The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-104-05

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-104-05
Last-Modified: 1999/06/14

Q. It is you who are the Accused here, and not others.  You
carried it out.  When the Slovak Government wanted to send
representatives to visit the Jews who had been deported to
the East, you were the person who foiled this, weren't you?

Accused:    I was not the person who foiled this.  I
reported on how I was to behave, and then proceeded
according to the instructions, the orders, received.

Q. And you suggested referring the Slovak Government to
Fiala's articles and the deportees' postcards, didn't you?

A. Yes, exactly as I was ordered.

Q. And you signed the letter to the effect that the Slovak
Government's fears and concerns about the fate of the
deportees were unfounded, and that there was no reason for
concern.  Is that not true?

A. Yes, that was the required use of words (Sprachregelung),
and I had to apply it.

Q. And you suggested to the Slovak Government that it would
say what had been stated about the fate of the Jews was only
atrocity stories and nothing more.

A. Yes, that was ordered, too.

Q. And when the Red Cross had to be shown a Jewish camp, you
took the representatives to Theresienstadt? Right?

A. Yes.  I had explained that Himmler had in fact
transformed Theresienstadt for this reason.

Q. So the camouflage system and the camouflage staff worked
in all directions, both vis-a-vis the foreign governments,
vis-a-vis the Jews, and also vis-a-vis the Foreign Ministry,
did they?

A. Yes, with one qualification.  Not always vis-a-vis Jews;
where the Jewish functionaries were concerned, with whom I
constantly had dealings, I could, of course, not implement
the orders as I had received them and just pass them on.  In
this setting, the matter was discussed somewhat more
frankly, because the Jewish functionaries would not, in
fact, have accepted what I was ordered to say.

I must correct what I have just said: not Jewish
functionaries in plural, but in the singular, as it was just
one to whom I said this.

Q. Yesterday, you confirmed basically what was recorded
about the discussions in March 1944.  At this meeting you
promised the Jews that nothing would happen to them, that
these were only temporary wartime measures, that after the
War they would return to their homes, even though you knew
perfectly well at that time that the Jews would be deported
to Auschwitz for extermination.  Is that correct?

A. At that time I did not know that they were being
transported to Auschwitz, I have already said that.  But I
did know that they were being deported, and about this
explanation I had...

Q. But you told them exactly the opposite!  You told them
that nothing would happen to them, that they would not be
sent away from Hungary.  Is that right?

A. Yes, those were my orders.

Q. And you are the man who maintains that a lie has never
passed his lips.

A. I could not take the decision here on my own, I was
subject to the pressure of the orders issued by my

Q. All right.  You will admit that this is the description
which you gave of yourself to Sassen:

     "And so the Jews basically are right, in accordance
     with the facts, a Jesuit was put there, who was
     indefatigable, who was always full of fire, wherever
     there was even a hint of resistance."

And now the other passage we have already referred to:

     "I was not a normal recipient of orders, because that
     would have made me an idiot; I thought about things as
     well, I was an idealist."

Just look at this and admit that this is a very accurate
description of yourself.

A. Excuse me, I cannot find this on the page I have been
given.  Ah, here it is, further down.

Q. The last line before that.

A. I accept that I was an idealist, but I cannot accept that
what else appears here is literally true, because I do not
know whether this is right or not.  But as for my having
been an idealist, having obeyed orders and complied with
orders, I have explained this here also.  I must acknowledge

Q. You have told the Court here how you wanted to be given
the opportunity to write a book in which you would speak
plainly and would describe what was done to the Jews as one
of the greatest crimes ever committed in the history of
mankind.  Correct?

A. Yes, I have declared that.

Q. Do you admit that the book which you wanted to publish
with Sassen in Argentina in 1957, or the book which you
wrote on the same topic while Heydrich was still alive,
would not exactly have expressed these ideas?

A. No, they would not have expressed these ideas, for the
same reasons...

Q. Thank you, that will suffice.  These books would have
expressed the idea that the anti-Jewish measures were
necessary in order to protect the German people and German
blood.  Is that correct?

A. No, they were...if I had had my way, it would have been a
clear-cut, blunt, objective statement, without commentary of
my own.

