The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 83
(Part 2 of 5)

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit, T/561, is another communication from Zoepf, dated 11 November 1943, about a consultation on 10 November 1943 with the participation of Eichmann, Hahnemann and Zoepf. It is a memorandum concerning diamond dealers, workers and other specialists. Significant here is point (e) on page 2; the final decision is reserved to the Reichsfuehrer-SS, upon submission by the Head Office for Reich Security.

The next exhibit, T/563, document No. 1352, is a consultation the same day, again on the treatment of Jews - this time in the presence of Higher SS Police Leader Naumann. The plan of action is set out in a number of points, of which point (c) is significant. It says there: "According to a notification from SS Group Leader Gluecks, the furriers etc. will be deported to Auschwitz on 13 November 1943."

Witness, can you explain the authority of SS Gruppenfuehrer Gluecks in this matter?

Accused: SS Gruppenfuehrer Gluecks was the Chief of Office "D," Inspection of Concentration Camp Matters, in the Economic-Administrative Head Office. This document confirms what I said once before, namely that it was not the Head Office for Reich Security which determined the points of destination and other details, but the Economic- Administrative Head Office.

Dr. Servatius: Was there a particular reason why you yourself travelled to Holland for this meeting?

Accused: Of all the points mentioned here, all I can still clearly remember is the fact, or the impression, of the diamond cutters; I do know that at the time there was a lot of correspondence on that.

Dr. Servatius: You do not remember any special mission?

Accused: No doubt I had to ascertain the facts on the spot in order to report them, because, as the text shows, I could not myself make decisions.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/571, document No. 1439. This is a communication from Seyss-Inquart to Bormann of 28 February 1944. Seyss-Inquart writes:

"We have resolved the Jewish Question in the Netherlands to the extent that, for the moment, all that remains is to enforce the existing regulations. The Jews have been removed from the Dutch national community, and insofar as they have not been deported for forced labour in the East, they have been concentrated in a camp."
At the end of the paragraph, he says that the Jewish assets have been seized and the Reich Minister of Finance is dealing with that matter as well. The last paragraph on the first page is significant:
"The question of Jews in mixed marriages is still open; here we went further than the Reich and also obliged these Jews to wear the Star."
The next exhibit is T/535, document No. 223. It deals with a specific case of emigration against payment of a considerable sum. It is a communication from Eichmann, dated 11 December 1942, to the Foreign Ministry. It says at the end of the first paragraph: "When it is positively in the interest of the Reich, it is intended, after examination, to permit the emigration of some Jews." I refer to this document because yesterday the Accused was asked about the "positive interests of the Reich" on the matter - they are money matters. Page 2 mentions at least 100,000 S.Fr., but at the end, the specific case of Professor Mayer, where 150,000 S.Fr. are being offered, is refused, and that for a special reason - because he is an intellectual.

Judge Halevi: Could the Accused perhaps explain this?

Accused: Your Honour, today I can no longer explain why this application had to be refused at the time.

Judge Halevi: But it gives the explanation here. Because he was an intellectual.

Accused: For professional reasons, except that I can no longer remember what were the specific reasons why the application was refused for those reasons.

Judge Halevi: But there is another letter, T/534, Prosecution document No. 1484. This is the letter that you mention, to which you refer, a letter dated 1 December 1942.

Accused: Attorney General's number 1484, yes.

Judge Halevi: There it is explicitly stated: because he is an intellectual. And this is what I am asking you to explain.

Accused: Your Honour, today I cannot add to what I have read here, because I no longer remember the actual case. It says here that an intellectual is involved; hence, the reason, the fact that an intellectual is involved was the reason for the refusal.

Judge Halevi: Why? Can you explain why?

Accused: It was probably feared that, due to his mental capacity, this man might cause harm abroad, that is what I imagine. I myself could not, after all, decide. I would never have had the authority on my own account to refuse the offer of 150,000 S.Fr. Those things had to be decided at the top where these misgivings were certainly put forward.

