The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
4th April to 15th April, 1946

One Hundred and Sixth Day: Friday, 12th April, 1946
(Part 10 of 12)

[COLONEL AMEN continues his cross examination of Ernst Kaltenbrunner]

[Page 314]

Q. Well, will you indicate them in some way, so that the Tribunal can look at the signatures which you admit are your own, and compare them with the signature on this Document 3803-PS, Exhibit USA 802?

A. The signatures on these papers which are written in pencil are mine; they are my own.

Q. All of them?

A. All three.

Q. All right.

A. But not the one in ink.

Q. Very good.

(The documents were submitted to the Tribunal.)

COLONEL AMEN: Shall I continue, your Lordship?

THE PRESIDENT: One moment, please.

Go on, Colonel Amen.


Q. Defendant, you have heard the evidence with respect to the establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto and the clearing of the Ghetto.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you passing from this document?

COLONEL AMEN: Yes, your Honour.

THE PRESIDENT: We had better adjourn for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

DR. THOMA: Mr. President, I have to begin submitting my evidence in the next few days and I do not know yet whether my Document Book 1 is admissible. Will you please also tell me on what day and at what time this can be discussed?

(A short pause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, the Tribunal thinks that, subject to anything you have to say, half-past twelve tomorrow - that is Saturday morning - would be a good time at which we could decide the admissibility of your documents.

DR. THOMA: Thank you very much indeed.

COLONEL AMEN: If the Tribunal please, I want to revert for a moment to Document 3803-PS with the signature.


Q. Defendant, have you the original of that exhibit before you?

[Page 315]

A. Yes.

Q. Will you look at the signature and tell me whether you do not find written by hand, just above the signature, the letters "D-E-I-N"?

Q. Yes.

Q. And as I understand it, that word means "yours"; in other words, it is an intimate expression used only between close personal friends, is that not correct?

A. In German there are only two forms of concluding a letter - either "Ihr "I-H-R," or "Dein," D-E-I-N." We use the latter - " Dein" - if we are on close terms, friendly terms. Blaschke, the Mayor of Vienna, is a friend of mine.

Q. Now, would it not be an absolutely ridiculous and unthinkable thing that a stamp or facsimile would be made up which contained not only a signature but the expression "Dein" above the signature?

A. That would be nonsensical; I wholly agree with that, but I did not say that it must be a facsimile signature. I just said that it is not my signature.

It is either a facsimile or it has been put underneath with another signature. The author of this letter - you did not allow me to finish before - as seen from the code in the upper left-hand comer is to be found in Sections IVa and b. Every-one in the department, and the entire German Reich, knew that the Mayor of Vienna, Blaschke, and myself had been close personal friends since our mutual political activity in Vienna, that is for about ten years, and had used the familiar form of address, "Du." Therefore, if I had been absent from Berlin, and the letter was urgent - as I assume to be the case from the contents - the official might have considered it justifiable to write in this form. I did not authorise him and, of course, he had no right to do so, but that is the only way I can explain it.

Q. Then, defendant, at least you agree that it is not a facsimile signature - is that correct?

A. It would be most unusual to have a stamp with the word, "Dein." It would be entirely out of the question. Therefore, the official himself must have written the signature. Everybody knew that I was on familiar terms with Blaschke and therefore the word "Dein" had to appear if he used my signature at all.

Please look at the figure 30 also. From many samples of my writing you can see that I do not write like that at all.

Q. Defendant, is it not equally ridiculous to think that a person, or an official - as you term him - in signing such a letter on your behalf would try to imitate your signature?

A. Quite right, but, sir, it would be a matter of course, when writing to the Mayor of Vienna, a man with whom the official perhaps knew I was on familiar terms, to put my name typewritten under a personal letter. But after all that would really be impossible. If I was not in Berlin he had only two possibilities open to him: either to type it in or to make it seem as though I, Kaltenbrunner, were actually there.

Q. Is it not a fact that you are simply lying about your signature on this letter, in the same way that you are lying to this Tribunal about almost everything else you have given testimony about? Isn't that a fact?

