IMT - SD testimony of Rolf Heinz Hoeppner

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23256
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

IMT - SD testimony of Rolf Heinz Hoeppner

Post by David Thompson » 11 Aug 2005 22:00

This testimony on behalf of the SD (Sicherheitsdienst - Security Service) was given on 1-2 Aug 1946 and is taken from the Proceedings of the International Military Tribunal (IMT), vol. 20, available online at the Avalon Project of the Yale University Law School at:

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/proc/08-01-46.htm and http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/proc/08-02-46.htm

DR. GAWLIK: I have interrogated seven witnesses before the Commission. I do not have the complete transcript yet and will hand it in later. With the approval of the Tribunal I shall call the witness Hoeppner.

[The witness Hoeppner took the stand.]

THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name?

ROLF HEINZ HOEPPNER (Witness): Rolf Heinz Hoeppner.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me: I swear by God -- the Almighty and Omniscient -- that I will speak the pure truth -- and will withhold and add nothing.

[The witness repeated the oath.]

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.

DR. GAWLIK: First, I shall put a few preliminary questions in order to prove that the witness has the necessary knowledge to answer questions on the subject. When were you born?

HOEPPNER: On 24 February 1910.

DR. GAWLIK: Since when have you been a member of the SD

HOEPPNER: Since the beginning of 1934.

DR. GAVILIK: What activity did you carry on before then?

HOEPPNER: Before that I studied and performed preliminary legal service.

DR. GAWLIK: What law examination did you pass?

HOEPPNER: I passed the first and second state legal examinations.

DR. GAWLIK: What was your position in the SD?

HOEPPNER: First I was an honorary assistant and adviser in an Oberabschnitt, later Stabsführer in a Leitabschnitt, then Abschnittsführer and finally Gruppenleiter in the Reich Security Main Office.

DR. GAVTLIK: What group did you head?

HOEPPNER: I directed Group III A, law administration and communal life.

DR. GAWLIK: In what other spheres of duty did you work in the SD?

HOEPPNER: In the beginning, during my honorary activity, I worked on press matters. Later, on personnel and organizational questions, and as Stabsführer and Abschnittsführer I was responsible for the entire sphere of duty of the Security Service in my jurisdiction.

DR. GAWLIK: Now I shall turn to my first topic. I want to prove that the SD as an intelligence organization and the SS formation in the SD were completely different organizations. What does the abbreviation SD mean?

HOEPPNER: The abbreviation SD means Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service).

DR. GAWLIK: What different meanings did the word have?

HOEPPNER: The word Sicherheitsdienst has two completely different meanings. First, it means the special SS formation SD, and second, the Security Service as an intelligence service.

DR. GAWLIK: Was the foreign intelligence service also characterized as SD?

HOEPPNER: Yes, it was also characterized as SD, and, indeed, as the SD-Ausland.

DR. GAWLIK: Was Amt VII known as SD also?

HOEPPNER: Yes.

DR. GAWLIK: What was the activity of Amt VII?

HOEPPNER: Amt VII occupied itself with questions on archives and library matters and, as far as I know, it had a number of special scientific duties.

DR. GAWLIK: Was the SD as an SS formation completely different from the SD domestic intelligence service, and the SD foreign intelligence service?

HOEPPNER: Yes.

DR. GAWLIK: To whom was the special SD formation of the SS subordinate?

HOEPPNER: The special SD formation of the SS was subordinate to the Chief of the Security Police and the SD.

DR. GAWLIK: Who belonged to this special formation?

HOEPPNER: This special formation consisted of, first the members of the intelligence branch of the Security Service, who came from the General SS. Secondly, there belonged to this special formation those who, after they worked in this intelligence service, were taken into Amt VII, and thirdly, there belonged to this special formation the SS members of the Security Police, that is the State Police and the Criminal Police, and finally, the members of formations who had a certain working connection with the Security Police.

DR. GAWLIK: Were there other persons as well who belonged to this special formation and who were not active with the Security Police or the SD?

HOEPPNER: Yes, by that I meant the fourth group which I just spoke of, who were taken into the SS as customs border guards.

DR. GAWLIK: Did this group of persons have any kind of common task?

HOEPPNER: No. The situation with respect to this group of persons was merely that they were first registered in the SD Main Office and later, after the Reich Security Main Office was founded in September 1939, in Amt I of this Reich Security Main Office.

DR. GAWLIK: Now, I come to the second topic: the relationship of the domestic intelligence service, Amt III, to the foreign intelligence service, Amt VI, and to Amt VII. Did Amter III, VI, and VII represent different organizations, or one unified organization of the SD?

HOEPPNER: They represented different organizations. I might give the reasons for that in a few words. First, the spheres of duty of these three offices were completely different. Amt III was concerned with the domestic intelligence service, Amt VI with the intelligence service abroad, and Amt VII with questions regarding libraries and archives.

Second, the set-up of these organizations was completely different. In Amt III, domestic intelligence service, the chief value of the organization lay primarily in the regional office (Aussenstelle) and in the sector (Abschnitt). The method of world [moderator -- work?] was therefore decentralized. Perhaps I might give the reasons for that in a few words: Amt VI, foreign intelligence service, involved a strong centralization of duties. Amt VII had nothing but a central office.

DR. GAWLIK: Was there any discernible connection between these offices, III, VI, and VII, with a general common purpose?

HOEPPNER: No. The aims of these offices were far too varied for that. The members of these offices hardly had any connection with each other.

DR. GAWLIK: Now I come to the third topic, the development of the SD until the establishment of the Reich Security Main Office and particularly to the question, whether during this time it was one of the duties of the SD to collaborate with others on a common plan and conspiracy. When was the SD domestic intelligence service established?

HOEPPNER: The SD was established in 1931-32.

DR. GAWLIK: From its formation up to the end of the, war did the SD have the same duties, the same purpose, and the same activities?

HOEPPNER: One could not say that by any means. The duties and objectives varied -- even changed very much according to the political alignment. While the Security Service had the task of helping the General SS up, to about 1933 or the beginning of 1934, there was no longer any reason for this task after the parties 'with which the National Socialist Party had competed were dissolved and, therefore, there was no longer a legal opposition party, and the combating, that is, observation or repelling, of an illegal opponent became the task of the Gestapo.

DR. GAWLIK: What different periods are there to be distinguished from its establishment until the end of the war?

HOEPPNER: I just mentioned one period, the one from 1931 to about 1933 or 1934. The second period began in 1934. As an event, or perhaps better, as a sample of particular importance, I should like to begin with the order of the Führer's deputy that the Security Service ...

DR. GAWLIK: Witness, first of all just give us the various periods. I will then question you briefly about specific periods.

HOEPPNER: The first period was from 1931 to 1934, the second was from the middle of 1934 until the formation of the Reich Security Main Office, and the third comprises the period from the establishment of the Reich Security Main Office to the end of the war.

DR. GAWLIK: What was the aim -- what was the aim, the duties, and the activity of the SD in the period from 1931 to 1934?

HOEPPNER: The task of the Security Service from -1931 to 1934 was that of a formation of the Party, namely, that of assisting the SS in their task of guarding the Führer and protecting public meetings, by supplying the SS with as much information of rival opposition parties as possible from its intelligence service. For instance, what measures were being planned by other parties, and whether speakers were going to be attacked, or whether any meetings might be disturbed, and so forth.

DR. GAWLIK: At this time had the SD already been developed into a powerful, professional, thoroughly trained espionage system by its leader Heydrich?

Mr. President, in this connection I should like to refer to the trial brief against the SS, Page VIII B of the English text, VIII B at the top, Lines 1 and 2.

[Turning to the witness.] Please answer the question.

HOEPPNER: In answer to this question I have to start with my own observations which I made when I entered the Security Service in the beginning of 1934 and with what I learned from my comrades then and later about the preceding period.

Before 30 January 1933 the Security Service represented a very small organization which had hardly more than 20 or 30 regular members and not many more honorary members, so that one cannot assume central direction and professional training, that is a real espionage network.

DR. GAWLIK: You spoke of 20 to 25 regular members-for what area?

HOEPPNER: For the area of the entire Reich.

DR. GAWLIK: Were there other members -- honorary members?

HOEPPNER: The number of honorary members was not much larger.
]
DR. GAWLIK: Did the members of the SD make a general agreement among themselves to participate in crimes against peace, against the laws of war and against humanity?

HOEPPNER: No. If you speak of any agreement at all -- since they hardly knew one another -- they merely had the intention of helping the Party which was legally contending for power by defending it against rival opposition parties.

DR. GAWLIK: During the years 1933 and 1934 did the members of the Security Service pursue the aim of supporting any persons whatsoever who had undertaken a general and common plan to commit crimes against peace, against the laws of war, or humanity?

HOEPPNER: No.

DR. GAWLIK: During the years 1931 to 1934, did the members of the SD know anything at all about such a plan?

HOEPPNER: I believe the case of the members of the SD was not very different to that of the overwhelming majority of the German people. Nothing was known.

DR. GAWLIK: Now I come to the second phase.

What was the aim and task of the SD during the period from 1934 until the creation of the Reich Security Main Office in the year 1939?

HOEPPNER: After a legal opposition party was no longer in existence, and there was merely an illegal political opponent, the combating of which, as I have already mentioned, was the task of the State Police which had been evolved from the Political Police department, the task of the Security Service had to change.

First, it changed in this way, that other ideological and political forms and other ideological groups ...

DR. GAWLIK: Witness, can you perhaps state the tasks and aims more briefly?

HOEPPNER: Well, to name a few examples, Freemasons, Marxists, Jews -- all these groups were classified in a more scientific and statistical way so that the Party would have material for training and other tasks.

The ultimate aim was to become the Party's sole political intelligence and counterintelligence service, from about July 1934 onward, something which, by the way, was never achieved, since there continued to be an enormous number of information services and sources of information, up to the end.

Even this task of scientific research work with regard to other political groups or other ideological organizations was not permanent either, for after a short time it became obvious that this research work, too, belonged to the sphere of activity of the Secret State Police because in the long run such an investigation of opponents could not be separated from the executive branch, from the information acquired in the daily interrogations, and so forth.

Therefore, these tasks were changed when a very clear division of duties was made between the Security Service and the State Police, a division which, starting in the middle of 1938, was carried through especially in the year 1939 and practically ended with the creation of the Reich Security Main Office in September of 1939. After this division of duties the task of the Security Service would have been quite superfluous if it had not been for the fact that out of this Security Service, beginning with the so-called intellectual SD in 1933 and 1934, through a special advisory section for "culture" and a central department for "spheres of life, intelligence service" -- I said that out of this Security Service there developed a specific task for the domestic intelligence service, namely, the task of investigating the spheres of life of the German people according to developments and informing the executive offices about these developments as a whole.

THE PRESIDENT: As I said to the other counsel, we do not want these witnesses to go over exactly the same ground that they have gone through before the Commission.

We have got that evidence. We only want you to present them here in order that we may see what credibility is to be attached to their evidence and to deal with any particularly important or new subject which has not been dealt with before the Commission.

Now this witness seems to be going over exactly the same ground which he has gone over before the Commission and at great length. It is simply doing the same thing twice over.

DR. GAWLIK: My understanding, Mr. President, was that I would briefly summarize once more the results of everything which had been taken up in the Commission for longer than 2 days. And that is what I am doing. I am now bringing -- the witness has been examined before the Commission for 2 days and now perhaps I shall present that material in 1 to 1 1/2, or 2 hours. But I thought that it was precisely these various objectives of the Security Service for each year that would be of interest to the High Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, will you try to present the summary within reasonable limits?

DR. GAWLIK: Yes, indeed, Mr. President.

[Turning to the witness.] What can you say about the significance of the work of the SD during this period?

