Army as an officer, for example, because his papers would have carried the remark: "Dismissed from the SA." Is that correct?

A. The witness Gruss seems to have confused matters. He, who was punished by dismissal from the SA because he had committed an offence of some kind, did, it is true, have entered on his papers, "Dismissed from the SA," and the effect was the same as a previous conviction in ordinary life.

Q. Well, then, you are able to say, in order to make a long story short, that by far he largest part of the Stahlhelmer who entered the SA in 1933 and at the latest in 1934 were and remained loyal comrades of yours; is that correct?

A. They were and remained my best comrades.

Q. What was the attitude of the Chief of Staff toward the Party leadership and the State leadership?

A. Roehm was a strong personality. His word carried great weight in the Party leadership. As Reich Minister -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Boehm, the Tribunal would like to know whether your case is that the SA, after its incorporation of the Stahlhelm, was a voluntary organization or was involuntary, so far as the Stahlhelm was concerned.

DR. BOEHM: If I understood the question correctly, Mr. President, I can say that the Stahlhelm was a voluntary organization, and that it came into the SA on account of an order.

[Page 156]

THE PRESIDENT: There seems to be a certain difference of view between the two witnesses that you have called. The Tribunal wants to know what your case is, whether your case is that after its incorporation of the Stahlhelm the SA was a voluntary organization.

DR. BOEHM: After the Stahlhelm was incorporated into the SA it was of course relieved of its voluntary character and the organization, that is each and every member of the Stahlhelm, became members of the SA.

THE PRESIDENT: And was voluntary, you mean, or was involuntary?

DR. BOEHM: The Stahlhelm was incorporated into the SA on account of an order, and after its incorporation had lost its character as an independent organization; it became SA and each and every former member of the Stahlhelm became a member of the SA.

THE PRESIDENT: What I want to know is whether you contend, having become members of the SA, it was voluntary or involuntary?

DR. BOEHM: That is, in my opinion, in connection with paragraph 6 of the resolution of 13th March, 1945, a legal question. I contend that they became members of the SA on the strength of an order and not, in the last analysis, through their own volition. I repeat on the strength of an order.

THE PRESIDENT: You say they were involuntarily incorporated into the SA, involuntary members of the SA?

DR. BOEHM: That is not exactly right, Mr. President. I say that they got into the SA on the strength of the order, certainly the larger part, at first involuntarily.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Boehm, I do not doubt what the witness said. I heard what the witness said, and I heard what the last witness said. Mr. Biddle wants to know what your case is. Are you saying that the Stahlhelm after it had been incorporated into the SA, those members of the Stahlhelm who were incorporated into the SA, were involuntary members or were voluntary members? It is for you to make up your mind which case you are putting forward. Possibly it might make my meaning more clear to your case - they could resign from the SA or they could not resign.

DR. BOEHM: That was not supposed to be the subject of my presentation of evidence, Mr. President. I wanted to show, first of all, that the Stahlhelm was incorporated into the SA on the strength of an order, i.e., involuntarily. This was probably the consensus of opinion of the bulk of the Stahlhelm. Whether, and if so to what extent, they could or could not resign then, that is the point I want to clarify through this witness.

THE PRESIDENT: All right, go on, Dr. Boehm. At some stage, no doubt, you will be able to tell us which of the witnesses you adopt.


Q. (continuing.) Witness, I should like you to continue with your testimony on the question: What was the attitude of the Chief of Staff toward the Party leadership and the State leadership? You said that Chief of Staff Roehm was a strong personality and that consequently his word carried great weight in the Party leadership. Now, I should like you to continue, please.

A. Roehm was Reichsminister, and as such he endeavoured to exert his influence on the Government in order to pursue his aims. Chief of Staff Lutze was only a Reichsleiter in the Party. In spite of that fact, he had no influence on the Party leadership. In the last few years and even before the war he avoided Gau- and Reichsleiter meetings. Lutze did not become a Reichsminister. Therefore, he had no influence whatsoever on the conduct of government affairs.

[Page 157]

Chief of Staff Scheppmann was neither Reichsleiter nor Reichsminister. When after 30th June, 1934, the SA was reduced to insignificance, the influence of the Chiefs of Staff on Party and Government affairs had disappeared.

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