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Barbie Trial -- Day 7 -- Two experts testify

Film | Accession Number: 2005.516.1 | RG Number: RG-60.1601 | Film ID: 3964

14:56 Witness Holtfort testifies, via an interpreter, that the documents presented to him by President Cerdini for verification are indeed authentic

15:07 Cerdini asks Holtfort whether, in his professional opinion, it is possible that the signature of Barbie's name was in fact written by someone else. Holtfort replies that theoretically, yes, but he has never seen a case of that in his years of research in this topic

15:10 Holtfort continues that, given the hierarchy of the SIPO-SD, a false signature would have been illegal and simply wouldn't have happened. Cerdini asks Holtfort to testify as to his understanding of the hierarchy and chain of command within the SIPO-SD, and its relation to the RSHA (Reich Main Security Office, in Berlin).

15:19 Cerdini asks Holtfort whether, given the documents in hand, the UGIF and Izieu raids were the direct initiatives of the Lyon KDS office, or stemmed from external orders. Holtfort testifies that these raids occurred rather late in the war (1944) and that at this time, many orders came from the BDS office in Paris to round up and deport Jews from regional KDS outposts. In April 1944, as it was becoming more difficult for the BDS in Paris to deport Jews, a letter was sent from Paris to all of the regional commanders, giving them the power to direct their own deportation initiatives without additional oversight from Paris.

15:26 An attorney asks that Mr. Streim, who had already testified the previous day, be called to testify with Mr. Holtfort in order to ascertain more specifically what powers an individual SS officer held, and specifically a Lyon SS officer.

15:27 The attorney asks both witnesses to testify to their understanding of the relations between the State and the Nazi Party, and how these were impacted by the law of October 1, 1933. The interpreter replies that neither can testify to this.

15:29 The attorney asks the two witnesses to speak to the history and organization of the SS, and its relation to the Nazi party. Holtfort explains that the SS were originally understood as subordinate to the Nazi party, and the first precursor appeared as early as 1923-- its job was to protect Hitler himself, and to provide security for party meetings. He explains the growth of this small unit into the SS at the height of Nazi power, under Himmler's leadership.

15:46 The attorney asks whether there were one or more schools where SS officers were trained, and what their knowledge was of the training school that Barbie attended, Bernau. He asks whether Barbie might have come across, in his time at Bernau, other SS officers who would later become ranking officers at concentration camps. Neither witness can give an absolute answer.

Event:  1987 May 19
Lyon, France
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Institut National de L'Audiovisuel
Record last modified: 2020-08-04 09:20:13
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