The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 30
(Part 6 of 7)

Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann, Eichmann trial, holocaust, Jewish holocaust
Attorney General: This is not yet the end of the disaster. We also have the reports of the year 1942. Here is a summary on the successes scored in the war against bandits in Southern Russia, in the Ukraine and in Bialystok from 1September to 1 December 1942 - three months. The report seems to be important because it is brought to the knowledge of no less a personage than the Fuehrer himself. It is typed on a special typewriter which is used for the convenience of the Fuehrer when he reads it. The accompanying letter is typed in the usual manner, but the report is typed on the typewriter known as the "Fuehrertypewriter." For the three months October, November, December 1942, the total of Jews executed is 363,211.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/338.

Attorney General: German armament factories claimed that this adversely affected the war effort. May I read two passages of a letter of 2 December 1941 addressed by the Inspector of Armament Works in the Ukraine to Infantry General Thomas in Berlin.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/339.

Attorney General: "The attitude of the Jews" - so it says on page 2, second paragraph - "was from the outset one of fear and submission. They avoided anything the German administration would find fault with. That they hated deep in their hearts the German administration and army is obvious and not surprising. But it has not been proved that they as a whole have taken part in acts of sabotage or such like to a large extent. There were among them - just as among the Ukrainians - some terrorists or saboteurs. But that the Jews as such were a threat to the Wehrmacht cannot be maintained." And the subsequent paragraph: "The manner in which the "actions" were carried out against men and old people, women and children of all ages, was ghastly. By the sheer number of executions this action is so gigantic that it is without precedent. So far about 150,000 to 200,000 Jews were murdered in part of the Ukraine without the least consideration of economic requirements."

Presiding Judge: Was this an internal report of the German army?

Attorney General: This was an internal report devoted to the difficulties encountered by the arms factories as a result of the killings of the Jews.

Presiding Judge: Of the army?

Attorney General: From officer to officer. Not only the military but also the administration in the East said that they cannot tolerate the murders. Mr. Kube who as a rule did not distinguish himself as friendly to Jews - as the Court heard and will hear again - writes to the Reichskommissar for the Eastern territory: "To bury alive severely injured people who then worked their way out of their graves, is such an abysmal swinish behaviour that it ought to be brought to the knowledge of the Fuehrer and the Reichsmarschall. The civil administration in White Russia has spared no effort - as directed by the Fuehrer and the Reichsmarschall - to win the population over to Germany. This effort is incompatible with such methods." This is Kube's report.

Presiding Judge: He was Kommissar of...?

Attorney General: White Russia.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/340.

Attorney General: The same exhibit contains a report sent to Kube by one of his men named Carl. He describes the abhorrent murders in Slutsk: "There are no words to describe the brutality of the German police, and of the Lithuanian partisans in particular, when they forcibly collected Jews and murdered them. This can no longer be called an operation against Jews. This already looked like a revolution."

Occasionally the occupation authorities in the East did not succeed in disguising what was actually going on from their allies or others. In his aide-memoire of 15 May 1943, von Thadden gives details of a visit to Minsk by an Italian delegation. When they enquired about the heaps of small bundles and suitcases, Kube replied: "This is all that is left of the Jews deported to Minsk." He even showed them the gas van which was used for the killing of Jews. "The fascists were deeply shocked," von Thadden concludes.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/341. And is this the same Kube who complained?

Attorney General: Yes, this is the same Kube.

Later we shall see other reports by the same Kube. He who pretends to complain, some months later writes on 31 July 1942 that the Slutsk region has been relieved of the burden of several thousand Jews. He mentions that he cannot receive any more Jews and requests the Reichskommissar to stop the transports of Jews to Minsk until the partisan threat has been overcome.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/342.

Attorney General: In his statement, Paul Blobel tells us about killings in gas vans, which Kube inadvertently had shown the Italians. I have only two copies, Sir. I shall submit the third one with our marks on it. He says that as far as he knows no more than 10,000 to 15,000 were killed in such vans by Sonderkommando 4Q. He also tells us how the killings in these vans were carried out, of the women and children who were put to death in them. He denies having shot 33,000 Jews in Kiev. It may have been no more than half that number, he says.

