30 Nov. 45

COL. AMEN: Was there a conversation at this conference about the manner in which these orders for the killings were being executed?

LAHOUSEN: Yes. In the course of discussions the entire problem was under discussion including the manner in which these orders were carried out--according to my recollection--by the Einsatzkommandos of the SD. These SD squads were in charge both of singling out of persons in camps and in assembly centers for prisoners of war, and of carrying out the executions.

Reinecke also discussed measures regarding the treatment of Russian prisoners of war in the camps. Reinecke emphatically accepted the arguments put forth, not by me but by Müller, and voiced his conviction in very decisive and excessively sharp manner.

COL. AMEN: Now, will you explain to the Tribunal from what you learned at this conference the exact manner in which the sorting of these prisoners was made and in what way it was determined which of the prisoners should be killed?

LAHOUSEN: The prisoners were sorted out by Kommandos of the SD and according to peculiar and utterly arbitrary ways of procedure. Some of the leaders of these Einsatzkommandos were guided by racial considerations; particularly, of course, if someone were a Jew or of Jewish type or could otherwise be classified as racially inferior, he was picked for execution. Other leaders of the Einsatzkommando selected people according to their intelligence. Some had views all of their own and usually most peculiar, so that I felt compelled to ask Müller, "Tell me, according to what principles does this selection take place? Do you determine it by the height of a person or the size of his shoes?"

Müller was very emphatic in rejecting these and any other objections, and Reinecke adopted rigidly the same point of view as Müller, instead of accepting my opinions, that is, those of the Amt Ausland Abwehr, which were offered him as a "golden bridge" for his acceptance. That was essentially the contents of the discussion in which I participated.

COL. AMEN: And had you received knowledge about the manner in which these orders were executed through official reports which you received?

LAHOUSEN: We were currently informed of all happenings our officials at the front or in the camps. Officers of the Abwehr Division III were active in these camps, and in this way, that is, through the normal service channels, we were informed by reports and oral presentation of all these measures and of their effects.