The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 87
(Part 3 of 6)

Dr. Servatius: I believe that the Court's attitude was that the testimonies were insignificant in the light of all the incriminatory evidence presented. Moreover, these matters were then not examined with such meticulousness - there was more of an overall approach. These documents here give a far more solid foundation - and it is possible to carry out a more detailed analysis, which I think gains support from this. There are definitely contradictions in these statements, particularly on Eichmann's position. Earlier, he had said that Eichmann was completely independent, was outside, and merely organized matters. Now, at the bottom of page 4, it says:
"I found out the following. The whole operation was headed by SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann of the Head Office for Reich Security, with his staff."
On the previous page, page 3 at the bottom, I find that it says:
"I had already initiated proceedings against those who were carrying out these orders for bloodshed, including the key figures of Eichmann, head of the operation `Final Solution of the Jewish Question' in the Head Office for Reich Security, Sturmbannfuehrer Hoess, Commander of Auschwitz, and then there are several others who have not yet made their appearance here."
These are Pohl and Frank. On page 4, the witness discusses the group of active participants, perpetrators and accessories. He says that this was an extremely small circle.
"Altogether I would estimate the number of those involved to be a maximum of several hundred... This statement can only be grasped if one is familiar with the technique of the system of destruction. The underlying principle was explained to me by the person most qualified for that, the Reich Physician, SS Gruppenfuehrer Dr. Grawitz himself. At that time Himmler had asked him, in order to carry out the mass extermination ordered by Hitler, to propose a method of killing which would both be painless and also spare the victims mortal fear. Consequently a process was selected which would leave the persons concerned entirely unaware of their fate until the unexpected use of a fast-working, highly volatile gas."
Exhibit T/196, document No. 93. Memo by Ambassador Luther, dated 21 August 1942. This is a general report and summary of transport matters and rounding-up, and I want just to refer to page 6, where at the end it says, "that everything was co-ordinated with the Foreign Office as far as transports were concerned, and that the Head Office for Reich Security proceeded in almost too cautious a fashion."

I wish to submit as evidence the next document, number 412, not yet presented. This is a statement by Police Colonel (Polizeioberst) Mildner, last rank held - Commander of Security Police in Vienna. There are two different statements, with different type-faces, which may perhaps somewhat complicate their submission now.

Presiding Judge: Could you please tell me what happened to Mildner?

Dr. Servatius: I do not know what happened to him.

Presiding Judge: What is the position of the Prosecution, Mr. Hausner?

Attorney General: No objections.

Presiding Judge: These are two statements in one Prosecution document?

Attorney General: Yes.

Dr. Servatius: Yes, they have the same number. One is dated 23 June 1945, and the other 22 June 1945.

Judge Raveh: Is this the same Mildner who was in Denmark?

Dr. Servatius: Yes.

Presiding Judge:

Decision No. 91

We allow the submission of the two statements by Mildner as evidence. The Attorney General has no objections.

These two statements are marked N/97.

Dr. Servatius: The first statement before me was sworn on 23 June, and at the top it says that it was recorded on 23 June 1945, but the text starts with 22 June at the top.

Presiding Judge: It was probably recorded on the twenty- second and sworn on the twenty-third at ten-thirty.

Dr. Servatius: I would also assume that, simply because afterwards the text does not entirely correspond - it would appear to be a second document, typed in larger type, like these Nuremberg documents, and this appears perhaps to be an excerpt. But perhaps the passages can be identified, if I can just quote them.

At the bottom of page 3 it says:

