The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-106-02

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-106-02
Last-Modified: 1999/06/14

Q. Without making any proposals?

A. Without making any proposals.  In many instances, he
himself was unable to issue any instructions until he...

Q. That is something else.  Without making any proposal to

A. Yes, yes.  I have to qualify this.  It was possible that
there would be a borderline case.  If that happened, it was
only in specific cases, and then I naturally said to
Mueller, here this and that decision had been taken, was
this case to be applied to this decision, or would he
consider issuing new instructions.  I had to draw his
attention to these matters.

Q. Do I understand, therefore, that there were three
categories: one category of cases where there were already
precedents, where you did not ask anything?

A. Yes.

Q. Second category - matters where there were no precedents.

A. I had to ask.

Q. Did you ask him without proposing anything to him?

A. Yes.

Q. Third category - somewhere in between, perhaps yes,
perhaps no.

A. Where I did not know.

Q. Did you make some form of proposal, or how would you
define this?

A. No, not some form of proposal; rather, I had to draw his
attention to the fact that here a...that here he had taken a
particular decision days or months earlier, whether this
case, which was similar, whether this case should also be
applied on the basis of his decision three months earlier.
In turn, the Official-in-charge had to draw my attention to

Q. Just a moment, I am talking now about the situation
between you and Mueller, forget about above and below.  Nor
did Mueller say to you, Eichmann, what is your opinion about

A. If Mueller did not know what to do, he kept the matter
with him and asked, in his turn.  Neither was
Mueller...basically Mueller was also not...

Q. Very well.  You see, it is very difficult to accept what
you are saying.  A Section Head, with the grade of a senior
State Counsellor, who submits matters to his Department
Chief and does not say what his opinion is on some matter,
and is not asked for his opinion on some matter.

A. One must not forget that the topic of the "Jewish
Question" was a...was not a routine matter with all these
Sections, because in this matter practically all of the
central authorities were involved, and most matters which
had to be dealt with here had already been decided
elsewhere, and these decisions by others were then passed on
to the police for implementation.  For example, it was
entirely different from the situation of some of the other
Sections of Department IV.

Q. All right, that is one explanation.  Now look.  We have
no internal records from your office, your Section, they
have not been preserved, so we cannot see from them how
things proceeded.  But among the documents, I have found,
for example, such an internal record in the German Foreign
Ministry.  And I should like to go through this with you and
find out from you whether in your Section things were not
similar to the situation in the Foreign Ministry.

The matter starts with a letter from your Section, signed by
you, to the Foreign Ministry, dated 5 July 1943, T/779.
Something dreadful has come to light: A few Jews with
foreign nationality are still on Reich territory.  And you
write to the German Foreign Ministry, you make a particular
proposal, something must be done, things cannot stay this
way.  The first reaction from the Foreign Ministry is an
interim reply - I would call it that - a letter from von
Thadden to you, T/781, in which he writes to you that this
is entirely a matter of principle, and he has to take it to
the Reich Foreign Minister.  Now comes the internal record
in the Foreign Ministry, T/782.  Look at this.  What is

A. Yes, I am familiar with this matter from my scrutiny of
the files.

Q. All right, that is not the decisive point.  What is now
important for me is how the matter was dealt with in the
Foreign Ministry.

A. This type of a draft proposal was not the custom in IVB4.

Q. Just a moment.  Who drafted this proposal?

A. The proposal by the Foreign Ministry?  Wagner.

Q. Are you sure?

A. Yes, he signed it.

Q. Yes, but there is something else there as well.

A. Oh, von Thadden, yes.

Q. Von Thadden's initials?

A. Yes, von Thadden's stamp, yes.

Q. And Wagner's signature?

A. Wagner's signature, yes.

Q. You agree with me that von Thadden drafted it?

A. Yes, von Thadden drafted it.

Q. What happened to it then?  Wagner signed it.

A. Wagner signed it, then it went to the Under-Secretary of
State, and then via the Permanent State Secretary to the
Reich Foreign Ministry for submission.

Q. All the interim authorities simply signed?

A. Yes, they all initialled it.

Q. Ribbentrop?

A. Also signed it, and it is the decision...

Q. Simply signed, or did he change something?

A. Yes, but now I do not know who made this marginal note.

Q. I assume Ribbentrop.  After all, the decision was
required from him.

A. That three days after the expiry of the deadline...

Q. It does not matter, he changed something in the draft.

A. Yes, but I do not know whether it is his handwriting or
that of one of the State Secretaries.  I do not know.  But
in any case, higher-ranking officials than Wagner did change

Q. And then the matter came back to von Thadden, right?

A. It had automatically to come back to von Thadden, that is

Q. And what did you do then?

A. He would then have taken von Thadden's letter...

Q. I have not found von Thadden's letter to you, but I have
found the result.  Then came your Department's instructions,
signed by - I do not know - Mueller, Kaltenbrunner, for the
moment I do not know who signed it.  At the moment the
contents are not so important, what is important is the way
it was handled.

