The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 47
(Part 8 of 8)

Presiding Judge: What marginal remark?

State Attorney Bar-Or: It says: "To the Head Office for Reich Security for Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann." This is written by hand. The document is NG 5050, and this is why we do not have the original, but only a copy.

Presiding Judge: Let us hope that it is the same document, I simply cannot find the remark here.

State Attorney Bar-Or: On page 2 of that document it says: "An das Reichssicherheitshauptamt" (to the Head Office for Reich Security).

Presiding Judge: Do you not have a photostat?

State Attorney Bar-Or: No, this is from N.G. and we have only a copy.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/988.

State Attorney Bar-Or: The Foreign Ministry gives its consent to the transfer of these 600 Spanish Jews to Bergen- Belsen.

Document No. 682, a letter from Bergmann to Rome, about the acquisition of Italian citizenship by Jews of various other nationalities. He quotes the text of a communication from the Head of the Security Police and the Security Service about the experience gathered in this field by the Commander of the Wehrmacht Salonika-Aegeis. While pointing to the case of Salonika, he asks that Italian nationality acquired by Jews be cancelled retroactively because, if it is not cancelled retroactively, it will not be possible to deport these Jews.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/989.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 683, a letter from Mackensen, the German Ambassador in Rome, dated 13 March 1943 about a communication from the Italian Foreign Ministry concerning the treatment of the Jews in the Greek areas occupied by Italy. The communication says that these Jews in the Italian-occupied area will be treated exactly as set out in paragraphs (1),(2) (3).

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/990.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 685 contains two papers: The first one contains draft notes for a report to the Foreign Minister; the second contains the notes in their final form on 18 March 1943. The document was shown to the Accused and marked T/37(227) and the Accused speaks about it on pages 3493 and 3502.

Presiding Judge: The document will be marked T/991.

State Attorney Bar-Or: The Foreign Ministry reports about the views of the "Reich Leadership SS (Reichsfuehrung-SS), Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann," which are quoted in detail in this document.

Document No. 235 is a solemn declaration by Dieter Wisliceny, one of the many declarations which he wrote during his prolonged detention. This declaration, Honourable Judges, deals in fact mainly with his activities in Greece, about which we now have detailed information from the documents. It was written in Bratislava on 27 June 1947. Dieter Wisliceny's signature on the declaration has been authenticated by Mr. Hagag in a declaration which has been submitted.

Dr. Servatius: I just wanted to point out to the Court that, in the last paragraph, Wisliceny again tries to gain the sympathy of the interrogators because there is also an exact description of Dr. Merten, so that he can be found.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I shall add one more detail: This document was shown to the Accused and was submitted to you as part of the Accused's Statement submitted by Mr. Less and marked T/37(101). The reaction of the Accused can be found on page 1365ff. up to 1377. I might also add that, on page 1366, the Accused says that "the details in this declaration might well be correctly described (Die Details koennten schon korrekt dargestellt sein)."

Presiding Judge:

Decision No. 44

We accept the declaration by Wisliceny in evidence (see Decision No. 7).

This document is marked T/992.

State Attorney Bar-Or: On the first page Wisliceny relates that Eichmann informed him that Rolf Guenther, his permanent deputy, went to Salonika by plane in order to discuss the question of the local branch office of the Accused with the Military Government. He mentions Merten as the person with whom he was in touch and also Chief Rabbi Dr. Koretz, with whom he will be dealing in the course of his work in Salonika. Eichmann told him that he would in fact be responsible for this work. From the declaration it is clearly evident that Wisliceny was not pleased with this and when a second man from the Section of the Accused joins him (i.e. Brunner), he does not know that Wisliceny is actually in charge of the branch office in Salonika.

Then he speaks about the fact that there was an epidemic and that he did not want to go on with the deportations. He cabled Eichmann and asked for a postponement. The reply came from Eichmann, but this time not to Wisliceny, but to Brunner, and in the telegram to Brunner Eichmann orders the immediate, definite implementation of the expulsion in spite of the epidemic conditions among the Jewish population.

