Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Appeal/Appeal-Session-07-09 Last-Modified: 1999/06/15 (e) Finally, July 1944. The Appellant's tour of duty in Hungary. At the beginning of July 1944, the dormant conscience of the world begins to be aroused on hearing of the total murder the Nazis were perpetrating within European Jewry, and President Roosevelt, jointly with the Pope and the Governments of Sweden and Switzerland, urged Regent Horthy to stop the transport of Jews to Auschwitz, and submitted proposals for the emigration of Jews to countries outside Hungary. That request is soon followed by effective acts: American aircraft bomb Budapest heavily, and on 7 July Horthy vetoes the continued deportation of the Jews. At that time he was contemplating dismissing the Sztojay cabinet and constituting a new cabinet. Horthy's overlords, the Germans, are astounded at this `treason,' but they are no longer as strong as before, for meanwhile Allied forces have landed on the coast of Normandy, while on the eastern front the great Russian offensive has begun. They are compelled, therefore, to swallow the bitter pill, and begin making concessions. Indeed, three days after Horthy's veto, Ribbentrop sends Veesenmayer a telegram full of new notes of softness and appeasement (N/85 of 10.7.44). It says: "The Fuehrer has acceded to my proposal and has decided to meet the Hungarian Government re the proposal of foreign governments on the transfer of Jews to countries abroad. Therefore, the requests of the Governments of Sweden, Switzerland and the United States may be granted, assuming, as we do, that those governments will admit into their own territories the said groups of Jews - namely into Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. The transfer of Jews to Palestine should be avoided, if at all possible (waere, wenn irgend moeglich, zu vermeiden), in view of our policy towards the Arabs." But the Appellant would not rest. His ire was aroused over that permission granted for emigration, and he begins combatting the Foreign Ministry itself, leaving no stone unturned to sabotage the rescue plan. We must not forget that Ribbentrop was a Minister of the German Reich, that the Appellant's post was by some four or five grades inferior to that of a cabinet minister, and that the `chain of command' on the `hierarchy ladder' in relation to the Appellant was Himmler (Minister of the Interior) - Kaltenbrunner (Chief of RSHA) - Mueller (Head of Department IV) - some other officer (Chief of Group IVB) - the Appellant (Head of Section IVB4). Nevertheless, he views himself as of equal rank with Ribbentrop, and as one fully qualified to compete with him when his own exclusive domain is at stake, namely the implementation of the Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe. He begins to act, as is his wont, in all possible ways. First he detects a `clerical error' in the affirmative German reply to the proposals of foreign countries for emigration. He writes to his principal assistant, Guenther, in Berlin, to draw his attention to the fact that the German reply to the proposals of the foreign countries was not phrased with proper clarity, a defect that has caused, or is likely to cause, grave trouble: "In the German note in reply, emigration to Palestine is not strictly forbidden, but it says that emigration to Palestine must be avoided as far as possible. While it has so far not become apparent that emigration to countries other than Palestine had been tried by the foreign neutral legations concerned with the matter, they are already, from the outset, furthering emigration to Palestine. The German Embassy here has so far not stood in the way of these efforts, as it is believed that emigration to Palestine was not rejected by Germany in principle. We, for our part, saw to it that also on the part of the Embassy here, everything possible should be done, in order to delay the emigration efforts, and in the end to prevent them, after the evacuation of the Jews was continued. This step would be rendered possible all the more, since every emigrating Jew has to be in possession of a German visa or a special transit visa for departing from Hungary, issued by the German military authorities through the German Embassy. In order that emigration to Palestine might be prevented more efficiently, it seems to us to be useful to formulate with greater clarity and greater stringency the consent of the German Reich, which was given on this point in the first place, so that emigration to Palestine within the framework of this operation will not receive Germany's consent" (T/1216 of 24.7.1944). To put it simply: Here is a piece of disguised information concerning the Embassy to the RSHA, or to the Foreign Ministry through the RSHA, and an `authentic' interpretation of Hitler's assent given on Ribbentrop's recommendation, as stated above. Simultaneously with all this, he takes a parallel course of action, rather less interpretive and more sly, with the object of total sabotage of the implementation of that assent, and so as to confront Ribbentrop as well as Hitler with an `established fact,' and leave no possible crack in the door even to emigration of Jews to countries other than Palestine. We find, indeed, on the morrow of that day, on 25.7.1944, Veesenmayer telegraphing to Berlin to report, inter alia, that: "The chief of the SD's local Sondereinsatzkommando for the Jews, SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, has expressed his opinion that as far as he is aware, the Reichsfuehrer-SS does not agree, under any circumstances, to the emigration of Hungarian Jews to Palestine. The Jews who are under consideration constitute, without exception, valuable human material from a biological point of view. Many of them are veteran Zionists, whose immigration to Palestine is definitely undesirable. It is his intention, in view of the Fuehrer's decision which had been brought to his notice, to report to the Reichsfuehrer-SS and, if necessary, to ask for a renewed