Who was in charge of the Holocaust?

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
Caldric
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Post by Caldric » 28 Aug 2002 21:44

It is important to note that the process did not end in August 1941 however, but continued but more quietly. I have read 250,000 were murdered by 1945.

Caldric
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Post by Caldric » 28 Aug 2002 21:56

The above is precisely the reason for the "euthanasia" program - to save the cost of caring for patients in institutions who could not used for labour.

It is interesting that 70,000 was also the number of German mental patients who died during the First World War due to the severe rationing regime, which reserved food for the men at the front, and allowed civilians to die of malnutrition. It is possible that that figure provided a target for the German Government at the outset of the Second World War, a quota of mental patients to be "removed" so as to save food supplies.
This is interesting because this is what Hitler had to say about it:

“It is a half-measure, to let incurably sick people steadily contaminate the remaining healthy ones. The demand that defective people be prevented from propagating equally defective offspring is a demand of the clearest reason. If necessary, the incurably sick will be pitilessly segregated – a barbaric measure for the unfortunate who is struck by it, but a blessing for his fellow men and posterity.”

Not talk about cost. Although perhaps that is the reason for it in 1939, I have my doubts that cost was the important part.

Also there is this:

Quote:
Also in Pomerania, Franz Scwede Coburg, rapidly alerted to the new possibilities, worked closely with the SS in October 1939 to “clear” the asylums near the coastal towns of Stralsund, Swinemunde, and Stettin to make space for ethnic Germans from the Baltic region (and SS barracks at Stralsund). Patients were removed from asylums, transported to Neustadt, not far from Danzig, and shot by squads of SS men. Gauleiter Erich Koch was quick to follow suit, arranging to pay the cost of ‘evacuating’ 1558 patients from asylums in his Gau of East Prussia, liqudated by an SS squad provided by Willhelm Koppe, newly appointed Police Chief in Gauleiter Arthur Greiser’s Reichsgau Posen. This was the “Sonderkommando Lange”, which was soon put to use in Greiser’s own Gau, deploying prototype mobile gas-vans to kill the mentally sick in this part of annexed Poland. By Mid-1940, these regional “actions” had claimed the lives of an estimated 10,000 victims.

(Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1936 – 1945 Nemesis pp. 261)
Again cost is not the reason it appears, but a convenient way to remove unwanted people.

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GFM2000
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Post by GFM2000 » 29 Aug 2002 00:14

Caldric wrote:Again cost is not the reason it appears, but a convenient way to remove unwanted people.
I think that is quite consistent with German imposition of Social Darwinism in their governing policy. From that perspective, it is not significantly different to the works of the Einsatzgruppen and the death camps, insofar as "eliminating the weak" for the future German people.

:)

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 29 Aug 2002 12:05

michael mills wrote:
Witness Edmund Brandt was charged by "T4" with calculating the money that the state had saved due to these killings. He established that between January 1940 and August 1941 a total of 70,273 mental patients had been "disinfected" and thus costs of medical treatment in the amount of RM 3.50 per day, RM 88,543,980 per year and RM 885,439,800 assuming an average life span of ten years per patient had been saved, not including the cost of food in the amount of RM 0.56 per day = RM 8,969,116.80 for the period until 1 September 1941 = RM 141,775,573.80 for a period of ten years.
The above is precisely the reason for the "euthanasia" program - to save the cost of caring for patients in institutions who could not used for labour.

It is interesting that 70,000 was also the number of German mental patients who died during the First World War due to the severe rationing regime, which reserved food for the men at the front, and allowed civilians to die of malnutrition. It is possible that that figure provided a target for the German Government at the outset of the Second World War, a quota of mental patients to be "removed" so as to save food supplies.
Again trying to sell that far-fetched apologetic theory of yours, Mr. Mills?

This theory has been discussed in detail on the thread

more assassinations...
http://pub3.ezboard.com/fskalmanforumfr ... =114.topic

of the old forum, where readers interested may find my assessment thereof.

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 29 Aug 2002 12:16

michael mills wrote: There are two theories:

1. The adult euthanasia was stopped in August 1941 because of domestic opposition.

2. It came to an end in August 1941 when a pre-set target of 70,000 had been reached.

Support for the first theory is provided by the post-war statement of Dr Brand, who claimed that Hitler had suddenly issued an order for the cessation of euthanasia. But that claim might have been part of Brand's strategy of presenting himself and other euthanasia bureucrats as helpless servants of Hitler, who gave all the orders and determined when the action began and ended.
Convenient but hollow speculation, given the protests of high-ranking clerics and the concern and unrest - emanating principally from the murdered patients' relatives, of course - that the "euthanasia" killings had aroused among the population in Germany and Austria.
michael mills wrote:In favour of the second theory
Which, needless to say, is Michael Mills' own.
michael mills wrote:is the fact that the euthanasia was selective, not all-embracing. Prisoners were selected from the institutions for euthanasia according to a set of criteria, the most important being their inability to work.
Hardly an argument. Utility (especially considering the requirements of the war effort) was also a criterion for at least temporarily keeping alive members of other groups targeted by the Nazis for mass killings obviously not subject to pre-established quotas.

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Scott Smith
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Just FYI...

Post by Scott Smith » 29 Aug 2002 14:30

GFM2000 wrote:
Caldric wrote:Again cost is not the reason it appears, but a convenient way to remove unwanted people.
I think that is quite consistent with German imposition of Social Darwinism in their governing policy. From that perspective, it is not significantly different to the works of the Einsatzgruppen and the death camps, insofar as "eliminating the weak" for the future German people.
Capitalism "eliminates the weak" without the rational intervention of the State.
:wink:

michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 30 Aug 2002 01:51

Caldric wrote:
This is interesting because this is what Hitler had to say about it:

Quote:

“It is a half-measure, to let incurably sick people steadily contaminate the remaining healthy ones. The demand that defective people be prevented from propagating equally defective offspring is a demand of the clearest reason. If necessary, the incurably sick will be pitilessly segregated – a barbaric measure for the unfortunate who is struck by it, but a blessing for his fellow men and posterity.”



Not talk about cost. Although perhaps that is the reason for it in 1939, I have my doubts that cost was the important part.
Caldric does not give a context for the words of Hitler quoted above, nor does he date them.

I suspect that Hitler was talking about the compulsory sterilisation of persons suffering from certain defined conditions. A law providing for such sterilisation was passed fairly early in the period of National Socialist rule ("Gesetz zur Verhuetung erbkranken Nachwuchses"); it defined the categories subject to sterilisation.

When Hitler talks about sick people "contaminating" the healthy, he is referring to the passing on of their supposedly defective genes, which is prevented by sterilisation. The aim of prevention of the propagation of hereditary illnesses is achieved through sterilisation; there is no need to kill the carriers. However, sterilised patients who live on need to be fed, and their maintenance imposes a cost (in the case of those who are institutionalised). In a war situation, that cost was less easy to bear.

It is significant that when the killing of selected German mental patients was implemented, the main criterion for selection was their ability (and willingness in the case of asocials) to work for the German war effort, rather than the hereditary nature of their illnesses.

It is also significant that persons who had been sterilised because of suffering from one of the diseases prescribed in legislation, but who were not institutionalised but living and working in the community, were not subjected to :euthanasia" when it commenced. That is because, as working members of the community, they were not a drain on resources, unlike non-working patients in institutional care.

With regard to the killing of inmates of mental hospitals in the areas newlt annexed from Poland, and in contiguous German areas, that action was indeed carried out for the purpose of making hospital space available for incoming ethnic Germans resettled from the Baltic States (and also for Wehrmacht use). However, that action was determined by resettlement policy and local conditions, and was separate from the euthanasia program in Germany run by T-4. The later killing of mental patients in the occupied Soviet territories (the gas-van was invented for that purpose) was also a measure to make hospital space available for Wehrmacht use (the exigency of conserving scarce food supplies by killing "useless eaters" also played a role).

Caldric
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Post by Caldric » 30 Aug 2002 02:06

Caldric does not give a context for the words of Hitler quoted above, nor does he date them.
Mein Kampf (Kershaw), Chapter was Licensing Barbarism in the Nemisis book.

Capitalism "eliminates the weak" without the rational intervention of the State.
Scott, your above statement is about the most simplistic and incorrect I have ever heard you make. There for a minute I thought you were one of the apologetic communist. 8O

Capitalism eliminates nothing, people do, just like NSDAP eliminated nothing, Hitler and his cronies did, such as the scum Heydrich et al.

