The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 84
(Part 3 of 6)

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/1027, document No. 403. This is a memorandum by Under-Secretary of State Luther of the Foreign Ministry, dated 17 August 1942. By way of an explanation of the situation of the Jews in Romania, he summarizes the position and, at the bottom of the first page, says:
"The picture which results from recent reports is as follows: 1. Secretary General Davidescu in the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry has promised `that he will inform Romanian authorities, not only in the Protectorate, but once again generally, that the Romanian Government is allowing the Reich Government to subject Jews of Romanian nationality to German anti- Jewish measures.' I thereupon took steps to ensure that the Head Office for Reich Security will continue to apply the measures against Romanian Jews which had been partially interrupted."
He continues, under 2:
"Confirmation has been provided by Deputy Prime Minister Mihai Antonescu to the effect that he is willing - in accordance with a wish expressed by Marshal Antonescu - to accept that the German authorities will implement the evacuation of Jews from Romania, starting immediately with deportations from the areas of Arad, Timisoara and Turda."
Next exhibit - T/1058, document No. 222. This is a communication from the Foreign Ministry, von Thadden, to Eichmann. It refers to Mr. Filderman who, at that time, had taken over the leadership of the Jewish community. It is stated here that on a request from Government Representative Lecca, Marshal Antonescu has issued orders to arrest Filderman and deport him to Transnistria.

Next exhibit - T/1069, document No. 1231. This is dated 26 January 1944 - the Foreign Ministry indicates its interest in the Filderman case. In the middle of page 2 it reads:

"Moreover I have obtained a promise from Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann that we will be involved in Filderman's interrogation, which will take place in Berlin."
At the end there is a diplomatic instruction:
"If the Romanians find out about the arrest, the explanation to be given is that investigations are still under way on suspicion of espionage."
Accused: Might I provide some supplementary information here? In this instance, the person in question is the son of the aged functionary Filderman, and not Filderman himself.

Dr. Servatius: Now we have exhibit T/1043, document No. 988. This is an application dated 11 January 1943 from Killinger. "With regard to your instructions of 14 December 1942, I request your urgent reaction on the change reported on 12 December 42 in the treatment of the Jewish Question. Agree to return visit by Eichmann. Killinger."

With this we must also take the next exhibit, T/1044, document No. 224. Here Eichmann indicates that, due to pressure of work, he is unable to come, and the matter must be postponed.

Witness, what is this change in the treatment of the Jewish Question to which reference is made here?

Accused: I really cannot say exactly what this was, but I could well imagine that it refers to the change in Marshal Antonescu's attitude to arrangements in connection with the Jewish Question - no more deportations, but instead, disposing of the matter on a domestic Romanian level.

Judge Halevi: Dr. Servatius, perhaps I can be of assistance here. There is mention here of a telegram, No. 6533, and this refers to exhibit T/1041. This exhibit T/1041 mentions Antonescu's agreement about the emigration of 75,000 Jews to Palestine.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, now that you have heard about this letter, can you perhaps state your position on it?

Accused: No, it is not this one - the exhibit quoted, T/1014. May I know the Prosecution document number?

Judge Halevi: 401.

Accused: Your Honour, I do not have the document in front of me.

Judge Halevi: Yes, you do - it is the same number as has been mentioned.

Accused: I consider that there is here a causal relationship with the arrangement mentioned. This also coincides with what I said about the change in Marshal Antonescu's policy, so as to deal with the matter on a domestic Romanian level.

Judge Halevi: I believe that this refers to emigration to Palestine.

Accused: Your Honour, this is only part of the Marshal's overall plan, because on page 2 Killinger writes, "in my opinion, Marshal Antonescu wants to kill two birds with one stone." And there are other documents I have come across among those available here, dealing with several other plans.

Dr. Servatius: Next exhibit - T/1038, document No. 480. This is a communication from the Adviser on Jewish Affairs, Richter, in Bucharest, to Eichmann, dated 17 December 1942. The brief note reads: "I enclose anti-Jewish propaganda material which, in collaboration with the Cultural Department of the German Legation and the Romanian Propaganda Ministry, will be distributed primarily in country districts." Witness, was this material sent to you for use in your Section?

Accused: No, this was sent to me in the normal course of reporting, without any prior request and without any prior information having been made available, as can be seen from the reference "Previous correspondence: None."

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/1059, also listed as T/37(51). This is a communication from von Thadden, Foreign Ministry, dated 17 February 1944, again to Eichmann. Contents: Report from the ambassador in Bucharest. In paragraph 2 it says:

"The Marshal is said to wish to get rid of as many Jews as possible from Romania, but would prefer to eschew radical measures because of their unfavourable propaganda effect on enemy states in the light of his own attitude, and because of influential Romanian circles who are in part closely related to Jews by marriage. The Marshal's final position has not yet been decided on. Further information may follow."
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, the number was incorrect: You said T/1059 and T/37(51). I gather that T/37(51) has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, there must be a typing error, because in my list it appears several times as submitted under number T/1059.

Presiding Judge: No, that is not right. T/1059 is Prosecution document No. 148. Perhaps you would wish, in order to be sure, to submit this exhibit again. I believe this would be the right thing to do. In that case, this exhibit N/59 will be marked.

Dr. Servatius: The last exhibit in this series is document No. 195. I do not have with me copies for the Court. For the time being, I shall submit my own copy.

Perhaps I can summarize the content. This is a communication from Ambassador Rintelen, dated 19 August 1942, to the Foreign Ministry, and it says that the report of the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, dated 26 July, to the Reichsfuehrer-SS about the evacuation of Jews from Romania reads as follows: "The preparations on a political and technical level to solve the Jewish Question in Romania have been concluded to such an extent that evacuation transports can commence very soon." It then says: "The remainder should receive special treatment." At the bottom it says: "On instructions from the Head Office for Reich Security, the Adviser on Jewish Affairs in Bucharest, Richter, obtained a personal communication (photocopy enclosed) from the Romanian Deputy Prime Minister. I request approval for implementation of deportations as proposed."

