The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-044-07

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-044-07
Last-Modified: 1999/06/02

Q. Did you record the hours of work?  Were they registered
at the Trustee Office?

A. The hours were not registered, but work was done.  Our
people, my co-workers and colleagues, women and elderly
people, who were mobilized for this work so to speak, worked
hundreds and thousands of hours, without at first receiving
any payment.

Q. What is the picture you have before you now?

A. This picture shows one of the furniture warehouses, in
one of the halls in Prague, the same as in most of the Sokol

Q. Please go on to the next picture.  What do you see now?

A. Because the whole business grew beyond expectations,
warehouses and special stores were opened in all the Sokol
halls, which were requisitioned from the Czechs and put at
our disposal, and all the synagogues were turned over to us
as depots.  For this purpose, everything that was holy to us
was torn out and removed, and these synagogues were turned
into warehouses.

Q. That applies to all these warehouses?

A. Yes.

Q. Please go on to the next picture.

A. This picture shows part of the store of paintings which
was housed in the Weinberge Synagogue and held in readiness
for orders from the Central Office.

Q. Were these original pictures?

A. Only original paintings.  There were a number of
excellent paintings, e.g., from the collection of Pick, the
great margarine producer at Tschaslau, from whom quite a
number of outstanding pictures by first-rate painters were
robbed and in part handed out or given away.

Here is a picture showing a store of books.  From the list
at the front, it can be seen that we had at that time an
official store of more than a million volumes, which were
stored in the Meiselgasse in Prague in various stores, apart
from the special store at the Stupartgasse.

This picture - typewriters.  There was a special depot for
objects of this kind.  In my time, there were a large number
of typewriters which were repaired and put at the disposal
of the Central Office.
Q. I move on to pictures showing workers.  But first a
question: These various objects, the typewriters we see
here, everything in the depot, did this undergo a process of
A. I shall come to this subject.  I shall talk first of
another matter in this brochure because I am so excited.  In
this brochure, one can also see this slogan: "Old becomes
New" (alt wird neu), because many of the objects were
dismantled and turned into new items.  Many of these objects
are to be found here under the heading "Old becomes New."

Q. Who worked on this renewal?

A. Jewish men and women.

Q. In this report you see male and female workers.  Can you
see the Jewish Star in these pictures?

A. Of course I see it.  I also know the people who perished.
This one was also a Jew.

Q. Now give the report back to the Court.

You told the Court of the impression Guenther wanted to make
on the office of his superiors in Berlin.  Does that appear
from his report to them?

A. He said so himself.  He said that he needed these reports
in order to pass them on to Berlin, and that they had to be

Q. Did you know the SS staff employed by Guenther in
connection with the Trusteeship Office in Prague?

A. I knew it well enough.

Q. Can you tell the Court about Guenther's efforts, and how
he succeeded in his efforts to retain this staff in Prague?

A. Easily.  Because he could provide proof of efficient work
and results.  I am convinced, and we all knew this, because
he did not keep it a secret, neither did his officers.
Among his people there were some very decent men, decent
according to our notions.  I will name especially
Hauptsturmfuehrer Ullmann from Vienna, and he is worth
naming; he was with me in my difficult and thankless work
which was forced upon me; like Miss Matzke, he helped me in
my hour of need more than once.  Apart from the officers I
have named, there were also civilians.

Q. I want to know who were the people who worked there.  Was
it necessary to employ all those SS people there, all that

A. No.

Q. Why were these people employed there?

A. There were not only SS people there.  There were so-
called war Germans from Prague who worked as civilian

Presiding Judge: You must answer the questions fully.  You
were asked: Why were officials employed there who were not

Witness Recht: Guenther set up this staff, and for him it
was like a visiting card.  I am not just convinced of this,
I learned it through experience, by working with them.  He
wanted to give the impression as if, without the Central
Office and without Guenther, nothing could be done in
Prague; everywhere things had to be done by the right
people, if the work was to be done properly.

State Attorney Bar-Or:  Did you know the Commander of the
Security Police in Prague during your time?

