The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-009-04

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-009-04
Last-Modified: 1999/05/30

State Attorney Bach:  Mr. Bar-Shalom - do you have a list of
all those documents which you received from the
Rijksinstituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie?

Witness Bar-Shalom: Here is a list of the documents we
received from Amsterdam.

Presiding Judge: This list is marked T/29.

State Attorney Bach:  Mr. Bar-Shalom - does this list, also
contain original documents and other documents?

Witness Bar-Shalom: In this list also there are two kinds of
documents. One kind are original documents, and the second
are photocopies which also were sent by the Director of the
Institute, Mr. Sijes, who prepared an expert opinion for us
and attached the documents. He made a declaration that he
had seen these documents, photocopies of which he was
sending us, in their original form.

Q. Mr. Bar-Shalom - do you know anything concerning
documents which were received from a man by the name of Dr.

A. Yes. The Vice-Consul of Israel in New York, Mr. Sidon,
approached the late Dr. Loewenherz, who had been the head of
the Jewish Community in Vienna at the time of the Holocaust.
A report which had been called by all the investigators the
Loewenherz Report, which had also received a prosecution
number in the Nuremberg Trials (PS 3954), was shown to him.
But Dr. Loewenherz stated that it was not he who had written
the report, but that he had a copy thereof; that the report
had been drawn up immediately after the War by the Jewish
Community in Vienna, of which he was the head and he
confirmed that its contents were correct.

On the same occasion he handed over to Mr. Sidon three
office files containing were copies of a report by Dr.
Loewenherz of his contacts with the Nazi authorities during
the period of the Holocaust. He explained to Mr. Sidon at
that time that he had taken these files from the archives of
the Jewish Community in Vienna - had taken them with him to
the United States. Mr. Sidon was supposed to come to him the
following day in order to take an affidavit from him. But
Dr. Loewenherz suffered a severe heart attack and passed
away a few days afterwards. These original documents reached
us. We photographed them on microfilm and also prepared
enlargements. The original documents are also in our

Q.  Did you receive an affidavit from Mr. Sidon on the facts
you have just described?

A.  Yes.

State Attorney Bach:  Your Honours, in view of the fact that
this affidavit relates to some of these documents, which we
shall submit to the Court when we submit the documents
themselves as evidence, I shall content myself for the
present with the general explanation which the witness has

[To Rav-Pakad Bar-Shalom] Perhaps I would ask you only this:
Do you have a list of those documents which I shall call
"the documents of Dr. Loewenherz" which came into our
possession and which were entered into the catalogue of
Prosecution documents?

Witness Bar-Shalom: Yes - here is the list.

Presiding Judge: Where did you get the documents from?

Witness Bar-Shalom: These documents came through the
diplomatic mail to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and the
Ministry passed them on to us. A member of the Bureau
received them from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Presiding Judge: We shall mark them T/30.

State Attorney Bach:  Do you know anything, Rav-Pakad Bar-
Shalom, about documents which were received from Mr. Wahler?

Witness Bar-Shalom: Mr. Wahler, who worked with the
prosecution at Nuremberg and dealt with documents, sent us
via the Israel Consulate in Switzerland, together with an
affidavit, ten volumes and other documents of what was
called by the investigation the "Wuerzburg Gestapo
Documents" containing lists of deportees, directives and so
on. We extracted from these ten volumes a number of
documents which are in a list here, according to volumes,
and according to the number of the page in the volume. These
are also photocopies. Mr. Wahler confirms that he dealt with
the originals and that these were the photocopies which he
retained in his possession.

State Attorney Bach:  I wish to submit the affidavit of Mr.

Presiding Judge: How did the documents reach Dr. Wahler from
Wuerzburg? Through whom?

State Attorney Bach:  Perhaps it would be useful if I were
to quote from the affidavit itself:

"I, Isaac E. Wahler, formerly Research Analyst at the
International Nuremberg Military Tribunal (February 1947 -
October 1948), knowing that I make myself punishable by law
if I make a wrong statement under oath, declare hereby:

I myself saw the originals of the photocopies attached
hereby and marked "Judendeportierung Wuerzburg 1941-1943
(Band 1-10)"...I declare that these documents are true
photocopies of the originals which I have personally seen
and which have been prepared under my personal supervision
and are true copies of the originals..."

