Source: Affidavit of 16 July 1946, from which NI 280 was derived. Entered into Nuremberg Documentation Scheide 12 (Defense Exhibit Number).
DOCUMENT BOOK II SCHEIDE No. 33
Affidavit Nuernberg, 16 July 1944
Concerning my person: My name is Anton Kaindl, born on 14 July 1902 in Munich. My last rank was: SS-Standartenfuehrer of the Waffen SS. My last position was: commander of the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, from August 1942 until its dissolution.
Being duly sworn/depose and say:
Section I: Historical development of the Concentration Camp system
Staff commands and SS-Death-Head Units (Totenkopfverbaende) = SS - T - Wachsturmbann (guard unit)
1. After January 1933 Concentration Camps were erected predominately by the SA, which was acting, in part, by order of the holders of authority (Hoheitstraeger) - Gauleiter.
2. In the course of the years, the number of these concentration camps was reduced more and more until in 1933, at the latest, there were but five. Those were the camps Dachau, Columbia-Berlin, Esterwegen, Sachsenburg and Prettin.
These were financed by the Regional Government competent in each case, as they were regarded as an instrument of the political police. They were never supported at any time by the general SS (Allgemeine-SS).
3. From 1 April 1936 on, a budget was set up for the concentration camps by the Reich in the Budget Section of the Reich Ministry of the Interior, i.o. separated, for commanders and guard detachment.
4. In this budget there were provided approximately 400 men personnel of the Local Headquarters and approximately 3,600 men personnel of the guard detachment = 3. SS-Totenkopfstandarten. At this time, there were concentration camps at Dachau, Sachsenburg, Columbia-Berlin, Esterwegen, and Prettin. All in all, approximately 10,000 to 12,000 prisoners.
5. In 1936 the concentration camps at Esterwegen and Columbia-Berlin were dissolved, and merged with the newly erected concentration camp at Sachsenhausen near Oranienburg.
6. In 1937, the concentration camp at Sachsenburg, henceforth dissolved, was transferred to the newly erected concentration camp at Buchenwald.
7. In 1938, the women's concentration camp in Ravensbruck was created, to which the female prisoners of the former women's concentration camp at Prettin were transferred.
8. New concentration camps were created at Mauthausen and Flossenbuerg in 1938-59. In addition a new one, the 4th SS-Totenkopfstandarte, was approved by the budget control and erected in Linz.
9. At the beginning of the war, 1 September 1939, there existed thus the concentration camps at Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Flossenbuerg, and the women's concentration camp at Ravensbruck. The number of the prisoners amounted to about 18,800 male and about 2,500 female prisoners, an approximate total of 21,300 prisoners.
The personnel of the Local Headquarters amounted to approximately 600 persons; that of the SS-Totenkopfstandart including the Inspection Staff, amounting to approximately 7,400 people; a total of approximately 8,000.
10. In the autumn of 1939, the SS-Division Totenkopf was formed in the concentration camp at Dachau, which had been cleared of prisoners at that time. Around the middle of October 1939, this division had a personnel of approximately 20,000 men. Of this number about 6,500 men came from the 4 SS-Totenkopfstandarten, who were transferred in a group to the SS-T-Division. 12,500 men were members of the General-SS (Allgemeine-SS) who, as a result of the Emergency Service Order, were called up for police reinforcements and incorporated into the SS-T-Division. Some 1,000 men came from the SS-Verfuegungstruppe. Of the 20,000 men of the SS-T-Division, approximately 3,000 were transferred to the SS-Police Division as early as October 1939.
Some 3,000 of the SS-members subject to emergency service were called up to serve in the SS-Totenkopfwachsturm ?? to replace the 6,500 active members of the SS-Totenkopf units which had been transferred to the SS-T-Division. This number could be held at this low figure because this service was restricted only to mere guard duties.
11. The commander of the Local Headquarters and guard detachment was: from 1934 to 31 March 1936 - Inspector of Concentration Camps Eicke, from 1 April 1936 to 31 August 1939? Leader (Fuehrer) of the SS-Totenkopfverbaende and Concentration Camps from 1 September 1939 to about the middel of 1940 [Inspector General of the re-inforced SS-Totenkopfstandarte and Concentration Camps.]
From about the middle of 1940, the commandment was changed to "Inspector of the Concentration Camps."
The commander was responsible in each case to Himmler with the transfer of the concentration camps within the sphere of duty of the SS-Economic and Administrative Main Office and of 1 April 1942, the designation of the commander was as follows:
"SS-Economic and Administrative Main Office, Office Group D, Inspector of the Concentration Camps.", and was under the personal command of the Chief of the SS-Economic and Administrative Main Office, Oswald Pohl.
