Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-006-007-008-07 Last-Modified: 1999/05/28 The Extermination in Northern, Western, and Southern Europe. I now turn to Western Europe. In these opening remarks, I shall concentrate especially on one part of this story, the tragedy of Dutch Jewry. When the German Army turned westward, in May 1940, it laid low the Netherlands, among other countries. A Reichskommissar was appointed with full legislative and executive authority. In the office of the Security Police Commissioner we shall find the special Department for Jewish Affairs, which later had the same designation as Adolf Eichmann's Department - IVB4. Heading this Department in Holland were Eichmann's representatives, Zoepf, Rajakowitsch, and others. In Amsterdam, an Emigration Centre was set up, the true purpose of which was to discover the names and addresses of the Jews and to mark them down for the "final solution." The anti-Jewish campaign began immediately after the occupation, following the pattern already familiar to us from the decisions of 21 September 1939, which constituted the master-plan for the extermination programme everywhere: anti_Jewish legislation, depriving the Jews of human and civil rights; identification of Jews by compelling them to wear the badge of shame; theft of Jewish property; and finally - deportation of the Jews for extermination. The legislative programme was initiated in 1940 with a series of laws parallel to those in occupied France, and which were implemented there in cooperation with Eichmann and his Department. We shall present you an official report by the Dutch Government on this series of decrees, which began by ousting Jews from economic life, went on to dismiss Jewish officials; branched out to copying the Nuremberg laws. Free movement and transfer, and attendance at theatres and places of entertainment were forbidden; the practice of free professions was restricted; special identity cards were issued; Jewish children were expelled from the schools, and every Jew was to wear the badge of shame. Later, Jews were forbidden to use telephones and public means of transportation, or to enter non-Jewish stores; an evening curfew was imposed, and visits to non-Jewish homes were banned. The use of bicycles, so popular in Holland, was also forbidden to Jews, and they were ordered to give up all bicycles in their possession. Here too the problem of children of mixed marriages troubled the occupation authorities. In Germany proper, the issue had been raised by the military authorities, tens of thousands of whose soldiers were one-eighth or one-quarter Jews and had to fight for the Fuehrer and the Fatherland under the shadow of their "unclean" origins. These would go home on leave to a partially Jewish father or mother, after witnessing with their own eyes, or carrying out with their own hands, the slaughter by the Einsatzgruppen of the Jews in the East - that is to say, of those people who were being killed for no other crime than that of belonging to the very same group as the father or mother of the German soldier. That was why Hitler himself insisted that care be exercised in dealing with this situation during wartime, and we shall see the series of special instructions relating to it. One of those in charge of anti-Jewish legislation in Holland prepared a report on his discussions of the problem and noted that Eichmann, in those consultations, had expressed radical opinions and demanded the inclusion of all children of mixed marriages in anti-Jewish legislation. Finally, a solution was found for this too. The Accused and his subordinates gave instructions that the children of mixed marriages were to be sterilized, in order to prevent them from having families. But in Holland, for the first time, the Nazis encountered resistance on the part of the local non-Jewish population to the abominations they committed against the Jews. After the hounding of the Jews in Amsterdam, a general strike broke out in the city in February 1941, and spread to Utrecht, Hilversum, and other places. Gas and electricity plants were brought to a standstill, and passengers were taken off the trains. Revolt broke out. The Nazis quickly alerted the SS and Death Head units from Germany, the police was reinforced and orders were given to shoot to kill at crowds. The leaders of the Dutch resistance movement were arrested, some put to death, others imprisoned, and taken as hostages. Jewish children of mixed marriages were dispatched to concentration camps and tortured to death. The strike was smashed by Nazi might and terror, and the process of extermination continued. Zoepf, Eichmann's envoy and subordinate in Holland, reported on 8 June 1942 that the rest of the anti-Jewish legislation too had already been plannned and was soon to be published. Things did not go so easily with the introduction of the "Jewish badge." As a demonstration of solidarity with the persecuted, non-Jews in their thousands also began wearing the yellow Star of David, "but we have taken energetic steps to prevent this," Zoepf reported. At first the Jews, to Zoepf's surprise, were proud of their badge of shame, but later, the fear of what lay ahead became stronger, he wrote. And meanwhile, as it were by the way, the burning of synagogues had been organized in a number of districts. Along with the implementation of the first stage, i.e. the identification and isolation of the Jews and their segregation from the rest of the population, came the additional steps: their concentration in camps and special neighbourhoods, and the pillage of their property. The machine worked efficiently. In January 1942, the transfer of Jews to labour camps began, first to the Ellerkom Camp, which soon became notorious for the acts of terror and cruelty executed there, and later also to other camps - Vught, Westerbork, and so forth. A "purge" of the various parts of Holland, and the shipment of Jews to camps, was begun. This applied to all Jews, men and women, children and infants, difficult cases from mental hospitals, those who had sought refuge in old people's homes or homes for the blind, and even sick people in hospitals awaiting medical treatment. German "thoroughness" was in full evidence. At first the Germans did not know what to do with Jews of the Spanish and Portuguese community in Holland. Did these belong to the people doomed to destruction or not? Then Eichmann's office came and resolved their doubts by ruling that these were full Jews in all respects, and subject to extermination with the rest of their brethren. Holland was the scene of frequent manhunts for Jews, and forced transfers to camps. The Jews began to hide, as in the well-known case of Anne Frank. In November 1943 the Accused gave instructions to increase the reward promised to anyone revealing hidden Jews, and a monthly quota was fixed of Jews to be handed over for deportation and extermination. At that time the twin phase of the "final solution" was also implemented - the theft of property. This too was the concern of Zoepf and Dr. Rajakowitsch. In May 1941, the Jews were ordered to register all their property and deposit it with a German firm. The Dutch Government report adds these facts: in