LT. COMDR. HARRIS : If the Tribunal will recall, at the end of the last session we had finished reading a portion of the sworn interrogation of the Gaustabsamtsleiter under the Gauleiter of Munich and had touched on the point where he said that Kaltenbrunner issued directives to Dachau to transport Western European prisoners by truck to Switzerland and to march the remaining inmates into Tyrol.
I now offer, as exhibit next in order, the first five pages of the interrogation report of Gottlob Berger, Chief of the head office of the SS, made under oath on 20 September 1945, in the course of these proceedings. You will find these pages at the end of the document book and this is offered as Exhibit Number USA-529. These pages have been translated into German and made available to the defendants.
THE PRESIDENT: Does it have a number?.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: It has no PS number, Sir. It is at the very end of the document book. I wish to read only one question and answer from these pages; and I refer to Page 3 of the exhibit, the last question and answer on that page:
"Q: Assuming, only for the purposes of this discussion, that these atrocities that we hear about are true, who do you think is primarily responsible?
"A: The first one, the commandant; the second one, Glucks; because he was practically responsible for all the interior direction of the camps. If one wants to be exact, one would have to find out how the information service between the camp commandant and Glucks actually operated. I want to give you the following example:
'during the night of the 22d and 23rd of April, I was sent to Munich by plane. As I entered the city, I met a group of perhaps 120 men dressed in the suits of the concentration camps. These people made a very miserable impression on me. I asked the guard who was with them, 'What about these men?' He told me that these men were marching by foot to the Alps. Firstly, I sent him back to Dachau. Then I wrote 308a letter to the commandant to send no more people by foot to any place but, whenever the Allies advanced any further, to give over the camp completely. I did that on my own responsibility and I told him that I came straight from Berlin and that I can be found in my service post in Munich. The commandant or his deputy telephoned at about 12 o'clock and told me that he had received this order from Kaltenbrunner after he had been asked by the Gauleiter of Munich, the Reichskommissar..." (Document Number USA-529)
The tenth crime for which Kaltenbrunner is responsible as Chief of the Security Police and SD is the persecution of the Jews. This crime, of course, continued after 30 January 1943; and evidence has heretofore been received that the persecutions continued until, and were accelerated toward, the end of the war. Kaltenbrunner took a personal interest in such matters, as is indicated by Document 2519-PS, which is offered as exhibit next in order, Exhibit Number USA-530. This exhibit consists of a memorandum and an affidavit; and I invite the attention of the Tribunal to the affidavit. Quoting from the affidavit:
"I, Henri Monneray, being first duly sworn, depose and say that since 12 September 1945 I have been and I am the member of the French staff for the prosecution of Axis criminality and have been pursuing my official duties in this connection in Nuremberg, Germany, since 12 October 1945.
"In the course of my official duties, at the instruction of the French Chief Prosecutor, I examined the personal documents of the defendants..."
THE PRESIDENT: Is it necessary to read all of this? What is the object of this affidavit?.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: To show that this document was derived from the personal effects of the Defendant Kaltenbrunner.
THE PRESIDENT: From the personal possession?.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: From the personal possession.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, well, you can leave out the immaterial parts.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: Very good, Sir. Passing to the last sentence of the affidavit:
"Said Document 2519-PS is the document which I found in the envelope containing Kaltenbrunner's personal papers."
I now read the memorandum, quoting:
"Radio message to Gruppenfuehrer SS Major General Vegelein, Headquarters of the Fuehrer, through Sturmbannfuehrer SS Major Sansoni, Berlin. 309
"Please inform the Reichsfuehrer SS and report to the Fuehrer that all arrangements against Jews, political, and concentration camp internees in the Protectorate have been taken care of by me personally today. The situation there is one of calmness, fear of Soviet successes, and hope of an occupation by the Western enemies. Kaltenbrunner."
THE TRIBUNAL(Mr. Biddle): That is not dated?.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: This is not dated.
The eleventh crime for which Kaltenbrunner is responsible is the persecution of the churches. It is unnecessary to present specific evidence that this crime continued after 30 January 1943, since this was one of the fundamental purposes of the Security Police and SD, as has already been shown.
These are the crimes for which the Defendant Kaltenbrunner must answer. As to his intent, there is no need to go outside the record before this Tribunal. On December 1, 1945, in these proceedings the Witness Lahousen was asked on cross-examination, "Do you know Mr. Kaltenbrunner?"
After describing his meeting with Kaltenbrunner on a day in Munich when a university student and his sister were arrested and executed for distributing leaflets from the auditorium, Lahousen said-and I wish to refer only to two sentences on Page 724 of the transcript (Volume III, Page 29)-quoting:
"I can easily reconstruct that day. It was the first and last time that I saw Kaltenbrunner, with whose name I was familiar. Of course Kaltenbrunner mentioned this subject to Canaris, who was completely shattered because of what happened that day and was still under the painful impression- and thank God there are still witnesses available who can testify to this. When discussing the matter Kaltenbrunner was very much to the point, but at the same time he was quite cynical about it. That is the only thing I can tell you about this matter."
Kaltenbrunner was a life-long fanatical Nazi. He was the leader of the SS in Austria prior to the Anschluss and played a principal role in the betrayal of his native country to the Nazi conspirators. As higher SS and Police Leader in Austria after the Anschluss, he supervised and had knowledge of the activities of the Gestapo and the SD in Austria. The Mauthausen Concentration Camp was established in his jurisdiction and he visited it several times. On at least one occasion he observed the gas chamber in action. With this knowledge and background he accepted, in January 1943, appointment as Chief of the Security Police and SD, the very agencies which sent such victims to their deaths. He held that office 310to the end, rising to great prominence in the SS and the German Police and receiving high honors from Hitler. Like other leading Nazis, Kaltenbrunner sought power; to gain it, he made his covenant with crime.
COL. STOREY : If the Tribunal please, next will be some witnesses, and Colonel Amen will handle the interrogation. Colonel Amen.
COLONEL JOHNHARLAN AMEN (Associate Trial Counsel for the United States): May it please the Tribunal, I wish to call as a witness for the Prosecution, Mr. Otto Ohlendorf.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you spell it, please?
COL. AMEN : O-h-l-e-n-d-o-r-f, the first name being Otto. Your Lordship will note that his name appears under Amt III on the chart on the wall.
THE PRESIDENT: What did you say appeared?
COL. AMEN : The name of this witness appears under Amt III of the chart, RSHA, the large square, the third section down.
THE PRESIDENT: Amt III. Oh, yes; I see it.
THE PRESIDENT: Otto Ohlendorf, will you repeat this oath after me: "I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing."
COL. AMEN : Will you try to speak slowly and pause between each question and answer.
OTTO OHLENDORF(Witness): Yes.
COL. AMEN : Where were you born?
OHLENDORF: In Hohen-Egelsen.
COL. AMEN : How old are you?
OHLENDORF: Thirty-eight years old.
COL. AMEN : When, if ever, did you become a member of the National Socialist Party?
COL. AMEN : When, if ever, did you become a member of the SA?
OHLENDORF: For the first time in 1926.
COL. AMEN : When, if ever, did you become a member of the SS?
