Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Judgment/Judgment-053 Last-Modified: 1999/05/27 165. It is therefore clear that all the Jews dispatched by the Accused and his Section to the East for "posting for work," or under any other camouflage term, were dispatched to death by him knowingly, whether he sent them after the Wannsee Conference or in October 1941 to the Lodz Ghetto. And it makes no difference whether they were sent to an extermination camp or to a labour camp. They could be done to death immediately in the concentration camp, or also later, after they had been employed in one of the labour camps in the East. It makes no difference whether the forced labourers died as a result of the hard labour or were taken away from their place of work to the place of physical extermination. The Accused admitted this in his reply to the Attorney General (Session 93, Vol. IV, p. xxxx26): "Q. ...When you issued directives T/1399 under your signature, for the deportation of Jews to Izbica, near Lublin, there was no obligation to report to Oranienburg, nor to the Auschwitz camp, but only to Lublin and to Cracow, because this transport was going directly to extermination. True? "A. The contents of the document are correct. This was within the authority of the State Secretary. "Q. I am not asking about authority, I am asking, if this is the way it was signed and sealed, were not these people destined for extermination? "A. Yes, I do not deny this at all." (Group D of the Economic-Administrative Head Office was located in Oranienburg. The State Secretary mentioned here is apparently Krueger.) Later on, on the same page, he corrects himself and replies: "Whatever may happen, at any rate I have never denied that, to my sorrow, some of the deported Jews were sent to death. This I could not deny." The limited reference to only a part of the deportees was apparently intended to exclude those who had been put to forced labour before their death. But even if this was so, there is no doubt that their final fate was also known to the Accused at the time he dispatched them to the East, and it was for that purpose that he sent them there. As we have stated elsewhere with regard to the deportees to Auschwitz, it was as persons condemned to death that they reached the gates of the camp. 166. We shall now discuss the question as to whether the Accused had a part in the introduction of the system of killing by gas and the supply of gas. The Accused denies that he had any part at all in this. As we have already mentioned, when we spoke about Globocnik's extermination camps, the system of killing by gas had already been used in Germany before then to put an end to the lives of mentally sick people (N/94, p. 15), and the order for this appears to have been issued from Hitler's office. The unit engaged in this, under the guidance of Wirth, was transferred to the East, in order to use the same system against the Jews. Until then, it was a question of using motor exhaust gases. As to the system of carrying out executions by means of Zyklon B gas (prussic acid), which was used at Auschwitz, Hoess states that it was invented by his deputy, Fritzsch, who first used it to execute Russian prisoners (T/45, p. 146; T/90, p. 4). There is no reason why his statement should not be accepted as accurate. The question of finding a "cleaner" and more efficient system for mass executions than shooting undoubtedly occupied the attention of the Accused as early as the end of the summer or the beginning of the autumn of 1941. This we find from the mention he makes in his Statement (T/37) of the impression he gained when he saw an Operations Unit in action near Minsk, where he had been sent by Mueller. He states that his reaction to this was: "How can this be possible? To shoot like that at a woman and children... The men must go out of their minds or they will become sadists - those men of ours." (supra, p. 214) Again, the date of the visit is in dispute: In his evidence before us, the Accused moves this visit to the winter of 1941-1942 (Session 87, Vol. IV, p. xxxx22). At the same time, he connects the visit with "the double battle of Minsk and Bialystok" (T/37, p. 211), and so does the timetable attached to the Counsel for the Defence's written summary. It should be mentioned here that, in his evidence, the Accused was confused in saying that he crossed this battlefield on the occasion of his visit to Lublin (see Session 87, Vol. IV, p. xxxx20). This battle did not take place later than July 1941 (see, for example, T/313, report of an Operations Unit from Minsk, dated 13 July 1941). It also stands to reason that, if Mueller wanted to receive particulars about the activities of the Operations Units and sent the Accused to Minsk for that purpose, he did so at an early stage, and not in the winter of 1941-1942. Accordingly, we find that this visit took place in September 1941 at the latest. 