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 Ninety-Third Day: Friday, 2nd August, 1946
(Part 4 of 10)

[Page 211]

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President. May I now read the document of the Polish Delegation on the subject which says, "It is hereby certified that the submitted document in the German language dated 24th August, 1943, consists of the instructions of the Security Police of the Reichsfuehrer SS, in the city of Mogilno, containing an extract from Himmler's speech and that it is the exact photostatic copy of the original submitted by the Chief Commission for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes in Poland."

The original was found in an envelope. In the left-hand corner at the top there was stated "Landrat of the Area of Mogilno of the Governmental District Bodenschatz." The rest contains a number and a statement in German, but the date is 28th August, 1943.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel, I am sorry, I did not hear the beginning of what you said. What are you reading from now?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: I am reading, Mr. President, from the certificate which the Polish delegation submitted on the subject of this document. This was a document which was submitted to us by the Polish Delegation.

THE PRESIDENT: How did you identify this particular document? You see, we have a document produced before us which appears to have nothing on it which connects it with that certificate. I mean, how do you connect it with this certificate?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Mr. President, I was just handed a note here from our documentary section which says that since the Tribunal has the original, the original does not have the certificate of the Polish Delegation attached to it, whereas I have the certificate attached to my document, and that is why I wanted to read it to you. I am very sorry about the mistake. You will receive the certificate.

THE PRESIDENT: I see - and the certificate you have, identifies the translation in Russian? Is that right?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Mr. President, yesterday I myself verified the translation which I have with the original, and I have found it to be accurate and correct, and the certificate also states that the Russian translation is correct.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov, you must offer in evidence that certificate in order to make it clear that this is the document which was found at this SD headquarters at Mogilno. That should be attached to this exhibit. Has this got a number, this exhibit? 522, is that it?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Yes, the number is USSR 522, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we will have to have the certificate attached to it; then we shall be able to look at it.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President. I have no more questions to ask this witness.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

(A short recess was taken.)

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Mr. President in connection with one of the points to which my esteemed American colleague has drawn my attention, I request your permission to put another question here to the witness concerning the first document which I submitted.

THE PRESIDENT: Which was the first?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: USSR 509, the chart.



[Page 212]



Q. Witness, will you kindly tell us-do you deny that Gengenbach, whose name is to be found in this chart as belonging to the Einsatzstab - you will be shown the chart in a minute - was a member of the SD?

(The document is handed to the witness).

[Rolf-Heinz Hoeppner] A. He was on the staff of the SD.

Q. He was a member of the SD?

A. Yes, he was. He was Gruppenleiter of III-A. He was my immediate predecessor.

Q. Tell us then - was it not you who became his deputy later on?

A. I was the successor of Gengenbach but not his deputy. When I came to Berlin he was already dead. Besides Gengenbach, was not in Berlin then for, as far as I can recall today from talks I had with him later on, he was at Munich. I met him only during the war.

Q. But, at any rate, you did afterwards hold the post which had been held before by Gengenbach?

A. The position which Gengenbach held later in Berlin. I took over from him. He was Gruppenleiter III-A just as I was.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Thank you very much. The American prosecution, Mr. President, has a copy of the documents which have already been submitted under No. USA 175 and USA 174, and it is stated here in the places underlined that the head of the division III-A was Gengenbach, that is the same man whose name is to be found in the chart. I have no further questions to put to the witness, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Has the speech of Himmler, dated 15th March, 1940, already been put in evidence?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: As far as I know, Mr. President, no. At any rate, I do not know this speech.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Now, Dr. Gawlik.


BY DR. GAWLIK (for the SD):

Q. Witness, do you still have Exhibit USSR 509?

A. I have no documents at all.

(The document is handed to the witness.)

Q. Witness, please look at Page 1. What was the task of these Einsatzgruppen (task force units) which were to be employed in Czechoslovakia?

A. I do not know: I had nothing to do with the preparation of these tasks.

Q. I said please look at Page 1.

A. "To secure political life and to secure national economy," it says on Page 1.

Q. Was this a completely different task from that which later in 1941 was given to Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D in the East?

A. I do not know the tasks in the East very well, either because I had nothing to do with them, but as far as I am informed the Einsatzgruppen in the East certainly had nothing to do with safeguarding the national economy. The Einsatzgruppen in the East had to secure the rear army area.

Q. Please look at the chart, the organization of these Einsatzgruppen.

A. The hand-written one or the printed one?

Q. The second one. With the aid of this chart, can you answer the question whether these Einsatzgruppen belonged to the organization of the SD?

A. You mean the chart that says "Staff SS Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich" at the top?

[Page 213]

Q. Yes, that is the chart I mean.

A. No, that was not an organization of the Security Service but was something completely new.

Q. Regarding the tasks these Einsatzgruppen or these Einsatzstabe had, were they a part of the duties of the Security Service?

A. I do not know the tasks which were assigned to these Einsatzstabe In any event, the task mentioned on Page 1, "securing the national economy," is not a task of the Security Service; it is not a task related to the Information Service nor does the "safeguarding of political life" have anything to do with the Information Service.

Q. Were parts of the organization of the SD used by these Einsatzstabe? Can you answer the question with the aid of this chart?

A. As far as the chart shows, parts of the organization were not used but only individual members of the Security Service, just as in the case of the State Police too. The same will probably have applied later in connection with the Einsatzgruppen in the East, that is, it can be compared with being drafted into the Wehrmacht.

