The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-020-07

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-020-07 
Last-Modified: 1999/10/10

Attorney General: In any case, the Court will see that we
received this as what is called an NG; the Court will
remember that this was one of the exhibits at Nuremberg, NO,
4892, one of the documents of the Prosecution and this was
in the "Office of Chief Counsel."

Presiding Judge: I can only see their thoroughness from the
fact that the draft was not preserved and therefore they
turned one copy of the letter into the "Konzept."

Attorney General: At any rate, we shall submit plenty of
documents from each country about the territorial principle.
This will come up again in the Court proceedings.

Now, just to complete the picture, a memorandum from Luther
about the solution of the Jewish Question dated 21 August
1942, a survey of the measures taken, the activities of the
Embassies, the scope of the involvement of the Foreign
Ministry in the evacuation from the various countries, the
pressure exerted on the satellite states, and, in conclusion
I read from the last page:

     "The planned deportations constitute a further step
     forward on the road to the comprehensive solution and
     they are very important in view of other countries
     (Hungary). The deportation to the area of the
     Generalgouvernement is a temporary measure. The Jews
     will be sent on to the occupied areas of the East as
     soon as the technical conditions will permit it."

In the document itself the close cooperation with the Head
Security Office is mentioned.

Presiding Judge: This is a memorandum by Luther?

Attorney General: Yes.

Presiding Judge: It is marked T/196.

Attorney General: And what does the German Minister of
Justice do? This will become clear from the next two
documents. Our document No. 501 is a note on a conversation
with Himmler by Reichsjustizminister Thierack, the German
Minister of Justice. Subject: "Handing over of anti-social
elements from regular judical procedures to the
Reichsfueherr SS for the purpose of extermination through
work." At the top it says: 'Bericht des
Reichsjustizministers Thierack ueber eine Besprechung mit
Himmler am 18. September 1942' (Report by
Reichsjustizminister of Justice Thierack on a conversation
with Himmler on 18 September 1942)."

Judge Halevi:  Are headings of this kind part of the
document or did somebody else sum it up like that?

Attorney General: It is a summing up. It is not part of the
original document. It is a summary for the Beweisstueck
(document of proof) US 218 in Nuremberg. In the document
itself, in paragraph 2, the Court will find "Handing over of
anti-social elements from judical procedures to the
Reichsfuehrer SS for extermination through work."

     "In accordance with the decision by the Reichsminister
     of Justice...there will be handed over: all security
     detainees, Jews, Gypsies, Russians and Ukrainians,
     Poles sentenced to over three years, Czechs and Germans
     sentenced to over eight years. To begin with the worst
     anti-social elements among the latter are to be handed
     over. In this connection I shall inform the Fuehrer
     through Reichsleiter Bormann..."

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/197.

Attorney General: The last document in this series, No. 454,
is the letter from the German Nazi Minister of Justice to
Bormann dated 13 October 1942. This is continuation of the
previous document.

     "Being motivated by the idea of freeing the German
     people from Poles, Russians, Jews and Gypsies and by
     the idea of freeing the areas in the East which have
     been incorporated in the Reich for settlement for the
     German nation, I intend to leave the criminal
     prosecution of Poles, Russians, Jews and Gypsies to the
     Reichsfuehrer SS. In doing so, I assume that the
     regular system of justice will contribute little to the
     extermination of persons belonging to these peoples.
     There is no doubt that the courts now hand down severe
     sentences against those persons but this is not enough
     to contribute significantly to the implementation of
     the above-mentioned idea. Furthermore it makes no sense
     to preserve such persons for years in German prisons
     and penitentiaries, not even when their work potential
     is exploited for war purposes, as is largely the case
     today. On the other hand, I believe that delivering up
     these people to the Police, which can then take its
     measures free from the legal conditions of criminal law
     and thus achieve much better results... as against
     this*  {*"this" refers to two sentences not quoted
     which contain limiting conditions for Poles and
     Russians only.} the prosecutions of Jews and Gypsies
     can be carried out by the Police without these

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/198.

Attorney General: These are the documents we wanted to bring
to the knowledge of the Court at this stage, in order to
prove the plot for total annihilation. The means used will
be proved for each region separately.

Attorney General: With the Court's permission, I shall now
call the first witness, Mrs. Ada Lichtman. The first
testimonies are meant to prove the period of small-scale
terror in the occupied areas in Poland.

Presiding Judge: [to witness] Do you speak Hebrew?

Witness Lichtman  Not too well, perhaps Yiddish would be

[The witness is sworn.]

Presiding Judge: What is your name?

Witness: Ada Lichtman.

Presiding Judge: And what is it in Yiddish?

@Witness Lichtman  Ethel.

Attorney General: Prior to the outbreak of the Second World
War you were living in the town of Wieliczka in Poland,  is
that correct?

Witness Lichtman  Yes. In Cracow and in Wieliczka. These
places are near one another, it is a distance of 14
kilometres from Cracow. I was studying and working in

Attorney General: Does the Court wish me to put the
questions in Yiddish?

