The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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

Q. Very well, the book does in fact speak for itself - it speaks volumes, in fact. And it really needs no further explanations.

Simply in order to summarize this matter, you will admit that Krumey knew perfectly well that you and your Section had nothing to do with those who were suitable for Germanization, and those who were not suitable for Germanization?

A. But Krumey...

Q. "Yes" or "no"?

A. I do not know, Mr. Attorney General. But as for Krumey as the Head of the Central Migration Office in Litzmannstadt being concerned with these forms of words, that is evident.

Q. Did he know that you had nothing to do with Germanization, and with those suitable for Germanization, that there was a special Department or a special Section for that? Krumey did know that, did he not?

A. Yes, but he knew just as well that I was responsible for transport affairs, since I had in fact...the Section had in fact worked for a long time together with the Central Office for Migration and Resettlement.

Q. Precisely, and so when he wrote to you "Sonderbehandlung," he knew exactly what sort of Sonderbehandlung you dealt with.

A. No, I cannot admit that, Mr. Attorney General.

Q. As in T/200, for example - just look at that. Look at the type of special treatment you dealt with.

A. Yes.

Q. Your special treatment is in fact what it says there, is it not?

A. No, this is the same teletype to which I referred in my Statement a few weeks ago.

Q. But here it says quite simply "Sonderbehandlung," and what that meant: Sending people off to their deaths, with no further additions.

A. But here it says explicitly: "On the orders of the Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of the German Police - the special treatment of the at your to be carried out."

Q. And that is the special treatment you dealt with?

A. I have already...with regard to the various possibilities, I have in fact - said everything. In this case I could here...

Q. Yes, yes that is quite clear, you have said everything.

Let us now turn to a different chapter. Do you remember the chapter of the skeletons in Strasbourg? Do you remember that Sievers approached you, and that you wanted him to provide you with the Reichsfuehrer's order?

A. Mr. Attorney General, I do not remember this, but I have read about it.

Q. But that was also not a normal daily duty, providing several hundred skeletons for anatomical experimental purposes, and not animal skeletons but human ones. You have no recollection of this?

A. Oh yes. About this, I stated that I remembered it, of course, I said that...

Q. Well, then, tell us what you remember; tell us what you remember.

A. But I did not say that I have any particular recollection of Sievers coming to me; it is possible that he came to see me, but I am not sure about this...

Q. Very well, so what can you remember? What has remained in your memory?

A. That someone came to see me and wanted to get skeletons or skulls from me - I do not remember...And there is one thing I do remember, that I said to him, "I am not a dealer in skulls." That is what I know. And strangely in this case again, there is apart from that also nothing at all which refers to me personally. And this case shows once more very clearly that I immediately took my fingers out of matters in which I was not competent, and I did not leave them in. That is proved by this entire case.

Q. Who approached you?

A. I do not remember - I have some vague memory of someone coming to see me. I do not even know if I am imagining this as I have already heard it so often, or I have been told this so often, that I am no longer capable of distinguishing between what happened and what I have been told. But I am quite prepared to accept that it might have been Sievers, although I am not sure about this. But I do know one thing, that I had nothing to do with this matter, and cannot be connected with it. And the documents also prove this.

Q. Very well. So if you believe that it probably was Sievers, who was this Sievers?

A. Naturally I can ascertain this today most precisely, because I have read so much literature about him.

Q. So who was he?

A. He was in some way the head of the Ahnenerbe, the Ancestral Heritage Society.

Q. What was his rank?

A. SS Standartenfuehrer.

Q. Standartenfuehrer. This office was under Himmler's direct command, was it not? Under Himmler's direct orders?

A. That is possible, I do not know; I never visited the Ahnenerbe, nor do I have any idea about this office's organizational composition.

Q. Can you tell us what reason Sievers, a Standartenfuehrer in the SS who knew perfectly well how things worked, had to approach you of all people and demand that you provide him with skulls or skeletons?

Accused: Certainly. Because the Chief of the Personal Staff - not the Chief, the administrative head or chief staff officer or Himmler's Personal Staff - sent me a letter which said that Himmler intended to support Hirt in his research and that there...I cannot quote this by heart, the letter is available for reference. In any case, he approached me to assist him in obtaining these materials - meaning the Jews. At least I believe that that is how it reads: I do not remember exactly.

And, moreover, in reply to your question, Mr. Attorney General, therefore Sievers must...because there is another letter, and he refers to a letter from IVB4 that he has had a conversation - so he must have been to see IVB4. As to whether he talked to me, whether he talked to Guenther, I cannot say. And I do not know anything more about this matter either, other than that I cannot have had anything to do with these matters, if only for reasons of competence, as I was not competent in such matters: It was the Economic-Administrative Head Office, that is the Inspectorate of the Concentrations Camp. Only those were competent.

Q. So assuming that the Court has already heard several dozen times that only the Economic-Administrative Head Office was competent, I repeat my question: Why did Sievers approach you, IVB4, in order to obtain the skeletons or skulls of Jews for these purposes? Can you explain that?

A. I cannot explain that to myself: I can only explain that it was because Brandt from Himmler's Staff wrote to Section IVB4, to me.

Q. Why? Why to you?

A. I myself do not know why, as the matter, in fact, shows that it was not dealt with further by myself, either.

Q. Oh yes, it was.

A. No, it was not dealt with by me further. In no shape or form.

Q. Yes, it was - by IVB4.

A. By IVB4? No, it was not dealt with further.

Q. No?

A. That is in fact shown by a reference in Sievers' diary, which I have also studied, in which it says, "Investigation could not be carried out." That was six months later. I have no knowledge as to what Mueller did with this matter.

