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Share Share. Jonathan Zenti. Alessandro Mantovani Michele Farina. AMEN: That was due to what factor? OHLENDORF: I believe that to a large extent the figures submitted by the other Einsatzgruppen were exaggerated.
AMEN: Did you see reports of liquidations from the other Einsatz units from time to time? AMEN: And those reports showed liquidations exceeding those of Group D; is that correct?
AMEN: Did you personally supervise mass executions of these individuals? OHLENDORF: I was present at two mass executions for purposes of inspection.
AMEN: Will you explain in detail to the Tribunal 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.
AMEN: On what pretext, if any, were they rounded up? OHLENDORF: On the pretext that they were to be resettled. 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, bu firing squads under command. 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.
AMEN: Was that your idea? AMEN: And after they were shot what was done with the bodies? OHLENDORF: The bodies were buried in the antitank ditch or excavation.
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.
AMEN: And who would do that? OHLENDORF: Either the unit leader himself or somebody designated by him. AMEN: In what positions were the victims shot?
OHLENDORF: Standing or kneeling. AMEN: What was done with the personal property 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 it was collected and disposed of by the NSV. AMEN: All their personal property was registered at that time?
OHLENDORF: No, not all of it, only valuables were registered. 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 garments immediately before the execution. AMEN: All of them?
OHLENDORF: The outer garments, yes. AMEN: How about the rest of the garments they were wearing? OHLENDORF: The other garments remained on the bodies.
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. AMEN: In what way did they handle it. OHLENDORF: Some of the unit leaders did not carry out liquidations in the military manner, but killed the victims singly by shooting them in the back of the neck.
AMEN: And you objected to that procedure? OHLENDORF: I was against that procedure, yes. 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.
AMEN: Now, what was done with the property collected from the Einsatzkommandos from these victims? OHLENDORF: All valuables were sent to Berlin, to the RSHA or to the Reich Ministy of Finance.
The articles which could not be used in the operational area, were disposed of there. AMEN: For exemple, 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. OHLENDORF: I can remember that it was actually handled in that way from Simferopol.
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.
AMEN: Were all victims, including the men, women, and children executed in the same manner? OHLENDORF: Until the spring of , yes.
Then an order came from Himmler that in the future women and children were to be killed only in gas vans.
AMEN: How had women and children been killed previously? OHLENDORF: In the same was as the men - by shooting. 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 execution, and then labor units of the population leveled them.
AMEN: Referring to the gas vans that you said you received in the spring of , what order did you receive in respect to the use of these vans? OHLENDORF: These vans were in the future to be used for killing of women and children.
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 ten to fifteen minutes.
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. AMEN: How were the victims induced to enter the vans? OHLENDORF: They were told that they were to be transported to another locality.
AMEN: How was the gas turned on? OHLENDORF: I am not familiar with technical details. AMEN: How long did it take to kill the victims ordinarily?
OHLENDORF: About ten to fifteen minutes; the victims were not conscious of what was happening to them. AMEN: How many people could be killed simultaneously?
OHLENDORF: About fifteen to twenty-five persons. The vans varied in size. AMEN: Did you revceive reports from those persons operating the vans from time to time?
OHLENDORF: I didn't understand the question. 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.
AMEN: Why not? OHLENDORF: Because the burial of the victims was a great ordeal for the members of the Einsatzkommandos.
AMEN: Now, will you tell the Tribunal 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. AMEN: Were the vans supplied to all of the different Einsatz groups?
OHLENDORF: I am not certain. I know only in the case of Einsatzgruppe D, and indirectly that Einsatzgruppe C also made use of these vans 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 servous 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.
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.
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.
AMEN: What organization furnished most off the officer personnel of the Einsatz groups and Einsatzkommandos? OHLENDORF: I did not understand the question.
AMEN: What organization 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.
AMEN: Kripo? OHLENDORF: Yes, the State Police, the Criminal Police and, to a lesser extent, the SD. AMEN: Were there any other sources of personnel?
