The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-097-04

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-097-04
Last-Modified: 1999/06/13

Q. So what is being laid down here about the Final Solution
of the Jewish Question in France, as it says here, "was
agreed clearly and with binding force," and "in conclusion
it was determined" (in the last paragraph) - that is in this
document, is it not?

A. Yes, this is actually a very accurate document, and it
also mentions who issued the instructions and from whom the
order came.

Q. Yes, yes, this is in here, that the Reichsfuehrer- SS
issued the order.

Presiding Judge: If you have finished with this exhibit, we
can recess.


Presiding Judge: Please proceed, Mr. Hausner.

Attorney General: Just to complete the picture.  At the
meeting on 1 July 1942, there was a discussion of the
measures which Dannecker would introduce, to bring about the
withdrawal of rights for the Jews, confiscation of Jewish
property, and their deportation.  Is that correct?

Accused:    Yes.  As the minute indicates.  All that was

Q. And everything which Knochen and Dannecker subsequently
undertook was undertaken on the basis of and as a result of
these meetings, where you issued the directives.

A. That is correct, with one reservation.  It was not I who
issued the directives; here Dannecker was very punctilious,
and also specified on which date and by whom these
directives were issued.

Q. We have already talked about that.  The order was issued
by Hitler, and Himmler transmitted the basic directives.
But the practical instructions were issued by you to
Dannecker on 1 July 1942, and what Dannecker subsequently
executed, was executed by him on the basis of the
instructions issued by you.  Is that correct?

A. The instructions transmitted by me - if that is included,
then it is quite correct.

Q. All right, let it be like that.  On 9 March 1942, you
wrote to your Foreign Ministry stating that you wish to
deport one thousand stateless Jews and French nationals to
Auschwitz.  T/402.  Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is also correct, and the previous history is
also known.

Q. And on 10 March 1942, you promised Dannecker that you
would take these Jews from him before the end of March.
This is in T/403: "Eichmann promised to take these Jews
before the end of March."

A. Yes, that is also correct, with the same reservation.
The previous history - who ordered this - is known.

Q. And without waiting for the answer from the Foreign
Ministry, you ordered Dannecker to contact the French
authorities immediately, in order to transport the Jews to
the East.  T/404, paragraphs 2 and 3.  Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is also correct, subject to the final decision
by the Chief of the Security Police and the Security
Service, I did in fact make this notification, in accordance
with the instructions of Chief of Department IV, and I must
say that what is stated here is correct.

Q. In your letter to the Foreign Ministry, T/422, dated 22
June 1942, you wrote on that subject that able-bodied
people, able-bodied people only, were to be deported.  If
you will look at this.

A. Yes, this is also known; this is in fact the dividing
point between the two waves.  Himmler first ordered the
deportation of, I believe, one hundred thousand Jews from
France, and a few days, or a few weeks, later he ordered the
deportation of all Jews from France.

Q. We shall get to this.  Here, in any case, you write about
able-bodied Jews, do you not?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. And you mention ninety thousand, is that correct?

A. Yes.  In total, from France, the Netherlands and Belgium,
that is correct.

Q. But in the meeting held at your office on 11 July 1942,
you ordered ten per cent of non-able-bodied Jews to be
deported as well, so that the total figure rose to one
hundred thousand.  Is that correct?  This is T/419.

A. Yes, that is also correct.  And it also states explicitly
here that this was decreed by Himmler.

Q. And when you issued the instructions for ten per cent of
non-able-bodied persons to be added, you realized that these
would be sent for immediate extermination, didn't you?

A. I could imagine that would be the case, even though it
was not said.  I had to pass this on in accordance with

Q. All right.  Let us now look at something else, at the
relations between you and your Foreign Ministry.  In T/748,
document No. 929, you approached the Foreign Ministry with
the request that permission be given to arrest Hungarian
Jews in Germany.  Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is correct.  This was preceded by a prolonged
affair, as I would gather from the reference; it was handled
by Government Counsellor Suhr.

