The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 47
(Part 2 of 8)

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 1084 - the problem of repatriation to Croatia of Jews at present in Hungary. Information is given here, on 10 July 1944, that the Government of Hungary intends to repatriate Jews holding foreign nationality and it states that the Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service in Hungary (this is in July 1944, about three months after the German invasion) have not been informed of this.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/923.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 1085 - an SS Obersturmfuehrer, whose signature cannot be deciphered, writes to the Accused on 22 August 1944 on the same subject and informs him that so far no agreements of the kind referred to in the decree mentioned have been made between Croatia and Hungary. Nothing is known about the repatriation of Croatian Jews from Hungary.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/924.

There are too many quotations. You must recall the remark I made quite some time ago. You are again in fact quoting entire letters. This is impossible.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I will end this chapter with document No. 166, a letter from Guenther to von Thadden dated 6 April 1944 in connection with the employment of a certain Jew in the "Petrolej" Company.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/925.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I ask that you now hear the Attorney General.

Presiding Judge: Very well. This concerns Kappel?

Attorney General: Yes. It concerns the interrogation in Italy. I can inform the Court that we shall be able to conduct the interrogation in Italy under the Convention existing between ourselves and Italy. However, we are asked to submit the questionnaire in French, not in Italian.

Presiding Judge: Can we do this?

Attorney General: The Italian authorities are ready to accept the questionnaire from us in French on the assumption that we use one of the official languages. It seems that we cannot be represented there, that the State cannot be represented, but will have to ask for the assistance of the Italian Prosecution with this matter, so we have been told.

Presiding Judge: A Convention does exist at any rate?

Attorney General: A Convention exists, it contains a paragraph about taking evidence, and we can invoke it.

Presiding Judge: Has it been published?

Attorney General: Yes, it has been published in the official Collection of Conventions. I shall let the Court have the details. Our problem was only the procedure, and this is what we found out through our embassy in Rome: The Defence can only be represented by an advocate who is licensed to appear before the Italian Courts.

Judge Raveh: Can the man be located?

Attorney General: He is in prison. There is no difficulty at all.

I have a further announcement after this, about quite a different subject.

Presiding Judge: But we had better conclude this subject. You will have to submit your questionnaire in the matter of Kappel. So far we have only the questionnaire from Dr. Servatius.

Attorney General: If the Court will give us time until tomorrow at this hour we shall submit our questionnaire.

Presiding Judge: Let us do it in Italian. You can prepare the Italian translation, and if you have difficulties I think that Mr. Rosen, the interpreter, will be able to help you.

Attorney General: Until tomorrow we may be able to make arrangements for the Hebrew only.

Presiding Judge: Never mind, submit it in Hebrew and we shall see to it. In order to conclude this subject, Dr. Servatius, do you have any comments? Will you be represented by a lawyer there?

Dr. Servatius: I shall have to engage an attorney there, but the difficulty will be to find a lawyer who is ready to appear in this case. I have myself some experience in this in Germany, so that this may cause a delay. Things might perhaps be arranged in such a way that the Italian attorney appears officially and that then my assistant puts the actual questions. For it will not be possible, will it, to familiarize the Italian colleague so quickly with the essence of this interrogation. At any rate, I shall do my best in order to expedite the matter.

Presiding Judge: And now the second subject.

Attorney General: The second subject concerns the article in Life magazine. I was asked by the Court to contact the editors of the magazine and ask for the manuscript which it received from Sassen, the journalist, and which contains the memoirs of the Accused, or things which he said. I did as instructed by the Court and approached the magazine. Their reply was that, since under the terms of the acquisition of the manuscript they are not allowed to transfer it, they cannot, to their regret - so they say - comply with my request.

At the same time I can inform the Court that efforts have been made to obtain the manuscript and that it is now in our hands - not from Life magazine.

Presiding Judge: What is is? Is it a copy?

