The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-029-04

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-029-04
Last-Modified: 1999/05/31

Attorney General: The Accused was present at the time
these orders were given, and admits this on pages 1519-
1520 of his statement. He is not sure whether Streckenbach
spoke perhaps Heydrich spoke - Streckenbach conducted the
meeting. He does, in fact, say that it took place in a
cinema hall, and he was present when these orders for the
extermination of the Jews in the East were given.  This
was in 1941. Whereas, in his remarks, he does not agree
that these instructions were given at that time - he does
not admit that Heydrich gave such instructions - he admits
that he took part in a meeting where the orders were given
to the Einsatzgruppen.  We learn from other sources what
was said there.

Presiding Judge: In paragraph 3 it says "Dueben."  Is this
also a Germanization of something?

Attorney General: On the eve of the Barbarossa Operation,
the Einsatzgruppen were set up.  This was one of the
places where the Einsatzgruppen and their commanders were
concentrated, and they prepared them for carrying out this

Presiding Judge: Was that in Germany?

Attorney General: Yes, in Germany.

Attorney General: The following document is the testimony
of Gustav Noske in Trial No. 9 in Nuremberg, our document
No. 674.  Noske himself was, for a short while, the
commander of Operations Group 12, and he describes various
reports which subsequently he, Noske, collected for
Berlin, and the manner of distribution of these reports
and the duty of making the reports.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/307.

Attorney General: I would draw the attention of the Court
to a number of pages in particular.  On page 3546 of this
document, at the bottom, there are numbers of the
Nuremberg protocol; it refers to the establishment of the
Referat IVA1, whose function was to collect all the
reports.  They subsequently distributed the reports
amongst the various units.

Presiding Judge: If you are already reading from this
passage, you should quote "welche die Auswertung
vorgenommen haben" - in other words they gave what would
be rendered in English as "their evaluation."

Attorney General: On the next page, 3547, in the middle of
the page, he says "I know that the announcements and the
reports (Meldungen) passed via the Head of Office IV
directly to Eichmann's Department IVB4.  The witness was
asked who was Eichmann.  He says: Eichmann was the head of
Department IVB4 which dealt with all Jewish questions.
Thereafter he was asked whether he was aware that Eichmann
kept the extermination order in his strongbox, and he
replied that he got to know this after the collapse.
Further, in his remarks, Noske talks of the fact that
Eichmann's unit consisted of a special complex of
buildings, to which other people had no access, and even
he was unable to get to it on his own.  At the end of page
3548 the question was whether this unit was closed
hermetically.  The answer is given on page 3549: it was
known only that he
received his orders directly from the head of the office,
or even from Hitler himself.  On page 3554 there is again
reference to the fact that the reports of the
Einsatzgruppen went directly to Eichmann and that his
Department was involved in the whole programme.

Presiding Judge: The words "involved in" are used here in
the sense of being "in the centre of?"

Attorney General: Yes.

On page 3556 the witness says that up to April 1942
Department IVAI centralized everything.  After that - he
says - only Eichmann's Department received the reports
about matters relating to Jews.

Presiding Judge: Who was this Noske?

Attorney General: Noske was an official of the Head Office
for Reich Security.  He also described himself at the
beginning of his testimony as the commander of operation
unit 12. Subsequently he was the coordinator of the
reports of the Einsatzgruppen in the Head Office for Reich

On page 3557 he talks once again about Eichmann's special
office in the Kurfuerstenstrasse, and he again refers to
the fact that the office complex was a special one, closed
and separated from other departments.  On being
interrogated this witness says that Eichmann's office was
in Kurfuerstenstrasse, and when he is asked what its
distance was from his office, he says "in my estimation a
distance of 8 kms."

Presiding Judge: Before that he says that the offices were

Attorney General: But he had a special unit and he had a
special complex of buildings, and he received the orders
for the Einsatzgruppen.  What these orders were - some of
them I have already given to you, and I shall still quote
others in the course of the trial.