B. Official spheres of duty.
1. Members of the Local Headquarters Staff under the Command
A = Clerks for all divisions of the Staff
B = Experts for food, accommodation, clothing, personal effects of prisoners, prisoners' possessions
C = Preventative Custody Camp Officers
D = Reporting Officers
E = Blockleaders
F = Labor Allocation Officers
G = Labor Service Officers
H = Mail Censors
I = Heads of Workshops - Shoemaking establishment, tailor shop, laundry, bath, vehicle repair shop.
K = supervisory kitchen personnel
L = medical personnel.
Permission to enter prison camps was granted only to those members of the Local Headquarters listed under B to G, and I to L; whereas all remaining personnel could enter the prison camps from time to time only in pursuance of their particular official duties in each case.
2. Members of the SS-Totenkopfstandarte and the SS-T-Wachsturmbanne.
A = General guard and parade duty, infantry training outdoors,
B = Camp guard duty - tower sentries, small and large group of sentries,
C = Escort sentries for labor detachments assigned to labour outside the camp and outside the range of the regular sentries.
D = Guarding of branch labor camps
Entering prison camps was not permitted the above personnel.
3. The sharp separation of the spheres of duty = B1 and 2 was carried through by 1 April 1936 at the very latest, but may well have already existed before this time.
4. A plan of organization is enclosed as annex.
Until the beginning of the war in 1939, only the guard blocks of the SS-Totenkopfstandarten were under the jurisdiction of the competent Camp Commander for the length of the guard time in each case, whereas the other sections of the SS-T-Standarten were responsible to the Commanders of the Standarten in each case. No relation of subordination between the Camp Commanders and Commanders of the SS-T-Standarten, existed for the SS-T-Standarten, for the most part, had other duties in the "order castles" (Party training schools) and the like, i.e. infantry training, parade duty, guard duty.
After the beginning of the war, the conditions were identical, but the commanders of the concentration camps, the commanders of the SS-T-Wachsturmbanne were not used for parade and guard duty in the "order castles" and the like. In addition, the strength of the SS-T-Wachsturmbanne was considerably smaller than that of the SS-Totenkopfstandarten.
After the transfer to the SS-Economic and Administrative Main Office of the concentration camps in April 1942, the SS-T-Wachsturmbanne were subordinated to the commanders of the concentration camps for the purpose of economy in personnel. The sharp separation of the spheres of duties was however, not affected thereby.
D. Replacement or exchange of the personnel of Local Headquarters.
This took place from the SS-T-Standarten, later from the SS-T-Wachsturmbanne. Already, with regard to the relation of the Local Headquarters Staff to the Guard Detachment, approximately 1 to 10, this change, however, was not a considerable one.
Until the middle of 1942, the Local Headquarters Staff consisted almost entirely of personnel that were present at the beginning of the war. Not until after this period, were members of the Local Headquarters Staffs fit for front service released and replaced by older men no longer fit for front service.
E. Calling-up for the SS-T-Wachsturmbanne during the war.
Those called up for service in the SS-T-Wachsturmbanne in accordance with the Emergency Service Decree were released, for the most part, to the combat troops according to their ability to serve at the front. They were replaced by those bound to render emergency service from the ranks of the Kyffhaeuserbund, Volksdeutsche (racial Germans) from the Southeast, Landesschuetzen and the like. At the conclusion of the war, only about 6,000 members of the SS served in the guards, whereas their entire strength amounted to approximately 35,000.
A. Intent and Purpose of the Concentration Camps.
Here one must differentiate between the various phases.
A: 1933 to 1934, only detention of political enemies to ensure the peace and order absolutely required for the economic construction of Germany.
B: In the following years, extension of detention to asocial and criminal elements. At the outbreak of war in 1939, these elements were equal in number to the political enemies.
C: From the beginning of the war until the middle of 1942 the detention of prisoners for security, preventive, or educational reasons stands foremost in importance. The number of prisoners increased simply through the inclusion of such elements that attempted stubbornly to evade military service or labor service.
D: From the middle of 1942, the scales tipped more and more towards the economic side. Labor allocation for important war duties - armament industry, forms the focal point of all measures.
E: Accordingly, from this time on, numerous so-called Labor Camps were created in those places where the armament industry could establish a particular need for man-power. In this respect, it concerned a manifold number of places of work ranging in size in the most varied manner - from 50 to 6,000 prisoners.
The number of prisoners increased considerably from the same time on.