Presiding Judge: This is Blobel?

Attorney General: It is Blobel.

Judge Halevi: This was submitted to the Accused, I think.

Attorney General: This has also been submitted to the Accused, and I think it is in your hands as T/216. I do not wish to submit the document twice.

Presiding Judge: Blobel's statement in Case IX.

Attorney General: There exist several statements by Blobel. To be on the safe side, we may as well leave it in the file. Let me rather duplicate than omit something.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/343.

Attorney General: Now we have some of Eichmann's dealings with individual cases of Jews. I shall proceed in chronological order. The first case is still a light one. Our No. 128 is sent by IVD4 on 11 September 1940, which means before the outbreak of the German-Russian war. Eichmann is asked whether a Jewish couple can be allowed to go to Russia. He says that he does not care if the Jewish couple Radzysnski moves from the Generalgouvernement to Russian territory, by prior approval of the authorities of the Generalgouvernement. It is noteworthy, Your Honour, that the Ministry for Foreign Affairs applies to Eichmann when a question of Jews leaving the Generalgouvernement arises.

Presiding Judge: How do we know that they applied to Eichmann?

Attorney General: He writes "Im Auftrage" (per pro). It is signed by him. The document emanated from Department IVD4, with reference to their letter of 20 August 1940, and he signed it. When the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has a query concerning Jews - this is our submission - they turn to Eichmann, irrespective of the territory in question.

Presiding Judge: What is the meaning of "Ein Abschub ist nicht moeglich?"

Attorney General: It is not possible to deport them. With the approval of the Generalgouvernement it will be possible to evacuate them to the Russian territory. He explains that previously the Russians raised no objection to the entry of immigrants.

Presiding Judge: This is marked T/344.

Attorney General: You have it as T/37(118).

On 30 September 1941 Eichmann informs von Thadden of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs that the whereabouts of the Jew Itzig Hersch Reifer of Lvov, or formerly of Lvov, until the end of October 1942, and registered there, are unknown; he apparently has crossed the border illegally into Rumania. He requests that the Consul General of Rumania be notified accordingly.

Presiding Judge: This is marked T/345.

Attorney General: You have it as T/37(17).

In order to show how Eichmann dealt with the individual case that follows, I have to present a brief testimony to explain the documents. With your permission I shall call Mr. Aaron Silbermann.

Judge Raveh: Concerning the previous document, T/344, do you by any chance have a copy of the communication sent by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs?

Attorney General: Not to our knowledge. It is clear from the document that the Rumanian authorities applied to the Ministry...

Judge Raveh: No, I am talking about the previous one, T/344.

Attorney General: We do not have it, Sir. When we have them, we shall submit the whole bundle of documents on each individual case, as the Court will see.

Presiding Judge: [to the witness] Do you speak Hebrew?

Witness Silbermann: Yes.

[The witness is sworn.]

Presiding Judge: What is your name?

Witness: Aaron Silbermann.

Attorney General: You live in Ness Tsiona, 2 Ezra St.?

Witness Silbermann: Yes.

Q. You had a brother-in-law named Gershon Willner?

A. Yes.

Q. When was he born?

A. He was born in 1904.

Q. He was married to your sister Miriam?

A. Yes.

Q. When did he marry her?

A. In 1938.

Q. He was a dentist?

A. Yes.

Q. Where?

A. After the marriage he moved to Lvov and opened his practice there.

Q. What was his nationality?

A. Argentinian, he also was in possession of an Argentinian passport.

Q. What did he do after the outbreak of the German-Russian war?

A. Three months after the war broke out he came to us with his wife Miriam.

Q. Where to?

A. To Jacmierz near Sanok in Galicia. He stayed with us until 27 December 1941, the day on which the "action" of the furs was carried out.

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