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.
Q. Witness, continue please.
A. I have only to add that regarding details of the expertizing procedures at the Reich Committee I know nothing, because I was not concerned in that. I know, however, through Bouhler and through Linden that in Reich Committee matters, only first class specialists were used as psychiatric experts.
Q. Witness, I may no doubt conclude from your statements that the correctness of the document submitted by the Prosecution concerning the registry of children you do not deny, and I am referring to the following four documents to which I should like to call the attention of the Tribunal: No.1139, exhibit 346, English Document Book 14, page 149; then No. 1142, Exhibit 347, English Document Book 14, page 150; third, No. 1145, Exhibit 352, English Document Book 14, page 157; and, No. 1146, English Document Book 14, page 172, and with this I conclude the affair of the questionnaires and I shall now deal briefly with the documents which the prosecution have submitted as evidence, that in spite of your statement made today, in spite of Brandt's testimony Jewish insane persons were subjected to euthanasia. By way of Introduction I should like to say that there is a total of seven documents which I should like to touch upon briefly, and then indicate in each case where they were found. Witness, I shall discuss the following documents: please get them ready. No. 1131, No. 1133, No. 1135, No. 1141, No. 1143, No. 1144, No. 1310. Now, will you please comment on the transfer of Jewish insane persons indicated by these documents?
A. First of all I should like to say that document 1136 and No. 720 may have to be mentioned also.
Q. I had intended to deal with that later witness.
A. At the time I did not learn about these transfers. I knew about them in general, just as everyone knew that Jewish patients were to be brought together. All I can say about these documents is not my knowledge from this time, but the result of my examination of these documents. This is all I can say about the various documents. No. 1310, Exhibit 337, this is in Document Vook 17, the German, on page 6.
Q In the English, it is also on page 6.
A This Document shows that the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior on 4 September 1940 reached a decision on the transfer of Jewish mental cases. They were to be transferred from various Bavarian insane asylums and assembled in the Haar Eglfing between 4 and 20 December 1940. On that day the head of the institution reported that these patients had been assembled at Eglfing, they were full-blooded Jews of Polish or German nationalities or stateless Jews. At the same time he reported to the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior on 20 November 1940 that the patient transport corporation transferred them to a collecting center in Berlin. The list of these Jews was given in Document No. 1135, Exhibit 334.
Q Please give this document to the witness. This is in English document book 14, page 25. We received only a photostat. There on page 17, you will find a list of the Jewish patients and also on page 41 of the document book. Now, does the fact that these patients were transferred by the transfer company indicate that this was also within the frame-work of euthanasia; what do you have to say about that?
A First of all, I can say basically that the patient transport company carried out transports not only for the purpose of euthanasia, but also other transports of patients. I recall the rescue work in the east for wounded, who were transferred from hospitals in danger of air-raids, etc. This transport company, when such transports were to be carried out, received an assignment from the Ministry of the Interior and assigned a transport leader. This man had to be an experienced official, because all kinds of things could happen to such a transport during war time. He might be stuck somewhere for a considerable period of time and the patients would have to be taken care of. He also was given the local assignment by the local agency, such as for example the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior.
Q Now when the transport company took over Germans, was there any certificate, any receipt given?
A Yes, these receipts we have here in Document NO-1135. The official of the transport company gave a certificate, such as we have here with the institute by way of a receipt and thereby he assumed the responsibility for the patients.
Q Witness, I don't have the document here, but is it true that the document says these patients are to be transferred to a Reichs institution?
A Yes, that is what it says. It says that the patients are to be transferred to a Reichs Institution.
Q Mr. President: I should like to point out that not only in Document NO-1135, which the witness is speaking about, but also the document which I mentioned earlier, NO-1133, Exhibit 335, English Document Book 14, page 86 and Document NO-1131, Exhibit 340, English Document Book 14, page 91, contains such certificates.
