The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 81
(Part 4 of 5)

Presiding Judge: But the letter starts with the words "On my visit to Vienna," This indicates that this must have been Mr. Stahl, does it not? That he had visited Vienna and made negative remarks about the arrangements in Vienna, and someone put pressure on him to apologize. This is how I understand it.

Accused: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, I do not know this in detail any longer. But I do know one thing, that at that time Vienna was not subordinate to the Reich Union, that is to say to the Jewish offices in Berlin, and there prevailed, shall we say, a gentle rivalry, because each one now arranged immigration opportunities for himself, and Dr. Loewenherz was at that time very active. Dr. Loewenherz did not have to worry about these local administrative difficulties, such as they had to contend with in Berlin. In addition, I obtained from my superiors a very considerable measure of liberality regarding the grant of permission to travel abroad...

Presiding Judge: All right, this is not relevant. I understand the question in connection with this document to be: Who pressed for this apology? Dr. Servatius, is there not another document from which it transpires that this letter of apology was delivered to Dr. Loewenherz by the Accused?

Dr. Servatius: At present I do not remember.

Attorney General: That is a paragraph in exhibit T/143.

Presiding Judge: Yes, there is such a thing.

Dr. Servatius: T/143 has been submitted here.

Presiding Judge: The numbers became confused here. You have it as T/142 or T/143. That was also No. 1329. That is a memo by Loewenherz.

Dr. Servatius: Yes, there is a similar remark here. The first section of this document actually consists of two parts and it says:

"SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann handed over to the undersigned a letter of 1 September 1939 from the Chairman of the Jewish community in Berlin, Mr. Heinrich Stahl, in which he informs the Jewish community in Vienna, and the Vienna Palestine Office, that he had not been justified in criticizing these offices for the implementation of their emigration..."
This was probably preceded by a conversation.

Dr. Servatius: I refer to number 4 of this same memo, where it says: "SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann declared that he was prepared to release the remains of Herzl, for transfer to Palestine."

Witness, would you explain how that happened, what were the conditions attached to it, what was asked for in return, what had to be paid.

Accused: Yes Sir. Dr. Loewenherz used to come to me with all kinds of requests, and because I listened to him on all matters, the same applied in the present case, the exhumation of the remains of Theodor Herzl. This was in March 1939, a time when it would have been impossible for Dr. Loewenherz to find an office anywhere in Vienna where an official would have even listened to him on this matter. But Loewenherz knew my attitude to the basic problem of Jewish distress, which I derived from Boehm's book, as I have already said.

Now, it was clear to me that such an intervention, which I had to arrange with the offices competent in this matter - because I was not authorized to release the remains of Theodor Herzl on my own - I now had to start running around in Vienna, to all kinds of offices, and had, as the greatest obstacle, to overcome the reservations in principle on the part of the Foreign Ministry. But that did not seem to me a difficulty that could not be bridged over, so I said to Loewenherz if I now take upon myself the running-about and trouble for a matter in which I am not authorized, then you have to take upon yourself the running around and the trouble, and secure an additional 8,000 immigration opportunities for Jews from Vienna. Because, thereby the matter would somehow fall into my sphere of competence, and this achievement of 8,000 additional immigration opportunities was the basis upon which I could now speak to all those offices which had been opposed to the matter.

Dr. Servatius: Some payment or contribution must also have been forthcoming.

Accused: No, only the additional 8,000 opportunities for immigration.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to exhibit T/798, document No. 1139. This is a report from Dr. Loewenherz, a memo of 19 December 1939. I refer now to point 1, the last two paragraphs - permission for foreign currency for December and January 1940. It says here that agreement was given to an arrangement with the Joint, and it was confirmed that the community was entitled to act accordingly.

Witness, could you explain to which payments reference is made here? These seem to be periodical payments.

Accused: I cannot understand from the document which payment is meant, but I think I am right in stating that these payments which Dr. Loewenherz used to ask for all the time, which the Central Office for Emigration of Jews paid to him, as the emigrants paid special emigration levies, and out of that Dr. Loewenherz was paid sums of - I have taken this from the documents - of 200,000 Marks, and sometimes 500,000 Marks, sums for which I had to ask for authorization from my superior, on the basis of the requests received from Dr. Loewenherz. I think this is the matter referred to here.

Dr. Servatius: I refer now to item 6 on the second page. There, Dr. Loewenherz refers to state pensioners, and the recipients of official annuities who were to be expelled, and he applied to Eichmann about this matter.

