The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 43
(Part 1 of 7)

Session No. 43

2 Sivan 5721 (17 May 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the forty-third Session of the trial open. I have to inform you that there will be no Session this afternoon because of the funeral of Mr. David Rosolio, a relative of Judge Halevi. Please carry on, Mr. Bar-Or.

State Attorney Bar-Or: With the permission of the Court, we shall continue with additional documentary proof concerning the chapter of the German Jews during the War years. The first of our documents is No. 1602, a letter dated 17 April 1941, addressed by the representative of the Minister of Justice to Lammers of the Reich Chancellery. In it we find the first suggestion for the regulations I have already adduced in evidence, according to which Jews and Poles are being excluded from the ordinary rules of criminal jurisdiction and transferred, in fact, to police jurisdiction.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/711.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I pass on to document No. 140, which was shown to the Accused, T/37(35) - a letter from the Accused to the Stapoleitstelle in Duesseldorf, attention Dr. Venter. The subject is: Art objects belonging to Jews. Eichmann asks, in August 1941, to be informed what especially valuable art objects are still owned by Jews in the area of jurisdiction of the Leitstelle in order that it may be possible to acquire them - so he says - through public auction or purchase. I direct the attention of the Court to the handwritten marginal remark: Dr. Venter says here that, after a telephone conversation with Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann at the Head Office for Reich Security, the time limit for obtaining the information has been extended to 15 September 1941. The Accused discusses this matter, as well as the circumstances under which the letter was written, in his statement, beginning on page 726.

Presiding Judge: Do you not have a translation of this, so that the marginal remark which is not clear may be understood?

State Attorney Bar-Or: A translation was prepared, Your Honour. I indicated this in the margin. I have only one copy.

Presiding Judge: You will submit it later.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I shall submit it after the intermission.

He ascribes this whole matter to Reich Marshall Goering's appetite for art objects of this kind. He was apparently acting on his behalf.

Judge Halevi: Is this something out of the ordinary? Was this not the usual job of the Accused?

State Attorney Bar-Or: This is actually not unusual. We shall submit another document in connection with Jewish property of a different kind which was to be handed over to "Lebensborn" ('Source of Life') - this was an SS institution where children, generally those born out of wedlock, were brought up. When such Jewish property has to be located and transferred to the SS, one turns to Eichmann, although this has nothing to do with his operations. Why? Just as here - when there is something connected with Jews, Jewish property in Duesseldorf, finding something belonging to Jews - Eichmann is approached, he is the address.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/712.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Again I pass on to a document from the Gestapo file in Wuerzburg, No. 1275. In this document technical instructions were given to the three districts in Franconia, through the intermediary of the "Staatspolizeistelle Nuernberg-Fuerth" (State Police Office Nuremberg-Fuerth) concerning the evacuation of the Jews to the East. The nature of these instructions is similar to that of earlier instructions which we have already seen and to that of instructions still to be submitted.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/713.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Now for Prosecution document No. 504. We have seen, Your Honours, that the transports of German Jews to the East were usually accompanied by the "Ordnungspolizei" (Order Police). The man in charge of this part of the Police was Daluege. And here we have instructions from the Commander of the Order Police dated 24 October 1941, addressed to all offices in the Old Reich, the Ostmark (Austria), and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. This was in October 1941, immediately before the first great deportation to the East, the deportation of 50,000 Jews to the East, to the vicinity of Riga and Minsk. It says that the evacuations will be carried out in transport trains, one thousand persons to each train.

In paragraph (b) he refers expressly to what has been agreed with the Head of the Security Police and the SD, according to which he, the Head of the Order Police is given charge of guarding and keeping order on the deportation trains.

Judge Halevi: In what office did Daluege work?

State Attorney Bar-Or: He, too, of course, was in the Head Office for Reich Security.

Judge Halevi: In which department of it?

State Attorney Bar-Or: In the Hauptamt der Ordnungspolizei (Head Office of the Order Police).

Judge Halevi: That is not exactly the Department for Jewish affairs, is it?

State Attorney Bar-Or: No, no, he was in charge of police which operated mainly in the streets, and which was not concerned with criminal affairs or with special affairs such as Jews or espionage, etc.; it was the police for keeping order, the "uniformierte Polizei" (uniformed police), as it is called. They provided each train with the kind of escort we know - twenty men under an officer, and so on. The same procedure was in force for each transport. The same procedure was also followed in the countries of the West, as the Court will certainly remember.

