Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-072-02 Last-Modified: 1999/06/08 Presiding Judge: Yes - according to the decision which we gave, the record of the proceedings is kept in Hebrew, which can be checked by referring to the language of the original. Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, I shall examine, first of all, the translation which I receive. Presiding Judge: Now, with regard to that serious error which you, Mr. Attorney General, discovered and have now raised, on what page does it appear? Attorney General: On page six of the Hebrew translation. Possibly, it is only a printing error, but it alters the sense. At the end of the first paragraph, it says: "You must report to me soon about the outcome of your conversation with Eichmann." This should be, "He, Eichmann, must report to me soon." Presiding Judge: For the present, this translation is not to be taken as an authorized translation. I see that it is full of errors; meanwhile, you may continue quoting - you are fluent in the Polish language, and we may rely on what you translate. But the written translation cannot be used in this manner, and since it is the source of the German translation, it invalidates the German translation as well. Is that clear? Attorney General: That is understood. With the Court's permission, I shall translate it word for word, even if that may somewhat abuse the Hebrew language. "I remember that on the occasion of larger operations during the course of a month or six weeks, a five-ton truck would set out full of suitcases and other valuable articles." (Page 119 in Polish - page 7 of the translation.) Valuable watches, valuable items of foreign currency, and valuables such as rings and so on, and these were forwarded to Berlin." On page 120, Hoess is asked whether clothing and other effects were sent to the Reich, and he says: "Yes." "Were these in large quantities?" Hoess: "Each day, four to five freight cars would leave, sometimes even six - this depended on the number of the freight cars available to us during that period in 1943." On page 122, Hoess says the following: "When I was interrogated for the first time in the British Zone, those examining me said to me, all the time, that five - six - seven million people must have died in the gas chambers; all the time they bombarded me with huge numbers such as these, and I was obliged to provide some data, in order to establish how many were put to death in the gas chambers, and the interrogators told me that there must have been at least three million. Under the suggestive influence of these large figures, I arrived at the total of three million. But I was relying on the fact that I could not mention any other number - I always said this - namely that I was unable to mention any figure other than the one which I have now arrived at, and that is two and a half million." The Prosecutor General asks: And so, two and a half million was the figure which Eichmann passed on in his report?" The accused [Hoess]: "Eichmann was ordered, before the German collapse, to report to Himmler, and here again he fixed the overall number of Jews who had been exterminated. On that journey he made an inspection tour of Auschwitz, visiting Gluecks, and he ordered me to be present at that discussion. When I came into the room, precisely at that moment, Eichmann was speaking of two and a half million in connection with Auschwitz. This had been mentioned previously. What had transpired before, and whether this was the correct number of Jews who were sent to their deaths in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, this I do not know." Presiding Judge: For example, the words, "this I do not know" are missing from this translation...excuse me, they do appear, but after the full stop. Attorney General: This is the place which I indicated previously, where Hoess says that he was present when Eichmann reported about two and a half million people having been sent to Auschwitz for extermination. Judge Halevi: Who paid this visit to Gluecks at Auschwitz? Attorney General: Eichmann, that is clear. Judge Halevi: This sentence is not altogether clear, Mr. Hausner. Perhaps you would be good enough to translate it from the original once again? Attorney General: "Eichmann was ordered, a short time before the collapse of the Reich, to report to Himmler and to pass on, once again, the overall number of Jews who had been exterminated. At the time of that journey, he made an inspection tour of the concentration camp of Auschwitz, visiting Gluecks, who ordered me to be present during that discussion." Judge Raveh: This means that Gluecks was in Auschwitz? Attorney General: Gluecks was at Auschwitz, and Eichmann was at Auschwitz, and Gluecks said to Hoess: "Come here and participate." "When I came into the room, precisely at that moment Eichmann was speaking of a figure of two and a half million relating to Auschwitz. On what had transpired