September-October, 1941, all the public institutions of the Jewish communities were abolished, and their property was deposited in a specified bank. In May, 1942, the Jews were ordered to hand over all their money, gold, jewellery and objets d'art. For purposes of blackmail and theft, the Germans were ready even to permit an occasional Jew to save his life. Eichmann's Department issued instructions that, for 100,000 Swiss francs, the emigration of old Jews would be permitted. Many such applications were made, but only a few could make all the blackmail payments; only 28 Jews in this category were permitted to emigrate in accordance with this scheme. Zoepf reported that, as exceptional cases, he had permitted eight Jews to emigrate in exchange for the transfer of an industrial plant to the Reich, because of its great economic value. At the same time, a special branch carried out a programme of collecting Jewish moveable property, including furniture, household utensils, and objects d'art. We shall submit an official German report about this operation of the Rosenberg HQ (known as "Operation M"), with all the details of the plundered property. There are detailed lists describing the contents of hundreds of crates of kitchen utensils, articles of clothing, mirrors, curtains, lamps, pianos and libraries - besides priceless objets d'art. There is also a list of places to which the loot was sent, such as Berlin, Hamburg, Rostock, Bonn, Linz, Kiel, Hanover, Gratz, Bremen, Luebeck, Duesseldorf, Stuttgart, Ludwigshafen, Koenigsberg, Munich and many other places. The thieves saw to it that the entire German people, in all parts of the State, should profit from the plunder. Altogether 29,436 freight cars were sent, in 735 special trains, laden with the stolen property of Western European Jews. Now already roofless, homeless and destitute, the Jews were crowded into camps to await their bitter fate. Adolf Eichmann learned "from a top secret source" that a number of people - a mere twenty hapless Jews - had been sent passports and emigration papers. Immediately he ordered a strict inquiry, gave notice that he alone would determine their fate and, in order to prevent the recurrence of such "undesirable occurrences" gave instructions that henceforth contact with the outside world from the camps would be made more difficult. A Jew would be permitted to send only one postcard per month; the postcard must be written in German and its contents restricted to greetings and information about personal matters. All such mail must be sent to Eichmann's office in Berlin, whence it would be forwarded to its destination. The problem of the property of foreign nationals had to be solved. Eichmann wrote to the Foreign Ministry asking for a decision on the property of Jews who were not Dutch nationals and also of Jews of foreign domicile living in Germany. He suggested a meeting on the question to be attended by representatives of all the Ministries concerned. The principle was laid down, thenceforth to apply to all the satellite countries, that Germany "surrendered" her right to receive from foreign countries the property of the German Jews resident in those countries when they were sent to extermination camps, and on the other hand decided not to transfer to foreign countries the property of their Jewish citizens who had been resident in Germany and would be deported therefrom. This rule was established for all the occupied countries in the following terms: "In order to facilitate the operation already begun, and in order not to endanger the solution of the Jewish Question in Europe, which is being implemented, it is hereby laid down that the negotiations with foreign governments relating thereto shall be conducted on the basis of the territorial principle." In other words: the property of Jews sent to be exterminated would remain in the country from which they had been dispatched, without regard to their citizenship. This is another example of the fact that the plunder was closely linked with the killing, as two aspects of one and the same operation. This territorial principle henceforth constituted the guiding line for the satellite countries and an acceptable bribe for them to deport their Jews, and above all, their Jews of foreign nationality, in order to enable them to confiscate their property. In a number of places, as we shall see, the expulsion of stateless or foreign individuals was begun, and after people there had grown accustomed to the idea of Jews being deported and their property stolen, as a rule the turn of the local Jewish citizens would also come. Let us return to Holland. Now that the decision about property had been reached, everything was ready for the final steps. The Jews had been segregated, labelled, assembled, robbed of their property, squeezed dry to the last drop. Now came the phase of their shipment to camps in the East, where their bodies would be further exploited by sweat and exhausting labour; their hair would be clipped for various uses, and finally they would be sent to the gas chambers. After death, their gold teeth would be extracted from their mouths and their wedding rings removed from their fingers - these too were valuable. And when this ghastly work was done, their corpses would be piled into furnaces, and of these human beings only a pile of ashes would remain. Order was maintained and efficiency prevailed. The transport arrangements "to the East" were made by Eichmann and his Department. We shall submit the documents calling meetings in Eichmann's office, the minutes of the meetings he conducted and the instructions he issued. Officially, in correspondence with the German Foreign Ministry, these were still couched in terms of "deportation for labour," and "assignment for work in Auschwitz" of 400,000 Jews from occupied France, 400,000 from Holland, and 10,000 from Belgium. In this correspondence, Eichmann repeatedly emphasized that only people capable of work were involved. At a later stage I shall discuss the meaning of "deportation to Auschwitz." But let me say immediately that here Eichmann was deceiving his Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In his operation orders to his units he laid down that each transport from France, Belgium and Holland was to include ten per cent unfit for work. It is clear that those capable of work were to give of their strength and energy as slave labourers, while the rest would be passed on for immediate extermination. The deportation from Holland began in the middle of July 1942. After a month and a half of accumulated experience, Eichmann convened his envoys for consultations in Berlin, and each presented a report on his operations. Eichmann demanded that the deportations be completed by the end of the year, fixing July 1943, as the final date. He demanded special efforts during the ensuing months and stated that the railway management would be unable to provide transports during November to January, but undertook to arrange for at least one train a day. The deportations proceeded apace. At the end of April 1943, Zoepf reported to Eichmann that he had not succeeded in completing his work, and that only 68,300 Jews had been deported so far, leaving about 71,700. A more vigorous