The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 82
(Part 2 of 5)

Dr. Servatius: The diagram is an auxiliary means when considering these matters. The names of those involved are also given. The first documents show who initiated the measures against the Jews in occupied France. The first exhibit is T/385, document No. 440.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, a further query about this diagram. I see the arrows indicate political efforts, police efforts, and so on. Is this a diagram about efforts or of the chain of command?

Dr. Servatius: I should imagine this means contacts with the police, since the police authorities were not allowed to issue orders. However, with the Court's permission, I would ask the Accused to answer the question himself.

Presiding Judge: Please do so.

Accused: For example, in France, Mueller was not allowed simply to issue orders; the supreme authority was the ambassador of the German Reich. Any police order - say, from the Head Office for Reich Security to the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service in Paris - would only come into effect once the German Ambassador had given his assent. That is why it could not be called "channels of command."

Presiding Judge: But, on the other hand, when we take Hitler as Military Commander of France, these were not just efforts - they were orders, and that is why this is not quite clear to me.

Accused: That has not been made quite clear here, Your Honour. Obviously, all authorities could issue orders. The High Command of the Armed Forces obviously issued orders to the Military Commanders of France, and the Foreign Ministry issued instructions to the ambassador.

Presiding Judge: Very well. Thank you.

Judge Raveh: Dr. Servatius, what does the remark in the top left-hand corner mean,"35 - none...of the possibilities."

Dr. Servatius: I have explained that already. These figures were originally the numbers of explanations which at that time - which now...

Judge Raveh: So that should also be deleted? What is at the top should be deleted as well?

Dr. Servatius: I have not included all these explanations to which reference is made here; but since the numbers were already in the chart, it was not possible for me to have a new diagram drawn up.

The starting point for the measures against the Jews is exhibit T/385, document No. 440. This is a communication from Ribbentrop to the Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces, dated 3 August 1940. This gives in detail the duties of Ambassador Abetz. It reads: "The Fuehrer has appointed the present envoy Abetz to be ambassador, and at my suggestion has ruled as follows. His duties are..."

The main item is number 3: "Exerting influence on the leading politicians in the occupied and unoccupied areas along the lines desired by us."

Under item 6 appears "Advising the Secret Military Police (Feldpolizei) and Secret State Police on the seizure of politically important documents."

Item 7:

"Putting in safekeeping and making an inventory of public art treasures, as well as of private, and particularly of Jewish, owned art treasures on the basis of special instructions to this effect."
Paragraph II: "The Fuehrer has given explicit instructions that Ambassador Abetz alone is responsible for dealing with all political questions in both occupied and unoccupied France."

The next exhibit I shall submit is document No. 229 which has not yet been presented. It is a short document, perhaps I can read it out. "Supreme Commander of the Army, Chief of the Military Administration in France, Administrative Staff, Administration Department, 19 August 1940." The text reads as follows:

"In discussions on 17 August 1940, Ambassador Abetz proposed that the Military Administration in France:

(a) decree that, with immediate effect, no more Jews be allowed to enter the occupied zone;

(b) prepare to remove all Jews from the occupied zone;

(c) investigate the possibility of confiscating Jewish property in the occupied zone."

Presiding Judge: I mark this exhibit N/36.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit, which shows who are the main instigators, is document No. 955, exhibit T/387.

Presiding Judge: Did I understand you to say T/387?

Dr. Servatius: Document No. 955, T/387. This exhibit, T/387, is a letter from Luther (the Foreign Ministry) to the Reichsfuehrer-SS, asking for his views on the query from Otto Abetz about anti-Semitic measures, which would then be used as a basis for removing Jews from France.

The next exhibit is T/388, document No. 86. This is a communication from Heydrich to the Foreign Ministry, dated 20 September 1940. This is the first communication in which the SS makes its appearance here, in this specific case Heydrich. Heydrich accepts Abetz' suggestions and asks for the Sipo (Security Police) commandos in occupied France, who have the requisite expert personnel, to be extensively involved. Witness, which department drafted or issued this communication? The reference at the top is S IVD6. Which department is that?

Accused: This is a section in Department IV of the Head Office for Reich Security. I believe that this section handled occupied territories.

