The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 100
(Part 4 of 5)

Attorney General: On page 175 of the official Polish record Rajewski states:
"Since, from March 1942 onwards, the transports of the Head Office for Reich Security started, and the office might have had too much work to be able to register those groups individually, an instruction was issued to prepare a stamp and to affix that to all the sheets with the same given numbers which I shall now state to the Supreme Court, in other words on those sheets there were the following lists..."
And below:
"Jews from France, Belgium, Holland - Head Office for Reich Security IVB4a; Jews from Germany - IVB4a; Jews from Greece - IVB4a; Jews from Croatia - IVB4a; from the Protectorate, from Theresienstadt, from Romania, from Hungary, from Italy, later - IVB4a; Jews from the Generalgouvernement and Bialystok, and finally we see Poles, Aryan Poles - IVB4a."
Presiding Judge: This is not at all clear in this translation. Do we have the original?

Attorney General: There is the Polish original. I did in fact submit the Polish original, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: I remember - the marking of the pages here is somewhat unclear. We had this problem then as well; the marking is repeated several times.

Attorney General: With all due respect, I thought it was clear.

Presiding Judge: It is not entirely clear, Mr. Hausner, whether it refers only to Aryan Poles or to Jews from the area of the Generalgouvernement as well.

Attorney General: I think it is perfectly clear. It says here: "Jews from the Generalgouvernement and Bialystok, 2093/42g/39," and then: IVB4a.

Presiding Judge: Does that refer to Jews?

Attorney General: Yes, of course. It says so.

Presiding Judge: So where is the designation from the Protectorate? Jews from Theresienstadt, Jews from Romania...

Attorney General: He says the following: IVB4a 3013/42g/1310 - that applies to Jews from Croatia, from the Protectorate, from Theresienstadt, Romania, Hungary and Italy. And afterwards: IVB4a 2093/42g/39 - Jews from the area of the Generalgouvernement and Bialystok. That is perfectly clear. At the end we see: Poles, Poles-Aryans IVB4a 3666/42g/1505.

[To the Accused] In any case, Rajewski who worked there in the Political Section gave the precise designations of Jews who came to Auschwitz from the Generalgouvernement, he indicated the precise designation of IVB4. How can you explain that?

Accused: I cannot give any explanation whatsoever of this because IVB4 had no unit nor any office in the Generalgouvernement - unless it was at Zamosc, where Krumey worked, and Krumey received the timetable, as far as Berlin and Birkenau were concerned.

Q. You have seen here the forms of the Political Department in Auschwitz, and on the forms there is an item about the "allocating authority." On two of the forms submitted there was a clear entry, "Allocating authority IVB4." You do remember that, I suppose?

A. Yes, I remember the document. This is a local regulation of the Economic-Administrative Head Office, which clearly issued the assignment according to the timetable arrangements.

Q. And I am telling you that all the Jews who arrived in Auschwitz reached there with this designation of the allocating authority, IVB4.

A. All? That just cannot be, in my opinion, and secondly, I must once again the Generalgouvernement I know of nothing at all, and I know that there there was neither a unit nor an office of IVB4, with the exception of Zamosc. I must correct myself here, too: There was not an office of IVB4 at Zamosc; there was a Migrants Central Office of Department III, but IVB4 had to draw up the timetable.

Q. And how did the Poles come from Zamosc to Auschwitz? What was the designation of their allocating authority?

A. I do not know - not IVB4 - as far as I know, but I am not absolutely certain about this.

Q. But if I am not very wrong, Rajewski referred to this, too?

A. I cannot, after all, say anything more here than what I know, and as for what other people know, that is something I have no knowledge of. I was not in the Generalgouvernement, nor did I see such transports arrive at Auschwitz, so if I might once again make a suggestion: Novak is available, who certainly knows this subject much more thoroughly and can give far more detailed information about the matter than I.


Attorney General: If it please the Court, I should like to announce that I have tried to clarify what is missing from exhibit T/297, but we have not quite managed to ascertain what the missing sections are. If I might, I should like to ask the Accused another question. My question concerns the last passage of the exhibit in question.

Presiding Judge: All right.

Attorney General: You do agree, do you not, that this exhibit, T/297, was drafted by Bilfinger himself, as is shown by the reference number at the top of the letter. Heydrich signed this letter, but Bilfinger drew it up.

Accused: I cannot see any initials by Bilfinger, but I see IIA2 in the heading. And Bilfinger was the IIA Group Leader.

Q. So that means that Department IIA drew up a letter for signature by Heydrich, in which it says that you, Eichmann, will make the corrections.

A. According to this letter before me, I should have received this matter.

Q. No, my question concerned something different. Was it in fact Group IIA which drew up the letter, in order to ensure that the entire matter should go to you?

A. According to this letter, yes, I should have received it.

Q. All right.

Judge Halevi: Mr. Attorney General, I have a question which concerns yesterday's session. I believe you said that in the Generalgouvernement there was a permanent representative of the Foreign Ministry. Is this corroborated by documents?

Attorney General: There are Frank's diaries, Your Honour, which show who took part in the meetings of the Generalgouvernement.

Judge Halevi: Including a representative of the Foreign Ministry?

Attorney General: Yes, as far as I know, Your Honour; I shall check that.

Judge Halevi: I should like to check whether that was not a mistake.

Attorney General: We have a more complete volume of Frank's diaries - not the entire diary, because at Nuremberg there were crates full of them, but we have the Polish version, which is more complete. We can check the matter again on the Yad Vashem microfilm.