OHLENDORF: Yes, most of the men by the Waffen SS and the Ordnungspolizie. The State Police and the Kripo furnished most of the experts and the troops were firnished by the Waffen SS and the Ordungspolzei.
AMEN: How about the Waffen SS. OHLENDORF: The Waffen SS and the Ordungspolzei were each supposed to supply the Einsatzgruppen with one company.
AMEN: How about the Order Police. OHLENDORF: The Ordnungspolzei also furnished the Einsatzgruppen with one company. AMEN: What was the size of Einsatz Group D and its operating area as compared with other Einsatz groups?
OHLENDORF: I estimate that Einsatzgruppen 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.
AMEN: May it please the Tribunal, 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 any questions they would ask the witness directly because he is the best informed on these organizational matters of anyone who will be presented in court 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 that must be really decided by you because you know what nature of the evidence which you are considering is.
So far as the Tribunal is concerned, they are satified at the present stage to leave the matter where it stands, but there is one aspect of the witness's evidence which the Tribunal would like you to investigate, and that is whether the practices by which he has been speaking continued after , and for how long.
AMEN: [To the witness] Can you state whether the liquidation practices that you have described continued after and, if so, for how long a period oftime 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 similiar orders had been envisaged for other areas. 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 commissary but I cannot recall a specific date.
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 five hundredmen in my Einsatzgruppe, excluding those who were added to the goup as assistants from the country itself AMEN: May it please the Tribunal.
The witness is now available to other counsel. I understand that Colonel Pokrovsky has some questions that he wished to ask on behalf of the Soviets.
COLONEL Y. POKROVSKY Deputy Chief Prosecutor for the USSR : 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. On whose orders were you an inspector at the executions?
OHLENDORF: I was present at the executions on my own iniative. POKROVSKY: But you said you attended as inspector. OHLENDORF: I said that I attended for inspection purposes.
POKROVSKY: On your own initiative? 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 Einsatzgruppen towitness the executions but this was not always feasible since the Einsatzgruppen had to operate over great distances.
POKROVSKY: Why was some person sent for purposes of inspection? OHLENDORF: Would you please repeat the question? POKROVSKY: For what purpose was an inspector sent?
OHLENDORF: To determine whether or not my instructions regarding the manner of the execution were actually carried out. 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 acertain whether the conditions which I had set for the execution were actually being carried out.
POKROVSKY: What manner of conditions had you in mind? OHLENDORF: One: exclusion of the public; two: military execution by a firing-squad; three: arrival of transports and carrying out of the liquidation in a smooth manner to avoid unnecessary excitment; four: supervision of the property to prevent looting.
There may have been other details that I no longer remember. At any rate, all ill-treatment, whether pysical or mental, was to be prevented through these measures.
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?
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 by means of violence.
POKROVSKY: What do you mean by "restore order by means of violence"? What do you mean by supression 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.
POKROVSKY: Was it absolutely necessary to beat the victims? OHLENDORF: I myself never witnessed it, but I heard of it. POKROVSKY: From whom?
OHLENDORF: In conversations with members of other kommandos. POKROVSKY: You said that cars, autocars, were used for the executions? 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. POKROVSKY: How many persons were executed in these cars?
POKROVSKY: How many persons were executed by means of these cars? OHLENDORF: I cannot give precise figures, but the number was comparatively small - perhaps a few hundred.
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.
POKROVSKY: Did anybody observe the behavior of the persons executed in these vans? OHLENDORF: Yes, the doctor. POKROVSKY: Did you know that Becker had reported that death in these vans was particularly agonizing?
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.
POKROVSKY: Did any military units - I mean, army units - take part in these mass executions? OHLENDORF: As a rule, no.
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.
POKROVSKY: For what purpose? OHLENDORF: I don't know, probably to obtain information personally. POKROVSKY: Were military units assigned to carry out the executions in these towns?
OHLENDORF: Officially, the army did not assign any units for this pupose; the army as such was actually opposed to the liquidations. 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 units attached to the army Heeresgefolge.
POKROVSKY: You were the man by whose orders people were sent to their death. Were Jews only handed over for 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 commissars. Mere membership in the Communist Party was not sufficient to persecute or kill a man. 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.
