The Nizkor Project

Twenty-Fourth Day: Thursday, 20th December, 1945
(Part 2 of 8)

[MAJOR FARR continues]

Incidentally, I might call to the Tribunal's attention the fact that S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, who was head of the W.V.H.A., was also a General of the "Waffen S.S.," which goes to show that there is no manner in which you can characterise functions in the S.S.

The extent to which the number of prisoners was increased through S.S. efforts is illustrated by our Document 1166-PS, which I offered in evidence yesterday as Exhibit USA 458. This document is a report from Office Group D of W.V.H.A., dated the 15th of August, 1944. I shall read the first page of that report, beginning:

"With reference to the above-mentioned telephone call, I am sending herewith a report on the actual number of prisoners for 1 August, 1944 and of the new arrivals already announced, as well as the clothing report for 15 August, 1944.

"1. The actual number on 1 August 1944, consisted of:

(a) Male prisoners 379,167
(b) Female prisoners 45,119

In addition, there are the following new arrivals:

1. From the Hungary programme (anti-Jewish action) -- 90,000
2. From Litzmannstadt (Police prison and Ghetto) -- 60,000
3. Poles from the Government General -- 15,000
4. Convicts from the Eastern Territories -- 10,000
5. Former Polish officers -- 17,000
6. From Warsaw (Poles) -- 400,000
7. Continued arrivals from France, approx. -- 15,000 -20,000

Most of the prisoners are already on the way and will be received into the concentration camps within the next few days,"

[Page 158] This intensive drive for manpower to some extent interfered with tne programme which W.V.H.A. had already undertaken to exterminate certain classes of individuals in the camps. I offer a photostatic copy of a letter from W.V.H.A., dated 27th April, 1943, our Document 1933-PS. It is Exhibit USA 459. The letter is addressed to a number of concentration camp commanders, is signed by Gluecks, S.S. Brigade Fuehrer and Major General of the "Waffen S.S." I read it:
" The Reichsfuehrer-S.S. and Chief of the German Police has decided after consultation, that in the future only mentally sick prisoners may be selected for action 14-F-13 by the medical commissions appointed for this purpose.

All other prisoners incapable of working (tubercular cases, bed- ridden cripples, etc.) are to be basically excepted from this action. Bed-ridden prisoners are to be drafted for suitable work which they can perform in bed.

The order of the Reichsfuehrer S.S. is to be obeyed strictly in future.

Requests for fuel for this purpose are therefore out of the question."

The action "14-F-13 " is not defined in the letter but it is perfectly apparent what it means. Every human being, bedridden, crippled, no matter what his physical condition, from whom any work at all could be extracted, was to be excepted from the action. Only the insane, from whom nothing could be expected, were to suffer the action. What could the action be? It is perfectly apparent. The action was extermination.

The S.S., however, was to some degree enabled to achieve both goals that of increased production and of elimination of undesirables. The Tribunal will recall the agreement between Minister of Justice Thierack and Himmler on 18th September, 1942, our Document 654-PS, which was read in evidence by Mr. Dodd as Exhibit USA 218. I am not going to quote again from that document, but will remind the Tribunal that the agreement provided for the transfer of anti-social elements from the prison to the Reichsfuehrer S.S. for extermination through work.

The conditions under which such persons worked in the camps were well calculated to lead to their death. Those conditions were regulated by the W.V.H.A. As an illustration of W.V.H.A. management, I call the Court's attention to our Document 2189-PS, which I offer in evidence as Exhibit USA 460. It is an order directed to commandants of concentration camps, dated 11th August, 1942, and bearing the facsimile signature, which does not appear on the translation, but does appear on the original, of S.S. Brigade Fuehrer and General of the Waffen S.S. Gluecks, who was Chief of Office Group D of W.V.H.A. That is Document 2189-PS. I read the body of that letter:

"The Reichsfuehrer S.S. and Chief of the German Police has ordered that punishment by beating will be executed in concentration camps for women by prisoners under supervision, as ordered.

In accordance with this order the Main Office Chief of the Main S.S. Economic Administration Office, S.S.-Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Waffen S.S. Pohl, has ordered, to be effective immediately, that punishment by beating will also be executed by prisoners in concentration camps for men.