Q. Admit that these books would have been an expression of
the following attitude:

     "We would have fulfilled our duty for our blood, our
     people, and for the freedom of the nations, if we had
     exterminated the most cunning spirit of mankind living

A. May I read that, please?

Q. You can look at it. "Unsere Aufgabe" - just these lines.

A. Yes.  Whether these words are mine, I do not know.  I
would request to hear the tape-recording.  I do not believe
that I would have said this with...with this degree of
bluntness...that this came from me with this bluntness.  I
consider this unthinkable.  The reason why I consider it to
be unthinkable is that...if the last few days I
have obtained a small cross-section of these books...if you
read these books, the impression is entirely different from
just taking one sentence from them - from the whole - I do
not have any idea who wrote that sentence.

Q. I am asking you whether this was the meaning and the
spirit of things, even if these are perhaps not the accurate
and exact words.

A. No, meaning and spirit are also oversharp here.  One
really should know how these things came about - then things
could be understood better.

Q. Do you want me to submit all the volumes to the Court?
Just make the request - I shall be happy to do so!

A. No, I myself have not even read them through, these
volumes, but I will say that I did not acknowledge these
things - I cannot acknowledge them, because I do not have
any possibility of checking whether this is right.  I am the
last person who would evade something which he had said or
wrote.  I believe that I have demonstrated this sufficiently
- to this Court as well.  But I cannot after all admit to
something which was written years ago, and I do not here
even have proof that this corresponded to what I uttered and
thought.  My thoughts, my wishes and my intentions
corresponded to a dispassionate, clear-cut statement - but
that was clearly not desirable in book form, because it
would have been couched in lacklustre German officialese and
would not have been read.

Q. You were also asked by Sassen whether the "Night and Fog"
order applied to Jews as well - do you remember that?

A. I cannot remember - but I can remember the "Night and Fog
Decree" now from what I have read in particular; it did not
apply to Jews.

Q. And so you said to Sassen as well, did you not - listen
carefully - on page 210: "In any case it had nothing to do
with Jews.  We rode roughshod (wir fuhren Schlitten) over
those fellows in full daylight."
Accused:    The same applies here as I have said before - it is a fact...that is right, but whether I said it, I
do not know.

Q. Thank you very much.

I have concluded my examination.  Now, if it please the
Court, I should like permission to submit for visual
examination those passages from what is called the Sassen
Document where the Accused did not deny having said
something along those lines or things in that sense, but
perhaps not exactly in those words - so that the Court can
satisfy itself that all these passages are there, and that
there are next to them handwritten corrections showing they
have been checked, that they were verified, and thus adopted
by the Accused.  Now if the majority of the Court hesitated
about admitting these passages before the Accused took the
witness stand, that this might perhaps force the Accused to
testify or bring witnesses to refute these passages, in the
meanwhile he himself has chosen to give evidence, and he has
confirmed as accurate most of the material.

Presiding Judge: I should like to understand your request
properly.  It is possible that there are passages where
there are no corrections at all, and as to which the Accused
said that it is more or less correct.  Were you, Mr.
Attorney General, referring to those passages where there
are corrections?

Attorney General: Yes.  I am talking for the moment about
those passages where there are corrections - either in them
or next to them, in other words, so that this shows that
this is definitely a passage which was checked and
identified by the Accused.  The Accused did, in fact, refer
to these corrections in his evidence and confirmed that in
these passages and around them there are corrections in his
handwriting.  But this general confirmation is not
equivalent to a detailed check, how precise was the
Accused's verification of what he was shown, and this the
Court will only be able to see if it examines what the
Accused has done with these passages.

It would, therefore, appear to me that, in order to assess
the authenticity of the material, and in order to be sure
that this comes from the Accused, it is important for the
Court to see with its own eyes this handwritten material and
the Accused's indications of corrections.  This will not add
a great deal now, as in any case the passages are already
part of the record.  Since the Court has already heard the
material, it therefore does not make any difference.  But as
regards the Court's being able to check the Accused's
verification of the material at the time and before he had
any reason to tone it down or belittle it, there is major
importance in the Court's seeing with its own eyes what the
Accused did with these passages.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, so that things are quite
clear, I can imagine a request to submit these passages for
one of two reasons - there might be more, but in any case
one or the other.  What you are asking is to submit them in
evidence for the Prosecution at this stage, that is how it
appears to me.  A second possibility would be to submit
them, in order to understand the Accused's testimony.  When
the Accused says, "This is more or less correct, this is not
literally correct," a visual examination may be important,
as you have said, in order to see what is the essence here.
And the corrections, too, can be important in this context.
I gather that your request falls into the first category.

