The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 76
(Part 3 of 5)

Dr. Servatius: In this area, there is a Police Attache called Helm with the mission, and all those working in Croatia are, therefore, subordinate to him, including Abromeit, who is stationed in Sarajevo.

On page 5, for Romania, as Representative for Jewish Questions, a certain Richter is listed, and it says that the position of Police Attache is not currently filled. If I am not mistaken, Richter had direct dealings with the mission head, but I am not quite sure now. On page 6, Slovakia, the Police Attache is Goltz, and as a member of his staff appears Wisliceny.

The second part of this document contains comments by the German Foreign Ministry. It says there that the Advisers on Jewish Questions have received authorization for their secondment by the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs himself. This is at the end of the second or third paragraph.

On the last page of the document it says that the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs wishes to be consulted in detail, even with regard to less important cases, and there is a reference here to Richter in Bucharest.

I have a question to the Witness. Were you, nevertheless, able to pursue your own policy in matters of personnel, contrary to the wishes of the German Foreign Ministry?

Accused: If I were asked about any matter, I was able to make appropriate proposals, but if they did not suit the officials of the German Foreign Ministry, they would take no notice of them. In practice, however, these matters were almost always settled directly between the office chief and the Undersecretary of State, as shown by the official documents.

Judge Halevi: I have a question for Dr. Servatius relating to the previous exhibit, T/101. Perhaps you could tell us whether you happen to know the position and assignment of Dr. Kaltenbrunner at that time: The document starts with the names of Dr. Kaltenbrunner, Gruppenfuehrer Mueller, Oberfuehrer Schellenberg - at that time, what was Dr. Kaltenbrunner's position and assignment?

Dr. Servatius: I have to see the date. August 1941 - at that point Heydrich was still alive. Perhaps the Accused can explain.

Accused: At that point, Kaltenbrunner was not yet Chief of the Security Police. However, together with Schellenberg, Kaltenbrunner had organized the entire Intelligence Service of the Head Office for Reich Security as a counterweight to the Canaris Counter-Intelligence Office, so that the central focus of this discussion was the possibility of setting up the intelligence service using the missions, and that is why Kaltenbrunner was asked to take part as an expert, as well as Schellenberg.

Judge Halevi: What was Kaltenbrunner's position then? Kaltenbrunner's permanent position at that time?

Accused: As far as I am aware, he was the Higher SS and Police Leader for Vienna, and his intelligence connections extended throughout the entire southeast.

Judge Raveh: Dr. Servatius, I have another question about the previous exhibit, T/731. The last exhibit but one, the agreement between Ribbentrop and Himmler.

Dr. Servatius: Yes, I have the document before me.

Judge Raveh: You referred us to the first paragraph, with reference to the agreement between Himmler and the German Minister for Foreign Affairs. My understanding - and I should like to check whether my understanding is correct - is that, once a Sonderauftrag (special assignment) was given, the person receiving this was unable to ask any questions, as it was assumed that the agreement of the German Foreign Ministry had already been obtained. Is my understanding correct?

Dr. Servatius: That cannot be deduced from the document itself. However, I would assume that this...

Judge Raveh: One moment, please - the reason why I am assuming this is because it says "on this the prior agreement of the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs shall be obtained by the Reichsfuehrer-SS" - and I should like to know whether my interpretation of this is correct.

Dr. Servatius: To say that agreement is to be obtained, is an odd expression. Normally, agreements are not obtained.

Presiding Judge: So that the person receiving this special assignment would thus have freedom of action?

Judge Raveh: Yes.

Dr. Servatius: I understand the question. This cannot be deduced from the document itself. In the light of the circumstances now known, one would tend to say that there was a certain degree of general authority to act; but what the text actually says is that agreement must first be obtained. In my opinion, this document is more of a truce, in which each party is maintaining the right - in somewhat diplomatic language - to assert its power to give his consent or not.


Presiding Judge: Please continue, Dr. Servatius.

Judge Halevi: I have been looking again at the Kaltenbrunner matter. Perhaps there is an error here, because two documents have been combined. There is no point checking on this now, but perhaps the Prosecution and the Defence could, after the session, look at Prosecution document 543, our exhibit T/101. It is possible that this document consists of two documents which were pasted together in the German Foreign Ministry, whereas it is only the second document which actually dates from August 1941, so that the first sheet of the document might well have been written when Kaltenbrunner was already Chief of the Head Office for Reich Security. Perhaps that would clarify the matter, but it is not urgent - perhaps it is not important at all.

