The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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THE PRESIDENT: I am sorry. I am not hearing.

THE WITNESS: - that I got definite information that in
Warthegau -

THE PRESIDENT: Would you repeat that? The last thing I have
got is, he said he put questions to all sorts of persons
that he could find.

MR. DODD: All right! Thank you, Mr. President.


Q. Had you found out, then, from many persons about
exterminations in the East?

A. I could not obtain any really definite information.

Q. All right.

A. Most people had no information. I only received positive
- that is, detailed - information by way of the Warthegau.

Q. Now, as a matter of fact, you got regular reports about
the extermination of the Jews, did you not?

A. These -

Q. (Interposing) Written reports, I mean.

A. These reports, two of which have been submitted in this
court, were sent to the Reich Defence Commissar for the
attention of the expert in question. This expert passed the
copies on to the inspector - I believe - or the commander of
the regular police.

I have looked at the copy which was submitted here in
Kaltenbrunner's case but I had never seen it before.

Q. You mean you did not know that it was arriving in your

A. I have never seen this text before.

Q. All right.

A. My office was the Central Office; it was not the office
of the Reich Defence Commissar. The affairs of the Reich
Defence Commissar were officially in charge of the
Administrative District President, whose personal adviser
took care of routine matters. My mail was delivered at the
central office.

Q. You were the Reich Defence Commissar for that district,
were you not?

A. Yes.

Q. This was an SS report of a highly confidential nature,
was it not? They were not just peddling this all over

A. I do not know how many copies of this were sent out, I
cannot say.

Q. And you got the sixty-seventh copy?

A. And these copies, as I gathered from the original, which
I saw, were not sent to me, but to the competent adviser, a
Herr Fischer.

Q. And who was Herr Fischer?

A. I have already told you this morning that I have no idea
who this Herr Fischer was. I assume that he was the expert
attached to the Administrative District President, the
expert on defence matters.

Q. Now, I am going to show you some documents from your own

MR. DODD: We do not have a full translation, Mr. President,
because some of this we located too late.


Q. But I think you will readily recognize this original is
from your files. And in there you will find - and I will
direct your attention to the page - something that I think
will recall to your mind who Dr. Fischer is.
                                                  [Page 405]

Now on page, I think it is Page 29, you will find the names
of persons submitted to serve on the Reich Defence
Committee; and you will find the name of Fischer, together
with General Stulpnagel, Major-General Gauzia, Dr. Forster -
do you find that? This was your own Reich Defence Council
which you attended from time to time, and members of which
you met frequently. And I will show you documents on that,
if you care to deny it.

A. Just a moment, please. Will you please repeat the page to

Q. Page 29; it is a memorandum dated the 28th of September,

A. I have it now.

Q. Do you find the name of Dr. Fischer? You have found Dr.
Fischer's name as one of those suggested on your defence
council? His is the last name, by the way, and his
signature. He is the one that suggested the others to you.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, will you go a little bit more

MR. DODD: Yes.

A. His name is the twentieth name on the list:
"Regierungsrat Dr. Fischer Expert for Reich Defence Matters"
- in other words, expert attached to the Administrative
District President. I have probably seen him at some meeting
or other. I take it that he kept the minutes. However, I
must admit that I have no personal recollection of this
gentleman. I cannot attach any person to that name; but it
is clear to me now that lie was the gentleman who took
charge of incoming mail for the Reich Defence Commissar and
probably kept the minutes as well.


Q. All right.

A. In view of his junior status - he is only a Regierungsrat
- he probably did not perform any other functions.

Q. On Page 31 of that same file you will find another
reference to him, and your initials are on the paper this
time. It is the membership list of the Reich Defence
Committee. There are twenty persons on there, and the last
name is Fischer's. And at the bottom of the page are your
initials, apparently approving the list. Do you see that?

