The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-095-04

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-095-04
Last-Modified: 1999/06/13

Q. No, I asked you whether, from his point of view, Rudolf
Hoess could be familiar with the facts, and you replied to
this by "yes."  And you agree with me that when Rudolf Hoess
wrote his book Commandant of Auschwitz and admitted to all
these appalling crimes which he had committed, he did not
intend to shift the guilt onto someone else.

A. When I read what Hoess wrote here, I was totally
convinced that he intended to shift all the guilt from the
Economic-Administrative Head Office onto the Head Office for
Reich Security.  That is shown by the entire statement.

Q. I do not believe that you had any reason to be convinced
of this, and that everyone who reads his book comes to the
conclusion that he confessed completely to what he did in
Auschwitz.  Did Hoess have any personal reason to shift the
guilt on to you?

A. I really cannot explain any of this, and I have taken the
trouble to collect most of Hoess' inaccuracies and

Q. Was Hoess on good terms with you?

A. Yes, on normal terms.

Q. Anyhow, on better terms than with Mueller?

A. It is not possible to say that, as I spent a great deal
of time - I would tend to say all my time - with Mueller,
while I only met Hoess sporadically.

Q. You have not understood my question.  I asked whether
Hoess was on good terms - on better terms with you or with

A. This can best be replied to as follows:  Mueller was too
highly-placed a superior, and the distance was therefore
naturally greater than with someone like Hoess, for example,
who had roughly the same rank as I - so our relationship was
totally different - I would say it was a more free and easy
one than that with Mueller.

Judge Halevi:  Mueller was not at all Hoess' superior.

Accused:    No - I meant the difference between Mueller and
myself on the one hand, and Hoess and myself on the other

Q.  But you were asked to compare Hoess' relationship with
the two of you.

A. I wanted to show this most clearly in this fashion,
because I thought that the Attorney General wanted to know
whether my relationship with Hoess was a closer one than
with Mueller.

Q. No - whether Hoess' relationship with you was better or
worse than Hoess' relationship with Mueller.

A. I never saw the two of them together...

Attorney General: You will agree with me, that Hoess did not
have the slightest reason for reducing Mueller's guilt and
shifting it on to you?

Accused:    No, I cannot have any doubts about that - there
is no reason for that.

Q. And so, when Hoess writes the following about Mueller in
Appendix Four to his book - this is T/45...

Presiding Judge: Is this before the Accused in German?

Attorney General: No, I have this in English, I am
translating from the English: "... I knew Eichmann and
Guenther, who had much more to do with him than I had" - and
the reference here is to Mueller, since the entire chapter
is about Mueller - "that he controlled the actions against
the Jews in their more important respects, even though he
gave Eichmann a fairly free hand in the matter."

A. Mueller did not leave me a free hand, and above all, more
important, I did not presume to act with a free hand;
rather, I asked for instructions from him, as I said right
away, and in that respect this statement by Hoess is not
correct.  How could Hoess...

Q. Although he had no reason to lie?

A. Although he had no reason to lie, no.

Q. And you will agree with me that all these people who made
statements in Nuremberg and described you as the central
pillar of the exterminations, would have been able to do
this more easily if they had only looked for a scapegoat, if
they had blamed this on Mueller.

A. I have a very plausible explanation for this.

Q. So, let us hear it.

A. In making their statements at Nuremberg, these people had
to sound trustworthy as well; they knew so many details and
facts about me, as I was in direct contact with these
people, sometimes on a friendly basis. That of itself
immediately made their testimony more credible, since it is
a remarkable fact that normally the Accused tries to clear
himself in some way or other, and this was put to his
credit. In the case of Mueller, they could not refer to such
matters of detail, because there was such a distance between
them and Mueller, that they were incapable of giving
personal details about him. That is the only possible

And as far as freedom to decide is concerned, I must here
make a distinction between times when I dealt with executive
work and times when I did not deal with executive work.  As
I have already said, there I did, as far as I could, run
things very freely, I thought about things and made
proposals, but when it was a question of executive matters,
I no longer had a free hand, nor did I lay claim to it.
Q. And when Hoess talks about you in Appendix Three, he put
you before Mueller and thus gave you the place of honour.

