After seeing all the documents again and having memory refreshed, I know that Jews were exempted in the same way. I must add something that I also forgot in the interrogation. Labor victims persons injured in Industrials accidents from which insanity resulted were also-exempted.
Q We will go into this in detail to make it perfectly clear.
THE PRESIDENT: Before pursuing this matter in detail, the Tribunal will be in recess (A recess was taken)-.
THE MARSHAL: All persons in the courtroom will please find their seats. The Tribunal is again in session.
THE PRESIDENT: The counsel may proceeds.
BY DR. FROESCHMANN:
Q. Witness, before the recess I asked you whether foreigners were exempted from euthanasia.
Q. From whom did you learn that?
A. I learned that from Bouhler, and he said that was done upon the express order of Hitler. Only Reich Germans could be subjected to euthanasia.
Q. When did you learn that?
A. I learned that during one of the first conferences where Bouhler already communicated that fact to me and to all the other participants in the conference. He later repeatedly pointed to it and demanded that everyone who was in any way concerned with the dealing of this matter, especially the department of the questionnaires, would have to be thoroughly informed about that fact.
Q. Mr. Brack, will you take that upon your oath; will you take it upon your oath that Bouhler gave you this directive and all the other participants?
A. Yes, I want to do that, and every participant will be able to confirm it.
Q. Witness, it seems somewhat peculiar to me. I may assume that Bouhler was not interested in having a questionnaire filled out about every mental patient in Germany, if a special category of patients, would not be concerned with euthanasia, is that right?
A. That is correct. It does appear that way for the outsider. It seems that it was superfluous for the department which has to fill out the questionnaires as well as for T-4.
Q. Witness, I now want to put to you Document No, 825, which is in German Document Book 14, volume 2, page 134; English Document Book 14, page 216.
I will now ask you to look at that document. There you will see a copy of the questionnaire as it was sent to all the mental institutions. On page 217 you will find a note which is to be observed when filling out the questionnaires. Such a leaflet was sent to the institutions in order to instruct them as to how this questionnaire was to be filled out, is that right?
Q. This instruction note states exactly the category of patients on which Questionnaires had to be filled out, is that right?
Q. Now, I shall read the first sentence to you: "All patients are to be enumerated," and then follows paragraph 1, 2, and 3, which we shall skip for the moment, and then it says in paragraph 4, "Who are not of German nationality or of German blood, indicating the race and nationality." I now ask you, would you not have to change your testimony to the effect that foreigners are to be excepted from euthanasia in view of the fact that paragraph 4 says very specifically that questionnaires have to be filled out by all patients of non-German nationality?
A. No, I cannot change my testimony.
Q. I do understand that you will now insist that you were following your directive which said that all foreigners have to be excepted, but I have to find out why, as the prosecutor will have to find out why, Questionnaires were at all introduced about non-Germans and secondly why Questionnaires were filled out on all non-Germans, whether they specifically fell under figures 1, 2, and 3 of the instruction leaflet or not.
A. Karl Brandt, and I may say as a result of a lack of personal knowledge, had tried to answer this Question giving statistical reasons He said that the Reich Ministry of Interior was interested about the extent to which the institutions were used. But, Karl Brandt, on the other hand, only very seldom participated in this concern. He, there fore, could not know why there was an obligation to fill out this questionnaire for foreigners.
A. I personally was in a position to observe the development of these questionnaires and I was present when Linden and Bohne presented them to Bouhler for approval. These questionnaires were sent to all German mental institutions through the Reich Ministry of the Interior. They were partly sent there directly, partly through the subordinate county administrations. As I saw from the document, the decisive date was the 1st of September 1939. As I said before, Himmler ordered strict secrecy to be kept. In this covering letter to the mental institution it had to be prevented that the purpose of this enumeration of the mental patients be recognised for that reason the sentence was introduced in the introductory part of that letter, which reads, "With regard to the necessity of coordinating the mental institutions through planned economy --" etc.
DR. FROESCHMANN: Mr. President, in that connection I should like to draw attention of the Tribunal to three documents which were presented by the prosecution. As I already mentioned - this is Document NO-625, and then there is one, 1696-PS, Exhibit 357, which is to be found in the English document Book, Volume 14, page 209; in the German Document Book, Part II, page 126... And I should also like to draw your attention to the Document NO-1133; Exhibit 335; which is to be found in the English Document Book 14, page 66. These are the covering letters of which the witness is now speaking.
