Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-038-07 Last-Modified: 1999/06/01 Q. What was the Evidenz Abteilung (Registration Department) that you mentioned? A. Every person who reached the Schleuse went past a table, a very elegant piece of furniture in the camp, and there they made a note of the names, of all the particulars, and completed a form. This form served as a certificate in Theresienstadt that the man was actually alive. In the "Evidenzkarte," or whatever it was called, it was recorded where the man came from, his number, and on which transport. This was the central office where they recorded all the prisoners in the ghetto. The persons in charge of the Evidenz were also responsible to the Headquarters. Q. Was the Headquarters the Gestapo - or what? A. Yes. In Theresienstadt it was called the "SS Kommandatur" - it was in the centre of the ghetto. Q. Was there, or was there not, a crematorium in the ghetto? A. There was a crematorium where the dead bodies were burned. Presiding Judge: Were there visits from outside, for example of the Red Cross? Witness Ansbacher: On two occasions there were visits from outside. Once there was also a committee of the Red Cross - I think the Danish Red Cross. Generally, when such visits took place, we had to get the whole ghetto ready and turn the place upside down. Whoever lived in an unsuitable place was not allowed to leave the building. There were certain areas where there was a total curfew, in other words it was absolutely forbidden to go out of the building. Only people who had a more or less human appearance were allowed to show themselves in the street at all. Usually these were people who had been prepared in advance. Thus, for example, there was a "Verschoenerungsaktion" (beautification drive), when they turned the whole ghetto upside down. This was a drive for the beautification of the camp. Q. Yes, to improve the appearance of the camp. A. News was received that an international commission would visit Theresienstadt. Q. When was that? A. If I am not mistaken, in 1944. They got orders that the buildings had to be cleaned up in an exemplary manner. Those who were considered to be candidates for the Krankenstube (sick ward) had to be moved to a special place. Everything had to be cleaned up. They painted the houses outside, they prepared large signs on which it said "Zentralschule" (Central School). There was a special sign on which it said "Ghetto Theater." Elsewhere they got children ready to participate in official football competitions. Special places were prepared for this. Q. All these activities had never existed? A. Never. And perhaps the most shocking thing was that they actually prepared a special play hall where there was a skating rink, where there were ponies; they constructed beautiful toys; they actually built a glass palace and brought the children there, with little beds with a heart engraved on them, really like some palace. They prepared all this in a special place and gave them food. I remember that I was then still in touch with the people in charge of the children's home. It then happened several times that they summoned the children to a general rehearsal. The children fell upon the food which they were given. They had to do this repeatedly, and they always sent different children, so that they could eat well at least once. Q. Who else paid a visit from outside, apart from the Red Cross? A. Apart from the Red Cross, there were always visitors from the Dienststelle. We did not know exactly who they were, but we always saw uniformed people, and we called those visits "Die hohen Tiere sind da!" ("The big shots are here"). Then there was always a terrible mood in the ghetto. They were seen going to the Kommandatur or to the "Sudeten Kaserne," where there was the bridge, but not as in the other ghettos. In Theresienstadt the Germans crossed from one place to another via the bridge, so that Jews should not come into contact with Aryans. Q. Who were they, these "hohe Tiere"? A. I only noticed their uniforms. Q. Uniforms of what? A. Uniforms of the SS. Often there were civilians among them, and even women. Q. Did they see these "Potemkin villages" or the true position? Did they see the make-believe or the real situation? A. I usually saw them outside the ghetto, but they also walked along the path which passed through the entire ghetto, along the length of the central main street of the ghetto; this was regarded as out of bounds for the ghetto. And on seeing them, one had to salute them by taking off one's hat. Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, I should be grateful if I could put one more question to the witness: Were there gas chambers in Theresienstadt? Witness Ansbacher: Not to my knowledge. Presiding Judge: Thank you, Mr. Ansbacher, you have completed your evidence. State Attorney Bar-Or: Your Honours, I shall continue submitting documents relating to events in Germany until the end of the War. First of all, I wish to place before this Honourable Court the exhibit which was submitted by Mr. Bar- Shalom and marked T/31. This was an affidavit of Mr. Isaak E. Wahler who, while serving with the American forces, photographed the Gestapo file of Wuerzburg. This morning we shall submit several documents taken from this file. The special significance of this file lies in the fact that - as the Honourable Court is already aware - hardly any of the original documents of Gestapo offices are extant; they were destroyed and were found only in a few small places. One of the most complete collections of the deportations of Jews in the years 1941-1943 is the Aussenstelle (branch office) file of the Gestapo Leitstelle (Regional Headquarters) in Nuremberg. Nuremberg was the Gestapo Leitstelle. The Aussenstelle was Wuerzburg. We found the Aussenstelle file in Wuerzburg. Presiding Judge: What is the name of the man who took the photographs? State Attorney Bar-Or: Isaak E. Wahler. His affidavit has already been submitted as T/31. Presiding Judge: Does he speak of what he photographed? State Attorney Bar-Or: He gives details of what he photographed from the files. All the books containing the photographs of all the files that were discovered have been submitted to the Court and are in our possession. I shall not rely on the whole file and on the pictures of the deportations, and so forth, which are there, but only on those documents which are really relevant to our case. Presiding Judge: Are you submitting this affidavit? State Attorney Bar-Or: The affidavit was submitted in T/31. The first document is our No. 1281. These are guidelines for the technical implementation of the deportation of the Jews into the area of the Generalgouvernement at Izbica, near Lublin. From the document it seems that it came from the head office of the Gestapo Leitstelle in Nuremberg to its branch in Wuerzburg. It was not possible to determine its exact date, it is only possible to state that these were directives that certainly came after Regulation 11 to the Law of Reich Citizenship, since Regulation 11 itself is mentioned here. There is reference here to the measures that have to be adopted in order to concentrate, and to seize, the Jews according to the categories that were laid down for certain transports, who was to be responsible, who would escort them, what had to be done with their property. We shall find that there is a certain scheme here which reappears in every directive given from Berlin. It does not yet follow from this that these directives, in fact, came from the Accused's office, but in the course of this morning we shall see that the Accused's office indeed was the office which laid down these directives to all the "Gestapo- Leitstellen" in the German-controlled area of the Grossreich. Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/664. State Attorney Bar-Or: Before I go on, perhaps it would not be out of place for me to recall that, in the course of our reply to the introductory arguments of Defence Counsel, we also submitted a judgment of the District Court of Nuremberg. Presiding Judge: From Ulm? State Attorney Bar-Or: One from Ulm and one from Nuremberg. This judgment that we submitted was a judgment summing up judicially the story of most of the people who appear, ultimately, in the Wuerzburg file, and who were involved in the deportation of the Jews of Wuerzburg to the East. Presiding Judge: How was this marked - do you remember? Or was it not marked at all? State Attorney Bar-Or: This was on the basis of documents that we submitted. It seems to me that we submitted only one judgment of the Nuremberg Court. State Attorney Bar-Or: With the Court's permission, I shall now come to Prosecution document No. 1. In regard to this document, I shall ask for a decision of the Court under Section 15 of the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law. This is a report on German Jewry from 1939 to 1941, in fact even up to 1941, which was dictated by Dr. Max Plaut to Dr. Ball-Kaduri in the year 1953. State Attorney Bar-Or: He delivered the shorthand document to Yad Vashem, whence it came to us. Presiding Judge: Is this a report of the years 1939-1941? State Attorney Bar-Or: 1939 to 1941-1942, on German Jewry. Dr. Max Plaut, during the period covered by this report, was the director of Jewish community affairs in Hamburg; in fact, he was also in charge, on behalf of the Reichsvereinigung of the remaining smaller communities in Northern Germany, up to Stettin. He came to Palestine in 1944 and left the country after 1953. Today he is the director of community property affairs in Bremen. I wanted to bring him here, so that he could give evidence in court. But I received a letter, already two weeks ago, from which I learnt that he is suffering from heart disease and diabetes; apparently his condition is serious. Only today I heard that he is in hospital in Bremen. Accordingly, I shall not be able - even if he recovers speedily, which I hope will be the case - to bring him here as a Prosecution witness. As grounds for my request, I would say that, in the circumstances that have arisen, I shall not ask the Court to admit this document