operation was immediately decided upon and Eichmann set the end of 1943 as the ultimate date for its conclusion. He demanded 8,000 deportees during May, and 15,000 in June. Detailed instructions were issued on the compulsory sterilization of children of mixed marriages. Eichmann decided on further encouragement for Dutch informers against Jews in hiding, who in return for information on large numbers of Jews would be relieved of the obligation to report back to prisoner-of-war camps, which had then been imposed on part of the Dutch population in reprisal for intensified underground activities. In order to avoid possible difficulties on the part of Sweden, the protecting power for Holland, it was decided to enact a special law whereby Dutch Jews, like those of the Reich, would lose their nationality the moment they crossed the State frontier on the journey eastwards. Zoepf was enjoined to carry out the orders to the letter and indeed the second half of 1943 was a period of increased activity. The trains rolled eastwards loaded with their human cargo. Finally, only scattered groups of Jews were left in Holland. These included such people as skilled diamond craftsmen, whose services were required by Germany; their future was left to be decided by Himmler himself. There were also a few Jews employed in collecting metals for the German war industry and some who had fought in the ranks of the German army during the First World War. Altogether, these totalled 870 persons, and they too were imprisoned and deported to Theresienstadt. Over a thousand Jews were still employed in German armament plants in the Vught camp. These, too, were eventually deported and the street searches after those in hiding continued. About 120,000 Jews were deported and removed to extermination camps in Poland; a few were deported to other places, and of all these about 5,000 survived. This, in brief, is the tale of extermination in one country where Adolf Eichmann operated. The same story will be repeated in all the other countries, with some slightly different nuances in style, with minor adaptations to local conditions - variations on a single theme of atrocity, murder and extermination. Let us begin with the North. In Norway, there were a handful of Jews, some 1,750 in all. About half fled to Sweden; the remainder were deported to the extermination camps in Poland. The Norwegian underground did what it could to smuggle out Jews. The people resisted the extermination campaign and accordingly brought upon themselves a campaign of bloodstained terror. Here also human rights were abolished; property was looted, identification cards were stamped with the Jewish mark; searches and arrests were instituted; and finally, towards the end of 1942, came the deportations. The treatment of the Jews was in the hands of the Commander of the Security Police (BdS), about whom Eichmann said: "This was my office." He did all he could to frustrate the Swedish Government's efforts to rescue the Jews of Norway. His Office wrote to the German Foreign Ministry: "The Swedish Government, in relation to these Jews, is conducting a transparent naturalization stratagem...which should not be agreed to." In another document, Eichmann complained that the Swedish Government "is attempting to frustrate the efforts adopted against the Jews." Of the 800 Norwegian Jews deported, 21 survived. At the time of Denmark's capitulation, about 6,500 Jews were living there. For special reasons, the Germans at first permitted the local authorities to continue to function. They hoped to establish Denmark as a Musterprotektorat - a model protectorate. King Christian remained the formal ruler of the State and the Danish Government continued to function. This explains why the anti-Jewish laws were not enacted, nor was the Jewish badge introduced. The King intervened personally on behalf of the Jews of his country. The Germans themselves were hesitant, and the Foreign Ministry doubted the advisability of imposing the extermination campaign on Denmark. But when it came to the Jews, a man like Eichmann would never retreat. As early as April 1943, he told von Thadden, of the Foreign Ministry: "You will shortly be persuaded to change your attitude." And indeed, Eichmann won through. An outbreak of strikes and the intensification of the anti-German underground operations provided a convenient opportunity: a state of war was declared by the occupation authorities; in September 1943, the SS angel of death, the senior commander of the Security Police, the BdS, appeared in Copenhagen and immediate plans were laid for hunting down the Jews. We shall submit to you the Danish Government's official report which describes the activities of the Commander of the Security Police, Dr. Mildner. As a safety measure, Eichmann sent his second in command, Rolf Guenther to Denmark together with a number of other people from his Department. For reasons of its own, the Army of Occupation was doubtful whether to cooperate in the hunt. The Foreign Minister then approached Eichmann, as one having unlimited authority on Jewish questions, and requested him to request the Army to recant. The round up finally took place during the first days of October 1943. The barbarians broke into Jewish homes, seized Jews in the streets and brought them in. But then something occurred that stunned the assassins: most of the Jewish homes turned out to be empty. The Danish people, having prior knowledge of the murderous plot, had organized courageously and at great risk, under the very noses of the occupation authorities, an underground rescue operation, which became known as "The Miniature Dunkirk." Fishing and excursion boats and any other vessel able to float were mustered at the ports. The Jews were escorted to the coast by scouts, students and other volunteers, put on board and secretly transported to Sweden. In this way, some six thousand Danish Jews were rescued; only a few hundred fell into the hands of Eichmann's accomplices. When it became clear to Eichmann that this small part of his quarry had escaped his grasp, he was beside himself with rage. He had a complaint lodged against the occupation authorities, and shortly afterwards he went to Copenhagen in person to ascertain what had occurred and the reasons for the failure. But it was too late. Thanks to the courage and nobility of its people, most of the Jews of Denmark were saved. In Belgium, the picture was entirely different. Here, we meet the well-tried system: anti-Jewish laws from the latter part of 1940; compulsory registration, the wearing of the Jewish badge, curfews, the round up of Jews in Antwerp, Brussels, Liege and Charleroi and their imprisonment in the Breendonck camp. It was in this camp that whenever one was executed, the Jews were ordered to march before the corpse singing the camp anthem: "Wir werden nie Breendonck vergessen, das Paradies der Juden" (Never shall we forget Breendonck, the Jewish paradise). In the Belgium Government's official report on the extermination, this phase was called "la phase preparatoire" (the preparatory phase). This was followed by what the report called "la phase d'extermination" (the extermination phase). Here again, we witness the looting of property