The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. What were its salient points?

                                             [Page 356]

A. I must explain that briefly. Because of the fact
that the Reich Commissariat was subdivided I had to
meet from time to time with the Reich governors of
other provinces in order to discuss the most important
questions, especially concerning our food economy.
However, I believe it was in 1943, Dr. Ley came to me
in Vienna and brought me an official order from the
Fuehrer according to which it was considered illegal -
that was the way he expressed it - for more than two
Gauleiter to meet for a conference.

At that time I looked surprised at Dr. Ley, and he
said, "Yes, that does not concern you alone. There is
still another Gauleiter who has called a conference of
several of them, and that fact alone is already
considered as virtual mutiny or conspiracy."

Q. Witness, when you were in Vienna, did you get a
further mission which took up much of your time? Please
tell us briefly about that.

A. I had just started to work in Vienna when, in
October 1940, I received an order to appear at the
Reich Chancellery.

Q. Will you please be very brief.

A. And there Hitler personally gave me the mission of
carrying out the evacuation of all German youth from
areas endangered by aerial attack, and at the same time
of carrying out the evacuation of mothers and infants;
and he said that that should begin in Berlin and then
gradually take place in the entire Reich. He said that
education was of secondary importance now; the main
thing was to maintain the morale of the youth and
preserve life. However, I asked at once that I be given
the opportunity of establishing an educational
organization, and I did so.

I do not wish to speak about details, but one of the
demands which I made at once - this is important in
connection with the Indictment - was that there should
be no difficulties placed in the way of young people
participating in church services. That was promised to
me, and it was expressed very clearly in my first
directives for the children's evacuation. The youth
leaders who were active in this field of my
organisational work will confirm this.

Q. This evacuation of children to the country was a
very extensive task, was it not?

A. It was the most difficult, and from a psychological
point of view, the most complicated work which I ever
carried out. I transferred millions of people in this
way; I supplied them with food, with education, with
medical aid, and so on. Of course that work took up my
time fully or to a large extent only during the first
years. After that I had trained my assistants for that
kind of work.

Q. Later, as I have heard from you, you tried from time
to time to report to Hitler about your successes and
about problems requiring decision. How often during all
the years of the war were you admitted in order to
discuss that important field of work with Hitler?

A. Counsel, I am afraid I have to correct you. I never
tried to report to Hitler about my successes, but only
about my problems.

Q. Problems, yes.

A. About that entire programme of evacuation of
children I could only report to him twice, the first
time in 1940, after I had the whole programme under
way, and the second time in 1941, when the evacuation
had reached very large proportions.

And about Vienna I could only report on very rare
occasions, and in 1943 even the possibility of
reporting ceased altogether with the breach of
relations which I will describe later.

Q. Then, during your period in Vienna, you became the
Chairman of the Wurzburg Literary Society.

A. That is an honorary office.

DR. SAUTER: No. 1 of the Schirach Document Book makes
reference to that matter, and I submit it as a piece of
evidence. It is an affidavit by an old anti-

                                             [Page 358]

Fascist, Karl Klingsporn, an honorary member of the
society, who gives valuable information about the
character of the defendant von Schirach.


Q. And in addition, Herr von Schirach, I believe you
were the chairman of the South-east Europe Society, is
that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. In brief, what was the mission of that society?

A. It had the task of improving the trade relations,
the economic relations, with the South-east. Its
functions were essentially in the field of research and

Q. Witness, what was the centre of your Viennese

A. My principle activities in Vienna were social work
and cultural work, as I have already explained before.

Q. Social work and cultural work

A. They were the two activities which dominated my
entire political life.

Q. I come now to the particular accusations which have
been made against you by the prosecution concerning
that period in Vienna. Among other things you have been
accused of participating in the so-called slave labour
programme, and I ask you to state your position
concerning that, and in that connection also to deal
with Directive No. 1 of the Plenipotentiary for
Manpower Mobilization of 6th April, 1942, which was
presented, I believe, as Document 3352-PS. Please go

A. Maybe I would do best to start with that decree by
which Gauleiter were appointed plenipotentiaries for
manpower under the general plenipotentiary.

