The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 102
(Part 2 of 5)

Q. Who is the Head? Who is the Chief?

A. Of IIB2?

Q. Yes.

A. That was S. Lischka. And as to II/112 - that was no longer called II/112, but it was called in Department VII... Just a moment, please, I forget...VII and then there was a letter and then a figure. That was in Department VII.

Presiding Judge: VIIB1, right?

Accused: I do not have this here, Your Honour, but it is on some organization chart.

Presiding Judge: Yes, you do. Two pages previously, just look this up.

Accused: Yes: VIIB1 - it says here "Freemasons and Jewry." At the time it was unoccupied.

Attorney General: And now IVD3, the new one, inherited IIB4 from the Gestapo, did it not? IVB3 took over the duties of IIB4 from the Gestapo, dealing with the fight against Jewry.

Accused: IVB3 took over IIB2's affairs, I believe.

Q. But just a moment ago you said that IIB2 took over the duties of II/112.

A. II/112 was taken over by IIB2, and the next organization chart...I do not in fact think that this is at all correct, since that is not possible in chronological terms, as this is 1 March 1941, on 1 March it was IIB2. Lischka was then the Section Head, as the documents show, and then after this 1 March 1941 organization chart, a new one was issued, and the designation changed: "Churches and Freemasons" changed from IIB1 to IVB3, and "Jewry" IIB2 changed to IVB4.

Q. Right. And on 1 October 1943 the duties of IVB4 were expanded, and the former Jewish matters covered evacuation matters, confiscation of property and forfeiture of property, and also deprivation of citizenship. Right?

A. Yes, after Regulation 11, these matters were transferred from Department II to Department IV.

Q. All right, that will suffice.

A. Transferred from Department II to Department IV.

Q. And according to T/55(14), when the Head Office for Reich Security was organized on 1 April 1944, you were in charge of two Sections: "Churches" IVA4, and IVA4b, "Jews," jointly organized as Group IVA4, right?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. You remember the matter of sterilization, don't you?

A. Yes.

Q. How many meetings took place on this matter?

A. There are minutes of two meetings, and I have also read that there is supposed to have been a third meeting after the second one. I do not remember it.

Q. You do not remember this, then? You no longer have any recollection of this?

A. I do not remember any other.

Q. You made a presentation at one of these meetings?

A. No, that was not my assignment, we had...

Q. "No" will suffice.

I would like to tell you that in two statements, which are not today before the Court, but I would like you to confirm or deny this, Pohl and Bilfinger say that you chaired the meetings.

A. I was never in the chair. I was not even present at the first meeting. Bilfinger must have been in the chair there. Not someone from IVB4, because according to the minutes, the list of those present, no one from IVB4 attended.

Q. We have already heard all this, that on 3 March 1942 there was another meeting in the building, and that you were in fact present at it. I do not wish to go into this matter now. I am asking you whether it is correct that at the beginning of the meeting you were present, and that you kept coming in from time to time? Is that correct or not?

A. No, then I would in any case have been included in the attendance list, particularly since I did not dictate it, but someone else dictated the minutes.

Q. But in the minutes of the second meeting you do appear, and these minutes were kept by IVB4. Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. And not only you appear here for IVB4, but also Guenther, Suhr and Hunsche.

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. So why was it necessary for four gentlemen from Section IVB4 to be at this meeting?

A. That would not have been necessary, but the meeting was in fact held in the office building, and when meetings took place, I can imagine that everyone took advantage of the opportunity to have a break from their normal, dry paper work and join in here, where there were various representatives from other bodies with whom various things could be discussed. Four would certainly not have been necessary, since IVB4 had nothing to do with this in material terms, although it did in administrative terms.

Q. So why then was this meeting held in your offices, and at your invitation?

A. Well, Heydrich's order about this had been given. The documents are in fact available.

Q. Are you telling us that the only place on which Heydrich could decide that such meetings be held was precisely in your Section? In all the Departments or Sections which took part in the meeting was there no other place, no room for holding such a meeting?