At this time, foreign man-power was also sent into the concentration camps, viz. who had left their place employment of their own free will, whereas formerly, in such cases they had been returned to their old civilian occupation. In addition, those people subject to compulsory labor, who attempted to evade the Compulsory Labor Law issued by the authorities in their territory, were transferred from the occupied territories to German concentration camps after their arrest by the police of those territories.
F: The camp at Auschwitz, created during the war, was outwardly organized, so far as one could observe, exactly like those concentration camps already described. The true character of the camp, as a liquidation cap, became known only to the small circle of persons who were entrusted directly with the mass executions.
The SS-members of the other concentration camps learned just as little about the actual incidents in the concentration camp at Auschwitz, as the masses of the entire SS and the German people.
G: The camps at Belzek, Treblinka, Wolzek and Maidanek were not, to my knowledge, concentration camps, and therefore, as well, were not a part of the sphere of duty of the Inspector of the Concentration Camps, - SS-Economic and Administrative Main Office, Amtsgruppe D.
B. Transfers, Classification and Release of Prisoners
1. So far as I know, transfers to concentration camps were made exclusively through offices IV and V of the Reich Main Security Office, or through its subordinate Gestapo or Criminal Investigation Police Departments at all times. Neither the offices of the Waffen-SS nor the General-SS (Allgemeine-SS) ever possessed authority to send people to concentration camps.
2. The classification of prisoners into the various camp grades, i.e.
I. for light and privileged work, II for general work and III. for hard labor, particularly in quarries, was administered by the same offices listed under B 1. Similarly, the manner of treatment for "honor and special prisoners" was determined by the Reich Main Security Office.
3. Releases could be made only be order of the offices IV or V of the Reich Main Security Office.
Camp commanders had a part in this respect only insofar as they could apply for releases in their quarterly conduct reports. I often availed myself of this possibility.
However, orders for release also occurred in many cases without the submission of the aforementioned conduct reports. The length of the imprisonment of a concentration camp was determined in advance only a very rare individual cases. In this respect, it was mostly a matter of short-term imprisonments amounting to three months. In these cases, the releases were carried without further orders after the expiration of the term.
Finally, prisoners were also released for military service based on draft calls of the Wehrmacht if they were not too seriously politically or criminally charged.
4. One should not fail to mention that, especially during the years up to the beginning of the war, before the introduction of the SS's own Penal Jurisdiction, SS-members as well were confined continually by Himmler to a concentration camp for purposes of "education" for a more or less long span of time if they committed violations which, without being punishable by penal law seriously injured the reputation of the SS.
C. Accommodation, Food and Clothing.
Prisoners were lodged in the base camps in wooden barracks and in some instances in the massive stone barracks. Lodgings were divided into dayrooms and bedrooms. In each barrack latrines and bathrooms, with washrooms and broom closets, were provided. Many rooms were provided with electric light and furnished with stoves, in some instances with central heating. There were cabinets, tables and benches in the dayroom. The bedroom contained only bunks, in peace-time they had two tiers, later three tiers, provided with straw mattresses. Each prisoner received two blankets and complete bed linen: blanket cover, pillow case, and sheets, which were changed every four weeks for fresh bed linen. Not until after the end of 1942, with the increased number of prisoners in the camp, the providing of bedlinen was partly abolished because of the lack of supplies. The straw mattresses were freshly filled at least every three months.
In addition, each prisoner received necessary eating utensils, towel and wiping cloth.
The same applied, according to local and other conditions to the labor camps of Sachsenhausen camp. In many cases, the lodging was even better than in the Base Camp.
Up till the beginning of the war in 1939, each prisoner was entitled to a daily allowance of 60 Reichspfennig, according to the budget set up, for food supply. If this amount did not suffice, an amount up to 80 Pfennig was allowed.
After the beginning of the war up to the time of the collapse, providing of food was administered according to the amounts of rations fixed by the Reich Ministry of Food. In some cases, these were higher than those fixed for the normal civilian consumer. Even shortly before the collapse in 1945 prisoners were receiving daily approximately:
Breakfast: approximately 3/4 to 1 litre of prepared soup made from oatmeal, grits, peaflour, or potatoes.
Lunch: 1 1/2 to 2 litres of stew consisting of peas, beans or other vegetables, potatoes and meat.
Evening meal: about 350 grammes of bread, coffee or tea and by turns marmalade, margarine, sausage, cheese, curd, fish, artificial honey.
In addition the prisoners received daily allowances for heavy work or long hours of work of approximately 100 grammes of bread, 20 grammes of margarine and 40 grammes of sausage.
