The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 38
(Part 9 of 10)

State Attorney Bar-Or: The explanation is apparently as follows: The Americans, whether they were Quakers or others, were able at that time to act as a neutral Power and also reached those parts, no doubt, after what happened in Stettin; they apparently obtained permission after all. Whether the Jewish component was official, or whether in fact these were only people who had been chosen for the purpose, I do not know. But that the matter came as a surprise in Poland, to the Generalgouvernement, this we do know. Actually it was the Generalgouvernement which was responsible for the fact that this matter ultimately reached Lammers, and from Lammers came to Himmler.

Now I want to return for a moment, although this is only theoretical, but the dates are of interest - to T/383 which has already been submitted. This is Goering's letter to all police authorities, to the Ministry of the Interior, to the Ministry of Transport, and to the Governor General of Poland. This letter was right after the dates of the letters which I have just submitted. As you will remember, it is dated 21 March 1940, and its contents: The Governor General complains about the fact that the deportations of Jews from the Reich to the Generalgouvernement are still being carried out, despite the fact that there are no conditions for absorbing them there. "I hereby order this to stop" and so on. It is quite possible that the document came as a result of the matter being brought before Goering. Therefore, it was only in this connection that I permitted myself to refer to it.

I now come to document No. 1235. This, too, originated in the German Foreign Ministry. It is signed by Schomburg. He says on 21 March 1940: "After receiving an explanation from the Head Office for Reich Security (SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann), at the root of the matter is the following state of affairs (he refers to the deportation from Stettin and Schneidemuehl). Owing to lack of accommodation at Schneidemuehl, which was caused by the army's occupation of the city, the local Gestapo finds itself compelled to remove the Jews from Schneidemuehl. 158 people were taken to Posen. The Jews should return again to Schneidemuehl in about 8-10 days." In conclusion he says: "There is therefore no question of continuing the deportation of the Jews to the Generalgouvernement, for they have been transferred, only temporarily, to Posen, in other words within the area of the Reich."

Presiding Judge: This will be Exhibit T/670.

State Attorney Bar-Or: And now for our document No. 123, dated 4 September 1940, signed by the Accused. I draw your attention to the marking on the file IVD4 - 2 (RZ). We came across the mark 2 (RZ) yesterday with the signature of his predecessor, Lischka. Here correspondence is already being carried on in the new Section - IVD4, but the mark of the Reichszentrale or the Reichsvereinigung also appears here.

At issue here are German transit permits for Hungarian- Jewish migrants. The Foreign Ministry is asked to see to it that such facilities should not be given, as far as possible, so as "not to reduce the chances for continuing pressure for the emigration of Jews from the Reich itself." This was still the period when emigration was not only possible, but apparently also received backing from the Accused's office.

Presiding Judge: This was in 1940?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes. The date was 4 September 1940. At the end, the Accused says that what he is asking for here is "in accordance with the continuing efforts for the emigration of Jews from the Reich, as requested by the Reichsmarschall. The Accused saw this document - its number is T/37(117). He talks about it on pages 1645-1648 of his statement.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/671.

State Attorney Bar-Or: And now - our document No. 1059. This is an aide-memoire of 3 November 1940, concerning a discussion at an interministerial meeting on the question of Jews seeking to return to Germany from the area occupied by Russia. The Accused takes an active part here. It says that on 30 October 1940 a meeting took place of the authorities concerned - the SD, the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Justice, and others - at the office of the Reichsfuehrer-SS - presided over by Obersturmfuehrer Dr. Faehndrich, in connection with the handling of applications by German Jews to return to the Reich, on the occasion of population transfers.

The situation that was created here was somewhat strange. As a result of the partition of the area of Poland between the Reich and the Soviet Union, certain concomitant problems had also been created. One of the problems that especially exercised the minds of the Nazis was the acceptance of the Volksdeutsche from the Russian zone into the German zone. As against this, there was, of course, a movement in the opposite direction. For the Russians, there was at that time no difference between German Volksdeutsche and Jewish Volksdeutsche, so to speak, and on the lists the Russians submitted to Berlin, of people who, in accordance with the agreement, were supposed to return, there were also Jews.

Here the question arises: What should be done regarding those Jews who, perhaps, might apply to leave the Russian zone and return, because of their German citizenship, to the zone of the Reich. Here it says:

"The question is asked whether, through the exchange of populations, Jewish property, which is of some substance and which could be exploited for Reich purposes, should be seized."
This was, perhaps, an interesting point, for then it would be possible to admit them, but it turned out that nothing could be done in this matter. At the end it says:
"The representative of the SD, who was present, Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, declared that he had the most serious misgivings about the mass denial of citizenship to the Jews." By so doing, obviously, it would be possible to get rid of them, but "action such as this could influence those countries which had, so far, still accepted Jewish immigrants and had given them entry visas."
We see here that the Accused was still attending to his business - the deportation of the Jews to the maximum degree from the zone of the Reich, and the avoidance of anything that might possibly restrict steps in this direction.