Judge Halevi:  Is this book also available in German?

Attorney General: It is, Your Honour, but not with the
appendices.  We submitted the appendices separately.

     "Eichmann was completely obsessed with his mission and
     also convinced that this extermination action was
     necessary in order to preserve the German people in the
     future from the destructive intentions of the Jews.
     This was the way in which he regarded his task, and he
     employed all his energy in fulfilling the plans for
     extermination which the Reichsfuehrer-SS had made."

Is this also not true, something which is said by someone
who was close to you, who must have known you?

Accused:    This could be countered by all my...

Q. Is it true, or is it not true?

A. No, no, it is not true, not in this form.

Q. Did you say the following in 1957 in Argentina?  - "Hoess
was my dear colleague and friend."

A. I would have had no right to use this term, since during
my entire life I did not see Hoess more than at most, I
would say, seven times, about seven or eight times, so one
could hardly use such a precise, well-rounded term.

Q. In Argentina did you say: "Hoess was punctiliousness and
accuracy personified"?

A. I do not know, but that would be true.

Q. And this man, who was punctiliousness and accuracy
personified, also said the following about you:

     "Eichmann was also a determined opponent of the idea of
     selecting from the transports Jews who were fit for
     work.  He regarded it as a constant danger to his
     scheme for a `final solution,' because of the
     possibility of mass escapes or some other event
     occurring which would enable the Jews to survive.  In
     his view, action should be taken against every Jew who
     could be got hold of, and such actions ought to be
     pursued to their conclusion as quickly as possible,
     since it was impossible to anticipate the final result
     of the War.  Already in 1943 he had doubts about a
     complete German victory and believed that the end would
     be inconclusive..."

Is that true?

A. That is just as untrue as Wisliceny's statement along
similar lines.

Q. So that is yet another lie.

A. Yes, that is an absolute untruth.

Q. Do you remember Hoess telling you about Himmler's visit
to Auschwitz?  That the work of extermination was a battle
which the future generations would not have to endure?  And
Hoess said that he was encouraged by this remark of

A. That this remark encouraged Hoess?  I do remember, and I
also said so in my Statement here, because this is a
sentence I never forgot.

Q. And in Argentina you said the following about this
sentence by Hoess:

     "But just as Hoess thought, so we also thought.  And if
     Hoess told me of this sentence which the Reichsfuehrer
     pronounced, which I can repeat today just as
     accurately, it is because this sentence by the
     Reichsfuehrer gave me just as much on an official level
     as it probably gave Hoess in his sector, because, after
     all, we were his followers. Under the Reichsfuehrer we
     had freely undertaken, by means of an oath of loyalty
     and an oath of office, to submit to and obey the orders
     of our superiors."

Did you say that?

A. I cannot swear to the actual wording.  However, I would
like to say here that what was meant for Hoess' sector, that
is to say, outright extermination, to some extent this
sentence from the Reichsfuehrer could apply to my sector in
a changed sense, since I, after all, was ordered to draw up
the timetables and everything connected with that.  From
that point of view, this is true, but I cannot comment on
the wording, since I must reject the actual wording in these
statements, as I am unable to check it.

Q. The motto of the SS was "My honour is called loyalty"
(Meine Ehre heisst Treue). Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. And Hoess remained loyal to you?

A. It was not up to Hoess to remain or to be loyal to me.
Nor was he in any way obliged to such loyalty.  It does not
apply - this loyalty does not apply to one another; this
loyalty applies to the oath, to one's superior, to the
leadership in general.  That is how, today, I would still
understand this term, "My honour is called loyalty."

To avoid any misunderstanding, I should just like to
supplement that by saying what I mean by this expression
"that is how I would still understand this today."  What I
mean is that I still perceive this today, as far as I
remember things - I do not wish to give the impression of
still being a National Socialist today.

