The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-097-06

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-097-06
Last-Modified: 1999/06/13

Q. Very well; so help me to find out these facts and to
ascertain whether he received the instructions from you or
not.  That is precisely what I am asking you.

A. Naturally I was also involved in this, I cannot in any
way extricate myself from the entire matter.  But that is
not just in the Bulgarian case - I must state this for all
these cases.

Q. So if you had given this answer earlier, we could have
saved so much time.  Now please look at T/939: It says there
that following a telephone conversation with you, Dannecker
made the agreement.  Is that correct or not?  Now, since you
are now looking at this, perhaps you can remember what this
telephone conversation was about?

A. The conversation cannot have been about anything other
than the notification by Dannecker that an agreement with
Belev had been completed, and after that doubtless - and in
my opinion that must have been the case - I would have said
then this agreement is to be applied.  That is what I gather
from this letter.

Q. In other words, you confirmed to him that he could sign
the agreement?

A. No, not that - it does not say here that confirmation was
given; I would not have been authorized and empowered to do
that either.

Q. When  you received the agreement, was it satisfactory for

A. When I received the agreement, as usual it went up
through official channels, and certainly it was

Q. But what was your opinion?  For you, from your point of
view, did it satisfy you, were you satisfied with it, or did
you think that Dannecker was a bungler and that better
conditions should have been forced through?

A. No, I can imagine that I was satisfied in official terms,
although of course my satisfaction would not have had any
effect on things, because the important thing was whether
Chief of Department IV and the Chief of the Security Police
and the Security Service were satisfied.

Q. There was a paragraph in this agreement under which the
Bulgarian Government undertook not to insist on the return
of the Jews.  What is the reason for this?

A. The reason was that in general it was ordered from above,
at some time when there were difficulties with some country
or other.  I forget with which country.

Q. But I am not speaking about some country and some
difficulties or other.  I am speaking about Bulgaria and
about the Dannecker-Belev agreement.

Presiding Judge: What is the document number, please?

Attorney General: T/938.  I am talking about paragraph 8.
An agreement was reached here about Jews, twenty thousand,
like about sheep or goats who are being led to slaughter.
That is why I wish to know: why?

Accused:    If I absolutely have to answer, I shall try to
reconstruct this; whether it is true or not, I do not know,
as I cannot remember these matters.

Q. To the best of your knowledge and belief, please.

A. Well, this point cannot mean anything other than that the
responsible parties in the Reich attached importance to no
Jew who had been deported from some country - in this case
Bulgaria - being able to come back again and telling what he
had experienced and seen.  That is the reply which I can
give to this.  It is, however, not something which I
remember; it is a reconstruction on my part.

Q. Perhaps because you knew that these Jews were going to
extermination camps, and that it was therefore factually
impossible to send any one of them back again.  Perhaps this
was the reason?  That is why you immediately provided
yourself with this assurance towards the Bulgarians.

A. I should once again like to stress that I never gave such
replies on my own.  I would, however, point out that at that
time I also knew that part of the Jews were being
exterminated.  I admitted that quite some time ago

Q. All right.

Presiding Judge: You admitted elsewhere - you mean elsewhere
in your Statement?

Accused:    Here, yes, in my Statement.

Attorney General: Very well, let us once again turn to
documents.  You are so fond of documents, after all.  For
example, T/874, the famous letter from Benzler, with the
note by Rademacher: "Eichmann proposes shooting."  And you
always said, did you not, documents speak a clear language.
So, please, here you have a document.