OHLENDORF: I must correct my answer to the previous question; I thought you were asking about my membership in the SS.
COL. AMEN : When did you become a member of the SA?\
OHLENDORF: In the year 1925.
COL. AMEN : When, if ever, did you join the SD?
OHLENDORF: In 1936.
COL. AMEN : What was your last position in the SD?
OHLENDORF: Chief of Amt III in the RSHA.
COL. AMEN : Turning to the chart on the wall behind you, will you tell the Tribunal whether you can identify that chart in any way.
OHLENDORF: I have already seen this chart. I worked on it, and I can identify it as accurate.
COL. AMEN : What, if anything, did you have to do with making up that chart?
OHLENDORF: This chart was made up during my interrogation.
COL. AMEN : For the information of the Tribunal, that is Exhibit Number USA-493, the chart of which the witness speaks.
OHLENDORF: I didn't understand you.
COL. AMEN : Will you tell the Tribunal whether that chart correctly portrays the basic organization of the RSHA, as well as the position of Kaltenbrunner, the Gestapo, and the SD in the German Police system?
OHLENDORF: This chart represents the organization of the RSHA. It shows the correct position of the SD departments, of the State Police, and of the Secret Police.
COL. AMEN : Referring once more to the chart, please indicate your position in the RSHA and state for what period you continued to serve in that capacity.
COL. AMEN : What were the positions of Kaltenbrunner, Muller, and Eichmann in the RSHA, and state for what periods of time each of them continued to serve in his respective capacity?
OHLENDORF: Kaltenbrunner was Chief of the Sicherheitspolizei and the SD; as such, he was also Chief of the RSHA, the internal organizational term for the office of the chief of the Sicherheitspolizei and the SD.
Kaltenbrunner occupied this position from 30 January 1943 until the end of the war. Muller was Chief of Amt IV, the Gestapo. When the Gestapo was established, he became Deputy Chief, and as such he logically became Chief of Amt IV of the RSHA. He occupied this position until the end of the war. Eichmann occupied a position in Amt IV under Muller and worked on the Jewish problem from 312approximately 1940 onwards. To my knowledge, he also occupied this position until the end of the war.
COL. AMEN : Did you tell us for what period of time you continued to serve as Chief of Amt III?
OHLENDORF: I was part-time Chief of Amt III from 1939 to 1945.
COL. AMEN : Turning now to the designation "Mobile Units" with the Army shown in the lower right hand corner of the chart, please explain to the Tribunal the significance of the terms "Einsatzgruppe" and "Einsatzkommando."
OHLENDORF: The concept "Einsatzgruppe" was established after an agreement between the Chiefs of the RSHA, OKW, and OKH, on the separate use of Sipo units in the operational areas. The concept "Einsatzgruppe" first appeared during the Polish campaign.
The agreement with the OKH and OKW, however, was arrived at only before the beginning of the Russian campaign. This agreement specified that a representative of the Chief of the Sipo and the SD would be assigned to the army groups, or armies, and that this official would have at his disposal mobile units of the Sipo and the SD in the form of an Einsatzgruppe, subdivided into Einsatzkommandos. The Einsatzkommandos would, on orders from the army group or army, be assigned to the individual army units as needed.
COL. AMEN : State, if you know, whether prior to the campaign against Soviet Russia, any agreement was entered into between the OKW, OKH, and RSHA?
OHLENDORF: Yes, the Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos, as I have just described them, were used on the basis of a written agreement between the OKW, OKH, and RSHA.
COL. AMEN : How do you know that there was such a written agreement?
OHLENDORF: I was repeatedly present during the negotiations which Albrecht and Schellenberg conducted with the OKH and OKW; and I also had a written copy of this agreement, which was the outcome of these negotiations, in my own hands when I took over the Einsatzgruppe.
COL. AMEN : Explain to the Tribunal who Schellenberg was. What position, if any, did he occupy?
OHLENDORF: Schellenberg was, at the end, Chief of Amt VI in the RSHA; at the time when he was conducting these negotiations as the representative of Heydrich, he belonged to the Amt I.
COL. AMEN : On approximately what date did these negotiations take place?
OHLENDORF: The negotiations lasted several weeks. The agreement must have been reached about 1 or 2 weeks before the beginning of the Russian campaign.
COL. AMEN : Did you yourself ever see a copy of this written agreement?
COL. AMEN : Did you have occasion to work with this written agreement?
COL. AMEN : On more than one occasion?
OHLENDORF: Yes; in all questions arising out of the relationship between the Einsatzgruppen and the Army.
COL. AMEN : Do you know where the original or any copy of that agreement is located today?
COL. AMEN : To the best of your knowledge and recollection, please explain to the Tribunal the entire substance of this written agreement.
OHLENDORF: First of all, the agreement stated that Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos would be set up and used in the operational areas. This created a precedent, because until that time the Army had, on its own responsibility, discharged the tasks which would now fall solely to the Sipo. The second was the regulation as to competence.
THE PRESIDENT: You're going too fast. What is it that you say the Einsatzkommandos did under the agreement?
OHLENDORF: I said, this was the relationship between the Army and the Einsatzgruppen and the Einsatzkommandos. The agreement specified that the army groups or armies would be responsible for the movement and the supply of Einsatzgruppen, but that instructions for their activities would come from the Chief of the Sipo and SD.
COL. AMEN : Let us understand. Is it correct that an Einsatz group was to be attached to each army group or army?
OHLENDORF: Every army group was to have an Einsatzgruppe attached to it. The army group in its turn would then attach the Einsatzkommandos to the armies of the army group.
COL. AMEN : And was the army command to determine the area within which the Einsatz group was to operate?
OHLENDORF: The operational area of the Einsatzgruppe was already determined by the fact that it was attached to a specific army group and therefore moved with it, whereas the operational areas of the Einsatzkommandos were then fixed by the army group or army.
COL. AMEN : Did the agreement also provide that the army command was to direct the time during which they were to operate?
OHLENDORF: That was included under the heading "movement."
COL. AMEN : And also to direct any additional tasks they were to perform?
OHLENDORF: Yes. Even though the Chiefs of the Sipo and SD had the right to issue instructions to them on their work, there existed a general agreement that the army was also entitled to issue orders to the Einsatzgruppen, if the operational situation made it necessary.
COL. AMEN : What did this agreement provide with respect to the attachment of the Einsatz group command to the army command?
OHLENDORF: I can't remember whether anything specific was contained in the agreement about that. At any rate a liaison man between the army command and the SD was appointed.
COL. AMEN : Do you recall any other provisions of this written agreement?
OHLENDORF: I believe I can state the main contents of that agreement.
COL. AMEN : What position did you occupy with respect to this agreement?
OHLENDORF: From June 1941 to the death of Heydrich in June 1942, I led Einsatzgruppe D, and was the representative of the Chief of the Sipo and the SD with the 11th Army.
COL. AMEN : And when was Heydrich's death?
OHLENDORF: Heydrich was wounded at the end of May 1942, and died on 4 June 1942.
COL. AMEN : How much advance notice, if any, did you have of the campaign against Soviet Russia?
OHLENDORF: About 4 weeks.
COL. AMEN : How many Einsatz groups were there, and who were their respective leaders?
