The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 100
(Part 3 of 6)

Q. And what was the content of this operation?

A. This I have discovered from the books - the liquidation of Polish Jewry.

Q. And the theft or plunder of their property?

A. I read the specifications of this in the books as well. That is so.

Q. And at the time, in 1942 or 1943, when the operation was carried out to immortalize the name of your beloved Chief, you knew nothing at all of the content of the operation?

A. I have already said once that I did not bother about it, because I was not responsible. Had I been resonsible in any way whatsoever, IVB4 would have definitely had something to do with this in terms of the technical timetabling aspects, but IVB4 did not have to do that either - the order was not issued, so we had nothing to do with it, and we did not bother about it.

Q. Well, we shall see. Here is exhibit T/1248, a meeting in Berlin about the expulsion or deportation of Jews in the Generalgouvernement. This is the document signed by Klemm. Do you remember this?

A. Yes, at the end of my interrogation here I was shown some such matter.

Q. And on page 3545 you said about this document "that it was technically just as possible that Novak, for example, could have taken part in it." So did Novak take part in it?

A. Since Novak took part in so many timetable conferences, I tried to reconstruct this matter, but I also said - as far as I remember - in the same interrogation and in the same passage, that I knew nothing whatsoever about IVB4 having had anything whatsoever to do with Generalgouvernement matters. And Wolff's letter to Ganzenmueller proves that, firstly, this Generalgouvernement matter was handled on a high level, and secondly, that the local authorities arranged directly with the local Reich Railway Directorates...

Q. So why did you bring Novak in here - Novak is one of your men, why is he listed here?

Presiding Judge: Would you please show him the passage?

Accused: Because I considered all possibilities. If you read this properly, it is an attempt to reconstruct things.

Attorney General: So it is possible that Novak might have taken part in this meeting?

Accused: Having read the documents now, it is impossible for Novak to have taken part in this meeting. I consider it to be out of the question.

Q. And this is despite the fact that you yourself said that "if I am to stick to the truth, and that is what I wish to do, then technically it is just as possible that Novak, for example, could have taken part in it." It is now a few months after you said that in your interrogation in Bureau 06.

A. But Mr. Attorney General, the entire passage has to be read, and then it can be seen how I tried to reconstruct this matter. I was asked:

"So the conference cannot possibly have been held without the participation of your Section or representatives from your Section?"
In reply I said:
"For the Generalgouvernement that was...and the trains which went from Romania to the Generalgouvernement...that would have been perfectly feasible. Naturally for me, if I am to stick to the truth, and that is what I wish to do, then technically it is just as possible that Novak, for example, could have taken part in it, but I do not believe that, because these names were in fact always referred to. And also a record of those present was always taken, so that here I believe that this is a matter which was proposed at high level; that this is large-scale planning as well; that IVB4 was not even engaged or taking part in this."
I said that as well.

Q. Very well, but if one looks at a report on such a conference and sees a precise timetable, showing for example from Warsaw to Treblinka, from Radom to Treblinka, from Cracow to Belzec, from Lvov to Belzec, from Radom to Sobibor and they are precise details: from Warsaw to Treblinka, two trains a day; from Radom to Treblinka, one train a day; from Cracow to Belzec, one train a day; from Lvov to Belzec, one train a day; from Radom to Sobibor, one train a day; and from the Lublin North station to Belzec, one train a day, and from Lublin to Sobibor, another train a day - if there is such a precise listing here, and you go and claim that your Department, your Section, had nothing to do with the whole business, then why should Novak have taken part in such a meeting?

A. Because the timetable conferences were generally dealt with together with IVB4, but not the Generalgouvernement. In the statement here I have...

Q. But this concerns the Generalgouvernement - that is what you were shown, not other matters.

A. In the same statement I discussed all possibilities, but I also said that I thought it impossible for IVB4 to have been involved here, because IVB4 was not involved.

Q. So why do you refer to Novak?

A. Because in my entire statement in all the six volumes, you will see, Mr. Attorney General, that I always mentioned all the possibilities.

Q. Including the impossible possibilities?

A. Including the impossible possibilities, simply so that the reconstruction...

Q. If you talk about the impossible possibilities as well, I accept it.

A. This is proved by the six volumes, Mr. Attorney General. I received [through the simultaneous translation] this term "impossible possibilities" only after a delay...naturally it was not impossible: It is impossible, it is not possible, not an impossible possibility...

Presiding Judge: Please continue.

Attorney General: It says here that this conference was proposed by the Chief of the Head Office for Reich Security, when Heydrich was no longer amongst the living; it was therefore on 26 or 28 September 1942, so at that time who was there from the Head Office for Reich Security who would have been considered for participating in or being involved in such a conference, if not your Section?

A. At that time, Himmler was Chief of the Security Police; this is also shown by documents Nos. 1253 and 1537 dated July 1942 and August 1942. This also referred to enormous transports of hundreds and thousands, transports which were agreed upon between Wolff and Ganzenmueller.

Q. Are you, therefore, saying that Himmler himself took part in this?

A. Not "took part" - ordered.

Q. So who - so who, who is the Section Head who can take part in conferences where timetable planning is dealt with? From 1939 and onwards you were the expert for this.

A. But not on internal Generalgouvernement business; this is proved by the documents. I cannot say anything other than as expressed by the facts. Because in these documents, too, where vast movements are laid down, the locations are given and the figures are given, the places of departure...

