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      From the papers of Jean Vaughan, American authoress       

         [Translated by Maria K Shnell. No German text available]   

Affidavit made by Paul Leffler at Liberec, Sept 6th, 1947

[Website note: Leffler joined the SD on Jun 15, 1932, and from Mar 15, 1933 until his resignation on Mar 31, 1936 he was dienstältester Abteilungsleiter. After in April 1934 the SD moved to Berlin for good, he was the dienstältester Amtschef of the SD-Hauptamt. See too his first affidavit]


The SD (Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers SS)

I CAN speak from my own experience and knowledge about the SD only for the time of my activity in it, that is from June 15th 1932 until March 31st, 1936. I did that minutely in my reports presented to the Czech officials in June and July 1946 (Development, aims, management, ways of action, and methods of the SD during the time of its establishment in the beginning of 1932 until March 1936, seen from the point of view of my own activity in it and referring especially to that), and "Heinrich Himmler and the SS." A copy of each is enclosed [not available].

As a completion I forward the copy of an affidavit which I put into the hands of the camp commander of the American Internment Camp 78 to be forwarded to the International Military Tribunal.

I can make the following additional statements abut the SD after my dismissal; they are based on the affidavit of the former SS-Sturmbannführer Dr Reinhardt which is also to be presented in Nürnberg and which I have come to know. Dr Reinhardt was employed in the Amt III of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt up to the last day.

With the beginning of the war the highest officers of the SD, the Gestapo and the police concerned with crimes [Kriminalpolizei] were gathered in one Hauptamt, the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, after they had already been united under their highest official [Heydrich] in Personalunion. The aim of this new organisation was mainly to decrease the number of officials. In the RSHA the inland SD was the Amt III, the SD for foreign countries the Amt VI, the Gestapo the Amt IV and the Kriminalpolizei the Amt V.

Contrary to the intelligence services of most other foreign countries, the SD did not have any executive power. The SD and the Gestapo were united outwardly in the organisation of the RSHA as their highest office, but as to their duties and aims they stayed entirely apart, as before. Neither had the SD to give orders to the Gestapo nor vice versa. The subordinated offices of these two institutions were entirely independent from each other throughout the Reich. Sometimes their respective districts overlapped, sometimes the officers of the Gestapo and the SD for the same local district were in different towns. In order to decrease the number of office-utensils [office equipment] of which the SD was always short, the SD and the Gestapo usually worked in one and the same office in the occupied areas, and the areas of military actions. Yet their duties were and stayed different ones. This uniting of the SD and the Gestapo in one head organisation never touched their entirely different functions.

Until the beginning of the war the SD had a second, but subordinate task which however was dropped with the beginning of the war, that was to report on "opponents of National Socialism", which however did not mean to find out and fight either with police or other means the single personal individual. So these reports were never a summary of punishable or unlegal actions of single persons. The reports informed the political leadership of the opinions of oppositional circles, by showing the development of the fundamental mentality. In their aims these reports did not differ in the least from the informations which all Governments of national states used to obtain or procure in former times.

The staff of the SD consisted

  1. of professional workers in the main offices: Reichssicherheitshauptamt, Amt III and VI; SD Branch (one in each Gau), and some few SD-Außenstellen (by far most of the people in the Außenstellen worked honorary).
  2. of honorary co-operators and also honorary V-men.

The whole staff was very small. There were no more than 700 professional SS-leaders and about 14,000 honorary V-men in the inland SD, that means that there was 1 professional SS leader to 120,000 inhabitants, and one V-man to 6,000 inhabitants. There were hardly any sub-leaders in the SD. (For instance there were only three sub-leaders to 25 leaders in the Gruppe IIIA of the RSHA in 1933/44). Their total was far below that of the leaders. They were usually technical or administrative workers, but they hardly ever had any self-reliant or responsible work to do.

The SD did not employ an organisation of agents or spies (denouncers or informants). The agent is a paid worker, has -- as is well known -- the order to find out and report, on some specially defined question or task. The informant however acts from selfish, secretly immoral motives. The V-men of the SD -- they worked honorary -- however were chosen on account of their high human qualities and efficiency and their objective, unprejudiced, passionless judgment, and had to be men who were highly esteemed by the population. They had of their own accord to give true reports on mismanagements and mistreatments without regard to the person. Like every other citizen they were subject to the general law.

It is not true that the SD had any influence on the elections of Nazi leaders (Hoheitsträger and so on). The relation of the SD to most of the Gauleiters was out-spokenly awkward, especially to the Leiter of the Parteikanzlei (Martin Bormann) and this fact shows that the Partei was not likely to give up their rights concerning the elections of political leaders. This tension was founded in the mistrust that Bormann held against the -- as he believed -- pessimistic SD reports. To Bormann's opinion these reports criticised ….ly the political leaders and talked of the population being war tired, contrary to the reports and observations of the political leaders.

The tension between the SD and the Gauleiters was based on the fact that they objected strictly to that anything of their gau became known outside of it, and that was beyond their control or could not be influenced by them. Most Gauleiters did not like anybody to "look into their cards."

SD reports on officials who was to be advanced in their career, were made on request of the Partei. They were not at all a valuation only seen from the political point of view, on the contrary they gave a picture also of the professional efficiency, that was to be free from the interest that the superior might have had in this promotion, and they had to contain also the judgment of the population on his general activity as oficial.

In the meantime it must be known from many cases that also people who were opposed to National Socialism were not only left in their places but were also promoted. But additionally I want to draw attention for instance to the fact that now (in 1946) a Minister is installed in Württemberg who was a judge in the Oberlandesgericht vom 1933 to 1945 though, as was generally known, he was opposed to National Socialism. Another instance: The Studienprofessor Person of Karlsbad was not dismissed though he had been Landtagsabgeordneter of the Badische Zentrumspartei before 1933, and did not show any sympathy towards NS after 1933, but became Personalsachbearbeiter in the Amt Abwehr during the war in 1943 he being Reserve-Offizier and was left in this post after the Amt Abwehr had been united with others in the RSHA in 1944. The former gauleiter and Regierungspräsident of Schwaben, [Karl] Wahl, did not only keep all officials in their places who were opposed to NS but he did not ever replace a single of these officials of his government who was "political unreliable" by a member of the Partei.

The SD did not abstain from reporting truthfully the negative judgment of the population and fellow officials on such officials that were favoured by highly influential political persons. There was for instance the case of the Lord Mayor of Hannover, Dr Hallenhof(?) (1937/38). He was installed by Rust (then Gauleiter) as the "convenient man" and Rust kept him in this position in spite of his inefficiency.

The SD reports were not at all decisive as to the actual promotion of officials. Whether the reports were used or not was up to the Partei offices that acted according to their right to be heard in case of promotions, which right was granted them in the Beamtengesetz. These Partei officers used the SD reports in addition to the information that they received through their own institutions (for instance the Amt for Beamte).

Liberec, Sept 6th, 1947

Signed L. [Paul Leffler]

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