Attorney General: The second one, too, with respect.

Presiding Judge: But the first is more far-reaching.

Attorney General: If I might word this differently, I should
like to do so.  My main request is the former; my
alternative request is the latter.

Presiding Judge: Because, as far as the first request is
concerned, as for myself I would see a major formal obstacle
at this stage.  We are now hearing the case for the Defence.
It is certainly a very unusual step for new evidence to be
submitted now by the Prosecution, without any connection to
the Accused's testimony.

Attorney General: Certainly.  If the Accused had not
testified, if he had not said what he said about these
passages, I could not have made this application at all.
This application is possible, because the Accused did not
deny the essence of these passages but said, "Correct,
something like this, the spirit was roughly like this, the
corrections are mine."  And that is why it is important that
the Court should see what has been done here to these
passages.  Now the Court has heard the testimony, but when
it comes to the corrections made, in order to be able to
evaluate and assess whether the Accused made some
corrections, some slight scribblings, it makes a difference
whether he corrected a comma, or whether he corrected and
added words and lines.

Presiding Judge: And are you saying that you can do this at
this stage, too, as if you were submitting any other

Attorney General: I believe so, Your Honour.  At first I
could not do so, the Court deprived me of the possibility of
submitting the handwritten material.  Now I cannot repeat
the same request as such, as the Court has already ruled
once on my request.  But now I have shown the material to
the Accused.  He has not denied that these passages contain
(a) his words, (b) his corrections.  Now I am asking the
Court to see to what extent he directed his attention to
correcting what was read out to him from the transcript.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, what is your reply to this

Dr. Servatius:  This evidence is not admissible.  If it is
to be introduced belatedly as a document, this application
is out of time.  If part is to be submitted now, single
sheets, then it is taken out of the whole context, not only
as far as the content is concerned, but also as far as the
corrections are concerned.  The Accused has stressed
repeatedly, "there are large sections which I have in part
not seen at all, and these parts also do not come from me."
In that case, one should have all the seventeen tapes and
then check how far the correcting went, which detailed
corrections he drew up as slips.  Because if one wishes to
get an impression as to what is the nature of these
corrections, it is precisely these correction slips which
one should read very carefully.  One can in fact see that in
the last volume, which he wrote himself, there are no such
exaggerations as appear here in the text.

If the Prosecutor says that the Accused had not denied that
this is his - he definitely did deny it, only he did it in a
somewhat more polite and cautious fashion and said, "I
cannot commit myself.  Maybe yes, maybe no"; and we have
already heard that he was under the influence of alcohol, he
was provoked into saying things.  This cannot now be
introduced in this way here, thus circumventing what should
really have been done, i.e., bringing the witness Sassen
here.  That would have been the best proof, the golden rule,
which the Prosecution should have applied.  Why this did not
happen, I do not understand.  I assume that there are
reasons for it.  I would therefore request that the
application be rejected.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Attorney General, again for the sake of
clarification: I believe it has already been made clear at
an earlier stage of the argument on the Sassen Document that
the corrections have all been submitted.

Attorney General: All of them.

Presiding Judge: And these are approximately one quarter or
third of all the corrections, according to the figures.

Attorney General: That is so, more or less.

Presiding Judge: What the Accused calls "Korrekturfahnen"
(correction slips)?

Attorney General: What the Accused calls "Korrekturfahnen",
what we have, has been submitted.  There were around two
hundred, some of them long comments, some of them far
shorter than the handwritten corrections.

Judge Halevi:  But it is not known at all if these comments
were written at all.  Apart from the indication of the
figures, this is the only indication that such a thing
exists, or that he wanted to write something like this.

Attorney General: That we do not know.  Everything we have,
we have submitted to the Court and supplied to the Defence.
We do not have any more.

Presiding Judge: Very well.  I think it will be expedient to
adjourn now until 3.30 this afternoon, and then we shall try
to give a decision on this application, and then the re-
examination will commence.

The Court will adjourn until 3.30.

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