The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 101
(Part 2 of 4)

Q. Can you tell me why it was your concern - what business of yours was it to write to the Foreign Ministry that the Attache of the French Legation in Bucharest, who is trying to release Jews from a collective fine, is apparently a Jew. What does that have to do with you?

Accused: This is also a report - a denunciation - which is passed on from the police to the competent authority...just like all these matters.

Q. But here there is no reference whatsoever - as far as I can make out - there is no reference whatsoever here...

A. No, but it does not say that the Adviser on Jewish Questions in Bucharest has reported the matter, and what Section IVB4 has to do with this. It then passes it on to the Foreign Ministry.

Q. So you mean if Richter wishes to inform the Foreign Ministry of such a matter, he cannot directly inform Killinger of it, so that he can notify you of it? So that you pass it back to the Foreign Ministry or to Killinger? Are you seriously trying to tell us that?

A. No, that is not what I am trying to say, but this letter...this document proves that that was actually the case - Richter reports something and the Head Office for Reich Security is not competent in that area...IVB4 rejected it...and in fact it goes off without any comment...not even with the request that it be considered or commented is simply handed over to the Foreign Ministry. So that means that in these matter IVB4 did not feel at all competent...matters are submitted to a central authority from all sorts of places.

Q. All right. A few more matters of the same type: I understand that neither you nor Mueller had any power to assign people to concentration camps - that is what you said...

Accused: Not "neither...nor Mueller to concentration camps": Mueller did definitely...I never said that Mueller did not have the power to send people to concentration camps - of course Mueller did...

Q. So Mueller had the authority to send people to concentration camps.

A. Yes, Mueller did.

Q. But such authority was not transferred or delegated to you?

A. No. Not...I any Section Head whatsoever.

Q. If I show you T/764 where you say that you want to send Romhanyi to a concentration camp, and where it says "I intend" (ich beabsichtige), then you will once again say that "I" (ich) means Mueller. Or perhaps I should hand you the document and then you will say something else yet again. Will you not?

A. First of all, this is a report from the Fuehrer's Plenipotentiary for the Supervision of the Entire Spiritual and Ideological Education, and so on. The only reason I am mentioning this is to prove that I could never have decided on such matters on my own. I myself was never able to order an assignment to a concentration camp. But since I am now to discuss this document and make a statement on it, I must stress this point in order to prove that I could never interfere in such matters. If it says here...

Presiding Judge: First of all, what is the number of this exhibit?

Attorney General: I gave the Accused the document with my transcript, T/764, document No. 135.

Accused: And as far as the use of the first person is concerned, I have already explained this. I have nothing further to say about this other than that in the bureaucratic sphere that was the usage, and that that does not mean the writer himself.

Q. Can you explain what does it have to do with you in Berlin whether the Jew Max Ausschnitt does or does not leave Romania? He does, it is true, have property, and you hope to get your hands on this property by means of the Final Solution. But do you have any other reason for that?

A. I cannot now reconstruct this case from these few documents - document No. 133 of 3 June gives a reference which I do not have. But this Ausschnitt case was a big case, and there were various documents involved. I have one here in Reitlinger...because of other fundamental matters, and the reasons can be seen from the proceedings in the case as a whole. At the moment, I do not remember them. If I am allowed to study the matter, then I would be ready to provide information here, Mr. Attorney General.

Q. I am only interested in the problem in principle. Romania is apparently at that time still an independent State, with which you have diplomatic relations. So what business is it of the German police whether a Jew does or does not leave Romania?

A. Of course it did not concern Section IVB4 of the German police. But the Ausschnitt case was also dealt with by the Deputy Romanian Prime Minister, Mihai Antonescu. It is obvious, and quite clear, that Section IVB4 could not on its own take any decision whatsoever, and it dealt with the matter, just like all others, in accordance with orders, without any analysis of its own, without any proposals of its own, and without any authority of its own.

Judge Halevi: But the Gestapo had this authority?

Accused: Your Honour, it did not...I have already said once...submit this matter to my Department Chief.

Q. In general? So Department IV had the authority?

A. Yes, for such matters, if the Department Chief had ordered that, and if it was passed on, naturally it depended whether the Foreign Ministry was involved. It was necessary here to co-ordinate with the various central bodies.

Judge Halevi: Very well.

Attorney General: Now listen closely: I am going to read to you something which as far as I know you told Sassen in Argentina about such matters. This then is a summary of the chapter, so confirm if it is correct.

"Now I have already said that the only Department Chief whom Kaltenbrunner preferred - to my Department Chief's chagrin - was Schellenberg. And when once Mueller was away for quite some time - I forget whether he was on holiday or whether there was something else going on - at the time the Deputy Chief was Standartenfuehrer or Obergruppenfuehrer Schellenberg during the War. If the Section Heads had queries - and that happened two or three times a week - then we had to come along with our bundle of files, and first of all clarify basic matters by means of these consultations."
Is that correct?

Accused: That is not correct. As far as I understand, Kaltenbrunner was never Department Chief, and Mueller was never away for a longish period; and as for my going for consultations to Schellenberg several times a week, that is also not correct since, as far as I know, Schellenberg was only once Mueller's substitute, not even for half a week, I believe.

Attorny General: Very well, I shall read on.

Judge Halevi: Perhaps he did not understand the beginning of the passage. There was some misunderstanding somewhere about Kaltenbrunner.

Attorney General: I can read out the passage to the Accused or show it to him.

I shall read on:

"Before we could refer to the relevant orders or ordinances, because often we could, in fact, cite this or that law, or this or that ordinance, and thus there were many questions of principle which had to be cleared up."
Is that correct?

