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 12 of 12)

[COLONEL AMEN continues his cross examination of Ernst Kaltenbrunner]

[Page 322]

Q. Were you acquainted with Obersturmbannfuehrer Fritz Mundhenke?

A. I did not quite catch the name.

Q. Well, you'll see it on this exhibit which I ask you to be shown now, Document 3842-PS, which will become Exhibit USA 805. Defendant, this is a fairly long exhibit, which I don't want to go through in detail; but I first call your attention to the opening lines:

"With respect to the occupation of Czechoslovakia, two different actions were taken: The first one: Occupation of the Sudetenland and the Border Districts inhabited by German Nationals. The second one: Occupation of Czechoslovakia proper."
And the following lines:
"Some time before the second action, officers of the 'Hlinka, Garde' (the illegal or underground organisation in the Slovakian part of the former Czechoslovakian Republic) came to the office of S.S. Oberabschnitt Donau (S.S. Corps Area Danube), which at the time may still have had its original name of S.S. Oberabschnitt Osterreich."
Then follow the details of the plans for inciting this revolt. Then, coming to the end of the first paragraph, you will find the following:
"There were secret meetings in which I did not take part. I felt that I was not fully trusted. I saw the gentlemen in Kaltenbrunner's anteroom only and, as far as I can remember, in the dining-room. I was told nothing about the object of the discussions, which referred without doubt to the action planned."
Then he gives his reasons. And, passing to the second page, in the centre, you will find the following:
"Kaltenbrunner alone was responsible for this action. In charge of the action was S.S.-Standartenfuehrer Spacil (nicknamed Spatz). He was chief of the administration of S.S.-Oberabschnitt Donau and was called later on by Kaltenbrunner to Berlin and made Administration Chief at the Reich Main Security Office. Spacil was one of Kaltenbrunner's most intimate friends."

[Page 323]

Then, at the close, paragraphs 1 and 2, and sub-divisions:
"I have made this statement:

(1) not from a feeling of revenge or because I want to be an informer, but in the knowledge that in so doing I can help in exposing crimes which I, as a German, am ashamed of.

(2) with the full consciousness that because of my statements I will be slandered by the other side. I know the men who for years have been trying to make trouble for me. But this shall not deter me from helping the spirit of justice to a victorious end."

I ask you whether the substance of that document, as I have given it to you, is true or false?

A. Neither true nor false. It is ridiculous and consequently untrue. The document can best be characterised by drawing attention to the fact that on the first page in the introduction it says:

"The second one: occupation of Czechoslovakia proper (called afterwards the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia and the Slovakian State)."
The fact that the Republic of Slovakia has never, in the course of history, been occupied by the German Reich is sufficient to reveal the ignorance of this witness, Mundhenke, who comes from North Germany and knows nothing about history or about politics. But this document contains so many details which are really ridiculous that it becomes utterly worthless.

I would like to call your attention to Page 3 of the German text and explain to you who were the men responsible for the individual big political actions which led to the occupation of Czechoslovakia.

The first is a Franz Kourik, who was a chauffeur. The second is Karl Spitt, also a chauffeur. The third is an S.S. man whose name is Apfelbeck, son of an innkeeper and a butcher by trade, and who worked as an assistant official in the administration after he had suffered a grave skull injury in a motor accident. Then Stadler, a small book-keeper. The man Petenka is unknown to me.

These men are supposed to have prepared, with me, the occupation of Slovakia by the Reich. That is utter nonsense. Excuse me for calling it so.

Q. Very good, defendant. All right. That is nonsense.

A. One thing is true in this document and I want to come to that - that I was with members of the Hlinka Garde in this house in Vienna, Park Ring 8, and I did hold a conference with them. This dealt with the Union of Volksdeutsche, racial Germans, in Slovakia, and the Hlinka-Garde with a view to nominating the same candidates in the Slovakian Government. Documents prove this and also events, in Pressburg at least, where my name was sufficiently known. Everybody knows it there and can confirm it, including this man Mundhenke, the leader of the racial group. But as an occupation of Slovakia has never taken place in my opinion there is no need for me to defend myself against the accusation.

Q. Defendant, in the course of this trial the order of Himmler to the effect that the civilian population should not be punished for lynching allied airmen has been introduced in evidence, and you have heard the sworn statement of Schellenberg and Gerdes to the effect that you in your capacity as Chief of the Security Police and S.D. issued such instructions to your subordinates. Do you deny these statements? Yes or no, please.

A. I do not wish to deny them, but I emphatically state that I never gave any such instructions and I ask the Tribunal to allow my counsel to read the paper which I gave to him at the beginning of the session, This contains the testimony of the witness Koller, the chief of staff of the Luftwaffe, defining my attitude towards this problem - that even in the presence of Hitler I declared "I will not obey such an order." That took place somewhat later, but it shows my own

[Page 324]

personal feelings about the matter. I made a statement to my counsel yesterday about this question.

Q. All right, defendant. Now take a look at Document 3855- PS, which will become Exhibit USA 806. This bears your own name at the bottom, whether it be a signature, facsimile, or anything else you choose to call it. Have you the document before you?

A. Yes.

Q. You will note that it comes from the Chief of the Security Police and of the S.D., and according to the notes in the upper left-hand portion was prepared for your signature by Amt IV Az B No. 220/44 g RS.

