The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-091-04

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-091-04
Last-Modified: 1999/06/12

Q.  Stahlecker had no administrative authority whatsoever
over Austria, but only over Bohemia and Moravia. Is that

Presiding Judge: That means, you are talking now about the
Nisko transports, that is to say about a period when the
Accused was in Vienna.

Attorney General: Yes.

Presiding Judge: Please go ahead.

Accused:    When...I travelled with Stahlecker to the
Generalgouvernement, Stahlecker had no administrative
authority in Austria, but only in Bohemia and Moravia. In
Austria the Inspector was, in fact, his successor. I do not
remember the name at the moment.

Attorney General: And the instructions for the deportation
of the Austrian Jews to Nisko came from you, then?

Accused:    No, these were given by the Chief of the
Security Police and Security Service Berlin, to the
Inspector in Vienna. And that is where I received them from,
from Stahlecker's successor.

Q.  Was that an official measure by the Police?

A.  The Nisko affair? Yes, that had become an official

Q.  Why then did you - as shown in exhibit T/801 - give the
returnees from Nisko instructions to disguise their return
and pose, in meeting the police, as returnees from a
retraining project?

A.  On no account can I assume that they had to disguise
themselves. There was no cause for that. From whom did they,
or rather did I have to be careful not to state the facts?
But as candidates for resettlement, as being persons
retrained, the opportunities for emigration would have been
enormously greater. That was the reason, and none other.

Q.  I am asking why you gave the instruction that they
represent themselves to the police as "persons returning
from retraining"? Why did you give such an instruction?

A.  I do not know that I gave such an instruction. However,
if I did, then the matter is quite clear. This was a
confirmation that these Jews had vocational retraining
behind them, and that, say, an insurance agent had in the
meantime become a locksmith or a tailor, or a shoemaker, and
thus it would be much easier for him than an insurance agent
to receive an emigration permit. This we learned from our
daily practice. In those days, after all, emigration was
still the big thing. The correctness of my statements is
shown, incidentally, by the following paragraphs. Already in
the next paragraph there is mention that they would receive
opportunities for immigration at the earliest, and it says:
"All other returnees have to be allotted to the earliest
overseas transports to Palestine."  It is, in fact, quite
clear that these people...if, for instance, there had been
an insurance agent, and in Nisko he had not been employed as
an insurance agent but in some workshop, and could show
proof that he had learned something in a subject which was
in demand...

Q.  But you did not instruct them to register in this way in
the Central Office for Emigration, but you gave this
instruction, so that they should deceive the police.

A.  That cannot be inferred from this remark, and there
would have been no reason for that, and besides I did not
dictate this remark; someone else did.

Q.  Another forged document. Would the Court like to recess

Presiding Judge: Are you coming to a new chapter now?

Judge Halevi:  One further question. Prosecution document
No. 1139. Please give this document to the Accused. Does the
Prosecution have this document? This is presumably also a
Loewenherz document, one of the Loewenherz File notations.
Fine. Please give this to the Accused.

Please, look at page 2, point 4. Page 2 paragraph 4, second
sub-paragraph. It says: "The previous transports from the
Eastern border province (Ostmark) should be stopped." Can
you see that? "They are impossible to carry out, and create
much unrest among the Jewish population."

Which transports are meant here? Is this the Nisko or
something else?

Accused:    No, this, in my opinion, is undoubtedly Nisko.
The conversation took place on 19 December, which was the
time when the entire Nisko project was, I think, more or
less completed. It must be possible to reconstruct this from
other contemporary documents.

Judge Halevi:  Who is requesting this?

Accused:    The transports...that there exists such unrest,
that is requested by Dr. Loewenherz.

Judge Halevi:  And he told you that?

Accused:    Yes, Sir.

Presiding Judge: All right, we will take a 20 minute break.


Attorney General: With the permission of the Court, two more
questions, please, to the previous chapter.

Presiding Judge: All right.

Attorney General: Accused, you went to Nisko in person, and
supervised the deportation measures?

