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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-085-02

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-085-02
Last-Modified: 1999/06/09

Presiding Judge: Please check who is being referred to.

Interpreter: In the previous paragraph, which was not
marked, the reference is to Eichmann.

     "...I think as a representative of an oil firm.
     Somehow, he must have been active in politics in
     Austria in 1932 or 1933, because he told me that in
     1933 he fled Austria, going to Germany to the Legion
     (the Austrian Legion), and was then transferred by it
     to Berlin, where he was attached to the Head Office of
     the Security Service.  In order to obtain promotion by
     way of specialization, he studied Jewish subjects, and
     when the German service units went to Austria,
     following the entry of German troops on the Anschluss
     in 1938, he accompanied them to Vienna and set up the
     office already referred to in Prinz Eugen Strasse.  He
     also told me that he made an official trip to Palestine
     in 1937, and that he could speak some Yiddish and

On page 8:

     "I myself remember having such dealings with Eichmann
     in Vienna until the end of 1938, or the beginning of
     1939 at the latest.  I would assume that he remained in
     Vienna when the rest of Bohemia was occupied, i.e.,
     March 1939, whereupon he was transferred to Prague,
     where he set up the same type of Central Office for
     Jewish Emigration.  I am not sure who was his successor
     in Vienna, and whether this was Guenther, whom I
     referred to above.
     "As far as I myself was concerned, at the beginning of
     1939 my activities increasingly tended towards Berlin,
     where at that time the Foreign Secret Service was being
     reorganized on a large scale.  That was also when the
     Head Office for Reich Security (RSHA) was set up,
     including the previous Head Office of the Security
     Service, the Secret State Police Office and the
     Criminal Police Office.  This was probably when
     Eichmann joined Department IV (Gestapo) as a Specialist
     Officer, so that this Central Office for Jewish
     Emigration - in the meanwhile, apart from the Prague
     office, one had also been set up in Berlin - was
     subordinate to the Head Office for Reich Security, and,
     as I assume more particularly to Department IV
     (Gestapo).  The Chief of Department IV was SS General
     Heinrich Mueller; the Head of Department VI (Foreign
     Secret Service) was SS General Jost.  Because of the
     different duties of the two Departments, there was
     obviously no direct official collaboration between
     their personnel."

On page 11:

     "As to 6: As far as I know, Eichmann was a Specialist
     Officer in Department IV of the Head Office for Reich
     Security, but, in the meanwhile, there was a change in
     the names given to the departments.  I must here state
     that Eichmann was also transferred to the Head Office
     for Reich Security, but independent of my transfer to
     Berlin, and not to Department VI like myself, but to
     Department IV, Gestapo.  A department such as Eichmann
     had there, for Jewish Affairs, was more or less its own
     office or section.  His superior chief, as has already
     been mentioned briefly today, was SS General Heinrich
     Mueller, but it is possible that there was another
     group leader (department chief) between them.  Several
     departments would be subordinate to a single Group
     Leader, and there must have been four or five Groups
     altogether.  Jewish Affairs were dealt with exclusively
     by the Eichmann Department, for the whole of Germany."

On page 22:

     "With regard to the physical annihilation of the Jewish
     people, until I lost my post and was transferred to the
     Waffen-SS, the only thing that I knew was that the
     Einsatztruppen (sic: Operational Troops) of the
     Security Police and the Security Service had received
     orders to liquidate by shooting the supporters of
     Communist ideology, particularly the Jews.  However, at
     that time, I was not aware of the details of this order
     and its origin.  It was not until later that I heard
     from SS General Dr. Stahlecker, who in 1938 had briefly
     been my chief in Vienna, that this order came from
     Hitler himself and had been passed on by Heydrich to
     these Operational Troops."
On page 27:

     "I would assume from the questions asked that, in the
     main, they refer to the SS Special Operations Units in
     Hungary. Although I am not familiar with precise
     details, yet I can state the following: The two largest
     SS Special Operations Units were those of the Security
     Police and the Security Service, and the Order Police.
     However, to some extent they formed a single whole,
     because they were both subject to SS and Police General
     Otto Winkelmann, who was then appointed `Higher SS and
     Police Leader in Hungary.'  Regardless of this,
     however, and probably in actual fact to a far greater
     extent, the two Operations Units were under the control
     of their Berlin offices, i.e., the Head Office for
     Reich Security and the Head Office of the Order Police.

     "The so-called Eichmann Sonderkommando was, it is true,
     part of the Sonderkommando of the Security Police and
     the SD in terms of provisioning, but was definitely in
     some sort of special position, with the precise details
     of which I am, however, not familiar."