OHLENDORF: There were four Einsatzgruppen, Group A, B. C, and D. Chief of Einsatzgruppe A was Stahlecker; Chief of Einsatzgruppe B was Nebe; Chief of Einsatzgruppe C, Dr. Rasche, and later, Dr. Thomas; Chief of Einsatzgruppe D, I myself, and later Bierkamp.
COL. AMEN : To which army was Group D attached?
OHLENDORF: Group D was not attached to any army group, but was attached directly to the 11th Army.
COL. AMEN : Where did Group D operate?
OHLENDORF: Group D operated in the Southern Ukraine.
COL. AMEN : Will you describe in more detail the nature and extent of the area in which Group D originally operated, naming the cities or territories?
OHLENDORF: The northernmost city was Cernauti; then southward through Mohilev-Podolsk, Yampol, then eastward Zuvalje, Czervind, Melitopol, Mariopol, Taganrog, Rostov, and the Crimea.
COL. AMEN : What was the ultimate objective of Group D?
OHLENDORF: Group D was held in reserve for the Caucasus, for an army group which was to operate in the Caucasus.
COL. AMEN : When did Group D commence its move into Soviet Russia?
OHLENDORF: Group D left Duegen on 21 June and reached Pietra Namsk in Romania in 3 days. There the first Einsatzkommandos were already being demanded by the Army, and they immediately set off for the destinations named by the Army. The entire Einsatzgruppe was put into operation at the beginning of July.
COL. AMEN : You are referring to the 11th Army?
COL. AMEN : In what respects, if any, were the official duties of the Einsatz groups concerned with Jews and Communist commissars?
OHLENDORF: On the question of Jews and Communists, the Einsatzgruppen and the commanders of the Einsatzkommandos were orally instructed before their mission.
COL. AMEN : What were their instructions with respect to the Jews and the Communist functionaries?
OHLENDORF: The instructions were that in the Russian operational areas of the Einsatzgruppen the Jews, as well as the Soviet political commissars, were to be liquidated.
COL. AMEN : And when you say "liquidated" do you mean "killed?"
OHLENDORF: Yes, I mean "killed."
COL. AMEN : Prior to the opening of the Soviet campaign, did you attend a conference at Pretz?
OHLENDORF: Yes, it was a conference at which the Einsatzgruppen and the Einsatzkommandos were informed of their tasks and were given the necessary orders.
COL. AMEN : Who was present at that conference?
OHLENDORF: The chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen and the commanders of the Einsatzkommandos and Streckenbach of the RSHA who transmitted the orders of Heydrich and Himmler.
COL. AMEN : What were those orders?
OHLENDORF: Those were the general orders on the normal work of the Sipo and the SD, and in addition the liquidation order which I have already mentioned.
COL. AMEN : And that conference took place on approximately what date?
OHLENDORF: About 3 or 4 days before the mission.
COL. AMEN : So that before you commenced to march into Soviet Russia, you received orders at this conference to exterminate the Jews and Communist functionaries in addition to the regular professional work of the Security Police and SD; is that correct?
COL. AMEN : Did you, personally, have any conversation with Himmler respecting any communication from Himmler to the chiefs of army groups and armies concerning this mission?
OHLENDORF: Yes. Himmler told me that before the beginning of the Russian campaign Hitler had spoken of this mission to a conference of the army groups and the army chiefs-no, not the army chiefs but the commanding generals-and had instructed the commanding generals to provide the necessary support.
COL. AMEN : So that you can testify that the chiefs of the army groups and the armies had been similarly informed of these orders for the liquidation of the Jews and Soviet functionaries?
OHLENDORF: I don't think it is quite correct to put it in that form. They had no orders for liquidation; the order for the liquidation was given to Himmler to carry out, but since this liquidation took place in the operational area of the army group or the armies, they had to be ordered to provide support. Moreover, without such instructions to the army, the activities of the Einsatzgruppen would not have been possible.
COL. AMEN : Did you have any other conversation with Himmler concerning this order?
OHLENDORF: Yes, in the late summer of 1941 Himmler was in Nikolaiev. He assembled the leaders and men of the Einsatzkommandos, repeated to them the liquidation order, and pointed out that the leaders and men who were taking part in the liquidation bore no personal responsibility for the execution of this order. The responsibility was his, alone, and the Fuehrer's.
COL. AMEN : And you yourself heard that said?
COL. AMEN : Do you know whether this mission of the Einsatz group was known to the army group commanders?
OHLENDORF: This order and the execution of these orders were known to the commanding general of the army.
COL. AMEN : How do you know that?
OHLENDORF: Through conferences with the army and through instructions which were given by the army on the execution of the order.
COL. AMEN : Was the mission of the Einsatz groups and the agreement between OKW, OKH, and RSHA known to the other leaders in the RSHA?
OHLENDORF: At least some of them knew of it, since some of the leaders were also active in the Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos in the course of time. Furthermore, the leaders who were dealing with the organization and the legal aspect of the Einsatzgruppen also knew of it.
COL. AMEN : Most of the leaders came from the RSHA, did they not?
OHLENDORF: Which leaders?
COL. AMEN : Of the Einsatz groups.
OHLENDORF: No, one can't say that. The leaders in the Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos came from all over the Reich.
COL. AMEN : Do you know whether the mission and the agreement were also known to Kaltenbrunner?
OHLENDORF: After his assumption of office Kaltenbrunner had to deal with these questions and consequently must have known details of the Einsatzgruppen which were offices of his.
COL. AMEN : Who was the commanding officer of the 11th Army?
OHLENDORF: At first, Ritter van Schober; later, Von Manstein.
COL. AMEN : Will you tell the Tribunal in what way or ways the commanding officer of the 11th Army directed or supervised Einsatz Group D in carrying out its liquidation activities?
OHLENDORF: An order from the 11th Army was sent to Nikolaiev stating that liquidations were to take place only at a distance of not less than 200 kilometers from the headquarters of the commanding general.
COL. AMEN : Do you recall any other occasion?
OHLENDORF: In Simferopol the army command requested the Einsatzkommandos in its area to hasten the liquidations, because famine was threatening and there was a great housing shortage.
COL. AMEN : Do you know how many persons were liquidated by Einsatz Group D under your direction?
OHLENDORF: In the year between June 1941 to June 1942 the Einsatzkommandos reported 90,000 people liquidated.
COL. AMEN : Did that include men, women, and children?
COL. AMEN : On what do you base those figures?
OHLENDORF: On reports sent by the Einsatzkommandos to the Einsatzgruppen.
COL. AMEN : Were those reports submitted to you?
COL. AMEN : And you saw them and read them?
OHLENDORF: I beg your pardon?
COL. AMEN : And you saw and read those reports, personally?
COL. AMEN : And it is on those reports that you base the figures you have given the Tribunal?
COL. AMEN : Do you know how those figures compare with the number of persons liquidated by other Einsatz groups?
OHLENDORF: The figures which I saw of other Einsatzgruppen are considerably larger.
COL. AMEN : That was due to what factor?
OHLENDORF: I believe that to a large extent the figures submitted by the other Einsatzgruppen were exaggerated.