Judge Halevi: I should be grateful if you would. I believe that even the Accused answered "yes" to this question, but still, perhaps this is an error.

Attorney General: If this is an error - we would not wish to mislead him on anything.

Presiding Judge: Please proceed.

Attorney General: You knew with regard to concentration camps in the West, as well as about the camps' capacity and possibilities for reception, as at Bergen-Belsen, for example, as shown in the documents.

Accused: Yes, that is the internment camp at Bergen- Belsen.

Q. Well, that is what I am talking about - was there another camp there?

A. Yes; Bergen-Belsen was in fact originally a concentration camp, and then an area was cleared or added for what were known as "exchange Jews," who were placed there as the result of consultations between the Foreign Ministry and the Head Office for Reich Security.

Q. Over which of the two did you have control or knowledge?

A. I knew about the camp where the internment Jews went, but it was not under me.

Q. And what about Theresienstadt?

A. Theresienstadt, too, as far as matters of importance to the Reich were concerned, IVB4 also had to have its finger here in Theresienstadt, according to instructions.

Q. Was the arrangement of the beds in the Theresienstadt camp a matter of importance to the Reich?

A. I do not know, but I know that at that time, the beginning, naturally there could have been some influence on questions of accommodation, and I did in fact go there...and I have read that, too, on the urging...I am sure on the urging of the Council of Elders, to look into this matter. The fact was that if I went to Theresienstadt, then Edelstein also made it his practice to approach me with all his requests and complaints.

Q. Look at T/846, document No. 1198 - during a visit of inspection to Theresienstadt, you gave instructions as to how the bedsteads were to be installed there.

Accused: Yes, this was one of the official journeys ordered to Theresienstadt, and I would here gather from point two as mentioned, that I did settle the bedstead business there.

Q. And also the post business?

A. I have already in this respect said here that I was informed of postal difficulties by the Council of Elders, and I then reported on them and they were relaxed. This was a matter I could not authorize myself, otherwise I would have authorized it immediately on the spot. A few days later, the instruction was issued for the post ban to be removed, or at least relaxed.

Q. What you are here calling difficulties were death sentences, were they not?

A. I had nothing to do with those.

Q. Were these death sentences or not?

A. Excuse me - which difficulties?

Q. These postal difficulties, as you call them.

A. Because of the...but not when I was there...these were the death sentences on Poles...

Q. Were they death sentences, "yes" or "no"?

A. They were difficulties...these were the death sentences, the cases of death...that is to say, the executions at Theresienstadt took place because of the strict postal censorship which was imposed, and afterwards I was notified of this. It was the Council of Elders, Edelstein himself, who informed me and asked me to annul the postal ban. I was unable to take a decision on that myself. A few days later, Edelstein was informed that the postal ban was being relaxed. That proves that I was not entitled to impose or annul postal bans there.

Q. Who imposed the death sentences at Theresienstadt?

A. I found this out from the weekly report, or the daily report by the Elder of the Jewish Council - the Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service in Prague.

Q. Did he have the power or competence to do so?

A. Yes, if he was so instructed by a Senior SS and Police Leader, who was also State Secretary for Security in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia; that is correct, then he had the power.

Q. Do you perhaps know on the basis of which law - was there some German law which empowered or authorized the Senior Commanders of the Security Police and the Security Service or the police to impose death sentences?

A. I do not know that; I only know that where there was a State Secretary for Security, that these matters were dealt with by this authority on its own for its area of jurisdiction, without any involvement of the Head Office for Reich Security.

Q. Was there any law which empowered the Commander or the Commandant of an extermination camp to exterminate people?

A. There was certainly no law...I do not know about anything else, because I really had nothing to do with that. I only know that people relied on the saying, "Fuehrerworte haben Gesetzeskraft" (the Fuehrer's words have the power of law) that was the saying at that time. I myself neither gave orders for these matters nor had anything to do with them.

Q. Was there any law which allowed Globocnik to exterminate hundreds of thousands, and a quarter of a million Jews from the Generalgouvernement? Here you did have something to do with this, because here you dictated or wrote him the ex post facto, or after-the-event, authorizations for these activities.

Q. I did obtain orders for this, that is correct, and I have also admitted that, but as for the other aspects, at that time they were not supposed to be of any concern to me, since I had nothing to do with them; that was dealt with by the higher authorities.

Q. Was there any law which empowered you to carry out the deportations from the Reich and the occupied territories?

A. I do not know...I was not an independent holder of an office; I obtained my orders from my immediate superiors, I had to comply with these orders.

Q. And you did not care in any way to know whether they were legal, or whether the orders were illegal, legal or illegal even from the point of view of Reich law - that was of no concern to you?

A. If I received the order from my Department Chief, the Head of the Reich Criminal Police and Lieutenant General, then it was on his responsibility, and he would have looked after things appropriately with regard to his superior. It was not up to me to concern myself with this, as a Section Head who obtained the orders from my immediate superior.

Q. That means that it was of no concern to you whether it was legal or illegal - that did not concern you in any way?

A. This question did not arise, as I obtained the orders, the unambiguous and clear-cut instructions of my superior.

Q. That is precisely why I am asking you whether you were interested to know whether these orders were legal or illegal, "yes" or "no"? Did you ever ask, where are the powers, where is the legal framework on the basis of which we are acting? Did you ever ask this question? Did you concern yourself with that?

A. I am not a lawyer. I had to obey, I had only learned the life of a soldier.

Q. Did you go to the south of France, to Monaco?

A. Yes, that is correct.

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