The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 92
(Part 4 of 4)

Q. But what is involved here is the implementation of these matters. And here Heydrich states "that you are my specialist officer."

A. And that is true. Because a consultation was planned for 6 March. However, what happened was that, although I am shown here as the specialist officer responsible, I did not take part in that consultation, but I did take part in a consultation in October 1942.

Q. I am not asking you now about taking part in conferences. I am asking you whether, with regard to the special assignment entrusted to Heydrich, Heydrich selected you as his competent specialist officer, and you replied that he did.

A. No, that is not correct. I was not a qualified specialist officer on all these matters. I received the administrative work, so as to handle these matters. I had nothing to do with the actual and technical side of things. I was responsible for drawing up timetables, but not including the Generalgouvernement and not including the occupied territories. And that can be proven by all the documents. The documents show clearly what I did do and what I did not do.

Q. But there is no denying what appears in black and white. Heydrich writes here that he is delighted that there is general agreement on the Final Solution of the Jewish Question, and in order to have a discussion now on practical implementation, he invites a representative of the Foreign Ministry, and he says here that you are his competent specialist officer. This is what is written in the document - how can you deny it?

A. What it says here - I am not trying to deny that, but I must protest, Mr. Attorney General, at the implication that I was the competent official-in-charge for the entire Final Solution; that is not true. I was simply assigned the task of writing the invitations, in other words, to carry out the administrative work of inviting these people to the conference in March of the same year, 1942, and this is shown plainly by the organization chart and the documents.

Q. Leave the documents for a moment. We have already agreed that the extermination of the Jews was not a part of your sacrosanct organization chart. What is referred to here are the organizational, technical and practical details of the solution, and in this connection you were appointed as Heydrich's specialist officer. This is after all what is written here. If you want to see it, I can show it to you.

A. That is correct, Mr. Attorney General. I, too, have read it. But when all is said and done, if so, I should have also been the head of the gas van Section of Department II, and I should have been Bilfinger's chief, and of all his section heads who laid down all these requirements by the negotiations and in interministerial channels. There was a head of a Jewish Section in Department VII who provided the memoranda and what have you. So it is just not true.

Q. I am talking about the Final Solution.

A. And I believe that the gas van Section of Department II was a vital component of the Final Solution.

Q. Look, Accused, it is quite obvious to me that you cannot singlehandedly have exterminated six million Jews; that you must have worked together with others; that you had to work hand in hand with other bodies in the Reich - this is not new to me, and that is why I have charged you with doing this together with others. But now I am asking you a simple question which derives directly from this document: that after Heydrich received a free hand, with the approval of all the authorities of the Reich, to run Jewish affairs as he saw fit, you were appointed his competent specialist officer in this respect. And that is what it says here.

Accused: No, Mr. Attorney General, first of all I do not read this as meaning that, and secondly, in actual factual terms it is completely untrue.

Q. Were you not Heydrich's specialist officer?

A. No, I was not Heydrich's specialist officer for the Final Solution of the Jewish Question, I was a Specialist Officer on Jewish Affairs under Mueller.

Q. And so, when Heydrich in this letter writes "my competent specialist officer," that is not true?

A. This was about the discussion on 6 March, the invitation, even the date appears here, and what was to happen on 6 March? On 6 March the Ministry of the Interior, the specialist officer from the Ministry of the Interior, was to state what his Stae Secretary wished to have understood by compulsory sterilization and the dissolution of mixed marriages. It was for this consultation that I was to deal with the administrative formalities for the invitations. That is what it means here.

Q. And Heydrich informs Under-Secretary of State Luther that you are his specialist officer for drawing up invitations. Is that what you are saying?

A. No, I would not go so far as to say that at all, but Heydrich did have several advisers on Jewish affairs under him, not just me, as the organization chart shows.

Q. Very well. Let us look, for example, at T/297, where Heydrich writes on 10 January 1942, that all Jewish affairs are to be dealt with by the police, and that the official-in- charge is SS Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann. This time, what does that mean, that not only invitations are referred to here?

A. I have just one answer to this document. Why was this whole matter not dealt with by the competent Head of Section, Eichmann, as it says here, but instead, with stubborn obstinacy, Department II of Group A2, Section 2. There must have been some reason for that after all. I have commented on this.

