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Gb580 Unit 5 Assignment


8 Aug. 46

already been marked Exhibit GB-551. Your Lordship will find a few extracts from it at Page 29 of the document book. Witness, I have made certain extracts from your diary, and it might be convenient for you to follow those extracts, and if you want to check them against your own diary, you will be able to do so. They show how in that year you were intimately connected with Rascher and all these other murderous activities. The first entry is for 6 January, 1830 hours. SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Rascher: Paragraph "c) Letter from Reichsfuehrer SS to Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl about assistance for scientific research work. d) Rooms for carrying through of freezing experiments."

They were at Dachau, weren't they?

SIEVERS: Yes, they were to be carried through, but as I have already said in the Commission interrogations, this was not done. These are notes about a conversation with Rascher in which he was reporting on these matters.

MAJOR JONES: Witness, are you saying that the freezing experiments at Dachau were not carried through?

SIEVERS: Rascher told me that he would not be able to carry through these experiments, that they would have to be carried through in a locality requiring constantly extremely cold temperatures, and so these experiments did not take place.

MAJOR JONES: But you actually saw some of these experiments yourself being carried out, didn't you, in Dachau? You were in Dachau from time to time?

SIEVERS: I am afraid that there is some confusion here between the freezing experiments by the Luftwaffe and the freezing experiments which were to be carried out later on in connection with the cold in the East. Here in the year 1944 we are concerned with the experiments in freezing ...

MAJOR JONES: Which are the freezing experiments that you used to watch?

SIEVERS: I know only the freezing experiments carried on under the Luftwaffe.

MAJOR JONES: Did you see any of them being carried on?

SIEVERS: I had the order to accompany Professor Hirt who, together with Rascher, was to work on this problem and to arrive at a solution. I was present at one of those experiments.

MAJOR JONES: Now we will go to the Document Number 3546-PS, a little further. I have selected some random entries from it to show your close association with this matter. "23 January,


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1130 hours, report to RFSS together with Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr. Brandt. 1. We shall receive the reports of Professor Schilling." Now, Professor Schilling is the man who has been sentenced to death for his malaria experiments at Dachau, isn't he?


MAJOR JONES: He was also part of your team of scientists, wasn't he?

SIEVERS: We had nothing to do with Schilling at this report...

MAJOR JONES: You only received his reports, that is all; was it?

SIEVERS: That was the first time that the work of Schilling was mentioned to me at all. And Himmler explained at this meeting that Schilling had arrived at results on immunization which attracted attention. This report was to be given to us so that the Entomology Institute could take cognizance of the results that Dr. May had obtained in malaria experiments with the anopheles mosquito.

MAJOR JONES: We will go on to the next entry in the diary, 28 January. Your own diary has a daily entry of all the details, but here is another extract:

"Co-operation with Institute R, Dachau, that is Rascher's institute at Dachau, is it not?


MAJOR JONES: Then, 29 January, "With Hauptsturmfuehrer Rascher and Dr. Pacholegg
to Dablem." Who was Dr. Pacholegg?

SIEVERS: Dr. Pacholegg was a prisoner whom Rascher was using as assistant.

MAJOR JONES: You knew him quite well yourself, I take it?

SIEVERS: I saw him perhaps two or three times.

MAJOR JONES: He was present at some of the experiments that you watched, was he not?

SIEVERS: They concerned work on a styptic preparation, Polygal...

MAJOR JONES: Just answer my question. Dr. Pacholegg was present at some of the experiments which you watched, was he not?

SIEVERS: He was a co-worker of Rascher's. Whether he was there all the time, I do not know.

MAJOR JONES: If you refuse to answer my question I shall not put it again. We will continue further in your diary:

"2 February. Ca-Research. First demonstration of live cancer cells and therapy. Hirt succeeded in demonstrating live cancer


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cells and proving that tripoflavine enters the core of the cells as a cancer-cell-destroying coloring matter.... Protective vaccination against typhus*) by Professor Haagen. Protective vaccinations against typhus are being conducted in Natzweiler with satisfactory results." Your Lordship, I have about half an hour of cross-examination.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.

[The Tribunal adjourned until 9 August at 1000 hours.]

