Interrogatoire de Rudolf Höss à Nuremberg les 1er et 2 avril 1946


Préambule (par PHDN)

Nous présentons ici un document qui fut brièvement disponible sur le site du Holocaust History Project, mais absent de la version que nous avions archivée et remise en ligne. La restitution de ce document dans son format original étant difficile à réaliser, nous le présentons directement au sein de PHDN, mais reproduisons la plus grande partie de l’introduction initialement proposée par tHHP.

L’interrogatoire de l’ancien commandant d’Auschwitz, dans le cadre de la déposition qu’il ferait pendant le Procès de Nuremberg, s’étend sur deux jours, réciproquement 41 pages pour le premier avril 1946 et 31 pour le deux avril. Nous avons vérifié la source utilisée par tHHP (The Holocaust: Selected Documents in Eighteen Volumes): la pagination que nous reproduisons est celle du document original. Dans la publication utilisée, la première page du document est la page 56 de l’ouvrage (le 1er avril couvre les pages 56 à 96 et le 2 avril 97 à 127). John Mendelsohn ne fournit pas la cote archivistique du document source, mais celui-ci est très probablement reproduit dans NARA R 238 M1270 (Interrogation Records Prepared for War Crimes Proceedings at Nuernberg, 1945-1947. Microfilm Publication M1270) dont la description mentionne l’interrogatoire de Höss.

Il existe d’autres dépositions de Rudolf Höss, pour certaines accessibles en ligne. Nous en mentionnons quelques unes ci-après:


Introduction (by the Holocaust History Project)

Rudolf Höß, also spelled Höss or Hoess, was the original Commandant of the Auschwitz death camp. Approximately one million Jews were murdered in the gas chambers built by Höß in the period from the summer of 1941 to late 1944, when the gas chambers were destroyed by order of Heinrich Himmler.

The testimony that is presented in these pages was obtained in Nuremberg during two pre-trial interrogations: one on April 1 1946, the second a day later on April 2, 1946.

Only the most cynical reader can fail to be shocked by this testimony. Höß responds to his interrogators in a matter-of-fact manner, showing neither guilt nor pride for his handiwork. One of his captors later said "There were two different men in that one man," and in this transcript, we do not see the better of the two.

For students who may not be familiar with Rudolf Höß and his testimony at Nuremberg following this interrogation, we should point out that not all of his statements given here are accepted at face value by historians. Höß was one witness among many. Like every witness, his beliefs must be synthesized with the other facts that are known. In particular, when it comes to his tally of the victims - a tally which he not only failed to keep but was forbidden to keep, and which was demanded to include even the periods when he was not at the camp - Höß is rather inaccurate. Even so, it bears notice that he rejects the figure of four million, alleged at the Nuremberg Trial, and uses instead a figure that was cited to him by Eichmann.

It goes without saying that the historical method of Holocaust-deniers, who claim that all Höß's statements must be ignored because he got some numbers and dates wrong, is intellectually bankrupt. No more credible is the claim that Höß was tortured and told what to say. In his memoirs, written later in Poland, he laments that he was beaten and otherwise poorly treated - Miranda rights were not yet in effect - but he at no point even alleges that he was fed a story.

While the transcript that follows may have some errors regarding the number of people that were murdered in Auschwitz, it remains a very important source of information.

These pages were scanned from The Holocaust: Selected Documents in Eighteen Volumes, Vol. 12, John Mendelsohn, Ed., Garland Publishing, New York/London, 1982, and were converted to HTML format by Harry Mazal.


TESTIMONY OF RUDOLF HOESS TAKEN
AT NUREMBERG GERMANY, ON 1 APRIL,
1946, 1430 to 1730 by Mr. Sender
Jaari and Lt. Whitney Harris.
Also present: Mr. George Sackheim,
Interpreter; Piilani A. Ahuna,
Court Reporter.

QUESTION BY MR. JAARI TO THE INTERPRETER:

Q: Do you swear that you will fully and truly interpret the testimony from German to English and English to German?

A: I do.

QUESTIONS BY MR. JAARI TO THE WITNESS THROUGH THE INTERPRETER:

Q: What is your name?

A: Rudolf Hoess.

Q: Do you swear that you will tell the whole truth before God?

A: I do.

Q: How old are you?

A: 46 years old.

Q: Where were you born?

A: In Baden

Q: Can you give me a very short description of your education and your eventual participation in the first world war. Do you speak English?

A: I understand some. I attended the Halzbach High School in 1916. I volunteered for the cavalry and spent two years in Iraq and Palestine.

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Q: What did you do after the war was finished?

A: After my return I Joined the Frei Korps Rossbach In the Baltic.

Q: One moment - how long did you stay with the Frei Korps Rossbach?

A: From 1919 to 1921.

Q: You fought first in the Baltic?

A: In the Ruhr area and upper Silesia against the Red Army. There was an uprising . . .

Q: Do you mean a Communist uprising?

A: Yes.

Q: In upper Silesia against whom did you fight?

A: Against the Polish surgents.

Q: Until 1921?

A: Yes.

Q: And then?

A: And then I learned agriculture.

Q: Where?

A: In Silesia and Mecklenburg.

Q: And how long did that last?

A: Until 1923. Then in 1923 I was arrested because I participated in a Fehme killing.

Q: In Mecklenburg?

A: Yes.

Q: Who was murdered?

A: The man who denounced Schlageter to the French.

Q: And were you sentenced?

A: In 1924 I was convicted by the State Court in Leipzig

2


 

to ten years in the penitentiary.

Q: Who had arranged the murder of Schlageter's denouncer?

A: I have to state that briefly. The traitor was a member of Rossbach, and he eventually disappeared. He then reappeared in Mecklenburg at the time when there was the resistance against the French in the Ruhr area; and than he tried to hire men among the former members of the Rossbach Frei Korps to aid the French.

Q: What do you mean by the expression "to aid the French"?

A The German railroad members refused to run the trains, and he wanted to hire people who would run the trains for the French.

Q: That's your explanation?

A: Yes.

Q: I am not very interested in the details, as I want to know who made the decision that the man was to be murdered?

A: We all arrived at this decision at Pranz in Mecklenburg at the time when we discovered from his papers and from his diary that he worked for the French and had betrayed Schlageter to the French.

Q: Why did you search him?

A: Because we wanted to know who he was working for and who was paying him.

Q: Had members of the Rossbach Frei Korps groups around the country?

A: Yes, I had such a group in Parshim. consisting of twenty men.

Q: Were you the leader of this group?

A: Yes.

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Q: From whom did you receive your orders?

A: From Rossbach the Frei Korps.

Q: When you say "Rossbach the Frei Korps" do you mean, the organization Rossbach, or do you mean a man by the name of Rossbach?

A: The organization.

Q: Who was in charge of this organization?

A: That was the former Frei Korps Leader Rossbach.

QUESTIONS BY LT. HARRIS TO THE WITNESS THROUGH THE INTERPRETER:

Q: His name was Rossbach?
A: Yes.

QUESTIONS BY MR. JAARI TO The WITNESS THROUGH THE INTERPRETER:

Q: Did you have a direct channel to him?

A: The Frei Corps had been disbanded and the remaining members had been divided into small groups and were working all over the countryside on farms.

Q: Did these groups have connections with the NSDAP?

A: No, only partly. The members were represented individually but they had no direct connection as groups.

Q: When did you join the party?

A: In November 1922.

Q: And the murder was committed in November 1923?

A: Yes.

Q: What negotiations did you have with party officials before this killing was committed?

A: That wasn't at all possible. He appeared suddenly and one or two hours later he was carried away.

4


 

Q What position did you have in the party at that time?

A: I was only a member.

Q: Now you told us that you had been sentenced to ten years in the penitentiary. When were you released?

A: In 1928. After five years, I was granted a pardon.

Q: And what did you do then?

A: I returned to agriculture and joined the Atamanen - forerunner of the Hitler Youth Organization.

Q: Who was the leader of Atamanen?

A: Rosenberg.

Q: Who is Rosenberg?

A: Before him there were several others.

Q: And when did you join the SS?

A: In 1933.

Q: When in 1933?

A: In July or August.

Q: And you stayed with agriculture until 1939, didn't you?

A: I was always in agriculture.

Q: And what did you do after 1933?

A: In 1933, when I joined the SS, I was on an estate as a leader of an Atamanen group at the time the Reichs Fuehrer SS summoned me and sent me to Dachau.

Q: Did you know Himmler before that?

A: Yes. Himmler had also been a former member of the Atamanen.

5


 

Q: When did you meet him for the first time?

A: I believe that was in 1930 or 1931. I cannot say exactly.

Q: Did you know him intimately at that time?

A: No, I met him at a meeting.

Q: Buy [But] why did he recall you in 1933 when he needed a man for Dachau?

A: This was on the occasion of a parade at which I led a small SS Cavalry group, and it caught his attention and he called me and asked me what my plans were and then also asked me whether I wanted to join the administration of a concentration Camp.

Q: And your answer?

A: I accepted, yes.

Q: And what was your rank at that time?

A: Scharfuehrer (NCO).

Q: And upon your arrival in Dachau were you promoted?

A: No.

Q: And what were your duties?

A: At first I participated in a military training program for six months.

Q: Where?

A: In Dachau with the SS.

Q: Were there any army members NCO's or officers training you?

A: No, the training personnel were members of the Bavarian Landespolizei.

Q: And was Himmler Chief of the Landespolizei at that time?

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A: No, at that time he wasn't.

Q: And when you had concluded your training course, what did you do then?

A: Then I joined the actual concentration camp; that is, the protective custody camp.

Q: In what capacity?

A: As Prisoner Company Commander, as it was called at that time.

Q: What were your duties as Prisoner Company Commander?

A: I had a company of 270 prisoners whom it was my duty to supervise and take care of in their work at the camp.