except as evidence describing the background against which Dr. Plaut was working. The Accused's name appears here and there in this document. Not only that, but one document is quoted here in its entirety, word for word, and it says that at the time it was signed by Eichmann. But to the extent that something should be implied from what is recorded here - I do not think it need be implied - but if something should be implied from which it As grounds for my request, I would say that, in the circumstances that have arisen, I shall not ask the Court to admit this document except as evidence describing the background against which Dr. Plaut was working. The Accused's name appears here and there in this document. Not only that, but one document is quoted here in its entirety, word for word, and it says that at the time it was signed by Eichmann. But to the extent that something should be implied from what is recorded here - I do not think it need be implied - but if something should be implied from which it might be possible to learn of the Accused's personal direct responsibility, as against a connection concerning the events described here, I shall not rely upon it. I presume that, in these circumstances, the Defence will apparently not object to my application that this document should be submitted without the witness being present. Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, what is your position? Dr. Servatius: I have no objection. I see from the document itself that what it says about Eichmann personally is not important in relation to the criminal liability of the Accused. Presiding Judge: Decision No. 28 We decide to accept as evidence the report recorded by Ball- Kaduri from the dictation of Mr. Max Plaut, with the reservation mentioned by Mr. Bar-Or. Mr. Bar-Or, it would be desirable in the future that in any similar situation a medical certificate be produced. State Attorney Bar-Or: I requested a medical certificate. I wrote to him about it. All that I received was this letter that I found on my desk this morning. This letter is signed by his wife, Ruth Plaut. It was sent from Bremen on 8 May, and she writes "My husband has, for the last fortnight, been in hospital in Bremen. I hope that he will come home, possibly by the end of the week, and then he will immediately write to you." It seems that she refers here to a medical certificate. I have not had time to obtain one. Presiding Judge: And also a sworn statement of the witness? State Attorney Bar-Or: This I have, Your Honour. I attach to document No. 1 the affidavit of Dr. Max Plaut which was presented on 22 February to the Israel Consul. It is short and says: "I, Dr. Max Plaut, swear by Almighty God that this is my name and this is my signature, and that the contents of the annexed report are true." Judge Halevi: In this instance, I think it is not necessary to have reservations about parts of it. For then it would be possible to allow Defence Counsel, in case he should want to interrogate him, to do so. And if there is nothing for him to question, it would be possible to accept the entire contents as being the truth. State Attorney Bar-Or: With all due respect, the witness is, of course, ready even today to be interrogated. There is no problem with that. But I presume that the advantage to the Defence emerging from the cross-examination will not be so great as to justify my requesting the admission of this report without any reservation. Judge Halevi: I did not really intend to suggest cross- examination. I did not know that there was a sworn declaration. You did not mention this beforehand. But if there is an illness preventing the witness from coming to this country and he has confirmed the contents of his statement made abroad under oath, then, as a rule, with the Court's permission, it is possible to admit the entire document, the whole affidavit, and this is subject to Defence Counsel's right to apply for cross-examination abroad - if he finds it necessary and relevant to do so. If you think that there is no point in that, it would be possible to submit the entire affidavit without eliminating passages. State Attorney Bar-Or: Does Your Honour think that I could do so even without relying on Section 15? Judge Halevi: Yes, according to Section 15. Presiding Judge: At all events have you taken your stand on the matter? State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes. Judge Halevi: There is also section 16 of the Law of Evidence to which we have already referred once; taken in conjunction with Section 15, this would have made this procedure possible. State Attorney Bar-Or: Thank you, Your Honour, we shall take note of that. In view of the fact that I assumed until the last moment that the witness would be present, I did not prepare a Hebrew translation, and I would ask for the Court's indulgence with my impromptu translation: I shall not read the report - I shall merely draw your attention to some passages thereof. Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/665.
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