The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 20
(Part 5 of 7)

Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann, Eichmann trial, holocaust, Jewish holocaust
Presiding Judge: What is "Br." Is that known?

Attorney General: No, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: Maybe "Br." is the typist?

Attorney General: It probably is. Eichmann apparently drafted the letter, which includes a reference to him. Heydrich says, on 21 December 1939, in accordance with an instruction he received: "For practical reasons centralized treatment of the Security Police aspects connected with the evacuation of the Eastern area becomes necessary. As my special Rapporteur in the Office for Reich Security I have appointed SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann (his deputy: Hauptstu7rmfuehrer Guenther)." There follows the address of the office. Eichmann became the officer in charge authorized to carry out the deportation and evacuation on the strength of the document of 21 December 1939.

Presiding Judge: Evacuation not only of Jews?

Attorney General: Not only Jews. We also charge him with uprooting not only Jews, but also of Poles and Gypsies.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/170.

Attorney General: Our next document is No. 1399. Its date is 8 January 1940.

Presiding Judge: How does this fit with the bureaucratic structure according to your argument, Mr. Hausner? He was in his own Department, wasn't he?

Attorney General: At first he was there, then in Department IVD4. Department IVB4 was not created until March-April 1941.

Presiding Judge: Did Department IVB4 have such functions of transferring populations in general?

Attorney General: Yes, we can show this to the Court. At that time the task of IVB4 was population removal and transfer of persons. At the same time he did not cease to act as officer in charge of Jewish affairs. That is a different question. We shall also see his other activity. But this was an additional job.

Document 1399 is a minute of a meeting concerning the evacuations. It took place in Danzig on 8 January 1940. SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann from the Head Office for Reich Security presided.

Presiding Judge: Why do you say Danzig. At the top it says Berlin, does it not?

Attorney General: The document is from Danzig, the meeting was in Berlin.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/171.

Attorney General: Authentication- Bulletin 12, document 12. In paragraph 2 of this internal minute Hauptsturmfuehrer Mohr said he had to draw particular attention to the difficulties arising in some cases where the quota of evacuees approved by the Government was exceeded. In one transport during the great cold spell there were 100 cases of death from cold, he said.

In paragraph 3 it says: "The experts of Inspectors North East, South East and Warthegau quoted the following figures for the immediate evacuation of Jews: North East - 30,000, South East 120,000-125,000, Warthegau (Lodz) 200,000. In addition Warthegau wants to evacuate 80,000 Poles immediately in order to make room for Volksdeutsche from Galicia and Volhynia. (So far Warthegau has evacuated 87,000 Poles).

At the end of the document, in sub-paragraph 9 it says: "The Commander of the Security Police and SD in Cracow and the RSHA Department IV, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann, must be informed by cable of the departure of each transport."

The last sentence reads: "RSHA, Department IV intends to put at the disposal of the Inspector of the Security Police and the SD one assistant and one orderly each for the preparation of the measures to be taken."

Presiding Judge: Was this shown to the Accused?

Attorney General: I do not think so, Your Honour.

The next document connected with this affair is our No. 1400. This is the minute of a meeting which took place between Eichmann and Seidl, in the presence of Guenther and Rajakowitsch, in connection with the evacuations. Authentication: The Polish Bulletin 12, document No. 16.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/172.

Attorney General: Under discussion is the fact that in Lodz difficulties were created by the evacuation from Volhynia, that 10 trains arrive daily and 6 additional trains from the Altreich are in preparation. At the end of the second paragraph there is a sentence which I should like to read in German: "Die Juden muessen eben aus Lodz nach Posen gebracht und dort verladen werden" ("Well then, the Jews would have to be taken from Lodz to Posnan and loaded for despatch from there.")

In the final remark in that document Eichmann announces that there will be an additional consultation on 30 January at 11 a.m. where Heydrich will preside and the District Chiefs from the Generalgouvernement will take part.

These are the documents concerning the displacement and evacuation from Poland.

On 24 June 1940 Heydrich wrote to the German Foreign Minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop. This is our document No. 464. It is a short document. Heydrich invokes Goering's order which puts him, Heydrich, in charge of Jewish emigration. That order was contained in a document of January 1939 which was submitted to you yesterday. Heydrich says that since he took over the task, 200,000 Jews had emigrated from the Reich but "the problem as a whole - which is already a matter of 3 1/4 million Jews in the areas under German sovereignty is, therefore, becoming necessary." The document appears under the letterhead IVB4.* {*Actually IVD4)} It is mentioned in the interrogation of the Accused from page 1742 onward.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/173. What is "eine territoriale Endloesung" (a final territorial solution) according to your argument?