It does not emerge clearly from this where he compared these
documents with the originals. One can only surmise, of
course, that in his capacity of "Research Analyst at the
Nuremberg Trials" he had access to these documents.

The affidavit of Mr. Wahler bears our catalogue number 1295.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/31.

State Attorney Bach:  I would also ask the Court to accept
as evidence the list prepared by Mr. Bar-Shalom including
details of the documents we have received in this way.

Presiding Judge: Those that were of interest to him, I
understand. Here there were also - how many volumes?

Witness Bar-Shalom: 10, and this is what we extracted.

State Attorney Bach:  These are the documents which were
given catalogue numbers within the framework of the
Prosecution file.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/32.

State Attorney Bach:  Are there details of another category
of evidence according to the methods of verification?

Witness Bar-Shalom: We also received documents from the
collection prepared by the United Restitution Organization,
known as U.R.O., which deals with questions of reparations
from Germany. We took a number of documents from a
collection which they had prepared for the purpose of claims
from Rumania. We tried to trace the source but did not find
the origin of the documents, despite the fact that we
managed to secure photostats. For the purpose of
verification we found in Yad Vashem one complete file which
had come from the German Embassy in Bucharest. This was the
file of the "Berater fuer Judenfragen" - the adviser on
Jewish affairs; his name was Richter and his signature is
there. We compared these signatures with those on the
photostats with the aid of a police expert, Mr. Hagag, and
he found them to be identical. This is the only verification
of these documents.

Q.  Do you have a list of those documents?

A.  Yes.

State Attorney Bach:  I ask the Court to accept this list in

Presiding Judge: This will be T/33.

State Attorney Bach:  Do you know any details concerning a
matter of documents that were identified by Mr. Shimon ben
Asher Wiesenthal?

Witness Bar-Shalom: We received photocopies of photographed
documents, from the contents of which we were able to gather
that they originated in Vienna and Linz. We approached Mr.
Wiesenthal, who is engaged in the investigation of the
Holocaust, and who would be able to obtain the sources for
us or lead us to those sources. Mr. Wiesenthal stated to us
that he himself had seen the original documents in two
archives, one in Vienna and the other in Linz, which were in
the possession of the American authorities there after the
War. We produced the documents to him and he gave us an
affidavit on this matter.

State Attorney Bach:  With the Court's permission I should
like to submit this affidavit to you. This affidavit bears
our number 1572.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/34.

State Attorney Bach:  Mr. Bar-Shalom, do you have another
list which contains various documents that came to Bureau 06
from private individuals and from various institutions,
where each document is verified in its own special way?

Witness Bar-Shalom: There is a list of documents which were
received both from public institutions and from various
private collectors and all of them are verified in various
ways. For the purpose of identification we sorted them into
a group of individual documents.

State Attorney Bach:  I would ask the Court to accept this
list as well.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/35.

State Attorney Bach:  And now, as the last exhibit, did you
receive at Bureau 06 the opinion of a handwriting expert in
regard to various documents which were in the possession of
the Bureau?

Witness Bar-Shalom: We received an opinion of the expert,
Mr. Hagag, on the signatures and the handwriting of twelve
persons, and they are the signatures and handwriting of the
Accused, Knochen, Dannecker, Guenther, Wisliceny, Six,
Roethke, Luther, Rademacher, Loewenherz, Richter and von
Thadden. Either the Accused identified them or we obtained
some other confirmation as to their identity. The
handwriting expert made comparisons and gave us his expert

Presiding Judge: In addition to this did the Accused confirm
these signatures to be correct?

Witness Bar-Shalom: Not all of them. He confirmed some of
them, of those persons who were better known to him.

