The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-072-02

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-072-02
Last-Modified: 1999/06/08

Presiding Judge: Yes - according to the decision which we
gave, the record of the proceedings is kept in Hebrew, which
can be checked by referring to the language of the original.

Dr. Servatius:  Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, I shall
examine, first of all, the translation which I receive.

Presiding Judge: Now, with regard to that serious error
which you, Mr. Attorney General, discovered and have now
raised, on what page does it appear?

Attorney General: On page six of the Hebrew translation.
Possibly, it is only a printing error, but it alters the
sense.  At the end of the first paragraph, it says: "You
must report to me soon about the outcome of your
conversation with Eichmann."  This should be, "He, Eichmann,
must report to me soon."

Presiding Judge: For the present, this translation is not to
be taken as an authorized translation.  I see that it is
full of errors; meanwhile, you may continue quoting - you
are fluent in the Polish language, and we may rely on what
you translate.  But the written translation cannot be used
in this manner, and since it is the source of the German
translation, it invalidates the German translation as well.
Is that clear?

Attorney General: That is understood.  With the Court's
permission, I shall translate it word for word, even if that
may somewhat abuse the Hebrew language.

"I remember that on the occasion of larger operations during
the course of a month or six weeks, a five-ton truck would
set out full of suitcases and other valuable articles."
(Page 119 in Polish - page 7 of the translation.)  Valuable
watches, valuable items of foreign currency, and valuables
such as rings and so on, and these were forwarded to

On page 120, Hoess is asked whether clothing and other
effects were sent to the Reich, and he says: "Yes."  "Were
these in large quantities?"  Hoess: "Each day, four to five
freight cars would leave, sometimes even six - this depended
on the number of the freight cars available to us during
that period in 1943."

On page 122, Hoess says the following:

"When I was interrogated for the first time in the British
Zone, those examining me said to me, all the time, that five
- six - seven million people must have died in the gas
chambers; all the time they bombarded me with huge numbers
such as these, and I was obliged to provide some data, in
order to establish how many were put to death in the gas
chambers, and the interrogators told me that there must have
been at least three million.  Under the suggestive influence
of these large figures, I arrived at the total of three
million. But I was relying on the fact that I could not
mention any other number - I always said this - namely that
I was unable to mention any figure other than the one which
I have now arrived at, and that is two and a half million."

The Prosecutor General asks: And so, two and a half million
was the figure which Eichmann passed on in his report?"  The
accused [Hoess]:

      "Eichmann was ordered, before the German collapse, to
     report to Himmler, and here again he fixed the overall
     number of Jews who had been exterminated.  On that
     journey he made an inspection tour of Auschwitz,
     visiting Gluecks, and he ordered me to be present at
     that discussion.  When I came into the room, precisely
     at that moment, Eichmann was speaking of two and a half
     million in connection with Auschwitz.  This had been
     mentioned previously.  What had transpired before, and
     whether this was the correct number of Jews who were
     sent to their deaths in the gas chambers of Auschwitz,
     this I do not know."

Presiding Judge: For example, the words, "this I do not
know" are missing from this translation...excuse me, they do
appear, but after the full stop.

Attorney General: This is the place which I indicated
previously, where Hoess says that he was present when
Eichmann reported about two and a half million people having
been sent to Auschwitz for extermination.

Judge Halevi:  Who paid this visit to Gluecks at Auschwitz?

Attorney General: Eichmann, that is clear.

Judge Halevi:  This sentence is not altogether clear, Mr.
Hausner.  Perhaps you would be good enough to translate it
from the original once again?

Attorney General: "Eichmann was ordered, a short time before
the collapse of the Reich, to report to Himmler and to pass
on, once again, the overall number of Jews who had been
exterminated.  At the time of that journey, he made an
inspection tour of the concentration camp of Auschwitz,
visiting Gluecks, who ordered me to be present during that

Judge Raveh:   This means that Gluecks was in Auschwitz?

Attorney General: Gluecks was at Auschwitz, and Eichmann was
at Auschwitz, and Gluecks said to Hoess: "Come here and
participate."  "When I came into the room, precisely at that
moment Eichmann was speaking of a figure of two and a half
million relating to Auschwitz.  On what had transpired
before, and whether that was the correct number of Jews that
had been supplied for extermination by gas at Auschwitz,
this I do not know."