It is forbidden that foreign prisoners should execute the punishment on German prisoners."

[Page 158]

Even after their death, the prisoners did not escape the management of W.V.H.A. I refer the Court to our Document 2199-PS, a letter to commanders of concentration camps, dated 12th September, 1942, and signed by the Chief of the Central Office of Office Group D of W.V.H.A., S.S. Obersturmbannfuehrer Leibehenschel. I offer this as Exhibit USA 461. I shall read the body of that directive, which appears on Page 1 of the translation of 2199-PS. I quote:
"According to a communication of the Chief of the Security Police and the S.D., and conforming to a report of the Chief of Security Police and S.D., in Prague, urns of deceased Czechs and Jews were sent for burial to the home-cemeteries within the Protectorate.

In view of different events (demonstrations, placing posters inimical to the Reich on urns of deceased inmates in the halls of the home town cemeteries, of pilgrimages to the graves of deceased inmates, etc.) within the Protectorates, the delivery of urns with the ashes of deceased nationals of the Protectorate and of Jews is henceforth prohibited. The urns shall be kept within the concentration camps. In case of doubt about keeping the urns oral instructions shall be obtained from this agency."

The S.S. indeed regarded the inmates of concentration camps as its own personal property to be used for its own economic advantage. The Tribunal will recall that as early as 1942, the defendant Speer recognised that the S.S. was moved by the desire for further profits, when he suggested to Hitler that the S.S. receive a share of the war equipment produced by concentration camp labour, in ratio to the working hours of the prisoners. I refer to our Document R-124, at page 136, which was read into evidence by Mr. Dodd as Exhibit USA 179. The Fuehrer agreed that a 3 to 5 per cent share should satisfy the S.S. commanders. Himmler himself frankly admitted his intention to derive profits for S.S. purposes from the camps, in his mass-speech to the officers of the S.S. Leibstandarte " Adolf Hitler," our Document 1918, Exhibit USA 364-the passage in question being found at the top of Page 3 of the English translation and on Page 10 of the original German, seven lines from the bottom. The passage begins:
"The apartment-building programme which is the prerequisite for a healthy and social basis of the entire S.S., as well as of the entire Fuehrercorps, can be carried out only when I get the money for it from somewhere. Nobody is going to give me the money. It must be earned, and it will be earned by forcing the scum of mankind, the prisoners, the professional criminals, to do positive work. The man guarding those prisoners serves just as hard as the one on close-order drill. The one who does this and stands near these utterly negative people, will learn within three to four months, and we shall see: in peacetime, I shall form guard battalions and put them on duty for three months only to fight the inferior beings, and this will not be a boring guard duty, but if the officers handle it right, it will be the best indoctrination on inferior beings and inferior races.

This activity is necessary, as I said: (i) to eliminate these negative people from German people; (2) to exploit them once more for the great folk community, by having them break stones and bake bricks, so that the Fuehrer can again erect his grand buildings ; and (3) in turn to invest the money, earned soberly this way, in houses, in land, in

[Page 160]

settlements, so that our men can have houses in which to raise large families, and have lots of children. This in turn is necessary because we stand or die with this leading blood of Germany, and if the good blood is not reproduced, we will not be able to rule the world."
One final aspect of S.S. control over concentration camps remains to be mentioned. That is its direction of the programme of biological experiments on human beings, which was carried on in the camps. Just a few days ago, another military tribunal passed judgment on some of those who participated in the experiments at Dachau.

THE PRESIDENT: There is no date on that document you just read, is there?

MAJOR FARR: There appears to be no date on the English translation. The original document bears the notation of a speech in April, 1943.

At a later stage in this case, evidence of some of the details of this programme of experiments will be presented. It is not my purpose to deal with those experiments from the substantive aspect. I shall show only that they were the result of S.S. direction, and that the S.S. played a vital part in their successful execution.