POKROVSKY: Did you have any discussions on the murder vans sent from Berlin and on their use? POKROVSKY: Had you occasion to discuss, with your chiefs and your collegues, 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 discussion? OHLENDORF: I do not remember any specific discussion. 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 the vans. 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? POKROVSKY: On the contrary, that they preferred execution by shooting to killing by means of the gas vans.
OHLENDORF: You have already said the gas van 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.
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.
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? POKROVSKY: Yes. OHLENDORF: I can only repeat what the doctor told me, that the victims were not conscious of their death in the van.
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 probably by the state of the vans which had probably been dirtied and so on.
POKROVSKY: I have no further questions to put to this witness at the present stage of the trial THE TRIBUNAL Gen. Niktchenko : In your testimony you said that the Einsatz group had the object of annihilating the Jews and the commissars, is that correct?
Niktchenko : 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.
Niktchenko : Including the children? Niktchenko : Were all the Jewish children murdered? Niktchenko : But the children of those whom you considered as belonging to the catagory of commissars, were they also killed?
OHLENDORF: I am not aware that inquiries were ever made after the families of Soviet commmissars. Niktchenko : Did you send anywhere reports on the executions that the group carried out?
OHLENDORF: Reports on the executions were regularly submitted to the RSHA. Niktchenko : 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 RHSA.
Niktchenko : Whom? OHLENDORF: The reports went to the chief of Sipo personally. Niktchenko : Personally? OHLENDORF: Yes, personally.
Niktchenko : What was the name of this police officer? Can you give his name? OHLENDORF: At that time, Heydrich. Niktchenko : After Heydrich?
OHLENDORF: I was no longer there then, but that was the standing order. Niktchenko : 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. Niktchenko : Do you know whether the reports continued to be submitted after Heydrich's death or not?
Niktchenko : Yes? OHLENDORF: No, the reports Niktchenko : 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? One must distinguish here: the order for the liquidation came from the Führer of the Reich, and it was to be carried out by the Reichführer SS Himmler.
Niktchenko : 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 laid down by the Führer.
If you were to ask whether this activity was in conformity with the idea of National Socialism, then I would say "no". Niktchenko : 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: 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? OHLENDORF: Yes THE PRESIDENT: Now, a question concerning you personally.
From whom did you receive your orders for the liquidation of the Jews and so forth? And in what form? OHLENDORF: My duty was not the task of liquidation, but I did head the staff which directed the Einsatzkommandos in the field, and the Einsatzkommandos themselves had already received this order in Berlin on the instructions of Streckenbach, Himmler, and Heydrich.
This order was renewed by Himmler at Nikolaiev. HERR BABEL: You personally were not concerned with the execution of these orders?
OHLENDORF: I led the Einsatzgruppe, and therefore I had the task of seeing how the Einsatzkommandos executed the orders received.
HERR BABEL: But did you have no scruples in regard to the execution of these orders? OHLENDORF: Yes, of course. HERR BABEL: And how is it that they were carried out regardless of these scruples?
OHLENDORF: Because to me it is inconceivable that a subordinate leader should not carry out orders given by the leaders of the state. HERR BABEL: This is your opinion.
But this must have been not only your point of view but also the point of view of the majority of the people involved.
Didn't some of the men appointed to execute these orders ask you to be relieved of such tasks? OHLENDORF: I cannot remember any one concrete case.
I excluded some whom I did not consider emotionally suitable for executing these tasks and I sent some of them home. HERR BABEL: Was the legality of the orders explained to those people under false pretenses?
OHLENDORF: I do not understand your question; since the order was issued by the superior authorities, the question of legality could not arise in the minds of these individuals, for they had sworn obedience to the people who had issued the orders.
HERR BABEL: Could any individual expect to succeed in evading the execution of these orders? OHLENDORF: No, the result would have been a court martial with a corresponding sentence.
I am 34 years old and have been a member of the NSDAP since and a member of the SS since July I have been Hauptsturmfuehrer SS since From to , I was assigned in Berlin and from to in Danzig.
