The Holocaust Historiography Project


Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl, after being sworn, declares:

I was a member of the SD from 1938 until the German collapse
except for two interruptions during the years 1939 and
1941-1943. Until 1939 I had charge of  the department
"Catholic Church" with the SD in Vienna, subsequently I was
employed in Department VI, Foreign Information Service.

In connection with my activities in Vienna, I made the
acquaintance of Obersturmbanfuehrer Eichmann, whom I met
again in 1943 as a section chief in Department IV of the
Gestapo. There he handled the Department for Jews [Judenreferat].

In August 1944 at the occasion of a visit in my apartment
in Budapest, Eichmann told me that he had to make a report
for Himmler on the number of Jews killed, and that he
estimated the sum-total of the Jews killed as 6 millions.
Of those 4 million had been killed in the extermination
institutions in the East, while the additional 2 millions
were killed by shootings — mainly by the Einsatzgruppen of
the SIPO and the SD during the campaign in the East.

About 1942 I had a conversation with SS-Brigate commander
Dr. Stahlecker who had been in command of such an
Einsatzgruppe of the SIPO and the SD in the East. He told
me that he had been ordered by Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich
to take command of such an Einsatzgruppe, whose field of
action was the area of an Army group. He had the order to
exterminate the Jews in that district by shootings.

From my conversations with Eichmann and Stahlecker and
other members of the SIPO and SD I conclude that the Jews
were killed since the beginnings of the Russian campaign
(1941), at first by the Einsatzgruppen of the SIPO and the
SD and later — probably since the beginning of 1943 --
in the extermination camps of the East.

The arrest of the Jews and their shipment to the
extermination camps was carried out by a special detachment
[Sonderkommando] under the direction of Eichmann, which
was composed of members of the SIPO — especially
Gestapo. Heydrich had given the instructions for this to
Eichmann. In the RSHA his chief was the head of the
Gestapo, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Mueller.

                 [signed] Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 5th day of
November 1943.
                 [signed] Whitney R. Harris
                          Lieut, U.S. Naval Reserve