The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-050-07

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-050-07
Last-Modified: 1999/06/02

State Attorney Bach:  This is our document No. 281.  Mr.
Steiner first tells us that Wisliceny described his talks
with Eichmann, why Palestine cannot be considered as the
destination for emigration: "When I asked him why, he
laughed and asked whether I had never heard of the Grand
Mufti Husseini.  He explained that the Mufti has very close
contact and cooperation with Eichmann, and therefore Germany
cannot agree to Palestine being the final destination, as
this would be a blow to Germany's prestige in the Mufti's

Then he goes on: "At this further conversation Wisliceny
gave me more details about the cooperation between Eichmann
and the Mufti.  The Mufti is a sworn enemy of the Jews and
has always fought for the idea of annihilating the Jews.  He
sticks to this idea always, also in his talks with Eichmann"
- and here we have one of the points about which Wisliceny
has reservations - "who, as you know, is a German who was
born in Palestine.  The Mufti is one of the originators of
the systematic destruction of European Jewry by the Germans,
and he has become a permanent colleague, partner and adviser
to Eichmann and Himmler in the implementation of this
programme."  Here Wisliceny adds: "I have read these
descriptions and find them correct, except for this, that
Eichmann was born in Palestine, and that the Mufti was a
permanent partner of Himmler's; this is not what I said."

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1117.

State Attorney Bach:  Dr. Steiner, as part of your efforts
and work on documentation, did you also make an album
containing photographs and documents?

Witness Steiner:  Yes.

Q. Are you holding that album in your hand?

A. Yes, on the catastrophe of Slovak Jewry.

Q. Were you the editor of that album?

A. Of the documentary part of it, yes.

Q. Where did you get these photographs from?

A. As I said, our institution's task was to document, to
collect material on the catastrophe of Slovak Jewry, and to
issue publications concerning it.

Q. And this album contains the reproductions of documents
and photographs that you obtained?

A. Yes.

Q. I am requesting the Court's permission to submit this
album in evidence.  I will then question the witness about
several photographs and exhibits contained in the album.

Presiding Judge: Very well.  This will be marked T/1118.

State Attorney Bach:  Dr. Steiner, please open the album at
page 41.  What are these photographs?

Witness Steiner:  These are photographs taken during the
1942 deportations.  In the top picture one can see that the
people have numbers; this was the serial number they were
given.  In the bottom picture they are going to the train.
This may well be how they went to Zilina.

Q. Please open page 50.  Can you identify the persons in the
top pictures?

A. Yes, they are Dieter Wisliceny and Ludin.

Q. Open page 52, please.  Can you also identify those?

A. Yes, I can identify Wisliceny and Mach together, and on
the right Vasek, and on the bottom Koso and all the others,
as it says there.

Q. Please open pages 54-55.

A. Page 54 shows a picture of the labour camp in Novaky, and
page 55, in Sered.

Q. And pages 64-65?

A. The photographs on all these pages I received from the
Jewish communities - the pictures shown on page 64 I
obtained after the War from Nove Mesto nad Vahom, the town
where I was born.

Q. And on page 65?

A. That is Spisska Nova Ves.

Q. Yes, but what do they show?

A. The vandalism, what they did to the places of worship
during the War.

Q. To the synagogues?

A. Yes, to the synagogues.

Q. What does the picture on page 66 show?

A. That is from Spisska Nova Ves, these are also synagogues,
these pictures show the same thing.

Q. But the picture at the bottom?

Presiding Judge: That is clear.  These are tombstones that
have been destroyed.

State Attorney Bach:  And page 83?

Witness Steiner:  On page 83, at the top, one sees Zilina at
the time of the 1942 deportations.  At the top - I really
don't remember - that may very likely be in the vicinity of
Svidinik and Stropkov, in Slovakia.

