The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 35
(Part 2 of 4)

Presiding Judge: Has he been mentioned before? I do not recall his name.

State Attorney Bach: I think that this Seidl was also mentioned in connection with Poland. He was one of those who together with Krumey, deal with the question of Festigung des deutschen Volkstums (Strengthening of German Folkdom) and the deportations. Seidl will also be mentioned again when we submit the chapter on Yugoslavia, where he dealt with the deportation of the Slovenes. These people turn up sometimes in one country and sometimes in another. But there are many documents relating to Seidl.

Now here it says that SS Sturmbannfuehrer Guenther "was most surprised that this (the sterilization) had been started without the knowledge of the Head Office for Reich Security. He declared that making the sterilized Jews available for work in the East, after the solution of the problem of mixed marriages, was out of the question and that the sterilized Jews would be deported just like the others." Not only had these operations been performed on these persons, but there is no reason not to deport them, says Guenther, and they too must be deported to the East. "The Jewish question in Europe has to be solved, because the Jew alone is responsible for the War and has to be removed from Europe, whether sterilized or not."

Only one last sentence, also from Guenther. There had been a proposal to leave behind some Jews who were important for industry in the Netherlands. Guenther says that "it is out of the question that several thousand Jews should be left in each country. All the Jews have to be removed from the occupied zones; they can just as well work for the munitions industry in the East." He says that "the same suggestions were also made from Greece, France, etc., but were rejected.

Presiding Judge: Where was the Accused at that time? Why did he not take part in this discussion?

State Attorney Bach: This may have been a question of rank. That was Werner, an assistant of Zoepf. This is also the reason why we find that the report is submitted to Zoepf, to Harster and to Miss Slottke. When the experts themselves travel, they talk to Eichmann. When it is the assistants of the experts who travel, they talk to assistants, although Guenther, Novak and Hunsche were, of course, top echelon immediately after Eichmann.

Presiding Judge: The document will be marked T/554.

State Attorney Bach: Our next document is No. 1070, a letter from the same Werner, assistant of Zoepf. By the way, the Court will note that they sign: Den Haag, IVB4. This is what they called the office in the Netherlands identical numbering, but this is the Dutch office IVB4. And Werner writes to IVB4 in Berlin, to Novak, and enquires whether 200 persons, who are concentrated in the Jewish camp of Westerbork, may be sent to Theresienstadt or whether they have to be transferred to Bergen-Belsen. This demonstrates who had to make the decision about the destination and purpose of the transport of these people.

Presiding Judge: Please do not mix arguments and submission of documents. This will be marked T/555.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 463, exhibit T/37(270). It is a letter from Harster to the Reichskommissar, the representative of the Reich. He states that Jews cohabiting in mixed marriages, with or without children, in the Netherlands will be exempted from the obligation of wearing the Star of David on proof of their sterility. Then he states the address to which Jews and Jewesses who want to be medically examined or sterilized have to be directed: The Central Jewish Hospital in Amsterdam.

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/556.

State Attorney Bach: The page in the statement of the Accused is 3232.

The next document is our No. 603. It was shown to the Accused and the number is T/37(204). It is a letter from the Accused to Harster. He refers to a consultation about the Vught camp, where there are still 2,400 Jews.

"It is agreed that these Jews are to be evacuated gradually to the East (Auschwitz concentration camp) within the next few weeks, while avoiding major interference with production, unless the consultation planned for the next few days between the commander of Hertogenbosch concentration camp and SS Obergruppenfuehrer Rauter leads to a different result."
Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/557.

State Attorney Bach: There follows an instruction: "I request the 700 Jews* {*The 700 so-called preferred Jews in Barneveld} be seized for the holding camp Bergen-Belsen."

Judge Halevi: It is interesting here that the conversation took place in the Wirtschaft-Verwaltungshauptamt (Head Office for Economic Administration), Pohl's office. I think that, in his interrogation, the Accused kept saying that the destruction of the Jews was Pohl's affair, not his.

State Attorney Bach: It is correct that from the administrative point of view the Wirtschaft- Verwaltungshauptamt had a certain measure of authority over the camps. For instance, on matters concerning Jews there had to be coordination. But, in compliance with the Presiding Judge's remark, I do not, at present, wish to comment. When the time comes we shall have something to say about coordination between the two offices. The present letter will, of course, be one of the documents relevant to this point.

The next document is our No. 592; it was shown to the Accused and numbered T/37(206). Werner again reports about a conversation, a discussion and consultation with SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Novak in the Head Office for Reich Security. I shall only read the first sentence; there are minute details here about the coordination procedures, which need not be read out. "In the consultation with Novak I pointed out that, in accordance with information from SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Haas - Bergen-Belsen camp - no more Jews can be received there." New barracks had already been requested. "...has already approached the Head Office for supply of barracks for the Bergen-Belsen camp." There is also mention here of 400 Palaestinajuden who are at a certain stage to arrive in Bergen-Belsen.