Special and distinguished prisoners received SS troop rations which were higher than the rations for civilians.
There was diet food for sick prisoners.
Every prisoner was provided with clothing , footwear and underwear from Reich stocks. The prisoners' own clothing which they had with them when brought in was kept in specially prepared barracks in clothing sacks after being disinfected.
There was a change of linen every week, clothing and footwear was changed whenever required.
In winter coats gloves and woollen pullovers were distributed in addition.
Distinguished and special prisoners wore their own clothing. Repairs were done in the camp work-shops.
D. Allocation of labor
1. Until the middle of 1942 the prisoners were used chiefly in the construction of camps, in the camp work-shops, in tailoring, shoe-making in the laundry etc., in kitchens, gardening, storage rooms, offices etc.
2. After the establishment of labor-camps with the industrial firms, from about the middle of 1942, the skilled workers were allocated chiefly to the most urgent war tasks; the armaments industry. The shortage of skilled workers caused the training of unskilled workers which went so far that such workers could even pass examinations. It is significant that not only Germans, but to an outstanding extent foreign prisoners made suggestions for labor improvements which were almost always of use and were rewarded with cash bonuses of 10 RM and upwards.
3. All the prisoners engaged in plants etc. worked willingly and industriously without
having to be driven at all. This was always confirmed without exception by the plant managers, the civilian bosses and foremen.
Acts of sabotage, which were discussed and feared, scarcely ever took place.
Working prisoners, both in the camps and private plants received in accordance with their allocation and work output, from, perhaps, the spring of 1943 on bonuses to the amount of 50 Pfennigs to 3 Reichsmarks especially well qualified workers up to 20 RM a week. The bonuses were not paid out in cash, but in so-called bonus certificates. With these bonus certificates the prisoners could either make purchases in the prisoners' canteen or have the equivalent put to their prisoners' cash accounts.
5. Over and above this the prisoners in most cases received additional food free of cost from the plant-kitchens at the expense of the firms.
E. Camp hygiene and health matters.
1. Every prisoner's of war camp and every labor camp had model hygienic installations, such as prisoners' sickquarters delousing institution and baths.
2. The sick quarters were provided with the most up to date equipment. In addition to the dispensary, the prisoner of war camps contained operating theatres, an X-ray department, a dental surgery with a dental laboratory, a dispensary, sol and mineral baths and massage rooms. The sick-rooms were bright and airy.
The sick-beds were provided with complete sets of bed-linen until the collapse.
3. The medical services was provided by prisoner doctors and nursing staff under the supervision of SS doctors.
4. The dispensaries were plentifully supplied with remedies.
5. Every prisoner on his arrival at a concentration camp was deloused and was then held in the quarantine department for a fortnight to four weeks before being transferred to the general camp. This served to prevent epidemics and infections diseases from being brought in.
6. Every prisoner had to have a warm shower-bath at least once a week.
7. It must not be left unmentioned that from about the middle of 1943 the body linen was impregnated with "Lausseto", so that there could be no question at all of lousiness in the camps.
F. Welfare arrangements and spare time recreation.
1. Among welfare installations in the concentration camps there were:
A.: Prisoners' canteen in which additional food, right up to the collapse in 1945, drinks, beer, coffee, lemonade, tobacco goods, toilet articles and other small necessaries of lief could be procured. For this purpose every prisoner could spend up to 15 RM a week provided that he had at his disposal an equivalent cash amount or bonus certificates.
B.: Legal advice.
For advice in legal matters with civil courts and for other legal business appropriate legal advisers from their own ranks were at the disposal of the prisoners.
C. Red Cross Parcels
The prisoners from the Northern and Western countries received Red Cross parcels continually in such large numbers that they voluntarily passed on some of the contents of these parcels to others, especially to such prisoners as could not receive any parcels at all.
A.: For sporting activities there were a horse and parallel bars, bowls, hand and footballs.
B. A large camp library provided the prisoners with entertaining, instructive and even specialised literature.
C.: The prisoners were allowed to take in all the German newspapers and magazines.
D.: A wireless loud-speaker installation brought wireless broadcasts of all kinds.
E.: Most of the prisoner of war camps and even many of the labor camps possessed their own bands.
F.: In the base camps and in the larger labor camps the prisoners could produce plays and variety shows
G.: In several base camps there were also cinema shows.
G. Receipt of letters and parcels
1. Postal communications
The prisoners were allowed to write and receive one letter a fortnight each.
2. Receipt of parcels
Until October 1942 the receipt of parcels was restricted to exceptional cases but from October 1942 at Himmler's order the unrestricted receipt of parcels was allowed. The prisoners could thus from this time on have as many parcels sent tot hem as they wished. In the larger base camps the number of parcels that arrived daily often ran into thousands.