A. Yes; I had to initial this list.

Q. And you approved the membership, did you not?

A. I cannot swear that I would not recognize Dr. Fischer
again if I were confronted with him. He seems to have been
the official who kept the minutes. However, among the large
circle of people who attended meetings of this kind, I
apparently did not notice him particularly. Only very few
Reich defence meetings of this sort actually took place.
What seems to me the decisive point is that he did not
report to me personally but to the Administrative District

O. How could you fail to meet him? You met regularly in 1940
with this Reich Defence Committee. We have some documents
here, and I will be glad to show them to you, showing
exactly what you said before that Committee.

A. Yes, as I said, he probably kept the minutes of the

Q. Well, surely, then, you saw him certainly on some
occasions, between 1940, the date of these files, and 1942,
the date of the SS reports on the exterminations. He
apparently was with you for two years before the first
report that we have, which is dated 1942, and he was one of
twenty on your Council.

A. I think I should describe the exact composition of this
Reich Defence Committee. There were the leading commanding
Generals of the Army and the Luftwaffe; there were various
Gauleiter; there were the people mentioned here; there was
Dr. Putt, the representative of the Economic Management
Staff and all the others who are listed here. In this large
circle of people whom I had to welcome, there was an
official who kept the minutes and who was one of many
officials in my office. These meetings, as you have probably
ascertained, took place very infrequently. Dr. Fischer did
not report to me currently, nor did he.

                                                  [Page 406]

submit to me the minutes of these sessions; the
Administrative District President reported to me.

Q. Do you think that Heinrich Himmler or Reinhart Heydrich
were sending these reports about the exterminations in the
East to unimportant people all over Germany?

A. If these reports had been meant for me, they would have
been sent to me directly. Moreover, I said today that I do
not dispute having been informed of the shooting of Jews in
the East, but at a later period. I mentioned that in
connection with the war. However, the reports themselves
were not in my hands. If these reports had been before me,
they would have had a certain notation, which I would
recognize immediately.

Q. Well, let us see. Of course they are addressed to you,
for the attention of Fischer.

But I am going to move on a little bit. Now I am going to
tell you that you got weekly reports. You have not seen
these. What do you say to that?

A. Weekly reports?

Q. Yes.

A. I received innumerable weekly reports from every possible

Q. No, I am talking about one kind of report. I am talking
about the reports from Heydrich and Himmler.

A. I do not know what you mean.

Q. Well, you had better take a look. We have fifty-five of
them, for fifty-five weeks. They are all here, and they run
consecutively, and Dr. Fischer is not involved in these. And
each one bears the stamp of your office as having received
it, and the date that it was received.

They tell, by the way - and you can look at them - what was
happening to the Jews in the East.

A. All these - probably - I cannot look at them all just
now. These reports went from the Chief of the Security
Police to the Office of the Reich Defence Commissar. They
were not, as I can tell from the first document, initialled
by myself, but bear the initials of the Administrative
District President. I did not receive these reports;
otherwise my initial would have to be there.

Q. Dr. Dellbruegge was the man who received them, according
to the note, and he was your chief assistant. Incidentally,
I think we ought to make this clear to the Tribunal, both of
your chief assistants were SS Brigadefuehrers, were they

A. I should in any case have stated that Dr. Dellbruegge was
one of Himmler's confidants; but I believe -

Q. And he was your chief assistant, that is the point I am
making. And so was your other chief assistant, also an SS

A. I believe that this statement proves the opposite of what
you want to prove against me.

Q. Well, I am going to go on with these weekly reports in a
minute, but there is one thing I do want to ask you.

Were you pretty friendly with Heydrich?

A. I knew Heydrich, and while he was Reich Protector in
Prague he extended an invitation to me as President of the
South-eastern Europe Society to hold a meeting there which I
accepted. However, I did not have close personal contact
with Heydrich.

Q. Did you think he was a good public servant at the time
that he was terrorising Czechoslovakia?

A. I had the impression that Heydrich, as he said himself
during my stay in Prague, wanted to carry out a policy of
conciliation, especially in regard to Czech workers. I did
not see in him an exponent of a policy of terror. Of course,
I have no practical knowledge of the incidents which took
place in Czechoslovakia. I made only this one visit, or
possibly, one further visit.

