Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Appeal/Appeal-Session-05-02 Last-Modified: 1999/06/15 President: Have you concluded your response concerning all the witnesses whom Counsel for the Defence wished to hear? Attorney General: There is the matter of the handwriting. In his oral pleadings, he applied to hear the testimony of Wetzel, Joel Brand and about the handwriting. President: Are there any more witnesses? Attorney General: We have heard here a special application concerning these three. As far as Globke is concerned, I said that there is no need whatsoever to hear his testimony. I do not deny, and there is no need for an expert to testify, that the Nuremberg Laws were wicked laws. Now I would like to say something about Dr. Serafim. Instead of quoting Rousseau and Montesquieu on this subject, I shall quote Adolf Eichmann. After he was pressed in his examination about what appears in the Sassen Documents, Eichmann said (Session 96, Vol. IV, p. 1666): "...there is one thing I did say: Regrets do not do any good, regretting things is pointless. Regrets are for little children...nobody can be brought back to life by regrets." Now we hear that there is some manuscript which they now wish to submit in which, allegedly, there is some sort of new approach to the question of regrets and the Accused's inner attitude to what he did. President: Mr. Hausner, you do not need to deal with this point. Attorney General: Thank you very much. Nor is it necessary to hear Dr. Serafim as a witness on Eichmann's possibilities of being relieved of his duties. At the time I wanted to submit Dr. Serafim's expert opinion, which was prepared for a German court on this matter. At the time it was not possible to know in advance whether the Court would or would not accept the Accused's version that he wanted, so he said, to be relieved of his duties, and I wanted to prove by means of an expert witness that this was feasible. Justice Agranat Through this witness? Attorney General: Through that witness' expert opinion. And I even said that I was prepared to bring him to Israel to testify (Session 57, Vol. III, pp. 1040-1041). At the time Counsel for the Defence objected to this, inter alia, arguing that Serafim was only a lecturer, and not a university professor. Be that as it may - the Court held that Eichmann made no effort whatsoever to be relieved of his duties, and in any case there is no point now hearing evidence as to what would have happened had he tried to do so. Justice Silberg: With that, Mr. Hausner, you have dealt with all the witnesses. Attorney General: Apart from the Jewish Agency witnesses involved with the Brand affair. In this matter I can say that it is obvious that, had Eichmann shown the slightest moral opposition to his superiors concerning the work he had to carry out, of course they would have been compelled to replace him with somebody else without his even asking. He remained in his post - the "Final Solution" post - throughout the entire period of the War, one of the few RSHA chiefs not to be replaced throughout this entire period, because he utterly identified with his criminal assignment and worked wholeheartedly at it, so much so that when all was collapsing around him, he expressed his joy that he, in his own battle, had been victorious. Thus, there is no justification for the Accused to base himself on orders from above, because what Eichmann did, he did not only on the basis of orders, but with an obvious determination, with his eyes wide open, as something he thought about, and he says as much: "ich habe mitgedacht" - and out of the sheer pleasure of destroying. As far as the "orders from above" argument is concerned as a possible defence, the Court discusses this in Paragraphs 218-221. And what it says there applies not only in rendering the argument invalid as a defence argument, but also in rendering the argument invalid for any reduction of the sentence. If I may, I should like in this connection to direct the Court to our legal material on orders from above, and the arguments in this connection are to be found in the legal material on pages 19-27. We have collected all the authorities from Israel, the Mandate, from international courts, war crimes tribunals from both sides of the "Iron Curtain," concerning this issue of orders from above, their justification, and under what circumstances they can be considered mitigating circumstances. In this connection, you have been told that Eichmann asked to be transferred to a different post. As has been stated, the Court did not give credence to what he said. And once again there was evasion and an attempt at deception by referring to some request for a transfer to Linz. That is true. This is the only document we found in his personal SD file which refers to his request for a transfer to Linz. Justice Silberg: When was that? In which year? Attorney General: But this was in 1938 (T/133). Even at that early juncture his superior was not willing to relieve him of his duties of fighting the Jews and to transfer him to an ordinary police job in Linz, the city where his parents lived, because by then, 1938, he was already considered a recognized expert on the Jews, an "erfahrener Praktiker" (experienced practitioner). Justice Silberg: Was that after March 1938? Attorney General: That was after March 1938, after he had been in Vienna. There is a refusal to release him and transfer him to police headquarters in Linz, because at that time he was already considered a recognized expert on Jewish affairs. From then onwards there is no mention of any request to be relieved of his murderous duties. In Argentina the Nazi poison still continued to work inside him, and when he read the book of a former German officer, Gerhard Boldt, who criticized Hitler - he wrote a marginal note: "Traitor, scoundrel, should be flayed alive - with such scoundrels the War was necessarily lost." President: Where are you quoting from? Attorney General: T/37, page 2670. In addition, the passages from the Sassen Document and File 17 (which was submitted in its entirety, all in his own handwriting), to which he admitted, bear witness to an unbridled deadly hate. President: Which exhibit is this? Attorney General: T/1393. Justice Agranat What is this document? Attorney General: This is the additional file to the Sassen Document, which is entirely in his handwriting and which was submitted to the Court with the agreement of both parties. These are memoranda and various items of correspondence which he wrote for himself, as he says, when he was sitting peacefully on a ranch somewhere in Argentina. I questioned him about another quotation from the Sassen Document, in Session 104, Volume IV, page 1792: "We would have fulfilled our duty for our blood, our people, and for the freedom of the nations, if we had exterminated the most cunning spirit of mankind living today." I asked him: "Did you say those words?" And his reply: "Whether these words are mine, I do not know. I do not believe that I would have said this with...with this degree of bluntness." So that is the image of the