The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-016-03
Last-Modified: 1999/05/30

Attorney General: I now want to submit Wisliceny's notes
dated 26 July 1946, which were also written in prison, and
verified by Mr. Hagag, and which are already in your
possession arising out of Bar-Shalom's evidence regarding
the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and his connections with Adolf
Eichmann. I have the original. The Court will observe that
this document served as a subject for interrogation on pages
558-570. Relying on the Court's decision of this morning, I
request you to admit this document on the grounds of its
importance, both because of the connection between Eichmann
and that man and because of the plans and machinations which
were prepared in order to destroy the Jewish population of
Palestine after the victory of the Axis Powers, and also
because of the fact that the Accused himself was asked to
react to this document.

Presiding Judge: Is he mentioned here in this document?

Attorney General: Yes. The relations - according to
Wisliceny - between these two personalities, Hajj Amin al-
Husseini and Adolf Eichmann, began already in the autumn of

Dr. Servatius:  I wish to voice my objection to the
submission of this document, but submit to the Court's

Presiding Judge: Decision No. 9

We admit in evidence the statement of Wisliceny regarding
the Mufti, for the reasons that were intimated in Decision
No. 7.

Attorney General: This actually is already to be found in
the Court's file.

Presiding Judge: You have said so. But it is correct that
there is also need for a special submission.

Attorney General: Except that the original is now to be
found in the Court's file. The original of this document was
submitted by Mr. Less during his evidence, at the time when
he submitted all the documents, so that there is only a
photocopy of the original.

Presiding Judge: It seems to me that we have the original
before us here.

Attorney General: Yes, this is the original.

Presiding Judge: In this instance you have given us only one
copy - you are reducing our "ration."

Attorney General: The Court will obtain everything. I regret
that there was some slight confusion this morning in the
provision of copies, but we shall produce the material to
the Court forthwith.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/89.