Presiding Judge: What did you say here about some agreement...?

State Attorney Bar-Or: I mentioned the agreement with the Head of the Security Police and Security Service. It comes into operation only after instructions for deportation have been given, the very same instructions, as the Court can see from the Wuerzburg documents I have submitted, which rely on the Order Police for supervising and preserving order during the transport.

Judge Halevi: Is this the regular police of Germany?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes, this is the regular police, the Schupo (protective police), which one sees in the streets.

Judge Halevi: Everyday (police)?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes.

Judge Halevi: That is not SS?

State Attorney Bar-Or: That is not SS. However, in the end, through the fusion of the Reichsfuehrung-SS with the German police, all this came under one roof.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/714.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I pass on to document No. 92, which is actually a group of three documents, as the Court will see. First, there is a note here, of 28 October 1941, signed by Rademacher, for the attention of State Secretary von Weizsaecker, through Luther. Now we can see the exact hierarchical order: The specialist on the Jews in this department in the Foreign Ministry is Rademacher, his immediate superior is Luther, whom we have already met and shall meet again, and finally the permanent Director General, Staatssekretaer von Weizsaecker. The subject here is deportation from Germany of Jews of German nationality, or nationals of another European state. And this is the text of the letter which is finally sent to Eichmann on 10 November 1941: "In accordance with your telephonic enquiry, instructions have been given to the German ministries in Bucharest and Agram [Zagreb], for reasons of courtesy, to leave it to the governments of Slovakia and Croatia, respectively, to recall the Jews of their nationalities from Germany within a suitable time limit, or to have them deported by Germany to the ghettos in the East. Further information will be given after receipt of the opinions of these governments." This is the beginning of negotiations which twice led to the extension of time limits given to foreign governments for recalling their Jews from the Reich, lest they join, or rather be joined to, transports of German Jews to the East.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/715.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I go on to document No. 404, a letter from the Minister, or Representative, of Germany in Bucharest, von Killinger, to the Foreign Ministry, dated 13 November 1941. This is already a reaction to what we have just seen. It says here that the embassy, or Killinger himself, has been in touch with Antonescu in Romania. The Romanian Government informs the Reich Government that, insofar as Jews of Romanian nationality residing within the Reich area are concerned, the Romanian Government has no objection to their being attached to transports of German Jews to the ghettos in the East.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/716.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Now I come to document No. 1276 - instructions from the Regional Headquarters of the State Police Nuremberg-Fuerth to the four Aussenstellen (field offices) in Wuerzburg, Bamberg, Bayreuth and Coburg, concerning the evacuation of the Jews from the Old Reich.

This was also a continuation of the first great evacuations of the end of that year. Here reference is made to earlier consultations at the Head Office for Reich Security on 31 October 1941. The subject is the need to collect a special payment from the Jews marked for evacuation, in addition to the other dues. I shall explain presently what this special payment was for. The procedure in connection with the property rights of the Jews is discussed, how this is to be handled, and exact schedules are fixed for the departure of the railway carriages from each of the branches belonging to the Regional Headquarters of the Gestapo, Nuremberg. We shall see that in the case of these transports the Section of the Accused himself was responsible vis-a-vis the German Railway Administration for the payment of the transport costs, but these could not be defrayed from the confiscated property, because this went to the Finance President in each district. In order to cover the transport costs, the Jews had to be told: Give more. We shall see later what the Jews were told, why they had to contribute. And in the end, this is also the secret of the special account called "Sonderkonto W" (Special Account W).

Judge Halevi: And why was this also sent to the mayors of the cities of Bamberg, Bayreuth and Coburg, in each case to the criminal department of the municipality?

State Attorney Bar-Or: I assume that they operated there, in those Bavarian cities, under the municipal authorities.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/717.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Another document from the Gestapo file in Wuerzburg is our No. 1285. The Court will see here with what precision exact lists are prepared regarding every single Jew. We could have added much more to that, but we preferred to take only one example from all these files, so that the Court should have a picture of how the instructions of the Accused were carried out in each place.

I direct the attention of the Court in particular to the last page. Here there were, of course, special problems; it was evidently necessary to expropriate the property of minors, and these minors could, in fact, not receive orders from the execution offices, and were therefore represented by legal representatives who were appointed for this purpose and who are mentioned on the last page under gesetzlicher Vertreter (legal representative).

