The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 90
(Part 4 of 4)

Q. Yes.

A. Yes, that is correct, but that was a directive from the State Police Central Office Vienna, and not from me. In fact, this rather surprised me, because at that time I definitely had no executive responsibilities, I had no executive authority at that time.

Q. But it says here that you transmitted this directive to Vienna, by telephone. Is that correct?

A. It does not say that I transmitted it. It merely says: announcement by telephone. Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann announces that the No. 3 Genzbacher Street Home will be vacated on 18 January. By that date, all males have to leave the country, or else they will be transferred to Buchenwald.

Q. Is this what you told them?

A. The directive that they would be sent to Buchenwald did not come from me, because at that time I was responsible for emigration, but not Jewish Affairs, as the office organization chart clearly shows.

Q. So what is written here, that you threatened with Buchenwald, is untrue?

A. Yes, indeed. I refer again to a report by Dr. Loewenherz where he states...

Q. I ask you whether this is true or not true?

A. This matter concerning Buchenwald has nothing to do with me.

Q. So what is written there is untrue then?

A. I suppose it is true, but not that I had anything...with Buchenwald, that I ordered Buchenwald. I could, simply, not do this. Please take a look at the office organization chart. I just was not at all competent for this.

Q. It says here that you transmitted a message to Vienna, and in the last paragraph it says that if these measures are not taken, the people will be sent to Buchenwald. Did you transmit such a message or not?

A. That is quite possible, this is something I do not want to deny at all, because - if the appropriate department made this kind of a disposition, then I was involved in it because I was responsible for emigration, and therefore I obviously had to inform Dr. Loewenherz of the matter at that time.

Q. And the letter of apology which Stahl wrote, for having criticized the Central Office for Emigration, naturally, he wrote this of his own accord, and not after you had demanded this of him?

A. After twenty-three or twenty-four years have passed, I don't know this any more. True, I have read it here, and I consider this quite possible; why not: what person is glad to have his affairs criticized, when this criticism is not justified?

Q. You did, then, force Stahl to write this letter?

A. This I don't know. On this matter I cannot comment at all any more. Who can remember such details after twenty- four years? This I do not know.

Q. But in order to make completely sure that it gets to Vienna, you were the person who transmitted Stahl's letter of apology, isn't that right?

A. If it can be determined without doubt, then I would certainly not deny it. And why not?

Q. You actually controlled the Vienna Jewish community when you were in Berlin as well. Right?

A. Yes. After I came to Berlin and was later put in contact with the affairs of the Reich Central Office, whose supervising executive was Mueller and whose chief was Heydrich. The Central Office in Vienna and in Prague continued to exist, in a parallel, subordinated status with regard to the Central Office and I continued to have dealings with the functionaries, chiefly with Dr. Loewenherz. He used to come to Berlin, and also, conversely, I would go to Vienna.

Q. And that even included such details which depended on you, as, for instance, the payment of a pension to a retired employee of the Community, the sale of a Jewish pharmacy, the distribution of matzot* {* matza (pl. matzot) unleavened bread eaten by Jews during Passover} on Passover, etc.?

A. I don't think this was so, because when I hear the word matzot this actually must have been the reverse. Dr. Loewenherz would come to me with all petty details, whenever he was unsuccessful elsewhere, but was turned down. And so, I remember that he came to me one day, in order to bring in, somehow, a fairly large consignment of matzot, at the proper time - a matter on which every office in Vienna turned him down.

Q. And you concerned yourself with this?

A. You have to read through the complete Loewenherz File notes and then you can see that this man came to me with every trifle, because elsewhere, as I have said, he had no luck, but was turned down. I listened to the man, and wherever I could help him, I did so. The reports prove this.

Q. And he came to you with every trifle, because no one else had the authority; and when the people in Vienna wanted to send money to those deported into the Generalgouvernement, Brunner said: "Eichmann is competent in this matter." Is that correct?

A. That is quite possible, because there are certain matters in which I was officially authorized and others where I was officially not authorized. One has to distinguish between the various subjects.

