The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-029-02

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-029-02
Last-Modified: 1999/05/31

Judge Halevi:  This appears under the heading "The purge
of the area and inauguration of self-purging operations."

Attorney General: As to who this gentleman, Stahlecker,
was - this we have already heard from Eichmann.  On page
121 of his statement, Eichmann identifies him as his close
friend and acquaintance from boyhood.

Before calling the next witness, I would ask the Court to
admit one more document - No. 1092.  This is a report on
Lithuania and Latvia of 5 January 1942.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/305.

04Attorney General: On page 14 of the original it relates
that all the Jews in the Generalkommissar's District of
Lithuania and Latvia had already been placed in ghettos.
The Jews of the Riga Ghetto, who were used by the
Wehrmacht and the civilian authorities as labour forces,
were not allowed to walk freely to their places of work,
but had to proceed in an organized way.  And, further:
"Everything has
been prepared for the reception of transports of Jews
coming from the Reich in Minsk as well as in Riga".

This appears on the same page: "Fuer die Aufnahme der aus
dem Reich ankommenden Judentransporte ist sowohl in Minsk
als auch in Riga alles vorbereitet."

The first transport that reached Minsk consisted of Jews

from Hamburg.  It arrived on 10 November 1941.

Accommodation was provided for Jews inside the ghetto on

the same day.  It turned out that many of the Jews had

conjured up for themselves a totally false picture of

their future. For example, they regarded themselves as

pioneers who would be employed here for the purpose of

colonizing the East. The fact that this was false emerges

at the bottom of the page: The Higher SS and Police Leader

in Riga, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Jeckeln, began meanwhile

with executions by shooting and, on the first day, 30

November 1941, exterminated about 4,000 Jews of the Riga

Ghetto and of a transport of persons deported from the

Reich.  This operation was to have been carried out by the

Higher SS and Police Leader with his own forces, but a few

hours later, 20 men of E.K.2 who were detailed for

security duties, were also brought into action.

Judge Raveh:   What is E.K.2?

Attorney General: I don't know.

Presiding Judge: Perhaps it is Einsatzkommando?
Attorney General: Possibly.  This is the end of
the documents.

Dr. Servatius:  The Accused points out to me that in
the passage from his interrogation, on page 131 or
somewhere there, he is alleged to have said that
Stahlecker was his deputy.  He says that must be a

Presiding Judge: That is page 121. Where does the
talk about Stahlecker?

Attorney General: I shall show it to you immediately.
Presiding Judge: There is evidently an error in the
translation.  Not "Vertreter" but his boyhood friend -
that is what the Attorney General said.

Attorney General: The words are  "Mit Dr. Stahlecker hatte
ich ein persoenlich ordentliches Verhaeltnis, das ueber
das Dienstliche hinaus auch in die private Sphaere ging.
Wir trafen uns privat."  ("With Dr. Stahlecker I had a
personal proper relationship which went beyond matters of
our duties also into the personal sphere.  We used to meet

Presiding Judge: You did not maintain that he deputized
for him.  Possibly there was an error here in the

Attorney General: No, I rely on what he says concerning

the friendly relationship between them, which went above

and beyond professional collaboration.

I call the next witness, Mr. Eliezer Karstadt.

[The witness is sworn.]

Presiding Judge: What is your name?

Witness: Karstadt.

Presiding Judge: And your first name?

Witness Karstadt  Eliezer.

Attorney General: Mr. Karstadt, you live at Professor

Schorr Street No. 27?

Witness Karstadt  Yes.

Q. And you are an industrialist?

A. Yes.

Q. You were born in Latvia?

A. Yes.

Q. Where were you at the time of the German occupation of

Latvia, in 1941?

A. I was in Riga.

Q. How long did you stay there?

A. Until August 1944.

Q. And then you were transferred.  Where

to? A. To Stutthof.

Q. And from there?

A. To Buchenwald.

Q. And thence?

A. From Buchenwald I was sent to

Q. And then?

A. Back to Buchenwald, and on 23 April I was liberated by
the Americans.

Q. When did the Germans march into Riga? What language
would you prefer to speak?

A. I understand Hebrew, but it is easier for me to speak

Q. When did the Germans march into Riga?

A. The Germans occupied Riga on 1 July 1941.

Q. What happened on the next day, on the morrow of the

A. Five thousand Jews, mostly men, were taken out of
various Jewish homes and arrested.  But at the same time
there were also many smaller arrests, in the streets, for
no reason.

Presiding Judge: Were you born in Riga?

Witness Karstadt  No, I was born in Talsen, not too far
from Riga.  Talsen in Kurland.

Attorney General: But you lived in Riga since 1930, is

this right?

Witness Karstadt  Yes.

Q. How many Jews were there in Riga when the Germans came?

A. Forty thousand Jews.

Q. And sometime later, a young man by the name of
Schneider returned - from among those who had been

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. And did he tell what happened to the 5,000 arrested
following the occupation?