* The German term "Fleckfieber" has occasionally been given in English as "spotted fever." Since this term is also applied to other diseases, the medical term "typhus" has been given preference.

532 ... 08-46.htm;

One Hundred and Ninety-Ninth Day
Friday; 9 August 1946

Morning Session

[The witness Sievers resumed the stand.]

THE PRESIDENT: I think I said-at any rate I will say it again-that the Tribunal will sit in open session tomorrow until 1 o'clock.

MAJOR JONES: Witness, yesterday I was taking you through extracts of your diary for 1944. Have you a copy of those extracts in your possession at the moment? I am referring to the Document 35~46-PS, which is GB-551.

I want to make it clear, My Lord, that the extracts which are in this Document 3546-PS are only sporadic extracts taken from the diary relating to the medical experiments. There are numerous other entries in the diary referring to other aspects of the activity of the "Ahnenerbe".

[Turning to the witness.] I had taken you yesterday to 2 February. Now, will you look at the entries for 22 February? You will see that you had a conference with a Dr. May, and there is an entry relating to co-operation with Dr. Plotner and Professor Schilling. What work was Dr. Plotner on at that time?

SIEVERS: I cannot hear the German translation. I can hear now.

THE PRESIDENT: Have you heard the question?


Dr. Plotner was working together with Professor Schilling. This refers to a communication from Himmler dated i3 January, according to which Schilling's reports were to be passed on to Dr. May. These reports actually were not passed on, because Schilling refused to collaborate.

MAJOR JONES: Now turn to the entry for 25 February.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it a separate document, or is it in this book?

MAJOR JONES: It is in the document book, My Lord, Page 29 of the document book, Document 3546-PS.


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[Turning to the witness.] On 25 February you make an entry regarding:

"The order of the RFSS about his work in Dachau in cooperation with Rascher was made known.

"22 March, 1830 to 2100 hours, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Rascher ... preparations for the freezing experiments for the winter half-year 1944 to 1945."

You were at Dachau with Rascher on that date, were you not?

SIEVERS: These are experiments which, as I already testified before the Commission, Himmler wanted to have carried through on account of casualties from cold in the East. These experiments, however, could not be carried through at Dachau. This was reported to Himmler, and he ordered that they were to be carried through during the following winter. But they were never carried through, because Rascher was already arrested in April.

MAJOR JONES: For whom were you carrying through these experiments? Was it for the Army?

SIEVERS: These experiments were to be carried through together with the Reich Physician of the SS, Grawitz.

MAJOR JONES: He was the SS chief surgeon, was he not Grawitz?


MAJOR JONES: So that these experiments were for the benefit of the Waffen-SS, were they?

SIEVERS: Grawitz personally refused to carry through these experiments and due to pending discussions they were not carried through in the winter of 1943-44, as Himmler had wished. Grawitz held the view that if these experiments were to be carried through, Herr Rascher should go to the front and work in the hospitals there.

MAJOR JONES: You have not answered my question, Witness. For whom were these experiments being carried out? Was it for the Waffen-SS?

SIEVERS: The order for the execution of these experiments was never transmitted. The arrangements were made between the Reich Physician of the SS and the Wehrmacht, but I do not know the particulars.

MAJOR JONES: If you please ... if you would look at the next entry: "14 April, station Rascher; situation of work; further work; orders for provisional carrying on; Hauptsturmfuehrer Plotner introduced."

Now, that was the time when Rascher was arrested, was it not?


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SIEVERS: Yes, after Rascher had been arrested.

MAJOR JONES: And Hauptsturmfuehrer Plotner succeeded Rascher, did he not?


MAJOR JONES: And the experiments continued in Dachau and elsewhere? The removal of Rascher made no difference?

SIEVERS: These experiments were completely different from those carried out by Rascher.

MAJOR JONES: You had attended some of the Rascher experiments, had you not?

SIEVERS: I was at Dachau several times, yes.

MAJOR JONES: And you were there with Himmler on several occasions when Rascher was carrying out his experiments, were you not?

SIEVERS: No, I never went to see Rascher at Dachau with Himmler.

