The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-094-04

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-094-04
Last-Modified: 1999/06/13

Presiding Judge: How is this letter marked?

Accused:    This is Prosecution document No. 270, exhibit
T/456. When this entire series is completed, this chapter is
a perfect example of how matters were dealt with between
IVB4 and my superior at the time. It is rare that in the
1,600 documents which appear here, a chapter is so complete
and gives such a comprehensive and clear picture of the
situation as in this particular case. I have studied this
matter carefully - I believe there are some seventeen or
eighteen documents available.

Attorney General: I agree with you entirely. This is really

Accused:    [Wishes to continue.]

Q.  No, no, I do not need anything further.

Look: When Knochen addresses Mueller - that is T/485,
Prosecution document No. 1217 - you are the one who draws up
the answer; despite the fact that the letter was sent to
Mueller, you draft the answer and Mueller signs it. That can
be seen from T/486 - Prosecution document No. 1218. Correct?

A.  But I did not dispute this, because that is one of the
duties of a Section Head that, after he...that he has this
matter dictated to him by his Chief during consultation and
he then has to submit the draft reply. Sometimes the
Department Chief himself replies directly, sometimes he
gives orders to his Section Head and dictates to him those
points he wishes to put in his reply. That is part and
parcel of the consultation which he has to hold, by order.

Q.  So if in some document it says that you have decided,
that means that you, Eichmann, have decided, not Mueller.

A.  No, that never means Eichmann, it means that I have been
ordered, I have acted under orders. It is in fact exactly
the same thing as I have already commented on.

Q.  Now look - I have before me T/439, document No. 65. This
is a minute by Dannecker dated 21 July 1942. It says: "The
question of deporting children was discussed with SS
Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann. He decided that as soon as
deportations to the Generalgouvernement are possible again,
children's transports can roll."

It was settled with you, you took the decision.

A.  I have already commented in great detail on these
documents, with which I am very familiar, not only since I
saw them here.  There is another document which goes with
this document, and that shows a ten-day interval. It took
ten days until this matter could be settled.

Q.  We already know that first of all there had to be
enquiries, and that it took some considerable time to check
whether there was room at Auschwitz and whether trains were
available. Yes, we know that, it takes time, it is not so
simple to load people on to trucks. We have already heard
this. But when Dannecker says in this "He, Eichmann,
decided," that is your decision and no one else's.

A.  No, that is not my decision nor my ruling. The document
which precedes this one and belongs with it, indicates that
there is a query as to whether these children, who have been
arrested by the French police in the police raids - whether
they can be carried away.

Q.  And you then simply decided: "They can roll"?

A.  It was not I who took the decision, because it took ten
days until an answer could be given. If I had taken the
decision, and I had been able to take the decision, then
this answer could after all have been given in three or four
days. No, even Mueller did not at this point decide on this
answer. He passed the matter on, as shown by this ten-day
interval, as can still be seen today. This was the date, 21
July 1942, and then there was an order before that date, an
order by Himmler on 26 June of that year, which stated that
all Jews were to be deported from France, and despite this
order from Himmler, which Himmler caused me to take to Paris
- the telegram was shown here this morning - Mueller did not
decide on this matter himself, and I must repeat that this
is proven by the ten-day interval.

Presiding Judge: But there is still the question why
Dannecker wrote "he decided."

Accused:    I made a phone is possible that before
this there was a reminder, a handwritten reminder which was
issued, I do not know. From this document, from this minute,
in any case it can be seen that I made a phone call. And
then I announced that as soon as transports to the
Generalgouvernement were possible once again, children's
transports could roll again.

Presiding Judge: But it does not say "he announced," it
says: "he decided"; there were several possibilities. So
what exactly happened here?

