The Holocaust Historiography Project

Translation of document 3870-PS


I, Hans Marsalek, after first being duly sworn, declare as follows:

1. I was born on 19 July 1914 in Vienna, and was in Concentration Camp
Mauthausen from 29 September 1942 until my liberation. I had the
function of second clerk in this camp. My present occupation is with the
Directorate of Police in Vienna as the Director of Department IV.
Counter-Intelligence Service of the State Police [Staatspolizeilicher
Abwehrdienst], and my present address is: Vienna 19, Grinzingerstrasse

2. On 22 May 1945, the Commandant of the Concentration Camp Mauthausen,
Franz Ziereis, was shot while escaping by American soldiers and was
taken to the branch camp of Gusen. Franz Ziereis was interrogated by me
in the presence of the Commander of the 11th Armored Division (American
Armored Division) Seibel; the former prisoner and physician Dr.
Koszeinski; and in the presence of another Polish citizen, name unknown,
for a period of six to eight hours. The interrogation was effected in
the night from 22 May to 23 May 1945. Franz Ziereis was seriously
wounded — his body had been penetrated by three bullets — and knew
that he would die shortly and told me the following:

	“I joined the SS on 30 September 1936 as a training specialist with
	the rank of Obersturmfuehrer (Lieutenant). I was assigned to the
	4th SS Regt at Oranienburg and was transferred to Mauthausen on 17
	February 1939, with the rank of Hauptsturmfuehrer (Captain) and as
	successor to the former Commandant of the camp. SS Fuehrer Saurer.

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	rapid and extraordinary career is due to the fact that I volunteered
	frequently for the Front. By orders of the Reichsfuehrer SS
	Himmler I was forced to remain in Mauthausen. The SS complement in
	Mauthausen had the following organization:

	There was one SS man for ten prisoners. The highest number of
	prisoners was about 17,000 (seventeen thousand), with the exception
	of the branch camps. The highest number in Camp 1Mauthausen, the
	branch camps included, was about 90,000 (ninety thousand).

	The total number of prisoners who died was 65,000 (sixtyfive
	thousand). The complement was made up of Totenkopf units, strength
	of 5,000 (five thousand) men, which were made up of guards and the
	command staff.

	Later, 6,000 (six thousand) men came from the Army and the Air
	Forces [Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe] for guard duty and they were put
	into SS uniforms. Moreover, there were many “Racial Germans” [Volks
	Deutsche] who had been conscripted into the Wehrmacht. The
	recruitment of former prisoners into the SS was done on orders of
	Himmler. These were to fight against the enemy, particularly the
	Bolsheviks. For the greater part they were to be recruited as

	I have personally killed about 4,000 (four thousand) prisoners by
	assigning them to the Penal Company. The formation of Penal
	Companies was done by order of Berlin to effect a more rapid
	extermination of prisoners through hard labor. I always took part
	personally in the executions.

	By order of Dr. Lohnauer, incorrigible professional criminals were
	transferred to Hartheim near Linz as mentally deficient, where they
	were exterminated by a special system of SS Captain Krebsbach. The
	greatest number of murdered prisoners goes to the account of
	Bachmeyer. Chemielskwy and Seidler in Gusen had human skin
	specially tanned on which there were tattoos. From this leather
	they had books bound, and they had lampshades and leather cases

	According to an order by Himmler, I was to liquidate all prisoners
	on behalf of SS Obergruppenfuehrer Dr. Kaltenbrunner ; the
	prisoners were to be led into the tunnels of the factory
	Bergkristall and only one entrance was to be left open. Then this
	entrance was to be blown up by the use of explosives and the death
	of the prisoners was to be effected in this manner. I refused to
	carry out this order. This matter was the extermination of the
	prisoners of the so-called Mother

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	camp, Mauthausen, and of the camps Gusen I and Gusen II. Details
	of this are known to Herr Wolfram and SS Obersturmfuehrer

	A gassing plant was built in Concentration Camp Mauthausen by order
	of the former garrison doctor, Dr. Krebsbach, camouflaged as a
	bathroom. Prisoners were gassed in this camouflaged bathroom. Apart
	from that a specially built automobile commuted between Mauthausen
	and Gusen, in which prisoners were gassed while travelling. The
	idea for the construction of this automobile was Dr. Wasicki's, SS
	Untersturmfuehrer and pharmacist. I, myself, never put any gas into
	this automobile, I only drove it, but I knew that prisoners were
	being gassed. The gassing of the prisoners was done on the urging
	of SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Krebsbach.

