Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Appeal/Appeal-Session-03-02 Last-Modified: 1999/06/15 As far as two of the witnesses, who were described to me by Counsel for the Defence as being extremely important, are concerned, I promised that if they came to Jerusalem no harm would come to them. I stated that Hoettl and Huppenkothen could come here and would not be put on trial. Despite this, they also preferred to give their evidence to judges abroad, in chambers, rather than appear here before the eyes and ears of the entire world. President: Whose witnesses were Hoettl and Huppenkothen? Attorney General: Hoettl and Huppenkothen were witnesses whose affidavits were submitted by us. President: I am aware of that, but who called them? Attorney General: We submitted their affidavits. The Defence insisted on their being cross-examined. We stated that we would guarantee that they could come and be cross_examined here without any harm coming to them. Eichmann's name was not mentioned for the first time in this trial. In the major Nuremberg trial, in the trials of the other war criminals, in the Doctors' trial, in the concentration camp trial, in the Einsatzgruppen trial, in the Foreign Ministry trial, he was referred to, his name came up. The judgment of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal makes a specific finding, to the effect that Adolf Eichmann is guilty of the destruction of six million Jews, on a special assignment on behalf of the Fuehrer. He says that everyone wanted to shift the blame from themselves and to use him as a scapegoat. Why him of all people? If they were looking for a victim who could not refute false claims, his superior, Mueller, was a far more convenient target, and a far more obvious one for that purpose. He, too, disappeared like Eichmann, and in addition, he was the head of the Gestapo and in any case a closer, more likely figure as a target for unfounded charges, if that was simply what was intended by those who gave whatever testimony they gave about the Appellant. But in all the trials which I have mentioned, and in the trials of Hoess, Wisliceny, Endre and Baky, it was precisely the dark figure of Eichmann which kept cropping up, as the person responsible for the whole process of extermination. Justice Agranat: Why are you making this point, Mr. Attorney General? Attorney General: We are told "all these people are looking now for a scapegoat, in order to shift the blame on to someone else, they're shifting it on to Eichmann." What I am saying is, it did not start now, it did not start with these witnesses, with Hoettl and Winkelmann, Veesenmayer and Six, who wish to conceal their own role, although they are not guilty, but they are ashamed and embarrassed, and they are shifting the guilt to Eichmann. This did not start now. It was already there in Nuremberg in 1945, and it was in the trials which took place beween 1945 and 1961. And they always mentioned him. He said, "they always accused me falsely, because I disappeared." What I am saying is this: It is not true that they were looking for a convenient victim on whom to shift guilt; Mueller was more suitable for that purpose. This is an indication that what was said about him in those trials, what the witnesses testified about him there, was in fact the truth. They were not looking for a scapegoat for themselves, but were speaking the simple truth. The Accused says that excessive use was made of the provisions of Section 15 of the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law, when various items of evidence were submitted. If the Court examines the decisions of the District Court in this connection, it will see the meticulous and punctilious way in which the Court examined every one of our requests for the admission of evidence and for an exception to be made under Section 15. In Gruenwald vs. the Attorney General, a rule was laid down in Justice Agranat's judgment that "there is no way in which events which took place at that time can be proved other than by applying that Section." In the Nuremberg Charter also, which laid down the judicial procedures of the International Military Tribunal, at a time much closer to the events, when all of the documents were before them, and when war criminals had not yet been executed and they could have been brought before the court as witnesses, when they could still have been brought, the same rule was laid down as we have in Section 15. Justice Silberg: Did the Court adopt a position on the significance and scope of Section 15? Attorney General: The Court, as it was required to do, discussed every single application that we made and took a specific decision on the merits in each case. Justice Silberg: Whether this was necessary in the interests of justice? Attorney General: Whether it was necessary and whether it had any probative value. Justice Silberg: Mr. Attorney General, you have before you the printed version of the Judgment, and on page 171 it says: "The Attorney General expressed the opinion that the need for corroboration of the evidence of an accomplice was not dispensed with by the provisions of Section 15 of the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law." Are you arguing, Mr. Attorney General, that this was or was not dispensed with? Attorney General: It was my argument that if the Court wishes to base itself on the affidavits of Wisliceny or Hoess, and treat these as their testimony, then I said that no use should be made of Section 15, that then corroboration should be looked for and where no such corroboration is available, no finding should be made to the detriment of the Accused. Justice Silberg: What was your basic position, Mr. Attorney General, in respect of Section 15, as to whether there is a need for corroboration of the evidence of an accomplice? It says here: "The Attorney General expressed the opinion that the need for corroboration was not dispensed with." If that is the case, then what follows does not make sense. Attorney General: There is the problem of the admissibility of evidence and then there is the problem of a finding based on that evidence. Section 15 offered us a way of first admitting such evidence. And from time to time there was a discussion on this point. I shall make use of Section 15 only for the purpose of admissibility of evidence. Justice Agranat: You are saying that if an accomplice is involved, corroboration is required under Section 15. The Court did not decide whether this is the law or not, but perhaps, in fact, said that corroboration of the testimony of an accomplice should be required and without such corroboration it would not rely on the testimony. Attorney General: I did not apply for a finding to be made pursuant to Section 15 on such evidence, unless it was corroborated by another source. The Court said that it would not decide whether this was the law or not, but in practice this is how it proceeded. Justice Silberg: One can deduce the opposite from the context: "We see no need to decide on this question of principle. We shall only say that...Section 15 permits us to rule on this matter or not to do so." You are of course making the same point today? Attorney General: I maintain my position, and I am not asking for any findings to be made on the basis of the uncorroborated evidence of accomplices. I did not ask for this exception to be made. A further complaint by the Appellant is that he became confused from time to time, that he was unable to reconstruct events in his own mind, and it is obvious that from time to time errors occurred. I would direct the Court's attention to the fact that in 1957 Adolf Eichmann had a general rehearsal of [relating] what he did during the Second World War, in his talks with Sassen. He himself revealed this in his Statement to the police, before Less started asking questions. The Court will remember that the first part contains Eichmann's unprompted remarks, and on page 397 of T/37 Eichmann says the following: "And I had another conversation with Mildner, about three years ago, `und habe diese zerpflueckt in Anwesenheit von einem gewissen Herrn Sassen, der akkreditierter, wie sagt man hier, `Journalist' in der Regierung...war und haben das zerpflueckt und zergliedert'" (and I have detailed this matter, in the presence of a certain Mr. Sassen who was, how do you call it there, a `journalist' accredited by the government and we have discussed it in detail and dissected it). In other words: We examined and went over and investigated the material all over again with the journalist Sassen and in Mildner's presence. In Session 91, Vol. IV, page 1605, Eichmann says to me, in reply to my questions, that he held the conversations with Sassen in order to get down to the real truth: "The conversations which I had with Sassen were not designed to remove the blemish from me, because this kind of thing a single individual cannot achieve. Rather, what I wanted to achieve...was to tell the truth of how things happened. "Question And you told him the truth? "Answer I told him the truth, but it did not find expression." This was a general rehearsal of everything that had happened. It took four months. His remarks were recorded and typed up, and then the transcripts were given to him and he went over them, as he testified, in Argentina. There are all sorts of remarks in the Sassen Document, but the only ones on which I can rely are those about which the Accused was examined in the District Court, because other parts of that document were excluded by the majority opinion, as opposed to that of the minority. In order not to drag things out, I refrained from making a counter-appeal in respect of this decision. But perhaps in the Sassen Document and in the Accused's awareness that this document was likely to become known - and did indeed become known, because he was also questioned about the articles in Life which were published in the wake of the document - perhaps this is a partial explanation of the question which the judges of the District Court did not want to go into, i.e. why did the Accused despite everything reveal things which were not known from other sources? It is a fact that Sassen read to him various documents, books, and he also said that Sassen read to him from Reitlinger and Poliakov; but he also read to him documents whose source is unknown to us, such as Globocnik's orders, the orders he brought to Globocnik for the extermination of Jews, two or three times. We have not so far discovered the source of these documents, which Sassen read out to him and on which he asked for his reaction. Justice Silberg: Apart from the two documents in which he approved, as he puts it, previous killings, were there other documents? Did the Accused bring Globocnik two or three authorizations from Heydrich? Attorney General: He does not remember who signed them, whether it was Heydrich or Mueller. Justice Silberg: He has admitted this. He claims that this was authorization for previous killings. What is not known - which documents? Attorney General: We did not know anything about this whole business of bringing these orders to Globocnik. This is not mentioned in the history books about events during the Holocaust. The Accused says: I confessed unhesitatingly to Less, and if I confessed to these things and did not confess to others, you must believe that I was telling the truth. Because how could you have proved my part in this affair, when you did not know about it? The Court says the following: We are not going to try and solve the psychological riddle of why he confessed to certain things and denied certain others. There is no need to try and clarify this question. I wish to make a certain contribution to an attempt to solve this riddle, although it is really not important. The Accused did not know what parts of the Sassen Document had been published and which parts had not been published when he was questioned by Bureau 06 in Israel. But he did know that the Globocnik matter was in there. And so the fact that he voluntarily, as it were, mentioned things that we could not have proved to him from other sources - for this there is an utterly credible explanation, and it does not necessarily derive from the desire to pursue truth and unburden his conscience. This is a time-honoured ploy on the part of most war criminals, both at the International Military Tribunal and at other trials too, to confess to a small part and to deny the rest and to argue: You see, I have freely confessed these things out of my own mouth, so you must also believe that my denial is the truth, just as my admission was the truth. Let us now examine the evidence and the factual material that the Appellant disputes. In doing this I shall follow closely the documents and other evidence. President: In this connection, we also need your reaction to the witnesses whom he would like to bring. Attorney General: I shall do this as part of my argument. President: Dr. Servatius did not raise, or rather did not deal with, the following legal question: Under our law, what authority does an appellate court have to permit the bringing of new witnesses? Attorney General: I shall direct the Court to a number of authorities. Would the Court rather I did that at this stage? President: As you prefer. Attorney General: When I reach the testimony which he wanted to take, I shall direct the Court to the authorities as part of my argument. I should like now to examine the evidence and the factual material, and in particular those items which the Appellant disputes orally. As I have said, I shall do this while following closely the documents and other evidence, rather than by making generalizations and overall arguments. This is because Eichmann's actions are reflected by the evidential material and not by denials in idle words. The theories put forward orally were confronted by the main body of evidence by which the Court guided itself in making its findings. Many of the arguments in the appeal refer time and again to Eichmann's position in the Third Reich, with a clear tendency to play down his importance and worth in general in regard to the acts of extermination. It is of course important to determine Eichmann's position, his overall position in the Final Solution, when evaluating his guilt. I shall therefore try, in general terms, to outline the main evidence submitted to the Court in order to assess this position. I shall start with the Defence testimony, with the documents that were submitted by Counsel for the Defence and the witnesses called by him in this connection. Mildner was the Commander of Security Police in Vienna. Eichmann confirmed that they were on friendly terms, and I read to you the quotation from his statement, showing that they were also in touch in 1957 in Argentina. He made two affidavits to the American prosecutor's office, one dated 23 June 1945, and the second on 16 November 1945, both of them being in exhibit N/97. Justice Silberg: Are you talking about Mildner as a witness? Attorney General: I am basing myself on a Defence document. After Mildner's general description of the actions involving the extermination and expulsion of the Jews from all of the countries conquered by the Germans, including occupied Poland, the extermination process in Auschwitz, the camps in the Lublin region, the implementation of extermination in accordance with the orders of Himmler and the head of the RSHA, from Himmler via Kaltenbrunner and Eichmann, he makes the following comments in defining Eichmann's position - and I am basing myself on the November 1945 document: SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann was the Referent of Reichsfuehrer Himmler for the Head of the Security Police and the SD, SS Gruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner and of the Head of Department IV in all Jewish matters. He was the representative of Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler for all the deportations to the camps and for contacts with foreign countries in respect of the evacuation of the Jews, and the liaison with all the Higher SS and Police Leaders on matters relating to the Jewish Question. Justice Silberg: I cannot follow what you are saying, Mr. Attorney General. Are you referring to document T/97? Attorney General: Defence document N/97. There are two affidavits by Mildner. Just now I read from the November document. I am reading the penultimate paragraph on the last page but one. I read out a translation of the passage from German.
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