A. For a whole year I have had to submit to this insult of being called a liar. For a whole year I have been interrogated hundreds of times both here and in London, and I have been insulted in this way and even worse. My mother, who died in 1943, was called a whore, and other similar things were hurled at me. This term - liar - is not new to me, but I should like to state that in a matter of this kind I certainly would not tell an untruth, seeing that I claim to be believed by this Tribunal on far more important matters.

Q. I am suggesting, defendant, that when your testimony is so directly contrary to that of twenty or thirty other witnesses and far more documents, it is an almost incredible thing that you should be telling the truth, and that every witness and every document should be false. Don't you agree to that?

A. No. I cannot admit that. So far I have had the feeling each time a docu-

[Page 316]

ment has been submitted to me today, that it could, at first glance, be immediately refuted by me in its most vital points. I ask, and I hope that the Tribunal will allow me to refer to single points and to come into closer contact with individual witnesses, so that I may defend myself. Throughout the preliminary interrogations your colleague always adopted the attitude that I was making denials and being hostile on insignificant points. This is a form of expeditious trial proceedings with which I am not familiar. Had he questioned me about really important things in order to get at the truth, I believe we would have been able to obtain really important results. I am perhaps the only defendant who, on receiving the Indictment and being asked "Are you ready to make any further statements to the prosecution," said, "Immediately, and to sign them too. Please produce them. From today after receiving the Indictment, I am at the disposal of the prosecution for any information." Is it not so? Please confirm it. That gentleman (he points to an interpreter) interrogated me. I have always been ready, that is, during the last five months, to give information on any question, but I have not been asked.

THE PRESIDENT: You must try to restrain yourself. And when you see the light, speak slower. You know about the light, don't you?


Q. Is it not a fact, defendant, that on the occasion of your last interrogation, you stated that you did not wish to be questioned any more, because the questions seemed to be designed to help the prosecution rather than to help your case, and that you were told that in that event you were not being questioned any more; that you were also informed that there were other documents and other material with which you had not been confronted and that if you desired, at any time, to come back and be questioned with respect to those matters, you should tell your lawyers so and send a note, and that the interrogator would be very happy to continue questioning you? Is that not a fact, yes or no?

A. No, Sir, that was not the case. I made that statement repeatedly when I was being interrogated on points of detail. It was in the evening and it was getting very late. I believe it was about eight, I can remember the room very well. I was led out of the room. The interpreter, whom I saw here this morning, was sitting at a long table with two or three other officials. They said, "You have received the Indictment today," and I said, "Yes, I have." They said, "Are you aware that from now on you will have to speak with the General Secretary about your defence? Do you wish to be interrogated further?" to which I replied, "Yes, I am at your disposal at any time." Whereupon this interpreter looked at me in a rather startled manner, for he did not expect that statement from me; apparently all the others had said, "No, we are glad that these interrogations are at an end; now we can work on our defence."

Q. Now, defendant, I want to read to you from your last interrogatory; after a question as to whether the testimony was being sufficiently helpful to you for you to wish to continue, you answered as follows:

"A. This would at least be as important for my defence as the material which is helping the prosecutor's case and about which the interrogator has asked me repeatedly; therefore, I have the feeling that I am still in the hands of the prosecutor and not in the hands of a judge in charge of a preliminary hearing. As the Indictment has been served, I find myself now in a position where I can prepare my own defence, and I therefore do not think it right that you should continue to look for material which would incriminate me. Please do not regard this as any criticism or rebuttal, because I have never been informed about the procedure to be followed in these hearings and I do not know about it, but according to my knowledge of legal procedure, this is incorrect. I have never been given the opportunity of confronting other witnesses and of reminding them that this and that did not happen in this and that way, etc.

[Page 317]

Q. Is your statement made in the form of an objection to further questioning?

A. If, as I stated it now, there is a possibility of my being confronted with witnesses and of doing something about testimony in my favour, I would be very glad to continue, but even so I have the feeling that it would be better to do this during the evidence at the trial itself. I believe I should discuss this first with my defence counsel.