Dr. Servatius: Reference is made here to a commando which exists in France. When was this commando employed in operations, and what was its status? That has to be especially stressed.

Accused: I no longer remember exactly what the situation was; I only know that originally there was an operations commando unit in France who, in course of time, became commanders, with a senior commander in charge. I obviously had nothing to do with France at that time, because otherwise a different section would not have appeared at the top of the letter.

Dr. Servatius: I shall omit the next document, which brings me to T/394, document No. 1209. This is a letter from Mueller of IVB4, dated 23 October 1941, to the Delegate of the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Police for Belgium and France. The full title appears here. It says: "The Reichsfuehrer-SS has decreed that, with immediate effect, the emigration of Jews should be prevented." Further down it says: "Only in very special cases, e.g., when a positive Reich interest exists, may the emigration of individual Jews be permitted, after a prior decision has been obtained from the Head Office for Reich Security."

Witness, what is the meaning of "positive Reich interest"? Please give an example.

Accused: It was my superiors who decided whether something was a positive Reich interest. Mueller was the immediate superior for that purpose. If I am not mistaken, I believe that probably economic motives were always the primary criterion in such instances.

Dr. Servatius: I would like to submit document No. 309, which has not yet been presented. This is a telegram from the German Ambassador in Paris, Abetz, to various offices, dated 1 October 1940. It deals with Jewish matters, nationality status.

Presiding Judge: I mark this exhibit N/37.

Dr. Servatius: Ambassador Abetz is suggesting a collective cancellation of citizenship for Jews. Until now, it was possible to cancel citizenship only in the case of breach of loyalty. This is where the legal foundation is taken from. There are French-Belgian-Luxembourg laws which stipulate that someone who does not remain loyal to the government can be deprived of citizenship. However, now collective cancellation of citizenship is to be carried out because of race. Points 1 and 2 deal with former Austrian and Reich German Jews and, at the end, it says: "The measure proposed above should be considered as merely the first step towards solving the overall problem."

The next exhibit is T/389, document No. 1071. This is a letter from Dr. Knochen to the Head of the Military Administration, France. A further step is taken here: In a decree dated 30 October 1940, the Reichsfuehrer-SS ordered the setting up of special concentration camps for housing the Jews living in the occupied territories.

Presiding Judge: That is to say, Jews who do not have French nationality?

Dr. Servatius: Precisely. On the next page it lists them: Germans, former Austrians, Czechs, and Polish nationals - i.e., all those who are now subject to German sovereignty. Of particular importance is what appears at the bottom of the second page:

"For all these reasons, I would propose that a consultation be arranged between the various bodies involved, as soon as possible, in order to arrive at a solution to this problem as a part of the final clearing up of the Jewish Question, which will follow the lines of the Final Solution which both the Fuehrer and the Reich Marshal wish."
Witness, were you aware of these instructions, and did they guide your further activities in France?

Accused: The measures referred to so far were not known to me at that time, because otherwise I would have dealt with them. But, naturally, they were the preliminaries, the base, on which everything else was subsequently founded.

Dr. Servatius: I would like to submit another document, 445. This is a telegram from Abetz to the Foreign Ministry, dated 3 April 1941. It refers to a discussion with the Commissioner for Jewish Affairs in the Vichy Government. Efforts are being made to distinguish between French Jews of long standing and recent arrivals.

Presiding Judge: This will be N/38.

Dr. Servatius: This states in detail that a law should be promulgated in order to step up pressure. At the end it says: "The embassy has entrusted Embassy Counsellor Zeitschel with the duty of liaison with the French Commissioner for Jewish Affairs and the Jewish Affairs Specialist of the Security Service in Paris."

Witness, who was the Jewish Affairs Specialist Officer in the Security Service in Paris?

Accused: The term should not be Security Service but another technical one. What it means is the office of the Plenipotentiary of the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, who was subsequently the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service. At one point that was Dannecker, whose successor was a Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Roethke. I do not believe there is anything further - that is all.

Dr. Servatius: Did you, at that time, receive current reports from Dannecker and give him instructions?