"The concentration camps were under the control of the SS Economic-Administrative Head Office in Oranienburg, near Berlin. The Chief was SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl. He was directly subordinate to the Reichsfuehrer-SS. In this office, Division D dealt with all matters relating to concentration camps and prisoners. The head of division was SS Gruppenfuehrer Gluecks, who was also Inspector of all concentration camps."
A second statement by Mildner was signed on 16 November 1945. On the first page it says here:
"The orders for the deportation of Jews in the Reich and in the areas occupied by Germany to labour and concentration camps were given by Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler. The orders were signed by him - signed by the Reichsfuehrer - and designated secret Reich matters. They were transmitted through the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, Dr. Kaltenbrunner - previously Heydrich - to the Chief of Department IV of the Head Office for Reich Security, Gruppenfuehrer Mueller, who discussed orally the implementation of the matter with the Chief of IVA, Eichmann, who was a member of the Security Service and was transferred to IV from Department III. The orders were also passed directly from Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler to the local Higher SS and Police Leaders, and the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, Dr. Kaltenbrunner, was notified accordingly."
The next paragraph reads:
"The orders from Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler about the labour allocation of detainees and the extermination of Jews were - according to what I gathered from conversations with colleagues in the Security Police - issued directly as written or oral secret Reich matters, through Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, Gruppenfuehrer Gluecks, the Chief of Division D and the Chief of Concentration Camps."
The next two paragraphs deal with the position of Eichmann.
"SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann was the Specialist Officer for Reichsfuehrer Himmler, Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, SS Gruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner, and also the Department Chief of Department IV, on Jewish matters."
Accused: May I comment on this?

Dr. Servatius: I shall read to the end of the paragraph.

"For all deportations to the camps and for discussions with countries abroad - for evacuations of Jews - and liaison with all Higher SS and Police Leaders with reference to the Jewish Question."
Witness would you indicate to the Court whether this is a correct description of your powers?

Accused: I do not have the document in front of me, but I have listened.

Presiding Judge: That is highly regrettable, because this is something which he should really study carefully. Perhaps you will read it first and not rely on what you have heard.

Accused: I gather that, according to this, I was a specialist officer.

Presiding Judge: Sit down, take the document and read it through.

Judge Raveh: Perhaps, in the meanwhile, I could ask Dr. Servatius something? Do you have the first statement?

Dr. Servatius: Yes, I have it here.

Judge Raveh: On page 3 of the first statement a name appears which seems to be new. In the second paragraph, after Kaltenbrunner and Mueller, it says "Berater des R.F. SS" (Adviser of the Reichsfuehrer-SS), and then a name which is difficult to make out and which I think is new. I do not believe that we have come across it before.

Dr. Servatius: Which page?

Judge Raveh: The third page of the first statement. The paragraph beginning "Berater des R.F. SS Himmler" - Adviser of Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler.

Dr. Servatius: Adviser of Reichsfuehrer-SS Hiller is a typing error - it must be a typing error.

Judge Raveh: In the following paragraph it says, "either orally from R.F. SS Himmler, or in writing signed by Hiller." What does that mean?

Dr. Servatius: In none of the criminal proceedings to date, have I ever seen the name Hiller before, so I assumed that this was a typing error, but since it is repeated again, perhaps the Accused can comment later.

Presiding Judge: That was a question from Dr. Servatius; please sit down and answer it.

Accused: In the fourth paragraph it says - there are some minor corrections, which I should first - "he came" - i.e., I came - "from Group" - he means Department (Amt) - "III to Department IV" - that is wrong. It should read from Department VII to IV. I object to the term "discussed orally." There was not a great deal to be discussed there - orders and instructions were given.

The statements made in the sixth paragraph I have never heard or read before today, that is, that according to what it says here I was supposedly the Specialist Officer on Jewish Affairs for Himmler, and also for the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service - Kaltenbrunner - as well as for the Office Chief of Department IV. In addition, I am also supposed to have been Himmler's deputy for all deportations to the camps and for discussions held abroad about the evacuation of Jews. And in addition I am supposed to have been the liaison officer with all Higher SS and Police Leaders with reference to the Jewish Question.

Presiding Judge: So what do you wish to observe on this? Is this description of your duties correct?

Accused: What it says here is not correct and is not the truth. Because, having regard to the entire hierarchy as it then was, in my position such an arrangement would have been quite impossible. The only authentic information on this comes firstly from the organization chart - all three organization charts available here, as well as from all the documents, and I was a Specialist Officer in Department IV, that is to say, the Secret State Police Office, subordinate to Gruppenfuehrer Mueller, and had to take orders from him. If - and this rarely happened - I received instructions directly from the Chief of the Security Police, it was always on Mueller's demand. If Himmler summoned me alone - which only happened once - I received this order through my immediate superior, Chief of Department IV, Mueller, and at the other times I was simply taken along by others to Himmler. I was also never a liaison officer with all Higher SS and Police Leaders...

