The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Testimony of Alfred Six (Part 1 of 2)

7 May 1961

The Competent Court of Justice for Kressbronn/Bodensee

Re: Request for Legal Assistance

The main hearing in the criminal proceedings against the Accused Adolf Eichmann is at present taking place in this Court.

In the context of this main hearing, I request you to extend legal assistance to this Court by the examination on oath of the following witness:

Professor Dr. Alfred Six, Kressbronn/Bodensee, Weinbergstr. 14.

The witness is to be examined as to the following allegations of the Accused:

(1) that the Accused, Adolf Eichmann, as a Section Head in a Department of the Head Office for Reich Security under the National Socialist government in Germany, had no independent decision-making powers relative to the basic measures taken against the Jews;

(2) that, as a Section Head, the Accused did not have a special position and special authority in the Head Office for Reich Security, and was more prominent than other Section Heads only because of the significance of the measures adopted;

(3)that the Accused did not because of his personal disposition carry out the persecution and extermination of the Jewish People to a degree which went beyond the limits of the orders he received;

(4) that the Accused on his own authority was unable to approve exceptions to the general orders of the Reich Chancellor, the Reichsfuerer-SS, the Chief of the Head Office for Reich Security, or his immediate superiors.

To complete the testimony of the witness, I would request that the witness also be asked the following questions which were drawn up by Counsel for the Accused:

(1) Were you the Chief of Department II of the Head Office for Reich Security?

(2) Was the Accused subordinate to you, first as a Specialist Officer and later as a Section Head?

(3) Was a Section Head in the Head Office for Reich Security able at his own discretion to grant exceptions to orders from his superiors?

(4) In negotiations with Section Heads from other central bodies, was a Section Head in the Head Office for Reich Security able to act freely, or was he bound by strict instructions?

(5) During the period of your collaboration with the Accused, did he ever exceed the framework of the instructions he received?

(6) Did the Accused ever act contrary to an order given?

(7) Did the Accused, for reasons of personal conviction, have an anti-Jewish attitude?

(8) Did the Accused make anti-Jewish statements or proposals which were directed towards the extermination of the Jewish People?

I would also request that the witness be asked the following additional questions which were drawn up by the Attorney General:

(1) From when until when was the Accused directly subordinate to you?

(2) Was the Accused your subordinate in the Head Office for Reich Security?

(3) What were the guidelines by which the staff of the Security Service Head Office was accepted for employment?

(4) Was the staff of the Security Service Head Office required to have a minimum level of knowledge of National Socialist ideology and to approve of it?

(5) Could a non-anti-Semite be a member of the Jewish Affairs Section of the Security Service Head Office?

(6) Did you receive reports from the Accused about his activities and did you read them - (a) when he was your subordinate, (b) when he was no longer your subordinate?

(7) Who recommended the promotion of the Accused to officer rank?

(8) Why did you recommend his promotion?

(9) Did you read the Accused's report on his journey to Palestine?

(10) Was this report in keeping with National Socialist ideology?

(11) In the Head Office for Reich Security, did Section Heads receive assignments which did not conform to the law?

(12) What do you know about special assignments given by Heydrich to Eichmann?

(13) When were you appointed commander of the Moscow Advance Commando?

(14) What was the commando's assignment?

(15) Did you deal with tracking down Soviet Commissars in prisoner-of-war camps?

(16) Who gave you your orders about this?

(17) Were you present when the orders were issued in Pretzsch and Berlin? If so, describe what took place at this consultation.

(18) Did you know SS Gruppenfuehrer Arthur Nebe?

(19) Were you in Minsk in 1941?

(20) If so - (a) did you see German Jews who had been deported there? (b) did you see executions in Minsk?

(21) What were your duties in the Foreign Ministry?

(22) What was your rank in the Foreign Ministry?

(23) When did you first hear of the Final Solution?

(24) Were you ever sentenced for your National Socialist activities, and if so, what was your punishment?

(25) Were you familiar with the activities of the individual Departments of the Head Office for Reich Security?

(26) In the Head Office for Reich Security was it usual procedure for a Section Head to bypass the Group Leader and go directly to the Department Chief or the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service?

(27) Do you know of cases, apart from that of Eichmann, where the Section Head had a higher rank than the Group Leader?

(28) Do you know of other Section Heads, other than the Accused, who received orders directly from the Chief of the Security Police?

(29) Were there Sections Heads apart from the Head of Section IVB4 whose offices were situated outside the Head Office for Reich Security?

(30) Was there any Section other than IVB4 which was housed in a four-storey building?

(31) Are you aware that Eichmann frequently went in person to see the Reichsfuehrer-SS and the Chief of the Security Police, and was that usual procedure for Section Heads of his rank?

(32) Did you take part in the meeting of Advisers on Jewish Affairs in Krumhuebel on 3/4 April 1944?

(33) What did you report on at that meeting?

(34) What were the Security Police duties which you were slated to carry out in Great Britain, it were to be conquered by the Reich?

I request that you summon to the examination of the witness the representative of the Attorney General of the State of Israel, c/o H.E. Ambassador Dr. F.E. Shinnar, Israel Mission, Cologne, as well as Counsel for the Accused, Advocate Dr. R. Servatius, Hohenzollernring 14, Cologne, and to afford them, on their part, the opportunity to put any questions to the witness which might arise from his answers.

