The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
29th July to 8th August 1946

One Hundred and Ninetieth Day: Tuesday, 30th July, 1946
(Part 4 of 11)

[Page 75]

THE PRESIDENT: I will deal first with the documents. The documents to which no objection has been made will be translated and will be admitted, subject to objections as to their admissibility. The documents to which objections have already been made, namely SA 236, 237, 242, 246, and 247, are all rejected and will not be translated.

With reference to the witnesses applied for, the following witnesses who have been examined before the Commission may be examined before the Tribunal: The witness Schaeffer, the witness Juettner, spelled J-u-e-t-t-n-e-r, either the witness Bock or the witness Klaehn according as counsel for the SA decides; and one out of three witnesses, Waldenfels, Hauffe and Gruss, is to be examined before the Commission.

Van den Borch is not allowed, but his evidence may be given by affidavit.

With reference to the other six witnesses for whom application has been made, every effort is being made to trace them and if they arrive within a week from today, that is to say, on or before Tuesday of next week, they will be heard before the Commission. That is all.

DR. BOEHM (counsel for SA): Mr. President, may I make a brief explanation? The Court has just approved the witnesses Waldenfels, Hauffe and Gruss to be examined before the Commission.

THE PRESIDENT: No, the witnesses Waldenfels, Hauffe and Gruss have already been examined before the Commission, have they not?


THE PRESIDENT: What I said was that you must choose one out of the three witnesses - Waldenfels, Hauffe and Gruss - after Gruss has been examined before the Commission. One out of the three, so that in all - you will have four witnesses - Schaeffer, Juettner, one out of Bock and Klaehn, and one out of Waldenfels, Hauffe and Gruss, making four. And you will have Van den Borch on affidavit.


THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Barrington, with reference to the Reich Cabinet, I see there is one witness that has not yet been granted as a witness, and that is the witness Schlegelberger, who has not yet appeared before the Commission. Yes, Dr. Kempner?

DR. KEMPNER: Schlegelberger was questioned before the Commission yesterday.

THE PRESIDENT: Is there any objection . . .

[Page 76]


THE PRESIDENT: Then, are there any other witnesses for the Reich Cabinet?

DR. KEMPNER: Not that I know of.

THE PRESIDENT: It would perhaps save time if we granted him now. Are there any documents not agreed on for the Reich Cabinet?

DR. KEMPNER: We have already examined all the documents.

THE PRESIDENT: You agreed? Well, very well.

DR. KEMPNER: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: And now we will hear the witnesses for the political leaders.

DR. SERVATIUS (counsel for the Political Corps): Mr. President, according to the decision of 25th and 26th July, I am first to offer the documents and affidavits so that they may be incorporated into the record. Should I do that first or should I first examine the witness? According to the decision I should do it first and that is what I prepared.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, do it that way.

DR. SERVATIUS: According to the decisionof 25th July, the evidence is first to be submitted. The evaluation of the evidence is to follow the final presentation so that I will submit only the evidence now without any special comment. I act according to the decision.

First, I submit a list of the witnesses examined before the Commission whom I want to submit in evidence. There are twenty witnesses.

If I am to read the list, they are the following. Does the Court consider it necessary for me to read the list?

THE PRESIDENT: I do not think you need read the names of the witnesses. If you would offer, formally, the transcripts of their evidence before the Commission, that will be sufficient.

DR. SERVATIUS: Yes, very well.

I submit the copies of the records in evidence, the originals of which the Commission has. The record of the witness Mohr is still missing. He is number seven on the list. I have not yet received this record. I will submit it later.

THE PRESIDENT: Then the General Secretary will file the original of the transcripts.


THE PRESIDENT: And you will give it some number, I suppose, some exhibit number?

DR. SERVATIUS: Yes, I will adjust the exhibit numbers after consulting with the General Secretary since it is not yet clear how the documents will be arranged.


DR. SERVATIUS: Then I submit...

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. You will adjust that with the General Secretary as to whether or not it is necessary to give these transcripts on evidence before the Commission an exhibit number or not?

DR. SERVATIUS: Yes, I will adjust it.

Then I will submit a list of affidavits which have been approved by the Commission. There are fifty-two of them. The list contains these documents, the translation of which was approved by the Commission, which are especially important. The affidavits themselves are in the hands of the Commission and I will discuss with the General Secretary in what form they should be submitted as an exhibit.

