The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-090-03

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-090-03
Last-Modified: 1999/06/11

Q.  And from there you took the money, even without telling
the functionaries of the community what you were going to
use it for?

A.  Not only did I not take the money from the Jewish
community, but I gave them the money. If you please, the
Loewenherz Report attests to that, the Loewenherz
conversation records attest to that systematically, they
requested from time to time...

Q.  Just a minute, slow down, slow down. For example, the
100,000 dollars which were received from abroad. You took
them and did not even find it necessary to inform the Jews
for what purpose you used them. Isn't that correct?

A.  These 100,000 dollars were a great luck for the Jews of

Q.  Is it correct or not?  We'll talk about "luck" later.

A.  These 100,000 dollars were sent to the Jews from abroad,
and they did receive them, to the last cent.

Q.  But you did not consider it necessary, however, to tell
them that you were using the money for the purpose of
deportation. That is what it says in T/149, page 5.

A.  The money was not used for the purpose of deportation,
but rather for emigration as "qualifying money." Normally,
such funds would have to be deposited in the Reichsbank. And
through my negotiations, I spared the Jews this, and the
Jews could keep the foreign currency, in spite of the
currency regulations, and use it as "qualifying money."

Q.  And in this activity of forcible emigration you were
considered by your superiors a great expert?

A.  Yes. Emigration is a tremendously complicated field, and
there you have to know your way around, if you want to get
any results at all.

Q.  Fine, and in this you were, as you were called, a
recognized specialist (Erfahrener Praktiker).
A.  Yes, I did have my experience in this.

Q.  And in the course of this emigration, the Jews lost
their capital, as they could not take their capital with
them. Is that correct?

A.  That is correct, but not my fault.

Q.  And you took over the entire Jewish public property in
Austria, the entire property of the Jewish communities,
isn't that correct?

A.  The property of the Jewish communities which were
liquidated, was sequestered in accordance with the
regulation, in accordance with some regulation, but not
through my doing.

Q.  Did you take over the property of the Jewish communites,
"yes" or "no"?

A.  No, I did not take it over.

Q.  Then take up your handwritten text again. Look at page
749. "For the seizure and administration of Jewish property,
mainly, I think, of real estate, so-called Offices for
Administration and Utilization were created." You created
that, didn't you?

A.  This was created by an order of the Reich Commissioner
for the Reunification of Austria and Germany, and not by me.
Neither was I the head of the Central Office; the head was
the Inspector of the Security Police and the Security
Service. I was merely entrusted with management.

Q.  And these administration offices - will you stand up and
read what it says further on, at the end of this paragraph.
Read it out loud.

A.  "The Reichsfuehrer-SS and the German Police..."

Q.  "In order to deprive these administration offices of any
possible private nature..."

A.  "In order to deprive these administration offices of any
possible private nature, I initiated action to have them
elevated to a legal entity under public law." Yes, that is

Q.  You did that, didn't you?

A.  Yes, I did, because property was thereby better
protected against seizure by unauthorized persons, because a
public corporation under public law is always better than
any body set up somehow by decree which did not receive that

Q.  In any event, the Jews never saw a penny of their money
again. Isn't that right?

A.  That is regrettable, but not my fault.

Q.  That is to say that when Streckenbach recommended you,
and stated that through your activity in the matter of
emigration you secured large sums for the German Reich, he
was right?

A.  No, that was not correct. Streckenbach was, at that
time, Chief of Personnel and had no idea that these matters
were arranged through experts in administrative law, through
an order by the Reich Commissioner for the Reunification,
and not through me.

Q.  Every Jew who emigrated from Austria enriched the German
Reich, isn't that correct?

A.  In the final analysis, as viewed today in retrospect,

Q.  And the more you enhanced Jewish emigration, the more
you enriched the German Reich?

A.  There was nothing for me to enrich, since I acted upon
orders, and besides, emigration was the only way, among many
unpleasant possibilities and, surely, among these unpleasant
things it was comparatively the best way.

Q.  Do you agree that by having forced the Jews to emigrate,
you enriched the Reich with their property.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, I think this already
represents a conclusion.

