The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 46
(Part 6 of 6)

State Attorney Bar-Or: He begins his statement with the words "I know that a specially appointed Standartenfuehrer," he calls him Standartenfuehrer "named Eichmann dealt with the implementation of the measures against the Jews in the headquarters of the SIPO (Security Police), and that the instructions about the treatment of the Jews were passed on through him." At the end, in the last paragraph, he mentions the camp in Sabac, about which we heard this morning. However, this witness does not know details.

Judge Halevi: Excuse me, in connection with the previous document: Mueller, who is mentioned there, is he not the same Mueller who was head of the Gestapo?

State Attorney Bar-Or: It is the Mueller who was the superior of the Accused. It says here: "Diese Meinung hat Mueller, der Gruppenfuehrer in Hauptstab der SIPO in Berlin..." (this is the opinion of Mueller, the Gruppenfuehrer in the headquarters of the SIPO in Berlin). There is no doubt that he was the superior of the Accused.

I go on to document No. 1437.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/895.

State Attorney Bar-Or: The importance of this testimony (by Teichmann) lies in the last passage on page 2. He speaks about the Sajmiste camp there. He knows that it was used for military purposes at the time of the operation on the Kozara. Later on the camp was used for housing Jews, whose concentration was ordered by the military administration and implemented by German and Serbian police. The Jews arrived in the camp in the autumn of 1941, and he says:

"Among the measures taken against the Jews in the camp itself, I do not remember that great numbers were shot in the course of reprisal executions; on the other hand, I know that part of them were transported to the Eastern zones, to the area of Lodz, and part were suffocated in gas chambers. I estimate the number of Jews killed by gassing in Sajmiste camp at 7,000 persons, taking into consideration that part had already left."
This is not a reference to gas chambers. We know from other evidence that gas vans were sent to Serbia by the Germans, and that these were taken into the camps, and it is about these that he speaks here. The 7,000 killed by gas were killed in gas vans in Serbia. They had been brought to Serbia from the East.

Presiding Judge: Do we have other evidence about these vans? Has it already been submitted?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes. If it was not submitted in the chapter dealing with the Einsatzgruppen, it will still be submitted. There is evidence independent of this testimony that five such vans were indeed sent to Serbia.

And now the examination of the SS and Polizeifuehrer, August Meisner, document No. 1435.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/896.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Here I should like to base myself on the last part of the document, @95Fortsetzung der Vernehmung (continuation of the interrogation), and I should like to draw your attention to certain sentences. He says here in the continuation of his interrogation:

"At the time when I was appointed Commander of the Police, there existed a section for Jews within the framework of the BdS, and I know that this section implemented the legal instructions about the procedure against the Jews, i.e., that it arrested the Jews."
Then he goes on to testify:
"For the treatment of the Jews, the BdS received orders directly from Berlin from the head office of the SIPO. The BdS informed me in general terms about all the instructions given, so that I was informed about how one had to deal with the Jews."
This passage is interesting: He is the Senior Commander of the SS and the Police, directly subject to the authority of the Reichsfuehrer-SS, it is true, but, where the treatment of the Jews is concerned, he receives information about instructions given by the office of the Accused - not from the head office, but through the BdS, who is of course one of his subordinates. He mentions Schefer, whom we shall meet again, who was in the top echelon of the BdS. He also mentions Teichmann and Weimann from among the senior assistants of the BdS.

The most important part is what comes next. He says:

"I know that Schefer informed me, I believe in 1942, that a special unit with a gas van had arrived in Sajmiste from Berlin, and that its task was to gas only Jews. The vehicle was used for two months or thereabouts, and in it Jews were killed by suffocation. Schefer and the so-called special unit were under strict orders to kill only Jews in the gas van. When the van with the gas chamber left Sajmiste, there were no Jews left there, as all of them had been liquidated in this way."
It should perhaps be said in parenthesis that some of these officers sometimes put forward the peculiar defence abroad, not only in Yugoslavia, that they had only killed Jews, a defence which of course generally did not help them.

I should like to direct your attention also to the end, where he says:

"I also learned from Schefer that in 1943 a special unit for the burning of bodies arrived, which had the task of burning bodies from mass graves. I do not exactly know the reason for this, but I assume that at that time, in the course of what he calls 'the Katyn campaign,' they wanted to remove all traces of mass murder. I do not know the numbers of bodies which were burned for this reason, but I assume that Schefer (of the BdS) took note of them..."
And finally, document No. 1493, Aleksander Benak. Here I shall refrain from giving details. Here we have a good description by one of the Ustashi about their methods of operating in Croatia in cooperation with the Germans.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/897.