Q: The supervision of the camps, as for example your duties, did they all belong to the SS?

A: Yes.

Q: Was a certain group of the SS connected with your kind of duties.

A: Yes, those were the SS Death Head Units.

Q: And how long did you remain as company leader?

A: One year.

Q: The whole time in Dachau?

A: Yes.

Q: And what happened to you then?

A: Then I became Rapport Leader; that is, the immediate supervisor of Prisoner Company Commanders.

Q: Why were you promoted to that important position?

7


 

A: I don't know that.

Q: And then what was the next stop in your promotions?

A: And then I became SS Obersturmfuehrer, but that was subsequently.

Q: And how long did you remain with this position?

A: Until 1937.

Q: And then?

A: Then I became the administrator of prisoners property.

Q: And this was all in Dachau?

A: Yes.

Q: And how long did you stay in that position?

A: Until May 1938.

Q: What happened then?

A: And then I was transferred as adjutant to the Commanding officer of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.

Q: And how long did you stay in Sachsenhausen?

A: I remained there for two years - until 1940.

Q: You were not sent to the front in 1939 or 1940?

A: No.

Q: And what happened in 1940?

A: In 1940 I was transferred as Camp Commander to Auschwitz.

Q: What month?

A: On May 1, 1940.

Q: Who appointed you?

A: The Inspector of Concentration Camps Gruppenfuehrer Gluecks.

8


 

Q: But wasn't Pohl the Inspector of Concentration Camp?

A: At that time he was not.

Q: Was it a written order?

A: Yes.

Q: Signed by Gluecks?

A: Yes.

Q: And did it read on order of Reichs Fuehrer SS, or how did it read?

A: I was summoned to him and received oral instructions and then a written order was given me according to which I was supposed to establish a concentration camp in Upper Silesia.

Q: When you arrived, had construction started?

A: It was a former Polish artillery barracks and a few buildings were already there.

Q: Were there any inmates at the time of your arrival?

A: No, there was no one there.

Q: How large was the area which was assigned for this purpose?

A: Originally. it was only the actual Polish Military Camp.

Q: What was the name of the place where they were?

A: Auschwitz.

Q: And now you arrived; then you started to construct for the barracks, didn't you.

A: No, first I had to get the affairs of the camp in order. It had been neglected very much, and I had to repair several shot-up barracks. Only later did I have additional buildings constructed.

9


 

Q: who did the labor? Who were the actual people who did the labor?

A: The work was done by concentration camp inmates; additional ones were coming all the time. To begin with, only thirty had come along from Sachsenhausen.

Q: From where did the additional inmates arrive, and who were they?

A: Kattowitz - from the Commander of the Security Police of Kattowitz.

Q: Who was that?

A: I do not know what his name was but later on it was the Oberfuehrer Bierkamp.

Q: What nationalities were these inmates from Kattowitz?

A: Only Poles.

Q: Were they whole families, or were they only males?

A: Only men.

Q: How many Poles did you get from Kattowitz?

A: In the beginning there must have been - that is, until the end of 1940 - there were about 2,000 to 3,000 of them.

Q: And that was all you got of inmates, or perhaps let us call them laborers, until the end of 1940?

A: Yes, there were no more at that time?

Q: And what was the development of the camp beginning in 1941?

A: In January 1941 the figure rose appropriately and there were already 8,000 or 9,000 at that time.


10


 

Q: All Poles?

A: Only Poles.

Q: Now, please give us a chronological description, but contain yourself to facts and figures, of the development of the camp and the nationalities.

A: In March or April 1941 the Reichs Fuehrer SS Himmler was there for an inspection.

Q: Who accompanied him?

A: The Gauleiter of Upper Silesia Bracht and the Regierungsrat President and Gruppenfuehrer Karl Wolf who at that time was Himmler's adjutant. And then the Reichs Fuehrer had explained to him thoroughly maps about possible extensions to the camp.

Q: Who gave the explanation?

A: I did. And then the Reichs Fuehrer ordered that the camp was supposed to be greatly enlarged and the gauleiter who at that time was responsible for the agriculture development was supposed to put 20,000 morgens at the disposal of the camp for agriculture purposes.

Q: From whom was the land taken?

A: This whole area was between the Vistula and Sury Rivers. It was an area which was swampy and had a lot of underwater land. It consisted of seven villages which were inhabited by Poles who worked in Auschwitz in the factory and railroads.

Q: What happened to the inhabitants of these seven villages?

A: The inhabitants were resettled into the town of Auschwitz in so far as they were employees in the industries there.

11


 

Q: And the others?

A: And the rest were returned to Poland to the general government.

Q: And what were your orders for the construction of new buildings on these 20,000 morgens?

A: The actual concentration camp was supposed to be enlarged to accommodate 30,000 prisoners and in the area of Birkenau a prisoner of war camp accommodating 100,000 prisoners of war was to be constructed.

Q: Was Birkenau between the area of Sury and Vistula?

A: Yes, it was two kilometers distance from the Auschwitz camp.

Q: The guards of this camp, were they also Death Head Units?

A: Yes, all of them.

Q: No foreigners?

A: No, they only come later.

Q: And Camp Birkenau is the camp which later was known as Camp "B"?

A: No. Camp "B" was a division of Birkenau. Birkenau was divided into "A", "B" and "C" sectors.

Q: Did they ever assign prisoners of war to Birkenau?

A: No. only 10,000 Russian prisoners of war came to Auschwitz, and they constructed Birkenau.

Q: When they had finished the construction, what happened to them?

A: They always worked there. They remained there.


12


 

Q: And they were still there when you left Birkenau in 1944?

A: Not all of those 10,000, but some prisoners of war were still there.

Q: Why weren't they all there?

A: A great many of them died from spotted fever or other epidemics. They had been undernourished when they arrived at the camp.

Q: So, if I understand you correctly, the plans according to the Reichsfuehrer SS were a concentration camp for 30,000 inmates in Auschwitz and 100,000 at Birkenau but only 10,000 prisoners ever arrived and they were used for construction work.

A: Yes.

Q: Who came to the camp designed for the 30,000 and when did they arrive?

A: That was always Poles from Upper Silesia, and the General government.

Q: Only males?

A: Yes, at the beginning only men but as of the middle and the end of 1941 there were women as well.

Q: And was the figure 30,000?

A: That was already in the summer of 1941. I couldn't accommodate all of 30,000 in Auschwitz because the barracks had not been completed; therefore, I had to send part of them to Birkenau.

Q: When were the Auschwitz camp facilities completed?

A: At the end of 1942 the camp facilities at Auschwitz had been completed.

13


 

Q: And the construction work in Auschwitz was still performed only by Poles?

A: Yes.

Q: And in Birkenau the Russians worked?

A: No, also Poles.

Q: And when was Birkenau completed?

A: That was never completed. Sector III had not been completed in 1944.

Q: So you were enlarging the camp then all the time?

A: During the entire years there was always construction going on.

Q: When did you start to receive other nationalities in Birkenau; I mean those other than Poles?

A: In the beginning of 1942 we began to get more inmates for Birkenau.

Q: Just let us stop for a moment and go back to 1941. By the end of 1941, as I understand you, you had in the whole area, the whole concentration camp area, 30,000 Poles and 10,000 Russians.

A: A total of 30,000 - that is, Russians and Poles together.

Q: You mean 20,000 Poles and 10,000 Russians.

A: Yes.

Q: Only males.

A: Yes, only men,

Q: But you said that you started to receive families by the end of 1941.

14


 

A: I said 30,000 males and in addition about 6,000 to 7,000 women. I don't know that exactly.

Q: Were they kept separately?

A: Yes.

Q: At first they were accommodated at Auschwitz and then?

A: And then in Birkenau subsequently.

Q: Now lets go back to the year 1942.

A: The development became more rapid and additional prisoners were arriving. In addition, there was the delivery of Jews which began in 1941 and then it was recommenced in the Spring of 1942.

Q: How many Jews did you receive in 1941?

A: I believe at that time we only received 6,000 Slovakian Jews.

Q: Are you sure about the figure?

A: It may have been 7,000. They were selected for their ability to work.

Q: Was this in addition to the figures you mentioned, or were they included in the figures you mentioned?

A: These are included in the figures I mentioned.

Q: And where did they work - in the factories or in the agriculture?

A: Many in agriculture.

Q: Then in the beginning of 1942 Jews started to arrive in greater numbers, didn't they?


15


 

A: Yes.

Q: From where did they come?

A: At first, from Poland; that is the General Government from Germany. and I believe from Greece or Holland. I cannot tell the exact sequence and paralleled with that were shipments from France.

Q: And this was In 1942?

A: Yes, this continued until 1943, but I cannot remember the sequence of shipments.

Q: How many did you get from the General Government of Poland?

A: Approximately 250,000 is the figure I still remember. This includes Upper Silesia.

Q: How many did you get from Greece?

A: 65,000.

Q: How many from Germany.

A: We received 100,000, but I do not know exactly whether all of these came from Germany.

Q: The transports went to a great degree through Teresienstadt?

A: Yes.

Q: And from Holland?

A: 90,000.

Q: And from France?

A: From France 110,000.

Q: From Slovakia?

A: 90,000.

Q: From Bulgaria?

A: We did not get any.


16


 

Q: From what other countries did you receive Jews?

A: From Belgium 20,000 and in the end from Hungary.

Q: How many?

A: 400,000.

Q: Now you just told us you had facilities for 130,000. If you add all those figures they amount to a much greater number than 130,000. How could you accommodate all these people?

A: They were not supposed to be employed in work there, but they were supposed to be exterminated.

Q: You had decided that?

A: That order I received in mid year of 1941, believe it was July, from the Reichs Fuehrer SS in person.

Q: Did you say 1941?

