COPY OF AFFIDAVIT D
[Affidavit of Walter Schellenberg]
Source: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression. Volume VIII. USGPO, Washington, 1946/pp.622-629. Document UK-81
[This affidavit is substantially the same as the testimony given by Schellenberg on direct examination before the International Military Tribunal at Nurnberg, 4 January 1946.]
Walter Schellenberg, being first duly sworn according to law, deposes and says :
1. I was born in Saarbruecken on 16 January 1910. I studied law and became a Court Assistant at Bonn, and later at Dusseldorf in the same capacity. In June 1933 I was an SS candidate and in 1934 was promoted to Oberscharfuehrer (Sergeant), assigned to administrative work. In this position I was called upon to lecture SS members. Following one of these lectures I was approached by an officer of the SD and asked to join that organization. In 1934 I served the SD in Frankfurt on Main. In 1936 I was transferred to Berlin as a legal assistant in the headquarters of the SD. In 1936 I left the SD temporarily to take another state bar examination and rejoined shortly thereafter in Berlin. In August 1939 I was transferred to the Gestapo with the rank of Sturmbannfuehrer (Major) and placed in charge of counter espionage. I held that position until June 1941 and was then transferred to AMT VI, the Political Intelligence Service of the Reich, at my own request, with the rank of Obersturmbannfuehrer (Lt. Colonel). In July 1942 I became the head of that department with the rank of Standartenfuehrer (Colonel). In January 1943 I was again promoted to Oberfuehrer (Senior Colonel- no American equivalent). In June 1944 I became a Brigadefuehrer (Brigadier General) and General of Police and Waffen SS, and my department was expanded to include all intelligence operations in Germany, military intelligence abroad, and the former functions of the Military Intelligence Department of the Abwehr. I remained in this position until the end.
2. I was Chief of Amt VI of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA) from the autumn of 1941 to the end of the war. I first met Ernst Kaltenbrunner in 1938. He was then State Secretary for Security under Seyss-Inquart in Austria. Our first meeting was on the occasion of a gathering of police officials at which Kaltenbrunner spoke. Kaltenbrunner held the position of State Secretary for Security for several months, after which the office was changed into that of Higher SS and Police Leader, which position he held until being appointed Chief of the Security Police and SD (RSHA) on 30 January 1943. On or about 25 January 1943, I went together with Kaltenbrunner to Himmler's headquarters at Loetzen in East Prussia. All of the Amt Chiefs of the RSHA were present at this meeting, and Himmler informed us that Kaltenbrunner was to be appointed Chief of the Security Police and SD (RSHA) as successor to Heydrich. His appointment was effective 30 January 1943.
3. I know of no limitation placed on Kaltenbrunner's authority as Chief of the Security Police and SD (RSHA). He promptly entered upon the duties of the office and assumed direct charge of the office and control over the Amt (Bureau). All important matters of all Aemter (Bureaus) had to clear through Kaltenbrunner. With regard to the following Aemter (Bureaus) the control and supervision exercised by Kaltenbrunner was as follows:
4. At no time was I informed by Himmler or Kaltenbrunner or anyone else that there was a special limitation' on Kaltenbrunner's authority as Chief of the Security Police and SD. His actions and assertions were all to the contrary. He made it very clear in his official relations with all of us who were his Amt chiefs that he was the head of the office exercising full executive powers and deciding all matters of policy. He permitted us to issue directives within the organization in our own names pursuant to fixed policies established by him, but all important matters had to be submitted to him whether he signed them or we signed them. He was constantly informed of all matters of importance which went on in his office.
5. I estimate that, exclusive of female help, the Gestapo (Secret State Police) had between 40,000 and 46,000 personnel; the KRIPO (Criminal Police) had between 16,000 and 20,000; the SD, inside Germany, had between 2,500 and 3,000 (inclusive of female help); and the SD, outside Germany, which was my AMT VI, had about 400.
6. Late in May 1941, I kept the minutes of a meeting between Heydrich, Chief of the Security Police and SD, and Generalquartiermeister of the Army, General Wagner (Chief of Operations) at which an agreement was reached between OKW, OKH, and RSHA, concerning the use of Einsatz Groups and Einsatz Commandos in the coming Russian campaign. The agreement was executed in writing, signed by General Wagner for the armed forces and Heydrich for the RSHA.
7. The agreement provided that, for the security of the combat troops during the coming Russian campaign, their rear is to be protected with all means. The purpose was that all resistance should be broken with every means. The Security Police and the SD were to be used in support of the combat units of the army for this task. To the best of my recollection, the main supply routes were an example of such special security object.
