The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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

Q. Please read the passage on page 277, with the words "inwieweit hatte" (to what extent).


"To what extent did I as Section Head of Section IVB4 of the Gestapo Department" - that is how it should read - "have to do at all with the concentration camps. First, up to the point where the Gestapo Department also had to decide on individual cases, up to approximately the end of 1941, because then the order came to act summarily and from that time when the Fuehrer's order was issued for physical extermination...during the first period, the Reichsfuehrer...starting with the time when the first concentration camps were set up, in any case at the time when the people who later became bigwigs were still small fry, at that time they already drew up some guidelines, which were then in part further elaborated on, adopted, and also in part withdrawn. There resulted a list, more or less, of the measures which were to be applied if a Jew became known to the Gestapo for race- defiling relations, if he was involved in smuggling foreign exchange, etc., i.e., offences in various areas of life of the German people. There, ordinances were issued. These ordinances already existed, or were constantly supplemented, expanded or revoked, by the Reichsfuehrer. There were few hostile acts which had to be dealt with, where the supreme Chief himself went into the details as much as in the case of Jewish affairs. All the laymen had to do...if someone, a District Leader or just X or Y on some occasion, say when dining together, approached the Reichsfuehrer, he immediately went into it and personally drew up his ordinance, which might even contradict those he had previously issued. Other matters were dealt with under the law. The Gestapo or the Police regional headquarters wrote to the Gestapo Department, Jew X or Y had done X or Y. It is proposed to transfer him to the concentration camp. I, the..."
Attorney General: "Head of the Stapo office asks for instructions."


"Head of the Stapo office: Request for instructions. Now this matter came to me. My government official Woehrn, or one of my police inspectors or Police Inspector Moes, the other name I forget now - they now processed this case, this all right, can the Jew be assigned to the concentration camp or is it not sufficient. All right. Assignment to the concentration camp according to the ordinance of the Reichsfuehrer of X.Y. Reply to the office: as per Ordinance of X.Y, Jew X.Y. is... Now this letter did not go from IVB4, from the Department Chief, to the Munich State Police Regional Headquarters, to the effect that the Jew is to be transferred to X.Y. This draft letter instead now went to the Protective Custody Section, in Department IV. This was headed by a Government Counsellor and Detective Superintendent. Now he...he now, in turn, either signed himself, or got the Department Chief's signature, and then passed down the requisite instruction. Normally what happened subsequently was that the Central Registry of Department IV took all such letters which went from subordinates, or also from superior bodies, to the Gestapo Department, the Registry clerks immediately placed these in the tray of the Protective Custody Section, and not in the tray of IVB4, so this man first received this enquiry and then dealt with this matter as my officials-in-charge would also have dealt with it, and I or my permanent deputy simply had to co-sign, i.e. had to sign for clearance purposes.

"The Protective Custody Section could not take decisions in matters of substance. It was simply a form of extended Registry. That is why there was no Government Counsellor there, but only a Government Counsellor and Detective Superintendent. He also was not should read...the higher echelons. I, of course, was primarily jointly responsible. I also had to have the matter checked by my official-in-charge, as to the aspects under which the Jew could or could not be sent to a concentration camp. Later, in order to simplify matters, things were arranged in this way, and we only needed to sign, because there were in fact dozens of cases."

Q. Did you say that?

A. In this form, I do not know whether I said that. In part it is even factually correct, and in part it is incorrect. That is what I can say about this. In fact I have even stated this in part in my evidence here.

Q. Yes, in part.

A. And the accuracy of it can be gathered from the official records.

Q. Yes. We are coming to an end in this matter. Another two quotations, if I might. In this case, there are also many corrections on page 246, 247. I suppose you will admit that there are many corrections and even additions of entire words by you in your own handwriting, right? For example, the words "I no longer remember the precise designation of the Section, etc." Did you write that? That is correct, is it not?

A. Yes, but I am wondering. These are parts for which I cannot give any guarantee, because I do not know whether I was not on...on parts, where there are correction slips, there are altogether 200 correction slips here, that would be somewhat more accurate and somewhat - let us say more verifiable. I cannot, in fact, in any way verify these matters, because the possible sources of error are enoromous, quite apart from the circumstances which I have already described.

Q. We have already heard that before. And now, after all these reservations, would you be so kind as to read out the passage I have marked, the one beginning with the word "damit" (by that).