A: Yes, 1941.

Q: But you didn't mention before that any one of the Poles or Jews you received in 1941 were exterminated. Was anybody killed in 1941?

A: You asked me about the expansion of Auschwitz, and I wanted to reserve this story of the killings for a separate set of questions.

Q: Well, let's take it down that way. How many were killed in 1941 and what were their nationalities?

A: I cannot give the figure, but the nationalities were Poles, Slovaks, and German Jews, but I cannot give you the total figure.

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Q: You didn't mention before that German Jews arrived in Auschwitz in 1941. Do you know for sure that German Jews were executed in 1941?

A: They could only have come from the Upper Silesian district.

Q: When you mentioned Poles before having arrived in Auschwitz in 1941, did you include Polish Jews?

A: Yes, they were included.

Q: By what means were they executed in 1941?

A: By gas.

Q: None by shooting?

A: No.

Q: None by hanging ?

A: There were no shootings or hangings unless they had been condemned by the Standgericht; that is, the court of the Gestapo.

Q: Did you have a Standgericht in the camp?

A: No, I myself had no such court but the Standgericht of the Gestapo was always heard In Auschwitz.

Q: Do I understand you clearly that the Standgericht was heard in Auschwitz, or did you mean was it executed by the Standgericht and carried out in Auschwitz.

A: No, they actually held the court there.

Q: You used the word "Gestapo" in this connection. Was this Standgericht supervised or introduced by the Gestapo?

A: The Gestapo headquarters had its court meetings in Auschwitz and the Chief Judge was the Gauleiter.

Q: But you said you received the order from the Reichs Fuehrer SS in person.

A: Yes.

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Q: About July 1941? Where did you see him?

A: I was ordered to him in Berlin.

Q: Are you sure it was after the Russian campaign had started.

A: No, it was before the Russian campaign had started.

Q: Then it couldn't have been in July.

A: I cannot remember the exact month, but I know for sure it was before the date that the Russian campaign was launched.

Q: Where did you meet him.

A: In his office on Prince Albert Street 8.

Q: Who else was present?

A: I was alone.

Q: What reasons did he give for this order?

A: I don't recall his exact words, but the meaning was that the Fuehrer had given the order for the final solution of the Jewish problem.

Q: What does final solution mean?

A: That means the extermination; that's the way he stated it.

Q: You state it as meaning the extermination?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you know the expression previous to that time?

A: No, it appeared there for the first time.

Q: Did he express himself that way? Did he explain to you what "final solution" meant?

A: Yes, he explained it to me.


19


 

Q: Was it a conception or a word which was known in the SS circles?

A: No, as I already said, this word appeared for the first time on that occasion. Later on, of course, I heard it repeatedly in 1942 and 1943 and then more was meant by that.

Q: Did he give you any detailed directives as to how the extermination was to take place?

A: Yes, he explained the following to me: the extermination camps in Poland that existed at that time were not capable of performing the work assigned to them.

Q: What were these extermination camps? Where were they, and what were their names? A There were three camps: first, Treblinka, Belzak near Lemberg and the third one was about 40 kilometers in the direction of Kulm. It was past Kulm in an easterly direction.

Q: Under whose supervision were these three camps?

A: The commander of the Security Police.

Q: Do you mean SS?

A: In other words, the RSHA.

Q: What AMT of the RSHA supervised these camps?

A: I assume that it was the executive. I myself, don't know it.

Q: Why didn't you know that?

A: I didn't have anything to do with the inspectorate of a concentration camp. I had nothing to do with these matters in this connection.

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Q: Are you talking about the extermination now?

A: Yes.

Q: But where did RSHA get into the picture?

A: Because the SD and the Commander of the Security Police were under RSHA.

Q: So, if I understand you correctly now, in the Gestapo there was a line of connection between the Gestapo and the Commander of the Security Police?

A: Yes.

Q: And they were responsible for the people who came to the camps in order to be exterminated?

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A: Who were they?

Q: Would you then explain to me how it worked. Let me give you a couple of questions: Glueck and Pohl were responsible for the administration and construction of camps, weren't they?

A: Yes.

Q: Who decided who was to be exterminated?

A: The Reichsfuehrer Himmler.

Q: But he could not have the time to make the decision in all these cases. Which one of his agencies worked on this problem?

A: Department IV. That is, Gruppenfuehrer Mueller or his expert Hauptsturmbannfuehrer Eickmann. <SIC>

Q: In other words, the Gestapo?

A: Yes, they decided who was to be delivered to the camps, who were to be employed as laborers and who were to be exterminated.

Q: And who was Mueller's chief?

A: His direct superior was Kaltenbrunner, the Chief of the RSHA.

Q: And who was the chief before Kaltenbrunner?

A: Heydrich.

Q: And who was chief during the interval between Heydrich's death and Kaltenbrunner's appointment?

A: I don't know for certain but whatever orders I saw during this time were signed by Gruppenfuehrer Mueller

Q: And after that they were signed by Kaltenbrunner?


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A: No, I don't think you quite understand this. As far as I was concerned, concentration camps of any kind - with the exception of direct administration such as billeting, feeding - that was the duty of the Office of the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps, and the Chief Executive of AMT IV was Gruppenfuehrer Mueller.

Q: When he signed his orders, did he sign them with the Roman IV?

A: We hardly ever received original orders. We mostly received telegrams which were simply signed "Mueller." As far as I can remember, orders were signed "IV".

Q: When he signed "IV", who was he signing for?

A: He was signing for his Chief, that is, Kaltenbrunner. That is, he was always the deputy of the Chief of the RSHA.

Q: Do you mean that he was the deputy of Kaltenbrunner?

A: Yes, that's the way I mean it.

Q: Did Mueller ever visit Auschwitz?

A: No, never.

Q: And Kaltenbrunner?

A: No, never. I never saw it.

Q: Did you ever meet Kaltenbrunner?

A: Yes, on one occasion I met him personally in his office.

Q: Did you report to him?

A: That was already in 1944 when I had to report to him on Mauthausen. At the same time I was no longer Commandant but I was already Chief with the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps.


23


 

Q: Did AMT Chiefs in the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps report to Kaltenbrunner?

A: No, this was only a report of Mauthausen which I delivered and at which time I represented Gruppenfuehrer Gluecks because I had worked on this myself.

Q: What was Kaltenbrunner's interest in that report?

A: Because Kaltenbrunner had received this commission as a result of a visit of Himmler in Mauthausen.

Q: Was Himmler accompanied by Kaltenbrunner on this visit?

A: I don't know that, but I assume that they met there.

Q: What was it about? What was this report about?

A: It dealt with the so-called "nameless people"; that is, those who had already been condemned but had not as yet been executed.

Q: Why hadn't they been executed?

A: I was just about to explain that. The Reichsfuehrer said it was not right to execute these people because they were young, strong and healthy and that they could work and that they were to work at Mauthausen under a special guard. It then happened that no work could be found for that many people; that is, approximately from 400 to 500 in Mauthausen under heavy guard. Therefore, it was my assignment to report on the fact that they could be used in the armament industries working underground in the vicinity of Mauthausen. Those were the contents of the report I delivered to Kaltenbrunner.

Q: And that was the first time you saw Kaltenbrunner?


24


 

A: Yes, that was the only time.

Q: Let's return to Auschwitz - no, to Berlin where you just had discussed with Himmler the extermination of Jews in Auschwitz.

A: Yes.

Q: You told us that he gave you detailed oral orders, didn't you?

A: Yes.

Q: Who else did you discuss the details of extermination of Jews in Auschwitz with?

A: I was not allowed to discuss this with anybody; it was a top secret matter.

Q: Did Himmler give you orders about the construction of gas chambers?

A: No, he told me the following: that I was supposed to look at an extermination camp in Poland and eliminate in the construction of my camp the mistakes and inefficiency existing in the Polish camp. I was supposed to show him plans of how I intended to construct my camp in a period of about four weeks. He told me that he could not give me the exact figures at that time, nor the numbers in which they would arrive, but added that the figure would run into several millions.

Q: And what did you do?

A: He explained to me that the most important matter was that when an action was being carried on in one of these countries it was not to be stopped or delayed because of

25


 

inadequate facilities in Auschwitz. He told me that the camps in Poland were not suitable for enlargement and the reason why he had chosen Auschwitz was because of the fact that it had good railroad connections and could be enlarged and was removed enough from centers of people and could be cut off from connections with the people.

Q: And did he tell you anything else. Did you go there immediately after your talk with him on your tour of inspection?

A: No, at first I returned to Auschwitz. He explained to me that it was not his habit to discuss such matters with inferiors; however, this case was so important and of such great significance that he had decided to explain to me his reasons and they were as follows: he said to me that if the extermination of Jewery did not take place at this time the German people would be eliminated by the Jews.

Q: Did he explain to you how the Jews would be able to eliminate the German people?

A: No.

Q: What other reasons did he give?

A: That was the reason. He had planned originally to dispatch a higher ranking officer to Auschwitz to continue this extermination action, but reconsidered because he felt that it would only be a cause of friction between myself as the Camp Commandant and the higher ranking officer in charge of the exterminations. Therefore, he gave me the orders in addition to that the fact that I was supposed to treat this as top

26


 

secret matter and not discuss it with anybody was explained. All the instructions such as procedure and orders I was to receive from the RSHA through Eichmann.

Q: And then before you went on your tour of inspection you returned to Auschwitz?

A: Yes.

Q: What did you do in Auschwitz?

A I immediately got in touch with the chief of a construction unit and told him that I needed a large crematorium. I told him that we were going to receive a large number of sick people, but I did not give him my real reason.

Q: And then?

A And after we had completed our plans, I sent them to the Reichsfuehrer. After I had changed them in accordance with the real purpose of his instructions, they were approved.

