Изображения страниц

at Montoire. I warned them not to take any unilateral action and then they dropped the matter. I do not remember whether it was 1941 or the beginning of 1942 that we started negotiations on the initiative of the French Government to reduce the amount. I refer to the 10 millions-half the amount. Since about the autumn of 1941, there were paid some sixty billion francs on account and it was quite clear to the French that it was too much. After a few weeks we initialled an agreement to reduce the cost of occupation to ten million marks per day. If I remember correctly, that was in June. The daily payment was reduced to 10, and there were some extra three millions of securities transferred. This never came off.

Q. It never came off? It never actually was completed?

A. No. I negotiated it with permission of the Foreign Office, and it was referred home and Ribbentrop hesitated. It was Ribbentrop personally this time. We waited weeks and then months, and after many months had expired the committee refused permission to sign it.

Q. Did the French make the proposal that the occupation cost be reduced or did the German Government make that proposal? Did the German Government make that suggestion in exchange for an increased control over certain French institutions?

A. No. That was the other way around. The German Government agreed to start discussions on a reduction and to promise indeed a substantial reduction if at the same time the control of the French foreign trade in France could be controlled by three commissars with the Banque de France.

Q. I want to know this. Concentrate on the question whether the German Government proposed the reduction in exchange for increase of German control in France.

A. They made it a condition.

Q. And did they make that condition after the French had made the proposal, or did they say to the French: "If you accept those controls, we will reduce the occupation cost"?"

A. It is five years ago but if I remember precisely the German demand to exercise a control over trade through agencies or commissars was very much before these negotiations of ten millions. We had agreed on lifting trade restrictions between the free and occupied zones in the sense that trade could cross the line, payments be made and so on, with the exception of transfer of gold. The French, of course, could exercise their own control as to foreign trade and so on. The "Militaerverwaltung" had observed that by giving this liberty between the occupied and unoccupied zone, things were flowing out, and they had wanted from


the very beginning to exercise control by these commissarsand that was a very old demand. You will see from the files that in October, September, and November 1940, long before we ever agreed to discuss a reduction in payment, this demand was already made, and in fact general proposals were already agreed on with the French, but the French Government never accepted them, and then the German Government agreed to reduce cost on condition. The two conditions were: (1) to set these commissars to work, and (2) a certain transfer of security.

Q. When the French proposed the reduction of occupation cost, did they claim that the funds which the German Government was getting were being illegally used, e.g., in the black market? What was the nature of the protests against occupation cost?

A. Any claim of that description was justified. These amounts were drawn from the occupation cost account in French francs. and given to the black market. That was a clear misuse of the money.



Excerpts from Testimony of Oswald Pohl, taken at
Nurnberg, Germany, 3 June 1946, 1400-1700, by Col.
John Amen, Lt. Col. Smith W. Brookhart, Jr., and Robert
M. W. Kempner. Also present: Lt. Joachim von Zastrow
and Bert Stein, Interpreters; Anne Daniels, Reporter.

Diversion of Concentration Camp Labor to Armament Industries Q. Now tell us when you took over the administration of the concentration camps and how that came about.

A. At the occasion of a conversation which I had with Himmler in the summer of 1942-and I had conversations with him about every quarter of a year-he said to me: "Pohl, I have talked to Speer. The war is reaching its climax; the demands of the armament industries are becoming larger and larger, and the securing of the necessary manpower is becoming more and more difficult. Therefore, we have to try to commit this manpower which is in the concentration camps into the armament industry to an increased extent, and I have the intention of transferring this task to you."

*Oswald Pohl held the following positions: Chief of Administration and Economic Main Office of SS; Ministerialdirektor of the Reich Ministry of the Interior; SS-Obergruppenfuehrer; General of Waffen-SS. Pohl managed to avoid capture until May 1946, when he was discovered working on a farm in the disguise of a farmhand. He was brought to Nurnberg and these interrogations ensued.

I asked him not to do that because, in the meantime, my little office which at first had been just a small office within the central office of the SS-had, later on, become an independent office for budget and construction. Then, still later on, all the economic questions became mixed up in it, and then it became the WVHA.

I told him, therefore, that in this main office I had so much to do already, because I also had under me the administration of the entire Waffen SS, and of the General SS. I had under me all the economic institutions of the SS. Those were about 50 large, independent enterprises. Also, I had to carry out many special tasks concerning Party and Reich matters. So the transfer to me of new and additional tasks seemed impossible to me.