Accused:    I was in Nisko, but I did not supervise the
deportation measures.

Q.  How long were you in Nisko?

A.  That may have been, perhaps 1-2 days. Anyway, all told
it can be counted in hours.

Q.  You have heard here the testimony about Nisko from Dr.
Kratky, Mr. Burger and Dr. Meretz. These witnesses were not
questioned by the Defence Attorney, and I assume that their
testimonies here were, in fact, accepted as being true, on
the whole.

A.  I cannot remember in detail now what these witnesses
said. However, when the Nisko cases came up at that time, I
told myself: This is impossible, it cannot have taken place
in this way. Above all, the witnesses did not bring out the
intention, the reason, and that was the hard core of the
whole matter.

Q.  The Jews begged you on their knees to take them away,
destitute as they were, and take them to Nisko? Is that what
you are trying to say?

A.  No, I did not intend to say this. What I meant is that
the Jewish functionaries, who knew of this distress just as
well, even better than I did, they were looking for a way
out, for a solution, and when the Reich then received
additional territory, not only did I not ignore this idea,
but, as I have pointed out, I was enthusiastic that a
district of the so-called Generalgouvernement could somehow
be allocated for these Jewish needs. Regrettably it did not
work out.

Q.  But you did not even try to discuss this matter with
Frank, who was then Governor General of Poland. The whole
affair was carried out behind his back.

A.  It was not carried out behind his back. When it was
conceived, and during the first stages, Frank, as I remember
it, was not yet Governor General, and I myself had no way of
going to see him. My superiors would have had to do that. I
had no direct access to Frank, in my position.

Q.  At any rate, Frank knew nothing about the plan, is that

A.  This I do not know exactly. I do know one thing, at any
rate, that Frank gave an order to the Commander of the
Security Police and the Security Service, or to the Higher
SS and Police Leaders, to arrest me upon putting foot on the
soil of the Generalgouvernement, for the reason that I
wanted to build a Jewish state for the Jews in his domain.

Q.  And were you arrested?

A.  These orders were disclosed to me by the Commander of
the Security Police and the Security Service in Cracow at
that time, Streckenbach, but he could not arrest me, because
for that he would have had to get the consent of the Chief
of the Security Police and the Security Service. However,
this clearly reflects the line taken at that time by the
political leadership of the Generalgouvernement, and its
attitude towards what I had "cooked up" with the Jewish

Q.  And I say to you that all you have related here about
alleged plans for a Jewish state in Nisko is a pack of lies.
I tell you that you knew that the Jews in the
Generalgouvernement were facing extermination, and that is
why you threw them into Frank's territory. However, because
of opposition on his part, you had to take them back.

A.  May I say about this, Mr. Attorney General, that one of
the few advantages fate has bestowed upon me is to speak the
truth, insofar as this depends on me alone. I have learned
in life that this has brought upon me more harm than
advantage. And when I declare here that at the time I had
heard nothing about the intention to exterminate, any
program of extermination, but rather that the fact is that I
wanted to set up in Radom, or in the Lublin District, or
regardless in which district, such an autonomous structure,
then this corresponds to the truth. And that this turned
sour, that is not my fault, I was of too low a rank for
that. The will existed, and it was greater than the capacity
for action. This is what I have to say about this, about
your accusation, Mr. Attorney General, that I am not
testifying truthfully.

Judge Halevi:  How did Stahlecker obtain the permission for
the GPU man who escorted you?

Accused:    Your Honour, when it was necessary to cross the
demarcation line, and permission was granted, this was
possible at certain fixed points. This applied to troop
transports etc., in any event official vehicles, but only if
escorted by a GPU man, and I don't know whether it was still
called GPU then or NKVD, which provided the escort across
this Soviet sector. Stahlecker applied to the local post of
the border police of the Red Army.

Attorney General: As for your desire to speak the truth, you
said once that anyone who is in detention has the right not
to speak the truth. Is that correct?

Accused:    This is true as a matter of principle, but I
have never made use of these principles.