Presiding Judge: Under number 6, the Protestant Jews (Evangelische Juden) are mentioned.

State Attorney Bach: The Palaestinajuden - this ties up with Dr. Melkman's testimony.

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/558.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 606, which was shown to the Accused as No. T/37(189). It is a letter from the Accused to the Commander of the Security Police - Naumann. At a certain stage Naumann replaced Harster. This Naumann had been Commander with the Einsatzgruppen before he became Commander of the Security Police in the Netherlands. "As has been learned here in strict confidence, passports or immigration certificates have been issued to a number of Jews living in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and in Westerbork camp through the intermediary of the Joodsche Raad (Jewish Council) and other private persons." Here follows a list of persons: Passports for Ecuador - to Koppel, Sussman and others; a passport for Haiti; passports for Honduras; several certificates for Palestine; some passports for Paraguay together with the names of the persons who received them. The Accused continues: "Furthermore, through the Jewish Council and through private persons named hereafter, passports and certificates were delivered to the following Jews, whose exact addresses are not known, but who are assumed to be living in Amsterdam." Here follows again a list of passports. He requests that each of these cases where passports were issued be checked.

He speaks about preventive measures to be taken. "As preventive measures I request to decree the following for the Westerbork camp: (1) The right to correspond accorded to the Jews is restricted to one postcard per month per Jew, to be put into effect immediately; (2) the text has to be clear and limited to a greeting or an unimportant piece of personal information." There are some further instructions. "For the purpose of clarifying the general aspects of the matter, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Moes will come to you for consultation in the near future." Signed - Eichmann. Moes is also one of his assistants, a man of whom he speaks a lot, and indeed, Moes arrived in the Netherlands and was active there.

The Accused testified about this document on page 2315, and on page 2319 he was asked whether he remembered that he in fact gave this order to restrict the right to correspond from Westerbork camp, and he replies: "Die Anordnungen wurden jetzt von mir erteilt, jawohl" (The orders were now given by me, yes).

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/559.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 301. Here we have a request from the Swedish Legation to the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin for a death certificate for a man, a Jew named Leefmans, who died in Auschwitz concentration camp. This certificate is needed, so it is said, for the purpose of payment of insurance. This was shown to the Accused - as number T/37(78). This document is transmitted to Section IVB4, and Guenther sends the required certificate. Earlier on, about two weeks ago, we submitted another document in which it was stated that a death certificate for a person who died in a concentration camp - that the office which has to give such certificates is the same office which sent him there.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/560.

Judge Halevi: Which previous document are you referring to?

State Attorney Bach: I shall clarify this. I think it was already among the general documents which we submitted in the beginning. But I shall look into this point.

The next document is No. 602. Now the Accused himself arrives in the Netherlands. And here we have a memorandum on a meeting which took place on 10 November 1943, the participants being SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, the authorized representative of the Reich Diamond Office, Assessor Hahnemann, and Zoepf. The discussion concerns the fate of the diamond merchants, who had a special position at first because they were needed for the diamond industry, and also for another purpose. And here it says: "The Jewish diamond workers are to be left free for the time being, and their relatives are to be concentrated in Westerbork."

Presiding Judge: That is to say, not only the diamond merchants but also the diamond workers.

State Attorney Bach: I think that the workers were actually important for the German industry. "Releases or arrests, respectively, of family members are to be carried out as in List A." In order to make sure, nevertheless, that these people will be at the disposal of the Germans if needed, the families are to be arrested in any case. This memorandum was also transmitted to the Accused.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/561.

State Attorney Bach: The number of the page in the statement is 2449.

State Attorney Bach: The next number is 506, T/37(207). Zoepf reports about a further meeting between Eichmann and Hahnemann, in which Eichmann is informed that a secret order has been given, according to which it is no longer the BdS in The Hague who is to deal with Jewish matters, but the Official in Charge (der Beauftragte) Dr. Schroeder, together with SS Sturmbannfuehrer Lages. I should like to explain here that Sturmbannfuehrer Lages had a special function: He was the KdS (Commander of the Security Police) in Amsterdam. While Harster - later Naumann - was BdS for the whole of the Netherlands, Lages was Commander of the Security Police in Amsterdam only. And now this man Schroeder, together with Lages, was appointed to deal with the Jews. Eichmann was very annoyed: "No information has been received through service channels about such an arrangement. Besides, the representative of the Head Office for Reich Security" - i.e. Eichmann - "has expressed the view that it would be contrary to the orders of the Reichsfuehrer-SS and also illogical if, at this late stage, the Jewish question, which was declared a matter for the Security Police by the Reich Commissioner himself, were now to be dealt with by other authorities. I have therefore merely taken note of the two communications."

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/562.