and the deportations, first to selection and concentration camps and then - eastwards. The following is an extract from an official Belgian report on the deportations to the collection camps at Malines: "When they arrived at Malines and the doors were opened, a terrible sight was revealed. When they opened the doors of each tragic truck, thick fumes and a disgusting odour escaped, and out of the doors, forced open by the pressure from within there poured out - like fish spilling out of a fishing boat, one of whose sides had been removed - a horrible conglomeration of bloated, reddened and bluish bodies, their eyes protruding from their sockets and clothes soaked in sweat and excrement. Nine corpses were removed from the trucks; eighty unconscious people were transferred to the infirmary." The mass arrests began in July 1942. In August the deportations to Auschwitz commenced. Through the various documents we shall submit to you, we shall prove Eichmann's direct responsibility for the extermination of tens of thousands of Belgian Jews. Only a part of the Jewish community of this country survived, thanks to the assistance of the underground, which on one occasion attacked a deportation train and enabled some of the condemned to escape, and to the fact that the Christian population hid a number of Jews. Some of the Jews were saved by fleeing to other countries. Eichmann sent his assistant, Burger, to Belgium, and, in accordance with his directives, the first step was the deportation of stateless Jews; at a later stage the scope of the operation was extended to Belgian nationals. Here again we see Eichmann planning, initiating and pushing aside every obstacle in the path of the extermination. In France, too, we shall find Department IVB4 operating in accordance with the familiar formula. Here Eichmann operated personally, together with his lieutenants who headed the Jewish section of the Security Police Headquarters. First came Dannecker, followed by Roethke and finally, Alois Brunner; and the Frenchmen, Pierre Laval and Darnand, who collaborated in their work. In France we shall see the same path of suffering: the denial of human rights in the series of laws of 27 September 1940; compulsory registration, the marking of business establishments; night curfews and the Jewish badge. Concurrently, the plunder took place and the Jews were hunted down and assembled; many of the hunts took place in Paris itself. The captured Jews were taken to collection camps: Drancy, Compie@65gne, Pithiviers, Beaune-la-Rolande and others. From there they were consigned eastwards - to death. The Vichy authorities also abandoned the Jews to the tender mercies of the Germans; in the first instance, the stateless Jews were taken, followed by foreign nationals, and finally, despite Marshal Petain's opposition, French citizens as well. And here again we shall see the underground, the French Maquis, doing what it can to help people to hide and escape. But German "efficiency" triumphed. Eichmann dealt personally with the deportations from France and his representatives went to Pierre Laval to bargain over the expulsion of the Jews. His stewards forcibly separated children from parents, the mothers holding on to their offspring and begging the butchers to leave them together. You will hear a description of these dreadful scenes. At the end, no more than 4,000 children between the ages of two and fourteen were left. On 21 July 1942, Dannecker recorded the substance of Eichmann's orders with respect to the children in these words: "He [Eichmann] decided that once it would be possible to renew the transports to the Generalgouvernement, children's transports can get under way." And indeed, as early as 14 August 1942, Roethke reported to the Accused and informed the Auschwitz Camp Command that the deportation of the children had been started. Listen to a description of how these children arrived at Drancy: "The children would arrive at the Drancy Camp packed in buses guarded by policemen; they would be put down in the courtyard surrounded by barbed wire guarded by a platoon of French gendarmes. The police and the gendarmes, hard people, not easily given to emotion, could not hide their feelings and their abhorrence of the task they were compelled to carry out. On the arrival of the buses, they would begin to remove the children and lead them in groups to the halls, the older ones holding the hands of the smaller children or carrying them in their arms. They did not weep, the children; they walked terrified, disciplined, miserable, and complied with the orders like a flock of sheep, one helping the other." Listen how these children were deported from Drancy: "On the day of deportation, they would be wakened at 5 o'clock in the morning. Irritable, half-asleep, most of the children would refuse to get up and go down to the courtyard. The volunteer women would have to urge them, gently, patiently and so tragically, so as to convince the older children that they must obey orders and vacate the halls. On a number of occasions the entreaties did not help; the children cried and refused to leave their mattresses. The gendarmes would then enter the halls, take up the children in their arms as they screamed with fear, struggling and grasping at each other. The halls were like a madhouse; the scene was too terrible for even the hardest of men to bear. "In the courtyard, they would call out the names of the children one by one, mark them off in the register, and direct them to the buses. When a bus filled up it would leave the camp with its cargo. Since many children remained unidentified and others would not answer to their correct or assumed names, they would include them in the convoy to make up the number. "Each convoy consisted of 500 children and 500 adults chosen from the camp prisoners. Within a period of about three weeks, during the second half of August and the first part of September 1943, 4,000 children, thus made into orphans, were transported in this fashion, intermixed with adult strangers. "Hauptsturmfuehrer Roethke was present at these transports and would inspect personally the parading of the children, the roll-call and the loading into the buses." Eichmann thought that France was backward in carrying out the deportations, and a ramified correspondence ensued. In April 1944, Department IVB4 issued an order to arrest all Jews irrespective of nationality. Eichmann ordered that informer money, to be drawn from their property, be paid for information leading to the apprehension of Jews in hiding. Southern France fell to the Italians. Mussolini was prepared to cooperate with the Germans in the extermination programme, but a section of the Italian administration was unenthusiastic and thwarted the operations. With respect to the solution of the Jewish Question in Italy proper, the Nazis decided to call in Himmler himself to conduct the talks with the Duce. In so far as other countries under Italian rule were concerned, Eichmann and his associates complained bitterly over the saboteur Italian administration in Southern France, Greece and Yugoslavia. These complaints were summarized, among other things, in a letter drafted by Eichmann on 25 February 1943, addressed to the