Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Judgment/Judgment-031 Last-Modified: 1999/05/27 On 15 May 1942, the Accused's Section (over Guenther's signature) reports on the situation to the Foreign Ministry: 20,000 Jews - most of them fit for labour - were evacuated to Auschwitz and to Lublin, and on 4 May the evacuation of 20,000 additional Jews to Lublin began, and it is intended to carry on the evacuation at the rate of from 20,000 to 25,000 persons per month (T/1089). At the end of May, the embassy in Bratislava receives word that the Accused will pay a visit there, in order "to discuss problems connected with the operation of the evacuation of Jews from Slovakia now in progress." The visit took place, and when in Bratislava, the Accused also met Mach, the Slovak Minister of the Interior (T/37, p. 2879 etc.). This stage of the evacuation was concluded at the end of June 1942, and at a consultation held at the office of Prime Minister Tuka, Wisliceny announced that the Jewish Action was in its final stages, that 52,000 Jews had been evacuated, and for the time being 35,000 Jews remained (T/1101). (c) There was a respite in evacuations up to 1944, when the Slovakians demanded that permission be granted to visit camps, as a preliminary condition for the renewal of evacuations (T/1106, dated 13.4.43; letter signed by the Accused, dated 8.1.44, T/1110; and the Foreign Ministry reply, dated 14.1.44, T/1111). The answer to this request came in a letter dated 7 February 1944, signed by the Accused (T/1112): For understandable reasons, he objects to visits by strangers to the camps in the East, and proposes instead a visit to the "Ghetto for the Aged" at Terezin, which always served to mislead foreigners, as will be mentioned later. Evacuations from Slovakia were renewed once again after the outbreak of revolts there in the autumn of 1944. From a report dated 9 December 1944 (T/1130), it is learned that Operations Units arrested nearly 10,000 Jews, and that 7,000 were taken to German concentration camps. The summary is to be found in the testimonies of Dr. Abeles and Dr. Steiner (Sessions 49 and 50, Vol. II). Dr. Steiner testified that from September 1944 to March 1945 over 12,000 Jews were expelled, some of them to Terezin and Sachsenhausen. According to his statement, over 70,000 out of the 90,000 Slovakian Jews were exterminated, that is some eighty per cent (Session 50, Vol. II. p. 912). 105. The second "puppet state" to be set up by the Germans was Croatia. Anti-Jewish laws were published there already in 1941 (T/889), and on 25 February 1942, Artukovic, the Croatian Minister of the Interior, delivered a speech in parliament, calling for the purging of the state of its Jews (T/891). Evacuations began in the year 1943. On behalf of the Accused's Section (T/907 and p. 1142 of his Statement T/37), Abromeit dealt with these matters in co-operation with Helm, the Police Attache at the German Embassy in Zagreb. The concentration of Jews in preparation for the expulsion was carried out by the Croatians (Ustachis) themselves. The Croatian Government consented to pay to the Reich thirty Reichsmark for each evacuated Jew (T/903). On 19 January 1943, an agreement was drawn up between Helm and Abromeit, on the one hand, and the Croatian Government on the other (T/907). Helm and Abromeit divided the work between them, leaving Helm to supervise activities within the state, while Abromeit was responsible for the evacuation of Jews across the borders of Croatia. On 4 March 1943 Helm cables the Foreign Ministry that the evacuation of 2,000 men is imminent and requests that the Accused be informed (T/908). On 10 April 1943, the Accused's Section enquires (signed by Guenther) when the evacuation will begin (T/910). The evacuation is carried out. On 15 July 1943, the RSHA enquires from the Police Attache about 800 Jews who, according to rumours, are still in concentration camps, and demands action for their evacuation to the East (T/916). A further letter sent by the Accused's Section during the same period deals with 400 Jews in Croatia for whom the Jewish Agency made efforts to obtain immigration permits to Palestine. Immigration permits for 75 children from amongst these 400 Jews were already confirmed. The Accused's Section issues an order to prevent the immigration to Palestine of the 400 Jews, by their early evacuation to the East. A part of Croatia was under Italian occupation. The Italians rounded up and arrested the Jews in the area, but did not deport them from the country (T/905-906). After the Badoglio coup, the RSHA took action in this area as well, and Abromeit was ordered to see to the evacuation of the Jews who still remained there (T/919, dated 16.9.43). For this purpose, a special Operations Unit of the RSHA, commanded by Krumey, was sent there in October (T/920, dated 15.10.43). According to an official Yugoslav report (T/892, p. 9), only 1,500 out of 30,000 Croatian Jews remained alive. 