Q. And pages 84 and 86?

A. Page 84 is a continuation of the same pictures, and page
86 also belongs to the deportation.

Q. Page 96 contains certain statistics.

A. Yes.  That diagram shows where the transports came from
and where they went.  But I should add that these figures
also include parts of Slovakia that then belonged to

Q. Which were later incorporated into Hungary?

A. Yes.

Q. And that is the deportation to Hungary?

A. Yes.

Q. The section from page 98 to page 111, are these pictures
from Auschwitz?

A. Yes, these are pictures from Auschwitz.

Q. How did they come into your possession?

A. When we decided to publish this book, I went to the
museum in Prague, the "Jewish Museum," and the museum
director - Soyka I think his name was - told me that he had
original photographs of Auschwitz.  These are the
photographs.  I asked him where these pictures had come
from, and he said that they had come from Bodenbach on the
Elbe; an SS man who had been living there had fled, and his
apartment was handed over to another person - a man or a
woman, that I do not remember - and that person had given
the photographs to the Jewish Museum.

Q. And that is how you got these pictures?

A. Yes.

Q. On pages 112 and 113 one can see mass graves of naked

A. In 1947 we held an exhibition - I think it was that year
- and I received these pictures from the "Vojensky Museum,"
the military museum, in Zizkov, Prague.

Q. Page 116 contains the photograph of a certain newspaper
article.  Can you tell the Court what article that is?

A. This is an article by Fritz Fiala, who was the Chef-
Redakteur (editor-in-chief) of the Grenzbote.  In it he
describes his visit to Auschwitz, and tells about the Slovak
Jews and what they were doing there.

Q. I have had a Hebrew translation of the article prepared.
With the Court's permission, I wish to submit to the Court
this translation of the article.  Of course some parts of
the article we could not see, these parts being obscured by
the picture on the lower section of the page.

Presiding Judge: Which page are you referring to?

State Attorney Bach:  To page 116 of the album.  I wish to
draw the Court's attention mainly to two passages.  Relating
to Sosnowiec and describing the Jewish dwellings, Fiala

     "Inside the Jewish apartments it is less appetizing.
     The Jewish women apparently use water only on the tip
     of their nose and leave the rest of their face covered
     by a thick layer of kohl and rouge."

About Auschwitz he says the following:

     "When I tell the Jewesses that the enemy's atrocity
     propaganda claims that the German authorities are
     mistreating them, they start laughing, as though they
     had just heard a good joke.  Aranka Singer, an 18-year
     old girl, warns me that there are no men at all in the
     women's quarters, and Roosevelt ought to know that it
     was the Germans who introduced legislation for the
     protection of the race.  Food supplies are based on
     precisely the same rations as in the Reich.  Those who
     do hard work, or very hard work, receive extra rations.
     All the Jews declare that they are being treated justly
     and humanely in every respect, and if they regard
     anything as being unjust, it is the fact that all the
     Jews of Europe are not yet here.  One of the Jews with
     whom I spoke told me: 'I have to tell you, in all
     frankness, that it is quite easy for us to reconcile
     ourselves to our life here; as one who was previously
     in Palestine, I can definitely say that here we are
     better off, far away from the vicious struggle for
     survival which I saw there'."

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1119.

State Attorney Bach:  Dr. Steiner, at the top of page 122
the Court will see a picture with Abba Kovner, who appeared
as a witness in this trial.  We did not know of the
existence of this picture.  One can see on it partisans and

Presiding Judge: What page are you referring to?

State Attorney Bach:  I am referring to page 122.  In the
middle of the upper row you will see Abba Kovner.

Judge Halevi:  Mr. Bach, perhaps the witness can explain
about the article on page 116; there is a photograph shown,
alleged to be a photograph of nurses.

State Attorney Bach:  Dr. Abeles gave evidence on that,
because that appeared with the original article.

Judge Halevi:  What does it say below that picture?  Perhaps
the witness can translate it for us.

State Attorney Bach:  On the copy that I handed to the
Court, the caption below the picture reads as follows:
"Jewesses of Slovakia in their new settlement."  Dr.
Steiner, on page 127, the lower part, there is a document.

Witness Steiner:  Yes.