167. In exhibit T/308, which is connected with the name of Dr. Wetzel, an official of the Ministry for the Eastern Occupied Territories, we find the main evidence implicating the Accused with regard to the introduction of the method of killing by gas vans. This collection of documents comprises a handwritten memorandum, a typescript of the same memorandum and two drafts of letters to the Reich Commissioner in Ostland (the Baltic countries). The handwritten memorandum and the typescript are identical, with one exception: The memorandum states that a conversation took place between Wetzel, Brack (an official of Hitler's Chancellery) and the Referent dealing with the Solution of the Jewish Question. The place in which the name of that Referent was to appear was not filled in (it should be added that the name of Wetzel himself was not filled in either). According to the typescript, the third person who took part in this conversation was the Accused. One of the draft letters does not say any more than the memorandum and the typescript, but also mentions the names of Wetzel, Brack and the Accused. Thus far, we still do not know the details of the discussion which took place among the three of them, but the second draft, dated 25 October 1941 (which was also submitted at one of the Nuremberg Trials - the Trial of the Doctors, Green Series, Vol. l, pp. 870-888) states: "With reference to my letter of 18 October 1941, I inform you that...Brack, of the Fuehrer's Chancellery, agreed to take part in the preparation of the necessary housing and of the gas apparatus. At present, the apparatus required does not exist on a sufficiently large scale and must be manufactured. Since, in Brack's view, the manufacture of the apparatus in the Reich will cause greater difficulties than their manufacture on the spot, he thinks it would be more effective to send his men, especially his chemist, Dr. Kallmeyer, to Riga immediately, to attend there to everything necessary... "May I point out that Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, the Referent for Jewish Affairs in the RSHA, has agreed to this procedure. According to Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, Jewish camps are about to be set up in Riga and Minsk. Perhaps Jews may also be brought to these camps from the territory of the Old Reich. At present Jews are being evacuated from the Old Reich and brought to Lodz, but also to other camps, so that they can arrive at a later date for posting to work in the East, insofar as they are fit for work. As things stand, there is no reason why those Jews who are not fit for work should not be liquidated by means of Brack's apparatus. In this way, there will not be any incidents, such as occurred - according to a report submitted to me - when Jews were executed by shooting in Vilna. We cannot allow such incidents, especially in light of the fact that the executions by shooting were carried out in public. But those who are fit for work must be deported to the East for the labour operation. Naturally, Jews who are fit for work must be separated from the other men and women. I request a report on your forthcoming activities." Learned Counsel for the Defence argues that only the handwritten memorandum can count as evidence, and he emphasizes that the Accused's name is not mentioned therein. In his evidence before us, the Accused denies having taken part in a conversation of this kind. This was not the reaction of the Accused in his Statement to Superintendent Less when these documents were submitted to him. He then stated (p. 2313): "Yes, to this I can only say - it is all described with accuracy... I cannot raise any doubts here as to it being so." (See also p. 2314.) Afterwards, the Accused returns to the same subject of his own accord and says (supra, p. 2339): "There is no doubt that Wetzel came to me on this matter. This I cannot at all explain in any other way, after reading the report - that I brought the matter up through Gruppenfuehrer Mueller - but I cannot say that Gruppenfuehrer Mueller decided in this matter - to the Head of the Security Police and the SD, and after this I informed Wetzel of the attitude taken by the Head of the Security Police and SD. It makes sense only in this way." Superintendent Less showed him the same documents a second time (p. 3483), and the Accused made no further comment in connection with this. In Session 30, Vol.I, p. 518, these documents were submitted to us without protest, and the Accused's denial that he spoke to Wetzel about the gas appears for the first time in his testimony (Session 78, Vol. IV, p. xxxx17) and again (Session 98, Vol. IV, p. xxxx37). We do not attach any value to this denial and so do not accept it. The denial is based essentially on the fact that, in the handwritten memorandum, the Accused's name does not appear. This was noticed by the Accused only after he had been examined by the police. The documents were written in an official office of the German Reich, their formal authenticity is not in doubt; they are closely connected; they record the words and actions of persons acting with official authority, and they were composed soon after the events occurred. If we add to this that the Accused readily admitted the accuracy of their contents, not only spontaneously when the documents were first shown to him, but also a second time on another day, after he had had time to think, and volunteered to repeat his confirmation of their accuracy, without having been questioned again on this subject; and again on a third occasion, when shown the same documents he expressed no reservations. This is more than sufficient to convince us that these documents are not only authentic from a formal point of view, but also accurate in content, and there is no basis for the much later denial made by the Accused. Thus, it has been proved that the Accused expressed the consent of the RSHA to the use of gas vans in October 1941 as a substitute for the execution of Jews by shooting. (His argument in Statement T/37 that he acted according to instructions from his superiors is repeated in regard to many other matters, and we shall deal with this later in its proper place.) From the declaration of Ohlendorf (T/312), we know that in the spring of 1942 a gas van was sent to the Operations Units, and exhibit T/309 gives evidence of the dispatch of an additional van in July 1942. Therefore, we find that the Accused took part in exchanging the system of execution by shooting for execution by means of gas vans.
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