Witness, were you competent in this matter, and is that why he applied to you?

Accused: This memo is from 19 December 1939. At that time I happened to be in Berlin, as one can see from the same memo, and Dr. Loewenherz, who used to present to me all his requests, seems to have heard that such measures were being planned. I had no knowledge of this and could not have made the statement quoted here to Loewenherz

Dr. Servatius: I refer now to page 3, item 11. Dr. Loewenherz applies to the Accused in matters of housing. Witness, were you able to arrange anything in matters of housing?

Accused: In this matter, I was not able to arrange anything, and I told Dr. Loewenherz as much, and I also told him the reason why I was unable to arrange anything, as is shown in the last paragraph of item 11. Yet, although I was not competent in this matter, Dr. Loewenherz applied to me. He informed me that Jews were being dealt with very harshly in the Housing Office of the Vienna Municipality, and this is proof, I think, that the Jews were not being treated harshly in my office, nor in the Vienna Bureau of the Central Office for Emigration of Jews, since otherwise Dr. Loewenherz would not have come to me to complain, in a way.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to the next document, exhibit T/799, document No. 1140. It is once again a report by Dr. Loewenherz, of 26 January 1940. This concerns censorship of letters. It states:

"Should it be determined, in individual cases, that the officials concerned did not conduct this correspondence within the framework of their official duties, then Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann will cause me to call these officials to order, as required. No other consequences will ensue from the monitoring of the correspondence."
Is there a particular story behind this last paragraph?

Accused: This was the year 1940. We were at war. The control of all correspondence to foreign countries was naturally intensified. The Jewish community of Vienna had, by virtue of its efforts to secure opportunities for emigration, carried on a voluminous correspondence with foreign countries. There may have been indications, and in order to follow these indications - as I surely was obliged to do, according to directives - I then had the correspondence of the Jewish community monitored. Naturally, Loewenherz and his officials were concerned that some kind of police measures could now be taken against them, and here I was able reassure Dr. Loewenherz.

Dr. Servatius: I refer to page 6 of this document. There, Dr. Rothenberg is mentioned. It says:

"Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann stated that in view of the fact that Dr. Rothenberg had done his work with dedication and had fulfilled his duties, he would not place any obstacles in his way. Dr. Rothenberg should present a precise liquidation report and then report to Eichmann concerning his emigration."
Did he emigrate, or did you make difficulties after that?

Accused: As far as I know, Dr. Rothenberg, who was Director of the Palestine Office in Vienna, emigrated to Palestine after the conclusion of his activities. Therefore, I made no difficulties.

Dr. Servatius: Then, a further report from Dr. Loewenherz of 7 March 1940. I refer here only to number 3.

Presiding Judge: Which number is this, please?

Dr. Servatius: T/800, document No. 1141. There is reference to an existing curfew, and Dr. Loewenherz applies to him in order to get some relief. It says here:

"Eichmann declared that our intervention, in co- ordination with the Secret State Police will result in a favourable conclusion."
Point 3 once again discusses those monies of the Joint. Then, at the conclusion of point 3, on that page, it says: "At the same time I asked that on account of the proceeds an amount of 500,000 Reichsmarks or one million Zloty may be transferred to the Polski Bank Comerciclny for the American Joint Distribution Committee." This is in connection with the Nisko affair. I shall come back to this matter later.

Finally, on page 3 under point 5: Release from detention of the employees of the Jewish Community and the Palestine Office in Vienna.

Witness, you were approached concerning the release: what authority did you have in this matter? Or what could you undertake?

Accused: According to an order from Himmler issued at that time, Jews held in concentration camps where released whenever an opportunity for immigration for them could be shown. In this connection, a special section was created in the Central Office for Emigration of Jews in Vienna, which was in constant touch with a special section of the Jewish community of Vienna, where these matters were discussed and settled. In another part of this report - I can't find it just now - I told Dr. Loewenherz explicitly that I was not competent in matters of the concentration camps, but in case of an application for emigration he may submit this application to me; I can't find it at the moment - it must be in the files - yes, I have found the place meanwhile - it is in document No. 1139, page 2, last paragraph.

Dr. Servatius: That is T/798. Then a further report signed by Edelstein-Loewenherz, Eppstein and Weidmann. T/802 - document No. 1143. The report is dated 3 July 1940. On the first page, in the last paragraph, the report concerns the sale of plots of land.