Q. Did you at the time see the original document?

A. Yes, I did.  I received it and handed it back.  I think
it appears also in the trial of Dr. Vasek.

Q. Finally, on page 130, what is the list shown there?

A. As I have said, after the War 150 mass graves were
discovered in Slovakia.  One of them was in Kremnica, near
Banska Bystrica, where 372 bodies were found; this is a list
of the persons who were buried in that mass grave.  It gives
name, nationality, religion, date of birth, by whom the
people were delivered to the firing squad, and the date they
were shot, and finally, the length of time spent by that
person in the camp.

Q. The date shown here is the date of execution?

A. Yes.

Q. Please look at No. 18 on the list.  What does it say
after the name?

A. It says 17 months.  The name given is Goldenerova Noemi.

Q. Who was 17 months old?

A. Yes.  The name may be that of her mother.

Q. The last point, Dr. Steiner.  Do you know what the sign
"DA" on a transport means?

A. Yes, it means "David."  The transports had that sign.

Q. What did it mean when a transport bore that sign?

A. That it was a transport of Jews.

Q. That is a transport in which Jews were deported?

A. Yes, a transport of deported Slovak Jews.

State Attorney Bach:  Thank you.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, do you have any questions to
the witness?

Dr. Servatius:  Yes.  Witness, how many times did you talk
to Wisliceny after he had been convicted?

Witness Steiner I never spoke to him.

Q. In that case, I did not quite understand.  Were these
reports, these documents, handed over to you by the
prosecution after Wisliceny had been convicted?

A. No, before that.  Wisliceny was convicted in May 1948.
All his statements, the evidence he gave, all his reports
were made before that and were delivered to us only in 1946
or 1947.

Dr. Servatius:  In that case, I have no other question for
the witness.

Judge Halevi:  When you posed the questions to Wisliceny,
did you do that in writing and never talked to him?

Witness Steiner Yes, I put them in writing.

Q. Did you then give them to the prosecutor, so that he put
the questions to him?

A. Yes.

Q. And you did not speak to him at all?

A. I never spoke to him.

Q. You mention the plunder and looting of the Jewish
property in Slovakia.  Perhaps you could look at one of the
Wisliceny documents submitted to us, look only at the
amounts and the estimates; is that correct?  I am showing
the witness Exhibit T/1085.  This includes only movable
assets.  Do you have any comment on the contents of this

A. As regards the sum of 150-200 million, that I would say
refers to "Mobilbesitz," that is to say "Kapitalbesitz"
(capital assets).  It does not include the rest.

Q. That is about one twentieth of the sum that you

A. Yes.  I can tell you how much that was.  What I said
referred to the gross amount.  Of that, the part in capital
is 1,444 million, that is 1.4 billion; and that, I believe,
was approximately the amount that the Jews had in the banks.

Q. Tell me, in general terms, who received all the Jewish
property?  Who took the Jewish property?  To whom was this
stolen property delivered, to the Germans or to the Slovaks?

A. To the Slovaks and to the Germans, depending on the
population.  There were two different things: There was the
liquidation, and then there was "Aryanization."  Liquidation
meant that the business was dissolved.  Aryanization was
applied only to large businesses.  I have seen documents
showing that businesses were taken over by Germans.  It all
depended on the region, if there were Germans there...

Q. What Germans?  German nationals?

A. It means residents of Slovakia, local residents.  For
example, in the town where I was born, Nove Mesto nad Vahom,
there was a Jew by the name of Reiss, who had a factory;
that factory was taken over by Germans who were local

Q. This was sold cheaply, was it?

A. Yes, this was in the Aryanization stage.

Q. In case of confiscation by the state, in the name of
which state was property confiscated, was it the Slovak

A. Yes, by the Slovak state.

Q. To the Germans, as a state, no property was handed over?

A. I do not think so.

Presiding Judge: Thank you, Dr. Steiner, you have finished
your testimony.

We shall now adjourn the session.  The next Session is at 15.30.

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