H. Alleviations of imprisonment
In cases where there was a special reason, in particular in the case of domestic emergency, of a death in the family etc. leave for 1 day to 3 months was granted by the Main Office for the Security of the Reich. It even happend that one and the same prisoner had rather often leave in the course of the years.
2. Permission to receive visitors
Visits from relations were permitted by the Main Office for the Security of the Reich or by the Office Group D SS Economic and Administrative Main Office in cases where the matter in question could not be settled in writing. Only front-line fighters who wished to visit relatives domiciled in a concentration camp before the end of their leave, or who were leaving their replacement unit for a unit at the front could receive a visiting permit from the camp commandant. The minimum time usually allowed for the visit was an hour.
3. As further alleviations of imprisonment prisoners who worked especially well or behaved especially well were allowed on the application of the camp commandant to make privileged purchases at the canteen, employment in a suitable allocation of labor and increased correspondence by post with his people.
I. Camp Punishments
In virtue of the camp regulations for the concentration camps, valid since 1940, and issued by Himmler, the following punishments of misdemeanours were laid down for prisoners:
B.: Reprimand with the threat of punishment
C.: Deprivation of food up to 3 days (deprivation of one meal a day). This punishment was rarely made use of, because the man so punished would be provided with food by his comrades just the same.
D.: Simple arrest, up to 14 days as far as I know.
E.: Close confinement: confinement in the dark up to 42 days, these punishments could be inflicted by the camp commandant. Such punishments took place comparatively rarely.
F.: Corporal punishment: 5 to 25 blows with a stick on the buttocks. This punishment had in every case to be proposed to the Inspector of concentration camps, later to the Office Group Chief D of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office and be sanction by him. The carrying-out of the corporal punishment had to be supervised by the camp commandant or his deputy, usually the director of the camp for persons in protective custody, and by an SS doctor and certified with their signature on the leaflet of punishment inflicted. Until August 1942 the blows with the stick were administered by members of the local headquarters: Blockfuehrer from the end of August 1942 by prisoners. A beating was only ordered in the concentration camp of Sachsenhausen for serious thefts of property.
Before 1939 executions were only known in the case of the murder of SS Rottenfuehrer Kalweit in Buchenwald by 2 prisoners. Here there was a question of the execution of two death sentences passed by the general judicial authorities, which, by reason of a special agreement between the Reich Minister of Justice and Himmler was, for purpose of intimidation carried out in the presence of all the prisoners in the camp. After 1939 death sentences passed by the general courts may also, occasionally have been carried out in the concentration camps.
In particular this is the explanation for the case in the concentration camp of Flossenburg that has been brought up. See affidavit of the witness Voelkner Karl P. 3, Section 2 of 22 June 1946. Furthermore executions were certainly carried out during the course of the war in all concentration camps on the orders of the chief of the Security Police signed by his deputy Mueller. Here it is a question above all of prisoners who have tried to escape, who became guilty of very serious criminal offences during their escape. The executions were carried out according to the order either by shooting or hanging. for deterring purposes, in some cases all prisoners had to attend the executions. The reason for the execution was always read aloud prior to the execution.
Every member of the guard unit and of the local headquarters staff had to sing a declaration on entering the service and at regular periods of about 4 weeks that he had received instructions on the following points:
A.: Intercourse with prisoners in general, no conversation no presents to be given or accepted etc.
B.: Just and correct treatment of the prisoners.
C.: Strictest prohibition against beating, even against touching the prisoners
E.: Driving to work prohibited [presumably of prisoners]
These were standing orders.
Moreover, from about the middle of 1942, another declaration had to be singed which stated that only the Fuehrer decided concerning the life or death of a prisoner and that the death penalty alone would come into the question, should this command be violated. These declaration were countersigned by the instructing SS Fuehrer and added to the personal files. The observance of these rules of conduct was strictly supervised. In the case of infringements there was immediate intervention and the guilty man was called to account. According to the gravity of the offence he was either officially reprimanded or a summary of evidence sent to the competent SS and police courts. I know of quite a number of disciplinary and criminal punishments of this kind. The prisoners knew that if they were mal-treated they had the right to report it.
M Inspections and conducted tours of the concentration camp.
Until the beginning of the war in 1939 inspections of all the concentration camps took place repeatedly by the most varied groups of Germany and foreigners. They often came as a complete surprise for the camp commandant, as he was only informed of Himmler's consent at the last minute.
