The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-096-02

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-096-02
Last-Modified: 1999/06/13

Attorney General: That is proven by your actions.  You will
agree with me that in this File 17, which you accept in its
entirety as being in your own handwriting, written at the
time when you had settled down quietly on the ranch, there
is no hint of this being a crime which should not be

Accused:    As far as I know this, after all, this is only
part of an explanatory correction, altogether there must
have been something like 193 corrections like this.
Q. But in this tape 17, is there anything there about this,
or nothing at all?  Do you agree? Nothing, right?

A. Not in tape 17, but there are some 150 others which are

Q. Missing - always missing...  What it says here is: The
slogan is "the Jew is an enemy, and the enemy has to be
destroyed."  And that was your opinion in 1957.

A. I have already said that the opinion did not relate to
physical destruction; "destruction" was understood at that
time as...

Q. No, in 1957...

A. No, it was not like that.  I reject that.

Q. But that is what you wrote?

A. I did not write that, either.  No.

Q. Do you want to see it again?  We have already looked at
it here.  So I will now give you your own handwriting.  The
passage where you spoke about the declaration of war by Dr.
Chaim Weizmann - pages 734-735.

You spoke about the enemies of the Reich.  And you said
there: "The slogan on both sides was `the enemies must be
destroyed!' And Jewry throughout the world had obviously
declared war on the German Reich through their leader, Dr.
Chaim Weizmann."  That is what you had to say in 1957.

Presiding Judge: There are several more words at the top.

Attorney General: Before "Dr. Chaim Weizmann."

Accused:    On page 737?

Presiding Judge: At the top of 735, in the fourth line.

Accused:    "Declared war on the German Reich through its
leader... And Jewry throughout the world" - is that what
Your Honour means?

Presiding Judge: Yes.

Accused:    "And through its leader, Jewry throughout the
world had..."  The next bit is illegible...

Presiding Judge: That is what I wanted to know; perhaps you
can make it out?

Accused:    I cannot read this here in my photocopy, it is

Attorney General: All right.

Accused:    On the matter in hand, I had already said once
that reference was also made to destroying the French foe,
the English foe, and every other foe.  This word
"destruction" does not mean physical destruction and
physical extermination.  That is a vast difference.  There
was also talk of destroying the French enemy and the English
enemy, but no one understood that to be the physical
extermination of the French or the English.  What it says
here should be understood in exactly the same way.

Presiding Judge: This we have had already.

Attorney General: Yes.  But you wrote this in 1957.  You
already knew what had happened at the time.  You knew that
the Jews had been destroyed, and that for the Jews
destruction had only one meaning, didn't you?

Accused:    But this is not my understanding of my comments
in 1957, this is a description of the events of those years.
This is a vital difference.

Q. Now look, you introduce all of this on page 729 with the
words: "My comments on the subject: `Jewish matters and
measures by the National Socialist German Reich Government
to solve this complex matter from 1933 to 1945'."  Is that

A. Yes, from 1933 to 1945.

Q. So these are your comments in 1957?

A. Yes, but I made these comments in 1957 on how things had
happened from 1933 to 1945.

Q. And that is what you wrote.  But you will agree with me
that you did not give the slightest indication that you
thought that this had been a crime.

A. I made unadorned, clear statements here, more or less
like a contemporary who had experienced the whole thing.
That can also be seen already from the first page.

Q. Yes, but you will agree with me that you did not indicate
any thoughts to the effect that this might have been a

A. But this is only a part - there are 150 pages which are

Q. On these pages which are here, did you express the
thought that it was a crime, or not?

A. I did not find this on these pages.

Q. Then say so.

A. But that does not exclude my devoting a separate
discussion to this subject.

Q. Your reflections were as follows - I shall read them out
to you:

"As things are now, since perfidious fate has left a large
proportion of these Jews alive, I tell myself that fate so
ordained.  I must bow to fate and to providence."

Was that what you thought?