Foreign Ministry and signed by the head of the Gestapo, Mueller, who also referred to Eichmann as his source in the body of the letter. The letter complained of the Italian authorities' attitude and their constant habit of taking the side of the Jews. This greatly interfered with the "final solution," Mueller wrote, and even partially thwarted its implementation, since other countries pointed to this attitude on the part of one of the Axis Powers as an excuse for their hesitation to act against the Jews. Heavy pressure was exerted on the Italian authorities through the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ribbentrop. All these approaches were prepared by Eichmann, who refused to reconcile himself to the escape of a few tens of thousands of Jews from the dragnet covering Europe. As a general rule the Italians adopted delaying tactics, and succeeded in saving thousands of Jews from certain death. When the Italians left Monaco, Eichmann asserted that 15,000 Jews were living within the territory of the Principality, and demanded their incorporation in the scope of the general operation. The German Consulate in Monaco stated that the number of Jews was no more than a thousand, but Eichmann persisted, claiming that he knew, as a result of a personal visit, that the number specified by him was the correct one. Ultimately, even he had to admit that the number of Jews in question was only between 1,000 and 1,500, and his office requested that appropriate steps be taken against them. Apparently, the operation was successfully carried through, for in July 1944 the German Consul in Monaco was able to announce that there were no more than forty to fifty Jews left in the Principality. The same energy, the same care to seal up every rescue loophole, are to be seen in other areas as well. An Einsatzkommando operated in Luxembourg, and looked after legislation, the looting of property, the introduction of the Jewish badge, territorial concentration, at Fuenfbrunnen and the deportation of the Jews. Eichmann's henchmen, Bosshammer and Dannecker, operated in that part of Italy occupied by the Germans, after the fall of Mussolini and Badoglio's surrender. On 16 October 1943, an extensive round up of Jews in Rome took place and from there the wave of arrests spread to the Italian North. Thanks to the assistance of the Italians who hid many Jews at the risk of their own lives, the hunt proved unsuccessful. The Italian clergy rescued Jews and hid them in monasteries. The Pope himself intervened on behalf of the arrested Roman Jews. Confronted with this attitude on the part of the Italians, the anger of the Germans grew more intense. After the re- establishment by Mussolini of the Fascist Republic in Northern Italy, the Duce continued to maintain an Embassy in Berlin. On one occasion this Embassy asked the German Foreign Ministry for information on the fate of a certain Jew, Bernardo Taubert, an Italian national and resident of Lvov. Guenther, Eichmann's deputy, replied to his Foreign Ministry in the following terms: "We are refraining from fulfilling the request of the Italian Embassy regarding the holding of an investigation to obtain requested information regarding the domicile of the above-mentioned Jew. It would be advisable to recommend to the Italian Embassy that it desist from making such superfluous requests so as to facilitate all necessary concentration on our intensified and general operation. In the fifth year of the War, the German authorities have other and more important duties to carry out than to investigate the fate of a deported Jew. It is to be regretted that the Embassy of the Italian Fascist Republic persists in its former habit of enquiring into Jewish matters." In the various regions of Yugoslavia, we shall also come across the activities of the Accused and his men, which follow the pattern already familiar from other places. Here we find additional manifestations, such as the burning down of synagogues and the extortion of heavy collective fines. The Serbian and Croatian Jews were concentrated in camps, including Jasenovac, where 20,000 Jews were executed. The women and children were concentrated in Stara Gradis@62ka and Djakovo, and many died either from disease or through direct extermination. Jews from Germany, Czechoslovakia and Austria, en route to Palestine, were captured in Yugoslavia on the Danube. These people, 1,107 in all, were taken by the Germans to the Sabac camp and there exterminated. The Serbian Jews were thus done to death, mostly on Serbian soil, in accordance with Eichmann's personal suggestion to which I have already referred: "Eichmann recommends shooting." The surviving victims were rescued as a result of a partisan operation in which the Jews took part. In Croatia, the Accused operated through his representative Abromeit. The Croatian Jews were deported to the extermination camps between March and July, 1943 - after the Jews had been isolated and anti-Jewish legislation had been passed by the Croatian Government and its Minister of the Interior, Artukowic. In April of the following year, Department IVB4 complained that the operation in Croatia had still not been completed, and the Foreign Ministry explained in reply that this was due to the large numbers of mixed marriages in the region. In Slovenia, a part of Yugoslavia, Adolf Eichmann had an additional task: the deportation of the non-Jewish Slovenian population to Serbia and Croatia in order to evacuate the area and "to resolve national problems in accordance with the Fuehrer's decision." We shall submit to you the deportation orders and the thirty reports on the operation carried out against 14,000 Slovenians who were wantonly uprooted from their homes, where their fathers had lived before them, and deported to Serbia and Croatia. The execution of this task too was placed in the hands of the experienced uprooter of populations, Adolf Eichmann. The planning of this deportation involved a quarter of a million people. The extermination in Slovakia, which had been established as a separate political unit, was conducted in accordance with the general pattern. Here also the territorial principle in such matters as looting of property was applied. Those deported for extermination were compelled to sign affidavits "of voluntary relinquishment" of their property, which was valued at a total of some seven billion crowns. Eichmann's representative in this sector was Dieter Wisliceny, and Eichmann also came personally to deal with matters. Slovakian allies were found in Prime Minister Tuka and Mach, the Interior Minister, who were among the first leaders of the satellite countries to cooperate in deporting Jews. After 55,000 Jews had already been deported from Slovakia, an attempt was made to ransom the lives of those remaining in return for money. Some 20,000 dollars were transferred to Wisliceny, according to his own account, while other sources claim that the amount involved was between 40 and 50 thousand dollars. Slovakian officials also received money. Pressure was exerted through Church circles, and the Slovakian Government began to have doubts about continuing the deportations. Ludin, the German Ambassador, reported that owing to the influence of