Session No. 95
29 Tammuz 5721 (13 July 1961)
Presiding Judge: I declare the ninety-fifth Session of the
trial open. The Accused will continue with his testimony in
cross-examination. I remind the Accused that he is still
testifying under oath.
Accused: Yes, I am aware of the fact.
Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, may I briefly say something
about the witness van Taalingen, the Dutch witness?
Presiding Judge: Please do.
Dr. Servatius: It appears that this is a lady, a lawyer. I
have been informed that she is away until 23 July, but that
the book is on its way by airmail. I shall send a further
telegram asking her to give her statement abroad, as far as
she is able to do so.
Presiding Judge: All right. I hope you will be successful.
Please proceed, Mr. Hausner.
Attorney General: [To Accused]Your Section issued
instructions and ordinances, did it not?
Accused: Yes, if so ordered, it did.
Q. And when some persons were to be excepted from the
evacuation to Minsk and Riga, your Section did that too, did
it not, just as it fixed the destinations?
A. No, the destinations were not fixed by my Section, and as
for exceptions to the evacuation, they were only dealt with
by my Section if things exceeded the framework at that end,
and were of importance to the Reich, that is to say, where
the Foreign Ministry with its primary responsibility for the
Jews with foreign nationality handled things and lay down
rulings accordingly. And it was only in this framework, as
far as I am aware, that IVB4 issued ordinances at all, for
the Generalgouvernement and the so-called occupied Russian
Q. For example, the instruction to exclude from deportation
to Minsk and Riga those Jews who had been wounded in the
First World War. I do not suppose that had anything to do
with the Foreign Ministry?
A. Of course not. These were the directives for
implementing the deportations in general, which were drawn
up by my superior, that is to say, the points were laid down
and the points were then compiled by IVB4 into a – what
shall we call it – memorandum, called “directives,” in
accordance with the orders.
Q. For example, let us take T/739, document No. 1288. This
is an instruction with your signature to the State Police
Regional Headquarters to exclude from the deportations to
Minsk the disabled of the First World War, and also from the
deportations to Riga.
I understand that first of all your Section passed on the
instruction to carry out deportations to those places, and
that then the instruction was issued not to deport so-and-
A. Yes, that is also true. But the Section did not issue
the instruction on its own initiative, as the Section was in
fact totally unable to fix the destinations itself.
Q. You already said that yesterday, and we took note of your
argument that you proceeded on the basis of orders, and
therefore there is no need to repeat that every time.
Sometimes the Section left certain matters concerning
details about the deportations to the discretion of the
local State Police offices. Correct?
A. Today, I am unable to express an opinion on that, and I
do not wish either to deny it or to consider it as a
fact…today, I no longer remember these details. If I
might look at a document which relates to this, perhaps I
can give some details about it.
Q. Please, take T/752, document No. 1294.
A. I assume, Mr. Attorney General, that this concerns point
3, the decision about the Jewess Gertrud Sara Hahn: “I leave
it up to your discretion. The parents may, if necessary,
also be transferred to Theresienstadt later, if it is
considered expedient, as matters stand for them, to remain
for the moment, in order to look after the daughter.” This
case, three, is definitely not referred to in any of the
directives. I have already said that neither I nor my staff
compiled these directives themselves; they were the result
of various instructions. So if nothing was stipulated with
regard to this in the directives, and if my superior did not
put forward any objections in principle on any particular
point, then naturally it was left to the discretion of the
State Police offices in question to proceed here as was seen
fit locally. This is not a case which was specific to
Section IVB4; it is a generally valid case which was normal
and customary with all authorities.
Q. You also issued detailed instructions as to what was to
be done with the property of the Jews deported from the
A. What to do with the property? I do not know about that.
I do, however, know that after Regulation 11 of the Reich
Citizenship Law came into force, strict instructions were
issued that henceforth this matter should also be dealt with
by means of ordinances issued by the police. And in this
connection, I remember seeing documents which, amongst other
matters, also dealt with Special Account “W”. Otherwise, I
believe, property was seized by the heads of the District
Finance Administration in favour of the Reich Finance
Q. Look at T/729, document No. 1265. Instructions signed by
A. Before I comment on this, I should like to point out –
and I have already said as much – that Suhr was himself a
Government Counsellor, and consulted with Department Chief
IV directly. At the time I was not particularly familiar
with details of the legal aspects of matters of property.
Today, I am obviously even less able to do so. But I shall
read this over. I would ask more particularly to direct
attention to the very last paragraph.
Q. But is it true that the Section issued detailed
instructions with reference to the property of the
A. Yes, this ordinance says so. However, I would request
that the last paragraph also be read carefully.
Q. And the Section insisted on, and also received, reports
on the implementation of these measures, did it not?
A. Naturally, subordinate personnel had to report to the
authorities through official channels as well.
Q. And the instructions about property were not only
general, but also detailed. For example, whether or not
certain assets should be confiscated.
A. Yes, if a Reich decree is issued, then in all countries
it is customary for police ordinances to be issued in
consequence of such a decree. And this is what happened
Q. All right, but would you please confirm to me that the
Section did not only deal with general instructions, such as
Suhr’s directives, but also with individual cases, such as
the confiscation of the apartment of Baroness Sacconi.
A. The Section did not deal with this. Once again, it was
the local State Police offices which dealt with the
Q. For example, look at T/736, document No. 1190.
A. That is an entirely different sort of case, because here
the Foreign Ministry intervened with the Head Office for
Reich Security, IVB4, with regard to this person, in a
letter dated 26 February 1942. And this letter from the
Head Office for Reich Security to the Foreign Ministry – in
other words the reply – is dated 13 or 14 March 1942, and in
it the Foreign Ministry is notified that, until further
notice, the apartment is not to be confiscated. This is
perfectly normal, since, as a result of the intervention by
the Foreign Ministry, the local State Police office was
instructed not to do anything if something is…was
intended…something must have been intended, because
otherwise the Foreign Ministry would not have intervened.
