The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1998/04/12

                                                  [Page 276]

Q. The next witness to be called by the prosecution is
Dieter Wisliceny. That witness will be examined by
Lieutenant-Colonel Smith W. Brookhart, Jr.


Q. What is your name?

A. Dieter Wisliceny.

Q. Will you repeat this oath? I swear by God, the Almighty
and Omniscient, that I will speak the pure truth and will
withhold and add nothing.

         (The witness repeated the oath in German.)

Q. Please speak slowly and pause between each sentence.


Q. How old are you?

A.  I am thirty-four years old.

Q. Where were you born?

A.  I was born at Regulowken in East Prussia.

Q. Were you a member of the N.S.D.A.P.?

A.  Yes, I was a member of the N.S.D.A.P..

Q. Since what year?

A.  I entered the N.S.D.A.P. first in 1931, was then struck
off the list and finally entered in 1933.

Q. Were you a member of the S.S.?

A.  Yes, I entered the S.S. in 1934.

Q. Were you a member of the Gestapo?

A.  In 1934 I entered the S.D.

Q. What rank did you achieve?

A.  In 1940 I was promoted to S.S. Hauptsturmfuehrer.

Q. Do you know Adolf Eichmann?

A.  Yes, I have known Eichmann since 1934.

Q. Under what circumstances?

A.  We joined the S.D. about the same time, in 1934. Until
1937 we were together in the same department.

Q. How well did you know Eichmann personally?

A.  We knew each other very well. We used the intimate "Du,"
and I also knew his family very well.

Q. What was his position?

A.  Eichmann was in the R.S.H.A., Chief of Department IV,

Q. Do you mean Section IV or a subsection, and, if so, which

A.  He led Section IV-A-4. This department comprised two
subsections: one for Church and another for Jewish matters.

Q. You have before you a diagram showing the position of
Subsection IV-A-4-b in the R.S.H.A.

A.  Yes.

Q. Did you prepare this diagram?

A.  Yes, I made the diagram myself.

Q. Does it correctly portray the organisational set-up
showing the section dealing with Jewish problems?

A.  Yes, this was approximately the personnel of the section
at the beginning of 1944.

                                                  [Page 277]

Q. Referring to this chart and the list of leading
personnel, as shown in the lower section of the paper, were
you personally acquainted with each of the individuals named

A.  Yes; I knew all of them personally.

Q. What was the particular mission of IV-A-4-b of the

A.  This Section IV-A-4-b was concerned with the Jewish
question on behalf of the R.S.H.A. Eichmann had special
powers from Gruppenfuehrer Mueller, the Chief of Amt IV, and
from the Chief of the Security Police. He was responsible
for the so-called solution of the Jewish question in Germany
and in all countries occupied by Germany.

Q. Were there distinct periods of activity affecting the

A.  Yes.

Q. Will you describe to the Tribunal the approximate periods
and the different types of activity?

A.  Yes. Until 1940 the general policy within the section
was to settle the Jewish question in Germany and in areas
occupied by Germany by means of a planned emigration. The
second phase, from that time on, was the concentration of
all Jews in Poland and in other territories occupied by
Germany in the East, by concentration in ghettos. This
period lasted approximately until the beginning of  1942.
The third period was the so-called "final solution" of the
Jewish question, that is, the planned extermination and
destruction of the Jewish race; this period lasted until
October, 1944, when Himmler gave the order to stop their
                    (A recess was taken.)


Q. When did you first become associated with Section IV-A-4
of the R.S.H.A.?

A.  That was in 1940. I accidentally met Eichmann....

Q. What was your position?

A.  Eichmann suggested that I should go to Bratislava as
adviser on the Jewish question to the Slovakian Government.

Q. Thereafter how long did you hold that position?

A.  I was at Bratislava until the spring of 1943; then,
almost a year in Greece and later, from March, 1944, until
December, 1944, I was with Eichmann in Hungary. In January,
1945, I left Eichmann's department.

Q. In your official connection with Section IV-A-4, did you
learn of any order which directed the annihilation of all

A.  Yes, I learned of such an order for the first time from
Eichmann in the summer of 1942.

Q. Will you tell the Tribunal under what circumstances, and
what was the substance of the order?

A.  In the spring of 1942 about 17,000 Jews were taken from
Slovakia to Poland as workers. It was a question of an
agreement with the Slovakian Government. The Slovakian
Government further asked whether the families of these
workers could not be taken to Poland as well. At first
Eichmann declined this request.