Attorney General: We argue that at that time certain German circles still toyed with the hope of a territorial solution - perhaps: Madagascar, perhaps Guinea, perhaps Nisko, this was not yet clear. There may have been some who knew very well what the intention was, but our argument is that at that time the decision of the final physical destruction had not yet been taken.

Presiding Judge: Could we perhaps stop here?

Attorney General: Perhaps the next document will bring the chapter of the territoriale Endloesung to an end, as far as the Accused is concerned and I shall not to have to come back to it.

This is a memorandum on the Madagascar Project which Theodor Dannecker from the Department of the Accused wrote to the Foreign Ministry on 15 August 1940. Our document No. 172. I shall not read out the entire programme; it is very long. It is Dannecker's project - and according to our argument Eichmann's project, because Dannecker was subordinate to him; it originated in the RHSA as indicated in the document - to transfer four million Jews to Madagascar over a period of four years under supervision of the SS. Dannecker sees the main advantage of the project in the fact that Madagascar is an island and therefore the Jews would not be able to exercise a harmful influence on anybody else; they would be under the supervision of the SS. And the transfer would of course be carried out at the expense of the Jews. This document was shown to the Accused.

Presiding Judge: This document will be T/174.

Attorney General: Here I should perhaps explain the subject of Adolf Boehm. On pages 806-807 of his statement the Accused speaks of this programme. He further speaks about it on page 790 of the interrogation. But on pages 806-807 the Accused says to Inspector Less that, as is known, he was under the influence of Adolf Boehm's book, he had not yet forgotten it and here was an opportunity to obtain a territory. And I shall read the final sentence of the passage:

"Here it is possible to hand the area to the Jews and to clear it for settlement."
The Court will remember Rosenberg's speech concerning the Madagascar project, a document already submitted.

Our next document is No. 1097 and it contains a secret covering letter as well as the arrangement made on the eve of Operation "Barbarossa" between the Security Head Office and the German Army. Signed by von Brauchitsch, it envisages cooperation between the Army and the Security Police in the occupation zone in the USSR. Already on 28 April guidelines were laid down to the effect that security police objectives made participation of the Security Police in the operation necessary.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/175.

Attorney General: The participation was made in such a way, as stated on page 2, that the Sonderkommandos were authorized within the framework of their functions to take executive action against the civilian population on their own responsibility. And on page 3 it says that they are to receive their professional guidelines from the Head of the SIPO (Security Police) and the SD. Communication channels were established between the Security Police and the Head Office. The signature is that of von Brauchitsch, the German Commander for the invasion of the USSR.

The next document is our No. 1091, an order of the Fuehrer dated 17 July 1941. This is already after the outbreak of war. It decrees that, after the civil administration begins to operate in the occupied territories, the Reichsfuehrer SS is authorized to issue orders to the Reichskommissars. In order to ensure police protection a senior SS and Police Commander will be seconded to each Reichskommissar who will be directly subordinate to the Reichskommissar personally. Signed: Adolf Hitler, Keitel, Dr. Lammers. This Erlass (Decree) is known as the "Kommissarerlass" (the Commissars Decree).

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/176.

Attorney General: As a follow-up to this, detailed instructions were given on the same day on how to deal with Jews, politicos, Soviet Commissars. I submit the document.

Presiding Judge: It will be T/177.

Attorney General: The document comes from Department IV. It prescribes, within the framework of cooperation between the Wehrmacht and the Security Police, that the units shall act independently, within the camp procedures, on the basis of special powers and guidelines given to them.

Firstly, all important office holders in the State and the Party must be located, especially professional revolutionaries, officials of the Comintern, all important party functionaries of the USSR and its affiliated organizations in the central, district and local committees, all People's Commissars and their deputies, all former Politico-Commissars in the Red Army, all Jews.

Further on the document, states that executions - "special treatment" as they are called here - are to be carried out as far as possible in the former Soviet area. What is "special treatment?" The term has been known for a long time, and was also used by the Accused. But we have it black on white in a document as far back as 26 September 1939, No. 410, which we submit herewith and where it says: "Sonderbehandlung" (Execution).

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/178.

Attorney General: And now to the basic document, Goering's order to Heydrich, which is not dated exactly. It is dated July 1941. In other copies, which were submitted to the International Tribunal the date 31 July is indicated.

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/179.

Attorney General: Because of its importance I shall read it in full. It is a short document:

"Further to the task imposed upon you by order of 24 January 1939, to bring the Jewish question to as favourable conclusion as possible under the present circumstances through emigration or evacuation, I herewith instruct you to make all necessary preparations, organizational, practical and material, for an overall solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe.