From to September , I was assigned as specialist on Jewish matters in Slovakia and my mission included service in Hungary and Greece.
I have known Adolph Eichmann, the former Chief of AMT IV A 4 of the Reichsicherheitshauptamt RSHA well since in which year we joined the Sicherheitsdienst SD.
Our relationship was so close that we addressed each other with the intimate" Du". We served together from to in Berlin and maintained friendly relations from until when he was in Vienna and I was in Danzig.
Eichmann's mission in Vienna was to direct the Central Office for Jewish Emigration and he later came to Berlin with the RSHA to take charge of AMT IV A 4 which was responsible for the solution of the Jewish question and for all church matters.
At Eichmann's suggestion, I accepted an assignment as expert for AMT IV A 4 in Slovakia dealing solely with the Jewish question. There were three distinct periods of activity affecting the Jews.
The first period covered the time from when the Jewish Section was founded till , during which the policy was to accelerate and compel Jewish emigration from Germany and Austria.
Because of this, the Central Office for Jewish Emigration was founded in Vienna and later on a corresponding institution in Prague.
After the victory over France, Madagascar was contemplated, but never used, as a site for the emigration. The second period during and covered the concentration of Jews in Poland and eastern territories, in Ghettos and concentration camps.
The last period, from beginning to October , covered the evacuation of Jews from all Germany and German controlled territories to concentration camps and their biological annihilation.
I first became interested in the number of Jews effected by measures taken through the RSHA when I met other specialists on Jewish matters in Eichmann's office in Berlin.
It was customary for Eichmann to call the specialists in for a meeting at least once a year, usually in November. Meetings were hold in , , and I was present at all but the latter meeting.
In these meetings each representative reported on conditions in his territory and Eichmann discussed the over-all picture. He particularly stressed total figures and the use of charts which included the number of Jews in different countries, their occupations, their age groups, and statements showing the portion of Jews to the total population of each country.
These charts did not include the number of persons effected by evacuation and extermination activities since these figures were kept secret. However, from many discussions with Eichmann and specialists on the Jewish question, I learned the effects of the program of final solution in each of the countries concerned.
I was sent to Berlin in July or August in connection with the status of Jews from Slovakia, which mission is referred to more fully hereinafter.
I was talking to Eichmann in his office in Berlin when he said that on written order of Himmler all Jews were to be exterminated. I requested to be shown the order.
He took a file from the safe and showed me a top secret document with a red border, indicating immediate action. It was addressed jointly to the Chief of the Security Police and SD and to the Inspector of Concentration Camps.
I designate the Chief of the Security Police and SD and the Inspector of Concentration Camps as responsible for the execution of this order.
The particulars of the program are to be agreed upon by the Chief of the Security Police and SD and the Inspector of Concentration Camps.
I am to be informed currently as to the execution of this order". The order was signed by Himmler and was dated some time in April Eichmann told me that the words "final solution" meant the biological extermination of the Jewish race, but that for the time being able-bodied Jews were to be spared and employed in industry to meet current requirements.
I realized at that time. The program of extermination was already under way and continued until late There was no change in the program during Kaltenbrunner's administration.
After my meeting with Eichmann in July or August , when I first learned of the Hitler order for final solution of the Jewish question by extermination, I became particularly interested in the number of persons effected and at every opportunity made notes on the basis of information from other countries.
In , my interest was further accentuated by requests for information from the Joint Distribution Committee and I thereafter took particular pains to collect all information available as to the number of Jews effected in other countries.
In Budapest I conferred with Dr. Rudolf Kastner, representative of the Joint Distribution Committee, and compared with him information on numerous occasions particularly dealing with the total number of Jews effected.
I was constantly in touch with Dr. Kastner after May I last saw him on 30 March , in my apartment in Vienna. On numerous occasions Eichmann told me that Jews had no value as except as laborers and that only percent were able to work I was present in Budapest in June or July at a meeting between Eichmann and Hoess, Commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, at which they talked specifically about the percentage of Hungarian Jews that would be strong enough for labor.
