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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-108-03

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-108-03
Last-Modified: 1999/06/14

Presiding Judge: Which page, Dr. Servatius?

Dr. Servatius:  It is marked 178, Serbia.

     "On 8 December 1941, a telegram from Belgrade signed
     Veesenmayer and Benzler reached the Foreign Ministry.
     It indicated that, as could be proved, Jews had been
     identified as having been involved in many cases of
     sabotage and acts of insurrection, and it was therefore
     urgently necessary to proceed expeditiously to secure
     and remove at least all male Jews.  It was proposed
     that they be removed from the country down the Danube,
     so as to move them to Romanian territory.  The Foreign
     Ministry decided that this could not be carried out,
     and Luther informed the Ambassador in Belgrade
     accordingly.  On 10 September, Veesenmayer and Benzler
     again telegraphed the Foreign Ministry that `a speedy
     and draconian settlement of the Serbian Jewish Question
     was an urgent and expedient necessity.'  And he asked
     for instructions from the Foreign Ministry, in order to
     be able to make an extremely forceful approach to the
     military commander of Serbia.  An order to the same
     effect from Himmler to the Chief of the Operations
     Group of the Security Police, and to Fuchs of the
     Security Service would considerably further the matter.
     "Finally, Rademacher was sent to Belgrade to ascertain
     whether these Jews could not be disposed of on the
     spot.  He ascertained that over two thousand Jews had
     already been shot in reprisals for attacks on German
     soldiers and stated, `in execution of this order, first
     the active Communist leaders of Serbian nationality -
     some fifty in number - and then continuously, Jews as
     Communist agitators have been shot.'  Right from the
     outset the figure was not eight thousand Jews, but only
     four thousand.  Of these, only 3500 can be shot, as the
     others are needed by the Security Police, in order to
     maintain the health and security services in the
     ghettos, which are to be set up.
     "As a result of Rademacher's negotiations with the
     experts in Jewish matters, Standartenfuehrer Fuchs and
     Sturmbannfuehrer Weinmann, it was agreed that the male
     Jews should be shot by the end of the week, thus
     solving the problem, while the remainder, some twenty
     thousand Jews - women, children and the elderly - as
     well as the remainder of the fifteen hundred Gypsies
     left - after shooting the men -  was to be concentrated
     in the Gypsy quarter which is to be set up as a ghetto,
     and makeshift arrangements could be made for providing
     food during the winter.
     "Then, as soon as the technical possibility existed
     under the overall solution of the Jewish Question, the
     Jews should be deported by water to reception camps in
     the East.  In this way the `speedy and draconian
     settlement' referred to by Veesenmayer and Benzler
     became a fait accompli."

Attorney General: The Court has presumably observed that
what Counsel for the Defence is doing now is generally
speaking not allowed; by reading out this material he is
contradicting statements by his own witness.  We have not
objected to this because we believe that what the judgment
says about Veesenmayer's involvement in the criminal
conspiracy against the Jews is true.  But in order to avoid
giving an incorrect impression, and also in order to avoid
creating any unfounded precedent, I considered it my duty to
make this observation.

Dr. Servatius:  Your Honour, I believe that I can, in fact,
attack my own witness if he obviously shows himself to be a
hostile witness, as is obviously the case here, where he
does not remember his head office, and the Court rules that
he has lied on oath in giving testimony.

Presiding Judge: We have heard the remarks of both sides; I
do not consider it necessary at this stage for the Court to
react or comment.  Please proceed.

Dr. Servatius:  There are two more depositions.

Presiding Judge: I think there are more, Dr. Servatius,
there are still von dem Bach-Zelewski and Kappler, Slawik.

Dr. Servatius:  I have not yet received Slawik's deposition.

Presiding Judge: We have had it for some time, and I gave
instructions for it to be passed on to you.  Mr. Bodenheimer
remembers that Mr. Wechtenbruch received the deposition.

Dr. Servatius:  It is possible that this is an oversight on
the part of my office; I have not yet seen it.

Presiding Judge: Very well, in the meanwhile let us continue
with those depositions which you do have.

