The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 21
(Part 6 of 9)

Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann, Eichmann trial, holocaust, Jewish holocaust
Attorney General: Document No. 1254 is a telegram where the matter dealt with is special treatment of Jews. "In accordance with the instruction of the Reichsfuehrer SS and the Chief of the German Police, the special treatment proposed by you must be given to the Jews Selman Lipski, Moshe Bejman, David Cymerman and Abraham Itzkowicz." The telegram is addressed to the Gestapo Centre in Ciechanow, signed by Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann.

Document No. 1255 again deals with special treatment of the Jews. It is an instruction to execute Szmerek Goldberg, Tasiemka Eliacz, Rafael Braun, Mendel Rubinsztayn, Moszek Lewin, David Bryszkowski and David Zamiadyn. They were to be hanged in the ghetto at Neuhof and in the presence of persons of their race, or in German "in Gegenwart ihrer Rassengenossen aufzuhaengen sind." "Ich bitte um Vollzugsmeldung" (I request you to inform me when the order has been carried out). Signed SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann.

Dr. Servatius: I would request that the entire document be read. And these are my reasons: The telegram refers to a report, and we have to see the report which led to this telegram. Secondly, it refers here not to an instruction of Section IVB4 at the head of which stood Eichmann, but of 11B2 which, according to the chart prepared by the Prosecution but not submitted, dealt with prisoners and prisons. Therefore I would request the reading of the entire document.

In principle, I wish further to bring to the Court's notice that these telegrams are submitted here without the reports that preceded them, and I have to point this out, as occurrence that repeats itself, that the documents and telegrams are submitted without the reports that preceded them and which brought them about. The Accused informs me that by reading the final report without referring to the whole context, it is not possible to understand the issues: Accordingly, if these reports are here, I would request that they, too, be submitted.

Attorney General: With the Court's permission, first things first. The sender's signature at the foot of the two telegrams is that of Reichssicherheitshauptamt IVB4.

Presiding Judge: We see what is written here. Signed by the Accused's Department, and above there is a reference to a report of IIB2. There is no dispute about this.

Attorney General: But here it is stated that it came from IIB2.

Presiding Judge: I understand it otherwise - that this was done on the basis of a report of another Department, but it is clear that the instruction was given by the Department of the Accused.

Attorney General: With regard to the material which served as the background of these telegrams, we have no knowledge of that. I have already informed the Court of the difficulty we have encountered much more than Defence Counsel, namely that the Central Archives of the Gestapo are not available. In this matter we are dependent on the remnants of the Archives of other bodies, and particularly on the Archives of the Foreign Ministry Office. I do not know what was that report which, in each of the cases, gave rise to the dispatch of the instruction. But the Accused was asked about it, and his reply can be found in the interrogation on pages 3554-3557. After the recess I shall also submit the instruction which served as the internal basis which enabled the giving of orders for executions in the ghetto.

Presiding Judge: At all events, if Dr. Servatius were to approach you on a question relating to the documents, would you give him copies of each of the documents before they are submitted here?

Attorney General: Yes.

Presiding Judge: If he should approach you with a request to submit other documents as well which are connected with these, and such documents are in your possession, would you produce these documents to him?

Attorney General: We submitted to him, two months ago, all the documents in our possession, including our catalogue.

Presiding Judge: Including those documents which you are not going to submit to the Court?

Attorney General: Including those that we shall not submit to the Court. We handed him a list of about 1,600 documents, and we intend submitting to the Court about 800 documents.

Presiding Judge: You don't have any more?

Attorney General: We have no more.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, evidently more than that cannot be done.

Dr. Servatius: I am convinced, Your Honours, that I have received everything which is in the possession of the Prosecution. But the origin itself is not clear - how these matters arose at the time.

Presiding Judge: Where were these documents from? What is their source?

Attorney General: The source of the verification I shall give you immediately. This was the Polish Governmental Commission. And, as Your Honour will observe, they are confirmed by that Commission, which was called "The Principal Commission for the Investigation of Hitlerite Crimes in Poland." It was signed by the chairman, the head of the Commission, Janusz Cumkawski.

Judge Halevi: Where did they find this material?

Attorney General: his we do not know. We were not permitted to conduct investigations inside Poland. We were told that the Polish authorities would give us all the documents relevant to this trial on their own initiative, and indeed we received a great deal of material, part of which we are using in this case.

Presiding Judge: Would it be possible, perhaps, to clarify with the Polish authorities if they have that additional material which Dr. Servatius requested?

Attorney General: I shall willingly be prepared to write to the Polish Commission.

Presiding Judge: And now we shall read these documents in their original and in translation.

[Interpreter reads.]

"Geheime Staatspolizei. Staatspolizeistelle Zichenau/Schroettersburg. Nr. 1719, Berlin 17.4.42 1508.