Attorney General: I want to hear that from him.

Accused:    May I hear the question once more? If you
please, I heard it only in parts.

Q.  Do you agree that by having forced the Jews to emigrate,
you enriched the Reich with their property?

A.  When I think about it objectively, I must admit that I
did so, not with my will, but surely one would blame me
today if I had slowed down matters at that time, from the
aspect of the emigration technique. Personally, I regret
that I did not expedite matters even more. If I had done so,
the result could have been different.

Q.  Accused, when you were in charge of this, it was not yet
a matter of physical extermination, and therefore you did
not know that you were saving them from physical
extermination, is that correct?
A.  That is correct, but today I am standing here in Israel
before an Israeli court, and that reproach could be levelled
against me.

Q.  I want to place you now in the context of your activity
in Austria in  1938-1939. At that time you did not think
that there was the danger of physical extermination,

A.  Certainly, no one thought of physical extermination at
that time, but I listened to the complaints and the constant
pleas and the constant requests for support on the part of
Jewish representatives who were in a very difficult
situation because of their being excluded from various
spheres of life and that, in turn, was caused by
legislation. I tried to help these Jewish representatives,
and together we planned and considered the situation.

Q.  And only in order to help these Jewish representatives
you did, of course, what you did?

A.  No, I have already said this: it was on a mutual basis.

Q.  Your superior, Heydrich, boasted quite a bit about your
activity in Austria, in that famous discussion before
Goering imposed a compulsory levy of one billion Marks. Do
you remember the transcript of that meeting?

A.  I have read it here, yes.

Q.  And he considered your activity very important for

A.  Yes. Here, too, I thought about the matter quite a lot.
It fits Heydrich's character completely; he was egoistic,
and was anxious to play a role in political life. Here,
possibly - I speculate - he may have somehow seen a task
which could advance him in political life. These were my
guesses when I tried to construct a total picture, after
viewing all these numerous documents placed at my disposal

Q.  Let us leave the guesswork, and stick to the facts. Is
is correct that Heydrich saw your activity in Vienna as an
example for activity all over the German Reich?

A.  I have read this after the event, yes. Not my activity,
but rather the idea of the Central Office, which was an
administrative innovation, as all relevant central
authorities assigned their experts to a single office, which
was something unprecedented in the history of Prussian-
German administration.

Q.  And this period in Austria, when you held the Jewish
representatives in the palm of your hand, when you made them
function at your will, and you brought them to a point where
nothing could be undertaken without you, this period is the
period about which you wish to boast before this Court, and
state that in it you found your satisfaction?

A.  I do not want to boast and brag about it. But when Dr.
Loewenherz states in one of his reports that he had told me
in Berlin that a housing office in Vienna was treating the
Jews roughly, then this is, in my opinion, proof that
neither the Central Office in Vienna nor I, treated the Jews
roughly. Otherwise Loewenherz would not have complained that
some other office was treating them roughly.

Q.  All that this proves is that it was possible to be even
rougher than you, and nothing else.

3Now, the Security Service in Austria welcomed the burning
of synagogues on "Crystal Night," correct?

A.  The Security Service certainly did not welcome this. I
myself did so even less, since I did the opposite.

Q.  I am not asking about you personally, but about the
Security Service.

A.  I do not think so, because otherwise the Security
Service would not have been informed when it was too late. I
knew nothing of the whole business.

Q.  We shall see that in a moment. Here is a report which
you sent to Department II/112 in Berlin, concerning the
burning of the synagogues in Vienna. This is T/136.  You
state that the population considered the burning of the
synagogues as justified. Is that correct?

A.  About this telex I have to say that I had nothing to do
with it. If this says II/112 then I must state that on 11
November 1938 I had for some time had no connection with
II/112, but rather I was all that time in charge of
administrative matters at the Central Office for Jewish
Emigration. The expert official for II/112 was at the time,
as transpires from other documents, a certain Schroeder, but
not I. And the person who signed here was the Chief of Staff
of the Security Service in the Vienna Main Section. I had
nothing to do with this telex message.