decision by the Fuehrer. It was further settled with Eichmann that if additional deportations of Jews from Budapest are approved, they must try to carry them out suddenly (schlagartig) and speedily, so that the deportation of the Jews being considered for emigration should be completed already before the formal arrangements are carried our. The legations concerned had already been informed that the planned operation could obviously only relate to those Jews who were still in the country. With this object in view, they would also try to induce the Hungarian Ministry of the Interior to give a negative reply to the Swiss proposal, by which the Jews registered for emigration would be concentrated in special camps. As far as this plan was concerned, Eichmann was considering - in the event of permission for emigration to Western countries - to prevent the progress of the transports by taking appropriate steps, for example on French territory" (T/1215, pp 2-3). Comment is superfluous! If that were not all, there follows the Appellant's meddling in all the internal affairs of the camps, which deals the last blow to the contention that his duties were confined to `the transportation of the sentenced' and no more. It has been proved in the Wetzel papers (T/308 and appendices) that in October 1941 the Appellant did "agree to this procedure," in other words, to the killing of those shipped eastwards (Riga, Minsk and Lodz) in gas vans. In T/37 he did not deny this, but admitted that Wetzel came to see him "on this matter" (ibid., p. 2339). It was only in his evidence to the Court that he began to disclaim responsibility for this, but the District Court did not accept this late denial. His application to us to summon Wetzel as a rebutting witness has been rejected by our ruling of 29.3.62, and the grounds therefor have been set out in Section II, paragraph 4 of this Judgment. Again, the introduction of the use of Zyklon B in Auschwitz was not effected without the Appellant's participation. Hoess relates this in his note (T/90); in T/37 the Appellant attempts to hold Guenther responsible for this: "Guenther has secured for himself some sort of gas" (ibid., p. 387). But the witness for the Defence, Huppenkothen, Chief of Group IVE of the RSHA, says that he knew nothing of any duties allegedly assigned by Mueller to SS Sturmbannfuehrer Guenther (Huppenkothen's testimony, p. 9). It is true that the direct negotiations with the representatives of the company that supplied the gas were conducted by Guenther (see Gerstein papers, T/1309, p. 1 of the French text, together with the detailed bills of the Degesch Company in Frankfurt, T/1313a, English translation, p. 3). But it was inconceivable to the District Court, and it is equally inconceivable to this Court, that those negotiations by a member of the staff of Section IVB4 were conducted behind the back and without the knowledge of the Appellant, the Head of the Section. The Appellant himself contradicts himself to a large extent in his references to the identity of the person who charged Guenther directly with the task of obtaining the gas; now he attributes this to Mueller, now to Globocnik (cf. T/37, pp. 2274, 3340), and the District Court was right in holding the Appellant responsible for the supply of Zyklon B to Auschwitz. Neither should we omit this particular fact: When the Appellant visited Theresienstadt on duty, he personally selected the candidates for extermination in Auschwitz (evidence of Diamant to which the Court gave credence: paragraph 152). Learned Counsel's expression of surprise (in paragraph 68 of the Statement of Appeal) at the fact that the Appellant was dealing with such `paltry matters' is pointless, in view of the other, truly insignificant, duties which the Appellant performed in that "Ghetto of the Aged." 17. The facts indicated above also constitute a decisive rebuttal of learned Counsel's third contention, namely that the Appellant was acting on orders from his superiors. We here refer to the factual aspect of the contention, for the legal aspect of it has already been dealt with in Section 1, paragraph 15, of this Judgment. As a matter of fact the Appellant did not receive any orders `from above' at all; it was he who was supreme, he who was the commander in all that pertains to Jewish Affairs. He ordered and commanded, not only without orders from his superiors in the hierarchy of the service, but also, at times, in absolute conflict with such orders, as already explained above. The following fact should go a long way to illustrate his unstinting dedication to the cause of the Final Solution, and to what degree he attempted to outdo and surpass even his `illustrious masters.' In April 1945, about a month before Germany's total collapse, at a time when even the Reichsfuehrer-SS, in quest of an alibi for himself, already begins to weigh `more humane methods' of persecution of the Jews, he - Eichmann - is still uneasy as to the advisibility of these methods, and it is only with deep regret and emotional self-restraint that he brings himself to comply with Himmler's orders, as he stated to the representative of the International Red Cross (T/865). It is clear that the idea of the Final Solution was not his own, but the Fuehrer's. Yet that idea might not have assumed so satanic and infernal an expression - in the bodies of millions of tortured and martyred Jews - but for the thorough planning, the zeal, the fanatical enthusiasm, and the insatiable bloodthirstiness of the Appellant and those who did his bidding. We do not minimize by even one iota the terrible guilt that rests on the heads of many, many others; no one who gave any help, active or passive, direct or indirect, no matter how insignificant such help, to Nazi gangsterism in Europe, is to be cleared or exculpated. But we here in this Court are concerned with the Appellant's individual guilt, and as to him, it has been proved with unchallengeable certainty that he took his place not only among those who were active in the