Accused: I do not understand the meaning or the context.

Presiding Judge: It does sound somewhat like an incomplete sentence.

Attorney General: What I have read out to you so far is marked in red on the second half of page 40.

Accused: I have already said that the leave...Mueller's lengthy absence is not correct. Nor is it correct that Schellenberg was a Standartenfuehrer or Oberfuehrer when he once deputized for Mueller for two days, he was Obersturmbannfuehrer. The rest is a hodgepodge of some sort of...the meaning, I understand the meaning, what it means, but this is an unintelligible jumble, this matter, it definitely is not from me. For example, this sentence...

Presiding Judge: So, if this is a jumble, there is no point in reading it.

Attorney General: But I should like to continue.

Presiding Judge: All right, do so.

Attorney General: Would you please look at this - you can follow the manuscript here:

"I know that one day I went to Schellenberg with a request for a consultation about some matter, and he decided in a certain way. Which led me to say to myself, Mueller would not have decided like that, and I let the entire matter rest, and did not take it up again until my Chief, Mueller, was back."
Is that correct?

Accused: I do not know.

Q. Was it possible? Could that have happened?

A. It might just as well have been possible as impossible. I do not know.

Presiding Judge: The question is, first: Did you say that?

Accused: I do not believe that I said it. It seems to me to be so odd that I cannot identify with it - not the whole paragraph.

Judge Halevi: But if you did not say it, is it possible that it did happen like that, even though you did not say it in this form?

Accused: Excuse me, I did not say it in that form.

Q. Although you did not say it in this form, is it possible that the content of this event might be correct, that it really did happen like this?

A. This is really so odd, because I remember only one single occasion when I went to Schellenberg: this letter from Vienna about the ban on emigration from the Occupied Territories, in order to preserve the emigration possibilities from Reich territory. That was the only instance at all which I remember talking to Schellenberg.

Q. And what did Schellenberg decide at that time?

A. He did not take any decision whatsoever: he only signed...the case was decided by Mueller. That, I still remember precisely, but I had to go to Schellenberg for a signature. That is why I say that this matter totally baffles me.

Judge Halevi: Very well.

Attorney General: Perhaps the matter will become more intelligible to you if I remind you that your Defence Witness Professor Six says the following on page 4 of his testimony, in the middle of the page:

"Had I wished to obtain an exemption or something similar for a Jew, I would not have gone to Eichmann, as he was an exponent of the other side. I would first have gone to a head of a foreign mission, and perhaps then to Schellenberg, who had a reputation for being able to arrange such exemptions."
Perhaps that will make this somewhat clearer to you now.

Accused: I should like to say the following about this: A head of a mission or a Schellenberg - they could probably also take a decision. I could certainly not take decisions... There would have been no point coming to me, because I could not have given him any information. In addition, it seems to me extremely strange that it is precisely Dr. Six who needs this - who in 1944 was still blowing his trumpet, and now in 1961 is picking on a little ex-Section Head. Extremely strange, and this also appears to me to be not particularly credible.

Presiding Judge: I think that this means something else, as far as my reading goes. He is not attaching personal responsibility to the Accused. In fact he specifically says: "He was the exponent of the other side." But he adds: "Given the structure of the Head Office for Reich Security, it was impossible for a Section Head to allow exemptions to these orders on his own authority, or above the head of his superior."

Attorney General: That is not why I quoted Six. He also says elsewhere that Eichmann was not an ordinary Section Head, that he was close to Mueller - he says that on page 5: "The general impression was that Eichmann was not only under Mueller's orders, but that he was somewhat on the same level."

So that is not why I read this out to him. I read this out to him in an attempt to remind him of that particular instance where he did not wish to follow Schellenberg's decision, as I am claiming he said, and where he waited for Mueller's arrival. Because apparently Schellenberg made exemptions, and Mueller did not.

Presiding Judge: Quite. That means that the comparison is between Schellenberg and Mueller.

Attorney General: Between Schellenberg and Mueller, and not as against the Accused. Precisely.

[To the Accused] All right. I shall now continue. I am telling you that you also said the following:

"Of course there were things which had to be decided on immediately, and I decided on them as if I had talked to Mueller, as I knew him and his decisions."
Is that correct?

Accused: No - here I must say that then all of these people, such as Krumey and so on, should [not] have been surprised when they were notified over the telephone about a single transport train, and that I would send word about it later. I could not decide even about that - so I was even less able to decide on other matters. That would have been entirely contrary in practice to this, and to what it states here. And if it is not possible to approve or cancel, on one's own initiative, a transport train for a timetable which is in any case under way, well then, you can have some idea of how little I was able, or how utterly I was unable to take a decision myself.

Q. Not even to allow Jews to send relief parcels to the Generalgouvernement or to unoccupied France, right? Mueller himself had to take decisions about such matters, did he?

A. Not about every individual case, Mr. Attorney General, as I have stated...but the first time I obtained a decision for myself...and there really must be something in that, because otherwise people would not have maintained up until 1961 that they never received a decision from me. There must be something in this, because otherwise they would have long since forgotten it.

Q. The reason why they said that was also because you always wanted to be covered in formal terms. That has already been said.

A. That has nothing to do with any formal cover, Mr. Attorney General. I had to ask in advance.

Q. And you also said that when Mueller was not present, you took decisions in his absence and reported to him later on this, and everything was all right.

A. Of that I am not aware at all, as Mueller was always there, and if he was not there, his Deputy was there. At the beginning, as I have said, that was Schellenberg; later it was Panzinger, and then Huppenkothen.

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