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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
27th May to 6th June, 1946

One Hundred and Fortieth Day: Tuesday, 28th May, 1946
(Part 2 of 10)

[DR. SAUTER continues his direct examination of Gustav Dietrich Hopken]

[Page 53]

Q. Do you know anything about the anti-Semitic speech made by the defendant, von Schirach, in September 1942, at a Congress in Vienna, which the prosecution submitted to the Tribunal?

A. Yes, the contents of the speech is known to us.

Q. I want to know whether you know anything about it, especially whether Schirach said anything to you about why he made this anti-Semitic speech?

A. I know from the Press officer, Gunther Kaufman, mentioned yesterday, that directly after this speech von Schirach instructed the said Gunther Kaufman that every point from the speech should be telephoned to the DNB (Deutsches Nachrichten-Bureau) in Berlin, with the remark that he had every reason to make a concession to Bormann on this point.

Q. Why a concession?

[Page 54]

A. I assume that Schirach knew that his position in Vienna was precarious, and that he constantly heard especially from the Party Chancellery that he had to take a stricter course in Vienna.

Q. You were Chief of the Central Bureau with Schirach in Vienna. In this capacity, did all Schirach's incoming mail go through you?

A. Not all of his mail, but the great majority of it. Mail stamped "only direct" and "personal" did not go through my hand.

Q. Did the other mail?

A. That went through my office.

Q. Witness, we have here a number of documents which have been submitted to the Tribunal. They are the activity and situation reports which the Chief of the Security Police made, I believe, monthly or weekly, and which have been submitted to the Tribunal under Document 3943-PS. These reports came from Vienna and since you know the situation in the Central Bureau in Vienna, and are well informed about its activity, I will now give you several of these documents. Please look at the documents and then tell us whether from these documents, which are photostatic copies, you can determine whether these reports of the SS came to you or to the defendant, von Schirach, or whether they went to a different office. I call your special attention to the manner in which these documents are marked. Please note on the individual documents who initialled the document and what was done with it after that. And then please tell us who these officials are who figure in the documents as officials of the Reich Defence Commission; for instance, a Dr. Fischer, etc.

DR. SAUTER: Those are the documents, Mr. President, about which the Tribunal asked questions the other day.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I know they are, but I do not know what the question is exactly. It seems to me there are a great number of questions. Well, let us get on, Dr. Sauter. We shall have to consider these documents, you know, and the witness ought to be able to give his answer.

DR. SAUTER: Yes, Mr. President. Of course, the witness has to look at the documents first. He must especially note which officials initialled the documents and what the officials did with them. That is what I must ask the witness, in order to ascertain what the documents -

THE PRESIDENT: I should have thought that he had seen these documents before.

DR. SAUTER: No; they were just handed over in cross-examination. I could not discuss them previously with the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: They were certainly handed over before this morning.

DR. SAUTER: Not to the witness, to me, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, get on, Dr. Sauter, get on.


Q. Witness, what do these documents tell you? Did they come to the knowledge of the defendant von Schirach, or how were they dealt with?

A. These documents did not go through the Central Bureau. I see here that they are initialled by a Dr. Felber. I know him. He was the expert assigned to the Regierungsprasident in Vienna for all matters concerning the Reich Defence Commissioner.

From the treatment given these documents, I must assume that the Berlin SD agency sent them directly to the office of the Regierungsprasident, and from there they were put into the files, as I see here. I do not see von Schirach's initials here.

Q. The Regierungsprasident was a certain Dellbruegge?

A. Dr. Dellbruegge.

Q. And this Dr. Felber whom you mentioned was an official of the Regierungsprasident?

[Page 55]

A. Yes, an official of the Regierungsprasident.

Q. And when such a document as you have there arrived, where did the post office or any other agency deliver it? Was it delivered to you or did the Regierungsprasident have his own office for incoming mail, or how was it?

A. I have already said that they must have been sent directly to the office of the Regierungsprasident, who had his own office for incoming mail.

