The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Twenty-Sixth Day: Thursday, 3rd January, 1946
(Part 5 of 15)

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, the Tribunal does not think that it is necessary to go further into the organisational questions at this stage, but it is a matter which must be really decided by you because you know what the nature of the evidence which you are considering is. So far as the Tribunal is concerned, they are satisfied at the present stage to leave the matter where it is. But there is one aspect of the witness's evidence which the Tribunal would like you to investigate, and that is whether the practices of which he has been speaking continued after 1942, and for how long.


Q. Can you state whether the liquidation practices which you have described continued after 1942 and, if so, for how long a period of time thereafter?

A. I do not think that the basic order was ever lifted. But I cannot remember sufficient details to enable me to make concrete statements on this subject, at least not in reference to Russia; for very shortly thereafter the retreat began, so that the operational region of the Einsatzgruppen became smaller and smaller. I do know whether other Einsatzgruppen with similar orders were provided for other areas.

Q. The question was up to what date does your personal knowledge of these liquidation activities go.

A. As far as the liquidation of Jews is concerned, I know that appropriate withdrawals of the order were made about six months before the conclusion

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of the war. Furthermore, I saw a document according to which the liquidation of Soviet Commissars was to be terminated. I cannot recall a specific date.

Q. Do you know whether in fact it was so terminated?

A. Yes, I believe so.


Q. The Tribunal would like to know the number of men in your Einsatz Group.

A. There were about five hundred people in my Einsatzgruppe, besides those who were added to the group from the country itself to help out.

Q. Including them, did you say?

A. Excluding those who were brought into the group from the land itself.

Q. Do you know how many there would be in other groups?

A. I should estimate that at the beginning, seven to eight hundred men; but, as I said before, this number changed rapidly in the course of time for this reason, that individual Einsatzgruppen themselves acquired new people or succeeded in getting additional personnel from the R.S.H.A..

Q. The numbers increased, did they?

A. Yes, the numbers increased.


COLONEL AMEN: Now, here are perhaps just a half dozen of these questions I would like to ask, because I do think they might clear up, in the minds of the Tribunal, some of the evidence which has gone before. I shall be very brief, if that is satisfactory to the Tribunal.



Q. Will you explain the significance of the different widths of the blue lines on the chart?

A. The thick blue line between the name Himmler, as Reichsfuehrer S.S. and Chief of the German Police and the initials R.S.H.A. is designed to show the identity of the offices of the chiefs of the Sicherheitspolizei and the S.D. and their tasks. This is a department in which ministerial questions of leadership as well as individual executive matters were treated, that is to say, the closed circle of operations of the Sipo and the S.D. The organisational scheme, however, seen from the legal administrative point of view, represents an illegal state of affairs since the R.S.H.A. never actually had official validity.

The formal, legal situation was different from that which appears on this chart. Party and State offices were amalgamated here with different channels. Under this designation neither orders nor laws with a legal basis were issued. That is due to the fact that the State Police, in its ministerial capacity, was subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior just as before, whereas the S.D., despite this organisation, was an organ of the Party.

Therefore if I wished to reproduce this scheme legally according to the administrative situation, I should have to put, for example, in place of Amt IV the Amt Political Police of the former Sicherheitspolizei Hauptamt. This Amt Political Police existed formally to the very end and had its origin in the Police Department of the Ministry of the Interior. At the same time, the Secret State Police Amt, the Central Office of the

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Prussian Secret State Police, the leading organ of all the political police offices of the different provinces [Laender], continued to exist formally.

Thus, ministerial questions continued to be handled under the leadership of the Minister of the Interior; in so far as the emphasis on the formal competence of the Ministry of the Interior was necessary, it appeared under the heading "Reich Minister of the Interior" with the filing notice "Pol," the former designation of the Police Department of the Ministry of the Interior and the appropriate filing notice of the competent department of the former Sicherheitspolizei Hauptamt. For example, filing notice "Pol-S" meant Sicherheitspolizei; "V" meant Amt Verwaltung und Recht (Department Administration and Law).

The R.S.H.A. was therefore nothing more than a camouflage designation which did not correctly represent the actual conditions but gave the Chief of the Sipo and the S.D. as a collective designation for the Chief of the Sicherheitspolizei Hauptamt and the Chief of the S.D. Hauptamt (an office held until 1939) the opportunity of using one or the other letterhead at any given time.

At the same time it gave him the opportunity of an internal amalgamation of all forces and the opportunity of a division of activity-areas according to the point of view of practical effectiveness. But the fact remains that in this department State offices did remain in a way dependent on the Ministry of the Interior, and similarly the departments of the S.D. remained Party departments.

The S.D. Hauptamt, or the R.S.H.A., had formally only the significance of an S.S. Main Office, a main office in which the S.S. members of the Sipo and the S.D. belonged to the S.S. But the S.S., that is to say, Himmler, as Reichsfuehrer S.S., gave these state offices no official authority to issue orders.