Q. Mueller again?

A. Well, if I had been involved, my name would have been there, and in all these things - whether it was the Wetzel affair, or whether it is some other affair, that is in fact the strange thing, that my name does not appear. So there must be some truth in my statement that I kept my finger out of this pie when I was not competent, and not ordered directly to deal with it. Because if I had received orders, then I must state frankly that then I would have had in fact to do it and carry out orders. But definitely, as Mueller knew me, he spared me this order; I cannot imagine any other possibility, since this is in fact what the documents and files show.

Q. I do not believe the Court wishes me to examine you once again, and I would for the moment like to remain with the matter of the skeletons in Strasbourg. A letter to you is drafted. It is even proposed that a draft be sent to you from the highest levels of the SS High Command about the skeletons. You indicate that you insist on a letter from the Reichsfuehrer. Whereupon, there is a note in Sievers' diary that he has visited IVB4 and then the skeletons are delivered to Strasbourg.

Presiding Judge: What is the number of the document?

Attorney General: T/1362 and following. I do not have the document at the moment.

Accused: I did not insist on any letter from Himmler's headquarters. That is not true.

Q. You did not demand a confirmation of this from the Reichsfuehrer?

A. I did not insist on anything; I received it, but I did not insist on it.

Q. So what did you do with it? The application was to you, what did you do then?

A. If I had been competent, then you can count on my having followed that up immediately, and having carried out this order; but I was not competent for that.

Q. I am not asking about "if," if it had been...You admit that you were approached. What did you do?

A. Such cases where I was not competent - this was not in fact the only case - I always consistently passed over to Chief of Department IV.

Q. What did you do in this particular instance? Not in other cases.

A. I passed it on to Mueller, as IVB4 was not competent for it.

Q. To whom did you hand it over?

So you are now trying to tell us once again what you tried to tell us about the Lidice children? You are the person who is approached. You pass this on to Mueller and then Mueller behind your back turns this into a secret matter and then, behind your back and circumventing you, assigns this to your deputy Guether? Is that what you are now saying?

A. To this, all I have to say is... Why, tell me, does my name appear there? That should be very significant.

Presiding Judge: That was not an answer to the question. That may be an explanation, but it is not a reply to the question. Mueller approached Guenther behind your back.

Accused: Behind my back - my Department Chief had no need whatsoever to do anything at all behind my back.

Presiding Judge: Without your knowledge?

Accused: Yes, without my knowledge. Because otherwise he could have given me orders about it, then I would have appeared here. So he did not give me orders about it, but - as Sievers' diary shows - evidently ordered Guenther to deal with it. As to whether he did give him orders about it, I do not know either. I have been wondering about that. But then my name would, in any case, have been in the diary or have been referred to elsewhere in some fashion. There would be letters and so on. But there is nothing here, and this proves that I as Section IVB4 was not responsible for this matter and that I was right, at least on a personal level.

Attorney General: But Sievers gave evidence, you are also aware of that?

Accused: Yes, I have of course read the entire matter through.

Q. And there something is said about you yourself, is it not?

A. Yes, I have read that also.

Q. So your name appears somewhere else as well in connection with this matter?

A. Yes, but only for the purpose of Sievers' defence before the Court. But even before the Court someone...I am not sure who it was, the prosecutor or someone else...immediately found out that in fact Gluecks was responsible for this, and that was my version too.

Q. Just forget about the other people for the moment. I am asking about Sievers' statement. Let us forget about the prosecutor, let us forget about all these things. I am talking about Sievers' statement. Sievers says something about you.

Presiding Judge: Very well, show the document to the Accused.

Attorney General: The collection of documents is T/1362 and following.

Presiding Judge: Yes, we know that. Would you please give all of this to the Attorney General.

Attorney General: Would you please look at this. Sievers' statements in the proceedings against Karl Brandt and others. He says that he was told to see you. Gluecks sent him to you.

A. Yes, I am familiar with these passages. I have studied them.

Q. So why does he say these things about you?

A. That is quite clear. Sievers is highly incriminated in this matter, because he was continuously dealing with these matters, and endeavoured to distance himself from this affair before the Court. That I understand to have been Sievers' attitude. But he...

Q. But why did he choose you, why not Guenther, if Guenther actually handled the matter, why you in particular? Why not place the guilt on the person who really dealt with it - Guenther? If he really wanted to find a scapegoat, and a scapegoat who was not there, to whom nothing would happen, then he could have chosen Guenther as this scapegoat. Guenther is not there either. Why should Sievers ascribe such things to you?

A. This was evidently an error, because he had in fact written his diary, and the diary has been found, and that is available, it is in there.

Q. And in the diary it says Guenther, does it not? So it would after all be a good idea, if he wanted to ascribe something, to ascribe it to Guenther and not to you, would it not?

A. Yes, but what is definite in this case is the diary, because there it is in black and white, and here is a statement which says wrongly that he dealt with these matters with me, and this is once again corroborated by the fact that I no longer appear in the arrangements.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, the time has come to adjourn. If you wish to add anything tomorrow, feel free to do so.

Judge Halevi: Is this diary an exhibit in these proceedings?

Attorney General: Yes it is.

Presiding Judge: The Court will recess until 8.30 tomorrow morning.

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