MAJOR JONES: I want you to look at the Document Number 2428-PS, which will be GB-582, which is an affidavit of Dr. Pacholegg, of whom you spoke yesterday. Your Lordship will find it at Page 20 of the document book, Page 25 of the English document book, Page 32 of the German document book. [Turning to the witness.] You will see this question and answer put to Pacholegg after he had described the experiments of the throwing of victims into cold water and of the experiments on prostitutes to recover... to restore the warmth of these people:

"Question: Who was present at such an experiment?

"Answer: Heinrich Himmler and his staff generally witnessed these important experiments here at Dachau, or any new experiment. Standartenfuehrer Sievers was always present with Himmler."

SIEVERS: That is not true.

MAJOR JONES: These experiments were hideous experiments, weren't they, Witness?

SIEVERS: I have just said that I was not present at those experiments when Himmler was there.

MAJOR JONES: Were you ever present when Himmler was not there?

SIEVERS: I saw two experiments; one I already mentioned yesterday, an experiment which I saw in part when Professor Hirt


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was present; the other was an experiment in the low-pressure chamber.

MAJOR JONES: I want you to turn to Page 30 of the German document book, Page 22 of the English document book, so that your memory may be refreshed as to what sort of suffering these victims had to suffer under these so-called low-pressure experiments. [Turning to the President.] It is in the last answer on Page 22 of the English document book, My Lord.

Pacholegg states there:

"I have personally seen, through the observation window of the chamber, when a prisoner inside would stand a vacuum until his lungs ruptured. Some experiments gave men such pressure in their heads that they would go mad and pull out their hair in an effort to relieve the pressure. They would tear their heads and faces with their fingers and nails in an attempt to maim themselves in their madness.

They would beat the walls with their hands and head and scream in an effort to relieve pressure on their eardrums. These cases of extremes of vacuums generally ended in the death of the subject. An extreme experiment was so certain to result in death that in many instances the chamber was used for routine execution purposes rather than as an experiment. I have known Rascher's experiments to subject a prisoner to vacuum conditions or extreme pressure conditions, or combinations of both, for as long as 30 minutes. The experiments were generally classified into two groups, one known as the living experiments, and the other simply as the 'X' experiment, which was a way of saying execution experiment."

Those were the sorts of experiments that were being carried on by Rascher for the Luftwaffe, weren't they?

SIEVERS: Those are low-pressure experiments, and I hear of the method of carrying them through here for the first time. The experiments which I witnessed ...

MAJOR JONES: Just answer my question. Those experiments of that type were being carried out by the Luftwaffe ... for the Luftwaffe, weren't they?


MAJOR JONES: What was the participation of G6ring in these experiments?

SIEVERS: That is unknown to me, because the experiments at Dachau started in the year 1941 and I only learned of them after they had already begun. Connection with the Luftwaffe was established through the medical inspection offices of the Luftwaffe.


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To what extent Goering was informed of these matters, I do not know.

MAJOR JONES: Through whom was the connection with the Navy maintained in connection with these scientific experiments?

SIEVERS: That I do not know.

MAJOR JONES: And the Army?

SIEVERS: That I do not know either.

MAJOR JONES: You see, you were the director of this Institute of Scientific Research for Military Purposes. You must have had liaison with each of the arms of the services, didn't you?

SIEVERS: The channels with regard to these Luftwaffe matters went via Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff to General Milch.

MAJOR JONES: The Luftwaffe surgeon working on these Rascher experiments was Weltz, wasn't he? W-e-l-t-z, Oberfeldarzt of the Luftwaffe? That is so, isn't it?

SIEVERS: That may be. Several gentlemen were mentioned whom I did not know. Official letters were also written by others on behalf of Rascher. But without data X can no longer recall names. I gave evidence on these matters already last year.

MAJOR JONES: Does the name of Dr. Holzlohner convey anything to you? He signed the report on the Schilling experiments.


MAJOR JONES: He was professor of physiology of the Medical School at the University of Kiel, wasn't he?

SIEVERS: Yes. I mentioned before the Commission that Professor Holzl6hner worked together with Dr. Rascher on experiments in Dachau.

MAJOR JONES: Was he the representative of the Navy in these experiments?

SIEVERS, No, he was an Air Force surgeon.

MAJOR JONES: Do you remember the experiments that were carried out for making sea water, drinkable?