The programme seems to have originated in a request by a Dr. Signiund Rascher to Himmler, for permission to utilise persons in concentration camps as material for experiments with human beings, in connection with some research he was conducting on behalf of the Luftwaffe. I refer to our Document 1602-PS, a photostatic copy of a letter, dated 15th. May, 1941, addressed to the Reichsfuehrer S.S., and signed "S. Rascher. " I offer it as Exhibit USA 454. I shall quote from the second paragraph of the translation, the fourth paragraph of the original letter. I quote:

"For the time being I have been assigned to the Luftgaukommando VII, Munich, for a medical course. During this course, where researches on high-altitude flights play a prominent part (determined by the somewhat higher ceiling of the English fighter planes) considerable regret was expressed at the fact that no tests with human material had yet been possible for us, as such experiments are very dangerous and nobody volunteers for them. I put, therefore, the serious question: can you make available two or three professional criminals for these experiments? The experiments are made at 'Bodenstaendige Phuestelle fuer Hoehenforschung der Luftwaffe, Munich.' The experiments, in which the subjects may, of course, die, would take place with my co- operation. They are essential for researches on high-altitude flight and cannot be carried out, as has been tried, with monkeys, who offer entirely different test-conditions. I have had a very confidential talk with a representative of the Air Force, Burgeon, who makes these experiments. He is also of the opinion that the problem in question could only be solved by experiments on human persons. (Feebleminded could also be used as test material)."
Dr. Rascher promptly received assurance from the S.S. that he would be allowed to utilise concentration camp inmates for his experiments.

I refer to our Document 1582-PS, a letter dated the 22nd of May, 1941, addressed to Dr. Rascher, and bearing the stamp of the Personal Staff of the Reichsfuehrer S.S., and the initials, "K Br," which initials are those of S.S. Sturmbannfuehrer Karl Brandt. I offer this letter as Exhibit USA 462.

"Dear Dr. Rascher:

Shortly before flying to Oslo, the Reichsfuehrer S.S. gave me your letter of 15 May 1941, for partial reply.

I can inform you that prisoners will of course be readily made available for the high-flight researches. I have informed the Chief of the Security Police of this agreement of the Reichsfuehrer S.S., and requested that the competent official be instructed to get in touch with you."

The altitude experiments were conducted by Rascher, and in May 1942, General Field Marshal Milch, on behalf of the Luftwaffe, expressed his thanks to the S.S. for the assistance it furnished in connection with the experiments.

I refer to our Document 343-PS, and I offer in evidence an original letter, dated the 20th of May, 1942, addressed to S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff, and signed E. Milch, as exhibit USA 463. That letter, which appears on Page 2 of the translation, and on Page 1 of the original German, is as follows:

Dear Wolff -- (the German says, 'Liebes Woelffchen') --

In reference to your telegram of 12 May, our sanitary inspector reports to me that the altitude experiments carried out by the S.S. and Air Force at Dachau have been finished. Any continuation of these experiments seems materially unjustifiable. However, the carrying out of experiments of some other kind, in regard to perils on the high seas, would be important. These have been prepared in immediate agreement with the proper offices ; Major (MC) Weltz will be charged with the execution and Capt. (M.C.) Rascher will be made available until further orders in addition to his duties within the Medical Corps of the Air Corps. A change of these measures does not appear necessary, and an enlargement of the task is not considered pressing at this time.

The low-pressure chamber would not be needed for these low temperature experiments. It is urgently needed at another place and therefore can no longer remain in Dachau.

I convey the special thanks from the Supreme Commander of the Air Corps to the S.S. for their extensive co-operation.

I remain with best wishes for you in good comradeship and with Heil Hitler!

Always yours
E. Milch."

THE PRESIDENT: Major Farr, had you not better read the letter on the preceding page? It may be capable of an explanation.

MAJOR FARR: The letter on the preceding page, dated the 31st of August, 1942, is also from General Field Marshal Milch, and is addressed to the Reichsfuehrer S.S. It reads as follows:

"Dear Himmler:

I thank you very much for your letter of the 25th of August. I have read with great interest the reports of Dr. Rascher and Dr. Romberg. I have been informed about the current experiments. I shall ask the two gentlemen to give a lecture, combined with the showing of motion pictures, to my men in the near future. [Page 162] Hoping that it will be possible for me to see you on the occasion of my next visit to Headquarters, I remain with best regards and

Heil Hitler!
E. Milch."

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