8. The second part of the agreement provided that each army group should have a corresponding Einsatz group with its subordinate Einsatz Commandos under its operational command. Four sectors were defined: First, the front area; second, the operational area, which corresponded exactly to the operational area of the army; third, army rear; and fourth, the area where civil administration was to be instituted (Reichskommissariate) . In these various sectors, command jurisdiction was defined specifically. In the front area and the operational area, the Einsatz Commandos of the security police (SIPO) and the SD were tactically and administratively subordinate to the army, i. e., they were completely under the jurisdiction of the army. In the rear of the operational area and in the army rear, they were to be put under the jurisdiction of the army only administratively. In the proposed areas for the civil administration (Reichskommissariate), the same regulations of command and jurisdiction should be applicable as in the Home Area of the Reich.
9. The agreement further set forth a detailed explanation of the terms "Tactical" and "Administration". It was agreed that the army should control matters of discipline and should be responsible for necessary supplies.
10. I learned later that the Einsatz Groups liquidated Jews and Communist Kommissars and I concluded that an order to that effect must have been given. I do not recall any written order to this effect but know that such liquidations took place and that reports were received in RSHA from the several Einsatz Groups. Later a report of Stahlecker, leader of Einsatz Group "A", was submitted to me (Document OUSCC L-180) which I believe to be authentic. In this report, the detailed results of the operations of Stahlecker's Group were set forth, in-cluding the number of Jews and others executed. From this report, I inferred that the liquidations must have begun already in the Fall of 1941. Repeated attempts were made to put me in command of an Einsatz Group but I always succeeded in avoid-ing such service.
11. Concerning certain of Kaltenbrunner's actions as chief of RSHA, I recall the following conversation between Gruppenfuehrer (Maj. Gen.) Mueller, Chief of Gestapo, Amt IV of RSHA, and Kaltenbrunner, Obergruppenfuehrer (Lt. Gen.) . (I myself did not partake in this conversation but I was present and able to follow the conversation.)
12. The first conversation took place in the summer of 1944 in a room of the office of Obergruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner in Berlin, Wilhelmstrasse #102, where, toward the end of luncheon, the Amt Chief (Bureau Chief) Mueller directed the question to Kaltenbrunner what was to be done with 26 French prostitutes, diseased with syphilis who took up a great deal of space in a hospital the name of which I no longer recall. He answered, "Shoot them".
13. The second incident was in the fall of 1944 in a room of the new office of Amt IV, Kurfuersten Strasse, toward the end of one of the regular Amt chief's conferences. It centered around an inmate named Dohnany who played a role in the events of the 20th of July and who had incurred an incurable disease. In this case Kaltenbrunner said also, "Shoot him".
14. The third incident was a conversation between Kaltenbrunner, Gruppenfuehrer Nebe and Gruppenfuehrer Mueller. This took place in the spring of 1944 in 'Berlin,. Wilhelmstrasse #102, at the end of an Amtschef conference, where the three above named agreed to confer about the problem which was being touched. The problem, as far as I heard the facts, concerned the following: Gruppenfuehrer Mueller and Nebe were in negotiations with gentlemen of the Foreign Office on a note of the International Red Cross in which protest was raised against the shooting of English and possibly also American prisoners. Kaltenbrunner consulted Mueller and Nebe in order to find out in what form one could best cover up the actually effected shootings, in each individual case. Kaltenbrunner spoke of death resulting from bomb attacks, shooting while attempting to escape and, while offering resistance. Each individual case was to be justified individually. If I remember correctly, approximately 50 people who were shot had escaped from a camp near Breslau. It was not even then possible for me to get a clear picture out of the bits of conversation since I was not familiar with the subject matter.
15. In 1944 on another occasion but also in the course of an Amtschef conference, I heard fragments of conversation between Kaltenbrunner and Mueller. I remember distinctly the following remark of Kaltenbrunner: All offices of the SD and the security police are to be informed that pogroms of the populace against English and American terror-fliers were not to be interfered with; on the contrary, this hostile mood is to be fostered.
16, Further, in 1944, towards the end of an Amtschef conference, upon Kaltenbrunner's return from an official trip to Vienna and Linz, he, Kaltenbrunner, told of his visits in the concentration camp Mauthausen and of his friend Ziereis who was commandant of that camp. Kaltenbrunner reported with pride that he had virtually himself, as higher SS and police leader in Vienna, built up that camp and that it now was producing most valuable armament work, protected against air raids.
17. Toward the end of the war, especially after the 20th of July 1944, Kaltenbrunner became better acquainted with Hitler. He was especially friendly with Fegelein and his wife, the sister of Eva Braun. So powerful had Kaltenbrunner become toward the end that even Himmler feared him.
18. Himmler told me on the 13th of April 1945 when I asked him' to receive the representative of the Jewish world congress, Mr. Storsch, from 'Stockholm, "But how am I going to do that with Kaltenbrunner around, I shall then be completely at his mercy !"