SIEVERS: Yes, I have heard of them.

MAJOR JONES: They took place in -- they started in May of 1944, didn't they?

SIEVERS: Yes, that may be; in May.

MAJOR JONES: And you remember that you attended a conference on 20 May 1944 in the Air Ministry, to which members of the Navy and the Luftwaffe were invited; you remember that occasion?


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SIEVERS: I do not remember any conference in the Air Ministry.

MAJOR JONES: Do you remember a conference anywhere else where you had a discussion on these experiments to make sea water drinkable?

SIEVERS: Yes. It was a conference with Dr. Grawitz, Reichsarzt SS. In this connection, I must explain that after the arrest of Rascher, his successor, Dr. Plotner, refused to carry through experiments on human beings. Only with the arrest of Rascher did the cruel way in which he experimented, and the manner in which he exceeded his orders by fat, come to light. Himmler said ...

MAJOR JONES: Well -- just a moment. I will test you on that in a moment, but I just want you to try to apply your mind to these experiments for making sea water drinkable. Do you remember that there was a conference in which representatives of the Air Force and of the Navy attended? That is all I want you to deal with at the moment. You can give your explanation later.

SIEVERS: I have already said that I do recall a conference with Dr. Grawitz; and later a conference at Dachau with gentlemen of the Luftwaffe did take place. Whether gentlemen of the Navy were present, I do not recall.

MAJOR JONES: But I want you to try to remember, because it is important, you see. These were experiments on sea water. One would assume that the Navy would be interested. They were interested, and they sent a representative, didn't they?

SIEVERS: I do not think that a representative of the Navy was present.

MAJOR JONES: Do you know Dr. Laurenz, connected with U-boats at Kiel; L-a-u-r-e-n-z?

SIEVERS: No, I do not know him.

MAJOR JONES: Was it decided, in connection with these sea water experiments, to use Gypsies for the purpose of experiments?

SIEVERS: In this connection, I must continue the explanation which I started to give a little while ago, because this is a very decisive point. Dr. Plotner refused to continue the experiments on human beings, and Himmler did not demand them of him. Consequently, Grawitz received the order to devote himself to these matters. It is clear, therefore, that each experiment on human beings depended upon the willingness of the physician. Grawitz said that the Luftwaffe, that is, a professor from Vienna, had requested that camp inmates should be made available, and it is possible that Gypsies were mentioned in connection with the experiments to make sea water drinkable. I know nothing about


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the details of the experiments. It was ordered at that time that the chemical and physiological experiments be carried through, and for this purpose the institute of Dr. May had to make two rooms available for a period of 3 weeks, and in these rooms the Luftwaffe physicians worked. Otherwise, these experiments ...

MAJOR JONES: You had a staff working in Dachau on these experiments consisting of a supervisor, three medical chemists, one female assistant, and three noncommissioned officers, didn't you, in connection with these sea water experiments for Grawitz?

SIEVERS: Yes, that may be. That was under the supervision of Grawitz and his directives; how these directives were carried out, I did not know. We just confiscated the rooms; everything else was arranged by Grawitz. I do not know who worked there, or whether personnel of the SS worked there with the gentlemen of the Luftwaffe from Vienna.

MAJOR JONES: Why was this staff working in Dachau? Why was Dachau chosen as the place for the scientific experiments for making sea water drinkable? It was because you had the human guinea pigs there, wasn't it?

SIEVERS: I have already- said that the Luftwaffe contacted Himmler for the purpose of obtaining camp inmates for these experiments; consequently, these experiments were arranged by Grawitz to take place in Dachau.

MAJOR JONES: I want you now to go back to your diary, Page 30 of the British document book, My Lord. You will see an entry for 14 April, "Political department about escape of Pacholegg." This prisoner Pacholegg escaped, didn't he?

SIEVERS: Yes, at any rate he had disappeared.

MAJOR JONES: Why did you go to the political department about it?

SIEVERS: Because I had been in Vorarlberg together with Rascher and Pacholegg, and I was accused of aiding Pacholegg to escape. All the circumstances of the arrest at the time when the Rascher affair was suddenly uncovered were at issue.

