The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
7th January to 19th January, 1946

Thirty-Second Day: Friday, January 11th, 1946
(Part 8 of 9)

[Page 215]

Q. After you sent your reports to Berlin did the conditions under which the transports were made remain the same?

A. Nothing happened, as usual. Always long reports were written, but ,conditions did not improve at all.

Q. You indicated that some French generals had been put to death shortly before the liberation of the camp. Do you know the names of these generals?

A. Unfortunately I have forgotten these names. I can remember only and I was told so by the prisoners who were kept in the "Bunkers" with them that they were prominent people from Germany and other countries: Pastor Niemoeller, also the Prussian Prince, Schuschnigg, members of the French Government, and many others. I was told that one of the generals who had been shot was a close relative of General de Gaulle. Unfortunately I have forgotten his name.

Q. If I understood you rightly, these generals were prisoners of war who had been transported to this concentration camp?

A. These two generals never were in the concentration camp. They were kept, along with the other prominent people, in the so-called "Kommandantur-Arrest," i.e., in the "Bunker" separated from the camp. On various occasions when they needed medical attention I came into contact with them, but that was very infrequently. Otherwise they did not come into contact with other prisoners at all.

Q. Did they belong to the category of deported people whose return was undesirable, or were they of the category of "Nacht und Nebel"?

A. I do not know. Two days previously all the others who were kept in the "Bunker" were sent by special transport to the Tyrol. That was, I believe, a week or eight days before the liberation.

Q. You indicated that numerous visitors, German military men, students, political men, had toured the camp repeatedly. Can you say if any common people like workers or farmers knew what was going on in this camp?

A. In my opinion, the people who lived in the neighbourhood of Munich must have known of all these things because the prisoners went every day to various factories in Munich and the neighbourhood, and while at work frequently came into contact with the civilian workers. Moreover, the plantations and the factories of the German armament plants were often entered by people making deliveries and also customers, who must have seen what was done to the prisoners, and what they looked like.

Q. Can you say in what way the French were treated?

A. Well, if I said that the Russians were treated worst of all, the French were the second in order. Of course, there were differences in the treatment of the different people. The "Nacht und Nebel" prisoners were treated quite differently, likewise the prominent political personalities and the intellectuals. That was true of all nations. And the workers and peasants were treated in a different way.

Q. If I understood correctly, the treatment reserved for the French intellectuals was particularly rigorous. Do you remember the treatment inflicted on some French intellectuals, and can you tell us their names?

A. As I can recall I had many comrades among the physicians and university professors who worked with me in the hospital. Unfortunately, a large number of them died of typhus. Most of the French, in fact, died of typhus. I can remember best of all Professor Limousin. He arrived in very poor condition with the transport from Compiegne. I took him into my department as assistant pathologist. Then I also knew the Bishop of Clermont- Ferrand. There were also other physicians and university professors whom I knew. I remember Professor Roche, Dr. Lemartin, and there were many others, but I have forgotten their names.

[Page 216]

Q. In the course of the conversations which you had with Dr. Rascher were you informed of the purpose he pursued by these experiments?

A. I did not understand the question.

Q. Were you informed of the purpose of the medical and biological experiments made by Dr. Rascher in the camp?

A. Well, Dr. Rascher made exclusively so-called Air Force experiments in the camp. He was a major in the Air Force and was assigned to investigate the conditions to which parachutists were subjected and, further, the conditions of those people who had to make an emergency landing on the sea or had fallen into the sea. According to scientific rules, in so far as I can judge, there was no purpose at all. Just as in the case of all these experiments, it was simply useless murder, and it is particularly amazing that learned university professors and physicians were capable of carrying out these experiments according to plan. These experiments were much worse than all the liquidations and executions, because all the victims of these experiments simply had their suffering prolonged, as various medicines, such as vitamins, hormones, tonics and injections, which were not available for common patients, were provided for these patients, so that the experiments might last longer, and give those people more time to observe their victims.

Q. I am speaking now of the experiments of Dr. Rascher only; had he received the order to make these experiments, or did he make them on his own initiative?

A. These experiments were made on Himmler's direct orders; also, Dr. Rascher had close relations with Himmler, and was like a relative of his. Himmler visited Dr. Rascher very often, and Dr. Rascher repeatedly visited Himmler.

Q. Have you any information regarding the qualifications of the physicians who were making these experiments? Were they always S.S. men, or were they members of medical faculties of academies who did not belong to the S.S.?

A. That depended. For example, the malaria station was headed by Professor Klaus Schilling of the Koch Institute in Berlin. The phlegmine station also had several university professors. The surgical station was manned solely by S.S. doctors. In the Air Force station there were exclusively S.S. and military doctors. It was not always the same. Dr. Bleibeck from Vienna conducted the experiments with sea-water.

Q. Were the studies for the Luftwaffe made on the order of Himmler only?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know - this is the last question - how many Frenchmen passed through this camp?

A. I believe at least eight or ten thousand people arrived at the camp. I know, furthermore, very well that, particularly during the last period, several thousand French prisoners marched on foot from the Western camps, especially from Natzweiler, Studthof, etc., and that only very small remnants of these ever reached Dachau.

M. DUBOST: Thank you.


Q. Can you tell us to what branches of the German service those who were employed at the camp belonged?

A. If I understood you correctly, the highest authority on everything going on in the camp was the so-called R.S.H.A. in Berlin. All orders came from Berlin; also in the experimental stations a certain definite number of subjects for the experiments was assigned from Berlin, and if the experimenting doctors needed a larger number, new requests had to be sent to Berlin.