Presiding Judge: This I do not understand. "Dass er die groessten Bedenken gegen eine Massenausbuergerung habe, weil eine solche Massnahme geeignet sei, diejenigen Staaten zu beeinflussen die bisher u.s.w." (that he has the greatest misgivings about a measure that was liable to influence those countries which up till now, etc.)

State Attorney Bar-Or: It seemed to the Accused, at that time, that when it would become apparent that the Reich was depriving its Jews of their citizenship, any state that would accept Jews from the Reich would, in fact, be receiving stateless persons. Thus it was clear to the Accused that under such conditions it was obvious that they would not be able to obtain visas. One had to export persons possessing a certain nationality. He gives expression here to his misgivings on this subject, and precisely in this connection he speaks, for example, thus: "In October 9, 500 Jews were deported from Germany, and in September more than 3,000, and it is undesirable to close this avenue." He feared that by the denial of citizenship it might be closed.

Presiding Judge: Is this a memorandum of the Foreign Ministry?

State Attorney Bar-Or: This is a memorandum of the Foreign Ministry, Your Honour, by Referent Grosskopf of the Foreign Ministry.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/672.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Now, our No. 892 - actually this is a collection of three documents. The Accused, incidentally, speaks in a very general way about what is described here on pages 141-146 of his statement, in that first portion in which he gives a general account of events. The topic discussed here is another deportation, this time in the opposite direction. This is the one and only deportation going in the opposite direction - towards the West. We heard about it yesterday, when we referred to the camp at Gurs. It discusses two large transports of Jews from the Pfalz (the Palatinate) and Baden in the summer of 1940, immediately after the final surrender of France.

The letter is from Heydrich, signed by Heydrich, but bears an additional reference: From the Headquarters of IVD4. The letter seems to be dated 29 October, but it could also be 19 October 1940. Heydrich writes - actually the Accused writes and Heydrich signs - a communication to Standartenfuehrer Luther in the Foreign Ministry, whom we shall refer to many times, that "the Fuehrer has ordered the deportation of the Jews from Baden westwards to Alsace, and the Jews from the Pfalz westwards to Lothringen (Lorraine).

After implementing the operation, I am able to inform you that 6,504 Jews were deported from Baden on 22 and 23 October 1940 in seven freight trains, and on 22 October 1940 in two freight trains." Thereafter he adds: "The progress of the operation was hardly noticed by the population."

At a later stage, in the same document, we find a report on the deportation of Jews possessing German citizenship to the South of France.

Presiding Judge: It is not attached here.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I am very sorry, here it is.

This document is our No. 893. I attached it because really one episode is discussed here. Perhaps I should also submit right away the next document, No. 894 - all of these...

Presiding Judge: Do not submit it - it will only confuse matters.

State Attorney Bar-Or: In No. 893, there is a report on the process of deporting Jews possessing German nationality to the South of France. Again it is the same number of 6,300 German Jews who were transferred to the south of France, from Saarpfalz (Saar-Palatinate) and Baden.

This report says, in its third section:

"The deportation of the Jews from Baden and Saarpflaz was implemented in such a way as to conform to the order of the Gauleiter that"All persons of the Jewish race, as long as they are fit to be transported' had to be deported without consideration of age and sex. Only couples of mixed marriages were excluded from this. Also men who had served on the German side in the World War of 1914-1918 in the old army as front line fighters, including officers, had to be sent. Old age homes in Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Ludwigshafen, and so forth, were evacuated. According to the order, women and men who were incapable of walking were borne on stretchers to the trains. The oldest deportee was a man of 97 from Karlsruhe. The time of grace given to the deportees for purposes of preparation ranged, according to the place, from a quarter of an hour to two hours."
Presiding Judge: Who wrote this?

State Attorney Bar-Or: This is an internal report. It appears that many such reports were brought to the attention of the Foreign Ministry from various sources, sometimes even anonymously.

Presiding Judge: All right. This will be T/674.

Dr. Servatius: May I be permitted, in the case of document 873, to ask that the first sentence be read aloud - perhaps I may be permitted to quote?

Presiding Judge: You mean 893, not 873.

Dr. Servatius: Yes, 893.

Presiding Judge: Please go ahead.

Dr. Servatius: "In accordance with the proposal by Gauleiter and Reichsstatthalter Josef Buerckel, now at Metz, and of Gauleiter Wagner, now at Strassburg, all the Jews of Baden and Saarpfalz were arrested in their apartments by auxiliary police and were, on the night of Tuesday 22.10.1940, and on the following days, deported by the Gestapo in trains that had been standing by." I stress the fact that the idea and the pressure came from the Gauleiter (District Leader).

