The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Judgment/Judgment-012

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Judgment/Judgment-012
Last-Modified: 1999/05/27

When the Accused was cross-examined about this report, he
alleged that it had been written by Hagen, and therefore he
was not responsible for its contents (Session 75, Vol. IV,
p. xxxx97 et seq.).  It is true that, according to the
dictation initials, Hagen appears to have been the author of
the report, but the Accused introduced corrections in his
own handwriting, and there is no doubt that the report was
written in the name of both of them and that the Accused
identified himself with its contents.  This is what he
states to Superintendent Less:

     "We wrote a report about this (the journey), a very
     detailed report, yes.  I had to give a thoroughly
     negative report, negative from a material point of
     view" (T/37, p. 93).
     "Certainly, ... I must take responsibility (for the
     report) - I have no option but to agree to this"  (es
     bleibt mir nichts anderes uebrig). (Supra, p. 346.)

62. As stated above, during this period of his service in
the Head Office of the SD, the Accused was engaged in pure
intelligence work.  His contacts with Jews were only for the
purpose of this work.  Thus, the witness Cohn remembers the
presence of the Accused as an observer at a Zionist meeting
in Berlin in 1937 (Session 15, Vol. I, p. 220-221), and the
witness Dr. Franz Meyer, who was at the time acting chairman
of the Zionist organization in Germany, tells us that the
Accused sought detailed information from him about various
Jewish organizations.  Of the Accused's behaviour up to the
end of 1937, Dr. Meyer says:

     "I thought that he was a quiet person, who behaved in
     an ordinary fashion...simply cold, correct." (Session
     17, Vol. I, p. 266.)

Interesting evidence of the Accused's attitude towards the
solution of the Jewish Question at that time is to be found
in document T/111, in which he noted down for himself some
points for a memorandum which he had to prepare.  It says

     "In at least another ten years there will be only about
     60,000 Jews left in Germany, if the present trend
     continues.  After the emigration of those without means
     will come the turn of the capitalists, who by then will
     lose their capital gradually as a result of economic
     measures, assisted by State Police measures"

In simple words: The Jews would all be compelled to
emigrate, but the capitalists would emigrate only after they
had been robbed of their capital by terrorist measures.

The Accused's activities in the Central Offices for
Emigration in Vienna, Prague and Berlin

63. After the annexation of Austria to the Reich in March
1938, the Accused was sent to Vienna to deal with the forced
emigration of Austrian Jewry.  It was his duty to administer
the Central Office for the Emigration of Austrian Jews.  His
superior there was the Security Police and SD Commander,
Stahlecker (later one of the Operations Units' commanders).
At this point, the Accused ceased, in effect, to be engaged
in intelligence work, although from the personnel point of
view he always remained an SD man (T/37, 1544 et seq.,
Session 90, Vol. IV, p.xxxx14), and he began to deal with
executive measures.  This work gave the Accused an
opportunity to carry out his theories in practice, at an
increased pace.  He began to display new qualities.  He now
began to reveal his organizational skill, by simplifying the
bureaucratic procedures connected with the emigration of
Jews from the country, through the device of assembling
representatives of the various authorities concerned under
one roof.  As for his activities and his appearance before
the Jews during that period, the Accused sought in his
Statement before Superintendent Less and his evidence in
Court, to describe them as an idyll of fair co-operation
between him and the leaders of the Jewish Community, with
both sides striving towards a common aim in a spirit of
mutual understanding.  He also takes credit for the release
of these Jewish leaders after they had been arrested by the
Gestapo, and the re-opening of the Jewish institutions which
had been closed down by the Gestapo (T/37, p. 97 et seq.;
Session 90, Vol. IV, p.xxxx8 et seq.).  He does, however,
admit that the general line was that of forced emigration,
but asserts that he was not responsible for this line, which
was determined from above.

This is the claim made by the Accused.  But witnesses and
the documents speak otherwise and contradict his version.
Dr. Meyer, whose testimony we have just mentioned, saw the
Accused again during his Viennese period, when the leaders
of German Jewry were summoned to Vienna in February 1939, in
order to become acquainted there with the methods of
operation of the Central Office for Emigration, with the
view to copying them in Berlin.  And this is how the witness
describes that meeting (Session 17, Vol. I, p. 268):

     "... I immediately told my friends that I do not know
     whether I am meeting the same man.  So terrible was the
     change the whole approach...previously I thought
     that here was a minor official, what they call a
     `clerk_bureaucrat' who carries out duties, writes
     reports, and so on.  Now, here was this man with the
     attitude of an autocrat controlling life and death; he
     received us impudently and crudely..."
And this is the impression gained by the witness after
seeing the arrangements at the Vienna Central Office for
Emigration and speaking with the Jewish leaders there
(Session 17, Vol. I, p. 269):

     "This is like an automatic factory, like a flour mill
     connected to some bakery.  You put in at the one end a
     Jew who still has capital and has, let us say, a
     factory or a shop or an account in a bank, and he
     passes through the entire building from counter to
     counter, from office to office, and he comes out at the
     other end without any money, without any rights, with
     only a passport in which is written: "You must leave
     the country within a two weeks, if you fail to do so,
     you will go to a concentration camp!"