COL. AMEN : Did you see reports of liquidations from the other Einsatz groups from time to time?
COL. AMEN : And those reports showed liquidations exceeding those of Group D; is that correct?
COL. AMEN : Did you personally supervise mass executions of these individuals?
OHLENDORF: I was present at two mass executions for purposes of inspection.
COL. AMEN : Will you explain to the Tribunal in detail how an individual mass execution was carried out?
OHLENDORF: A local Einsatzkommando attempted to collect all the Jews in its area by registering them. This registration was performed by the Jews themselves.
COL. AMEN : On what pretext, if any, were they rounded up?
OHLENDORF: On the pretext that they were to be resettled.
COL. AMEN : Will you continue?
OHLENDORF: After the registration the Jews were collected at one place; and from there they were later transported to the place of execution, which was, as a rule an antitank ditch or a natural excavation. The executions were carried out in a military manner, by firing squads under command.
COL. AMEN : In what way were they transported to the place of execution?
OHLENDORF: They were transported to the place of execution in trucks, always only as many as could be executed immediately. In this way it was attempted to keep the span of time from the moment in which the victims knew what was about to happen to them until the time of their actual execution as short as possible.
COL. AMEN : Was that your idea?
COL. AMEN : And after they were shot what was done with the bodies?
OHLENDORF: The bodies were buried in the antitank ditch or excavation.
COL. AMEN : What determination, if any, was made as to whether the persons were actually dead?
OHLENDORF: The unit leaders or the firing-squad commanders had orders to see to this and, if need be, finish them off themselves.
COL. AMEN : And who would do that?
OHLENDORF: Either the unit leader himself or somebody designated by him.
COL. AMEN : In what positions were the victims shot?
OHLENDORF: Standing or kneeling.
COL. AMEN : What was done with the personal property and clothing of the persons executed?
OHLENDORF: All valuables were confiscated at the time of the registration or the rounding up and handed over to the Finance
Ministry, either through the RSHA or directly. At first the clothing was given to the population, but in the winter of 1941-42 it was collected and disposed of by the NSV.
COL. AMEN : All their personal property was registered at the time?
OHLENDORF: No, not all of it, only valuables were registered.
COL. AMEN : What happened to the garments which the victims were wearing when they went to the place of execution?
OHLENDORF: They were obliged to take off their outer gar meets immediately before the execution.
COL. AMEN : All of them?
OHLENDORF: The outer garments, yes.
COL. AMEN : How about the rest of the garments they were wearing?
OHLENDORF: The other garments remained on the bodies.
COL. AMEN : Was that true of not only your group but of the other Einsatz groups?
OHLENDORF: That was the order in my Einsatzgruppe. I don't know how it was done in other Einsatzgruppen.
COL. AMEN : In what way did they handle it?
OHLENDORF: Some of the unit leaders did not carry out the liquidation in the military manner, but killed the victims singly by shooting them in the back of the neck.
COL. AMEN : And you objected to that procedure?
OHLENDORF: I was against that procedure, yes.
COL. AMEN : For what reason?
OHLENDORF: Because both for the victims and for those who carried out the executions, it was, psychologically, an immense burden to bear.
COL. AMEN : Now, what was done with the property collected by the Einsatzkommandos from these victims?
OHLENDORF: All valuables were sent to Berlin, to the RSHA or to the Reich Ministry of Finance. The articles which could be used in the operational area, were disposed of there.
COL. AMEN : For example, what happened to gold and silver taken from the victims?
OHLENDORF: That was, as I have just said, turned over to Berlin, to the Reich Ministry of Finance.
COL. AMEN : How do you know that?
OHLENDORF: I can remember that it was actually handled in that way from Simferopol.
COL. AMEN : How about watches, for example, taken from the victims?
OHLENDORF: At the request of the Army, watches were made available to the forces at the front.
COL. AMEN : Were all victims, including the men, women, and children, executed in the same manner?
OHLENDORF: Until the spring of 1942, yes. Then an order came from Himmler that in the future women and children were to be killed only in gas vans.
COL. AMEN : How had the women and children been killed previously?
OHLENDORF: In the same way as the men-by shooting.
COL. AMEN : What, if anything, was done about burying the victims after they had been executed?
OHLENDORF: The Kommandos filled the graves to efface the signs of the execution, and then labor units of the population leveled them.
COL. AMEN : Referring to the gas vans which you said you received in the spring of 1942, what order did you receive with respect to the use of these vans?
OHLENDORF: These gas vans were in future to be used for the killing of women and children.
COL. AMEN : Will you explain to the Tribunal the construction of these vans and their appearance?
OHLENDORF: The actual purpose of these vans could not be seen from the outside. They looked like closed trucks, and were so constructed that at the start of the motor, gas was conducted into the van causing death in 10 to 15 minutes.
COL. AMEN : Explain in detail just how one of these vans was used for an execution.
OHLENDORF: The vans were loaded with the victims and driven to the place of burial, which was usually the same as that used for the mass executions. The time needed for transportation was sufficient to insure the death of the victims.
COL. AMEN : How were the victims induced to enter the vans?
OHLENDORF: They were told that they were to be transported to another locality.
COL. AMEN : How was the gas turned on?
OHLENDORF: I am not familiar with the technical details.
COL. AMEN : How long did it take to kill the victims ordinarily?
OHLENDORF: About 10 to 15 minutes; the victims were not conscious of what was happening to them.
COL. AMEN : How many persons could be killed simultaneously in one such van?
OHLENDORF: About 15 to 25 persons. The vans varied in size.
COL. AMEN : Did you receive reports from those persons operating these vans from time to time?
OHLENDORF: I didn't understand the question.
COL. AMEN : Did you receive reports from those who were working on the vans?
OHLENDORF: I received the report that the Einsatzkommandos did not willingly use the vans.
COL. AMEN : Why not?
OHLENDORF: Because the burial of the victims was a great ordeal for the members of the Einsatzkommandos.
COL. AMEN : Now, will you tell who furnished these vans to the Einsatz groups?
OHLENDORF: The gas vans did not belong to the motor pool of the Einsatzgruppen but were assigned to the Einsatzgruppe as a special unit, headed by the man who had constructed the vans. The vans were assigned to the Einsatzgruppen by the RSHA.
COL. AMEN : Were the vans supplied to all of the different Einsatz groups?
OHLENDORF: I am not certain of that. I know only in the case of Einsatzgruppe D, and indirectly that Einsatzgruppe C also made use of these vans.
COL. AMEN : Are you familiar with the letter from Becker to Rauff with respect to these gas vans?
OHLENDORF: I saw this letter during my interrogation.
COL. AMEN : May it please the Tribunal, I am referring to Exhibit 501-PS, Exhibit USA-288, being a letter already in evidence, a letter from Becker to Rauff. (Turning to the witness.) Will you tell the Tribunal who Becker was?
OHLENDORF: According to my recollection, Becker was the constructor of the vans. It was he who was in charge of the vans of Einsatzgruppe D.
COL. AMEN : Who was Rauff?
OHLENDORF: Rauff was group leader in Amt II of the RSHA. Among other things, he was at that time in charge of transportation.
COL. AMEN : Can you identify that letter in any way?