Q. Yes, but what I want to know is, to what branch of the service the men belonged who were employed in the camp.

[Page 217]

A. They were all S.S. men, and most of them from the S.D. During the last days, at the very end, a few members of the Armed Forces were there as guards, but the men in charge were exclusively S.S. men.

Q. Were there any of the Gestapo there?

A. Yes, that was the so-called Political Department, which was directed by the Chief of the Munich Gestapo. It had control of all the interrogations, regulations, proposed executions, transports, and transports of invalids. Also, all the people who were provided for the experiments had to be approved by the Political Department.

THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the defendants' counsel want to cross- examine the witness ?


BY DR. SAUTER (Counsel for defendant Funk):

Q. Witness, you told us that at one time the defendant Funk also was at Dachau, and you informed us, if I understood you correctly, that this happened on the occasion of some celebration or State conference between the Axis Powers. I ask you to exert your memory a bit and tell us when that was approximately. Perhaps you could tell us the year, maybe also the season, and perhaps you could also state which political celebration was in question.

A. As far as Funk is concerned, I can remember that it was, I believe, a conference of finance ministers. It had been reported in the papers that this was to take place at that time, and we were informed ahead of time that some of the ministers would come to Dachau. Such a visit was actually made in the next few days, and Minister Funk was said to have been among the visitors. It was, I believe, during the first half of the year 1944. I cannot say that with absolute certainty.

Q. You mean to say during the first half of 1944, on the occasion of a conference of finance ministers?

A. Yes.

Q. Where did that conference take place?

A. If I remember correctly - I did not write that down, of course - it was either in Salzburg or Reichenhall or Berchtesgaden, somewhere in the neighbourhood of Munich, I believe.

Q. From who did you learn at that time that within the next few days, or the day after, the next high-ranking visitors would arrive?

A. We always received an order to prepare for such a visit. Elaborate preparations were always made; everything was cleaned up, everything had to be in order, as you will understand; and those people whose presence might be undesirable or might even, in a certain sense, be dangerous, had to disappear. Thus, in the case of all such high-ranking visitors, we received an order from the Camp Commandant one or two days ahead of time. And these visitors were also always accompanied by the Camp Commander.

Q. By the Camp Commander. Now, if you know that the defendant Funk was there and people talked about it, then, I think, they would have mentioned also what other persons were present at this visit made by the defendant Funk.

A. I cannot remember. There were always many different prominent people.

Q. Other visitors interest me. I am interested only whether or not at that particular visit, which was said to have been made by Funk, word was passed around the camp that such and such persons were with him?

A. I cannot remember that now.

Q. You cannot remember. Can you remember whether afterwards, perhaps on the next day or the day after, something was said about that, perhaps by people who had seen the visitors?

A. Yes, we always discussed that; but now I can no longer remember who were named on these occasions.

[Page 218]

Q. Witness, I am not interested in any other visit, but in this specific visit, as long as I do not say anything to the contrary. In this case I should like to know whether or not anything was said later on about the persons who were there with Funk.

A. That I do not know: there were so many visits. For instance, after one visit, the very next day there would be another visit announced.

Q. Now, you do also remember the visit that Funk made, do you not?

A. Yes.

Q. Well, if other finance ministers were there, one would think that you would recall them too.

A. No, I cannot remember that. It may be that the people with whom I talked did not know these other persons.

Q. Do you know why - or to put it differently - which departments of the camp the visitor Funk was said to have visited? At any rate he did not come to you?

A. No; he did not come to the Department of Pathology.

Q. He did not. But you were also prepared?

A. Yes. All departments had always to be prepared, even if the visitors did not come. It also happened at times that a visit was announced, and then, for one reason or another, nothing came of it.

Q. Witness, as regards these observations of yours that you have related to us to-day, have you been interrogated in regard to them many times already?

A . I was interrogated on these matters for the first time before the Military Court at Dachau.

Q. Did you also at that time say that Funk had been there? I repeat, did you before the Military Court at Dachau say anything to the effect that Funk had been present?

A. Yes, I said the same thing before the Court at Dachau.

Q. About Funk?

A. Also about Funk.

Q. But is it true, witness? I ask again whether it is really true, because you are here as a witness under oath.

A. Yes.

Q. You were interrogated also the day before yesterday?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you, at that time, also make these statements about Funk?

A. I said the same thing at the interrogation conducted by the prosecution.

Q. Is that also in the affidavit which I believe you signed?

A. I signed no affidavit.

Q. You signed no affidavit?

A. No; I simply signed what has just been read by the prosecution.

Q. Well, that is an affidavit.

A. Yes, but in that affidavit there is no mention of these visits.

Q. Why then did not you mention these visits the day before yesterday?

A. I was asked about it orally, and the prosecutor told me that these matters would be taken up orally in the Courtroom.

Q. Were you then also told where the defendants sit in the Courtroom?

A. No. Before the Military Court I was shown all the pictures and I was asked to identify to the Court the various people. I identified the three whom I said to-day that I had seen in person. Funk and others I did not name.

Q. You did not name Funk?

A. I did not say that I had personally seen him or that I could identify him.

Q. But when the pictures were shown to you did you see these defendants in the pictures?

A. Yes.

[Page 219]

Q. Now, if I understand you correctly, you knew to-day where, for instance, Funk or Frick or anyone else was sitting?

A. Funk I do not know personally, because I never saw him at that time.

Q. Were you not told when the pictures were shown to you at Dachau, "This is Funk; look at him; do you know him"?

A. No; it was done quite differently.

Q. How?

A. All the pictures were shown to me and I was to say whom of these individuals I had seen at the Dachau camp. Of these people I named these three. In regard to the other pictures there was no further discussion whatsoever.

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