State Attorney Bar-Or: And now some documents about Croatia and Slovenia, mostly Slovenia, after the German occupation. First, document No. 423.

Presiding Judge: Was Slovenia an Italian occupied area?

State Attorney Bar-Or: The Slovenian part was under Italian occupation.

Presiding Judge: As we heard?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes.

Presiding Judge: All of Slovenia?

State Attorney Bar-Or: What is called "Untersteiermark" (Lower Styria). They reverted to the old imperial Austrian name of that region, and this was under German occupation. We shall find documents about the activities of the Accused and his assistants, mainly in Untersteiermark. The Court may remember letters sent to Marburg - this is not Marburg in Germany, it is the capital of Untersteiermark, and it was part of the Great Reich just like Austria, not an occupied area. This document was shown to the Accused and was numbered T/37(162).

A letter from Heydrich to the Minister of Finance under the marking IVB4(neu) (new). We shall find this marking on a number of documents - it appears after the change-over from IVD4 to IVB4. The date of this letter is 21 April 1941. The Accused speaks about this document on page 2046 ff. Heydrich writes:

" accordance with an order from the Fuehrer, the settlement of the ethnic question in the areas newly added to the Reich in the South East has to be undertaken immediately. This is mainly a matter of evacuating the Slovenes from those areas to Serbia. According to provisional figures, some 260,000 Slovenes are eligible for this purpose. In order to discuss all questions and difficulties arising in the course of implementing these tasks, especially those regarding transport, I have called a meeting for 6 May 1941 at 10.30 a.m. in Marburg."
A meeting in which the Accused took part.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/898.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Now we shall proceed to document No. 1080, a telegram from the Accused, following these activities, under the marking RSHA, Berlin IVB4, dated 26 April 1941, to the representative of the office of the BdS in Untersteiermark. It says that "Ulrich from the SD in Posen cannot be spared. As commandant for the camp that is to be established, a suitable official from the Regional Headquarters of the Security Police in Graz who is assigned to Section III of the relocation staff must be made available." Signed - Eichmann, SS Sturmbannfuehrer.

Presiding Judge: That is to say that he dealt with the uprooting of populations at that time?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes, this is correct, Your Honour. This is actually a somewhat later period. He started operations of uprooting populations under IVD4. The Court will remember that on matters of evacuation he continued also when it became IVB4. Together with the concentrated attention on the Jewish Question, he is still in charge of evacuation operations. Here it is a matter of deporting Christian Slovenes from the area which has been transferred to the Reich.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/899.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Now I shall go on to document No. 1079, a number of Regulations, or rather announcements, by the assistants of the Accused in Marburg, Untersteiermark, addressed to the Accused. We shall find here, for instance, Dr. Seidl, whom we know later from Theresienstadt, as well as SS Standartenfuehrer Lurker. We should also mention Dr. Fuchs, whose testimony we have just seen, and Abromeit from the office of the Accused. There are several announcements here about the expulsion of Slovenes to the Serbian and Croatian parts of Yugoslavia, out of the Yugoslav area which has been annexed to the Reich, out of Steiermark.

I shall not tire you with the details in each of these documents. For each transport there is a detailed account of how many Slovenes were deported. Occasionally there is one Jew, occasionally one Gypsy. For instance, the letter of 20 June 1941 mentions 300 persons, including 298 Slovenes, and one Jew - as well as one Gypsy - was also included and expelled; furthermore, the amount of bread sent along, how much jam, etc.

Presiding Judge: Since you are mentioning this, you might also add "two bottles of Slivovitz for the accompanying doctor."

State Attorney Bar-Or: Sometimes expelled Slovene clergymen are also included in these transports. I draw special attention to Dr. Seidl's letter to Section IVB4, attention Eichmann, of 7 June 1941. Here it is mentioned that SS Sturmbannfuehrer Hoeppner is on the deportation train on his way to its destination. The office of Dr. Fuchs has to be informed immediately by radio that Dr. Hoeppner will arrive at the final station on deportation train I. Reference must be made in the telegram to be sent to the assignment of Hoeppner and of Obersturmbannfuehrer Krumey. In brackets it says: "The last paragraph on instruction of Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann."

I should also like to direct attention to the letter of Standartenfuehrer Lurker, dated 18 July 1941 from Marburg to the Accused. He reports that transport No. 20 left Marburg on 18 July 1941 for Slavonska Poz and says that there are 422 Slovenes on it, among them one priest and 28 Carmelite nuns. Also 1,000 kilogrammes of bread. The Slovenes have taken dinars with them - that appears in each report - and he asks that the office of Sturmbannfuehrer Dr. Fuchs be informed about the departure of deportation train No. 20.