BY DR. FROESCHMANN:
Q. Would you please continue?
A. Even if this sentence was intended as a camouflage sentence towards these institutions, such a systemized registration naturally prevailed; however, this registration had no connection at all with Euthanasia. I shall revert to that question later, when discussing the other questionnaires. At any rate, the heads of these mental institutions which had to deal with the filling out of these questionnaires, were told by this covering latter that this is a matter for registering all the severely mentally ill patients. If the foreigners would have been excepted according to the covering letter, many heads of the mental, institutions, and many of the clerical personnel, would have asked themselves about the reason for such an exception.
No practical reason could have been found which would justify foreigners being excepted. That, of course, would have opened a door to many a wild rumor. For that reason one took the reverse path in order to also register these foreign mantal patients. The question regarding nationality and race was contained in every questionnaire in Germany at that time, and could not create any undue attention. For that reason it could not create any attention if, in addition to the categories which are contained therein, -- criminals and patients of certain kind -- would also include nationality and race. In that way one achieved camouflage of the exception directives, and one also avoided questions being put by outsiders just why foreigners are to be excepted,
Q. Witness, if I understand you correctly - it was necessary for foreigners to fill out these questionnaires because, on the one hand, one wanted to keep the true reason from the head of the mental institute; and, on the other hand, one wan ted to give assurance to the Berlin head office in order to safeguard these foreigners by registering them?
A. Yes, these questionnaires, after having been filled out, went back via the Ministry of the Interior to the T-4; -and from there were sent to the exports. In the T-4, when dealing with these questionnaires there was the best possibility of sorting out the foreigners, and I personally convinced myself, and know, that in all cases where foreigners were reported this passage in the questionnaire was underlined with red pencil. It was sorted out and filed in a different cabinet. It wasn't even included in the photostatting procedure. Through the above procedure there was even more certainty of excepting every foreigner. The same procedure was adopted with reference to those who were injured during the world war. There, of course, wo had not that much certainty because they, of course, were excepted, but, on the other hand, were included in the expert procedure. In the case of a control made by Hitler, which Brandt has already described, it has actually been ascertained that in the three or four cases where the mental illness could have been in some connection with an injury as a result of the war, were actually subjected to Euthanasia because these questionnaires were not sorted out beforehand without any expert opinion being given.
Q. Witness, it is my impression that for reasons of security this procedure was handled in a somewhat difficult way, although it could have been done much simpler.
A. No, that is not quite true. If this procedure could have been handled simpler it could not have given us much assurance. It had to be done with an absolute amount of certainty.
Q. Witness, your testimony, according to which the questionnaires about foreigners were not photostatted in t he T-4 and were not sent to the expert, would you not have to change that testimony when reminding you of what Mennecke has said? Did not Mennecke say that he personally, as an expert, had filled out a number of questionnaires about nonGermans?
A. That is true... I remember Mennecke's testimony, but I can only emphasize again that the matter in which Mennecke participated i's in no way connected with Euthanasia - and, really, it does not deserve the name of Euthanasia. I must emphasize again and again that Euthanasia, after August 1941, was stopped by order of Hitler. The assertion of Mennecke - and I already spoke about it yesterday where he said that he had received Himmler's orders in the year 1940 must be incorrect. It can only concern the order of 1941. However, up to the stoppage in the year 1941 I can quite sure that no questionnaires which were handled by T-4 were photostatted and expertised.
Q. In the year 1939, what persons did you include among foreigners?
A. Among foreigners all were included who were of non-German nationality, whether they belonged to England, France, Italy, or any other country. Of course, members of such territories which were considered to have been incorportaed into the German Reich at that time -- Sudetenland, Austria -- of course, were not included.
For instance members of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia were considered to be foreigners; and in no case was any Czech subjected to Euthanasia.
Q How about the Warthegau and East Prussia?
A On the basis of a State agreement they were incorporated into the German Reich in 1939 and that is why it is quite clear that they fell within the euthanasia. I cannot say, however, whether any euthanasia were carried out within these gaus. That was something for Linden to do in the Ministry of Interior.
Q In the questionnaires, as well as in the instruction leaflet, there is a question about the race of the individual. As it can be seen from the footnote some of these people also were excepted.
A I have already stated earlier that as far as I remember Jews were also excepted. This was for the reason that Hitler had said that euthanasia can only be given to German citizens because it constitutes an act of grace.
Q And for the very same reasons wore Jews required to fill out these questionnaires as you already elucidated in the case of foreigners?
A The treatment of the questions was carried through in the same way in the case of Jews as was in the case of foreigners. I cannot imagine that Jews shouldn't have been excepted in the same way.