State Attorney Bach:  Mr. Hagag, the handwriting expert,
confirms that a number of documents which were shown to him
and each of which, let us suppose, bears the signatures of
Richter, Dannecker, Roethke etc. - that all the documents
were signed by that person. This in fact is the evidence of
Mr. Hagag. Later on, we shall request the Court to admit in
evidence the Accused's statement to the police, in which he
states that certain documents were shown to him. If the
Accused, for example, identified even one document only, the
signature of one of his subordinates, such as Roethke or
Dannecker, and Mr. Hagag confirms that this document was
signed by that person as in twenty other documents, we would
then be able to ask the Court to conclude that the remaining
documents were verified by the linking of two such
testimonies together. But I believe that it will be proved
to the Court, when we begin submitting documents that most
of the documents are verified in more than one way. If we
take, for example, that same Roethke, who was mentioned by
the witness, a document such as that was brought to us by
Mr. Poliakov together with a certificate that this document
was a certified copy of a document which was found among the
Gestapo copies in Paris, this would be one way of
verification. Subsequently the same document was submitted
at the Nuremberg Trials and was given, let us say, the
number of exhibit RF, and thereafter we would be able to
verify it by producing one of the volumes of the Nuremberg
Trials. After that the document was also produced to the
Accused and he identified the signature of that person. I
believe that in this way it will be proved to the Court,
from the actual visual picture of those documents, that the
authenticity of the overwhelming majority of the documents
will have been proved beyond the shadow of doubt. I would
further ask the Court to accept in evidence only that
collection of confirmations by the handwriting expert, Mr.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/36. It contains thirteen
expert opinions of Mr. Hagag.

State Attorney Bach:  Mr. Bar-Shalom - a final question: do
the lists you have produced cover all the documents
contained in that catalogue of the documents of Bureau 06,
or are there still further documents the authenticity of
which will be proved in another way?

Witness Bar-Shalom:  These are not all the documents
included in the catalogue of Bureau 06, since there were
certain documents which have not been verified, but where it
appears from the document that it originated in some place
or other or that it was a photocopy, but we have no
knowledge of the original. Nevertheless, on the other hand,
we have some documents of which we only have a Polish
translation taken from an official Polish publication of a
bulletin of the Committee for the Investigation of Polish
War Crimes, a Governmental Committee which has Government
status and which issues an officially published bulletin. In
the bulletin there is a Polish translation of certain
documents which...

Q.  I understand that these bulletins have not so far been
included in the lists which you have submitted to the Court.

A.  They have not yet been included in the list I submitted,
since we have ordered these documents from Poland, either in
their original form or photocopies of the originals, and we
have not yet received them.

State Attorney Bach:  Thank you very much.

Presiding Judge: Dr Servatius, do you have any questions to
this witness?

Dr. Servatius  I have no questions.

Presiding Judge: Thank you very much Rav-Pakad Bar-Shalom.
Who is the second witness?

Attorney General: Your Honours, our next witness is Mr.
Less, who recorded the Accused's statement. But seeing that
his evidence will be somewhat lengthy, perhaps it would
please the Court that we should begin with it tomorrow
morning, even though we still have twenty minutes left.

Presiding Judge: I think that unless there is a special
reason we should use all the time we have. Is he here?

Attorney General: If the Court will give us a minute or two
only so that Mr. Less may bring his material.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, the next witness must of
course always be ready. You evidently calculated otherwise.

Attorney General: Yes - we were, perhaps, a little too
pessimistic concerning the length of the evidence of the
previous witness.

Presiding Judge: Please attend to this in future.

Attorney General: Yes.

Presiding Judge: What is your full name?

Witness  My name is Avner Less.

Presiding Judge: Your rank?

Witness Less: Pakad [Police Captain].

[Witness is sworn.]

Attorney General: Mr. Less, what were your duties in the
Police before you were seconded to Bureau 06?

Witness Less: I worked at the National Headquarters of the
Israel Police in the Economic Department.

Q. Do you know the Accused?

A. Yes.

Q. When did you first see him?

A. It was on 29 May 1960, in the afternoon.

Q. Under what circumstances was this, and with whom?

A. It was together with Nizav Mishne [Lt.-Colonel]
Hofstaedter in the interrogation room of the Iyar camp when
the Accused was brought in.

Presiding Judge: Which room?

Witness Less: The Tishul  interrogation or investigation

Attorney General: tishul is a derivative from the word she-
elah [question] Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: This is a new term that I have not heard

Attorney General: And so you were in that room...

Witness Less: When the Accused was brought before us.

Q. Who were you with, did you say?

A. With Mr. Hofstaedter.

Q. What was Mr. Hofstaedter's function in Bureau 06?

A. He was the Deputy Head of Bureau 06.

Q. What happened at that meeting?

A. Mr. Hofstaedter introduced himself to the Accused, that
is to say, he gave his name and his rank in the Israel
Police and also asked him whether he remembered him. The
Accused answered in the affirmative, and he was then
cautioned for the first time on this occasion by Mr.
Hofstaedter in German. This whole conversation was conducted
in the German language.

