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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
9th August to 21st August 1946

One Hundred and Ninety-Ninth Day: Friday, 9th August, 1946
(Part 3 of 11)

[MR. ELWYN JONES continues his cross examination of Wolfram Sievers]

[Page 9]

Q. He was commissioned by Goering was he not?

A. I do not know who commissioned him on behalf of the Luftwaffe.

Q. Well, just look at your own letter on this subject, No. 008, the first document in the English Document Book - Exhibit GB 586. It is headed "Institute of Scientific Research for Military Purposes'' dated 19th May, 1944. That was after Rascher had been removed from the scene. It is to "SS Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Waffen SS Pohl, chief of the WVHA. Subject: Production of a new kind of spotted fever serum."

"Dear Obergruppenfuehrer:

Following our application of 30th September, 1943, you gave your authorisation on 25th October, 1943, for the carrying out of experiments with a view to producing a new kind of spotted fever serum, and transferred 100 suitable prisoners to Natzweiler for this purpose. It has been possible to carry out the experiments very satisfactorily so far with the help of the Chief of Department D III, SS Standartenfuehrer Dr. Dolling, commissioned by you."

Then there follow a number of sentences dealing with the medical aspects and scientific aspects of it. Then a few lines down:
"I therefore request you to detail persons to Natzweiler again for the purpose of inoculation. In order to obtain results which are as accurate as possible and can also be utilised for statistical purposes, 200 persons should be placed at our disposal for inoculation this time; it is also again necessary that they be as far as possible in the same physical condition as is met with among members of the armed forces. If imperative reasons should demand that 200 persons should not be transferred to Natzweiler for the experiments, the experiments could be carried out in a different concentration camp, although it would entail great difficulties. The overcoming of these difficulties would, if necessary, have to be accepted by the scientists employed - although the latter are at the same time very much tied to the University of Strassburg owing to their lecturing activities - as the results which will certainly be achieved are of the most far- reaching importance for maintaining health. As I have informed you, the direction for carrying out the experiments is in the hands of the Director of the Hygienic Institute of the Reich University of Strassburg, Prof. Dr. Haagen, Major in the Medical Corps and consulting hygienist to an air fleet, who was commissioned with this task by the Reichsmarschall the President of the Reich Research Council. In accordance with his instructions Dr. Haagen has to report about his work to the chief of the

[Page 10]

Luftwaffe Medical Services; in doing this he has to mention with whose support the work is carried out; i.e., first the Reich Research Council and secondly the SS. I request your decision which of the following is to be mentioned as the supporting authority of the SS;
(a) the Reichsfuehrer SS or
(b) WVHA or
(c) the Institute of Scientific Research for Military Purposes of the Waffen SS."
Are you still saying that Goering did not commission Haagen?

A. Yes, I still maintain that. It says here, "Reichsmarschall, President of the Reich Research Council." That does not at all mean that Herr Goering had knowledge of all these commissions of which tens of thousands were given in his name and on his stationery. The various authorized persons and offices concerned were competent in this respect, and that is evident from this document which lists the chief of the Luftwaffe Medical Services.

Q. The Tribunal has this document before it, so I am not going to argue with you on it.

THE PRESIDENT: Who signed the letter?


Q. The letter is signed by you, is it not?

A. Yes.

Q. And you mentioned Goering specifically by name, not simply Reich Research Council. Now just look at Document 009 which refers to that letter of yours. It will be Exhibit GB 587. It is Page 3 of the document book. That deals with the question as to who is to have the honour of having taken the lead in these experiments. It is to the "Reichsfuehrer SS, Personal Staff." Whose signature is at the bottom of that letter?

A. The personal adviser of the Reichsfuehrer, Dr. Brandt.

Q. It is dated 6th June, 1944, subject: Production of a new kind of serum against spotted fever.

"Dear Comrade Sievers: Thanks very much for sending the copy of your letter of 19th May, 1944, to SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl. I have informed the Reichsfuehrer SS, as the matter seemed to me to be sufficiently important. In answer to the question as to who is to be designated as the supporting authority of the SS, the Reichsfuehrer SS said that both the SS Economic Administrative Office (WVHA) and the Institute of Scientific Research for Military Purposes should be mentioned. In addition, there is no objection to saying straight out that the Reichsfuehrer SS has also personally supported the experiments."
Now what was your connection with the experiments in sterilisation? Witness, I will just remind you that they were of three kinds. There were the experiments with the juice of a plant, Caladium Seguinum, experiments with X-ray sterilisation, and Klauberg's experiments on sterilisation without operation. I have no doubt you remember them?

