The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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

Presiding Judge: Where is this? In which paragraph?

State Attorney Bar-Or: On page 2. In paragraph 5 it says that in this connection, Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann declared that he had taken over the direction of the Reich Authority for Jewish Emigration, and that he was determined to let the emigration offices in Berlin, Vienna and Prague operate separately. None of these offices would be superior or subordinate to the other, Vienna would preserve its independence, and it was expected that the character of the Religious Community under public law would be assured until the end of 1940. This was, of course, a matter of special interest to Dr. Loewenherz.

In paragraph 7 he says he told Eichmann that the progress in emigration depended in large measure on the release of prisoners in protective custody in Buchenwald and Dachau. He also told him about the news arriving from there about cases of death, and that in the Community there were unprecedented scenes of despair among the bereaved. In reply to a question by Eichmann in this matter, Loewenherz said that since the autumn 355 deaths were reported, and that the burial of the urns was being carried out by the cemetery office of the Community, which caused feelings of shock. Eichmann said that he did not deal directly with the concentration camps, but asked Loewenherz to inform him in writing about the matter by 27 December. Eichmann also informed Loewenherz that he would divide his time, spending two weeks every month in Berlin and the other two weeks in Vienna, Prague, and the Generalgouvernement in Poland. This is in paragraph 13.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/798.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I pass on to No. 1140. Again a memo by Dr. Loewenherz about a meeting with Eichmann on 26 January 1940. I direct your attention to paragraph V: The Jewish Community in Moravska Ostrava has informed Eichmann that they have spent 300,000 Reichsmark for setting up the camp in Nisko; Loewenherz says he was told to contact the Community in Moravska Ostrava and to demand from it, on the basis of this report, an exact summary of the expenses and the purpose for which the various sums were used.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/799.

State Attorney Bar-Or: And finally, in paragraph VII, one more question - whether the Jews who were taken to the territory of Poland would be given a chance to return to Vienna.

I go on to document No. 1411, a minute about a meeting which took place in Eichmann's office in Berlin. Again there is mention of the release of the officials of the Community and the Palestine Office, who are still under arrest in the Buchenwald concentration camp. Eichmann asks that a request for their release be transmitted to him to Berlin (paragraph 5).

Paragraph 7 is also of interest. Loewenherz says:

"I asked for the release of Rabbi Dr. Arnold Israel Frankfurter from the Buchenwald concentration camp and stressed that he is apparently in protective custody only because of the name Frankfurter, but no doubt he has no connection with the attack on Gustloff. Eichmann gave me permission to submit a request for the release of Rabbi Dr. Frankfurter to him through the intermediary of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration."
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/800.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I proceed to document No. 1142, a meeting between Loewenherz and Brunner at the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Vienna. Brunner told him what he had heard in a telephone conversation with Eichmann about what is here called "the impending return of 152 persons from the relocation area in Poland."

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/801.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Our document No. 1143, again a meeting of Loewenherz with Eichmann in Berlin on 3 July 1940. Loewenherz is told to submit to Eichmann, within four weeks, statistics about the Jews living in Austria, their institutions, etc. As regards the financial affairs of the Community, Dr. Loewenherz is asked to appear before Eichmann on 4 July 1940, at 11 a.m. Again an urgent request is made for the release of the detainees in the concentration camp. Eichmann says that this is not possible now: "The same applies also to the further request that young detainees should be released from protective custody."

What is said here, in paragraph 4, about migration is of some interest:

"Eichmann said that efforts in connection with emigration via the Far East, and also via Lisbon, must be continued. However, after the end of the War, a comprehensive solution of the European Jewish question would presumably have to be sought. This would be a matter of about four million Jews. Eichmann then asked whether ideas or plans with this in view had already been discussed."
Today we know already what Loewenherz was asked to submit to Eichmann, what kind of data. During those months Eichmann was actually occupied with preparations for what was called "the Madagascar Plan."

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/802.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I go on to a minute in document No. 1144. I do not want to dwell on its contents, it is about a meeting with Untersturmfuehrer Brunner on 26 June 1940, and is of interest only because it has an annex. The annex shows how these minutes were transmitted to the Central Office for Jewish Emigration. The document is a covering letter with two annexes.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/803.

State Attorney Bar-Or: The Court will perhaps notice that this office transmits the minute on the same day on which the conversation was held, when everything was absolutely fresh in the minds of the writers.

Now we move on to document No. 1145. It is a letter from Loewenherz to the Central Office for Jewish Emigration dated 4 July 1940. He writes: "Concerning the visit of the undersigned Head of the Jewish Religious Community, Dr. Josef Israel Loewenherz, to SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann in the Head Office for Reich Security, Berlin, on 4 July 1940, at 11 a.m." Finally, "The attention of Mr. Brunner, of the office of the Special Plenipotentiary, has to be drawn to the need for submitting to Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann without delay the petition made in accordance with the latter's instruction."

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/804.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I go on to document No. 1146, a minute of 15 July 1940, signed by Dr. Benjamin Israel Murmelstein on behalf of the Head of the Jewish Community, about a meeting with Brunner on 13 July. Brunner requests that in future the minutes he has to receive, be submitted to him without a covering letter. This has to be understood in the light of what I have just submitted.