                                                  [Page 407]

O. You sent a telegram to "Dear Martin Bormann," when
Heydrich was assassinated; do you remember that - the man
who was, I understand, not in your good books in 1942? Do
you remember when Heydrich was assassinated by some Czech
patriots in Prague?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you remember what you did when you heard about it?

A. No, I do rot remember exactly.

Q. Perhaps if I read you this telegram you will remember it:

  "To Reichsleiter Bormann, Berlin, Party Chancellery;
  Express. Urgent. Immediate attention.
  Dear Martin Bormann:
  I request that the following be submitted to the Fuehrer:
  Knowing the Czech population and its attitude in Vienna
  as well as in the Protectorate, I would draw your
  attention to the following
  The enemy powers and the British cliques around Benesch
  have for a long time felt bitter about the co-operation
  generally found among the Czech workers and their
  contribution to the German war economy. They are seeking
  for a means to play off the Czech population and the
  Reich against each other. The attack on Heydrich was
  undoubtedly planned in London. The British arms of the
  assailant suggest parachuted agents. London hopes by
  means of this murder to induce the Reich to take extreme
  measures with the aim of bringing about a resistance
  movement among Czech workers. In order to prevent the
  world from thinking that the population of the
  Protectorate is in opposition to Hitler, these acts must
  immediately be branded as of British authorship. A sudden
  and violent air attack on a British cultural town would
  be most effective and the world would have learned of
  this through the headline 'Revenge for Heydrich.' That
  alone should induce Churchill to desist immediately from
  the procedure begun in Prague of stirring up revolt. The
  Reich replies to the attack at Prague by a counter-attack
  on world public opinion.
  It is suggested that the following information be given
  the Press tomorrow regarding the attempt on Heydrich's

And then you go on to say that it was the work of British
agents and that it originated in Britain. You sign it, "Heil
Hitler, Dein Schirach."

Do you remember sending that telegram to Bormann?

A. I have just been listening to the English translation. I
should like to see the German original, please.

Q. Very well.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, you read, I thought, a British
"coastal" town, did you not?

MR. DODD: No, "cultural," I meant to say, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, that is what I have got.

MR . DODD: Yes, it is "cultural."


Q. Incidentally, I call your attention, witness, to the word
"cultural." You have expressed such a great interest in

THE PRESIDENT: Would it be all right to break off now, or do
you want to go on?

MR. DODD: I had hoped I could finish. I will not be many
minutes, but I do have one or two rather important documents
that I would like to put to the witness.

                                                  [Page 408]

Mr. President, if we recess, may I ask that the witness be
not allowed to talk to his counsel overnight? I think it is
only right, when a witness is under cross-examination, that
he should not have conversations with his counsel.

THE WITNESS: I should like to say to this document -

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, I should like to have this
question clarified as to whether as defence counsel I am
entitled to talk with my client or not. Mr. Dodd forbade me
to talk to my client some time ago; and, of course, I
acquiesced. But, if I am told that I must not speak to my
client until the end of the cross-examination, and the
cross-examination is to be continued on Monday, that means
that I cannot speak with my client tomorrow or the day
after. But, in order to carry on his defence, I must have an
opportunity of discussing with my client all the points
raised here today.

MR. DODD: Mr. President, I will withdraw my request. I
really forgot we were going over until Monday. I do think it
is the ordinary rule, but I do think it might present some
difficulty for the counsel here.

I want to be fair with the Tribunal. During the recess Dr.
Sauter approached the witness-stand and I did tell him then
that I did not think he should talk to his client during the
recess while he was under cross-examination.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it is the British rule, but I think in
the circumstances we had better let Dr. Sauter -

MR. DODD: I quite agree. I forgot we were not continuing
tomorrow and I do not want to interfere with his
consultation over the week-end.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 27th May, 1946, at 1000 hours.)

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