Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Judgment/Judgment-067 Last-Modified: 1999/05/27 226. The Attorney General submitted that, had the Accused seriously tried to be released from his murderous task, he could have found ways of attaining his desire. He could have asked to be transferred to the front; he could have made various excuses to get away as others did, or he could have stated openly that his heart was not at one with the task assigned to him. In the evidence before us, there is ground for this submission. For instance, Justice Musmanno stated that in his conversations with Schellenberg, he was told that men were released from Operations Units when it became clear that they were incapable of taking part in murder (Session 39, Vol. II, pp. 725). Such a case (concerning a man named Jost) is also mentioned in the affidavit of Best, which was submitted in the Einsatzgruppen Case (T/687), and in a affidavit made by Burmeister about the release of the witness for the Defence, Six, from the Operations Units (T/688, pp. 24-26; see also the evidence by Six himself in the present case, p. 8). Himmler's speech at Poznan also hints that whoever showed signs of abhorrence at the business of murder could obtain his release (T/1288, p. 151). But we do not intend to go into this problem in depth, because, in our opinion, this whole discussion is not to the point, since such a problem never troubled the Accused. He never thought of giving up his important job behind his desk at the RSHA, a position he had obtained because of his being an expert on a problem which kept the Third Reich and its heads busy. It is possible that he was not at ease when watching bloody sights. Perhaps he even spoke to Mueller about it, although this is difficult to accept as a fact, because such a manifestation of weakness was not appropriate for an SS man like him, for in the SS toughness was one of the principal personal qualities demanded. As we have shown, the Accused's version is far from clear in this matter. As far as he talked about a troubled conscience, his words are not worthy of belief, since they are altogether contrary to his actual attitude as regards his work on the front against the Jews at every stage. 227. With this, we reach the heart of our discussion of the inner motives which prompted the Accused in his activities. That he was merciless in all his deeds, is almost undisputed. One illustration will suffice, in connection with the transaction "goods for blood" in Hungary. When asked why he regarded the idea of this transaction favourably, he explained that he took this matter up because he felt that Becher was his rival and had been poaching on his preserves in the matter of Jewish emigration. Then he is asked by his Counsel: "In your negotiations with your superiors, did you also speak of the sense of pity which had been aroused in you in regard to the Jews, and say that this was an opportunity to help them?" And he answers: "I am giving evidence under oath and I must tell the truth. I did not approach the matter out of pity. Also, I would have been fired, had I adopted such an attitude." (Session 86,Vol. IV, p. xxxx16) And in answer to the Attorney General in the same matter: "Q. "...You will perhaps agree with me that your heart was not in this affair? "A. I did not contend otherwise. I have already said that this was done for reasons of utility. I did not say that this was a rescue operation." (Session 103, Vol. IV, pp. xxxx18-19) That is to say, it never entered his head that human beings could possibly save their lives in this way. This reveals to us the same block of ice, or block of marble, which Dr. Grueber saw before him when he came to the Accused on the humanitarian mission which he had taken upon himself. 228. But the Accused tried to convince us that only obedience to orders motivated and guided him in all his activities, that only blind obedience, "cadaver-like" obedience (Kadavergehorsam) is what silenced his conscience. That is why he presented himself as an insignificant official, with no opinion of his own in all matters with which he had to deal, and as lacking all initiative in his work. We have already discussed this allegation in a different context, when evaluating the Accused's activities. Now we repeat that, also regarding his inner feelings towards his work, the picture which he has tried to draw for us is entirely distorted. It is true that the Accused gave such obedience as was demanded from a good National Socialist and as an SS man in whom blind obedience was deeply inculcated. But that does not mean that he fulfilled his task only because he was ordered to do so. On the contrary, he carried it out wholeheartedly and willingly, at every stage, also because of an inner conviction. Let us review briefly the evidence which has led us to this conclusion. The Accused admits that he was a zealous National Socialist, devoted to his Fuehrer (T/37, p. 325), but he contends that he was not an anti-Semite. The answer to this contention is found in the words of Dr. Grueber (Session 42, Vol. II, p. 750): "Q. Did you find that the Accused showed personal hatred of the Jews, acute anti-Semitism or National Socialist fanaticism? "A. These are hard to separate. National Socialist fanaticism was organically bound up with anti-Semitism, was it not? They went hand in hand, to my knowledge." Indeed, this is common knowledge: In Hitler's bogus ideology, the elevation of the German nation to the position of "master-race" is bound up with hatred of the Jews and their degradation to the rank of "subhuman." 229. It is possible that the Accused did not believe in Streicher's crude methods of incitement, for he considered himself an expert in the fight against Jewry, as one who had studied the problem thoroughly, and he was thus regarded by his superiors. As an expert, he understood that it is not always the crude methods which are efficient. However, his attempt to argue that he - the Specialist on Jewish Affairs in the Head Office for Reich Security - he, of all people - was that "white raven," the National Socialist who did not hate Jews, is unbelievable. Had a man of his kind, a man who stood in the thick of the fight against the Jews - first in the field of ideology and afterwards in the actual fight - shown the slightest deviation from the anti-Semitic orthodoxy which was demanded from every member of the Party, however lowly, he could not have remained there for even one day. The heads of the SD and the Gestapo with whom he worked would certainly soon have detected any such deviation. But let us quote the words of the Defence witness Six, who knew the Accused closely from the time of his work in the SD Head Office, when Six was head of the branch in which the Accused worked. In his evidence taken in Germany, he says (p. 6): "Eichmann believed wholeheartedly in National Socialism ...I believe that, when in doubt, Eichmann invariably acted according to the doctrine of the Party in its most extreme interpretation." 230. The evidence before us fully confirms these words. Even today, when he makes his remarks on the article in Life, the Accused explains to Sassen, why Hitler disappointed him (T/48, p. 8): "I said that the real agitators for war were the infernal high finance (die infernalische Hochfinanz) circles of the Western hemisphere, whose servants are Churchill and Roosevelt, and the puppets, the pawns in this game of theirs, are Hitler, Mussolini, Daladier, Chamberlain." The "infernal finance circles" are, of course, the Jews according to the concepts of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," that "International Finance Jewry" about whom Hitler spoke in his speech in January 1939 and whom he threatened to exterminate. This is the style used by the Accused even in 1957, so deep was his conviction from the past that the Jews are the enemies of mankind, and he reaches a new peak in the development of the Nazi mythology: Hitler himself was a plaything into the hands of the Jews. Thus he also unhesitatingly adopted the official Nazi doctrine, that the Jews, being enemies who have declared war upon the German Reich, must be exterminated. As Himmler said in his speech in Posen on 4 October 1943: "We had a moral duty towards our own people - it was our duty to exterminate this nation which wanted to exterminate ours." (T/1288, p. 2) This hatred is echoed in the Accused's words in the Sassen Document, in the part (File 17) written in his own handwriting, and to which he confessed (supra, p. 735): "The slogan of both sides was: The enemy must be exterminated! And world Jewry...obviously declared war upon the German Reich." A couple of lines before that, he makes it clear that the Jews had always been the enemies of the German people, not only after the outbreak of war, and that Hitler had already declared war upon them years earlier (supra, p. 734). And again, he has a ready excuse: The intention was not actual extermination, for neither the British nation, nor the French nation, were exterminated during the War (Session 96, Vol. IV, pp. xxxx9-10) - a hollow excuse.
Site Map ·
What's New? ·
© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012
Home · Site Map · What's New? · Search Nizkor