A. That is, sir, the first and very great mistake.

Q. All right.

(a) To all Commanders and Inspectors of the Security Police and the S.D. (for oral communication to the subordinate offices)

(b) To the
Groups IV A and IV B
The Sections IV Ai
IV A 4 - IV A 6
IV B 1 - IV B 4

(c) To Office V-Reich Criminal Police Office For information To the Senior S.S. and Police Leaders To the Chief of the Uniformed Police

(d) To Chiefs of office I - III and IV of the Reich Security Main Office.

Subject: Treatment of enemy airmen who have baled out.

Reference: None.

A series of questions dealing with the treatment of enemy airmen who have been shot down needs clarification: I

As a general rule captured enemy airmen are to be shackled. This measure is necessary and is made with the full consent of the Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces
(a) in order to prevent frequent escapes, and

(b) in view of the severe shortage of personnel at the collecting stations.

Enemy air crews who
(a) Offer resistance when captured, or

(b) wear civilian clothes under their uniforms,

are to be shot at once when captured.
Enemy airmen - especially the Anglo-American Air Forces - mostly carry escape bags with them, filled with daggers, various kinds of maps, ration coupons, tools for escape, etc. It is absolutely essential that escape bags be secured by the police, as they are of the greatest assistance when making a search. They must be forwarded to the Air Force.

[Page 325]

The order of the Reichsfuehrer S.S. of 10.8.1943" - which I believe you also testified you know nothing about - is "not being carried out in full, as it has probably not been passed on orally - as ordered - to the subordinate police offices.

It is therefore repeated:

It is not the duty of the police to interfere in conflicts between the German people and English and American 'terror flyers' who have baled out.

Near the body of a shot-down English airman a brassard with the inscription 'Deutsche Wehrmacht' and an up-to- date badge was found. This brassard is only worn by combat troops, and it gives the bearer access to all military and strategically important points in the various operation zones. Parachuted enemy agents will probably make use of this new means of camouflage.
During the past months individual cases have shown that the German population does seize airmen but afterwards, while waiting for them to be handed over to the Police or the Armed Forces, it does not use the proper reticence. Too strict measures on the part of the State Police against these citizens would keep them from seizing enemy airmen without restraint; these cases must not be confused with the criminal act of helping escaped enemy airmen.

Reichsfuehrer S.S. has ordered the following measures to be applied to citizens who conduct themselves in a dishonourable manner towards captured enemy airmen either out of bad intentions or misunderstood pity:

(1) In especially severe cases, transfer to a concentration camp. Announcement in the newspapers of the district.

(2) In less severe cases, protective custody not less than 14 days at the competent State Police Office. Employment in the clearing of damaged areas. Should there be no damaged area affording such employment within the jurisdiction of the State Police Office, the short-term protective custody sentence is to be served at the nearest State Police station, etc. The Reichsfuehrer S.S. has contacted Reichsleiter Bormann in this matter and has pointed out that it is the duty of the party officials to instruct the population to reserve the absolutely necessary reticence towards enemy airmen.

I leave it to the Commanders and Inspectors of the Security Police and the S.D. to notify in writing the subordinate offices of Sections V and VI of the above decree.

Signed: Dr. Kaltenbrunner Certified: Rose Office Clerk."

Do you deny having had anything to do with the issuance of that document? Do you deny that you signed it?

A. This order was never submitted to me. I refer you to what I said yesterday, concerning questions of direction and issuing of orders in Amt IVA which appears at the head of the letter as having drawn it up. In these matters this Amt was under the direct jurisdiction of Himmler.

THE PRESIDENT: I haven't heard the answer to the question. Did you sign it?

A. No


Q. You deny your signature and you deny knowing anything about this document bearing your name, is that correct?

[Page 326]

A. Sir, I have -

Q. Will you answer that, defendant? You deny this document just like you have denied every other document that has been shown to you today, is that correct?

A. I have already stated yesterday and also told my defence counsel that this document was never submitted to me. Had it been I should recognise it today. To a certain degree I am to blame for not having paid more attention as to whether such orders were issued in my name. I never denied yesterday that I was partly to blame, but my position as to this question can be clearly seen from Koller's testimony.

THE PRESIDENT: I don't understand. Are you saying that the signature on the document is not yours, or that you may have signed it without looking at the decree? Which are you saying?

A. Your Lordship, this document and this decree was never submitted to me. To sign such a document would have been completely against my inner attitude, for my attitude in this matter can be seen from Koller's testimony.

THE PRESIDENT: I am not asking you what your inner attitude is: I am asking you whether the name on it is written by your hand.

A. No.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to look at the document.

COLONEL AMEN: It is a typewritten signature, your Lordship.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, let us look at the document.

THE PRESIDENT: Defendant, who is Rose?

A. I don't know, your Lordship.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, can you give any idea how long you will be with your cross-examination?

COLONEL AMEN: Perhaps half an hour, depending on the answers of the defendant.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Then the Tribunal will adjourn. We will sit tomorrow at 10 o'clock to continue this part of the case, and will adjourn at half-past twelve in order to hear Dr. Thoma and the prosecution upon his documents.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 13th April, 1946, at 10.00 hours.)

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