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 Seventh Day: Saturday, 13th April, 1946
(Part 2 of 5)

[COLONEL AMEN continues his cross examination of Ernst Kaltenbrunner]

[Page 330]

THE INTERPRETER: On the right-hand side the document bears the initials in ink SCH and then several symbols: Z-RV-K 4030-519/41 g. And below that 13AOC. At the left on top:
"The Higher S.S. and Police Leader attached to the Reich Governor at Vienna and in the Upper and Lower Danube districts within the Armed Forces District XVII. To the Inspector of the Public Order Police."
Below that there are several file numbers.

The document bears the heading "Secret."

[Page 331]

It is dated "Vienna, 14th October, 1941."
"Subject: Technical Report on the battles in the East."
THE PRESIDENT: Is that right - 14th October, 1941?

THE INTERPRETER: Yes, 14th October, 1941.

THE PRESIDENT: The previous date that was given was January, 1942. What is the explanation of that?

COLONEL AMEN: It covers the month - I think there are two different documents. You are giving the date on one. There is a different date on the other. Is that not correct?

THE INTERPRETER: That is correct.

COLONEL AMEN: Well, give us the date on the other document so that the record will be clear.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, we shall be able to understand when we see the document.

COLONEL AMEN: Yes, your Lordship. Go right ahead.

THE INTERPRETER: The date of the second document is 23rd April, 1942.


THE INTERPRETER: I continue: "Subject: Technical Report on the battles in the East. - Reference:" and then come series file numbers.

"The above decree of the Reich Fuehrer S.S. and Chief of the German Police in the Ministry of the Interior, and also one copy each of the technical reports of the Army Command North and the S.S. Police Division, are herewith forwarded to you for your information and use." The order is signed "Miegel."
COLONEL AMEN: Now, will you just go on to the distribution list and read, if you find it on the list, this defendant's name.

THE INTERPRETER: The name of the defendant is not on this distribution. I am coming to the next document.

COLONEL AMEN: Well, it is!

THE INTERPRETER: No, it is not contained in this document and I am now reading the second document.

"Berlin, 27th February, 1942. The Chief of the Security Police and the S.D., IVA-1" and then several different file references. "Top Secret. Subject: Activity and situation report No. 9 of the Special Operation Groups of the Security Police and the S.D. in the U.S.S.R. Attached hereto - "
COLONEL AMEN: Just a minute. He is reading the wrong document, your Lordship. We will have it straight in a minute.

THE INTERPRETER: I am told I am reading the right document, It is the right document. I continue.

"Herewith attached, I submit to you the ninth comprehensive report on the state of the activities of the Special Operation Groups of the Security Police and of the S.D. in the U.S.S.R. Similar reports in the future will be sent to you currently as they appear.

(Signed) Heydrich."

Then there is a stamp: "The Reich Defence Commissar of the Armed Forces, District XVII, received 5th March, 1942," and then follows the distribution and number 13 reads: "To the Higher S.S. and Police Leader, S.S. Gruppenfuehrer Dr. Kaltenbrunner."

COLONEL AMEN: His name is on the list, isn't it? Now, if you will pass to "C" on that document -

THE INTERPRETER: I now read from Page 9 of the document, an extract under the heading "C. Jews."

"The attitude of the Jews is still clearly hostile to the Germans and criminal. It is our aim to cleanse the Eastern countries of Jews as completely as possible.

[Page 332]

The executions are everywhere to be carried out in such a manner that they are hardly noticeable to the public. Among the population, and even among the remaining Jews, the conviction that the Jews have merely been resettled is widespread. Esthonia has already been cleared of Jews. In Latvia, the number Of 29,500 Jews, who remained in Riga, has been reduced to 2,500. In Duenaburg there are still 962 Jews living, who are urgently needed for labour purposes."
I am now omitting several paragraphs and I continue:
"In Lithuania there are now in Kauen still 15,000, in Schaulen 4,500 and in Wilna another 15,000 Jews who are also needed for labour purposes. In White Ruthenia the Jews are in the process of being cleaned out. The number of Jews in the part of the country which has been turned over to the civilian administration amounts to 139,000. In the meantime, 33,210 Jews have been shot by the Special Operation Group of the Security Police and the S.D."
I now omit the rest of this extract and continue by reading another document. This is dated "Berlin, 23rd April, 1942," and shows an illegible initial in ink. It bears the heading "The Chief of the Security Police and the S.D., IVA-1," and several file numbers. It bears the designation: "Top Secret." This document, which is signed by Heydrich and which shows as the date of receipt 28th April, 1942, lists in the distribution in the fourteenth place: "To the Higher S.S. and Police Leader, S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer, S.S. Gruppenfuehrer, Dr. Kaltenbrunner, Vienna."