Q A little earlier you said that participants in the first World War were to be excepted from euthanasia whenever their mental illness stood in some connection with an injury which they had received from the World War. Now, considering your testimony I should like to point to Document NC-837, Exhibit 364, which is in the English Document Book 14), page 236. There you will find a list which was carefully compiled by the Prosecution - a list of 22 death notices taken from some Saxonian newspaper. In this list you will find a remark in Paragraph 3, that they are veterans of World War 1914-1917. On 4 you find he was bearer of the cross of honor for war veterans and you will find something similar in figure 3. These are participants in the World War who died at Linz and who were designated as veterans. How can you bring this fact in connection with the statement you just made?
A That is quite true what you say there, doctor. Let me say first of all that there is absolute inconsistency in the fact that Euthanasia a.s an act of grace could only be given to Germans and in the fact that war veterans were excepted from it. Thus- the presentation of this as an act of grace seems to lose its foundation. But, for purely psychological reasons in view of the fact that a war was then going on Bouhler, after many discussions with many doctors and other persons, decided that in order to avoid any unrest among the population the participants in the first World War were to be excepted under very special conditions which I shall elucidate in a moment. This was done to avoid anyone having the suspicion that persons wounded in the present war, let us say, with brain injury could be in danger of having their lives taken under Euthanasia. However, this exclusion of first World War veterans did not exclude veterans altogether. Excluded were only veterans in whom a war wound was the cause of mental illness. Thus a man who was paralyzed, let us say, or had received a severe leg wound, was not excepted from the euthanasia because this paralysis had nothing to do with the brain injury. That is the same for persons who sustained industrial accidents. I have said that before.
Q But you haven't answered my question yet. How was it these four or five war veterans were among those who received euthanasia.
A Here it says world war veterans but there is no indication there was any mental sickness in these people that had anything to do with war injuries.
Q Now I understand what you mean. We already dealt with the exceptions. Now, of those who actually did receive euthanasia you have already said that on instructions by Bouhler euthanasia within the framework of your activity could be applied only to incurably mentally ill persons, is that true?
A Yes, that is correct.
Q The Prosecution when examining Karl Brandt asked a number of questions of him in that connection and I should like to direct the same questions to you.
The Fuehrer decree says nothing to the effect that these sick persons would die natural deaths in the course of events. Is that true?
A No, there is nothing to that effect in the decree.
Q Is it correct that a person 15 years old can be incurably ill and yet live to a ripe old age as far as you learned that from physicians.
A That is possible, yes.
Q Should euthanasia only be used with such persons as will die a natural death shortly, namely within two years, let us say?
A No, it was not so limited.
Q Now, I again put to you Document NO-825 according to which the duty of reporting is mentioned. Now, aside from point 4 all patients are to report regarding the nature of their sickness, the state of their disease if they fit the qualifications of points 1 - 3. Is that so?
Q Was it not also stated that persons capable of working were not to be subjected to euthanasia.
A No, there was nothing to that effect.
Q But in the questionnaire you had to say whether you were capable of work or not?
A Yes, that is so but there were certain reasons for that and certain limitations.
Q What were the limitations?
A The institutions had interests in their patients as those being used in agricultural work. They would not wish these patients to be removed from this work, after they had become used to it. And the moment when a patient can work he is still in contact with his environment. Consequently in any such case there should not have been a positive expert opinion but a negative one. Consequently it was redundant to expertize questionnaires where a person reported he was capable for work.
That stands verbatim in that formulation, namely special persons who are not actually working in agriculture or industry.
Q Witness, did this limitation apply also to the persons named under 2 and 3.
A No, it would not.
Q How do you come to that conclusion?
A On this page of instructions the word "or" appears between the list of various categories. That means that these people are to report with no regard to it that they are actually working or not unless they are suffering from one of the sicknesses listed under point 1.
Q Now let us take an example. Does a person have to report who has been in an institution for 5 years even if he is not suffering schizorphrenia or any of the other diseases listed under point 1?
A Yes, he has to report.
Q Would a criminal have to report who had not been in an institution for 5 years?
AAccording to point 3 he had to report.
Q Now, as a last example, how about epileptics who had been in an institution for only one year, even if he did semi-skilled work, let us say he worked in the office?
A No, then in accordance with the limitations that I just mentioned he would not have to report because he was capable of working.
Q Then ability to work was of some importance in these questionnaires, wasn't it?
A It was of importance so far as the question whether you had to fill out the questionnaire, but according to #1 patients didn't have to report if they were doing work in the institution, unless that work was of a very primitive nature. They couldn't be taken away because that would destroy the economic machine in the institution.