Presiding Judge: I do not follow that.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Until that date, it was apparently the custom to submit these minutes with covering letters. I can only assume that these annoyed Brunner, and therefore he asks for transmission of the minutes without addition.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/805.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I go on to document No. 126, a letter from the Accused to Rademacher dated 13 May 1941. The subject is "Letters of Recommendation for Jewish Emigrants via, or to, the Far East." This is only submitted in order to show the Court that Eichmann, although transferred to Berlin long ago, continues actively to control matters in Vienna as well, and not only in a general manner, as was the case with other Regional Headquarters of the Gestapo.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/806.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Let us go to document No. 548. The document was shown to the Accused and was marked T/37(165). The Accused speaks about this document, and another one which I shall submit immediately afterwards, in his Statement, beginning on page 2038. The subject of this correspondence is a Professor Emil Fleischmann, an academically qualified painter who lives in Vienna - his address is indicated. It is reported here that information has reached the German authorities by chance that applications have been submitted to the Minister of Culture of Afghanistan, apparently in connection with the employment of this man, or, at any rate, with his emigration from Vienna to Afghanistan.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/807.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Now let us look at document No. 549, in which Eichmann, on 28 February 1941, replies to the Foreign Ministry. It was marked T/37(166). Eichmann writes:

"With reference to your letter of 18 February 1941, I inform you that, in the meantime, I have instructed the Central Office for Jewish Emigration, Vienna, that the Jews Fleischmann and Kollmann, who are mentioned in the report of the German Legation for Afghanistan of 14 December 1940, are to be deported by one of the next trains, in the framework of the deportation of Jews from Vienna to the Generalgouvernement. The matter may thus be regarded as settled."
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/808.

State Attorney Bar-Or: And now - we made an effort to locate this Jew, Emil Fleischmann. In October 1960, we applied to the Austrian authorities, and especially to the Jewish Community in Vienna, and here, in Prosecution document No. 1240, it becomes clear what happened to Emil Fleischmann. These documents are proof of his deportation to the East. And thus he appears to this day in the Population Register in Vienna.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/809.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I proceed to document No. 1147, a minute from Dr. Loewenherz about his meeting with Brunner and Ebner dated 1 February 1941. The Court will remember that Ebner was the opposite number in the Gestapo in Vienna. Brunner was Head of the Central Office, and Ebner headed the Gestapo.

The conversation deals with the deportation of 10,000 persons from Vienna to the East: "It is intended to transfer part of the Jews who are living in Vienna to the Generalgouvernement. The Religious Community will be kept out of this operation, it will merely have to carry out the instructions given to it. 1,000 persons shall be dispatched with each transport." Paragraph 2 says: "The Central Office for Jewish Emigration is responsible for seizing the Jews who can be allotted to the individual transports, and for carrying out these transports in accordance with the orders it has received from higher authority." There follow specific instructions for carrying out the transports.

In the second part of paragraph 6 we read: "The proceeds of the sale of these properties is earmarked for covering the costs of relocation and emigration, as well as of the Final Solution of the Jewish Question." Thus writes Loewenherz. In paragraph 9 it says: "The Jews are forbidden to leave Vienna without special permission from the Central Office for Jewish Emigration..." Meanwhile, the retraining courses are to be dispersed.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/810.

Mr. Bar-Or: I go on to document No. 1634, an urgent letter dealing with the evacuation of the Jews from Vienna to the Generalgouvernement. It is of interest because it shows that the implementation of these measures remained actually concentrated in the Central Office for Jewish Emigration. This document comes from Section IVD4 and is signed by Eichmann. A copy was sent to the Regional Headquarters of the Gestapo in Potsdam, for their information.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/811.

State Attorney Bar-Or: And now, document No. 1148, another minute by Loewenherz about a meeting with Brunner on May 14 1941. Here Brunner says again that he will have to obtain instructions from SS Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann with respect to payments in connection with the relocation to the Generalgouvernement.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/812.

State Attorney Bar-Or: 1149, a minute from Loewenherz about a meeting with Brunner on 21 May 1941: Concentration of the Jews of Vienna in certain districts. This is actually the measure closest to the creation of a ghetto in Vienna that we know, the concentration of the Jews in the 2nd, 9th and 20th Districts of the city.

Presiding Judge: Which paragraph of the note is this?

State Attorney Bar-Or: The last one, paragraph 6.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/813.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 1150. Dr. Loewenherz and Dr. Eppstein of the Reichsvereinigung have been ordered to appear before Guenther and Suhr on 8 September 1941.

This is what they were told:

"In connection with the publication of the Police Order for the designation of the Jews..." - which I have already submitted to the Court - "the following is announced:

(1) The designation signs will be delivered to the Reich Association of the Jews in Germany on 16.9.1941 and to the Jewish Religious Community in Vienna on 17.9.1941. For the time being, one piece per person will be handed out. Until 15.10.1941 additional pieces will be delivered... At the time of distribution, the needs of individual cases have to be taken into account..."
And in paragraph 7 we read the following:
"It is pointed out expressly that exemptions from the compulsory designation are out of the question, and that therefore all applications in this matter are useless."
And attention is drawn to the penal provisions.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/814.

State Attorney Bar-Or: This was the first joint appearance of representatives from both Vienna and Berlin before officials of the office of the Accused in Berlin.

No.1151, a meeting with Brunner: The vacating of Jewish homes, which is explained by air attacks and deportations, this time to Ghetto Lodz. The first transport is to leave on 15 October and the last one on 11 November 1941. Altogether 5,000 Jews.

"Before departure," it goes on to say, "every Jew has to sign a power of attorney, similar to the procedure at previous transports. The property left behind by the relocated persons will be invested in their names, as was done before. The monies left behind at that time were deposited with the Laenderbank in the name of each individual by the Central Office for Jewish Emigration."

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/815.

Are there many more documents about Austria, Mr. Bar-Or?

State Attorney Bar-Or: There are more than ten. We could break off here.

Presiding Judge: It is possible to break off at any stage, is it not?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes.

Presiding Judge: So we shall break off here. As I said this morning, the afternoon Session is cancelled. I should also like to announce that on Friday we shall begin at 8.30 a.m. and finish earlier, at about 12.30.

The next Session is tomorrow, at 09.00 o'clock.

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