Q. Were the individual members of the Security Service, by being assigned to the Einsatzstabe, no longer active in the Security Service?

A. No, of course not. For they received completely different tasks. Again, I can only make this comparison: If a judge is drafted into the Army, then he no longer carries on his activity as a judge.

Q. Were the activities and tasks of these Einsatzstabe generally known to the members of the Security Service, particularly the members of the subordinate agencies of the Leitabschnitte of the Aussenstellen?

A. Not in the least.

Q. Now, I come to the second document that deals with the letter of the Blockstelle Mogilno.

(The document is handed to the witness.)

Q. What was a "Blockstelle"?

A. In the structure of the Security Service, the term "Blockstelle" did not exist but, nevertheless, it is possible that regional offices (Aussenstellen) organized sub- branches and then used this term; in general, what was subordinate to a regional office was called an "Observer" (Beobachter).

Q. What was the staff of an Aussenstelle in general?

A. According to the period and according to the importance of the Aussenstelle, it differed considerably. On the average, in, say, 1943 or 1944 there were one or two regular officials in a branch and a large number of honorary workers whereby the head of the branch was sometimes an honorary official and sometimes a regular one.

Q. Was the Blockstelle above an Aussenstelle or was it subordinate to it?

A. Above the Aussenstelle was the Abschnitt, not the Blockstelle and, as I said before, the different Aussenstelle sometimes selected terms for subordinate offices which were not really officially organized. "Observers" (Beobachter) were, however, organized.

Q. Did Amt III issue any orders as established in this document?

A. No, under no circumstances.

Q. Then is this the case of the head of the Aussenstelle in Mogilno acting on his own initiative? I mean the head of the Blockstelle?

A. In case Himmler did make this speech, that would be true. I can imagine Himmler saying that he expected something from all his men when talking to camp commanders.

Q. I am not speaking of Himmler. I am speaking of the orders of the head of the Blockstelle.

A. But the instructions are in the speech of Himmler or do you mean the instructions in the first sentence "to give especial attention to Poland"? The

[Page 214]

head of the Blockstelle in Mogilno will, of course, have cared for the Poles in the same way as he cared for the Germans. He was naturally interested in the general attitude and frame of mind of the Poles, and he reported to the main office, to Group III-d.

Q. Then I show you Document PS-3876.

THE PRESIDENT: How does this arise from the cross- examination?

DR . GAWLIK: Mr. President, I have a few more questions in connection with the questions which your Honour asked yesterday at the end of the session relating to distribution.

THE PRESIDENT: You are putting in some document which has not been referred to before.

DR. GAWLIK: Mr. President, the document was submitted yesterday by the American prosecution.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, well, it was. I beg your pardon.

THE WITNESS: I have here the English text of the document.

Q. Please look at Page 45 now - the distribution. Did commanders of the Security Police and the SD belong to the Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D?

A. No, that is something different. The Einsatzgruppen were mobile units, which advanced together with the Wehrmacht in the rear army area. The offices of the commanders were offices in the civilian administration. When an area was taken into civil administration, the commander's post or office was set up.

Q. How were the Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D organized?

A. They were divided into the Einsatzkommandos.

Q. What names did these Einsatzkommandos have?

A. These Einsatzkommandos had no names at all, as I said yesterday, they were numbered from 1 to 10, as far as I can recall, possibly even to 11 or 12.

Q. Please look at the distribution. There it says that the chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D received copies for the commanders of the Security Police, and the SD.

A. No, that is wrongly translated. It should be for the Kommandeure of the Security Police and the SD, not for the chiefs, that is the Kommandeure of the Security Police who were subordinate to the chiefs of the Security Police and the SD. To state it more clearly, the Einsatzkommandos were not led by a Kornmandeur of the Security Police and the SD, but by the Kommandeure of Einsatzkommandos 1, 2, 3, etc. In the territory which was under civil administration, the situation was the same as in occupied France. There were agencies of the Kommandeure of the Security Police and of the SD. That was something quite different from the Einsatzkommandos.

Q. Who were the officers superior to the Kommandeure?

A. To which Kommandeure?

Q. Of the Security Police and of the SD.

A. The commanders of the Security Police and the SD.

Q. Who were their superiors?

A. The chief of the Security Police and the SD in Berlin.

Q. Who was the superior of Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D?

A. That cannot be answered in one word. In reality the chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen had two superiors. In the first place, they were assigned, to the army group in question, and had to take instructions from the chief of the army group. On the other hand, they received instructions from the chief of the Security Police and the SD. That is the very reason why I said yesterday that they were entirely unique and different.

Q. Now I ask you again. If the Kommandeure of the Security Police and the SD did not belong to the Einsatzgruppen. A, B, C, and D -

[Page 215]

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Gawlik, has not all this been thoroughly gone into already? I mean, we have got the document. We have asked the witness a number of questions and he has given his answers: You are now asking him the same questions over again.

DR. GAWLIK: Mr. President, I only have one more question in regard to the copies.

THE PRESIDENT: Ask your one question, then.

Q. Why did the chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D receive copies for the commanders of the Security Police and the SD if they were completely separate organizations?

A. Probably there were different organizations but in certain cases the people were the same; or, as I assume, the distribution was misleading. I had a German copy yesterday. Various words were used for "Kommandeur." Sometimes it was commander and sometimes another word, Befehlshaber. Those are completely different functions.

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