Q: Didn't you visit any of the three existing extermination camps?

A: Yes.

Q: Which ones?

A: Treblinka ...

Q: What did you see there?

A: At that time the action in connection with the Warsaw Ghetto was in progress, and I watched the procedure.

Q: How was it done there?

A: They had chambers for about 200 people. Into these

27


 

chambers the fumes from an exhaust machine came in. These motors had been taken from captured enemy equipment such as tanks, trucks and had been installed next to the gas chambers. They were run by gas, and those victims were supposed to be suffocated by the fumes.

Q: How many chambers were there, and how many people were killed?

A: I do not know the exact figure, but there may have been about ten chambers. It was built next to a ramp and the train drove right up to it. The people were unloaded right into the chambers, and this procedure was necessary because the motors did not always work right.

Q: Weren't the people first registered or interrogated?

A: No.

Q: They were put directly into the chambers from the trains?

A: Yes.

Q: And what happened to their clothing?

A: They had to undress before they were put into the chambers.

Q: And their valuables?

A: That was all sorted. I saw a number of shacks there in which there were piles of clothing, shoes, valuables, etc., all sorted separately and neatly stacked. They were later packed.

Q: What happened to these things?

A: I do not know.

28


 

Q: Who did the sorting?

A: Inmates.

Q: Who guarded the trains in which the Jews were to be gassed alive?

A: The train that I saw In Treblinka arrived guarded by members of the Security Police; also the trains that came into Auschwitz from Poland were guarded by the Security Police.

Q: Did the train loads consist of women, men and children all together?

A: All together.

Q: We are now talking about the train in Treblinka?

A: Yes, the one in Treblinka.

Q: Were there babies, real small children and very old people also?

A: All kinds, if they were evacuated from Warsaw.

Q: You only saw one train in Treblinka during your visit there?

A: Yes, only one.

Q: How many people were in that train?

A: One train generally handled 2,000 people.

Q: When you said generally, do you mean that the trains arriving in Auschwitz also usually had 2,000 people?

A: Yes, 2,000 on an average. Some trains held 2400; others, 1,500 and 1,800 but the average was 2,000.

Q: Was this the first time that you observed exterminations?

A: Yes.

29


 

Q: Now I understand from your statement that the people - men, women and children had to strip themselves completely naked. Am I right?

A: Yes.

Q: And the women carried their babies with them into the chambers?

A: Yes.

Q: And they know what was going to happen to them?

A: Yes, I assume so.

Q: Did they knew what was going to happen to them?

A: Yes, they did.

Q: And what was your reaction?

A: I did not consider this problem, or the means, or the manner in which it was conducted because in my opinion they knew it was going to happen to them.

Q: But you found it lawful and right that they were to be exterminated. It was only the manner you objected to?

A: Yes, according to my discussions with Himmler it was the way you just stated.

Q: Did anyone try to escape?

A: No, I didn't see that.

Q: How long did you remain in Treblinka?

A: About three or four hours.

Q: Did you discuss the matter with the Camp Commandant In Treblinka?

A Yes.

Q: Who was he?

A: I don't remember his name.

30


 

Q: Just one moment. How did you get into the camp? What kind of a pass or permit did you have?

A: I was introduced by Eichmann. They had been advised of my arrival by Eichmann.

Q: Was Eichmann with you?

A: No.

Q: Did you see Eichmann in Berlin before you left?

A: Eichmann had been in Auschwitz in the meantime and at that time I told him that I had to see this camp and that he should advise them of my coming. Otherwise, I would not be able to get into the camp.

Q: Did Eichmann have the power to let anyone visit the camp?

A: No I don't believe so.

Q: How could he get you the orders to get in?

A: I assume that he had already received instructions from the Reichsfuehrer via Gruppenfuehrer Mueller.

Q: While he was visiting you in Auschwitz did you discuss the plans with him?

A: Yes.

Q: Then he was completely in the know?

A: Yes.

Q: Didn't he want to go with you to Treblinka?

A: No, he returned to Berlin.

Q: Did he take the plans with him?

A: No.

31


 

Q: How did you send the plans to Himmler?

A: By courier.

Q: Directly to Himmler?

A: Yes, personally.

Q: You didn't approve of the methods used in Treblinka, so you made up your mind to improve these methods. What methods were you going to use?

A: I wanted to avoid, in any case, that the persons who came into Auschwitz should know ahead of time that they were going to be gassed.

Q: How did you plan to avoid that?

A: At the beginning I had to improvise because I didn't have the necessary buildings. Signs wore installed reading "To Delousing" "To Disinfecting" To Bath" "To the Showers", etc. In addition to that, inmates helped the new arrivals with undressing and gave them instructions as to where they were to place their clothing so that they would find it upon their return. It was done In order to avoid exciting them in any way or to give them an inkling of actually what was going to happen.

Q: And after the undressing, where did the victims go?

A: They went into these rooms.

Q: What rooms?

Q: These chambers. At first there were two old farms before the crematoriums were built. They were made airproof. The windows were shut by cement and air proof doors were constructed and in every chamber there was a small hole through which the gas was blown in.

32


  QUESTIONS BY LT. HARRIS TO THE WITNESS THROUGH THE INTERPRETER:

Q: What kind of gas was used?

A: Cyclone B. It was a crystal-like substance.

Q: From where did you receive these crystals?

A: Originally, this Cyclone B was used in order to gas rooms and to exterminate insects. Since it was very poisonous and had to be treated with great care we assumed that it was the proper thing to use against humans.

Q: Was it long before the human beings were killed by this gas?

A: It depended on weather, humidity, time of day, and the number of people present in the chamber. Also the gas was not always composed the same way and was not as effective every time.

QUESTIONS BY MR. JAARI TO THE WITNESS THROUGH THE INTERPRETER:

Q: In general. how long a time did it take?

A: I saw it happen often enough. Generally it took from three to fifteen minutes. The effect varied. Wherever the gas was thrown into the chamber, the people standing right next to it were immediately anaesthetized. It gradually spread out to the far corners of the room and generally after five minutes one could no longer discern the human forms in the chamber. Everybody was dead after fifteen minutes, and the chambers were opened after a half an hour and not once was anybody alive at that time.

Q: How were you able to hear voices from the chambers if they were so air-proof, as you said before?

33


 

A: They were air-tight, but the walls were not too thick. They were only ordinary walls.

Q: So what noises did you hear while you were standing outside?

A: At first they all screamed, of course.

Q: Did you have any observation windows?

A: In the chambers made up out of the farm houses we did not have any but later on in the concrete crematorium we did.

Q: Who delivered the gas to you?

A: A gas company in Hamburg.

Q: To whom were the shipments of this gas addressed?

A: To the Administration of the Concentration Camps Auschwitz.

Q: Who paid them?

A: I do not know, but I assume the Administration paid for it. I am sure they were paid.

Q: When was the construction of the permanent gas chambers finished?

A: All four were finished in 1943. We were already functioning in 1942.

Q: When in 1942 was the first one put into use? It was there already, perhaps, in November of 1941?

A: No, 1942.

Q: So these gas chambers, the provincial gas chambers, were used from the summer of 1941 up until 1942.

A: November of 1942, They were also used later on whenever the crematoriums were insufficient to handle the work.

34


 

Q: How big were the chambers in the crematorium?

A: They could accommodate 2,000 persons.

Q: Each?

A: Yes, each.

Q: When the people arrived in Auschwitz, there was a railroad station within the camp already, wasn't there?

A: Yes.

Q: They were unloaded, and were they marched?

A: In this railroad station there was a side track. The people stepped down from the train, discarded their baggage and were then examined by doctors and sorted.

Q: Who were the doctors? What kind of doctors did you use?

A: The SS camp physicians.

Q: According to what principles were they sorted out?

A: According to the principles of whether they were fit for work or not.

A: Now you say a trainload consisted on the average of 2,000 people. How many doctors did you have assigned to check on each trainload?

A: There were always two doctors on duty.

Q: How many trains arrived daily?

A: The largest number of trains that ever arrived in one day were five. This was in 1944 during the Hungarian action.

35


 

Q: But on the average how many trains arrived daily?

A: Two.

Q: 4,000 people?

A: Yes.

Q: And two doctors examined them?

A: Yes, they filed by them.

Q: So the examination really never took place; they just had a look?

A: Yes.

Q: And according to which plan was the decision taken?

A: According to the order as to whether or not a man or a woman was strong and healthy.

Q: And what about the children? Were all the children killed?

A: That depended upon their stature. Some of the 15 and 16-year old children also went to work, if they were strong.

Q: In other words, children below 15 were exterminated.

A: Yes.

Q: Just because of Himmler's order?

A: Yes.

Q: And because they were dangerous to the German people?

A: Yes.

Q: So a child of three or four years old was dangerous to the German people.

36


 

A: No, it isn't quite that way. I should have elaborated perhaps a little more on my statement before of Himmler's explanation. He said the German people would not have carried rights unless the Jewish people were now exterminated.

Q: So that is really a confirmation of what you said. The German people could not rise at all because of the four-year old Jewish children.

A: Yes.

Q: In general, what was the percentage of the number of people killed and the number of people used for labor?

A: It varied between 20 and 30% that were set aside for work.

Q: And was this the percentage with men and women inclusively?

A: There were always more men fit for labor than women.

Q: Just to take an example, when you received the 65,000 Jews from Greece, how many of them were found fit for labor?

A: The Greeks were very ill and arrived in a very bad condition so that I believe the percentage in this case was approximately 15%.

Q: Right now, let's go back to the procedure at Auschwitz; they arrived, they had been what you call inspected by the SS doctors, one row was marched into the camp and they were the ones who were fit for labor, is that right?

A: Yes.

37


 

Q: And the other row was marched into the farm houses?

A: Yes.

Q: Where they undressed?

