The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Testimony of Hermann Krumey (Part 1 of 2)

27 May 1961

To the Competent Court of Justice, Frankfurt am Main Re: Request for Legal Assistance

The main hearing in the criminal proceedings against the Accused Adolf Eichmann is at present taking place in this Court.

In the context of this main hearing, I request you to extend legal assistance to this Court by the examination on oath of the following witness:

Hermann Krumey, Remand Installation, Frankfurt am Main, Hammelsgasse.

The witness is to be examined as to the following allegations of the Accused:

(1) that the Accused was not responsible in 1942 for the deportation of one hundred children from the village of Lidice to Poland, that he neither carried out nor ordered the carrying out of this deportation, and also that he is in no way responsible for the murder of these children in Poland;

(2) that the Accused did not arbitrarily, and by exceeding his official authority, carry out the persecution and extermination of the civilian Hungarian Jewish population in the period from March 1944 to December 1944, when he was the head of a Special Commando in Hungary.

To complete the testimony of the witness, I would request that the witness also be asked the following questions which were drawn up by Counsel for the Accused:

(1) In 1942, were you in Lodz as the representative of the Race and Resettlement Head Office?

(2) During this period, did the Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service in Prague send a transport of eighty-eight children from Lidice to your Department?

(3) Did the Accused carry out this deportation or did he have it carried out?

(4) Did you contact the Head Office for Reich Security as to what should be done with the children?

(5) Did you request instructions from Section IVB3 as well as from Section IVB4?

(6) Which Section finally issued instructions?

(7) Were these children killed or evacuated to the Generalgouvernement?

(8) On whose responsibility was the evacuation carried out?

(9) In 1944, were you, as a member of a Special Commando, under the command of the Accused?

(10) To whom was the Accused subordinate at that time?

(11) Did the Reich Plenipotentiary for Hungary, Veesenmayer, the Higher SS and Police Leader Winkelmann, and the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service, Geschke, influence the activity of the Special Commando?

(12) Who suggested deporting the Jews?

(13) What role did the Special Operations Commando play with regard to these deportations?

(14) Was the Accused able to take independent decisions on deportation matters, or was he subject to orders from the Chief of the Head Office for Reich Security, Kaltenbrunner?

(15) Did the Accused carry out deportations contrary to other orders from his superior?

(16) What was the numerical strength of the Special Commando?

(17) Who carried out the concentration of the Jews, and who guarded and accompanied the transports?

I would also request that the witness be asked the following additional questions, which were drawn up by the Attorney General:

(1) What were your duties in connection with the evacuation and resettlement of Jews, Poles and Gypsies in the Wartheland District?

(2) Why were the Lidice children sent from the Protectorate to your office in Lodz?

(3) Why did you think that these children were to receive special treatment?

(4) Why did you contact Obersturmbannführer Eichmann on these matters?

(5) What instructions did you receive from Eichmann?

(6) What do you know about the fate of these children?

(7) Who proposed the plan of having postcards sent to the Jews still in Hungary by their relatives in Auschwitz, bearing the postmark "Waldsee"?

(8) In 1944, was Eichmann the decisive factor in Jewish affairs in Hungary?

(9) Was Eichmann not opposed to any concession in Jewish affairs?

(10) What was your official link with Eichmann in Hungary?

(11) Who had authority and responsibility for the foot march of the Jews from Budapest to the Austrian border in October-November 1944?

I would request you to summon to the examination of the witness the representative of the Attorney General of the State of Israel, c/o H.E. Ambassador Dr. F.E. Shinnar, Israel Mission, Cologne, as well as Counsel for the Accused, Advocate Dr. R. Servatius, Hohenzollernring 14, Cologne, and to afford them, on their part, the opportunity to ask the witness any questions which might arise from his answers.

There is no objection on the part of this Court to the aforementioned representatives of the parties obtaining copies of the record of the examination.

