The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 77
(Part 3 of 5)

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/676, document No. 728. This is the record of a consultation on 15 January 1941, concerning the regulation of conditions of nationality in the Greater German Reich. This is a fundamental discussion which took place in the Reich Ministry of the Interior Department I. The list of those present is on page 9, before the draft of the regulation.

There are four representatives of the Reich Ministry of the Interior and two representatives of the Head Office for Reich Security, the Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, all authoritative bodies are represented. Page 2 clearly shows the purpose of this discussion, namely deprivation of nationality, with the resultant consequences; at the end of this page, it says: "The Reich Ministry of the Interior therefore suggests, retracting the earlier draft, to deprive all Jews holding German nationality, inside the country as well as abroad, of German nationality, and to make them stateless."

The result is summed up in a draft of a regulation about the assets of Jews abroad who are losing their German nationality. Paragraph 2 of the draft, at the top of the last page, states that the assets go to the head of the Ministry of Finance; at the end, it says that these regulations are to be implemented by the Reich Ministry of the Interior with the Reich Ministry of Finance.

Witness, you yourself were not present at the meeting, but two others were: Dr. Rajakowitsch, a lawyer from IVD4, that is to say, someone who belonged to your Section, and Government Councillor Neifeind, who apparently belonged to Department II. Would you explain what these two gentlemen did there and what they reported to you?

Accused: I would first like to clarify the position of the two participants. Dr. Rajakowitsch was a reservist conscripted for the duration of the War, of the Waffen-SS, who was assigned to Section IVD4. Government Counsellor Neifeind was also a lawyer and belonged to Department II, as is shown by the office work plan. Ministerial Director Hering or Dr. Globke - I no longer know today which one had invited the Department Chief - that is Mueller - to this consultation. Department Chief IV arranged who was to be assigned to this meeting.

Since it was a purely juridical problem, the order was given to assign Dr. Rajakowitsch. I would like to correct myself. To be quite exact, I should say, reservist of the Waffen-SS, hence he may have been conscripted by the appropriate military registration office, but, on the basis of an exemption, or what the possibilities of the personnel department were, I do not know, he was placed at the disposal of the Head Office for Reich Security.

Dr. Servatius: That is Dr. Rajakowitsch?

Accused: Dr. Rajakowitsch, yes.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, how did these decisions that were made affect your activity. It must, after all, have had an influence on your further activity?

Accused: This draft, which was submitted by Department I of the Ministry of the Interior, as far as I know, was the basis for the subsequent Regulation 11 under the Reich Citizenship Law. It was, moreover, virtually the basis, virtually the legal basis which made possible the future deportations of Jews from inside the territory of the Reich, that is to say, Jews with German nationality. I cannot, today, say if it then made possible other measures of a dictatorial nature, but anyway, this legal basis made it very convenient for the leading authorities to give their instructions for deportations as being based on principle.

Moreover, it raised and solved the question of regulating the assets, with both matters later becoming a model for a similar regulation, for example, in France - I cannot, at the moment, remember other countries. In France, I know exactly how the local German authorities or heads of legations brought their influence to bear on the French Government, or possibly the Higher SS and Police Leader, to deprive their Jews of citizenship according to this model, precisely because it was easier to carry out the deportations on this legal basis.

Dr. Servatius: I would still like to refer to page 7 on the subject of assets. It says: "There the Minister of Finance speaks, suggesting not to decree the requisitioning of Jewish assets, because that would entail too much work, but, instead, to consider forfeiture whenever a person loses his nationality." The result can be seen in the regulation, in the actual draft here of the regulation. For this, one should really examine paragraph 1 of the draft, from which the following results: As a Jew, one loses one's nationality if one resides abroad or has transferred one's residence there.

Later on, this comes to mean that one has also transferred it there when one is removed across the frontier by force. And this results in the legalistic trick, as I would call it, from paragraph 2, where it says: "The assets of Jews who have lost their nationality on the basis of paragraph such and such are forfeited to the Reich on the strength of this regulation, insofar as they have not already been forfeited." That is also what happened to the French: As soon as they had been transported across the border, a similar state of affairs came about.

Next, exhibit T/719, document No. 739. The results of these proceedings are three communications relating to restrictions in the disposal of Jewish assets. The first communication is a circular by Heydrich dated 27 November 1941. The second one is the covering letter by Mueller, signed on 3 December 1941. The third is an addition to Heydrich's circular. These communications are directed against possible illicit trafficking in assets by Jews.