Presiding Judge: "By gas"?

Attorney General: Yes.

Presiding Judge: That is also missing here.  This is very

Attorney General: The Prosecutor General asks Hoess, on page
125: "Was Auschwitz planned to be the largest centre of
extermination in Europe?"  And the accused answers: "Yes,
according to Eichmann's statement, and according to what I
heard in the course of this meeting, I understood that to be
the intention."  Prosecutor General: "Who were in line for
extermination after the Jews?"  Hoess: "The places of
extermination at Auschwitz were planned only for Jews."  At
the end of page 126, Hoess is asked whether he knows of
other places for the extermination of Jews in Poland, and he
says: "Yes, I saw them myself, Chelmno, Treblinka, Sobibor,
Belzec.  I do not know of any others."  Afterwards, he is
asked, on page 140, about orders he had received, and he
answers as follows on page 141: "I only had Eichmann's

Presiding Judge: Was that in reply to defence counsel?

Attorney General: In reply to defence counsel.  "Orders for
the extermination of the Jews did not exist.  The matter
developed of itself.  My orders were that in principle, all
those who arrived on Eichmann's transports were to be
exterminated, and that this operation was not to be
deferred, even for one hour."

I now skip over the portion of Rajewski's evidence, in
accordance with the Court's instructions, and return to the
evidence of the accused [Hoess] at the end.  Here we have
this testimony for the second time.  In the original, these
are on pages 166-167.

Presiding Judge: We do not have it here in the Hebrew

Attorney General: It appears at the bottom of page 17 of the
Hebrew translation.  In Polish, it is on page 166.

Presiding Judge: Is the numbering consecutive, or is there a
different numbering each time?

Attorney General: In the main document which I submitted,
the numbering is not consecutive.  Each Session had its own

Judge Halevi:  Up to that point, was it all Rajewski's

Attorney General: Rajewski and one other witness, on whose
evidence we shall not be relying.  But not that of Hoess.

Presiding Judge: Here, the numbering is altogether
different.  Where do the numbers of these pages come from?

Attorney General: From the precis which we received and
which has also been certified.

Presiding Judge: Of this?

Attorney General: We received a precis of the pages, but
this will appear in the original also - it must appear.
What happened was this: When we asked for the full record of
the proceedings, they reprinted the pages for us
consecutively, without making allowance for the court's
pages.  What I am reading are the original pages of the
court, of which we received a precis, and which are all
available here, but not in this order of pages.  And here,
to my regret, there are no marginal notes as to which page
of the record of the proceedings is referred to on a
particular page.

Presiding Judge: But surely the Hebrew translation was made
from some document in your possession?

Attorney General: Yes, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: Is it possible to see it?

Attorney General: Certainly it is possible.  It is in the
possession of the Court, document No. 1273 is in the Court's
possession, both in Polish and also in Hebrew.

Presiding Judge: Here, for example, it says: "Carta" - does
that mean "page"?

Attorney General: "Page," yes.  Actually, "card".

Presiding Judge: There is marginal numbering.  In fact,
there are two other numbers - one is deleted, and the other
is handwritten.

Attorney General: They extracted for us the passages in
which they thought we would be interested.  But we
understood that the Court would demand the full record of
the proceedings.  We ordered and received the full record of
the proceedings.  So it comes from document No. 1273, from
the marginal numbers.

On page 167:

     "At that time, Eichmann, who had received orders to
     organize all the Jewish transports, turned to his
     immediate superior authority - that is to say, the Head
     Office for Reich Security - and advised them that he
     could carry out the deportations, the enlarged
     transports arriving from Hungary, only if Auschwitz
     were able to absorb all the transports that would be
     arriving.  On the occasion of his visit to Auschwitz,
     he ascertained that the non-functioning of the
     installation in crematorium No. 5..."

Presiding Judge: "His visit" or "his inspection"?

Attorney General: It could be "his inspection."  "...that
the non-functioning of the installation in crematorium No.
5, which provided for incineration in the open air...and
also the fact that the progress of the building of the
railway line extension inside the camp had been neglected,
in accordance with orders of Reichsfuehrer Himmler..."

Presiding Judge: In the Hebrew translation, it says, "in
accordance with this suggested plan, Reichsfuehrer Himmler
gave instructions."