Capitalism has given the VAST majority a higher standard of living in nations that follow it then any other Nazi or Socialist system today or in the past.

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Re: Who was in charge of the Holocaust?

Post by Mitch Hannah » 05 Feb 2003 05:14

fju wrote:Hi everyone,

I'm the new 'kid' here'. My name is Franz.

I have my own forum, and I have thousands of 'looks' but no contributors, but I do have some answers to questions I have seen posted.

I am counting on your knowledge to help me with some problems. Thank you in advance.

I encountered a strange part in my investigations, which indicates that the SS were not in charge of the camps.

Although there are a number of other cases on record, I shall give just two examples which show where the orders for the camps came from. On August 7-8, 1946, at Nuremberg, Sturmbannführer Georg Konrad Morgen, an SS judge gave evidence on behalf of the SS as an indicted organisation. Morgen had been transferred in July 1943 from the SS Military Courts to the Criminal Police at Himmler's request. His job was the investigation of embezzlement in concentration camps. In following up cases of corruption in the camps, he stumbled upon some top secret evidence. Morgen's argument at the Nuremberg trials was that the extermination camps were not run by the SS at all. Apparently in the summer of 1943 he heard from the commander of the Security Police and SD in the Lublin region of Poland that there had been a wedding in a Jewish labour camp which had been attended by 1100 guests including many German SS men. Morgen amazed at this weird tale looked further and in doing so came across another camp, "rather peculiar and impenetrable" which was run by Christian Wirth, who confirmed the story of the Jewish wedding and explained that it was part of a plan by which Wirth hoped to persuade Jews to serve in the camps where they would assist in the exterminations.

Although the four camps had been mentioned earlier in the Nuremberg trials, this was the first clue concerning their ultimate headquarters. Morgen insisted that the administration of the camps was actually not in SS hands having seen Wirth's daily orders. These did not come from Himmler's Office but from the Führer's Chancellery (T4) and had been signed "Blankenberg". Morgen's evidence was the only clue to the true command lines of the Jewish extermination programme.

This was confirmed years later in the recent trial of the notorious Franz Stangl. He was an Austrian policeman who automatically became a member of the Austrian Gestapo following the Anschluss. In November 1940 he was transferred to the General Foundation for institutional Care, one of the T4 front groups. He was told to report to a Dr. Werner at the Reichskriminalpolizeiamt in Berlin.
Anyone have any details on this?

Franz
Franz,
You should read the book Into That Darkness by Gitta Sereny. Its a biography of sorts of Stangl concerning the era from when he first became one of the Austrian Gestapo up through the time he was captured. Ms. Sereny interviewed Stangl at Dusseldorf over a period of several weeks. He described his part in the Euthanasia program in some detail including the transition from Euthanasia to his stint at Sobibor and then Treblinka. He specified that he was personally interviewed by Viktor Brack in Berlin when he joined the euthanasia program, and then by Globocnik in Gdansk if memory serves before arriving at Sobibor.

The version of the book I have is English, but I understand it was originally published in German.

Mitch Hannah

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Post by David Thompson » 19 Nov 2004 15:16

Looking at Dr. Morgen's testimony, I see that it is incomplete -- several pages were clipped off by the posting size limits. Here it is again, in full, from IMT proceedings vol. 20:

Part 1 of 2:
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, I do not mind. Call Dr. Morgen then. [The witness Morgen took the stand.] Will you state your full name, please?

GEORG KONRAD MORGEN (Witness): Georg Konrad Morgen.

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.

HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, in view of the importance of your testimony, I will first ask you in detail about your person. Were you an SS judge of the Reserve?

MORGEN: Yes.

HERR PELCKMANN: Please speak slowly and pause after each question. What training did you have?

MORGEN: I studied law at the Universities of Frankfurt on the Main, Rome, Berlin; at the "Academie de Droit International" at 'The Hague and the "Institute for World Economy and Ocean Traffic" in Kiel. I passed the first examination and the State law examination. Before the war I was a judge at the Landgericht in Stettin.

HERR PELCKMANN: Were you a specialist in criminology and in criminal law?

MORGEN: No, I had specialized in international law, but later, during the war, when I had to deal with criminal matters and penal law, I did special work in that field.

HERR PELCKMANN: How did you come to the SS?

MORGEN: I was drafted compulsorily into the General SS. In 1933, 1 belonged to the Reich Board for Youth Training, whose students' group was completely incorporated into the General SS. At the beginning of the war I was drafted into the Waffen-SS.

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HERR PELCKMANN: What rank did you have there?

MORGEN: In the General SS I was Staffelanwarter and SS Rottenfuehrer. In the Waffen-SS I was in the end Sturmbannfuehrer of the Reserve.

HERR PELCKMANN: What example can you give that you did not believe you were joining a conspiracy when you entered the SS-very briefly; please.

MORGEN: In 1936 I published a book on War Propaganda and the Prevention of War. This book, at a time when war was threatening, showed ways and means to prevent war and to forestall the incitement to hostility between nations. The book was examined by the Party and published. Therefore, I could not suppose that the SS or the policy of the Reich Government was directed toward war.

HERR PELCKMANN: How did you come to make investigations in the concentration camps?

MORGEN: At the order of the Reichsfuehrer SS, and due to my special abilities in criminology, I was detailed by the Main Office SS Courts to the Reich Criminal Police Department in Berlin, which was equivalent to a transfer. Shortly after I arrived there, I was given an assignment to investigate a case of corruption in Weimar.

The accused was a member of the concentration camp of Weimar-Buchenwald. The investigations soon led to the person of the former Commander Koch and many of his subordinates, and beyond that they affected a number of other concentration camps. When these investigations became more extensive, I received full authority from the Reichsfuehrer SS to engage generally in such investigations in concentration camps.

HERR PELCKMANN: Why was a special power of attorney from the Reichsfuehrer necessary?

MORGEN: For the guards of the concentration camps, the SS and Police courts were competent; that is, in each case the local court in whose district the concentration camp was located. For that reason, because of the limited jurisdiction of its judge, the court was not able to act outside its own district. In these investigations and their extensive ramifications it was important to be able to work in various districts. Besides that, it was necessary to use specialists in criminal investigation, in other words, the Criminal Police. The Criminal Police however could not carry on any investigation directly with the troops, and only by combining juridical and Criminal Police activities was it possible to clear this up, and for this purpose I was given this special power of attorney by the Reichsfuehrer.

HERR PELCKMANN: Now, how extensive did these investigations become? You can be brief because the witness Reinecke answered this point in part.

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MORGEN: I investigated Weimar-Buchenwald, Lublin, Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg, Hertogenbosch, Krakow; Plaszow, Warsaw, and the Concentration Camp Dachau. And others were investigated after my time.

HERR PELCKMANN: How many cases did you investigate? How many sentences were passed? How many death sentences?

MORGEN: I investigated about 800 cases, that is, about 800 documents, and one document would affect several cases. About 200 were tried during my activity. Five concentration camp commanders were arrested by me personally. Two were shot after being tried.

HERR PELCKMANN: You had them shot?

MORGEN: Yes. Apart from the commanders, there were numerous other death sentences against Fuehrer and Unterfuehrer.

HERR PELCKMANN: Did you have any opportunity of gaining personal insight into the conditions in concentration camps?

MORGEN: Yes, because I had authority to visit concentration camps. Only a very few persons had this permission. Before beginning an investigation, I examined the concentration camp in question in all its details very closely, inspecting especially those arrangements which seemed particularly important to me. I visited them repeatedly and without notice. I was working mostly in Buchenwald itself for 8 months and have lived there. I was in Dachau for one or two months.

HERR PELCKMANN: Since so many visitors to concentration camps say they were deceived, do you consider it possible that you, too, were a victim of such deceit?

MORGEN: I have just pointed out that I was not a mere visitor to a concentration camp but I had settled down there for a long residence, I might almost say I established myself there. It is almost impossible to be deceived for such a long time. In addition, the commissions from the Reich Criminal Police Department worked under my instructions, and I placed them directly in the concentration camps themselves. I do not mean to say that in spite of these very intensive efforts I was able to learn of all the crimes, but I believe that there was no deception in regard to what I did learn.

HERR PELCKMANN: Did you gain the impression, and at what time, that the concentration camps were places for the extermination of human beings?