19. Late in October 1944, Mr. Musy, former President of Switzerland, and his son visited Himmler at my instigation. In Musy's first. discussion with Himmler, they went into the Jewish problem and he proposed to Himmler that all Jews still interned in concentration camps in Germany be discharged. It was suggested that Germany should receive in return for release of Jews a certain number of tractors, trucks and foreign currency. Himmler was undecisive during the negotiations and did not have the courage to make a basic decision. The decisions resulted in no binding agreement since Mr. Musy needed to clarify the issues with Jewish organizations. I was requested by Himmler to continue my contact with Mr. Musy and to aid with State Police officials in obtaining the release of individual Jews and Frenchmen whose release was authorized by, Himmler.
20. I approached Mueller, Chief of Amt IV and requested permission to take up individual cases personally. Mueller refused, saying that I was not a member of the Secret State Police and would therefore not be permitted to look into its internal activities. He directed me to State Police officials and I was permitted to get in touch with internees and bring about improvement in their living conditions. These included: Alien Thorel, ,Brothers Rottenberg, Family Donnebaum, Family Rosenberg, Dr. Stiassny and Helene Stein.
21. A second discussion between Musy and Himmler took place on 12 January 1945 at my instigation and thereafter a trainload of aproximately 1200 Jews was to leave for Switzerland every 14 days. Himmler expected to bring about a change in the world propaganda against Germany. He also hoped to have certain sums of money made available to be used later. I was successful in convincing Himmler that this money should be turned over to the International Red Cross.
22. The first trainload of Jewish immigrants was delivered early in February. Thereafter Musy submitted a press story of 8 February from the New York Times and also submitted proof that he deposited 5,000,000 Swiss francs placed in trust later in February. Thereafter Kaltenbrunner, at the direction of Hitler, prevented further transports of Jews into Switzerland. Hitler threatened the death penalty for anyone attempting to further assist such transfers and ordered that not another Jew nor any American or British PW's should pass the border with the aid of any German.
23. Mr. Musy again visited Berlin and expressed great anger and bitter disappointment over the stopping of transfers. Musy and I suggested to Himmler that requests be made to the Western Powers for a 4 day armistice to permit sending all Jews and foreign internees through the front lines in an orderly manner. On my own responsibility I informed SS Obergruppenfuehrer Berger, Chief of War Prisoners, of the plan. He delayed send ing many of Hitler's orders and thereby saved the lives of thousands of people who would otherwise have been evacuated from POW camps or executed where evacuation was impossible. Himmler favored the plan of anarmistice but did not have the courage to suggest it to Hitler. I discussed it with Kaltenbrun-ner who replied to me on 3 April 1946: "Have you too joined the idiots ?"
24. Himmler agreed with Musy and me that an order should be given preventing evacuation of concentration camps. On 7 April 1945, I communicated with Musy stating that it was Himmler's request that he communicate with General Eisen-hower and state that an order for nonevacuation was agreed to by Himmler. Mr. Musy reported back 3 days later that Washington had received the communication and reacted in a favorable manner. Mr. Musy, Jr., returned to Germany to pick up a number of Jews from Buchenwald under authority granted by Himmler. He received unfavorable treatment from the camp commandant and returned to Berlinon 10April, expressing horror at what he had observed in the evacuation of the camp. I looked into the matter and found that Himmler had been discredited with Hitler by Kaltenbrunner and that all camps were ordered to be evacuated. I reproached Himmler by telephone and found him embarrassed by the fact that a number of orders had bypassed him and that his course of action was blocked by contrary orders from Kaltenbrunner. Immediate energetic action by Himmler counteracted Kaltenbrunner's orders and saved many lives.
25. During March 1946, Dr. Burkhardt, President of the International Red Cross, with whom I had a contact through Swiss friends, indicated he wished to talk to Himmler about evacuation of various nationals held in Germany. I relayed this information to Himmler who talked with Hitler and was prohibited from having such a meeting. I then suggested that Himmler send Kaltenbrunner or myself. Kaltenbrunner was selected and he ordered me to draft a letter to Dr. Burkhardt. He also informed Ribbentrop of the plan. Kaltenbrunner and Himmler planned that if the Press should mention the meeting they could make believe that it was instigated by Ribbentrop. Dr. Burkhardt answered Kaltenbrunner's letter positively and a discussion took place between him and Kaltenbrunner for which I prepared the technical aspects of the German side. Dr. Burkhardt was satisfied with the results of the discussion and wrote a long letter with concrete proposals covering the categories and priorities for the exchange of internees from all Nations. Kaltenbrunner's comment on these letters was that it was a clever legal document and contained detailed proposals which he could not fulfill. He declared that in order to save face he would permit the transport of a number of French women from Ravensbruck, with permission of Himmler. Kaltenbrunner kept me out of further participation in order to evade my insistent demands that Dr. Burkhardt be answered. I then discussed the matter with Himmler who also failed to take action. I sent one report to my friends in Switzerland and was thereafter unable to main-tain communication and the proposed attempt to bring about a humanitarian evacuation was thus circumvented.
The above statements were made by me voluntarily and without coercion. They are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.
[In handwriting of Schellenberg] "I understand written English"
Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 23rd day of January 1946.