In the case of these visits it was a question of high officials of the Reich and of the Laender, high leaders of the Party, representatives of the press and distinguished foreign personalities. Even after the outbreak of the war in 1939 until 1944 inspections and conducted tours still took place by representatives of the Reich and Laender governments and distinguished representatives of friendly or national states.
The management of the conducted tour devolved on either the inspector of the concentration camp or on the camp commandant.
In principle the visitors could inspect all parts and buildings in the camp, hold conversations with the prisoners and sample the prisoner's food.
Details of the Concentration Camp at Sachsenhausen.
On 22 August 1942 I was appointed by Himmler camp commandant of the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen on application of the former SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, although I was not in agreement with this appointment as I wished to rejoin the front troops.
It was explained to me that in future only leaders in the administrative service with appropriate military qualifications would be appointed as commandants of the concentration camps, so that a uniform, proper and just treatment would be guaranteed in the concentration camps. I wish to insert that I had been active with the Waffen SS from as far back as 1 April 1936 in different places as a supply officer.
When I took over the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen a large number of the local headquarters staff were active a long time and who had become autocratic in consequence of the lack of supervision on the part of the former camp commandant, Loritz.
These men then allowed the block leaders and the prisoner's foremen to do what they liked in the camp. In this way it was quite possible that mal-treatments, beatings, and perhaps even killings took place among the prisoners, without any adequate measures being taken on the part of the camp commandant of that time. When I entered upon my duties I ordered the removal of the block leaders who appeared to me to be unsuitable and of other ranks in the prisoners' camp and replaced them by older, mature members, partly old soldiers of the first World War, from the SS Death's head (Totenkopf) Waschsturmbann Sachsenhausen. These men were thoroughly initiated into the tasks to which they were to give their attention, and instructed to perform this duty correctly and justly. Both in oral and written orders was always made clear that the slightest violation of the orders issued concerning intercourse with and the treatment of prisoners would being [sic] with it most severe punishment. The members of the local headquarters staff and of the SS-T-Wachtbann of Sachsenhausen had to endorse in a monthly signed statement that they were instructed in detail. The declarations concerning instructions received were attached to the personal files.
In the year 1943 I issued "ten commandments for the block leader" and a "game of questions and answers" for the instruction of the guards at the concentration camp of Sachsenhausen, in which their sphere of duty was minutely limited. Both leaflets were then, in the year 1944, put into force for all concentration camps by the Office Group D of the Economic and Administrative Main Office. Moreover it was made clear to the prisoners that they had the right to complain of unjust treatment to the camp commandant. During my activity as camp commandant no such complaint was brought to me although I constantly made my control rounds in the protective custody camp unaccompanied and every prisoner could address me immediately. It is true that the prisoners often applied to me full of confidence with then wishes and would certainly have brought to me serious troubles and complaints if they had had any. That the prisoners really had confidence in me is proved by the following incident. At the beginning of February 1945 about 2000 German prisoners and about 18 000 Poles asked me to be employed for the good of the Reich, and wished for a task at the front under my personal command.
The prisoners block leaders were picked out according to their suitability of character and changed every three months in order to counteract most vigorously encroachments of this circle of persons. Through frequent controls of all the camp arrangements I assured myself of the execution and observance of the orders I issued. The prisoners foremen for work-shops and plants were also appointed above all from the standpoint of suitability of character alongside technical qualifications. In the case of encroachments upon their fellow-prisoners such foremen were immediately removed and put into another plant as auxiliary workers and if occasion arose, disciplinary action was taken. Civilian foremen, who treated prisoners badly, were, if this were reported, reprimanded by the competent state police office or punished with a fine, in special cases they were themselves put into the concentration camp as prisoners under protective custody for varying periods.
The juvenile prisoners (Russians and Ukrainians) aged 14 to 18 I caused to be housed together in so-called youth blocks. The block seniors for them were chosen according to quite specially strict standards with respect to their suitability of character and morals. They were also required to be masters of the Russian language, since they had to teach the juveniles German; the juveniles themselves could of their own free choice learn a profession in the SS or in the private plants, in which prisoners were employed. They received additional food and were always in a well-nourished condition. They were all content with their lot. From the surplus in the prisoners' canteen I allowed from time to time at Christmas, Easter and Whitsun 1 litre of beer and 5 to 10 cigarettes to be distributed to each prisoner free of charge. I made the canteen prices which were revised from time to time by the state control offices, so low that only small surpluses were obtained. For instance a litre of beer - the wholesale price of which was 48 Reich pfennig and the official consumer price 70 pfennig. I allowed to be sold in the prisoners' canteen for 50 pfennig. I thus knowingly avoided aiming at the more profits from the prisoners than were necessary for turnover and trade tax.
