The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-099-03

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-099-03
Last-Modified: 1999/06/13

Q. The Foreign Ministry asked that you, too, to sign these
instructions because you were - because they somehow
concerned you, is that not true?

A. I did read that somewhere, that there was some talk of co-
signing, but that is in fact connected with the counter-
signing agreement which has already been referred to.

Q. No, no - I am talking about something quite specific: Was
there any specific problem which concerned a special
guideline, and therefore you would have participated in the

A. I cannot for the moment imagine what that might be.

Q. And in connection with the specific matter of the Warsaw

A. For the moment I cannot imagine anything at all in
connection with that...

Q. And quite specifically with reference to the Warsaw

A. In this connection there was definitely no unusual matter
which, in any way, was dealt with by the Foreign Ministry
and Section IVB4.

Q. Exterminating Jews - that was not, after all, anything
special, exceptional, between the two bodies.  I am asking
you whether your signature was required for instructions
about directives which applied to the Warsaw Ghetto?

A. I cannot now say anything other than what I have already
said.  I somehow know that something about signing was dealt
with in the documents - I do not know what.

Q. But for once from your memory, without documents...

A. I believe that it is not humanly possible, after so many
years and after so much has become vague, and after so many
other impressions, to give precise testimony about such a
vast subject, as a witness, from the witness box - on oath

Q. This concerns half a million Jews.

A. I had nothing to do with the killing of those half a
million Jews.

Q. In your letter of 18 February 1942, T/267, document No.
940, you write about the Warsaw Ghetto: "Special
circumstances would make it necessary to segregate the
ghetto inhabitants to a greater extent than previously from
the rest of the population."  What special circumstances?

A. That I do not know.  The authorities of the
Generalgouvernement doubtless planned stringent provisions,
and the Foreign Ministry probably took the initiative with
regard to the Jews with foreign nationality.  And this
problem was then dealt with accordingly.

Q. Oh no - this is your signature.  "Reference - none," that
is an approach on your part, and I will, therefore, repeat
my question once again: What were these special
circumstances which required a more stringent separation of
the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto than had previously been the

A. I cannot say off-hand, but I know that there is a series
of documents here, and I have read them too, and if they are
arranged chronologically, it will be possible to speak
clearly about what happened.

Q. No, no, no - I want to know about this from your memory.
You signed a letter - I would like to know what your
intention was in doing so.

A. That I know...

Presiding Judge: I would like him to be shown the letter,
because the wording here is also of importance.  [Letter is
shown to the Accused] The paragraph where there is a
reference to separating the Jews from the rest of the
population, on the first page.

A. Yes.  Obviously, now that I know how things proceeded in
the Generalgouvernement, I think I could say here there were
plans for deportation, and that the Head Office for Reich
Security, or Section IVB4, had to ensure here that the Jews
with foreign nationality were removed.  But it was not IVB4
which implemented these measures to deport the Warsaw
Ghetto; IVB4 was not competent for that, and so I do not
know all the ins and outs of this matter by heart - this is
how I understand this letter today.  I must argue for this
attitude, as the Jews with foreign nationality were, as I
have already said, the main concern of the Head Office for
Reich Security, because significance on the Reich level was
attached to this factor, whilst the local measures in the
Generalgouvernement were implemented by the
Generalgouvernement's own authorities, without involving the
Head Office for Reich Security, at least not IVB4.

Attorney General: I should like this letter to remain with
the Accused for another minute.

In this letter you also write, on page 2, that before you
give further instructions you ask to be informed of the
position of the Foreign Ministry.  What further instructions
were these?  What other further instructions did you wish to

Accused:    Further instructions?

Q. It says here, "Before I arrange for further steps..."

A. Removing Jews with foreign nationality.  That had to be
arranged for by the Head Office for Reich Security, that is

Q. And you had the power to issue such instructions?

A. I was ordered to do so by my Department Chief.  I
received orders; on my own I could not have done so...that
is clear from the fact that such a matter was of major
consequence.  It was not a minor matter, to be dealt with by
a Section.

