I have slowly tired of living as an anonymous wanderer between two worlds, wanted even by the police of my homeland. At Nürnberg, my most trusted subordinate testified against me. So did others. Perhaps these people referred to me to whitewash themselves. But when such a thing goes on for years and everyone joins in, blaming me for the deeds of all, a legend is created in which exaggeration plays a large part.
In actual fact, I was merely a little cog in the machinery that carried out the directives and orders of the German Reich. I am neither a murderer nor a mass-murderer. I am a man of average character, with good qualities and many faults. I was not "Czar of the Jews," as a Paris newspaper once called me, nor was I responsible for all the good and evil deeds done against them. Where I was implicated in the physical annihilation of the Jews, I admit my participation freely and without pressure. After all, I was the one who transported the Jews to the camps. If I had not transported them, they would not have been delivered to the butcher.
Yet what is there to "admit"? I carried out my orders. It would be as pointless to blame me for the whole Final Solution of the Jewish Problem as to blame the official in charge of the railroads over which the Jewish transports traveled. Where would we have been if everyone had thought things out in those days? You can do that today in the "new" German army. But with us an order was an order. If I had sabotaged the order of the one-time Führer of the German Reich, Adolf Hitler, I would have been not only a scoundrel but a despicable pig, like those who broke their military oath to join the ranks of the anti-Hitler criminals in the conspiracy of July 20, 1944.
May 29, 1998