At the instigation of the camp physician I ordered that four barracks for the accommodation of prisoners be added to the prison sick bay, thus providing comfortable and healthy accommodation for the sick. In addition a new barrack was erected for the prisoner physicians and the prisoner staff, thus providing this staff with good accommodation within easy reach.
The grounds of the prison hospital had garden plots, flower beds and lawns. The horticultural products (vegetables) were given to the sick in addition to their basic rations.
The prison hospital employed prisoners, who were medical students and who were thus given the opportunity to further their studies so that, after their release from the concentration camp they were able to take up their studies where they had been interrupted and to pass the necessary scientific examinations.
The fact that I frequent received food parcels and letters of thanks from grateful relatives of prisoners as well as from released prisoners - even Germans, French and Poles - might serve as proof that everything possible was done for the well being of the prisoners at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. I had the contents of the parcels distributed against receipt among sick prisoners who never received any parcels themselves. I acknowledged the receipt of the parcels to the senders, informed them that I had distributed the contents and enclosed the receipt. A further proof that the prisoners were well treated and that they by no means considered themselves as suppressed and treated in an inhuman manner, might be found in the fact that during the many air attacks on Berlin and surroundings the prisoners always behaved perfectly and started rescue and salvage work without orders from the SS even before the attack was over. They worked in an outstanding manner and side by side with SS men and civilians. Whenever they had left the camp or their place of work in the general confusion, they voluntarily returned to the camp within the next few hours; often prisoners and SS members greeted each other in the most cordial manner. I do not know of a single case of escape during air attacks.
In several cases prisoners who had behaved outstandingly during rescue work were released due to my efforts on their behalf. Among others the former prisoners THEIRHOFF, WILLI, now residing in Dredsberg, Kreis Meschede, and WULLE, first name and address unknown - can most probably be learned from THIERHOFF - were released at my instigation in 1943.
In August 1944 former Communists and Social Democrats were brought to the concentration camps by virtue of the so-called "fence action" ("Gitter-Aktion") of the Reich Security Main Office. Since the majority of those men brought to Sachsenhausen had not been politically active since 1933, I approached SS-Gruppenfuehrer MUELLER, office chief IV of the Reich Security Main Office and succeeded in obtaining the release of most of these prisoners.
In the last phase of the war, at the beginning of February 1945, I also verbally suggested to MUELLER that the German prisoners should be enlisted in the Wehrmacht, while the foreign prisoners should be assigned to the labor service. This unfortunately was refused.
On 4 April 1945 I suggested to HIMMLER in Rheinsberg that at the enemy's approach the Sachsenhausen concentration camp should be handed over to the International Red Cross. This suggestion was also turned down.
On 18 April 1945 I received the verbal order from the Chief of the Office Group D (Economic Administrative Main Office) Gluecks to requisition the ships, lying in the West Harbor of Berlin, to take them to the Lohnits Lake via the Hohenzollern Canal and to ship the Sachsenhausen prisoners through the canals to the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. I refused to carry out this order and suggest once more that the camp should be handed over to the International Red Cross, Gluecke was furious about my refusal and threatened to report me to HIMMLER. I did not carry out the requisition of the ships, thus this mad scheme was not carried out. In conclusion I wish to state that three members of the staff of the headquarters Sachsenhausen were shot in Sachsenhausen on 22 December 1944 in the presence of the assembled troop, after having been sentenced by an SS and Police Court for the theft of prisoner's property and Reich property.
Treatment of various question pertaining to concentration camps.
1. The circular of the SS Army Economic and Administrative Main Office, dated 30 April 1942, addressed to all camp commanders probably referred to the rule that working hours, are not limited and according which all circumstances which might shorten working hours are therefore to be limited to an absolute minimum. This rule was carried out in such a way as to eliminate the marches from and to the places of work situated outside the camp, which until then had taken up a great deal of time. For this purpose the midday meal was brought to the place of work by truck or by horse cart and was then distributed to the prisoners. Moreover the noon and evening roll-call was also discontinued. Working hours in private or SS installations were never longer than those of the ordinary workers or SS members employed there, since the prisoners had to work with them. On the contrary, the prisoners were at an advantage insofar, as they were mostly accommodated near the place of work, thus they did not have to walk to and from work which sometimes took hours, as had the civilian workers. For instance, employees of the Heinkelwerke Oranienburg, who lived in Berlin had to reckon at least 3- sometimes even 6 hours for their daily travel to and from work, whereas the prisoners were billeted only a few hundred yards from their place of work.