Q. It specifically says "I" here.  It says, "Before I
arrange for further steps."

A. That has already come up several times - that is German
officialese, bureaucratic official German.  It has nothing
to do with my private self as Eichmann, because I did not
write any private letters.
Q. But official correspondence had to be accurate, and if
what you meant was the Department or the Section, then you
should have written "this Department or this Section," if
you meant the Section.  If you write "I," then that is what
you mean - I.  So that means either you yourself, or you as
the representative of the Chief of the Security Police.

A. If here...if I had been a representative, it would say
i.V., meaning "on behalf of."  The first person is that
normally used by an official.  I myself would probably not
even have written this - it was written by IVB4a-1, by an
old police officer, and this German uses the first person,
because the heading reads "The Chief of the Security Police
and the Security Service."

Presiding Judge: Very well, we have already had that.

Attorney General: The document to which you were asked to
add the extra signature is T/269, document No. 942.  You
probably had to sign at that time, in order to be bound by

Accused:    This is perfect standard practice of reciprocal
notification and simultaneous counter-signing.

Q. Very well.  So this was the standard and general

A. In important matters that was - that was always respected
and observed reciprocally.

Q. In important matters counter-signing was required.

A. This was established by decree and had to be respected.

Presiding Judge: According to the term "moechte" (would
wish), it would appear that the initiative actually came
from the Accused.  He wanted this to be the case.

Accused:    Yes, indeed, and that is certain, Your Honour,
because this was a matter of foreign nationality.  If
here...let us put it this way...if there had been failure to
comply here, then later there would have been trouble and
reproaches from one's superior, if as a result of
intervention the Foreign Ministry had been forced to lodge a
complaint with the Head Office for Reich Security.  I would
say that this was a safety factor which was provided in this

Presiding Judge: All right.

Attorney General: So if you had no connection with the
evacuation from the Warsaw Ghetto and the suppression of the
Warsaw Ghetto uprising, why was it necessary to report to
you on the atrocity stories published about this abroad?

Accused:    First of all, this was a reciprocal exchange of
information, just as when we had obtained information by
confidential reports, we would inform the Foreign Ministry
and vice versa.  Then this particular instance is dated 12
August 1944, and here I can but say that I was not
there...but even if I had been in Berlin, I could not say
anything more about this specific matter either.

Q. But what does that have to do with you?

A. Well, all reports were exchanged reciprocally between the
Foreign Ministry and the Head Office for Reich Security.

Q. And why did you visit Warsaw before the suppression of
the uprising?

A. I have said that I cannot remember whether I visited
Warsaw before the suppression of the uprising.

Q. No?  So why did you go there after the suppression?

A. I said that I was in Warsaw on two occasions, mainly in
order to spend the night there.  That was the main reason,
as the best overnight accommodation was in Warsaw.

Q. Apart from Frank's office, of the Generalgouvernement of
Poland, there was also a representative of the Foreign
Ministry, was there not?

A. In Warsaw?

Q. No, in Cracow, not in Warsaw.

A. I do not know.  I have no knowledge of that.

Q. Is it not true that at Frank's office there were
representatives from various other ministries of the Reich,
including the Foreign Ministry?

A. In the government office of the Generalgouvernement?

Q. Yes.

A. Of course.  But I do not know where the individual
buildings were.

Q. All right.  My question was general in nature.  Now,
would you explain to us why it was necessary for Jewish
Affairs, that is the affairs of Jews with foreign
nationality, to be excluded from the scope of authority of
the Generalgouvernement and transferred to you, if in any
case there were representatives of the Foreign Ministry in

A. I do not know this either.  In any case the Foreign
Ministry had to be in overall charge in dealing with this.

Q. But why?

A. Because in all countries, whether occupied or unoccupied,
the Foreign Ministry was in overall charge of handling Jews
with foreign nationality, and the Foreign Ministry had to
determine in which category they were to be classified.
There are several dozen files here about this, indicating
this situation.

Q. I know, and you know, perfectly well that the documents
are from the Foreign Ministry, and that is why you are
constructing a theory here.  On the basis of your theory,
all matters of Jews with foreign nationality had to be
passed from the government of the Generalgouvernement to the
Foreign Ministry, from the Foreign Ministry to you, and then
back from you to the Foreign Ministry, and then back to the
Generalgouvernement.  Is that correct?

