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Letter from the Head of the Security Police and the SD, Reinhard Heydrich, on the Classification of Concentration Camps (January 2, 1941)

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Category III: For prisoners against whom strong accusations have been made, particularly those who have criminal convictions at the same time and are asocial – i.e, virtually incapable of correction, the camp: Mauthausen.

Not to be included in category Ia are old prisoners who are not qualified for work and who are in need of medical treatment. They are to remain in the sections of their respective concentration camps that have been specially provided for this purpose. More serious cases are to be transferred to the hospital section of the concentration camp Sachsenhausen.

A regrouping of the prisoners within the camps according to the new classifications cannot be carried out right now in view of the current measures being taken with respect to prisoner employment. New dispositions will be made, however, in accordance with the classification.

In the case of future requests for arrests and transfers to a concentration camp, I therefore ask that suggestions be made as to the category of the prisoner, taking into consideration his personality as well as the degree of danger he poses to the state.

I therefore order that a complete record of the political life, previous convictions for criminal offences, and conduct of the prisoner since the takeover of power be established, and that each and every request for assignment into category III be justified in detail.

This decree does not apply to the district and local police authorities.

signed Heydrich

Source of English translation: Letter from the Head of the Security Police and the SD, Reinhard Heydrich, on the Classification of Concentration Camps (January 2, 1941). In United States Chief Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume III. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1946, Document 1063-A-PS, pp. 775-76. (English translation attributed to Nuremberg staff; edited by GHI staff.)

Source of original German text: Schreiben des Chefs der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD, Reinhard Heydrich, über die Einstufung der Konzentrationslager (2. Januar 1941). In International Militärgerichtshof Nürnberg, Der Nürnberger Prozess gegen die Hauptskriegsverbrecher vom 14. November 1945 bis 1. Oktober 1946: Urkunden und anderes Beweismaterial. Published in Nuremberg 1947. Munich: Delphin Verlag, 1989. Volume XXVI: Amtlicher Text – Deutsche Ausgabe, Nummer 405-PS bis Nummer 1063(d)-PS. Dokument 1063 (a-b)-PS [Geheimes Schreiben Heydrichs vom 2. Januar 1941 an das Reichssicherheitshauptamt und andere Polizeistellen über die Einstufung der Konzentrationslager (Beweisstück US-492)], pp. 695-97.

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