Q. We shall come to the reason. However, I am asking about Heydrich's letter. Heydrich says here that you are the official-in-charge for all Jewish affairs.

A. And the same Department which set...

Q. Is that correct or not?

A. The documents say that that is not correct.

Q. Another falsification?

A. It is not a falsification, but actual practice shows that all affairs in these matters were dealt with by Section IIA2, although I am shown as being the official in charge.

Q. Did Heydrich write this letter or not?

A. Heydrich did sign it.

Q. And he writes here that you are the "Sachbearbeiter" (the official-in-charge) of all Jewish affairs. Was he lying or was he telling the truth?

A. He signed it. The actual practice shows that this was not the case.

Q. Did he write the truth?

A. He undoubtedly wrote the truth, but the person who drafted it did not stick to this, although it was ordered by Heydrich.

Presiding Judge: Order! I will not allow this and will not repeat this any more. I am ready to exclude the public from these proceedings.

Attorney General: And you continued to be the specialist officer of the chief of the Head Office for Reich Security also when Kaltenbrunner held the post? As he said in a document in the Duesseldorf Documents, file 4, pages 242- 244, when he talks about the ghettos of Katowice and Litzmannstadt: "Mein Referent SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann" (my Specialist Officer SS ObersturmbannFuehrer Eichmann).

Accused: May I ask if that is with reference to the first transport to Litzmannstadt?

Q. Please answer my questions. During Kaltenbrunner's time, did you continue to be the expert official on Jewish affairs, the expert to the chief of the Head Office for Reich Security?

A. In Kaltenbrunner's time I was also only one of several expert officials on Jewish affairs in the Head Office for Reich Security, just one under Mueller, the chief of Department IV.

Q. So does that mean that, when Kaltenbrunner writes in this document "Mein Referent SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann," this is not true?

A. It is not necessarily untrue, as he had four or five expert officials on Jewish affairs.

Q. Perhaps you could tell us of one who dealt with the Final Solution?

A. Of the expert officials on Jewish affairs in the Head Office for Reich Security?

Q. Who dealt with the Final Solution, apart from you.

A. I dealt with the transport aspects, for example I had to draw up the timetables.

Q. But apart from you, who else was "Judenreferent," an expert official on Jewish affairs, in the entire Head Office for Reich Security? There was no one else.

A. In Department VII, for example, we had an expert official on Jewish affairs, as shown in the organization chart, but I do not know what his name was. The documents establish that there was an expert official on Jewish affairs in Department II called Rauff, who handled the gas van affair. There was also an expert official who dealt with legislative matters affecting Jews in Department II: The group leader was Bilfinger, and the expert official was Neifeind, as established by the organization chart. There were also expert officials on Jewish affairs in Department III, as can be seen, and in all legal matters they - I cannot say exactly, but this passage shows that they were all - all expert officials on Jewish affairs.

Attorney General: You will agree with me that for none of these was there any reference to Jews as their task, and that you are the only one to have indicated as your task "Judenangelegenheiten" - Jewish affairs.

A. In Department VII it is also mentioned, for example, but at many discussions the name Neifeind appears in the documents as the lawyer who was responsible for drawing up regulations dealing with legal matters.

Attorney General: Take the organization chart - apart from you, there is no expert official on Jewish affairs.

A. There are some pages missing from this organization chart - there is a reference here to this - page 33, Department VII - Ideological Research and Evaluation - these do not appear here - only Department, as far as I can see, IV is given in detail; for the other Departments only the name is given, and then there is a page reference as to the page on which they can be found. Department VII, Ideological Research and Evaluation, page 33 - that should also be in the March 1941 organization chart...

Presiding Judge: Which document are you referring to?

Attorney General: I am speaking about the organization chart of 1941. Look at it. Show me where there is any specialist officer who deals exclusively with Jewish affairs - except Adolf Eichmann.

Accused: That is what I meant here in Department VII - Freemasons and Jewry - at that time, it is true, it was not staffed.

Q. And Department VII dealt with research, and had nothing to do with implementation?

A. In Department II, for example, it says drafting...

Q. Yes or no? About Department VII first of all.

A. I have already said that Department VII dealt with research...

Q. And therefore had nothing to do with any implementation?

A. On the basis of the memoranda issued by Department VII, Department IV then gave instructions for the measures ordered by Mueller. I would here refer to the Sephardim affair.