Dr. Servatius:  This is the deposition by Bach-Zelewski of
25 May 1961 before the Nuremberg Court of First Instance.
On page 2 it says:

     "Until the beginning of this trial (at Nuremberg) I
     always assumed, on the basis of what I was told by
     Ohlendorf, with whom I shared a cell for a considerable
     time at Nuremberg, that the name Eichmann was

Judge Halevi:  Dr. Servatius, you said, "until the beginning
of this trial I assumed" - you said that this was the
Nuremberg Trial.  I understood that this was the Eichmann

Dr. Servatius:  Yes, here it should be "this trial."  At the
bottom of page 3,(3)to (6):

     "Because of my position, I received information about
     the activity of the Operations Units.  Where these
     Operations Units carried out military duties, such as
     intercepting enemy news, in my Department, just like
     other parts of the Wehrmacht, I worked together with
     the Operations Units.
     "At that time, I also heard of illegal activity on the
     part of these Operations Units.  I believe that all
     generals in the East knew about this.  By illegal
     activity, I mean shootings by the Operations Units,
     which took place without any basis in law.  I was not
     informed as to the complete extent of this activity.
     Only after the end of the War I became aware of that.
     I should also like to stress that both the Generals and
     I did not approve of this illegal activity and were
     critical of it.

     "As far as I know, for supply purposes the Operations
     Units were subordinate to the Army Groups or Armies.
     From conversations I had with Nebe and his successor
     Naumann,   when I met them in Russia - both of whom led
     Operations Units - I got to know that they received
     their operational orders directly from the Head Office
     for Reich Security.  I do not know any details as to
     how the orders were transmitted, nor do I know any
     details about the actual orders.  At the time I
     understood the assignment of the Operations Units to be
     the liquidation of underground movements and the
     extermination of Jews."

On the same page, at the bottom, (7) to (9):

     "I did not know that the Operations Units were also
     required to exterminate Gypsies and political
     prisoners.  The order for extermination was given -
     according to what I was told by Nebe and Naumann - by
     the Head Office for Reich Security.  I do not know
     which Department in the Head Office for Reich Security
     issued the orders, and cannot, therefore, give any
     names.  In any case, in their conversations with me,
     Nebe and Naumann did not mention the name Eichmann.
     Neither do I remember any other names.  However, I do
     remember that Nebe and Naumann mentioned the name
     Heydrich, who was Chief of the Head Office for Reich
     Security at the time."

On page six, concerning (15):

     "As far as I know, Higher SS and Police Leaders never
     received orders directly from the Head Office for Reich
     Security.  In any case, I myself never received such an
     order.  The only possibility might have been for the
     Head Office for Reich Security to have issued an order
     to a Senior Commander of the Security Police and the
     Security Service, and that order was then brought to
     the attention of the Higher SS and Police Leader by the
     commander on the staff.  In formal terms, there was a
     possibility of the Higher SS and Police Leader
     obtaining a decision directly from Himmler in such a

At the bottom of page 11:

     "I have already said that I did not know Eichmann and
     also did not know of the existence of his Section until
     the end of the War.  I am therefore also unable to say
     anything about visits, special assignments, and receipt
     of orders."

Page 14, the end of the examination:

     "After the end of the War, I spent a long time in
     prison in Nuremberg together with Ohlendorf.  He told
     me that Heydrich assigned him to an Operations Unit, in
     revenge for a memorandum written earlier by Ohlendorf
     which Heydrich had not liked.  Ohlendorf told me that
     the orders for the Operations Unit had already been
     received before he joined it.  In his talks with me,
     Ohlendorf never incriminated Mueller and never
     mentioned the name Eichmann."

Presiding Judge: Thank you very much.  Now the passages to
which the Attorney General wishes to draw attention.

Interpreter: On page 4, in the middle.  This has already
been read out.  Now on page 5:

     "As to (10) to (11): I do not know to whom the activity
     reports of the Operations Units were distributed," and
     further down: "I myself do not know whether Eichmann
     was on the circulation list.  If this was the case, I
     consider that this underlines the importance of his

On page 8, fourth line from the top:

     "Himmler himself selected people for particular
     assignments, according to circumstances.  In this,
     official rank played no role; it was the official
     function which counted."

Page 12:

     "When it came to selection and filling posts and
     allocating important assignments, a vital role was
     played by Himmler's personal inclinations and the
     candidate's personal suitability and ideological
     stance."  The rest of the material marked has already
     been read out.

Presiding Judge: No.


     "There was a possibility of avoiding an assignment by
     applying for a transfer.  In a particular case this
     might have led to some disciplinary action.  However,
     this certainly did not include any risk to one's life."

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, we still have Kappler.  I
have marked Bach-Zelewski's deposition XIV.  Kappler's is in
Italian.  We have a Hebrew translation.

Dr. Servatius:  I have received a German translation of the
Hebrew text.

Dr. Servatius:  Kappler's deposition of 27 June 1961, it
says here before the Court of Appeal of Rome.