A. No, that is not entirely correct, because on the basis of

Q. So how did things proceed?  What were the normal official
channels?  Do explain that to us.

A. The Foreign Ministry would contact the Head Office for
Reich Security; for example, von Thadden's office would
contact IVB4, and after he had consulted his superiors and I
had done the same with mine, these matters would be

Q. How were the instructions issued?  Or the orders?

A. The Foreign Ministry announced its position.  On the
basis of this position, the Head Office for Reich Security
issued the decrees to the subordinate authorities, with
instructions as to how to proceed with regard to these
specified Jews of some particular nationality.

Q. Direct to the Generalgouvernement?

A. This matter - Jews of foreign nationality - they went to
all authorities, of whatever country.  That is so.

Q. Direct, straight to the Generalgouvernement from IVB4,
directly to the Generalgouvernement?

A. No, not from IVB4 to the Generalgouvernement.  These
general decrees on matters of principle, were signed by the
senior officials.  We have here files giving examples of

Q. I should like to know, therefore: In the Head Office for
Reich Security - who was entitled to issue instructions or
orders to the authorities in the Generalgouvernement?

A. Once the order had been made - any of the Section's
officials-in-charge.  However, generally speaking, these
general decrees on matters of principle were issued by
Mueller or Heydrich or, I do not think
Heydrich...but there things were not ...

Q. So Mueller had the right to issue instructions or orders
to the authorities in the Generalgouvernement?

A. Mueller, yes, of course.

Q. In N/23 - in diagram N/23 - for some reason you deprived
him of this right...

A. No, no - I did mark this: Here it goes down from Mueller
to the circle, and then the arrow points, for example, to
the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security
Service in The Hague, the Senior Commander of the Security
Police and the Security Service under the Reich Protector,
and the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the
Security Service, Cracow...

Q. Is that how you see the order of things, as going through
the various offices until it gets to Cracow?

A. There is no other way of representing this in the
drawing.  It is, of course, obvious that it went directly
from Mueller to the Senior Commander of the Security Police
and the Security Service, Cracow, but it is difficult to
show this in any other way on the drawing.  There is the
arrow here, going directly from Mueller.

Q. All right.  In any case you are saying that what you
meant to indicate here is that Department IV could issue
instructions directly to the Senior Commander of the
Security Police in Cracow?

A. Only in matters which exceeded the scope of the
Generalgouvernement, and then only on Mueller's orders.

Q. All right - Department IV...

A. Yes.

Q. That is Mueller, after all, is it not?  Mueller was
entitled to issue instructions to the Commander of the
Security Police, Cracow, and the Commander of the Security
Police, Lublin, was he not?

A. I do not believe that there was any Commander of the
Security Police, Lublin.  There was only a Commander of the
Security Police and the Security Service, Cracow.

Q. And the Commander of the Security Police - could he issue
orders to the Commandant of the Security Police?

A. Yes, but that was not the practice, that had to go via
the Commander, because the Senior Commander was the superior
officer of the Commandant...

Q. And Mueller issued orders about Jewish affairs in the

A. Mueller could certainly do that.

Q. But did he do it? - not just "could do it"?

A. Yes, but not - let us say -  in matters of resettlement
within the Generalgouvernement, because here Himmler had
given a special order to the Senior SS and Police Leader, to
whom the SS and Police Leaders were subordinate.  But in
other matters - say involving border security, sabotage, and
other matters of importance to the Reich - Mueller could
doubtless issue orders to the Generalgouvernement.  But not
in matters of resettlement.  In that area the Senior SS and
Police Leader had overall responsibility.
Q. I am talking of evacuation of Jews, did...

Judge Halevi:  What is the meaning of "resettlement within
the Generalgouvernement"?  What do you mean by the word
Umsiedlung (resettlement)?

A. This means the deportations carried out in the
Generalgouvernement, for example to Treblinka, to Majdanek,
which was preceded by ghettoization, and then the transports
to these Globocnik locations.  That was known at the time as
resettlement - in other words, deportation.

Judge Halevi:  All right.

Attorney General: Which term did you use, Umsiedlung

A. Yes, that was used at the time, Umsiedlung.

Presiding Judge: And prior to that, "ghettoization"?

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