MORGEN: I did not gain this impression. A concentration camp is not a place for the extermination of human beings. I must say that my first visit to a concentration camp-I mentioned the first one was Weimar-Buchenwald-was a great surprise to me. The

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camp is situated on wooded heights, with a wonderful view. The installations were clean and freshly painted. There was much lawn and flowers. The prisoners were healthy, normally fed, sun-tanned, working ...

PRESIDENT: When are you speaking of? When are you speaking of?

MORGEN: I am speaking of the beginning of my investigations in July 1943.

HERR PELCKMANN: What crimes did you discover?

MORGEN: Pardon me, I had not -- may I continue?

HERR PELCKMANN: Please, be more brief.

MORGEN: The installations of the camp were in good order, especially the hospital. The camp authorities, under the Commander Diester, aimed at providing the prisoners with an existence worthy of human beings. They had regular mail service. They had a large camp library, even books in foreign languages. They had variety shows, motion pictures, sporting contests and even had a brothel. Nearly all the other concentration camps were similar to Buchenwald.

PRESIDENT: What was it they even had?

MORGEN: A brothel.

HERR PELCKMANN: What crimes did you learn about?

MORGEN: As I said before, the investigations were based on a suspicion of corrupt practices. In time however, I was obliged to come to the conclusion that besides those crimes, killings had also occurred.

HERR PELCKMANN: How did you reach the suspicion that killings had occurred?

MORGEN: I learned that the starting point for the corruption was the assignment of Jews to the camps after the action of 1938. I made it a point to learn all the possible facts about this action, and in doing so I found that the majority of the prisoners who were suspected of knowing something about these cases of corruption, had died. This peculiar frequency of killings was noticeable; it struck me because other prisoners who were not in any key positions remained in Buchenwald for years in the best of health, and were still there, so that it was rather remarkable that it was just certain prisoners who might have been possible witnesses who had died. I thereupon examined the files concerning these deceased prisoners. The files themselves offered no clues to suspect illegal killings. The dates of the deaths were years apart and in each case different causes of death were given. But it struck me that the majority of these deceased, prisoners had been put into the camp

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hospital or in arrest shortly before their death. This aroused my suspicion for the first time that in these two places murders of prisoners might possibly have occurred. Thereupon I appointed a special official, whose sole task was to investigate the suspicious circumstances, and follow up the rumors which were circulating about the detention quarters, the so-called "Bunker," regarding this killing of prisoners. This very zealous and able detective had to report again and again that he had not found the faintest clue for my suspicions. After two weeks of completely unsuccessful activity, the detective refused further services and asked me ironically whether I myself believed that such rumors of illegal killing of prisoners could be true. Much later, and only by chance did I hit upon the first clue; it struck me that the names of certain prisoners were listed at the same time in the rolls of the camp prison as well as in those of the hospital. In the prison rolls, for example, it said, "Date of release 9 May, 12 o'clock." In the hospital register, "Patient died 9 May, 9:15 a.m." I said to myself, this prisoner cannot be in the camp prison and at the same time a patient in the hospital. False entries must have been made here. I therefore concentrated my efforts on this and I succeeded in getting behind this system, for it was a system, under Commander Koch.

The prisoners were taken to a secret place and were killed there, mostly in a cell of the camp prison, and sick reports and death certificates were prepared for the files. They were made out so cleverly that any unprejudiced reader of the documents would get the impression that the prisoner concerned had actually been treated and had died of the serious illness which was indicated.

HERR PELCKMANN: Then what did you do after learning of these facts?

MORGEN: I found out that the medical officer at Buchenwald, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Hoven, was principally responsible and I had him arrested. I informed my investigating commission in the concentration camps, with which we had to deal, of these cunning forgeries and directed their particular attention to investigating systematically whether in other concentration camps such murders had also taken place. We satisfied ourselves at the time of the investigation-and I am speaking of the second half of 1943 -- that in the Concentration Camps Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, and Dachau to the best of our knowledge no such killings occurred. In the other concentration camps, however, such cases were found. The persons believed to be guilty were accused, arrested, and charged.

HERR PELCKMANN: Why was this not done earlier?

MORGEN: I have already said that these deceptive measures were so cunningly contrived that it was not possible to discover them earlier. Above all there was no possibility of clearing up the

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matter, and then those things-were always done without witnesses. These cases should at all events have been investigated by the SS courts and they were investigated, for every unnatural death of a prisoner had to be reported by teletype to the central offices. Besides that, the specially sworn-in court officer who was in the camp had to go immediately to the place of the occurrences to question the witnesses; sketches and photographs had to be made of the scene and it was a regulation that an autopsy had to take place in every such case of unnatural death. These reports of unnatural deaths, or of deaths suspected of being unnatural, were sent regularly to the SS and Police court; but as I have already said, these reports were so cunningly contrived and the files were in such good order, that even an expert could not have suspected an illegal killing. Of course, proceedings against members of the concentration camp personnel were frequently instituted, some followed by sentences, even death sentences. But these criminal acts seemed to be within range of the usual army rate of 0.5 percent to 3 percent.

If nothing at all had been reported to the SS courts from the concentration camps, or if numerous reports had been made, then it would of course have seemed suspicious. But it was a normal average and nobody could suspect that the concentration camps were a hotbed of such dangerous crimes. It was only through my investigation, which as I said was caused by accident, that we received our first insight into the true state of affairs.

HERR PELCKMANN: How did you come onto the track of mass killings? You have just spoken of individual killings.

MORGEN: I found traces of mass destructions also by chance. At the end of 1943, I discovered two trails at the same time, one leading to Lublin and the other to Auschwitz.

HERR PELCKMANN: Please describe the Lublin trail first.

MORGEN: One day I received a report from the commander of the Security Police in Lublin. He reported that in a Jewish labor camp in his district a Jewish wedding had taken place. There had been 1,100 invited guests at this wedding

HERR PELCKMANN: Go on witness, a little faster.

MORGEN: As I said before, 1,100 guests participated in this Jewish wedding. What followed was described as quite extraordinary owing to the gluttonous consumption of food and alcoholic drinks. Among these Jews were members of the camp guard, that is to say some SS men, who joined in this revelry. This report only came into my hands in a roundabout way, some months later, due to the fact that the Commander of the Security Police suspected that the circumstances indicated that some criminal acts had occurred. This was my impression as well, and I thought that this

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report would give me a clue to another big case of criminal corruption. With this in mind, I went to Lublin and called at the Security/ Police there, but all they would tell me was that the events happened at a camp of the Deutsche Ausrustungswerke. But nothing was known there. I was told it might possibly be a rather odd and shrouded (this was the actual term used) camp in the vicinity of Lublin. I found out the camp and the commander, who was Kriminalkommissar Wirth.

I asked Wirth whether this report was true or what it meant. To my great astonishment, Wirth admitted it. I asked him why he permitted members of his command to do such things and Wirth then revealed to me that on the Fuehrer's orders he had to carry out the destruction of Jews.

HERR PELCKMANN: Please go on, Witness, to describe your investigations.

MORGEN: I asked Wirth what this had to do with the Jewish wedding. Then, Wirth described the method by which he carried out the extermination of Jews, and he said something like this: "One has to fight the Jews with their own weapons, that is to say "pardon me for using this expression -- "one has to cheat them."

Wirth staged an enormous deceptive maneuver. He first selected Jews who would, he thought, serve as column leaders, then these Jews brought along other Jews, who worked under them. With that smaller or medium-sized detachment of Jews, he began to build up the extermination camps. He extended this staff of Jews, and with these Jews Wirth himself carried out the extermination of the Jews.

Wirth said that he had four extermination camps and that about 5,000 Jews were working at the extermination of Jews and the seizure of Jewish property. In order to win Jews for this business of extermination and plundering of their brethren of race and creed, Wirth gave them every freedom and, so to speak, gave them a financial interest in the spoliation of the dead victims. As a result of this attitude, this sumptuous Jewish wedding had come about.

Then I asked Wirth how he killed Jews with these Jewish agents of his. Wirth described the whole procedure that went off like a film every time. The extermination camps were in the east of the Government General, in big forests or uninhabited wastelands. They were built up like a Potemkin village. The people arriving there had the impression of entering a city or a township. The train drove into a dummy railroad station. After the escorts and the train personnel had left the area, the cars were opened and the Jews got out. They were surrounded by these Jewish labor detachments, and Kriminalkommissar Wirth or one of his representatives made a speech. He said, "Jews, you were brought here to be resettled, but

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before we organize this future Jewish State, you must of course learn how to work. You must learn a new trade. You will be taught that here. Our routine here is, first, every one must take off his clothes so that your clothing can be disinfected, and you can have a bath so that no epidemics will be brought into the camp."