Q. Perhaps you can tell me what connection there is between support by a Jew for his relatives in the Generalgouvernement and emigration? How is the Central Office for Emigration involved in this?

A. Yes, this I can explain precisely. This was the attempt to establish a Jewish state in Radom, a Jewish state in this district, where the Jews should and could henceforth live by themselves. This was one of my ideas which I presented to my superiors at that time, a precursor of the Madagascar Plan, which came up once again. It was a matter in which my attention was engaged not just on my own, or through my reading of Boehm's book, but rather through the Jewish functionaries themselves, who were hard pressed by Party and other circles and who would have been happy now to have soil under their feet somewhere.

Presiding Judge: And would you now answer the question why the transfer of money from Viennese Jews to their relatives who had been deported to the Generalgouvernement was within the authority of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration?

Accused: This I no longer know in detail today. Surely this must have been arranged in accordance with regulations.

Attorney General: You received copies of the Loewenherz Report. What is written there is, I assume, correct?

Accused: The Loewenherz files or the reports?

Q. The file notes.

A. I assume that, on the whole, this is probably correct.

Presiding Judge: This reply referred to the file notes and not to the final report. I understand that as to that he has a reservation.

Accused: Yes, yes.

Attorney General: The police questioned you at length about the Loewenherz Report, which is marked T/154. With the exception of a single detail about which you had a reservation, namely that you gave the order to shoot the hostages who were seized in connection with the "Red Paradise" exhibition, with this single exception, did you consider the report correct?

Presiding Judge: What page is this?

Attorney General: Page 2877. It begins on page 2875, with the words: "should and could henceforth live by themselves." In the interrogation about the Loewenherz Report, which Mr. Less read out to you, you said about the order of the Reichsfuehrer-SS: "...but here, General Mueller read this out to them or reported on it - the order of the Reichsfuehrer-SS...that one overlooks a General and puts this falsely to my account..." And on the matter of the hostages you say: "This I would have...well, so to speak, this I would never have expected. I didn't think that possible. I really didn't think that Dr. Loewenherz would write something so untrue."

With this one exception you voiced no reservation about the Loewenherz Report.

Accused: To this day I have not read the Loewenherz Report. I started reading it, and I have read parts of it, but I have not read it through. I rejected it after I saw this passage here, and I saw how another author of another report, I think his name was Henschel, reported the matter just as it had happened.

Presiding Judge: I think, Mr. Hausner, if I am not mistaken, that Captain Less read out to him several passages from the report, and those passages the Accused apparently confirmed.

Attorney General: That is why I am asking him.

Presiding Judge: The question is whether this refers to the entire report.

Attorney General: I think almost the whole report. Of course I have not compared it. There are three tapes.

Presiding Judge: Anyhow the question should be limited to what was read out to him there.

Attorney General: I shall limit it to this.

With this single exception, you have confirmed all other excerpts which were read out to you from the Loewenherz Report, which Captain Less read out to you, as being correct. Isn't that right?

Accused: I can no longer remember which excerpts Captain Less read out to me, but if he did read out to me and I said at the time that these were correct, then these must be correct, unless I have, in the meantime, found out, through the documents that the state of affairs was different. Other than that, however, I must again insist that I refused to read the Loewenherz Report through.

Q. I assume then, that you have read the report up to that passage to which you take exception. And that you did not read any further?

A. I most certainly did not read the report up to there. Rather I skimmed through it, and then by some circumstance, the nature of which I no longer remember today, I came to this affair, and then I compared it with the same passage in the report of - Henschel I think is the name - but this does not mean that I had read the report up to this passage. Had I read it, then I certainly would have had my reasons not to confirm these various passages, since I saw already when I glanced through it, that this report must have been produced only after 1945, because things which are described in it, did not occur in this way.

Q. How do you know that it is identical with the truth, if you have not read it carefully except for this single passage?

A. I said, Mr. Attorney General, that I had only glanced through it, and by glancing through it, I mean just browsing, as the expression goes, and through this I discovered it, because on the other hand, we had the notes of conversations by Dr. Loewenherz and when one compares the two, one can easily find a certain difference.