Witness Recht: I knew him by name: Weimann.

Q. Did you ever see him in the course of your work?

A. No.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, do you have questions?

Dr. Servatius:  I did not understand the last reply by the
witness. Did he know Weimann or not?

Witness Recht: No.  Only from hearsay, from reports.

Q. Did this unit of Guenther's have any contact at all with
the Police President, the Commander of the Security Police?

A. Yes, of course.  Whether he had any official relationship
with him, that is beyond my knowledge.  That I was not
entitled to know.

Dr. Servatius:  Then I have no further questions.

Presiding Judge: Thank you very much, Mr. Recht, you have
completed your evidence.

State Attorney Bar-Or:  With the permission of the Court, I
shall continue with the Theresienstadt file.  I turn to our
document No. 995, a letter by Killinger which actually comes
from Richter.  Richter was the representative of the Accused
in Bucharest, Romania, in the Judenreferat (Jewish Office)
attached to the German legation there.  The Court will find
both signatures on document No. 995.  It concerns the
transmission of information from the Benzburg and
Theresienstadt camps, about which the German authorities
were informed by what is called here a V.M., a
"Vertrauensmann" (secret agent).  I submit this in
connection with the, apparently successful, efforts to
smuggle mail out of Theresienstadt about what was going on

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/856.

State Attorney Bar-Or:  I now go on to document No. 994, a
letter dated 23 December 1942 from Klingenfuss to the deputy
of the Accused, Guenther, about the deportation of first
generation issue of mixed marriages holding German
nationality.  This follows a conversation with the above-
mentioned Richter on 17 November 1942 about a request by
Klingenfuss in connection with those children of mixed
marriages who were to be deported in the near future.  And
he writes: "I request that the local State Police
Headquarters concerned be informed of the deportation
operation.  (Richter, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer)."

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/857.

State Attorney Bar-Or:  I pass on to document No. 162.  It
was submitted to the Court and marked T/292, in connection
with the liquidation of the Jews of Bialystok.  I draw your
attention to document T/292 at this juncture, because here
we learn for the first time about Mueller's request in this
telegram, which is addressed to Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler at
his Feldkommandostelle (Field Command Post) in the East.
Among other things, he asks that 10,000 Jews be sent away
from Ghetto Theresienstadt.  The marking of the telegram,
which appears at the end, is IVB4a, and it is dated 16
December 1942.  Only for the sake of completing the picture,
I should like to draw the attention of the Court to one
point.  We shall at once see Himmler's reply to Mueller.
The telegram also finds expression, eventually, in an
express letter sent to the Reichsfuehrer-SS to his Field
Command Post.  This is our document No. 1581, a letter from
IVB4a, signed this time by Kaltenbrunner.  Here we have, in
fact, a reasoned version of what had been said in the
telegram.  The difficulty they faced was, as they say, that
it was necessary to deport Jews from Theresienstadt to the
East, although these were actually Jews who could not be
assigned to the work effort because of their age.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/858.

State Attorney Bar-Or:  At the end he says: "I ask for
permission to remove from Theresienstadt, in the first
instance, 5,000 Jews over the age of 65, and to transport
them to Auschwitz or to the Generalgouvernement.  As in the
case of previous transports, in the selection of Jews who
may be considered for deportation care will be taken to
include only those Jews who dispose of no special relations
or connections, and who are not in possession of any high
war decorations."

I go on to document No. 1557, the reply from the
Headquarters of the Reichsfuehrer-SS to these two
applications.  This reply by the Reichsfuehrer-SS, or on his
behalf, is dated 16 February 1943.  And what it says is
interesting: "Deportation of Jews from Theresienstadt" - and
someone added in handwriting "Jewish Workers."  The letter
says in brief that the Reichsfuehrer-SS does not wish Jews
to be deported from Theresienstadt, since "The tendency to
let the Jews live and die in peace in the Old Age Ghetto
Theresienstadt would thereby be upset."

Judge Halevi:  That is to say, Himmler was more moderate
here than Kaltenbrunner.