Q. 6th April, 1942?

A. In the way of documentary material, that decree
contains no more than that the Gauleiter could make
suggestions and present requests to the competent
offices for the employment of manpower. But they were
held responsible - I do not know whether by this decree
or another one - for the supervision of the feeding and
quartering of foreign workers, etc. This feeding and
quartering, etc., of foreign workers was, in my Gau and
I believe also in all other Gaue of the Reich, mainly
in the hands of the German Labour Front.

The Gau Leader of the German Labour Front in Vienna
reported to me very frequently about the conditions
among German workers and foreign workers in the Gau. He
frequently accompanied me on inspection tours of
industries, and from my own observations I can describe
my impressions here of the life of foreign workers in
Vienna as far as I could see it.

I well remember, for instance, my visit to the large
soap factory where I saw barracks in which Russian and
French women were living. They had better quarters
there than many Viennese families which lived six or
eight people to the usual one-room apartments with

I remember another inspection where I saw a billet of
Russian workers. It was clean and neat, and among the
Russian women who were there I noticed that they were
gay, well nourished, and apparently satisfied.

I know about the treatment of Russian domestic workers
from the circle of my acquaintances and from the
acquaintances of many assistants, and here, also, I
have heard, and in part observed myself, that they were
extremely well treated.

Let me say something in general about Vienna as a place
for foreign workers. For centuries foreign workers have
worked in Vienna. To bring foreign workers from the
South-east to Vienna is no problem at all. One likes to
go to Vienna just as one likes to go to Paris. I have
seen very many Frenchmen and French women working in
Vienna, and at times I spoke to them.

I also talked to French foremen in factories. They
lived as tenants somewhere in the city, just like any
other private person. One saw them in the Prater. They
spent their free time just as our own native workers

                                             [Page 358]

During the time I was in Vienna, I built more factory
kitchens than there are in any other Gau in Germany.
The foreign workers took their meals at these kitchens
just as much as the native workers.

About treatment at the hands of the population: I can
only say that the population of a city which has been
accustomed for centuries to work together with foreign
elements, will spontaneously treat any worker well who
comes from other places.

Really bad conditions were never reported to me. From
time to time it was reported that something was not
going well here or there. It was the duty of the Gau
leader of the Labour Front to report that to me. Then
immediately I issued a directive by telephone to the
regional food office or the quota office for the supply
of material, for kitchens or heating installations, or
whatever it was. At any rate, I tried within 24 or 48
hours to take care of all complaints that came to me.

While we are on the subject I would like to give my
impression of the use of manpower in general. I was not
responsible for the importation of labour. I can only
say that what I saw in the way of directives and orders
from the General Plenipotentiary, namely the
co-defendant Sauckel, always followed the line of
humane, decent, just and clean treatment of the workers
who were entrusted to us. Sauckel literally flooded his
offices with such directives.

I considered it my duty to state that in my testimony.

Q. These foreign workers who were in the Gau Vienna and
for whom you do not consider yourself responsible, were
they employed in the armament industry or elsewhere?

A. A large portion was employed in agriculture, some in
the supply industry. Whether there were some directly
in the armament industry I could not say. The armament
industry was not accessible to me in all its
ramifications, even in my functions as Gauleiter,
because there were war production processes which were
kept secret even from the Reich Governors.

Q. Witness, in connection with the subject of Jewish
forced labour, a letter was read, Document 3803-PS. It
is, I believe, a hand-written letter from the defendant
Kaltenbrunner to Blaschke. Blaschke, I believe, was the
second mayor of Vienna.

