The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Testimony of Alfred Six (Part 2 of 2)

I do not know whether Eichmann was able to grant exemptions. Had I wished to obtain an exemption or something similar for a Jew, I would not have gone to Eichmann, as he was an exponent of the other side. I would first have gone to a head of a foreign mission, and perhaps then to Schellenberg, who had a reputation for being able to arrange such exemptions. I was able to succeed in doing this several times. As to whether Eichmann himself ever granted an exemption, I do not know. Given the structure of the Head Office for Reich Security, it was impossible for a Section Head to grant exemptions from the orders of his superior on his own authority or over the head of his superior. Very many members of the Head Office for Reich Security were removed from their posts, and this was certainly one of the reasons why everybody was very careful not to exceed their authority. There were no instructions giving Section Heads prior permission for making exceptions. This applies to the Head Office for Reich Security generally, and not specifically to Eichmann's Section.

I am not familiar with Eichmann's various powers. However, there is no doubt that he had wider powers than other Section Heads. This was the general view in the Head Office for Reich Security. The general impression was that Eichmann was not only under Mueller's orders, but that he was somewhat on the same level as Mueller. Mueller was known as one of the worst instigators, and I would say that the two were very well matched. Under a different superior than Mueller, Eichmann's powers would probably not have been as extensive as they actually were. It was known that Eichmann had access to Heydrich and Kaltenbrunner, although I cannot now give any actual facts to attest to that. I also saw Eichmann in Heydrich's antechamber - as far as I remember, definitely once or twice. I went to see Heydrich every three or four weeks at the conferences of Department Chiefs. Eichmann did not take part in these conferences. It was known that Kaltenbrunner had a personal preference for dealing with counterespionage matters. In addition, as the war continued and the domestic political situation worsened, Mueller had increasingly to deal with domestic policy matters. That may have contributed to Eichmann's becoming increasingly independent. Before he worked in the Head Office for Reich Security, Mueller worked under Himmler in the Political Police in Bavaria, and before that he was a police commissioner. Himmler brought him into the Secret State Police. Mueller was not originally a National Socialist, but rather a dedicated Political Police specialist. In my view, that was another reason why Eichmann's superior considered Eichmann to be particularly suited for his job, as he was a National Socialist of long standing. I believe that Heydrich in particular attached value to Eichmann's Section being in the hands of a National Socialist of long standing. In my opinion, Mueller and Eichmann teamed up fairly well. The main occupation of Mueller himself was persecuting or combatting Communists. I know that in all discussions Mueller talked about the Communist danger. As far as I remember, he did not in these discussions talk about the Jewish danger. However, today I am unable to remember any details. Mueller was known as the Communists' Mueller. While I was working with Eichmann in the Security Service Head Office, I found him to be a relatively simple, intellectually uninteresting and not particularly gifted, but very snappish, SS man. His duties then were fairly low-level. His superior at the time, Wisliceny, was a rather robust man, who kept him well under control. I believe that Eichmann's later development was basically influenced by the essential feature of his character, i.e., a simple way of thinking and the urge to find favour with his superior. Eichmann believed absolutely in National Socialism. Essentially, the world was fulfilled for him by means of the Nazi outlook on life. His whole attitude meant that Eichmann would not exceed the limits of the instructions he received. I would have noticed if Eichmann had exceeded his instructions when I was working in the Security Service Head Office. I am not, however, able to remember anything of this kind. I believe that, when in doubt, Eichmann always acted in accordance with Party doctrine in its most extreme interpretation. I myself did not have sufficient contact with Eichmann to be able now to provide information about his personal inclinations. Eichmann was an unconditional National Socialist, and his view of the world was determined by National Socialism. I assume that, in his own area, Eichmann felt himself to be the executor of those points of the programme which referred to it. As long as Eichmann was subordinate to me, I do not remember him making any anti-Jewish statements or proposals. It was not in his nature to make proposals which went further than the anti-Jewish measures envisaged at that time.

Until 1939 I was the head of Central Departments II1 and II2 in the Security Service Head Office. From 1939 until I left for the Foreign Ministry I was, with interruptions, Head of Department VII in the Head Office for Reich Security.

In the Security Service Head Office, Eichmann was subordinate to me from 1937 to 1938, but not directly. Wisliceny was Eichmann's direct superior. I no longer remember the name of Wisliceny's direct superior, whose direct superior I was myself. In the Head Office for Reich Security, Eichmann was not my subordinate, neither did he have any other official relationship with me.