	Everything that we carried out was ordered by the Reich Security
	Main Office [Reichssicherheitshauptamt], furthermore, by SS
	Obergruppenfuehrer Mueller or Dr. Kaltenbrunner, the latter being
	Chief of the Security Police.

	SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl gave the order that prisoners were to be
	driven into the woods because they were weak and had had no food,
	in order to pick berries there and to eat buds. The above-mentioned
	shortened the daily ration from 750 grms per day to 350 grms per
	day through the administration. SS Gruppenfuehrer Gluecks gave the
	order to classify weak prisoners as mentally deranged and to kill
	them by a gas plant which existed in the Castle Hartheim near Linz.
	There, about a million or a million and a half human beings were
	killed. Those prisoners were reported as having died from natural
	causes [Normal Verstorbene] The death reports of prisoners still
	alive, who were to be transported, were sent to the political
	department concerned previous to their transport.

	The number of prisoners who were murdered in Hartheim is not known
	to me, but the number of victims at Hartheim is about one million
	or a million and a half, including the civilians who were sent to
	Hartheim. The gassing plant in Mauthausen was really built by order
	of SS Obergruppenfuehrer Gluecks, since he was of the opinion that
	it was more humane to gas the prisoners than to shoot them. One day
	Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl sent me about 3,000 women and children
	without prior notice, who were without food for ten days. In
	December 1944, they were transported in open coal cars without
	blankets. The children of these transports had
	to be put on the march to Bergen Belsen by order from Berlin and I
	suppose that all of them died.

	The Gauleiter Eigruber denied me food for new arrivals and all weak
	prisoners. He ordered that I was to turn over 50% of the potatoes
	which had been stored for the winter to the Gau (District).

	SS Obergruppenfuehrer Gluecks was the one who gave the order to
	transfer those prisoners who were working in the Crematorium of
	Mauthausen Concentration Camp to Gusen and to have them killed by
	shooting them in the neck. There was a secret order whereby the
	Crematorium Kommando was to be killed every three weeks.

	In the presence of Baldur von Schirach, Gauleiter Refiner, Dr.
	Ueberreiter, Dr. Juri, I received the following order from Reichsfuehrer
	Himmler: The Jews who were working on the South East Wall
	fortifications must be put on the march from all places of the South
	East Border of the Ostmark after finishing their work; their destination
	was to be Mauthausen. According to Himmler’s order, 60,000 Jews were to
	come to Mauthausen. In point of fact only a fraction of this number
	arrived. As an example I mention a transport which left with 4,500 Jews
	but which arrived with 180. It is unknown to me from which place the
	transport originated. Women and children had no shoes — they were
	covered with rags and had lice. In this transport there were whole
	families and innumerable persons were shot on the way because of general
	bodily weakness.

	Under my administration, as Commandant, there were the following camps:

	Mauthausen          with about          12      prisoners
	Gusen I and II      with about      24,000      prisoners
	Linz I              with about       5,000      prisoners
	Gusen III           with about         300      prisoners
	Linz II             with about         500      prisoners
	Linz III            with about         300      prisoners
	Ebensee             with about      12,000      prisoners
	Passau I            with about         600      prisoners
	Passau II           with about         150      prisoners
	Passau III          with about          60      prisoners
	Ternberg            with about         500      prisoners
	Grossramming        with about       3,000      prisoners
	Melk                with about      10,000      prisoners
	Eisenerz            with about         500      prisoners
	St. Lambrecht       with about         350      prisoners

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	Schloss Lindt       with about          20      prisoners
	Peggau              with about         500      prisoners
	Klagenfurt-         with about          70      prisoners
	Laibach             with about         500      prisoners
	Loiblpass           with about       3,000      prisoners
	Schechart-          with about       4,000      prisoners
	Wiener-Neustadt     with about       1,500      prisoners
	Mistelbach          with about       1,000      prisoners
	Wiener-Neudorf      with about       3,000      prisoners
	Florisdorf          with about       1,000      prisoners
	Florisdorf          with about         800      prisoners
	Sauerwerke Wein     with about       2,000      prisoners
	Steyer-Muenichholz  with about       3,000      prisoners
	St. Valentin        with about       1,500      prisoners
	Wels                with about       2,000      prisoners
	Amstetten           with about       3,000      prisoners
	Gunskirchen         with about         450      prisoners
	Schlier             with about       1,000      prisoners

	There were still several other camps, the total being about 45
	(forty-five). However, I cannot remember any more exactly now.