A. For Department IV of the Head Office for Reich Security, Bilfinger was in overall charge of handling this matter. It would, therefore, have been logical to transfer the whole matter to Department II, but Department II had no accommodation available, it was very crowded in Albrechtstrasse, and so I was...not only in this instance, but in many instances Kurfuerstenstrasse was used as a building to which this and that could be shifted, not only official business, but also non-official matters. The documents do in fact show that neither I nor any of my staff said a single word about the subject matter.

Q. Heydrich personally informed Luther that the meeting on 3 March was organized and convened by you. Are you therefore arguing that the whole point of this letter was to notify Luther that only IVB4 had a room available which could accommodate ten to twelve people? Is that what you are trying to say?

A. I am not trying to say anything, because I cannot say anything about that. The documents speak for themselves, as the Wannsee Conference...

Q. No, would you please tell us how you can explain this - why Heydrich should write to Luther: "My Section Head has organized a meeting," all of this simply because you have a couple of rooms, while there are no rooms in Department II? Is that what you are arguing?

A. If I hypothesize about something today, this is something I can do if I am being interrogated, but if I am making a statement on oath here, there is no point in my hypothesizing. I would simply like to refer to the files and to what is in there, and what can be seen from that. This must be valid in this instance, because there are letters and seals, signed, and these are normal letters. And then there are also the minutes.

Q. Very well, that will do, I accept that. That is your explanation. Before we now proceed to the next chapter, I should like briefly to touch upon your links with the Operations Units. In your police interrogation you admitted that T/310, document No. 788, was drafted in your Section and then passed on to Kaltenbrunner for signature. Is that correct?

A. It was not drafted in IVB4. It is the outcome of the consultations between the officials-in-charge of the Foreign Ministry and Section IVB4, together with the other Sections in the Head Office for Reich Security, and in accordance with the instructions of the superiors - both Luther and also IVB4 - and this ordinance was then issued. Yes, that is correct.

Q. But you said that it was drawn up - that it was drafted - on page 1342, and you said that it was most probably Guenther or Suhr who drafted it.

A. In the meanwhile I have had the opportunity to study the matter on the basis of the documents.

Presiding Judge: Which page is this?

Attorney General: 1342.

Presiding Judge: No, no. Is that right? You must give shorter answers. This way we cannot make any progress. Let us just look at this - briefly say what you have to say.

Attorney General: Shall I show him the passage?

Presiding Judge: Certainly.

Attorney General: Here is the passage, on page 1342.

Presiding Judge: Have you read this? Page 1342; have you read it?

Accused: Page 1342? Oh, I was reading 1345.

Attorney General: But it is underlined. Why are you reading a different passage - it is underlined.

Accused: Today, I can elucidate this matter more exactly and precisely than I did at the time, when I did not have available to me the many documents which belong to this matter.

Q. So would you then explain which documents might have altered your opinion about the drawing up or drafting of this instruction.

A. Does the Attorney General mean the corresponding draft?

Q. Which document could today change your opinion about the drafting of this instruction, compared with what you said to the police a few months ago?

A. Yes - all the relevant documents with the heading "Treatment of Jews with Foreign Nationality" and which were dealt with before 5 March 1943. There are not very many of these - there would be around - I would estimate ten to twelve documents, and from this it can be seen quite clearly and undoubtedly how this matter came about. Unfortunately, I do not have the numbers of the documents here, but I could give them at a later stage, as I have them all together.

Q. Very well. I would, therefore, ask you to indicate these numbers and show them to me. But now you will, in any case, admit that this instruction, in which IVB4 also took part, was also sent to the Operations Units? Is that correct?

A. To every single body there was.

Q. And the same is also true for T/271 as shown there on page 5 - also an order from you from IVB4?

A. Yes, this is one of the precursors of this document, No. 788.

Q. All right, but it is also addressed to the Commanders of the Operations Units, is it not?

A. It is a draft, I would put it this way, for these documents.

Q. Now, you were present at a large meeting in a cinema when orders were issued to the Commanders of the Operations Units, where you not?