HOEPPNER: The work of the SD during this period was of almost no importance. It was primarily concerned with finding its own proper task, with establishing an intelligence network, and with locating the necessary, basic material. Particularly important is the fact that during this time the Security Service hardly appeared in public.

DR. GAWLIK: The Prosecution has declared that the SS and likewise the SD were elite groups of the Party, the most fanatical adherents of the Nazi cause, who assumed the obligation of blind loyalty to the Nazi principles and were ready to carry them out unswervingly, at any cost. In this connection I should like to refer to the trial brief against the SS, Page 7, A and B.

I ask you, Witness, were the regular and honorary workers in the SD selected according to those principles?

HOEPPNER: The regular and honorary workers were selected on the basis of being capable in some professional capacity and were men of decent character.

DR. GAWLIK: Please answer the question first of all with "yes" or ("no.")

HOEPPNER: No.

DR. GAWLIK: And now please give your reasons.

HOEPPNER: I have already said that the regular and honorary members were selected because they were capable in some professional capacity and were of good professional character. It was not a prerequisite for either regular or honorary cooperation that anyone had to be a Party member or a member of the SS.

DR. GAWLIK: Did the SD do things for which no government office or political party, not even the Nazi Party, was willing to bear the full responsibility in public?

I should like to call the attention of the High Tribunal to the trial brief against the SS, Page 7, second paragraph.

HOEPPNER: No.

DR. GAWLIK: Did the SD work secretly behind the scenes in the period which you described, from its establishment until 1939?

HOEPPNER: No. One could give a whole list of examples. First of all, the regular members wore uniforms. They had the SD insignia on their sleeves. The offices had signs and were listed in the telephone directory, et cetera.

DR. GAWLIK: During the period from 1934 to 1939 did the members of the SD make a common and general agreement to participate in crimes against peace, against the laws of war, or against humanity?

HOEPPNER: No.

THE PRESIDENT: Would that be a convenient time to break off?

[A recess was taken.]

DR. GAWLIK: During the period from 1934 until 1939 did the members of the SD pursue the aim and task of supporting any individuals who had made a general and common plan for committing crimes against peace, the laws of warfare, and against humanity?

HOEPPNER: No.

DR. GAWLIK: Did not the SD also support this sort of thing by obtaining information on actual or possible opponents of the Nazi leaders and so contribute to the destruction and neutralization of the opposition?

HOEPPNER: No.

DR. GAWLIK: Can you give reasons for your answer to the question?

HOEPPNER: Yes.

DR. GAWLIK: But please be brief.

HOEPPNER: It was the task of the Security Service to investigate failures in all spheres of life. Individual cases were examples. It was not its task to institute proceedings with any other offices against individuals.

DR. GAWLIK: Should not the members of the SD have been convinced by the reports on public opinion and the reports on the different spheres of life, especially after the occupation of the Rhineland until the beginning of the second World War, that everybody in Germany was expecting war?

HOEPPNER: On the contrary ...

DR. GAWLIK: Please, will you first answer the question with "yes" or "no"?

HOEPPNER: No.

DR. GAWLIK: Now give the reasons please.

HOEPPNER: I said already, quite on the contrary. During that period there was hardly anybody in Germany who expected a war, and it was precisely these reports on the situation in different spheres of life, in the spheres, perhaps, of food production, economy, and industry, which showed that we were going to have armament to a limited extent, but not to an extent -- but in no way gave any indications that we were working toward a war of aggression.

DR. GAWLIK: Now I come to the relation between the SD and the SS. Was the SD always an inseparable and important part of the SS?

I refer in this connection to the German transcript of 9 December where this has been alleged by the Prosecution.

Please answer my question.

HOEPPNER: No. I should like to give the following reasons for that: After the duty of the SS to help guard the speakers at meetings and to protect the Führer had ended, the new task was conceived and further developed by the staff of the SD, completely independent of the-SS and the Reichsführer SS.

DR. GAWLIK: The Prosecution has furthermore stated "the General SS was the basis, the root from which the various branches grew."

Will you comment on that with regard to the domestic intelligence service?

HOEPPNER: That could not be true for the domestic intelligence service because only about 10 percent of the regular workers had come from the General SS, and because at least 90 percent of all the honorary workers and confidential agents of the SD were neither members of the SS nor wanted to be members of the SS, nor, viewed from the standpoint of the organization, were they desired for membership in the SS.

DR. GAWLIK: Was there in the SS a uniform high command under which the individual main offices operated jointly, or worked together automatically in such a way that each branch of the SS fulfilled a special task within the scope of the whole?

I refer to the transcript of 19 December 1945. State your opinion on this.

HOEPPNER: No.

DR. GAWLIK: Give me your reasons.

HOEPPNER: The only institution embodying the SS as a whole was the Reichsfuehrer SS. The main offices which were under him were in no way high commands. Outwardly they represented various points of view on the same questions. They competed with each other, they were frequently jealous of each other. It was not even true that each of these main offices represented a branch which was necessary for the whole, as their duties, their jurisdictions overlapped. For instance, four or five offices shared the responsibility in questions of folkdom, and it was not possible, although this very suggestion was made by the Reich Security Main Office, to grant jurisdiction to one office only. Among these different main offices there was no directing office. The so-called main directing office had only to perform functions of the Waffen-SS. If any office had claimed that leadership, all the others would have rebelled against it immediately.

DR. GAWLIK: What was the influence of Himmler on the development of the tasks of
the domestic intelligence service?

HOEPPNER: Himmler did not have a positive influence on the development of the specific tasks of the domestic intelligence service in the ordinary spheres of life. That task grew out of the work of the office, and it could have developed equally well in some other office. There were even a large number of cases in which the work suffered because it was entrusted to a man who was one leader among several, and, therefore, it was not always possible to send reports to the competent office via the Reichsführer.

DR. GAWLIK: In order to prove a uniform will and a planned collaboration of the SD and SS the Prosecution referred particularly to the book by Dr. Best, The German Police, and the speech by Himmler about the organization and objectives of the SS and the Police. This concerns Documents 1852-PS and 1992-PS. Do you know the book by Dr. Best and do you know that speech by Himmler concerning the organization and objectives of the SS and Police?

HOEPPNER: On broad lines, yes.

DR. GAWLIK: Please give your opinion as to whether the relation between the SS and SD is described correctly in that book by Dr. Best and in the speech by Himmler?

HOEPPNER: This question essentially involves the clarification of the concept which in many speeches and publications was designated as a corps for the protection of the State, (Staatsschutzkorps), and this idea of a corps for protection of the State was expressed by Himmler and Heydrich very early, a little after 1936. Its contents changed, but although it appeared again and again in speeches, it was never really carried out. However, the individual parts of this so-called corps for protection of the State of Himmler's grew independently, developed independently; they were not a unit, so that we can say here that although it was indeed Himmler's wish to create this corps for the protection of the State, this idea never materialized.

DR. GAWLIK: Did the Higher SS and Police Leaders also have authority to issue orders to the SD, and did they have to supervise the activity of the SD? In this connection I refer to the trial brief against the Gestapo and SD, Page 12 of the English edition, and the trial brief against the SS, also Page 12 of the English edition.

HOEPPNER: The Higher SS and Police Leaders had neither authority to issue orders nor did they have to supervise the SD. They were merely representatives of the Reichsführer within their territories without having any actual or disciplinary jurisdiction over the Security Service. Attempts made in that direction, in connection with the above-mentioned corps for protection of the State, were particularly averted by the domestic intelligence service.

DR. GAWLIK: Now I come to the relation between the SD and the Party. What was the organizational relationship between the domestic intelligence service and the political leadership of 'the NSDAP?

HOEPPNER: The domestic intelligence service was an institution of the Party, but it did not belong to the organization of the political leadership. Therefore, no organizational connection existed. The proper and definite duties of the domestic intelligence service were not given to it by the Party either. The task assigned to it by the Party, as I have already mentioned, had already been essentially completed in the years 1938-39.

DR. GAWLIK: Did the SD have the task of maintaining the Nazi leaders in power?

HOEPPNER: The Security Service had the task of ...

DR. GAWLIK: Can you first answer the question with "yes" or "no"?

HOEPPNER: No.

DR. GAWLIK: Now please give me your reasons.

HOEPPNER: The Security Service had a different task. It had the assignment of observing the effects of the measures taken by the leaders of the State, the Party, the economy and the autonomous corporations, to determine what the people were saying about these measures, whether their results were positive or negative, and then to inform the leaders about its findings.

DR. GAWLIK: Was the domestic intelligence service the espionage system of the NSDAP? Here I refer to the trial brief against the SS, Pages 8a and 8b of the English edition.

HOEPPNER: No. First, the Security Service was not an espionage service at all. Secondly, it sent its reports to all principal offices, not only to those of the Party, but also to the leading offices of the State.

DR.GAWLIK: Now I come to the next topic of evidence, the relation between the SD and the Gestapo. Were the Gestapo and the SD a uniform police system which became constantly more closely connected?

I refer to the trial brief against the Gestapo and SD. What was the connection between the Gestapo and SD organizations with respect to aims, tasks, activities, and methods?

HOEPPNER: First, in answer to the first question: it was not a question of a uniform police system, since the Security Service and a police system have absolutely nothing to do with each other. The Security Service and the Secret State Police were two entirely different organizations. While the Security Service had developed from an organization of the Party, the Secret State Police was a continuation of an already existing institution of the State. While the task of the Security Service was to get a general view of the various spheres of life or the specific forms of activity of other ideological groups, and regarded the individual cases merely as examples, it was the task of the Secret State Police on the basis of existing laws, ordinances, decrees, and so on, to deal particularly with individual cases and to take preventive or prosecuting measures in an executive police capacity in continuation of an already existing State institution. While the Secret State Police worked with executive means, such as interrogations, confiscations, and so on, the Security Service never had executive powers.

DR. GAWLIK: Was it the task of the SD to support the Security Police as has been stated in decrees and other announcements, particularly in the circular letter released on 11 November 1938; in this connection I refer to Document 1638-PS,

HOEPPNER: No, that was incorrectly expressed. Perhaps I may comment briefly on that circular letter of 11 November 1938.

We are concerned here with the fact that for the first time an agreement had been made between the Security Service and an office of the State. The chief purpose of this agreement was that the Security Service was thereby officially and publicly recognized by an office of the State and that officials who worked in it could not, on account of this collaboration, be prosecuted for breaking their oath of silence, as had happened repeatedly up to then. At that time the agreement was made dependent on the fact that any State duty could be referred to. As, first of all, the Security Service hardly appeared in the public eye at that time in 1938, and the work in the field of public life had not yet been officially recognized by the Party and could, therefore, not be mentioned in the decree, Heydrich quoted the support of the Security Police, because no one outside could check that.

DR. GAWLIK: Did the SD have the task of watching the members of the Gestapo?

HOEPPNER: No.

DR.GAWLIK: Can we conclude from the fact that inspectors of the Security Police and SD were established that there was a connection between these two organizations?

HOEPPNER: No, the inspectors had a certain power of supervision over the organization in particular cases only. All directives, task assignments, and so forth, came from Berlin.

DR. GAWLIK: What was the relation of the Departments III with the offices of the commanders-in-chief and with the commanders of the Security Police and the SD?

HOEPPNER: I do not quite understand that question. Relation with whom?

DR. GAWLIK: With the Security Police.

HOEPPN'ER: The Departments III of the offices of the commanders and commanders-in-chief were departments in the same way as the Department IV. They worked on Security Service tasks, whereas Department IV worked on State Police tasks. They were departments of the office of the commander-in-chief, and not parts or establishments of Amt III of the Reich Security Main Office any more than the Department 4 were establishments of Amt IV of the Reich Security Main Office.