Attorney General: With the Court's permission I shall read

     "As I was aware from my activities in the service of
     the head office of SD in Berlin, there already existed
     in 1937 an intelligence link between the SD and the
     Grand Mufti in Jerusalem. These connections operated
     through the DNB, Official German News Service in
     Palestine, Dr. Reichert with Otto von Bolschwing and
     Leopold von Mildenstein, both of whom were with the SD
     in Berlin. In 1936-1937, Mildenstein was head of the
     Department for Jewish Affairs of the SD. Later on, this
     connection was transferred to Bureau VI of the Secret
     Overseas Intelligence Service, to the Head Office for
     Reich Security, the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, created
     in 1939. Dr. Reichert was the chief confidant of the
     SD. He lost his life in 1941 in a railway accident in
     Hanover. In the autumn of 1937, Adolf Eichmann and
     Herbert Hagen, previously Sturmbannfuehrer in Paris,
     who at that time worked in the Jewish Department of the
     SD, arranged a journey to Palestine and Egypt. This
     trip was intended to include, incidentally, securing of
     general information on Zionist questions, and also a
     visit to the Grand Mufti, and Dr. Reichert was to have
     acted as intermediary in arranging it. But the visit
     did not materialize since the British authorities
     restricted the stay of Eichmann and Hagen to 48 hours,
     despite their tourist visas. In Cairo the two of them
     then had discussions with Arab nationalists - amongst
     them a journalist from Jerusalem who belonged to the
     circle of the Grand Mufti. After the Mufti al-Husseini
     arrived in Germany, he paid a visit to Himmler. A short
     while thereafter the Grand Mufti visited the director
     of the Jewish Department at the Gestapo Bureau IV,
     Obersturmbannfuehrer Adolf Eichmann, in his office in
     Berlin, 116 Kurfuerstenstrasse. I no longer remember
     the exact date of the visit. Possibly it was the end of
     1941 or the beginning of 1942. By chance I was with
     Eichmann in Berlin a few days later, when he told me in
     detail about this visit. Eichmann lectured to the Grand
     Mufti in his Map Room, where he had collected
     statistical accounts of the Jewish population of
     various European countries - he lectured in detail
     about the solution of the Jewish Question in Europe.
     The Grand Mufti, according to him, was most impressed
     and said to Eichmann that he had already asked Himmler
     and had in fact secured Himmler's consent on this
     point, that a representative of Eichmann should come to
     Jerusalem as his personal adviser when he, the Grand
     Mufti, would go back after the victory of the Axis
     Powers. In that conversation Eichmann asked me whether
     I was not willing to accept the post. But I rejected in
     principle such Oriental adventures. Eichmann was
     greatly impressed by the personality of the Grand
     Mufti. He repeatedly said to me, both then and on a
     later occasion, that the Mufti had made a powerful
     impression on him, and also on Himmler, and that he had
     an acknowledged influence in Arab-Jewish affairs.
     "To my knowledge, Eichmann saw the Mufti from time to
     time and spoke to him. At any rate he mentioned this in
     the course of a conversation in the summer of 1944 in
     Budapest. At the end of 1942 I tried, upon the
     initiative of a group of the Joint from Bratislava, to
     influence Eichmann and Himmler to prevent the
     extermination of the Jews of Europe. One plan was the
     rescue of Jewish children, whose emigration to
     Palestine was to be carried out via Romania. Eichmann,
     with the approval of Himmler, gave an order to bring
     about ten thousand Jewish children from Poland to
     Theresienstadt. It was planned to exchange these
     children for German civilian prisoners, through the
     services of the International Red Cross. I had already
     discussed with the representatives of the Joint in
     Bratislava the possibility of the emigration of adults
     as escorts to the transport, and the number that could
     be considered for this purpose. Some of the children
     actually reached Theresienstadt, as I was told by Dr.
     Seidel, the person who was then the Camp Commandant, in
     reply to my question on the subject. Then I was
     summoned to Berlin by Eichmann and he disclosed to me
     that the idea of the planned operation had become known
     to the Grand Mufti, by means of his intelligence
     service in Palestine. As a result he protested
     vigorously to Himmler, using the argument that these
     Jewish children would, within a few years become adults
     and would strengthen the Jewish elements in Palestine.
     Following this, Himmler [as he told me] forbade the
     whole operation and even issued a prohibition in
     respect of cases in the future, that no Jew should be
     permitted to emigrate to Palestine from territories
     under German control.
     "I informed the Joint group of this prohibition which
     had been secured by the Grand Mufti from Himmler
     despite Eichmann's forbidding me to do so. This
     attitude of Himmler had a crucial influence on all
     these matters, especially in 1944 in Budapest. In this
     way any chance of reaching a compromise on the question
     of the Jews in Hungary came to nought, since Palestine
     was the only country which could be considered for the
     absorption of a greater number of Jewish women and
     "I should also add that a liaison officer of the
     Security Police was attached to the Grand Mufti
     throughout the duration of his stay in Germany. This
     was a Hauptsturmfuehrer whose name I no longer
     remember. General-Major Walter Schellenberg, Head of
     Bureau VI (the Overseas Intelligence Service) would
     have to have known about this. Schellenberg was in the
     Nuremberg prison at the end of June."

I now have in my possession the German edition of Commandant
in Auschwitz According to what is written in the preface on
page 10, the publisher of this edition had the opportunity
in November 1946 of seeing the original German manuscript. I
also have here the appendix "Endloesung der Judenfrage im
K.L. Auschwitz" in this German edition.

Presiding Judge: On what page?

Attorney General: On page 153.

Presiding Judge: And the document which they showed to the
Accused was photocopied from that?

Attorney General: Yes.

Judge Halevi:  Did they show the book to the Accused

Attorney General: They read to him from the book.

Presiding Judge: Instead of applying to submit this copy,
are you now applying to submit the book?

Attorney General: Yes, but I would draw the attention of the
Court at this moment to the copy, since this is the extract
which is required for the personal file, and in order to
complete the process of submitting the evidence it would be
more convenient if the copy were also to be before the

Presiding Judge: One of these two documents should be
submitted. There is no need to submit them both.

Attorney General: Whatever the Court decides. At all events,
the book includes the copy.

Presiding Judge: Is this your request?

Attorney General: Yes.