implementation of the Jews of Europe, but also among those who activated others in this task. The Appellant was no nondescript entity amongst the activators, but was among the leaders and played a central and decisive part among them all. 18. Thereby collapses the fourth contention of Counsel for the Appellant, namely, the contention of `necessity.' He (the Appellant) was not coerced into doing what he did, and was not in any danger of his life for, as we have seen above, he did much more than was demanded of him, or was expected of him by those who were his superiors in the chain of command. No one would have taken him to task, and he would certainly not have been brought to the gallows, had he - to give one example - based himself on the assent of Hitler and Ribbentrop to the emigration to Sweden and Switzerland of a few tens of thousands of Jews (see paragraph 16 (e) above), and had he not undermined it so wickedly and slyly. As we have seen above, he performed a great many `volunteer acts' of this kind. In the higher echelons of their organization, the Nazis were never using the services of people who did their job under irresistible compulsion. That would have impaired the efficiency of the work to be done, and they had no shortage of enthusiastic zealots, people with strong nerves who do not break down; in other words, people stripped of any human feelings. This is proved by the thousands of arch-murderers, the members of the Operations Units and execution squads, who operated near Riga, Minsk, Kiev (Babi Yar) and other places, who killed about a million Jews, each by one, individual shot, from the hand of the murderer to the nape of the victim's neck, without their knees shaking and their nerves breaking down (see statement of Otto Ohlendorf at Nuremberg, T/312). Had the Appellant demonstrated, at any stage, the slightest displeasure or heart-searching or even lack of enthusiasm towards the implementation of the Final Solution, his superiors would very gladly have dismissed him, and had him replaced by some other person, more `qualified' than himself. Thus on 4.10.43 Himmler delivered a long address in Posen, in which he said, inter alia: "If anyone thinks that he cannot undertake to carry out an order (given him) he must say honestly: `I cannot undertake this task, please relieve me of it.' Then, in most cases, the order would probably come: `You must nevertheless carry this out'; or (the commander) might think: `This man has suffered a nervous breakdown, he is weak.' In that case we may say to him: `All right, you had better resign'" (T/1288). The Appellant never showed repentance or weakness or any weakening of strength or any weakening of will in the performance of the task which he undertook. He was `the right man in the right place,' and he carried out his unspeakably horrible crimes with genuine joy and enthusiasm, to his own satisfaction and the satisfaction of all his superiors. The conditions of `necessity' provided in Section 18 of the Criminal Code Ordinance therefore were not in any way present here, and the Appellant would have been liable to the death penalty under Section 1 of the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law, 1950, even if the defence provided by Section 18 of the Ordinance had not been excluded by Section 8 of the Law, in respect of offences set out in that Law. All the more so now that that defence has been excluded. For no one has even so much as suggested that the Appellant "did his best to reduce the gravity of the consequences of the offence" or that he did what he did with intent "to avert consequences more serious than those which resulted from the offence" (sub-sections (a) and (b) of Section 11 of the Law). There was here, therefore, neither any `necessity' within the meaning of Section 18 of the Ordinance, nor any `extenuating circumstances' within the meaning of Section 11 of the Law, and the Appellant deserves the punishment to which he was sentenced by the District Court. In deciding to confirm both the Judgment and the sentence passed upon the Appellant, we know only too well how utterly inadequate this death sentence is as compared to the millions of deaths in the most horrible ways he inflicted on his victims. Even as there is no word in human speech to describe deeds such as the deeds of the Appellant, so there is no punishment in human laws sufficiently grave to match the guilt of the Appellant. But our knowledge that any treatment meted out to the Appellant would be inadequate - as would be any penalty or punishment inflicted on him - must not move us to mitigate the punishment. Indeed, there can be no sense in sending to the gallows, under the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law, one who killed a hundred people, while setting free, or putting under guard and then keeping under close guard, one who killed millions. When, in 1950, the Israel legislature provided the maximum penalty laid down in the law, it could not have envisaged a criminal greater than Adolf Eichmann, and if we are not to frustrate the will of the legislature, we must impose on Eichmann the maximum penalty provided in Section 1 of the Law, which is the penalty of death. The fact that the Appellant - by a variety of ruses, escape, hiding, false papers, etc. - succeeded in evading the gallows that awaited him, together with his comrades, at Nuremberg, also cannot afford him relief here, when at long last he stands his trial before an Israeli Court of Justice. We have therefore decided to dismiss the appeal both as to the conviction and the sentence, and to affirm the judgment and the sentence of the District Court. Given this 25th day of Iyar 5722 (29 May 1962), in the presence of the Appellant and his Counsel, Dr. Servatius, and of the Attorney General, Mr. G. Hausner, and Assistant State Attorneys, G. Bach and Z. Terlo. Yitzchak Olshan President Shimon Agranat Yoel Sussman Deputy President Justice Moshe Silberg Alfred Witkon Justice Justice
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