Extracts From Argumentation and Evidence of
Prosecution and Defense: (D) Euthanasia: (d)
Evidence: Extracts From the Testimony of Defendant
Brack: Examination: Part 4", in Trials of War
Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals
Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 1: United
States of America v. Karl Brandt, et.al. (Case 1:
'Medical Case'). District of Columbia: GPO, N.D.
Department of the Army (USA)
Number: AC 94X 10437 Publication Date: PD 19490101.
Document Type: Government Document. Source Document
Language(s): English See Also Related Document
Supersets: Medical-Case; 1NMT; NMT; NWCT Country of
Q. Witness, I think you said yesterday afternoon
that these six euthanasia stations were located at
Bernburg, Brandenburg, Hadamar, Hartheim,
Grafeneck, and Sonnenstein, is that correct?
A. Yes. That is correct.
Q. When were the gas chambers at these
euthanasia stations built?
A. When the institutions were set up as
Q. Can you remember the approximate dates?
A. No. I cannot remember the dates. I just know
the years when the institutions became euthanasia
institutions -- approximately. I know that
Grafeneck and Brandenburg were the first
institutions to become euthanasia institutions. It
began at the end of 1939 at the earliest, the
beginning of 1940 at the latest. Sonnenstein and
Hartheim were set up in the early summer 1940. In
the early summer or spring. The institution at
Bernburg was established in the fall or winter of
1940, Hadamar, in the winter or spring of 1941.
This is as accurate as I can give it.
Q. You said the winter or spring of 1941. Do you
mean the winter of 1940 or the spring of 1941? You
said the winter or spring of 1941.
A. If I say winter 1941, I mean 1/1941, but it
might have been 3/1941 too, I don't know.
Q. And you think that Hadamar was the last one
that was set up?
A. I am quite certain that Hadamar was the last
Q. Now, of what materials were these gas
chambers built? Were they movable gas chambers,
very much like the low-pressure chambers that
Professor Dr. Ruff talked about, or were
they something that was built permanently into the
camp or installation?
A. No special gas chamber was built. A room
suitable in the hospital was used, a room of
necessity attached to the reception ward and to the
room where the insane persons were kept. This room
was made into a gas chamber. It was sealed, given
special doors and windows, and then a few meters of
gas piping were laid, or some kind of piping with
holes in it. Outside this room there was a
container, a compressed gas container with the
necessary apparatus, that is, pressure gauge,
Q. Now what department had the responsibility
for constructing or building these gas chambers,
what department of the Party or of the
A. No office of the Party. I don't understand
Q. Somebody had to build these chambers. Who
gave the orders and who had the responsibility of
building them, was that your department?
A. I assume the orders were given by the head of
the institution, but I don't know who actually did
give the orders.
Q. In other words, were these chambers not built
according to some specifications, plans and
A. I can't imagine that, every chamber was
different. I saw several of them.
Q. Do you know what department gave the order
for having the numbers built? Was that your
department under Bouhler?
A. No. It was Bouhler himself.
Q. And he gave the order to the various heads of
institutions to install this chamber, is that
Q. Now, how would the heads of each of these
institutions know how to install a gas chamber
unless there were certain plans and specifications
given to them?
A. I never saw any such plan. I don't know of
Q. Would you know how to go out and build a gas
chamber unless some engineer or planner had told
you? Certainly I wouldn't.
A. I don't know whether I would either.
Presumably he called in an engineer.
Q. That's what I'm trying to say. What engineer
or group of engineers was responsible for seeing
that these gas chambers were built so that they
would do the job they were supposed to do?
A. There was certainly no group of engineers. I
presume there was somebody at the institutions who
had enough technical ability to do it. I don't
Q. Then, so far as you know, someone at one of
these institutions would be told by Bouhler to
construct a gas chamber and he would call the head
of the institution then would call on someone, you
don't know whom, to go out and build the chamber Is
A. That is how I imagine it.
Q. Well, wouldn't it make a considerable
difference whether the chamber was to be
constructed for euthanasia by carbon monoxide or by
some other means? Wouldn't there have to be some
technical information available to the head of the
institution so that he could give directions to his
mechanic to build the thing to do the thing it was
supposed to do?
A. I must say honestly I really don't know
anything about that. I can't judge.
Q. Do you know whether or not any department of
the government, under Bouhler, or under
Brandt, or under anybody else, was
responsible for seeing that the gas apparatus was
A. I don't know, but I don't believe so because
I would probably have heard of it.
Q. How large were these gas chambers?
A. They were of different sizes. It was simply
an adjoining room. I can't remember whether they
were 4 x 5 meters, or 5 x 6 meters. Simply normal
sized rooms, but I can't tell you the exact size.
It was too long ago. I can't remember.
Q. Were they as large as this courtroom?
A. No. They were just normal rooms.
Q. Well, a man of your intelligence must have
some idea about the size of these rooms. The
assertion "normal size" doesn't mean anything in
A. By that I mean the size of the normal room in
a normal house. I didn't mean an assembly room or a
cell either. I meant a room, but I can't tell you
the exact size because I really don't know it. It
might have been 4 x 5 meters, or 5 x 6 meters, or
3.5 x 4.5, but I really don't know. I didn't pay
much attention to it.
Q. Have you ever visited a concentration camp or
a military camp of any kind?
A. I visited a concentration camp, and I was
once in a military camp as a soldier.
Q. Have you ever seen a shower room or shower
bath built into a camp of that kind where the
inmates of concentration camps, or where soldiers
in a military barracks, can take showers?
A. Yes, I have. In my own barracks.
Q. And would you say that this euthanasia room
at the various institutions was about that
A. I think it was much smaller.
Q. Well, perhaps we can get at it this way. I
thought perhaps you knew something about the
mechanical construction that I supposed everybody
knew something about. This room of yours that you
talk about, how many people would it
A. Yesterday I said that according to my
estimate it might have been twenty-five or thirty
Q. And that is still your estimate today? I
remember yesterday that you said that, and that is
still your estimate today, it could comfortably
take care of twenty-five or thirty people?
A. Yes. That's my estimate.
Q. Now, the carbon monoxide gas that was used
for the purpose of euthanasia where did it come
from? I know you said yesterday that it came out of
tubes very much like oxygen came in, but where did
the tubes come from? Do you know?
A. I don't know. They were the normal steel
containers which can be seen everywhere.
Q. Do you know how they reached the camp?
A. That I don't know.
Q. Do you know whether any department of the
government was responsible for furnishing the gas
to the camp?
A. No. They were probably bought.
Q. You think then that perhaps the
superintendent of the institution, if he wanted
some carbon monoxide gas, would just walk down town
and walk into a store and buy a steel tube of it
and put it under his arm and carry it on back to
the camp; pay for it out of his pocket?
A. No, not out of his own pocket but through the
institution. The institutions bought them, I