DR. GAWLIK: Now I come to a short discussion of the individual war crimes with which the SD is charged. First, the Einsatzgruppen.

I refer to VI A among the facts offered in evidence in the trial brief.

Were the Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos which were used in the East a part of the SD?

HOEPPNER: No; these Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos were establishments of an entirely original type.

DR. GAWLIK: Was the organization of the domestic SD used for the activities of the Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos? That is something important.

HOEPPNER: That question, in the way it has been put, must be answered by "no." It is not true that any units of that organization were transferred to the Einsatzgruppen. If individual members of the SD entered the Einsatzgrupppn or Einsatzkommandos, then it is comparable to military induction. Just as a civil servant who is drafted is assigned different tasks, or at least can be assigned them, this was likewise the case with the members of the SD. If the Einsatzgruppen had to perform Security Service tasks, such as making reports, the directives came to the Einsatzgruppen from Amt III.

DR. GAWLIK: Did the members of the SD and its subordinate offices obtain any knowledge about mass shootings and other crimes-war crimes or crimes against humanity-through the reports from the East, or by reports from the Einsatzgruppen?

HOEPPNER: Such reports from Einsatzgruppen were never forwarded to the subordinate offices in the Reich, so that the members of these offices could not have any knowledge, of these incidents, either.

DR. GAWLIK: Was the SD responsible for the establishment, arrangement, guarding, and administration of concentration camps?

HOEPPNER: No.

DR. GAWLIK: Could you give me any reason for that answer?

HOEPPNER: There are no reasons for it. The Security Service never had anything to do with these matters because it lacked jurisdiction there.

DR. GAWLIK: Did the SD establish any concentration camps?

HOEPPNER: No.

DR.GAWLIK: Did the SD organize any concentration camps?

HOEPPNER: No.

DR.GAWLIK: Was the organization of the SD used for the guarding of concentration camps?

HOEPPNER: No.

DR.GAWLIK: Did the SD have authority for the commitment and treatment of concentration camp inmates?

HOEPPNER: No.

DR. GAWLIK: Did the domestic intelligence service receive an order from Himmler not to intervene in the case of clashes between Germans, and English and American fliers?

HOEPPNER: No, the Security Service could not have had any order, because it had no Police functions and there could have been absolutely no question of any intervention.

DR. GAWLIK: Did the domestic intelligence service set up summary courts martial in order to pass judgment on persons in special short proceedings?

This question refers to Item VI H of the trial brief.

HOEPPNER: Holding summary courts martial was not one of the functions of the SD at all, therefore not courts martial of this kind either, because that again would have been an executive measure which had nothing to do with the Security Service.

DR.GAWLIK: Did the domestic intelligence service, Amt III, execute people in concentration camps or keep them prisoners only on account of crimes which allegedly had been committed by their relatives? This question refers to Item VI J of the trial brief.

HOEPPNER: The Security Service had nothing to do with. that.

DR. GAWLIK: Did the SD hold any third-degree interrogations? This question refers to Item VI L.

HOEPPNER: The Security Service did not carry out any interrogations at all, consequently not any with the third degree.

DR. GAWLIK: Will you briefly describe the aims, tasks, activities, and methods of the Group III A of the Reich Security Main Office, of which you were in charge at times?

HOEPPNER: It was the task of Group III A to observe secondly, that the scope of the work had been increased in extent, and that therefore men and in part women auxiliary workers had to be sent for service in the occupied territories; thirdly, that the entire work of the Security Service grew during the war, and the personnel had to render compulsory emergency service and so on, according to the legal measures that had been passed for this purpose.

DR.GAWLIK: Mr. President, I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Does the Prosecution wish to cross-examine?

MAJOR HARTLEY MURRAY (Assistant Trial Counsel for the United States): If the
Tribunal please, Major Murray cross-examining for the United States chief prosecutor.

Witness, when did you become chief of Office III A in the RSHA?

HOEPPNER: In July 1944.

MAJOR MURRAY: Who was the chief of Amt III at that time and for some time prior thereto?

HOEPPNER: Amt III had only one chief, and that was the then Gruppenführer Ohlendorf.

MAJOR MURRAY: At times you substituted for Ohlendorf, did you not?

HOEPPNER: I believe the entire question did not come through. I heard only "at times you substituted."

MAJOR MURRAY: At various times during your career, you took Ohlendorf's place as chief of Amt III, did you not?

HOEPPNER: No. When I was in that office, Ohlendorf was always there. Moreover, there was no general deputy for him. When he was away on business the chiefs of the various groups represented him for their own spheres, but during the period while I was in Berlin, that happened very rarely.

MAJOR MURRAY: Do you know Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl, who was a member of Amt VI, RSHA?

HOEPPNER: May I ask for the name again, please? I did not understand the name.

MAJOR MURRAY: Perhaps I do not pronounce it properly: Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl, spelled H-o-e-t-t-l.

HOEPPNER: Hoettl? I met him here only for the first time.

MAJOR MURRAY: You do know that he held a responsible position in the SD, now that you have met him here?

HOEPPNER: No, I have not spoken to Hoettl here, either.

MAJOR MURRAY: With the permission of the Tribunal, I should like to read briefly from the affidavit of Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl, Document 2614-PS, dealing with the activities of the SD. This will be Exhibit USA-918. Dr. Hoettl executed this affidavit on 5 November 1945. 1 quote:

"It was the task of the SD to inform its chief, Himmler, and through him the Nazi regime about all matters within Germany, the occupied territories, and the other foreign countries. This task was carried out in Germany by Amt III, domestic intelligence service, and abroad by Amt VI, foreign intelligence service."

Skipping a few lines:

"For the task in Germany proper Amt III had organized a large net of informers who operated out of the various regional offices of the SD. This organization consisted of many hundreds of professional SD members who were assisted by thousands of honorary SD members and informers. These informers and honorary collaborators of the SD were placed in all fields of business, education, State and Party administration, et cetera. Frequently they performed their duties secretly in their place of work. This information service reported on the morale of the German people, on all the important events in the State, as well as on individuals."

Do you consider that a fair statement of the task of the SD? [There was no response.]

THE PRESIDENT: Witness, answer the question, please. Witness, answer the question. Do you consider it a fair statement of the work of the SD? No, you need not go on reading the rest of the document. Answer the question.

HOEPPNER: It is a mixture of truths and untruths. I feel that the way and manner in which this report judges the Security Service is somewhat superficial. It does not give the impression, according to this document, that Hoettl worked in the domestic intelligence service very long.

MAJOR MURRAY: You know, do you not, Witness, that your chief, Ohlendorf, was, in 1941 and 1942, the head of Einsatzgruppe D in southern Russia? You were informed of that, were you not?

HOEPPNER: Yes, indeed.

MAJOR MURRAY: You knew also, did you not, that these Einsatzgruppen were made up from members of the SD and of the Gestapo and of the Criminal Police?

HOEPPNER: I knew that members of these organizations were detailed there for special service.

MAJOR MURRAY: You knew that they were commanded by SD members, did you not?

HOEPPNER: The Einsatzgruppen and Kommandos were commanded by members of widely different branches, by members of the State Police, Criminal Police, and also the Security Police. I myself, moreover, was never on special service.

MAJOR MURRAY: I would like to refer, if the Tribunal please, to the affidavit of Ohlendorf. This is Document Number 2620-PS, to become Exhibit USA-919. This affidavit has not been used in evidence before. This affidavit of Ohlendorf, which is very brief, states:

"The Einsatzgruppen and the Einsatzkommandos were commanded by personnel of the Gestapo, the SD, or the Criminal Police ... Additional men were detailed from the regular Police-"

and dropping down a few lines-

"Usually the smaller units were led by members..."

HOEPPNER: May I interrupt you? Excuse me, please.

It does not say here in the document that they were led by members of the regular Police. It says only that additional personnel was provided by the Order Police and the Waffen-SS.

MAJOR MURRAY: Yes, I skipped that. Skipping down a few lines:

"Usually the smaller units were led by members of the SD, the Gestapo, or the Criminal Police."

So that actually members of the SD were leading these Einsatzgruppen in the East, were they not?

HOEPPNER: The affidavit states that members of the Security Service as well as the State Police and the Criminal, Police were in charge of units of this kind.

MAJOR MURRAY: Now, as a matter of fact, the Einsatzgruppen officers wore SD uniforms in the performance of their tasks, didn't they?

HOEPPNER: Excuse me. I understood only a few words. The Einsatzgruppen wore these uniforms?

MAJOR MURRAY: The Einsatzgruppen officers wore the uniform of the SD while performing their duties in the East, is that true?

HOEPPNER: All members of the Einsatzgruppen wore field grey uniforms and wore the SD insignia on the sleeve. That was one of the main reasons for the many misunderstandings which occurred, because members of the Security Police also wore this SD insignia. That applies to the special SS formation of the SD which was mentioned right in the beginning of today's examination. This confusion also arose because, beyond that, even those members of the Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos wore uniforms who were not SS members at all and who in peacetime had never wore a uniform in Germany proper. They were sent for special service as so-called uniformed personnel and received a service rank corresponding to their civil service grade.

MAJOR MURRAY: In any event, many members of the Einsatzgruppen were members of the SD and many of those officers wore the uniform of the SD while killing these people in the Eastern Territories; isn't that true?

HOEPPNER: I do not quite understand the meaning of the question. There were very few people from the SD detailed to these Einsatzgruppen or Einsatzkommandos, least of all from the three branches mentioned, and during their entire period of service these men and leaders wore the uniform with the SD on the sleeve.

MAJOR MURRAY: If the Tribunal please, I should like to bring into evidence another brief document, Document 2992-PS, Exhibit USA-494. This is a portion of that affidavit which has not previously been read into evidence. It is the affidavit of Hermann Friedrich Gräbe. I am sure the Tribunal will recall that affidavit where this German citizen recounted the SS and SD men shooting large numbers of helpless individuals, the document which was referred to by the Attorney General of Great Britain a few days ago.

In the first part of that affidavit Gräbe states:

"The SS man acting as the executioner on the edge of the pit during the shooting of Jewish men..."

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. This document is in evidence already, isn't it?

MAJOR MURRAY: It is, My Lord, but not this particular portion of it referring to the SD. I did not intend to repeat the other portions but this portion refers specifically to the SD and it is only two sentences that I intend to read.

Paragraph 1:

"The SS man acting as the guard on the edge of the pit during the shooting of Jewish men, women, and children, at the airport near Dubno, wore an SS uniform with a grey armband about 3 centimeters wide on the lower part of his sleeve, with the letters 'SD' in black on it, woven in or embroidered."

And dropping down to the last portion of the second paragraph: "On the morning of 14 July I recognized three or four SS men in the ghetto whom I knew personally and who were all members of the Security Service in Rovno. These persons also wore the armband mentioned above."

It is a fact, is it not, Witness, that many of the members of these Einsatzkommandos were members of, your SD organization?

HOEPPNER: I already said before that a few members of these Einsatzgruppen and
Einsatzkommandos were members of the Security Service. It is not said here in any way that the people to whom reference is made in this document had anything to do with the domestic intelligence service; and if there was one among them who belonged to it -- which is certainly not shown by the document, for it says merely that he wore a uniform with the SD insignia -- then he had been detailed for that special service just as anyone else may be drafted into the Armed Forces. That is precisely the chief reason for a large number of mistakes which were made with that term SD, that even the members who were on special service all wore the same uniform.

MAJOR MURRAY: In any event, Ohlendorf was a member of the SD, was he not?

HOEPPNER: Ohlendorf was chief of Amt III but that had nothing to do with the fact that he also commanded an Einsatzgruppe. That Einsatzgruppe could just as well have been commanded by the chief of Amt IV or V, or by an inspector or anybody else. That has nothing to do with the activity of Ohlendorf as chief of Amt III.

