Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Appeal/Appeal-Session-01-03 Last-Modified: 1999/06/15 Persons instrumental in the process of legislation have not been called upon to stand trial, and it seems that, in this respect, the chain of causation seems to have been broken. The defence of the interruption of the chain of causation constitutes, on the other hand, a more forceful argument in favour of the Accused. He was not active at the point where the persecutions originated; he was not involved in the process of legislation which caused the lethal results. He only passed on the orders he received under these laws. One must not forget the major driving force of ministries. Moreover, the Accused is blamed for having rejected so many applications submitted by individuals. However, the refusal in the cases in respect of which this allegation is made, is based upon the laws and orders as stated above. Even so, not all of his decisions amounted to a refusal, as is shown by the testimony of the witness von Thadden. In this respect I beg to refer only to the case of the Dutch Professor Meyers. The grave accusation made in this case against the Accused - namely that he had prevented this professor from leaving the country, notwithstanding the ransom of 150,000 Swiss francs offered in consideration for permitting the departure - could be refuted by a statement volunteered by the professor's Dutch lawyer. It appeared that the departure, which had already been permitted by a prior decision, failed later on to materialize owing to the conduct of the Swiss authorities and that, later on, the power to permit the departure was reserved to Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler in person. I shall now move on to my arguments on the Accused's status outside the Reich, and, to begin with, in the Generalgouvernement. The Accused's status in the Generalgouvernement derives from the situation that the administration of this area, headed by the Governor General, Frank, was independent to a large extent. Of course, this did not exclude the exercise of supervision by the authorities of the Reich. The Accused declared, in this respect, that this power of the Reich existed in all matters of concern to the Reich as a whole. Therefore, the Accused's Section was involved only by virtue of a special assignment, as for example in all matters concerning Jews of foreign nationality. No evidence has been produced to show that a comprehensive power existed. In accordance with this special status of the Generalgouvernement, orders concerning this area were signed personally by Kaltenbrunner or Mueller. The arrangement made between Ganzenmueller and Wolff concerning the transportation of Jews, mentioned in the trial, provides strong evidence for the exclusion of the Accused from this matter. Even if an officer belonging to the Accused's Section attended a meeting where the timetable of the transportations were discussed, this attendance would be irrelevant in this respect. Also in the so-called Warthegau district, special conditions prevailed. In this region, too, the powers of the agencies of the Reich were restricted. The governor of the district, Greiser, maintained his own Stapo and exercised an independent right to issue orders. In addition, Stapo offices of the Reich also functioned there. Therefore, no contradiction, as stated in the Judgment, can be found in the Accused's explanations. Correspondence between Greiser and Himmler refers to the treatment of Jews and Poles, as well as to the Lodz Ghetto and the Bothmann Commando. Characteristically, this correspondence did not pass through the Accused's office. The Accused's powers over agencies abroad were restricted to the passing on of orders. It has to be emphasized that no agency abroad came within the jurisdiction of the Accused in his capacity as Section Head. The Advisers on Jewish Affairs appointed by the RSHA had no executive powers, as is evidenced by their very name. As to measures of implementation, they were subordinate to the commander of each area, who gave the necessary orders on his own initiative. This becomes manifest for the area of Greece, in respect of which a specimen of the rubber stamp of the Adviser on Jewish Affairs, acting as an agent of the Military Governor of Salonika-Aegaeis, has been produced. The orders for implementation are signed by the senior officer in the military administration, Dr. Merten. In the most important places, Section Heads were appointed to carry out the policy regarding Jewish affairs. They were Section Heads or Police Attaches serving with the heads of the mission in the area concerned, as for example in Hungary, or they were Section Heads in the office of the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service, attached to the Military Commander, as in France and Belgium. A few examples will illustrate this situation: The head of the mission in Slovakia, Ludin, confirms having received the order for the deportation of the Jews from the Foreign Ministry. No mention whatsoever is made of an order from the Accused, forwarded by the Adviser on Jewish Affairs. As to the situation in Hungary, the Higher SS and Police Leader, General Winkelmann, quite clearly gives expression to the relevant hierarchy. In a letter addressed to the Foreign Ministry, he mentions that the Adviser on Jewish Affairs had acted, of course, upon orders received from him. It is a patent mistake of the District Court to assume that the Reich Plenipotentiary, Veesenmayer, had merely passed on orders transmitted to him. The subordination of the Accused to the authority of General Winkelmann and, through him, also to the Reich Plenipotentiary, Veesenmayer, derives distinctly from the fact that the latter asked for the return of the Accused after his commando had been disbanded, and reappointed him. In this connection, reference is made to exhibit N/89 (document No. 879) in which the Reich Plenipotentiary, Veesenmayer, informs the Foreign Ministry: "Upon the urgent and repeated request of SA Obergruppenfuehrer Winkelmann, I have asked Szalasi to lend us at least 25,000 Jewish forced labourers... Winkelmann's request, in fact, was for 50,000 Jewish forced labourers." This is a most important document concerning the Jewish Question. At that time, the Accused was again in Berlin. It is noteworthy that the Accused, who is alleged to have been the main person responsible for the persecution of the Jews in Hungary, is not mentioned at all in this document. In France, the responsibility for carrying out the policy regarding Jewish affairs was borne by the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service, Dr. Knochen. Strong evidence in this matter is now available, namely the documents obtained by the Defence, the periodical Le Monde Juif of June 1960. I have filed this document together with the notice of appeal and respectfully apply to this Court to admit it in evidence. Justice Silberg Are you not mistaken? You have filed a document dated 28 January 1944, and the Court relies on a document dated 28 January l941? Dr. Servatius If the original of the document has not yet been filed in Court, I wish to... Justice Silberg The document is before us, but it refers to another date. In 1944 Dannecker was not in France. The Court relies on documents written by Dannecker, and you are relying on a document written by Knochen three years later. Dr. Servatius But I am not submitting this piece of evidence in connection with a specific date, but with regard to the chain of command, in order to prove that only the commander was empowered to authorize the carrying out of orders, and that the Accused merely passed on the orders of his superior. This periodical contains two documents: The first is the order dated 27 January 1944, after the declaration of war by Argentina, addressed to the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service, Dr. Knochen, and passed on by the Accused. This was an order for the arrest of Argentinian Jews. Attorney General With the Court's permission, in order to avoid misunderstandings, I would point out that Argentina entered the war against the Axis Powers, on the side of the Allied Powers in March 1945. Dr. Servatius I do not know the date of the declaration of war. My statement is made on the strength of information given to me. It is possible that the order was given in connection with the impending declaration of war. However, the motive for the issue of the order is irrelevant. The document in question is produced only to show the chain of subordination and of command. The order passed on by the Accused, in its German original, was highlighted in the above publication. The second document quoted in the periodical, and which was given less prominence in the publication, is the order to carry out the arrest, issued, on the strength of the first document, by the Senior Commander of the Security Police, Knochen, on 28 January 1944. This commander was subject to the authority of the Reichsfuehrer-SS, whose powers in France were exercised by the Higher SS and Police Leader, Oberg. It is quite clear from these documents that these senior officers were not bound to carry out orders issued by a Section Head. The District Court has found that there was a connection between the Accused and the activity of the Einsatzgruppen (Operations Units). The Court assumes that, on the occasion of the appointment of the first commanders, the Accused was already aware of their duties. The official scope of activities of the Operations Units was to guarantee the security in the vast areas behind the front line against the activities of gangs formed by isolated groups of Russian soldiers and partisans. However, it has not been proved that the persons attending that meeting were informed of the illegal activities of the Operations Units. It is also not reasonable to assume that, in this connection, the Accused was entrusted with any important duty. The commanders of the Operations Units held considerably higher ranks which made it highly unlikely that they would come under the Accused's authority. According to the statement of the witness Bach-Zelewski, it is impossible to imagine that such a situation could exist. The same view is held by the witness Six. However, later on, the Accused received the current reports of the Operations Units on the extermination actions and thus he learned of their illegal activity. But these reports were distributed also to fifty to sixty other offices. Therefore, no conclusions may be drawn on the privileged status of the Accused from the distribution of this information alone. Justice Silberg Who testified that the reports were sent to fifty to sixty other places, other offices? Dr. Servatius No one actually testified, but documents by members of the Party have been produced showing which offices were included in the distribution. Justice Silberg Which documents? Dr. Servatius I cannot give the specific number of the exhibit. However, the final summing-up was filed in the Lower Court, and from this it may be learned which are the exhibits in question. Justice Agranat The Court has found that as from June 1942, the reports on the activities of the Operations Units were compiled in the Accused's Section, where summaries of the reports were drawn up. The compilation of the reports took place in the Accused's Section, and he did not only receive copies. Justice Silberg This was not admitted by the Accused. Dr. Servatius I do not remember that the Accused admitted having drawn up summaries, having transmitted the reports or having compiled them. Justice Silberg No. The Accused confirmed Noske's testimony in exhibit T/307, page 2963. Dr. Servatius I do not have the relevant documents with me; I had to take with me an enormous amount of documentary material, and I have not brought it back. However, according to my recollection, the Accused stated that he himself did not draw up any summaries and that this was done in another Section. The Accused himself could be asked about this. President Please continue. Dr. Servatius From the documents discussed in this connection, it transpires that a special command was set up in the RSHA to maintain contact with the Operations Units. In this respect, I wish to refer to the testimony of the witness Bach-Zelewski who testified that in his conversations with the commander of Operations Units, Ohlendorf, in the prison at Nuremberg, the latter never mentioned the Accused. Furthermore, the relationship between the Accused and the concentration camps has to be elucidated. It appears from the documents that a distinct separation existed between the RSHA and the Economic- Administrative Head Office. Both offices were subordinate to the Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler. The RSHA was subordinate to Heydrich and later on to Kaltenbrunner. It was entrusted with the duty of guarding the process of rounding-up and assignment to the places of internment. Department IV, including the Accused's Section IVB4, belonged to the RSHA. The Economic-Administrative Head Office was headed by General Pohl. In Jewish affairs, it had the duty to assign persons able to work; later on, it carried out the exterminations. The Superintendent of the concentration camps, Lieutenant-General Gluecks, together with his subordinates, the camp commanders Globocnik and Hoess, was under the command of General Pohl. Obviously, in his capacity as Section Head in the RSHA, the Accused could not interfere with the affairs of the Economic-Administrative Head Office. Moreover, a regulation issued by the Economic-Administrative Head Office has been produced, according to which the transfer from one concentration camp to another was effected exclusively by order of the Economic-Administrative Head Office. Thus, neither the RSHA nor the Accused had any authority in these matters. This separation has to be remembered when passing judgment on the events connected with transfers attributed to the Accused. In addition to these concentration camps and extermination camps, transit camps were established abroad. These camps were not controlled by the Accused, but by the authorities in those countries, and were supervised, by virtue of a tacit arrangement, by the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service. This also applied to Terezin. This camp, as shown in the evidence submitted, was under the control of the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service in Cracow. Thus, it was not under the Accused's control. Neither was the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp under the control of the Accused. The Accused's duties were restricted to the organization of the transportation to these camps. The transportation itself was not carried out by his Section. President What about the evidence relied upon in the Judgment regarding the Appellant's activities in Terezin? Dr. Servatius Mr. President, I have not referred to the numerous documents in this Court. The written summation submitted contains a summary of the various documents, in which reference is made to Terezin. In that summation, the arguments of the Prosecution and those of the Defence are listed separately. The numbers of the exhibits are also listed there. If I had to refer separately to all these particulars and to the exhibits, this would require a presentation lasting a week. I considered that the time of the Court should not be wasted by reading aloud the entire amount of this material, which can be understood from the perusal of what was submitted in writing. The acts with which the Accused was charged have to be judged on the basis of this situation in matters of organization and of the chain of command.
Site Map ·
What's New? ·
© 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.
Home · Site Map · What's New? · Search Nizkor
© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012