Judge Halevi: All right.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/538, document No. 1351. This is a statement by Harster, who has been mentioned several times already, dated November 1947, which is after the War. It is an interrogation by the Dutch police. The subject is the removal of mentally ill persons and the clearing of a mental hospital. At the bottom of page 2 it says in the German text:

"After a consultation with Seyss-Inquart, Rauter apparently decided to convert the said institution into an SS hospital. Due to the technical difficulties connected with clearing the said institution, my department, through the agency of Zoepf, got in touch with Eichmann in Berlin. Eichmann then gave the order that the said institution must be cleared completely. For this purpose he ordered a train with 25-26 carriages, in which the patients were to be transported. The order to clear the institution, along with the transportation of the patients, I got from Eichmann. I acquainted Aus der Fuenten, via Zoepf, with this order, and it was carried out by one of them."
Would you state your position whether this testimony here by the witness Harster is correct?

Accused: This testimony by Harster cannot be correct, for the following reasons: If the Higher SS and Police Leader Rauter in the Occupied Dutch Territories decided with the highest authority in the Occupied Dutch Territories of that time, Reich Commissioner Seyss-Inquart, to convert this institution into an SS hospital, and if a tour of inspection preceded that, then these persons, who themselves introduce legislation, have no need of the services of a Specialist Officer in the Head Office for Reich Security to order the clearing of an institution such as this. Rather it must be that - and it could only be like that - that Rauter, or else Seyss-Inquart, commanded the evacuation, and then a train was ordered through the Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service, and my Section, as in all other cases, had to obtain such a train and fix the timetable in conjunction with the Reich Ministry of Transport. That is how it was; it could not have been otherwise.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit has not yet been submitted; its police number is 594. I offer the exhibit as evidence. It is a minute from Luther of the Foreign Ministry, dated 10 August 1942, for State Secretary Weizsaecker. It, too, deals with Dutch nationals who are Jews.

Presiding Judge: I mark this exhibit N/47.

Dr. Servatius: The first page is significant:

"On the subject of deprivation of Dutch nationality, Group DIII was less concerned with excluding the protecting power than with the principle of the matter, namely adaptation of the German legislation concerning Jews, clarification of the legal position of assets, etc. It is immaterial for the planned deprivation of nationality if a Jew in question left the country voluntarily or was resettled, so that also in the numerous cases of voluntary emigration there is a basis for an unambiguous arrangement. Deportation is generally to the Eastern Occupied Territories which do not belong to the Reich."
This ends the chapter of Holland. I now come to that of Belgium; this is list No. 25. To start with, I submit a chart which is more like an illustration of the chain of command.

Presiding Judge: I mark this chart N/48.

Dr. Servatius: The first exhibit here is T/516, document No. 1072. This is a communication from the office of the Foreign Ministry in Brussels, signed by Ambassador Bargen, to the Head Office of the Ministry in Berlin. It shows the co-operation between the different departments. In the first paragraph it says: "According to instructions, I spoke to the Military Commander, the Head of Military Administration and the Chief of the Security Police, about the deportation of the Jews residing in Belgium, as a result of which the following picture emerges." It then says that this has been temporarily discontinued. Then, at the end, in the last paragraph, it says: "Upon the resumption of deportations, it is also intended to remove all Jews of Belgian nationality, who number about four thousand. However, their turn shall only come after all foreign Jews have been deported." The last sentence reads: "Hence, the intentions of the military administration would seem to be in agreement with the wishes over there."

The next communication is exhibit T/518, document No. 701. It is a communication from the Foreign Ministry in Berlin to the office of the Foreign Ministry in Brussels, dated 27 February 1943. It says:

"The introduction of the general measures against the Jews is being effected by the local representative of the Security Service. The Foreign Ministry informs the Head Office for Reich Security in every case when there are no reservations as regards the application of the general anti-Jewish measures to foreign nationals."
The next exhibit is T/512, document No. 753. Ambassador Bargen from the office of the Foreign Ministry in Brussels writes to the Ministry in Berlin on 9 July 1942:
"The military administration intends to implement the requested evacuation of ten thousand Jews. The chief of the military administration is now at Headquarters, in order to discuss the matter with the Reichsfuehrer- SS."
A little further on it says:
"The military administration believes, however, that it can overcome its reservations if the deportation of Belgian Jews is avoided. Hence, to begin with, Polish, Czech, Russian and other Jews will be selected, with whom the quota could theoretically be filled."
Presiding Judge: Is there an explanation why the military administration was so active particularly in this country? I believe we did not see anything like this in other countries.

Dr. Servatius: A careful reading of it shows that there is always some slight objection and dragging of feet. In Belgium these measures were carried out comparatively late, but even so, in the end there is co-operation and the answer is "yes," and there is agreement. This will be shown in the next document which I am about to submit.