On the basis of transports previously received at Auschwitz and the supply of Jews inspected by him in collection centers, Hoess stated that only 20 or at the most 25 percent of these Hungarian Jews could be used for labor.
Hoess said that this percentage also pertained to all Jews transported to Auschwitz from all over German occupied Europe, with the exception of Greek Jews who were of such poor quality that Eichmann and Hoess said that all Jews unfit for labor were liquidated.
Among the able-bodied were women and some children over the age of 12 or 13 years. Both Eichmann and Hoess said that all Jews unfit for labor were liquidated.
All exterminations of Jews took place in closed camps. The camps at Auschwitz and Maidenek were referred to as extermination camps "A" and "M" respectively.
I know that Jews at Auschwitz and other extermination camps were killed with gas, starting at least as early as the spring of Eichmann said that in the cases of groups from which the able-bodied had already been selected, the remainder were gassed immediately upon their arrival at the concentration camps.
In cases, where there was no prior selection, the screening had to take place at the concentration camps before the unfit were gassed.
The inspections at concentration camps to determine who was considered able-bodied and who was to be executed were very superficial.
Late in , Himmler directed that all executions of Jews were to cease, but Eichmann did not carry out this order until he received a written directive signed by Himmler.
Unaccountable thousands of Jews who had been sent to concentration camps died of epidemics and undernourishment, such as in the camps at Flossenbrueck and Sachsenhausen.
In appendix A-l, I have prepared a chart of the organization of RSHA in to show the relative position of AMT IV A 4 and its subsections.
In the same exhibit, I have listed the experts on the Jewish problem who served in a capacity similar to my own in other countries. Their names and assignments were:.
Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Seidl Theresienstadt Hauptsturmfuehrer Wisliceny Slovakia Hauptsturmfuehrer Abromeit Croatia Hauptsturmfuehrer Dannecker Bulgaria Hauptsturmfuehrer Brunner France Obersturmbannfuehrer Krumey Lodz-later Vienna Hauptsturmfuehrer Burger Theresienstadt-later Athens.
I have also shown members of the staff in Eichmann's office that includes Hauptsturmfuehrer Franz Novak who had charge of all transportation matters concerning all evacuations of Jews and Untersturmfuehrer Hartenberger who was a specialist on individual cases.
In Appendix A-III I have set forth details as to their disposition. I consider Eichmann's character and personality important factors in carrying out measures against the Jews.
He was personally a cowardly man who went to great pains to protect himself from responsibility. He never made a move without approval from higher authority and was extremely careful to keep files and records establishing the responsibility of Himmler, Heydrich and later Kaltenbrunner.
I have examined many of the files in his office and knew his secretary very well and I was particularly impressed with the exactness with which he maintained files and records dealing with all matters in his department.
Every move taken by Eichmann in executing measures against the Jews was submitted to Heydrich and later to Kaltenbrunner for approval. I have seen signed duplicate copies of Eichmann's reports to Himmler.
These all went through the Chief of RSHA, Heydrich and later Kaltenbrunner, who signed them. Signed duplicate copies of these reports bearing the name of Kaltenbrunner were filed by Eichmann.
The regular channel was from Eichmann through Mueller to Kaltenbrunner and to Himmler. Eichmann was very cynical in his attitude toward the Jewish question.
He gave no indication of any human feeling toward these people. He was not immoral, he was amoral and completely ice-cold in his attitude.
He said to me on the occasion of our last meeting in February , at which time we were discussing our fates upon losing the war: "I laugh when I jump into the grave because of the feeling that I have killed 5,, Jews.
That gives me great satisfaction and gratification. According to Eichmann, he knew Kaltenbrunner from Linz and they had been good friends for many years.
They were both members of the illegal Nazi Party in Austria and were together in Vienna from to I know that their good relations continued to at least February Eichmann told me more than once that whenever he had any difficulties he took them up with Kaltenbrunner.
When Kaltenbrunner was appointed as Chief of the RSHA, Eichmann told me that his standing would be improved in the department because of his close connections with Kaltenbrunner.