A. No, I do not remember them. I do not know them.

Q. Do you know who was carrying them out?

A. No, I do not know.

Q. Look at Document 035, which will be Exhibit GB 588, Page 7 of your Lordship's English Document Book. Page 8 of the German Document Book. That is a letter to the Reich Plenipotentiary for the Consolidation of German Folkdom, SS Himmler, Chief of Police, Berlin. That was another arm of the SS that was interested in these medical experiments, was it not? Did you hear my question?

A. Yes. The address is completely wrong. It should just read: The Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Folkdom.

[Page 11]

Q. I asked you whether it was another branch of the SS that was involved in these medical experiments?

A. No, it had nothing to do with it.

Q. I will just read the letter in that case. It has the initials of Himmler on the top, has it not, H.H.? You are extremely familiar with them.

A. Yes.

Q. The letter reads:

"I beg you to give your attention to the following statements. I have asked Professor Hoehn to hand this letter to you and have thus selected the direct path to you in order to avoid the slower official channels and to eliminate the possibility of an indiscretion, bearing in mind the enormous importance, under certain circumstances, of the idea submitted. Prompted by the thought that the enemy must not only be conquered but exterminated, I feel obliged to submit the following to you as the Reich Plenipotentiary for the Consolidation of German Folkdom. Dr. Madaus is publishing the results of his research into sterilisation by medicaments (I enclose both works). In reading this article, I was struck by the enormous importance of this medicament in the present struggle of our people. Should one be able to produce as soon as possible as a result of this research a medicament which, after a comparatively brief period, would cause an unnoticed sterilisation in individuals, we would have at our disposal a new and very effective weapon. The thought alone that the 3 million Bolsheviks now in German captivity could be sterilised, so that they would be available for work but precluded from propagation, opens up the most far-reaching perspectives. Madaus discovered that the juice of the plant Caladium Seguinum, swallowed or injected, produces after a certain time, particularly in the males of animals but also in the females, a lasting sterility. The illustrations which accompany the scientific work are convincing. Provided that the idea expressed by me meets with your approval, the following path could be followed: (1) Dr. Madaus should not publish any more works of this kind (the enemy is listening too !). (2) Propagation of the plant (easily raised in greenhouses !). (3) Immediate experiments on humans (criminals!) in order to ascertain the dose and the duration of treatment. (4) The quickest possible discovery of the formula of the composition of the effective chemical body in order - (5) To produce the same synthetically if possible. I myself, as a German doctor and a retired lieutenant of the reserve in the medical corps of the German armed forces, undertake complete silence on the use to which the subject raised by me in this letter is to be put. Heil Hitler! Signed, Dr. Ad. Pokorny, specialist on skin and venereal diseases, University Doctor of Medicine."
Do you know that subsequent to that greenhouses were erected and these plants were cultivated?

A. No, I do not know that. I only remember in this connection that this publication of Dr. Madaus, but without reference to this rather strange suggestion of Dr. Pokorny, was sent for comment to Dr. von Wuenzelburg, who was an authority on tropical plants, and who told us immediately that such a plant could not be raised here and was not even available.

Q. I appreciate the difficulties of growing these tropical plants in Germany, but an attempt was made to grow them, was it not?

A. I do not know whether an attempt was made.

Q. Grawitz, the Reich Surgeon of the SS, was in charge of these sterilisation experiments, was he not?

A. I do not know that either. It may be.

Q. Now, apart from these experiments, scientific murder, the "Ahnenerbe" was also used for political purposes, was it not?

[Page 12]

Fifth column activity abroad, for instance? The penetration of the scientific thought of other countries as a method of political influence.

A. No.

Q. Just look at Document 1698-PS, will you? It is inserted before Page 20 of the English Document Book. There is just one page of it. 1698-PS will be Exhibit GB 589. It is an annual report dated 17th November, 1944:

"The Heritage of the Ancestors. Germanic Scientific Mission Outpost Flanders, SS Obersturmfuehrer (F) Dr. Augustin. Annual Report. The work is aimed at an intellectual deepening and broadening especially in the intellectual strata of Flanders and Walloony. In following the Germanic line which the SS alone represents; (1) The liberal-humanistic educational front must be invaded by winning over occupants of intellectual key positions. (2) To work against the great German Myths with the idea of the Great-Germanic Reich-community. (3) To promote the revival of the consciousness of German culture and German folkdom with the exceedingly effective though neutrally camouflaged means of political propaganda, science, in view of the arrogant French assumptions of culture and the Flemish inferiority complex."
Then in the next paragraph it says:
"Those strata of intelligence must be influenced which have not been reached by the official Press and propaganda. In university, college, and scientific policies, in the promotion of students' interests and in the granting of scholarships, in the selection for college training and in the education and promotion of the talented, our work must take effect. To influence and control the holders of intellectual key positions (e.g. college professors, associations of lawyers, educators, students, artists), that is the nature of the task."
THE PRESIDENT: Well, Mr. Elwyn Jones, are you submitting that this is a crime?