Q. Obersturmfuehrer Dannecker was present at part of the meeting which you had with the representatives of the Jewish communities of Prague, Vienna and Berlin, on 3 July 1940. What was his task then and why did he participate in that meeting?

A. This I am unable to say now. I would like to see the documents.

Q. I will give you the document, T/802. It says: "And later, Dannecker was also brought into the conversation." Did you ask Dannecker to participate?

A. From a cursory glance I conclude that this concerns the Madagascar Plan, of which the negotiator - I assume it was Dr. Loewenherz - naturally was not informed of the details. Rather, it was said that this concerned some European solution regarding a territory which could be utilized for several million people - and here Dr. Loewenherz was asked to contribute his ideas.

Q. And you asked that Dannecker be brought in?

A. It is possible that Dannecker was at that time the specialist in charge of the matter in the Section. I cannot say, I do not want to deny it nor do I want to confirm it, but surely this can be found in some kind of personal file.

Q. In any event, you brought Dannecker to the meeting to talk about the so-called Madagascar Plan, without explicitly calling it by that name.

A. In this particular case with Dr. Loewenherz?

Q. Yes.

A. It is even possible that he was commissioned, as specialist, to discuss this affair with Dr. Loewenherz.

Q. But I am asking whether he was ordered by you to do so?

A. After all this time, I cannot say.

Q. Was he working in your Section?

A. I think that Dannecker was a specialist for a short time, in Berlin, in the Section. I may be wrong, but for this reason I said earlier that this must emerge without any doubt from the documents which were found subsequently.

Q. One last question in connection with this report. On page 4 there is something which we would like to have you clear up. It says there that you referred the Jewish community in Prague to Pastor Grueber's Bureau in connection with aid to apostate Jews.

Presiding Judge: That statement was made by Dannecker?

Attorney General: Yes, but I am asking why that was so? Who said this, you or Dannecker?

Accused: It is evident from the document that Dannecker made this statement. It says:

"Obersturmfuehrer Dannecker declares in reply to a query, that support through the Pastor Grueber Bureau of the work of the department of the Jewish community in Prague in charge of apostate Jews, can proceed only through the Central Offices for Jewish Emigration in Berlin and Prague."
Q. Is that so that you can control this matter too, and that you would be informed in detail as to what Pastor Grueber is doing?

A. No, as far as I can try and take myself back, as it were, into that period, the Jewish community had no jurisdiction over those who were Jewish merely in the sense of the Nuremberg laws - apostate Jews - and would not carry out this work of their own accord. Other offices became involved in this, and just how this was carried out in detail, for example Pastor Grueber's Bureau - that I do not know any longer. I do not even know any more, at this moment, whether he spoke of this here, in the course of his testimony. Yet, somehow it was most likely part of the activities carried out by the Central Office.

Q. To sum up, one may safely say that your Section controlled the totality of Jewish life in the Reich, including social welfare for Jews and apostate Jews.

A. This would not be correct, since the Head Office for Reich Security was divided into seven Departments - and several Departments had officials in charge who dealt with Jewish matters. On behalf of Deapartment IV, I dealt with this as ordered - that is true.

Q. And you had the decisive voice, in your Department IV, in everything that could affect Jews in the Reich. You and none other.

A. That is not correct either, Mr. Attorney General. Rather, on this subject the Chief of the Department retained for himself all matters of principle and all important matters, as the files obviously show. I had to do all those things which I was ordered to do, and the documents give a faithful picture of this.

Q. But I am asking about facts and not about documents.

A. These were the facts, Mr. Attorney General.

Q. That you controlled Jewish life in the Reich.

A. No, that is not correct. No, this is not correct.

Q. But this is evidently clear from the Loewenherz Report and all the other reports and all the testimonies we have heard here about this period. Is all this false? Are only you telling the truth?

A. No, the documents are telling the truth, the documents confirm that which I have just said.

Q. Yes, if you want to call black white and white black - there is nothing I can say against that.

Presiding Judge: The Court will adjourn now. The next Session will be tomorrow at 8:30 a.m.

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