As of 1938, the general guidelines for appointment to the Security Service Head Office were: National Socialist attitude on the part of the applicant, prior knowledge of a specialized area, and, as far as possible, academic qualifications. The pre-1938 staff of the office were mainly SS members of long standing. Formally, the members of the Security Service Head Office had to be convinced National Socialists. Exceptions were made in the case of sought-after experts. Eichmann was certainly not such an expert.

Apart from the report on his journey to Palestine, I am not familiar with and do not remember any of Eichmann's reports from that period when he was subordinate to me in the Security Service Head Office. Eichmann did not make his journey to Palestine on his own - he went with Hagen; as far as I know, the report on this journey was written by Hagen. I must have read the Palestine report, I suppose. However, I no longer remember the contents of this report. When Eichmann was no longer subordinate to me, I ceased to receive any reports from him. From document No. 2, which has been shown to me, I see from the reference Hg, and also from the title, that the report was in fact written by Hagen. As I can see from looking at document No. 2, the report is very superficial. Today, I do not remember whether I approved the report at the time or not. As I have said, I no longer remember the contents of the report.

As a Section Head, Eichmann was entitled to make use of the rank of an SS Fuehrer. On 15 September 1937 he was recommended in a Fuehrer minute by the Section Head of the Central Department for an appointment as SS Untersturmfuehrer. I approved of this recommendation. I said then that there were no objections to the promotion, as Eichmann satisfied the normal requirements. Once Eichmann had been proposed for promotion by his immediate superior and his colleagues, the promotion was more or less a foregone conclusion.

I am familiar, from the Nuremberg Trials, with documents which show that in the Head Office for Reich Security illegal assignments were ordered. These included such things as the Venlo news reconnaissance actions, and the attack on the Gleiwitz broadcasting station. There were no such cases involving my activities in Department VII of the Head Office for Reich Security, as is shown in the decision of the Second Nuremberg Military Tribunal. Neither do I, nor did I at that time, know of any unlawful orders which involved the sphere of Section IVB4. Legal thinking at the time held that the killing of persons without the sanction of martial law and without legal proceedings was unlawful. There was controversy about the question of the unlawfulness of killings in areas which were under martial law.

According to the American attitude, any such killing was unlawful, while the Accused at Nuremberg pleaded that they were acting under the compulsion of superior orders. There does not appear to have been any homogeneous attitude to this question in law, in the light of what I have gathered from the documents and statements presented at the Nuremberg Trials. I still remember what I stated in my trial in Nuremberg. The statement I made then is my attitude to the matter. During the War I also did not consider mass shootings or mass executions without any legal proceedings to be lawful, and I said as much at Nuremberg. During the War there were also some other officers who professed the same point of view. During the War it was at least possible to try and be transferred away from an Operations Unit. I myself made such a successful attempt. It was also possible in some other cases which were referred to at Nuremberg. In the last resort, everyone could take the ultimate way out, by shooting himself. When I was transferred back, I was not demoted and did not suffer any disadvantages except for the fact that, until his death, I had a continual feud with Heydrich. There doubtless were cases where transfers from an Operations Unit involved disadvantages. However, I cannot now remember individual cases. In any case, no one was shot because of this, as far as I am aware.

There was also the possibility of volunteering from the Head Office for Reich Security to serve at the front or to be released for some other duty. I was to be stationed again on the front from mid-1942 on, but just before I was due to leave, I was released to join the Foreign Ministry. After six months of intelligence work in the Foreign Ministry, I was appointed Envoy, First Class, as an assistant director in the ministry. Thus I did not suffer any disadvantages in connection with this transfer, either. However, that was probably due to Heydrich's death. I am acquainted with instances where Security Service Leaders were released on their own request by the Head Office for Reich Security for other duties.

I know nothing about special assignments from Heydrich to Eichmann.

At the beginning of July 1941, I was appointed - on Heydrich's orders - Commander of the Moscow Advance Commando. The task of the Advance Commando, in co-operation with the fighting forces, was to secure valuable files and the contents of archives and libraries in Moscow. The commando consisted of twelve to fourteen interpreters. According to reports submitted, it first carried out such duties in Smolensk. After the advance to Moscow was delayed in August 1941, I managed to be recalled to Berlin. After my departure, Nebe put the Moscow Advance Commando under his control (see Documents Volumes 2-4, Six, in the Second Nuremberg Military Tribunal).