Q Now, witness, you have heard what Pfannmueller said in this connection. Was Pfannmueller's opinion and testimony correct and does it correspond with what was in the questionnaire regarding ability to work and what you and other authorities intend to achieve by putting that question in?
A I must say that I myself had no intention in this matter because I didn't know anything about it, but in the expert conference in which I participated I never heard anything but what Pfannmueller said here; namely, that the ability to work was a very essential part of the possibility of expertizing any case and in deciding what should happen to any particular patient. From Karl Brandt's testimony I found out that the prosecution doesn't agree with this. I can, however, pass no judgment on this, but what I have heard from the psychiatrists and they were very good, the ability to work was one of the most essential considerations in the final judgment of the patient.
Q Now, witness, I have only a few concluding questions about these questionnaires. I am sorry to trouble the Tribunal, but I have to go into this at some length because of the weight that was laid on this by the prosecution in Karl Brandt's testimony. In Document No. 825, which you have been treating now for some time, it says at the conclusion that all patients were to report who had been in institutions for more than one month. Do you have that paragraph?
Q Now, does that not mean clearly that questionnaires had to be filled out and sent in regarding patients who had been in institutions for more than one year?
A No. You could only think that if you skipped the most important word; namely, after the patient had been reported as mentally ill. First of all, after the arrival of the patient, you have to take a look at the case history, to see whether the patient is affected by numbers 1 to 4 in the questionnaire. In other words, length of illness, length of time in other institutions, etc.
Now, if these points applied, then, of course, a patient had to report even if he had only been in the institution for one month, but that stay in that institution for only one month could have been preceded by years and years of stay in other institutions. The question is, is it a new case that had just come from some psychiatric clinic. Then, usually, the considerations in points 1 to 4 are not material and, in those cases, were not important.
Q It is your opinion, then, witness, that only those patients have to be reported who fill these prerequisites in points 1 to 4. Now I point out to you Prosecution Document PS-3871, Exhibit 359, in English Document Book 14, page 223. The prosecution drew the conclusion from this document that all patients, with no regard to the form or duration of their sickness, were to be included in this. What do you have to say to that?
A That is correct, but I should like to point out that this directive of the Ministry of the Interior is dated the 10 November 1942, at a time after the euthanasia program had long been stopped. Also, please look at #3 and I quote:
"For special reasons, I now lay weight on having all inmates of institutions included." That means that the Minister of the Interior had, before the 10th of November, 1942, laid no importance on having everybody included. From that time on, he did lay importance on this. Of my own knowledge, I can not say anything about this because I was at the front at that time and had been for quite a while, but I believe this has some connection with the dangers arising from the air war, and Linden was trying to get hospital space for the civilian population.
Q Witness, it is important to me to ask you in this connection whether you considered the medical requirements in the questionnaires as sufficient, but I can not ask you that question because you are not a doctor, but, in the course of this case, there has been discussion of the necessity of personal observation of patients by specialist doctors.
Can you say, as a purely factual statement, from the negotiations that you carried on - can you say whether you ever took part in such directions or observations?
A I can not judge this, but I can say that many such suggestions were made. The first of these suggestions had as its consequence that from 1940 on the observation institutions were set up in which specially commissioned doctors had an opportunity to observe the patient personally. The next suggestion of this sort - of course, I can't tell you what doctor made this suggestion now - the next suggestion led to the fact that the questionnaire in many institutions, and particularly in institutions which were not led by certified doctors, had expert commissions right on the spot and it was under the direction of these expert commissions that the questionnaires were filled out at these institutions, also using the case history of the espective patient. So far as I can judge this as a layman it seems to me that personal observation of a patient gives the most reliable impression of his condition. Much better than a written case history would. That is the reason why I asked that the Tribunal visit a mental institution and I regret that this application was not entertained.
Q Now, a concluding question about these questionnaires. Do you have any remark to make regarding this subject?
A I have nothing more to say about the questionnaires themselves, but I should like to say here that the number of patients subjected to euthanasia was, as compared with the number of questionnaires, something that demands attention.
The export commission that Bouhler had to advise him estimated that there were roughly thirty per cent of m, all mental patients in institutions who were incurable. It can be proved from the documents at hand that there were 184,000 questionnaires that went through the expertizing process. There were that many at least. There must have been as many as 200,000 or 250,000 before euthanasia was stopped, in my opinion. This number, 184,000 is as of May. To the best of my knowledge, about 50,000 or 60,000 of incurably ill persons, as a maximum, were actually subjected to euthanasia. From this it can be seen that not even a third or a fourth of those who were reported as persons who should receive euthanasia, actually did receive it, to say nothing of that high percentage of thirty per cent considered incurable of all mental patients. This proves to me that the questionnaire procedure was absolutely certain and was very conservative in the evaluations by the experts because, as I said, only an eighth or ninth of the total of the incurably ill patients, and not one-third, were subjected to euthanasia.