I now read from Page II of the report and I read an extract headed "C. Jews."

"Different methods were used in solving the Jewish problem in the various front sectors. Since the greater part of the Eastern Territory is free of Jews, and since the few remaining Jews, who are required for most urgent purposes, have been put into ghettos, it was the task of the Security Police and the S.D. to round up those Jews who were hiding mainly in the country. Jews, who had left the ghetto without permission or who were not wearing the Jewish Star, were arrested repeatedly. For example, among others, three Jews, who had been sent from the Reich to the ghetto in Riga and who had escaped, were captured and publicly hanged in the ghetto. During large-scale anti- Jewish operations 3412 Jews in Minsk, 302 in Wilejka, and 2,007 in Baranowitschi were shot."
I now pass three paragraphs and continue:
"In addition to taking action against individual Jews who were known for their political or criminal activity, it was the task of the Security Police and the S.D. to clean up generally the larger towns in the remaining territories of the Eastern Front. Thus in Rakow alone 15,000, and in Artenowsk 1,224 Jews were shot, so that now there are no more Jews there.

In the Crimea 1,000 Jews and Gypsies were executed."

That is all.


Q. Defendant, do you still have the temerity to tell this Tribunal that you knew nothing about the operations of these Einsatz groups until after you took over as Chief of the R.S.H.A.?

A. At the top left-hand corner of the document can clearly be read:

"The Higher S.S. and Police Leader - "
THE PRESIDENT: Answer the question and then you can look at the document afterwards. Do you still say that you knew nothing about these Einsatzgruppen?

[Ernst Kaltenbrunner] THE WITNESS: I have no knowledge of the contents of this document. I want to point out that the Office of the Inspector of the Public Police dispatched this letter

[Page 333]

on 22nd October, 1941. Technical reports on the fighting on the Eastern Front and on the operations of the Security Police and S.D., which were drafted at that time, are based on orders issued by Himmler or Heydrich and not on my orders. In no way can this document show how I regarded the entire question. If the distribution lists indicate that these technical reports were sent to all the Higher S.S. and Police Leaders and all the offices, I do not regard that as proof that these offices - that is to say, all the men who were working in these offices - must necessarily have known of them. You cannot assume that cognisance was actually taken of reports concerning territories over which the officials in question had no jurisdiction nor influence whatsoever. There is no doubt at all today that these crimes were committed in the East. But it is to be proved whether they are in any way due to my influence either intellectually, legislatively or actively and whether I approved of them and whether I could have stopped them; all this I must absolutely deny.


Q. Defendant, that was just one of a regular series of monthly reports, a copy of which went to you every single month; isn't that a fact? Yes or no?

A. I do not know how often such reports came. Of course, it cannot be denied that such technical reports from all battle zones concerning either the activities of the Security Police, or of the Public Order Police, or the operations of the Wehrmacht, were issued and distributed all over the Reich.

Q. All right, that is enough for me.

Did you know about a letter written by your attorney, seeking evidence on your behalf at this trial?

A. I have not yet discussed such a letter with my defence counsel. Please ask him if he has informed me of this letter.

Q. Well, are you not familiar with the fact that he wrote a letter to the Mayor's office in Oranienburg near Berlin and received a reply to that letter to be used on your behalf?

A. No. Please ask him; he has not told me anything about it.

Q. Now, then I will refer you to document number -

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, are you entitled to go into professional matters between the defendant and his counsel?