the Church and the corruption of the Slovakian administration, the 35,000 Jews remaining in Slovakia had been issued with documents exempting them from deportation. In the meantime, Wisliceny succeeded in deporting another 3,000 Jews. Eichmann immediately applied counter-pressure. He commissioned Fritz Fiala, a Slovakian journalist, to write articles in the Slovakian Press describing how he had visited work camps in the East and seen "with his own eyes" the good living conditions that the Jews enjoyed there. Strong pressure was also applied by the German Foreign Ministry, and ultimately Wisliceny and, later, Alois Brunner, returned to Bratislava. The round ups began in September 1944, and once again more than 12,000 Jews were deported while many more thousands were killed in Slovakia itself. Eichmann decided to try and extort additional profits from the Slovakian Jews. He demanded of the Slovakian Government a payment of 500 marks "transfer money" for every Jew deported to the work camps. Here, too, we see Eichmann's hand in everything. Important matters were handled by him personally, through direct contact with Tuka, the Prime Minister, and the Interior Minister Mach. It was to him that the Foreign Ministry addressed its repeated requests to allow Slovakian representatives to visit the "work camps" to which the Jews were ostensibly being sent. He refused so adamantly, however, that the Foreign Ministry replied that his refusal would endanger the possibility of getting more Slovakian Jews deported. The Foreign Ministry explained that Mach, "despite all his good intentions, would be unable under existing conditions, to overcome the opposition of his Government colleagues to additional deportations to the East." Eichmann retorted that a visit to the Polish camps by the Slovakian representatives was simply impracticable. He requested, however, that the Slovakian politicians be pacified and that it should be explained to them that their concern for the Jews was unfounded. This was written on 7 February 1944, when, of course, the Slovakians deported in 1942 had been dead for a long time. The driving force of the rescue organization in this region was Gisi Fleischmann, a noted public worker and a woman of noble heart who endangered her own life on scores of occasions in order to save others. She was eventually deported to Auschwitz by the specified command of Alois Brunner, Eichmann's grim emissary. Kasztner appealed to Becher in Budapest to intervene on her behalf, and on Becher's insistence, Eichmann cabled Brunner to refrain from deporting her, but immediately followed up the telegram with another, cancelling the first. Thus her fate, too, was sealed. Rabbi Weissmandel, one of the noble leaders of Slovakian Jewry, was also deported to his death but succeeded in escaping from the train en route to Auschwitz. Operating in Rumania on Eichmann's behalf was Hauptsturmfuehrer Richter. Under his influence and persuasion, anti-Jewish laws were enacted and the looting of property began. Germany relinquished her rights to the property of her Jewish nationals residing in that country. As early as 1941, the Germans began deporting Jews across the Bug to the territory of the Generalgouvernement, but the Germans were not yet ready to "absorb" them. As you will see from an official letter to the Accused, the 28,000 Jews who were removed to the Generalgouvernement were exterminated in keeping with Eichmann's threat. With regard to the remaining Jews however, the authorities on both sides agreed that they would be temporarily held in concentration camps in Rumania until it would be possible to remove them to the East. I have no doubt that Eichmann later bitterly regretted this agreement, since, when he finally prepared the deportation of the remaining Jews to the extermination camps in the summer of 1942, the Jews had meanwhile succeeded in exerting influence on the Government to prevent their deportation. The deportation was to have begun on 10 September 1942. All the plans were ready in Eichmann's Office. The German railway administration had made all necessary arrangements, and the Accused made direct representations to the Rumanian Government and obtained the consent of the Deputy Prime Minister for a general deportation. On 26 July 1942, Eichmann reported to Himmler that the Rumanian Jews would be deported to Lublin. Those capable of work would be employed and the rest would be handed over for "special treatment." On the same day, the Accused wrote to the Foreign Ministry that 5only those capable of work would be deported from Rumania. When it became apparent that Eichmann was even leading the German authorities astray and that he was going over the head of the Bucharest Embassy in order to bring about the extermination of the Jews, the German Ambassador in Bucharest, von Killinger, wrote in an official letter: "I wish to point out that all our letters to SS_Obersturmfuehrer Eichmann passed through the Foreign Ministry so that this Ministry knew what had occurred. It in no way surprises me that Herr Eichmann, naturally, did not deem it necessary to maintain contact on this matter with the Foreign Ministry because the operational methods of the gentlemen of the SS are only too well known to me." But in the meantime, it became apparent that the Rumanians had changed their minds. Richter tried every means of pressure, recruited the assistance of the Commissar for Jewish Affairs, Lecca, instigated the publication of inflammatory articles in the Press on the "Jewish Slaves in Bucharest," contacted the authorities, threatened, but all to no effect. The Rumanians concentrated the Jews in camps, in Transnistria, where tens of thousands of Jews were killed and died. But the deportations to the extermination camps were circumvented. In the meantime, in 1943, the counter- attack of the Soviet Army began and German pressure was no longer so effective. Depite all this, Rumanian Jewry was bereaved of tens of thousands of its sons. We shall prove the stubborn efforts made by the Accused to exterminate this community utterly and to foil all attempts to save a part of them through emigration to Palestine. Eichmann suspected the French Commercial Attache in Bucharest of assisting Jews, and accordingly complained to the Foreign Ministry. He was annoyed by the obituary on a Jewish journalist which had appeared in a Rumanian newspaper, and Richter, the representative, wrote to the Rumanians in 1942, that the publication of a eulogy on a Jew in 1942 "testifies to a lack of an appropriate attitude." The son of Dr. Filderman, a leader of Rumanian Jewry, was living in France and maintained contact with his father and with people assisting Jews to escape to other countries. Filderman Jr. was arrested by Eichmann's men and brought to Berlin for interrogation. The Rumanian Government intervened and requested his release. In answer to this request, Eichmann's Department stated that they were not prepared to reveal the whereabouts of Fildreman Jr. to the Rumanians, and suggested to the Foreign Ministry to hoodwink them by informing them that he had already been released and was now in France. The machinery in Bulgaria operated on the lines of the prepared formula: the enactment