A. He said that all those Jews were brought to a place
beyond Riga and were shot.  He managed to get away from
that group, and later returned to Riga and related the

Q. You said just now that there were arrests in the
streets almost daily.  Where were those arrested taken to?

A. They took them to the central prison in Riga, and from

there they would be taken away every day or every other

day and be shot.  Before the ghetto was established, only

small [sic] mass murders had been carried out.

Q. When was the ghetto established?

A. On 23 October 1941.

Q. And how many Jews were left in Riga then?

A. About 32,000 Jews remained in Riga at that time,
and another 300 in Ghetto Libau, and also 300 in
Dvinsk Duenaburg, but all other Jews from the smaller
towns had
already been murdered in their masses in August 1941.

Q. What did the Jews in the ghetto do, after being brought

A. As a matter of fact, the ghetto existed for only one
month, from October 23 until the end of November.

Q. What happened then?

A. Then, at the end of that month, came the great
"action." On 30 October, one third of the Jews were taken
out of the ghetto and shot.  On the same day, a small
ghetto was set up, to which all the craftsmen were
transferred.  Then there was a break of one week.  Rumours
were circulating that there would be no further "actions."
And on a Sunday, 7 December, a new "action" began, and
lasted until the ninth at noon.  The small ghetto, which
was supposed to be a protected ghetto for craftsmen, did
not in fact serve as such, for on Tuesday, the same
morning, the Labour Office summoned all the various
craftsmen, including those who had reported voluntarily,
and all of them were taken in this "action."  This
"action," like all the other "actions" in the small towns,
was not conducted only by Germans, for they gave the right
of conducting them to a certain group of Letts.  Their
leader is living at present in Brazil.  His name is
Herbert Zukos.  I saw myself how on Tuesday, 9 December,
he shot women and children in the ghetto.  He claims now -
just as do all those who took part in the "actions"
against Jews - that he had never been in the ghetto, had
never murdered a Jew, but had always helped Jews.

Q. What was the name of that Lettish group who
collaborated with the Germans?

A. "Donnerkreuz" (Thunder Cross), in Lettish, it was

Perkonkruzt.  We in Riga didn't believe that the Jews were

taken away and shot - until two women, who came out alive,

returned and told us the following story: Both of them

went with the last group in the transport on Monday.  When

they arrived it was already dark there.  The "action" was

carried out like this: A German with a machine gun stood

there and was shooting.  Large pits were dug up.  The men

and women who arrived there took off their clothes and

walked to the pit.  Those who were lucky got a bullet, the

unlucky ones fell into the pit and suffocated there.  She

was in the uppermost group, and no bullet hit her, so when

night fell, she got out, put on her clothes and later

returned to the ghetto.  The name of that woman was


Q. The famous Jewish historian, Shim'on Dubnov was in

Riga? A. Yes.

Q. What happened to him?

A. He too perished in the "action" in Riga.  At that same
time, before the "action" was completed, maybe on Monday,
there were already German transports with German Jews at
the railway station in Riga.  And these came into the
ghetto immediately after the end of the "action."

Q. And you remained in the small ghetto?

A. Yes.

Q. And until November, 1942, there were no more "actions"?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, would you tell us about life in the ghetto between
that "action" and November 1942?

A. There were 4,000 of us Jews in the ghetto, and about
300 women.  These 300 women lived apart and we lived
apart.  And there were, in addition, some 10,000 or 14,000
German Jews.

Presiding Judge: Why did the women live apart?

Witness Karstadt  It is difficult to say why, they were
living in one house.  Three ghettos were established.
Q. Was this by order of the Germans, or by your own wish?

A. The Germans did it.

Attorney General: Did they separate the women from the
men? Witness Karstadt Yes.  In the large ghetto this was
not so. Q. Who were the people in the large ghetto?  You
say there were three ghettos, the one for Riga men, the
other for women, and the ghetto for German Jews.  How did
the German Jews live?

A. They lived together, with their women and children.
They were divided by towns.  Hannover people apart, and
Hamburg apart, and other towns.

Q. Do you remember from what German towns the Jews came?

A. Yes.  From Hamburg, Hannover, Bochum, Gelsenkirchen,
Koeln, Kassel, Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, Vienna, Prague,
and some others.

Q. How many transports of Jews from the Reich arrived at

A. There were very many transports.  Very few people out
of these reached the ghetto.  Transports arrived perhaps
even up to the end of 1942.

Presiding Judge: What happened to the others, those who
did not reach the ghetto?

Witness Karstad  It often happened that out of a transport
that arrived at Riga one or two were brought into the
ghetto, and the others were shot.

Q. Where was this, also in the vicinity of Riga?

A. Also somewhere around Riga.

Judge Haelvi  What do mean "one or two," one or two
persons or one or two transports?

Witness Karstadt  Out of a transport only one or two Jews.

Presiding Judge: A transport of one or two Jews came?

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