Q. The Foreign Ministry did not give its consent.  Look at
exhibit T/749, please.

A. Yes, that is also correct.  In reply to this
communication from Suhr, the Foreign Ministry wrote that it
does not agree at this stage to extend these measures to
Jews of Hungarian nationality.

Q. But you did not take notice of this and carried out the
arrests.  Look at the document.

A. Yes, that is also correct.  A few local offices did not
observe this.

Q. Do not tell me that a few local offices of the Gestapo
acted in the Reich without the authority of the Head Office
for Reich Security or the Central Office.  You are not
trying to tell me that, are you?

A. In all countries the authorities know that their
subordinate offices keep making mistakes, and there are
always defects.  That is true in all countries, and it is
the eternal misfortune of all central offices.

Q. Really!  Are you telling us that the State Police offices
arrested Hungarian Jews, Hungarian nationals, without
receiving the authority or power from you?

A. I would not question this quite as bluntly, but according
to the contents of this minute it would appear to be the

Q. But you yourself told us that the matter of Jews with
foreign nationality was a very delicate one, and that this
had to be dealt with by you and also by the Foreign
Ministry, and that neither you, nor Mueller, nor sometimes
even Kaltenbrunner wanted to take a decision on these
matters.  And now you are telling me that some local State
Police office, in the midst of a system of centralized
government such as there was in Germany, took it upon itself
to take a decision.

A. This is perfectly possible and understandable in human
terms, although it should not have occurred, for a local
State Police to do something at its own discretion.
But...the local State Police offices had to act in the area
for which they were responsible, not only according to the
instructions of the Head Office for Reich Security, but also
according to the instructions of their Higher SS and Police

Q. In your meeting with Dannecker on 1 July 1942...

Presiding Judge: Just a moment.  Letter T/749: On the basis
of this letter you should have issued instructions to the
local offices that Jews with Hungarian nationality were not
to be arrested.  Is that correct?

Accused:    Yes.  Nor can I imagine that that would not have
been done.  I cannot imagine that.  If it did not happen, it
would have been a clear and absolute error.

Attorney General: In your meeting with Dannecker on 1 July
1942, there was also a consultation about the steps to be
taken for deporting Jews from Vichy France.

Accused:    That is perfectly possible.  I remember...I do
not have the records here in my head at the moment, but as I
have already said, what is in them is authentic.

Q. And you did not wait at all for the authorization of the
Foreign Ministry and carried out the deportation of Jews
from non-occupied areas, and then Knochen enquired how the
matter was to be accounted for to the legation in Paris.
Look at the document: T/450, document No. 75.

A. Once Himmler's basic order had been conveyed, the
Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service
was competent and responsible in his area for the
deportation measures applicable to his area of command, and
not the Head Office for Reich Security.  That is why these
instructions were basically conveyed by me.  And this
document does in fact show that somehow there had to be
local...that they tried to arrange matters locally.

Q. Perhaps my question was not properly translated.  My
question is as follows: The document shows that the
deportation was carried out without the co-ordination or
agreement of the Foreign Ministry, and Roethke then tries to
find some way of accounting for this to the German legation
in Paris.  Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. And with reference to deportations from Romania as well -
you circumvented the Foreign Ministry.  Is that correct?

A. Without studying the documents, I would not know anything
at all about this.  But even after studying the documents I
do not know anything about this either.

Q. Very well, we shall return to this.  In T/1021, document
No. 181, you wrote to the Foreign Ministry about the
deportation from Romania of able-bodied Jews.

A. Yes, that is correct, Mueller himself signed the document
which I dictated.  By way of further explanation, I should
like to add that this matter was preceded by this famous
document, hand-written document from the Romanian Vice-
Premier, Mihai Antonescu, to Richter.

Q. Slowly - we shall come to this entire chapter in time.
But we wish to proceed step by step, looking at the
relations with your Foreign Ministry.  So this is a letter
which you yourself drafted and dictated.  Is that correct?

A. I wrote this letter on the orders of my Department Chief
- he himself signed it.

Q. Just look at page 1772 of your Statement.  You say there
"I drafted it."  Is that correct?

A. That is not worded properly; it should say that I drafted
it according to orders; because I did, in fact, and I have
said as much, I did write it on orders.