Accused:    Your Honour, I am unable to attach any
importance or significance to this word "decided," because
this was a telephone call; I informed him of this and
afterwards he put this down in a minute. I was not able to
give him this decision on my own initiative, although there
was Himmler's order which related to all Jews from France.
Instead, I also submitted this matter to my superior,
Gruppenfuehrer Mueller, and I should like to say once again
that Mueller, who was not particularly eager to take
decisions, definitely did not give this decision on his own

Judge Halevi:  Just a moment: so who did decide?

Accused:    I can only imagine that at that time Himmler
himself had to be approached, because at that time Heydrich

Q.  So Himmler decided?

A.  Certainly, because I am convinced - I have no proof, but
on the basis of my experience - I am convinced that Mueller
did not himself give orders in this matter.

Q.  So who did decide?

A.  I believe that Himmler himself decided on this case, as
he was at that time the Head of Reich Security.

Q.  But you did not tell Dannecker that Himmler had decided.

A.  I did not know that, either, and today I do not know
that either, Your Honour. I am just assuming that Mueller
could just as well have decided, in any case I myself did
not take the decision, because even in minor cases I did not
take decisions.

Attorney General: In any case, you will agree with me that
Dannecker believed you had decided.

Accused:    No, Dannecker knew perfectly well that I myself
did not take such decisions on my own initiative. It was
common knowledge in the Section that I was the hesitant
type, someone who was not eager to take decisions. It was
said of me that I was over-cautious, and people were
surprised that I went to my Department Chief to obtain
instructions on every single minor matter.

Q.  And because Dannecker was perfectly well aware of this
he wrote that you decided?

A.  I cannot very well be made responsible for the style and
choice of words used by somebody outside for drawing up a
minute about some matter.

As further evidence, I can only say...and also to further
back up my statement about this, that just a few weeks ago
Krumey - who was after all officially connected for a long
time with Department IV and also with my Section - stated
that he was often surprised at the excessive caution or
words to that effect, because even on the simplest matter I
never took any decisions.

Q.  Is it correct that in your interrogation in Bureau 06
you said that Dannecker always expressed himself precisely
and clearly?

A.  That is true in general terms. But I was most surprised
at the basic minute that belongs with this. The basic minute
dating back to 1 July 1942, is a minute which consists of
very many bureaucratic and procedural shortcomings and
errors. In general, Dannecker did deal with things in a very
proper and orderly manner.

Attorney General: But the minute of 1 July 1942 is from you,
not from Dannecker. That is in your documents.

Presiding Judge: What was that on 1 July?

Attorney General: We will be looking at it tomorrow morning.
It is in connection with the advisers.

Accused:    This minute is not from me, but I may have
issued the directives, as stated in the orders which I had
before me, and which I read out. The shorthand typist will
have taken them down in shorthand, and then written them out
in my absence, because I neither signed them, nor
authenticated or placed a stamp on them. But as far as the
contents are concerned - and I have said this as well - it
is essentially correct.

Q. I shall refer the Court to this at the appropriate time.

And when once Roethke was unable to put a transport train
together, you reproached him bitterly, telling him that it
was a matter of prestige, that it was a disgrace, and that
you did not know how to take responsibility for this before
Mueller. This is exhibit T/436, document No. 60. But it was
you who did that, was it not, and not Mueller?

A.  This was part of the timetable, and experience had shown
that if a train was cancelled without the Reich Ministry of
Transport being informed - I think the period stipulated was
three days - if that was not done, what happened was that
State Secretary Ganzenmueller went straight to Himmler's
office and as is usually the case, all hell broke loose from
above. If a transport train could not be operated, according
to the order from the Reich Ministry of Transport, and also
from Section IVB4, and which was passed on, then it had to
be cancelled several days - I am not sure how many, three or
four days - in advance.

Q.  And was that so dreadful, such a disgrace?

A.  Because then Mueller gave me hell and made all sorts of
reproaches, because that happened very often and I never
made a great fuss about it, and did not report these people.

