The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/06/14

[Attorney General, Continued]

The furthermost limits which Nazi Germany dared to reach in
the pre-War period, at a time when her actions were
committed before the eyes of the entire world, was to force
the Jews to leave the country by way of expulsion. Heydrich
gave clear expression to that at a meeting of Ministers
conducted by Goering on 12 November 1938, when he said: "The
basic problem is for the Jew to get out of Germany." How was
this accomplished at that time? We heard this here from
witnesses. Already at that time methods of terror,
intimidation, force, deceit and camouflage were employed,
which characterized the behaviour of the Nazis towards the
Jews, right to the bitter end.

At the end of March 1938, at the first meeting with Jewish
representatives in Vienna - this was the place which
Heydrich subsequently held up as a model organization for
the forced emigration of Jews - Adolf Eichmann introduced
these methods.  The witness Fleischmann told you how
Eichmann notified them that he was now master of every
aspect of the lives of the Jews of Austria, that he had to
solve the Jewish Question with maximum speed and by all
means, and that the solution was - the purging of Vienna,
and of the whole of Austria, of their Jews; and all his
instructions and directives would have to be obeyed, and
that he would overcome any obstacle or any resistance by the
appropriate means. On the same occasion, he recounted to the
Jewish representatives, dumbfounded as they were, the false
story that he was a native of Sarona, that he understood
Hebrew and Yiddish - which lent further credence to the
fearful legend which subsequently became current about him
in the ghettos of Eastern Europe.

Witnesses told us of the methods employed at that time:
Notices began arriving very soon from the Dachau
concentration camp of the deaths of Jews; releases from
Dachau or from Buchenwald would be permitted only after the
number of emigrants began to reach 500 daily. That was what
Eichmann announced. He acknowledged this in his
interrogation by the police.

And, on the day following "Crystal Night," Eichmann made his
speech to the Jewish representatives, who had been brought
to him after being beaten up by Viennese hooligans and
members of the SS, pressed together, shivering from cold and
shattered with blood, without having had any food for almost
twenty-four hours. Thus, there stood before him several
hundreds of the cream of Viennese Jewry, with rain drenching
the walls of the room open to the elements into which they
had been packed. And Eichmann addressed them in a speech
full of rage, which was described by Fleischmann. "The rate
of the disappearance of Jews from Vienna is unsatisfactory,"
and he added, "we shall have to resort to other means, and
from now on I shall know what to do." With this threat
resounding in their ears, the Jews were dismissed and
ordered to sign a document to the effect that if they
revealed a word of what had happened to them - they would be
put to death.

The Loewenherz Report, on which the Accused was questioned
during his police interrogation, contains detailed accounts
of the days of bloodshed in Vienna, the confiscation of
property, the despair and the horror that prevailed amongst
the Jews. Heydrich referred to it at the ministerial meeting
of 12 November 1938: "In Vienna we have established a Centre
for Jewish emigration, and through it we got 50,000 Jews out
of Austria."

This great success induced the leaders of the Nazi regime to
replicate the method used by Eichmann in Vienna throughout
the Reich. The Witness Lindenstrauss: testified that, at the
end of January, or the beginning of February, 1939, leaders
of Jewry in Germany were ordered to travel to Vienna, at
Eichmann's behest. Dr. Benno Cohn and Dr. Meyer both gave
evidence about that journey. When Eichmann commanded the
representatives of German Jewry to take a look at the
"exemplary" arrangements in Vienna, he lectured them saying
that, from now on, the same method would have to be applied
also with them. "The minimum must be 1,000 passports per

When the President of the Berlin community, Stahl, tried to
point out the difficulties, Eichmann retorted: "I don't care
about that - that is your affair. Find ways of emigration
and produce the passports." And he concluded by stating:
"You will be responsible for implementing this in the spirit
of what I have said. If not - you know what to expect." We
knew, Lindenstrauss said, that in this way, in Germany, too,
the era of emigration had come to an end, and the period of
expulsions had begun.

Meyer testified about an "expulsion industry" that he
witnessed in Vienna. "It was awful, most awful," he said. He
also described his meeting with the Accused in Berlin in
March 1938, when he was introduced by Eichmann at the
Gestapo as one of the Jews who had the impudence to
instigate the Jews of Austria against the steps that had
been taken there. On the same occasion, Eichmann announced
that a Centre for the Emigration of Jews would operate in
Berlin, and he gave orders that the monies of the Jewish
National Fund were to be transferred to the Gestapo.

Dr. Benno Cohn also described the meeting in Berlin to which
he had been invited, at which the main speaker was Adolf
Eichmann. He reacted with shouting and threats to an article
which had appeared in the foreign press, describing him as a
"blood-hound," an expression which he would be adopting for
himself when talking in future to Jewish functionaries; he
reviled those Jewish leaders of Berlin who had dared to
speak at all to the Jews in Vienna. "If such a thing should
happen again," he said, "you will go to the "Konzertlager."*
{*Concert Camp - concentration camp} When Dr. Stahl asked
that the emigration should be orderly, and not carried out
in the form of a savage expulsion across the borders,
Eichmann replied with a series of coarse threats, and those
present were convinced that they were going to be sent
immediately to a concentration camp. Later on, Eichmann
announced that an emigration centre along the lines of the
one in Vienna would be set up at 116 Kurfuerstenstrasse,
Berlin and the Jewish representatives would be responsible
for seeing to it that the emigration quotas were filled.