MR. ELWYN JONES: Yes, my Lord, I am submitting that it is an essential part of the machinery of this last instrument. First of all the perversion of science, secondly of using that perversion to infiltrate other countries. But I will not press the matter at all.

Q. Now, Witness, the "Ahnenerbe" was a component part of the SS, was it not?

A. I gave extensive evidence on this matter before the Commission. The Germanic Scientific Mission was subordinate to the SS main office. Dr. Augustin was appointed as expert for this work which in itself was only a continuation of the activity of many previous decades. I cannot believe that this amounts to fifth column activity or misuse of science for political purposes.

Q. I was asking you generally as to the "Ahnenerbe"; that is, was it a department of the SS? Look at Document 488-PS, Page 19A of the English Document Book. That is Himmler's order with regard to the "Ahnenerbe." I only want to draw your attention to the first paragraph:

"I, the undersigned Reichsfuehrer SS Heinrich Himmler, hereby certify that the Research and Teaching Society 'Das Ahnenerbe' and the 'Stiftung' (Ancestral Research Institute) are parts of my personal staff and thus are departments of the SS."
The funds of the Institute for Scientific Research, they came from the Waffen SS funds, did they not?

A. I testified on both of these points before the Commission. Firstly, I said that the "Ahnenerbe" became an office in the personal staff of the Reichsfuehrer SS in 1942 and that its status as a registered association was not affected thereby. Secondly, I said that the funds of the "Ahnenerbe" came from the Ahnenerbe-Stiftung, from funds of the German Forschungsgemeinschaft, from fees of members,

[Page 13]

from funds of the Reich and from contributions of industry. Waffen SS and Wehrmacht funds were, as I stated before, put at the disposal of the institute only for military scientific experiments.

Q. The members of the "Ahnenerbe" that were carrying out these experiments were all SS men, were they not? I want you just to look at the nominal roll of the "Ahnenerbe." Document D-962, which is the last document I am putting to you. It will be Exhibit GB 591. You see the names of Professor Dr. Walter Rust, SS Oberfuehrer Dr. Hans Brandt? And you see, as you go down the whole of that list, that with one exception they are all officers of the SS, are they not?

A. Yes, but with the difference that it does not show for what purpose it is drawn up, because it merely lists the SS leaders in the "Ahnenerbe" with reference to their marital status and their children. I have already said that approximately one half belonged to the SS, the other half not at all.

Q. There are over loo names there of professors and German doctors connected with your work. They were all with one exception members of the SS, Were they not?

A. But they are not all scientists; the list also includes truck drivers. I have to go through the list before being able to answer the question.

Q. I do not want to go through the whole list, but they are all SS men, are they not, and they were all employed on the work of the "Ahnenerbe"?

A. No, indeed they were not. The list includes also honorary members who only had one research commission.

MR. ELWYN JONES: I have no more questions, my Lord.

THE WITNESS: May I now be allowed to complete my statement?

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we had better have the re-examination first.


BY DR. PELCKMANN (for the SS and SD):

Q. Witness, what was the purpose of the Ahnenerbe Institute? Was its purpose medical research or any other research? Please be brief in your answer.

A. Its purpose was to carry out research in the arts and sciences, as set down in the statute of the "Ahnenerbe."

Q. Is it correct that the "Ahnenerbe" had about fifty different research commissions?

A. The "Ahnenerbe" had fifty different research branches, which were institutes. Beyond that it carried out more than one hundred extensive research projects.

Q. Did the Institute for Scientific Research for Military Purposes fall under the research projects and the various institutes which you have just mentioned?

A. It was a separate group within the "Ahnenerbe." That may also be seen from the fact that it was financed -

Q. Please do not answer that now. I am now asking you only if it was one of the institutes which you mentioned. I shall put other questions and you will have a further opportunity of speaking.

A. No, it was not one of the institutes I just mentioned.

Q. But you heard that the Institute of Scientific Research for Military Purposes carried out experiments; is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. How were the projects and the institutes of the "Ahnenerbe" financed?

A. The Ahnenerbe-Stiftung administered all the funds which it received, and made them available to the "Ahnenerbe."

Q. Where did the funds come from?

A. From the means of the German Research Society, from membership dues, from funds of the Reich.

[Page 14]

Q. What do you mean by membership dues? What members?

A. The participating members. Every German could become a member of the "Ahnenerbe."

Q. Had they to be SS members?

A. No, anybody could become a member.

Q. You said that the money came from membership dues. Where else did the money come from?

A. From contributions of industry.

Q. And where did the funds for the so-called Institute of Scientific Research for Military Purposes come from?

A. Solely from Wehrmacht funds which had to be separately administered according to the regulations -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, I have got before me the commission evidence about all this. This is all stated in the commission evidence, is it not? I have it before me.

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