I did not deal with tracking down Soviet Commissars in prisoner-of-war camps, nor did I receive any orders to this effect which I failed to carry out. This point was the subject of the criminal proceedings against me at the Nuremberg Military Tribunal. In the judgment of the Military Tribunal, I received confirmation of the fact that this was not my assignment. However, the Ludwigsburg Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes determined unequivocally a year ago that an SS Fuehrer of the same name had carried out such shootings in Northern Russia.

I was not present at the discussions in Pretzsch and Berlin before the outbreak of the war with Russia, because at that time I was still on active service (Reich Division, 1st Artillery Regiment). At that time the regiment was stationed on the Polish-Russian border in the deployment zone. The leader of Operations Unit B, Nebe, who had seconded several interpreters to me for the Moscow Advance Commando, gave me the same explanation when we met in Minsk about the task of the Operations Units that Ohlendorf gave at Nuremberg.

I got to know Nebe around 1937 or 1938. I knew him as the chief of the Berlin Criminal Investigation Police. My relations with him were extremely bad, and this was generally known. According to what Nebe said, the Commissars were considered to be a threat to the safety of the troops behind the lines. I gathered from his comments that the Commissars were to be shot by the Operations Units. Nebe did not talk about shooting the Jewish civilian population. I did not consider the Jewish civilian population to be a danger to the safety of the troops.

I came to Minsk on 4 July 1941 together with the fighting forces, while fighting was still going on. I remained there about a week and left around 12 or 13 July 1941. A prosecution document in the Nuremberg Trial shows the precise date of my departure. I did not see any Jews - whether German or others - at Minsk who had been deported to Minsk. I consider it out of the question for such deportations to have taken place at that time, as the town had been evacuated by the Russians and fighting was still taking place in the immediate vicinity. There were no mass executions in Minsk during my stay there. I know nothing about any connection or organizational co-operation between Eichmann and the Operations Units.

I do not know what the "Brown Folder" is.

I was the head of the Politico-Cultural Department of the Foreign Ministry until the end of the War.

In the Second Trial of the American Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, I was sentenced to twenty years in prison. The sentence was commuted, by way of pardon, to ten years. The verdict says that it cannot be stated with scientific exactitude that I participated actively in the SS murder programme, but that I was nevertheless a member of this criminal organization and was guilty on all three counts.

My knowledge of the individual Departments of the Head Office for Reich Security is based on the organization work plan and is to be gathered from the information I have indicated above.

I am not aware of other cases where the Section Head had a higher rank than the group leader.

I do not know whether Eichmann received direct assignments from the Chief of the Security Police. It was not customary for Section Heads to receive assignments from the Chief of the Security Police directly. I am not aware of such instances, either.

As it developed, the Head Office for Reich Security was housed in various buildings in Berlin according to the Departments. Mueller's entire group (Department IV), except for Eichmann's Section, was housed in the building of the Secret State Police in the Prinz Albrechtstrasse. Eichmann's Section was in the Kurfuerstenstrasse. I never saw the building in which this Section was housed. My Department was also housed in a four-storey building. This was necessary because of the extent of the archives and the library. I do not know whether Eichmann himself had access to Himmler.

I was present at the meeting of Information Office XII in Krumhuebel. I gave a lecture on the organization of world Jewry. I presented in detail the contents of this lecture when I was in the witness box at Nuremberg. I would refer to this document. According to a piece of evidence produced as a copy, I am said to have called the aim of German policy on Jews "the physical extermination of Jewry." With the same arguments that I advanced then, I challenge the authenticity of this piece of evidence also today. As far as I know, the participants at that meeting were exclusively from the German representations abroad. There were no Specialists on Jewish Affairs. I remember that Ambassador Schleier and Legation Counsellor von Thadden were present. Eichmann was not present, nor was anyone from the Security Police. As far as I can remember, the purpose of the meeting was to counter Jewish propaganda abroad. The so- called Final Solution of the Jewish Question was not discussed at this meeting. I believe that, apart from Schleier and von Thadden, the participants in the meeting did not have information about the current situation of the Final Solution.

In September 1940, I was due to land in England together with the German airborne troops. The task assigned to me was that of an adviser on Military Police and Security Police matters to the Supreme Commander who was to be appointed by the Luftwaffe. Field Marshal Milch had required Heydrich to provide someone suitable. My name was given to him, and I had presented myself to him. There were no instructions for the activities planned for Great Britain.

Read, approved and signed
(-) Alfred F. Six

The witness was sworn.
In witness whereof
(-) Eisenbraun
Assistant Judge
(-) Freese
Court Official

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