On page 28:

     "The overall operation in Hungary was influenced to the
     strongest degree by Himmler, who managed right from the
     beginning to exert a very considerable influence on the
     manning of leading positions.  For example, he
     succeeded in ensuring that the Ambassador and Reich
     Plenipotentiary to be appointed would belong to the SS
     (overnight, Dr. Veesenmayer, who had been an SS
     Standartenfuehrer, received the rank of General in the
     SS), and he also had a Higher SS and Police Leader
     installed, as well as a Senior Commander of the Waffen-
     SS, even though at this point very few Waffen-SS units
     had taken part in entering Hungary.
     "The chains of command were very difficult to grasp,
     even for an insider.  In accordance with the Berlin
     offices' well-known craze for centralizing everything,
     every single office tried to control as completely as
     possible the unit working for it in Hungary, and to
     keep it free from other influences.  Under these
     circumstances, the Higher SS and Police Leader
     mentioned before, General Winkelmann, was more or less
     a figurehead, while police units and Sonderkommandos,
     which were nominally subordinate to him, in actual fact
     received their orders from Berlin, and their reports to
     Berlin would often be notified to Winkelmann only in
     the form of copies."

On page 30:

     "As to 27: Dr. Kaltenbrunner no doubt considered the
     operation in Hungary to be so important that he thought
     it necessary to take part in it personally.  I remember
     that Dr. Kaltenbrunner not only came to Budapest
     immediately, on 19 March, but also remained quite some
     time in Budapest - perhaps even several weeks."

Page 31:

     "In these circumstances, Kaltenbrunner practically had
     to conduct his official business as Chief of the Head
     Office for Reich Security from Budapest.  Dr.
     Kaltenbrunner had originally been a lawyer in Linz,
     and, as a result of his illegal activity with the SS,
     had received an important position in 1938, when the
     annexation of Austria took place. However, despite the
     fact that both Kaltenbrunner and Eichmann were from
     Linz, as far as I could see Kaltenbrunner did not know
     Eichmann well.  It is certainly not true that they used
     the familiar `du' form to address each other.
     "When Dr. Kaltenbrunner occupied the post of State
     Secretary  for Security Matters in the government of
     Dr. Seyss-Inquart, he became the Higher SS and Police
     Leader in Vienna.  Because of the Berlin offices' mania
     for centralization, to which I have already referred,
     the position of a Higher SS and Police Leader had lost
     a great deal of weight, however, and it was therefore a
     great surprise even for those most in the know when, in
     January 1943, Hitler appointed Kaltenbrunner Chief of
     the Security Police and the Security Service, as
     successor to Heydrich, who had been assassinated. This
     position which, after Goering's loss of power, was
     probably the most important one after those of Hitler
     and Himmler, was handed over to Kaltenbrunner, who was
     a decidedly average man."

     "As to 28: On this question, I should like to refer to
     my previous comments, in which I tried to explain how
     difficult it was to have any clear view of the real
     chain of command in Hungary.  Obviously, to some
     extent, Eichmann was subordinate to the Senior
     Commander of the Security Police and the Security
     Service in Hungary, and thus, in turn, also to the
     Higher SS and Police Leader in the country, but in
     practice he really came under his Department Chief,
     Mueller, in Berlin, and thus under Dr. Kaltenbrunner as
     well, as Mueller's superior."

On page 32:

     "I already stated my view on this question when I gave
     a general description of conditions in Hungary.  In
     this context, I should perhaps mention the fact that in
     my job, although I was a member of the staff of the
     Head Office for Reich Security, I was really not
     subordinate to any German office in Hungary, and
     answered only to my Berlin chief, Schellenberg.  My
     official contacts with the Higher SS and Police Leader
     in Hungary, and the Senior Commanders of the Waffen-SS
     there, were limited practically to some courtesy visits
     and social invitations."

On page 53:

     "On 4: To the best of my memory, as Inspector of the
     Security Police and the Security Service in Vienna,
     Stahlecker gave a great deal of support to Eichmann in
     realizing his plan to set up a Central Office for
     Jewish Emigration.  If I am not mistaken - although I
     can only state this with due reservation, later - in
     Prague, Stahlecker was Eichmann's superior again."
On page 57:

     "According to the reports available, the appointment in
     the Russian army of "Commissars," as they were known,
     was said to be restricted in the main to Jewish
     circles.  In this instance, too, Hitler therefore
     doubtless equated `Communist official' with `Jew.'
     That would be the explanation for his `Commissars
     Order,' which, as I see it, is the initial foundation
     for the first mass destructions of the Jews.  Thus the
     beginning of these mass destruction operations can be
     taken to be the beginning of the Russian campaign in
     the summer of 1941.
     "I would understand the question about Heydrich's
     special assignment as his having received Hitler's
     order through Himmler, and being responsible
     subsequently for its implementation just like Pohl (SS
     Economic-Administrative Head Office).
     "On the question whether the extermination order I have
     spoken of in connection with the Russian Commissars was
     also given secretly, and if not - what was the reaction
     on the part of Russia or world opinion:  I am not aware
     of this order ever being made public at the time, or
     even reaching the general public.  I do know that there
     were commanders in the German army who refused to
     fulfil the order in their area, and who treated the
     commissars as normal prisoners of war."
Page 59:

     "As to 19: At the end of August 1944, after the
     Romanian revolt, Eichmann came to visit me in my flat
     in Budapest, in order to enquire about the most recent
     information on what was called the `enemy situation.'
     A few days earlier, there had been a revolt by young
     King Michael against Prime Minister Antonescu, followed
     by an armistice with the Red Army on the part of the
     Romanian army, which until then had fought with the
     Axis.  These events undermined the stability of the
     entire German front in the area, which until then had
     not yet reached Romania.  If Russian troops were to
     cross the Carpathian arch, the whole of Hungary would
     be practically defenceless before the attacks of the
     "As I have already said, Eichmann asked me for the
     latest information from the front and explained that he
     was interested, because he was on his way to Romania.
     The information I had about the situation on the front
     was obtained not only from official German sources, but
     also from reports of our own agents who operated behind
     the Russian lines, as well as from monitoring Russian
     radio communications, for which I had, together with
     the Hungarian Counter-Intelligence Service, established
     quite a large office in Budapest.  The actual operation
     of the radio counter-intelligence or listening service
     was run by the Hungarian military authorities, but the
     entire undertaking was financed by me - or rather, by
     my  Department - which therefore also took part in
     determining the entire set-up.  Thus I was the right
     person for Eichmann to approach, in order to get such
     information, and in the previous months he had already
     come to see me several times, in order to obtain
     genuinely objective reports, rather than the coloured
     ones which were often the practice on the part of the
     "In reference to the related subsequent questions, I
     would give the following description of this
     As far as I remember, Eichmann came to see me in the
     late forenoon.  He was wearing battledress, i.e., not
     his dress uniform which he had worn on his other visits
     to me.  He gave an impression of being very nervous,
     and this became even more marked when I told him about
     the disastrous situation on the German front.
     Doubtless I, too, was very dejected at the time,
     because I was afraid that there was nothing which would
     be able to stop the Russian advance through Hungary to
     my native Austria.  Eichmann then swallowed several
     glasses of brandy, one after the other.  As far as I
     remember, I set a bottle of arrack down with a glass,
     so he could help himself.
     "I was alone in the room with Eichmann and, as far as I
     know, there was no one from my or Eichmann's staff
     around.  The conversation on which I testified in 1945
     before the Nuremberg Tribunal developed as follows, as
     I remember it:   Eichmann stood up and said farewell
     with the following words: `We shall probably never see
     each other again,' or something similar.  Then
     apparently he felt obliged to explain this pessimistic
     attitude and indicated that he was convinced that, with
     the German defeat, which was now to be expected, he
     stood no chance any more.  When I asked him why he
     thought this, Eichmann said that, in view of his role
     in the programme to exterminate the Jews, the Allies
     were considering him to be a top war criminal.  When he
     made this comment, I immediately grasped the
     opportunity to say that I had always wanted to hear
     reliable information about the extermination programme,
     and particularly about the number of Jews exterminated.
     To my surprise Eichmann responded to that, and said
     something along the following lines (in 1945, when I
     testified before the Nuremberg court, I obviously
     remembered the details more clearly than today,
     seventeen years later.  I therefore apologize for any
     minor deviations)."

Page 61:

     "He said that the number of murdered Jews was a very
     great Reich secret, but with the situation in which he,
     Eichmann, found himself today, he still could tell me
     anything about it, particularly since I was a
     historian.  Eichmann then told me that, according to
     his information, some 6,000,000 (six million) Jews had
     perished until then - 4,000,000 (four million) in
     extermination camps and the remaining 2,000,000 (two
     million) through shooting by the Operations Units and
     other methods, such as disease, etc.
     "I presumably reacted in a very shocked fashion to this
     figure, because Eichmann immediately commented that
     Himmler believed that the figure of six million Jews
     could not be correct, and the overall figure must be
     "I do not remember Eichmann making any form of personal
     statement or excuse.  Eichmann also did not say that he
     felt himself guilty of the deaths of these six million
     Jews; as I have said, he simply answered my question
     how many Jews had actually been exterminated.

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