The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-105-02

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-105-02
Last-Modified: 1999/06/14

Attorney General: I believe that Counsel for the Defence can
only examine the Accused on those passages with which we
dealt in cross-examination.  If he wants to submit the whole
lot, we have no objection - but it must be the whole of it.

Presiding Judge: But if he reads out a passage just as you
read out passages, Mr. Attorney General, what then?

Attorney General: That is definitely leading the witness.  I
am allowed to do so, but I do not think that this is
permissible in this form in re-examination.

Judge Halevi:  Why can he not submit other parts of it?  The
difference is first of all that Dr. Servatius is telling
him: You yourself said so on such and such a page.  As
regards those parts which the Attorney General wished to
submit, there was discussion as to whether he said that or
not.  So now Counsel for the Defence is himself saying about
that part of it that the Accused did say that, so why should
that not be admissible?  But, on the other hand, just to
read it out and not submit it, that I cannot see.

Attorney General: If Counsel for the Defence simply wishes
to submit one passage, there is no point wasting the Court's
time over this.  If this were to become a practice, I shall
have to consider my position.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, is this going to become a
practice, or will it be limited to one passage?

Dr. Servatius:  In all there are three short - very short -
passages, which I do, however, consider vital to
characterize the nature of all the tape recordings.

Presiding Judge: Very well.  In any case, therefore, you can
show this to the Accused.

Dr. Servatius:  I shall read the passages out to you, and
you will indicate whether you did in fact say this at the
time.  It reads as follows:

     "Never in my life did I have any written special
     authority from the Reichsfuehrer, never did I..."

Presiding Judge: No, no - we do not have this here - volume

Dr. Servatius:  In that case there has been a mistake, it
has to be this passage; things have got mixed up with the
next document.

Presiding Judge: Very well, return that to Counsel for the
Defence and bring me the new volumes.  Now give this to the
Accused and also to the interpreter.

Dr. Servatius:  At the bottom of page 67:

     "Never in my life did I have any written special
     authority from the Chief of the Security Police, I had
     nothing at all special or extravagant.  I" - something
     is missing - "my rank, my official rank, though - and I
     am saying this all along - I always worked one hundred
     per cent, and above all I turned things over in my
     mind, and I was definitely not lukewarm in giving my

On the next page the first line is illegible:

     "Today, there can be no more slinking away... There is
     no point in it, I confess that I did my duty exactly
     and correctly, so that once Mueller said to me: `If we
     had had fifty Eichmanns, we would automatically have
     been bound to win the War.'  But this is not to be
     taken as referring to, nor did it refer to, the enemy's
     flesh-and-blood losses - no, it referred to a tough
     ability to prevail and an unswerving punctiliousness in
     carrying out orders received."

Is it true that at that time you said something along these

Accused:    Here, too, I must say again I cannot comment on
the actual wording, but the content is correct.

Presiding Judge: All right, we shall now mark this N/100.

Dr. Servatius:  Witness, what was the rank of the heads of
the Departments with whom you had dealings in Hungary?

Accused:    On the German side?

Q. Yes.

A. There was the Senior Commander of the Security Police, he
was an SS Oberfuehrer.  This is a rank between Colonel and
Major-General;  then there was - he was subordinate to the
Higher SS and Police Leader, who was an SS
Obergruppenfuehrer and General of Police.  I also had
dealings, although not many, with Veesenmayer.  I believe
Veesenmayer was an SS Gruppenfuehrer and Reich Ambassador
and Plenipotentiary.

Q. Why did you have such a low rank?  Why did you have the
rank of Obersturmbannfuehrer?

A. Because as Section Head I could not have a higher rank.

Q. Did these high-ranking officers assume that you would
issue instructions to them on your own authority?

A. I could not do that, because I was in fact subordinate to
them.  A subordinate cannot issue instructions to his

Q. I asked whether these superiors assumed that you could,
on the basis of authority of your own - "I order" - "I issue
instructions" - or what was the attitude of these gentlemen?

A. They could not have any such attitude, because, for
example, when I had to make a short official journey, I had
to have their approval, just for a short official journey.
And in matters of substance, my superiors laid down policy
and gave me orders.

Q. The Attorney General also suggested to you that your
expert officials were very independent and dealt directly
with foreign government agencies.  Did you instruct such
Specialist Officers to negotiate directly?

A. An expert official is not the same thing as a Section
Head.  But does this refer to the so-called Advisers on
Jewish Affairs?

Q. Yes.

A. I did not instruct them to carry out this or that.  The
instructions came from higher up, and generally Advisers on
Jewish Affairs, if they were in Berlin, they had to report
first to the Foreign Ministry, then to the Attaches Group,
and from the Attaches Group they automatically went either
to the Chief of the Security Police or to Department Chief
IVB4, Mueller, if only for the simple reason that they were
the superiors who could take decisions on their own
initiative, and I, the Section Head, was the last one they
would call on.

Q. Were directions cancelled which were issued on your
initiative - were orders cancelled which had been issued on
your initiative?

A. I do not remember any such thing, because, in fact, I
never issued orders for which I had not received
authorization from my Chief.  I do not remember that
anything which I had to transmit on the orders of my
superior officer had to be cancelled.

Q. Regarding the scope of your powers, the Attorney General
referred to a whole series of statements from witnesses,
according to which your powers were said to have been
considerably enlarged.  He stated that these witnesses had
no grounds for incriminating you.  Would you comment on this
- for example, on Hoess' statement.