Q.  But you believe in this?

A.  According to the prevailing German conception it is, to
some extent, the unwritten right of every Accused. However,
I am not fighting here for my head or my neck, I am fighting
to repel the untruth which has been gathering around my
persons for fifteen long years. That is the only thing for
which I am fighting.

Q.  And in order to shake off this untruth, you hid for
fifteen years under a false name?

A.  Yes, Sir. I considered this my full right, because if I,
a single, powerless person am caught up by the landslide of
untruth, I will be pulverized, without being in a position
to do anything against it.

Q.  But in order to express the real truth you held those
conversations with Sassen, in order to remove this blemish?

A.  I have already had occasion elsewhere, Mr. Attorney
General, to state that I distinguish between legal guilt and
guilt in the human sense. As one grows old, one thinks quite
differently about things and reflects differently, and one
adopts a sterner attitude towards oneself.  These are the
considerations which guide me, and I have no intention
whatsoever here, in this Court, to embellish my situation in
any way through cheap excuses. The only thing which I am
trying to achieve, now that I am here, after I have been
brought here against my will, is to rescind the untruth
which has been fabricated against me.

Q.  You are not answering my question.  You are adopting a
well known tactic, which your mentors and leaders resorted
to at Nuremberg. This is to admit one thing in order to
deflect something else. The question is this: Did you
dictate those things to Sassen in order to remove the
blemish from yourself?

A.  The conversations which I had with Sassen were not
designed to remove the blemish from me, because this kind of
thing a single individual cannot achieve. Rather, what I
wanted to achieve, and that, too, went wrong, was to tell
the truth of how things happened, to the best of my
knowledge and conscience.

Q.  And you told him the truth?

A.  I did tell him the truth, but it did not find
expression. That too, as I said, went wrong.

Q.  But that which was printed, what you later saw, is that
what you had said?

A.  Only that which I wrote with my own hand - that I
recognize as legally binding.

Q.  That is not my question. The question is whether the
transcript is correct.

A.  No, I barely started reading it. I did not even read on.
After having read three pages, I was taken aback: these are
not my words, I did not say this.

Q.  Nevertheless, one finds your handwriting throughout the
entire transcript, is that right?

A.  One does not find it throughout the entire transcript,
but in one part only. But why should I discuss this mixture
of truth and untruth any longer?

Q.  We shall come back to that, I can assure you, but let us
move to another matter. When you were still in Austria, did
you work on the Madagascar Plan?

A.  When I was still in Austria is perhaps not quite right,
but when I was still in Austria...let me think please
...shortly after I came to Austria from Berlin for the first any rate the documents have reminded me of
that...I wrote the word Madagascar, thus it is evident that
I was concerned with this idea.

Q.  And it was not your idea alone, but it was also the idea
of other institutions in the Reich?

A.  I do not dispute in any way that other institutions also
had such ideas. In any case, I was the first who brought it
up through official channels, and gave it expression in that

Q.  When did you write exhibit T/111, in which you mentioned
the Madagascar Plan for the first time?

A.  This carries a date which undoubtedly came from Hagen,
my superior at that time. That was probably 5 March  1938.

Q.  I now show you Volume 41 of the International Military
Tribunal, the Blue Series, and on pages 556-557 it says that
Julius Streicher had produced the Madagascar Plan as early
as January 1938. Was it from him  you learned of this idea?

A.  It does not say here that Julius Streicher conceived the
Madagascar Plan. Rather there is reference to the fact that
the Stuermer carried a report according to which the Rome
newspaper Bersagliere had reported that an agreement had
been concluded between the Polish Government and the French
Government. It is not at all impossible that I heard of this
agreement at that time and was inspired by it, inasmuch as I
had read the Jewish State by Adolf Boehm a long time prior
to that.

Q.  About Madagascar?

A.  Yes, certainly. There is talk of this in that book, and
that when Theodor Herzl ran into difficulties, he also
mentioned Madagascar, in his time of distress.

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