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Translation of document 3842-PS
Fritz Mundhenke PWE Bad Aibling, 7 March 1946 I, George August Friedrich Mundhenke, born 15 February 1898 at Celle-Hanover, Ex-SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer of the motor vehicle service of the Allgemeine SS and Ex-SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer of the Reserve in the Waffen SS, hereby state the following: I recollect that with reference to the occupation of Czechoslovakia two different actions were taken, viz: The first one: occupation of the Sudetenland and the Border Districts inhabited by German Nationals. The second one: occupation of Czechoslovakia proper (called afterward the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia and the Slovakian State). Some time before the second action, officers of the “Hlinka-Garde” (the illegal or underground para-SS organization in the Slovakian part of the former Czechoslovakian Republic) used to come to the premises of SS-Oberabschnitt Donau (which at the time may still have had its original name of SS-Oberabschnittoesterreich). In this connection I would point out for corroboration the character of the Hlinka-Garde in so far as later, after the invasion. SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Nageler was attached to the diplomatic representation of Germany to the Slovakian State with a view of supervising the training of the Hlinka-Garde. I also noticed the leader of the Volksdeutschen in Slovakia, Karmasin, who later on was appointed secretary of state. The men (of the Hlinka-Garde) were transported by police trucks. This could be verified beyond doubt through the green police coloring of the trucks. I recollect that some of the gentlemen wore black uniforms (black pants and blouses in shirt cut). It was said at the time that they had passed the Danube in civilian clothes and had donned the uniforms on the German bank of the river. I do not remember the rank distinctions in particular; I only recollect that they could rather be called “Officer-Distinctions” than the “half” rank distinctions of the single “Gliederungen” (organizations) of the NSDAP. [Note of the translator: By “half” distinctions of the Gliederungen the writer apparently refers to the [Page 779] fact that the Gliederungen wore their distinctions on only one side of the shirt collar and also only on one shoulder.] There were secret meetings in which I did not take part. I felt that I was not fully trusted. I saw the gentlemen in Kaltenbrunner’s anteroom only and as far as I can remember in the dining room. The discussions the topics of which I was not aware referred without doubt to the action planned. I think so for the following reason: Shortly afterwards, increased traffic of motor vehicles set in. Normally, I was in charge of the handling of the vehicles of the Oberabschnitt. In this instance, SS-Oberfuehrer Erich Cassel, at the time chief of staff and deputy of Kaltenbrunner (Cassel’s last employment was to my knowledge leader of the “Amt fur Volksturmsfragen” in the Reichsleitung of the NSDAP at Munich and honorary SS-Brigadefuehrer of the General SS and according to hearsay he had been appointed to this post upon request of Himmler) put me aside and directed the action personally. At first, I did not even know where the vehicles were sent, only, after the return of the first trucks, I learned that their destination had been Engerau. The trucks were loaded in the inner overglazed court of the building and, so far could be judged from the outside, the cases contained victuals and spirits (liquor). Secretly, I was told that the trucks carried high explosives as well. The trucks went to the Engerau bridge leading into Slovakia. Through the personnel department, photos of most of the staff were collected. SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Curth was chief of the department at the time, his assistant being SS-Oberscharfuehrer Mueller. Both are said to have been killed in action. These photos were used for the manufacturing of false documents. Members of the staff have even shown to me their falsified pass cards for the near-border traffic between Czechoslovakia and the former Austria. I remember distinctly the dirty blue-grey shade and the near postcard size of the paper and the poor printing. I guess that these falsifications were made by the Gestapo. Using these passes which were showing false names and trades, both members of the General SS (of SS-Oberabschnitt Donau and SS-Abschnitt XXXI) and also of the Gestapo were either crossing the Danube bridge "legally” or, at night, crossing the river in small boats. I remember fairly well, just as if it had happened only today, that my assistant at the time, the later and now SS-Obersturmfuehrer Franz Kourik once rushed into my office and related excitedly the following tale: "Boy! Uncle Fritz! I'm just back from an embarrassing trip. By fast train from Berlin there arrived a certain Doctor X, a [Page 780] member of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt. In his small unobtrusive baggage he was carrying high explosives sufficient to blow a whole part of Vienna city to the high heavens. I was driving my 220 Steyr vehicle very warily having in mind the bad state of the roads down there. If we had had a crash! I was fairly sweating. * * * There is quite a lot going on the other side. Spatz will see