A: Next to where they undressed in separate shacks next to the farm houses. Later on, in inclement weather other military barracks were constructed for them.

Q: And then?

A: And then They were separated according to sizes and marched in groups into the chambers.

Q: Groups of 200?

A: Yes.

Q: And the people who remained outside, could they hear what was going on in the two farm houses?

A: No.

Q: How many people could be accommodated in each farm house for extermination?

A: The farm houses accommodated in their various chambers one complete train shipment all at once.

Q: You told us that after one half hour the doors were opened?
A: Yes.

Q: Who removed the bodies?

A: A commando that worked there. It was primarily a commando of inmates.

Q: And where were the bodies taken?

38


 

A: Behind the farm houses there were open pits in which the bodies were burned.

Q: Who took care of the burning?

A: The same commando took care of all these duties.

Q: And when three trains arrived a day and the first trainload was taken care of was the second train set on the side track until every trace of the first trainload had been removed?

A: Yes, two trainloads could be taken care of at the same time in the two farm houses. In case a third train arrived too early, it had to wait on the side track.

Q: Who removed bodies from the trains when they arrived. I understand that there were bodies in the trains when they arrived.

A: That was another commando of inmates who took care of that work. They would be put on a truck and thrown into these pits where they were burned.

Q: How many were generally dead? How many of the passengers were already dead upon arrival?

A: That depended on where the train originally came from and how long they had been on their way. In the case of the Greek Jews who had been ten days in transit over 100 had died on the way.

Q: And what about the Hungarian?

A: There were more.

Q: How many more?

39


 

A: They varied. Sometimes the trains were composed of different parts. Sometimes a hospital had been put on to a train. In that case, of course, there were many more dead than when the trainload was from an agricultural region.

Q: Do you know whether or not bodies were removed from the trains while in transit?

A: I never heard of that.

Q: And these bodies, before they were thrown on the fires, was their clothing taken off?

A: Yes.

Q: By your inmates?

A: Yes.

Q: What happened to the gold from the mouths of the victims?

A: That was melted.

Q: That I can understand, but was it removed from the victims before execution or after execution?

A: They were removed from the bodies before they were taken to the pits to be burned.

Q: Who did that? Who removed the gold?

A: There were among these commandos of inmates a few dentists.

Q: Who supervised their work?

A: The dental work was supervised by an SS Dentist whose duty it was to see that the work was done in a satisfactory manner.

Q: And when did the victims take off their rings, bracelets, ear rings, etc.?

40


 

A: They took that off at the time when they got undressed with the exception of rings, which they kept on when they went into the gas chambers. Those were removed after the bodies were removed from the gas chambers.

Q: Just a moment - returning to the dental work, were their gold teeth pulled out?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you have any complaints from the surrounding villages about the smell from these pits?

A: When there was an Eastern wind the smell could be noticed across the Vistula.

Q: And you received complaints from the Poles?

A: No, they didn't complain; it was only discussed among the population but they did not complain.

Q: Well, this will be all for today.

- - - - - - - - - -

APPROVED:
INTERROGATOR
INTERPRETER
COURT REPORTER
41
HOESS

41


 

Testimony of RUDOLF HOESS, taken at Nurnberg
Germany, 2 April 1946, 1000 to 1230, by Mr. S.
Jaari, Interrogator. Also present: Mr. Leo Katz,
Interpreter, and Charles J. Gallagher, Court Reporter.

QUESTIONS BY MR JAARI TO MR. KATZ:

Q: Do you solemnly swear that you will truly and faithfully translate my questions from English to German, and the responses of the witness from German into English to the best of your ability, so help you God?

A: I do.

QUESTIONS BY MR. JAARI TO THE WITNESS THROUGH THE INTERPRETER:

Q: Are you the same Rudolf Hoess who appeared for interrogation yesterday afternoon?

A: Yes.

Q: You understand your statements are still made under oath?

A: Yes.

Q: You understand your statements are still made under oath?

A: Yes.

Q: Yesterday afternoon we finished with your description of the procedure of gassing before the permanent crematoriums were constructed, didn't we?

A: Yes

Q: And if I remember correctly you said that the gassings took place in Auschwitz in the two farm houses until the end of 1942?

A: Yes, but in the meantime one permanent crematorium was finished.

Q: When?

A: This was already finished a little before that time, about October 1942, so that they conducted this partly in the crematorium. and partly in

1


 

the farm houses, but there was no definite separation.

Q: Before we go into the chronological order of happenings in Auschwitz, let me ask you if this statement given by you on 20 March, 1946, No. D-4793, in Minden Jail in Germany, is correct?

A: Yes this is correct.

Q: This statement No. D749B, refers to how many members of the Waffen SS have served in Auschwitz, and you mentioned that approximately 7000 men of the Waffen SS have served at one time or the other at concentration camps, is that correct?

A: During the whole time, 7000 people at one time or another.

Q: You say that you were commandant of the concentration camp until the 1st of December, 1943.

A: Yes.

Q: Were not you there until 1944?

A: I was again in 1944 for two months In Auschwitz in order to introduce a new commandant there.

Q: When was that?

A That was during the three months June. July and August, 1944.

Q: What was the name of the new commandant?

A: After I left, this camp was split up into three different camps, and the three new commandants that I introduced were Sturmbannfuehrer Beer, Haupsturmbannfuehrer Kramer and Haupsturmbannfuehrer Schwarz.

Q: And who was in charge between the 1st of December 1943 until June 1944?

A: Camp No. 1 Obersturmbannfuehrer Liebehenschell; camp No. 2 Sturmbannfuehrer Hartjenstein, and, Camp No. 3, it was Schwarz who remained afterwards.

Q: Now during the period until the first permanent plants ware finished, how many human beings were gassed?

2


 

A: I cannot give you the number. I don't know. Cannot even give you an estimate.

Q: How many were gassed daily?

A: As I already mentioned, if an operation was being undertaken, normally daily two trains were taken, that is to say 1600 to 1700 human beings were selected according to the various considerations and percentages that I mentioned to you yesterday.

Q: If I understand you correctly, you told me that one trainload consisted of 2000 people?

A: Yes.

Q: And two trainloads makes four-thousand people, is that right?

A: Yes sir.

Q: And even if we use a percentage of twenty-five percent able bodied men. that means one-thousand.

A: You should have understood me to mean on train of 1600 or 1700 people, and then two trains would mean twice that number, and that would be 3400 altogether, or, 3500.

Q: So you mean that out of two daily trainloads about 3500 persons were gassed?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Were you sure of that percentage, too?

A: Yes, and in the manner in which the trains came in.

Q: So you started such actions about July, 1941, didn't you?

A: Yes.

Q: From July 1941 to October 1942, that is fifteen months?

A: Yes.

Q: And the average, taking it very conservatively, was three-thousand people a day?

3


 

A: Yes, but these operations were not carried out daily, but they were carried out only until one of these operations was finished. For instance, four or five weeks, and then again for a period of time nothing was undertaken.

Q: So in 1941 you carried out actions against the Slovakians, and the Polish Jews?

A: Yes.

Q: How many?

A: I can only give you the final total. I do not know in what period of time they ware being gassed.

Q: I had the figures yesterday, and we will return to them later. I am sure you forget yesterday to mention the Russian prisoners who were exterminated in Auschwitz?

A: Yes, I forgot. I did not mention them.

Q: Yesterday you told me only Jews were killed there.

A: The way you put the question to me, I took it to mean that you were only asking about Jews, and about the decision and sentence that had been passed by the SS Standgerichte, which were not added to these numbers.

Q: You told me yesterday that the executions caused by the SS Standgerichte sentence were carried out through hanging and shooting, and not by gassing; however we know for certain that the Russian prisoners also ware gassed, is that right?

A: Yes, but this has nothing to do with the sentence passed by the SS Standgerichte.

Q: But do you consider Russians as human beings and Jews as cattle when you were talking about cattle executions yesterday, and not human executions?

4


 

A: I assumed yesterday that you only wanted information about the execution of Jews and not about the Russians.

Q: I want to know everything you can tell about every execution in Auschwitz, and I do not want you to hide anything from me.

A: Yes, I understand.

Q: Now we will have to go back to 1941, and find out how many Russian prisoners of war ware gassed in Auschwitz in 1941.

A: I cannot give you this number.

Q: Approximately how many?

A: (No answer)

Q: Was it fifty-thousand?

A: No, not that many. Perhaps ten-thousand.

Q: And was the procedure the same as when the Jews were gassed?

A: Yes.

Q: Who gave the order for the execution of the Russian prisoners of war?

A: These shipments came over the competent Stapo Agencies In Kattowitz, Troppau and Breslau.

Q: You knew that the prisoners of war were under the jurisdiction of SS Gestapo?

A: I do not know that. They were transferred and turned over to the Stapo agency as prisoners of war. I do not know for what reason.

Q: Who selected them from their regular PW camps?

A: I do not know.

Q: The prisoners of war who came there, were they Russians, or were they from Turkestan, or were they all kinds of nationalities from USSR?

A: From what I saw of the people that arrived there, they were from all regions and areas of Russia.

Q: Who guarded them when they came?

5


 

A: Wehrmacht transport details brought them from the prisoner of war camps.

Q: Let's get this straight. Were they brought directly by members of the Gestapo from the PW camps, and under guard of Wehrmacht commandos to Auschwitz?

A: An officer of the Wehrmacht was commandant of the train, and the officer of the Gestapo had a letter of authorization from the Gestapo agency that these people in that train were to be given "special treatment."

Q: Who signed that order?

A: A competent Stapo chief from Kattowitz, from Troppau, or from Breslau, from whatever region these prisoners came.

Q: Did they come in a train, or did they march to Auschwitz?

A: In a train.

Q: How many prisoners were in each train?

A: Just the same as in the case of Jews, about two thousand.