Dr. Servatius:  I shall come back to this document later
on. But I should like to ask whether the Attorney General
is able to say whether this witness is still alive, for,
in that case, I would very much want to question him as a

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, what do you have to say
about this?

Attorney General: I do not know, Your Honour, but I shall
check it and advise Defence Counsel.  I know that he stood
trial, but I do not know what happened to him.

Presiding Judge: Was he the accused in that trial?

Attorney General: No, in this trial he was a witness. [Mr.
Robinson hands a booklet to the Attorney General]

We have, here, a list of people who were accused of crimes
against humanity, which was published by the World Jewish
Congress in 1961.  Noske's name appears on the list, and
he is described as a member of Sonderkommando 7B of
Einsatzgruppe B.  He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The sentence was reduced to ten years' imprisonment and
apparently he was released on 31 May 1951.  Whether he is
alive, or not - I do not know.

Presiding Judge: Will you be able to ascertain more

Attorney General: I can try.

Dr. Servatius:  It seems to me that it will be of some
importance to hear this witness for it appears, from a
perusal of the document, that the examining Judge: had
some hesitations in accepting his evidence as reliable.

Presiding Judge: We have heard from the Attorney General

that he will try to clear this up, and possibly you, too,

Dr. Servatius, can try to check for yourself whether

Noske is still alive.

Dr. Servatius:  Yes, Your Honour, thank you.

Attorney General: I call Avraham Aviel.

[The witness is sworn.]

Presiding Judge: What is your full name?

A. Avraham Aviel.

Attorney General: You live in Tel Aviv, at 23 Rehov


Witness Aviel: Yes.

Q. You are a clerical worker?

A. Yes.

Q. You were born in Poland?

A. Yes.

Q. In a village near Radun?

A. Yes.

Q. Where was it?  In what district?

A. It was in the district of Lida.

Q. Perhaps you can tell us where it was, in which

region? A. It was in the Nowogorodek region, between

Grodno and Vilna.

Q. What was the name of the village where you were

born? A. Dowgaliszuk.

Q. Was this a village of Jewish farmers?

A. It was a village of Jews who made their living only
as farmers.  They were all Jews.

Q. When the Germans entered they deported you from the
village and transferred you to the Ghetto of Radun?

A. Yes.

Q. When was this?

A. It was in the month of Heshvan, 1941, roughly September

Judge Halevi:  Pardon me, in what year were you born?

Witness Aviel I was born in 1927.

Attorney General: From the ghetto you went out to work, to
saw trees...

Witness Aviel To remove snow from the roads and all sorts
of other work.

Q. Your food ration was meagre, but the farmers in the
neighbourhood helped you obtain extra food?

A. They didn't help so much, but we had reserve supplies.
Since this was an agricultural area, each Jew had a
sizeable reserve of basic food which he kept in case of
need.  The ration was roughly 120 grams of bread per day;
I don't remember other rations, but it was almost
impossible to live on them.  However, with the existing
reserves - and when we went out to work we would meet
farmers, and everyone managed to bring back in his kitbag
a little bread, or grain or other products - all these
were shared out and we sustained ourselves on them.

Q. Did the occupation authorities confiscate your articles
of silver and gold, and warm clothing?

A. Yes.

Q. I shall not weary the Court with this aspect - we have
heard other witnesses on this subject; I should like to go
on to the operations of the Einsatzgruppen.  Describe to
us what happened after Hanukka* {*The Hanukka festival
ended on December 22, 1941.} of that year?

A. One fine day a group of Germans in special uniforms
arrived from Lida on motorcycles.  They went from house to
house and searched for people who were strangers, who were
not from Radun.  They discovered about forty Jewish
refugees who had been living in Radum for some time.  They
took them outside the town to a hill half a kilometre
away.  We heard shots.  Afterwards, some minutes later,
the Germans returned and gave us instructions, an order,
to bury them.  I was amongst those who went there, since
we lived at the end of the ghetto which was close to the
spot where the disaster had happened.  I ran, together
with the other Jews, to bury them, and this was the first
time I had seen so much blood that had been shed.  Since
there was frost and the ground was frozen, we buried them
in the snow.