Their friendship appeared to be very strong because I myself, in February witnessed a short meeting between Kaltenbrunner and Eichmann. They met in the vestibule of the office house of Eichmann, Kurfuersten Str.
My mission in Slovakia was to advise the Slovak government on all Jewish questions, I was instructed to establish good relations with the Slovak government and consider my work as a diplomatic mission.
I was assigned for administrative purposes to the German Legation at Bratislava and reported to Minister von Killinger, later to Minister Ludin.
Copies of these reports were sent to Eichmann to whom I regularly sent confidential SD reports. In when I visited the concentration area Sosnowitz where approximately , Jews were used as slavelabor.
We found conditions not favorable but bearable. Thereafter two concentration work areas were established in Slovakia at Sered and Novaky where about 4, Jews, who had been removed from their individual shops and business and were forced to labor in factories and joiner's workshops.
These work centers continued to operate until the insurrection in September In March and April , 17, specially selected Jews were sent to Lubin and Auschwitz, Poland, as construction workers and in May and June , approximately 35, members of their families were sent to Auschwitz, at the request of the Slovak government since no provision had been made to support these families.
At the request of the Slovak government, I went to Berlin in late July or August , to obtain permission for a Slovak commission to visit these Jews in the area of Lublin.
Eichmann speaking of the 35, in the second group, told me that such a mission would be, impossible and that "The Slovaks won't be able to see their Jews any more because they are no longer alive".
In September , there remained about 25, Jews in SIovakia. Some of these joined in the insurrection at that time. SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Brunner who had been sent to Slovakia from Paris in August pursuant to Eichmann's order, had all Jews that could be found arrested and sent to Sered.
They were thereafter transported to Auschwitz and executed. I know of no survivors from this evacuation of Jews from Slovakia, although many escaped who had hidden during the rounding up in October In January , I was ordered by Eichmann to go to Salonika and make arrangements with the military administration to find a final solution for the Jewish problem there.
Shortly before my departure from Bratislava I was told to meet Hauptsturmfuehrer Brunner in Vienna. He showed me a "Marsch" order and told me that he had been given the assignment by Eichmann to arrange all technical matters and that I was to make contacts with the authorities and governmental agencies.
We went to Salonika together on 2 February , and conferred with the Chief of the Military Administration, War Administrative Counsellor Dr.
Merten from the military command, Area Salonika-Aegeus. Also, the local branch office of the Secret Police and SD, the Criminal Commissioner Paschleben and Consul General Schoenberg.
Merten was the decisive authority and said he wished the Jews in Salonika first be concentrated in certain areas of the city. This was done without difficulty during February-March At least 80 percent of the Greek Jews were workers, laborers, craftsmen or longshoremen, but a large proportion of them had tuberculosis and had also suffered of epidemics raging in their quarters.
The Salonika Jews had lived in Greece since the 15th century when they had fled from the inquisition in Spain.
On or about 10 March, Eichmann sent Brunner a message that the compulsory evacuation Aussiedlung of Jews was to start at once.
Merten agreed to the action but requested 3, male Jewish workers for railroad construction work under the Organization Todt who were later returned in time for inclusion in the last transports.
I talked to Eichmann by telephone in Berlin telling him that typhus raged among the Jews but he said his orders for immediate compulsory evacuation would stand.
Some few foreign Jews were returned to their home country and about Jews of Spanish nationality were transported in August to Bergen-Belsen and in December to Spain.
These Jews had obtained their Spanish nationality during the last century while Greece was still under Turkish rule.
Altogether, 60, Jews were collected from Greece and shipped to Auschwitz. I am sure that this figure is approximately correct.
I know that twenty-four transports averaging approximately 2, human beings each were shipped from Salonika and surroundings between March and May , under the supervision of Hauptsturmfuehrer Brunner and myself, while two transports of about 2, each were shipped from Athens in July under the supervision of Hauptsturmfuehrer Burger.
The freight cars used in these transports were furnished by the Military Transport Command. The requests for these cars went from Hauptsturmfuehrer Novak in IV A 4 b to Department Counsellor Stange in the Ministry of Transport, Berlin and thence through channels to the area transport command.