After he had found such calming words for his victims, they started on the road to death. Men and women were separated. At the first place, one had to deliver the hat; at the next one, the coat, collar, shirt, down to the shoes and socks.

These places were faked cloakrooms, and the person was given a check at each one so that the people believed that they would get their things back. The other Jews had to receive the things and hurry up the new arrivals so that they should not have time to think. The whole thing was like an assembly line. After the last stop they reached a big room, and were told that this was the bath. When the last one was in, the doors were shut and the gas was let into the room.

As soon as death had set in, the ventilators were started. When the air could be breathed again, the doors were opened, and the Jewish workers removed the bodies. By means of a special procedure which Wirth had invented, they were burned in the open air without the use of fuel.

HERR PELCKMANN: Was Wirth a member of the SS?

MORGEN: No, he was a Kriminalkommissar in Stuttgart.

HERR PELCKMANN: Did you ask Wirth how he arrived at this devilish system?

MORGEN: When Wirth took over the extermination of the Jews, he was already a specialist in mass-destruction of human beings. He had previously carried out the task of getting rid of the incurably insane. By order of the Fuehrer himself, whose order was transmitted through the Chancellery of the Fuehrer, he had, at the beginning of the war, set up a detachment for this purpose, probably composed of a few officials of his, as I believe, the remainder being agents and spies of the Criminal Police.

Wirth very vividly described how he went about carrying out this assignment. He received no aid, no instructions, but had to do it all by himself. He was only given an old empty building in Brandenburg. There he made his first experiments.

After much consideration and many individual experiments, he evolved his later system, and then this system was used on a large scale to exterminate the insane.

A commission of doctors previously investigated the files, and those insane who were listed by the asylums as incurable were put on a separate list. Then the asylum concerned was told one day to send these patients to another institution.

From this asylum

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the patient was transferred again, often more than once. Finally he came to Wirth's institution, where he was killed by gas and cremated.

This system, which deceived the asylums and made them unknowing accomplices, enabled him with very few assistants to exterminate large numbers of people, and this system Wirth now employed with a few alterations and improvements for the extermination of Jews. He was also given the assignment by the Fuehrer's Chancellery to exterminate the Jews.

HERR PELCKMANN: The statements which Wirth made to you must have surpassed human imagination. Did you immediately believe Wirth?

MORGEN: At first Wirth's description seemed completely fantastic to me, but in Lublin I saw one of his camps. It was a camp which collected the property or part of the property of his victims. From the piles of things -- there were an enormous number of watches piled up -- I had to realize that something frightful was going on here. I was shown the valuables. I can say that I never saw so much money at one time, especially foreign money -- all kinds of coins, from all over the world. In addition, there was a goldsmelting furnace and really prodigious bars of gold.

I also saw that the headquarters from which Wirth directed his operations was very small and inconspicuous., He had only three or four people working there for him. I spoke to them too. I saw and watched his couriers arrive. They actually came from Berlin, Tiergartenstrasse, the Fuehrer's Chancellery, and went back there. I investigated Wirth's mail and I found in it confirmation of all this.

Of course, I could not do or see all this on this first visit. I was there frequently. I pursued Wirth up to his death.

HERR PELCKMANN: Did Wirth give you names of people who were connected with this operation?

MORGEN: Not many names were mentioned, for the simple reason that the number of those who participated could be counted, so to speak, on one's fingers. I remember one name: I think the name was Blankenburg, in Berlin.

HERR PELCKMANN: Blankenburg?

MORGEN: Blankenburg, of the Fuehrer's Chancellery.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we had better adjourn now. We have already been 50 minutes.

[The Tribunal adjourned until 8 August 1946 at 1000 hours.]

Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Vol. 20 - One Hundred Ninety-Eighth Day

Thursday; 8 August 1946



Morning Session

[The witness Morgen resumed the stand.]

HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, I have two pictures to show to you. This has nothing to do with your examination concerning the concentration camps.

[Turning to the President.] They are the same pictures, Your Lordship, which I showed to the witness Eizenberg yesterday. They have now received an exhibit number from me, Exhibit Number SS-2 and Exhibit Number SS-3. As I said yesterday, they are taken from the book, written in Polish, which the Prosecution submitted a few days ago, on Pages IX and XI.

[Turning to the witness]: What is the rank of this SS man, Witness?

MORGEN: That cannot be an SS man. He is not wearing an SS uniform. I never saw such a uniform. On the left arm, the man wears the insignia of the Police and the Police shoulder patch.

HERR PELCKMANN: That is enough, Witness. I shall show you the second photograph. Please answer the question just as briefly.

MORGEN: That is not an SS uniform either, but a fancy uniform.

HERR PELCKMANN: Thank you, Witness. Yesterday you had already begun the description of the so-called extermination camps and the system of the extermination camps, but I should like to go back to conditions in the concentration camps which are to be distinguished from the so-called extermination camps.

You had given a description of the outward impression given by these camps which was extraordinarily pleasing. In order not to give any false impression, will you please describe in general the negative observations which you made.
.
MORGEN: I was asked whether from my impressions of the concentration camps I gained the idea that they were extermination

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camps. I had to say that I could not get this impression. I did not mean to say that the concentration camps were sanatoria or a paradise for the prisoners. If they had been that, my investigations would have been senseless.

Through these investigations I gained insight into the extremely dark and dismal side of the concentration camps. The concentration camps were establishments which, to put it mildly, were bound to give rise to crimes as a result of the application of a false principle. When I say the principle was at fault, I mean the following: The prisoner was sent to the concentration camp through the Reich Security Main Office. A political agency decided about his freedom, and its decision was final. Thereby the prisoner was deprived of all legal rights. Once in the concentration camp, it was almost impossible to regain freedom, although at regular intervals the cases were reviewed. The procedure was so complicated that, aside from exceptional instances, the great majority could have no hope.

The camp, the Reich Security Main Office, and the agency which had assigned the individual to the camp, had to agree to his release. Only if these three agencies reached an agreement could a release be effected. Thereby, not only the reason for the arrest was taken into consideration, but through a monstrous order of SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl the production side was also important. If a prisoner was needed in the camp because he was a good man, even though all conditions for release existed, he could not be released.

The concentration camps were surrounded by a sphere of secrecy. The, prisoner was not allowed any free contact with the public.

MR. DODD: Mr. President, we do not have the first responsibility, of course, for this defense. But I have discussed with Mr. Elwyn Jones my objection, he has it in here, and he finds no fault with it. It seems to me that what we are hearing here is a lecture on the Prosecution's case, and I do not see how it in any sense can be said to be a defense of the SS.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, the Tribunal thinks that the latter part of the evidence does not have much bearing on the case of the SS. They think it would be better that you should get on with the case for the SS.

HERR PELCKMANN: The charge against the SS is essentially based on the assertion that the SS as a whole is responsible for the concentration camps. I am endeavoring to explain to the Tribunal the concentration camp organization from the very beginning, including all those questions which have not yet been explained either by the Prosecution or the witnesses, in order to find out the absolute truth. And I believe that it is necessary for the Tribunal to know this truth in

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order to be able to judge whether the charge of the Prosecution that the SS as a whole is responsible for the atrocities and the mass exterminations in the concentration camps or in the extermination camps is justified. I assert ...

THE PRESIDENT: Kindly go on with your case, Dr. Pelckmann. Will you kindly go on and make it as short as you can upon these matters which seem to be rather remote.

HERR PELCKMANN: From all the testimony of witnesses which I submit here on this point, it will be shown that the concentration camp organization was an entity.

THE PRESIDENT: Go on with your case. You are to go on with your case, and not argue with me.

HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, what were the further negative observations which you made? Please be brief on this point as the Court wishes.

MORGEN: The prisoner could not contact the public freely, and so his observations were not made known to the public. By this isolation in the concentration camp he was practically under the sway of the camp. This meant that he had to fear that at any time crimes could be committed against him. I did not have the impression from these facts that their purpose was to produce a system of crimes; but, of necessity, individual crimes were bound to result from these conditions.

HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, the events and the atrocities and the mass exterminations in the concentration camps are precisely what was charged against the SS. Please describe how these crimes are to be classified in three categories, and what these crimes have to do with the total planning of the SS.