106. As far as Serbia is concerned, we must go back to an earlier period, to the year 1941, to describe an event which is fraught with meaning for the evaluation of the Accused's general attitude, as well as for the evaluation of his evidence before us. In April 1941, Germany attacked Yugoslavia, and Serbia became German-occupied territory. In the autumn of 1941, 8,000 male Jews were rounded up in Belgrade. A series of documents was submitted to us describing the fate of these Jews. On 8 September 1941, the representative of the German Foreign Ministry in Belgrade, Benzler, proposed sending them to one of the islands in the Danube delta. This proposal is not accepted. Benzler continues his efforts to deport the Jews, and his next proposal is to send them to the Generalgouvernement area or to Russia. On the cable containing this proposal (exhibit T/874, dated 12.9.41), there is a note dated 13 September in the handwriting of Rademacher, at that time the Foreign Ministry Adviser on Jewish Affairs, which reads as follows: According to information from Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann RSHA IVDVI" (the reference is undoubtedly to IVB4) "there is no possibility to take them to Russia or to the Generalgouvernement. Even Jews from Germany cannot be accommodated there. Eichmann proposes to kill them by shooting" (Eichmann schlaegt Erschiessen vor). In the year 1948, Rademacher was questioned at Nuremberg in connection with this document and said (T/875, p. 3) that he made this note while reporting on the matter to Luther (his superior in the German Foreign Ministry); and he continues: "I still remember distinctly that I was sitting opposite him (Luther), when I telephoned the Head Office for Reich Security, and that I wrote down in my own handwriting key words from Eichmann's reply and passed them over to Luther during the telephone conversation. Eichmann said words to the effect that the army were responsible for order in Serbia and that it would just have to kill the rebellious Jews by shooting. In reply to my further question, he repeated simply: `Kill by shooting' (Erschiessen) and hung up." The Accused categorically denied before us that he had said these words. According to his contention, Rademacher forged the document, by adding the words in question later on. This was not the spontaneous reply given by the Accused when Superintendent Less put this document before him for the first time. Then he did not doubt the correctness of the note and said: "...I did not myself give the order to kill by shooting, but, as all those matters, I handled this one in the service channels, and the order by my superiors was at the time in fact: To kill by shooting." (T/37, p. 2356.) But already on p. 2417 of his Statement, the Accused changes his contention, and in fact puts forward the same version (in a milder form), as the one he told us, namely - forgery on the part of Rademacher. The Accused explained this version at length during his examination-in-chief (Session 83, Vol. IV, pp.xxxx16-18) and his cross-examination (Session 97, Vol. IV, p. xxxx34 et seq.). The gist of his contention was that Rademacher carried out the forgery a few days after 13 September, following differences of opinion within the Foreign Ministry about the manner of dealing with this matter. This version is neither based on facts, nor is it logical, as the forgery could have been discovered immediately, and then (a few days later) the truth would very easily have been established. Under the circumstances, it is inconceivable that Rademacher would have taken such a risk upon himself. Thus, what remains is the Accused's denial that he ever uttered these or similar words at all, and this denial we do not accept. Document T/874 was kept in the files of the German Foreign Ministry. Prima facie it appears that the note was made during the usual course of business; hence its truth can be assumed not only from the formal aspect, but also as regards its contents; that is to say, that the conversation with the Accused took place and that the Accused said what was noted. The Accused did not succeed in reversing this assumption, because his denials, both in his Statement and in his evidence in Court, lacked credibility, and we are convinced that the Accused expressed himself as written in T/874. The Foreign Ministry informed Belgrade on 5 October 1941 (T/880) that a special representative of the RSHA would reach Belgrade shortly to settle the matter. This representative was to have been the Accused himself (T/881), but it was finally decided to send two other men in his stead. One of them was Suhr, who is known to us as a member of the staff of his Section. He was accompanied by Rademacher, who submitted the report on the results of this journey.
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