before, and whether that was the correct number of Jews that had been supplied for extermination by gas at Auschwitz, this I do not know." Presiding Judge: "By gas"? Attorney General: Yes. Presiding Judge: That is also missing here. This is very bad. Attorney General: The Prosecutor General asks Hoess, on page 125: "Was Auschwitz planned to be the largest centre of extermination in Europe?" And the accused answers: "Yes, according to Eichmann's statement, and according to what I heard in the course of this meeting, I understood that to be the intention." Prosecutor General: "Who were in line for extermination after the Jews?" Hoess: "The places of extermination at Auschwitz were planned only for Jews." At the end of page 126, Hoess is asked whether he knows of other places for the extermination of Jews in Poland, and he says: "Yes, I saw them myself, Chelmno, Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec. I do not know of any others." Afterwards, he is asked, on page 140, about orders he had received, and he answers as follows on page 141: "I only had Eichmann's order." Presiding Judge: Was that in reply to defence counsel? Attorney General: In reply to defence counsel. "Orders for the extermination of the Jews did not exist. The matter developed of itself. My orders were that in principle, all those who arrived on Eichmann's transports were to be exterminated, and that this operation was not to be deferred, even for one hour." I now skip over the portion of Rajewski's evidence, in accordance with the Court's instructions, and return to the evidence of the accused [Hoess] at the end. Here we have this testimony for the second time. In the original, these are on pages 166-167. Presiding Judge: We do not have it here in the Hebrew translation. Attorney General: It appears at the bottom of page 17 of the Hebrew translation. In Polish, it is on page 166. Presiding Judge: Is the numbering consecutive, or is there a different numbering each time? Attorney General: In the main document which I submitted, the numbering is not consecutive. Each Session had its own numbering. Judge Halevi: Up to that point, was it all Rajewski's evidence? Attorney General: Rajewski and one other witness, on whose evidence we shall not be relying. But not that of Hoess. Presiding Judge: Here, the numbering is altogether different. Where do the numbers of these pages come from? Attorney General: From the precis which we received and which has also been certified. Presiding Judge: Of this? Attorney General: We received a precis of the pages, but this will appear in the original also - it must appear. What happened was this: When we asked for the full record of the proceedings, they reprinted the pages for us consecutively, without making allowance for the court's pages. What I am reading are the original pages of the court, of which we received a precis, and which are all available here, but not in this order of pages. And here, to my regret, there are no marginal notes as to which page of the record of the proceedings is referred to on a particular page. Presiding Judge: But surely the Hebrew translation was made from some document in your possession? Attorney General: Yes, Your Honour. Presiding Judge: Is it possible to see it? Attorney General: Certainly it is possible. It is in the possession of the Court, document No. 1273 is in the Court's possession, both in Polish and also in Hebrew. Presiding Judge: Here, for example, it says: "Carta" - does that mean "page"? Attorney General: "Page," yes. Actually, "card". Presiding Judge: There is marginal numbering. In fact, there are two other numbers - one is deleted, and the other is handwritten. Attorney General: They extracted for us the passages in which they thought we would be interested. But we understood that the Court would demand the full record of the proceedings. We ordered and received the full record of the proceedings. So it comes from document No. 1273, from the marginal numbers. On page 167: "At that time, Eichmann, who had received orders to organize all the Jewish transports, turned to his immediate superior authority - that is to say, the Head Office for Reich Security - and advised them that he could carry out the deportations, the enlarged transports arriving from Hungary, only if Auschwitz were able to absorb all the transports that would be arriving. On the occasion of his visit to Auschwitz, he ascertained that the non-functioning of the installation in crematorium No. 5..." Presiding Judge: "His visit" or "his inspection"? Attorney General: It could be "his inspection." "...that the non-functioning of the installation in crematorium No. 5, which provided for incineration in the open air...and also the fact that the progress of the building of the railway line extension inside the camp had been neglected, in accordance with orders of Reichsfuehrer Himmler..." Presiding Judge: In the Hebrew translation, it says, "in accordance