Newsgroups: alt.revisionism,soc.history Subject: Holocaust Almanac - Eichmann on medical experimentation Summary: Eichmann discusses Ahnenerbe and medical experimentation with Captain Avner Less, of the Eichmann interrogation team, along with the acquisition of skulls and skeletons for 'research' purposes. Followup-To: alt.revisionism Organization: Nizkor Project, Vancouver Island, CANADA Keywords: Ahnenerbe,Eichmann,Sievers Archive/File: holocaust/germany/eichmann eichmann.006 XRef: Index eichmann, index auschwitz Last-modified: 1993/08/09 Notes: Captain Avner W. Less was the Israeli police officer who interrogated Adolf Eichmann, prior to his trial and subsequent conviction in Jerusalem. Comments, designated by brackets , are those of the editor, Jochen von Lang. Typos are mine, not the author's. ~~~ LESS: Did your work bring you into contact with Ahnenerbe [Ancestral Heritage], the Institute for Scientific Study of Ends and Purposes, in Berlin? EICHMANN: No, no, no! LESS: Did you know SS-Standartenfu"hrer Dr. Sievers, the director of Ahnenerbe? [Ahnenerbe was a typical brainchild of Himmler's, a faithful reflection of his character. Its aims were at once chaotic and romantic. It encouraged utter unscrupulousness on the grounds that the end justifies the means. Its high-sounding title covered such diverse undertakings as experimentation on living concentration-camp inmates and the study of Germanic pre-history. Professor Dr. Wolfram Sievers was the director of this obscure institute.] LESS: Did your duties bring you into contact with Dr. Sievers? EICHMANN: No, no, no. Not that I remember. Not that I remember. LESS: Did you know SS-Hauptsturmfu"hrer Professor Dr. Hirt of Strassburg University? EICHMANN: Hirt? No, I didn't know him either. LESS: Did you or your department have anything to do with the transfer of detainees from one concentration camp to another? EICHMANN: No, no, no. From one concentration camp to another? LESS: Let's say from Auschwitz to Mauthausen. Or from Auschwitz to Natzweiler? EICHMANN: No, no. That wasn't my department. That would have been the Protective...the Protective Custody Bureau. LESS: Did your duties bring you into contact with SS-Obersturmbannfu"hrer Dr. Rudolf Brandt of the Reichsfu"hrer-SS's personal staff? EICHMANN: Dr. Brandt, the physician, oh yes, Brandt, he was somebody's personal physician. I don't know if he was Hitler's or ... LESS: Or Himmler's? EICHMANN: That's it, Himmler's. No, I never had any connection with him. [Dr. Rudolf Brandt was not a physician. He was Himmler's aide-de-camp, but his influence was far greater than that title suggests. Dr. Karl Brandt, no close relation, was a doctor, one of Hitler's personal physicians. See URL http://www.almanac.bc.camanac.bc.ca/cgi-bin/ftp.pl?people/b/brandt.karl/] LESS: I have some photostats of documents that were submitted in the first Nuremberg war crimes trial, the trial of the physicians. The sender of this letter is the business manager of Ahnenerbe. I'll read it to you. "Berlin, November 2, 1942. Secret. To SS-Obersturmbannfu"hrer Dr. Brandt. Dear Comrade Brandt: As you know, the Reichsfu"hrer-SS gave orders some time ago to the effect that SS-Hauptsturmfu"hrer Prof. Dr. Hirt should be supplied with everything he requires for his research. For certain anthropological investigations -- I have already reported to the Reichsfu"hrer-SS on the subject -- 150 skeletons of prisoners or Jews are needed, and these are to be made available by the Auschwitz concentration camp." Etc. etc. It's signed: "With comradely greetings, Heil Hitler, Yours, Sievers." The second document is a report by this Professor Hirt. "Re: Procurement of the skulls of Jewish-Bolshevistic commissars for scientific research at the University of Strassburg." I quote: "Extensive skull collections from nearly all races and people are in existence. It is only of Jews that so few skulls are available to science that work on them admits of no secure findings. The war in the East now offers us an opportunity to make good this deficiency. In the Jewish-Bolshevistic commissars, who embody a repulsive and characteristic type of subhuman, we have the possibility of acquiring a reliable scientific document by acquiring their skulls. The smoothest and most expeditious way of obtaining and securing this provision of skulls would be to instruct the Wehrmacht to hand over all Jewish-Bolshevistic commissars immediately to the military police. The person charged with securing this material (a young physician or medical student belonging to the Wehrmacht or better still to the military police) is to prepare a previously specified series of photographs and anthropoligical measurements. After the subsequently induced death of the Jew, whose head must not be injured, he will separate the head from the trunk and send it, immersed in a preserving fluid, in well-sealed lead containers made especially for this purpose, to the designated address." And now the next document. A letter of June 21, 1943. From Ahnenerbe. Top secret. "To Reich Security Headquarters IVB4, Attention: SS-Obersturmfu"hrer Eichmann. Re: Skeleton collection. With reference to your letter of September 25, 1942, and the consultations held since then regarding the above-mentioned matter, we wish to inform you that Dr. Bruno Beger, our staff member charged with the above-mentioned special mission, terminated his work in the Auschwitz concentration camp on June 15, 1943, because of the danger of an epidemic. In all, 115 persons, 79 male Jews, 2 Poles, 4 Central Asians, and 30 Jewesses, were processed. These inmates have been placed, men and women separately, in the concentration-camp sick