This is document No. 761, which has not yet been submitted. I offer it as an exhibit. It is a communication from the Foreign Ministry in Berlin to the office of the Ministry in Brussels. In the second paragraph on page 1 it says:

"Since today the Jews still remaining in Belgium disregard the orders of the Military Commander and, moreover, employ every means to blur their Jewish character, crawl into hiding places which are hard to clean out, and finally, since the first intimations have already come to light about the participation of these Jews in active resistance to the occupying power, then quick and energetic action should prevent the expansion of this danger area."
It is Luther of the Foreign Ministry who is so insistent, as emerges from the next paragraph:
"I would therefore request to consider, in agreement with the Military Commander, the possibility henceforth to extend the measures taken to all Jews in Belgium, and to concentrate them in an assembly camp until the transports can be carried out."
One more sentence from the last paragraph: "A thorough cleansing of Belgium from Jews must, in any event, take place sooner or later." This is followed by reasons, which are set out in detail.

Presiding Judge: I mark this letter from Luther exhibit N/49.

Dr. Servatius: This ends the chapter of Belgium. I now come to that of Denmark, list No. 26. Here, too, I submit a chart for the chain of command, and I repeat my comments on the preceding chart as regards numbers and lines. There are some peculiar marks at the top of the chart, small wavy lines on both sides of the specialist officers. These were probably made by the draughtsman, and someone then copied them. They are meaningless and can be deleted.

Presiding Judge: I mark this document N/50.

Dr. Servatius: I have considerably shortened the list of documents. I now come to T/585, document No. 251. This is a statement by Dr. Mildner, Commander of the Security Police, of 22 June 1945. It deals with the operation against the Jews in Denmark and how it came about... I have the handwritten document in front of me. It says there: "Dr. Best explained to me" - Dr. Best is the commander...

Presiding Judge: On what page, please?

Dr. Servatius: On the second handwritten page.

Dr. Best is the authorized representative of the Reich. "He explained to me that Reich Minister Ribbentrop naturally knew Hitler's intention to exterminate the Jews in Europe. He reported to Hitler about the Jewish Question in Denmark and proposed to remove the Jews from Denmark." Then, at the bottom of page 5 it says: "To implement the operation, the Reichsfuehrer-SS, Himmler, had the Eichmann Special Operations Unit, which was under the direct command of Chief of Department IV, Gruppenfuehrer Mueller, sent from Berlin to Copenhagen."

Witness, would you state whether you sent such a operations unit to Copenhagen, or had been there yourself, and who had given the order?

Presiding Judge: It further says here: "This operations unit chartered two ships in which to deport the Jews."

Dr. Servatius: Witness, would you state your position?

Accused: Yes. That is correct. Sturmbannfuehrer Guenther, with some men from the Section, was dispatched to Copenhagen. They were dispatched at the order of the Chief of Department IV, Group Leader Mueller. I very much doubt that this operations unit was called Eichmann Special Operations Unit at that time, because that term came up in Hungary for the first time.

However, in the year 1945 several members of the Security Police and the Security Service for some reason or other had got into the habit of frequently calling these matters of IVB4 Special Operations Units. I am not aware that at that time it was called Eichmann Special Operations Unit.

It is also correct that it was Guenther's task to make the transportation arrangements, and it is correct that according to orders he chartered, I am not sure whether two or three, steamers for this purpose, and it is also correct that the timetable on the mainland was worked out by IVB4. It is not correct, however, that Guenther was responsible for the entire operation. This is proved by Prosecution document No. 757, T/586, where it says: "The operation against the Jews in Denmark was uniformly under the command of the Commander of the Security Police and SS Standartenfuehrer Dr. Mildner, who gave all the orders for its implementation." That is my reply to this question. I forgot to answer the other part of the question. I, too, was ordered to travel to Copenhagen. That took place after the operation, and the order I was given in that respect will appear from documents that will be dealt with later on.

Judge Halevi: There is one more sentence in this document. It says: "Eichmann told me that Hitler and Himmler were absolutely furious about the failure of the operation."

Accused: Please, was this in Mildner's statement or in the document?

Judge Halevi: Yes, in Mildner's statement, at the top, written by hand and difficult to read.

Accused: My last page, number 7, ends with the sentence, "because the operation against the Jews in Denmark was a complete failure" and is not continuing.

Judge Halevi: Please continue there and go on reading.

[ 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.