	During the last month, or month and a half before the end, there
	was a Kommando of Lithographs and Graphic experts in Camp Schlier.
	They were exclusively occupied in printing false Pound Sterling
	notes, as well as with the falsification of identification papers
	and stamps from all over the world. As far as I was informed, this
	Kommando made a total of 750,000,000 Pound notes and this Kommando
	was founded at the time by order of Dr. Kaltenbrunner, at Orani
	enburg, in the Concentration Camp Sachsenhausen.

	In order to stop sexual intercourse between prisoners of the same
	sex, as far as possible, in the year 1942 a bordello for prisoners
	was opened. The visitors were asked two marks as payment — the
	prostitute received fifty Pfennings [Translator’s note: ½ mark]
	and the remaining 1½ Mk went to the central Concentration Camp
	Office at Oranienburg.

	The reason for the execution of the Austrians who had been in
	Mauthausen Concentration Camp for almost a year is the following:

	On the suggestion of the Gauleiter Eigruber, Dr. Pipprater, and
	also the Director of the Linz Gestapo Office, Spann, the execution
	was carried out. A certain agent of the Gestapo, Prohaska, was put
	in charge of the execution.

	The son of Regent [Reichsverweser] Horthy lived in ar-

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	rest at Mauthausen under the covername “Maus” (Mouse), Badoglio,
	under the name “Brausewetter.” All prominent prisoners in the
	arrest building at Mauthausen received these covernames. On order
	of the Gauleiter Eigruber, the above-mentioned were to be killed,
	but after further discussion with Col. Kuppert I refused to carry
	out this order. I sent these people to Dachau with the exception of
	Horthy who hid himself among the cells.”

3. I, Hans Marsalek, declare in addition, as follows:

With reference to the number of one million to one and a half million
murdered human beings in Hartheim, which was the number given by Franz
Ziereis, it is pointed out to him by me that this number was too high.
He however insisted on this number and explained to me that actually a
great number of mentally deranged from the entire Southern Area of
Germany were shipped there and liquidated. This accounts for the high
number of victims. In spite of his serious injury and his knowledge that
he would probably die soon, Franz Ziereis tried to put the greater part
of the guilt on his subordinates.

In early summer of 1943, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Dr. Kaltenbrunner visited
the Concentration Camp Mauthausen. The Camp Commandant Ziereis,
Gauleiter Eigruber, first leader of the Protective Custody camp
Bachmeyer and several others accompanied Kaltenbrunner. I saw Dr.
Kaltenbrunner and the people who accompanied him with my own eyes.
According to the testimony of the “Corpse Carriers” of that time, the
former prisoners Albert Tiefenbacher, present address Salzburg; and
Johann Polster, present address Pottendorf near Wiener Neustadt,
Austria; about fifteen prisoners of the arrest class were selected by
Unterscharfuehrer Winkler, in order to show Dr. Kaltenbrunner three ways
of extermination, by a shot in the neck, hanging, and gassing. Women
whose hair had been cut were among the executed and they were killed by
shots in the neck. Above-mentioned “Corpse Carriers” were present at the
execution and had to carry the corpses to the Crematorium. Dr.
Kaltenbrunner went to the Crematorium after the execution and later went
into the quarry.

Baldur yon Schirach visited the camp in fall of 1944. He, too. went to
the arrest building and also to the Crematorium. Eight or nine
"political” Austrians were shown to him at the time, and he promised to
discharge them soon. As a matter of fact, actually one of these men,
whose name I have forgotten, was discharged soon thereafter.

4. I declare that the above testimony was given by me voluntarily and
that no compulsion was exerted on me.

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It conforms to the truth, to the best of my knowledge and to the best of
my conscience, and I swear to it. Nurnberg, 8 April 1946.

                                                      /s/ Marsalek, Hans
                                                       /t/ Hans Marsalek

Subscribed and sworn to before me today
this 8th day of the month of April 1946.
/s/ Smith W. Brookhart Jr.
/t/ Smith W. Brookhart Jr. Lt. Col
Executive Officer, Interrogation Division
OUSCC APO 124A U.S. Army.