A. He was the mayor of Vienna.

Q. This is a letter of 30th June, 1944. In that letter
Kaltenbrunner informs Blaschke that he, Kaltenbrunner,
had directed that several evacuation transports should
be sent to Vienna-Strasshof.

"There are four transports," it says in the letter,
"with about 12,000 Jews, which will arrive in the next
few days."

So much about the letter. Its further content is only
of importance because of what it says in the end - and
I quote:

  "You will arrange further details with the State
  Police Office, Vienna, SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr.
  Hebner, and SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Kumei, of the
  Special Duty Command Hungary, who is at present in

Did you have anything to do with that matter, and if
so, what?

A. I do not know of the correspondence between the
co-defendant Kaltenbrunner and the mayor of Vienna. To
my knowledge Camp Strasshof is not within Gau Vienna at
all. It is in a different Gau. The designation "Vienna,
Strasshof," is, therefore, an error. The borderline
runs between.

Q. And were you informed of the matter itself at that
time, or now and here, in the courtroom for the first

A. I have heard of that matter only in this courtroom,
but I remember that mention was made about the use of
Jewish workers in connection with the building of the
South-east wall or fortifications. The South-east wall,
however, was not in the area of Reich Gau Vienna. It
was a project in the area of Gau Lower Danube, Lower
Austria, or Styria. I had nothing to do with the
construction of that defence installation; that was in
the hands of Dr. Jury, that is, the O.T.

                                             [Page 359]

Q. O.T. is the Organization Todt?

A. The Organization Todt. And in the other part of the
border it was in the hands of Dr. Ueberreiter the
Gauleiter of Styria, and his technical assistants.

O. So I can sum up your statement to mean that you had
nothing to do with these things because they were
matters which had nothing to do with the area of your

A. Yes. I cannot understand what connection should
arise therefrom for Gau Vienna. Whether the Mayor
intended to divert some of these workers for special
tasks in Vienna is not known to me. I do not know about
that matter.

In the same connection, witness, another document has
been submitted, 1948-PS, a file note of 7th November,
1940. That was a date on which you had already been
Gauleiter in Vienna for several months and it, too,
concerns forced labour of the Jews who were capable of
work. That file note was written on stationery with the
heading, "The Reich Governor of Vienna," and apparently
the note in question was written by a Dr. Fischer. Who
is Dr. Fischer? What did you, as Reich Governor, have
to do with that matter? What do you know about it?

A. First of all, Dr. Fischer is not known to me
personally. I do not want to dispute the possibility
that he may have been introduced to me once and that I
do not remember him; but I do not know who Dr. Fischer
is. At any rate, he was not an expert working in my
central office. I assume that he may have been an
official, because his name appears in connection with
another document also. He was probably the personal
consultant of the provincial President
(Regierungsprasident). The note shows that this
official used my stationery, and he was entitled to do
that. I believe several thousand people in Vienna were
entitled to use that stationery, according to the usage
of German offices.

He marked down a telephone conversation with the
Gestapo from which it can be seen that the Reich
Security Main Office - that is, Heydrich - was the
office which decided about the use of Jewish manpower
by internal directives to the Gestapo.

The provincial President (Regierungsprasident) wanted
to know more about that, but, in my opinion, one cannot
draw the conclusion from this that I was informed about
cruelties committed by the Gestapo as the prosecution
has concluded. It is doubtful whether I was in Vienna
at all at that time. I want to remind you of my other
tasks, which I have described before.

However, if I was there, I certainly did not concern
myself with the work of cleaning up the streets. But I
should like to say, on principle, that the variety of
my tasks caused me to establish an organisational
structure which did not exist in other Gaue, namely,
the Central Office of the Reich Leader.

Q. Perhaps you will tell us, before concluding for
today, approximately how many officials in Vienna were
subordinated to you.

A. I think it may have been about 5,000 officials and

DR. SAUTER: Shall I continue, Mr. President. It is 5

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 24th May, 1946, at 1000 hours.)

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