The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Testimony-Abroad/Wilhelm_Hoettl-01

Last-Modified: 1999/06/14

26 May 1961

To the Competent Court of Justice, Alt Aussee, Austria
Re: Request for Legal Assistance

The main hearing of criminal proceedings against the Accused
Adolf Eichmann is at present taking place in this Court.

In the context of this main hearing, I request you to extend
reciprocal legal assistance to this Court by the examination
on oath of the following witness:

Dr. Wilhelm  Hoettl, Alt Aussee, Austria

The witness is to be examined on the following allegations
of the Accused:

     (1) that when the Accused was serving in Vienna in 1938-
     1939, he unified, simplified and improved the offices
     responsible for the emigration of Jews in a practical
     (2) that the Accused adopted measures subsequent to
     which the monies and foreign currency available to the
     Jewish population were used in such a way as to enable
     the largest possible number of Jews to emigrate;
     (3) that as a result of the measures on the part of the
     Accused referred to under (1), some two-thirds of
     Austria's Jewish population was able to emigrate by
     (4) that the Accused, as part of his responsibilities,
     did not deal with the seizure of Jewish property, and
     in this respect also, during the time the witness was
     in contact with him in Austria and Hungary, did not
     exceed his powers;
     (5) that the extermination of Jews in concentration
     camps was carried out on the instructions and
     responsibility of the Economic-Administrative Head
     Office and was not within the sphere of the Accused's
     (6) that the extermination of Jews, by what were known
     as Einsatzgruppen (Special Operations Units), was not
     carried out in accordance with instructions from, or at
     the instigation of, the Accused, and that the Accused
     did not and could not influence such extermination;
     (7) that the Accused was not by his own endeavours
     appointed head of a Sonderkommando in Hungary;
     (8) that the Accused, in carrying out his official
     duties, did not act with the intent of exterminating
     the Jewish People;
     (9) that the Accused immediately halted deportations of
     Hungarian Jews when ordered to do so by his superior,
     (10) that Advisers on Jewish Affairs to the German
     diplomatic missions were appointed by the German
     Foreign Ministry in agreement with the Head Office for
     Reich Security and were subject to the instructions of
     the German Foreign Ministry;
     (11) that the Accused, as a Specialist Officer of the
     Head Office for Reich Security, had no special
     position, but in his field had the same powers, limited
     by general regulations and the orders of his superiors,
     as any other Specialist Officer of this office.
To complete the testimony of the witness, I would request
that the witness also be asked the following questions which
were drawn up by Counsel for the Accused:

     (1) What was the last rank you held in the SS?
     (2) Did you work in an official capacity in the Head
     Office for Reich Security?
     (3) What was your position in the Head Office for Reich
     (4) Who was your department head?
     (5) When did you become acquainted with the Accused?
     (6) What position did the Accused hold in the Head
     Office for Reich Security?
     (7) Compared with other Specialist Officers, did the
     Accused have any special powers or authority?
     (8) What do you know about the activities of the
     Accused in Vienna from 1938 to July 1939?
     (9) Was he a Specialist Officer with the Inspector of
     the Security Police and the SD, Austria?
     (10) Was he at the head of the Central Office for
     Jewish Emigration in Vienna?
     (11) What were the functions of this Central Office?
     (12) What was the result of the activities of the
     Central Office?
     (13) How did matters develop in Germany in field of
     (14) Are you familiar with the results of this
     (15) Did you have contact with the Accused from 1938 to
     (16) Did the Accused discuss with you his attitude to
     the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question?"
     (17) From the Accused's subsequent activities, are you
     familiar with facts which are indicative of his
     intentions regarding a "territorial solution?"
     (18) Do you know the concept Judenstaat Nisko (Nisko
     Jewish State)?
     (19) Do you know what were the Accused's activities in
     respect of this project?
     (20) Are you familiar with the concept of the
     "Madagascar Plan?"
     (21) Do you know what were the Accused's activities in
     that connection?
     (22) In the course of his activities in Hungary, did
     the Accused participate in any way in the seizure of
     Jewish property?
     (23) In the course of his activities in Austria, did
     the Accused have anything to do with the seizure of
     Jewish property?  If so, what use was made of the
     confiscated assets?
     (24) Immediately after the occupation of Hungary by
     Germany, how many Special Commandos were active there?
     (25) Who was assigned to be in charge of what
     subsequently became the Sonderkommando Eichmann?
     (26) What led to the Accused being put in charge of
     this Commando?
     (27) What explanation can be given for Kaltenbrunner's
     presence in Hungary during the first days of the German
     (28) Who was Eichmann's immediate superior at this
     (29) Where were you at this time, and what were your
     (30) Who was your superior at that time?
     (31) With whom did the initiative for deporting the
     Jews of Hungary originate?
     (32) Who conducted the decisive negotiations with the
     Hungarian Government?
     (33) How many men were subordinate to the Accused in
     his Sonderkommando in Hungary?
     (34) What was the assignment of this Sonderkommando?
     (35) Who carried out the concentration, deportation and
     supervision of deportations?
     (36) Is it true that the Arrow Cross Party was
     particularly active in persecuting Hungarian Jewry?
     (37) What are the reasons for an Arrow Cross government
     coming to power in Hungary?
     (38) Under whose control were the concentration camps,
     and who gave the instructions for the extermination of
     the Jews in these camps?
     (39) Did Kaltenbrunner have any influence on these
     (40) To whom were the Special Operations Units
     (41) Was the Accused able to influence the activities
     of the Special Operations Units?
     (42) What is the significance of the fact that the
     Accused's Section - as well as other Sections in the
     Head Office for Reich Security - received activity
     reports of the Special Operations Units in accordance
     with a set distribution list?
     (43) Did any statement or intimation by the Accused
     indicate that in his activities in Austria, and later
     in Hungary, he had the intention of exterminating the
     Jewish People?
     (44) In 1944-1945, who was Adviser on Jewish Affairs to
     the German diplomatic mission in Budapest?  Was he from
     the Head Office for Reich Security?  Who appointed him?
     (45) How did the Accused behave when he received orders
     from his superior, Kaltenbrunner, to cease deportations
     of Hungarian Jewry?
I would also request that the witness be asked the following
additional questions which were drawn up by the Attorney
     (1) Did the Accused speak to you about deportations of
     Jews to Nisko?
     (2) What were the reasons behind the deportations of
     Jews to Nisko-on-San?
     (3) Where did you become acquainted with Stahlecker?
     (4) What do you know about the Accused's relations with
     (5) Which offices were envisaged for implementing the
     Madagascar Plan?
     (6) Do you know which tasks were carried out by these
     offices in connection with the general deportation of
     Jews to the East?
     (7) Did the Accused discuss with you his work on the
     Madagascar Plan?
     (8) What were the tasks of the Central Office for
     Jewish Emigration in connection with the confiscation
     of Jewish property in Austria?
     (9) When did you first hear about "Operation
     Margarethe" (the occupation of Hungary)?
     (10) Did you participate in staff-level consultations
     in the Head Office for Reich Security in preparation
     for the occupation of Hungary, and if so, when?
     (11) What was said about solving the Jewish Question in
     (12) What was the official relationship between
     Eichmann and Heydrich?
     (13) What do you know about Heydrich's special
     assignment to solve the Jewish Question?
     (14) Did the Accused speak to you about his duties in
     implementing Heydrich's special assignment?
     (15) Who was responsible for Endre's and Baki's joining
     the Sztojai Government?
     (16) What were the relations of the Accused with Endre
     and Baki?
     (17) Did the Accused speak to you about his
     collaboration with Baki and Endre?
     (18) What do you know about the collaboration of the
     Accused with the Hungarian gendarmerie?
     (19) In August 1944, did the Accused tell you that he
     was leaving, and when he was leaving, for the Romanian
     (20) What do you know about the Accused's plans for
     deporting the Jews from the Romanian part of
     (21) Did the Accused explain to you the reason for his
     doubts about returning to Hungary?
     (22) In Hungary, was Eichmann subordinate - as regards
     the performance of his duties - to the Commander of the
     Security Police and the Security Service (BdS)?
     (23) Did Eichmann tell you how he knew that he was
     considered to be a war criminal?
     (24) Did Eichmann concede that this accusation was
     (25) How did Eichmann know the precise number of Jews
     (26) Did you recently say the following about Eichmann:
     "I met him" (Adolf Eichmann) "again in Budapest in
     1944.  He was that Eichmann who sent hundreds of
     thousands of Hungarian Jews to the extermination camps,
     following orders without scruples, just as he had done
     previously in Vienna in 1938-1939.  I think the best
     way of describing Eichmann's role would be to call him
     the Great Forwarding Agent of Death."
     (27) Do the affidavits you made to the American
     authorities on 5 November 1945 and 25 November 1945
     conform to the truth?
     (28) Do you, more particularly, confirm  your solemn
     affirmation of 5 November 1945 in which you swear,
     inter alia, to the following:
     "Sometime in 1942, in Vienna, I talked to SS
     Brigadefuehrer Stahlecker, who had been in charge of
     one of these Special Operations Units of the Security
     Police and the Security Service in the East.  He told
     me that Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich had instructed him
     to take over the command of a Special Operations Group,
     whose area of operations included the territory of an
     army group.  It was his task to exterminate the Jews in
     this area by shooting them.  I gathered from talks with
     Eichmann and Stahlecker and other members of the
     Security Police and the Security Service that, since
     the beginning of the Russian campaign (1941), the Jews
     had been killed, first by the Special Operations Units
     of the Security Police and the Security Service, and
     later - probably from the beginning of 1943 onwards -
     in the extermination camps in the East.  The Jews were
     arrested and dispatched to the extermination camps by
     the Special Commando under Eichmann, which consisted of
     members of the Security Police, principally the
     Gestapo.  Eichmann had been given that assignment by
     Heydrich; in the Head Office for Reich Security his
     chief was the head of the Gestapo, SS Gruppenfuehrer
     (29) Are you the author of the book, Die Geheime Front
     (The Secret Front)?
     (30) Is the statement you make in this book, to the
     effect that the Legionaries (Green Shirts) in Romania
     were organized by the German authorities, correct?
I request you to summon to the examination of the witness
the representative of the Attorney General of the State of
Israel, c/o H.E. Ambassador Dr. F.E. Shinnar, Israel
Mission, Cologne, as well as Counsel for the Accused, Dr. R.
Servatius, Hohenzollernring 14, Cologne, and to afford them
the opportunity to ask the witness, on their part, questions
which might arise from his answers.

There is no objection to the aforementioned representatives
of the parties obtaining copies of the record of the

Please forward the original record of the examination to
this Court.
(-) Moshe Landau
President of the Trial Court

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