Witness, the file numbers of these communications are IVB4a. To what extent were you concerned with this communication, with these proceedings?

Accused: That follows from the fact that this is a consequence of Regulation 11. It was not I who ordered it, but those who issued the legal regulations. It also had to be enforced. In this connection, I would still like to say that neither Dr. Rajakowitsch nor Government Counsellor Neifeind ordered it, but it had been contrived in Department I of the Ministry of the Interior. And once these administrative sections were given the order from the Head Office for Reich Security to go on from here, they could no longer raise fundamental reservations, they were not entitled to do so, these were purely juridical matters.

Dr. Servatius: I now come to T/729, document No. 1265.

Judge Raveh: Have you got the letter of 27 November 1941?

Dr. Servatius: I have it in front of me.

Judge Raveh: Can the Accused perhaps remember who drafted this letter?

Dr. Servatius: Witness, you heard the question. Will you please answer it?

Accused: No, Your Honour, I can no longer remember that today. But this much I can say with certainty, that, without any doubt, it was the lawyers from the Head Office for Reich Security en bloc, and at least the two lawyers who had taken part in the discussion that laid the foundations, of course by referring back to their respective superiors.

Dr. Servatius: Exhibit T/729, which I already mentioned, contains guidelines for the treatment of assets of Jews who are being deported to the Generalgouvernement. The file number is IVB4a and is signed by Government Counsellor SS Sturmfuehrer Suhr from the Accused's Section. I direct the attention of the Court to page 2; on the lower half of the page it says: "Since, in this connection, the Generalgouvernement is to be considered a foreign country, the assets of Jews are forfeited immediately upon crossing the border into the Generalgouvernement on the basis of paragraph 3 of Regulation 11 to the Reich Civil Law of 25.11.1941."

Witness, can you provide an explanation for the formulation of these guidelines which differs from what you said about the other documents?

Accused: Yes. Apart from the fact of its being a consequence of Regulation 11, I actually see from the letter- head on the first page that these guidelines were issued in the year 1942. The fact that Government Counsellor Suhr, who, according to the office work plan, served in Department II of the Head Office for Reich Security, and of whom it has already been said that he came to Section IVB4 - that is to say, my Section - with two subjects, deprivation of nationality and requisitioning of assets, which proves that my Section was here also affected by Regulation 11, even though the fact that the jurist Suhr acted wholly independently as a Government Counsellor, and that I personally could neither give him orders nor practical instructions. Those he received from Department Chief IV Mueller. He had, after all, been an independent expert in Department II.

In conclusion, and in order to give further weight to my present testimony, I would like to refer to the very last paragraph of the document, on page 6, wherein it says: "Enquiries concerning matters of property law should be addressed to the undersigned, mentioned in the file number at the top of these directives. In case he is not available, they are to be addressed to Regierungsassessor Hunsche, Section IVB4, telephone so and so." Signed: per pro Suhr, SS Sturmbannfuehrer, Government Counsellor.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, if you do not mind, we will take a break now.


Presiding Judge: Please continue, Dr. Servatius.

Dr. Servatius: Exhibit T/723, document No. 738. This is a circular letter from the Reich Association of Jews in Germany, Berlin, dated 3 December 1941. It is addressed to the Jewish Religious Associations. Its main subject is Special Account W, into which donations are paid by the Jews who are about to be evacuated. The Reich Association says, by way of introduction, that this communication follows the directive of "our Supervisory Authority." Who is this Supervisory Authority?

Accused: The Supervisory Authority is the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service. In practice, in the course of things, there are then the Bureaus of the Chiefs of the Security Police and the Security Service, according to their competence, including also my Section.

Dr. Servatius: Please state your opinion as to how this directive came into being and what was the meaning of the donation.

Accused: Today, I can no longer say with absolute certainty who coined the word "Sonderkonto W" (Special Account W). However, since it was in the interest of both parties, it is just as conceivable, even likely, that either the jurists of the Head Office for Reich Security dealt with this question or, on the other hand, the Director of the Reich Association, Dr. Eppstein, himself, and, last but not least, also the Chief of the Security Police himself, namely Heydrich, and that for the following reason: According to Regulation 11, the assets were forfeited to the Reich Treasury.

However, in the Reich there were the Reich Association and the numerous Jewish organizations subordinate to it, which obviously also needed a budget in order to pay their staff, welfare services, etc. A struggle was bound to break out automatically between the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service and the Reich Treasury about the need to release funds for the Jewish organizations for paying the...

Presiding Judge: What is that noise there? What is that noise there outside? Silence there, please.

