The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 76
(Part 1 of 5)

Session No. 76

7 Tammuz 5721 (21 June 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the seventy-sixth Session of the trial open.

The Accused will continue his testimony. I remind you that you are still under oath. You may be seated, and Dr. Servatius will continue his questions.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, yesterday's Session dealt with document No. 36 - T/99 - which concerns the work plan of the Head Office for Reich Security, about which I still have some questions to put to the Accused as witness.

Presiding Judge: Please proceed.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, page 8 lists Department II, organization and legal matters, under Oberregierungsrat (Senior Government Councillor) Dr. Bilfinger. Did you work together with this Department?

Accused: Yes. This Group IIA, that is to say the Group of Department II of the Head Office for Reich Security, dealt with all legal matters. And Sturmbannfuehrer Suhr, who is mentioned in IIA3 - he came to my Section, where he retained far-reaching independence, and always had the possibility to obtain his orders and guidelines by discussion with the then chief of Department IV. And Sturmbannfuehrer Regierungsrat Neifeind, mentioned in Section IIA2 on page 8 - he remained in Group IIA and, as affirmed repeatedly in the documents, appeared at ministerial conferences and discussions as representative of the Head Office for Reich Security, together with other representatives of the Head Office for Reich Security.

Dr. Servatius: The Accused has mentioned an eleventh ordinance to the Reichsfuehrergesetz (the Fuehrer-of-the- Reich Law), which dealt with the subject of citizenship. I shall come back to this ordinance, which played an important role.

Presiding Judge: This was submitted to us by Mr. Bar-Or, isn't that so?

Dr. Servatius: Yes.

Witness, on page 10, there is mention of a Group IID for technical affairs, under Sturmbannfuehrer Rauff. Did that group concern itself with Jewish affairs?

Accused: My Section did not have to deal with this group, but I have seen here a whole set of documents, which were shown to me, in which this technical group, under Obersturmbannfuehrer Rauff, played a great role, namely with respect to the construction of gas vehicles, including their maintenance. I am of the opinion and convinced that it must have been this group that was somehow connected with the Wetzel gas affair.

Dr. Servatius: Then, on page 12, there is mention of Group IIIA, relating to the question of the structure of the judicial order in the Reich.

What did this division have to do with Jewish affairs?

Accused: Group IIIA was an important group in the Head Office for Reich Security; it was subordinate to the office carrying the address "Dolendorf," and - insofar as this group was concerned - it had a decisive influence with respect to legal matters, which here means also constitutional and administrative matters, including responsibility for all matters of law in those subjects for which IIA2 - which as we have just seen was Bilfinger's Department, IIA2 Staedtchen of which Neifeind was the official in charge - was not responsible.

Thus, for example, Group IIIA was responsible for the abrogation of German citizenship, and for similar legal questions of principle. It was here that the responsibility lay, and we also see from the documents that this group influenced the matter with Daehns, while I may say, as a matter of principle, that Department IV, as a pure Secret State Police Office, did not have the task of adjudication, for which the competence rested with other authorities, both in the Head Office for Reich Security, as well as in other central authorities.

Dr. Servatius: On the same page 12, at the bottom, mention is made of Group IIB, Nationality, under SS Sturmbannfuehrer Dr. Ehlich, and on the following page, 13, of the Sections IIIB3, National Health, and IIIB4, Immigration and Resettlement.

Were these offices active in Jewish affairs?

Accused: These sections were very substantially active, not only with regard to questions of Jewish affairs, but also generally in matters concerning the evacuation from the new German eastern provinces in 1939. Section IIIB3, Race and National Health was mainly concerned with matters referring to persons of mixed parentage, mixed marriages, the matter of definition, and here the Section and, one may say, the group, were jointly responsible for the definition of, for example, "who is considered to be of mixed parentage of the first degree?," "who of the second degree?" and, perhaps even more importantly, "what is to be done about it?"

These findings, which I have described earlier, were subsequently the basis for the State Police work of Department IV. Of course, this Department, and each Group, did not arrive at these findings alone. In each case, in inter-ministerial discussions, it represented the position of the Head Office for Reich Security, that is to say that of the Chief of the Security Police and the SD, or of the Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of German Police, while others represented, in the same context, the Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Economics, and so on.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, under IIB4...

Presiding Judge: Have you finished your answer to the previous question?

Accused: With regard to this Department, yes.

Dr. Servatius: He will probably also refer to the same matter, on which I am about to question him now.

