The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Adolf Eichmann

"...and the Jews inside would be poisoned."


Captain Avner W. Less was the Israeli police officer who interrogated Adolf Eichmann, prior to his trial and subsequent conviction in Jerusalem.

Comments, designated by brackets [], are those of the editor, Jochen von Lang.

Typos are mine, not the author's.

LESS: You have touched on the final solution to the Jewish question. Would you like to speak about it now, or about the war with Russia first.

At that time Reich Marshal Göring issued a document conferring a special title on the head of the Security Police and the SD. I'm trying to remember the wording. Was it "Deputy Charged with the Final Solution," or was it "with the Solution of the Jewish Question?"

Globocnik sent for a certain Sturmbannführer Höfle, who must have been a member of his staff. We went from Lublin to, I don't remember what the place was called, I get them mixed up, I couldn't say if it was [See URL] Treblinka or some other place. There were patches of woods, sort of, and the road passed through - a Polish highway. On the right side of the road there was an ordinary house, that's where the men who worked there lived.

A captain of the regular police (Ordnungspolizei) welcomed us. A few workmen were still there. The captain, which surprised me, had taken off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves, somehow he seemed to have joined in the work. They were building little wooden shacks, two, maybe three of them; they looked like two- or three-room cottages. Höfle told the police captain to explain the installation to me. And then he started in. He had a, well, let's say, a vulgar, uncultivated voice. Maybe he drank. He spoke some dialect from the southwestern corner of Germany, and he told me how he had made everything airtight. It seems they were going to hook up a Russian submarine engine and pipe the exhaust into the houses and the Jews inside would be poisoned.

I was horrified. My nerves aren't strong enough ... I can't listen to such things... such things, without their affecting me. Even today, if I see someone with a deep cut, I have to look away. I could never have been a doctor. I still remember how I visualized the scene and began to tremble, as if I'd been through something, some terrible experience. The kind of thing that happens sometimes and afterwards you start to shake. Then I went to Berlin and reported to the head of the Security Police. (von Lang, 75-76)

(Ed. note: After discussing visits to Chelmo and Auschwitz, Less brings Eichmann back to Treblinka.knm)

Work Cited

von Lang, Jochen, ed., in collaboration with Claus Sibyll. Eichmann Interrogated: Transcripts from the Archives of the Israeli Police. Translated from the German by Avner W. Less. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1983.

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

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