The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 97
(Part 1 of 6)

Session No. 97

1 Av 5721 (14 July 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the ninety-seventh Session of the trial open. The Accused will continue with his testimony in cross-examination. I remind the Accused that he is still testifying under oath.

Accused: Yes, I am aware of that.

Presiding Judge: Please proceed, Mr. Hausner.

Attorney General: Yesterday we stopped on the subject of the meetings held with the officials-in-charge of Jewish Affairs in the various occupied territories. When did you first inform them what the fate of the Jews sent to deportation was?

Accused: Officially no information was provided about this.

Q. And unofficially?

A. I did not tell them, but I assume that in the course of time, that was being talked about. That is really quite clear.

Q. So they knew, in other words, they were aware of it?

A. I do not know whether everyone knew - there may have been people who may not have believed it, I do not know. Officially it was not known; obviously the officials-in- charge in the Section knew of it. That is clear. By officials-in-charge I mean people like Guenther, Suhr.

Q. Wisliceny?

A. Yes. According to their work, they did not belong to the Section, but Wisliceny of course knew it, he even says so.

Q. Novak?

A. Novak was a minor official-in-charge, I do not know ...basically he only...almost only dealt with timetable matters. I do not even know what else he worked on.

Q. Zoepf?

A. I assume so.

Q. At these consultations there were various participants, and they presented their problems and questions, and they received directives from you. You were the person who took the decisions about the matters brought to your notice. Is that correct?

A. That is all correct, except for the term that I was "the person who took the decisions" about these matters.

Q. Now look: When, for example, Dannecker says in T/404 that a certain problem has been brought up for discussion at his request, and "SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann determined the following." On the first page. Look at this, please, on the first page. Is that not correct?

A. That is correct. One has to know the prior history, and then this minute can be understood as well.

Q. But it is correct, is it not?

A. Yes, it is correct, but I did not decide about this. It is a result of the whole prior history. I can indicate in a moment what this was, but I assume that it is actually known, the prior history of these matters.

Q. All right. You instructed people when they were to report back to you, for summaries, etc., didn't you?

A. I could not arrange for these consultations, the Department Chief had to arrange them, but I had collected the material for everything which was on the agenda, that is quite clear.

Q. Now, when Dannecker says in T/419, document No. 585, on the second page, in the last paragraph: "Section IVB4 of the Head Office for Reich Security - SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann has decided that the participant officials-in- charge are to report again to Berlin on 2 July 1942 for a final consultation" - is that correct or not?

A. That is indeed correct. That is quite clear.

Q. And the Section gave these people final and binding instructions and directives. Is that true or not?

A. Yes, it is. Once the Section had received instructions about this from Chief of Department IV, had itself received instructions.

Q. Did Mueller not take part in one or several of these consultations?

A. I am not aware of Mueller having taken part in one of these so-called "small" consultations. He did once take part in an evening where official business was also discussed. I remember that one occasion.

Q. The Section also determined which Jews were meanwhile, or temporarily, to remain behind in assembly camps and which were not, or rather which categories of Jews were for the time being to remain behind in assembly camps and which were not. Is that correct or not?

A. I would like to outline this more precisely: The conditions for exemption laid down in the directives were notified to other offices by Section IVB4 and then implemented. That is how it was. They included provisions...but I do not believe that these stated that they had to be kept together in camps. I do not think that the directive went that far. But I do not know this precisely from memory.

Q. Do you remember that once the problem arose of the Jews in the Vught Camp in Holland who worked in the German armament industry there. It was proposed that they should remain behind. Do you remember the answer given by the Section?

A. Yes, I know something about that. The documents about this are here.

Q. So what was the answer? Leave the documents! What was the answer?

A. I cannot say off-hand. I do not know. But I did read it here. It is just that at the moment I cannot comment on this, because I do not know...

Q. Is it true that the answer was "that it was out of question, that it was quite out of question"?

A. I seem to remember it involved diamond workers or something along those lines. If these are the diamond workers...

Q. No, no, the armaments industry!

A. In any case, what it says in this document is correct.

Q. The document is here: Exhibit T/554, document No. 591 - these men, the representatives in countries abroad, worked on the basis of your directives and also had contacts with each other in order to co-ordinate implementation. Is that correct?

A. Had contacts with each other - I think that that could only apply to the Western Territories: Holland, Belgium, France - otherwise I believe these men only met in Berlin from time to time, and...

Q. Holland, Belgium, France - contacts with each other.

A. I gathered this from the documents here. Because otherwise I would no longer have known about this as well. And they did not work exclusively according to the directives which they received from the Head Office for Reich Security. They also worked in accordance with the directives which they received from their own Higher SS and Police Leaders in conjunction with the appropriate governmental authority.

Q. Did we not hear from you only yesterday that, for example, regarding the marking of the Jews, they had to introduce this simultaneously in all the countries where they were operating, on the basis of the orders and instructions from your Section?

A. Yes, I did say that least I think that is correct, but I am not certain of that, as there are also documents here which show that somehow Higher SS and Police Leaders gave orders about this. I get confused about these matters...there is just too much material for me to be able to give detailed information about all subjects on the basis of what I remembered. But I believe that in France the regulation was issued by the Higher SS and Police Leader, because not everything which happened in connection with Jewish measures in the occupied territories came about by order of the Reichsfuehrer's Head Office, nor even on the instructions of Department IV.