In the end he says that he returned to Bratislava and briefly describes the chain of events after the defeat of the Italians in the southern area and the arrival of the Germans there.

Document No. 421 was shown to the Accused and marked T/37(141), and he speaks about it on page 1846 of his Statement. It is a letter dated 28 July 1943 from von Thadden to the Accused. It refers to what we have already seen, to the proposal of the Foreign Ministry for the transfer, or rather the exemption, of the so-called Spanish Jews from the deportation and their transfer to Bergen- Belsen.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/993.

State Attorney Bar-Or: This action is carried out, these Jews are transferred to Bergen-Belsen. There remains the question of the property of the Jews and we find a report about this in a Verbalnote (note verbale), our document No. 345. This was also shown to the Accused and was marked T/37(144). Wisliceny reports about the seizure of all the foreign currency from the Spanish Jews before they were sent to Bergen-Belsen and his report is annexed to the document, to the Verbalnote of the Foreign Ministry. 22,300,000 drachmas were seized.

Presiding Judge: What was the value of the drachma?

State Attorney Bar-Or: I am sorry, I cannot help the Court here. I will not read the whole document. Other currency is also mentioned, 55,345 Swiss francs.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/994.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 1022, a letter from Guenther to von Thadden dated 14 September 1943 concerning a Jewish woman of Greek nationality who was sent to the Birkenau work camp in the course of the evacuation from Greece. Her emigration to Switzerland, which is requested here, is out of the question.

Presiding Judge: I think the name...

State Attorney Bar-Or: This is why we included the document. We know the name. This was the same Jewish representative of the Red Cross who was arrested in the course of the operations of the branch office in Salonika. A document about that case is before the Court. This is the wife of that representative of the Red Cross.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/995.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 176 was before the Accused and is marked T/37(97). It is a letter from Neubacher in Athens to the Foreign Ministry dated 27 November 1943. In the end von Thadden passes the matter on to Eichmann on 2 December 1943. Neubacher asks that it be suggested to the Head of the Security Police and the Security Service to postpone the deportation of the Jews who are concentrated in Athens. This concerns an operation which was begun after the Germans entered Athens in the wake of the defeat of Badoglio.

Presiding Judge: Badoglio's defeat or his rise to power in Italy?

State Attorney Bar-Or: After the replacement of the Italians in Athens by the German Army, which moved from north to south. We see here that most of the Jews, about 8,000, who are for the time being under Italian authority, have either fled - with help from the local population - or gone into hiding so that they can no longer be seized. Neubacher asks that immediate directions be sent to him to Belgrade and to the Higher SS and Police Officer in Athens. The Accused refers to this on page 1346ff. of his Statement.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/996.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I go on to document No. 520, a letter from Guenther, IVB4, to von Thadden, dated 2 March 1944. He informs him that Jews of foreign nationality residing in Greece have not received demands from the Police to return to their homelands. This again concerns those who are eligible for repartriation to their home countries, or what is here referred to as "their so-called home- countries," via the holding camp Bergen-Belsen.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/997.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I go on to document No. 346, a letter by von Thadden to the Accused dated 11 October 1944: "The Foreign Ministry has received a letter from the High Command of the Armed Forces concerning the financing of transports of Jews from Greece." The Foreign Ministry does not know what to do about the matter, but it assumes that the financing of the Jewish transports from Greece will be arranged by the office of the Accused.

Presiding Judge: The document will be marked T/998.

State Attorney Bar-Or: And now the last document on the Greek chapter, document No. 1263. Here I ask for a decision by the Honourable Court under Section 15 of the Law. We are dealing with a sworn declaration which was before the Nuremberg Court and was given the marking NOKW, 1715, Kommando der Wehrmacht, a sworn declaration by a German soldier named Erwin Lenz. The declaration is dated 10 May 1947 and describes the activities of the Army, with the help of police units, designed to rid the Greek island of Rhodes and those around it of Jews; this was the end of the German presence there, i.e., during the months of June, July 1944.