OHLENDORF: The contents roughly correspond to my experiences and are therefore probably correct.
COL. AMEN : Will you look at the letter you and tell us whether you can identify it in any way?
OHLENDORF: The external appearance of the letter as well as the initial "R" (Rauff) on it, and the reference to Zwabel or Fabe: who took care of transportation under Rauff, seems to testify to the letter's authenticity. The contents roughly correspond to the experiences which I had at that time.
COL. AMEN : So that you believe it to be an authentic document,
COL. AMEN : Will you now lay it aside on the table there?
Referring to your previous testimony, will you explain to the Tribunal why you believe that the type of execution ordered by you, namely, military, was preferable to the shooting-in-the-neck procedure adopted by the other Einsatz groups?
OHLENDORF: On the one hand, the aim was that the individual leaders and men should be able to carry out the executions in a military manner acting on orders and should not have to make a decision of their own; it was, to all intents and purposes, an order which they were to carry out. On the other hand, it was known to me that through the emotional excitement of the executions ill-treatment could not be avoided, since the victims discovered too soon that they were to be executed and could not therefore endure prolonged nervous strain. And it seemed intolerable to me that individual leaders and men should in consequence be forced to kill a large number of people on their own decision.
COL. AMEN : In what manner did you determine which were the Jews to be executed?
OHLENDORF: That was not part of my task; but the identification of the Jews was carried out by the Jews themselves, since the registration was handled by a Jewish Council of Elders.
COL. AMEN : Did the amount of Jewish blood have anything to do with it?
OHLENDORF: I can't remember the details, but I believe that half-Jews were also considered as Jews.
COL. AMEN : What organizations furnished most of the officer personnel of the Einsatz groups and Einsatzkommandos?
OHLENDORF: I did not understand the question.
COL. AMEN : What organizations furnished most of the officer personnel of the Einsatz groups?
OHLENDORF: The officer personnel was furnished by the State Police, the Kripo, and, to a lesser extent, by the SD.
COL. AMEN : Kripo?
OHLENDORF: Yes, the State Police, the Criminal Police and, to a lesser extent, the SD.
COL. AMEN : Were there any other sources of personnel?
OHLENDORF: Yes, most of the men employed were furnished by the Waffen-SS and the Ordnungspolizei. The State Police and the Kripo furnished most of the experts, and the troops were furnished by the Waffen-SS and the Ordnungspolizei.
COL. AMEN : How about the Waffen-SS?
OHLENDORF: The Waffen-SS and the Ordnungspolizei were each supposed to supply the Einsatzgruppen with one company.
COL. AMEN : How about the Order Police?
OHLENDORF: The Ordnungspolizei also furnished the Einsatzgruppen with one company.
COL. AMEN : What was the size of Einsatz Group D and its operating area as compared with the other Einsatz groups?
OHLENDORF: I estimate that Einsatzgruppe D was one-half or two-thirds as large as the other Einsatzgruppen. That changed in the course of time, since some of the Einsatzgruppen were greatly enlarged.
COL. AMEN : May it please the Tribunal, I have other questions relating to organizational matters which I think would clarify some of the evidence which has already been in part received by the Tribunal; but I don't want to take the time of the Tribunal unless they feel that they want any more such testimony. I thought perhaps if any members of the Tribunal had questions they would ask this witness directly, because he is the best informed on these organizational matters of anyone who will be presented in Court.
THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now for 10 minutes.
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, the Tribunal does not think that it is necessary to go further into the organizational questions at this stage, but it is a matter which must be really decided by you because you know what the nature of the evidence which you are considering is.
So far as the Tribunal is concerned, they are satisfied at the present stage to leave the matter where it is. But there is one aspect of the witness' evidence which the Tribunal would like you to investigate, and that is whether the practices of which he has been speaking continued after 1942, and for how long.
COL. AMEN : (To the witness) Can you state whether the liquidation practices which you have described continued after 1942 and, if so, for how long a period of time thereafter?
OHLENDORF: I don't think that the basic order was ever revoked. But I cannot remember the details-at least not with regard to Russia-which would enable me to make concrete statements on this subject. The retreat began very shortly thereafter, so that the operational region of the Einsatzgruppen became ever smaller. I do know, however, that other Einsatzgruppen with similar orders had been envisaged for other areas.
COL. AMEN : Your personal knowledge extends up to what date?
OHLENDORF: I know that the liquidation of Jews was prohibited about six months before the end of the war. I also saw a document terminating the liquidation of Soviet commissars, but I cannot recall a specific date.
COL. AMEN : Do you know whether in fact it was so terminated?
OHLENDORF: Yes, I believe so.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to know the number of men in your Einsatz group.
OHLENDORF: There were about 500 men in my Einsatzgruppe, excluding those who were added to the group as assistants from the country itself.
THE PRESIDENT: Including them, did you say?
OHLENDORF: Excluding those who were added to the group from the country itself.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you know how many there would be in other groups?
OHLENDORF: I estimate that at the beginning there were seven to eight hundred men; but, as I said, this number changed rapidly in the course of time, since the Einsatzgruppen themselves acquired new people or succeeded in getting additional personnel from the RSHA.
THE PRESIDENT: The numbers increased, did they?
OHLENDORF: Yes, the numbers increased.
COL. AMEN : Now, here are perhaps just a half dozen of these questions I would like to ask, because I do think they might clear up, in the minds of the Tribunal, some of the evidence which has gone before. I shall be very brief, if that is satisfactory to the Tribunal. (Turning to the witness.) Will you explain the significance of the different widths of the blue lines on the chart?
OHLENDORF: The thick blue line between the position of Himmler as Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police and the RSHA is designed to show the identity of the offices of the chiefs of the Sicherheitspolizei and the SD in their tasks. The RSHA
treated both ministerial questions of leadership and individual executive questions, that is to say, matters of the Sipo and the SD. From the legal administrative point of view, however, the organizational scheme shows an illegal state of affairs in that the RSHA as such never actually had official validity. The formal, legal position was different from that shown on this chart. Party and State offices different authority were amalgamated. Under this designation RSHA, no directives or laws or orders could be issued on a legal basis, because the State Police, in its ministerial capacity, was still subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior, whereas the SD, despite this set-up, was an organ of the Party.
Therefore if I wanted to reproduce this administrative scheme accurately, I should, for example, have to put in place of Amt IV, the Amt "Political Police", a part of the former Hauptamt Sicherheitspolizei. This Amt "Political Police" existed formally to the very end and had sprung from the Police Department of the Ministry of the Interior. Also, the Secret State Police Amt. the Central Office of the Prussian Secret State Police, the head office of all the political police offices of the different Lander, continued to exist formally.
Thus, ministerial questions continued to be dealt with under the heading of the Minister of the Interior. So far as it was necessary to emphasize the formal competence of the Ministry of the Interior, this was indicated in the heading "Reich Minister of the Interior" with the filing notice "Pol," the former designation of the Police Department of the Ministry of the Interior, together with the appropriate filing notice of the competent department of the former Hauptamt Sicherheitspolizei; for example, filing notice "Pol-S" meant Sicherheitspolizei; "V" meant Amt Verwaltung und Recht (Administration and Law).