Presiding Judge: Perhaps, since it would be necessary to
translate anyhow. But maybe this would be good for a direct
contact with the witness, so she will understand directly.

Attorney General: I shall do as the Court orders.

Presiding Judge: Perhaps it should be right indeed to ask in
Yiddish, for her to understand directly.

Attorney General: [Continues the examination of the witness
in Yiddish.] Where were you when the Second World War broke

Witness Lichtman  In those days I was in Wieliczka.

Q. What happened in the first days after the Germans entered

A. From the very first days the Germans were rounding up
people for labour, especially men, they beat them up, they
ordered them to clean up the marketplace, to pick up the
trash with their hands.

Q. What men?

A. Jewish men. They ordered them to strip naked. And behind
each man stood a German soldier with a bayonet on his rifle,
and the Jewish men were forced to run with pails, and when a
Jew stopped the bayonet would hit him in his back, so that
almost all the men came home with blood running from them,
and my father was one of them.

Q. Can you remember what happened in Wieliczka on the 12th
of September 1939?

A. Yes. The soldiers stationed there at the beginning left
the marketplace, and suddenly a large truck arrived. Frum
that truck jumped out some eleven soldiers, in uniform, with
steel helmets.

Q. What kind of uniforms?

A. Green uniforms.

Q. Do you know what kind of uniforms? German?

A. German. I saw the same uniforms later in the Sobibor

Q. Do you know what formation this was?

A. SS. The Germans went from one dwelling to another and
took out the Jewish men from their homes, they did not
select any particular age, from 14 up.

Q. And your father too?

A. And my father too. And all of them were lined up in the
marketplace of Wieliczka. They were told to fold their hands
behind their neck, and there was also, behind the truck, a
passenger car with two officers.
Q. How many Jewish men were taken?

A. Thirty-two.

Q. And also Polish men?

Q. Later on the way they caught men of the intelligentsia, a
high school teacher, a priest, an officer. Four men.

Q. If you will answer my questions, Mrs. Lichtman, it will
be easier. Did they take away the men in the truck?

A. Before that they wrote down the names and took pictures
of all of them. And then they were marched to the
marketplace with their hands on their necks and were forced
to shout: "We are traitors to the people."

Q. In what language?

A. In the German language.

Presiding Judge: Madam, you may sit if you wish.

Witness Lichtman  I can stand.

Attorney General: Did you see all this with your own eyes?

Witness Lichtman  Yes.

Q. What happened to them after that?

A. After that they loaded them onto the truck and drove

Q. And what did you do?

A. I with my - she is no longer alive, she was to be my
sister-in-law - I ran after the truck. They took away from
her four men, her father and brothers and a brother-in-law.
I followed running up to the little wood, called Taszyce.

Q. What did you see there, in Taszyce?

A. There were all the Jews, whom they took, lying dead

Q. Your father?

A. My father was also dead, shot in many places. And all
were spread out in rows of five, one after another. Five
men, and another five. To a side were lying the Polish men.

Judge Halevi:  The Poles were the same four Poles you have

A. Yes.

Q. What did you do?

A. We ran back to town. But first I kissed my father. He was
already cold, ice-cold although it was only one hour since
they took them, because his blood had run out. We came back
to town, and I went into town and asked for help in burying
all those killed in the Jewish cemetery.

Q. Did you bury your father?

A. On the morrow, the next day.

Q. And thereafter they took you to work in Wieliczka?

A. Yes.

Q. What kind of work did you do?

A. Sweeping the streets. Mostly sweeping the streets in

Q. How did you do this?

A. They chased us out of our homes, gave us a broom and
without pails we gathered the garbage with our hands.

Q. You escaped to Cracow?

A. Yes.

Q. When was this?

A. A few weeks after the execution of my father.

Q. Can you remember what happened to the Jews in Cracow in
November 1939?

A. Yes. Suddenly, one day in the morning they closed off the
Jewish quarter. There were streets where mostly Jews lived.
And German soldiers and officers burst brutally into every
home. At first they were shouting at the men to get out of
the rooms, they threw everything out of the cupboards,
destroyed everything and beat people up.

Q. Did they shoot?

A. They took out a neighbour of ours, a pious man, and they
placed a hen in his hand. He wore the clothes of a Hassid.
They ordered him to dance and to sing prayers, just as
people pray, and they were taking pictures. After that a
German soldier told him to pose as if he were strangling

Presiding Judge: And this they photographed?

Witness Lichtman  They photographed every single thing. Many
people were shot that time, many killed.
Attorney General: Who did all this?

Witness Lichtman  Uniformed soldiers, German soldiers.

Q. Did you have to wear anything as a distinguishing mark?

A Yes, we had to wear white armbands with a blue Star of

Q. Do you know anything about the Jews' Council (Judenrat)?

A. Yes.

Q. What do you know?

A. Jews' Councils were organized everywhere.

Q. After that you moved to Mielec? When?

A. That was in winter.

Q. What were you doing there?

A. I went to do forced labour there, I worked at land
amelioration and in building a road to the railway.

Q. Can you remember what happened there at the synagogue?

A. They gathered Jewish men, mainly older men, from their
homes. They drove them all together into the great synagogue
of Mielec, and there almost all the Jews were slaughtered
and shot, and those who jumped out of the windows were shot
at the wall.