Another German Jewish communal worker, Mr. Aaron
Lindenstrauss, confirms this statement in a description of
the same visit to Vienna (Session 15, Vol. I, p. 234):

     "...I still remember that these officials of the Jewish
     Community and the Palestine Office seemed to me like
     disciplined soldiers who stood to attention all the
     time and dared not utter a word..."

Further confirmation of this is found in a letter written by
the Accused, when he was still in the early stages of his
work in Vienna, to his friend and colleague, Hagen (T/130):

     "At any rate, I keep these gentlemen here on the run,
     this you can believe me..."

And again:

     "I have them completely in my hands, they dare not take
     a  step without first consulting me.  That is as it
     should be, because then much better control is

These were not just empty words, for in fact this is how the
affairs of the Jewish institutions were administered, as
evidenced by the memoranda prepared by Dr. Loewenherz,
Chairman of the Jewish Community in Vienna, and the chief
representative of Austrian Jewry in negotiations with the
Accused (T/148, T/152, etc.).

64. The Jews of Austria lived in an atmosphere of terror
ever since the entry of Hitler into Vienna.  Mr.
Fleischmann, one of the Jewish leaders in Vienna at the
time, tells us how he was compelled by the SS to scrub the
pavement (Session 17, Vol. I, p. 260).

But the Accused did not content himself with the general
feeling of fear for the advancement of his aim - to "purge"
Vienna and the whole of Austria of Jews in the shortest
possible time.  He added threats of his own in order to
increase the pressure on the leaders who came to him on
behalf of the Jewish Community.  It has not been proved to
us that he took part in organizing the Crystal Night
pogroms, on the eve of 10 November 1938, in Austria (behind
which were the Gestapo and the SD), though the very same
night information about the events was transmitted to him
through service channels (T/138, T/140, N/34).  But it is a
fact that he exploited for his own purposes the panic which
reigned amongst the Jews because of these events, in order
to speed up the process of forced emigration.  Mr.
Fleischmann described the speech made by the Accused to the
Jews who       crowded into the Palestine Office in Vienna
on the day following Crystal Night:

     "He (the Accused) spoke about the unsatisfactory rate
     of the disappearance of Jews from Vienna.  He said that
     entirely different ways and measures would have to be
     used, and that he would see to that."  (Session 17,
     Vol. I, p. 262.)           And so we read in the
     general report describing the activities of Dr.
     Loewenherz about a conversation which took place in
     March 1939, when the Accused said to him, "that the
     number of applications for emigration had gone down
     considerably in the last few days, and if the number of
     applications did not go up within two days, he would
     propose the adoption of measures which could take on
     the same form for everyone as in November 1938" (T/154,
     p. 9; Session 90, Vol. IV, pp.xxxx15, 16; with regard
     to the authentication of the report, see Mr. Zidon's
     affidavit, T/37 (233)).  A similar threat was uttered
     by the Accused to the representatives of German Jewry
     after their visit to Vienna, when it displeased him
     that, while there, they contacted the Jews of Vienna of
     their own accord."
     "If this happens again, you will go to the
     Konzertlager" (instead of Konzentrationslager -
     concentration camp). (Session 15, Vol. I, p. 228.)

The Accused also takes credit for having organized the
financial arrangements connected with Jewish emigration by
means of the Central Office for Emigration.  But the outcome
of all these arrangements was that a Jew who was forced to
emigrate to another country was allowed to take with him, in
addition to his personal effects, only the sum of money
which was needed to obtain the entry permit to the country
to which he was immigrating (Vorzeigegeld).  The rest of his
property he had to make over to the German Reich (Session 9,
Vol. I, p. 126).  To enable those without means to emigrate,
people of means were compelled to pay an extremely
exaggerated rate of exchange for this sum of money, and this
was transferred to the "Emigration Fund," set up at the
Emigration Centre (T/37, p. 104; T/135).  This fund was also
supported by gifts in foreign exchange obtained by Austrian
Jews from their brethren abroad, with the Accused's
encouragement, in order to make mass emigration possible
(T/152, para. 3).  (Of course, the reference here is to
emigration during the first stage, i.e., overseas).  The
communal property of the Jewish organizations in Austria was
also concentrated in the hands of the state (T/147).  The
Accused's absolute control over the funds which were
gathered in this way becomes apparent from Dr. Loewenherz'
memoranda and from his final report (T/154).

65. It is true that the Accused set the Jewish organizations
in Vienna functioning again after they had been closed down
by the Gestapo immediately after the annexation of Austria
to the Reich.  But this was nothing else but the beginning
of the system of "indirect rule" which the Accused developed
so cleverly - a system which saved the German ruler manpower
and turned the Jewish organizations against their will into
an instrument in the hands of the ruler, for the realization
of his sinister plans which increased in harshness from
stage to stage.