penitent, of the peace-loving citizen, as Counsel for the Defence describes him, who in 1957 still regrets that he did not utterly destroy the Jews. This is the real Eichmann, not the one who is putting the finishing touches in Jerusalem to the campaign of camouflage, of covering up tracks, of fraud and deception. He, his teachers and commanders, burned bodies, set fire to documents, used code names, ordered secrecy, wanted to conceal their crimes from the eyes of the world. But their turpitude and their depravity have been revealed before all, and so has the terrible part that Eichmann played in the murderous enterprise in which he was engaged for years. All this was revealed despite all his efforts at camouflage and deception. He does not always give that impression, sitting here before the Court. There were days on which his hand was outstretched over the length and breadth of Europe, when on his orders Jews were located, rounded up and herded into ghettos; when his emissaries were rushing everywhere with orders to kill and massacre; when he held in his hands all the strings of the extermination; when, following a telephone conversation with him, Jews were shot in Belgrade, Bulgarian Jews were deported to their deaths; when every one of his signatures determined the fate of tens of thousands; when the factories of death, the camps, worked day and night in accordance with his instructions. Look at him in the light of all this, Your Honours, and in the light of all this give judgment against him. This wicked man brought a night of horror and blood upon European Jewry. This was not a Massacre of St. Bartholomew which lasted one night, but a murderous enterprise which spanned years. For four years this man, as the Court found, did nothing but send innocents to their death, after they had been tortured and humiliated and suffered all the torments of hell. For the dwellings of Israel which fell silent, for the Diaspora which was destroyed, for the third of a people which was transported to slaughter, for the million children, the glory of the nation and the hope of its future - no one can impose a fitting punishment. For every child whom he sent to its death he made himself liable to four forms of capital punishment, and there is no sentence in the world which matches the horror of his deeds. Let the Court pass judgment for just one of these, and history will sentence him to eternal disgrace and deadly shame for the others. And let it be clearly said from Jerusalem: We hereby declare, give notice and proclaim that he who desires to follow Eichmann's path of hatred and murderous actions, he who tries to achieve status and command by Eichmann-like acts of wickedness and hatred, he who follows such a path - his end is disgrace and his punishment is death. Because the punishment which the law has laid down for the crimes of which Adolf Eichmann has been found guilty is meaningless unless this punishment is imposed upon him. Therefore, Your Honours, I would request that the appeal against both the verdict and the sentence be rejected. President: Mr. Hausner, yesterday or the day before yesterday you were asked a question by my colleague, Justice Agranat, concerning T/98. You promised to respond. Attorney General: Yes. T/98 is a service instruction to the Higher SS and Police Leaders, and it shows their special authority as Himmler's representatives within their spheres of command. They exercised judicial powers, and the various BdS, the RSHA representatives, were subordinate to them. These Hoehere SS- und Polizeifuehrer (Senior Commanders of the SS and the Police) were not present in all places and in all areas. For example in France, as I ascertained, he appeared only in 1942. It is obvious that if they had an instruction from Himmler, who was also the superior of the Head of the RSHA, they could issue instructions to the Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei (Commander of the Security Police), but the normal command path to the Commander of the Security Police went from the Head of the RSHA in Berlin to the BdS on the spot, and from him to the subordinate units for implementation. But Himmler had his personal representatives, who were his eyes and ears in the various occupied areas, and they were the Hoehere SS- und Polizeifuehrer. Have I replied to Your Honour's question? Justice Agranat I am afraid not. I wanted to understand one paragraph in the document. Do you have the document before you, Mr. Hausner? Attorney General: Yes. Justice Agranat Perhaps you would read it out, because it is not before me at the moment. In Hebrew it says: "Those subordinate to the Senior Commander of the SS and the Police are in the first place principal assistants, the Stabsfuehrer (Staff Leader) of the General SS, the Inspector (Commander) of the Order Police, and the Inspector (Commander) of the Security Police and SD; special officials-in-charge (in the original: Sachbearbeiter) are assigned to the scope of their duties, and are not to act alongside them." How does that relate to a man such as the Appellant? Is he viewed as somebody dealing with a special matter? Because then it would mean, as it were, if I have understood what it says here, that he is not subordinate to the Senior Commander, at least in respect of the matter with which he is dealing. Attorney General: Your Honour, this version would support our argument, but I must admit that after thinking about these words, their significance has not become sufficiently clear to me in order to allow me to state that I rely on them. I admit that it is not clear to me what is meant by "besondere Sachbearbeiter fuer ihre Aufgabenbereiche duerfen neben ihnen nicht taetig sein" (special officials-in-charge, for the scope of their duties, are not to act alongside them). It would appear to me that the intention here is to lay down the command outline for the headquarters staff, and to ensure that others would not wander about there. Because basically I do not understand why there should not be special Sachbearbeiter with the Hoehere SS- und Polizeifuehrer. It seems to me the only thing they intended to determine in this instruction is that the headquarters staff would consist of the men referred to here, of them and no others. In any case, this paragraph does not indicate anything in the Appellant's favour. I do not learn anything from it, because it is not clear to me that I can base myself on it. Justice Agranat Thank you. President: The next session will be tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.
Site Map ·
What's New? ·
© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012
This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and
to combat hatred.
Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.
As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may
include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and
provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist
and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.
Home · Site Map · What's New? · Search Nizkor
© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012