Betrifft: Sonderbehandlung von Juden. Bezug: Bericht vom 27.3.1942. IIB2 621/42. Auf Anordnung des Reichsfuehrers SS und Chefs der deutschen Polizei ist die von dort gegen die Juden Selman Lipski, Moses Bejman, David Cymerman und Abraham Itzkowicz vorgeschlagene Sonderbehandlung durchzufuehren. RSHA IVB4 a 3205/41 I.A. gez. Eichmann - SS Obersturmbannfuehrer."

"State Secret Police, State Police Post Zichenau (Ciechanow)/ Schroettersburg. Received on 17 April 1942, Communication No 1719, Berlin. To State Police Zichenau/Schroettersburg. Secret. Subject: Special Treatment of Jews. Reference: Report dated 27.3.42. IIB2 621/42. By order of the Reichsfuehrer SS and Head of the German police, the Special Treatment is to be carried out on the Jews Selman Lipski, Moshe Bejman, David Cymermann and Abraham Itzkowicz, according to your proposal. Signed Reichssicherheitshauptamt IVB4 3205/41g (iii). Par pro. Signed Eichmann Obersturmbannfuehrer.

"Geheime Staatspolizei. Staatspolizeistelle Zichenau/Schroettersburg. Nr. 2239. Berlin Nr. 89 138 23.5.42 1715. An die Stapo Zichenau/Schroettersburg. Geheim. Betrifft: Sonderbehandlung von Juden. Bez.: Bericht von 6.5.42 - IIB2 - 1865/42. Der Reichsfuehrer SS und Chef der deutschen Polizei hat angeordnet, dass die im vorstehenden genannten Bericht naeher bezeichneten Juden Szmerek Goldberg, Tasiemka Eliacz, Rafael Braun, Mendel Rubensztayn, Moszek Lewin, David Bryszkowski und David Zamiadyn im Ghetto Neuhof in Gegenwart ihrer Rassengenossen aufzuhaengen sind. Ich bitte um Vollzugsmeldung. RSHA IV4B4a 225/42g (II78). I.A. gez. Eichmann - SS Obersturmbannfuehrer."

"State Secret Police, State Police Post Zichenau (Ciechanow)/Schroettersburg. Received 23 May 1942. In handwriting IIB2 Communication No 2239. Telegram Berlin. To State Police Post Sichenau/Schroettersburg. Subject: Special Treatment of Jews. Reference: Report dated 6.5.42 - 1865/42 - IIB2. The Reichsfuehrer SS and Head of the German Police orders that the Jews listed in greater detail in the aforesaid report - Szmerek Goldberg, Tasiemka Eliacz, Rafael Braun, Mendel Rubensztayn, Moszek Lewin, David Bryszkowski and David Zamiadyn - are to be hanged in the ghetto of Neuhof, in the presence of persons of their race. I request an implementation report. RSHA (1178) 225/42a. Signed Par pro Eichmann SS Obersturmbannfuehrer."

Dr. Servatius: May I be allowed to point out that on this document it says also in handwriting IIB2.

Attorney General: Before I call the next witness, and to supplement the two documents that I submitted previously, I should like to submit our document No. 396, which was presented to the Accused. I submit the signed original which was shown to him together with two copies. This is an instruction dated 6.1.1942 of Himmler concerning the carrying out of the execution. The Court will find in paragraph 2 that the right to order executions....

Presiding Judge: Do you have an extra copy of the German original?

Attorney General: I shall submit it immediately after finishing the reading thereof, Your Honour. Now, just at this moment, I even have it here, if you please.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/202.

Attorney General: The document establishes that the right to give instructions for executions is to be by the Head Bureau IV of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt or by anyone specially authorized therefore. In paragraph 3A it is stated how the executions in the camps are to be carried out. Exact procedures are laid down as to the distance at which the shooting squad is to stand. I draw the Court's attention to 3 AC, that hangings must be carried out by other prisoners. The hanging should be carried out in such a way so that no mechanical hitch could occur, and the prisoner carrying out the hanging should receive three cigarettes as his reward. Paragraph B speaks of executions outside the camps. In Bb it is stated that in carrying out the executions publicity should be avoided if there were no contrary instructions. I stress this especially in the light of the special instruction in the telegram which I submitted.

Judge Raveh: By "publicity" are you referring to Oeffentlichkeit"?

Attorney General: Yes, making it public. Hangings outside the camp are also to be performed by prisoners, and in the case of labourers belonging to a foreign nation, as far as possible by members of the same nation as those being hanged. In such a case, too, the hangman shall receive three cigarettes as his reward.

Presiding Judge: Is there a signature to this document?

Attorney General: It is signed by Himmler, Your Honour. It served as a document in Trial 4 at Nuremberg. If it interests the Court, the Accused was questioned on this matter and his reply can be found on pages 2099 to 2104 of his statement.

Presiding Judge: 6.1.42?

Attorney General: Yes 6.1.42.

I shall now call a witness regarding a Nazi labour camp, Dr. Moshe Beisky.

Presiding Judge: Sir, would you please take the oath?

[The witness is sworn.]