to matters.” From other men I could ascertain that buildings had been blown up on the other side with a view of making believe that this had been done by Czech Nationalists and in order to get a pretense for the invasion of German troops to protect the Volksdeutschen and the suppressed Slovaks. Besides other objects, a water tower was mentioned. It was either definitely blown up or one of the malefactors was arrested by the Czechs when he tried to do so, and he was freed only shortly before being hung. This must have been a Stapo man, because otherwise I should remember his name. According to hearsay, both Czech guards and Volksdeutsche were killed. The German press, at the time, reported attempted evil doings of the Czech Nationalists and asked that something be done for the protection of Germans and Slovaks. Kaltenbrunner alone was responsible for these actions. In charge of the actions from the side of the Allgemeine SS was SS-Standartenfuehrer Spacil (nicknamed shortly Spatz). He was chief of the administration of SS-Oberabschnitt Donau and was called later on by Kaltenbrunner to Berlin and made chief of staff at the Reichssicherheitshauptamt. Spacil was one of the most intimate friends of Kaltenbrunner. As furthermore taking part in these actions I remember- 1. SS-Obersturmfuehrer Franz Kourik. 2. SS-Untersturmfuehrer Karl Spitt, who according to a statement of Kourik is supposed to be in hiding with 2 women in the Alps. Kourik ought to know his whereabouts. 3. A member of the SS by name of Apfelbeck, his latest rank to my knowledge being SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer, a most intimate friend of Spacil's. 4. The then SS-Oberscharfuehrer Stadler. 5. A SS-Oberscharfuehrer by the name of Petenka or similarly named. I believe that, being given an opportunity to look up the roster of personnel of the SS-Oberabschnitt Donau, I should be able to give further information on the group of persons myself. I, myself, had nothing to do with the whole action. I would propose to hear 2 civilian employees of the former [Page 781] SS-Oberabschnitt Donau called Weiss and Bieritz respectively. These men were making repairs on the trucks and also used to fill up the tanks with gasoline. Particulars on their persons I am not able to give. I only remember that Weiss was nicknamed the “Japanese” for his being the Japanese type. Whenever I came forward in the circle of my comrades stating my scruples I was always told that the English were using similar methods in their secret service for a long time and that, in addition, they had given their consent to the whole action. Anyhow, I could do nothing under the circumstances. Things happened so fast that iaothing I could have done would have brought any results. In August 1939, I had an appendectomy done upon me and, due to complications arising, I was able to do light duty after 8 months had passed. I have made this statement 1. Not from feeling of hate or just because I like to be a squealer but from understanding that in so doing I can serve in detecting crimes which I as a German am ashamed of. 2. Being fully convinced that on account of my statements I will be slandered by the other side. I know quite well the men who are trying to make trouble for me and that for a long time. But this shall not deter me from helping the spirit of justice to a victorious end. I hereby certify and solemnly declare that I have made the above statements to the best of my knowledge and belief and to the best of which my memory serves me. I am also prepared to swear this statement before a public court (in open court). PWE 26, Bad Aibling, this seventh March 1946 [signed] Fritz Mundhenke Ex-SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer of General SS and ex-Captain of Reserve of the Waffen-SS ---------- Fritz Mundhenke PWE Bad Aibling, 8 March 1946 Appendix to my statements of 7 March 1946. After having slept over my statement of yesterday and looked them over this morning: THEY ARE CORRECT AS GIVEN! In addition, I have to state the following: 1. Question: Who took part in the secret meetings? Answer: a.. Resides Karmacin I did not know any more [Page 782] men from the Slovakian side. After so much time, it is rather difficult to give adequate descriptions of persons. There is no point in making general remarks. But I should be able to recognize one or the other person if I was put to pick them out from a big group. b. On the German side for certain SS-Standartenfuehrer Spacil SS-Oberfuehrer Cassel at a guess I mention additional SS-Gruppenfuehrer Kammerhofer (at the time leader of SS-Abschnitt XXXI) latest known employment: Superior SS- and Polizeifuehrer of Croatia, SS-Brigadefuehrer Huber of the Vienna Gestapo, SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Apfelbeck. 2. At the time (and as I mentioned above) I felt remorse and scruples and I have tried to see Cardinal Innitzer in order to confide in him the happenings. But before his residence I noticed the Secret Police examining the personal papers of the visitors. They accosted me with: "Oh, look here, have you too been coming snooping around?” Later on, everything was already past and done for. [signed] Fritz Mundhenke Ex-SS-Obersturmbannfue hrer of the General SS and ex-Captain of Reserve of the Waffen-SS. Subscribed and sworn to before me this 8th day of March 1946. [signed] R. S. Kotite, 2nd Lt., Inf., Asst. Operations Officer.