Transports used in effecting the final solution of the Jewish problem commanded a sufficiently high priority to take precedence over other freight movements.
All shipments were made on schedule, even in July when the Germans were evacuating Greece and rail transport needs were critical.
Upon the departure of each transport a message was sent to Eichmann in Berlin stating the number of heads sent. I have seen copies of these cables in a folder kept by Brunner and upon completion of the movement of Jews from Northern Greece, Brunner made a summary report to Eichmann.
I returned to Bratislava for several weeks and arrived again in Salonika at the end of May at which time Brunner was preparing the last shipment. The last transport left Salonika two days after my arrival and upon completion of the last shipment, Brunner was transferred to Paris for his new assignment.
During the period of collection into designated areas, the Jewish population was compelled to furnish their own subsistence.
Upon arrival in the collecting camp, representatives of the Jewish community took over all cash and valuables from the inmates. Altogether, by August , ,, drachmas had been deposited in the Greek National Bank for such purpose.
This amount was appropriated by the German Military Administration. The property left behind, houses, businesses, apartments, movable belongings, etc.
In July , Hoess, Commandant of Auschwitz, told Eichmann in my presence in Budapest that all of the Greek Jews had been exterminated because of their poor quality.
In connection with the movement of the German Army into Hungary in March , it was agreed between Hitler and Horthy that the Army should not enter Budapest.
No mention was made of the Security Police, however, and an Einsatz Group of about members was secretly organized, under the leadership of Standartenfuehrer, later Oberfuehrer Dr.
The rank and file of the Einsatz Group consisted of members of the Security Police from all over Germany and occupied Europe, in addition about sixty men from the Waffen SS.
Shortly after arrival in Budapest, a further battalion of Waffen SS was assigned to the Einsatz Group for guard purposes. Most of the experts on final solution of the Jewish question in IV A 4 b were organized under the designation "Special Action Commando Eichmann".
This Special Commando was directly subordinated to the Chief of the Security Police and SD, Kaltenbrunner. Both the Einsatz Group and the Special Commando were first activated about 10 March The personnel were assembled at Mauthausen in Linz, Austria, and moved later into Hungary 19 March Matters of personnel for the Special Action Commandos were handled by Geschke, while all operations were directed by Eichmann personally.
The Army had informed higher SS and Police Leader Winckelman as representative of Himmler, and Oberfuehrer Piffrader and Dr. Geschke as representatives of RSHA, of the place and hour of the invasion of Hungary.
I had advance knowledge of the action that was to be undertaken although it was kept secret from the rank and file of the group. I had seen Eichmann studying maps of Hungary in advance of the movement.
We marched into Budapest on 19 March ahead of the Army and Eichmann arrived there on 21 March. During the first days after arrival in Budapest, Eichmann, Hunsche and I conferred with Endre and von Baky who were Administrative State, Secretary and Political State Secretary respectively of the Ministry of Interior for Hungary.
Actions against Jews, were discussed in the smallest detail. It was the purpose to start, evacuation of Jews as soon as possi1e. In late March , about Jews prominent in the economical and cultural life of Hungary were taken as hostages on orders of Geschke.
Thereafter in accordance with. Colonel Ferenzcy who had the same relative position for the Hungarian Ministry of Interior as, K had for Special Action Commando Eichmann in the carrying out of these actions.
Eichmann's delegates were sent to each of the larger collecting points. While detailed preparations were being made and actions taken to prepare all Hungarian Jews for evacuation, Dr.
Rudolph Kastner of the Joint Distribution Committee gave me 3,, pengoe for Eichmann to induce him to grant a first interview on the Jewish question.
This money was carefully counted and taken over by Geschke's treasurer. About 8 or 10 April, a meeting was arranged at the Hotel Majestic in Eichmann's office between Dr.
Kastner, Mr. Brand another representative of: the Cornmittee, and Eichmann. There followed a series of conversations in which Eichmann was implored to leave Hungarian Jews aIone upon an offer to pay any amount to stop further action.