Q Witness, in these percentages that you have just spoken about, I agree with you that the number 50,000 or 60,000 incurably mentally ill persons, whose lives were shortened through euthanasia, is true, but in the course of this trial the opinion has become current, also in the press, that there were a very large number of people who were murdered in the course of this euthanasia program. Now, this number of 50,000 to 60,000 mental cases - does that have to be brought into any proportion to any other number in order to get a correct picture of the situation? Do you understand this question?
A. This number can only be brought into proportion with the number that runs into the millions of innocent persons who fell victim to the air terror, but this is not the time or the place to bring that up. I am told from the publications of the statistical registry that as many as 550,000 patients are in need of attention in mental institutions, and in contrast to this the number of 50,000 to 60,000 is roughly one-eight or one-ninth of that total. Against this statement there is the estimate on the part of the psychiatrists who said that at least one-third of all German mental cases would have to be considered incurable.
Q. Let us go one step further, Witness, let us consider Questionnaire No. 2, which was also put in by the Prosecution, which was also mentioned in various documents; do you know anything about questionnaire No. 2, of your personal knowledge?
A. I know that this questionnaire No. 2 was sent along at the same time. To what extent this was thought of as a camouflage measure or to what extent the Reich Minister of the Interior really wanted concrete data so that the institutions would be better run on a scientific basis, that I do not know. The ministry of the Interior will know why it sent out this questionnaire. The euthanasia organization had nothing to do with this questionnaire. I assume that the date received on the basis if these questionnaires was worked on in the Ministry of the Interior.
Q. I had originally intended to interrogate you about the proceedings before the Reich Committee. However, I consider that superfluous since Dr. Pfannmueller dealt with these proceedings at great length and also made it perfectly clear that you were never the Chief of this Reich Committee, but that it was Dr. Linden.
Do you anything to add to Pfannmueller's testimony on this point? Is what he said correct and credible or do you have some other point of view with which you might supplement his testimony?
A. In general what Pfannmueller said was perfectly credible to me, as far as I know anything about this matter of the Reich Committee, but in a few respects I must supplement his testimony. For example, I myself in many cases showed Bouhler and Brandt the complete files of terribly ill children for their final decision, and for this reason I know that both Bouhler and Brandt in many cases had the child put aside for further observation, over and beyond the judgment passed by the actual specialist. It never happened that the expert specialist said that this child cannot be subjected to euthanasia, and that Brandt or Bouhler said no, nevertheless we will approve euthanasia for this case. That never happened, rather the experts decided that the child could be given euthanasia and Brandt and Bouhler then took the standpoint that for one reason or another, not necessarily a medical reason, this child was to be further observed and to be expertized on a year or two later. Let me add also that in the proceedings in the Reich Committee the approval of the parents had to be received and without such permission on the part of the parents the authorization was not given by Brandt or Bouhler. That Pfannmueller did not receive the authorization as he said was to be understood, because the children were sent to him as the local physician, or some other doctor had sent them on and he had already carried on the correspondence with the Minister of the Interior.
Q. Didn't you say something you didn't mean to?
A. No, what I said was Dr. Pfannmueller received the children only later, and the local physician first had in a way all correspondence with the Minister of the Interior that Pfannmueller would not know.
Q. Didn't the parents have to give their permission to the doctor in charge of the Amtsarz, the local doctor?
A. To the Amtsartz.
Q. Did I understand you to say that negotiations between the Amtsartz and Minister of the Interior and through the consent of the parents was received, and then the child was sent to Pfannmueller with permission for euthanasia?
A. Yes, let me point out also a document that was not put in evidence at least not this page of it, but the entire document 1696PS, page 357, on page 93 of this document it can be seen that apparently through some error or through some withdrawal of consent by the parents, if this error or withdrawal of consent was discovered further proceedings were immediately interrupted.
DR. FROESCHMANN: Mr. President, the matter to which the witness is now referring is something about which I already spoke when hearing Pfannmueller. These are two documents from my document book 50 and 51. They are in Supplemental Volume No. 3, and I hope I shall receive them from the Secretary General within the next 15 minutes, and get them to the Tribunal, at which time I shall give exhibit numbers to the few documents in that volume, but I cannot do that yet, of course.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has been advised that Supplemental Book No. 3 Brack will be ready today and they will expedite it as soon as possible.
DR. FROSCHMANN: Thank you. I received that information already.