The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/06/01

Q. Those of 10th March.

A. May I have permission to go into detail in this connection?
The expression "revolutionary steps" is too far reaching. The
measures which were introduced were mainly these: After
Chancellor Schuschnigg's speech at Innsbruck, Major Klausner was
convinced that thereby every basis for a political understanding
had been destroyed and that this speech would be like a spark in
a powder barrel.

Whereas previously we had had consultations as to under what
circumstances the vote might be "yes," the plebiscite had now, in
view of the attitude of the broad masses, become impossible.

A clear-cut indication of attitude by the National Socialist
leaders had to be brought about. During the night, the new
Gauleiter were still being given their first information,
according to which the Party was not agreeable to the proposed
plebiscite, and that therefore the slogan would be, for the time
being, 'refrain from voting.' The strictest discipline was
demanded, because we feared that feelings would soon run very
high. On 10th March, the long prepared propaganda of Zernatto
began, and clashes occurred. We also had reports to the effect
that large groups of the Protective Legion, forbidden in February
1934, were being armed. Strictest alert was ordered for the
formations therefore, and the formations received orders to
provide protection for the Nationals.

Essentially, these were the steps ordered on the 10th; I think I
informed Dr. Seyss-Inquart, generally in the afternoon, regarding
the atmosphere in the provinces. I probably did not inform him
about individual organisational measures.

                                                       [Page 185]

Q. Did he promote that atmosphere?

A. No.

Q. Did he demand demonstrations, or did he prevent them?

A. He neither prevented them, nor did he urge them. Prevention at
that stage was no longer possible.

Q. Then what happened in the morning of the 11th?

A. On the 11th of March in the forenoon, I was working at the
office of State Councillor Jury, at No. 1, Seitzergasse. I no
longer know at exactly what task. We met Dr. Seyss-Inquart,
Glaise Horstenau and several others about noon in the office of
Dr. Fischbock, and Dr. Seyss-Inquart told us of the outcome of
the conferences with Dr. Schuschnigg.

The result of our consultation was the letter which the ministers
and State councillors wrote to Dr. Schuschnigg, stating that two
o'clock in the afternoon was the time limit, demanding the
cancellation of this unconstitutional plebiscite and the
arranging for a new plebiscite to be held a few weeks later, in
accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, and
expressing our determination to resign if he did not comply with
our requests.

Q. Then what happened? Schuschnigg postponed the plebiscite. How
did you hear about that.

A. Yes. Schuschnigg postponed the plebiscite, but he refused to
give a date for a new plebiscite and gave orders to Dr.
Seyss-Inquart, the Security Minister, to adopt severe measures.
That solution was reported to the Chancellery in Berlin by
telephone in the afternoon, and it caused the statement from the
Reich that this solution, as being only a half-solution, was not
acceptable. As far as I know, that started the intervention by
the German Reich.

Q. But was not intervention already brought about through the
fact that Glaise Horstenau, as has been stated, or a courier,
took a letter from Adolf Hitler to Vienna?

A. It was my view that certain documents which Globocnik showed
me at midday, and which had been addressed to the county
management offices, had been brought along by Glaise Horstenau
who came back from Berlin that morning. As I heard later, that
was allegedly done by a courier. In my opinion this was not an
intervention on the part of the Reich.

Q. Was there collaboration between the Party and the Reich on one
hand, and Seyss-Inquart on the other?

A. If you mean "conspiracy" by "collaboration," then I must say
definitely no. But the collaboration which was agreed upon at
Berchtesgaden was carried out.

Q. Did Klausner give the order that the Party was free to act and
that it was to seize power?

A. Through a specific order from Adolf Hitler, the Party was
bound not to undertake any revolutionary steps. That order had
been retransmitted by Keppler during the early days of March, and
Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop had called Keppler, who was
already in the 'plane, back in order to impress upon him -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Steinbauer, surely, the question was what
Klausner did, and the witness is now telling us what a lot of
other people did.



Q. I asked you, when did Klausner give the order to the Gauleiter
to seize power?

A. That order was given by Klausner in the evening of 11th March.

Q. Did Seyss-Inquart approve?

A. Seyss-Inquart was not informed of that until some time later.

Q. Now I must put to you the fact that Gauleiter Eigruber, from
Upper Austria, has stated in an affidavit that he received a
telegram in which he was addressed as Landeshauptmann. Do you
know anything about that?