Q. What happened afterwards, on 7 May 1942?

A. All the time we were still able to walk around freely
inside the ghetto.  While it was forbidden to leave the
limits of the ghetto, for this meant mortal danger, inside
the ghetto we moved around without restriction.  After
this night of 7 May we saw, when we rose in the morning,
that the ghetto was closed.  It was impossible to go
outside to work; those who possessed special work permits
were also not able
to leave.  This came suddenly - we did not expect it.
They kept us, shut up in this way, on the Thursday,
Friday and Saturday.  On Sunday morning, in the early
hours, they collected a group of Jews, mostly young ones
or those possessing a high potential for labour, about
one hundred people in all.  They supplied them with
spades for digging. I especially recall that these were
spades with very long handles.  They were given an order
to walk.  They walked in the direction of Grodno, in a
direction West of the town.

Q. Was any member of your family amongst them?

A. My father was taken away with that group.  I ran after

him, and I saw the entire group.  Half-an-hour later we

heard the fire of automatic weapons.  We felt straight

away that something had happened.  We didn't know exactly

what occurred there - whether they were killed or whether

they escaped.  This we learned only subsequently.

Q. Did you meet your father again, alive? A. Yes.  I did

meet my father again, alive. Q. Please go on.

A. We already knew that bad experiences awaited us, but it
was impossible to do anything about it at that stage.

Q. Did you previously attempt to smuggle out your young

A. Yes.  On the Sabbath my father got to know that
something very bad was going on, and with all the strength
he possessed he wanted to flee.  He couldn't do so alone,
for he didn't want to abandon the family.  He sent away my
little brother.

Presiding Judge: If you want to, you may sit down.  It
will be easier for you.

Witness Aviel: They dressed him in shepherd's clothing.

He had the appearance of the local children - he was

blond.  We planned to get him out as a farmer's child.

Attorney General: What was his name, Yekutiel? Witness

Aviel: Yes.

Q. Did he succeed?

A. He succeeded in getting beyond the precincts of the
ghetto, but afterwards collaborators, the police caught

Q. Which police - Jews?

A. Not Jews - White-Russians, Poles - and they tried to
identify him - to see whether he really was Gentile or
not. Since he spoke a good Polish, they pulled down his
trousers and then they saw that he was Jewish, and they
brought him back to us.  We realized that everything was
closed to us, and at that moment we thought that if my
small brother would be able to get out, we, the older
ones, would be able to leave together, and at least one of
us would survive.  We remained stuck in this way until the
following morning, when they took my father to dig pits.
We knew that the moment Father was alone, he would try
with all his strength to
escape, for then he would not be close to the family, he
would not have this responsibility.  And indeed, as he
told me when I met him subsequently, when they came out of
the town and were about to be directed to a field, he gave
a shout: Scatter!  Some of the Jews rose up, using spades
and stones, and some managed to escape, others were
killed, and some did not have the strength to flee and
remained where they were.

Q. Later on you met your father in the forest?

A. Yes, I met Father in the forest later on.

Q. We shall come back to that - please continue with your

A. Half-an-hour after we heard the shots of the first
group which included Father, they took another group, a
second one.  With it they took my older brother Pinhas.  I
wanted to join him, since the family was no longer
complete.  We thought that, perhaps, there would be an
opportunity when we had left the town, where the terrain
was more open, for us to try to escape, and if not - it
would be better to be killed from behind while running
away.  But there was some hope that perhaps Father would
succeed in escaping - for we knew what he was thinking.
They did not admit me to this group.  They chased me away.
They said I was too small.  I remained at home with my
mother, my younger brother and with relatives and
neighbours, and my older brother went along with his

Presiding Judge: How old was your brother?

A. At that time he was 16 years old. 

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