The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-102-04

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-102-04
Last-Modified: 1999/06/14

Presiding Judge: You will reply to questions until I, the
Presiding Judge, release you from so doing.

Accused:    Your Honour, yes, I am also prepared to do so as
well. But I have the feeling that I am being grilled here
for as long as it takes to roast the steak through, on the
basis of something which is as full of shortcomings as can
be demonstrated here with precision.


Attorney General: In one of the previous sessions, when we
were talking about the Richter-Killinger question, you said
that you wanted to show the Court some other document which
clarifies the matter of these relationships. Do you

Accused:    Yes, Mr. Attorney General.

Q. Do you have the document handy?

A. Yes, I have it here.

Q. Do you wish to show the document to the Court, or to
refer to it?

A. There are two things - the document, and also Reitlinger.

Q. Forget about Reitlinger - let us talk about the document,
please. What is the quotation in the document?

A. In Richter's memorandum of 23 January 1942 - T/1225, 2,
it says:

     "I returned to the discussion with the Deputy Prime
     Minister on 12 December 1941, where Antonescu agreed to
     my proposal that in future the emigration of Jews from
     Rumania be stopped. I informed him that in the same
     matter, the Chief of the Security Police and the
     Security Service had himself informed the Adviser of
     this ..." etcetera.

What I would like to, or wanted to draw attention to by this
is that Richter dealt directly with the Chief of the
Security Police and the Security Service in these matters.

Q. This report went to you, did it not?

A. This report went to me too, yes.

Q. So let us see how this really was. I am showing you an
excerpt from what you dictated to Sassen: Here, too, there
are three corrections in your handwriting - would you
confirm that, please? Once you corrected the word
"instructions" to "opinions" (Meinungen); and once instead
of "aus" (from) you wrote "spaeter" (later), and at the
bottom you wrote instead of "snobism," "chauvinism." All in
your own hand, in your own writing. Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. Very well. And now would you please read out the passage
I have marked in brackets for you.


     "Richter came to Berlin several times and complained
     that he had been muzzled by Killinger, which was why he
     had come in person, as he could not report it in
     writing. This happened half a dozen times, as I
     recommended to Richter - or gave him my opinion - that
     whenever he was unable to see clearly how to cope with
     his matters, if it involved opinions of principle, to
     get on a plane or a train and to come to me and report
     to me. From what I knew of Richter, he combined
     business with pleasure, and that is why it was half a
     dozen times. Apparently Killinger in Bucharest was a
     gentlemen who wished to command in a very authoritarian
     fashion, who got along very well with everyone,
     including Richter, as long as he knew that Richter was
     tied to one of the traces of his carriage. People there
     had all the freedom which they were entitled to on
     grounds of their official positions.
     But if Ambassador Killinger complained about me, I must
     counter this by saying that in Bucharest, far from
     home, Ambassador Killinger did not know how the cards
     were shuffled and played there. He could not know that
     at least once a week, the responsible Legation
     Counsellor of the Foreign Ministry turned up in my
     antechamber and asked to see me. For several years that
     was Rademacher, and after that von Thadden. If
     Ambassador Killinger now says that he, like a good
     soul, sent all letters via the Foreign Ministry to the
     Security Police and the Security Service - but the
     other way round there were complaints - then he is
     doing the Security Police and the Security Service
     grave injustice, which because of his general stupidity
     might be forgiven him. He could not know that
     Department IV initially had a far closer connection
     with the Foreign Ministry than chasing written notes
     back and forth.  And he could not have any idea that
     the competent officials in charge of the Security
     Police and the Security Service - the Foreign Ministry
     - sat down at the same table at least once a week with
     the man from the Security Police about whom he spoke so
     unkindly, and discussed the matter."

Q. You did say  that, didn't you?

A. What I said is correct, and I can in fact list the things
- the inaccuracies, if I am allowed to.

Presiding Judge: But you did say that, didn't you?

Accused:    Your Honour, in all of these things I had had my
fill of wine. If, today, I were asked if I said it, I would
have to counter this by the fact that I have, for example,
before read things where the word "kein" (none) had been
"ein" (one), or where the "nicht" (not) has been left out,
and immediately the meaning changes.

Presiding Judge: Does this passage sound as if it came from
your mouth? Is it your style?  Does it also sound from the
contents, as if it came from you?