Q. And Mueller signed this letter, because it was addressed
to Luther and, therefore, in accordance with the regulations
on correspondence, it had to bear Mueller's signature.  Is
that correct?

A. No; that depended on whether my Chief put an orange-
coloured double "X" on the draft or not.

Q. Very well.  I am simply taking this from your own words,
and I will read them out to you from page 1772 and the top
of page 1773: "I drafted it, I dictated it.  Of course,
because it does say IVB4 and also it went to Luther, did it
not - Mueller signed it - I dictated it."

A. Well, yes - I have not said anything else now.

Q. Well, on the same day, 26 June 1942, when you drafted
this letter to the Foreign Ministry, you wrote to Himmler on
the same matter.  T/1023 - also the same as N/90, that is to
say, the letter was submitted twice - it simply did not
strike us when Counsel for the Defence submitted N/90 that
the same exhibit had already been submitted by us - I
apologize, N/60.  As you will now see, on the same day you
wrote to Mueller, and you also dictated this and said that
non-able-bodied Jews were also being deported, or included
in the deportation transports.  Is that correct?

A. The document does not indicate that I dictated this
letter.  But I will not dwell on this any further. This
letter - if it was sent on the same day - was ordered by
Mueller together with the other communication, because
without orders I would not have been able to do something
like this.

Q. Would you please look: On page 1222 of your Statement
this letter is mentioned.  Less asks you: "But you drafted
the letter?"  "... but, as has been said, it was only drawn
up by you?"  Eichmann: "Yes."

Judge Raveh:   Excuse me, which page is that?

Attorney General: I apologize, it is page 2222.  That means,
then, that at one point you write to the Foreign Ministry
that only able-bodied Jews are to be deported, and to the
Reichsfuehrer you write that non-able-bodied Jews are also
to be deported.  Is that correct?

Accused:    I had to deal with this as I was instructed by
orders.  I do not want in any way to dispute this business,
but I cannot give the details.  In the case of the last
minute I have been handed, it does not appear that it came
from me.  In the meanwhile I have been able, by perusing the
documents, to acquire far more precise knowledge and
conclusions, so that many passages of what I said in my
statement are not necessarily correct or valid any more, as
has been clearly demonstrated.

Q. I have already told you that I do not believe that the
German Foreign Ministry does not also bear responsibility
for the murder of Jews. I believe that they are no less
responsible than the others.  But here you are trying even
to deceive your own Foreign Ministry.  That is my argument,
and you will in fact accept that it is valid, will you not?

A. I cannot deny the orders for camouflage which Himmler
issued, as they exist and the subordinate bodies were bound
by them.

Q. Here you are mistaken.  The Foreign Ministry found out
about this whole business of your deception manoeuvres vis-a-
vis the Foreign Ministry, because Himmler sent your letter
on to the Foreign Ministry, so that both letters were sent
to them: firstly your letter to the Foreign Ministry,
stating that only able-bodied Jews were to be sent, and also
the letter to Himmler about the non-able-bodied.  And then
the Foreign Ministry found that out.  And that is why
Killinger was so furious and wrote about Eichmann's methods.
Is that correct?

A. I was not referring to this particular instance with
regard to camouflage orders.  Himmler issued the orders for
camouflage generally, and even determined which words were
to be used.

Presiding Judge: But from this answer I gather that here
there was camouflaging by someone in the Head Office for
Reich Security - as against the Foreign Ministry, is that
not true?

Accused:    There was the camouflage order.

Attorney General: Does this also apply to the various Reich

Accused:    I can only say that what I myself came across
here in respect of these camouflage orders applies to

Presiding Judge: And this is also true of the Foreign
Ministry - it also applies to the German Foreign Ministry,
does it not?

Accused:    The camouflage?

Presiding Judge: Yes.

Accused:    Yes, that is how I understand this.  But due to
an error, clearly by Himmler's personal staff, this letter
went to the Foreign Ministry.  That is how I would understand this.

Presiding Judge: That will do.

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