A. I am unable to say "yes" or "no" to this, just as I am
unable to give any opinion on all of the tapes, as I have
told you, Mr. Attorney General.  I cannot give any
definitive opinion, because I do not know what is true...

Q. Do you not remember your thinking in 1957, your inner
struggle, that wrestling with yourself, of which you speak

A. I remember answering all the sundry questions I was
asked.  What I answered and how things developed as the
evening wore on, I no longer remember.  Today, I do not know
what is the truth, what is an unintentional untruth, and
what is a deliberate untruth.

Q. And at the end you said the following:

     "As an excuse let it be said that, (1) I did not have a
     wide-ranging intellect; (2) that I did not have the
     requisite physical toughness; and that (3) even against
     my will I had a whole legion of men who opposed this
     will, so that while I myself already felt handicapped,
     I could not carry out the rest of what might have
     helped me to make a breakthrough, because I had to
     dissipate my energy in a struggle over many years
     against the so-called interventionists.
     "Whether you are going to put this into the book, I do
     not know.  Perhaps it would not be expedient, perhaps
     it is not a good idea, but that should just be said to
     you at the end, after these four months of refreshing
     my memory..."

Did you say something along these lines at the end?

A. The same applies here as I have already said.  An idea
just occurs to me, Mr. Attorney General.  At the end you
said that there should be several more tapes available.
These tapes should be obtained, and then things can be
proven.  If I did say it, I would have to answer for it, and
if I did not say it, then it will be shown that I did not.
That is the best and the frankest answer which I can give

Q. I see.  I will somehow manage to do my work without your
advice - but would you tell me whether you said these words
or not?

A. I cannot possibly imagine, Mr. Attorney General, that I
did, and therefore, in order to avoid giving the appearance
also in this case as if I wanted...I keep saying no, no, and
in the end it must look as if I wanted to evade something
like this.  But on the other hand, I cannot, after all,
admit and take something upon myself where I do not know if
I said anything at all along these lines, and it is not
meant as advice, but have no other way of doing
things other than to say this - that steps should be taken
to obtain the recording tape, and then it will, after all,
be quite clear, and then I will not have problems answering
here.  I would say "yes" straight off if I thought it were

Q. If you hear the tape, then you will say "yes," is that
right?  Your own voice - only then?

A. But I must then say, how did I come to say this?

Q. I myself also wonder how you came to say this.

Let us turn to another topic.  In your police interrogation,
you said that Dannecker, Wisliceny, Brunner, Guenther and
Richter were under you, and received instructions from you
how to proceed.  Is that correct?

A. In my interrogation I said a great deal, and took upon
myself a great deal, which later, when I read the documents,
I found I had had no possibility and no right to do.

Q. You cannot say whether Dannecker, Wisliceny, Brunner and
Guenther received instructions from you or not - you cannot
gather that from documents; that has to be in your memory.

A. If they belonged to the Section, of course they did, and
every day.

Q. You do not need documents for this.  You can remember

A. If they belonged to the Section, then it is true, they
obtained their instructions from me; but if they were with
the missions abroad, they could not obtain their
instructions from me...I was not authorized to do so.
Naturally, I did co-operate there, that is true.

Q. I am not talking about formal lines of command.
Obviously, if they were abroad, they were formally attached
to some office or other.  I am talking about practical

A. As for the practical arrangements within the Section,
they came from me; the practical arrangements for the men
who were with the missions - that I could not provide.  We
had it in black and white.  For example, Killinger confirms
that he is doing that on my orders - that of course the Head
Office for Reich Security was involved in that, that I was
also involved for my part, I do not deny that, nor can I
deny that, nor have I ever done so.