Accused: From there, it was only a short step for the legal sector to discover that a donation on the part of the Reich Treasury was unassailable. On page 2, under No. 5 of this document, it says that these sums of money are to be paid into an account at one of the banks of the district offices or Religious Associations of the Reich Association and that, further on, applications are then to be made for their release, after due prior notice to the Supervisory Authority. In conclusion, it should be said on this subject that this way, between the local district offices of the Reich Association and the Religious Associations to their supervisory offices, which were locally the Gestapo and the State Police District Offices, was shorter and less complicated than via the Senior Finance Authority.

Dr. Servatius: The following three exhibits belong together, as it were; they are: T/193, document No. 908; T/195, document No. 509; T/194, document No. 508. They deal with the treatment of assets belonging to Jewish foreigners, foreign Jews in Germany, and German Jews abroad. The question is who is to receive the forfeited assets when, for example, a Reich German Jew has his assets sequestered in Romania and vice versa. When a Romanian Jew in Germany has his assets sequestered, the German Government gets them. The solution is a territorial set-off: the country in which the Jew in question is located receives the assets.

The first communication, dated 23 July, invites the following to a consultation: the representative for the Four- Year-Plan, Reich Minister of the Interior, Reich Minister of Trade and Commerce, Reich Minister of Finance, Reich Minister of Justice, Party Chancellery, and Head Office for Reich Security - SS Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann and the Reich Forestry Commissioner.

Witness, were you or someone from your Section present at this consultation? And what can you state about these events?

Accused: I received no instructions to take part in this discussion; moreover, I think that no one from the Head Office for Reich Security participated in the consultation, as can be seen from the distribution list: While document No. 908 names the Head Office for Reich Security, the results of the consultation follow in document No. 508, of 31 July 1942, referring to all the participants, while here the only office to be left out is the Head Office for Reich Security, from which I conclude today that no one at all from the Head Office for Reich Security took part in this consultation.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/780, document No. 1060. This is a communication from Section IVB4 to the Foreign Ministry, which deals with an individual case of forfeiture of assets, namely those of a Jewish businessman by the name of Frank. It concerns the representative of a large, well-known firm working abroad as an agent, and it is now being clarified whether the assets have been forfeited. How did this individual action come about which originated in your Section?

Accused: This action could not have originated in my Section, since no one there would have had an idea of these matters, rather it is the result of an item of information, the like of which arrived in their hundreds, both from the local Party offices and, in cases of economic matters, also from the district economic advisers, and this information had to be followed up. If the local State Police and regional headquarters were unable to complete these investigations, they were passed on to the Head Office for Reich Security.

This is also a result of Regulation 11 concerning the Law of Reich Citizenship. The information had come in and needed to be dealt with according to orders.

Judge Raveh: Dr. Servatius, may I come back to exhibit T/194, document No. 508? If you so wish, would you ask the Accused about his position regarding the last paragraph on page 2, where it says: "The Foreign Ministry therefore views, in agreement with the Head Office for Reich Security, etc."

Dr. Servatius: Witness, take the document, on page 2, last paragraph, where it says: "The Foreign Ministry therefore views, in agreement with the Head Office for Reich Security..."

Accused: Yes.

Dr. Servatius: Just a moment, I would like to add to this, so as to have it understood more clearly. It goes on to say, "difficulties arise," and, at the end, it says: "To establish on the basis of the territorial principle and requests its consent." Was your Section asked for its consent?

Judge Raveh: I am not sure that Dr. Servatius is not mistaken, because we heard before that the letter was sent to various offices, apart from the Head Office for Reich Security. Therefore, I think, Dr. Servatius, that you err that here the agreement of the Reich Office for State Security was not requested.

Dr. Servatius: Yes, yes. I mixed it up with the first communication; only the invitation mentioned the office, it is not mentioned in the last communication.

Accused: Precisely the last sentence shows that this communication was preceded by a discussion with the competent experts of the Head Office for Reich Security. The matter of territorial principle was a purely legal problem, and today I no longer know it in detail. But this much I do know, that this matter had to be handled at the responsibility of the jurists of Department II, as well as by jurists of Department III, admittedly with the participation of jurists from Department IV, that is from my Section. That this conclusion of mine is correct is clear, without doubt, from a study of the organizational plan, and the fact that, on examining these files, I established that certainly no one from my Section participated in this discussion shows to me that the Foreign Ministry most probably got together directly with Departments II and III, and possibly also with the jurist from IVB4, except for this consultation.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.