Please forward the original of the record of the examination to this Court,

(-) Moshe Landau
President of the Trial Court

The Court of First Instance, Frankfurt (Main), 6 June 1961


Judge of First Instance Rieber as Judge

Court Official Schweidler as Authenticating Official at the Court Office

In the criminal proceedings against Adolf Eichmann there appeared:

1. Mr. Erwin S. Shimron as the representative of the Attorney General of the State of Israel;

2. Advocate Dieter Wechtenbruch, Munich, as Counsel for the Accused;

3. Advocate Hans Schalast as counsel for the witness whose name appears below in the criminal proceedings against him. He was authorized to be present at the examination of the witness, so that he would be informed about these proceedings, if consultations with his client should become necessary.

4. The witness whose name appears below.

The witness was instructed about the penalties and consequences for giving sworn evidence which is deliberately or negligently false or incomplete, and also giving deliberately false or incomplete unsworn evidence, as well as about the significance of the oath and the fact that he could refuse to provide information on questions, by answering which he or his relatives could be exposed to the risk of criminal proceedings, and he was admonished to tell the truth.

Personal details:

My name is Hermann Krumey. I am 56 years old, and am a pharmacist. I live in Korbach, Bahnhofstrasse 38, currently in custody at the Frankfurt (Main) Remand Institute, Hammelsgasse, and am not related or connected by marriage to the Acussed.

On the matter in question: I make the following statement subject to the condition that in this case there be guaranteed mutual legal assistance, so that Eichmann can be examined in the criminal proceedings against me by means of legal assistance.

When the Sudetenland was annexed to the Reich, I had already given up my profession as a pharmacist and was already a full-time District Gymnastics Superintendent. After the annexation, I, like the other gymnastics superintendents operating in my area, was appointed to the general SS as an Obersturmbannführer. I accepted a position offered to me as a full-time SS Fuehrer (Fuehrer of a Sturmbann) in Bremen, with the rank of an Obersturmbannführer of the general SS. After I joined the SS, my former gymnastics association was dissolved; it was already being wound up when I was accepted.

In November 1939, while serving in that position, I was called up by a red notice to report to the SS Head Office for Personnel. From there I was seconded to the Higher SS and Police Leader in Posen, effective immediately after my having been called up. The Higher SS and Police Leader at that time was Koppe. Apart from myself, the other office staff were a major in the gendarmerie, Hagelstein, and a captain of police, Watermann. My task was to organize the transport by rail required to carry out the compulsory transfer from the Warthe District of those Poles evicted from their farms by the District Commissioners, because at that time I was mostly only in my office in Posen, where I received the District Commissioners' requirements for rolling stock. I did not visit the various District Commissioners, as we lacked vehicles. The trains for which I received requests I would, in turn, request from the Posen Reich Railways Office, and later possibly from IVB4 in the Head Office for Reich Security, and my duties also included negotiating with offices in the Generalgouvernement about the destinations of the trains in the Generalgouvernement.

When these compulsory transfers caused difficulties and unacceptable situations because, due to inadequate arrangements, the Poles evicted from their farms had insufficient accommodation and no work in the Warthe District, and crime was therefore increasing, a separate organization was set up in order to run this operation properly. The Central Office for Migration was set up for this purpose in Posen, under the Inspector of the Security Police and the Security Service. A branch office of this Central Office was set up in Litzmannstadt. This was preceded by a field office of the Central Office, under Hauptsturmführer Barth. When this field office became an office in its own right, I was appointed to head it. That was in the spring of 1940.

There were several field offices subordinate to my office, as well as a transit camp in Litzmannstadt. The purpose of the office was to handle the processing of the Poles on their way to the Generalgouvernement, after they had been evacuated by offices controlled by the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Folkdom. In the transit camp, those Polish families which had been identified by the Race and Resettlement Head Office as qualifying for Germanization, were sorted out, as well as those Poles whom the Labour Office took away to work in the Reich. The field offices had already previously sought out those who had been evicted from their farms, but were ethnic Germans or Poles who professed to being German. There were guidelines to be followed on this. These persons selected by the field offices, and also during processing in the camp, were excluded from deportation to the Generalgouvernement. In the camp, a statement of property was also drawn up for every Polish family to be resettled; these were then collected by the Main Trustee Office East and - so it was said - were to be the basis for compensating those transferred compulsorily.