MAJOR MURRAY: Now, Ohlendorf has testified that frequent reports were compiled by the Einsatzgruppen and sent back to the headquarters. Did you see any of these reports while you were in the headquarters of RSHA?

HOEPPNER: No. That was not possible because at the time when I came up to Berlin most of the Einsatzgruppen from the East had been recalled. At any rate, no further reports were coming in, and I am entirely of the opinion that in Amt III, the domestic intelligence service, only a very few men saw the reports from the Einsatzgruppen.

MAJOR MURRAY: I would like to have shown to you a series of 55 weekly reports of the activities of the Einsatzgruppen, and, incidentally, the Einsatzgruppen are known as the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD.

HOEPPNER: No, no; there were no Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the Security Service, but rather there were only the Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D in the East; and, indeed, there were good reasons for that.

MAJOR MURRAY: Before submitting that document to you, Witness, I would like to have you examine Document Number 3876-PS, which has already been admitted in evidence as Exhibit USA-808; I call your attention to the title page of that document, signed by Heydrich, which reads as follows:

"I herewith enclose the ninth summary report concerning the activity of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD in the U.S.S.R. This report will be sent continuously in the future. Signed, Heydrich."

Aren't you mistaken, Witness, in, saying that these were not known as Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and SD?

HOEPPNER: No. These Einsatzgruppen figured as Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D. They were commanded by a deputy of the Chief of the Security Police and the SD with the army groups in question, or with an army. The designation "Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD" is unfortunately wrong.

MAJOR MURRAY: Either Heydrich is wrong again, is he, and all the documents are wrong?

HOEPPNER: No, I do not want to say that the document is false, but I merely maintain that the expression is not correct. I ask you to look at the distribution list; it says there: "To the chiefs of Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D." Besides, the Einsatzkommandos were not called Kommandos of the Security Police and the SD, but, as far as I know, they had Arabic numerals from 1 to 12.

MAJOR MURRAY: This, of course, is a report of your chief, Heydrich, and I won't enlarge on the point. Turn now to Pages 31 and 32. It is at the bottom of Page 32 in Heydrich's ...

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23256
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 11 Aug 2005 22:01

Part 2:

MAJOR MURRAY: This, of course, is a report of your chief, Heydrich, and I won't enlarge on the point. Turn now to Pages 31 and 32. It is at the bottom of Page 32 in Heydrich's ...

HOEPPNER: One moment, please. There is no Page 31 or 32 in my document.

MAJOR MURRAY: It is a very short passage. I will read it to you:

"In White Ruthenia the purge of Jews is under way. The number of Jews in the part up to now handed over to the civil administration amounts to 139,000."

HOEPPNER: Yes.

MAJOR MURRAY [Continuing.]:

"In the meantime"-- in the last sentence "In the meantime, 33,210 Jews were shot by the Einsatzgruppe of the Security Police and the SD."

It doesn't say anything there about Groups A, B, C, or D, does it?

HOEPPNER: No, it says Security Police and SD. I only do not understand what that is supposed to have to do with the domestic intelligence service -- Security Service.

MAJOR MURRAY: Except that Ohlendorf was the head of your service, wasn't he?

HOEPPNER: When he functioned as chief of Amt III in Berlin; but during the time when he led the Einsatzgruppe D he was on special service, and the time on special service is treated exactly like the time of compulsory military service.

MAJOR MURRAY: Witness, are you informed of the fact that the SD was carrying on espionage activities in the United States prior to Germany's declaration of war against the United States?

HOEPPNER: I cannot imagine that the domestic intelligence service would have worked in the United States.

MAJOR MURRAY: I would like to offer in evidence, if the Tribunal please, Document Number 4053-PS, which becomes Exhibit USA-920. This document is a teletype message of the Foreign Office, dated 11 July 1941. 1 will read just one sentence from this one document:

"Reference teletype Number 2110 of 5 July from Washington. Herr RAM" -- that was
Ribbentrop, was it not? -- "Herr RAM requests you to submit immediately a written report regarding who among those arrested in New York on suspicion of espionage worked with the Abwehr and who with the SD."

Witness, does not that look like the SD was carrying on espionage activities in New York long prior to the declaration of war on the United States?

1 Aug. 46

HOEPPNER: One of the first questions which Herr Gawlik presented to me was whether the foreign intelligence service was also designated as SD. I said "yes," and further clarification showed that the domestic intelligence service and the foreign intelligence service were different organizations. Whether the foreign intelligence service, the foreign SD, Amt VI, had anything to do with this matter I cannot judge, because I never worked in Amt; VI and understand nothing about these things.

MAJOR MURRAY: Of course, when they were all part of the SD I mean they were all members of the SD. I have no more questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Would you re-examine if you want to?

Did the Soviet prosecutor want to ask any questions?

CHIEF COUNSELLOR OF JUSTICE L. N. SMIRNOV (Assistant Prosecutor for the
U.S.S.R.): Mr. President, I did want to put a few questions to the witness, but these questions are in connection with one new document -- quite an interesting document -- which we received only today, and for this reason we have not had the translation into English made up. Therefore, I do not know whether it would be appropriate for me to put this question now when I do not have an English translation to present to the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we could do it in the morning. It would be translated by then. Perhaps you could do it in the morning?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Thank you very much, Mr. President, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Gawlik, would you re-examine him now?

DR. GAWLIK: Mr. President, I do not know whether I will not also have more questions after the new document is presented. That, of course, I cannot judge now.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, if there is anything that arises from the new document, you could put the questions later on. You will have a further opportunity if necessary.

DR. GAWLIK: Yes.

[Turning to the witness.] Were the SS uniforms with the SD sign also worn by persons who had nothing to do with the SD?

HOEPPNER: Yes, I have explained that repeatedly.

DR. GAWLIK: Were the SS uniforms with the SD patch also worn by persons who had nothing to do with the SS?

HOEPPNER: Yes, indeed.

DR. GAWLIK: Can you make any, explanation as to why individuals who had nothing to do with the SD wore the SD patch?

207

1 Aug. 46

HOEPPNER: First, because all members of the Security Police also wore that uniform; secondly, because any man at all who served with an Einsatzkommando, or an Einsatzgruppe wore a uniform and the only uniform was the field-grey SS uniform with the SD patch.

DR. GAWLIK: Why did they wear the SD patch?

HOEPPNER: Because it belonged to the uniform.

DR. GAWLIK: I have no more questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Have you got this document before you, 3867-PS?

HOEPPNER: 3867-PS?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. You see what it says there:

"I herewith enclose the ninth summary report concerning the activity of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD in the U.S.S.R."

That is the second paragraph; you see that -- describing the report?

HOEPPNER: In my document book there are several loose documents. Is it the one of 27 February?

THE PRESIDENT: 27 February 1942, Page 17. Have you got it?

HOEPPNER: Yes, I have it.

THE PRESIDENT: First of all you see it says "...regarding report Number 9 concerning the activity of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD in the U.S.S.R." -- and then the first enclosure. Heydrich encloses the ninth summary report concerning the activity of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD in the U.S.S.R.

HOEPPNER: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: And you said, as I understood it, that you did not understand why
the SD were there, because the Einsatzgruppen were A, B, C, and D?

HOEPPNER: Yes, indeed.

THE PRESIDENT: That is what you meant, wasn't it, that you could not explain why
the SD were there?

HOEPPNER: Yes, indeed.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, will you explain why when distribution is set out it is to
be distributed to the chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen A,,.B, C, and D, and also to
the commanders of the Security Police and the SD?

HOEPPNER: May I make a statement concerning this report?

208

1 Aug. 46

If Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos of the Security Police and the SD are mentioned, then this designation is not accurate in this report, because that designation did not exist in the East. There were only Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D, and Einsatzkommandos Number 1, 2, 3, and so on.

THE PRESIDENT: Assuming that that is so, why then should the report be sent to the commanders of the Security Police and the SD in a separate distribution to them as well as the distribution to the chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen unless the SD has something to do with it? ,

HOEPPNER: I believe I was misunderstood somehow. It is a report about the activities of all the Einsatzgruppen which was summarized by the Chief of the Security Police of the SD and which then went to the individual Einsatzgruppen, as I assume, so that they would know what had happened in other Einsatzgruppen, and. so Einsatzgruppe D would know what had happened in Einsatzgruppen A, B, and C.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it isn't only sent to the Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D; it is also sent to the commanders of the Security Police and SD. What I am asking you is: Why is it sent to the commanders of the Security Police and the SD if they had nothing to do with it?

HOEPPNER: Yes -- probably Heydrich wanted the Commander-in-Chief of the Security
Police and SD in Kraków and the Higher SS and Police Leaders to be informed of what was done in these Einsatzgruppen, because it was also sent to the Higher Police Leaders in Breslau and Dresden, et cetera, who certainly had nothing to do with the activity of the Einsatzgruppen-to the Reich Defense Commissioners in Königsberg, Stettin, Breslau.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, your answer is that Heydrich made a mistake when he described it as the activity of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD; and when they sent out and distributed it to the commanders of the Security Police and SD, it was merely a matter of information; is that it?

HOEPPNER: Yes, indeed.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you see the final distribution on Pages 46 and 47 or is that the distribution of a different report; it is a report on the 23rd of April 1942.

HOEPPNER: Yes, 23 April 1942.

THE PRESIDENT: And will you look at Pages 46 and 47?

HOEPPNER: Yes, indeed.

THE PRESIDENT: About eight lines down, you see, it was distributed to Major General Kaltenbrunner, Vienna.

HOEPPNER: Yes, indeed.

THE PRESIDENT: And the last line but two, it was distributed to Governor General, Reich Minister, Dr. Frank.

HOEPPNER: I cannot find Reich Minister Dr. Frick.

THE PRESIDENT: Frank -- Frank, I said.

HOEPPNER: Yes, for the attention of Oberregierungsrat Dr. Schepers.

THE PRESIDENT: And the same is true on Page 18 of the report of the 27th of February 1942.

HOEPPNER: 27 February.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, on the 27th of February 1942, it was also distributed to the same people?

HOEPPNER: Yes, indeed.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

[The Tribunal adjourned until 2 August 1946 at 1000 hours.]


One Hundred and Ninety-Third Day
Friday; 2 August 1946

Morning Session

[The witness Hoeppner resumed the stand.]

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Witness, I request that you explain some of the testimony which you gave yesterday. Please give me very brief answers. First, you said yesterday that the SD had nothing to do with the working out of the plans of aggression and was not even aware of such plans.

HOEPPNER: Yes.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: You further stated that the SD since 1934 and up to 1939, in other words during the period of the organization of the RSHA, was engaged in activities which were very far removed from carrying out any police functions and actually had the nature of a scientific research character; is that correct?

HOEPPNER: I did not talk of scientific problems.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: No, I said of a scientific research character. That is how you expressed it yesterday. Is that correct?

HOEPPNER: I explained that the SD had two tasks, one was the work of ascertaining living conditions in Germany and the other was more of a statistical and research nature directed against other philosophies of life.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: That is clear. Thank you. You further stated that the SD had no relations whatsoever to Crimes against Peace and Crimes against Humanity, is that correct?

HOEPPNER: Yes.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Mr. President, I would like the permission of the Tribunal to submit the original of a German document from the archives of the main office of the SD, which is a document captured by the Red Army in the Berlin SD office and refers to plans concerning the invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Kindly follow me, Witness, while I quote from the document in the Russian translation:
"Communication; Berlin; June 1938; top secret. Subject: Employment of SD in
Czechoslovakia."