Presiding Judge: This will be T/718.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I now come to document No. 739, which was shown to the Accused and marked T/37(229). The document carries the marking IVB4a and is dated 17 November 1941. It is addressed to all the Regional Headquarters of the Gestapo except Prague and Bruenn, to the Central Office for Jewish Emigration, attention SS Obersturmfuehrer Brunner, or his acting deputy in Vienna, and for information to the senior SS and police leaders - except Oslo, The Hague, Cracow and Prague - and finally to the various offices and units of the Head Office for Reich Security. According to what is said here, these are instructions given by the Section of the Accused, over the signature of Mueller, concerning restriction of control over movable property by Jews. Almost total restriction, complete sequestration of their own possessions in the banks and of movable property of all kinds. Mueller attaches Heydrich's instructions of 11 December 1941, also marked IVB4a.

Perhaps it is sufficient for the purpose of illustration if I direct the attention of the Court to the last passage in Mueller's own letter, to which he attaches the general instructions given in this matter, and he says: "For Austria the instructions given have to be implemented by the Staatspolizeileitstelle Vienna, in cooperation with the Central Office for Jewish Emigration, the Juedische Kultusgemeinde Wien, being instructed accordingly." We see here, and we shall see it in other documents, that from the moment when Jews were concerned in any context whatever, the Gestapo in Vienna dealt with it to the very end through the Central Office for Jewish Emigration.

Presiding Judge: I see that this is signed by Heydrich, whereas Mueller signed the covering letter.

State Attorney Bar-Or: That is correct, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/719.

State Attorney Bar-Or: The Accused, to whom this document was shown, refers to it on page 1018 and the following pages.

Judge Raveh: In this document it says IVB4a. Earlier, in your document 140 of 14 August 1941, which deals with art objects, it is in fact IVB4b. Is there any explanation when it is (a) and when (b)? Here it is not a matter of churches and Jews, but apparently some different kind of division.

State Attorney Bar-Or: We shall show the Court that even from the "incoming" stamps on the mail in the office of the Accused one can discern that there is nothing accidental here. Here, in this Section of the Accused, there were Subsections (a), (b), and perhaps even more. It is very hard to establish who had the right to sign under designation (a) and under designation (b) at any given time. We know from the statements of the Accused that when he himself dictated something, he signed IVB4 and nothing more; the same goes for letters prepared or signed by Guenther. As for the (a) and the (b) added at the end - there were changes of personnel from time to time, but these were in fact Subsections belonging to the Section and the competence of the Accused himself.

I move on to Wuerzburg document No. 1277. These are organizational instructions for the evacuation of Jews which is to take place on 29 November 1941. It already refers expressly to the orders of the Reichsfuehrer-SS of October 31st, 1941, IVB4 (plus additional mark of identification). He says that "on 29 November 1941, 1,000 Jews have to be seized by the State Police Office Nuremberg-Fuerth from its own district for evacuation, and sent on their way by train." On page 6 we find the following: "The Jews arrested in their homes for evacuation are to be assembled in accordance with instructions and, after having been expediently loaded onto the lorries, they are to be taken straight to the transit camp." This is the Sammellager (assembly camp) described by the witness Ansbacher earlier. There follow instructions about what may be taken along, what has to be examined. Inter alia, it says on page 8: "They" - that is the Jews - "will be left only their identification card, a watch for daily use, and their wedding ring." We shall show the Court that even this was not observed: We shall find lists in which these articles also appear, taken from the Jews at the last moment.

Finally, I should like to direct the attention of the Court to one sentence here: "After getting dressed again" - following the body search - "each Jew or Jewess will be informed in Hall 4 about the seizure of his/her property by means of a certificate of service by the execution officer." This directive is important, in view of Regulation 11. It is important because, in accordance with the sham observance of the exact legal form of Regulation 11 under the Reich Citizenship Law, which we have discussed previously, these Jews would actually have to be told that when leaving the Reich they would cease to be subjects of the Reich, and ipso facto their property would now have to be confiscated as enemy property. This was done when they were still on German soil, before they entered the deportation trains, but it was done through the execution officer of the local courts, who served these Jews with the notice of confiscation on behalf of the competent local court.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/720.

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