Q. Why should it take place in Berlin, why not in Cracow?

A. Ganzenmueller is also involved here, and from Berlin he then...

Q. Why did this conference take place in Berlin?

A. I do not know; I am not, after all, from the Reich Transport Ministry. I do not know, Mr. Attorney General.

Q. So who were the people of the Head Office for Reich Security who at that time were available to the Head Office for Reich Security to participate in such a conference?

A. I assume that no one took part in this conference, but that this conference was dealt with in writing on a high level with the Reich Transport Ministry. If I knew anything else, I would...

Q. But it says here specifically that this meeting took place in Berlin from 26 to 28 September, and also that it was held at the initiative of the Head Office for Reich Security. Let us, therefore, base ourselves on what appears in the document: Who, if not you, was the expert in the Head Office for Reich Security on timetable planning?

A. Not for the Generalgouvernement, as the facts prove. If I had had anything to do with that, nothing would prevent me from stating this and accepting responsibility for this now.

Q. And I am telling you that if it were not possible that Novak took part in this conference, then you would not have mentioned him or his name in your interrogation in Bureau 06 at all.

A. That was my attempt to somehow investigate and cope with the matter. I could have said at once: "No, I know nothing whatsoever." I tried instead - and this can be seen throughout all six volumes - to revive the whole thing, in order - how can I put it? - to bring what happened back to life again. And that is how this must be understood, too. But look, Novak is in custody, he is the best person to ask about this. And that will make things very clear.

Judge Raveh: Have you finished with this exhibit?

Attorney General: Yes, Your Honour.

Judge Raveh: Transports from Romania were also dealt with here, were they not?

Accused: I do not know, Your Honour.

Judge Raveh: Can you read this document?

Accused: I do not have the document here.

Attorney General: This is in the Statement. Various sections were read out to him.

Judge Raveh: Everything? Including the Romanian part?

Attorney General: Yes. It was quoted from page 3540 on, or thereabouts. It was read out to him in German from page 3539 and following, the whole document. It says here: "In the minutes of the meeting held in Berlin on 26 and 28 September 1942..."

Judge Raveh: So perhaps you would read that part which refers to transports from Romania. Have you read that? That does go beyond the bounds of the Generalgouvernement, does it not?

Accused: Yes, it does go beyond those bounds.

Q. So perhaps we can nevertheless assume that it falls within the sphere of influence, the competence of your Section?

A. Already during my Statement, I would in fact have been prepared to say "yes," Your Honour, but when I saw that such a defective set of minutes - once again contrary to all the directives and rules - a set of minutes had been drawn up by a central body, like this - normally the names of those present were always listed - then I said to myself, well, it is just as possible that such a matter was dealt with on a higher level, and that would be in the Reich Transport Ministry...that this timetable was drawn up by them in conjunction with their Reich Rail Directorates, the local Reich Rail Directorates. And for final clarification of the question, I would venture once again to propose asking Novak, who was always present at such timetable conferences where IVB4 was competent, because it would be very easy for him, as he always attended these timetable conferences in accordance with orders. I myself never took part in a timetable conference.

Q. Is that a reply to the question as to whether timetable drafting for transports from Romania fell under the responsibility of Section IVB4?

A. I do not know, Your Honour, how things were for Romania, whether for Romania - since evacuations also took place from Romania - whether there the Reich Transport Ministry drew up the timetable, or whether that was drawn up in Romania. I cannot give any clear-cut or binding answer in this respect; I do not know this now. It is possible here that the Romanian Railway Administration agreed on all the details about this with the Plenipotentiaries of the German Railways, who were in fact present in all these countries, including in France, in Holland, and so on. The Romanian authorities for Romanian sovereign territory, and the representative of the German Reich Railway for extra- Romanian sovereign territory.

Q. And why do you assume that precisely in Romania your Section possibly had no part in this?

A. I would conclude that, Your Honour, because I know that IVB4 had nothing to do with the Generalgouvernement, and I am strengthened in this opinion of mine by the two letters which I have already mentioned several times, between Ganzenmueller and Wolff. That is my proof, I would say; memory on its own is no longer of any help to me here, except for the fact that I know that we had nothing to do with the Generalgouvernement.

Presiding Judge: [To the Attorney General]Please proceed.

Attorney General: As you said yesterday, Auschwitz lay outside the borders of the Generalgouvernement?

Accused: Yes.

Q. So, as you said yesterday in reply to a question from Judge Halevi, resettlement from the Generalgouvernement required co-ordination between two different railway administrations.

A. Yes, that relates to the resettlement of Poles from Zamosc and...

Q. No, no - do not run away to Zamosc as long as we are at Auschwitz. I am talking about deportations from the Generalgouvernement to Auschwitz, and about Jews, not about Poles. In this Court we have here the statement of a Pole called Rajewski who gave testimony in the proceedings against Hoess, and that was someone who had worked in the Political Section in Auschwitz as an inmate, and there he says point-blank that all the Jewish prisoners sent to Auschwitz, including those from the Generalgouvernement, came with assignment documents from your Section, Section IVB4.

A. I consider that to be totally impossible and quite out of the question. Yesterday, I said that in the area of the Generalgouvernement bordering on Auschwitz, here the trains doubtless were dealt with in timetable terms by direct local agreement with the Reich Railway Directorates responsible.

Q. Yes, but the assigning authority, or in other words, the authority which ordered transfer to Auschwitz, was Section IVB4.

A. But in the Generalgouvernement there was no IVB4 office whatsoever.

Presiding Judge: It is difficult to talk about a document without seeing it. Mr. Attorney General, can we have the number of the exhibit?

Attorney General: T/1356.

Presiding Judge: Yes, and what is the page reference?

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.