The text follows:

"The SD should prepare to start its activity in case of complications between the German Reich and Czechoslovakia...-. The manifold planning and the preparation of the operational staff for mobilization should be effected on the basis of approval..." (USSR-509)

THE PRESIDENT: Stop. You read out a date of June 1938. I can't see that at the head of the document.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: June 1938, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: It doesn't appear in the copy -at the head of the document. Does it appear somewhere else?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Your translation probably does not have it, Mr. President. The original has it. We submitted copies of two different documents and I am afraid the mistake might have been caused by the fact that your translation is not the translation of the document which I am submitting right now. We submitted copies of two different documents--two different translations.

THE PRESIDENT: Either it is an entirely different document or else some parts are omitted. The date is not on the document. Go on. Go on.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: "The SD follows, wherever possible, directly behind the advancing troops and fulfills duties similar to those in the Reich, which are the security of political life and at the same time the security as far as possible of all enterprises necessary to the national economy and so, also, of the war economy.

"In order to achieve this purpose, we suggest the division of the country into larger territorial units, Oberabschnitte and smaller territorial units, Unterabschnitte ... the latter to be subdivided into Aussenstellen so that the members of the SD"

I draw your attention to the words "members of the SD"- - "intended for employment in Czechoslovakia, can be immediately assigned to their tasks."

This document shows, therefore, that the SD was not only well-informed of the plans, but had also actively taken part in the elaboration of these plans of aggression. I am asking you, Witness, if this excerpt shows that the SD was not only aware of the plans of invasion and aggression but also that it took an active part in working out the plans?

HOEPPNER: May I first say something about the document?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I would like you to answer briefly, first. Answer "yes" or "no." Explain later, please.

HOEPPNER: From the document, it is obvious that it is only a draft ...

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: We will talk about that a little later. You will see, then, that this deals with something else. I refer to the excerpt which I read.

Do you not see evidence there that the SD was both informed and took an active part in the, plans of aggression?

HOEPPNER: I said yesterday that the Domestic and Foreign Information Services are two different organizations. The domestic ...

THE PRESIDENT: Witness, we do not care what you said yesterday. We want to get your answer today. You were asked a question which can be answered by "'yes" or "no." You can explain afterwards.

HOEPPNER: The document has nothing to do with the Domestic Information Service.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: In that case, I would like you to look on Page 3 of the document. You testified yesterday that the SD had nothing to do with the staffing of the Einsatzkommandos. I am going to read an excerpt here. Perhaps you will find an answer there. It is Item II:

"The staffing of the offices of the SD"--I draw your attention to the "offices of the SD"--"should be effected with the following considerations: 1. According to the point of view of the SD..."

Does that not prove...

THE PRESIDENT: It is being read too fast. You know the translators do not have time.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Thank you, Mr. President; I shall speak more slowly.

[Turning to the witness.] Does not the excerpt that was just read show that the Einsatzkommandos were staffed according to the demands of the SD? It is said here that the staffing is effected according to the point of view of the SD.

HOEPPNER: Excuse me. It was apparently translated incorrectly. Your question does not make sense to me.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: It seems to me the question is quite clear. It is said here: "The staffing of the offices of the SD should be effected with the following considerations..." Please look at the text of the document.

HOEPPNER: In my text there is absolutely nothing concerning

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: 202(a), Page 3?

HOEPPNER: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: To which words are you referring now?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I am referring to Section II Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: You must go slowly. You simply say Page 3. It happens not to be on Page 3--on our Page 3. It is on Page 2. How do you expect us to find it when you refer to it that way? It is Paragraph II then, at the start.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: It is Section II, Mr. President; there is Roman numeral II in front of the section.

What answer will you give then, Witness? What answer will you give me with regard to manning the staffs? Were they not to be staffed according to the demands of the SD?

HOEPPNER: From the paragraph, it is evident only that it was requested that the SD should keep men in readiness, should be ready itself, but not that the SD asked to have men kept in readiness.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: In that case, I should like to ask you to turn to
Section III. Mr. President, please turn to Section III. It is Page 4 of the Russian text. I quote from III:

"The groups detailed for Einsatz from the Reich"--pay attention to the words 'Einsatz' and 'groups' which appear for the first time in this document--"will be collected in a subsector corresponding to their intended sphere of activity, as starting or distribution centers, where they will receive the material on hand."

Then I omit the next paragraph and pass to the next page of the Russian text which follows right after the list of cities. It is Page 4 of the English text:

"As soon as any district is free from the enemy, that is, when it is occupied, the allocated groups are immediately sent to the district center following the advancing troops. At the same time, the groups which are intended for the next district still in enemy hands will follow along in order to feel their way."

Will you deny after this that it was precisely the SD which staffed the first Einsatz groups?

HOEPPNER: From this document it can be seen only that the SD main office at that time had prepared this group.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: If this does not convince you, then I would like you to turn ...

THE PRESIDENT: You must go more slowly. We will not hear what the witness says if you interrupt him during the time it takes for the translation to come through. It is impossible for us to understand it.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I beg your pardon, Mr. President. I shall go more slowly. I stated that if this does not convince the witness, that it was precisely the SD that helped to staff these operational groups, then I would be obliged ...

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. Then the witness said something about Einsatz groups. What did you say about Einsatz groups?

HOEPPNER: The question was whether I am now convinced that the Einsatz groups were being prepared beforehand, and I answered that...

THE PRESIDENT: No, you were not asked about Einsatz groups at all. You were asked about the SD.

HOEPPNER: I was asked whether the SD had prepared the Einsatz groups beforehand, and I said that from the document it is evident that the SD main office had prepared these groups.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Please look at Paragraph V --Section V--entitled "Preparatory Measures," Page 5 of the English text.

HOEPPNER: Yes.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Mr. President, I want to quote Section V, "Preparatory Measures."

"Preparatory Measures; demarcation of the spheres of activity of the SD and the Gestapo: (a) in the Reich; (b) in occupied territory.

"Suggestion: Measures in Germany are carried out under the guidance of the Gestapo and with the assistance of the SD. Measures-in the occupied regions are carried ' out under the leadership of the senior officer of the SD. Gestapo officials are assigned to certain operations staffs. It is important that, as far as possible, similar preparations, training, and the use of materials should be conducted in the Gestapo as in the SD."

Would you not say that this shows that it was precisely the SD that took the leading part in the Einsatzkommandos and that the Einsatz groups carried on their criminal activity under the guidance of SD officials?

HOEPPNER: I read nothing here about criminal activity. And as far as the SD is concerned I would like to refer to the first answer, that it had nothing to do with the Domestic Information Service.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: It says SD there...

THE PRESIDENT: The man had not yet finished his answer. We do not know what his answer is. Now repeat your answer.

HOEPPNER: I said that I read nothing about criminal measures in the document, and I said previously that the document had nothing to do with Domestic Information Services.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: It says there SD. Can you deny the term used by the document?

HOEPPNER: The word "SD" means many things.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: But it seems to me that in this connection the term is used in precisely the sense in which the authorities in Germany had used the term. The German officials understood the terms they used, did they not?

HOEPPNER: Yes, but it is about the Foreign Information Service.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I would like you to look at the continuation of the same quotation, Number 2, entitled, "Establishment of Files in Section 111/225 of the Main Office."

"(a) Collecting and utilization of all available materials of the SD Oberabschnitt is concentrated in Section 111/225.

"(b) In establishing duplicate local files for each region, one copy remains with the central department while the second is sent to the operations staff appointed to the region..."

I am stopping right there, and would like you to pay special attention to Item (c):

"Files must have notations such as these: 'To arrest,' 'to liquidate,' 'to remove from office,' 'to place under observation,' 'to confiscate,' 'police surveillance,' 'deprivation of passport,' et cetera."

Do you not think that when the filing department of the SD made a note like these on the cards of specific persons, such as to liquidate, to arrest, that the SD was participating in crimes against humanity?

HOEPPNER: I can only repeat that the document has nothing to do with the Domestic Information Service of the SD.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Did I understand you correctly yesterday to say that you deny that there was any liaison or relationship between the SD and the SS units?

HOEPPNER: Yes.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I would like you to look at the end of this plan, the last paragraph, Number VII:

"It is necessary that an SS unit or Totenkopf unit be ready for disposal for special purposes."

After seeing that, do you still deny that there was any direct relation between the SD and the SS units and the organization of the activity of the Einsatz groups?

HOEPPNER: From this paragraph, in any case, it is not evident.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: In that case, how should we interpret the sentence which I just read?

HOEPPNER: From this paragraph one can only deduce that if such an Einsatz group was put to use, a special SS troop was to be present. If a unit of some other civilian agency marches into this territory and a military unit is put at its disposal, then from that one cannot conclude that --there was some sort of connection between this military unit and the civilian agency. But I should like to repeat once more that this document shows only that it is a draft project of an official--of an assistant official--of an assistant official who did not even--I stress that this is a draft of an assistant official which was not even countersigned by the expert, not to speak of the department head, the central department head, office head, or main office head.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: In that case, it appears that you claim that the document just shown you is merely a draft?

HOEPPNER: It is only the draft of the assistant official of III/225, which he initialled 29 June 1938, and the head of Department III/22 did not sign it, nor did the Central Department chief of III/2 do so, nor did the chief of Amt III sign it.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Mr. President, to show that the witness' testimony is not correct, I would like you to turn to a document signed by Schellenberg, Chief of the Central Department I/I, and to the chart which you will, find in the original. It shows that even the chiefs of the Einsatz commands were appointed ...

HOEPPNER: May I say something?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Just a minute. Let me read...

THE PRESIDENT: Just wait a minute. Just wait a minute.

Colonel Smirnov, the Tribunal would like you to read on from the place you had got to in Paragraph V, so that the document may be translated, and translated now, at once. You had got just to the place where it speaks of files, and at the end of "files," Paragraph 2...

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: That is right, Mr. President. Do you want me to start reading from point (b) or from point (c)?

THE PRESIDENT: Point 3.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes. "In establishing duplicate local files for each region..."

THE PRESIDENT: That is not what I meant. You had read Paragraph V, Roman V, down to the end of 2, the last words of which are "deprived of passports, et cetera." The next paragraph is 3, small 3, Arabic 3-"It is imperative to speed up..."

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: That is right, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: We want the whole of the document from there.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President.

"It is imperative to speed up the obtaining of necessary economic and political materials, such as maps, dictionaries, stationery, and office supplies....

"5. Allocated members and agents of SD have to undergo a training course in order to get acquainted with the language and with the general conditions of life in Czechoslovakia. However, it might be advisable to train only persons appointed for the subsections as heads of foreign branches and managers of enterprises in order not to allow the number of persons becoming acquainted with the preparations to be too great.

"6. Release from military conscription of the appointed per-sons.

"7. Elaboration of plans, (a) for carrying out the task mentioned in Paragraph
III 5; (b) for notification in due time, of the persons mentioned in Paragraph
III 5, 11 1 (d), and 12 (c) before invasion in order to give them the possibility of hiding to avoid arrest and deportation and to enable them to fulfill their missions.

"8. Providing necessary passes in due time for entering zones of operation in order to 'secure a free passage and first-class living and working accommodations."

Shall I read Paragraph VI, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: "VI. Miscellaneous. It is suggested that wherever possible only trained military people be employed as:

"I. In the initial stages guerilla and partisan warfare will probably have to be reckoned with.

"2. For that reason arms will be necessary: carbines, pistols, hand grenades, gas masks, and if possible light machine guns.

"3. Relations in the zone of military operation demand appropriate conduct. 11VII ... 11

THE PRESIDENT: You have read VII already. But you better go back now to III, Paragraph 5, which I think you have not read and which just has been referred to.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President.

"Training of special agents (beforehand) from persons of German extraction living in Czechoslovakia (mentioned in Item 11 1 (d) who are to take over the internal protection of the most important enterprises for the purpose of preventing sabotage on the part of Czech organizations and offices."