of anti-Jewish legislation on the part of the Bulgarian ally, the looting of property, the compulsory wearing of the Jewish badge and similar measures. Here Eichmann worked through his agent, Theodor Dannecker, who had already gained experience in the extermination of French Jewry. Various sections of the Bulgarian public, including King Boris himself, opposed the extermination. It was thus no mean achievement on Dannecker's part to induce the Bulgarian Commissar for Jewish Affairs, Aleksander Belev, to sign an agreement with him on 22 February 1943, to deport 20,000 Jews to German- occupied territory in the East. This "agreement" represents Bulgaria's contribution to the tale of atrocity. It was agreed in writing that 20,000 Jews would be deported, irrespective of age or sex, and that the Germans would provide the means of transport, to be paid by the Bulgarians. Agreement was reached on dates, locations from which the deportations would be made and the number of trains and deportees to be included in each operation. The Bulgarian Government undertook to refrain from making further requests for the return of the deported Jews. At first the agreement stated that these measures were to be applied only to Thrace and Macedonia, which had been annexed to Bulgaria from Greece and Yugoslavia. However, as you will see from the document itself, this line was crossed out, though in such a manner as to leave the text legible. The significance of the erasure is explained in Dannecker's report to Eichmann. Bulgaria did not want to throw its Jews to the wolves; it was easier to induce the Bulgarians to hand over "foreign Jews" from the recently annexed territories than the Jews of Bulgaria proper. Consequently, in accordance with an official decision, it was originally written into the agreement that the deportations would only affect the newly acquired areas. However, as reported by Dannecker, both sides were aware of the fact that 20,000 Jews were not to be found in these areas and that about 6,000 would still be lacking from the quota, and Commissar Belev undertook to supply these from Bulgaria proper. At least half would come from Sofia, wrote Dannecker, and those to be taken would be "influential Jews...that is to say those whose economic position is sound or who have contacts with official Bulgarian circles." In answer to Belev's question whether he could prepare additional deportations, Dannecker replied in the affirmative. An attempt to deport Jews from Old Bulgaria was frustrated in the last moment as a result of intercession in Sofia. Consequently, according to the German report, the deportation embraced "only" 11,343 Jews, who were transported for extermination to Poland. After the Jews of Thrace and Macedonia had been handed over for extermination, an attempt was made to avoid deporting the others. The Jews were removed to scores of forced labour camps, but the Bulgarian authorities opposed their deportation to Germany. Naturally, from the point of view of the Gestapo this territorial concentration was the normal preparatory phase leading to the final extermination. This was why it was stated in the official report: "After having expelled the Jews from Sofia, we shall, certainly, according to our knowledge of the situation on the spot, be confronted with new problems until we succeed in removing them to the eastern regions. In the meantime, however, the Jewish Question has substantially moved forward in the direction of the transportation to the east. Things are on the move. There is no longer a way back." But the Bulgarians nevertheless refused to deport additional Jews. Eichmann then contended that the deportation of the Jews to the work camps was nothing but "an excuse to avoid deporting the Jews to the East, which, for Germany, is the desired solution." In spite of the pressure, the Jews were left in the forced labour camps. Conditions were harsh and difficult, and many broke under the strain, but they were not handed over to the Germans. By this time, things were moving at the front, and Bulgaria sought a way to extricate herself from the ties with the Axis countries. The Jews who remained were saved. The Jews of occupied Greece also passed through the valley of the shadow of death, especially the Salonika community, where the majority of Jews in occupied Greece lived. Brutality, arrests, plunder, the loot of property accompanied the German conqueror, in addition to anti-Jewish legislation, the Jewish badge and the establishment of ghettoes. Here Eichmann operated through his accomplices Wisliceny, Alois Brunner and Burger, who worked in close association with the Military Governor, Dr. Merten. Once again, we shall witness the results of their activities: kidnappings for forced labour, and the ally they introduced into the Jewish quarter - typhus. Finally, in March 1943, the death deportations began, in cattle and goods wagons. With all speed and energy, about 54,000 Salonika Jews were removed to the extermination camps. Eichmann issued special instructions that the sick and the diseased were also to be deported. We shall hear a description of how these Jews went to their deaths, transport after transport, how one of the best organized communities in the world was destroyed. At the beginning of June 1943, the "transport of intellectuals" was deported from Salonika and in August of the same year, the operation was brought to a close. After this, Eichmann continued to deal with Jews of foreign nationality in Salonika and ensured that they be included in the "final solution." Eichmann also sought to lay his hands on the handful of Jews in the Italian-occupied areas and especially in Athens, but the Italians did not cooperate. Wisliceny went to Athens to hunt down the Jews and even succeeded in arresting the Saul family, the head of which was the legal adviser to the Italian Legation in Greece. The Italians threatened to arrest Wisliceny on their territory and Eichmann reacted posthaste; threatening to report to Himmler that the Italians had taken it into their heads to arrest a German police officer in the pursuance of his duties. The German Foreign Ministry eventually explained Wisliceny's journey as being occasioned by "special reasons which have no connection with police operations." Eichmann naturally received a report of this explanation, but continued to complain bitterly at the lack of cooperation on the part of the Italians. "We shall only be satisfied if the Italians adopt in their territories the same measures as we are accustomed to adopt in our occupied territories, namely the removal of all Jews to the East." The Holocaust also swept over other communties in Greece. The Jews of Rhodes, some of whom were removed to Auschwitz and some drowned; the Jews of Corfu, Thessaly, Epirus, the Peloponnese and the Greek islands. Now let us take a look at those areas which the Germans considered as a part of the Greater Reich. The work in the Czech Protectorate was carried out according to the familiar pattern; anti-Jewish laws, the appropriation of property and enclosures in ghettoes. Here, too, we shall find a special Nazi invention - it is called Theresienstadt. At a meeting of SS Commanders on 10 October 1941, in which Eichmann and