Q: How large was the guard detail?

A: About a company's strength.

Q: Under the command of an officer?

A: Yes, a Wehrmacht officer.

Q: And N.C.O.S. <SIC> ?

A: Yes, also.

Q: The train arrived where in Auschwitz?

A: In the camp itself. We had a spur in the camp where the train arrived.

Q: Then what happened, were these prisoners marched out of the train directly into the gas chambers?

A: No, first the train was unloaded, and then after the train was unloaded th[e] guard detail left the camp.

Q: Did not any representative of the Wehrmacht remain there to observe?

6


 

the proceedings, and see to it that the orders were carried out?

A: No, he probably had nothing to do with that. He was only concerned with the transporting of the prisoners from the prisoner of war camp to the concentration camp. The execution of the orders were matters of the Gestapo official.

Q: The Wehrmacht soldiers who took part in the guarding, did they knew what was going to happen to the Russian PW's?

A: I don't believe that.

Q: Why don't you believe that?

A: Because it also happened that prisoners-of-war who were turned over to the camp arrived in trains for purpose of labor commitment.

Q: But it was known that the Auschwitz camp was not a PW camp, was not it?

A: Yes, that was generally known.

Q: Why were Russian PW's sent over to the camp? What did the soldiers think?

A: Perhaps, that they were also being used for labor purposes there.

Q: Were there ever any Wehrmacht officers, or members of the Wehrmacht in the camp who saw any proceedings there?

A: No, nobody was permitted in. The place where that train arrived was blocked off and after the train was unloaded, the members of the Wehrmacht had to get back in the train, and they were not permitted in the area of the camp.

Q: How many years did the gassing of the Russian PW's continue?

A: I believe that this terminated with the beginning of 1942. As a matter of fact, I believe that we received no more prisoners of war after that period.

Q: You estimated about 10,000 PW's were killed in 1941?

7


 

A: Yes.

Q: How many were killed In 1942?

A: I cannot give you any numbers. When I was interrogated at Minden, the interrogator told me that the total number certainly must have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000, but I said that I did not think they were that many, that is impossible; that there was certainly not that many, but I also stress the fact I cannot give any definite figures.

Q: How about an estimate?

A: I do not believe that even a figure of 70,000 is possible. I don't believe there were so many because the trains did not arrive every week, sometime there were no trains for weeks. I have tried to recall by counting by the months the total number of PW's who arrived there.

A: What would your most conservative estimate be?

A: The most which is possible, estimating a period of about one year, is about eighteen to twenty-thousand.

Q: Including the ten-thousand In 1941, or exclusive of them?

A: This includes the ten-thousand in one year. But it does not include those ten-thousand that were turned over to us for labor purposes.

Q: So eighteen to twenty-thousand Russian PW's were gassed in Auschwitz?

A: Yes.

Q: How many were hanged?

A: Only those individual cases that were sentenced by the SS Standgerichte; they were only a few individual cases. They were either hanged or shot.

Q: What do you mean by a few cases?

8


 

A: Perhaps two or three during the course of a month; there were only those who had committed a crime, or, attempted to steal while escaping.

Q: So Russian PW's who attempted to flee, they were hanged?

A: No, those who had committed crimes, such as after a successful escape, that while escaping they had committed a crime such as robbery or rape, and they were hanged.

Q: What happend to PW's who were recaptured and had not committed robbery or rape?

A: They were turned over to us as regular prisoners of the concentration camp for purposes of labor, and this happened frequently.

Q: Do you mean prisoners of a concentration camp, or a regular concentration camp internee placed in special rooms for inmates of a concentration camp?

A: The ones that came under the rules of concentration camps.

Q: And what happened when inspectors of the PW's, who were under the OKW, came to the camp on their regular inspections?

A: None arrived.

Q: Or when representatives from the International Red Cross came?

A: Never arrived in Auschwitz.

Q: Do you know that according to rules of war PW's are under the supervision of the International Red Cross?

A: Yes, I do.

Q: Didn't you ever contemplate why they did not inspect your camp?

A: According to my opinion they were no longer to be regarded as prisoners of war if they were turned over to the concentration camp by the Gestapo Agency.

Q: Didn't you ever think of it?

A: Yes, and as a matter of fact we were always told that the Russians did not recognize the regulations, and the agreements made by the International

9


 

Red Cross or the Geneva Convention.

Q: So you were of the opinion that human beings who had fought against you could be treated just like cattle?

A: No.

Q: Was the treatment in the concentration camps well conducted?

A: How do you mean, good.

Q: Did they get enough to eat?

A: Yes.

Q: Did they have nice comfortable billets just like your own soldiers?

A: No.

Q: But according to the rules regarding prisoners of war, they supposedly were to have the same kind of billets, and the same kind of food as the soldiers.

A: Yes.

Q: Did they receive that?

A: No, this could not be. The <SIC> received the same food, and the same billets as the other concentration camp inmates.

Q: Was that sufficient?

A: The food?

Q: Yes, was it enough?

A: Yes, the food, I would assume.

Q: How could you only assume such things. You were the commandant of Auschwitz, and you ought to know if they had enough to eat?

A: In the beginning when the food situation in Germany was still good, the food in the camp was completely sufficient, and adequate, but later, in 1943, when the food situation became worse in Germany, and when also the prisoners in the camp increase, it was no longer possible for competent food agencies to have the necessary food, so that the prisoners could be fed properly.

10


 

Q: You are not telling the truth, Hoess. Already in 1941 great numbers of Russian PW's in concentration camps, and the inmates, died because of starvation.

A: No, I do not believe they died of malnutrition. They died of the diseases.

Q: But the epidemics were so great because the prisoners had no power of resistance; they were weak because of malnutrition, were not they?

A: Yes, that is correct. But the food was such that they could become satisfied. The calories of nutritional value in the food was probably not such that a man could withstand disease, such as typhus and typhoid.

Q: So that the sanitary conditions in the camp were very bad, because the epidemic could gain such a large scale foothold, weren't they?

A: In 1941 the sanitary equipment and institutions were still adequate and good. Then they became worse because of the increase in the prisoners, and the executions could not keep pace with them, and, also that the sanitary institutions and conditions could not be improved sufficiently fast.

Q: We will leave this topic for a moment, add go back to October. 1942, when the first permanent plants had been installed.

A: Yes.

Q: Where were the plants located?

A: In Birkenau.

Q: And there was a spur leading up to the plants?

A: Yes.

Q: Now, when the train arrived the prisoners were unloaded just as

11


 

they were unloaded during the previous executions?

A: Yes.

Q: Then, where did they march?

A: Then those who were fit for labor were selected, and the others marched to this newly erected crematorium.

Q: Did the selecting of the able bodied Jews take place in the building, or outside?

A: Outside as before mentioned when the train arrived.

Q: That is, the Jews marched past the two SS doctors?

A: Yes.

Q: So, when a train with two thousand persons arrived, two thousand marched past the two doctors. and they just nodded, this one to labor and this one to the plant.

A: Yes.

Q: What kind of an examination was that. Was that a sufficient examination?

A: Yes, the doctors said that was sufficient.

Q: Were they real high-classed doctors?

A: Not all of them. There were a lot of doctors around.

Q: They must have been exceedingly clever, just to look at persons dressed up and still being able to say, "He is good and this other one is a bad one."

A: Yes, that is the way in which it was done.

Q: Have you, over been examined by a doctor for military duty?

A: Yes.

Q: Did he just take a glance at you, and then say that you were OK?

A: No.

Q: What did he do to examine you?

A: I had to undress, and was closely examined, my heart, lungs and other

12


 

organs.

Q: Did not it ever enter your mind that the people that you were to employ in your war industries, and in your factories should be perfect specimens of manhood, physically strong and able bodied persons?

A: Only those who appeared at first glance to be strong and healthy were selected.

Q: Now long did a laborer last, on an average?

A: That depended where he worked and at what he worked.

Q: How many hours a day did he work?

A: In an armament industry, ten hours. It also depended on the route of march from the place where they were housed. Also whether they did outside or inside work, and also whether they worked in subterranean rooms.

Q: And how much food did such a worker receive?

A: Those who worked in permanent industries received a normal food ration from the economic office, and they also received an additional supply of bread rations.

Q: Did they receive the same food as the guards?

A: No, the guards were fed according to military rations, and the prisoners were fed civilian rations.

Q: But the prisoners quota was so large that it did not matter whether or not workers survived?

A: No, that is not correct, No, I was reprimanded repeatedly by my superior authority, OGRU Fu <SIC> Pohl, who complained that not enough workers or men fit for labor were selected and used for labor purposes.

Q: But on the other hand you received complaints from Mueller and Eichmann that not enough were executed, didn't you?

A: Yes, that is correct, that was the opposition, or contrast.

Q: Which point of view won?

13


 

A: Pohl won, because the armament industry needed so many men that it was made a duty of every camp commandant, no matter where he was to preserve as many labors as possible for purposes of labor.

Q: But still Auschwitz succeeded in exterminating quite a number, something like in the millions, didn't they?

A: Yes.

Q: How many millions?

A: I again refer back to the statement made to me by Eichmann in March or April, 1944, when he had to go and report to Reichfuehrer that his offices had turned over two and one-half million to the camp.

Q: To the Auschwitz area?

A: Yes.

Q: Only in the Auschwitz area?

A: Yes.

Q: Two and one-half million, you say?

A: Yes.

Q: Are yout you a little confused just now?

A: The reasons why I remember the number, two and one-half million, is because it was repeatedly told to me that Auschwitz was to have exterminated four or five million, but that was not so. We had an order by the Reichsfuehrer of SS to destroy all materials in numbers immediately, and not to preserve any records of the executions that were being carried out.

Q: The two and one-half million were people delivered to Auschwitz, were they the ones that were executed?

