Decision No. 29
The Attorney General has requested to hear the evidence of
his Honour Judge Musmanno, who presided over one of the
subsequent trials at Nuremberg and who participated as a
judge in two other subsequent trials.
We were also told by the Attorney General that this witness
conducted investigations after the Second World War on
subjects relating to this trial, both on behalf of the
United States Navy and also, after the completion of the
aforementioned trials, on his own initiative.
The Attorney General requests that we should hear his
evidence on matters which came to the knowledge of the
witness in the course of these investigations. Defence
Counsel objects to the admission of such evidence.
We shall admit evidence on matters which became known to the
witness in connection with subjects relating to this trial,
from people who are no longer alive. We do so for the
reasons which were given in our Decision No. 7, regarding
the affidavits of Wisliceny.
This will apply also to the proof of facts relating to
evading obedience to superior orders.
With regard to subjects which came to the knowledge of the
witness from people who are still alive – we shall decide
each such case on its merits.
Furthermore, the Attorney General wishes to hear the
testimony of the witness regarding the content of evidence
which was submitted to the Nuremberg court, in those trials
where the witness sat in judgment. We shall not admit such
evidence from the witness, unless it can first be proved to
us that there is no practical way open to the Prosecution of
bringing the content of such evidence before this Court by
means of submitting a copy of the transcript or the exhibits
Attorney General: Judge Musmanno, please take the stand.
[The witness is sworn.]
Presiding Judge: What is your full name please?
Witness Michael A. Musmanno.
Attorney General: Justice Musmanno, you are a judge in the
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, I believe?
Witness Musmanno: I am, Sir.
Q. How long have you been a judge?
A. I am on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for a little
over nine years, and I was a trial judge for twenty years.
Presiding Judge: Justice Musmanno, you may sit down if you
Witness Musmanno: Thank you very much, Mr. Justice.
Attorney General: You were also a member of the Pennsylvania
legislature for some time – is that correct?
Musmanno Yes, I was a member of the Pennsylvania legislature
for two terms.
Q. And you have served on international tribunals. Which
A. For a time, I was presiding Judge: of the United States-
Soviet Board of Forcible Repatriation in Austria. Then I was
appointed by President Truman to the International War
Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg. There I sat as a judge on the
case involving Erhard Milch, deputy to Goering. That trial
lasted about four months. Then I sat as a judge on the trial
of the administrators of the concentration camps. That trial
lasted about eight months. Then I was the presiding Judge:
of the Einsatzgruppen Trial, which lasted about seven
Q. While in Nuremberg, did you learn of the defendant, Adolf
A. I did.
Q. Did you obtain any information on Eichmann’s activities
apart for that disclosed in the Nuremberg Trials?
A. I did.
Q. Will you please explain?
A. Immediately after the War ended, I was directed, by my
Navy superiors, to conduct an investigation into the fate of
Hitler, because there was a great deal of doubt as to
whether he was actually dead or not.
Q. What did you do in that connection?
A. I visited prisoner-of-war camps, displaced persons camps,
German and Allied establishments – seeking all the surviving
Q. Who were they?
A. The list would be too long to enumerate here, but I did
see and talk with Hitler’s admirals, generals, aides,
adjutants, secretaries, bodyguards, barber, cook, butler and
Q. Would it be correct to say that you spoke to more than a
hundred persons, Judge Musmanno?
A. That is correct, Mr. Attorney General.
Q. Now, did any of these persons close to Hitler speak of
Eichmann or of his activities?
A. They did.
Q. How did this come about?
A. At that time, there was a great deal of discussion about
the appalling conditions that had been found in the
concentration camps by the Allied troops who liberated them.
There was also a great deal of discussion about the horrible
atrocities committed by Nazi forces. It was inevitable that,
in conversations at that time, this subject of atrocities
would be discussed.
Q. Did you speak to Hermann Goering in the course of your
A. Yes, I did.
Q. Did the subject of atrocities come up in the conversation
with Goering and, if it did, what did he say?
