Erich Von Dem Bach Zelewski-02, Eichmann Adolf

(7 to 9): I did not know that the Operations Units were
also required to exterminate Gypsies and political
prisoners. The order for extermination was given –
according to what I was told by Nebe and Naumann – by the
Head Office for Reich Security. I do not know which Section
in the Head Office for Reich Security issued the orders and
cannot, therefore, give any names. In any case, in their
conversations with me Nebe and Naumann did not mention the
name Eichmann, neither do I remember any other names.
However, I do remember that Nebe and Naumann mentioned the
name Heydrich, who was Chief of the Head Office for Reich
Security at the time.

Whether Eichmann was able to influence the extermination
orders, I do not know.

(10 and 11): I do not know to whom the activity reports of
the Operations Units were distributed. My Section did not
receive them, although in my position of Chief of Anti-
Banditry Units I should have been officially informed of
them. I myself do not know whether Eichmann was on the
circulation list. If this was the case, I consider that
this underlines the importance of his Section.

As to whether this also involved activities for the
Operations Units, I am unable to judge.

(0512): All Higher SS and Police Leaders were subordinate to
Himmler himself.

(0513): In those areas where the staff of the Higher SS and
Police Leader included Senior Commanders of the Security
Police, the Order Police and the Waffen-SS, respectively,
such Senior Commanders were subordinate to the Higher SS and
Police Leader.

Such Senior Commanders would only be on the staff in the
areas of civil administration of the occupied territories,
but not in the area of the Reich or the theatres of
operations.

(0514): In my capacity as a Higher SS and Police Leader, I
myself was never subordinate to the Head Office for Reich
Security, both in the area of the Reich and in the theatre
of operations. As far as I know, the other Higher SS and
Police Leaders were also not subordinate to the Head Office
for Reich Security, but to the Head Office of the Order
Police.

(0515): As far as I know, Higher SS and Police Leaders never
received orders directly from the Head Office for Reich
Security. In any case, I myself never received such an
order. The only possibility might have been for the Head
Office for Reich Security to have issued an order to a
Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security
Service, and that order was then brought to the attention of
the Higher SS and Police Leader by the commander on the
staff. In formal terms, there was a possibility of the
Higher SS and Police Leader obtaining a decision from
Himmler directly in such a case. As to whether he made use
of such a possibility in a particular instance depended on
his personal courage. In my opinion this was not a life or
death matter, but rather a question of one’s career.
——
The examination was interrupted at 11.55.

The examination was continued at 13.15.

When questioned, the witness also stated the following:
——
I myself never had anything to do with the treatment of the
Jews.

I remember that in Upper Silesia a Police Chief called
Schmelt was responsible for the labour service of Jews.
——
The witness was then asked the questions drawn up by the
Attorney General of the State of Israel. He stated in
reply:
——
(051 and 2): As I have already mentioned above, it was only
in the areas of civil administration that Senior Commanders
of the Security Police and the Security Service were
assigned to the staff of the Higher SS and Police Leader.
In these areas, the Higher SS and Police Leader undoubtedly
had authority over the Senior Commander of the Security
Police and the Security Service. The extent to which the
Higher SS and Police Leader was able to make use of this
authority depended on the relationship of personal
confidence which existed between him and Himmler. Equally
important was the relationship of confidence with regard to
the District Party Leaders (Gauleiter) or the Reich
Commissioners.

In general, I should like to say that there was no SS state
in the sense that is commonly accepted today. There were no
general service regulations for the Higher SS and Police
Leaders.

The essential thing in the SS was, generally, one’s personal
relationship of confidence in one’s superior officer. I
consider the SS to have been a knights’ order. Himmler
himself selected people for particular assignments,
according to circumstances. In this, official rank played
no role; it was the official function which counted. Of
course, a lower-ranking officer could not give orders
directly to a higher-ranking officer, unless he was acting
on authority.

If Eichmann is supposed to have reported directly to
Himmler, in my opinion this would mean that he was able to
act by order of Himmler. That means that if he signed
documents im [email protected] (by order), that would have meant an
order from Himmler in such cases. If he did not have access
to Himmler, the indication im Auftrag before his signature
on documents can only have meant that he was acting by order
of Heydrich or other superiors.

These explanations of mine are based on my knowledge of
correspondence between myself and the Chief of the Order
Police. I assume that it was similar with the Security
Police.

I should also like to mention that in those areas where no
Senior Commander of the Security Police was assigned to the
staff of a Higher SS and Police Leader, the Higher SS and
Police Leader also had no authority over the Security Police
and the Security Service.

(053): Until today I was not aware of any Section IVB4 in
the Department of the Senior Commander of the Security
Police and the Security Service.

(054): As to whether there was a Senior Commander of the
Security Police and a Commander of the Security Police in
Lublin, I am unable to say from my own knowledge.

(055 and 6):Consequently I also do not know whether
instructions went to Lublin from the Head Office for Reich
Security.

(057 to 9):I myself did not receive reports from the
Operations Units up to the end of the War. I therefore do
not know anything either from my own experience about the
reporting channels. I therefore also do not know anything
about the purpose of reporting, nor anything about whether
Eichmann received reports, as I did not – as I said above –
know Eichmann.

10 and 11):I cannot remember an SS Fuehrer called
Streckenbacher or Streckenbach, as far as the period of the
War is concerned. I remember vaguely that there was a
Brigadefuehrer Streckenbach who once led an SS brigade on
the front in Russia. I did not have any closer acquaintance
with him.

(0512) to 14): As I have already said above, I did not know
Eichmann, neither am I familiar with the status of orders
between the Head Office for Reich Security and the
Operations Units. I did not participate in any issuing of
orders in Berlin in June 1941.