A: Executed and exterminated.

Q: Then quite a number more were delivered to the camp of Auschwitz?

A: Yes. According to the percentage that I have already mentioned,

14


 

you would have to add twenty to thirty percent, who were used for labor purposes.

Q: Were these two and one-half million gassed?

A: Yes.

Q: And how about the half of million, which were put to death by other means?

A: They were those who died from diseases, and who perished by other sicknesses in the camp.

Q: Didn't you know what was going on in Auschwitz up until the last moment even when you had left your position as commandant?

A: Yes.

Q: You were with the administration and economic office, weren't you?

A: That is with the superior authority.

Q: So you were promoted from commandant of Auschwitz to what?

A: As chief of an Amt, or a department. In one of the departments as inspector of concentration camp.

Q: Was it Amt Vl?

A: That was in the Economic Amt Group D, in the economic and administration main office, That is, Amt Group entitled "Inspectorate of Concentration Camps."

Q: The people who were to be gassed in the permanent plants undressed in the free outside these large buildings. didn't they?

A: No. there was a special room.

Q: Just a moment ago you said they were undressed in the free outside?

A: No. The train was unloaded, they deposited their baggage, they were sorted out according to those fit for labor, and then the ones who had been selected marched away, and all the others undressed in an undressing room. .

15


 

Q: What was told would happen to them there?

A: They were told that they were going to be conditioned to take a bath, and to be deloused and disinfected, and the signs were there corresponding to these institutions.

Q: They undressed and put their things away just the same way you told us yesterday, as it would happen in the farm houses?

A: Yes.

Q: How many people could be gassed at the same time in one of the chambers in a permanent plant?

A: In one chamber, two thousand.

Q: A whole train load?

A: Yes.

Q: And. how did the gassing take place?

A: It was all below ground. In the ceiling of these gas chambers, there were three or four openings that were fenced around with a grating that reached to the floor of the gas chamber, and through these openings the gas was poured into the gas chambers.

Q: And then what happened?

A: The same thing happened as I already told you happened in the farm houses. It depended on the weather conditions. If it were dry and a lot of people were in the chambers, it went comparatively fast.

Q: How long a time did the gassing take?

A: As I already stated, from three or five minutes to fifteen minutes.

Q: And how would you know when they all were dead?

A: There was an aperture, or vision slit through which one could look.

Q: And did you hear any noises from the outside?

A: Yes, but only muffled, because the walls were very thick cement, so that it was almost impossible to hear anything.

16


 

Q: And after how long a time were the doors opened?

A: After half an hour, as in the case of the other places.

Q: And who went in to remove the bodies?

A: The detail of prisoners who were working there. I might add that in the installations of the plants electrical ventilators were added which removed the gas fumes.

Q: But was not it quite dangerous work for these inmates to go into these chambers and work among the bodies and among the gas fumes?

A: No.

Q: Did they carry gas masks?

A: They had some, but they did not need them as nothing ever happened.

Q: Then the bodies were removed to where?

A: Into the crematorium that was situated above.

Q: Did they have elevators?

A: Yes.

Q: Where were the rings removed. Was it in the gas chamber itself?

A: No. there was an anti-chamber outside the gas chamber just before the elevator where the rings ware removed.

Q: And where they pulled out the gold teeth?

A: Yes.

Q: How were the crematoriums arranged?

A: There were four crematoriums. The first two larger ones had five double furnaces and they could burn two thousand human beings in twelve hours.

Q: What kind of fuel did you, use?

A: Coke.

A: And the bodies were just shoved in, were they?

A: There were little barrels * as used in the crematoriums in towns and the bodies

[* "barrels" probably signifies "barrows" - HWM]

17


 

were pushed up to the opening and slid in.

Q: How many bodies could one oven take or hold?

A: The double furnace could take in three corpses at one time.

Q: How many minutes would it take before the body was reduced. to ashes?

A: It was difficult to say. When the full burning power of this furnace was still available, the process took place comparatively fast, but later on after a lot of bodies had been burned, it was more slowly, but then it also depended on the body composition of the corpse.

Q: What kind of bodies burned faster?

A: The heavy set fat persons.

Q: Did you get any fat persons, or strong persons into the ovens?

A: I do not mean strong bodies, but heavy fat persons.

Q: Were you often present at these executions and burnings?

A: Yes.

Q: Why?

A: Because I had to do this. I had to supervise these proceedings.

Q: Why did you have to supervise these proceedings?

A: To see that everything was carried out in an orderly manner.

Q: Was it interesting?

A: No, certainly not.

Q: Why not? They were enemies of German people who were executed, weren't they?

A: But the procedure was not such that one might take an interest in.

Q: You told me yesterday that Himmler had explained to you that every Jew irrespective of sex, or age, was a danger to the German people?

A: Yes

Q: So it must have been quite a satisfaction for you, wasn't it, to see that danger to the German people was removed so efficiently?

18


 

A: No, certainly not.

Q: You reported very often in Berlin, didn't you?

A: No, never.

Q: You never left Auschwitz after the execution on a large scale started?

A: Not to report about these proceedings.

Q: What did you report in Berlin?

A: I was called for a commanders' meeting, but was called bymy superior authority, and my superior officer did the questioning what they wanted to know from me, but I do not know today any more what they were. 2

Q: You remember in November 1942 you were, in Berlin at Eichmann's a office to a meeting of experts belonging to the section organized for the solution of the Jewish question?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you give a lecture there?

A: No, not I.

Q: Didn't you explain how efficient the set-up in Auschwitz worked?

A: No.

Q: Who gave the lectures there?

A: Eichmann and various leaders from the countries of Belgium, and Hungary and so on, whatever they were.

Q: Were there maps for them to study?

A: (No answer)

Q: I do not mean in Auschwitz, but in Berlin at the meeting?

A: No.

Q: No statistical material?

A: No, the various experts of the different countries only disclosed how many Jews had already been delivered into the camps, and how many could still be expected to be delivered.

19


 

Q: You just sat as a listener and did not explain to the gathering there what had happened?

A: They knew what was there.

Q: How did they know. You told me you hadbeen told by Himmler this was a top secret, which no one was supposed to know anything about except you.

A: Yes, that was in the year of 1941 when I received this instruction by Reichsfuehrer of SS to keep it a secret, but in the meantime the various offices had received all these people, and their instructions, so that these experts should have known by now what had been going on.

Q: Can you remember any one of the gentlemen present?

A: There was Eichmann, Sturmbannfuehrer Guenther, I do not know his first name. I only know one, that was Eichmann's deputy.

Q: Who else?

A: I do not know the others by name. The only one that I still recall was the man from Slovakia, Wisliceny, and I believe perhaps a Dr. Seidl.

Q: What country did he represent?

A: I do not know.

Q: Was Abromeit there?

A: I do not know.

Q: Was Dannecker there?

A: Yes. Dannecker was there.

Q: Was Brunner there?

A: Yes, Brunner was there.

Q: Was Krumey there?

A: I know Krumey, but I don't know if he was there.

20


 

Q: Where did you know Krumey before?

A: Krumey was in Auschwitz one time by order of Eichmann.

Q: Was Hauptsturmfuehrer Burger there?

A: I don't know him. I never heard his name.

Q: Do you know Hauptsurmfuehrer Novak?

A: Yes, he was there.

Q: What was Novak's speciality?

A: I don't know.

Q: How did you know of him?

A: I met him in the office at Eichmann's and in Guenther's office. He was in Guenther's anti-chambers.

Q: Did you have anything to do with Hrosinek?

A: I never heard of that name.

Q: Or Hartenberger?

A: No.

Q: Or Hartmann?

A: I also don't know him.

Q: How about Rudolf Jaenisch?

A: Yes, he isknown to me. The name is known by me.

Q: Was he at the meeting?

A: Yes. Jaenisch was also in the outer office of Eichmann and Guenther. He was more or less an adjutant in this office.

Q: I am showing you a document marked "Appendix A 1, Position of sub section IV A 4 b in Amt IV of RSHA, responsible for solution of the Jewish question (Judenreferat)" and tell me if you know some of the names I have not mentioned on the bottom of the page? (Interrogator folded down lower bottom end of the document).

21


 

Q*[A] I saw Moess and Woern; Kryshak, I don't know.

A*[Q] These two you saw at the meeting, too?

Q*[A] I certainly know Moess, and that I saw him.

A*[Q] This is a chart of the setup of RSHA with the channels from the top down, and the sub-section for solution Of the Jewish question. According to your knowledge, is this correct?

A: (Witness looks at the chart.) It is correct,

Q: You remember you are testifying under oath, and you can now say on your oath that it is correct?

A: Yes.

Q: Now the names. RSHA Kaltenbrunner. Is that correct?

A: Yes.

Q: Chief of Gestapo and Amt IV Mueller?

A: Yes. sir.

Q: Chief of Section Amt IV A 4 Eichmann?

A: Yes.

Q: Chief of sub-section for solution of Jewish Question, also Eichmann?

A: Yes.

Q: And subordinate to this sub-section of Central Department for Regulation of the Jewish question in Bohemia and Moravia?

A: Yes.

Q: That is also correct?

A: Yes.

Q: And also subordinate to sub-section IV A 4 b was the Central Agency for Jewish Emigration in Vienna?

A: Yes, that is also correct. Later on Obersturmbannfuehrer Krumey in, '44 and was chief in Vienna.

Q: But this is correct, and that is, the predecessor was Hauptsturm-

* Items marked above were incorrectly transcribed by the Court Reporter. The corrected text appears in [brackets] HWM.

22


 

fuehrer Brunner?

A: That is correct.

Q: And his deputy was Girzick?

A: I have never heard that. I do not know that.

Q: Turning to the meeting in November 1942, what did Eichmann lecture upon?