Q. Well, if there is any question in your mind about whether you should go further in any interrogatory by the Office of Chief of Counsel, or the U.S. representative to the International Military Tribunal, I think you should talk to your counsel too. You have never been under any compulsion to answer either before or since this Indictment was served. I think you will agree that your treatment has been fair in all circumstances.

A. Yes," -and so on.

Is that not correct?

A. Yes, sir, it confirms exactly what I have been telling you. The material that you just read states that I did not agree that interrogations and discussions should be broken off suddenly. I said that I had never had any opportunity of speaking with the witnesses with whom I was confronted. It confirms that I asked you to bring me face to face with the witnesses, so that I might talk with them. I do not deny that I also said that I was glad that now I could start to prepare my defence. Actually that is so. But I did not say in the course of such a lengthy statement - it has not been read out to me - that I no longer placed myself at the disposal of the interrogator. I stated just the opposite - and you read that too - that I was at the disposal of the interrogator.

Q. Defendant, let us get to the Warsaw Ghetto. Do you recall from the evidence before this Tribunal, that some 400,000 Jews were first put into the Ghetto and then in the final action, S.S. troops cleared out about 56,000, of whom more than 14,000 were killed. Do you recall that evidence?

A. No, I do not recall any details; what I know about this matter, I have already stated.

Q. Did you know that substantially all these 400,000 Jews were murdered at the extermination plant at Treblinka? Did you know that?

A. No.

Q. What did you have to do with the final destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto - nothing as usual?

A. I had nothing to do with it, as I already stated.

Q. I ask to have the defendant shown Document 3840-PS, which will become Exhibit USA 803. Were you acquainted with Karl Kaleske?

A. No, that name is not known to me.

Q. Does it help you to remember if I suggest to you that he was General Stroop's adjutant?

A. I did not know General Stroop's adjutant, nor the name which you just mentioned to me, "Kaleske," I did not know that either.

Q. Let us get to his affidavit. Have you got it before you now?

A. Yes.

Q. "My name is Karl Kaleske. I was Adjutant to Doctor von Sammern-Frankenegg from the summer of 1942 until April, 1943, while he was S.S. and Polizeifuehrer of Warsaw. I then became Adjutant to S.S. and Polizeifuehrer Stroop until August, 1943. The action against the Warsaw Ghetto was planned while von Sammern-Frankenegg was S.S. and Polizeifuehrer General Stroop took over the command on the day of the commencement of the action. The function of the Security Police during the action against the Warsaw Ghetto was to accompany the S.S. troops. A certain number of S.S. troops were assigned to the task to clear a certain street. With every S.S. group there were from four to six Security policemen, because they knew the Ghetto

[Page 318]

very well. These Security policemen were under Doctor Hahn, Commander of the Security Police for Warsaw. Hahn received his orders not from the S.S. and 'Polizeifuehrer' of Warsaw, but directly from Kaltenbrunner in Berlin. This applies not only to the Ghetto action but to all matters. Doctor Hahn frequently came to our office and told the S.S. and Polizeifuehrer that he had received such and such an order from Kaltenbrunner about the contents of which he wanted to inform the S.S. and Polizeifuehrer only. He would not do this for every order, but only for certain ones.

I remember the case of three hundred foreign Jews who had been collected in the Polski Hotel by the Security Police. At the end of the Ghetto action Kaltenbrunner ordered the Security Police to transport these people away. During my time in Warsaw the Security Police was in charge of matters concerning the Underground. The Security Police handled these matters independently of the S.S. and Polizeifuehrer, and received its orders from Kaltenbrunner in Berlin. When the leader of the Underground in Warsaw was captured in June or July, 1943, he was flown directly to Kaltenbrunner in Berlin.

Are these statements true or false, defendant?

A. These statements are, without exception, wrong.

Q. Just like all the other statements of all the other persons that have been read to you today? Is that correct?

A. This statement is not correct. It is not true and can be refuted.

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