Q.  When you were in Vienna, didn't you belong to the
Security Service?

A.  I belonged to the Security Service until the
establishment of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in
Vienna. And that was, I think, in July 1938. No, I have to
correct myself. I always belonged to the Security Service,
of course. What I was referring to was the Security Service
Main Section Danube, or Section II/112, or any other
department of this Security Service. And I belonged to this
only until the establishment of the Central Office in

Q.  To whom, then, were you subordinate?

A.  My chief was the Inspector of the Security Police and
the Security Service in Vienna. He was at the same time also
Director of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in

Q.  You belonged to the Vienna Security Service, correct?

A.  I belonged, of course to the Vienna Security Service, to
the Austrian Security Service, but within the Security
Service I had no job and no official position.

Q.  And the Security Service went into action at 3:30 a.m.
on Crystal Night, and it had a dual task: first, to support
the police, and second, to seize the property and material
of the Jewish community. Correct?
A.  Yes, this I understand from the document. I myself,
however, had nothing to do with this. Therefore, from my own
experience I have nothing to say about it.

Q.  No? You were only woken up at 2:10 a.m. and informed of
the operation. Is that correct?

A.  Yes, that is correct, because they burned everything
which I had built up: the Jewish community, including the
emigration documents and the emigration card files.

Q.  And that was the only purpose for which you were
awakened at 2:10 a.m., to be told that they had burned
everything which you had built up?

A.  That was surely the only purpose, because I had nothing
to do with this in any other way. In addition, the Jewish
representatives also took refuge, during the night, in my
office, because they felt safer there than anywhere else.

Q.  And yet, Crystal Night and its horrors were subsequently
an aid to your emigration activities, isn't that right?

A.  I won't deny this, but I had nothing to do with it. I
was not the cause and I was not mixed up with it.
Q.  You said to Dr. Loewenherz once that if he did not do
what you ordered him to do, you could bring back the horrors
of Crystal Night. Isn't that correct?

A.  I hear this for the first time.

Q.  Let us look at the transcript of the police
interrogation, page 2710 and 2711. Parts of the Loewenherz
Report were read to you. It says there: If within two days,
your orders were not followed, measures could be taken
similar to those of November 1938. This was read out to you?
Did you hear it?

A.  Did I say that, or did Dr. Loewenherz?

Q.  Dr. Loewenherz wrote it.

A.  That is quite possible, after 1945. This I do not deny
in any way.

Q.  But you did not deny having said something to that

A.  This I do deny. Most likely I was not asked about this,
I don't know, I cannot remember, but in any event, I have
never said anything like it. Neither have I said it to

Q.  You only said that Dr. Loewenherz was most certainly
aware that this was not meant seriously. Would you please
look at the text. "So he gives credit, here, to the truth. I
would have to say: he was, after all, a truthful person." Do
you confirm what he said?

A.  In this form I do not wish to deny it, in any way.

Q.  A good joke, then?

A.  I would not describe it as a joke, but as something one
simply does during negotiations, all over the world.

Q.  Well, then, in the course of your negotiations, when you
wanted to stress a point, you said to Loewenherz: " November
1938 can return." Is that right?

A.  This I do not know any longer, today I cannot remember
the exact words any more. In any case I had no evil
intentions nor did I do anything wrong when I spoke with Dr.
Loewenherz. This is contrary to my entire attitude, my
attitude towards Loewenherz.

Q.  Of course - who could ever suspect you of that? And,
therefore, you began your relations with him by slapping his

A.  I mean, when I give a person a slap in the face...

Q.  True or not true?

A.  ...and I apologize, this is a private matter between two

Q.  Yes. And if it becomes necessary in the course of
negotiations to threaten with Buchenwald, when one wants to
confiscate property, that is also done, Sir, isn't it?

A.  The only connection I had with concentration camps at
that time was that I had Jews who were detained there
released, and I proposed to Loewenherz means for emigration;
that was my only connection with the concentration camps at
that time.

Q.  Yes, but I have different information, like T/797.
There, you write as follows: "If by the specified date the
property will not be vacated, then the persons concerned
will be transferred to Buchenwald." Correct?

A.  May I see the document?

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