22Thus, already in the months of February and March 1939,
Eichmann was occupied with the Berlin emigration centre.
This was undoubtedly carried out by virtue of the assignment

Heydrich had received to establish this emigration centre, a
task which he transmitted to Mueller, and in which Eichmann
was actively employed, as we have seen, at least partially.

Thereafter, Eichmann organized the same operation and used
the same methods, in the Bohemia and Moravia area.

These were, indeed, just the beginnings. "But even a child
is known by its doings."* {*Proverbs, 20:11}

Therefore, it is proper to dwell upon them in somewhat
greater detail, for his method was recognizable even then,
in the early days. We may rely on his own statement in a
private letter which Eichmann wrote at the time to a friend,
and I quote: "The Jewish functionaries are completely in my
hands. I make them run in whatever way I want. They will not
dare take one step without me."

Or, as he wrote in another letter: "The President of the
Community Council, Dr. Friedmann, has been removed from
Dachau to the police prison here, and is at our disposal for
possible clarifications."

This was the period when Eichmann acted, to use his own
words here in this Court, with gladness and creative joy.
This is the period he relies upon in claiming that he sought
constructive solutions, and now he has the Nazi effrontery
to state that, actually, he was merely helping these Jews to
leave Germany, something which anyhow they wanted to do. He
is obliged to acknowledge that the hurried exodus was the
product of panic, of the persecutions and the acts of
atrocity which the Nazis themselves perpetrated, and that
every Jewish emigrant who was expelled was forced to leave
all his property to the State.

The band of criminals impoverished the Jews and expelled
them, and the argument that he merely assisted them to
extricate themselves from their distress, is characteristic
cynicism. It is like a gang of robbers setting fire to a
house from all sides, and sending one of their number to
throw the owners of the house through the window and to rob
them of their possessions - and later excusing themselves by
saying that it was better for the owner to be thrown out of
the house than to be burned alive.

Those responsible for the criminal conspiracy against the
Jews, those who were then engaged in arrests, in expulsion
across the borders, in setting synagogues afire, in the
plundering of property and forced emigration from the
country, were members of the SD and the Gestapo. Everyone of
this gang of miscreants had a defined role in the conspiracy
which was also clearly and openly defined by Alfred
Rosenberg and published in the Voelkischer Beobachter: "Only
the departure of the last Jew from Germany will solve the
Jewish question for us."

The role of the Accused amongst those committing crimes
against the Jews was defined and evident even at that time,
and he actually admitted as much in the course of his cross-
examination, namely that, at least from 1937 onwards, he was
active in the fight against the Jewish People in the ranks
of the SD, and was so successful in the task of expulsion
that he acquired a reputation as an acknowledged expert. And
the Head Office of the SD would not agree at the time to his
being transferred to another sphere of operation.
Incidentally, it may be said that here Eichmann was caught
up in one of his lies. He wanted to convince you, Your
Honours, that the occupation with Jewish emigration gave him
satisfaction, and that it was work which he wanted and which
he willingly undertook. His transfer to Berlin, so he
contended, was forced upon him, and he asked to be released
from there. I shall yet return to this episode, but in his
personal file there remains a reminder of his desire to be
transferred to another position, precisely from the time
when he was dealing with Jewish emigration, in May 1938.
Then, as we know from the documents, only then did he wish
for a transfer to Linz, the town where his family was
living. The Head Office of the SD was not prepared to agree
to the transfer of the expert Eichmann who, already by 1938,
had no equal in the front of anti-Jewish action, as his
superior Six wrote of him.

The persecution of Jews in Germany, beginning with the rise
to power of Hitler and ending with perpetration of acts
within the ambit of the conspiracy of their physical
extinction, constituted one long drawn-out violation of the
accepted principles of human morality, or as they are
termed, a crime against humanity. These persecutions were
characterized by various outstanding events described in
detail in the evidence that was presented to the Court: The
day of the boycott, the Nuremberg Laws, Crystal Night -
these were the milestones...

Presiding Judge: Pardon me for interrupting for a moment.
You began by saying that he applied to be transferred to

Attorney General: He asked to be transferred to Linz.

Presiding Judge: You said at first that he wished to be
transferred to Berlin, but afterwards you mentioned Linz. Is
that not correct?

Attorney General: I would say the following: Eichmann
maintains that his transfer to Berlin was against his
wishes, that from there he asked to be transferred
elsewhere. I add that his personal file is in our
possession; from this file it transpires that the only time
when he requested, in writing, a transfer to another post -
apart from the allegations he made here, on the witness
stand, and to which I shall revert - was precisely the
period in which he was engaged in that task which gave him
satisfaction and creative joy - Jewish emigration.