Eichmann reported the situation to Himmler who sent Standartenfuehrer Becher to continue negotiations in Budapest. Demand was made by Becher for payment in trucks and raw materials with the condition.
I was later informed that this proposal was turned down by the Allied countries because there was no assurance that they would not be used against the U.
As Eichmann had predicted and wished, the negotiations failed and although Dr. Kastner fought bitterly to obtain some concessions, the planned actions went ahead.
I think it quite important to describe the attitude of the Hungarian Government. According to Ferenzcy, the Hungarian Government at first agreed only to concentrate the Jews in certain collecting points.
Conditions created by the massing of hundreds of thousands of people in narrow camps were unbearable. The inmates could not be fed or taken care of.
Ferenzcy went to Budapest about 20 April , and reported to Endre and von Baky that either the Jews would have to be returned to their homes or removed to other areas.
This was Eichmann's hoped for moment. He declared that he would be ready to take over these Jews if the Hungarian government would make a special request.
It happened as follows: Ferenczy arrived in Budapest in the morning, reported to von Baky who sent him to Eichmann. Ferenzcy saw Eichmann around noon and received Eichmann's request.
At 4 o'clock in the afternoon the Hungarian government had made the demanded request. Eichmann arranged at once in Vienna conference of transport experts for the arrangement of the time table of the evacuation.
In this conference, Novak, for the Hungarians Captain Lulay, Ferenzcy's Adjutant, participated and in addition, representatives from the Reich Ministry of Transport were present.
I saw copies of the cables which were sent regarding all these matters from Eichmann to the Chief of the Security Police and SD, Kaltenbrunner, reporting the developments; furthermore, a cable to Eichmann's deputy, Sturmbannfuehrer Rolf Guenther requesting him to immediately inform the Inspector of concentration camps, Brigadefuehrer Glicks of the arrival of the Hungarian Jews in Auschwitz and ask him to make all necessary preparations for their reception.
The evacuation of Jews from Hungary took place in four stages. First, Karpato-Russia and Northern Transylvania from which area approximately , were evacuated.
The second stage was in Northern Hungary including parts ceded by Slovakia. There were about 42, evacuated from this area. The third stage covered Southern Hungary.
The fourth stage covered, Western Hungary and removed about 40, Jews. Action in this area started at the end of the first stage and continued during the second in Northern Hungary.
A special action took place in Batschka involving about 10, The aggregate number in these four stages was approximately , Only the city of Budapest remained outside the scope of the evacuations.
Eichmann and his fellow conspirators, Endre and von Baky, made repeated attempts to carry through actions in Budapest but were prevented by the intervention of Horthy who, through the intermediary of Dr.
Kastner and I, was informed of the planned actions. Negotiations between the Joint Distribution Committee and Himmler's representative, Becher, continued during all this time.
Fearing that some kind of an agreement would eventually be achieved, Eichmann decided to send about 9, Hungarian Jews to Vienna, he called them "Joint Jews" so they could be shown to representatives of the Joint Distribution Committee.
It was Krumey who sold the idea to Eichmsnn. In this connection, Eichmann together with Becher visited Himmler in July.
In August , 3, additional "Joint Jews" were sent to Bergen-Belsen from where, in December, they were sent to Switzerland.
In November and December , about 30, Jews were evacuated from Budapest to Austria. A small number were forwarded to the concentration camps of Flossenbrueck and Sachsenhausen.
The evacuation of these 30, took place under terrible conditions. The group consisted mostly of women and some Jewish units from the Hungarian labor' service, and they were forced to walk about kilometers in rain and snow and without food to the Austrian border.
There Abromeit and I were charged with receiving the group and further transporting them to the labor camps. The group arrived in a state of complete exhaustion and I was told by the Hungarian guards that a considerable number had died of exhaustion and starvation during the march.
I first refused but was later compelled to take over the transport from the Hungarians when this protest was reported by the Hungarians to Eichmann.
From that moment on, Eichmann com-pletely lost his confidence in me, a confidence which had already earlier been shaken.