The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-094-02

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-094-02
Last-Modified: 1999/06/13

Q.  Perhaps you could give me one example of such a ghetto.
I should like to understand what you are saying.

A.  I would imagine Zichenau. Zichenau was also a ghetto. I
cannot think of names. There were many, many ghettos in
these areas.

Presiding Judge: All right.

Attorney General: Do you agree with me that the Jews of all
the incorporated territories, except for Lodz, were deported
at a very early stage in accordance with Himmler's decree?

Accused:    I have read here the evacuation figure, as it
was given in an address by Heydrich, who said that some
600,000 Jews - and I think there was a further figure later
on - took a fairly long time. How long it took I do not
know, but it definitely could have been a year or longer,
because in the meanwhile there was the order to halt matters
which Frank obtained, and then the deportations started

Q.  So you will agree with me that everything you said in
your interrogation by Bureau 06, on pages 3116 and 3117,
does not contain one singe exception, apart from the
Budapest Ghetto? And as for everything else, you said that
that was dealt with through Section IVB4?

A.  That cannot be correct at all, if only for the following
reason: I have time and again affirmed that Section IVB4 was
not responsible in any shape or form for the
Generalgouvernement and the Eastern Occupied Territories.
And there is no doubt whatsoever about that. That is why at
several points I said that.  I have not read the Statement
through a second time, but I know that I did make this point

Q.  But I am not asking about other points - I am asking you
about this point. And is it correct that at this point you
said that dissolution of ghettos, except for the Budapest
Ghetto, passed without exception through Section IVB4?

A.  That cannot be true, as it contradicts the facts.

Judge Halevi:  At least as far as Budapest is concerned, I
believe there is some misunderstanding. Perhaps you could
read pages 3116-3117 yourself and explain what you meant
there about the Budapest Ghetto, so that I do not have to
interpret it.

Accused:    That is correct, and I have said so. That was
Himmler's order at the time for Budapest. That is what I
said, yes.

Q.  That means that in the case of a transfer of the Jews of
the Budapest Ghetto to Auschwitz - if that had been carried
out - this would have been a matter for your Section.

A.  In the framework of my competence in Hungary, yes.

Q.  Now go back to page 3116 - just before the reference to
Budapest - there you are asked:

     "In other cases, where ghettos were dissolved, and
     there was a decision to transfer the inmates of the
     ghettos to another concentration camp - that was a
     matter which came under deportation orders?
     Eichmann:  Yes.
     Less:  That had to pass through you?
     Eichmann:  Yes,that had to pass through me."

That had to go through you, IVB4?

A.  Yes, that is correct, Your Honour. I have just said
that. Because when it came to the Eastern Territories, what
I was responsible for in accordance with orders, was drawing
up the timetables, the guidelines...

Q.  What are the Eastern Territories? What do you mean by
"Eastern Territories"?

A.  They are the new German Eastern Territories, as they
were called, added to the Reich after the Polish campaign.
So they included what was then the Warthegau - although
there was a special arrangement regarding that - and then
there were parts which were added to East Prussia, but they
can be identified in decrees and so on. They were called the
new German Eastern Territories.

Q.  But here this does not apply only to the Eastern
Territories. This is quite general.

A.  But this never applies to the Generalgouvernement...

Q.  ...Apart from the Generalgouvernement?

A.  ...and the Russian Eastern Occupied Territories, yes.
Apart from that, this applies to everything which concerns
the Reich.

Q.  And Hungary?

A.  Perhaps to make things easier, Your Honour, I could
provide a further reference which explains this very
precisely, namely the minutes of the consultation chaired by
Heydrich on 30 January 1940. I have just remembered this.
There, on 30 January 1940, this entire matter was settled,
discussed and arrangements and orders are laid down.

Judge Halevi:  That will do.

Attorney General: Can you give me an example of a ghetto in
the German Reich, or in the Eastern Occupied Territories?

 Accused:    In the Eastern Occupied Territories? Yes -
there was a whole string of them.

Q.  Correct. But in the Reich territory, about which you
have just stated that this was the area for which you were
responsible - give me an example of just one ghetto.

A.  In the Reich territory - I said that the Eastern
Territories - that is where I was also ordered to draw up
the timetables for deportations.

That is shown quite clearly by the minutes I have just
remembered, dated 30 January.

Presiding Judge: I will ask you again, what are the Eastern
Territories which you mention here? It is very easy to get
confused here.

Accused:    Your Honour, I cannot quote their names from
memory - they all appear by name in this record.

Q.  Including the one you mentioned before, Zichenau?

A.  Yes, I think that appears also.

Q.  Or Bialystok?

A. not there. No, I believe that Bialystok
is not in a new Eastern Territories.

Q.  But I believe that it was annexed to East Prussia.

A.  Ah, if it was annexed, then it belongs to the Eastern
Territories, I am not able to say that offhand, Your Honour,
and that is why I referred to this record to facilitate
matters and increase accuracy.

Q.  But apart from the Warthegau? Or is the Warthegau also

A.  The Warthegau is also included, yes, indeed, it was also
included, the entire Warthegau belonged to the incorporated
Eastern Territories. But Greiser then managed to establish
for himself a special position there as regards the
Litzmannstadt Ghetto.

Presiding Judge: All right.

Judge Halevi:  The Attorney General asked you to give an
example of a ghetto where you were responsible for the
transfer of its inhabitants to Auschwitz.

Accused:    From a ghetto to Auschwitz - I cannot for the
moment recall any particular one. But I am thinking of the
Lublin Ghetto, transports left from there.