A: It was the other way around. The various representatives of the different countries had to report on the conditions in their countries to Eichmann.

Q: But in the presence of all the participants in the meeting?

A: Yes. It was more in the manner of a round table discussion. Every participant asked Eichmann what he was to do about difficulties that had come up. For instance, in France, it was asked what was to be done about difficulties that had come up with the railroad and the Wehrmacht, and so on, and then these questions were answered.

Q: What difficulties were there in connection with the Wehrmacht?

A: Mostly it was a question of transport and the Wehrmacht control of rail transportation, that they did not always make the rolling stock available.

Q: What was Eichmann's answer to this difficulty?

A: Eichmann told them they should turn in their difficulties. That he knows them, and that he knew they might request assistance there, and, besides that, the people at the meeting had to disclose how many Jews they had already evacuated, and how many according to their estimate were still to be expected, and that was also the reason why I had to be present.

Q: Was the word "Endloesung", final solution, used at this meeting?

A: Yes, that was Eichmann's expression.

Q: What did that mean?

A: That meant extermination, as I have already explained it to you.

23


 

Q: Can you state, absolutely definitely, what did the word "Endloesung", final solution, stand for?

A: I can only tell you what I understand by it, as I understood it from the Reichsfuehrer.

Q: And what did it meant?

A: It meant, extermination.

Q: Of whom?

A: Of the Jews.

Q: So that the word or words "final solution" were used in this circle, which meant biological extermination of the Jews?

A: Yes.

Q: And after this meeting, did you go back to Auschwitz?

A: Yes.

Q: What was the next meeting you attended?

A: Never attended another meeting with Eichmann.

Q: In 1943, were you in Berlin at a meeting where Eichmann explained to the different ministries, or representatives from the different ministries, what "Endloesung" meant?

A: No.

Q: Where he explained that "Endloesung" allegedly only meant sterilization and evacuation of the Jews?

A: No, I do not know.

Q: Did you hear of such a meeting?

A: No, this is the first time I heard about it.

Q: Are you sure of that?

A: Yes, I only participated in one meeting with Eichmann; never at any other time.

Q: You were never at any meeting in which representatives of the ministry

24


 

were present?

A: No, never.

Q: Why did you go to Budapest in May 1944?

A: Because I had received a commission by my superior Gruppenfuehrer Gluecks who had charged me to go there to find out how many Jews could still be expected for the armament industries that were to be started, so they could know how many they should count on for manpower.

Q: How did you find that out?

A: First, after I had received this commission of Gruppenfuehrer Gluecks, I got in touch with Gruppenfuehrer Mueller in Berlin. In order to find out information from him because he was the superior authority.

A: Just a moment. Was he the superior echelon for Gluecks?

A: No, this has nothing to do with Gluecks. He was the superior authority for Eichmann.

Q: Why did you go to Mueller?

A: Because Gruppenfuehrer Mueller had to be informed by his expert, Eichmann how many Jews could still be expected from Hungary.

Q: How would Eichmann know that?

A: Because Eichmann was the competent man charged with this question.

Q: For what was he competent? Hungary was not Germany?

A: But Eichmann was in Hungary at that time.

Q: What did he do there?

A: He was in charge of all of the evacuation, of the entire evacuation.

Q: what evacuation?

A: The evacuation of Jews.

Q: But there were no German Jews in Hungary?

A: No Hungarian Jews.

25


 

Q: How could the Germans take care of the evacuation, as you call it, of Hungarian Jews?

A: I don't know that.

Q: Is not that peculiar?

A: It happened in other countries, too.

Q: But Hungary was an Ally?

A: I don't know the Agreements that had been reached between the governments of these various countries.

Q: But you know there ware agreements between Hungary and Germany?

A: Yes, because otherwise they could not have been evacuated.

Q: Have you seen any agreement?

A: No.

Q: Did Eichmann tell you anything about agreements?

A: Yes.

Q: In the Hotel Astoria in Budapest?

A: No. I was never in any hotel in Budapest, but I was in his office on Schwabemberg in Budapest.

Q: Where did you stay in Budapest?

A: I stayed with Eichmann in his house.

Q: Let's go back to Berlin, and talk about Gruppenfuehrer Mueller, what kind of information did he give you?

A: He could not give me any information. He only told me that I should go to Budapest myself and get in touch with Eichmann and ask him about it.

Q: So you went to Budapest?

A: Yes.

26


 

Q: When was that?

A: I cannot give you the date exactly.

Q: What month?

A: It was in the Spring 1944.

Q: So when you saw Eichmann, what did he tell you?

A: He also could not give an exact figure, but that it was estimated about two million Jews were present in Hungary.

Q: And all two million were to be sent to Auschwitz?

A: He said right away this estimate in his opinion was too high. He did not know how many there were, but that he believed that number was too much.

Q: Did he feel sorry he could not get two million?

A: No, he merely said that was not correct.

Q: How many did he expect to get from Hungary?

A: Half a million.

Q: All for labor purposes?

A: No, Eichmann had nothing to do with selecting those who were fit for labor. His office took no interest in this question at all.

Q: They only had the interest of getting them exterminated, hadn't they?

A: Yes.

Q: So Eichmann could not give you any figures. Who gave you the figures?

A: Nobody could give me any information.

Q: Who was present at that discussion with Eichmann in his office?

A: So far as I know they were Eichmann, Hunsche and Brunner.

Q: And Wisliceny?

A: I met him later in Mungatz.

27


 

Q: During your discussion with Eichmann in his office in Budapest, did you discuss the percentage of Jews who possibly could be used for labor?

A: Yes, that was the very reason for my trip.

Q: How many persons did you estimate could be used from Hungary, of the Jews, for purposes other than gassing?

A: I didn't know that at the time. I only found that out later.

Q: I am not talking about the number of Jews you were going to get for labor, or other purposes. I am talking about the percentage?

A: I cannot get any picture of that.

Q: But, you had an experience second to no other in the whole world, as to the percentage of Jews who could be used for labor. You had viewed Jews arriving in Auschwitz for years, and yesterday you mentioned a percentage between twenty to thirty percent were useful, is that right?

A: Yes, but I did also mention that it was different for each country.

Q: But you hoped, didn't you, that you would be able to get around twenty to twenty five percent for labor?

A: I hoped even more than that. I hoped that in Hungary we should be able to use at least thirty-five percent for labor purposes.

Q: Did you mention that to Eichmann?

A: Yes.

Q: How did he like it?

A: He said that he could not form an opinion, because he had not seen them, so he could not make any estimate.

Q: What was your reason to believe that thirty-five percent of the Hungarian Jews could be used for labor?

A: Because for a large part, the Jews there were people from the farms, and from the agriculture districts. .

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Q: So you were unable to get any definite information in Eichmann's offices, then you decided to take a little trip around to the concentration camps to look at the Jews, didn't you?

A: Yes.

Q: Then you went first of all to Mungatz?

A: Yes.

Q: Who was in charge there?

A: Wisliceny.

Q: Why was he there?

A: He was in charge for the total area of Mungatz, that is to say Section No. 1.

Q: How was it that the German SS Hauptsturmfuehrer was in charge of the collecting of Hungarian Jews?

A: No, that is not correct. The actual collecting and imprisonment of these Hungarian Jews was carried out by the Hungarian police and Gendarmerie.

Q: And what was Wisliceny's job there?

A: So far as I could find out he was commissioned by Eichmann to determine that the collection and the gathering of the Jews were carried out in proper manner.

Q: What is a proper manner?

A: Proper manner was perhaps of two functions, to see that the Hungarian police stayed to the agreements that had been reached between the various governments, but I do not know what agreements they were and that all the Jews were collected.

Q: Did he have a Hungarian opposite number? Was his name Ferenscy?

A: Ferenscy is the name I heard in Budapest. He was a Chief of the Hungarian Field Gendarmerie, but I do not know the name of Wisliceny's opposite number.

29


 

Q: How long did you stay in Mungatz?

A: One day.

Q: What did you do there?

A: I want out to the brickyards where the Jews had been collected, and took about one-thousand Jews at random, and with the help of a Jewish docotor who had been given the job by a Hungarian Officer from the Field Gendarmerie, selected those people whom he considered fit for labor, or in order to get an idea.

Q: How many were fit for labor?

A: About thirty percent in Mungatz, but there were many brickyards in Mungatz, and in the vicinity of Mungatz, about thirty.

Q: So you went from one camp to another?

A: Yes.

Q: And the average was about thirty percent?

A: Yes, the average for the area of Mungatz was about thirty percent.

Q: And this was Sector 1?

A: Yes. I am not quite sure that I can state definitely whether this sector was called Sector 1, or Sector 1V. It was the area "Karpatho-Ukraine."

Q: And then you travelled from sector to sector, and made your investigation

A: No, I only travelled to the south in the neighborhood of the Danube River. That was another sector. I didn't know whether No. 1, or No. 1V, but it was in the southern sector, and there Dannecker was in charge.

Q: And what was the quality of the Jews there?

A: It was less good, because there were more city people there.

Q: Then you returned to Budapest?

A: Yes.

Q: And reported to whom?

30


 

A: Again to Eichmann's office, and then I returned immediately to Berlin.

Q: Did you see Mueller?

A: No. I did not go there.

Q: Did you see any well known faces in Budapest while you were outside your narrow circle of collaborators?

A: I only went, together with Eichmann, to the Obergruppenfuehrer Winkelmnnn higher SS and Police leader, because I had to report to him anyhow.

Q: Did you meet Kaltenbrunner there?

A: No.

Q: Did you hear that Kaltenbrunner was in Budapest?

A: No, not when I was there.

MR. JAARI: We will finish now and continue the hearing later on.


-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

APPROVED:
(signed)
INTERROGATOR
(signed)
INTERPRETER
(signed)
COURT REPORTER

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