Q. When did you cease being a National Socialist?  That is
my question.

A. I am sorry, I did not understand - I did not...

Q. When did you cease being a National Socialist?

A. I gradually ceased being a National Socialist after the
collapse.  But that did not happen in a flash, overnight
...for me it took time for this change to come about.  There
was even a time when I relapsed, and that is how I gradually
worked out a new view of life, which became rooted in my
inner life and which gave me satisfaction.

Q. And that is why you signed "Obersturmbannfuehrer ret." in

A. I have already said that I cannot remember who asked for
it.  Somebody asked me for this photo...

Q. Did you sign it, "yes" or "no"?

A. Whether I signed it, or wrote on the back, I do not know,
but it is my handwriting.

Q. I see.

A. Nor do I know...

Presiding Judge: Silence in Court!  I will not allow the
proceedings to be conducted in this way.  Please proceed,
Mr. Attorney General.

Attorney General: Did Mueller once say to you, "If we had
fifty Eichmanns, we would have won the War," and were you
proud of that?

Accused:    Yes, apparently he did say that once.

Q. And you were proud of that?

A. Yes.  But it is also necessary to know the reason why he
said that.

Presiding Judge: If this happens once more, I assure the
public that I shall have the hall cleared.  I keep issuing
warnings; if these do not have an effect, I shall have to
adopt this drastic measure.

Attorney General: And did you once say to Mueller that
really 500,000 Germans should be executed in connection with
the plot of 20 July 1944, and that that should clean up the
Augean stables?

A. No, that is not correct in connection with 20 July; I
said that much earlier, and the figure was not 500,000 - I
gave some approximate figure, approximately 100,000.  I
said: "Before we have the right to sit in judgment on
others, our duty as Germans should be to bring about order
and integrity at home first of all."

Q. And to stand how many up against the wall?

A. I have already said - 100,000.

Q. To stand them up against the wall?

A. It is quite possible that that was a colloquial phrase,
an expression which resulted from the anger at there being
treachery, and all those scoundrels in one's own ranks. And
then, on the other hand, people solve the Jewish Question in
such a fashion.  That can also be seen clearly from my
statement, because I said: "First it is necessary to bring
about order in one's own shop, and only then is one entitled
to judge and talk about others."

So, to that extent this is correct, and I said this in my
Statement, too, but that has nothing to do with 20 July; as
far as I can remember, this outburst on my part was around
the time when Bock held his victory parade in the Champs

Q. And how did Mueller react to your proposal to stand this
or that number of Germans up against the wall?

A. As far as I remember, several Section Heads were present
at the time; I was accused of defeatism and acknowledged
this defeatism - a defeatism which, outside the Security
Police, gave rise to severe penalties.  My point of view was
- and is also today - that if one holds a police function,
one cannot go around with one's head in the clouds, but one
must try and identify one's own errors and one's own
failings and defects and try to remedy them, before one has
the right to condemn others.  Today, this is also still my
attitude.  At that time I expressed this, in opposition to
the generally prevailing attitude.

Judge Halevi:  Which traitors were you angry about at the

Accused:    I had learned about them through the records
which, throughout the day, over weeks and weeks, had been
placed on my desk, in which I read about spying and
treachery, against those at the front, and against everyone,
about oath-breaking and other matters, and this - we were at
the beginning of the War - this all obviously shook me very
deeply, and I said to myself: Well, if that is how we are,
we have no right to judge others.

Attorney General: Do you remember, when you were in
Argentina, reading a book called The Last Days of the Reich

A. Yes, something like that may have been its title.

Q. Approximately when did you read the book?

A. I can no longer say when...

Q. Approximately.

A. Perhaps around 1955 - perhaps a little earlier - I have
no idea.

Q. The book was written by Gerhard Boldt, if I am not

A. I cannot remember the author today - but it is quite

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.