Q.  For Auschwitz?

A.  No, I believe that transports left from the Eastern
Territories for Lublin, for the Lublin Concentration Camp.

Q.  And here you issued the orders for arrest?

A.  No, I could not issue orders for arrest at all.

Q.  You issued deportation orders?

A.  I had to draw up the timetables, and then the Jews from
these areas who had been ordered to be deported had to be
transported to this concentration camp, in accordance with
the orders.

Atorney General  The numbers of deportees were shown in a
graph on the wall behind Guenther's desk in your office,
were they not?

Accused:    Yes.

Q.  And therefore your Section knew exactly how many persons
were deported and where they were deported to?

A.  Yes, it knew that - it even had to - I even had to
report on that.

Q.  And you knew that during these transports - during the
course of the transport - every time, scores and hundreds of
people perished?

A.  I did not know that, because I was not responsible for
the accompanying escorts. That fell under the responsibility
of the Order Police. But I did hear and read about that.

Q.  But that did not worry you? You did nothing to avoid
this occurring?

A.  If I had the power and the possibility to avoid this, I
would not even have started with it - I would have worked
according to my thoughts and wishes.

Judge Halevi:  You could not prevent people from dying en

Accused:    Your Honour, I did not accompany the transports;
the orders issued to the Order Police were indeed issued,
but it was the Order Police itself which had to carry them
out. After all, I, in Berlin, could not know what sort of
things were going on somewhere en route from x to y. The
orders to the Order Police were issued in a clearcut,
unambiguous form, but that is also why generally it was
officers who were sent by the Order Police Head Office. I
had no influence on these matters, none at all.

Attorney General: But in the guidelines you determined  the
number of persons who were to be crammed into each freight
car, didn't you?

Accused:    I do not remember. But what was stated in the
guidelines was what I was ordered to state, that is clear. I
must admit to what is shown in the guidelines. But the
Security Police was not responsible for transport escorts.
At the point were the Order Police Head Office took over,
the Order Police took over the responsibility for the

Q.  In this context, when talking about the same matter with
Sassen in 1957, you said the following:

     "During the War this difficulty, the victims of
     death...did not upset me so much, insofar as they were
     unavoidable. Because, after all when all is said and
     done, I really could not allow myself to be upset. The
     bombing of German cities, with the resulting deaths of
     women and children - that was possibly the only thing I
     felt as regards my attitude to the orders which I

You did say that, didn't you?

A.  It is obvious that the dead bodies of Germans which I
saw lying in the streets made an impression on my feelings
in the same way as my feeling for the bodies, the first dead
bodies of Jews which I saw, were something I could not
grasp.  Gradually, I reached a stage where neither German
dead bodies nor Jewish dead bodies, nor any other dead
bodies, had that effect on me, like the first dead bodies
that I saw. It is natural and human, as I thought, to
understand that. That is how things are, because the more
you have to take in these fantastic and apolocalyptic
images, in the course of events in wartime, then - when I
saw it, it will sound brutal, but the less - how shall I put
it, the less novel and shocking one finds it. I believe that
every human being is affected in the same way.

Presiding Judge: Which page is that, please?

Attorney General: At the top, marked X.

You will agree with me that the bombing of German cities,
and the German dead bodies, which you could see after such
bombings, only happened as from 1943. Is that correct?

A.  Yes, that is correct. I also remember that when I saw
the first Jewish dead bodies, my knees began to tremble, the
sight was completely new - I found it unbelievable,
something I could not grasp.  When later, in dozens of heavy
bombing raids, I saw hundreds and thousands of German
bodies, torn to pieces and burnt and shrivelled up - then, I
must confess, death itself really lost its horror for me. I
think I can say when my knees no longer trembled - one was
there, oneself, in the middle of death and death's

That is how I would understand the reply given here. I know
that I did not pay close attention to the wording of this
passage, but who can guarantee and warrant that these are
literally the words which I may have said at that time?
Because I would have said what I have described here, namely
my mental reaction to this whole dreadful business.

Q.  And you were not bothered by being the great "forwarding
agent of Death"?

A.  That bothered me a great deal and it bothered me more
that anyone can imagine. In vain, on many, many occasions I
went to my superior and asked him to transfer me to a
different task. I...

Q.  But never in writing?

A.  It was not customary to do something like that in
writing. One would report like a soldier and make one's

Q.  Whom did you ask to release you of your duties?

A.  Time and again I asked my immediate superior, SS
Gruppenfuehrer and Lieutenant General of Police Mueller,
first of all not to have to come to Berlin at all, but to be
able to remain where I had my family. That was the first
thing. And then on another occasion I pressed him, I begged
him as I could hardly stand it physically. That is what I
told him when I returned from the journey to the East, on
which he had sent me. And then after every further journey.
Mueller knew precisely what my state of mind was.

Q.  And there was no appeal to Heydrich or Kaltenbrunner?

A.  That would not have been of any use because Mueller...

Q.  No appeal, correct?

A.  That is correct, that would not have been of any use
because it was Mueller who had to decide about me, because
Mueller was my immediate superior in disciplinary matters.

Q.  And I tell you - and you said as much in your 1957 talks
with Sassen as well - that you were pleased and satisfied by
your transfer to the Head Office for Reich Security.

A.  But the satisfaction only lasted as long as I was able
to work on the Madagascar Plan. I do not know whether that
is also in there.

Presiding Judge: Silence, please, complete silence.

Accused:    And I must also state once again that I must
dissociate myself from these matters, because there is
absolutely no way of checking on them, on what is correct
and what is false.

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