                                                       [Page 186]

A. I know nothing whatever about telegrams, or a telegram. I know
Klausner's order was telephoned from No. 1, Seitzergasse. That
evening Globocnik was also putting through calls from the
Chancellery. I assume that Eigruber is referring to one of .these
telephone calls.

A. Is it known to you that Globocnik, who was Gauleiter of Vienna
before this illegal period, told you that he misused the name of
Seyss-Inquart for the seizure of power?

A. Globocnik told me that several inquiries had been directed to
the Chancellor's office which were passed on to him over the
telephone, and that he did not always state his name in that
connection. One special case relating to Salzburg is known to me
very well.

Q. In this Rainer letter you also made a statement which mentions
some assistance rendered on 25th July, 1934. The prosecution
considers that this has some connection with the murder of
Chancellor Dollfuss.

A. That remark goes back to a conversation during which
Seyss-Inquart told me that, after 25th July, he had been afraid
for a few days that his name might be connected with those
events. But after a few days it turned out that there was no such
connection. Subsequently he tried to exert his personal influence
towards reconciliation, and he took over the defence of some
cases. That is what I meant.

Q. So that is your explanation for the expression "rendering

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know that pressure was brought to bear on the
President, Dr. Miklas, by the Austrian National Socialists, to
make him appoint Seyss-Inquart?

A. The negotiations, which occupied the entire late part of the
afternoon and evening, were under a certain amount of pressure;
for practically in the whole of Austria the change had already
been carried out. The overthrow of Schuschnigg's cabinet loosened
a tremendous avalanche. During the negotiations, that fact made
itself felt.

Q. In other words, you mean that. the pressure was visible but of
a psychological nature and not physical force directed against
the person of the President?

A. There can be no question of that.

Q. But, then how do you explain that at that time forty SS men
marched into the Chancellery building and occupied it?

A. An occupation by the SS is hardly the right expression. When,
towards 8 o'clock in the evening, Miklas had again refused to
nominate a National Socialist as Chancellor, Keppler stated that
at 8 o'clock they would march in, as he feared for the safety of
the negotiators. In fact, as one said, affairs in Austria were in
confusion and the situation appeared very dangerous. The
Chancellery building was occupied by the police and was put in a
state of defence. I informed National Headquarters of this
situation and I asked them to take precautionary measures, so
that wilful acts would not cause unforeseen mischief. As a result
of the measures which were then taken, about 10 o'clock in the
evening an SS leader reported in civilian clothes stating that he
and his men had been assigned to protect the negotiators.
Seyss-Inquart considered that step excessive, but I asked him to
take the measure into consideration; and he then allowed these
men to pass through the police and guards and they were admitted
to the courtyard of the Chancellery building. There was never any
pressure nor were there acts of force; it was merely a
precautionary measure.

DR. STEINBAUER: I have no further questions.

BY DR. SERVATIUS (Counsel for the defendant Sauckel):

Q. Witness, you were Gauleiter of Carinthia. Did you also have
administrative powers during the war in the neighbouring area of
Italian sovereignty?

A. Yes. In September 1943, I was appointed Supreme Commissioner
in the operational zone "Adriatic Coastland," with my seat in
Trieste, and I had six provinces under my authority.

                                                       [Page 187]

Q. Did you recruit foreign workers there for employment in

A. Yes.

Q. In what manner was this done?

A. It was done without any need for coercion, since for many
decades these workers were accustomed to going north to work.

Q. These workers were put to work in your Gau, were they?

A. The majority were put to work in my Gau, but also in other
parts of the Alpine regions.

Q. What were the living conditions of these people in your Gau?

A. Their living conditions were the general and normal ones.

Q. Where were they accommodated? In camps? Did you see any such

A. Some were housed by their employers, but greater numbers of
them lived in camps which were looked after by the Italian
Consulate and the German Labour Front.

Q. Did the Labour Front supervise matters in practice?

A. Yes, it was bound by an agreement to that effect of which I
was informed, and it went to great pains to carry out that task.

Q. Did you yourself inspect any camps?

A. Yes. I inspected camps repeatedly and I found conditions to be
good and orderly. In the case of certain industries, for
instance, the water works, I found that conditions were
exceptionally good.