A. Yes. "That means that for the Protective Custody Division Heads in our Department IV there was no..." Yes, well, this is taken out of context, so I have taken the liberty of seeing what comes before it. This was Section IVA etc... I forget the precise designation of that Section.

Q. Is that in your handwriting?

A. Yes.

Q. Yes, please read on.

A. "IVB4, that was the subsection of my Section, I had subsection IVB4a and IVB4b..." This entire sentence is gibberish.

Q. Was that A?

A. "A, one IVB4a was Government Counsellor Suhr..." again, that is not correct, as I have found out.

"And after he left, Government Counsellor Hunsche. And IVB4b was Guenther, who combined this function with his position was my permanent deputy. IVB4a was the ascertaining of hostility to the people and the State, revocation of German nationality, confiscation of property, i.e. State Police Office X applied to the Head Office for Reich Security in accordance with an implementing decree of...Reich President for the Protection of the People and the State, the ascertaining of hostility to the State of Jew Y - not only for Jews, but the categories to which this law applied, a law which was later expanded by amendments and amending decrees.

"Ascertaining hostility to the people and the State, and revocation of German nationality, and then, if everything was in order, there was automatically confiscation of property. And this person in question might long since have left the concentration camp or Reich borders. But he might also still be on Reich territory and in fact have been moved to police custody. Now, the State Police described precisely and in detail why it was making this application for ascertainment, with specific reasons why person so-and-so should have this law applied to him, and so on and so forth. Normally, the list of assets was attached to the copy, or the matter of assets was rendered almost fully by copying the investigation itself. What the official in charge handling...these matters were dealt with only by jurists with the subordinates available to these jurists; there was always a Government Counsellor, and also an Assessor. When Suhr was a Government Counsellor, Hunsche was an Assessor: when Hunsche became a Government Counsellor, an Assessor joined..."

I have put a circle here with a 38, i.e. slip 38. "there was also a Rhinelander, and they had their own staff for these matters - it was a routine sort of job."

Q. Did you say that?

A. I would have said something along these lines, but you can see the gibberish here, turned into a real concoction. It is always like this...but this time I did not notice...a little word..."ein" or "kein"...if a little word like "nicht, is left out or added incorrectly - then the meaning is entirely different.

Q. At this stage I would ask you to also read out the characteristics you gave your assistants. Where there are corrections by you, including the pages which I would ask you to read out. For example page 226 at the top.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Attorney General, is this the last passage?

Attorney General: Yes.

Presiding Judge: Is it long?

Attorney General: No, these are three short passages. I regret having to take up the Court's time with this: I would ask for the Court's permission.

Presiding Judge: All right.

Attorney General: Accused, please look at page 226 - there are corrections by you there; page 277 - there words have been added, by you; 221 also - corrections by you; and 223 - there are two numbers of slips here, added by you, right? Is all that correct?

Accused: On 222 there are even corrections in some other handwriting, as I can see.

Q. I shall never ask you to accept responsibility for corrections made by any other hand. I hold you responsible only for your own corrections. Would you now please read out the four lines on page 226, at the top - where you describe Guenther.

A. Just a moment, please. "...because Guenther was the personification of toughness, and a weakling, like Wisliceny and also Krumey, was not to Guenther's taste. Once Guenther was beaten half-dead by the Regional Police...

Q. You wrote something in here...

A. Yes, I wrote something. But I cannot make it out...

Q. Thueringen, right?

A. Ah, yes, Thueringen - quite right " the Thueringen Regional Police" - then I think this is "during" - there is something written above the "during" -"during the seizure of power..."

Q. "...before the seizure of power..."

A. "...before the seizure of power..." I have not managed yet "...and then spent more time in prison than in freedom."

Q. All right. Now on the page before, at the bottom, you described the characteristics of Wisliceny and Krumey - would you please read this out.

A. Page 225, last paragraph.

Q. Yes.

A. "Wisliceny and Krumey" - this should probably read Abromeit - "'Adoleid' and Richter were people whom I first had to convince - or tried to convince - who did not accept everything as it was ordered" ...there is one word which is illegible "...who always had another 'even if'...who always had another 'if' or a 'but'...which excessively annoyed not only myself, but also my permanent deputy, Guenther, in Berlin...Guenther himself, whom I must call as a witness in this instance, will confirm what I have said..."

Q. "...he himself..."

A. "...he himself in individual executive measures, with which he was entrusted - that he (illegible) worked... had major difficulties with his group of individuals, and if I think about it properly now, I must tell you that Wisliceny was never particularly keen on Guenther - the passive sufferer."