Witness, how did these transactions proceed? What happened to the money, the proceeds?

Accused: I can no longer comment on this in detail from memory. All I know is this: there was a time when all property arrangements in Austria were within the competence of the Office of the Commissioner for Foreign Assets, and there was a time, subsequent to that, when with respect to the liquidation of Jewish property of the Jewish Community of Vienna, the Main Office of the State Police of Vienna, or its long arm at that time - the Central Office for Emigration of Jews - was competent, on behalf of the Inspector of the Security Police and the Security Service, who had been empowered in this respect by the Reich Commissioner. What this last paragraph, which I can hardly read because the letters are all blurred, means precisely, I do not know; in any case it is connected with one of these two points I have just mentioned.

Dr. Servatius: I refer to page 2, point 4: The Question of immigration. In paragraph 1, it says that the efforts for emigration, by way of the Far East as well as through Lisbon, are to be continued. How long was this still possible?

Accused: I cannot now tell you the exact date from memory, but it was after the beginning of the German-Russian war.

Dr. Servatius: The text continues, stating that you spoke with the functionaries about a general solution of the European Jewish Question. Then reference is made to a concrete territory for settlement. What was meant by that?

Accused: At that time I was working on all the data I could obtain with regard to the preparation of the Madagascar Plan, which has been discussed here earlier. I see here from the minutes that I informed the Jewish functionaries at the time of this matter, without mentioning the country of destination, and I see further that the content conforms more or less to what I have now read in the Madagascar Plan. Certainly, I could not have mentioned the word to them, because the Madagascar Plan remained classified as "secret," or even "secret Reich matter" I don't know which. In any event, I demanded of the Jewish functionaries at the time that they, too, submit a memorandum, stating what aspects would appear to them important for such a subject.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to exhibit T/154, document No. 783. This is a report submitted by Dr. Loewenherz after the War, dated 10 October 1960.

Witness, have you read this entire report?

Accused: No, I have not read all of it.

Dr. Servatius: Would you, then, comment on that part which you have read, on those passages which you have read?

Accused: In glancing at this report, I was surprised at what I read, because it is in contrast to Loewenherz' minutes. When I came to page 54, the first paragraph, where I was said to be the person who had to inform the Jewish functionaries who were ordered to Berlin at that time, that on the order of Himmler, 250 Jews were to be shot, because of the sabotage in "Das rote Paradies" (The Red [Soviet] exhibition), I thought to myself - this is a crass untruth. Thereupon, I no longer read and worked on the report at all, and when I then discovered that another report described the true course of events I was reinforced in this position of mine.

Judge Halevi: The other report mentioned Mueller and not you? Is that the difference?

Accused: Yes, Your Honour, which is how it actually occurred, in reality.

Presiding Judge: Which document is that, please?

Dr. Servatius: T/649, document No. 916. It is a lecture by Moritz Henschel given on 13 September 1946. It says here on page 4, at the bottom: "We were all of us placed against the wall of a large hall, we had to stand there from 9 o'clock onwards, only Loewenherz and Baeck were permitted to sit for a quarter of an hour."

And then, on page 5 on top it says: "At 1:30 Gruppenfuehrer Mueller came in, the man who worked immediately under Heydrich, and said: 'Now comes the result'."

Dr. Servatius: I come now to another document, I leave Austria and move to the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

First, exhibit T/174, document No. 172. This is once again the Madagascar Plan. Would you look at page 7, b and c. This contains data about competence, It says:

"As regards the Ostmark, the central direction is in the hands of the Central Office for Emigration of Jews as regards Bohemia and Moravia; the direction is in the hands of the Central Office for Emigration of Jews in Prague, which is directly subordinate to the Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service."
I come now to document No. 1067, which has not yet been submitted, and request that it be admitted in evidence. This is a letter from Eichmann to the Foreign Ministry, dated 15 November 1943. It concerns a planned transport of persons from Theresienstadt to Bergen-Belsen.

Presiding Judge: I mark this document N/35.

Dr. Servatius: I refer to the last sentence of this letter.

Attorney General: I would like to point out that this document is identical with No. 546, T/851, and thus has already been submitted to the Court.

Presiding Judge: Why did it receive two numbers at Bureau 06?

Attorney General: That was simply a clerical mistake.

Presiding Judge: All right, there is no point, then, in submitting this document again. We shall cancel the marking N/35. It is a duplicate of a document which has already been submitted, bearing the number 546, T/851.

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