On page 1, the witness says the following on point 3:

     "I cannot say exactly what my rank in the SS was in
     October 1943.  However, I do remember that I received,
     some time before the round-up of the Jews of Rome, a
     notification by telephone informing me, among other
     things, that I had been promoted to
     Obersturmbannfuehrer.  In that same telephone message I
     was urged to prepare the round-up.  I do not remember
     from whom I first received the order to proceed with
     the round-up and the deportation of the Jews of Rome,
     but I remember well that I never received an order to
     seize and deport a specific number of Jews.  There was
     reference only to `the Jews of Rome.'  My vague
     recollection of these details is due to the fact that
     there was a very frequent exchange of instructions,
     orders and enquiries from the different offices
     regarding this operation.  The large number of
     notifications and clarifications was caused chiefly by
     objections that I myself raised."
On page 2, I pass over a paragraph, and then it reads:

     "On the other hand, I do remember well that the
     contacts proceeded between myself and the central
     offices, and I remember particularly a telegram signed
     by Himmler, in which the need was stressed to solve the
     Jewish Question also in the city of Rome."

I pass over seven to eight lines:

     "I remember that at that time an SS captain came to my
     office and introduced himself as Dannecker, and
     presented an authorization to carry out the round-up of
     the Jews.  This authorization gave him full powers, and
     instructed the local police commanders to give
     Dannecker every assistance he required for this
     operation.  The power and authority for a search
     operation against Jews (and not only in Rome, since the
     authorization was not restricted in any way) was signed
     by SS General Mueller.
     "Finally, I remember that I received a telephone
     message from someone attached to Himmler's General
     Staff.  This announcement came directly from
     headquarters, which at that time used a cover name - I
     do not remember the name - but anyhow, it was located
     in East Prussia, near Rastenburg.  In that telephone
     message - the same message which I spoke about
     previously - he informed me that I was being promoted,
     and I was told that the Reichsfuehrer-SS, Himmler, was
     urging me to decide, once and for all, to carry out the
     round-up of the Jews."
I now pass over two pages and come to page 5 in my version,
the additional questions from the Defence Attorney of the
Accused.  It says the following:

     "1. I reject the version that the orders for the
     operations against the Jews of Rome were given by
     General Wolff.  As for the telegram sent on 17 October
     1943 from my office, I repeat: That telegram was sent
     not to General Wolff, but to Group VI/E, since radio-
     telegraph communication from the transmitter in my
     office was possible, at that time, only with the radio
     station of that Department.  In fact, Department VI/E
     was the communications centre of the Head Office for
     Reich Security.  As for the rest, I refer to what I
     stated when I answered question No. 9 put to me by the
     Counsel for the Accused.
     "2. I am unable to respond to this question, because I
     heard the name Adolf Eichmann only after the year 1945;
     I learned this name from the press.  I reject the
     possibility that mail and orders concerning Jews which
     reached my office bore the signature of Eichmann.  I am
     certain of what I am saying, because I had occasion to
     send proposals and counter-proposals to all those who
     had sent me instructions and reminders concerning the
     Jewish Question.  Therefore, I would certainly remember
     the name Eichmann, if I had had any previous knowledge
     of it.
     "3. I have already answered this question.  General
     Harster was Head of the Security Police in Italy."

I now proceed to point 30, page 8 in my copy.

     "The operations against the Jews which took place after
     the round-up of 17 October were authorized by the
     circular which I mentioned above, and which, as I have
     noted, provided for the arrest of the Jews by the
     Italian police, by civilians, and by whoever wished to
     help in their capture.  I received this circular
     through the normal office channels, but I do not
     remember who signed it.  This circular referred to
     Italy only, and it made it quite clear that there were
     agreements in force between the two governments.  I
     remember that Questore (Head of Police) of Rome, whom I
     summoned to my office to ask him what concern of his
     was it, and what right he had to engage in the hunt for
     Jews, thus also violating extraterritorial areas
     (meaning the Vatican enclave), replied that he could do
     nothing, because these were the orders which he had

That is everything I wished to read out from the document.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Attorney General.

Attorney General: One passage which we marked has already
been read out.  I believe there are two more short passages,
at the end of paragraph No. 9.  I have the German version
before me, the same version from which Counsel for the
Defence read.


     "There is very little that I can say about the manner
     of the round-up, or the final destination chosen for
     the Jews who were seized.  The operation was organized
     and carried out by Captain Dannecker, who, as I have
     stated, arrived in Rome with a dozen persons, equipped
     with full powers from Mueller."

Presiding Judge: Anything else?

Attorney General: In the following passage marked by us, we
directed the witness' attention to a telegram.  The question
is simply whether the telegram or a copy thereof was

Presiding Judge: A telegram of what date?

Attorney General: The telegram reached us so late that we
asked for another questionnaire.  In the translation the
telegram is called an "express letter."

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