This is actually the only source we have among our documents which shows how it happened that these Jews were also arrested and that most of them perished, some in the sea when their boat sank and others in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, where they finally ended up.

The Accused is of course not mentioned here. This soldier only knows what he saw with his own eyes at the time of his service in the Army.

Presiding Judge: Is this an ordinary soldier?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes - although he says that on 30 November 1937 he was sentenced to two and three quarter years in the penitentiary for anti-nationalsocialist activities. It may be assumed therefore that, during the War also, he did not exactly sympathize with the doings of the Gestapo and the SS. He himself served with the German Army in Rhodes and he describes his personal experiences, mainly about the commando of Oberst (Colonel) Weissenburg,* {*The reference should be to Lieutenant-General Kleemann.} who was in charge of the German headquarters in Rhodes. I ask you to accept this sworn declaration as evidence.

Presiding Judge: Do you have any information about Lenz?

State Attorney Bar-Or: We know nothing about Lenz. I have to add that no attempt was made to find him. If the Court so orders we shall look for him. At the moment we have no information regarding his whereabouts.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, do you have any comment?

Dr. Servatius: I read this declaration once, but I do not have it with me because it is not on my list. I should recommend to try first of all to find this man. If his last address is apparent from the document it should not be difficult to find him through the excellent German registration system.

State Attorney Bar-Or: In 1947 his address was: Erwin Lenz, Berlin-Zehlendorf, Hirschsteig 7. It may be possible to reach him through the population register. I have no doubt that it is.

Presiding Judge: If that is so, Mr. Bar-Or, try and find him and then we shall see what can be done with this document.

State Attorney Bar-Or: If he is alive, I have no doubt that he can be found. The question is whether the Court will prefer to see him here, because it is quite possible that we shall be ready to bring him here. He is not a war criminal. We know that he was taken prisoner by the British and was detained in a prison camp in Cairo. In the end he was released. He was only brought to Nuremberg in order to give evidence about the activities of the Army, against Army personnel. The question is whether to bring him here.

Presiding Judge: The question is whether it is worth while.

State Attorney Bar-Or: We have no direct evidence about the fate of the Jews of Rhodes and the neighbouring islands other than from this source. Perhaps we should reserve the right to decide after we know whether the man can be found.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius.

Dr. Servatius: Perhaps the witness will come forward in response to press reports - even before we look for him. And for me it would be sufficient if he were briefly examined in Germany, so that he need not come here. He does not seem to me to have all that much importance for the case.

State Attorney Bar-Or: For us it would be sufficient if we could find him and if he could be interrogated about the truth of his declaration.

Judge Halevi: Perhaps the question will only arise if Dr. Servatius should wish to cross-examine him, that is, after he is found. The document could be submitted subject to the right of Counsel for the Defence to examine him, or to do without his examination. Let Counsel for the Defence decide what he wishes to do.

Presiding Judge: At any rate, you will first of all find out whether he can be located and then we shall revert to the matter.

State Attorney Bar-Or: We shall do so. And this brings the chapter of Greece to its end.

Dr. Servatius: I agree to the acceptance of the document, subject to the option to cross-examine the witness, if he will be found.

State Attorney Bar-Or: If so, Your Honour, I suggest that it be accepted now. I take it upon myself to make every effort, so that the man will be found. As soon as I succeed, I shall inform the Court, as well as the Counsel for the Defence, so that he may decide if he wishes to call him for examination in Germany or not.

Presiding Judge:

Decision No. 45

We accept the Declaration by Mr. Lenz under Section 15 of the Nazi and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law 5710-1950, while reserving the right of Counsel for the Defence to examine him before a German Court, after the Prosecution will have ascertained whether he can be found.

The document will be marked T/999.

[The session was closed at 19.00]

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