Accused:    Yes, it is true, too, that documents speak a
clear language.  Naturally, for that it is necessary for the
person drawing up the document not to be a sloppy worker,
but a proper official, a proper and accurate processor of
documents.  After all, this is not the only document which
Rademacher puts down in this sloppy fashion; I have
collected several of these and can indicate the errors in

I should like to point out here, if I may, that it would
have been very easy for me if I could simply have adopted
the contents of Rademacher's statement at Nuremberg.  But I
did not use this, either, because it does not correspond to
the facts, and because the absurd nature of this minute
appears clearly already from the explanation I have given.
And in addition, I am under oath; perhaps it will also carry
weight if I say that I never made such a statement, and the
fact of shooting, by whom and how - that is all the more

Q. In whose handwriting are these words, please?

A. I believe that they are in Rademacher's handwriting.

Q. Did Rademacher have any reason for writing these words
which he ascribes to you on an official letter received from
the envoy?  Why would he do such a thing?  There was no
Nuremberg Trial then, that was during a time of normal
service, that was part of normal working procedures at the
time.  So why should he have done such a thing?  At that
time there was no need for him to look for scapegoats.

A. Oh yes, that is exactly what he had to do, because it was
Weizsaecker himself who took his gentlemen in the Foreign
Ministry to task and more or less called them to order,
because they had gone too far with their language and
proposals.  I have already said that nothing is more likely
here than that Rademacher corrected the records.  This is
not the first correction to a record.

Q. When did he correct them?

A. I do not know, but in any case it would definitely be
around the time that Weizsaecker was calling his people to
order, and corrections to records are nothing new with
officials in any country.  In addition to this, had I had
the power and had I been able to issue such an order, I
wonder how and why the office of the Foreign Ministry would
nevertheless and independently of this have had to discuss
the entire business with Heydrich, and why was I not
referred to in the matters which then took place in Serbia,
when these twelve hundred Jews were actually shot by the

I believe that all of this is proof that I am
referred to, it is true, otherwise in the whole extensive
package of documents, which consists of many, many
documents, there is not the slightest mention of me, except
once, when I was to be sent to Serbia, and even that was

Q.  Let us leave this complex of questions as to why this,
why that, why the other.  I am sure that you know all the
answers, but I want to ask you another question.

If that were a forgery, then Rademacher was in fact taking a
considerable risk of Weizsaecker finding out the truth by
means of a simple telephone conversation, and that only
required a very simple telephone call.  Is that not true?

A. That is true; but the question is, when did he draw up
this minute?  And I would here like to point out that his
own statement at Nuremberg on this telephone call is totally
different from what he has written here in his own writing.

Q. That is not true; he says that he had a telephone
conversation with you and that he was very surprised to hear
these words from you, and that you said "shoot"
(erschiessen) and hung up.  That is what he said.

A. No, he gave an entirely different reason for this in
Nuremberg from the one he indicates here.

Q. As to your proposal to shoot the Serbian Jews there and
then, he repeated word for word what it says here.  He says
that he was surprised at this and asked you again, and that
you said erschiessen and hung up.  And now you are saying
that he took the risk of forgery, of a forgery which could
be discovered by means of a simple telephone call.  Is that
what you are saying?

A. I am maintaining, I am saying here in addition that,
although I am aware that I am on oath, I did not say
anything of the kind.  Not a single word of that.

Q. So Rademacher is also a liar, is he not, he is also to be
added to the list of liars, right?  We already have a rather
long lists of liars, they are all liars; Rademacher is also
a liar, very well, we shall add him, too, to the list.

A. Perhaps another handwritten minute by Rademacher may come
up, where he maintains something which is flatly
contradicted by the record of a consultation.

Q. Very well.  Unfortunately I cannot put Rademacher on the
witness stand for you; according to our sources, he is in
one of the neighbouring states.

A. I should finally like to point out that I would take this
upon myself without batting an eyelid, if it had a factual

Q. Yes, I am quite sure of that.  That is clear to me.

Presiding Judge: Would you please tell the Accused, once and
for all, that such general remarks do not add anything.
Once or twice they are all right, but we are hearing that
all the time.

Judge Halevi:  Are you claiming that the forgery was
committed after the War?  Are you maintaining that
Rademacher forged that during the Nuremberg period?

Accused:    No, it must have been much earlier.  I have no
proof of this.  But if I...I have taken the trouble of
analyzing the entire minute, and I have concluded that this
note cannot possibly have been drawn up during the telephone

Q.  So you allege that it was a few days later, do you not?
That is what I understood you to be saying earlier, is that

A.  I assumed, Your Honour, that that happened a few days
later, when the major row in the Foreign Ministry started
about the...