A. I never had any authority which exceeded or went beyond
the powers of a normal Section Head.  On the contrary, I
never made use of the executive rights which I could have
had on the grounds of the orders given to me by my
superiors, but always asked for instructions on every petty

How Hoess could make such assertions in 1945 is really
beyond me...I have no explanation at all for it, and I only
got an impression from what I read of him...that he was
trying with all his might, for some reason about which I am
entirely in the dark, to distance the Economic-
Administrative Head Office from everything, if possible, and
to burden Department IV with it instead.  Whether it was the
Head Office for Reich Security or Department IV, I cannot
say right now.  I have also wondered why he mentioned me in
particular, and involved me, and not, say, Mueller or
Kaltenbrunner, for example.  And I have come to the
conclusion here - and there is no other possible explanation
- that Hoess was able to talk and write about this because
he was not capable of referring to any detailed personal
characteristics, or what have you, of either Mueller or

Q. Then in the cross-examination there was reference to a
special case where you threatened the Paris office, Roethke,
that if the transport trains would not run, France would be
dropped.  You said that it was not a threat.

My question is this: What would have happened if you had
reported to the higher authorities: "Since no transport
trains are being made available, deportations from France
cannot be continued"?

A. If I had given such a report to the higher authorities,
my superiors would have immediately moved heaven and earth -
on the part of the Foreign Ministry, the Department Chief,
the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security
Service in Paris, the Higher SS and Police Leader - in order
to find out what had happened, and get things sorted out
again at top-ranking level.  We have a very clear example of
such a case in the matter of the territories occupied by the

Q. And what would have happened to Roethke if it had been
found that this shortage had come about as a result of his

A. In my opinion, Roethke as an individual could not, on his
own, have been guilty of slackness, since after all in
France, too, this whole matter went through so many offices
and people who all had to deal with it in some manner.  So
Roethke was not the only person competent for that.

Q. Could you in actual fact have halted these transports, on
your own initiative?

A. I could not have halted anything whatsoever.  If I might
add something further to support my statement here... even
temporary interruptions of evacuation - whether because the
requisite number of freight cars was not available at that
time or because of army movements, and so on - Mueller kept
for himself the right to sign, as the documents here show.

Q. The Attorney General then maintained that when orders
were given about the so-called territorial principle, where
Jewish property in the various foreign states was divided up
according to a certain principle, you took part in the
planning, and that the extent of your authority is evident
from that.

Did you take part in such planning?

A. In no way did I participate in such planning, because
this whole "territorial principle" business was a purely
legal matter, and was dealt with by a lawyer.  It is,
however, correct that correspondence on the matter did go
back and forth, and once some Department or other - I do not
know which one took the initiative - expressed a desire for
the territorial principle, as things proceeded, many pieces
of paper went back and forth between the various
authorities.  But basically this was all a matter for the

Q. In the cross-examination it was maintained that, in order
to camouflage matters, you did not provide information to
the Foreign Ministry and other bodies about the
extermination processes.

Did these high-level Departments nevertheless know that such
extermination was being carried out?

A. In reply to this question, I would refer to the Wannsee
Conference, in which the then Under-Secretary of State
Luther participated on behalf of the Foreign Ministry. In my
opinion the State Secretaries did not mince their words at
the Wannsee Conference, so that there was no doubt that
these gentlemen knew what was going on.  In fact, further
proof of this can be seen in the minutes of the 1944
Krumhuebel Conference.

Q. Witness, you vehemently objected to the comment "Eichmann
proposes shooting" - this is in the telegram of 12 September
1941 from Benzler to Veesenmayer.  This comment was made by
Rademacher.  It appears that Rademacher himself gave a
relatively understandable explanation of this incident,
according to which it was made in a state of agitation, and
that he did not mean it seriously.  However, you gave a far
more complicated explanation, which was less understandable.

Do you know whether Rademacher himself also went to
Belgrade, in conjunction with this telegram?

A. Yes, that can be seen very clearly from the files.
Rademacher also drew up a report about his visit which is
available here.

Q. Do you know what assignment Rademacher had when he went
to Belgrade?

A. No, I do not know.

Q. Perhaps I could read out to you from Case 11 of the
Nuremberg Subsequent Trials what was said about this, about
this visit?

Attorney General: If the witness is not familiar with this,
there is no point in reading it out to him.

Presiding Judge: At least not at this stage.

Dr. Servatius:  But in order to refresh his memory I can put
to him what is in the judgment here, perhaps he will
remember then.

Presiding Judge: Do you want to read out from the judgment
or from Rademacher's statement?

Dr. Servatius:  It is summarized here - I am not able to
obtain here the complete record of this case.  I have to
base myself on this judgment, which in fact summarizes it.
I could obtain this document, but it will be very
complicated to do so.

Presiding Judge: Very well, Mr. Attorney General, what do
you have to say?

Attorney General: I have no objection.

Presiding Judge: In that case, Dr. Servatius, we shall treat
this as a Defence document, and you can then continue
questioning the Accused about it.

Dr. Servatius:  Your Honour, I shall be submitting the
entire document, but not now.  I shall submit it later as a
document, but there is one sentence about which I wish to
question him.

Presiding Judge: Very well.  But you will have to submit the
judgment before the conclusion of the Defence witnesses
stage, not during your summing-up.

Dr. Servatius:  No - even after the examination of witnesses
has been concluded, I can still submit a document.

Presiding Judge: Yes, you can do that, but before the
conclusion of the case for the Defence, and not after the
Attorney General has summed up.  I trust there will not be
any misunderstanding about this.

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.