A Now, there is one note-worthy thing about this document. The names of the insane persons were always listed on a printed form in a numbered transport list, these lists contained the first name, the next name, the place of birth and the date of birth. It contains no reference, however, to nationalities. I pointed out earlier that the benefit of euthanasia was to be given only to German citizens. These documents, NO-1131, Exhibit .....
Q We have already been through that, we don't have to repeat the numbers.
A The names of the Jewish patients, however, which we are talking about here are not on the usual transport list of the transport company, but on usual typing paper. It does not list any place of birth or date of birth either, merely nationalities. One can conclude therefrom that in this case nationalities of the persons to be transferred seemed to be more important to the authorities than the date and place of birth.
Q Just a minute, witness, in this list there are 33 Germans and 2 Poles?
Q And then under 13 there is a Czech citizen, whose name has been crossed out again.
A It has been crossed out here on the original document.
Q Yes, it has been crossed out.
A It says Bohemia and Moravia as citizenship and in the accompanying letter for this transport, sent to the Ministry of the Interior by the Institute Eglfing-Haar, the suggestion was made that this man Bunsel is a citizen of the Protectorate and should be sent to an institute in the Protectorate.
Q Mr. President, this covering letter is in book 17, page 6.
A In other words, the authority of the institute did not consider it permissible for a citizen of the Protectorate to be sent to the same institute as Germans and Polish Jews as this institute was simply not in the Protectorate and the institution must have received corresponding instructions. I should like also to refer to the following on the certificates given to the institution by the heads of the transports, it says expressly upon order of the Reichs Association of Mental institutions. In this letter NO-1310, the institution does not refer to an assignment of the Reichs Association, but simply to the decree of the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior. In this case of the Jews, who were transferred, the Prosecution has not submitted any certificate by the transfer company. I assume that if such a document were in existance, it would be among the documents here.
Q Now, where did this Jewish transport go?
A That cannot be seen from this document, but from another document. I have been able to assume that Document NO-1141, Exhibit 348, Document Book 14 .........
Q It is in the English document book on page 150.
A From this document one can see that the name Bertha Wertheimer was listed there and she died in Chelm on 3 December 1940.
This Bertha Wertheimer, according to the file-note, was transferred there by the patient transport company. One can therefore conclude that the entire transport went to Chelm.
Q Was Bertha Wertheimer in this transport of 20 December 1940.
A I am sure that it says that. Yes, it is shown that she was also transferred on 20 December.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will now be in recess until 1:30 o'clock.
(A recess was taken until 1330 Hours.)
AFTERNOON SESSION (The hearing reconvened at 1330 hours, 15 May 1947)
THE MARSHAL: The Tribunal is again in session.
THE PRESIDENT: Counsel may proceed.
VIKTOR BRACK - Resumed
DIRECT EXAMINATION (Continued) BY DR. FROESCHMANN (Counsel for the Defendant Brack):
Q Witness, I remind you that you are still under oath. Let us hurry and try to conclude. Witness, before the noon recess we stopped in the discussion of Document NO1141, Exhibit 348. I asked you where the transport of September 18 - 20 went. You said that from this document NO-1141 you concluded that the transport went to Chelm. Do you have any further comment on this question?
A From the documents 1144, Exhibit 342, Document Book 14, part I, page 57 in the German we see Q In the English that is page 110.
A - that Bertha Weiland frau, NO-1143, Exhibit 343, Document Book 14, part 2, page 65 Q In the English Document Book 14, part I, page 126.
A - that Wilhelm Neumann, Albert Tillmann, Gertrud Oppehheimer, Bertha Heimann, Sophie Wiesengrund and Albert Froehlich, were sent according to the before mentioned decree of the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, on the 20th of September 1940, from the institution Eglfing. Of these, Gertrud Oppenheimer is contained in the list on page 17 of Document NO-1135, number 9. And the list of the Document Book 12, part III, NO-720, Exhibit 366, page 163.
Q This document NO-720 is in the English Document Book 14 on page 243.