Presiding Judge: What was that last bit?

Accused: It is rather mixed up, but in any case it does not make sense: "...that Wisliceny was never particularly keen on him - the passive sufferer..." This does not make sense because it says: "I must tell you, that Wisliceny was never keen on him" - i.e. Guenther - "the passive sufferer" - once again the typist has messed this up...

Attorney General: Now the last two paragraphs which have just been read out: did you say this or something similar?

Accused: Well, it may have sounded similar, but when I read this, all of these passages, I cannot help feeling that I am reading Joseph Pilzer letters or another story by Ludwig Thoma, I am irresistibly reminded of this by these passages...the whole tale gives me the impression...and then there is the factual inaccuracy. This is an attempt by someone who has been out of things for many years to suddenly somehow feverishly patch something together, and construct something that can somehow be turned into a book.

Judge Halevi: I have a question here to the Accused: Where is Guenther now?

Accused: I do not know where Guenther is. Since the War I have not seen either of the two Guenthers...

Judge Halevi: No, no, I mean this Gunther, a description of whom you gave here.

Accused: I do not know. I made many enquiries about him, but I never obtained any information. I have not heard that he is dead, nor have I heard that he is alive. It is possible that he is alive, because I have not heard anywhere that he is dead. I cannot say any more about this.

Presiding Judge: I should like to ask the Accused something further. When you said before, "that was patched together, Ludwig Thoma..."

Accused: I know, but...I state, but...that would also fit in.

Presiding Judge: No, no, I heard the expression from you. I did not catch it: patched on...

Accused: It was patched together by various cooks. What I said about it was that Sassen said something about it, the typist simply typed it up, and then something or other comes out of it.

Judge Halevi: Another question. I asked you about Guenther because you refer there to his statement that he could confirm the foregoing details, and you told me that you believe he is alive, because you have not heard anything about his being dead.

Accused: I can assume both...

Q. But here in what you said to Sassen you assumed that he was alive, and that he could back up or corroborate what you said.

A. That is my opinion. If he were alive, he would have to confirm this.

Q. I tended to believe - I assumed from this that you had received some information about him, or from him.

A. No, no information whatsoever.

Q. Another question I have concerns Mueller. What do you know about Mueller? Is he still alive, or not?

A. I have tried in various ways to consider this, and I have also been asked about it. I last saw Mueller before I had to withdraw to the Tyrol. I never heard anything further. I have read various things, and finally I thought that he had been killed in the Reich Chancellery -that was my assumption. In Argentina, I heard that it is possible that Mueller might have gone to Russia, and I was asked about this. But my opinion is not in any way an authoritative one, since I have no information as to how Mueller behaved during the period of the collapse, because at that time I just did not see him, and so I do not know anything myself. However, I would tend to assume that he took his own life; on the other hand I was asked about Mueller by an official, and I concluded again that if active enquiries are made about someone, perhaps there are indications available as to whether he is, in fact, still alive. Those were my personal reflections, but they cannot be based on any authoritative or relevant foundations.

Judge Halevi: Very well, thank you.

Attorney General: Now the last passage in this matter.

Would you please open at page 223, the last lines there. First of all on this page there is mention of Wisliceny and Abromeit and Krumey, and at the bottom of the page you say something about all three. Would you please read out to us what you said about the three of them: at the end of page 223. It is marked there. Please read out the last lines, which start with the words: "All these three."


"All these three were the opposite of me, peaceable, good citizens; all three were proud, happy wearers of uniforms; all three liked not to be bothered overmuch, and they all were doing their duty, as long as it did not involve overtime, and all three were prepared to stretch a point, if only they were left in their own blessed personal peace."
Q. Fine. Did you say that?

A. I would not have said: "unlike me they are peaceable citizens," because it was and is my assumption that I have always been a peaceable citizen, because if I had not been a peaceable citizen, I would doubtless have behaved like the rowdies in an entirely different fashion, which would have been reported on.

Q. But apart from these words, which you would reject, the rest is what you yourself said, is it not?

A. As far as the meaning is concerned it may be right. After all, I do not in fact know what I said at that time.

Presiding Judge: That brings us to the end of this, does it not?

Attorney General: Yes, it does. This afternoon I shall start cross-examining the Accused on the Hungarian chapter, and I shall try to conclude today.

Presiding Judge: Very well. The Court will reconvene this afternoon at 3.30.

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