Q. Can you give us the names of these camps?

A. A particularly good impression was made on me by one camp
attached to some waterwarks at Muend on the Drau river, the same
applies to Schwabeck.

Q. How did these foreign workers behave at the end of the war?
Was there unrest?

A. No. Because of the considerable number of foreign workers in
my small Gau, I was worried about the food supply. Relations with
the population were good because the Carinthian is a good natured
and agreeable type of person. I myself have experienced that
French workers, who had been assembled by the British in camps to
await transportation, went back to their farmers, preferring to
wait there rather than in the camp.

Q. Was the National Socialist Party strongly represented in

A. Yes. There were so many National Socialists in Carinthia that
Schuschnigg said on one occasion: "One ought to put barbed wire
around that county and the concentration camp would be complete."

Q. But their relations with the foreign workers were good?

A. Yes, naturally.

DR. SERVATIUS: I have no further questions.



Q. Witness, when did you come to the conclusion that this
defendant, Seyss-Inquart, was not a member of the Party as you
stated in your letter? When did you change your mind about that?

A. I did not learn until fairly late after the Anschluss that he
was not a member of the Party. I cannot tell you the exact year.

Q. But it was not long after you wrote this report, was it, that
you found out that what you had said in here was not exactly
correct? You had misunderstood?

A. In that report I made various attempts to describe matters in
a manner favourable to Seyss-Inquart, because I was reluctant to
help the Prosecution against him.

Q. Now that is not what I asked you. I asked you if it was a fact
that you found out soon after you wrote this letter that you were
in error in stating that Seyss-Inquart had been a member of the
Party. Now you can answer that very directly, I think, without
any long statement.

                                                       [Page 188]

A. I do not believe that I noticed it shortly afterwards.

Q. Well, when was it? That is all we want to know. If at any time
you actually did receive such information, when did you receive

A. That I can no longer say and it did not appear important to me
at the time.

Q. All right! Now when did you change your mind or find that you
were in error in saying that Seyss-Inquart knew about and
participated in the staged demonstrations or the arrangements for
the demonstrations which were to take place in Vienna? When did
you find that that was misinformation or a mistake?

A. I am not aware that Dr. Seyss-Inquart participated in
demonstrations in Vienna.

Q. Now that is not what I said. If you misunderstood me, I am
sorry. Now turn around and maybe if you will look at me it will
help a little. You told the Tribunal, in answer to a question
from Dr. Steinbauer, that Seyss-Inquart did not provoke the
demonstrations and he could not prevent them at that stage. But
what Dr. Steinbauer asked you was if what you said in your letter
about his participation in the plans was true. You know what you
say in your letter or your report do you not? Do you remember
what you said in this report about Seyss-Inquart and his

A. The details of my report are no longer in my memory.

Q. Would you like to look at it?

A. Yes, please.

Q. While you are waiting for it I can clear some other things up
here. Now as a matter of fact, you gave us an affidavit in
November, swearing that this was true, did you not?

A. I specifically stated in this connection that I was partly
relying on information received from authoritative individuals
and that afterwards I had further information showing me that not
everything had been correctly represented. I also stated
specifically, and had it included in the record, that I had made
these statements with a certain bias. A supplement to my
affidavit was also made.

Q. Just a minute. On 15th November, 1945, right here in
Nuremberg, under oath, you executed this affidavit, in which you
said that you confirmed the facts of this report and that they
were all true to the best of your knowledge and belief. Now what
information have you received since 15th November and from whom,
that warrants you in making statements contrary to this report
today before the Tribunal?

A. I wish to state in this connection that the point of view
which I adopted on 15th November is maintained by me today.

Q. Well, is this report true or not in its entirety, as you told
us it was on the 15th day November?

A. The report must not be taken literally. Partly it is based on
statements made by reliable people, and I made it to the best of
my knowledge and belief, according to the situation existing, I
believe, in July 1939, with a certain bias.

Q. Well, you told us it was true in November, did you not?

A. I did not say that. I said specifically -

Q. I will show you your affidavit. Your affidavit is attached to
that document that you have, and that is your signature, is it
not, and you have sworn to the truth of it?

A. I made a specific statement in connection with it, and as a
precaution I made a short note about it afterwards. The
formulation of the reservations was discussed at length.

Q. Now please answer my question. Is that the affidavit that you
executed under oath on 15th November here in Nuremberg? Yes, or

A. Yes.

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