Attorney General: It is a transcript, there also the taped conversations and we shall hear a dialogue with the Accused apparently. We do not have the tape, but the Accused replies to questions and gives explanations about points he was asked to explain. The material is not short, over sixty tapes, not much less than we have here, covering several hundred pages. I have at this moment almost all the tapes except five.

Presiding Judge: Is it the tapes?

Attorney General: The transcripts of the tapes. Because they are typewritten, the question of verification may arise, how to verify that they are in fact connected with the Accused, since I have no other way of authenticating the document I wish to submit. We hope to overcome this difficulty within a few days and then I shall be in a position to submit to the Court the authenticated document.

Presiding Judge: Very well. When you have something to submit we shall revert to this, and of course hear Dr. Servatius on the subject.

I do not remember that a decision was taken in advance on this matter, whether to accept or not to accept anything.

Attorney General: No ruling was given in advance. I shall of course be ready to put a copy of the material at the disposal of Dr. Servatius, as soon as I can. He said at the time that he is also interested in having this material submitted to the Court.

Dr. Servatius: I would be interested, if I am given a copy.

Presiding Judge: Very well, when you are ready, we shall revert to the matter.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Bar-Or, please continue.

State Attorney Bar-Or: We pass on to the chapter of Bulgaria. Document No. 1023, a letter, or rather a telegram, from Luther to Beckerle, the German Minister in Sofia. This is the beginning of the negotiations with the Government of Bulgaria about the expulsion of the Jews. I draw the attention of the Court to the remark in the margin.

Presiding Judge: This is marked T/926.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Beckerle's reply to the German Foreign Ministry. He reports contents of his conversation with the Bulgarian Prime Minister on 16 November 1942.

Presiding Judge: This is marked T/927.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 127, a document which was shown to the Accused and marked T/37(52). The Accused was asked to give his opinion on this document on page 1153 ff. It is a letter from the Accused to Gesandtschaftsrat (Legation Councillor) Dr. KLingenfuss at the Foreign Ministry dated 17 November 1942, in which he uses, inter alia the phrase: " Zuge einer umfassenden Loesung der europaeischen Judenfrage..." (in the framework of a comprehensive solution of the Jewish Question).

Presiding Judge: Where is this, Mr. Bar-Or, at the end?

State Attorney Bar-Or: In the passage before the last sentence. The meaning is that in the course of a comprehensive solution of the Jewish Question in Europe he wishes to persuade the Government of Bulgaria to stop giving emigration permits.

Presiding Judge: This is marked T/928.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 1925, a letter from Klingenfuss of the Foreign Ministry dated 23 November 1942 enclosing copy of a report from the German legation in Sofia and a memorandum from the Government of Bulgaria. Wisliceny is mentioned as Advisor to the legation in Sofia, to the Bulgarian Government.

Presiding Judge: This is marked T/929.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 233 which was shown to the Accused and marked T/37(53). Again Klingenfuss to Beckerle at the German legation in Sofia. A change of plan: Hauptsturmfuehrer Dannecker is mentioned in place of Wisliceny. There is also mention of what should be demanded from the Government of Bulgaria as compensation for each Jew expelled.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/930.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 1026. There are two papers here: first a letter dated 10 December 1942 from IVB4, signed by Mueller, about the expulsion of the Jews from Bulgaria; and then there is a letter from the Foreign Ministry to Mueller. Here the subject is a request from the Government of Bulgaria concerning the dispatch of a counsellor for the Jewish Question. Wisliceny cannot be spared. In his place Mueller has designated Hauptsturmfuehrer Dannecker, who had served until then as specialist for Jewish affairs with the Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service in the area of the military government in France. A paragraph on page 2 deals with the official status of Dannecker, who is to serve in practice as specialist for Jewish affairs under the Police Attache, who was there before Dannecker's assumption of his post.