THE PRESIDENT: Now I think you better go back to 11, Para-graph 2 (a), "Training of suitable persons."

The interpreting division had better have the original documents in German and read the passages which I will indicate to them.

I think you can go on, Colonel Smirnov, because this would be checked over in the translating division. The transcripts will be checked over against the original document.

Now, you were reading II, Paragraph 2 (a), beginning with the words, "Training of suitable persons," were you not?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: That is right, Mr. President. May I continue?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: "Besides"--interpreting verbatim from the Russian
text--"besides staff members of the SD we should also try to employ honorary workers, because German offices should not be deprived of proper personnel, and it may be necessary that other frontier regions should take similar measures to provide for the necessary personnel.

"(b) Measures concerning Item II I (a) are necessary, for it may be found inexpedient to take people from the frontier regions for these new organizations, as an increase of work in these regions is expected anyhow."
THE PRESIDENT: I don't think you need read that. The Tribunal directs that the original documents as read into the transcripts, the shorthand notes, shall be checked over by the translating division against the original German text.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President, we shall do it today.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal direct that the original German document shall be retranslated into the other languages, namely, into English, into French, into Russian.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Now will you turn to the document which follows the document you have been reading and which appears to be some sort of letter from an Oberführer of the SS? It is addressed to Dr. Best.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President. Shall I read the whole document or just the first paragraph?

THE PRESIDENT: You better read the first paragraph, anyhow.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes.

It is Page 9, Witness, "111/225; to SS Oberführer, Dr. Best, Berlin."

HOEPPNER: Yes, I am reading it. I have it.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: The contents follow:

"Introduction of the Einsatz of the Gestapo and of the SD, Reichsführer SS in the territory of Czechoslovakia.

"The suggestion to introduce the Gestapo and SD, of which 12 detachments - were provided for along the Czechoslovakian frontier, will be subject to some modification as a result of the new situation arising from the fact that the Czechs may cede the Sudeten territory. Since some of the detachments will not be employed in the districts which will be ceded, we offer the following changes."

Shall I continue the quotation, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: You don't need to read the rest. But is that document dated?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: There is no date here, but there is a date on another document, which I consider very important and which I would like the Tribunal's permission to submit. The document which is addressed to Dr. Best has no date, but the next document has a date, and it is the following document that I consider extremely important. I would like the Tribunal's permission to submit it. It is a very short document, signed by Schellenberg:

"Berlin, 13 September 1938, State Chancellery 1 113, to the Chief of Amt III, SS Oberführer Jost or deputy.

"Contents: Organizational Chart of the Einsatzkommandos."

Omitting the next sentence, the text reads:

"According to the regulations of the above-mentioned letter, I enclose herewith a photostatic copy of the Einsatzkommandos organizational chart. The chart in its present form has been prepared by Department C.

"(Signed) The Chief of Central Department 11 a B, SS Hauptsturmführer Schellenberg."

Mr. President, at this point I should like you to look at the chart which is attached, and which at that time already reproduced very correctly the organization of the Einsatzkommandos. You have all the details of the organization there, Einsatzstab K, Einsatzstab L, and showing 11 different units, and among them the leading collaborators of Einsatzstab K. In the second column, you can find that already at that time the chief of the gas cars to be put into effect later was included: Rauff, the man to whom later all the reports about the activity of the gas chambers and the special death wagons were directed. They have been read here earlier.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not see that on the chart.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: It is in the second column. Rauff, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. But can't you show me where it is?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President. There it is. [Indicating.]

[The document was handed to the President.]

THE PRESIDENT: But Colonel Smirnov, there must be some words on the document which indicate what you are saying.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I think, Mr. President, that what happened is to be explained by the inaccuracies of the translation. You see, I just drew your attention to the name Rauff, the man who was mentioned there, to whom later the reports about gas cars were directed. And there he is. The post had been prepared and foreseen in that chart.

THE PRESIDENT: What is his name?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Rauff, Mr. President. As early as 1939 we see his name and the post which he was to occupy. This is why I want to draw your attention to that.

May I continue the interrogation?

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov, the Tribunal would like to have photostatic copies of this document.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President; we have 10 copies.

THE PRESIDENT: We anticipate that you are going to give the document to the witness and examine him upon it.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President. The witness has it before him already.

HOEPPNER: Yes; I have a photostatic copy here.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Mr. President, I should like to ask the witness the following question.

Witness, tell me this. Did not the confidential agents of the SD make and keep a list of persons who were to be annihilated or exhausted by hard labor?

HOEPPNER: Is the question being asked with reference to this document?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: In connection both with the document and with your knowledge of the situation.

HOEPPNER: I do not know whether lists were compiled.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Mr. President, I am asking your permission to submit...

THE PRESIDENT: The witness has not answered.

Will you answer the question?

HOEPPNER: I said that I did not know whether such lists were made.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Mr. President, I request your permission to submit the second German document, which does not concern the leading man of the SD.


THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov, we wanted you to ask the witness some questions so as to explain the chart. We have only just seen the chart. Have you no questions to ask on the chart?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President, I will ask these questions. Do you have the chart before you, Witness?

HOEPPNER: I have the photostatic copy of the manuscript chart.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: No, I am talking about the photostatic copy of the document. They are going to hand you the original.

[The document was submitted to the witness.]

Do you recognize the names of the collaborators mentioned in the chart?

HOEPPNER: Yes.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Who was Jost?

HOEPPNER: Jost was the chief of Amt III, the Foreign Information Service in the then SD main office, and he had been the first chief of Amt VI of the Foreign Intelligence Service.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Anyway, in 1938 he was a member of the SD?

HOEPPNER: Yes, he belonged to the SS special formation, SD, and was chief of the Central Department III of the SD main office.

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute, I thought you told us the SS had no connection with the SD. You are now telling us that this man was head of the SS department, SD, are you not?

HOEPPNER: There must have been a false translation. Mr. President, may I repeat my answer?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, repeat your answer.

HOEPPNER: Jost was the head of Central Department III, Foreign Intelligence Service, in the former SD main office. He was later the first chief of Amt VI, the Foreign Intelligence Service, the predecessor of Gruppenführer Schellenberg, who has been heard already by this Tribunal.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Are you acquainted with the name of Ehrlinger?

HOEPPNER: Yes.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Who was Ehrlinger?

HOEPPNER: I know Ehrlinger only from a later period. He was the last chief of Amt I of the Reich Security Main Office.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: He was also a member of the SD, was he not?

HOEPPNER: He also belonged to the SS special formation SD.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Do you know the name of Rauff? Do you recognize that?

THE PRESIDENT: The translation came through then to us that he was a member of the SS-SD.

HOEPPNER: He belonged to the SS special SD formation about which we spoke in detail yesterday; that is to say, the merger of SS members who were in the Security Service, in the Gestapo, and in the Criminal Police; that is to say, not all members of these, but only those who belonged to the SS, and also those who were honorary co-workers belonging to the SS, and also some other officers who worked with the Security Police-for instance, the border Police and customs investigations officials, and later a large number of Landraete, too.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: May I continue, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Go on.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Thank you.

[Turning to the witness.] Do you know the name of Rauff?

HOEPPNER: Yes.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: What was he at that time?

HOEPPNER: Rauff at that time was in charge of the motor cars belonging to the Security Service, as far as I remember today. I should like to say that at that time I had no direct connection with the control office in Berlin, as the main office of the SD was so organized at that time, that between the lower divisions and the main office there was an organizational set-up, Oberabschnitt, which was abolished in September 1939.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Mr. President, the American Prosecution kindly gave me the documents already submitted to the Tribunal which show that subsequently orders concerning death vans were addressed specifically to Herr Rauff. These are the documents which I am now passing on to the Tribunal. These documents have been submitted already. I am merely reminding you of them.

And now, Witness, I should also like you to look at the circles showing Einsatzkommandos in the chart. Do you recognize the names mentioned there?

HOEPPNER: I do not know yet which names you mean.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I am talking about the circles at the bottom, Einsatzkommando 2, 3, 8, 9, and others. Have you found the place?

HOEPPNER: Is that another document?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: No; that is precisely the same document.

HOEPPNER: On the manuscript document which I have, I can see no such circles. It must be another document attached to another letter.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Please look at the circles around "Einsatzkommando." Do you. recognize any of the names within those circles?

HOEPPNER: No. On the document which is appended to the letter signed by Obersturmführer Scheidler?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Do you recognize the names there? Particularly, did you know Gottschalk?

HOEPPNER: No.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Dr. Lehmann?

HOEPPNER: No.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Schulze?

HOEPPNER: I gather that there must be a confusion of names there, and it I should be "Schulz."

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: That is right, "Schulz."

HOEPPNER: Yes, I know. Here we have "Schulze."

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: That is a mistake. I have it as "Schulz."

HOEPPNER: I know Schulz.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Was he a member of the SD?

HOEPPNER: No. I think that he was at that time a State Police chief somewhere in northern Germany.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Do you know Biermann?

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23256
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 11 Aug 2005 22:03

Part 3 (final):

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Do you know Biermann?

HOEPPNER: Not personally, but I have heard his name.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Who was he?

HOEPPNER: I beg your pardon. I think that he was then a chief of the State Police. Later he became an inspector of the Security Police and the SD.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Do you know Höhnscheid?

HOEPPNER: I do not know Dr. Heinrich.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: No--Höhnscheid?

HOEPPNER: EK 10, Einsatzkommando 10.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: No, Einsatzkommando 4, Höhnscheid.

HOEPPNER: I do not know him.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Hoffmann?

HOEPPNER: No.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I do suppose that you know Stahlecker, though.

HOEPPNER: I knew him by name but not personally.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: You are acquainted with the post he held?

HOEPPNER: I think that he was then inspector of the Security Police or Staatspolizeileiter or Oberabschnittführer, but I can not quite remember what he was.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: And do you know Günther?

HOEPPNER: Günther, if I remember right, was at that time inspector in Berlin.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Inspector of the SD, was he not?

HOEPPNER: There were no SD inspectors at that time; there were only inspectors of the Security Police.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I have no more questions about the chart, Mr. President.

May I ask some question about the next document?

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. These words "EK" in the circle at the bottom mean Einsatzkommando I suppose, do they? And will you tell the Tribunal what the purpose of the chart is? What is the organization which it is supposed to define?

HOEPPNER: I suppose that it is the preparation of some plan of Gruppenführer Heydrich to employ the offices of the Security Police and the SD, which were under his jurisdiction, in case of possible complications with Czechoslovakia.

The abbreviation "EK" means Einsatzkommando. Actually, later, when the German troops marched into Czechoslovakia, there went along units of the Security Police and of the SD which, just like the Einsatzkommandos and the Einsatzgruppen in the East, were mobile units of a very special nature, which had been newly set up and had entirely new tasks, and which were dissolved later when the State Police office in Prague and the SD Department Prague were organized.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I am not concerned with whether they were later dissolved. Heydrich, I suppose, was in command of the whole of the SD, was he not?

HOEPPNER: Yes, Heydrich was head of the SD main office and at the same time head of the Security Police, both offices personally united in him.

THE PRESIDENT: Was Stahlecker a member of the information branch of the SD that you are speaking of?

HOEPPNER: I cannot state that for certain. If I remember correctly, Stahlecker had at that time some function in East Prussia.

THE PRESIDENT: You said just now, I thought, that Stahlecker was in Berlin.

HOEPPNER: In East Prussia at that time. In my opinion, Günther was in Berlin.

His name was also mentioned previously.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Well, was he a member of the SD Information Service?

HOEPPNER: Yes, I think that he was then head of the SD, Berlin Oberabschnitt. I cannot say it with certainty.