Through the pressure of the terror exercised against the
Jews, the Accused succeeded in bringing about the emigration
of a considerable part of Austrian Jewry (close to 150,000
persons - T/185, p. 4).  At a meeting presided over by
Goering immediately after the Crystal Night, Heydrich boasts
of the activity of the Central Office for Emigration in
Vienna which had succeeded until then in bringing about the
emigration of 50,000 Austrian Jews (T/114, pp. 19-22).  At
the same meeting it was agreed to set up a similar office
also in the area of the Old Reich.  The practical result was
an instruction from Goering to the Minister of the Interior,
dated 24 January 1939, to set up the Reich Central Office
for Jewish Emigration (T/125).  The directives contained in
this letter show that the experience gained in the Central
Office for Emigration in Vienna under the Accused's
direction was now used for the setting up of this central
authority.  Its administration was entrusted by Goering to
Heydrich himself as head of the Security Police.  Heydrich,
in turn, put Mueller, the head of the Gestapo, in charge of
the Central Office (T/116).

The Accused argues that at that period he was not active in
this central authority.  But Mr. Cohn and Mr. Meyer gave
evidence that already in March 1939 the Accused visited
Berlin and told the Jewish representatives there, after
their visit to Vienna, that in Berlin, too, a Central Office
for Emigration would be set up along the lines of the
Central Office in Vienna, and he demanded of them, in the
harsh style which he had developed in the meantime, that
they co-operate with this Central Office (Session 15, Vol.
I, pp. 228-230; Session 17, Vol. I, p. 268).  It appears,
therefore, that the Accused, as the emigration expert,
already began to deal, in fact, with matters belonging to
the Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Berlin a
short time after its establishment, though it is possible
that in the spring of 1939 he had not yet been formally
appointed to direct the affairs of this Centre.  From the
Chart N/2, which he himself drew up, it appears that he
received the formal appointment at the beginning of October
1939 (see also T/43, p. 5).        66. In the meantime,
Hitler established his domination over Bohemia and Moravia -
first, in the autumn of 1938, over Sudetenland, and later,
in March 1939, also over the interior of the country - and
the Protectorate was set up there.  Thus the Jews of Bohemia
and Moravia also were caught in the trap.  The Accused moved
from Vienna to Prague, together with his superior,
Stahlecker, and was given the task of setting up there also
a Central Office for Emigration like the one in Vienna.  We
heard from Dr. Paul Meretz, who was then chairman of the
Czech Zionist Organization, about the activity of this
Central Office in the short period from its establishment to
the outbreak of war.  Here, too, great pressure was
exercised upon the Jews to emigrate to other countries,
legally or illegally.  After paying taxes (the `flight' tax
and the `Jewish' tax), the emigrant had also to pay the full
value of the movable goods which he was allowed to take with
him.  He also had to hand over his apartment and was
compelled to give a Power of Attorney to a bank in respect
of the rest of his property, so that he left the country
bare of all his property, with the exception of baggage
weighing a few kilogrammes (Session 19, Vol. I, p. 294-295,
and see also the evidence of Mrs. Walli Zimet, supra, p.

67. After the outbreak of war, in the autumn of 1939, the
Accused was recalled to Berlin.  In the meantime he had
risen to the rank of Hauptsturmfuehrer (Captain).  To
conclude our survey of this period, of the setting-up of the
Central Offices for Emigration, we quote from personnel
reports about the Accused - first from one of the reports
contained in exhibit T/55 (3):

     "Special qualities and abilities: to conduct
     negotiations, to speak, to organize.
     "...An energetic and impulsive man, with great talents
     in the administration of his area of activity...a
     recognized expert in his field."

And from another, later, report, signed by the head of the
Personnel Department in the RSHA (contained in exhibit T/55
(12)), in which he proposes that the Accused be promoted:

     "on the basis of the exceptionally fine achievements of
     Eichmann, who had already distinguished himself by
     purging the Ostmark (Austria) of Jews, when he was in
     charge of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration.
     Thanks to Eichmann's work, tremendous assets were
     secured for the German Reich.  Similarly, Eichmann's
     work was excellent in the Protectorate, where he
     displayed striking initiative and the requisite

If we translate these words of praise into ordinary
language, we can agree, on the basis of the evidence before
us, that the Accused played a major role in forcing the Jews
to emigrate, especially from Austria and the Protectorate
area, while robbing them of their private property and that
of their institutions.  These Jews, in tens of thousands,
were thus saved a much more bitter fate, but the Attorney
General is right in emphasizing that it was not in order to
rescue them that the Accused carried out his work, but
because at that time he, too, did not yet know what fate was
in store for those who did not manage to escape in time.

Thus the Accused returned to Berlin, crowned with success in
the eyes of his superiors, and especially of his commander,
Heydrich.  It is not surprising, therefore, that from then
on central responsibilities were placed upon him in regard
to the battle against the opponent - Jewry.

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.