In April, or at the beginning of May, 1942, Eichmann told me
that henceforward whole families could also be taken to
Poland. Eichmann himself was at Bratislava in May, 1942, and
had discussed the matter with competent members of the
Slovakian Government. He visited Minister Mach and the then
Prime Minister, Professor Tuka. At that time he assured the

                                                  [Page 278]

Slovakian Government that these Jews would be humanely and
decently treated in the Polish ghettos. This was the special
wish of the Slovakian Government. As a result of this
assurance about 35,000 Jews were taken from Slovakia into
Poland. The Slovakian Government, however, made efforts to
see that these Jews were, in fact, humanely treated; they
particularly tried to help such Jews as had been converted
to Christianity. Prime Minister Tuka repeatedly asked me to
visit him, and expressed the wish that a Slovakian
delegation be allowed to enter the areas to which the
Slovakian Jews were supposed to have been sent. I
transmitted this wish to Eichmann, and the Slovakian
Government even sent a note on the matter to the German
Government. Eichmann, for the time being, gave evasive

Then at the end of July or the beginning of August, I went
to see him in Berlin and implored him once more to grant the
request of the Slovakian Government. I pointed out to him
that abroad there were rumors to the effect that all Jews in
Poland were being exterminated. I pointed out to him that
the Pope had intervened with the Slovakian Government on
their behalf. I advised him that such a proceeding, if
really true, would seriously injure our prestige, i.e., the
prestige of Germany, abroad. For all these reasons I begged
him to permit the inspection in question. After a lengthy
discussion, Eichmann told me that this request to visit the
Polish ghettos could not be granted under any circumstances
whatsoever. In reply to my question "Why?" he said that most
of these Jews were no longer alive. I asked him who had
given such instructions and he referred me to an order of
Himmler's. I then begged him to show me this order, because
I could not believe that it actually existed in writing.

Q. Where were you at that time? Where were you at the time
of this meeting with Eichmann?

A.  This meeting with Eichmann took place in Berlin,
Kurfuerstenstrasse 116, in Eichmann's office.

Q. Proceed with the answer to the previous question. Proceed
with the discussion of the circumstances and the order.

A.  Eichmann told me he could show me this order in writing
if it would soothe my conscience. He took a small volume of
documents from his safe, turned over the pages, and showed
me a letter from Himmler to the Chief of the Security Police
and the S.D. The gist of the letter was roughly as follows:

The Fuehrer had ordered the "final solution" of the Jewish
question; the Chief of the Security Police and the S.D. and
the Inspector of the Concentration Camps were entrusted with
carrying out this so-called "final solution." All Jewish men
and women who were able to work were to be temporarily
exempted from the so-called "final solution" and used for
work in the concentration camps. This letter was signed by
Himmler in person. I could not possibly be mistaken since
Himmler's signature was well known to me. I....

Q. To whom was the order addressed?

A.  To the Chief of the Security Police and S.D., i.e. , to
the office of the Chief of the Security Police and S.D.

Q. Was there any other addressee on this order?

A.  Yes, the Inspector of the Concentration Camps. The order
was addressed to both these offices.

                                                  [Page 279]

Q. Did the order bear any classification for security

A.  It was classified as "Top Secret."

Q. What was the approximate date of this order?

A.  This order was dated April, 1942.

Q. By whom was it signed?

A.  By Himmler personally.

Q. And you personally examined this order in Eichmann's

A.  Yes, Eichmann handed me the document and I saw the order

Q. Was any question asked by you as to the meaning of the
words "final solution" as used in the order?

A.  Eichmann went on to explain the meaning of the concept
to me. He said that the planned biological destruction of
the Jewish race in the Eastern Territories was disguised by
the concept and wording "final solution." In later
discussions on this subject the same words "final solution"
re-appeared over and over again.

Q. Was anything said by you to Eichmann in regard to the
power given him under this order?

A.  Eichmann told me that within the R.S.H.A. he personally
was entrusted with the execution of this order. For this
purpose, he had received every authority from the Chief of
the Security Police; he himself was personally responsible
for the execution of this order.

Q. Did you make any comment to Eichmann about his authority?

A.  Yes. It was perfectly clear to me that this order
spelled death to millions of people. I said to Eichmann,
"God grant that our enemies never have the opportunity of
doing the same to the German people," in reply to which
Eichmann told me not to be sentimental; it was an order of
the Fuehrer's and would have to be carried out.

Q. Do you know whether that order continued in force and
under the operation of Eichmann's department?

A.  Yes.

Q. For how long?

A.  This order was in force until October, 1944. At that
time Himmler gave a counter-order which forbade the
annihilation of the Jews.

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