MAJOR JONES: You must have been extremely anxious when Pacholegg escaped; he knew a lot of the facts about your work, didn't he? You must have been most anxious to secure his recapture.

SIEVERS: I was mainly anxious about myself, for it is not hard to imagine what would have happened to me, since Pacholegg knew much-if it had been proved that I had favored his escape, as was being maintained.

MAJOR JONES: If you look at the entry for 23 May, you will see that you had a conference with the Reichsarzt SS Grawitz,


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Poppendiek, and Plotner. Then you had "Division as to the work of Dr. Schilling." Then, in the afternoon, you had a 2-hour conference with Plotner.

That was about these experiments to make sea water drinkable, wasn't it?

SIEVERS: No, this concerned Plotner's desire to discontinue his work with Schilling. Plotner complained bitterly about the type of work carried on by Schilling and said thathe could not longer follow him. Plotner had been ordered there as a Waffen-SS physician.

MAJOR JONES: You yourself must have been feeling pangs of conscience at this time about the use of inmates because your military situation was rather delicate, wasn't it?

SIEVERS: I did not have a conflict of conscience at that late date only, but I felt pangs of conscience already much earlier. In view of the documents which are being submitted now and the accusations which are raised against me personally in that connection, I am forced to make a personal confession, a fundamental statement, and I should like to ask the Tribunal for permission to do so now.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks that you may say anything you wish in that regard.

MAJOR JONES: I would like to say, My Lord, that I have a number of other matters to put to this witness. If he cares ...

THE PRESIDENT: You can put it to him first.

MAJOR JONES: If he cares to reserve his statement to the end, he can do so, but it might be convenient to my course, if he makes his confession now. I am at the disposal of the Court for this matter.

THE PRESIDENT: Let him make it now, then.

MAJOR JONES: If your Lordship pleases. Then will you make your confession to the Tribunal?

SIEVERS: Before the Commission on 27 June I had to make factual statements in direct answer to the questions put to me, and I was repeatedly asked to be brief. I therefore had to limit myself to a statement of the relevant facts and to disregard my own person and my personal attitude to these questions. I note that in consequence my credibility has been doubted, and it has been said that I personally participated in these incriminating experiments and did not wish to tell the truth. In view of this, I must, in my own defense, say the following:

I entered the Party as well as the SS as a leading member of .a secret organization of the
resistance movement and on its orders.


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Indeed, this position in the Ahnenerbe afforded us special opportunities of working illegally against the Nazi system ...

MAJOR JONES: Witness, when you say "resistance movement," I did not quite understand you. What is the "resistance movement" that you were leading?

SIEVERS: The secret organization led by Dr. Hielscher, who in connection with the 20th of July was arrested and kept imprisoned by the Gestapo for a long time. I repeatedly protested against the experiments, with the result that finally Himmler issued an order, also included in these documents, that resistance against these experiments would be regarded as high treason, and would therefore be punishable by death. Among other things, he told me that no one would ask me to carry out the experiments personally, and that he himself would have the full responsibility for them. Besides -- as I myself read later -- he said that such experiments on human beings had taken place repeatedly as part of medical research and were necessary, as was proved by the famous experiments on human beings carried out in 1900 by Dieth, and later by Goldberger, in America. Nevertheless my conflict of conscience ...

MAJOR JONES: If Your Lordship pleases, I do not know whether the Tribunal wants to hear more of this material. It seems to me to be more an avoidance than a confession, and I have numerous matters that I desire to put to this witness.

SIEVERS: Well, I am just going to make a confession.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Elwyn Jones, the Tribunal thinks you had better go on with your cross-examination. If the witness wants to add something at the end he may do so.

MAJOR JONES: Now, just look back again at your diary. On 27 June you had a conference with SS Stabsfuehrer Dr. Brandt and SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Berg on the "creating of a scientific research station in a concentration camp. Information about conference on 15 June 1944 with SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl." That was 27 June 1944, you know. On 25 July, you had a conference with SS Stabsfuehrer Maurer, Oranienburg, about the "use of inmates for scientific purposes." That was when you were leading the resistance movement. On 26 July: "SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Fischer by phone. Order in accordance with conference with SS Stabsfuehrer Maurer, dated 25 July 1944, to visit quickly all concentration camps in order to make the final selection of the persons."

