The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-066-09

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-066-09
Last-Modified: 1999/06/08

Q. Were there any people who were able to cross from one to
the other?

A. Definitely.  There was one man.

Q. Who was he?

A. Ya'akov Wiernik.  He used to perform all kinds of tasks

Q. Do you recall the visit, on one occasion, of a high-
ranking Nazi personality?

A. Definitely.

Q. When was that?

A. In December 1942 or January 1943.

Q. Who was the visitor?

A. I should like to stress something else.  We were then
working inside our hut, and, for some reason or other, they
forgot to send us into the building.

Q. But who was the visitor?

A. The visitor was Himmler, together with several other men.

Q. Did you identify Himmler?

A. Definitely.

Q. How many people were there in the team which removed the
teeth from the bodies?

A. In the first stage, four to six men took part, later on
the number was increased to twelve, after they began
removing the bodies from the graves.

Q. And when the revolt broke out, you fled with those

A. Correct.

Q. When was that?

A. On 2 August 1943.

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

Dr. Servatius:  Yes.  According to what you said, you saw
Himmler in the camp.  How many men were there in his

Witness Lindwasser:   It is difficult for me to remember the
exact number.  About four more, amongst them one in civilian

Q. What uniform was he wearing?

A. He wore a leather coat.

Presiding Judge: What colour?

Witness Lindwasser:   Bluish.

Dr. Servatius:  Was there anything else special about his
uniform?  Was there a sign of his rank?

Witness Lindwasser:   Generally speaking, I am not familiar
with the German ranks.  I was not aware of German ranks
apart from Unterscharfuehrer and Scharfuehrer which we
encountered there.  I already knew him in the ghetto from
his picture, as it appeared in the Voelkischer Beobachter.

Presiding Judge: You identified him according to the picture
which you saw in the Voelkischer Beobachter even beforehand?
How did the Voelkischer Beobachter get to you?

A. Newspapers such as these reached the ghetto and reached
us even before there was a ghetto.  All kinds of pictures of
salutes and such like.

Dr. Servatius:  What kind of uniforms did the men
accompanying him wear - black or green?

Witness Lindwasser:   As I stressed, one of them was a
civilian.  There were black uniforms.  One was in a brown
uniform with a hat like that of the French army, a round cap
with a kind of peak.

Q. Witness, I have before me the contents of your previous
statement which you submitted, document No. 1617.  I have
before me only a summary in German.  But it says here, inter
alia, that together with Himmler there was an officer, tall
and lean, who wore a black uniform like Himmler, but Himmler
could be distinguished by the fact that he had red lapels.
But, at any rate, what is written in the summary differs
from what you have said in the witness box.  Do you wish to
amend your previous statement?

A. I maintain, and maintained in the past, that the tall
officer, namely Himmler, was in a leather coat, but
underneath his coat it appeared to be red here [he points to
his lapels].

Presiding Judge: After all, those are lapels of the jacket,
and it says "epaulettes".

Witness Lindwasser:   I did not say "epaulettes" - I said
lapels, flaps - we used to call them flaps.

Attorney General: In his statement it says "lapels".

Presiding Judge: Perhaps the translation was not exact.

Dr. Servatius:  That may be so, but I have the translation
that was handed to me, and it does not correspond to what
the witness said here.

Presiding Judge: He now says that he wore a leather coat,
and under the coat he saw red lapels, that is to say

Judge Halevi:  He also said that he wore a black uniform
underneath the leather coat.

Presiding Judge: [To witness] What was the colour of the
uniform under the coat?

Witness Lindwasser:   Black.

Dr. Servatius:  And was the officer who accompanied him, the
tall and lean one, was he also wearing a black uniform?

Witness Lindwasser:   Correct.

Dr. Servatius:  I have no further questions.

Attorney General: I have no questions.

Presiding Judge: Thank you, Mr. Lindwasser, you have
concluded your testimony.

Attorney General: And now, perhaps the Court would like to
hear Mr. Bahir; he wishes to make his report.

Presiding Judge: Yes.

[Witness Bahir:  mounts the witness stand.]

Presiding Judge: Mr. Bahir, you continue to give your
evidence under oath.  Have you, in the meantime, found the
book you were speaking about?

Witness Bahir:   I have found it.

Q. Have you brought the book with you?

A. Yes, I have brought it.  Your Honours, before I submit
the book, I should like, in a few words, to complete or to
repeat what I said yesterday.  Firstly, I want to draw
attention to the fact that this is an edition of 1960, not
the book that I saw yesterday.

Q. Let us take it step by step.  First of all, is this the
book which you said yesterday that you had seen?

A. Yes, this is what I had seen.

Q. It reached Ramat Gan?

A. It came from the Gymnasium "Ohel Shem," Ramat Gan.  I
should like to explain...

Q. I shall give you an opportunity to explain what you have
to explain.  First of all, please open the book and show us
the picture that you saw then - if you saw it.

A. It was in connection with this that I wanted to explain.

Q. Please do so.

A. I said yesterday that I was referred by Dr. Emil
Sommerstein to the Documentation Institute, and there I
spent two or three hours talking about Sobibor.  I was asked
to indicate the picture.  There I recognized four men.  I
pointed to Eichmann.  I did not know that this was Eichmann,
but I was told that this was Eichmann.

Q. Was this one picture - or four pictures?

A. One picture.

Q. A group picture?

A. Of a group.  After I had gone to Ramat Gan and glanced at
the book again, I saw that this was not the same picture.
Evidently, my memory must have failed me - this, here, is
not exactly the same picture.  It is impossible to recognize
Eichmann in this picture.  I want to add that, after
Eichmann was caught...