The RSHA was therefore nothing more than a camouflage designation which did not correctly represent the actual state of affairs but gave the Chief of the Sipo and the SD, as a collective designation for the Chief of the Hauptamt Sicherheitspolizei and the Chief of the SD Hauptamt (an office which existed until 1939), the opportunity of using one or the other letterhead at any time.
At the same time it gave him the opportunity of an internal amalgamation of all forces and the opportunity of a division of the spheres of work on a practical, effective basis. But the State offices in this Amt did remain in a way dependent on the Ministry of the Interior, and similarly the departments of the SD remained departments of the Party.
The SD Hauptamt, or the RSHA, had formally only the significance of an SS Main Office, in which the SS members of the Sipo 327and the SD belonged to the SS. But the SS, that is to say, Himmler, as Reichsfuehrer SS, gave these State offices no official authority to issue orders.
THE PRESIDENT: I am not sure that I follow altogether what you have been saying; but is what you have been saying the reason why you are shown on the chart as concerned with Amt m, which refers, apparently, only to inside Germany, while, according to your evidence, you were the head of Einsatz Group D, which was operating outside Germany?
OHLENDORF: The fact that I led an Einsatzgruppe had nothing to do with my position as Chief of Amt III. I led the Einsatzgruppe as an individual and not as Chief of Amt III; and in my capacity as leader of an Einsatzgruppe, I entered into a completely new function and assumed an office completely separate from my previous one.
THE PRESIDENT: I see. And did it involve that you left Germany and went into the area invaded in the Soviet Union?
COL. AMEN : Will you now explain the significance of the dotted blue lines, as compared with the solid blue lines on the right-hand side of the chart?
OHLENDORF: The solid lines indicate a direct official channel for orders, whereas the dotted lines signify that there was, as a rule, no direct channel.
COL. AMEN : Was the term "SD" ever used to include both the Sipo and the SD?
OHLENDORF: In the course of years the term "SD" was used more and more incorrectly. It came to be established as an abbreviation for Sipo and SD, without actually being suitable for that. "SD" was originally simply a designation for the fact that someone belonged to the SS through the SD Main Office. When the SD Main Office was dissolved and was taken over into the RSHA, the question arose whether the designation SD, which was also worn as insignia on the sleeve of the particular SS man, should be replaced by another insignia or a new abbreviation, e.g., RSHA. That was not done because the camouflage of the RSHA would thereby have been endangered. But when, for example, I read in a Fuehrer order that in France people were to be turned over to the SD, that was a case in point of the false use of the designation SD, because there were no such offices in France and the SD, insofar as it functioned in departments, e.g., Amt III, had no executive power but was purely an intelligence organ.
COL. AMEN : Briefly, what was the relationship between the SS and the Gestapo?
OHLENDORF: The relationship between the SS and Gestapo was this: The Reichsfuehrer SS, as such, took over the tasks of the Police and attempted to link the State Police and the SS more closely, that is to say, on the one hand to employ only members of the State Police who were eligible for the SS and, on the other hand, to use the institutions of the SS, e.g., education and training of the younger generation by the Waffen-SS, in order in this way to supply recruits for the State Police. This amalgamation was later extended by Himmler in an attempt to bring about the same relationship between the SS and the Ministry of the Interior, i.e., the whole internal administration.
COL. AMEN : About how many full-time agents and honorary auxiliary personnel did the SD employ?
OHLENDORF: Yes, well, in this connection, too, one cannot use the term SD; one must distinguish here between Amt III and Amt VI. Amt III, as the interior intelligence service, had about 3,000 salaried members, including men and women. On the other hand, the interior intelligence service worked essentially with honorary members, that is, with men and women who put their professional experiences and the experiences in their surroundings at the disposal of the interior intelligence service. I would judge their number to be roughly 30,000.
COL. AMEN : Will you briefly give the Tribunal a general example of how a typical transaction was handled through the channels indicated on the chart?
OHLENDORF: First, a general example, invented to make things clear. Himmler heard that more and more saboteurs were being dropped from planes into Germany and were endangering transportation and factory sites. He informed Kaltenbrunner in the latter's capacity as Chief of the Sipo and instructed him to draw the attention of his organs to this state of affairs and to take measures ensuring that these saboteurs would be seized as soon and as completely as possible.
Kaltenbrunner instructed the chief of Amt IV, that is, the State Police, to prepare an order to this effect for the regional offices. This order was drawn up by the competent authorities in Amt IV and was either transmitted by Muller directly to the State Police offices in the Reich or-and this is more probable on account of the importance of the question and the necessity to bring the order at the same time to the attention of the other offices of the Sicherheitspolizei-or he gave it to Kaltenbrunner, who signed it and sent it to the regional offices in the Reich.
An order of this sort laid down, for example, that the States Police offices were to report the measures they were taking as well as their results. These reports went back through the same329
channels from the regional offices to the competent authorities in Amt IV, from there to the Chief of Amt IV, from there to the Chief of the Sicherheitspolizei, Kaltenbrunner, and then to the Chief of the German Police Himmler.
COL. AMEN : And, finally will you give a specific example of a typical transaction handled through the channels indicated on the chart?
OHLENDORF: I take the example of the arrest of the leaders of the leftist parties after the events of the 20th of July: This order was also transmitted from Himmler to Kaltenbrunner; Kaltenbrunner passed it on to Amt IV and an appropriate draft for a decree was formulated by Amt IV, signed by Kaltenbrunner, and sent to the regional offices. The reports were returned from the subordinate offices back to the higher offices along the same channels.
COL. AMEN : May it please the Tribunal. The witness is now available to other counsel. I understand that Colonel Pokrovsky has some questions that he wishes to ask on behalf of the Soviets.
COLONEL Y. V. POKROVSKY (Deputy Chief Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R.): The testimony of the witness is important for the clarification of questions in a report on which the Soviet Delegation is at present working. Therefore, with the permission of the Tribunal I would like to put a number of questions to the witness. (Turning to the witness.) Witness, you said that you were present twice at the mass executions. On whose orders were you an inspector at the executions?
OHLENDORF: I was present at the executions on my own initiative.
COL. POKROVSKY : But you said that you attended as inspector.
OHLENDORF: I said that I attended for inspection purposes.
COL. POKROVSKY : On your initiative?
COL. POKROVSKY : Did one of your chiefs always attend the executions for purposes of inspection?
OHLENDORF: Whenever possible I sent a member of the staff of the Einsatzgruppe to witness the executions, but this was not always feasible since the Einsatzgruppen had to operate over great distances.
COL. POKROVSKY : Why was some person sent for purposes of inspection?
OHLENDORF: Would you please repeat the question?
COL. POKROVSKY : For what purpose was an inspector sent?
OHLENDORF: To determine whether or not my instructions regarding the manner of the execution were actually being carried out.
COL. POKROVSKY : Am I to understand that the inspector was to make certain that the execution had actually been carried out?
OHLENDORF: No, it would not be correct to say that. He was to ascertain whether the conditions which I had set for the execution were actually being carried out.
COL. POKROVSKY : What manner of conditions had you in mind?