Q. How can you tell that the defendant von Schirach had no knowledge of these documents?

A. Because he did not initial these documents. If documents were submitted to him, they were initialled "z.K.g." (zur Kenntnis genommen) (noted) B.v.S. (Baldur von Schirach) and that does not appear on these documents.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, I do not think the prosecution suggested that they were initialled by von Schirach. It was quite clearly brought out in von Schirach's evidence that he had not initialled them, and that fact was not challenged by Mr. Dodd.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, I believe it is a decisive point whether defendant von Schirach had any knowledge of these documents.

THE PRESIDENT: Why do you keep asking whether they were initialled by him or not? That fact, as I have pointed out, has already been proved and not challenged.


Q. Witness, I have here a collection of further documents under number 3876-PS. They are further reports from the Chief of the Security Police. There is another address on these. It says here, among other things: "To the Reich Defence Commissioner for the Defence District XVII - " that was Vienna - "for the attention of Ob.R.R. (Oberregierungsrat) Dr. Fischer in Vienna."

I am interested in knowing who Dr. Fischer was. Was he in the Central Bureau, or who was he?

A. I do not know a Dr. Fischer, either in the Central Bureau or in the Reich Governor's Office (Reichsstatthalterei).

Q. Then how do you explain the fact that in these reports it always says, "To the Reich Defence Commissioner for the Defence District XVII, for the attention of Regierungsrat Dr. Fischer"?

A. I assume he was a colleague of Oberregierungsrat Dr. Felber, who specialised in these matters. Also I see they were secret letters, and were therefore addressed to him personally.

Q. As far as you know did not the Regierungsprasident Dellbruegge report to the defendant von Schirach on these reports which reached him, or have one of his officials report about them.

A. The Regierungsprasident reported directly to Herr von Schirach about matters concerning the Reich Governor and the Reich Defence Commissioner. I was not present at these conversations; consequently I cannot say to what extent he reported to von Schirach on these matters.

Q. If the Regierungsprasident or one of his officials reported to the defendant von Schirach on these reports, would that be shown in the documents?

A. Probably yes. In that case the Regierungsprasident or the officials would have had to write on them "To be filed after being reported to the Reich Governor," or "for further action."

Q. On the documents which I submitted to you, there is no such note?

A. On these documents, no.

Q. And on the documents which I have here, there is no such note either. Do you conclude from this that the defendant von Schirach received no report on them?

A. I must conclude that von Schirach was not informed on these matters.

[Page 56]

Q. Witness, the defendant von Schirach was chief of the State administration in Vienna in his capacity as Reich Governor, as well as Chief of the local administration to a certain extent as mayor, and finally chief of the Party as Gauleiter. Now, we hear that in each of these capacities he had a permanent representative.

I should like to know who normally administered the affairs of the Reich Defence Commissioner and the Reich Governor; that is, the affairs of the State administration?

A. I have already said that it was the Regierungsprasident, Dr. Dellbruegge.

Q. And then what did the defendant von Schirach do in the field of State administration?

A. He was given regular reports by the Regierungsprasident. Von Schirach then made his decision, and these decisions were then carried out by the officials, or departments.

Q. If I understand you correctly, the defendant von Schirach concerned himself only with such matters as were reported to him by the Regierungsprasident, or which were brought to his special attention in writing; is that true?

A. Yes, that is true.

Q. Witness, were you yourself a member of the SS?

A. No, I was never a member of the SS.

Q. Of the SA?

A. No, not of that either.

Q. Do you know that these three permanent representatives, whom the defendant von Schirach had in Vienna, namely the Regierungsprasident, the Deputy Gauleiter, and the Mayor, were all three SS Fuehrers?

A. Yes, I know that.

Q. How was that? Did the defendant von Schirach select these men himself, or how do you explain the fact that all three of his representatives were SS Fuehrers?