COLONEL AMEN: I believe so in this instance, your Lordship, because the letter was sent to us directly by the recipient of the letter with the expectation that it would be used by us. This is no confidential communication. It was a letter -

THE PRESIDENT: Will you let the Tribunal see the letter?


DR. KAUFFMANN: Mr. President, this is the first time that I have heard of this matter. If the document is addressed to me may I perhaps have a look at it before it becomes an item in this trial?


THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly, let him look at it first.

COLONEL AMEN: If your Lordship please -

DR. KAUFFMANN: May I explain it, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we had better hear from Colonel Amen first because he is wanting to introduce the document.

DR. KAUFFMANN: May I say something first?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Kauffmann, what do you want to say now?

DR. KAUFFMANN: Perhaps the Tribunal has already noticed that I -

THE PRESIDENT: We have not seen the document.

DR. KAUFFMANN: I have seen the document.

THE PRESIDENT: I said we have not seen it yet. We have allowed you to see it first in order that you can make any objection to it that you want to make before we see it and then we will look at it.

DR. KAUFFMANN: Yes, I see.

Mr. President, I am of the opinion that this is an unfair infringement on the

[Page 334]

rights and duties of the German defence. The whole world may read this document. It is an inquiry which is addressed to the mayor's office at Oranienburg. Oranienburg was a large concentration camp. Since, according to an agreement with my colleagues, I had the task of clarifying these questions "for the benefit of the German people," I sent this letter, containing questions which everybody may read, to the mayor's office and requested that these questions be answered. It was my intention to submit these answers, if the occasion arose, to the Tribunal. The same questions have been sent out to other towns and I have already submitted these documents for translation and shall later submit them to the Tribunal. But it is an impossible state of affairs that a letter of a defence counsel and the reply given to that defence counsel should be disclosed here by the prosecution.

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute, Dr. Kauffmann. But the document that Colonel Amen was offering in evidence was not your letter to the Mayor of Oranienburg nor his answer to you.

COLONEL AMEN: Yes, it was.

THE PRESIDENT: I beg your pardon, I thought you said it was a letter that has been sent to the prosecution.

COLONEL AMEN: I said that a copy was sent to the prosecution, as I understand it, not only by the person who received it - there was no covering letter - but also turned over to the British Prosecution in a letter dated 2nd April, 1946, from Major Wurmser.

THE PRESIDENT: I understand now. I do not think you said before it was a copy. What I understood was it might have been sent to you by mistake. If it were a copy of a letter which was sent to Dr. Kauffmann, then the position is clear as to what it was.

COLONEL AMEN: That is my understanding of it, sir, and, of course, it is a copy of his letter, but I know of no privilege whatsoever of a confidential -

THE PRESIDENT: What do you mean by "a copy of his letter," a copy of the letter sent to Dr. Kauffmann?

COLONEL AMEN: Sent by Dr. Kauffmann to the Mayor of Oranienburg and a copy of the reply made by the mayor to Dr. Kauffmann, and I think you will see, if your Lordship reads the reply, how it is that it came directly to our attention.

DR. KAUFFMANN: May I add one more thing, only two or three sentences, please? I consider the presentation of these two documents a particularly severe infringement of the rights of the defence. The defence has had no opportunity to look at the documents of the prosecution, and it would never have occurred to us to submit to the Tribunal documents of the prosecution which are to our advantage. This is exclusively a matter between me, the sender of the letter and the office answering it; how is it possible for the prosecution to be allowed to interfere in such entirely personal matters? I do not think that is fair.

COLONEL AMEN: Now, if your Lordship pleases, I think I can clear the whole thing up. This is a letter dated 2nd April, 1946, from Major Wurmser to the British Prosecution, and it reads as follows:

"Attached please find the original correspondence regarding Oranienburg. In accordance with your request I have ascertained that this correspondence was received in the following way: It came addressed to the prosecution and was delivered to the General Secretary. The original was apparently sent directly to Dr. Kauffmann and the sender, the Mayor of Oranienburg, Herr Klaussmann, dispatched a carbon copy to the prosecution at the same time, not only of his answer but also of the letter which was sent to him by Dr. Kauffmann."
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I think we understand the circumstances now.

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