Q. The Jews who had beards, what did they do to them?

A. A motorcycle with a sidecar could sometimes come through
and they used to catch Jews with beards, or they used to
drag them out of their homes for shaving, and they used to
shave off half their beards or the entire beard with bits of
the flesh.

Q. In 1941 was there talk of rendering Mielec judenrein?
What did the Jews do to avert the doom?

A. Jews were saying that a forced payment had been imposed
on the Jews, and then it would be possible to stay in our

Q. Did they let you stay in Mielec?

A. No.

Q. What did they do to you?

A. First we had to give up whatever we had, the jewellery,
coffee and furs, and they said we could stay. Before dawn
next day military units, black-clad and green-clad,
surrounded us and chased us out of our homes into the
marketplace and assembled us there. Those people unable to
run out at once, those who were sick, were shot on the spot
or in bed.

Then they lined us up, all those who remained, in the
marketplace. After that they selected young men, they put
them on one side and women and children and parents they put
in a line, on both sides went soldiers with ropes, clad in
black and in green, and we Jews all were in the middle. That
was how they drove us. Anyone who let anything drop they
killed on the spot. With whips, with clubs, they were
beating and shooting. This was how we went some distance
from Mielec. Outside the town there was a sort of factory of
Polish airplanes called Berdychow. We arrived there at dusk,
it was cold, snow, piled high. They crowded us all into the
hangars, they didn't let anyone go out. Anyone who went out
for a physiological need they shot dead.

Judge Halevi:  You were a young girl, I suppose?

Witness Lichtman  No, I was at that time over 20, married.
There, in the hangars, soldiers were going round and

Attorney General: What kind of soldiers?

Witness Lichtman  Various, clad in yellow uniforms, in green
and in black.

Q. In black also? From which formations?

A. I didn't know the formations, until later. There were SD
and SA and all of them were beating. Many people went out of
their mind at that time. We paid with our rings and
jewellery for a bit of snow, some frozen ice, to melt it for
a crying child to drink. And when someone went out, even
with permission, they shot him after he had gone part of the

Q. Later you were in a village called Dubinka? Right?

A. Yes. They made it judenrein, they chased us.

Q. They chased you?

A. On the way we were also in a camp.

Q. Can you remember what happened in Dubinka during the
Jewish Holidays?

A. That was about Pentecost, they took all young men 18-22-
25 years old, and led them into a wood just as into a
battle. At that time the partisans were already active in
the woods. So they photographed how the Jews fight as
partisans, they broke hands and heads of the youths, and
later they killed them all. I was present at the burying of
all these Jews. I saw the mutilated bodies of the youths.

Q. Can you remember what they did there to religious Jews?

A. I was living in a house and in front of our window there
was a hill. On that hill they drove together some twenty
religious Jews, clad in the clothes of the religious, long
caftans, with prayershawls and prayer books in their hands.
They ordered all of them to sing religious songs and to
pray, to raise their hands to God, and then some German
officers came up and poured kerosene or petroleum over them
and set them on fire with the prayershawls, everything.

Q. This you saw yourself?

A. Myself, because this was before our window. We, the
others, weren't allowed to leave our houses. We sat in our
house and I saw everything.

Q. Can you remember the old Jew who was carrying his
paralyzed grandson? Tell us what happened to that Jew.

A. In Dubinka my in-laws lived with a family by the name of
Lat. He was a religious Jew, he wore a small round cap - a
Polish one, it used to be called - these were small black
caps with a visor which the religious wore.

Q. What happened?

A. He was bringing up a grandson because his daughter was
studying. That grandchild was in a plaster cast. And when
they made Dubinka judenrein they were driving us, they drove
us on a road to a camp at Chorbaszow. On the way they
stopped the grandfather with the little child. The
grandfather had to carry to child because it was not able to
walk. And they shot first the grandfather although the child
was crying "me first." But they first shot the grandfather
and afterwards the child.

Q. What did they do to children who cried?

A. They shot them, too.

Q. What were the parents doing so the children should not

A. The parents used to cover the mouths, to stop up the
mouths of the children, that is what they could do.

Attorney General: With the permission of the Court, this
will be all as to the part which we intended to put before
the Court at this stage; but this witness is able to tell us
about another chapter to which we do not have too many
witnesses. That part is the Camp at Sobibor. I should like
to request the permission of the Court to recall this
witness, as the need be, when we come to the chapter of the
Camps. I should not like to mix several subjects.

Presiding Judge: Allright. Does Dr. Servatius have any
questions to this witness?

Dr. Servatius:  I have no questions.

Presiding Judge: Thank you, Mrs. Lichtman. You may have to
come once more to give evidence on another subject. We shall
adjourn now. Next Session on Monday, at nine o'clock in the

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.