OHLENDORF: 1. Exclusion of the public; 2. Military execution by a firing-squad; 3. Arrival of the transports and carrying out of the liquidation in a smooth manner to avoid unnecessary excitement; 4. Supervision of the property to prevent looting. There may have been other details which I no longer remember. At any rate, all ill-treatment, whether physical or mental, was to be prevented through these measures.
COL. POKROVSKY : You wished to make sure that what you considered to be an equitable distribution of this property was effected, or did you aspire to complete acquisition of the valuables?
COL. POKROVSKY : You spoke of ill-treatment. What did you mean by ill-treatment at the executions?
OHLENDORF: If, for instance, the manner in which the executions were carried out caused excitement and disobedience among the victims, so that the Kommandos were forced to restore order by means of violence.
COL. POKROVSKY : What do you mean by "restore order by means of violence"? What do you mean by suppression of the excitement amongst the victims by means of violence?
OHLENDORF: If, as I have already said, in order to carry out the liquidation in an orderly fashion it was necessary, for example, to resort to beating.
COL. POKROVSKY : Was it absolutely necessary to beat the victims?
OHLENDORF: I myself never witnessed it, but I heard of it.
COL. POKROVSKY : From whom?
OHLENDORF: In conversations with members of other Kommandos. (0nly the first half of the preceding question, originally spoken in Russian, was transmitted to the witness in German by the interpreter. The answer of the witness, therefore, refers only to this fist half of the question. Back
COL. POKROVSKY : You said that cars, autocars, were used for the executions?
COL. POKROVSKY : Do you know where, and with whose assistance, the inventor, Becker, was able to put his invention into practice?
OHLENDORF: I remember only that it was done through Amt II of the RSHA; but I can no longer say that with certainty.
COL. POKROVSKY : How many were executed in these cars?
OHLENDORF: I did not understand the question.
COL. POKROVSKY : How many persons were executed by means of these cars?
OHLENDORF: I cannot give precise figures, but the number was comparatively very small-perhaps a few hundred.
COL. POKROVSKY : You said that mostly women and children were executed in these vans. For what reason?
OHLENDORF: That was a special order from Himmler to the effect that women and children were not to be exposed to the mental strain of the executions; and thus the men of the Kommandos, mostly married men, should not be compelled to aim at women and children.
COL. POKROVSKY : Did anybody observe the behavior of the persons executed in these vans?
OHLENDORF: Yes, the doctor.
COL. POKROVSKY : Did you know that Becker had reported that death in these vans was particularly agonizing?
OHLENDORF: No. I learned of Becker's reports for the first time from the letter to Rauff, which was shown to me here. On the contrary, I know from the doctor's reports that the victims were not conscious of their impending death.
COL. POKROVSKY : Did any military units-I mean, Army units-take part in these mass executions?
OHLENDORF: As a rule, no.
COL. POKROVSKY : And as an exception?
OHLENDORF: I think I remember that in Nikolaiev and in Simferopol a spectator from the Army High Command was present for a short time.
COL. POKROVSKY : For what purpose?
OHLENDORF: I don't know, probably to obtain information personally.
COL. POKROVSKY : Were military units assigned to carry out the executions in these towns?
OHLENDORF: Officially, the Army did not assign any units for this purpose; the Army as such was actually opposed to the liquidation.
COL. POKROVSKY : But in practice?
OHLENDORF: Individual units occasionally volunteered. However, at the moment I know of no such case among the Army itself, but only among the units attached to the Army (Heeresgefolge).
COL. POKROVSKY : You were the man by whose orders people were sent to their death. Were Jews only handed over for the execution by the Einsatzgruppe or were Communists-"Communist officials" you call them in your instructions-handed over for execution along with the Jews?
OHLENDORF: Yes, activists and political Commissary. Mere membership in the Communist Party was not sufficient to persecute or kill a man.
COL. POKROVSKY : Were any special investigations made concerning the part played by persons in the Communist Party?
OHLENDORF: No, I said on the contrary that mere membership of the Communist Party was not, in itself, a determining factor in persecuting or executing a man; he had to have a special political function.
COL. POKROVSKY : Did you have any discussions on the murder vans sent from Berlin and on their use?
OHLENDORF: I did not understand the question.
COL. POKROVSKY : Had you occasion to discuss, with your chiefs and your colleagues, the fact that motor vans had been sent to your own particular Einsatzgruppe from Berlin for carrying out the executions? Do you remember any such discussions?
OHLENDORF: I do not remember any specific discussion.
COL. POKROVSKY : Had you any information concerning the fact that members of the execution squad in charge of the executions were unwilling to use the vans?
OHLENDORF: I knew that the Einsatzkommandos were using these vans.
COL. POKROVSKY : No, I had something else in mind. I wanted to know whether you received reports that members of the execution squads were unwilling to use the vans and preferred other means of execution?
OHLENDORF: That they would rather kill by means of the gas vans than by shooting?
COL. POKROVSKY : On the contrary, that they preferred execution by shooting to killing by means of the gas vans.
OHLENDORF: Yes, I have already said that the gas van...
COL. POKROVSKY : And why did they prefer execution by shooting to killing in the gas vans?
OHLENDORF: Because, as I have already said, in the opinion of the leader of the Einsatzkommandos, the unloading of the corpses was an unnecessary mental strain.
COL. POKROVSKY : What do you mean by "an unnecessary mental strain"?
OHLENDORF: As far as I can remember the conditions at that time — the picture presented by the corpses and probably because certain functions of the body had taken place leaving the corpses lying in filth.
COL. POKROVSKY : You mean to say that the sufferings endured prior to death were clearly visible on the victims? Did I understand you correctly?
OHLENDORF: I don't understand the question; do you mean during the killing in the van?
COL. POKROVSKY : Yes.
OHLENDORF: I can only repeat what the doctor told me, that the victims were not conscious of their death in the van.
COL. POKROVSKY : In that case your reply to my previous question, that the unloading of the bodies made a very terrible impression on the members of the execution squad, becomes entirely incomprehensible.
OHLENDORF: And, as I said, the terrible impression created by the position of corpses themselves, and by the state of the vans which had probably been dirtied and so on.
COL. POKROVSKY : I have no further questions to put to this witness at the present stage of the Trial.
THE PRESIDENT: Does the Prosecutor for the French Republic desire to put any questions to the witness?
M FRANCOIS DE MENTHON (Chief Prosecutor for the French Republic): No.
THE PRESIDENT: Does the counsel for Kaltenbrunner desire to cross-examine now or at a later date?
DR. KAUFFMANN : Perhaps I could ask a few questions now and request that I be allowed to make my cross-examination later, after consultation with Kaltenbrunner.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
DR. KAUFFMANN : (Turning to the witness.): How long have you known Kaltenbrunner?
OHLENDORF: May I be allowed to sit? May I sit down?
THE PRESIDENT: Certainly.
OHLENDORF: I saw Kaltenbrunner for the first time during the journey from Berlin to Himmler's headquarters at the time when Kaltenbrunner was to be appointed Chief of the Sipo and SD. Before that, I only knew of his existence.
DR. KAUFFMANN : You did not know him?
OHLENDORF: I only knew of his existence.
DR. KAUFFMANN : Did you come into personal contact with Kaltenbrunner in private or official discussions after his appointment as Chief of the RSHA?