In the various reports, one clergyman or another is mentioned occasionally. Here I have drawn attention to it, because a larger number of nuns has been included in this transport of Slovenes.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/900.

State Attorney Bar-Or: With your permission, I now go on to document No. 1093, a letter on the same subject, dated 23 June 1941, from Lurker to the Accused. Here we learn that there was also strict customs control at the transit points into the Yugoslav areas.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/901.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Now document No. 558, which brings us to Croatia proper. It is a Vortragsnotiz (note in preparation for oral reporting) to the Foreign Minister, signed by Luther on 24 July 1942. He says, inter alia, that the question of the attitude of the Italian Government towards measures against the Jews was again brought up in Agram, where it was particularly acute because of the current preparations for the expulsion of the Jews. Further on he says that the expulsion can only be carried out with German help, since difficulties are to be expected from the Italians. He mentions that the Italian Chief of Staff in Mostar has declared that he could not agree to the expulsion, since all inhabitants of Mostar had been assured equal treatment. The Inspector General for the German Roads Administration (O.T.) had also reported about this. The Italian Chief of Staff had told him that it was "incompatible with the honour of the Italian army to take special measures against the Jews, such as those demanded by the O.T. for the purpose of vacating homes for their own urgent needs."

Presiding Judge: What is O.T.?

State Attorney Bar-Or: It is the big work organization Organisation Todt."

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/902.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 87, a letter from Klingenfuss of the Foreign Ministry to the Head Office for Reich Security dated 16 October 1942, which quotes a telegram from the German legation in Zagreb. It says, inter alia, that preparations for the expulsion of the Jews from the territories occupied by the Italians are made by the police attache through the secret seizure of all the Jews. The legation requests that the Head Office for Reich Security be informed of this.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/903.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 661 is a telegram from Kasche, the German Minister in Zagreb, to the Foreign Ministry, together with a handwritten draft (of a covering note) by Rademacher, with which he transmits the text of the telegram to the Accused, IVB4, in November 1942. The telegram itself from Agram is dated 20 November, and it says that a reliable rumour has come from Mostar and Dubrovnik that the concentration of Jews was being made under German pressure. The Italians, it says further, intend to concentrate the Jews on several islands.

In the opinion of the Italians, the implementation of the measures is a delicate matter because the Jews in America, who are assisting the Jews here (in Dalmatia) financially, have to be taken into consideration. Any interference by the Croats, or their participation in the implementation or in the seizure of Jewish property, is also being refused by the Italians. And Kasche of course asks that the Head Office for Reich Security, IVB4, be informed of this.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/904.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I shall now go on to document No. 1046. On 6 December 1942 Klingenfuss passes on to the Accused a telegram received in the Foreign Ministry from Zagreb, dated 4 December 1942. Kasche in Zagreb requests of course also in this case that the contents of his telegram be brought to the attention of the RSHA, IVB4. It is again about the expulsion of Jews from the Mostar area in November 1942.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/905.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I go on to document No. 1047, again a telegram from Minister Kasche in Zagreb to the Foreign Ministry with the request that IVB4 be informed, in which he says that "the Italians have taken all the Jews who have arrived from Dubrovnik and from places in Herzegovina and transferred them to the islands of Lopud and Brac and to the Kupari hotel. Kupari belongs to the Protectorate." He says further: "The Italians have refused the use of the Kupari hotel for German soldiers in need of recuperation. Jews who are local residents were allowed to remain in Dubrovnik. The Italians made numerous exceptions at the time of the deportation. Good-looking Jewesses and well-to-do Jews were allowed to stay behind." This apparently angered Kasche, and he asks that the Accused be informed about it.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/906.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I go on to document No. 1081, a letter from SS Sturmbannfuehrer Helm to the Chief Administration of Croatia. At the top we find that a copy of this document was sent to RSHA IVB4, for the attention of the Accused.

It says here, in paragraph 1: "Implementation of an immediate operation for the complete freeing of Croatia of wholly-Jewish elements, without consideration of age, sex, as well as religious adherence." The writer refers in the letter to a conversation with SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Abromeit from the office of the Accused on 19 January 1943.

In paragraph 8 Helm writes that "SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Abromeit takes full responsibility for the immediate deportation of the Jews from the Stara-Gradiska camp, once the inmates have been registered by lists. The deportation train will be made available by the German Reich Railways at the initiative of SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Abromeit."

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/907.

Can we still finish these documents? If not, we shall stop here.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I thought I would finish the file this morning. But it is not a matter of two or three documents.

Presiding Judge: I adjourn the Session here. As I have announced, the next Session will take place next Monday, at 15.30. This Session is closed.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.