[Page 77]

According to the decision, I have summed up these affidavits in writing. If the Court wishes, I will read this summary which contains an explanation of this document, but I do not believe that it will be of great use at the moment; it will be better if it is read later in the proper connection.


DR. SERVATIUS: Then I would like to submit further affidavits which are not yet available and which have not yet been dealt with before the Commission. There are 139,000 affidavits which are assembled in the following manner: They are divided into definite groups. These groups have been gone over by members of the organizations who are in prison here, and one collective affidavit has been made for each group. Three especially important and typical affidavits have been added to these collective affidavits. I could submit the majority of the pertinent documents to the Tribunal, and will do so if I am given the opportunity. I would like to discuss with the General Secretary as to how they should be submitted. In effect, there are twelve different groups - that will be twelve affidavits with three annexes of the most important ones on the Church question, on the question of low-level flying, and on the question of concentration camps. Those are nine groups.

Then I have two groups, that is to say, a survey of two camps in which there are many thousands so that one can get a clear picture of the opinion of the inmates of the camp. They are also summed up in an affidavit with a few annexes. I attempted to compile this great amount of material so that the Court will be in a position to take judicial notice of it and I would like to submit it in its entirety so that the Court will perhaps be able to examine it and be convinced of its correctness.

THE PRESIDENT: As I understand it, there are 139,000 affidavits. You have divided them into twelve groups?


THE PRESIDENT: And you have twelve collective affidavits for these twelve groups?


THE PRESIDENT: To be appended to each of these twelve collective affidavits are two or three .

DR. SERVATIUS: There are three. As I have just seen, a larger number is appended. I will go over them again and reduce them so that there will be no more than three of each group.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Servatius, then the Tribunal thinks that the whole 139,000 should be deposited with the Tribunal, and the twelve collective affidavits with the appended affidavits will doubtless be of great convenience to the Tribunal. The Commission will receive them and approve them, yes, and then they will be deposited before the Tribunal.

DR. SERVATIUS: Then I have to submit the document books which the Tribunal has; I have the originals of the documents here, and I submit them. There are a number of documents which I cannot submit in the original - two, to be explicit, which are at the University of Erlangen. The first one, Document PL 15, is the book Die Amtstraeger der Partei (The Dignitaries of the Party). And Document PL 28 is the book Law of the NSDAP (Das Recht der NSDAP) by Dr. Hein and Dr. Fischer. All others I have submitted. A large part of the documents are taken from collections of documents and from books which are already in the library of the prosecution. The title of these collections of documents is shown by the heading of the document concerned in the document book.

[Page 78]

I ask that these collections of documents and books, to be found in the library of the prosecution, be designated as the originals.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, subject to any objections.

DR. SERVATIUS: Then I have finished with the presentation of evidence submitted before the Commission, and now, with the permission of the Court, I shall call my witnesses.

With the permission of the Court, I will call the witness Gauleiter Kauffmann.

KARL OTTO KURT KAUFFMANN, a witness, took the stand and testified as follows:


Q. Will you state your full name, please?

A. Karl Otto Kurt Kauffmann.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me:

I swear by God, the Almighty and Omniscient, that I will speak the pure truth and will withhold and add nothing.

(The witness repeated the oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.



Q. Witness, you were a Gauleiter from 1925 to 1926 in the Gau Ruhr and from 1928 to 1945 in the Gau Hamburg

A. Yes.

Q. How many people lived in these Gaue?

A. In the Ruhr about seven to eight million; in the Gau Hamburg about 1.8 million.

Q. Do you know anything about conditions in other Gaue?

A. More or less, yes.

Q. In 1921 you joined the Party and after the dissolution of the Party again in 1925?

A. Yes.

Q. And in the meantime you were a labourer, from 1921 to 1925, in the Ruhr district and in Upper Bavaria?

A. No, from 1923 to 1925.

Q. According to National Socialist terminology, when is a person a political leader?

A. A man holds this position when he has been nominated for it, when he is in possession of the appropriate documents and has the right to wear a uniform.

Q. Were there Block and Cell Leaders among the political leaders?

A. Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Servatius, will you ask the date of the witness's birth?


Q. Witness, when were you born?

A. I was born on 10th October, 1900.



Q. Were not the Block and Cell Leaders a different type of political leader from the political leaders in higher position?