Heydrich took part, the solution of the Jewish Question in the Protectorate was discussed. It was stated that, in view of the Czech attitude to the Jews, which differed from that current in the territory of the Generalgouvernement in Poland, due allowances would have to be made. According to the minutes, Eichmann suggested that five thousand Jews be deported from Prague "to Communist prisoner_of-war camps under the command of Nebe and Rasch." These two were then the commanders of the Einsatzgruppen which had received the order for the direct extermination of Jews. The meaning of his suggestion was clearly to send five thousand Jews to death. He did carry out the operation, and we have already met these Jews, doomed for a certain and cruel death in the Riga and Minsk Ghettoes. A substantial part of the remaining Jews were removed to the Theresienstadt Ghetto set up by Eichmann and which was under his direct command. Tens of thousands of Jews were concentrated in this camp, which was intended to serve a number of purposes: firstly, to pacify the Jews themselves in a way, since the Theresienstadt deportees were ostensibly to be granted life by the evil regime. The Jew who sought some consolation was allowed to deceive himself into believing that if he were deported to Theresienstadt he would not be killed. Secondly, here was a kind of an official window-front to satisfy all those who claimed that all the Nazis were capable of doing was to kill. Red Cross representatives and journalists could be brought to Theresienstadt, as could Heads of States in the countries from which Jews had been expelled, who feared for their fate. In Theresienstadt they could put on a show; it would be a place in which the Jews supposedly lived and worked under their own administration and - most important of all - alive. All this was only a means of deception and camouflage since, from the very outset, this camp was meant to be nothing more than a pretence. In the internal decision on its establishment, it was stated that: "...the best thing would be the transfer of the Theresienstadt Camp to the authority of the Central Authority for Jewish Migration. After the deportation from this temporary collection camp (where the Jews will soon be severely decimated) it would be possible to deport the whole crew to territories in the East and to transform the place into a model German settlement." It was decided on the spot that Theresienstadt would have no cemetery, only crematoria to burn the bodies. It was also stated that in the event of a shortage of living quarters for the Jews, they should dig holes and tunnels for themselves in the ground. This became a part of the official policy of the destruction programme. On the one hand, the extermination of millions, and on the other, Theresienstadt, ostensibly under its independent Jewish administration. Naturally the administration was entirely in the hands of the Eichmann gang. From time to time, punitive measures were showered on the Theresienstadt Jews: executions as a punishment for sending post contrary to the rule, the prohibition of births, the compulsory abortion of women, the prohibition of smoking, etc. The children were housed in an institution within the precincts of the Ghetto and were permitted to see their parents once a week. Violators of the ghetto administration's orders were punished by beating. We shall submit to you the orders of the ghetto administration, and you shall see how Eichmann held his victims under constant terror. It was necessary, however, to obtain the consent of Himmler himself to deport Theresienstadt inmates to Auschwitz or to eastern regions for extermination. Needless to say, this consent was given whenever it was asked for. The death-rate in Theresienstadt was appalling, owing to the terrible conditions. Those who were not dispatched by this camp - were finished off at Auschwitz. This was, in actual fact, a collection and transit camp for extermination. Those who passed through it were Jews of the Protectorate as well as many foreign nationals - tens of thousands of Jews from Germany, Austria and other places. To Eichmann's crimes in the Protectorate should be added the slaughter of the Christian children of Lidice. Lidice was a Czech village which was wiped off the face of the earth in revenge for an attempt on Heydrich's life. About a hundred unfortunate children from this village were moved to the Lodz Ghetto (Litzmannstadt), there to suffer the same fate as the Jews. Krumey, one of Eichmann's assistants, asked him for instructions with regard to the application of "special treatment" to these children. The murder of innocents - this everywhere was Eichmann's business. So to Austria, where once again we shall meet with the operations so familiar from elsewhere. At first, pressure was maintained to expedite the deportations. Eichmann was even prepared to hand over Herzl's remains in Vienna, providing that these would leave together with at least eight thousand Jews. Afterwards, with the change in the general line, came the familiar operations: anti-Jewish legislation, looting, deportation to extermination areas, i.e. to the operational areas of the Einsatzgruppen, and to Poland. Jewish property was confiscated and transferred to German ownership; the Jews were told that since they had not succeeded in migrating from Germany, the Germans would have to begin removing them to Poland "for labour." The community institutions were ordered to supply lists of deportees. Later on, they would simply speak of "removal" to the Generalgouvernement. The Viennese Jews were transported to their deaths via Theresienstadt, Lodz, Minsk, Riga and other places. Others were consigned directly to the extermination camps in the East. All these operations were carried through by Eichmann under his direct supervision. All Jewish affairs in Austria were under his control. In Germany itself, the deportations to Poland had already begun at the beginning of 1940. The Jews of Stettin and Schneidemuehl were deported, it was stated, because of the need to vacate apartments for the Germans. Eichmann carried this into effect within the scope of his eviction authority. He deported the Jews from Baden and Pfalz to Vichy France at the end of 1940. Later on, the deportation of Jews from Germany became part of the "final solution." Those Jews were sent to an immediate death in Minsk and Riga, or dispatched for execution later via the Lodz Ghetto (Lietzmannstadt). We shall submit to you the detailed instructions for the deportations to the extermination region in Lublin, issued by Eichmann from the beginning of 1942 to all police units - Stapostellen - and to the commanders of the Security Service - SD. On 30 May 1942, Eichmann informed the representatives of the communities of Vienna, Prague and Berlin that the Reich, Austria and the Protectorate were to be "cleansed" of Jews. In Berlin, roll calls, known as "Eichmann Roll Calls" (Eichmann Appelle) - took place at which the deportation selections were made. Once again, we shall see the direct hand of Adolf Eichmann, planning, executing and tackling all matters,both small and large, relating to the "final solution."
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