Newsgroups: alt.revisionism,soc.history Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Eichmann's Treblinka visits Summary: Heydrich reports Hitler's order to exterminate the Jews Eichmann visits Treblinka on Heydrich's orders Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Followup-To: alt.revisionism Organization: The Nizkor Project, Vancouver Island, CANADA Keywords: Eichmann,Treblinka Archive/File: holocaust/germany/eichmann eichmann.004 Last-modified: 1993/08/09 Notes: Captain Avner W. Less was the Israeli police officer who interrogated Adolf Eichmann, prior to his trial and subsequent conviction in Jerusalem. Comments, designated by brackets , are those of the editor, Jochen von Lang. Typos are mine, not the author's. ~~~ LESS: You have touched on the final solution to the Jewish question. Would you like to speak about it now, or about the war with Russia first. EICHMANN: The final solution depends ... it's all mixed up with ... something that happened after the start of the German-Russian war. At that time Reich Marshal Go"ring issued a document conferring a special title on the head of the Security Police and the SD. I'm trying to remember the wording. Was it "Deputy Charged with the Final Solution," or was it "with the Solution of the Jewish Question?" LESS: Wouldn't this document relate to the period prior to the outbreak of the Second World War? EICHMANN: We can only be sure that it relates to the period when emigration had ceased to be possible and the more radical solution was resorted to. The war with the Soviet Union began in June 1941, I think. And I believe it was two months later, or maybe three, that Heydrich sent for me. I reported. He said to me: "The Fu"hrer has ordered physical extermination." These were his words. And as though wanting to test their effect on me, he made a long pause, which was not at all his way. I can still remember that. In the first moment, I didn't grasp the implications, because he chose his words so carefully. But then I understood. I didn't say anything, what could I say? Because I'd never thought of a ... of such a thing, of that sort of violent solution. And then he said to me: "Eichmann, go and see Globocnik in Lublin." LESS: Who? EICHMANN: Globocnik, the former Gauleiter of Vienna, was then head of the SS and the Police in the Lublin district of the Government General. Anyway, Heydrich said: "Go and see Globocnik, the Fu"hrer has already given him instructions. Take a look and see how he's getting on with his program. I believe he's using Russian anti-tank trenches for exterminating the Jews." As ordered, I went to Lublin, located the headquarters of SS and Police Commander Globocnik, and reported to the Gruppenfu"hrer. I told him Heydrich had sent me, because the Fu"hrer had ordered the physical extermination of the Jews. LESS: The Gruppenfu"hrer? EICHMANN: I beg your pardon? LESS: The Gruppenfu"hrer? EICHMANN: The Fu"hrer. The Fu"hrer was Hitler. Yes, the Fu"hrer was meant. I've only quoted Heydrich's... LESS: Heydrich's. EICHMANN: Heydrich's words. He said: "The Fu"hrer has ordered the ... that is ... Hitler has ordered the physical extermination of the Jews." Globocnik sent for a certain Sturmbannfu"hrer Ho"fle, who must have been a member of his staff. We went from Lublin to, I don't remember what the place was called, I get them mixed up, I couldn't say if it was [See URL http://www.almanac.bc.ca/cgi-bin/ftp.pl?camps/treblinka] Treblinka or some other place. There were patches of woods, sort of, and the road passed through - a Polish highway. On the right side of the road there was an ordinary house, that's where the men who worked there lived. A captain of the regular police (Ordnungspolizei) welcomed us. A few workmen were still there. The captain, which surprised me, had taken off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves, somehow he seemed to have joined in the work. They were building little wooden shacks, two, maybe three of them; they looked like two- or three-room cottages. Ho"fle told the police captain to explain the installation to me. And then he started in. He had a, well, let's say, a vulgar, uncultivated voice. Maybe he drank. He spoke some dialect from the southwestern corner of Germany, and he told me how he had made everything airtight. It seems they were going to hook up a Russian submarine engine and pipe the exhaust into the houses and the Jews inside would be poisoned. I was horrified. My nerves aren't strong enough ... I can't listen to such things... such things, without their affecting me. Even today, if I see someone with a deep cut, I have to look away. I could never have been a doctor. I still remember how I visualized the scene and began to tremble, as if I'd been through something, some terrible experience. The kind of thing that happens sometimes and afterwards you start to shake. Then I went to Berlin and reported to the head of the Security Police. (von Lang, 75-76) (Ed. note: After discussing visits to Chelmo and Auschwitz, Less brings Eichmann back to Treblinka.knm) LESS: But you were in Treblinka again? EICHMANN: I'd like to say something about this last, about this last point of this terrible, terrible business. I mean Treblinka. I was given orders. I went to see Globocnik in Treblinka. That was the second time. The installations were now in operation, and I had to report to Mu"ller. I expected to see a wooden house on the right side of the road and a few more wooden houses on the left; that's what I remembered. Instead, again with the same Sturmbannfu"hrer Ho"fle, I came to a railroad station with a sign saying Treblinka, looking exactly like a German railroad station - anywhere in Germany - a replica, with signboards, etc. There I hung back as far as I could. I didn't push closer to see it all. I saw a footbridge enclosed in barbed wire and over that footbridge a file of naked Jews was being driven into a house, a big... no, not a house, a big, one-room structure, to be gassed. As I was told, they were gassed with ...what's it called? ... potassium cyan... LESS: Cyanide. [See URL http://www.almanac.bc.camanac.bc.ca/cgi-bin/ftp.pl?camps/auschwitz/cyanide/] EICHMANN: Potassium cyanide... or cyanic acid. In acid form it's called cyanic acid. I didn't look to see what happened. I reported to Mu"ller and as usual he listened in silence, without a word of comment. Just his facial expression said: "There's nothing I can do about it." I am convinced, Herr Hauptmann, I know it sounds odd coming from me, but I'm convinced that if it had been up to Mu"ller it wouldn't have happened. (von Lang, 84) Work Cited von Lang, Jochen, ed., in collaboration with Claus Sibyll. Eichmann Interrogated: Transcripts from the Archives of the Israeli Police. Translated from the German by Avner W. Less. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1983.
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