Q. But these directives also laid down the penalties and sanctions to be applied to persons who refused to wear or refrained from wearing the Jewish badge, did they not?

A. The directives which applied to the occupied territories or to Reich territory?

Q. I am referring to the directives for the occupied territories.

A. Directives for marking in the occupied territories were never, as far as I know, issued by the Head Office for Reich Security. This was done by the relevant Higher SS and Police Leaders. In any case, I have not found anything to contradict this in my study of the documents.

Q. I am talking about penalties - the penalties which were laid down in the consultations. It was laid down, for example, that a Jew who did not wear the badge would be punished in this or that fashion. That was laid down, was it not?

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, I naturally do not wish to interfere in the form taken by the cross-examination, but perhaps it might sometimes be simpler to present the document first. After all, there are no surprises here; the Accused is familiar with these documents. Sometimes this would keep things shorter. Perhaps sometimes you have a special reason for not showing the document to the Accused, but in a case such as this one, for example, why not show him the document?

Attorney General: In this instance, there is perhaps a special reason, Your Honour. I am really trying to do so.

[To the Accused] You have heard the question - answer it.

Presiding Judge: So what is the Accused's reply on the penalties for Jews who did not wear the badge?

Attorney General: What is the Accused's answer about sanctions for not wearing the Jewish Star? Is that correct or not? Is it true that this sanction was laid down in Section IVB4 and issued from there? In the consultations you had, were penalties discussed for Jews who did not wear the Jewish badge?

Accused: I do not know; if that appears in the documents or in the record of the consultations, then that is true also. After such a long time, I cannot say anything more about this.

Q. You were in constant contact with these men about official business, both by telephone and by telegraph, and also by letter? Is that true or not?

A. Yes, that is so.

Q. And from time to time you also travelled and visited them and inspected their work on the spot. Is that correct?

A. In accordance with my superior's orders I also travelled from time to time to the various places, yes.

Q. How often were you in France?

A. Today, I cannot possibly say - I simply have to take a number out of thin air.

Q. Roughly?

A. It makes no difference whether I say five or ten times - I do not know.

Q. Oh no, that is important - that is very important.

A. Ten times is of course an exaggeration. This is impossible after all this time.

Q. Why?

A. Because I am someone who is supposed to make a statement about something after twenty years, and whose brain has in the interim absorbed many thousands of other impressions and cannot remember details. I did not sit down and recapitulate every single official journey immediately after 1945. Even then it would probably not have been possible, in 1945, even if I had started to do so. It...I do not wish to make a secret out of it, so I will take a figure - it might have been five times, it might have been ten times, but I do not believe that it was ten times.

Q. Let us say between five and ten, all right?

A. If I have to give a figure, then I am prepared to accept this figure, although I cannot swear to this figure either.

Q. You were also in Holland, were you not?

A. Yes, but when I say I was in France, that applies at the same time to Holland, too, because in general that was done at the same time.

Q. You were also in Belgium, is that correct?

A. As far as I know, I was there only once. I travelled through it more often, but I only went to Belgium once on official business. And that was...I can say fairly accurately, that was...that was shortly after a Spitfire had strafed the official headquarters, the headquarters of the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service.

Q. You were also in Slovakia; is that true?

A. Yes, I was also in Slovakia.

Q. How many times were you there?

A. As far as I know I was in Slovakia twice, once with the Slovak Minister of the Interior, Mach.

Q. If you are talking about visits, did you also visit Tuka, Tiso?

A. No, I was supposed to visit Tuka, I believe, or there was a letter for Tuka, but in any case at that time I...I also only remembered this when I saw Wisliceny's statement; I myself thought - I thought that I had talked to Tiso as well as to Tuka and Mach, but what happened was that I wanted to give Heydrich's letter to the envoy, and then I had to go and see Mach. I did not want to make the visits to these ministers, and Wisliceny says as much at one point, and that is also true. At that time the legation asked me to do it. I also know exactly when that was...that was the day when the attack was made on Heydrich.

Q. While you were playing skittles?

A. Yes, during a game of skittles, yes in the evening.

Q. Were you in Romania?

A. I was not in Romania during the War, as I was only there in 1937, and not at any other time. Apart from Neu-Arad and the area of Gross-Nikolsburg, where I was in 1944, but at that time Hungary had occupied this area and the...

Q. I am not talking about these areas; I am talking about those areas which were under Romanian rule. So you were not in Romania during the War?

A. No, I was not.

Q. Lecca wanted you to come, but you preferred not to go there, is that right?

A. Yes, I gathered that from the documents; otherwise I would no longer have been able to remember that.

Q. Were you in Italy?

A. During the War I was not in Italy - if one excludes the part of southern France occupied by the Italians - I was not in Italy during the War.

Q. And you were in the part occupied by the Italians?

A. Yes, I was there in...I think it was the must have been the autumn of 1943. I went there on Mueller's orders, so to speak, as a continuation of his own journey to Rome.

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