The persecutions were directed especially against the Jewish
population, and therefore to them must apply what was said
on that question, and about that law, in the judgment of the
President of the Supreme Court in the matter of Pell versus
the Attorney General. I quote:

     "...If we compare Section 1 and 2, we shall come to the
     conclusion that all the offences set out in Section 2
     are, in actual fact, also included in Section 1:
     according to Section 1, also, a person may be
     accountable by law for an offence which he actually
     committed against certain persons, if the act in
     respect of these persons was committed as a result of
     the intention to harm that group of persons, and the
     act performed by the offender in respect of these
     persons was a kind of `part performance' of his
     malicious design towards the group as a whole, whether
     it was the Jewish People or the civilian population."

We maintain that Eichmann did not deal with Jews who fell
into his hands, such as Reuben, Simeon, Levi or Judah. His
concern was not with this or that private individual. He
struck at these individuals because it was his intention to
strike at the whole group.

This was the way by which the crimes were perpetrated, which
are dealt with in the third, sixth and seventh counts of the

There is no doubt that he was only part of a huge machine
which dealt with the persecution of the Jews. That is how it
was from the beginning, and it remained so to the end. He
was not the only one who set in motion, at the inception,
the Nazi persecutions which brought tens of thousands of
Jews to headlong flight from the Reich and the annexed

Agencies of the State co-operated with him and were at his
disposal, for without them he could not have executed his
evil design. The wicked laws, the concentration camps, the
entire army of torturers and thugs - all these advanced his
activities and assisted him in compelling the Jews to get
out. What all of them accomplished, together, was the
creation of conditions from which the Jews fled. The whole
set-up of organizing, of speeding up the emigration of
persons from countries where they and their forefathers had
lived for many generations, was a continuous chain of
criminal acts. And yet we are still talking of the early
stage, when the idea of physical extermination had not yet
been conceived.

After Poland's defeat in the Second World War, the evil
design followed a new line. Heydrich assembled the
commanders of the Einsatzgruppen and other officers on 21
September 1939, and informed them that the plan now was to
remove all the Jews from the areas inside Poland which had
been annexed to the Reich, to uproot all the Jews from their
places of residence, and to concentrate them in ghettos in
preparation for the next stage of the solution. This
solution was to set up, inside occupied Poland, such places
from which it would be easy to transport the Jews. This
Final Solution would in the meanwhile be kept in total
secrecy. Hence, the plan was as follows: uprooting the
Jewish population and moving them into the
Generalgouvernement; shutting up the Jews in ghettos;
setting up Councils of Elders which were to be in charge of
each concentration of Jews, with each member of the Council
being obliged, at the risk of his life, to carry out
punctually the orders given; and to ready the Jews for the
next stage.

Those persons present at the meeting, and those who would be
concerned with executing this plan must, of necessity, have
known that the implementation of Hitler's horrifying speech,
which he delivered in the Reichstag as early as 30 January
1939, was now rapidly approaching: "In the coming war,  the
Jews of Europe will be exterminated."

Not in vain did Eichmann take the trouble to distance
himself from participation in that meeting, although his
name appears in the official record of the meeting, together
with his title and rank. When interrogated on this point in
the police investigation, he tried to be evasive, to make
excuses and extricate himself. But at that time he did not
possess the brazenness which he has attained here, to deny
the authenticity of an official document, and to contend
that it was a forgery. He told the police that no doubt
could be entertained as to the fact of his participation -
this was after he had been shown the list of participants -
and he went on to say that obviously he had been made aware
of the entire programme. His argument in Court - that
meanwhile he had concluded from the documents that he had
erred - is completely groundless. On what does he rely in
order to prove that he had not taken part in that meeting?
On the fact that Six had testified that Eichmann would not
have participated in the regular consultations with Heads of
Departments, and on the fact that Dr. Loewenherz saw him in
Berlin in December 1939.

These are empty allegations which cannot stand the test of
analysis. Firstly, the document speaks for itself; secondly,
we know from the evidence of Benno Cohn, Meyer and
Lindenstrauss that Eichmann was already dealing with the
business of the Berlin emigration centre in March 1939; and
on this aspect the witnesses were not even cross-examined
and the Accused made no attempt to rebut their version. And
thirdly, we did not gather from him who it was who would be
interested in forging that document which had been kept
under official custody, and for what reason it would have
been necessary to make the forgery.

At this point I wish to make a comment relating to several
documents which have been submitted by the Prosecution in
this case.

Before doing so, perhaps it would be appropriate for me to
submit to the Court a summary of the precedent on which we
shall rely throughout the whole of the arguments. We have
printed complete extracts from these precedents. We have
presented a copy to Defence Counsel, in the language
understood by him and, with the Court's permission, I now
submit three copies.

Presiding Judge: Please do so. I shall mark this material
with my initials.

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