A. The Deputy Gauleiter, Scharizer, was an honorary SS Fuehrer and as far as I recall, he was Oberbefehlsleiter of the Party. When von Schirach came to Vienna, Scharizer had already been active for several years in Vienna.

Q. As what?

A. As Deputy Gauleiter. I do not know when the Regierungsprasident, Dr. Dellbruegge, came to Vienna; but I assume either before or at about the same time as von Schirach. Moreover, the Regierungsprasidents were appointed by the Ministry of the Interior so that I think he could hardly have had sufficient influence to refuse or select a particular Regierungsprasident.

As for the mayor, the situation was similar.

Q. He was a certain Blaschke?

A. Yes. He was SS Brigadefuehrer Blaschke, he was also appointed by the Ministry of the Interior as provisional mayor.

Q. By the Ministry of the Interior?

A. Yes.

Q. When was that?

A. I believe that was in 1944, in January or February of 1944.

Q. Do you know that this SS Brigadefuehrer or whatever he was, this Blaschke, before the time of the defendant von Schirach, was active in Vienna as a town councillor and I believe also as vice-mayor?

A. He was a town councillor before; and I believe he was vice-mayor before I came to Vienna.

Q. Do you know that the defendant von Schirach for a long time opposed this SS Oberfuehrer or Brigadefuehrer Blaschke being appointed Mayor of Vienna?

A. I should say he opposed this for about six or nine months, and I believe later he refused to allow the Minister of the Interior finally to confirm his appointment as Mayor.

Q. Witness, what were the relations like between the defendant von Schirach and the SS and SS officers? Were they especially friendly and cordial or what were they like?

[Page 57]

A. As far as I know, Schirach associated with the SS Fuehrer as far as was officially necessary and no more.

Q. Was he friendly with SS men.

A. No, I do not know. In any case I knew of no such friendship.

Q. Did he not express to you his attitude toward the SS?

A. I have already said that he always had the feeling that he was under a certain supervision by them and for that reason he was rather distrustful.

Q. Distrustful of? -

A. - of the SS.

Q. Witness, do you know how the defendant von Schirach received his information about the foreign Press and foreign Press reports?

A. He received it from the Reich Propaganda Office in Vienna. They were excerpts which the Propaganda Ministry issued in collaboration with the Reich Press Chief, Dr. Dietrich. As far as I know, however, they were selected and screened.

Q. Did you live for a long time with von Schirach in Vienna?

A. From 1944 on I lived in Schirach's house.

Q. You also took your meals with him?

A. Yes, I also took meals with him.

Q. Did not the defendant von Schirach obtain information from the foreign radio?

A. No, I am almost certain he did not, because after every meal he listened to the official German news services with me and a few other co-workers. Besides, if he had done so it would in my opinion have become known very soon, for, as I said already, he had the feeling that he was being watched.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, the witness can only tell us what he knows. How could he know whether von Schirach ever listened to any foreign news? If he does not know, why do you not take him on to something else?

DR. SAUTER: The witness said, Mr. President, that during the latter part of his time in Vienna, from the spring of 1944, I believe he said, he lived in the house of the defendant von Schirach.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I know he said that, and he said that he did not think he heard foreign news. What more can he give? What more evidence can he give on that subject?

DR. SAUTER: I wanted to hear that, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: But he said it already, I have taken it down. Why do you not go on to something else?


Q. Witness, do you know that in the last weeks of the resistance, an order came to Vienna from Berlin, according to which all defeatists, whether men or women, were to be hanged? What attitude did Schirach take towards this order?

A. I know that so-called courts-martial were to be set up for the purpose of speedily condemning people who objected to the conduct of the war or who showed themselves to be defeatists. This court-martial was set up in Vienna or, rather, appointed, but it did not meet once, and thus, did not pronounce any sentences.

Q. Did the court-martial of the defendant von Schirach carry on any proceedings at all?

A. No, not to my knowledge.

Q. Do you know anything about it?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, that fact, again, was given in evidence by von Schirach and was not cross-examined to - that that court-martial did not meet.

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