THE PRESIDENT: Ehrlinger, was Ehrlinger also a member of the SD Information Service?

HOEPPNER: I do not know in what office Ehrlinger was then employed. I heard his name only later when he became head of Amt I.

THE PRESIDENT: What about Rauff?

HOEPPNER: Rauff was then in charge of the motor transportation corps of the SD head office, but here, too, I cannot state for certain whether ...

THE PRESIDENT: What about the Information Service of the SD? Was he a member?

Was Rauff a member of the SD Information Services?

HOEPPNER: He was head of a technical department in the SD main office. In the SD main office at that time, which handled foreign information and domestic information, there were several technical offices in the Central Department I which were at the disposal of the entire Amt.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, what about his functions? One of his functions was to work in the Information Service of the SD-in the Domestic Information Service of the SD?

HOEPPNER: He was also in charge of the motor cars for the Domestic Information Service.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but you can answer the question "yes" or "no." Was it part of his function to work in the Domestic Information Service of the SD?

HOEPPNER: Not in the Information Service as such, as far as I know. No, he only
...
THE PRESIDENT: Well, he had no competence, as you call it, in the Domestic Information Service of the SD?

HOEPPNER: As far as I can remember, he was only in charge of the motor transportation of the SD main office--also for the Domestic Information Service.

THE PRESIDENT: Doesn't that chart show that the SD was working in transport co-ordination with the Gestapo?

HOEPPNER: In my opinion the chart shows only that the head of both organizations was prepared, in case of a march into Czechoslovakia, to employ men of both organizations there.

THE PRESIDENT: And don't these documents show that your comment about the first document was inaccurate and that that document was being used by Schellenberg in September 1938, for the purpose of organizing the SD in Czechoslovakia?

HOEPPNER: I think it is impossible that this document should have been used, because otherwise the date would have been filled in; and the Roman figures at the end of the document would have been indicated. Whether another draft was made later and submitted to Schellenberg, that I do not know.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you see that the first document is headed Roman III, Arabic 225. The letter to Dr. Best is also headed Roman III/225, and it refers to the suggestion which is no doubt contained in that document; and the chart itself is also headed III/225.

HOEPPNER: Yes; I suppose that some other draft was made, for this is months later. This draft was almost certainly not used because then the Roman figures would most certainly have been indicated. In any case, the Roman figure III of that time had nothing to do with the later Amt III, because the department from which the accused Amt III originated, was Central Department II/2.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Mr. President, in connection with the witness' replies on the fact that he does not know whether the confidential agents of the SD made up lists of persons who were to be annihilated or mobilized forcibly or else arrested and placed in concentration camps, I would like your permission to submit another short document pertaining to another country, to Poland, and which contains the instructions of the Blockstellenleiter of the SD in Poland to his confidential agents. I ask your permission to read this document into the record.

HOEPPNER: May I say one more word? There is nothing in my document about annihilation or concentration camps.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: You will now have the document before you. May I quote the document? It is USSR-522. I quote:

"Security Service of the Reichsführer SS, Blockstelle Mogilno, 24 August 1943."--Translating verbatim--"To confidential agents. Subject: The Preparation of the Lists of Poles."

The text follows:

"I have repeatedly pointed out to you the necessity of paying special attention to the Poles. For that reason, I am giving below the speech of the Reichsführer SS, Himmler, delivered on 15 March 1940 at the meeting of the concentration camp commanders in former Poland, and according to the directives given in that speech, I ask you to submit to me the list of names of all the concerned Poles."

Extract from speech:

"'For that reason, all our collaborators, both men and women, should consider as their most important and urgent task the preventing of all unscrupulous leaders of the Polish people from exercising their activity. You, as camp commanders, will know best how to fulfill this task.

"'All skilled workers of Polish origin are to be utilized in our war industry; then all Poles will disappear from the face of the earth.

"'In fulfilling this very responsible task, you must, within the prescribed limits of time, exterminate the Poles. I give this directive to all the camp commanders.

"'The hour is drawing closer when every German will have to stand the test. For that reason, the great German nation should understand that its most important task right now is to exterminate all the Poles

"'I expect all my agents to report to me immediately all Polish grumblers and defeatists. For such a task we must also utilize children and aged persons, who can help us considerably, because of their so-called friendly attitude toward the Poles.'

"Extract from Himmler's speech on 15 March 1940. Heil Hitler. SS Hauptsturmführer, (signature illegible)."

I would like to ask you now, after seeing this document, whether you still deny that the workers of the SD in the occupied territories trained and oriented all, persons they could use to make up lists of such persons who were to be annihilated?

HOEPPNER: Yes, I deny that, especially as I cannot state whether this document is a genuine one or not.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: This document was captured by the Polish Army in Mogilno in the building of the SD.

HOEPPNER: I take, for example, the words "camp commander meeting" as being absolutely impossible. I don't see what it could refer to; and it seems to me impossible to ascertain what "Polish grumblers and defeatists" might mean. It seems to me absolutely self-evident that the Poles hoped that Germany would lose the war.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I am not asking you to make propagandistic speeches on the subject of Poland, I am asking you something quite different. I am asking you this question: Are you still denying the fact that the SD compelled those collaborating with it to make lists of persons to be annihilated?

HOEPPNER: Yes, I deny that.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I have no more questions.

THE PRESIDENT: What evidence is there that this document was found in the SD headquarters?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: It was not found in the SD headquarters. That was not properly translated.

THE PRESIDENT: Your answer didn't come through.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: This was not found at the central headquarters Mr. President. It was not translated to you correctly if that is what was said. The document was found by the Polish Army...

THE PRESIDENT: What was translated to me was that it was captured by the Polish Army at the SD headquarters. Is that right?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: That is right, but not at the central headquarters of the SD for Poland, at the headquarters in the block station of Mogilno.

THE PRESIDENT: I didn't say anything about the central headquarters. All I want to know is what evidence there is that it was found at the headquarters of the SD.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President. May I now read the document of the Polish delegation on the subject, which says:

"It is hereby certified that the submitted document in the German language, dated 24 August 1943, consists of the instructions of the Security Police of the ReichsFührer SS, in the City of Mogilno, containing an extract from Himmler's' speech and that it is the exact photostatic copy of the original submitted by the Chief Commission for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes in Poland."

The original was found in an envelope. In the left-hand corner at the top there was stated, "Landrat of the Area of Mogilno of the Governmental District Hohensalza." Besides, there is a receipt for a registered letter which says, "Registered Mogilno, Wartheland 272," with a postal stamp "24 August 1943," addressed to ...

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel, I am sorry, I didn't hear the beginning of what you said. What are you reading from now?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I am reading, Mr. President, from the certificate which the Polish Delegation submitted on the subject of this document. This was a document which was submitted to us by the Polish Delegation.

THE PRESIDENT: How did you identify this particular document? You see, we have a document produced before us which appears to have nothing on it which connects it with that certificate. I mean, how do you connect it with this certificate?

MR. COUNSELLOR - SMIRNOV: Mr. President, I was just handed a note here from our documentary section which says that since the Tribunal has the original, the original does not have the certificate of the Polish Delegation attached to it, whereas, I have the certificate attached to my document. I am very sorry about the mistake. You will receive the certificate.

THE PRESIDENT: I see--and the certificate you have identifies the translation in Russian? Is that right?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Mr. President, yesterday I myself verified the translation which I have with the original, and I have found it to be accurate and correct, and the certificate also, states that the Russian translation is correct.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov, you must offer in evidence that certificate in order to make it clear that this is the document which was found at this SD headquarters at Mogilno. That should be attached to this exhibit. Has this got a number, this exhibit? 522, is that it?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, the number is USSR-522, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we will have to have the certificate attached to it; then we shall be able to look at it.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President. I have no more questions to ask this witness, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

[A recess was taken.]

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Mr. President, in connection with one of the points to which my esteemed American colleague has drawn my attention, I request your permission to put another question here to the witness concerning the first document which I submitted.

THE PRESIDENT: Which was the first?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: This is USSR-509, the chart.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Thank you.

Witness, will you kindly tell us--do you deny that Gengenbach, who is to be found in this chart as belonging to the Einsatzstab--you will be shown the chart in a minute--was a member of the SD?

[The document was submitted to the witness.]

HOEPPNER: He was on the staff of the SD.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: He was a member of the SD.

HOEPPNER: Yes, he was. He was Gruppenleiter of III A. He was my immediate predecessor.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Tell us then, was it not you who became his deputy later on?

HOEPPNER: I was the successor of Gengenbach, but not his deputy. When I came to Berlin with the Reich Security Main Office he was already dead. Besides Gengenbach was not yet in Berlin then, for as far as I can recall today, he was at Munich. I met him only during the war.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: But, at any rate, you did afterward hold the post which had been held before by Gengenbach?

HOEPPNER: The position which Gengenbach held later in Berlin I took over from him. He was Gruppenleiter III A just as I was.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Thank you very much. The American Prosecution, Mr. President, has a copy of the documents which have already been submitted under Exhibits Number USA-175 and USA-174, and it is stated here in the places underlined that the head of the Department III A was Gengenbach--that is the same man who is to be found in the chart.

I have no further questions to put to the witness, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Has the speech of Himmler, dated 15 March 1940, already been put in evidence?

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: As far as I know, Mr. President, no. At any rate, I do not know this speech.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Now, Dr. Gawlik.

DR. GAVILIK: Witness, do you still have Document USSR-509?

HOEPPNER: I have no documents at all.

[The document was submitted to the witness.]

DR. GAWLIK: Witness, please look at Page 1. What was the task of these Einsatzgruppen which were to be employed in Czechoslovakia?

HOEPPNER: I do not know; I had nothing to do with the preparation of these tasks.

DR. GAWLIK: I said please look at Page 1.

HOEPPNER: "To secure political life and to secure national economy," it says on Page 1.

DR. GAWLIK: Was this a completely different task from that which later in 1941 was given to Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D in the East?

HOEPPNER: I do not know the tasks in the East very well either, because I had nothing to do with them; but as far as I am informed, the Einsatzgruppen in the East certainly had nothing to do with safeguarding the national economy. The Einsatzgruppen 'in the East had to secure the rear army area.

DR. GAWLIK: Please look at the chart, the organization of these Einsatzgruppen.

HOEPPNER: The handwritten one or the printed one?

DR. GAWLIK: The second one. With the aid of this chart, can you answer the question whether these Einsatzgruppen belonged to the organization of the SD?

HOEPPNER: You mean the chart that says "Staff SS Gruppen-Führer Heydrich" at the top?

DR. GAWLIK: Yes, that is the chart I mean.

HOEPPNER: No, that was not an organization of the Security Service but was something completely new.

DR. GAWLIK: Regarding the tasks these Einsatzgruppen or these Einsatz staffs had, were they a part of the duties of the Security Service?

HOEPPNER: I do not know the tasks which were assigned to these Einsatz staffs.

In any event, the task mentioned on Page 1, "securing the national economy," is not a task of the Security Service; it is not a task related to the Information Service nor does the "safeguarding of political life" have anything to do with the Information Service.

DR. GAWLIK: Were parts of the organization of the SD used by these Einsatz staffs? Can you answer the question with the aid of this chart?

HOEPPNER: As far as the chart shows, parts of the organization were not used but only individual members of the Security Service, just as in the case of the State Police too. The same will probably have applied as later in connection with the Einsatzgruppen in the East, that is, it can be compared with being drafted into the Armed, Forces.

DR. GAWLIK: Were the individual members of the Security Service, by being assigned to the Einsatz staffs, no longer active in the Security Service?

HOEPPNER: No, of course not. For they received completely different tasks. Again, I can only make this comparison: If a judge is drafted into the army, then he no longer carries on his activity as a judge.