A. The Block and Cell Leaders were small executive officers of the Ortsgruppen Leaders.

[Page 79]

Q. Was the activity of the Block and Cell Leaders subordinate in significance to that of the Amtsleiter (National Socialist section leaders) in the local groups, or in their staffs?

A. Under the Amtsleiter of the local groups there were essential tasks and non-essential tasks. Those in charge of the essential tasks were more important than those in charge of the non-essential tasks.

Q. Were not the Block and Cell Leaders dignitaries and especially important political leaders?

A. I have already said that they were dignitaries, but only small executive officers of the local group leader.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I wonder if I might make a suggestion for the consideration of the Court. I think it would be more helpful if the translator could use the German term, because we are all used to it in this context, and continue to use the Ortsgruppenleiter instead of leader of a local group, because when we use a term like "local group" there may be some difficulty as to what the reference is. I just put it for a suggestion. Personally, it would be helpful to me. I do not know if the Court will agree.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly.


Q. What was the general practical activity of the political leaders P How was it before the war and how was it after the beginning of the war?

A. The activity of the political leaders was according to their office. There were political leaders who were purely technical experts and there were political leaders who had tasks of political leadership. The tasks before the seizure of power were, as in any party, essentially to make propaganda for the Party principles, to organize the Party, and in election campaigns to recruit votes among the population for the success of the Party. After the seizure of power, the essential activity of the political leaders consisted primarily in social welfare work for the population and in the realization of the set social aims. In addition, there were organizational questions, training tasks, and propaganda questions. During the war these tasks were determined by the actualities of the war and the great welfare problems brought about by the war and its events were added to the social peace-time tasks.

Q. How great was the number of political leaders before the war and during the war?

A. I can only give figures from my Gau. I estimate that the number of political leaders in the Gau Hamburg before the war was about io,000 without branches. The number was greatly curtailed by the fact that many were drafted during the war.

Q. How great was the percentage of political leaders in your Gau who were drafted for military service?

A. Aside from armament, for many political leaders were only honorary officials, a maximum of ten per cent of the Party were classed as indispensable at the beginning of the war.

Q. Who, therefore, remained in the Gau?

A. In 1944, in the age groups of 1900 and younger, there were twelve for the whole Party in Hamburg, with the exception of administration and armament.

Q. Do you mean twelve per cent

A. No. Twelve men.

Q. And in percentage?

A. I estimate 6,000 political leaders.

Q. On the staff of the Gau-, Kreis- and Ortsgruppenleiter were also the heads of the technical offices. Did these officials of the technical offices have political leadership tasks?

[Page 80]

A. No. The great majority of political leaders in the technical offices were concerned exclusively with technical matters of their organizations.

Q. Did the officials of the technical offices take part in all staff discussions or were there smaller and bigger staffs?.

A. That depended on the subject of the discussion. If it was of general political interest a larger circle was included; if it was a discussion which concerned only special offices, the circle was limited to these.

Q. Was the office of political leader taken voluntarily, or as a duty, or on a compulsory basis?

A. Here again one must distinguish between two periods; before the seizure of power, of course, it was voluntary. After the seizure of power, every Party member was obliged, as a matter of principle, to co-operate. I personally considered it important to maintain the principle of volunteer work in the Gau under all circumstances because, as you can understand, I did not expect any political success from forced co-operation. I know that the matter was dealt with in a similar way in other Gaue.

Q. Why did Party members refuse to take honorary offices as political leaders was this done for political reasons or for personal reasons?

A. The reasons varied. Some refused because they were too busy in their occupation; that is especially true of many professions during the war, and others refused because they did not want to expose themselves politically.

Q. What was the activity of the Blockleiter?

A. The Blockleiter were the assistants of the Ortsgruppenleiter. When it was necessary in peace and in war to approach the population, essentially in the case of social measures, the Ortsgruppenleiter used the services of the Blockleiter. In the Gau Hamburg the Block- and Zellenleiter as well as the whole Party, in war and peace, were primarily concerned with social work and welfare measures.

Q. From where did the Gauleiter get their instructions?

A. The Gauleiter received their instructions from the Fuehrer. They were directly subordinate to the Fuehrer. Upon his order they received instructions from his deputy and in many cases from the Party Chancellery on his behalf.

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