2 Jan. 46

Gestapo upon request for the purpose of interrogation. They remain prisoners of war and have to be treated as such. The delivery to the Gestapo and their dismissal from imprisonment of war has to take place only by order of the OKW or of Wehrkreis Command VI, Department for Prisoners of War.

"In case of French and Belgian prisoners of war and interned Italian military personnel, approval of Wehrkreis Command VI, Department for Prisoners of War, has to be obtained — if necessary by phone — before delivery to the Gestapo for the purpose of interrogation."
This decree was known as the "Bullet Decree." Prisoners of war sent to Mauthausen concentration camp under the decree were executed.

I now offer in support of that statement Document 2285-PS, Exhibit Number USA-490. It is in the second volume. Document 2285-PS is an affidavit of Lieutenant Colonel Guivante de Saint Gast and Lieutenant Jean Veith, both of the French Army, which was taken on the 13th of May 1945 in the course of an official military investigation by the United States Army. The affidavit discloses that Lieutenant Colonel Gast was confined at Mauthausen from 18 March 1944 to 22 April 1945 and that Lieutenant Veith was confined from 22 April 1943 until 22 April 1945. I quote from the affidavit, beginning with the third paragraph of Page 1, quoting:
"In Mauthausen existed several treatments of prisoners, amongst them the 'action K or Kugel' (Bullet action). Upon the arrival of transports, prisoners with the mention 'K' were not registered, got no numbers, and their names remained unknown except for the officials of the Politische Abteilung. Lieutenant Veith had the opportunity of hearing upon the arrival of a transport the following conversation between the Untersturmführer Streitwieser and chief of the convoy:

"'How many prisoners? " '15 but two K.'

"'Well, that makes 13.'

"The K prisoners were taken directly to the prison where they were unclothed and taken to the 'bathroom.' This bathroom in the cellars of the prison building near the crematory was specially designed for execution (shooting and gassing).

"The shooting took place by means of a measuring apparatus — the prisoner being backed towards a metrical measure with an automatic contraption releasing a bullet in his neck as soon as the moving plank determining his height touched the top of his head.