Presiding Judge: This solves the problem, is that not so,
Dr. Servatius?

Dr. Servatius:  This question has yet to be clarified, but I
still must examine it, for I have doubts as to whether the
work of a journalist or of a writer can be accepted as a
document for proof.

Presiding Judge: We have been told that the writer says that
he saw the original manuscript of Hoess.

Dr. Servatius:  Yes, I saw these remarks, but I still have
my doubts, for a journalist or a writer has his prejudices,
and it is possible that he omitted certain things or changed

Presiding Judge: Perhaps you would look at the book so as to
gain an impression of it?

Attorney General: With the Court's permission, it is
possible for Dr. Servatius to compare the Polish book which
is an official publication, with the German translation that
has now been submitted. And if he should discover that
something has been omitted, the Court will surely carefully
listen to any comment regarding an omission or an addition.

Judge Raveh:   According to the preface, the picture is as
follows: There are in Germany photocopies of everything
which Hoess wrote. The editor compared the handwriting of
the photocopies with the original in Poland. In this way he
was convinced of the authenticity of the photocopies.

Attorney General: I am merely replying, Your Honour, to the
objection of Defence Counsel. As far as I am concerned, the
official exhibit is the Polish one, for this has been
published by an official authority. And this is my
verification. I have this verification by a state authority,
and hence this is an official institution. In the
translation into German, says Defence Counsel, who knows
what the publisher did there, how he embellished or adorned
or struck out passages? To this my reply is: The original
before the Court is open to Defence Counsel, he can compare
the translation and see whether anything has been omitted or
not. If he requires an expert in the Polish language, we
will place one at his disposal, if he so desires.

Presiding Judge: Perhaps you can do something else, to
request from the Polish Government a photostat of this
passage - do you think this is practical?

Attorney General: The mills grind rather slowly, Your
Honour, but I shall do so immediately, this too.

Judge Halevi:  I understand the attitude of the Attorney
General, namely that the official Polish document is a
certified official object. But in practice it only
constitutes a translation from the original which was
certainly written by Hoess in German.

Attorney General: Certainly.

Judge Halevi:  And as His Honour Judge Raveh has already
said, there are photostatic copies of the German original.
It would be interesting to know whether this book or whether
this chapter of the book has been examined and whether it
corresponds to the photostats.

Presiding Judge: I see that meanwhile Mr. Hausner has
obtained it from Poland.

Attorney General: Here suddenly I see documents of which I
was also not aware this morning. My colleague has now handed
to me a photocopy of Hoess' manuscript, so all our doubts
have been resolved.

Presiding Judge: Please take the book back.

Attorney General: I can withdraw the book.

Presiding Judge: Thank you.

Attorney General: This is verified by the Polish State

Dr. Servatius:  I would ask that the photocopy be given to
me for a moment so I can examine it. Is it possible to give
me this document until the lunch adjournment so that I may
read it?

Attorney General: Dr. Servatius has a copy, inter alia, of
the material - our No. 226. This is an exact transcript of
this photocopy.

Presiding Judge: Alright, if he so wishes, I would leave it
in his hands. But meanwhile it will be marked, Dr.
Servatius, or do you still want to argue after examining
this document? We shall defer our decision on this matter
until after you have examined it.

[The photostatic copy of Hoess' notes, entitled "The Final
Solution of the Jewish Question" is handed to Dr. Servatius
for perusal.]

Attorney General: I now wish to submit two sworn statements
used in the trials of the war criminals. Both of them were
given by Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl of the Head Office for Reich
Security; the one on 26 November 1945, and the second on 5
November 1945. In them Hoettl, who was a member of Bureau 6
of the Head Office for Reich Security - the deputy head of
the office - talks of his conversations with Eichmann, about
the numbers of Eichmann's Jewish victims as they were
related by Eichmann himself, and about the extermination
operation. In terms of this morning's decision, both of them
are relevant, both have probative value.