Dr. Servatius: I shall react to this later.

I now come to exhibit T/763, original number 931. This is a communication from the German Foreign Ministry, dated 5 March 1943, to Eichmann's office. In my view, this shows that prior authorization by the German Foreign Ministry was required for arresting Jews, foreign Jews. In the second sentence, it says: "The German Foreign Ministry has not yet authorized your office to apply general anti-Jewish measures to nationals - Hungarian nationals - present in the German Reich, etc."

Witness, what was the purpose of this communication, which contains a complaint? Would you care to react?

Accused: The document shows clearly that subordinate offices - obviously in their urge to evacuate Jews - had arrested Jews of Hungarian nationality.

Dr. Servatius: Were your offices not then informed as to their duties?

Accused: Of course they were informed, but occasionally local police offices, on the urging of the local holders of power, undertook measures which did not comply with the Reich's regulations. At that point, the Head Office for Reich Security had to act.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to exhibit T/196, document No. 93. This is an extensive minute from the German Foreign Ministry, by Luther, dated 21 August 1942. I refer to page 17, item 11. This reads:

"At the wish of the governments concerned, Advisers on Jewish Affairs have been allocated to the Pressburg, Agram and Bucharest legations. At the request of the German Foreign Ministry, they have been made available by the Head Office for Reich Security. Their assignment is of limited duration." Then, in the last paragraph, with reference to Richter, it says: "At the urgent request of the Bucharest legation, despite the opposition of the Head Office for Reich Security, Richter has again been assigned to the legation, with the express intention to leave him there until the practical Final Solution in Romania is achieved."
Witness, are you familiar with this occurrence - these circumstances described here?

Accused: Yes, I am.

Dr. Servatius: I now submit a document which as yet has no T number - a Prosecution document from Bureau 06, No. 495. I have copies, photocopies, here, and would request a decision that this document can be formally admitted.

Presiding Judge: Could you briefly describe the document?

Dr. Servatius: It is a communication from Ambassador Killinger in Pressburg, dated 6 August 1940, and it is about the Adviser on Jewish Affairs.

Presiding Judge: In the case of official correspondence of this nature, a special decision is not necessary, Dr. Servatius. We have accepted such official correspondence from the Prosecution, without any special decision; so we accept this in evidence, and I mark it exhibit N/6.

Dr. Servatius: This is a telegram from Ambassador von Killinger to Ambassador Luther - only for Ambassador Luther and for the Reich Minister, i.e., the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs. A young jurist, who is to fill the post of Adviser, has reported to Ambassador von Killinger. The envoy enlightened him as to his position, and he is apparently very disappointed at the scanty powers he is to have. Perhaps I can quote from the letter: "Apparently, he was taken aback by what I told him, and, apparently, believed that he would be organizing the Slovak police with a larger staff. I rejected this approach. He is simply subordinate to me as adviser, without any staff and authority, and will act according to my instructions."

The next exhibit is T/1029, document No. 178. This is a document from Bucharest, by Ambassador Killinger, dated 28 August 1942, also on the position of the Adviser on Jewish Affairs. The communication relates to a difference of opinion about the dispatch to Berlin of a State Secretary by the name of Lecca, and, in connection with this dispute, it says here, under item 3: "It goes without saying that the Adviser on Jewish Affairs carried out the preliminary work on my orders."

On the next page, a note verbale on this quarrel is reproduced. What is of greater interest is what appears on the last page, a comment which says: "I am sufficiently familiar with the methods of the gentlemen of the SS." However, he is not justified in his complaints, because this Lecca was not received by the German Foreign Ministry, and he has really attacked the wrong person - this can be seen on the last page of the document, where the envoy is given a negative reply, and then, at the end, there is a handwritten note saying, "Mr. von Killinger does not want to understand this matter."

I proceed now to exhibit T/1102, document No. 1526 - a summons to Wisliceny to a consultation of officials in charge of Jewish affairs. It is marked as coming from the Legation Secretary, i.e., the German Foreign Ministry, and not from Department IV. This is why the document is being submitted.