with this suggested plan, Reichsfuehrer Himmler gave instructions." Attorney General: Perhaps it would be better for me to stick to the Hebrew translation. Presiding Judge: The question is whether it is accurate. I prefer to rely on your translation. Attorney General: I am translating impromptu and, as a result, an error may occur. But this excerpt is unimportant, and I shall begin reading from here onwards. "For this reason, I was obliged to travel personally to Eichmann in Budapest and cancel this order. We then settled the issue in this way - namely, that on one day two trains, and alternately on the following day, three trains would reach Auschwitz. When the first transports reached Auschwitz" (he continued to refer to the chapter of Hungary), "Eichmann personally arrived with them, in order to find out whether it was not possible to arrange transports of additional train loads, since the Reichsfuehrer was demanding the acceleration of the Hungarian operation as much as possible." And further on: "I remember then that the construction of a railway station and railway sidings with the three lines located inside the camp was speeded up, and the installation for incineration in the open air, the installations in crematorium No. 5, were reactivated; the Kommando for sorting the belongings of those condemned to death was enlarged. The time required for discharging the people from the train, together with all their luggage, was four to five hours per transport. In less than such time, it was not possible to deal with one transport. While it was possible to deal with the people, their possessions were piled up in such quantities as to make it necessary to abandon the idea of increasing the transports for these purposes. "With regard to Eichmann's remark that at the end of 1944 and in 1945, it would be necessary to consider an additional increase in the number of transports, the erection of even larger incinerators was planned, and we thought of constructing a large brick building with a surrounding oven. That would have had to be a subterranean installation, but nothing ever came of it - there was no time." Later on, he mentions transports from Theresienstadt. And, thereafter: "Eichmann personally supervised these transports, and he fixed the dates when they would be sent to the gas chambers." Question: Why were these people kept in a Familienlager (family camp) for a period of six months? Answer: In order to mislead other Jews. Question: About what? Answer: First of all, these Jews were obliged to write to Theresienstadt and to inform them that in Auschwitz people were not being put to death by gas." On page 92, Hoess is examined on the statement of the witness Herman Langbein of Vienna, to the effect that Hoess had displayed a special initiative in putting people to death by gas, and in extermination. And Hoess says: "That is correct. Himmler, at the time of his visits, and especially on his second visit, and, apart from him, Mueller and Eichmann, gave me orders on this matter and made me responsible for the fact that I would have to do everything possible to see that the persons on the transports dispatched by Eichmann would be exterminated. I was held personally responsible for any delay." On page 181, Hoess is asked by the Prosecutor General how the accused [Ho67] explained the fact that Eichmann put the figure of the Jews exterminated at Auschwitz at 2,500,000 and not 1,500,000. The accused: "Eichmann did not give that number to me, but to my superior, Gluecks, the controller of all the concentration camps. They summoned me to this meeting, and then I heard this number being mentioned in connection with Auschwitz. That is the only figure I remember, as far as numbers given by Eichmann are concerned." In his evidence before the Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Rudolf Hoess gave an account which corresponds to what is recorded here, and, consequently, I shall not read it over again. I submit the document, which is our No. 31. In one of the documents, I put slips of paper in the places referred to. The Court will recall that in the document of Hoess which was submitted by the witness, Professor Gilbert, the same statements by Hoess appear, in fact, in summarized form, as those which I have read in more detail from his own mouth. Presiding Judge: I assume, Dr. Servatius, that you do not have any observations in regard to the submission of this document? Dr. Servatius: I have no formal objections. Attorney General: At any rate, in respect of the two documents, I request a decision in terms of Section 15, both for the previous one and also for this one. Presiding Judge: I have marked the evidence of Hoess at Nuremberg T/1357. Decision No. 73 We have admitted exhibits T/1356 and T/1357 by virtue of our authority under Section 15 of the Law for the Punishment of Nazis and Nazi Collaborators 5710-1950.
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