- Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression
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Translation of document 3870-PS
AFFIDAVIT OF HANS MARSALEK
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.
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
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
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
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
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-
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.
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.