I come now to exhibit T/112, Bureau 06 No. 1452. This is a communication from the Hannover Gestapo to an Oberbuergermeister (Lord Mayor). The document indicates the activities of the Police Leader in charge, SS Gruppenfuehrer Jeckeln, with regard to confiscation of Jewish assets. It reads: "In accordance with the instructions of Higher Police Leader SS Gruppenfuehrer Jeckeln, all banking and credit establishments are to be instructed to freeze immediately Jewish assets, and to close securities accounts." The German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront) then appears and hands out the posts of trustees for confiscated businesses. At the bottom of the document, a note appears: "Discussed with Ministerial Director (I cannot make out the name) - no further action." I have a question to the Accused: Was it your Department's role to supervise such measures, or did you give orders for this?

Accused: No - the document is dated 1938, when I was neither in Berlin nor in Hannover, but in Vienna; and, secondly, neither the Higher SS and Police Leaders nor the District Governors were under my control.

Dr. Servatius: I now turn to exhibit T/114, document No. 76. This is part of the minutes of the consultation on the Jewish Question, following Kristallnacht. I am referring to pages 19-21. There is a reference here to the Central Office for Emigration of Jews, and the point is made that very considerable emigration has been achieved by legal means. This refers to the Accused's activities - this is when he began to arouse attention, and later he came to Berlin.

I have a question to the Accused: This organization which you set up in Vienna - what effect did that have on your subsequent activities?

Accused: In the autumn of 1939, I was ordered to Berlin, and was instructed to establish the same apparatus as that operating in Vienna and Prague.

Dr. Servatius: At that time, were you given a deadline by which it was to be expected that all Jews would have emigrated?

Accused: The deadlines were set according to the common sense or otherwise of the person asking, and, before the War, the assumption was that, given the way things were then, the problem for Germany would be solved within eight to ten years.

Dr. Servatius: On page 21 of the document, there is reference to the marking of the Jews. At that time, did you receive instructions, or yourself initiate steps, with regard to such marking?

Accused: At that time, there was simply a proposal for marking at a conference with Goering, but, as time went by, various central bodies started urging it, and I think it was in 1941 that marking was approved and ordered by Hitler, at the insistence of the Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, Goebbels. The documents which will corroborate my Statement will be presented shortly.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/116, document No. 1368. This is a communication from Himmler to the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs about the setting up of a Reich Central Office for Emigration of Jews.

Attorney General: The signature is that of Heydrich, not Himmler.

Presiding Judge: The signature is somewhat obscured by the handwritten note.

Dr. Servatius: On my copy, there is no signature; I therefore assumed it was Himmler.

The document is dated 30 January 1939. It sets up the Reich Central Office, under the control of Heydrich. The head of the office is SS Standartenfuehrer Mueller. Members of the committee include representatives of the Foreign Ministry of the Reichs Finance Ministry, the Reich Economics Ministry, and the Reich Ministry of the Interior. Witness, in actual fact, were you not the head of this Reich Central Office?

Accused: No, I was not the head of this Reich Central Office. However, I should like to add that, before exhibit 1368, which is now being discussed, dated 30 January 1939, there is another important document: No. 460, dated 24 January 1939, which is Goering's appointment of Heydrich as head of this Reich Central Office. The communication is addressed to the Reich Minister of the Interior. Two names appear as members of this Reich Central Office: that of Ambassador Eisenlohr and that of Ministerialdirektor Wohlthat as representative for the negotiations of the Rublee Plan. The document currently under discussion, that is 1368, does not appoint Mueller as head of this Reich Central Office, but simply as manager of the Reich Central Office. And it is quite correct that the representatives of all the central bodies took part there. The reason was that legal measures were to be created, and then there should somehow be access to the assets of the Jews.

In conclusion, I should like to point out, with reference to both these documents, that, at the time in question, that is to say, the beginning of 1939, I was not even in Berlin. The date of my transfer is shown by the next exhibit.

Dr. Servatius: I shall omit exhibit T/645 and come now to exhibit T/798. The only reference I wish to make to this document concerns item 5 on page 2. This is a report dated 19 December 1939, by Dr. Loewenherz, drawn up for Eichmann's Department, and it reads: "In this connection, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann stated that he had taken over the control of the Reich Central Office for Emigration of Jews, and had resolved to arrange for the Emigration Offices in Berlin, Vienna and Prague to work separately." This shows, therefore, that he did not come to Berlin until December.

Presiding Judge: Yes, but it says here that since then he has been the head of this Central Office.

I now address the Accused. Is it correct that, from December 1939 onwards, you were head of the Central Office for the entire Reich? I would ask the Accused to stand when addressed by the Court.

Accused: I beg your pardon.

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