Oswald Pohl

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Well, it was war - I could not have carried on as an administrative officer if I had let myself be swayed emotionally by my feelings.

Oswald Pohl (June 30, 1892June 7, 1951) was a Nazi official and member of the SS (with a rank of SS-Obergruppenführer), involved in the mass murders of Jews in concentration camps, the Endlösung. After the end of World War II in 1945, Pohl first hid in Upper Bavaria, then near Bremen; nevertheless, he was captured by British troops on May 27, 1946 and sentenced to death on November 3, 1947 by an American military tribunal after the Nuremberg trials. He was hanged on June 7, 1951.

Sourced[edit]

  • I don't hold it against the men who beat me because undoubtedly there are some ruffians of every nationality and the English are not exceptions.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, June 4, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • I assumed that some of the gold bars I received were melted gold teeth.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, June 5, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • I accept responsibility for the camps, but as far as measures against the Jews, I had nothing to do with them. Those orders came from the RSHA. Himmler sent orders to Kaltenbrunner, who transmitted them to Mueller of the Gestapo, and the latter had the entire extermination program under him. That was the way all of Himmler's orders went. I did not participate in the murder of the Jews.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, June 5, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • Himmler chose certain camps and, together with Kaltenbrunner and Mueller, ordered the commandants of these camps to carry out the extermination program. This was done in the chain of command as I have just told you. I emphasize that it was Himmler to Kaltenbrunner to Mueller to Gluecks, who was also one of my subordinate generals, to the individual concentration camp commandants, who had been selected by Himmler to perform the exterminations. Otherwise, Himmler would have had to give the orders to me because I was technically in charge of the concentration camps. What I am trying to bring out is that although I am responsible for the camps, and the extermination program took place within these camps, I am not responsible for the extermination program itself, because these orders did not go through me, but went through the chain of individuals I have just mentioned.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, June 5, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • I had eleven main concentration camps under my command. From these eleven camps, internees were sent to other so-called labor camps. That was my job. I had nothing to do with the final solution of the Jews. That was an act done by camp personnel such as the commandants. Of course, the center of all those orders for the extermination of the Jews was Mueller of the Gestapo, who received his orders from Kaltenbrunner, who carried out the plans of Himmler.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, June 5, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • What can I say? If I knew in 1934 what I know now, I would have remained in the navy. I didn't know that this was going to happen and I didn't know that Germany was going to lose the war and be in ruins.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, June 5, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • I would have left all the Jews in Germany, but put them on an alien status, under alien law, and naturally closed them out of jobs like doctor or lawyer. But why execute them? In that way, strong Jewish influence would have been cast aside and there would be no need for atrocities. Whenever we would have discussions in our own circle, I would mention my solution, whereupon Himmler would say to me, 'Pohl, you are too soft.' Therefore, I did my best to keep out of the whole final solution of the Jewish problem.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, June 5, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • I can only be responsible for my orders. I cannot be responsible for all the acts of Himmler.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, June 5, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • Well, it was war - I could not have carried on as an administrative officer if I had let myself be swayed emotionally by my feelings.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, June 5, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004

About Pohl[edit]

  • Ach! If Hitler had given me an immoral order I would have refused. Think of it! To break teeth out of a dead body! Think of it! Why, if I had been only a simple soldier, I would not have obeyed. I would have said that it was against my religious conviction. That dog Pohl knew all about it.
    • Hjalmar Schacht to Leon Goldensohn, June 9, 1946
  • Pohl I did not know at all except, of course, that I had heard of him and perhaps I did see him occasionally at the Fuhrer's headquarters or at large meetings. But that a man could be in charge of all the concentration camps in Germany, Himmler's right-hand man without a doubt, making him one of the great criminals of our age - what sort of man is he? Does he talk? Does he proclaim innocence like Kaltenbrunner? I really can't understand such people.
    • Baldur von Schirach to Leon Goldensohn, June 16, 1946

External links[edit]

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