He told me, however, that the labor commitment of the inmates was so important, and he had no other expert that he could charge with that task, that therefore I would have to do it, in the interest of armaments. He said he would relieve me of all other matters connected with that because Gruppenfuehrer Gluecks was remaining there. Obergruppenfuehrer Eicke had been killed in action in the meantime, and Gluecks was head of this agency, as successor to Eicke.

Q. How soon did you do anything about using the manpower. which was needed by Speer in the armament industry?

A. The procedure was discussed with Himmler, but it was done in this way. That was the reason for Himmler's intervention. There was really no method about the thing until that time. The small firms in the Reich that were in want of workers, no matter what branch of the industry they belonged to, addressed themselves to the Inspectorate of the Concentration Camps. Then Gluecks or his representatives allotted so many inmates to them. As a consequence, that meant a strong decentralization of manpower, which it was wished to prevent.

From that time on, Gluecks had to visit me in Berlin once a week. He had to submit the requisitions from the firms to me, and then I decided whether a firm was to get laborers or not. If greater contingents were involved in heavy industry, that is, hundreds of them, the Armaments Ministry was consulted about it. That is, it went through the Armaments Ministry.

[ocr errors]

Q. You brought Hoess into your Division D, Subdivision I.

A. Yes.

Q. What had he done before that?

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

A. Before that he was commandant of Auschwitz.

Q. And while he was commandant of Auschwitz, what had been his responsibility there?

A. The same as the position of all other commandants, at first, and then he was employed by the Reichsfuehrer SS in the final solution of the Jewish question.

Q. And what was that?

A. The extermination of Jewry.

Q. By what manner or means?
A. As it has been done.

Q. Tell us about it.

A. Jews were brought to Auschwitz and were gassed there.

Q. How many and over what period, were gassed there; and what was done with the bodies?

A. I don't know.

Q. How did Hoess carry out his end of the program at Auschwitz?

A. He carried out the liquidation of the Jews.

Q. And how many did he liquidate there?

A. I really will have to estimate that; I don't know the number. Q. Well then, I will. ask you for your estimate.

A. I have talked to Gluecks about it, but even he did not know the exact figure. We estimated-and Gluecks thought about three million.*

Transfer of Valuables from Concentration Camp
Victims to Reichsbank

Q. What business did you have with Funk?

A. I had no business with him as President of the Reichsbank. Q. You never had anything to do with him?

A. Funk got foreign currency for us abroad, but I never had anything to do with him directly.

Q. You had other business, aside from foreign currency?

A. Yes. We gave to the Reichsbank all the valuables that we received from these concentration camps, which had been sent to us from the various offices.

Q. Let's discuss the jewelry and gold teeth that were taken from people in the concentration camps. The Reichsbank was informed when such a shipment was to arrive. Is that correct? A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. Who made the first arrangements concerning that?

A. As I recall, the first arrangements were made by way of the RSHA, in Heydrich's time, I believe.

*See document 3868-PS, vol. VI, p. 787.


Q. Between Heydrich and the Reichsbank, between Himmler and the Reichsbank, or between whom?.

A. Between experts of the RSHA and the Reichsbank. At this moment I only recall that, on several occasions, foreign currency, rings, and other things came from the camps to Berlin, packed in cases, and they were given to the Reichsbank by us.

Q. What was the Reichsbank to do with these gold teeth?

A. They were to evaluate them, and their equivalent was to be deposited at the Reichsbank Treasury.

Q. Hoess has testified that gold bars had also come from Auschwitz.

A. I have seen gold bars, yes. I believe they were also packed in cotton.

Q. Where were they delivered?

A. Also to the Reichsbank.

Q. Which ones went to your medical department?

A. That I don't know.

Q. Where did the gold bars-if they came from Auschwitzoriginate?

A. Probably from the Jews who were exterminated.

Q. How was that worked into bars there?

A. I don't know that.

Q. How often did that stuff arrive? We are talking about gold


A. I recall exactly that I only saw these gold bars once.

Q. You just wanted to say that it was once or twice. Now what do you want to say, once, twice, three times, or what?

A. I recall very clearly that I have only seen gold bars once. Several times I have seen things like rings and jewelry, but I have only seen gold bars once.

Deposit of Gold Fillings with the Reichsbank

Q. Who took part in those first discussions? Who was the man who would have such discussions?

A. I really don't know. So far as I recall, there were no large discussions. Without my having anything to do with it, those things went to Berlin. I personally told Himmler that. I talked to Himmler and asked him what should be done with all those things; I was told they were supposed to be given to the Reichsbank.

Q. Is that what Himmler told you? bis 97ad no? 9 A. Yes.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »