The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-110-07

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-110-07
Last-Modified: 1999/06/14

Dr. Grueber turned to him regarding Jewish matters, and
Grueber's wife also came to him, Eichmann, in his office
asking for mercy, that he should consent to release her
husband from the concentration camp.

From the witness, Dr. Peretz, we heard how Endre and Baky in
Budapest described him as the man who in practice gave the
order for the entire extermination campaign in Hungary.

Several Nazi chiefs singled him out - and, I should like to
stress, that it was him, and not Mueller, despite the fact
that both of them disappeared, and both could have served as
scapegoats, if indeed that alone had been the intention of
these witnesses. As we heard in evidence from Justice
Musmanno, Goering pointed to Eichmann as one of the five
principle men responsible for the extermination, together
with the names of Hitler, Bormann, Goebbels and Heydrich.
Furthermore, Goering emphasized the role of Eichmann in
determining the times and the selection of the countries in
which the extermination would be carried out, from time to

This fact tallies absolutely with the proofs we submitted
about his meetings with the experts on Jewish affairs, at
which precisely such problems were discussed, at which the
sequence of the countries and the priorities were
determined. Goering's account to Musmanno is fully
substantiated by a series of documents.

Kaltenbrunner pointed to him, Ribbentrop pointed to him.
Hans Frank, the repentant as it were, at Nuremberg, told
Justice Musmanno that Himmler had referred him to Eichmann
on Jewish matters, and that he had gone to Eichmann, but had
not achieved anything. General Koller told Justice Musmanno
that Eichmann had insisted on the execution of Jewish pilots
of the Allied armies who became prisoners of war.
Schellenberg related to Musmanno that Eichmann had also been
in charge of the actions of the Operations Units in
everything concerning Jews, and that he had visited the
place of execution.

Professor Gilbert, the psychologist of the American Military
Tribunal at Nuremberg, heard the same facts to which Justice
Musmanno testified. He, too, said that Goering mentioned
Eichmann as one of the individuals chiefly responsible for
implementing the extermination; that Pohl, of the Economic-
Administrative Head Office, had connected the name of
Eichmann with that of Kaltenbrunner, as being those
responsible for the orders of extermination. The Court will
recollect the evidence of Professor Gilbert to the effect
that Rudolf Hoess had not been able at all to describe the
murder of the Jews, either in writing or orally, without
implicating Eichmann. He even wrote his autobiography at
Nuremberg - already before the one he wrote in a Polish
gaol, the one which was submitted to you - in which he
described the role of the Accused. And when, at Goering's
request, Hoess was asked to give a technical description in
writing how it was possible to annihilate two and a half
million persons in Auschwitz, Hoess, in a document one and a
half pages long, already included Eichmann in his

Gilbert detailed the external circumstances in which Hoess
wrote and delivered his account. This indicated that his
state of mind was such that he had no inclination to
minimize his own crimes, or to inculpate someone else, and
it is evident that he was speaking the truth.

Vajna Gabor, the Hungarian Minister of the Interior in the
days of Szalasi, declared that he had been informed by
Himmler that Eichmann and Winkelmann were his
representatives in Hungary. He also described with what
impudence and aggressiveness Eichmann insisted on his
powers, and demanded the handing over of the remnants of
Hungarian Jewry.

Is there the slightest cause for thinking that all these men
throughout the countries of Europe joined together in order
to ascribe the guilt to an insignificant transportation
official? We know from the evidence of Gustav Noske, the
reporting officer of the Operations Units, that the reports
of the murders were sent especially to Eichmann. The Wannsee
Conference in which, incidentally, not a single
representative of the concentration camps command, or of the
Economic-Administrative Head Office took part, provides
further substantial proof of the part played by Eichmann,
and of his central role in the bloodshed. In the minutes it
is clearly stated that the official in charge (Referent) of
the Head Office for Reich Security and the Security Service
will handle these matters in collaboration with the Foreign

Who was that authorized representative of the Head Office
for Reich Security upon whom the participants in the Wannsee
Conference laid this duty? In his police interrogation
Eichmann says: "I am that person." Heydrich in his letters
from the same period and on the same subject puts it in
these words: "Eichmann is my authorized representative in
these matters." This was in the course of the implementation
of the Wannsee Conference. And on another occasion he
writes: "Eichmann is the authorized executive officer."

Eichmann's contention in court that he sat in on that
conference completely confused, like an innocent babe,
unobtrusively, in order to record the minutes, so as to wash
his hands of it - can only evoke a smile. He himself wrote
in  his memoirs, that Guenther was also there to help in the
recording of the minutes. Now he tries, of course, to remove
Guenther from there, at all costs. But what did they discuss
there?  His future activities were discussed. In point of
fact, it could not - in any way - have been otherwise.

In his interrogation, it will be recalled, after he wriggled
his way amongst all the offices of the RSHA, he was forced
to acknowledge that his Section alone centralized Jewish
affairs in their entirety. It was only natural and
understandable that the Head of the Jewish Section of the
institution operating the extermination, should also be the
one in overall charge of its practical aspect. It was for
this reason that Eichmann was Heydrich's special
representative for this special purpose - as Heydrich put it
- and he continued to serve as the special representative of
the Head of the RSHA, also in Kaltenbrunner's time, as he
was described in various documents, including a cable from
Kaltenbrunner himself - as appears in the Duesseldorf File.

Eichmann argues stubbornly time and again: there were
others. And indeed there were, and I do not dispute that at
all. Hundreds and thousands, minor and major figures, had
some influence - some less, others more. There were the
ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Justice, Finance,
Railways; there were other offices within the RSHA and
within all the institutions of the Nazi state, all of which
were linked together in this Satanic operation. This is not
to be denied. And if Defence Counsel sought to stress and
emphasize this, from my point of view he is bursting through
an open door. The harvest of blood could not have been
reaped without full collaboration. But this does not
diminish in any way, Eichmann's central responsibility, or
his overwhelming guilt.

Following the Wannsee Conference the Referent attended to
matters in all their aspects. The whole of Europe was combed
as had been decided, Jews were located, marked and isolated.
Then began the treatment of sterilization, and in Poland
there began an enormous campaign of extermination, directed
from Berlin. The huge liquidation of ghettos had already
begun, including the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto which
numbered about half a million souls. Eichmann is aware that
we are in possession of German Foreign Ministry documents
covering the activities only in regard to foreign citizens,
and he is also aware that tens of thousands of his files and
documents, and the documents of the entire Gestapo, are not
in our possession; he knows this because he burned them with
his own hands. Consequently, he created a theory here as if
in the area of the Generalgouvernement he had to deal with
foreign citizens only. Naturally, there is not a grain of
truth in this, for a representative of the German Foreign
Ministry was a member of Frank's Cabinet in the
Generalgouvernement, and there was no necessity at all for
the centralized handling by the Berlin Gestapo of foreign
nationals in particular. But Eichmann wants to mitigate his
responsibility as much as possible. Accordingly, he purports
to explain away all the documents relating to the
liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto by this field of activity.
But he was unable to explain, as he put it under cross-
examination, what his connection was regarding the issue of
death certificates in respect of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto,
which is mentioned in that same document. When he was
questioned why he had to add his signature to matters
dealing with the Warsaw Ghetto - he had no explanation. And
when I asked him why he had written that circumstances
necessitated the isolation of the inhabitants of that
ghetto, he replied that he did not remember, and that
evidently someone must have planned operations for uprooting
the population. And when he was asked why he had written
that he was about to issue further instructions on matters
concerning the Warsaw Ghetto, he replied that the reference
was not to him, but to Mueller.

As to why Section IVB4 gave instructions on the question of
Jewish workers for the oil company in the Beskids mountains
- that he could not remember; he had drawn up the letter as
he had been ordered to do.

But all these are idle excuses. In actual fact Eichmann
dealt with the Jews of the Generalgouvernement in exactly
the same way in which he dealt with the Jews of occupied
Europe, as had been decided at Wannsee. Perhaps he did not
have to fight so much there. Later on I shall quote the
Frank document, and I hope to prove that the Gestapo was in
full control of this region, at least until the middle of
1943, over all Jewish affairs, and did not need Frank
either. There they also had some good executants - Amon
Goeth - who exterminated the Jews of Cracow and South-West
Poland; Katzmann, who exterminated the Jewry of Lvov and
South-West Poland; and above them all, his beloved friend
Globocnik, in whose district the extermination camps were
set up. Eichmann says that he brought to Globocnik orders
that had been dictated and drawn-up by himself (Eichmann)
containing a retroactive authorization for putting to death
150,000 to 250,000 Jews every time. In this way, he wants us
to believe that Globocnik, on his own initiative,
exterminated about half or three-quarters of a million
souls, and requested a post facto authorization for that
action from Heydrich or Mueller. Obviously, this is not
plausible. Eichmann did, in fact ensure that the necessary
orders for extermination would be in Globocnik's possession,
and - to the extent that Globocnik had exceeded the quota -
it is possible that he also furnished him with the formal
authorization retroactively.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, do we have any specific proof
to the effect that he was involved in what was called the
"Aktion Reinhardt"?

Attorney General: Specific, Your Honour? That is to say,
about Eichmann and the Aktion Reinhardt?

Presiding Judge: Yes.

Attorney General: Direct proof - does Your Honour mean?

Presiding Judge: Yes.

Attorney General: No, there is none. But there is a
construction which, in my opinion, stands the tests of logic
and reality. The construction is the following: At the
Wannsee Conference it was decided that the extermination
operations in the Generalgouvernement would be conducted by
the RSHA. And not only was it decided in this way, but - as
I shall point out when I shall get to that subject - Frank's
representative actually requested that the operations be
carried out there.

Presiding Judge: That was Buehler, wasn't it?

Attorney General: Dr. Buehler.

Eichmann is the authorized Referent (Specialist Officer) -
there is no denying that. He acknowledged as much to the
police, Heydrich writes about it. Now he tells us the
following story: "There, in the Generalgouvernement, it was
conducted somehow above my head - there was some arrangement
between Himmler and Krueger, and somehow they dispatched
people - I did not even know about it."

If that were so, why did he attend to matters concerning
foreign nationals, and why was his Section dealing with the
Beskids matter; and why did Globocnik ask Heydrich, and not
Krueger, for the orders relating to the destruction of the
Jews, retroactively or otherwise? And why did Frank complain
bitterly, as I shall quote from his diary, all the time: "I
am not in charge here, at the Generalgouvernement; you are
in charge of these matters from Berlin." And he specifically
voices his complaints to Krueger and says: "The whole
campaign is being directed from Berlin - I do not even have
access to the extermination camps."

Presiding Judge: Did the extermination there commence
already before the Wannsee Conference?

Attorney General: It began at Chelmno before the Wannsee
Conference, and we have direct proof that he was connected
with Chelmno, since there is the evidence of Rudolf Hoess
who went to visit Chelmno, and Blobel showed him the
installations at Chelmno by permission of Eichmann. This is
what he says in evidence.

Judge Halevi:  Chelmno was not in the Generalgouvernement.

Attorney General: No, Chelmno was in the Warthegau, but
Chelmno was one of the extermination camps definitely
associated with the extermination of Polish Jewry, although
not with Aktion Reinhardt.

Presiding Judge: Mainly the Jews of Lodz?

Attorney General: Yes, which was also in the incorporated

Judge Halevi:  It was now part of the Reich.

Attorney General: Part of the Reich.

Judge Halevi:  Auschwitz was also considered part of the

Attorney General: Yes.

In any event, it is quite possible to understand why
Eichmann travelled to, and visited Treblinka or Majdanek.
Today, he does not remember. We shall still come to that.

Presiding Judge: I was referring to the fact that in the
environs of Lublin, too, the extermination began already
before the Wannsee Conference.

Attorney General: No. It is true that Majdanek had begun
already in 1941, but there they started with Soviet
prisoners of war, and they passed on to large-scale
extermination round about the time of the Wannsee
Conference, and mainly thereafter.

The methods of erasing traces, and the burning of documents
by the Gestapo, also did not help in completely obliterating
Eichmann's role in the bloody operation in Poland.
Eichmann's own evidence proves that Globocnik asked for
authorization for his murderous operations from the Berlin
headquarters, and thus his contention about the autonomous
operation of the Generalgouvernement collapses.

And what does the evidence for the Defence say on this
subject? The Defence presented the evidence of Karl Heinz
Hoffmann. Hoffmann, as a member of the RSHA, testifies that
Eichmann was the specialist of the Head Office for Reich
Security for all Jewish affairs, that he had special
representatives stationed with all the Commanders of the
Security police, and that the dispatch of the Jews and their
deportation were all handled by him.

The evidence of Mildner goes very much further. His
declaration was also submitted by the Defence. We were
unable to submit it since, in the light of its contents, we
knew that the Court would undoubtedly insist on providing an
opportunity for cross-examination and, in the absence of
reliable information as to his whereabouts and his address
(according to our surmise he is in the Argentine), we were
not able to submit the document. Apparently, Counsel for the
Defence accepts Mildner's testimony without further enquiry,
since he submitted the document.

What does the declaration say? That Eichmann was the
Referent of Himmler and of the Chief of the Security Police
and of the Head of Department IV on all Jewish questions,
that he was Himmler's representative in all matters
pertaining to deportations to the camps and the evacuations
in the various countries; that he was the liaison with all
the senior officers of the SS and the Police in Jewish
affairs. The declarant is that same Mildner to whom Eichmann
refers in his statement, on page 1757: "We were very close

This evidence links up with the documents we know, such as
the directive which he gave to the senior commander of the
Police and the SS in Agram, with an order to those officers
to arrest Jews of Argentinian nationality.

Presiding Judge: The time has arrived for a recess. What do
you have to say regarding the order of proceedings?

Attorney General: If the Court will give me another quarter
of an hour I shall come to a convenient point for stopping.
If the Court prefers, I can break off now.

Presiding Judge: We prefer to break off at this junction.

Attorney General: As the Court pleases. Of course, I am in
the middle of an analysis of the defence evidence on his
part in the conspiracy.

Presiding Judge: That is not so serious - we shall be able
to take up the strands of the conspiracy this afternoon.

We shall adjourn now. The next Session will be at 3.30 this

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