Q.  And you threatened Roethke that you would reconsider
whether France was to become free of Jews.

A.  That is a form of words used by Roethke, something I
could never have said, as it was not up to me to make France
free of Jews, nor to carry out deportations, as the orders
for France existed clearly and had been issued by Himmler

Presiding Judge: That was not accurate. Perhaps you could
read out what it says: "He would have to consider whether
France should perhaps not be dropped altogether as a country
of deportations."

Accused:    Yes, I am familiar with the contents, Your
Honour. Obviously this is completely misleading, because I
am unable to drop a country as a country of deportations
which Himmler has previously designated as a country of
deportations, with the requirements that not only 150,000
are to be deported - no, he said that they were all to be
deported. It is perfectly clear and self-evident that I
cannot have said anything like that. I have also thought
about this: I believe that this is a form of words chosen by
Roethke, or Dannecker or possibly Knochen, because Roethke
practically forced Dannecker out - I do not know what the
causal relationship might be with this matter. I could not
give any such answer.

Presiding Judge: All right, that will do.

Attorney General: You reproach Roethke for not being able to
arrange something, and what you say here, he later records
in the minute. This minute is after all not to Roethke's
advantage. He also begs you not to carry out this threat. Is
that correct?

Accused:    It is correct. But it is not correct that I said
anything like this, because I could not say anything like
that. Just a few days before this, Himmler's Reich order was
issued, that this was to happen. It would have been totally
impossible - quite out of the question - for me to say this.

Judge Halevi:  So it would have been an empty threat. This
would have been an empty threat by you.

Accused:    Your Honour, in practice and to all practical
purposes even Roethke cannot have believed that I could
myself have threatened, because Roethke did after all know
perfectly had been issued...after all, I brought
this order, which was handed to me by Mueller, to Paris, and
I showed it to him there, and that order showed, therefore,
that Himmler had ordered that all Jews be deported from

In any case, Your Honour, there is a blatant contradiction
here, because if here I tell Roethke that I do not even want
to notify Mueller of the cancellation of one train, because
I am afraid that hell will break loose, then after all one
can hardly believe that on the other hand I could have been
so powerful that I could order that entire countries be
either put on the list, or taken off the list of countries
of deportations.

Attorney General: So when Dannecker writes "he decided" it
is not true, when Roethke notes "he said" it is not correct
- we are not to believe any of these minutes, we are only to
believe you?

Accused:    No, no, not me, Mr. Attorney General, although I
do try to tell the truth, but the documents, and then I
would ask...

Q.  These are the documents.

A.  It is a question of logic - if Roethke writes something
along these lines, it is illogical. How in one case can I
issue a complete, basic order on my own authority, if on the
other hand I hesitate and am reluctant even to inform my
Chief that one single train has been cancelled?

Q.  Because you are Heydrich's Special Plenipotientiary and
have all powers against the Jews. That is why you could do

A.  No - then I would not have had to be somehow careful
about this train with Mueller...I would have had far more
power in that case.

Q.  And in actual fact you did not hesitate. You simply
threatened Roethke and that was all. Is that correct?

A.  I said what I have just explained, and I really cannot
add anything to this, because that is the truth of the

Presiding Judge: Are you now proceeding to another chapter?

Attorney General: Yes, Your Honour.

Judge Raveh:   Mr. Hausner, I have a small request. Today
there were a few geographical questions, and things were not
entirely clear as to the East, to what was annexed to the
Reich - the map you submitted. But perhaps we can ascertain
how things were by asking the Accused a few questions in one
of the forthcoming sessions.

Attorney General: Certainly Your Honour, it can only be of
help to us. I think that we will get better guidance from
the maps - but if you wish, Your Honour, we will do that.

Judge Raveh:   It would be helpful if the Accused could
explain his position on the matter.

Attorney General: Perhaps we can put the map up again, with
the Court's permission.

Presiding Judge: Yes.

The next Session will be at 8.30 tomorrow morning.

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