The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1997/12/10

Q. Is that what it says, "possible"? That is what it says,
isn't it. Read it again.

A. Yes, of course.

Q. Then don't sit there and tell me that the OKW didn't have
anything to do with it.

A. I didn't say that. I said that I myself didn't have
anything to do with it.

Q. Of course you yourself did. What position did you occupy
at that time?

A. I was always Chief of the General Office of the Armed

Q. Yes, don't tell me you didn't have anything to do with

A. Well, as far as this agreement is concerned, it is
possible -- well, maybe Colonel Breier made it. That is
possible, he was competent. Or perhaps the Abwehr, they were
also competent in these matters. However, we all protested.

Q. Don't you know that you are responsible for everything
which they did?

A. Of course, yes.

Q. Well then, why do you keep sitting there telling me that
you didn't have anything to do with that?

A. I don't say that. All that I say that I can remember
today is that this agreement with the Police was made by the
OKW or my department.

Q. Do you remember taking 160 officers down to Dachau at
Hitler's request?

A. Oh yes. You mean German officers?

Q. Yes.

A. Yes.

Q. And that was when?

A. Well, that was in the nature of a course, and it must
have been in the spring of 1939, or just about at that time.

Q. And how did you come to make that trip?

A. That was a course, and I believe that it was a course
which took place in Munich. The regimental commanders of the

                                                 [Page 1610]
the commandants of the large ships of the Navy, and the
commandants of the Air Force were sent there for a course.

Well, I put in a day there because at that time there were
already rumors among the German people that everything was
not all right in the concentration camps, and I made the
suggestion to Keitel to ask Himmler to let us see one of
those camps. He then arranged this trip to Dachau, which he
conducted personally.

Q. Who conducted personally?

A. Himmler.

Q. Was Hitler there?

A. No. And then, after that, in the afternoon, we inspected
a china factory which belonged to the camp. Then later we
saw an SS regiment in Munich performing combat exercises.

Q. How were the 160 officers selected?

A. The different branches of the armed forces selected them
for this detail.

Q. Were they General Staff officers?

A. No; everything was mixed up. They were with the troops,
and as far as I remember the Army sent regimental

Q. And then after the inspection you made a speech, didn't

A. Well, this is very difficult. I really don't know any
more what I said. He spoke as our host, and I believe I then

Q. And did you state that the results of the inspection were
good or bad?

A. It was good, and we all were very much astonished that it
was so good.

Q. And that is not true either, according to all of the
officers who were there that we have been able to locate.

A. Well, I can only remember that we found it in such shape
that all of us were astonished.

Q. Why were you astonished?

A. Because there was a general rumor among the people that
these concentration camps were terrible. That was the reason
why we went there; that is, to look at it ourselves.

Q. Did you see any gas chambers there?

A. No; no.

Q. You found everything was fine; is that right?

A. Well, I remember everything we say was all right anyway.
I remember that we started out by seeing a relief map of the

                                                 [Page 1611]
whole thing, and then we started out to visit the barracks.
Everything was nice and clean, and also the prisoners.

Q. And that is what you said in your speech afterwards?

A. That it was good?

Q. Yes

A. Yes

Q. Is that what you said in the speech?

A. Yes; we were content at that time.

Q. And that is what you said in the speech?

A. It is possible.

Q. Anything is possible. Is that what you want to sear to?
Is that what you said in your speech?

A. I remember that he was our host and we were all together
in the officers' quarters. He greeted us, and then I got up
and answered him. I really can't remember what I said, but I
do know that we found that those rumors that were going
around among the German people were not true.

Q. You understand that you are still under oath?

A. Yes. I remember that I praised very much the exercises of
that SS regiment that we watched. They were actually
shooting with live ammunition.

Q. I am not at all interested in that.

A. Well, of course, it is terribly difficult to say today
what I said in a speech then. I can't do that.

Q. Well, lots of other people can. I don't know why you
shouldn't. What do you want to swear to about what you said?

A. As far as I remember, I thanked him because he had
conducted us around and shown us all those things.

Q. All what things?

A. That we had seen the camp and this manufacturing of china
in Allach.

Q. Never mind the china; I am only interested in the camp.

A. But I am certain that I did not talk about details.

Q. Conditions in the camp? Do you want to swear that you
said that you found those conditions to be good?

A. It is terribly difficult to say now what I said then. The
only thing that I can remember is that we were very
astonished how good everything was and that it was in order.

(Erwin Lahousen entered the Interrogation Room at this
point. [Maj. Gen. Erwin Lahousen, who had served as an
assistant to Admiral Canaris in the Abwehr (Intelligence
Service), was one of several Abwehr officers who opposed the
Nazi designs. At the trial he testified for the prosecution.
See Affidavit A, vol. VIII. p. 587.])

Q. Are you acquainted with this gentleman who has just come

A. Yes; I remember that this must be Lahousen -- Colonel
Lahousen, yes.

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