A The other names are not contained in this list, but are in the lists previously mentioned. I do not know, but I conclude it from these documents, that on the 20th of September 1940 there were other transports leaving EglfingHaar.
We have no lists of them, at least they have not been submitted. I must conclude that a transport went to Chelm on this day; that in Chelm there was an observation or euthanasia institution is completely unknown to me and I certainly would have learned it, because I knew the names of the six euthanasia institutions. The assumption of the prosecution, that the persons who were removed from Eglfing-Haar on 20 September 1940, the 191 Jewish men and women were subjected to euthanasia, is incorrect and is refuted by what I just explained.
Q Witness, you remember that the witness, Dr. Pfannmueller said that he learned later that these Jewish insane patients were sent to Lublin. You have already said that you knew nothing whatever about all these matters, that only now from examining the documents you have reached these conclusions. It is almost superfluous to ask, did you know then the name Lublin. Do you know that Jewish insane patients were sent there?
A No, I knew nothing of that.
DR. FROESCHMANN: Mr. President, I have covered the documents submitted by the prosecution dealing with what persons were effected by euthanasia. Now I come to the final subject of the so-called euthanasia program and I shall deal in outline only with the course and the stopping of euthanasia.
BY DR. FROESCHMANN:
Q Witness, you have already said that the questionnaires received were sent to T-4 and that they separated those referring to foreigners. These questionnaires were not photostated and were not sent to the experts, that only the remaining questionnaires, that is, those which did not refer to foreigners and Jews, were photostated and sent to the exports.
I need not go into the details that were given by the witness Pfannmueller concerning the filling out and the judging of the questionnaires. I had originally intended, as in the case of Pfannmueller, to show you one or two questionnaires, not for you to judge them from the medical point of view but from the purely administrative point of view. I believe, however, that this matter has been cleared up so thoroughly that the prosecution will see no cause in cross examination to deal with the subject, and, consequently, I shall not need to show you the questionnaires which I have filled out by Dr. Pfannmueller. I shall merely ask, you heard the testimony of Doctor Pfannmueller concerning the judging of the questionnaires, the plus or minus sign, or question mark. Do you have anything to add to this testimony?
A No, I have nothing to add. The explanation of the witness Pfannmueller was quite thorough.
Q And is it correct that the cases designated as positive, that is by a "plus" by the chief expert, were sent to Linden's office, and that Linden's office ordered the transfer of these patients to an observation institution by orders to the transport company?
A Yes, that is true.
Q Do you know whether the doctor in charge after the period of observation submitted a report?
A I don't know how that was managed I only know that the Chief Experts were in constant contact with authorized doctors in the observation institutions concerning the selection of the patients under observation there.
Q Is it true again that after the period of observation Linden's office again issued instructions to the transport company and thus arranged for the transfer of the patients to a euthanasia institution?
A Yes, I mentioned that briefly yesterday.
Q Is it true that at the same time a photostat of the opinion of the chief expert was sent to the euthanasia institution?
A In each case a photostat was sent to the euthanasia institution because when the people arrived the photostat had to be compared with the personal data and the case history.
Q I can conclude then that the case history and personal files were also sent to the euthanasia doctor?
A Yes, of course, he needed them for the final opinion of the patient. He would not have been able to see that from the condition of the patient alone. He needed the case history.
Q And now to conclude this subject, I ask you whether you can confirm what the witness, Dr. Pfannmueller has said, that the euthanasia doctor who united everything in his hands, who had the patient, the case history, the personal records, and the final medical decision as to whether this patient was to be subjected to euthanasia, or whether he was to be returned to an observation institution or to his original institution, is that correct?
A The final responsibility lay with the executing doctor who had an absolutely unlimited veto right.
Q Now, Mr. Brack, since I have dealt with this chapter thoroughly with you, I can assume that as this morning you did not doubt the report on children contained in the documents, you will also not wish to deny the correctness of the documents submitted by the Prosecution concerning the transfer of insane persons from the fall of 1939 until August 1941?