Confirmation of the accuracy of what I have said here is provided by the documents submitted here, which cover not just one year but the entire period of the War.

Judge Halevi: You wanted to add something about "Verbindungsmann," liaison man - liaison officer with all Higher SS and Police Leaders.

Accused: I believe, Your Honour, I have already said that I did not act as liaison either. First of all, throughout the entire period I was only once subordinate to a Higher SS and Police Leader, in Hungary. I was never a liaison officer. I also am totally unfamiliar with the term "liaison officer" with a Higher SS and Police Leader - I do not believe that this position existed at all.

Judge Raveh: Did you just say that you were transferred from Department VII to Department IV?

Accused: Yes, Your Honour. I was part of Department VII; until I was seconded to Austria, my superior was Dr. Six. Dr. Six was the Chief of Central Department II or II 1, I think, of the Security Service Head Office, and after the centralization, which I somehow experienced briefly, this Security Service Head Office was called Department VII. So that I came from Department VII to Vienna and from Vienna to Prague, and from there as a member of a Security Service Head Office, I was seconded to Department IV of the Secret State Police in the office of the Head Office for Reich Security, since Department VII was the successor office to Department II of the Security Service.

Judge Halevi: With reference to your last answer, I understood that the Head Office for Reich Security started functioning only in October 1939, and that from then onwards you worked in Department IV - the Gestapo.

Accused: In October 1939 I was not yet in Department IV, Your Honour; it was...there are two reference points with regard to dates in these documents; one is Dr. Loewenherz' report of 19 December 1939...

Judge Halevi: Yes, you have already said that.

Accused: So I must have been transferred from Prague or Vienna to Berlin to Department IV. Until then I belonged to the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service in Prague, and before that to the Inspectors of Security Police, but as a member of the Security Service, from Department II, which was later designated Department VII.

Judge Raveh: This name Hiller, which appears twice in Mildner's statement - does this indicate anything to you? I have marked that name. Would you look at it and tell us whether that name is known to you (where there are question marks).

Accused: Ah, yes. May I just read through the sentence, Your Honour? I think the name has been mistyped - I believe it should read Himmler.

Presiding Judge: In any case, you have no recollection of this name, Hiller?

Accused: None.

Dr. Servatius: I submit in evidence document No. 45, not yet presented - an excerpt from the record of the Session of 11 April 1946 of the International Military Tribunal, containing a solemn declaration by Hoettl. The document was submitted by Kaltenbrunner's defence lawyer - Advocate Dr. Kaufmann.

Attorney General: If it please the Court, Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl has been examined, and the correct approach would have been to ask him to comment on this affidavit, and then we could perhaps also have drafted some question. However, I do not consider that it is possible now, without Hoettl having been asked to give his reactions to the document in the questionnaire to which the parties agreed, to submit new material relating to Hoettl. For this, a new examination might be necessary.

Presiding Judge: By no means.

Attorney General: It has been indicated, though, that in Austria he is expecting further questions.

Judge Halevi: And the judge is waiting.

Attorney General: Indeed, the judge is waiting. However, I do not believe that this Court wishes to issue further letters of request. In these circumstances, I request that the document not be admitted.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, would you like to add anything? This appears to be difficult.

Dr. Servatius: I agree with the Court, but I would also point out that this very detailed examination of Dr. Hoettl, despite its seventy pages, omitted very important matters, and if it had been possible to examine the witness with proper cross-examination, proper examination by the parties, obviously this question would have arisen. It simply is not reasonable to expect someone to sit outside the courtroom for three days, and then to have to read through the record, look at it and to decide whether he is going to react on a particular point and has to be shown the document. This problem illustrates the very fact that the judge alone mediates and that the parties are excluded. There must be some way of including this here at this stage. After all, this is not a surprise - it was the Prosecution themselves who provided me with the document, and it was submitted at Nuremberg. It is somewhat strange that a solemn declaration was submitted at Nuremberg, although the witness was available. This was done in order to simplify matters and make progress.

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