Witness, you have already mentioned the Section "Immigration and Resettlement." Now we have here, in the last column, "Participation IIID and IV, Regierungsrat Dr. Mueller."

What was the connection with your Section, and on what was it based?

Accused: On that I may first observe that, I have not yet referred to Section IIIB4. So far, I have exclusively referred only to Section IIB3, "Race and National Health." I now turn to Section IIIB4, "Immigration and Resettlement." This Section came into being when the Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of the German Police was appointed by decree as Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Folkdom.

Now, in this matter, there subsequently arose untoward situations as a result of the fact that, when the first orders were issued, the local authorities - that is the Gauleiters, Reich Governors, Senior SS and Police Leaders, Inspectors of the Security Police, the SD and all other state authorities - believed that they had to push through, on their own, these orders from Hitler to the degree of 0.0 (zero point nothing).

This resulted in centralization and in the setting up, locally, of the so-called Central Offices for Relocation, which were under the leadership of the appropriate Senior SS and Police Leaders, and by whose orders these matters were taken care of by the Inspector of the Security Police and the SD. These Central Offices for Relocation were under the authority of Group IIIB, and here, specifically, Section IIIB4 dealt with resettlement, as is, in fact, indicated by its name.

This matter is described more clearly, more explicitly and clearly, by the testimony of witness Krumey who, indeed, directed such a Central Office for Relocation in Litzmannstadt (Lodz). The testimony is before us, and where the factual part of the subject is concerned, I beg to refer to it later.

Now to the question of the nature of the connection between Department IV and this Section, what was the nature of the participation, I have to say the following: First of all, the document describing the official competence of the Higher SS Police Leaders has already been discussed here. Taking this as a starting point, and having seen that all matters falling within the authority of a Higher SS and Police Leader were ordered by him as the permanent representative of the Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of German Police, and when one considers, on the other hand, that in the year 1939 the various Landraete (district commissioners) were concerned with the evacuation of the Poles and Jews from the new German Occupied Eastern Territories; and, on the other hand, when one has seen that the preparation of train schedules was the task of the authorities on the spot, and that here, too, since the establishment of the Central Offices for Relocation, the purely technical handling of the transports had become centralized through the appointment, or setting up, of a special Section in Department IV of the Head Office for Reich Security under my leadership, then the participation, that is to say, these Central Offices for Relocation, had to take care of the regulation locally, through their close connection with those who carried out the detailed work - the district commissioners' offices, the local police authorities, the gendarmerie stations, etc. - on the one hand, and, on the other hand, by constant contact with my special Section, which, after all, had to provide them with the train schedules, and they had to provide some orderly procedure, for one thing in the spirit of the orders issued, and for another a procedure which, it cannot be denied, also all at once benefited in some manner, if one may use this term, also those who were to be resettled.

Presiding Judge: I should like to tell the Accused that style is a personal matter, but if we are to understand him - and I am also speaking on behalf of my fellow Judges - he must use shorter sentences, otherwise, to our regret, we shall not be able to understand the matter. It is clear to us that, in German, the predicate comes at the end of the sentence, but it takes too long to reach the predicate.

Dr. Servatius: I must instruct the Accused in this matter. I have, indeed, already earlier apprised him of this, but it seems to have escaped him in the flow of words.

On page 18 - no, it is not on page 18, it is on page 17 - there is - we have already spoken of Department IV in general - the Group IVB of the old order - matters of the Protectorate and the Generalgouvernement.

Were these offices, which dealt with Czechs and Poles, also concerned with or connected with Jews?

Accused: Since these two sections were responsible on a regional basis, they had to be involved in matters concerning Czech or Polish Jews.

Dr. Servatius: On page 21, there appears Department VII "Research and Evaluation of Ideologies," under Dr. Six.

Did you co-operate with this office? How was this collaboration carried out?

Accused: Department VII was in charge of scientific research of the enemy. It was divided into several sections. Group VIIB, specifically Section VIIB1, dealt with Freemasonry and Judaism. Whenever there was a need to obtain an expert opinion - be it on the nature of the Sephardim, the Ashkenazim, or similar problems - then the opinion of Department VII was decisive when the Head of Office gave its instructions on the recommendation of Department VII.

Dr. Servatius: Is it, then, to be understood that the statements which you find in the documents on the situation of the Jews in Armenia and Persia - that these were not the results of your own research, but that they were findings which you obtained?