In reply to a question from Counsel for the Defence: I do not remember that forms used by the Race and Resettlement Head Office in the Germanization procedure for Poles utilized the term "special treatment" for Germanization.

In reply to a question: I had nothing to do with the allocation of the property of expropriated Jews to ethnic German immigrants, nor do I know anything about this.

As the Head of the Litzmannstadt office, I always sent my train requirements to Department IVB4 in the Head Office for Reich Security, and no longer dealt directly with the Reich Railways. In the matter of transport, the main concern was to ensure that the evacuees were deported in good time, so as to guarantee accommodation for the settlers as they arrived. All this was the concern of my office in Litzmannstadt.

One morning I heard that close to one hundred children - I have now seen from documents shown to me that the number was eighty-eight - had arrived at the Gneisenaustrasse camp from the Protectorate. I still remember going to look at the children. Today I no longer remember who informed me of the children's arrival. When I saw the children, the nurses who were to have accompanied them had already disappeared. The presence of the children was something unusual, and it created difficulties because our camp was set up only as a transit point for families, not for accommodating unattended orphans.

I do not remember the teletype shown to me from the Race and Resettlement Head Office, dated 12 June 1942. I see from the handwritten note at the bottom of the teletype that my deputy, Pueschel, dealt with this teletype.

Untersturmführer Kanzler, whose name is entered by hand at the end of the list of 11 June 1942, is not known to me. He did not belong to my office. I know that makeshift supplies and accommodation were provided for the children, and that we wanted to know what was to be done with them. It is possible that I telephoned Section IVB4 of the Head Office for Reich Security about the children; today I no longer remember whether I spoke to Eichmann or someone else who worked there.

I am familiar, from the proceedings against myself, with the teletypes I have been shown, dated 17 June 1942 to Fischer in Prague, 20 June 1942 to Eichmann, and 22 June 1942 to Ehlich. I am unable to remember how I came to draft and dispatch them, because too much time has elapsed since then. According to the dictating sign, I did dictate them. I do not know whether I dictated the addresses word by word to the shorthand typist. What I normally did was to indicate, when dictating to the shorthand typist, the relevant office by the name of the person in charge. I was not acquainted personally with Fischer; Eichmann and Ehlich I knew.

I would also like to observe that I think it likely that, when the children arrived, I did not yet know about the incident of the razing of Lidice. However, I certainly did hear subsequently about the matter and was definitely concerned as to how the children came to us and what the reason for this was.

It has been pointed out to me that the 20 June 1942 teletype to Eichmann does not mention the term "special treatment," but that in my teletype to Ehlich, dated 22 June 1942, I dictated the following sentence: "I have notified IVB4 of the transfer of these children, on the assumption that they are destined for special treatment." I would like to state on that: I do not remember exactly what was in my mind when I drafted the teletype. It is my opinion that I did not then take the words "special treatment" to mean extermination. I am sure that at that time I was not aware of and familiar with the term "special treatment" in the sense of extermination. The children were a special matter within our camp operation and required a special treatment relative to our conditions. In using the phrase, "on the assumption that they are destined for special treatment," I consider that I indicated that the children required to be given a special treatment, as they could not simply be included in our normal evacuation procedures, but would have, for example, to be accommodated in homes. I would explain the fact that I contacted Eichmann on this assumption by saying that his Section, IVB4, was the office which, as far as I was concerned, was responsible here because of the aspects of transport. IVB4 always decided where our transports were to be sent. That is why I also enquired of them in this instance, since, after all, the children had to be evacuated from our camp, and I wanted to know where they were to go.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.