According to your information, I distinguish between atrocities caused by conditions beyond control, atrocities caused by supreme orders, and atrocities caused by individual criminal acts.

MORGEN: To a great extent the horrible conditions at times prevailing in some concentration camps did not arise from deliberate planning, but developed from circumstances which in my opinion must be called force majeure, that is to say, evils for which the local camp leaders were not responsible. I am thinking of the outbreak of epidemics. At irregular intervals many concentration camps were visited by typhoid fever, typhus, and other sicknesses caused especially by the arrival of prisoners from the Eastern areas in the concentration camps.

Although everything humanly possible was done to prevent these epidemics and to combat them, the death rate which resulted was extremely high. Another evil which may be considered as force majeure was the fluctuating numbers of new

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arrivals and the insufficient billets. Many camps were overcrowded. The prisoners arrived in a weakened condition because, due to air raids, the transports were under way longer than expected. Towards the end of the war, there was a general collapse of the transportation system. Supplies could not be carried out to the necessary extent; chemical and pharmaceutical factories had been systematically bombed, and all the necessary medicines were lacking. To top all, the evacuations from the East further burdened the camps and crowded them in an unbearable manner.

HERR PELCKMANN: That is enough on this point. Will you go on to the second point, the supreme orders?

MORGEN: As supreme orders I consider the mass extermination of human beings which has already been described, not in the concentration camps but in separate extermination places. There were also execution orders of the Reich Security Main Office against individuals and groups of persons.,,

The third point deals with the majority of individual crimes of which I said ...

THE PRESIDENT: Which is the witness talking about when he talks about extermination camps? Which are you talking about? Which do you call extermination camps?

HERR PELCKMANN: Please answer the question, Witness.

MORGEN: By extermination camps I mean those which were established exclusively for the extermination of human beings with the use of technical means, such as gas.

THE PRESIDENT: Which were they?

MORGEN: Yesterday I described the four camps of the Kriminalkommissar Wirth and referred to the Camp Auschwitz. By "Extermination Camp Auschwitz" I did not mean the concentration camp. It did not exist there. I meant a separate extermination camp near Auschwitz, called "Monowitz."

THE PRESIDENT: What were the other ones?

MORGEN: I do not know of any other extermination camps.

HERR PELCKMANN: You were speaking of atrocities on the basis of individual acts of a criminal nature. Please continue.

MORGEN: One must distinguish between the types of perpetrators. There were even killings of one prisoner by another, for example, because of revenge. If a prisoner had escaped, then during the search, because one did not know where the prisoner was hiding-perhaps in the camp itself-the whole camp had to line up on the parade grounds. That often lasted for hours and sometimes a whole day. The prisoners were tired and hungry, and the long wait, standing sometimes in the cold or rain, excited them

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very much, so that when the prisoner was recaptured, the other prisoners, out of revenge for his having brought this upon them, beat him to death when the opportunity presented itself.

There were many cases in which prisoners who had the impression that one among them was a spy, attempted to kill this prisoner in self-defense. There were cases where individual prisoners, due to physical weakness, could not keep pace with the others as regards work and who, on top of it, aroused the disgust of the other prisoners by bad behavior, for instance, by stealing bread or similar acts. If one considers that a large part of the prisoners were professional criminals who had already been sentenced before, it seems plausible that these people killed such fellow prisoners. This was done in many ways.

HERR PELCKMANN: You need not explain that at the moment, we will come back to it later. But will you describe another type of perpetrator?

MORGEN: Now I come to killings committed by members of the camp against prisoners and by prisoners against fellow prisoners. To give a specific example I should like to describe the case of the commander of the Concentration Camp Buchenwald, Koch, who was legally tried and executed. The following individual case happened. A prisoner who was an old Party member was sent to the Concentration Camp Buchenwald. As one of the old guard he had obtained a job as Kurdirektor. He misused this position to force Polish household employees under threat of dismissal to commit perverted actions with him, although he himself was very syphilitic. This man was sentenced to a long term of penal servitude by a regular court and after that sent to the concentration camp. Koch found his files, considered the sentence an error, and thinking himself authorized to correct this error of justice, had the prisoner put to death.

Another case of an entirely different sort is the following: Koch believed that a certain little Jewish prisoner, who had marked physical peculiarities, was following him to his various offices in the various camps. In superstitious fear of bad luck, he one day gave instructions to have this prisoner killed.

Another case: Koch believed that his criminal activity, or certain personal relationships, were known to some prisoners. In order to protect himself, he had them killed.

HERR PELCKMANN: How were these killings made possible, and how could the other inmates of the camp know about them?

MORGEN: The procedure was very simple. The prisoners in question were called, without being given reasons, and had to report at the gate of the camp. That was nothing striking, because almost every hour prisoners were picked up there for questioning,

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for removal to other camps, and so forth. These prisoners, without the other prisoners becoming aware of it, came to the so-called Kommandantur prison, which was outside the camp. There they were held for a few days, often one or two weeks, and then the jailer had them killed, mostly in the form of a sham inoculation; actually, they were given an injection of phenol into the arteries.

Another possibility of secret killing was the occasional transfer to the hospital. The doctor simply stated that a man needed treatment. He brings him in and after some time he puts him into a single room and kills him there. In all these cases the record showed that the prisoner in question had died of such and such a normal illness.

Another case: The prisoner was assigned to a detail of hard work, generally the so-called "quarry detail." The Kapo of this detail is given a hint and makes the life of the prisoner more and more unbearable by making him work incessantly and vexing him in every respect. Then the day arrives when the prisoner loses patience and in order to escape, this torture, breaks through the. cordon of sentries, whereupon the guard, whether he wants to or not, has to shoot him.

These different forms of killing varied from case to case. By that very fact they were outwardly, unrecognizable, because they took place in secret places by various methods at various times. This presupposed that the commander who did this, like Koch here, relied on certain men who were absolutely devoted to him and who had key positions, such as the doctor here, who was arrested, the overseer, who was also arrested -- and who committed suicide right after -- and upon the aid of Kapos who were devoted to him and who co-operated with him. Where this co-operation was not possible, such excesses and crimes could not occur.

HERR PELCKMANN: Did you find such cases and such camps?

MORGEN: Yes. I have already mentioned the result of our investigations. Since the majority of the camps was set up during the war with new personnel and in the old camps the personnel in key positions was replaced by new people, this co-operation could no longer take place.

HERR PELCKMANN: Would it be wrong to assume that all camps and all camp commanders and all camp doctors acted in the way you have just described?

MORGEN: According to my exhaustive investigations, I can only say that this assumption would be completely wrong. I really met commanders who did everything humanly possible for their prisoners. . I met doctors whose every effort was to help sick prisoners and to prevent further sickness.

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HERR PELCKMANN: We will go back to the mass exterminations, one case of which you described. You spoke of Kriminalkommissar Wirth, who was not a member of the SS and whose staff did not consist of SS men. Why was Wirth given the assignment?

MORGEN: I have already mentioned that Wirth was Kriminalkommissar with the Criminal Police in Stuttgart. He was Kommissar for the investigation of capital crimes, particularly murder. He had quite a reputation in discovering clues, and before the seizure of power lie became known to the general public for unscrupulous methods of investigation which even led to a discussion in the Wurttemberg Landtag (Diet). This man was now used in order to cover up the traces of these mass killings. It was thought that on the basis of his previous professional experience this man was unscrupulous enough to do this job, and that was true.

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Post by David Thompson » 19 Nov 2004 15:17

Part 2 of 2:
HERR PELCKMANN: You mentioned the Jewish prisoners who aided in the killings. What became of these people?

MORGEN: Wirth told me that at the end of the actions he would have these prisoners shot and in doing so, would despoil them of the profits which he had allowed them to make. He did not do this all at once, but by means of, the deceptive methods already described he lured and segregated the prisoners and then killed them individually.

HERR PELCKMANN: Did you hear from Wirth the name Hoess?

MORGEN: Yes. Wirth called him his untalented disciple.

HERR PELCKMANN: Why?

MORGEN: In contrast to Wirth, Hoess used in principle entirely different methods. I would best describe them when we come to the subject of Auschwitz.

HERR PELCKMANN: Was the name Eichmann mentioned at that time?

MORGEN: I cannot remember that the name Eichmann was mentioned at that time, but later I heard of it, too.

HERR PELCKMANN: How did you come on the trail which led to Auschwitz?

MORGEN: I got a clue by a remark of Wirth himself. Now I had only to find a reason to institute investigations in Auschwitz itself. I beg to bear in mind that my assignment was limited; I had to investigate crimes of corruption and crimes committed in connection with them.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, didn't he explain how he came to investigate Auschwitz yesterday?

HERR PELCKMANN: No, it was something entirely different, Your Lordship.

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MORGEN: Yesterday I spoke only of Lublin and Wirth. I said I received information about Hoess and wanted to try to get into the camp and needed a reason. I found this reason very soon.

The Protectorate Police had heard about the smuggling of gold in the Protectorate. The traces led to Berlin. The customs officials for Berlin-Brandenburg had found out persons who were on the staff of the Concentration Camp Auschwitz, and had turned over the proceedings to the SS and Police Court in Berlin. I learned of it there and I took charge of these proceedings -- they dealt with enormous gold smuggling -- and shortly thereafter went to Auschwitz.

HERR PELCKMANN: Then you were in Auschwitz proper?

MORGEN: Yes, I went to Auschwitz, and before I started with the investigation itself ...

THE PRESIDENT: When did you go there?

MORGEN: I cannot give the date exactly, but it must have been the end of 1943 or the beginning of 1944.

HERR PELCKMANN: The method of extermination there was probably similar to the one you described yesterday?

MORGEN: I thoroughly investigated the entire stretch of territory and studied the layout and installations. The prisoners arrived on a side track in closed transport cars and were unloaded there by Jewish prisoners. Then they were segregated into able-bodied and disabled, and here already the methods of Hoess and Wirth differ. The separation of the disabled was done in a fairly simple way. Next to the place of the unloading there were several trucks and the doctor gave the arrivals the choice to use these trucks. He said that only sick, old persons and women with children, were allowed to use them. Thereupon these persons swarmed toward the transportation prepared for their use, and then he needed only to hold back the prisoners that he did not want to send to destruction. These trucks drove off, but they did not drive to the Concentration Camp Auschwitz, but in another direction to the Extermination Camp Monowitz, which was a few kilometers away. This extermination camp consisted of a number of crematories which were not recognizable as such from the outside. They could have been taken for large bathing establishments, and that is what they told the prisoners. These crematories were surrounded by a barbed wire fence and were guarded from the inside by the Jewish labor details which I have already mentioned. The new arrivals were led into a large dressing room and told to take their clothing off. When this was done ...

HERR PELCKMANN: Is that not what you described yesterday?

MORGEN: Of course.

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HERR PELCKMANN: What precautions were taken to keep these things absolutely secret?

MORGEN: The prisoners who marched off to the concentration camp had no inkling of where the other prisoners were taken. The Extermination Camp Monowitz lay far away from the concentration camp. It was situated on an extensive industrial site and was not recognizable as such and everywhere on the horizon there were smoking chimneys. The camp itself was guarded on the outside by special troops of men from the Baltic, Estonians, Lithuanians, Latvians, and also Ukrainians.

The entire technical arrangement was almost exclusively in the hands of the prisoners who were assigned for this job and they were only supervised each time by an Unterfuehrer. The actual killing was done by another Unterf-i1hrer who let the gas into this room. Thus the number of those who knew about these things was extremely limited. This circle had to take a special oath...

THE PRESIDENT: Were these Unterfuehrer in the SS?

MORGEN: They wore SS uniforms.

THE PRESIDENT: Didn't you take the trouble to ascertain whether they were proper members of the SS?

MORGEN: I said that they were people from the Eastern territories.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not care what you have already said. What I asked you was, didn't you take the trouble to ascertain whether they were members of the SS?

MORGEN: I beg your pardon, Your Lordship. I do not understand your question. They could not be members of the General SS. As far as I could learn, they were volunteers and draftees who had been recruited in the Baltic countries where they had carried out security tasks, and who were then somehow especially selected and sent to Auschwitz and Monowitz. These were special troops, who had only this particular task and no other. They were completely outside of the Waffen-SS ...

THE PRESIDENT: I didn't ask you if they were in the Waffen SS. Did you ask questions as to why they were put into SS uniforms?

MORGEN: No, I did not ask that question. It seemed incomprehensible to me. It is probably due to the fact that the commander of the Concentration Camp Auschwitz ...

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. You said, as I understand it, that you considered it incomprehensible why they wore the SS uniforms. Didn't you say that?

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MORGEN: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Were there no officers of the SS there at all?

MORGEN: One officer, the commander of this company, I believe a Hauptsturmfuehrer Hartenstein, or something like that.

THE PRESIDENT: Why didn't you ask him why these men were put into SS uniforms?

MORGEN: The extermination camp was under the direction of SS Standartenfuehrer Hoess. Hoess was commander of the Concentration Camp Auschwitz, and also of the extermination camp, Monowitz. Around Auschwitz were a number of labor camps and I have already said ...

THE PRESIDENT: I didn't ask you where. What I am asking you is why you didn't ask these two SS men why they put these men into SS uniforms?

MORGEN: I assumed that this was done for camouflage reasons so that this extermination camp would not be distinguished outwardly from the other labor camps and the concentration camp itself. As a soldier it was incomprehensible to me that this damage to the reputation of the SS was tolerated as it had nothing to do .with this extermination.

THE PRESIDENT: You yourself were a high SS officer, were you not?

MORGEN: I was Sturmbannfuehrer of the Waffen-SS.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, what I am asking you is this: why, in those circumstances, you made no inquiry about it, and why you didn't ask these high SS officers there, "What is the meaning of these men being put into SS uniforms?"

MORGEN: I did not understand the question.

THE PRESIDENT: Go on.

HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, I should like to ask you the question myself. Why did you not ask the higher SS leaders whom you met there why these people were working in SS uniforms?

MORGEN: I said that I had the impression that this was done for reasons of camouflage so that the camp would not be distinguished from the other camps through the use of different uniforms.

HERR PELCKMANN: This explanation which you gave yourself is the reason why you did not question the officers, is that true?

MORGEN: At any rate I cannot remember having asked the officers about it. I did not speak to any officers except to the commander, Hoess, and the commander of the guards of the extermination camp.

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HERR PELCKMANN: Have you described everything which ...

THE PRESIDENT: Go on.

HERR PELCKMANN: Have you said everything in answer to the question as to how secrecy was secured?

MORGEN: Another important point may perhaps be mentioned. Certain Jewish prisoners with connections abroad were selected and were made to write letters abroad telling how well-off they were in Auschwitz, so that the public got the impression that these well-known people were alive and could write that they were doing well.

HERR PELCKMANN: Thank you. Now, Witness, under normal circumstances what would you have had to do after you had learned of all these terrible things?

MORGEN: Under normal circumstances I would have had to have Kriminalkommissar Wirth and Commander Hoess arrested and charged with murder.

HERR PELCKMANN: Did you do that?

MORGEN: No.

HERR PELCKMANN: Why not?

MORGEN: The answer is already entailed in the question. The circumstances prevailing in Germany during the war were no longer normal in the sense of State legal guarantees. Besides, the following must be considered: I was not simply a judge, but I was a judge of military penal justice. No court-martial in the world could bring the Supreme Commander, let alone the head of the State, to court.

HERR PELCKMANN: Please do not discuss problems of law, but tell us why you did not do what you realized you should have done?

MORGEN: I beg your pardon; I was saying that it was not possible for me as Obersturmbannfuehrer to arrest Hitler, who, as I saw it, was the instigator of these orders.

HERR PELCKMANN: Then what did you do?

MORGEN: On the basis of this insight, I realized that something had to be done immediately to put an end to this action. Hitler had to be induced to withdraw his orders. Under the circumstances, this could be done only by Himmler as Minister of the Interior and Minister of the Police. I thought at that time that I must endeavor to approach Himmler through the heads of the departments and make it clear to him, by explaining the effects of this system, that through these methods the State was being led straight into an abyss. Therefore I approached my immediate superior, the chief of the Criminal Police, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Nebe; then I turned to

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the chief of the Main Office SS Courts, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Breithaupt. I also approached Kaltenbrunner and the chief of the Gestapo, Gruppenfuehrer Muller, and Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl of the Economic and Administrative Main Office, and the Reichsarzt, Gruppenfuehrer Dr. Grawitz. But aside from taking these necessary steps, I saw a practical way open to me by way of justice; that is, by removing from this system of destruction the leaders and important elements through the means offered by the system itself., I could not do this with regard to the killings ordered by the head of the State, but I could do it for killings outside of this order, or against this order, or for other serious crimes. For that reason, I deliberately started proceedings against these men, and this would have led to a shake-up of this system and its final collapse. But these activities had another far-reaching effect in the near future, for through the big concentration camp trials against Commander Koch, of whom I spoke earlier, and against the head of the political section at Auschwitz-Kriminalsekretur Untersturmfuehrer Grabner, whom I charged with murder in 2,000 cases outside of this extermination action -- the whole affair of these killings had to be brought to trial. It was to be expected that the perpetrators would refer to higher orders also for these individual crimes. This occurred; thereupon the SS jurisdiction, on the basis of the material which I supplied, approached the highest government chiefs and officially asked, "Did you order these killings?