2. To my knowledge the 3 to 5 per cent of the work products in question are merely a preferential delivery of the Waffen SS with weapons and armaments.
3. The SS Death Head Formations were only trained in a general infantry service, without combat training. Until the outbreak of war members of the SS Death Head Formations, unless they had already done so, had to server their compulsory military term with the Wehrmacht.
4. I never heard that the concentration camp inmates were labelled the "scum of the earth" or "slaves" and that the SS was trained to commit outrages against the prisoners. They were always merely spoken of as "enemies of the state" or professional criminals, who should be educated in the concentration camps to become "useful members of the community". Moreover, the members of headquarters and the guards were regularly instructed to treat the prisoners in a correct and just manner.
5. It is however correct that orders were given that even bedridden prisoners had to be forced to work. However, just as people who were ill, but not bedridden, were not made to work, so have I never come across a case where a bedridden person was given work; nor have I ever heard of cases where asocial people were worked to death. I, at least, considered this kind of order an exaggeration which could not have been meant seriously.
6. I personally have never learned anything about biological experiments. If such were carried out, they were probably treated as a secret Reich matter or a military top secret, if only for the reason not to reveal the scientific results.
7. I do not know whether the camp rules Eickes for Dachau existed in accordance with Eickes order of 1 October 1933. I never heard of it. During my activities as camp commander of the Sachsenhausen camp, from August 1942 until the time of the collapse, all concentration camps were bound by the directives issued by Himmler in 1940.
8. The testimony of the witness Blaha, according to which numerous prisoners in Dachau were beaten to death or shot during work must be considered refuted by the evidence of the witness Tunger.
9. The correctness of the accusation that prisoners in Mauthausen were pushed against the barbed wire fence by SS members and then shot dead by the guards according to their instructions is somewhat doubtful for the mere reason that the SS member or members who pushed the prisoner or the prisoners against the barbed wire fence would himself run the risk of being shot at.
I consider this accusation improbable, I have never heard of such cases.
10. In my opinion there were rumors afoot among the population near the concentration camps which in most cases did in no way correspond to the actual facts and which therefore probably were not taken seriously by most people. It is also possible that rumors sprang up as a result of the smoke of the crematory. The crematory of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp for instance was situated only 200 yards away from the rag and salvage utilization installation of the SS, where shreds of leather and material were burnt in the central heating plant. The chimney of this headting plant was not more than approx. 5 meters high, therefore, when the weather was bad or when there was a north easterly wind the smoke drifted in dense clouds over the concentration camp as far as the northern part of the city of Oranienburg. As a result the rumor probably sprang up among the population that this was smoke from the crematory.
Since I myself disliked this smoke from the rag and salvage utilization and since a chemist who lived near the camp made representations to me on the subject i had this chimney built a few meters higher by the SS building office. However, this remedy was not completely successful.
11. Since the prisoners were guarded when they had visitors, it was impossible for them to tell their visitors about happenings in the camp. At his release the prisoner had to sign a statement that he would not disclose anything about camp life. The population as a whole could not have been informed about transports of prisoners, since they could not possibly have had any insight into the complicated transport during the war.
12. The Reich Main Security Office granted leave to the prisoners of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp if the family of a prisoner were in a state of economic distress or when there was a death in the family. Leave was by no means a reward for good behaviour, long internment in a concentration camp or a reward for a prisoner holding important positions in the camp. Moreover it is most unlikely that just such prisoners, who had knowledge of biological experiments, were granted leave.
Issuing of orders by the office group D of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office
The office group D "Inspectorate for Matters Pertaining to Concentration Camps" had the following tasks:
Office I = Collaboration with offices IV and V of the Reich Security Main Office,with regard to new prisoners, transfer of prisoners to other concentration camps, release of prisoners in special camps, forwarding of orders for execution, issued by the Reich Security Main Office.
Office II: Organization of the labor commitment of the prisoners, negotiations with the Reich offices and firms in question.
Office III: Execution of all medical and hygienic measures in the concentration camps.
Office IV: Administrative matters, pertaining to concentration camps, finance, accommodation, clothing, food.
(signed) Anton KAINDL
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 16 day of July 1946
(signed) W. LAWRENSE
I, E.A.SCHADER, being thoroughly conversant with both the English and German languages certify that I have acted as interpreter for the swearing of the affidavit
(Signed) A.E SCHRADER Jr. Lt.Comdr.U.S.N.R.
Certified as correct and complete copy:
Nuernberg, 17 June 1947
Attorney at Law