Accused: I was not able to receive reports directly from Dannecker, nor to give him direct instructions. Dannecker sent these reports through his superior by official channels to Berlin, and I was able to act only by way of the Chief of Department IV. Any other arrangement was impossible, in accordance with the service regulations of Department IV.

Dr. Servatius: I would also submit document No. 441, which has no T number as yet. This is a communication from Department IVB4, signed by Schellenberg, apparently on behalf of Mueller, dated 20 May 1941, to all State Police Regional Headquarters, as well as to Knochen, and subsequently to other agencies as well.

Presiding Judge: I mark this exhibit N/39.

Dr. Servatius: On page 2, there is a reference to the Final Solution. It says: "Emigration of Jews should be prevented as indicated above, because otherwise this will complicate emigration from other areas." Further down it says: "In the light of these facts, and in view of the Final Solution of the Jewish Question which will definitely come about, emigration of Jews from France and Belgium must be prevented."

Witness, what does the term "Final Solution" mean, as used here?

Accused: As the files show, at this point - 20 May 1941 - the Final Solution means the Madagascar Plan.

Dr. Servatius: I shall omit several documents and come now to T/404 - that is to say, document No. 113 - and T/403 - document No. 54. T/403 is a memo from Dannecker, a minute about the deportation of one thousand Jews to the East, dated 10 March 1942. This shows that he is referring to the urgent need to deport immediately the Jewish inmates of Compiegne. The second document is also a minute from Dannecker. In a letter dated the 10th, that is the same day, he says that something positive really must be done - such as deporting several thousand Jews.

How could these local offices make such suggestions to you?

Accused: In the documents omitted for the time being, the reason appears quite clearly, they show how this sort of thing could happen. Once high-level instructions had been given to carry out deportations from France - as is shown by those documents omitted - the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service was able, on his own initiative, to press for emptying the concentrations camps, since he had received approval in principle from Himmler through Abetz, who obtained it.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/407, document No. 693.* {*Erroneously reffered to as document No. 690 on page 572, Volume II} This is a telegram from the Accused, dated 12 March 1942, to the Chief of the Security Police for Belgium and France in Paris, for the attention of Obersturmbannfuehrer Knochen. The text reads:

"Reference: Discussion on 6 March 1942 with Dannecker. There is reason to think that, in addition to the one thousand Jews from Compiegne who are to be deported, probably on 23 March 1942, subject to the agreement of the Foreign Ministry being obtained, in the near future a further five thousand Jews will be deported to a concentration camp." Witness, would you comment on this document and indicate the background leading up to these instructions?

Accused: Embassy Counsellor Zeitschel in Paris had made notes for a presentation, which Abetz used when he visited the Fuehrer's headquarters. In these notes it says that the Madagascar Plan was not a useful idea and should be dropped, because it could only lead to problems. Zeitschel proposed a territorial solution in the eastern countries. In this context, he asked Ambassador Abetz to discuss the matter and to clarify it with the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs, as well as with Himmler and Reich Marshal Goering. After Abetz returned from the Fuehrer's headquarters, he announced that Himmler had authorized deportation of the Jews held in French concentration camps as soon as transport facilities permitted. On the basis of the information from Abetz, the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the SD in Paris then asked the Chief of the Security Police for permission to proceed in accordance with these instructions - Himmler's instructions. What we see here are the consequences of these orders issued at the top.

Dr. Servatius: At the end of the communication is an indication as to those who are to be notified of the departure of the transport. Three offices are mentioned: firstly, the Head Office for Reich Security, Department IVB4; secondly, the SS Leadership Head Office, Inspector of Concentration Camps Gluecks in Oranienburg; and thirdly, the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Would you please tell the Court why these three offices were to be notified.

Accused: This was in accordance with orders from my chief. IVB4 - that is, the section in the Head Office for Reich Security - had to be notified of what was happening, since I had to report to my chief about implementation of his orders. Information to the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps had also been ordered, for the attention of Gluecks, because this was the office which decided which concentration camp would receive these transports. And the third place, the actual concentration camp, had to be notified, so that it was aware that a transport train was on the way. Those, then, were the reasons. In all cases it was the Chief of Department who issued subsequent operational orders as to what was to be done with the individual transports, once IVB4 had submitted the document from the Reich Transport Ministry containing the timetable.

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