Q. Are you familiar with this language, Mr. Less?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you hear Mr. Hofstaedter say to the Accused?

A. He told him that he had been informed that the Accused
was interested and even ready to give his version of his
function in the Third Reich, and asked him whether this was
correct. The Accused replied in the affirmative and
said:"Jawohl." Mr. Hofstaedter went on to ask him if it was
clear to him that there was no question of any coercion. The
Accused again answered in the affirmative. Thereupon Mr.
Hochstaedter said that I, Pakad Less, would remain in the
room and that he, the Accused, could start giving his
account. And he also said that if it should become clear
that the Accused would need any documents, he should inform
me of this, and we would make all possible efforts to supply
those documents to him. Then Mr. Hochstaedter left the room
and I remained with the Accused.

Q. This person whom you call "the Accused" - is he in this

A. Yes, he is opposite me.

Q. Please point out where he is.

The witness points to the Accused.

Q. By what method did you take the statement of the Accused,
Mr. Less?

A. The method was one of recording. On the table in the room
there was a tape-recorder. I told him that I would tape
everything he was about to say here in this room, in order
to avoid any misunderstanding, and I asked him if he agreed
to that, and he answered, Yes. And then I switched the
machine on and he began making his statement.

Q. What happened afterwards to the tape-recorder reel?

A. After the reel was completed, I handed it to Rav-Pakad
Tsafir, after I had marked the reel with my name and had
written down the number of that reel and the time when the
Session took place, from when and until when. The tape was
handed over for processing.

Q. What do you mean by processing?

A. The tape was handed over to the personnel of Bureau 06
who themselves listened to the sound and made a stenographic
record, and this was subsequently transcribed on  a

Q. In the same language?

A. In the same language.

Q. In what language did the Accused speak?

A. In German.

Q. In what language did you speak to him?

A. German.

Q. After the contents of the tape were typewritten, what

A. The transcript was given to me. I went with it to the
interrogation room. The Accused was brought before me. I
handed him the original and I had before me the copy of the
transcript. I again put in that tape and played it to him.
He listened and entered into his copy corrections which it
was necessary to enter, perhaps because of a
misunderstanding or an unclear word. And this went on until
the end of the tape, when he certified the accuracy of the
printed text in his handwriting and with his signature, and
wrote his initials on each individual page. I also signed on
the last page and I also initialled all the pages.

Q. Can you indicate certain stages in the course of the
investigation? What happened at first?

A. At the beginning he gave a continuous account of his
life. I scarcely asked any questions, possibly only a
question to elucidate a point or his personal details. This
was the first stage.

Q. What was the next stage?

A. The next stage was after he dictated into one of the
tapes - I think this was tape No. 8 - a statement that he
read out from a written paper in front of him. This, too, he
gave me afterwards, and then...

Q. He read into the tape a declaration that he had prepared
in writing?

A. Yes.

Q. So that this statement is in your possession in his own
handwriting and can also be heard on the tape?

A. It was played over on the tape and subsequently given to

Q. And what happened after that?

A. He was cautioned a second time by Mr. Hofstaedter. This
warning was recorded, and he expressed his readiness to
continue making his statement. I produced various documents
to him and I also put questions in connection with those

Q. Was there any material which the Accused had prepared for
himself relating to particular subjects?

A. Yes.

Q. What material?

A. There were written remarks. In part this was material
which he had prepared for himself for the Session in respect
of those points which were noted. He delivered his
statement, his version. There were declarations which he
read into the recording machine. There were notes which he
handed over which were not recorded on the tapes, but which
he prepared at my request. This was a document, I now
remember one document, of the decorations which were
customary in the German Reich. There was this technical
question of the signing of letters, for, on behalf of - in
German "in Vertretung, im Auftrage." He also handed over 127
pages of memoirs, and there were other notes.

Attorney General: With the Court's permission, at this
stage, if I may so request, it would be desirable to stop
and adjourn until tomorrow, so that we may be able to bring
all the material which Mr. Less has to submit. This would be
much more convenient.

Presiding Judge: Thank you Mr. Less. You will continue with
your evidence tomorrow morning.

We shall adjourn now and continue tomorrow, at 9 o'clock in
the morning.

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