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Das Dokument 3870-PS wurde am 12. April 1946 als Beweisstück US-797 vor dem Nürnberger Tribunal eingereicht. Es handelt sich dabei um die beeidigte Erklärung des ehemaligen Mauthausen-Häftlings Hans Maršálek, in der dieser u. a. die angeblich zehn Monate zuvor auf dem Sterbebett gemachte Aussage Franz Ziereis’ aus dem Gedächtnis wiedergibt.

Die beim Tode des Kommandanten Franz Ziereis anwesenden VS-Amerikaner, Oberst Richard Seibel, der auch von Maršálek erwähnt wird, und Professor Dr. Premsyl J. Dobias bestreiten jedoch, daß der Sterbende ein derartiges Geständnis abgegeben habe. Außer Maršálek hat die Niederschrift niemandem sonst unterzeichnet, und obwohl von der Verteidigung beantragt, ist keiner der beim Tode Ziereis’ anwesenden je persönlich vor Gericht erschienen, um die Authentizität der Niederschrift zu bestätigen und sich etwa einem Kreuzverhör zu unterziehen.

Am 1. Juni 1989 und am 1. August 1990 stellte das Landesgericht für Strafsachen in Wien dann offiziell fest, daß es sich bei dem Geständnis um eine nachträgliche Fälschung handelt.[1]


Folgender Text ist eine Quellenwiedergabe. Unter Umständen können Rechtschreibfehler korrigiert oder kleinere inhaltliche Fehler kommentiert worden sein. Der Ursprung des Textes ist als Quellennachweis angegeben.


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 12.

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. My rapid and extraordinary career is due to the fact that 1 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 volunteers.
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 made.
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 Eckermann.
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
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 anymore 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: 1/2 mark] and the remaining 1 1/2 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 arrest 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

Quelle: 96-book.png PDF Office of the United States Chief of Counsel For Prosecution of Axis Criminality (Hg.): Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Band 6, United States Government Printig Office, Washington 1946

Vor dem Nürnberger Tribunal

Genutzt wurde die Ziereis-„Beichte“ vor dem Nürnberger Tribunal, um Dr. Ernst Kaltenbrunner mit der Behauptung zu belasten, er habe gegen Ende des Krieges einen Befehl zur Tötung aller Häftlinge in Mauthausen gegeben. Dabei wurde Kaltenbrunner bei einer Vorvernehmung zunächst der als direkte Aussage Ziereis’ erscheinende Teil der Niederschrift vorgelegt, während er sich in dem Glauben befand, Ziereis würde leben und sich in alliierter Gefangenschaft befinden. Als Kaltenbrunner jedoch sagte, daß ein solcher Befehl ihm unbekannt sei und darauf bestand, man möge ihn mit Ziereis konfrontieren, wurde ihm vor Gericht von der Anklage nebenbei mitgeteilt, daß Ziereis tot sei und es sich bei dem ihm vorgelegten Dokument in Wirklichkeit um eine Erinnerung eines Häftlings handele, der Ziereis vernommen habe. Nachdem daraufhin aus dem Dokument die Kaltenbrunner belastenden Stellen verlesen worden waren, fragte die Anklage ihn, ob er immer noch behaupten wolle, daß er mit dem erwähnten Befehl oder den in dem Affidavit angeführten Dingen nichts zu tun hatte, woraufhin Kaltenbrunner antwortete:[2]

„Ich behaupte dies mit aller Entschiedenheit und möchte vor allem darauf hinweisen, daß Sie, Herr Ankläger, erklärt haben, daß diese Aussagen am Sterbebett von Ziereis abgegeben wurden, aber nicht gesagt haben, daß das, was Sie auf Seite 7 bis 8 verlesen haben, wiederum nicht von diesem Ziereis stammt, sondern von jenem Hans Maršálek, der überhaupt den Rahmen für diese Aussagen abgibt. Dieser Hans Maršálek, den ich selbstverständlich nie im Leben gekannt habe, ist, wie die beiden anderen Zeugen, ein Schutzhäftling in Mauthausen gewesen. Über den Wert der Aussage eines Konzentrationslagerhäftlings über mich und über die Unmöglichkeit selbst, diesem gegenübergestellten Zeugen ins Gesicht sprechen zu können, habe ich mich kurz geäußert. Mein Antrag wird durch meinen Verteidiger gestellt werden. Ich muß auch hier bitten, ihm gegenübergestellt zu werden. Maršálek kann von einem solchen Befehl überhaupt nichts wissen. Trotzdem behauptet er, er wußte von diesem Befehl.“

Daraufhin erklärte die Anklage, Maršálek – der nie persönlich vor Gericht erschienen ist – sei lediglich der Mann, der die Erklärung Ziereis’ auf dem Sterbebett entgegengenommen habe. Gefragt, ob er dies verstehe, erwiderte Kaltenbrunner:

„Nein, das verstehe ich nicht, weil es bisher neu war, daß die Anklagebehörde Konzentrationslagerhäftlinge zur Vernehmung des durch drei Bauchschüsse tödlich verwundeten Ziereis verwandt hat. Ich habe gedacht, daß solche Einvernahmen wenigstens von einem juristisch soweit vorgebildeten Anklagevertreter geführt werden, daß er solche Zeugenaussagen auch bewerten kann.“

Weitere Version

In einem Fotoalbum des Juden Oscar Roth, das der Yale Universität vermacht wurde, findet sich eine zweite, kürzere Version des vermeintlichen Geständnisses Ziereis’, das in wesentlichen Punkten jedoch mit der Erklärung Maršáleks übereinstimmt.[3] Allerdings gibt ein handschriftlicher Vermerk im selben Album die Umstände seiner Verhaftung etwas anders wieder. Danach wurde Ziereis nicht bei der Gefangennahme angeschossen, sondern „gefangengenommen und erschossen“.[4]


Die Aussage Kaltenbrunners am 12. April 1946
Digitale Dokumentensammlung des Nuremberg Trials Project


  1. Az. 26 B Vr 13108/87. Zit. in: Johannes Heyne: Die „Gaskammer“ im KL Mauthausen – Der Fall Emil Lachout, Fußnote 4 (VHO). In Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung 7(3&4) (2003), S. 422–435
  2. Der Prozeß gegen die Hauptkriegsverbrecher vor dem Internationalen Gerichtshof Nürnberg, Nürnberg 1947, Bd. 11, S. 364ff (Zeno)
    Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal, Nürnberg 1948, Bd. 11, S. 328ff (LoC|Yale)
  3. Transkript des Geständnisses, Oscar Roth Papers (englisch)
  4. “He was captured and shot.”, Quotation from handwritten caption in Oscar Roth's album of photographs taken after the liberation of Gusen and Mauthausen concentration camps, Austria