Accused:    Yes, I must say that, obviously I cannot - and
do not want to, either - deny that I spoke. Whether it is
literally what I said, I cannot say. But the meaning, and in
general it is right.

Presiding Judge: All right, then.

Attorney General: Would you now please open the booklet
before you, page 291, where you will also see a few
corrections in your handwriting. For example you can see
corrections made by you to a few lines. Correct?

Accused:    Yes.

Q. Would you now please read out the passage I have marked
in red.


     "On 13 March 1942 a meeting took place between Mr.
     Eichmann, a Mr. Wetzel from the Foreign Ministry, and
     Mr. Rademacher, about this matter. It was decided that
     a warning should be given to Antonescu to refrain from
     this measure."

Attorney General: This is what Sassen said to you, is it
not? He is quoting it to you from somewhere, is he not?

Accused:    Yes, he was quoting it from somewhere.

Attorney General: Please read on.


     "Yes, of course, I would, of course, have put up a
     struggle against having Jews brought to territories
     which in any case were under our control. Because it
     was my assignment to make them free. Where they were
     the Eastern Territories, it might not have made any
     difference to me. That is why the Operations Commandos
     were there, over whom I could not have had any power.
     But these areas were of course also taboo for me,
     insofar as I could not allow Jews to be deported to
     them from a location where I had some measure of
     control. The world was big enough - they did not have
     to enter the territories under our control. And that
     also corresponds to what it says in this hostile book.
     The deportations were continued, but one month later
     Eichmann informed Rademacher that he was to take
     security measures for this deportation to the Bug to

Attorney General: Now from the words "that" to "stop" -
this is again what Sassen says to you, is it not?

Accused:    Yes. This was read out.

Attorney General: And now please read the reply.


     "Yes, this entirely corresponds to my ideas. I would
     not accept Jews in an area which, I am happy to say, is
     free of Jews. And that was probably why Rademacher came
     and asked me for advice, since Rademacher, unlike von
     Thadden, was a fairly easy-going man who also wanted to
     arrange his affairs in an easy-going fashion. And he
     was happy and grateful when he got the rough text from
     me for the note verbale which he then only needed to
     redraft in diplomatic language, and then, as far as he
     was concerned, the whole thing had been dealt with."

Attorney General: Did you say these words?

Accused:    I must repeat the same thing: I do not know. In
principle I must say "how did this matter even come about?"
It was not important. For to every reply I should have had
to say, as I did in the beginning: "I do not know, I cannot
remember." At which point my co-author Sassen would
naturally have said: "Like this, it is impossible to compose
a book." So I started imagining things, because we agreed to
describe things as we, more or less, concocted them. Because
that is what mattered, and that was what was to be in the
book - describing the spirit of those times. And so I
blended my own self any number of times, and however it
worked out, with that of others. The main thing was for the
material as such to be published. And that is why I must say
I cannot identify myself with it, because after all there is
a difference depending on whether I was collaborating on a
journalistic piece of work, which is nowhere near finished,
or whether it is a question of official documents. That is
also the reason why I did not attach overmuch weight to any
special niceties and details.

Then I sat down and wrote out the correction slips. But the
correction slips are also not in any way an official
version. That is what I said and did. I could not remember
any of this properly, and I was told that a book had to be
interesting - and I realize that - and above all it should
also represent the spirit of the time, the facts, the things
which were going on. I knew a dog in every village, to use a
folk saying... And that little knowledge from all over,
fables told and spun out together, produced this result

Q. You admit that Sassen read out books and documents to
you, and asked you for your reaction. That is in the main
how your talks went, is it not?

A. I did not have the time or opportunity to go into or
pursue the matter, not even for five minutes. I recorded
this, because...meanwhile...and I have also replied...

Q. No, no you are not answering my question. It is after all
possible that the first comment, the first reaction is the
most genuine one. Is it true that Sassen had documents and
books on hand, read out passages from these documents and
books to you and asked for your reaction on them? Is that

A. Documents, no - books, yes.

Q. All right. You thought that the book was to be a book
which would contain such facts or statements as could not be
contradicted at once by persons still living, such as
Rademacher or Gluecks.

A. There was no such consideration. For example, Thadden did
not come to my office even once, as far as I know. That is
just by way of example. Nor was that important. But what was
important was conjuring up the "spirit of the times."