Q. Yes, yes. You wanted to refer to another Department.

Do continue. Where else were there "Jews"?

A. Just a moment. I shall start with IIA2. Regierungsrat Neifeind, "Legislation," that is the same Neifeind who is always being mentioned in the various negotiations - IIA5 Confiscation of Property of Enemies of the State and the People - Deprivation of German citizenship.

Q. I am not asking you who dealt with Jewish affairs. I have already told you that you obviously worked together with many others. I am simply asking against whose name it says here "that his duties were Jewish affairs" - except for yours.

A. If I ignore the unfilled post in Department VII, I have to agree that there was this arrangement in Department IV, where the name appears here next to the sphere of Jewry - but that does not in any way mean that I was the head of the Jewish affairs Section or the chief of the Security Police.

Q. Why not?

A. I was the Specialist Officer on Jewish Affairs in Department IV under Gruppenfuehrer Mueller; I have never denied that.

Q. And apart from you, there was no other in the Head Office for Reich Security?

A. I have just pointed out, Mr. Attorney General, that there were several who dealt with Jewish affairs in the Head Office for Reich Security, but I was the only Section Head in Department IV.

Q. No, no - I have already said that you do not have to convince me that you worked in conjunction with others: I am simply saying that in the entire Head Office for Reich Security there was no other specialist officer whose official duties were dealing exclusively with Jewish affairs. That is the case, is it not?

A. No, that is not the case, because apart from myself there were other specialist officers who dealt with Jewish questions. In fact, I believe that Regierungsrat Neifeind, for example, who appears here in the organization chart, dealt exclusively with Jewish affairs.

Judge Halevi: Neifeind dealt with legislation, did he not? Does that mean that all the laws issued by the Head Office for Reich Security were exclusively anti-Jewish laws?

Accused: No, Your Honour, in Department III we...the organization chart shows for legislation a very large passage where a distinction appears even between the individual laws, the sets or groups of laws. Whereas the specialist officer in Department III who dealt with these matters very rarely appeared in person, Neifeind, as shown by the documents, tended to appear at practically every inter-ministerial discussion on the matter, and also as the person in overall charge of the area at discussions on behalf of the Head Office for Reich Security, including the chapter of the "Brown Folder," where it says that Eichmann is the official in charge.

Presiding Judge: Are you, therefore, saying that Neifeind dealt only with anti-Jewish legislation? Please look at another page: There is also a column marked "Participation of all departments involved."

Accused: Your Honour, I can only say that IIA2 - that is Neifeind's Section, Legislation - that this Section appears everywhere and dealt with these matters as being in charge, whatever the subject matter, if it involved Jewish affairs. Whether, in addition, Neifeind dealt with other matters too, I do not know; I, in any case, came across him wherever Jewish affairs were concerned. And there he dealt with these matters as the person in charge (federfuehrend). If I, however, had been the only expert official in the Head Office for Reich Security in the sphere of Jewish affairs, then basically, according to the organization chart, no other specialist officer could have dealt with Jewish affairs as the person in charge.

Judge Halevi: What is this term "federfuehrend," could you explain?

Accused: "Federfuehrend" is the term used when a section head in a particular matter - when he is given exclusive direction - more or less the running - of a subject, but that does not exclude the possibility of other sections signing with him, as is normal in all offices, if they are marginally involved.

Judge Halevi: And in what areas was your Section "federfuehrend"? For what were you "federfuehrend"?

Accused: For example, I had the power to decide - federfuehrend - on all timetable matters, transport matters, all these negotiations with the Reich Transport Ministry, instructions, dispatching directives handed down from above to those responsible for evacuation, that is to say, the State Police Regional Headquarters handling the matter - in brief, the documents give a very good cross-section of the activity of my Section, of which I had to be in charge. But where I was certainly not federfuehrend was all matters which concerned legal affairs, matters of ordinances, and so on; here it was Department II which was federfuehrend, and of course Department IV was involved marginally. And in reverse, when there were things where Department IV had this "federfuehrend" responsibility, Department II was entirely free to detach a member of its staff or not, as it saw fit.

Presiding Judge: We shall now adjourn. The Court will reconvene at 8:30 tomorrow morning.

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