I should perhaps direct the attention of the Court to the question why Mueller signed this and not the Accused. The reason is that this paper goes directly to Unterstaatssekretaer (Undersecretary of State) Luther.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/931.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 1028. On 8 February 1943, Beckerle transmits Dannecker's first report, dated the same day, about the commencement of his activities. He says that before Dannecker took up his duties he (Beckerle) had already discussed the problem with the Minister of the Interior, whose intention is clear - to expel all the Jews. Dannecker, on his part, speaks of 10,000 to 12,000 Jews who are available for immediate expulsion since they do not hold Bulgarian citizenship.

I draw the Court's attention to the first paragraph. Here the expulsion of the Jews from Thrace and Macedonia is mentioned for the first time, not the Jews of Bulgaria proper, but the Jews of those parts of Bulgaria which the Germans annexed to Bulgaria. And there are more details about the negotiations between Dannecker and Belev, the Commissioner for the Jews in the Bulgarian Government, who operates from the Ministry of the Interior.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/932.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 1029, a telegram from Beckerle to the German Foreign Ministry dated 16 February 1943. Beckerle says that the Bulgarian Prime Minister has informed him that the Bulgarian Parliament has so far only approved the expulsion of 20,000 Jews from the liberated areas, i.e. Thrace and Macedonia. He also says that Dannecker has already fully taken up his duties.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/933.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 1030, a letter from Dannecker to the Attaches Group. On top of the letter it says: Seen and signed: Beckerle. He had actually no right to transmit these reports at all; they ought to have gone through Beckerle. But sometimes he writes directly and then Beckerle signs confirming that he has seen it. So this goes on to Head Office for Reich Security - Attaches Group for IVB4. The Attaches Group acted of course in the name of all the Sections of Head Office for Reich Security, not only of IVB4. If you wanted it to pass the matter on to the Accused, you had to write "for IVB4." This is Dannecker's second report and he writes about the implementation of the first stage of the expulsion. The document is dated 12 February 1943. He also mentions that, without waiting for the decision by the Council of Ministers regarding all the Jews of Bulgaria, the expulsion of the Jews of Thrace and Macedonia is being undertaken immediately. Belev will first seize what he calls "undesirable Jews."

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/934.

State Attorney Bar-Or: A letter dated February 1943 from von Thadden to the Accused. Von Thadden transmits a summary of what we have just seen in document No. 1030 to the Accused.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/935.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 1032 - Guenther's letter of 9 March 1943, to von Hahn at the Foreign Ministry about the first transport of 20,000 Jews from Bulgaria. The technical preparations have been completed and it is expected that the expulsion will take place on 15 March. The Jews will be expelled to the Generalgouvernement in two special trains of 2,000-3,000 persons each week.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/936.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 1033. There are actually three letters here which are grouped together. In the last one Rademacher, in handwriting, passes on the gist of the matter to the Accused: A report from Beckerle about further developments in connection with the expulsion, and about negotiations in the Bulgarian Parliament concerning the inclusion of the Jews of Bulgaria itself in the deportations. Here we find Peshev, who is especially active in the Parliament, before which the above-mentioned Belev who worked directly with Dannecker was of course responsible. In the margin the Foreign Ministry is asked to inform Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann about the contents of the letter.

Finally there is a telegram about the Session of the Parliament where the majority passed a vote of non- confidence without stating reasons, in the Vice President of the Parliament, Peshev, because of his intervention on behalf of the Bulgarian Jews. It seems that, in the end, this and similar steps succeeded in preventing the expulsion of the Jews from the border of Bulgaria, in spite of Peshev's resignation.

Presiding Judge: Where is the name of the Accused mentioned?

State Attorney Bar-Or: The name of the Accused appears on the document entitled Arbeitsexemplar (working copy) which contains the marginal comments I have quoted.

Presiding Judge: I cannot see the name of the Accused here. This begins: "Sofia, den 26. Maerz, 1943."

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

Presiding Judge: Were you reading a translation?

State Attorney Bar-Or: In the translation we wrote it out in full. There are two handwritten notes here. The typed distribution list was not copied. The handwritten notes have been fully translated and typed.

Presiding Judge: So this is a marginal note.

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