I described, for example - I do not know where - at some
points I described as an experience of mine certain things
of which I was told, because my co-author at the time,
Sassen, said that it would be more interesting. And I also
realized that it would be more interesting if it were
presented to some extent as if by an eyewitness, and that
was also permitted, as far as I know, because there is some
licence on the part of the writer, since what actually
happened is not in fact falsified.

Q. Very well. Please open page 277 and 278 of that same
booklet - I am sorry, 318, 319. Look at the corrections on
these two pages in your handwriting: On page 318 at the top
you added an entire line, on page 319 you made changes to
the text. Is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Now please read out on pages 318-319 the passage I have
marked for you.


     "I was once travelling from the east to the west, and
     there I went through some camp, and in this camp
     Globocnik had carried out exterminations - or these
     were carried out later, I forget which. In the
     Generalgouvernement East, Lublin District, Treblinka?
     The camp commander was an Obersturmfuehrer - it was a
     small camp, I do not know how they carried out the
     extermination - not with gas. In this camp, the
     Obersturmfuehrer had an armoured scout car, but it was
     very low slung on its tracks. So I went and drove
     around the immediate vicinity of the camp - it took me
     about an hour until I could drive the thing properly.
     Because of this hour's driving, I remembered this camp
     very clearly, and then I returned to Lublin, and there
     Globocnik's Hauptsturmfuehrer, Hoefle, said to me...we
     were sitting by the fireside, and there Hoefle told me
     the history of the Treblinka camp.
     "One fine day an SS personnel member of the camp was
     being fitted for a uniform in the camp's tailor shop,
     and then from behind the uniforms being worked on there
     a Jew rushed out and shot this SS man with his pistol
     which he had taken off for the fitting. Whereupon, as
     if on an order the guard post, which was on an
     elevation, was stormed and the guard killed; several
     other SS personnel were killed, their weapons were
     seized, the armoured car brought into action by the

Attorney General: With the scout car, correct?


     "With the scout car and with machine guns the guards
     were shot and after this or that number of guards had
     been laid low, a large part of the Jewish inmates took
     to their heels and ran off. Some of them fell victim to
     the contact mines which were along one side of the
     camp; the others, with the exception of a few pieces,
     were found by a large-scale operation which started
     within a few hours.
     "I remember this when reading Globocnik's letter to the
     Reichsfuehrer asking for several Iron Crosses. That was
     a camp which could be considered a labour camp...this
     can be seen already from the fact that there was also a
     tailor's shop there, because the camp's own guard
     personnel had their uniforms made or altered there. So
     here this cannot have been an extermination camp, but a
     kind of concentration camp. This event might have been
     at the end of 1942, 1943, so it was Majdanek."

Q. Did you say that?

A. I related this story of course because I still more or
less remember it today...but as can be seen from here...I do
not even know which camp it was: I say here
the end I say it was Majdanek...

Q. Quite. As it stands here, that is how you put it.

A. I do not know whether it was put as it stands here, but
the story as such I still remember to this day.
Q. All right. Can you tell us who Hoefle is?

A. Hoefle, yes, in the meantime I have found out precisely -
he was Globocnik's adjutant.

Q. And when you told us that you were in Majdanek -  when
were you in Majdanek?

A. In Majdanek...I confuse these names...because I was not
there often, and have no geographical conception...I said
that I was in Majdanek...but I think in fact that I was in
Treblinka, I read that at Treblinka there was a dummy
railway station...I saw the, I assume it must
have been Treblinka.

Q. I believe you told the Court that you were in Majdanek.
You can of course correct this. So when were you in

A. About this, I must say that even at that time I did not
know the names, so today even less so.

Q. All right, but when were you in the camp which you
remember visiting - whether it was Majdanek or Treblinka -
when were you there?

A. According to the findings I have been able to make, it
must have been in the summer - perhaps in the autumn, too
...I am not sure...of 1942. But I am not sure, because I
took the dates from the books available to me here.

Q. I am now showing you another booklet. Would you please
look on pages 277-278 at a largish number of corrections in
your handwriting. Is that correct?

A. It is not a largish number. A few corrections can be seen
here, that is true.

A. About ten corrections, true? On these two pages about ten
corrections. Is that correct?

A. Ah, both pages. I was only looking at one page.

Q. Very well.

A. About ten corrections.

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