(0515 to 18): As far as I am aware, at the beginning of the
war against Russia, there were three Operations Units, which
advanced with the three Army Groups. I found out after the
War that apparently there was also a fourth Operations Unit.

The leader of the Operations Unit North was Stahlecker; the
leader of the Operations Unit Centre was Nebe, who was
succeeded, as of December 1941, by Naumann. I did not know
who was the leader of the Operations Unit South.

In accordance with orders, the Operations Units had to
advance with the armoured units. They took up fixed
positions only when the front became stationary before
Moscow.

The areas behind the front were organized in terms of civil
administration. Thus Bialystok, for example, was included
in East Prussia, and thus came under the control of
Gauleiter Koch. I assume that in Bialystok there was a
Commander of the Security Police, who was subordinate to the
Senior Commander of the Security Police in Koenigsberg.

The Eastern area, which included Lithuania, Latvia and White
Ruthenia, had a Senior Commander of the Security Police on
the staff of the Higher SS and Police Leader, with his seat
in Riga. Minsk was the seat of an SS and Police Leader and
a Commander of the Security Police, as far as I remember.
The latter was subordinate to the Senior Commander of the
Security Police in Riga.

In the Reich Commissariat Ukraine, there was a Higher SS and
Police Leader, and on his staff there was a Senior Commander
of the Security Police, both of them with their seat in
Kiev. I believe that in 1942 the Senior Commander of the
Security Police in Kiev was a certain Dr. Thomas.

East of the areas mentioned there began the zone of the
Senior Commander in the army areas behind the lines. The
Operations Units were spread around this zone. In the North
Russia and South Russia areas, there was a personal union
between the Higher SS and Police Leader and the Higher SS
and Police Leader at the Reich Commissariat.

In contrast, my area, Central Russia, only included the army
area behind the lines, as in the meanwhile White Ruthenia
had been attached to the Eastern Reich Commissariat. In my
area, there was the Operations Unit B, with its seat at
Smolensk. It was in charge of the Operations Commandos in
Mogilev and Vitebsk. I also assume that there was an
Operations Commando in Smolensk.

The above listing is not exhaustive, as I did not travel to
all the areas and was not familiar with all the Departments.

I have already answered above the other questions in this
context.

(0519 to 22): I have already said that I did not know
Eichmann and also did not know of the existence of his
Section until the end of the War. I am therefore also
unable to say anything about visits, special assignments,
and receipt of orders.

I did realize that there was a Section for Jewish Affairs in
the Head Office for Reich Security. However, I was not
familiar with the designation of this Section and also did
not know who worked in it.
——
In reply to questioning, the witness also stated:
——
When it came to selection and filling posts and allocating
important assignments, a vital role was played by Himmler’s
personal inclinations and the candidate’s personal
suitability and ideological stance.

There was a possibility of avoiding an assignment by
applying for a transfer. In a particular case, this might
have led to some disciplinary action; however, this
certainly did not include any risk to one’s life.

I can remember a shooting of twenty or thirty people. I can
see from my diary that this must have been on 17 August
1941. The manager of an SS estate had previously been shot
north of Minsk. Subsequently, Operations Unit B under Nebe
arrested two women and a number of men, some in uniform and
others in civilian clothing. In my opinion, they were
partisans. As far as I remember, they included Jews, too –
two or three of them. I see now in my diary that the
manager of the SS estate was SS Untersturmfuehrer Krause.
He had been killed on 31 July 1941.

The people captured by the Nebe Operations Unit were brought
before a field court martial. They were sentenced to death.
I do not know who sat in the court martial. Himmler himself
was present at the executions. Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff and
I were also present. He had accompanied Himmler from
Baranovichi to Minsk. Himmler was very pale during the
executions. I think that watching it made him feel sick.
The executions were carried out by shooting with carbines.

I myself was constantly remonstrating with Himmler about
unjustified executions, and I was instrumental in the
demotion of Higher SS and Police Leaders. The reaction to
this were repeated disciplinary transfers below my rank and
assignments to dangerous front-line positions. I also
managed to arrange that the retaliatory order, signed by the
High Command of the Armed Forces and by Keitel, that women
and children were also to be shot as part of retaliatory
measures, was not observed in my area of command. I myself
even cancelled this order in writing and notified all Armed
Forces Departments, including those outside my area,
accordingly. I fell into disgrace, but was not brought
before a court.

On 11 October 1944, I received from Hitler himself the
assignment to go to Budapest and to prevent the defection of
the Horthy regime by forcing him to capitulate and setting
up a military government for Hungary. On my urging, Horthy
capitulated at 6 o’clock on the morning of 16 October 1944.
On 17 October I myself left Budapest and set out for Vienna,
as my assignment had been accomplished. The political
discussions did not take place till later. I did not take
part in them.

In giving this information, I have based myself on my diary,
a photocopy of which is before me today.

After the end of the War, I spent a long time in prison in
Nuremberg together with Ohlendorf. He told me that Heydrich
assigned him to an Operations Unit, in revenge for a
memorandum written earlier by Ohlendorf which Heydrich had
not liked. Ohlendorf told me that the orders for the
Operations Unit had already been received before he joined
it. In his talks with me, Ohlendorf never incriminated
Mueller and never mentioned the name Eichmann.

Read and signed by
(-) Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski
Whereupon the witness was sworn in accordance with the law.
End of examination: 16.05
(-) Dr. Knorr, Judge of First Instance
(-) Achatzy, Court Official
(Seal of Bavarian Court of First Instance – Nuernberg)

Last-Modified: 1999/06/14