A. I should like to see the reference and the date, they are
part of it.

Q. They are also part of it, right?  This is in fact the
Foreign Ministry' notification to the various legations.

A. Yes.

Q. That is the procedure?

A. Yes, that is the procedure.

Q. Now, the procedure starts with a proposal, a demand on
the part of your Section.

A. Yes.

Q. Now, who in your Section found that this terrible thing
had come about, that a few Jews of foreign nationality were
still on Reich territory, and that, therefore, the order had
not been totally implemented; who had found this out?

A. Well, I do not remember this today; the Section was not
able to find it out on its own.  But what were the grounds
for the Section appearing at all?  First of all, there were
complaints which came through official channels through the
local State Police...

Q. So who can have made such complaints?

A. It is possible that a district leader, for example, made
a negative report about the matter to the Reich leadership

Q. Would it, for example, be inconceivable that you, as
Section Head, carried out a check to see whether the order
to make the Reich "clean of Jews" within a certain time had
actually been carried out properly?

A. That is inconceivable.  What is conceivable, though, is
that, for example, various decrees were issued, where at the
end it says that a notification about implementation is
required in three or five months.  What for?  That was
needed for reporting purposes, for reports to higher
authorities, that is conceivable; but to have gone around
and checked whether everything was being done properly, as
far as I know this happened only once, when I was sent by
Mueller to the south of France.

Q. And if such a notification about implementation is to be
sent, someone had to be there who checks whether this can be
sent, whether the order has been carried out.

A. These were in fact the State Police Regional
Headquarters, Senior Commanders of the Security Police and
Inspectors, because the decrees were in fact also issued to
these authorities.

Q. That means that your Section required a report from the
State Police Regional Headquarters on Reich territory by a
certain date: How is the deportation operation going, what
is still left?

A. Not always, but if orders were given, that it was done or
not; what was still left, but also if orders were given for
a new wave of deportations, then circular letters were
issued with a listing of the current situation...

Q. Just a moment.  Of course the cases may vary.  In this
case we were in 1943, and somewhere we heard or read that
there was an order that by this or that date the Reich
territory had to be "clean of Jews."  I would assume then
that this order was issued to the State Police Regional
Headquarters, and they were instructed by your Section to
produce a report by this or that date about the state of

A. Yes.

Q. When the reports showed that, here and there, there were
still so many foreign Jews, then this letter went to the
German Foreign Ministry.

A. No, this report - the various reports which were produced
were turned into a single report in IVB4, and this single
report then went up to the higher authorities.

Q. Without your adding any commentary, and without your
writing: "It has become apparent that so many Jews of
foreign nationality are still on Reich territory, and
something must be done in order to deal with this, and for
this purpose I propose approaching the Foreign Ministry."

A. No, but...

Q. Without "but."

A. No, it was not like that.  This report was drawn up, and
naturally the specifications were given - how many Jews with
German nationality, and so on.

Q. But the proposal, what was to be done now?

A. The reason for all of these teletypes was in fact
precisely an order for deportation.

Q. The order has long since been there: "Reich territory
must be 'clean of Jews' by such and such a time."

A. Yes.

Q. It turns out that this or that has still not been
achieved, a summary report is drawn up, it is submitted to

My question is: Was this report drawn up without a word of
commentary from you, or with commentary from you?

A. Only the figures are given there, only the figures were
specified, nothing else.  What interested me, or rather it
was only the figures which had to be of official interest to
me, in order to draw up the timetable.  For me that was the
important thing, and it is now quite possible, for example
if it said in the report, there are still five thousand Jews
with foreign nationality in the Reich, that Mueller wrote
here with his orange pen: "Check with the Foreign Ministry."
I assume that in fact something of this kind did take place,
and perhaps through some consultation with Hunsche.

Q. The question was whether this went off with your
commentary, or without your commentary.  You said "without

A. The reports went off as they stood, only summarized and

Q. Very well.

A. Perhaps by way of explanation I could add, Your Honour,
it really is difficult to believe the whole business, I
know.  But I have already said, that is how things were on
the subject of the Jewish Question.

Q. Just a moment.  We have now seen how something like this
happened in the Foreign Ministry.  And I do not know -
perhaps you will agree with me, perhaps not - that that was
the normal procedure in every ministry.  So why in your
office, of all offices, was it not so?

A. That is precisely what I wanted to explain, Your Honour.
On the subject of Jewish affairs there were so many
instructions and orders, and there were so many - points of
interference, I would call them - with all the central
authorities and all the party offices, that in fact it was
difficult for the State Police to somehow centralize all of
these demands and these wishes, and implement them according
to the various wishes and orders.  And these things
overlapped, because every Tom, Dick and Harry interfered and
meddled and made demands in this matter.  That is probably
the reason why it was hardly necessary to make any
proposals, and certainly not the Section, and even Mueller
scarcely had to make any proposals.  Rather, here the police
had their hands completely full just keeping up with this

Q. Now, the Wannsee Conference.  Here in the minutes is a
passage which says, "In conclusion the various types of
possible solutions were discussed."  Do you remember this?
Or do you want to see it?

A. I remember that it is there, Your Honour.

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.