The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 31
(Part 1 of 5)

Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann, Eichmann trial, holocaust, Jewish holocaust
Session No.31

22 Iyar 5721 (8 May 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the thirty-first Session of the trial open.

Attorney General: May it please the Court. We still have a number of documents concerning the chapter of Poland and I shall present them now. The first document is our No. 1535. It is a report by Oberstleutnant Lahousen on the first stage of the first actions of the Einsatzgruppen in 1939. He describes his visit to Poland and on 20 September 1939 he reports about his activities in the neighbourhood of Lemberg. At that time the German troups also occupied the area in Poland from which they later retreated when the Soviets moved in. On 21 September the demarcation line was decided on. Lahousen says that there was unrest and dissatisfaction in the Army, particularly on account of the fact that young people are carrying out mass murders - especially of Jews - instead of proving their courage at the front.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/358.

Attorney General: These were the first actions of the Einsatzgruppen at that time, for which proof has already been given in documents from the meeting of 21 September 1939.

And now, with the permission of the Court, a series of documents concerning mainly the uprooting of Poles, but also of Jews, from the area incorporated into the Reich.

Judge Halevi: In connection with the previous document: To whom was the report submitted?

Attorney General: This is an Army report, a military report sent by an Army colonel together with Rittmeister (Cavalry Captain) Jary to his superiors about this visit. We do not know what his exact function was.

And now a number of documents concerning the role of the Accused in the expulsion of the population and in that major operation of transferring people from their homes and the homes of their fathers to other areas, in order to make room for German settlers. I shall more or less follow the chronological order.

No. 1402 is a telegram from Poznan signed by Hauptsturmfuehrer Mohr who refers to transports schedules and asks for approval for re-routing the trains,* {*The document refers to one transport.} which should not go, as envisaged at first, to a town called Checiny but to Kielce. He asks that Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann who was, then in Poznan, be informed of the change which became necessary. Verification is to be found in Polish Bulletin No. 12, which is already a document of the Court.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/359.

Attorney General: In pursuance of that action a report is sent to the Head Office for Reich Security concerning a labour force which Section IVD4 promises from the incorporated Eastern areas. It says here that the papers of the deported families must be stamped "Evakuiert" (evacuated) and that arrangements have to be made so that after the end of their period of work they will not be returned to the Eastern areas but transferred to the Generalgouvernement. After that reference is made to the Labour Exchange in Litzmannstadt.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/360.

Attorney General: Here we have a report on this terrible operation of expulsion. The document is our No. 149. In this operation of transferring people and of searching for those suitable to become German deportations were carried out in two stages. In the first stage 261,517 persons were expelled and here is a list of all the districts, tens of districts, from which the Poles were deported by Section IVD4.

The next page refers already not only to "expelled Poles" but of "expelled and dislodged Poles." And again there is a list of all the districts from which, in the years 1939 till the end of 1943, a total of 534,384 Poles were expelled from their homes and transferred to other localities. All of this by IVD4 headed by Adolf Eichmann.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/361.

Attorney General: We have a partial report compiled until 15 November 1940 on these evacuations, which was submitted by the Chief of the Security Police. Until then the number of deported Poles was 356,862.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/362.

Attorney General: May I be permitted, in this context, to mention a document already submitted which touches on the same matter, T/211. I presented it in connection with one of the testimonies we heard about the 20 zlotys each deported person was allowed to take with him. It was document No. 1403.

Presiding Judge: Where does T/362 come from? I see it is page 117 of something.

Attorney General: It is No. 5150, Your Honour. That is to say, authentication is to be found in the files of the Prosecution of Nuremberg and this is how we obtained it.

Judge Raveh: And the preceding document?

Attorney General: The preceding document is from the Polish Bulletin No. 12, which has already been submitted to the Court. The Court will find it on pages 136-165 F in Bulletin No. 12 of the Polish Committee.

Presiding Judge: What is it?

Attorney General: It concerns an arrangement with Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann about the Ciechanow district from which 11,000-12,000 Poles were to be transferred until completion of the necessary arrangements. The deported persons would take food for three months with them.

Presiding Judge: On what authority did the Accused act in these matters according to your argument?

Attorney General: He was Head of Section IVD4. If I may remind the Court, Himmler received special authorization to act in these matters and he in turn authorized Heydrich; and Heydrich announced, at a meeting about which a document has already been submitted and in a paper which has already been mentioned and submitted, that in order to coordinate all these activities, he appoints Eichmann to carry out the deportation operations.

Presiding Judge: The document will be T/363.

Attorney General: Our next document is No. 1404. It is a minute by Hauptsturmfuerer Hoeppner who worked in Poznan. It is authenticated by Bulletin No. 12, Document 35 and it contains the summary of a conversation between Eichmann and Untersturmfuehrer Seidl in Poznan on 5 June 1940. In paragraph 2 it says that difficulties which have arisen in connection with the evacuation from the areas of the East will be removed - as Eichmann promised,* {*In the original: "Will be reported to Eichmann."} not later than 10 June 1940. Further on in the document there is mention of the activities of Krumey as well as Schmied and Schwarzhuber. We shall meet Schwarzhuber later in Auschwitz.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/364.

Attorney General: Our No. 1405 is again the summary of a conversation, about a meeting, apparently the same meeting between Eichmann and Seidl in Poznan. Again it was recorded for Hauptsturmfuehrer Hoeppner. This also is to be found in Bulletin No. 12 as document 34.

The question was asked what was to happen to Poles who helped ethnic Germans in the occupied areas; were they also to be condemned to deportation? And this is what is said in paragraph 3:

"Regarding Poles who saved the lives of ethnic Germans it was decided to treat each case in accordance with the circumstances. Poles who have demonstrably saved the lives of ethnic Germans will not leave immediately with the first evacuation but will be shifted to the end of the evacuation procedures."
This is the reward to those who saved Germans.

In paragraph 6 the question seems to have been asked: What is to be the fate of families of Poles who are still in prisoner of war camps. And the competent department in the Head Office for Reich Security said that it had no information concerning any special arrangement for families of prisoners of war.

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