Attorney General: Is your name Dr. Moshe Beisky?

Witness Beisky: Yes.

Q. You are a magistrate in Tel Aviv?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you live at 7 Rehov Pinkas, Tel Aviv?

A. Correct.

Q. You were born on 1 January 1921?

A. Correct.

Q. Dr. Beisky, at the outbreak of the Second World War were you in Cracow?

A. Correct.

Q. Did you continue working there until the middle of 1940?

A. Correct.

Q. And what happened to you after that?

A. When a start was made with the setting-up of a ghetto in Cracow, I decided that I would not go into the ghetto. And, since my parents lived in a town at a distance of about 80 kilometres from Cracow, I went to that town. In this town there gathered many Jews who in fact had not been living there from before the War. They were refugees, having come from larger places when the ghetto had been instituted.

Q. What was the name of the town?

A. Dzialoszyce. I remained in this town until a few days before Rosh Hashana* {* The Jewish New Year in September 1942.} of 1942. I cannot remember the exact date today, but at any rate, it was about a week or ten days before Rosh Hashanah 1942. The period of the War in this village, to describe it briefly, was naturally as in the whole of Poland at that time - it began with the carrying of the armband with the Shield of David, forced labour which at first was only one day a week, afterwards twice a week, and the population were taking turns at hard labour. Already since my arrival in that town, so it seems to me, it was forbidden to go beyond the confines of the town.

By the way, this was a Jewish town, mainly, even before the War, the population of which doubled or even tripled with the outbreak of the War, for anyone who had a relative in that town - from the larger towns in Silesia, Cracow, Lodz, Litzmannstadt - came to that town. It was forbidden to go beyond the limits of the town.

With great difficulty it was possible, from time to time, to obtain permission to go out. In the evenings it was forbidden to leave the houses. Naturally, if anyone was caught red-handed leaving the village, matters very often ended up with shootings and the killing of people. I am not able, - again because of the passage of time - to remember what was the nunmber of the Jews who were executed in this way.

Q. What German units operated there?

A. I suppose that, in the main, they were SS men, but I presume that there was a period when they were men of the Schutzpolizei. For a certain time The NSDAP were also in that village, but for a particular time only.

Presiding Judge: What is the NSDAP?

A. Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei.

Q. Were all of them NSDAP?

A. No, these men were dressed in coffee-coloured uniforms.

Q. That was the unit named NSDAP?

A. Yes. On their left sleeve there was a black band with a swastika, below which was written NSDAP. This was a unit which it was not difficult to distinguish.

In this period, several times in the town heavy forced contributions were imposed on the Jews, of amounts which, in regard to refugees, were gigantic; if you took into account that this was already in the second year of the War, and also in the third, the source of their livelihood in the village had dried up, for the Jews were mainly artisans from the district, and there was no money. But several times - I don't remember how many - forced contributions in legendary figures were levied, which were imposed on the Judenrat; it was up to the elders of the town to collect them. The members of the Judenrat at that time were the dignitaries of the town who had held office before, and upon them was imposed the task both as regards the financial contributions and also in regard to the supply of people for work.

At a later stage, and this was already at the beginning of 1943, they began taking people out to the labour camps. These camps were in the vicinity of Cracow, and there was a firm in particular which used to receive people from our town. This was the firm of Richard Strauch. There were labour camps in Kostize, near Cracow, in Kobierzyncka street, and in some other places. At the airport near Cracow, as well, there was a labour unit comprised of people from our town.

Attorney General. Perhaps you could tell us something about the concentration of the Jews in Miechowitz?

A. This was at the same time which I have already referred to, a few days before Rosh Hashana of 1942. One day, about noon, the village was surrounded by soldiers, SS men and, as far as we knew subsequently, it was the Sonderkommando. On the same day, during the afternoon, a number of men were taken out to the central square which served as a marketplace, and after they were forced - I saw this with my own eyes - to do exercises (this town was extremely religious, not only traditional. Most of its men, I would say, grew beards and side-curls - a typical Polish Jewish town...). After the men in this square were compelled to do gymnastics for some minutes, a few soldiers opened fire on them from a distance and they were killed.

Q. May I receive the Polish album? I would like the witness to endeavour to identify these scenes of brutalities, not all of them, but I would want him to give his impression whether they are...

A. I can describe this, for I saw it.

Q. We have photographs, we will ask you presently to try and identify them, if you can. Perhaps in the meantime, you would describe them.

A. I went to the square. We didn't know what was going on. And in the meanwhile, an order was given that all the people had to pack luggage for themselves of - it seems to me, and again I am not able to say this with certainty - thirty kilograms, and as part of it a suit of working clothing. This thing created an impression that apparently we were going out to some kind of labour camp. The night passed with sounds of shooting in the town. I cannot tell you how many people were shot that night. I only know that the Rabbi of the village, an elderly man of over eighty, the late Itzhaq Halevi Staskevsky, was shot while he was wrapped in his Tallit (prayershawl) and Tefillin (phylacteries).

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