Georg Konrad Morgen

konrad morgen

Georg Konrad Morgen (Fritz Bauer Institut)

Georg Konrad Morgen: He was born in 1908, and was a judge in the SS court and chairman of a special committee to investigate embezzlement and theft among SS members in concentration camps. After the war, Morgen testified as a witness in the trial against the major war criminals at the International War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg and later at the so-called Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial in 1965.

First please describe the Lublin trial

One day I received a report from the Kommandant of the Security Police in Lublin. He reported that in his district in a Jewish labour camp, a Jewish wedding had taken place. There had been 1,100 invited guests at this wedding.

As I said 1,100 guests participated in this Jewish wedding. The dinner course was quite extraordinary and there was a large consumption of food and alcohol. Among these Jews were members of the SS troop, who took part in this function. This report, which came in months later, said the Kommandant of the Security Police was suspicious and there had been a horrible accident. This was my impression as well and there was no indication of the corruption and crime. With this intention, I went to Lublin and I reported to the Security Police there. Nothing was known about it, but I was told there was a possibility that this happened at a camp near Lublin. I found out the name of the Kommandant of the camp and learned that it was the Krimminal Kommissar Wirth.

I asked Wirth whether this report was true and what it meant. To my great astonishment, Wirth admitted it. I asked him why he permitted members of his command to do this and Wirth revealed to me that on behalf of the Führer he had to carry out the destruction of Jews.

Please go on, witness

I asked Wirth what this had to do with the Jewish wedding. Then, Wirth described the method by which he carried out the extermination of Jews and he said as follows: “One has to fight the Jews with their own methods and one has to shit on them.” Wirth built up an enormous destruction manoeuvre. He selected Jews as service column leaders, then these Jews brought along other Jews, who worked under them. With these smaller or medium sized details of Jews, he begun to build up the extermination camp. He extended this staff of Jews and with these Jews, Wirth carried out the extermination of the Jews.

Wirth said that he had four extermination camps and about 5,000 Jews were working at the extermination of Jews and the seizure of Jewish property. In order to win Jews for this business of extermination and plundering of their fellow Jews, Wirth gave them freedom and, so to speak, gave them a financial part in the exploitation of the victims. As a result of this attitude, the Jewish wedding had come about.

Then I asked Wirth how he killed Jews with these Jewish agents of his. Wirth described the whole procedure that went off like a film every time. The extermination camps were in the East of the Government General and in big forests or uninhabited lands. They were built up like a village. The inhabitants expected to come into a city or settlement. The train drove into what looked like a railroad station. The operating personnel and the train personnel left the area. Then the cars were opened and the Jews got out. They were surrounded by the Jewish details, and Krimminal  Kommissar Wirth or one of his representatives made a speech. He said: “Jews you were brought here to be resettled, but before we organise this future Jewish state, you must of course learn how to work. You must pick up a new occupation. You will learn that here. First, everyone must take off his clothes so that your clothes can be disinfected and you can be bathed so that no epidemics will be brought into the camp.”

After he had found such calming words for his victims, they took up the road to death. Men and women were separated. At the first station, one had to give his hat; at the next one, his coat, his collar, his shirt, down to his shoes and socks. These places were set up like checkrooms, and the person was given a check at each one so that the people believed that they would get their things back. The other Jews had to accept the things and hurry up the new arrivals so they could not have time to think. The whole thing was like an assembly line. At the last stop they reached a big room. It was said this was a bath. When the last one was in, the doors were shut and the gas was let into the room.

As soon as death had set in, the ventilators were started so that the air could be breathed again. The doors were opened, and the Jewish workers removed the bodies. By means of a special procedure which Wirth had invented, they were burned in the open air without the use of fuel.

Was Wirth a member of the SS?

No, he was Krimminal  Kommissar in Stuttgart.

Did you ask Wirth how he arrived at this devilish system?

When Wirth took over the extermination of the Jews, he was already a specialist in mass destruction of human beings. He had previously carried out the task of removing the incurably insane. On behalf of the Führer himself, through the Chancellery of the Führer, at the beginning of the war he had set up a detail, probably from agents and spies of the criminal police. Wirth described how he went about carrying out this assignment. He received no aid, no instructions, but had to do it all by himself. He was given an institution in Brandenburg. There he undertook his experiments. After much consideration and many individual experiments, he came to his later system, and then this system was used on a large scale.

A commission of doctors previously investigated the files, and those insane who were considered to be incurable were put on a separate list. Then the institution one day was told to send these patients to another institution. From this institution, the patient was transferred again, often more than once. Finally he came to Wirth’s institution. There he was killed by gas and cremated.

This system which deceived the institutions and made them unknowing accomplices, this system that he worked out with very few assistants for being able to exterminate large numbers of people, this system Wirth now employed with a few improvements in the extermination of the Jews. He was also given the assignment by the Führer’s Chancellery to exterminate the Jews.

The statements which Wirth made must have surpassed human imagination. Did you believe Wirth?

At first it seemed completely fantastic to me, but in Lublin I saw one of his camps. It was a camp in which I found part of the property of his victims. From the number of them – there were a great number of watches piled up – I had to realise that atrocities were being committed here. I was shown the valuables. I never saw so much money, especially foreign money – all kinds, from all over the world. In addition, there were gold bars.

I also saw that the headquarters from which Wirth directed his operations was very small and inconspicuous. He had only three or four people working there for him. I spoke to them too. I watched his courier arrive from Berlin, Tiergarten Strasse, the Führer’s Chancellery. I investigated Wirth’s mail. Of course I did not do all this at this first visit. I was there frequently. I prosecuted Wirth up to his death.

Did Wirth give you names of people who were connected with this operation?

Not many names were mentioned for the simple reason, that the number of those who participated could be counted on one’s fingers. I remember one name; I think the name was Blankenburg, in Berlin.


Extracts from the Trial Transcript IMT NO 2614

Wiener Library, London

D. Czech, Auschwitz Chronicle, Henry Holt and Company, New York 1989

Photograph: Fritz Bauer Institut)

© Holocaust Historical Society April 12, 2022