To the extent that the competence of other central authorities is affected thereby, they are ordered to cooperate in this matter.

I further instruct you to submit to me as soon as possible an overall draft for the preliminary organizational, practical and material measures towards the implementation of the desired final solution of the Jewish question."

(Signed) Goering

The next document is our No. 890. It contains the first preparations for Wannsee. The document is dated 29 November 1941.

Judge Raveh: Mr. Hausner, in the previous document there is no date...oh yes, on the copy there is a date. In the original is there the month without the day?

Attorney General: This is how it is in the original. We know that in the I.M.T. the same document appears in a different copy, which is not in our possession, and there it states 31 July.

Presiding Judge: There is something very faint here, as if written in pencil, which could be 31.

Attorney General: The Court will also notice in the next documents, where Heydrich refers to it, and also in the one I have just submitted, document No. 890, he says that the date is 31 July. Here, right at the beginning of document No. 890, Heydrich's letter to Gruppenfuehrer Hofmann, this is the first invitation to the Wannsee Conference. He mentions Goering's instructions of 31 July. And this is what he says: "On 31 July the Reichsmarschall of the Great German Reich charged me with the task..."

Presiding Judge: This will be T/180.

Attorney General: The Court will note that the invitation is for 9 December 1941 to a discussion of matters pertaining to the "final solution" with breakfast following, so it says. The venue is the Office of the International Criminal Police Commission in Berlin. At the end of the letter it says that in accordance with a telephone conversation with Sturmbannfuehrer Guenther the date has been changed. Heydrich writes that he has addressed similar letters to Frank, Meyer, Stuckart and others. We do not know why the Wannsee Conference did not take place on 9 December after all. We assume it was because the war with the USSR started close to that date. Then there was the attack on Pearl Harbour. At any rate, document No. 946 is an invitation, similar to the one I have just submitted, except that that one was addressed to Hofmann, while this is addressed to Luther.

Presiding Judge: This document will be T/181.

Attorney General: Our next document is No. 1101 and it is a memorandum prepared in Department IVB4 for the Wannsee Conference. I submit it herewith. The subject is "The Final Solution of the Jewish Question." It says that on 28 January SS Obergruppenfuehrer Krueger came to the Chief of the SP and SD in order to discuss the centralized treatment of the Jewish affairs in the Generalgouvernement. From the steps taken recently in this respect it can been seen more and more clearly that the Governor General aims at dealing with the entire Jewish Question himself.

Presiding Judge: Who signed it?

Attorney General: This is a draft, Your Honour. We have no signature here. This is the draft of an internal memorandum in preparation of the Conference.

Presiding Judge: This document will be T/182.

Attorney General: It says here that at the meeting instructions were given to the Head of Department IVB4 to extend additional invitations to the meeting on 9 December 1941. In anticipation of the discussions there was an internal exchange of letters in the various departments on how they envisaged the solution of the Jewish Question in Europe. Our document No. 465 is a letter from the Foreign Ministry presenting their wishes and ideas ("Wuensche und Ideen") concerning the proposed "Total Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe."

Judge Raveh: In T/182, 28 January is mentioned as the date. Isn't this an error?

Attorney General: No, this was actually in 1941. In the beginning of 1941 there were discussions in the direction of such solutions, but in the meantime Frank dealt with these matters in Poland in his own way. And when there was a decision on the "Final Solution" it was decided that this was to be entirely in the hands of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt. And therefore it was necessary to invite all concerned to a meeting.

Presiding Judge: This document will be T/183 (The Minute on the Wishes of the Foreign Ministry).

Attorney General: T/183 gives notice of the following wishes: Deportation of the Croatian, Slovak and Rumanian Jews to the East; deportation of all Jews who formerly held German nationality; deportation of all Serbian Jews; deportation of all Jews handed over by the Hungarian Government; influencing the Bulgarian and Hungarian Governments to introduce laws regarding Jews in accordance with the Nuremberg model.

Our next document is No. 891 and this is already the final invitation to the Wannsee Conference, again addressed to SS Gruppenfuehrer Hofmann. "Lieber Hofmann" Heydrich writes, apologizing for having had to postpone the meeting of 9 December, and adds that since the question to be clarified does not suffer delay, he extends a new invitation, again with breakfast, on 20 January 1942 in Berlin "Am Grossen Wannsee 56-58."

Presiding Judge: This document will be T/184.

Attorney General: The next document, our No. 74, is the Wannsee Protocol. It has already been submitted and marked as T/37 (41). Will the Court kindly note the list of participants from all the important offices concerned.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/185.

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