State Attorney Bar-Or:  Here Himmler was more moderate than

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/859.

State Attorney Bar-Or:  I turn to our document No. 1187, a
matter concerning individuals again.  It is a letter by
Guenther, the deputy of the Accused, to von Thadden at the
Foreign Ministry, dated 15 November 1943, concerning the
Jewish couple Jakob Israel Lucas.  I draw attention to the
last paragraph.

Presiding Judge: This was an application by the Catholic

State Attorney Bar-Or:  That is correct, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/860.

State Attorney Bar-Or:  And one more document, No. 1194,
which was shown to the Accused and marked T/37(293).  This
is the first indication of preparations for a visit by the
Red Cross, at first the German Red Cross, in the
Theresienstadt camp.  The letter is signed by Dr. Maurer and
was sent from the office of the Commander of the Security
Police and the Security Service in Prague on 23 June 1943.
It says that on 28 July 1943 there will be an inspection of
the Theresienstadt ghetto, with the permission of the Head
Office for Reich Security, and that five persons are to take
part in it.  There will be someone from the Chancellery of
the Fuehrer; there will be Generalhauptfuehrer Hartmann of
the German Red Cross; and at the end it says that von
Thadden of the Foreign Ministry and two representatives of
the Head Office for Reich Security will take part.  The
inspection will be under the guidance of SS
Standartenfuehrer Sowa and SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann.

Judge Halevi:  The Red Cross people are Hauptfuehrer
Hartmann and Oberfeldfuehrer Miehaus.

State Attorney Bar-Or:  Yes, Your Honour.

Judge Halevi:  According to their titles, they were also
members of the SS - or were they?

State Attorney Bar-Or:  There is no proof of it here.  As I
understand it, at the time of the Nazi regime, the term
"Offizier" (officer) was translated everywhere as "Fuehrer."
I also learn this only from the documents.

Dr. Servatius:  This is somewhat complicated.  These are
officials of the Party who also have the title
"Hauptfuehrer" etc., and they have no connection with the SS

Presiding Judge: And no title from the Red Cross.

Dr. Servatius:  Party officials who, in this capacity,
fulfilled certain functions with the Red Cross.
Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/861.

State Attorney Bar-Or:  The Court will be interested to know
that the Accused, to whom this document was shown, refers to
it in his statement on pages 2304 ff.

I go on to document No. 1205, the Order of the Day of Ghetto
Theresienstadt of 10 January 1943.  It deals with transports
to the East.  I should like to read only the first passage,
which says: "In accordance with instructions from the camp
commandant's office, five transports of 2,000 persons each
are to be dispatched to the East in the course of this
month.  The dates of departure have not yet been fixed; the
first transport may leave already in the course of this
week.  The transports will be composed, in equal halves, of
persons who arrived in the ghetto in transports from the Old
Reich and the Ostmark, and of persons who arrived in
transports from Bohemia and Moravia.  There follow several
exemptions from these transports.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/862.

State Attorney Bar-Or:  I turn to document No. 1200.  This
is not an Order of the Day from Theresienstadt, but it is,
in fact, an internal order from one of the departments in
Theresienstadt.  The administration of the Council of Elders
was divided into certain departments, and the Court now has
before it an internal order from the Health Department,
which was headed by Dr. Erich Munk.  On 21 August 1943, Munk
here informs all gynecologists of the following:

     "On the occasion of the two latest announcements of
     births, SS Obersturmfuehrer Burger lets it be known
     that in future all fathers of children conceived here,
     as well as mother and child, will be included in
     transports and deported.  We therefore request you
     again to report, first of all, all pregnancies known to
     you which have not yet been reported, since otherwise
     the examining gynecologist becomes an accessory, and
     therefore guilty.  The information to be given to the
     pregnant women must be in unequivocal language, saying
     that the abortions have to be made on official

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/863.

State Attorney Bar-Or:  This brings me to document No. 1369,
which requires a decision under Section 15, and I suggest
that the Court might perhaps wish to stop here.

[The Session terminated at 13.00]

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