This matter was of importance to the Reich, because
apparently a member of the Italian mission must have
intervened in this instance. That is the reason for this
Q. Yes, but my question is, what does that have to do with
the Security Police? Why did that go to you?
A. I can hardly – after such a long time – give any
information here, as I do not have the references, the
complete records in front of me.
What I can say is that there is a large number of documents
which – how can I put it – follow the same lines,
approximately. This was always the case when there was
intervention with the Foreign Ministry by heads of foreign
missions, and these involved complaints. Jews complained,
and then my Section would receive these cases wherever I was
responsible according to the organization chart. Then I had
to discuss these cases with my Chief, he gave me
instructions, and I then replied accordingly. This was also
one of these results.
Judge Halevi: The question is whether you were responsible.
The question, after all, is whether you were responsible for
Accused: Of course, since I dealt with it, that is quite
Attorney General: You also dealt, for example, with the
details of postal arrangements at Westerbork, didn’t you?
Accused: Today, I do not remember, but it seems to me
that there is a document which says something of that sort.
If I might see the document…
Q. Perhaps you can try to remember, before you are handed
A. I said that I could not provide any reliable information.
No one can expect me, after such a long time, to be able to
give authentic information about such a vast amount of files
and documents. I am trying to give authentic information,
but it is really not possible for me to do this off-hand.
Q. Very well, if you insist, I shall show you. I am
referring to T/559, document No. 606. These are
instructions from your office, with your signature,
Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service in
Holland. These are instructions – it says here that you
have learned from a highly confidential source that there
has been correspondence between the Westerbork detainees and
others, and here you give precise instructions as to how, in
the future, to deal with the correspondence of the
Westerbork detainees. Presiding Judge: Is that
559, did you say 559?
Attorney General: I have it as 559…
Presiding Judge: Yes, but there are two documents or three.
Attorney General: Two documents – that is correct.
Presiding Judge: I assume it is the second of the two?
Attorney General: That is correct.
Accused: I would like to point out that if I ask for a
document I am not up to something; now I can see the
document and I can also comment entirely differently on the
document than if I am unable to see it. It is dated 5
November 1943. It must have been before the invasion.
Q. We are familiar with the substance of the document, which
has also been submitted to the Court; you will therefore
simply answer the question: Why is it the business of your
Section to give instructions about the correspondence of the
Jews in Westerbork?
A. That is what I wanted to explain. The timing is crucial
here, and that is why I gave the date first. At this time
it was necessary in Holland to keep a particularly close
watch on everything that went on, and I believe that in the
corresponding part of France, as the invasion was expected
somehow…there was a highly confidential anonymous source
which had provided the information, and the Head Office for
Reich Security – in this case my Section – received this
instruction from my superior to take all possible measures
to ensure that all such exchanges of information be avoided.
Q. But why did your Department deal with it, why not
A. Well, after all, in this case it was Jews who…
Q. Oh yes, because it is Jews…
A. And other private individuals.
Q. Because Jews were involved – is that why this had to pass
through your Section?
A. Because it involved Jews who were obtaining passports
etc., in view of the stories of evacuation – that is why
this matter fell under the chapter of the directives which
had to be issued by IVB4, it was a matter for which IVB4 was
Q. Thank you, I have received my answer.
Do you accept the fact that in your capacity as Section
Head, the Head of Section IVB4, you – on your shoulders lies
the responsibility for everything that was done by you and
by the members of this Section?
A. Insofar as matters are concerned for which Section IVB4
was responsible according to the organization chart, yes,
with the restriction that I cannot be responsible for any
special assignments which may have been issued to members of
the Section, and also with the restriction that I cannot
bear the entire responsibility for matters involving
Government Counsellor Suhr, who was attached to my office –
my Section, because he…because as a Government Counsellor
he had a direct and immediate right to consult with the
Q. In any case, you are saying that you are responsible for
everything which concerns deportations?
A. If special assignments are not involved, yes. I must
admit that, as I was, after all, Section Head of IVB4 in
Q. With regard to your responsibility for what Guenther did,
in your interrogation by Bureau 06 you said, on page 1299 –
I am reading the second half of your answer: “Since Guenther
was my permanent deputy, and even if he had – shall we say –
misbehaved about something – then I would still be
responsible for that today.” Do you stand by that?
A. It is necessary to read also the addition I made in
writing, which I do not see here. I made a handwritten
addition to this, on a piece of paper which, I believe, was
also read out onto a tape recorder. It was given a letter
which may be between “A” and “Q,” because I gave so many
additions in handwriting.
Presiding Judge: What are you referring to now?
Attorney General: I am telling him to find the passage.
Accused: Yes, indeed. This refers to the matters for
which the Section was responsible. As far as those matters
with which Guenther was concerned, for which the Section was
not responsible, it is perfectly obvious and perfectly
natural that there I could never have had any
responsibility. And I handed this handwritten addition to
Captain Less, who interrogated me. This is a note covering
roughly one or one and a half or two pages in handwriting.
Judge Raveh: Mr. Hausner, perhaps he is referring to T/43.
I see something there under “O,” there is something there
about the permanent deputy.
Attorney General: Perhaps; I do not have the document before
Presiding Judge: All right, would you please give that to
Accused, look at that, too.
Accused: Yes, that is part of it, but I have some
recollection of giving some further specifications as well.
I am not sure, but I believe that happened. And here I have
…may I answer?