DR. GAWLIK: Were the activities and tasks of the Einsatz staffs generally known to the members of the Security Service, particularly the members of the subordinate agencies of the branch offices of the regional offices?

HOEPPNER: Not in the least.

DR. GAWLIK: Now, I come to the second document that deals with the letter of the Blockstelle Mogilno. (USSR-522)

[The document was submitted to the witness.]

DR. GAWLIK: What was a Blockstelle?

HOEPPNER: In the structure of the Security Service, the term "Blockstelle" did not exist but, nevertheless, it is possible that regional offices (Aussenstellen) organized sub-branches and then used this term; in general, what was subordinate to a regional office was called an "observer" (Beobachter).

DR. GAWLIK: What was the staff of an Aussenstelle in general?

HOEPPNER: According to the period of time and according to the importance of the Aussenstelle, it differed considerably. On the average, say in 1943 or 1944, there were one or two regular officials in a branch and a large number of honorary workers, whereby the head of the branch was sometimes an honorary official and sometimes a regular one.

DR. GAWLIK: Was the Blockstelle above an Aussenstelle or was it subordinate to it?

HOEPPNER: Above the Aussenstelle was the Abschnitt, not the Blockstelle, and, as
I said before, the different Aussenstelle sometimes selected terms for subordinate offices which were not really officially recognized. Observers were, however, recognized.

DR. GAWLIK: Did Amt III issue any orders as established in this document?

HOEPPNER: No; under no circumstances.

DR. GAWLIK: Then is this a case of the head of the Aussenstelle in Mogilno acting on his own initiative? I mean the head of the Blockstelle.

HOEPPNER: If Himmler did make this speech then it would certainly constitute an arbitrary act. The only thing that I cannot imagine is Himmler's saying, when making a speech to the camp commanders, that he expected something of all his informers.

HOEPPNER: I am not speaking of Himmler. I am speaking of the orders of the head of the Blockstelle.

DR. GAWLIK: But the instructions are in the speech by Himmler--or do you mean the instructions in the first sentence "to give especial attention to Poland"? The head of the Blockstelle in Mogilno will, of course, have cared for the Poles in the same way as he cared for the Germans. He was naturally interested in the general attitude and frame of mind of the Poles, and he reported to the Reich main office, to Group III D.

DR. GAWLIK: Then I show you Document 3876-PS.

THE PRESIDENT: How does this arise from the cross-examination?

DR. GAWLIK: Mr. President, I have a few more questions in connection with the questions which Your Honor asked yesterday at the end of the session relating to distribution.

THE PRESIDENT: You are putting in some document which has not been referred to before?

DR. GAWLIK: The document was submitted yesterday by the American Prosecution.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, well it was. I beg your pardon.

HOEPPNER: I have here the English text of the document.

DR. GAWLIK: Please look at Page 45 now, the distribution. Did commanders of the
Security Police and the SD belong to the Ein-satzgruppen A, B, C, and D?

HOEPPNER: No, that is something different. The Einsatzgruppen were mobile units, which advanced together with the Armed Forces in the rear army area. The offices of the commanders were offices in the civilian administration. When an area was taken into civil administration, the office of the commander was set up.

DR. GAWLIK: How were the Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D organized?

HOEPPNER: They were divided into the Einsatzkommandos.

DR. GAWLIK: What names did these Einsatzkommandos have?

HOEPPNER: These Einsatzkommandos had no names at all. As I said yesterday, they were numbered from 1 to 10, as far as I can recall, possibly even to 11 or 12.
DR. GAWLIK: Please look at the distribution. There it says that .the chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D received copies for the commanders of the Security Police and the SD.

HOEPPNER: No, that is wrongly translated. It should be for the Kommandeure of the Security Police and the SD, not for the commanders; that is the Kommandeure of the Security Police who were subordinate to the commanders of the Security Police and the SD. To make it more clear, the Einsatzkommandos were not led by a Kommandeure of the Security Police and the SD, but by the Kommandeute of Einsatzkommandos 1, 2, 3, et cetera. In the territory which was under civil administration, the situation was the same as in occupied France. There were offices of the Kommandeure of the Security Police and of the SD. That was something quite different from the Einsatzkommandos.

DR. GAWLIK: Who were the officers superior to the Kommandeure?

HOEPPNER: Of which Kommandeure?

DR. GAWLIK: Of the Security Police and of the SD.

HOEPPNER: The commanders of the Security Police and the SD.

DR. GAWLIK: Who were their superiors?

HOEPPNER: The Chief of the Security Police and the SD in Berlin.

DR. GAWLIK: Who was the superior of Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D?

HOEPPMER: That cannot be answered in one word. In reality the chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen had two superiors. In the first place, they were assigned to the army group in question, and had to take instructions from the chief of the army group. On the other hand, they received specialized instructions from the Chief of the Security Police and the SD. That is the very reason why I said yesterday that they were unique and different.

DR. GAWLIK: Now I ask you again. If the Kommandeure of the Security Police and the SD did not belong to the Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D ...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Gawlik, hasn't all this been thoroughly gone into already? I mean, we have got the document. We have asked the witness a number of questions and he has given his answers. You are now asking him the same questions over again.

DR. GAWLIK: Mr. President, I only have one more question with regard to the copies.

THE PRESIDENT: Ask your question then.

DR. GAWLIK: Why did the chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen A, B, C, and D receive copies for the commanders of the Security Police and the SD, if they were completely separate organizations?

HOEPPNER: Probably there were different organizations but in certain cases the people were the same; or, as I assume, this was not a clear way of expressing it. I had a German copy yesterday. Various words were used for "Commander." Sometimes it was "Kommandeur" and in the next line it was "Befehlshaber." Those are completely different functions. I had a German copy yesterday.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire. Dr. Gawlik, your next witness.

User avatar
Sergey Romanov
Member
Posts: 1895
Joined: 28 Dec 2003 01:52
Location: World

Re: IMT - SD testimony of Rolf Heinz Hoeppner

Post by Sergey Romanov » 02 Mar 2019 18:09

Any thoughts on the authenticity of this document?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: You will now have the document before you. May I quote the document? It is USSR-522. I quote:

"Security Service of the Reichsführer SS, Blockstelle Mogilno, 24 August 1943."--Translating verbatim--"To confidential agents. Subject: The Preparation of the Lists of Poles."

The text follows:

"I have repeatedly pointed out to you the necessity of paying special attention to the Poles. For that reason, I am giving below the speech of the Reichsführer SS, Himmler, delivered on 15 March 1940 at the meeting of the concentration camp commanders in former Poland, and according to the directives given in that speech, I ask you to submit to me the list of names of all the concerned Poles."

Extract from speech:

"'For that reason, all our collaborators, both men and women, should consider as their most important and urgent task the preventing of all unscrupulous leaders of the Polish people from exercising their activity. You, as camp commanders, will know best how to fulfill this task.

"'All skilled workers of Polish origin are to be utilized in our war industry; then all Poles will disappear from the face of the earth.

"'In fulfilling this very responsible task, you must, within the prescribed limits of time, exterminate the Poles. I give this directive to all the camp commanders.

"'The hour is drawing closer when every German will have to stand the test. For that reason, the great German nation should understand that its most important task right now is to exterminate all the Poles

"'I expect all my agents to report to me immediately all Polish grumblers and defeatists. For such a task we must also utilize children and aged persons, who can help us considerably, because of their so-called friendly attitude toward the Poles.'

"Extract from Himmler's speech on 15 March 1940. Heil Hitler. SS Hauptsturmführer, (signature illegible)."

I would like to ask you now, after seeing this document, whether you still deny that the workers of the SD in the occupied territories trained and oriented all, persons they could use to make up lists of such persons who were to be annihilated?

HOEPPNER: Yes, I deny that, especially as I cannot state whether this document is a genuine one or not.

MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: This document was captured by the Polish Army in Mogilno in the building of the SD.

HOEPPNER: I take, for example, the words "camp commander meeting" as being absolutely impossible. I don't see what it could refer to; and it seems to me impossible to ascertain what "Polish grumblers and defeatists" might mean. It seems to me absolutely self-evident that the Poles hoped that Germany would lose the war.
This http://www.iz.poznan.pl/archiwum/wp-con ... ieckie.pdf says:
I.Z.Dok.I-644
Krótka treść:
Instrukcja dla męża zaufania z daty Mogilno, 24.8.1943.
Opis dokumentów:
Fotokopia pt. Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers SS, Blockstelle Mogilno, Mogilno,
den 24.8.1943, An die VM. betr.
Namhaftmachung von Polen.
Uwagi:
Oryginał został na żądanie Głównej Komisji Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w Polsce
przesłany do niej, po czym został przekazany do delegacji polskiej w Norymberdze.
Wraz z oryginałem posłano wszystkie inne dokumenty zawarte w kopercie
zaadresowanej do męża zaufania Plagensa. Oskarżony Höppner, kierownik Gauamt
für Volkstumsfragen oświadczył na procesie w 1948r., że dokument ten nie jest
autentyczny. Z akt procesu norymberskiego wynika, że autentyczność dokumentu
była dyskutowana na rozprawie. Nieustalono jednak ostatecznie, czy dokument
jest autentyczny, czy nie. Oskarżony Höppner podnosił na rozprawie w Poznaniu w
szczególności, że podpis pod dokumentem z 24.8.1943 różnił się od podpisów na
innych dokumentach, a nadto, że w organizacji SD nie istniała Blockstelle.
As to the last point, Blockstellen did indeed exist as temporary intelligence gathering points.

AliasDavid
Member
Posts: 219
Joined: 04 Sep 2005 22:36
Location: Germany

Re: IMT - SD testimony of Rolf Heinz Hoeppner

Post by AliasDavid » 09 Mar 2019 22:40

In the German original the last sentence reads (see the Official Minutes of the IMT in German Language; hopefully )
wrote:Für diese Aufgabe sollen auch Kinder und alte Menschen eingesetzt werden, die sehr große Rolle wegen der Meinung einer Freundlichkeit gegen Polen ausspielen können.
To me that seems to be a garbled translation out of a Slavic language. For instance, "Rolle" requires an article ("eine"), and the Expression is "eine Rolle spielen" rather than "Rolle ausspielen). I'd rule out that the document was written by a German native speaker.

Then, I find the long delay between the date of the speech (15 March 1940) and the date of the document (24 August 1943) suspicious.

UlrichH

User avatar
Sergey Romanov
Member
Posts: 1895
Joined: 28 Dec 2003 01:52
Location: World

Re: IMT - SD testimony of Rolf Heinz Hoeppner

Post by Sergey Romanov » 20 Mar 2019 08:43

Thanks!

There's a detailed calendar book for 1940 published as Heinrich Himmlers Taschenkalender 1940.

I'd like to ask those with the access to the book to post the entries for the 14-16 March.

User avatar
Sergey Romanov
Member
Posts: 1895
Joined: 28 Dec 2003 01:52
Location: World

Re: IMT - SD testimony of Rolf Heinz Hoeppner

Post by Sergey Romanov » 20 Mar 2019 08:55

Re: Rolle - I think, whether authentic or not, what might have been meant is playing a particular role in detail, putting on a mask of a friend (Rolle eines Freundes in allen Einzelheiten bis zum bitteren Ende ausspielen können) rather than generally playing a role in some project (eine wichtige usw. Rolle spielen). But it also seems that the two expressions got mixed together (because admittedly "sehr grosse" in this context seems out of place).

User avatar
Sergey Romanov
Member
Posts: 1895
Joined: 28 Dec 2003 01:52
Location: World

Re: IMT - SD testimony of Rolf Heinz Hoeppner

Post by Sergey Romanov » 31 Mar 2019 12:54

OK, the verdict is in, the document is most likely a forgery.

https://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot ... mmler.html

Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”