A. No - there were no orders issued there - the names of the leaders of the Operations Commandos were called out.

Q. And, I believe, their assignments or duties were also explained.

A. There was no mention of assignments and duties. The Heads of the Operations Units had already been notified of those earlier. But I only ascertained that later. I did, I believe, say in my statement that the leaders of the Operations Commandos were appointed, and today I can still remember this...

Q. Was Ohlendorf there?

A. I do not remember today, but it is unthinkable for the Operations Units Chiefs not to have been present.

Q. Who presided over this meeting?

A. As far as I know and can remember - Streckenbach. But I cannot say for certain. It is also possible that Heydrich discussed this and read out the names, but I believe it was probably Streckenbach.

Q. How many persons were present?

A. Almost all of the Section Heads of the Head Office for Reich Security were present, and the Department Chiefs. And perhaps there were also other officials-in-charge, but I do not know. In any case, the cinema auditorium was full. I sat in the back, in the last row, or last row but one. That I still remember.

Q. That was before the outbreak of the Russo-German war, was it not?

A. That must have been just before then.

Q. And there was reference there as to what were to be the organizational preparations for the activities of the Operations Units, right?

A. No. As far as I know announcements were made there as to who were the leaders of the Operations Commandos, not leaders of the Operations Units, but leaders of the Operations Commandos. And the reason why I know this is...

Presiding Judge: You were asked whether there was any reference there to the duties of the Operations Units or Operations Commandos. It does not matter whether they were Operations Units or Operations Commandos, it is the same thing. Was there any reference made there to that or not?

Accused: No, there was no such reference. And I can prove why I know that there was no such reference to that...

Presiding Judge: We do not want any proof. That means that all these men had been gathered together in the cinema simply to be notified as to who was being appointed Chief of an Operation Commando? Right?

Accused: That is how I found out about this, because I myself wanted to be an Operation Commando leader.

Presiding Judge: Yes, that we know.

Attorney General: Really, you made efforts in that direction?

Accused: Efforts did not help. One had to wait and see if one's name was called out, and because I imagined that a leader of an Operation Commando on the Eastern Front meant a military assignment, I was all enthusiastic. And then I was disappointed not to have been called up - I still remember that vividly.

Q. At this meeting, was there talk of the organizational preparations which had already been made for using the Operations Units?

A. I do not know what was discussed there, but in any case there was no talk of duties, otherwise I would have known of it.

Q. I am referring to the organizational preparations for using the Units.

A. As to organization, I do not know what was talked about, and whether in fact anything was talked about. What I do know I have already said.

Q. At the police interrogation you remembered somewhat more, did you not? Look at your Statement. You said that there was also some reference there to organizational matters. Look at page 249.

Presiding Judge: Where is that, please, Mr. Hausner? Oh, I see, at the top.

Accused: Although I did not read about organizational matters, what I have said here is in fact more or less accurate, and I have in fact also said this now.

Attorney General: Very well, I am reading what it says here. And if you are saying that it is true, then say as much.

Accused: I do not read anything about organizational preparations...

Presiding Judge: The second paragraph from the top - please look at this. Page 249.

Accused: Yes, that is correct, this refers to the organizational work prepared long beforehand. It refers to the - how shall I put it - to the functional setting up of the commandos. This is also the only...this was the mainspring and the driving force, not only for me but for many - we wanted to get out and go to the front. And I have already said I was disappointed that I did not become a leader of an Operation Commando. So what I have said is correct, because I really can still remember this very vividly. This is one of the few things which I still remember.

Attorney General: And to this day you regret not having been appointed Commander of one of these Operations Units?

Accused: No - when at the time I heard that these were not commandos against the enemy, which go to the front, then I was utterly relieved to be back in Berlin again.

Q. We have already discussed the reports from the Operations Units. I do not wish to take up too much of the Court's time. From 20 June 1941 you received reports about the actions of the Operations Units?

A. Yes, I received a considerable number of such reports.

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