A. He said that he was not aware that the programme of
Jewish extermination had reached the reported proportions.
And the persons mostly responsible for that programme were
Hitler, Bormann, Goebbels, Heydrich and Eichmann. Yes – and
Himmler of course.
Q. Can you mention other people who were close to Hitler who
spoke of Eichmann?
Q. Who were they?
A. Ribbentrop, Kaltenbrunner, Hans Frank, Walter
Schellenberg, General Karl Koller and others.
Q. What did Ribbentrop say about Eichmann?
A. Ribbentrop said that he resented very much Eichmann’s
interference in his Foreign Ministry. He also said that he
was very sorry that Hitler had put so much authority into
Eichmann’s hands in the programme of Jewish extermination.
Q. What did Kaltenbrunner say about Eichmann?
A. Kaltenbrunner said that the persons who ran the Jewish
extermination programme were Hitler, Bormann, Himmler,
Heydrich and Eichmann.
Presiding Judge: The men who operated, who managed the
programme of extermination of the Jews.
Attorney General: What did Hans Frank say on the subject of
Witness Musanno: Hans Frank said that during the latter
part of the War he decided to “wade in blood” no longer, so
he went to see Himmler to complain and to ask that the
slaughter of the Jews cease. Himmler told him that at that
time he was very busy with a military assignment which had
been given to him by Hitler, and he recommended that Frank
talk to Eichmann.
Q. According to Frank, did he talk to Eichmann?
A. Yes. Frank said he talked with Eichmann, but could get
nowhere with him.
Q. Did you pursue the questioning further on this subject
A. No, I did not, because my immediate task was to get
information with regard to Hitler – as to whether he was
dead or was still living. Of course, I was quite distressed
over all the atrocities which had been reported, and
particularly because the United States Congress had sent a
committee to investigate the concentration camp disclosures
– the committee had been invited by General Eisenhower; but
I had no authority to conduct any official investigation in
that respect. My queries with regard to these persons whom
you have indicated and about whom I have spoken were with
regard to Hitler’s disappearance.
Q. So you let the matter rest there?
A. Yes, that is correct.
Q. Did anyone else close to Hitler mention Eichmann?
A. Yes, there was General Karl Koller, who was very close to
Hitler. He was in the bunker, in the Reich Chancellery
bunker with Hitler almost until the very last day.
Q. You spoke to him?
A. I did.
Q. Did he bring up Eichmann’s name in any manner?
A. Of course. I was talking with General Koller as with all
the others, on the subject of Hitler and Eichmann’s name
came into the conversation very fortuitously. I was asking
General Koller about the attitude of Hitler during the very
last days when he must have known that he could not win the
War and in addition was confronting the very possibility of
capture. How did he carry on? How did he act? I put these
questions to General Koller.
Q. Please, continue. Did he mention anything about Allied
A. He said that Hitler was in a constant rage and passion,
fulminating against everybody and everything, and in the
course of these fulminations he demanded that all captured
Allied fliers be executed. Koller said that he refused to
obey this order and went to Kaltenbrunner about it because
the order was that the captured Allied fliers were to be
turned over to the SD for execution.
Q. According to what he said, did Koller go to
A. He went to see Kaltenbrunner and Kaltenbrunner agreed
with General Koller and said that the Allied fliers should
not be shot, but that he was having one great difficulty,
and that was that Eichmann, who was in charge of the Jewish
extermination programme, insisted that all Allied fliers of
Jewish parentage be executed.
Q. What did Koller say? Did he meet Eichmann?
A. Well, Koller then went to see Eichmann and Eichmann would
not budge from his position, namely that Allied pilots who
were of Jewish parentage or lineage should be shot. Koller
saved the pilots by scattering them through many prisoner-of-
war camps among the many, many, many thousands of prisoners,
and this way they could not be readily identified as the
Q. Now, you yourself were in the Navy at the time, I take
A. I was.
Q. What rank did you hold?
A. I was Commander, then I was promoted to a Captaincy.
Q. Do you hold any Navy rank now?
A. I am a Rear Admiral in the reserves, retired.
Q. How long were you engaged in post-war assignments in
A. About three years.
Q. At that time, did you become acquainted with Eichmann’s
status in the Nazi regime?