State Attorney Bach: Another meeting - our No. 1352. This is a meeting in The Hague. The participants: SS Brigadefuehrer Naumann, SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, SS Sturmbannfuehrer Zoepf and SS Obersturmfuehrer Gemmeker. Gemmeker was commander of Westerbork, as we heard today. The document states:

"(a) In Westerbork, about 600 Jews waiting for punishment and 400 Jews intended for Palestine exchange are ready for transportation to Auschwitz; (b) about 1,300 Jews who have been put in readiness for Theresienstadt can be dispatched from Westerbork; (c) in accordance with information from SS Gruppenfuehrer Glueck, the Jews left in Hertogenbosch concentration camp, with the exception of diamond cutters, furriers and metal graders, will be deported to Auschwitz concentration camp on 13.11.43."
I shall read only one more paragraph, (h), marked by an arrow in the German document: "An attempt is being made, through increasing the premium per head, to increase considerably the monthly arrests of Jews in hiding." That is also one of the points decided by these gentlemen, to raise the premium per head.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/563.

State Attorney Bach: The Court will see, I am sure, that about the "diamond Jews" it is said (by the participants in the meeting) that they do not accept the arrangement as definite, and that the final decision must be taken by the Reichsfueehrer-SS.

Judge Halevi: Who are the "Palestine Jews" - are these more Jews for the purpose of exchange?

State Attorney Bach: There were 400 Jews there in readiness for Auschwitz. That was number (a): Abtransport nach Auschwitz (deportation to Auschwitz), they are in Westerbork; 600 Jews who have to be punished; and 400 "exchange Jews."

Judge Halevi: But they are mentioned again in paragraph (d). Who are these people?

State Attorney Bach: They really seem to be the Jews who were afterwards sent to Bergen-Belsen. One of them is the witness Dr. Melkman. I assume that this also includes him. He was at that time already there, and he was sent to Bergen- Belsen, and he is one of those who were on the Palaestina Austausch (Palestine exchange) list, so that he is certainly included among these 1,000 Jews.

One more individual decision: Our No. 130, T/37(18), page 596 in the statement. To von Thadden: "The treatment of the members of the family of the Jew Hochheimer is at present under consideration. It is, however, not intended to grant them permission to emigrate. I shall send further information at the proper time." Signed: Eichmann.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/564.

State Attorney Bach: Now, Your Honours, our No. 607 - T/37(209). It says that somebody from the Ministry for Armament and Munitions has asked for the release of seven Jews who are to occupy themselves with the purchase of metals hidden in the country: Lichtenstern, Sachs, Oberlaender and others. It was explained to him that a release of arrested persons is out of the question, in view of the advanced stage of the removal of the Jews from the Netherlands. However, an exceptional gesture would be made, and the matter would be deferred until clarification of the question of the "diamond Jews." And now the most important sentence: SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Moes, the representative of the Head Office for Reich Security, Berlin, who took part in these negotiations - the man whom Eichmann had sent there - was asked to send a telegram from Berlin saying that the release or deferment of the above-mentioned Jews is refused.

Presiding Judge: Here we have the signature of that Miss Slottke for the first time.

State Attorney Bach: Yes, she took down the minutes. It was decided there not to say no. They sent Moes and asked for a telegram from Berlin which would forbid the release of those people.

Presiding Judge: T/565.

State Attorney Bach: Your Honours, such a thing does not have to be said twice: In document 608 the telegram arrives. Document 608, which is also T/37(205), is a telegram from Guenther saying that, in view of the imminent total removal of all Jews from the Netherlands, it is impossible to grant the request of representative so-and-so and of such and such Jews (the names of the Jews are given here), and they have to be returned. Furthermore, it is requested that the Jews already acting as buyers of metals, etc., be immediately arrested and returned to Westerbork camp.

Presiding Judge: T/566.

State Attorney Bach: Page 2426 in the statement.

And now document No. 610, on the same subject. Following Guenther's telegram, Zoepf writes to Aus der Fuenten in the Central Office for Jewish Emigration, and again the contents is the same: In view of... etc., these Jews have to be returned to Westerbork; later on they are to be sent to Theresienstadt, etc.

Presiding Judge: T/567.

State Attorney Bach: Here I also draw attention to the channels of communication: Zoepf - Guenther, Guenther - Zoepf, Zoepf - Aus der Fuenten. That was the procedure for transmitting instructions.

The next document, No. 622, is also No. T/37(198). Zoepf writes to the Judenlager (Jewish camp) Westerbork about a consultation with SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Moes from the Head Office for Reich Security and names some Jewish buyers, Heimann and others, who had earlier been active in a certain organization, who are at present detained in Amsterdam, and are to be taken to Westerbork. He also gives instructions on how they are to be treated there, they are to be accorded a certain preference in conformity with their qualifications; page 2366 in the statement.

Presiding Judge: T/568.

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