Is the legal fact of murder no longer valid for you? What general orders are there concerning these killings?" Then the supreme State leadership would either have to admit its mistakes and thereby bring the culprits definitely under our jurisdiction also with regard to the mass exterminations, or else an open break would have to result through the abrogation of the entire judicial system. If I may anticipate, on account of the trial in Weimar against Koch and Grabner, this problem became acute as I had foreseen; the proceedings were suspended and the SS jurisdiction put these questions, which I mentioned before, publicly and officially to the Reich Security Main Office. For this very purpose a judge was sent there, who had the task of investigating all sections of the Reich Security Main Office, to see whether such orders were in existence. As I heard, the result was negative. Thereupon an attempt was made to take direct steps against Hoess, but in the meantime the front had advanced, Auschwitz was occupied and the judge who had, been sent there had to stop at the beginning of his fruitless investigations, and in January 1945 complete disorganization set in which made further legal prosecution impossible. If I may go, back, the immediate effects of the judicial investigation were that in all concentration camps the killing of prisoners by so-called "euthanasia" stopped immediately, because no, doctor could feel sure that he would not be arrested from one moment to the next.

Everybody

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bore in mind the example that was set by the case of the doctor of Buchenwald. I am convinced that through this intervention and action the lives of thousands of prisoners were saved. The killing system was severely shaken; for it is noteworthy that on my second visit to Lublin, shortly after I first approached Kriminalkommissar Wirth, I did not find him there. I learned that in the meantime Wirth had suddenly received orders to completely destroy all his extermination camps. He had gone to Istria with his entire command, and was guarding streets there, and while doing so he was killed in May 1944. When I heard that Wirth and his command had left Lublin I immediately flew there in order to find out whether he was merely transferring his field of activity and would continue elsewhere, but that was not so.

HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, were you in danger of your life in all these investigations?

MORGEN: It was clear that the discovery of these horrible crimes was extremely unpleasant to those responsible for them. I knew that a human life meant nothing to these people and that they were ready for anything. As proof, I may cite the following: after I had arrested Grabner, the chief of the political section in Auschwitz, and the investigating commission ...

THE PRESIDENT: You aren't forgetting that you said you were going to take 45 minutes with this witness, are you, Herr Pelckmann?

HERR PELCKMANN: No, Your Lordship, I have not forgotten, and I regret exceedingly that it is taking longer than I expected, but I believe that I owe the Tribunal this explanation of the facts.

THE PRESIDENT: It seems of very little importance whether this man was in danger of his life or not.

HERR PELCKMANN: From the point of view of the defense, Your Lordship, I am of a different opinion, since for the conditions and possibilities of opposing this system, and for Number 1 of the ruling of the Court of 13 March, or rather Number 2, compulsion and orders are of decisive importance.

THE PRESIDENT: Go on, Herr Pelckmann. The Tribunal does not think it is important.

MORGEN: May I say one more sentence on that subject: the investigating commission of the Reich Criminal Police Department at Auschwitz was quartered in wooden hutments, and after it had worked with success for some time, unknown persons at night destroyed the hutments by fire with all the documents. The investigations in Auschwitz were interrupted and made difficult for a long time.

You may see from that how ruthless was the opposition

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to us. I, myself, received enough warnings and threats, but whether I was actually in danger of my life I cannot say.

HERR PELCKMANN: Did the directing personnel of the Concentration Camp Auschwitz in any way justify the assumption that they knew of these exterminations? I emphasize again -- if I understood you correctly the Concentration Camp Auschwitz, with its many labor camps, had nothing to do with the extermination camp and was separate from it?

MORGEN: As I have already said, Hoess was simultaneously commander of Auschwitz and Monowitz; he is to be considered the chief of the personnel, aside from the one leader of the Monowitz troops. I dealt only with these two, and these two knew about it.

HERR PELCKMANN: Did you speak to the doctor of the Concentration Camp Auschwitz?

MORGEN: Yes. When I arrived, the doctor showed me the mortality figures at the time he took over. He pointed out with a gleam in his eye how since his transfer to Auschwitz these huge figures had dropped precipitately through extensive hygienic measures and changes. In this connection he came to talk about Grabner.

Grabner had expected him to kill pregnant Polish women. The doctor had refused since it was irreconcilable with his professional duties. Thereupon Grabner had reproached him for not realizing the importance of his, Grabner's, tasks. The doctor did not give in and a quarrel arose which was carried on before the commander, and neither Hoess nor Grawitz said anything. Thus the doctor, at the time when I met him by accident, was in a distressed frame of mind and said "What shall I do?" I said to him "What you have done so far, absolute refusal, is quite in order, and tomorrow I will arrest Grabner."

THE PRESIDENT: What does this have to do with the SS unless the doctor was in the SS; perhaps he was.

HERR PELCKMANN: It is well known that the doctors were SS doctors, and the witness is describing how an SS doctor in this Concentration Camp Auschwitz opposed the suggestion of Grabner. He is describing that as a typical case.

THE PRESIDENT: Herr Pelckmann, the Tribunal thinks you have been quite long enough over this witness. You are going into matters too much in detail.

HERR PELCKMANN: You said previously that you had reported to the various agencies and named three of them, I believe. Please describe how Nebe reacted.

What was Breithaupt's attitude? What did Kaltenbrunner and Muller say? What was
Pohl's attitude, and how did the Reich Physician Grawitz react?

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MORGEN: First I reported to my immediate superior, SS Gruppenfuehrer Nebe, as chief of the RKPA. Nebe was an extremely taciturn man, but I could see that his hair stood on end when I made my report. He was absolutely silent. Then he said that I must immediately report this matter to Kaltenbrunner. The chief of the Hauptamt SS Courts, Obergruppenfuehrer Breithaupt, also became very much excited. He said that he would immediately go to see Himmler and report this to him and try to have a personal interview with Himmler arranged for me. The Reich Physician also did not know what to say. Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, however, took another attitude. Previously, or about the same time, I had had the commander of the Concentration Camp Hertogenbosch arrested, who h,-.d caused the death of 10 women through punitive measures. Wh6n I reported this to Pohl he said these were trifles. He said, "What do the lives of 10 women matter in view of the thousands of German women dying every night in the air raids?"

HERR PELCKMANN: Please be more brief on the others.

MORGEN: After I had already reported to Obergruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner about the actual corruption crimes, the deadly crimes which I discovered about 6 months later, a conversation took place in the presence of Nebe, Kaltenbrunner, and Muller. This discussion was extraordinarily one-sided. Kaltenbrunner and Nebe were absolutely silent while Muller, white with rage, was infuriated with me and did not give me a chance to get in a word. When I looked at him calmly, he suddenly jumped up and rushed out of the room and left me alone, while the other two gentlemen turned away from me. In the afternoon I went to see Muller again and personally told him my point of view once again, but Muller was still absolutely against it.

HERR PELCKMANN: Very well, did you ...

THE PRESIDENT: What was the date of this conversation with Kaltenbrunner?

MORGEN: That was immediately after the charge was raised against Grabner. I assume in July or August 1944.

HERR PELCKMANN: Did you report these things to other circles of the SS?

MORGEN: No. I wanted to inform and win over those people, who really had something to say, to my point of view. Nothing else counted. Besides that, I was bound by Basic Order Number 1, concerning secrecy on State affairs, and could only approach the chiefs of the main offices personally. Any mistake I would have made in contacting other offices would have had serious results for me and would have given my enemies a pretext for protracting the investigation.

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THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, he said he did not report it. Surely that is sufficient. We don't want to know more about it. He did not report. We are not trying the witness.

HERR PELCKMANN: I beg your pardon, I believe that is a mistake, if I understood correctly. He said he did report.

THE PRESIDENT: He said he made no other report, as I understood it, except this that he has spoken of.

HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, will you comment on that?

MORGEN: That is true. Aside from the chief of the Main Office of the SS, no one else was informed.

HERR PELCKMANN: Did you not consider it your duty to inform the public or to clear your conscience somehow by raising the cry "murder"?

MORGEN: I would have needed access to the technical means for doing this, that is to the press and the radio, which I did not have. If I had blurted that out at every street comer, no one would have believed me, because this system was beyond human imagination. I would have been locked up as insane.

HERR PELCKMANN: The Camp Dachau was here described as a pure extermination camp by the Prosecution and by certain witnesses. Is that true?

MORGEN: I believe that from my investigation from May to July 1944 1 know the Concentration Camp Dachau rather well. I must say that I had the opposite impression. The Concentration Camp Dachau was always considered a very good camp, the prisoners considered it a rest camp, and I actually did get that impression.

HERR PELCKMANN: Did you see the internal arrangements, the hospital, and so
forth?

MORGEN: I examined all these facilities carefully, and I must say the hospital was in excellent order. I went through all the wards. There was no noticeable overcrowding, and remarkably enough the number of medical instruments which were at the service of the prisoners was astonishing. Amongst the prisoners themselves were leading medical specialists.

HERR PELCKMANN: Very well. You want to say that conditions were good. But you thereby contradict the testimony of the witness, Dr. Blaha, which was made the subject of evidence here. Do you know his testimony?

MORGEN: I have read the testimony of Dr. Blaha in the press, and here I have had the opportunity to look through the record of the Trial. I must say I am amazed at this testimony. I am of the opinion that Blaha, from his own knowledge, cannot make such

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statements. It is not true that a prisoner in a concentration camp can move about freely and have access to the different sections and installations.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks he can say that he disagrees with the evidence of Blaha, but not that Blaha was not telling the truth. He disagrees, he said it. We think you might get on. How much more time do you anticipate that you'll take?

HERR PELCKMANN: Five minutes, Your Lordship. You were just about to say, Witness, why you did not agree with the testimony of Blaha?

MORGEN: I said ...

THE PRESIDENT: He has given his own evidence about the matter, and he says he is in contradiction with Blaha. We don't want further details about it.

HERR PELCKMANN: Mr. President, if I understood correctly, the witness is to give more credible testimony. If he does not say that on such and such points of the testimony of Blaha he has such and such an objection, the Prosecution can say he did not comment on it. That is my endeavor. Please instruct me, Your Lordship, if I am mistaken.

THE PRESIDENT: He has given his account on the camp at Dachau. The Tribunal has before it the evidence and testimony of Blaha. The Tribunal can see for itself if the evidence is inconsistent. That is sufficient.

HERR PELCKMANN: I only attempted to give the reasons, but if the Court does not wish to go into it further, I will withdraw the question.

[Turning to the witness.] Will you briefly sum up? I would rather go on to the last question which is of importance regarding your credibility. Did you give the testimony in the way you have given it here once before?

MORGEN: Yes. At the time of the collapse I was chief justice in Breslau. When I came to Germany after some time, I heard the CIC was looking for me on account of my knowledge about concentration camps. I reported to the CIC headquarters Mannheim-Seckenheim, 7th Army, and said I was ready to help clear up these crimes. I gave my testimony on the same lines which I attempted to follow today.

I went to the CIC headquarters, Oberursel, and after I had given my testimony, I was locked up in a bunker in Dachau, together with the accused people whom I had previously arrested myself.

HERR PELCKMANN: Very well. Do you know the pamphlet SS-Dachau which I submitted to the Tribunal yesterday and which

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I should like to designate as Exhibit SS-4? Do you know this document? Answer "yes" or "no."

MORGEN: Yes.

HERR PELCKMANN: On Page 46, there is the testimony of a Mrs. E. H. Was this testimony made before you as the investigating judge?

MORGEN: Yes, this was a Mrs. Eleanora Hodis, a prisoner in Auschwitz; I questioned her under oath.

HERR PELCKMANN: And did you examine the article and make certain this was the evidence which the woman gave? Yes or no.

MORGEN: Yes.

HERR PELCKMANN: When was that?

MORGEN: In the fall of 1944.

HERR PELCKMANN: The testimony is against Hoess?

MORGEN: Yes.

HERR PELCKMANN: Were proceedings then instituted against Hoess?

MORGEN: Yes. The testimony was submitted to Hoess in the original.

HERR PELCKMANN: The testimony concerns conditions in Auschwitz; is that true?

MORGEN: Yes.

HERR PELCKMANN: It is not true that it concerns the situation in Dachau?

MORGEN: No.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will take a recess.

[A recess was taken.]

DR. RUDOLF MERKEL (Counsel for the Gestapo): Mr. President, I should like to be permitted to put three brief questions to this witness, concerning nonparticipation and ignorance on the part of the Gestapo as far as the mass extermination is concerned.

THE PRESIDENT: You may.

DR. MERKEL: Witness, if I understood you correctly, the crimes of Kriminalkommissar Wirth in Lublin were discovered because of a report of the Security Police in Lublin.
MORGEN: Yes.

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8 Aug. 46

DR. MERKEL: Did the Security Police in Lublin participate in these crimes in any
way?

MORGEN: No. As I saw it that was not the case.

DR. MERKEL: The witness Best stated that the camps at Treblinka and Maidanek were under the supervision of the Security Police. Is that correct?

MORGEN: I know nothing about that. Wirth explained that he had four extermination camps. I believe the name Treblinka was mentioned in that connection.

DR. MERKEL: According to your conviction, this camp as well was under Wirth?

MORGEN: I assumed that.

DR. MERKEL: Did you wish to execute an order of the SS Court to arrest Eichmann?

MORGEN: I asked the SS Court at Berlin to investigate Eichmann on the basis of my report. The SS Court in Berlin thereupon submitted to the chief of the Reich Security Main Office, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner, in his capacity as highest judge, a warrant to arrest Eichmann.

Dr. Bachmann reported to me that on the submission of this matter rather dramatic incidents took place.

Kaltenbrunner immediately called in Muller, and now the judge was told that an arrest was in no event to be considered, for Eichmann was carrying out a special secret task of utmost importance entrusted to him by the Fuehrer.

DR. MERKEL: When was that?

MORGEN: That was in the middle of 1944.

DR. MERKEL: Thank you, I have no further questions to put to this witness.

DR. GAWLIK: Your Lordship, may I be permitted to put a few questions, please?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

DR. GAWLIK: Witness, you spoke about orders of the Reich Security Main Office.
From which offices of the Reich Security Main Office did these orders come?

MORGEN: Do you mean the orders for the mass extermination?

DR. GAWLIK: Yes.

MORGEN: I stated that the SS jurisdiction ...

DR. GAWLIK: Answer the question briefly, please. Which offices issued these orders?

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MORGEN: I said that the investigating judge could not establish the origin of such orders to my knowledge.

DR. GAWLIK: You spoke of the orders of the Reich Security Main Office, did you not?

MORGEN: I said that the accused Koch and Grabner, in answering for their killings, referred to, orders of the Reich Security Main Office and maintained that these orders had to be destroyed as soon as they were received. That was purely an assertion and therefore this statement had to be investigated.

DR. GAWLIK: Did you ascertain-that the Offices III, VI, and VII were in any way participating in these measures?

MORGEN: I have already testified that Wirths undertaking directly. . .

DR. GAWLIK: Can you answer this question with a "yes" or "no"?

MORGEN: I could not determine that.

DR. GAWLIK: Thank you. I have no further questions to the witness.

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

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: The Prosecution very carefully considers the question of cross-examining this witness. We do not accept his evidence as to Buchenwald, Dachau and as to conditions in concentration camps generally. We feel, however, the Tribunal has been shown such an overwhelming amount of evidence, including films and exhibits of the consistent pattern of cruelties in the concentration camps, of the smelling chimneys of the crematoria, and of the persons who carried out these actions, that we consider that any further discussion of these matters should be by way of comment and that it would not be right to take up the time of the Tribunal by confronting this witness with the details of that evidence which is so fully in the Tribunal's mind.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness may retire. Is that your case?

HERR PELCKMANN: Yes.

[The witness left the stand.]

UMachine
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Re: Who was in charge of the Holocaust?

Post by UMachine » 16 Jan 2011 03:59

On page 493,7 Aug 46,Morgen speaks of a special open air process to burn the bodies with no fuel.Can any member add information about this process?

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