Presiding Judge: I mark this exhibit N/60.

Dr. Servatius: I now turn to the chapter on Italy. I would first like to submit a diagram.

Witness, is this diagram drawn up according to your information, and is it correct?

Accused: It has been drawn according to my information, and it is also correct.

Presiding Judge: I mark this diagram N/61.

Dr. Servatius: The first exhibit is T/615, document No. 1604. This is a telegram from Consul Moellhausen at the Rome legation, dated 6 October 1943, to Ribbentrop himself.

The text reads:

"Obersturmbannfuehrer Kappler has been assigned the task by Berlin of arresting the eight thousand Jews resident in Rome, and transferring them to Northern Italy, where they are to be liquidated. The City Commander of Rome, General Stahel, indicates that he will only authorize this action if it accords with the intentions of the Reich Foreign Minister. Personally speaking, I consider that it would be more advantageous to use Jews, as in Tunis, for building fortifications, and I, together with Kappler, will propose this to Field Marshal Kesselring. Please advise."
This must be taken in conjunction with the next exhibit, T/616, document No. 1600. This is a telegram from Ambassador Sonnleithner from Ribbentrop's train to the Foreign Ministry, dated 9 October 1943, and it reads as follows:
"For the Minister's office only. The Reich Foreign Minister requests that Ambassador Rahn and Consul Moellhausen be informed that, pursuant to instructions from the Fuehrer, the eight thousand Jews resident in Rome are to be transferred as hostages to Mauthausen (Upper Danube). The Reich Foreign Minister requests to instruct Rahn and Moellhausen on no account to interfere in this matter, but to leave it to the SS."
Witness, was the office in Berlin which passed on this order your office?

Accused: No, that was not my office; I was in no way involved in this matter, and the testimony to be presented shortly from Kappler will certainly show this beyond any shadow of a doubt.

Dr. Servatius: Who from the Security Service was in Rome, Dannecker?

Accused: I believe that in 1944 Dannecker and Bosshammer were in Rome, but I am not sure - the files should show who it was. But they would not have been able to give any such answer either.

Dr. Servatius: Could this instruction have been sent directly to this local office from the Reichsfuehrer?

Accused: Personally, I would guess either Himmler or Kaltenbrunner. That is only a guess, however - Kappler will definitely know exactly what the situation was.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/620, document No. 954. This is a letter from the Foreign Ministry, von Thadden, to Eichmann, dated 23 October 1943, and refers to information about a protest from the head of the German Catholic Church in Rome, Bishop Hudal. At the bottom it says: "In this respect, the German Embassy to the Holy See has reported that the reaction of the Vatican to the deportation of Jews from Rome can only be confirmed. Apparently attempts were being made to force the Vatican to change its opinion." At the end it says that "the reaction of the Curia might perhaps be modified, if the Jews were used for labour within Italy."

Witness, the exhibit shows that efforts were being made in Rome to call an immediate halt to these arrests, and you are now being informed accordingly. Did you give any orders subsequent to this communication?

Accused: Since the Italian file also shows that those in positions of highest authority meddled personally in these matters, I myself could issue no orders whatsoever on my own initiative. When I received this document, without doubt I passed it through official channels to the Chief of Department IV, Gruppenfuehrer Mueller, as usual, with the request for instructions as to what was to be done.

Dr. Servatius: Next exhibit - T/622, document No. 1274. This is a memorandum from Counsellor Wagner for submission to the Under-Secretary of State. In the memorandum, the point is made that there has been no noticeable success to the action, as most Jews were able to go into hiding. It then says:

"Since, in the meanwhile, the Italian Government has promulgated a law according to which all Jews in Italy are to be placed in concentration camps, Inland Group II proposes, in agreement with the Head Office for Reich Security, that Ambassador Rahn be instructed to express to the Fascist government the satisfaction" - the original wording was joy - "of the Reich Government at this law, which is so crucial for counter-intelligence reasons, to point out that, in order to protect the area of operations immediately from unreliable elements, it would seem crucial to implement this law speedily and set up the concentration camps in Northern Italy, and that the Reich Government would be happy to make available experienced advisers, in order to implement the measures. This would create the possibility of incorporating the present Einsatzkommando as advisers in the governmental authority, monitoring actual implementation of this law, and using the full executive apparatus of the Fascist government to apply the anti-Jewish measures."

There are two notes in the margin saying "ja" - yes.

Presiding Judge: Who wrote the "yes"? Is the ja Ribbentrop's?

Dr. Servatius: Witness, do you have the document before you?

Accused: Yes.

Dr. Servatius: You see there it says ja twice, as notes in the margin, and at the bottom you can see to whom the communication is addressed.

Accused: Yes, indeed.

Dr. Servatius: It reads: "Via the Under-Secretary of State or the State Secretary, submitted to the Reich Foreign Minister.

Accused: That is correct.

Dr. Servatius: There is an indication as to whom it was sent - it says: "Submitted to the Under-Secretary of State." Then there is an initial. Can you state who wrote this? Do you recognize the handwriting?

Accused: This office stamp about action taken in my opinion does not read Unterstaatssekretaer vorgelegen, but Hat St.S. vorgelegen - has been submitted to State Secretary. I am sure that this refers to Steengracht. In any case, it must be one of the two who made the notes in the margin, and I believe that it was the Under-Secretary of State, because there is more similarity between his initialling and these remarks in the margin than between Steengracht's signature and the remarks. I am not, however, familiar from past experience with the signature - that is to say, the handwriting.

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