Judge Halevi: According to the previous document, it was said that this was by order of the Fuehrer.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes, we shall come across this again forthwith "by order of the Fuehrer," in the next document, and that also belongs to this episode. With your permission, I will read two more sentences:

"The period of grace given to the deportees for purposes of preparation ranged, according to the place, from a quarter of an hour to two hours. A number of women and men took advantage of this waiting time to commit suicide, so as to avoid being deported. In Mannheim alone, there were, by Tuesday morning, eight suicides, in Karlsruhe three." "They were obliged to leave all their possessions, all their capital, and all their property. Since the emigration was in many cases not carried out in an orderly manner, that is to say without prior compliance with the requirements of the law - for example, payment of the tax for fleeing the Reich, there is meanwhile a loss of existing assets."
We now come to document No. 894. This is a minute of the German Foreign Ministry, dated 31.10.40, on the same subject. And here, it again says: "By order of the Fuehrer, all the Jews of the Gaus (districts) of Baden and the Pfalz were deported on 22 and 23 October 1940 in nine special trains to the unoccupied zone of France.
"As was explained to me by Hauptsturmfuehrer Guenther of the Head Office for Reich Security, they considered whether the French government should be notified. They refrained from doing so - for reasons unknown to me."
The Accused, in those pages of his statement which I brought to the Court's attention, speaks precisely of this difficulty.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/675.

State Attorney Bar-Or: We shall see from other documents, some of which have already been submitted, that this is, in fact, the one and only indication of an attempt by the Nazis to put into effect the Madagascar Plan - we heard the same thing in connection with Belgium. There was a plan here to bring this solution before the Armistice Commission, which was actually in Session during those days at Wiesbaden - a plan which eventually was not carried out.

Judge Raveh: At the end of document No. 893 it says that this was a plan of the French Government. It is stated thus in the last sentence of the document. Is there something else which supports it or is this stated only here?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes, as I have said, the matter in fact came up for discussion at the Armistice Commission Conference in Wiesbaden.

Judge Raveh: That the initiative came from the French Government? This is what emerges from this sentence, and the question is whether this is an only case...

State Attorney Bar-Or: Possibly according to this document, too, the initiative was German, and they agreed to discuss this question. I do not believe that there actually has to be evidence here, that they even allege that the initiative was French. From the Accused's statement we know that the initiative was definitely not French, since the Accused talks about the many difficulties he had, how hard it was to mislead the railway authorities in France, so that they might allow these trains to pass through unoccupied France.

Judge Raveh: Precisely because of this the wording is surprising, and hence I ask: Is there any further hint in this direction?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Of course here, too, the problem again arises - what, in fact, did the Foreign Ministry know about the actual situation? The Foreign Ministry here has to rely only on information received. The Accused himself was there.

I now come to document No. 728.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, may I be allowed to make a short remark to explain the document? In my opinion, this was an operation of the Gauleiters who, by their imagination, already anticipated matters by sending these people on their own initiative. They established direct contact with the authorities of the Wehrmacht in occupied France and attempted, on their own initiative, to transport those people there. Afterwards this was reported to the higher authority. Himmler confirmed it, and thus one accepted the situation as it was. I believe that later these people returned again.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Many documents exist concerning the fate of these Jews, since there remained relatives of theirs, not direct dependents; these relatives later applied to the Accused, with a request to join them, and we shall see what their fate was when we come to these documents.

Presiding Judge: The Prosecution document No. 728 is marked T/676.

State Attorney Bar-Or: This is a very important minute of a meeting which took place on 15.1.1941, and which was an interministerial meeting on a very broad basis. I shall presently draw the Court's attention to those who took part. The Accused would certainly have defined the participation as that of the "Hohe Garnitur" (the high ranks). A discussion took place on the problems of citizenship and of property, or the dispossession of property arising out of the deprivation of citizenship.

Who was present on 15.1.41? The chairman was Hering of the Ministry of Interior. Together with him were Dr. Globke, Duckart, Dr. Essen, Dr. Siedler, Dr. Habermann, Dr. Kraeuter, and also two men from the Head Office for Reich Security, Obersturmfuehrer Rajakowitsch from the office of IVB4, and Neifeind (a Regierungrat). He belonged to Office 2 which dealt, in particular, with legal questions. Neifeind was, in fact, the legal adviser of the R.H.S.A., like the legal advisers of the period before the Nazis, who used to function in the Department of Police; we find him wherever there was legal work. Next we find, amongst those present, Reischauer, Rademacher, Todenhoefer, Dr. Schwandt, Ruppert, Ebersberg, Feldscher, von Coelin, and Driest. I should like to bring some sentences from this minute to the Court's attention.

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