Q. I am not sure that I follow altogether what you have been saying, but is what you have been saying the reason why you are shown on the chart as concerned with Amt III, which refers, apparently, only to inside Germany, while, according to your evidence, you were the head of Einsatz Group D, which was operating outside Germany?

A. The fact that I led an Einsatzgruppe had nothing to do with the fact that I was also Chief of Amt III. I was given that as an individual, not as Chief of Amt III; and in my capacity as leader of an Einsatzgruppe I came into a completely new function and into an office completely separate from the former one.

Q. I see. And did it involve that you left Germany and went into the area invaded in the Soviet Union?

A. Yes.


Q. Will you explain the significance of the dotted blue lines, as compared with the solid blue lines on the right hand side of the chart?

A. The solid lines indicate a direct official channels, whereas the dotted lines signify that here as a rule there were no direct channels.

Q. Was the term "S.D." ever used to include both the Sipo and the S.D.?

A. In the course of years the term "S.D." was used more and more incorrectly. It came to be established as an abbreviation for Sipo and S.D.,

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without actually being suitable for that. "S.D." was originally simply a designation for the fact that someone belonged to the S.S.via the S.D. Main Office. When the S.D. Main Office was dissolved and was taken over into the R.S.H.A., the question arose as to whether the designation S.D., which was also worn as insignia on the sleeve of the particular S.S. man, should be replaced by another insignia or a new abbreviation, e.g. R.S.H.A.. Things did not reach that point because the camouflage of the R.S.H.A. would thereby have been endangered. But when, for example, I read in a Fuehrer order that in France people were to be turned over to the S.D., that was a case in point of the false use of the designation S.D., since there were no such offices in France, and, on the other hand, the S.D., in so far as it functioned in departments, e.g., Amt III, in offices, had no executive power but was purely an intelligence organ.

Q. Briefly, what was the relationship between the S.S. and the Gestapo?

A. The relationship between the S.S. and Gestapo was this: The Reichsfuehrer S.S., as such, took over the tasks of the police and attempted to combine more closely the State Police and the S.S., that is to say, on the one hand to employ only those members of the State Police who were eligible for the S.S., and, on the other hand, to use the institutions of the S.S., e.g., education and training of the younger generation by the Waffen-S.S., in order in this way to draw the younger generation into the State Police. This amalgamation was later extended by him in an attempt to bring about the same relationship between the S.S. and the Ministry of the Interior, i.e., the whole internal administration.

Q. About how many full-time agents and honourary auxiliary personnel did the S.D. employ?

A. One cannot use the concept SD in this connection either. It is necessary to distinguish here between Amt III and Amt VI. Amt III, as the interior intelligence service, had about three thousand main office members, including men and women. On the other hand, the interior intelligence service worked essentially with honourary personnel, that is to say, with men and women who could serve the internal intelligence services with their professional experiences and with experiences based on their surroundings. I would judge that the number of these persons was roughly thirty thousand.

Q. Will you briefly give the Tribunal a general example of how a typical transaction was handled through the channels indicated on the chart?

A. First, a general example, invented to make things clear. Himmler discovered through experience that more and more saboteurs were being dropped from planes into Germany and were endangering transportation and factory sites. He told this to Kaltenbrunner in the latter's capacity as Chief of the Sipo and instructed him to make his organisation aware of this state of affairs and to take measures to see to it that these saboteurs would be seized as soon and as completely as possible.

Kaltenbrunner instructed Amt IV, that is to say, the State Police, with the preparation of the necessary order to the regional offices. This order was drawn up by the competent office of experts in Amt IV and was either transmitted by Mueller directly to the State Police offices in the Reich or, what is more probable because of the importance of the question and because of necessity and in order to bring to the attention of the other

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offices and officials to this fact, was given by him to Kaltenbrunner, who signed it and issued it to the regional offices in the Reich.

On the basis of this order it was, for example, determined that the State Police offices should report the measures they were taking as well as any successes they might have. These reports went back through the same channels from the regional offices to the offices of experts in Amt IV, thence to the Chief of Amt IV, thence to the Chief of the R.S.H.A., Kaltenbrunner, and thence to the Chief of the German Police Himmler.

Q. And, finally, will you give a specific example of typical transaction handled through the channels indicated on the chart?

A. The example of the arrest of the leaders of the leftist parties after the event of the 20th of July: This order was also transmitted from Himmler to Kaltenbrunner; Kaltenbrunner passed it on to Amt IV and an appropriate draft for a decree was formulated by Amt IV, signed by Kaltenbrunner and sent to the regional offices. The reports were returned from the subordinate offices back to the higher offices along the same channels.

COLONEL AMEN: May it please the Tribunal. The witness is now available to other counsel. I understand that Colonel Pokrovsky has some questions that he wishes to ask on behalf of the Soviets.

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