Q. You wanted to tell that story also in your police
interrogation as well.  You said that the men did not
receive their salaries from you, but from somewhere else.
But it was pointed out to you that it was not a question of
salaries, but of actual activities, and you admitted that
they all belonged to you, like all the Judendezernenten
(Sections Heads for Jewish Affairs), and that appears on
page 412.  As far as Richter is concerned, that was on page

A. I must make a correction here to this statement to the
police, since at the time of my Statement I no longer knew
what the actual legal situation had been.  It is
is correct that I believed that they had all received these
orders from me; but in practice that did not happen.  I had
become confused with the passing of time - it can be
ascertained exactly what they did and what they did not get
from me.

Q. Incredible!

A. If only for the reason that Department Chief IV, Mueller,
dealt with many matters directly; if only for the reason
that, apart from myself, there were other Advisers on Jewish
Affairs, such as Ballensiefen and Neifeind and others.  It
is true that in matters of deportation, I must say in order
to anticipate any doubt, that if such a deportation order
was issued from above and then came down to the Section,
then I naturally was duty bound to pass on this deportation
order, for instance, to Wisliceny in Pressburg. But apart
from this, the Foreign Ministry mostly worked simultaneously
through the mission head, and it was up to the mission head
to play the main role.  So in that instance, Wisliceny knew
about things at roughly the same time as his mission head,
who had had to conduct the initial negotiations.  I can also
say here...

In order to clarify things, I should also like to say here
that I cannot think of - nor am I thinking of denying today
- something which at that time I was obliged to do in
accordance with the oath of loyalty I had taken - today,
when I am under another oath.  I must admit that, and I must
stand by that.  But it must be understood - and I would ask
for this understanding - that, on the other hand, I can only
take upon myself what actually happened and not what people
think that I must in any case have done.

Presiding Judge: I wish to tell you that it is not necessary
to keep repeating general statements of this type.  Address
yourself to the details about which the Attorney General is
asking you.

Attorney General: But these are, after all, matters which
you need not gather from the documents.  You yourself must
either know or not know what your working relationships were
with Wisliceny, Guenther, Richter, Abromeit, and all those
who worked for you abroad in the occupied territories.
There is a limit to what you can retract.

Presiding Judge: We have meanwhile already heard from the
Accused that he did pass on deportation orders, as he put
it, "pass on" to others.

Attorney General: He said a great deal more than that, Your

Presiding Judge: Perhaps we can proceed from here.  There
was no complete denial.

Attorney General: Look at what you said on page 412.  This
concerns the role of those abroad, in Slovakia, Romania.

Captain Less asks you - I am reading to you from page 412:
"Less:  All right, but these people such as Dannecker,
Guenther, Wisliceny, belonged to your Group, to the Section?

Eichmann: Insofar as...insofar as...

Less: IVB4.

Eichmann: No, they were not...paid by...

Less: I am not now asking about pay.  They belonged to your
Section, IVB4?

Eichmann: They belonged to IVB4...let us put it this way,
Captain...just like the other Section Heads on Jewish
Affairs, at the individual Secret State Police offices, the
State Police Regional Headquarters, if you want to express
it by way of comparison.

Less: Is it true that these representatives received
directives from your Section, of which you were the head,
for their activities in the territories, and later had to
report to you?

Eichmann:  Yes."

So is what you said to Less true?

Accused:    Generally speaking, that is completely true.
With just the one proviso: that these men were not
subordinate to my Section, IVB4, but to offices abroad.
And, therefore, it is correct when I say "like the various
sections, for example, at the State Police and the State
Police Regional Headquarters..."  They were not under my
control, but the instructions which I had to give, of
course, passed through my Section to the State Police
offices, and similarly also to these men who were named

Q. As far as Richter is concerned, who was also one of your
men, at the top of page 1777 Less asked you: "Was Richter
one of your people down there?"  And your answer: "Yes, yes,
as I have just said."  Is that correct?

A. But it says - either immediately after that or somewhere
else - that I said that Richter was an exception, because
Richter obtained his instructions from the Chief of the
Security Police and the Security Service and, I believe, not
even through Mueller.  That must be in there, as I said it
and it was well known.

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