In October-on 21 October you were having another conference. "Proceeding of research of SS Sturmbannfuehrer Professor Dr. Hirt. Renewed release of Staff Surgeon Dr. Winimer for


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duty and making preparations for the assignment of the chemist, SS Obersturmfuehrer Martinek..."

On 23 October, you were having a conference with Poppendiek. On that day you record in your diary: "Taking over of biological research by SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Plotner in Dachau."

Witness, do you remember your experiments on the quickness of coagulation of blood?


MAJOR JONES: Did you take part in any such experiments?

SIEVERS: I never participated in these experiments, because I am not a research man. But I remember this work very well. Dr. Plotner, as I said, refused to carry out experiments on human beings. The means of quickening the coagulation of blood...

MAJOR JONES: I am sorry to interrupt you, but I would like you to say what you personally knew about these experiments. What was the form of them, for instance?

SIEVERS: Experiments for quickening the coagulation of blood were conducted in the University Clinic of Innsbruck by Professor Breitner, and in the University Clinic of Vienna by Professor Denk.

MAJOR JONES: What happened was that bullets were fired into prisoners, into concentration camp detainees. That was the form of the experiments, wasn't it?

SIEVERS: This experiment was carried out by Rascher, not by Dr. Plotner, and it came to light only after Rascher's arrest.

MAJOR JONES: I am not concerned with who carried them out. You knew the form they took, and that was the form that bullets were fired into detainees of concentration camps and then efforts were made to stop the flow of blood, that was the form of the experiments, isn't that true?

SIEVERS: That only came to light after Rascher's arrest. Before that, he maintained that these experiments among others were carried out at the hospital in Schwabing.

MAJOR JONES: Just look at Document Number 065, Page 8 of the English document book. That will become GB-583, and it is an affidavit of Oswald Pohl, the head of WVHA (Economic and Administrative Main Office), and I want you to look at Paragraph 4, Page 11 of the German document book, Paragraph 4, in which he gives some testimony about you. I only want to read some of that in Paragraph 4.

"Sievers came to find out from me about the possibilities for the manufacturing of medicine. I mentioned the Deutsche Heilmittel Limited in Prague, which belonged to the Deutsche


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Werke, managed by Oberfuehrer Baier of my staff. I recommended Sievers to go to him. The medicine was manufactured later in Schlachters (Black Forest). Sievers told me that the 'Ahnenerbe,' whose manager Sievers was, had developed in Dachau a medicine which quickly brought coagulation of blood. It was enormously important for our combat troops because it prevented profuse bleeding. It was the result of experiments in Dachau during which a prisoner was fired upon. A prisoner in Dachau, a specialist in this field, is said to have taken an important part in the discovery of this medicine."

Now, those facts are true, aren't they?

SIEVERS: Yes, but the account is quite incomplete. When this discussion took place, Rascher had already long ago been arrested, and it was known that he himself had carried out this experiment. Since it was Dr. Plotner who had perfected this medicine, I told Pohl about the experiments in detail and submitted to him the expert opinion of Professor Breitner and Professor Denk from Vienna. The picture presented in this document is completely misleading.

MAJOR JONES: Witness, Rascher is dead. It is convenient to cast all the blame on to him, isn't it?

SIEVERS: The point in this case is to clarify the facts, and I can only say what is true and what I know exactly.

MAJOR JONES: Did you have anything to do with the experiments into the cause of contagious jaundice?

SIEVERS: No, I do not know anything about them.

MAJOR JONES: I want you to look at Document Number 010, Page 4 of the English document book, My Lord, Exhibit GB-584. That is a letter, as you see, from Grawitz to Himmler. It is dated I June 1943 and headed "Top Secret. Subject: Investigation into the cause of contagious jaundice."

THE PRESIDENT: What is the signature?

MAJOR JONES: That is the signature of Grawitz, is it not, the Reich Physician of the SS and Police?


MAJOR JONES: "Reichsfuehrer: The Fuehrer's Commissioner General, SS Brigadefuehrer Professor Dr. Brandt..." -- pausing there for a moment -- he was the Reich Commissioner for Health and Sanitation, wasn't he?



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