There is no objection on the part of this Court to the aforementioned representatives of the parties obtaining copies of the record of the examination.

Please forward the original of the record of the examination to this Court.

(-) Moshe Landau, President of the Trial Court
I ARs 180/61

The Court of First Instance, Tettnang
Transacted on 24 May 1961
Present: Assistant Judge Eisenbraun as Judge
Court Official Ms. Freese as Recording Clerk
In the criminal proceedings against Adolf Eichmann the following appeared when the matter was called:

Witness: Prosessor Dr. Six with Advocate Dr. Bungartz,Cologne, Mr. Erwin S. Shimron representing the Prosecution, who presented his power of attorney.

The representative of the Prosecution raised no objections to the presence of Advocate Bungartz.

The witness was acquainted with the subject matter of the examination and instructed as to the significance of the testimony and the obligation to make a truthful statement, as well as about the possibility of having to take an oath and the penalties for giving deliberate or negligent false sworn evidence. Moreover, he was informed that he could refuse to provide information on questions by answering which he could lay himself open to the risk of criminal proceedings.

Whereupon the witness was examined as follows:

Personal details: Alfred Franz Six, 51 years old, married, advertising consultant, residing in Kressbronn, Weinbergstrasse 14, not related and not connected by marriage to the Accused. I have not been deprived of the ability to take an oath.

Advocate Wechtenbruch appears for the Defence.

On the matter in question:

From mid-1937 until the outbreak of war in 1939 I was provisional head of the Deviant Ideologies Department in the Security Service Head Office. In addition, I was also head of the Aspects of Life (Lebensgebiete) and Press Departments. Until now I believed that Eichmann was subordinate to me in the Deviant Ideologies Department from mid-1937 until the outbreak of war in 1939. Having been shown exhibits Nos. 1169 and 1513, I consider it correct that Eichmann was transferred to Vienna in 1938, and that after this transfer he was no longer my subordinate. Eichmann was a Specialist Officer in the Deviant Ideologies Department. Without anything to refresh my memory, I am unable to say from when until when Eichmann was in the Head Office for Reich Security. However, I do know that he worked there and that he was head of the Jewish Affairs Department or Jewish Affairs Section. I myself no longer remember since when Eichmann was again in Berlin.

Normally a Section Head in the Head Office for Reich Security did not have any special powers. Normally the department was represented externally by the Department Chief and not by the Section Heads. It was not customary for Section Heads to sign, particularly in correspondence with other offices, authorities and ministries. The Department Chief would sign in such instances, with the addition of "i.V." - (in Vertretung - on behalf of). In correspondence within the department, the Section Head could sign, with the addition "i.A." (im Auftrag - by order of). Virtually from 1939 onwards, there were also Group Leaders to whom certain powers of the Department Chief were transferred, if they were appointed his representatives on a temporary or permanent basis. These Group Leaders were responsible for the individual Section Heads in their group. Normally the Section Head employed a secretary, and sometimes, if he had a great deal of work involving card files, a Specialist Officer (Sachbearbeiter).

Eichmann's Section occupied a special position. More people were employed in this Section than in the other Sections, but from my own memory I am unable to say today how many people were employed there. I do not remember having ever been in the offices of Eichmann's Section. There was considerably more work to be done in this Section than in the other Sections. It was also a known fact that there were far more official journeys made in this Section than in the other Sections.

If Eichmann was able to sign correspondence with outside bodies, particularly ministries, on his own, without any counter-signature (something which I am not aware of according to my own recollection), then this was definitely an extension of his powers as a Section Head. Even if correspondence with a ministry about a particular matter continued for an extended period, communications were never sent by one Section Head to another Section Head; it was always a communication from the Head Office for Reich Security to the ministry or the minister, and vice versa.

I do not know from my own recollection whether Eichmann conducted negotiations abroad, and if so with whom. In order to be able to conduct negotiations abroad with representatives of a foreign state, it was first necessary to obtain the approval of the minister responsible, and the German envoy in the state concerned had to be present. From my own knowledge I am unable to say whether Eichmann had wider or less wide powers than other Section Heads.

Asked whether, and if so what, the witness knows about the timing, the extent and the nature of Jewish persecution, and more particularly about the so-called Final Solution:

The so-called Final Solution of the Jewish Question was based on a decision by Hitler which was announced to a certain circle at the Wannsee Conference in 1942, and then turned into a plan of action by this circle. I know of this from the documents which were shown to me by the prosecution at the Second Nuremberg Trial. I was not present at the Wannsee Conference; this was a secret conference. I was also not informed officially of the result of the conference.

During 1943, I did receive reports at the Foreign Ministry from the foreign press for my information, about concentration camps, gassings and other measures against the Jews. These reports were so concrete that from 1943 on I no longer had any doubts that persecution measures were being carried out against the Jews. From the end of 1943 onwards, most of the highest-level ministerial civil servants must also have been aware of such press reports. What I thus heard about the methods of persecution of the Jews was enough for me. It was known that Eichmann himself dealt with concentrating the Jews, and it was clear to me that Eichmann was the person who could have given me information about the details of the persecution of the Jews, had I wanted to know anything about it. I am not aware to this day of the various tasks and powers which Eichmann had in the persecution measures. I do not know how far his own decision-making power extended, and I am also not familiar with the techniques for implementing the particular persecution measures. I cannot say from my own memory who was Eichmann's direct superior for these measures, apart from Department Chief Mueller.

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