Now, if Defence Counsel should argue - for I more or less
know what he will say - that Hoettl is alive and it is
possible to produce him, as distinguished from the cases of
Wisliceny and Hoess, my reply would be as follows: By his
own admission, he is the man who committed at least one
crime according to the laws of Israel, and that is
membership of an organization which has been proclaimed to
be a criminal organization. If Defence Counsel,
notwithstanding, wishes to bring Hoettl to Israel, and if
Hoettl is prepared to come to Israel to testify, I shall
certainly not have any objections to the Court's hearing Dr.
Wilhelm Hoettl.

Presiding Judge: Was he a member of the SD?

Attorney General: He was a member of the SS in the Head
Office for Reich Security. In the event that the man will
come and want to give explanations on what he stated in his
sworn declarations, the way is open for the Defence. At the
present we have the affidavits and we ask permission to
submit them.

Presiding Judge: Is the way really open, Mr. Hausner?

Attorney General: In what sense, Your Honour, is there any
doubt of the matter?

Presiding Judge: I am asking you this question.

Attorney General: My reply is, yes. My reply is that if
Hoettl wants to come, with the accompanying possible risk
that he may be interrogated concerning his statement that he
was a member of the SS, and accordingly committed an offence
- the answer is yes. To what extent Defence Counsel will
succeed in persuading Dr. Hoettl to do so - that is another
question. Of this I know nothing. I have had no contact with
Dr. Hoettl, but evidently Dr. Hoettl's affidavit, and this
is the same affidavit, came up for consideration at the
Nuremberg Trials. There too it was argued: Why do you submit
a statement, bring Hoettl here - he is alive.

And this was the response of the court in Nuremberg. I draw
your attention, Your Honours, to that same volume 15 - the
original decision on the rules of evidence and procedure -
on pages 764-765.

     "The motion that was made this morning on behalf of the
     defendant Kaltenbrunner is denied, and the affidavit is
     admitted and will not be stricken from the record. But
     the Tribunal wished me to say that it is open to the
     defendant's counsel, in accordance with the Charter and
     the Rules, to make a motion in writing, if they wish to
     do so, for the attendance of Pfaffenberger for cross-
     examination, and to state in that motion the reasons

On page 765, concerning Hoettl, it says "As can be seen from
the affidavit, Dr. Hoettl was interrogated on the 26th of
November, hardly three weeks ago. Moreover I gather that Dr.
Hoettl is kept in custody here in Nuremberg."

Presiding Judge: Is this what the defence counsel says?

Attorney General: Dr. Kaufmann, the defence counsel.

     "No delay would therefore be involved if this witness
     were called to the stand. This man held a significant
     position in the SS, and for that reason I have already
     applied in writing that he be called as a witness. I am
     convinced that there is a large amount of important
     evidence which he can reveal to the court. Dr. Hoettl's
     deposition is infinitely important. The death of
     millions of people is involved here. His affidavit is
     based largely on inferences and hearsay; I believe that
     the facts are very different, and I would not like to
     apply later, after weeks or months, for the witness to
     be brought into court."

The reply of the Prosecutor, Major Walsh, was:

     "Major Walsh (Assistant Trial Counsel for the United
     States): If the court pleases, excerpts from the
     affidavit of Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl were read into the
     record this morning for the purpose...
     The President: Wait - what was the number?
     Major Walsh: Document 2738-PS.
     Dr. Hoettl's affidavit, Document 2738-PS, was read in
     part into the record this morning for the sole purpose
     of showing the approximate number of Jews, according to
     his estimates, that had met death at the hands of the
     German State. No other portion of this testimony was
     referred to, and the evidence was offered only for the
     sole purpose of establishing his estimate of the
     number. His position in the Party and in the State, as
     well as the position of Adolf Eichmann, the source of
     his information, was also stated into the record. I
     believe that Dr. Hoettl, if he is desired for any
     purpose by the defense, may be called by the defense,
     but the prosecution had no other purpose in utilizing
     his evidence."

And the decision:

     "The President: The Tribunal makes the same ruling in
     this case as in the case of Pfaffenberger, namely, that
     the affidavit is admitted in evidence, but that it is
     open to defendants' counsel to make a motion in writing
     for the attendance of the witness for cross-
     examination, and to state in that notion the reason for

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