A. I did.
Q. What was it?
Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, what we said in our decision,
Attorney General: I shall immediately pass over these
questions, Your Honour.
Witness Musmanno: There was introduced in the Concentration
Camps Case and also in the Einsatzgruppen Case a chart of
the RSHA. This chart shows that Eichmann was chief of an
office for projects which on the chart were identified by
one word – Jews.
Q. Did you meet some other persons, whose name was mentioned
in that chart? I refer particularly to Schellenberg.
A. Yes, the chart showed who were the chiefs of these
various offices. It showed Ohlendorf as head of Amt III and
so on, and Schellenberg was head of the foreign secret
service, Amt VI.
Q. By the way, according to what you know, is Schellenberg
A. No, he is dead.
Q. What about General Koller?
A. He is dead.
Q. You spoke to Schellenberg; did you know what
Schellenberg’s position was? Was he one of those close to
the principal leaders?
A. Schellenberg was very close to Hitler and performed many
secret missions for him. Schellenberg did not testify at the
Einsatzgruppen Trial but he did testify at the I.M.T. trial.
But after the Einsatzgruppen Trial, I had many conversations
with him on the subject of Hitler. And Schellenberg was also
very close to Himmler.
Q. What was the purpose of your talks with Schellenberg,
A. I was now preparing my work on Hitler and in view of
Schellenberg’s very close relationship with Hitler, I was
able to get from him a great deal of information on Hitler.
Q. What did he say about Eichmann’s position in the Nazi
A. He said that Eichmann was subordinate only to Heydrich,
and that then, when Kaltenbrunner succeeded Heydrich,
Eichmann usually bridged over Kaltenbrunner and went to
Himmler. Of course, when I say that he was subordinate only
to Heydrich, naturally I mean after Hitler and Himmler.
Between the assassination of Heydrich in June 1942, and the
appointment of Kaltenbrunner as Chief of the RSHA in January
1943, there was an interregnum during which time Eichmann
ran his Section with a completely free hand. When
Kaltenbrunner then took over, he was reluctant to limit the
authority of Eichmann – whom he had known as a boyhood
friendin Linz; and thus Eichmann continued to dominate the
entire Jewish extermination programme emanating from the
RSHA. Thefact that Eichmann’s rank was only that of a
lieutenant coloneldid not impede him at all in the
fulfilment of his commitments and plans because he had the
approval at all times of Himmler; and when it was necessary,
he could use the name of Hitler. This was demonstrated in
the summer of 1944, when an SS court in Berlin ordered the
arrest of Eichmann and issued a warrant of arrest.
Kaltenbrunner informed the court that it could have no
jurisdiction over Eichmann because he was engaged in
fulfilling a special mission for Hitler.
Presiding Judge: Did Schellenberg state who applied to the
SS court in order to obtain the arrest of Eichmann?
Attorney General: The Court will find reports on this in
Vol. 20 in the German edition of the International Military
Tribunal on pages 531-563, in the evidence of Georg Konrad
Morgen. He spoke about the warrant for arrest he issued
against Eichmann. This was towards the end of the evidence.
Judge Raveh Whose evidence?
Attorney General: The evidence of Morgen before the
International Millitary Tribunal. We even have the actual
warrant for arrest.
Witness Musmanno: This warrant for arrest was issued on the
application of Georg Konrad Morgen who was conducting an
investigation into charges of cruelty and corruption in the
Presiding Judge: Were there accusations levelled only
against the Accused or also against others?
Witness Musmanno: Yes, of course, one must presume that
there were others.
Presiding Judge: What did Schellenberg say?
Attorney General: Justice Musmanno, did Schellenberg have
any connection with the Einsatzgruppen?
If the Court is interested, I have here a transcript of