Accused: Yes. All that looks like scientific work, so to speak, cannot have come from Department IV or Section IVB4. To complete the answer to this question, I should like to say that, to be more precise, it could also happen that, for example, instead of submitting a scientific opinion, Department VII sent in the Encyclopedia Judaica, indicating page so-and-so, and then left Department IV to decide how much to use of this.

Dr. Servatius: One concluding question with regard to page 23, where it says: "Subordinate to the Chief of the Security Police and the SD are" - and now there follows a list of offices. How did this affect your office, if you wish to make a statement on this?

Accused: Of all these departments and sections, actually only one was effectual, namely the judicial powers of the SS and Police under Sturmbannfuehrer Regierungsrat Dr. Haensch. This is because this SS and police jurisdiction, which was in a certain sense in-house, was, if one may express it for once vulgarly, always a pain in the neck. And here one had to take special care, particularly with regard to observing the rules for classified material, which were all secret Reich matters, etc.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, you must make your statements brief. It is more useful if you speak briefly, so that it may be translated correctly, instead of resorting to long sentences. That makes the work of the interpreters more difficult, and also the understanding.

Accused: Very well.

Dr. Servatius: I now come to exhibit T/104, document No. 51, which is another plan of the office work distribution, of 1 October 1943. On page 2, there appears, for the first time, the Attache Group. Page 2 says on that: Immediately subordinate to the Chief of the Security Police is - on top - the Second Attache Group under SS Sturmbannfuehrer Dr. Ploetz.

On page 5, one finds Department IV again, and I would like to call attention to the fact that, there, Huppenkothen is the deputy who is being called as a witness, and apparently remembers less now than previously. I point out further that there is, at the bottom, a secret file registration of Department IV which exists side by side with the registration at the various sections. This might be of some importance for the examination of the documents.

On page 7, there appears IVB4 and affairs of Jews, of evacuation, and now the Department is enlarged by the inclusion of the sequestration of property of enemies of the nation and state, and of the denial of German Reich citizenship.

Witness, would you care to make a statement as to how this enlargement of the Department came about, and what this signified?

Accused: This was, no doubt, a result of the initiative of Department I, I believe of the Ministry of the Interior under Hering and Globke, regarding the endeavours to deny German citizenship and sequestration of property of Jews, as proved unequivocally by a document which is before us.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, you already said that Regierungsrat Suhr later came to your Department. Did he bring with him these two new matters of administration, the sequestration of property and the denial [of citizenship]?

Accused: The two subjects of denial of citizenship and sequestration of property had already been dealt with for some time by Department II, but on a case-by-case basis. Suhr dealt, at the time, not with these matters, but with jurisdictional and similar matters, but was assigned to my Department under the new plan for the distribution of official business, or perhaps a little earlier, and, in any case, after the eleventh ordinance, as a jurist charged with dealing with these two matters independently.

Dr. Servatius: I may perhaps briefly point out that, on page 7 the position of Chief of Group IVB, is unoccupied. Witness, why was this position not filled, why didn't you get it?

Accused: I was originally, after I was transferred against my will to the Head Office for Reich Security in 1939...

Dr. Servatius: Witness, if you would please formulate your statements more briefly, would you please say only that you were passed over, or however it happened, without referring to the entire history.

Accused: For one thing, my willingness to take decisions and my activity at that time, was certainly not as it is presented today.

Dr. Servatius: Thank you. The impression was then created that the Accused had a special service position of his own, separate from the large service station in the Prinz Albrechtstrasse.

Witness, could you provide from the office work plan, an indication where these offices were, and whether many of the offices existed, in addition to the central office?

Accused: Yes, Sir. On pages 7, 8, 9 and 10.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, in the last column, under telephone number, it says "central internal post." The initial letters - M - Meinekestrasse, K - Kurfuerstendamm, there one can see where these different offices - Lu, probably Lutherstrasse - were located, and one sees that he did not have any special position there. This thereby clarifies this issue.

I now come to exhibit T/98, document No. 554. This is an instruction for the Higher SS and Police Leaders, of 8 December 1939. Under numbers 4-6, the status of these Police Leaders is laid down. It says here in 4: " In his field of competence, he represents the Reichsfuehrer for all tasks."

In No. 5, it says: "He leads in the implementation of the tasks." And in No. 6: "He assumes command in all joint operations."

Witness, could you, in view of this order, take measures in Hungary against the instructions of the Higher SS and Police Leader and of the Senior Commander of the Security Police?

Accused: No.

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