OHLENDORF: Yes, of course.
DR. KAUFFMANN : Do you know his views on the Jewish question, for example?
OHLENDORF: No, I don't know his particular views on this question.
DR. KAUFFMANN : Do you know his attitude in the church question?
OHLENDORF: In the question of the church-he repudiated the anti-church course followed in Germany. We agreed that an understanding had to be reached with the church.
DR. KAUFFMANN : Do you know his attitude on the liquidation of civilian prisoners, parachutists, and so on?
DR. KAUFFMANN : Do you know that Kaltenbrunner made special efforts to use the SD, in order to supply the criticism lacking at the Fuehrerstab?
OHLENDORF: Yes, that was the task of the SD even before Kaltenbrunner, and he also gave his material support to this task.
THE PRESIDENT: A little bit more slowly.
OHLENDORF: It was the task of the SD even before Kaltenbrunner came, and he approved and materially supported this tendency.
DR. KAUFFMANN : Do you know, either directly or indirectly, that Kaltenbrunner had no authority to give executive orders, for example, that he had no authority to send people to concentration camps or release them from concentration camps, that all these things were handled exclusively by Himmler and Muller?
OHLENDORF: I think this question is too general to be answered in a concrete way, it must be divided up.
If you ask whether Kaltenbrunner could order executive actions, I must answer in the affirmative. If you then name Himmler and Muller to the exclusion of Kaltenbrunner, I must point out that in 335the organization of the RSHA Muller was Kaltenbrunner's subordinate; and consequently orders from Himmler to Muller were also orders to Kaltenbrunner, and Muller was obliged to inform Kaltenbrunner of them.
On the other hand, it is certain that, particularly in regard to the concentration camps, the final decision on dispatch to them or release from them was really made by Himmler. I can say with absolute certainty-in this connection the expression "to the last washerwoman" was often used-that Himmler reserved the final decision for himself. Whether Kaltenbrunner had any authority at all in this regard, I cannot say definitely.
DR. KAUFFMANN : Did you personally see the original orders and original signatures of Kaltenbrunner ordering the liquidation of sabotage troops and so on?
DR. KAUFFMANN : Do you know, either directly or indirectly, that after Heydrich's death a change, which to be sure was not a formal change, took place and that another and milder course was followed by Kaltenbrunner?
OHLENDORF: I couldn't answer that question with concrete proof.
DR. KAUFFMANN : Then I will leave that question, and come to another. Did Kaltenbrunner know that you were an Einsatz leader in the East?
DR. KAUFFMANN : Who gave you this order?
DR. KAUFFMANN : Heydrich gave it to you? Then it was before this time?
OHLENDORF: Yes, of course.
DR. KAUFFMANN : I have no further questions at the moment.
THE TRIBUNAL(Major General I. T. Nikitchenko, Member for the U.S.S.R.): Witness Ohlendorf, can you answer up to what date the Einsatzgruppe under your command was operating?
OHLENDORF: The staff of the Einsatzgruppe went as far as the Caucasus and then returned. As far as I can remember, a combat command (Kampfkommando) was formed out of it under the name "Bierkamp," and that was used in fighting the partisans. Then, I think, the Einsatzgruppe was entirely disbanded, Bierkamp went into the Government General and took a large number of his men with him.
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): What did the group do after Bierkamp left?
OHLENDORF: I think I can say that the Einsatzgruppe ceased to exist after the retreat from the Caucasus. It took over tasks similar to those of the Wehrmacht under the immediate command of the Commander of the Sicherheitspolizei in the Ukraine and particularly under the command of the Higher SS and Police Leaders in the Ukraine.
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): In other words, it merely carried out its activities in different surroundings under different leadership, and that was all the difference. Such functions as were performed by the Einsatzgruppe in the past continued to be carried out in new surroundings.
OHLENDORF: No, it actually became a combat unit.
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): What does that mean? Against whom were the military actions directed?
OHLENDORF: Within the scope of operations directed against the partisan movement.
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): Can you say more particularly what this group was actually doing?
OHLENDORF: After the retreat?
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko):.When you say that the function of this group changed when it conducted operations against the partisans.
OHLENDORF: I have no concrete experiences myself. It was probably used for reconnaissance against the partisans and also in combat.
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): But did it carry out any executions?
OHLENDORF: I can no longer say that definitely for this period, for the unit now entered territories in which that sort of activity was out of the question.
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): In your testimony you said that the Einsatz group had the object of annihilating the Jews and the commissars, is that correct?
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): And in what category did you consider the children? For what reason were the children massacred?
OHLENDORF: The order was that the Jewish population should be totally exterminated.
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): Including the children?
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): Were all the Jewish children murdered?
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): But the children of those whom you considered as belonging to the category of commissars, were they also killed?
OHLENDORF: I am not aware that inquiries were ever made after the families of Soviet commissars.
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): Did you send anywhere reports on the executions which the group carried out?
OHLENDORF: Reports on the executions were regularly submitted to the RSHA.
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): No, did you personally send any reports on the annihilation of thousands of people which you effected? Did you personally submit any report?
OHLENDORF: The reports came from the Einsatzkommandos who carried out the actions, to the Einsatzgruppe and the Einsatzgruppe informed the RSHA.
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): Whom?
OHLENDORF: The reports went to the Chief of the Sipo personally.
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): Personally?
OHLENDORF: Yes, personally.
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): What was the name of this police officer? Can you give his name?
OHLENDORF: At that time, Heydrich.
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): After Heydrich? .
OHLENDORF: I was no longer there then, but that was the standing order.
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): I am asking you whether you continued to submit reports after Heydrich's death or not?
OHLENDORF: After Heydrich's death I was no longer in the Einsatz, but the reports were, of course, continued.
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): Do you know whether the reports continued to be submitted after Heydrich's death or not?
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): Yes?
OHLENDORF: No, the reports..
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): Was the order concerning the annihilation of the Soviet people in conformity with the policy
of the German Government or the Nazi Party or was it against it? Do you understand the question?
OHLENDORF: Yes. One must distinguish here: The order for the liquidation came from the Fuehrer of the Reich, and it was to be carried out by the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler.
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): But was it in conformity with the policy conducted by the Nazi Party and the German Government, or was it in contradiction to it?
OHLENDORF: A policy amounts to a practice so that in this respect it was a policy laid down by the Fuehrer. If you were to ask whether this activity was in conformity with the idea of National Socialism, then I should say "no."
THE TRIBUNAL(Gen. Nikitchenko): I am talking about the practice.
THE PRESIDENT: I understood you to say that objects of value were taken from the Jewish victims by the Jewish Council of Elders.
THE PRESIDENT: Did the Jewish Council of Elders settle who were to be killed?
OHLENDORF: The Jewish Council of Elders determined who was a Jew, and then registered the Jews individually.
THE PRESIDENT: And when they registered them did they take their valuables from them?
OHLENDORF: That was done in various ways. As far as I remember, the Council of Elders was given the order to collect valuables at the same time.
THE PRESIDENT: So that the Jewish Council of Elders would not know whether or not they were to be killed?
THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now until 5 minutes past 2.