Attorney General: Perhaps it would be better for me to stick
to the Hebrew translation.

Presiding Judge: The question is whether it is accurate.  I
prefer to rely on your translation.

Attorney General: I am translating impromptu and, as a
result, an error may occur.  But this excerpt is
unimportant, and I shall begin reading from here onwards.

     "For this reason, I was obliged to travel personally to
     Eichmann in Budapest and cancel this order.  We then
     settled the issue in this way - namely, that on one day
     two trains, and alternately on the following day, three
     trains would reach Auschwitz.  When the first
     transports reached Auschwitz" (he continued to refer to
     the chapter of Hungary), "Eichmann personally arrived
     with them, in order to find out whether it was not
     possible to arrange transports of additional train
     loads, since the Reichsfuehrer was demanding the
     acceleration of the Hungarian operation as much as

And further on:

     "I remember then that the construction of a railway
     station and railway sidings with the three lines
     located inside the camp was speeded up, and the
     installation for incineration in the open air, the
     installations in crematorium No. 5, were reactivated;
     the Kommando for sorting the belongings of those
     condemned to death was enlarged.  The time required for
     discharging the people from the train, together with
     all their luggage, was four to five hours per
     transport.  In less than such time, it was not possible
     to deal with one transport.  While it was possible to
     deal with the people, their possessions were piled up
     in such quantities as to make it necessary to abandon
     the idea of increasing the transports for these
     "With regard to Eichmann's remark that at the end of
     1944 and in 1945, it would be necessary to consider an
     additional increase in the number of transports, the
     erection of even larger incinerators was planned, and
     we thought of constructing a large brick building with
     a surrounding oven.  That would have had to be a
     subterranean installation, but nothing ever came of it
     - there was no time."

Later on, he mentions transports from Theresienstadt.  And,

     "Eichmann personally supervised these transports, and
     he fixed the dates when they would be sent to the gas

Question: Why were these people kept in a Familienlager
(family camp) for a period of six months?

Answer: In order to mislead other Jews.

Question:  About what?

Answer: First of all, these Jews were obliged to write to
Theresienstadt and to inform them that in Auschwitz people
were not being put to death by gas."

On page 92, Hoess is examined on the statement of the
witness Herman Langbein of Vienna, to the effect that Hoess
had displayed a special initiative in putting people to
death by gas, and in extermination.  And Hoess says:

     "That is correct.  Himmler, at the time of his visits,
     and especially on his second visit, and, apart from
     him, Mueller and Eichmann, gave me orders on this
     matter and made me responsible for the fact that I
     would have to do everything possible to see that the
     persons on the transports dispatched by Eichmann would
     be exterminated.  I was held personally responsible for
     any delay."

On page 181, Hoess is asked by the Prosecutor General how
the accused [Ho67] explained the fact that Eichmann put the
figure of the Jews exterminated at Auschwitz at 2,500,000
and not 1,500,000.  The accused:

     "Eichmann did not give that number to me, but to my
     superior, Gluecks, the controller of all the
     concentration camps.  They summoned me to this meeting,
     and then I heard this number being mentioned in
     connection with Auschwitz.  That is the only figure I
     remember, as far as numbers given by Eichmann are

In his evidence before the Military Tribunal at Nuremberg,
Rudolf Hoess gave an account which corresponds to what is
recorded here, and, consequently, I shall not read it over
again.  I submit the document, which is our No. 31.

In one of the documents, I put slips of paper in the places
referred to.  The Court will recall that in the document of
Hoess which was submitted by the witness, Professor Gilbert,
the same statements by Hoess appear, in fact, in summarized
form, as those which I have read in more detail from his own

Presiding Judge: I assume, Dr. Servatius, that you do not
have any observations in regard to the submission of this

Dr. Servatius:  I have no formal objections.

Attorney General: At any rate, in respect of the two
documents, I request a decision in terms of Section 15, both
for the previous one and also for this one.

Presiding Judge: I have marked the evidence of Hoess at
Nuremberg T/1357.

Decision No. 73

We have admitted exhibits T/1356 and T/1357 by virtue of our
authority under Section 15 of the Law for the Punishment of
Nazis and Nazi Collaborators 5710-1950.

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