Q.  And that is what the Attorney General asked you about;
it was very simple, after all, a few days later, to call
your office and ascertain the facts, as Rademacher took a
great risk, did he not?

A. Yes, of course; but it is very unlikely that the superior
would make queries of this nature on the basis of such
minutes; he would trust the document, that is how things are
in practice as well.

Attorney General: Then perhaps I can put another question
following Judge: Halevi's questions.  Is it so normal for a
Department Chief in the Foreign Ministry to find a comment
"Eichmann proposes shooting"?  Is that so normal?  Would
that be accepted as definite?  Is that so usual?  Should he
not have had to do some checking?  Look into things, phone

Accused:    I have no way of knowing about this; in
Department IV, that sort of thing could not have happened in
our office.  In Department IV, normally we were not allowed
to make any handwritten notes; any additions had to be typed
separately and stapled to the relevant sheet.

Q. But in the Foreign Ministry that had no consequences at
all; was that somehow customary, should that not have made a
stir of some sort?

A. I do not know about the practice in the Foreign Ministry,
but Rademacher's -  and also, as I see, Luther's - habit was
to write all sorts of things in the margin, to make
handwritten notes.

Q. No, I am speaking of the content.  If a Department Head
in the Foreign Ministry found a note like this, would that
not have led him to smell a rat, so that he would at least
have lifted the receiver and made a call and checked whether
something like that had actually been issued?  Is that the

A. I do not know whether it is definite that after this
handwritten note was made, Department Chief Luther actually
saw the document and read it.  That is not shown by

Q. The document does, after all, show that it is dated 12
September 1941.  Luther issues an instruction: "Contact the
Head Office for Reich Security immediately."  So the matter
was extremely urgent, was it not?

A. Yes, yes, yes.

Q. And then on the following day we have Rademacher's
minute, dated 13 September, indicating that he had had a
telephone consultation with you, and that you had suggested
"shooting."  Are you therefore seriously claiming that the
document did not return, together with the note, to Luther.
That Luther - once Rademacher had implemented his
instructions - did not trouble himself further about this

A. That cannot be seen from this document, and I can state
this all the more since I know that I never said anything
like this, and that I never had anything to do with such
matters.  It is curious that all these is not
the only matter, in fact...that all these matters were
not...although I ran such a bureaucratically well-organized
shop...that all these matters were not handled in a proper
fashion as laid down in the bureaucratic rules, as were the
other many thousands of letters.  That is the curious thing
about this.  Otherwise, for small and large things alike,
the standard bureaucratic practice was always respected.
And here I am the victim of such unbureaucratic marginal

Q. I regret that you have such a negative opinion about the
working methods of the Foreign Ministry.  But that is not
what is currently being discussed.  You will nevertheless
agree that if the matter really was so urgent, the document,
together with Rademacher's note, must after all have gone
back to Luther.

A. I said that I have no way of knowing that.  I can only
stress once again that I had nothing to do with that.

Q. But you will concede that logically that must have
happened, that there can be no other logical conclusion.

A. Logic would dictate that, if it were not for the idea
that a man like this could, in order to cover himself, take
such steps.

Q. And the only explanation you have for this is that you
accuse Rademacher of forgery.

A. I have several explanations.  I have already given my
explanations.  As my last explanation I would add that I was
not referred to in any shape or form in the entire matter.
So why, otherwise, is all of this in this non-bureaucratic

Q. So in brief, this is a forgery by Rademacher.

A. That is what I assumed.  As to whether it is true, I do
not know.  I know that one thing is true, that I did not say
anything like that.

Q. That is what you claim, but the documents show precisely
the opposite.

Presiding Judge: If you have finished with this document, we
shall now adjourn.

Attorney General: Yes.

Presiding Judge: The Court will adjourn until 8.30 on Monday

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