Q. So, in this book, there is no picture of Eichmann?

A. Not in this book - this is not the picture I saw in

Q. But there is some picture there which is similar and
which misled you?

A. Yes.

Q. Show us this picture - the one that misled you.

A. [Hands the book to the Court.] In this picture, we find
Himmler, Kaltenbrunner and a third man, whose name I do not
know.  And this is the picture which confused me. I thought
that I had seen a similar picture in Lublin - it misled me.

Q. It is clear that the Accused does not appear in this

A. Yes.  I merely wanted to add a few words, if Your Honour
will allow me.

Q. And you were definitely referring to the picture on top?

A. Yes.

Presiding Judge: The picture appears in the book We Have Not
Forgotten, which was published in Warsaw in 1960, and it is
stamped "Zvi Hall."  It appears on page 128 at the top.

Yes.  What do you wish to explain?

Witness Lindwasser:   Since Eichmann was caught, the moment
I compared the present picture with that of eighteen years
ago, as he appeared then, I was certain, without the shadow
of a doubt, that I had seen Eichmann in Sobibor.

Presiding Judge: Very well.  But nobody asked you that
question now.

Do you gentlemen have any questions concerning this
supplementary part of the evidence?

Attorney General: No, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius?

Dr. Servatius:  I am greatly concerned with the matter and
attach much weight to the question whether it is possible,
perhaps, to obtain from Lublin this collection of
photographs in the Documentation Institute there, for I hear
from the Accused that he never appeared together with
Kaltenbrunner or Himmler, and hence it is very likely that
there has been a mistake here.

Witness Bahir:   I should like to reply.

Presiding Judge: No.  Please wait.  You are too active in
this matter at present.  We shall talk about that later.
First of all, let us complete the evidence.

Dr. Servatius:  I have no further questions to the witness.

Judge Halevi:  You say that, in Lublin in 1945, you
identified a number of high-ranking officers whom you saw at
the time in Sobibor?

Witness Lindwasser:   Yes.

Q. Whom did you identify in Lublin as those who had visited

A. At the time, I identified Himmler, whom I knew to be
Himmler; I pointed to Kaltenbrunner who, I was told, was
Kaltenbrunner; I pointed to Eichmann and was told that he
was Eichmann, and I pointed to a fourth man whose name I do
not remember.

Q. And you said that these four - you don't know the name of
the fourth man, but there were four - you saw these four at
the time at Sobibor, and at one and the same time?

A. I did not say that they were together, since during the
second visit...

Q. You saw some of them during the first visit and some of
them during the second visit?

A. To the extent that my memory does not fail me, I saw
Himmler, Kaltenbrunner and the fourth man on the second

Q. Whom did you see on the second visit?

A. Himmler, Kaltenbrunner, whom I indicated, together with
the fourth man, whom I pointed out but whose name I don't

Q. That means that on the second visit you did not see

A. I cannot say so for certain.

Q. Now, let us come to the first visit.

A. On the first visit, I saw only Himmler, Eichmann and the
third officer.  I did not see Kaltenbrunner on the first

Q. That is to say - to sum up according to how you remember
it now - you saw Eichmann in Sobibor once, together with

A. Yes.  On the first visit.

Presiding Judge: How long ago did you have this book in your
possession before today or yesterday?

Witness Lindwasser:   I think it was a year and a half ago,
a year and a quarter, perhaps more.

Q. Was that the only time?

A. It was the only time - I only saw the book incidentally,
since a neighbour of mine brought it from the library.

Presiding Judge: Yes.  But the evidence was not incidental.
Now you have concluded your evidence.

Mr. Hausner, what is it that you want to say?

Attorney General: I only want to draw the attention of the
Court to the fact that the Accused was asked whether he had
been in Sobibor; while he was not asked whether he had been
there with Himmler, he was questioned about Sobibor, and his
reply appears on page 400: "Das ist vielleicht moeglich,
dass es Sobibor war, obwohl ich es nicht weiss" (Yes, it is
possible that it was Sobibor, but I do not know).  He does
not deny that he visited Sobibor.

Presiding Judge: Since we have already gone into this matter
so fully, is there any possibility of writing to Lublin and
obtaining the photograph from the Documentation Institute?

Attorney General: It is possible; but this Institute has
undergone several transformations.  The Historical
Commission which originally existed under the name of the
Kommissia Historicna, is no longer in existence, at any rate
not in that form; a large part was transferred to the Polish
Government Main Commission.  We are able, of course, to
contact them and ascertain whether the photograph is there.
The question is, how to identify the picture.

Presiding Judge: Yes.  It will not be so easy.  At any rate,
try to do whatever you can, since Dr. Servatius attaches
importance to it, and let us see what will be the result.

Judge Raveh:   Perhaps one could try to bring here all the
pictures in which Himmler appears, if the number is not too

Attorney General: That would be exceedingly difficult from a
practical point of view, for, contrary to the Accused,
Himmler was not at all modest in having his photograph

Presiding Judge: Nevertheless, if you manage to find out
anything, please inform us.

Attorney General: I shall write to the embassy still today -
I shall cable them.

Presiding Judge: That  would be better than if Dr. Servatius
were to write.

Attorney General: Yes.

Presiding Judge: We shall now adjourn the session.

[The Session closed at 13:25.]

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