quarters, and quarantined. For the further processing of these selected persons, immediate transfer to Natzweiler concentration camp is desirable and should be effected as quickly as possible in view of the danger of infection in Auschwitz. A list of the selected persons is appended. You are requested to send the necessary instructions." And now for the last document. "The Reichsfu"hrer-SS Personal Staff, Field Headquarters, November 6, 1942. Secret. To Reich Security Headquarters IVB4. Attention: SS-Obersturmfu"hrer Eichmann. The Reichsfu"hrer-SS has ordered that Dr. Hirt, head of the Anatomy Department in Strassburg, should be supplied with everything needed for his research. In the name of the Reichsfu"hrer-SS, I therefore request you to help establish the projected skeleton collection. per. proc. SS-Obersturmbannfu"hrer Brandt." EICHMANN: I don't remember those names. Anyway, it's an order from the Reichsfu"hrer-SS and chief of the German police. The whole correspondence makes that clear enough. Of course, considerations of competence must have made me turn the whole thing over to Administration and Supply. Where could I have gotten all those skulls? LESS: This is about skeletons, or rather, living people. EICHMANN: Yes, that's a fact. LESS: In other words, living people, who are to be transformed into skeletons. EICHMANN: Yes, of course. The doctors are supposed to go to the concentration camp and select them. Why they apply to me, I can't make out. And there's no letter from me in the file, no answer or anything. So it's possible that I ... not on my own authority, of course... submitted this whole thing to Mu"ller and then, seeing it was an order from the Reichsfu"hrer, turned it over to Administration and Supply. Nothing else is conceivable, because I can't... I can't deliver skeletons... or living people. I... didn't have any camp... any camp where they could be selected. That could only have been done in a concentration camp. LESS: Yes, but you did give instructions to send those people to Natzweiler. EICHMANN: No, I can't do that either. The Protective Custody Bureau has to do that. LESS: It's clear from Siever's letter to you ... that ... he was writing on the basis of a conversation with you. EICHMANN: Yes, that's a fact... LESS: What sort of conversation? EICHMANN: It's definitely true; I can remember discussing some such thing. But I didn't know ... anything about skeletons. You see, I knew about skulls. Once I knew that this order came from the Reichsfu"hrer-SS and chief of the German police in person, I had to pass it on to the competent authority. That sort of thing wasn't in my department. LESS: So you carried out the order? EICHMANN: I couldn't carry it out, Herr Hauptmann...It had to be carried out by Administration and Supply Headquarters; it wasn't up to me. LESS: So what did you do? EICHMANN: Undoubtedly, I passed it on to Administration and Supply, because they were competent. Not on my own initiative, but because it was an order from the Reichsfu"hrer. I can't believe that I wrote to Camp Commandant Ho"ss - Ho"ss - in Auschwitz about it. I couldn't write to Ho"ss directly about a thing like that. It's simply not true that Section IV, the Secret State Police, supplied those skeletons. LESS: Those people... EICHMANN: Supplied those people. Because in Auschwitz...in Auschwitz...because this was in Auschwitz, wasn't it? ...So this doctor goes there and selects people. But there were tens of thousands of people in Auschwitz. I had no need to give any orders in Auschwitz if the Reichsfu"hrer-SS and chief of the German police had given them. LESS: I beg your pardon. Herr Sievers informs you that his man has gone there and selected his people, and he asks you to see about... EICHMANN: ...having them sent to Natzweiler. LESS: ...about...about giving instructions. EICHMANN: But, Herr Hauptmann, what sort of instructions was I expected to give? LESS: I'm asking you. I'm very curious to know. EICHMANN: Well...you see...I myself...I...I don't know...I...I...I...What instructions could I have given? To kill them? I wouldn't have had to give any instructions for that, Herr Hauptmann; Ho"ss already had full powers to kill. I didn't have to give any instructions for a hundred and sixty people - I can only explain this by telling you something gruesome...hmm...very gruesome... It's the only way...Ho"ss, you see...er...every week he'd get so and so many shipments, and the Fu"hrer had given orders to kill...so why would I have to give Ho"ss, who killed thousands of people each week in line with the Fu"hrer's Order, why would I have to give him special instructions - which I couldn't have given in the first place, because it's a different outfit, he belonged to a different outfit - to kill a hundred and sixty people. LESS: They weren't killed in Auschwitz; they were sent to Natzweiler. EICHMANN: Or Natzweiler. People were killed... in every concentration camp if they were scheduled to be killed. The concentration-camp commanders...got those orders from the competent headquarters, from Administration and Supply. But I can't conceive of us, Bureau IV B4, IV B4, ever giving the Auschwitz concentration camp any orders. We probably passed the whole thing on to Administration and Supply for jurisdictional reasons. Basically, it comes to the same thing anyway, because the order came from the Reichsfu"hrer and chief of the German police. Whatever I may have done, I had no responsibility whatever, because the oath I had to take obligated me to loyalty and obedience. The order came from my highest hierarchical superior. That would have put me in a compulsive situation, I'd have had to obey. That's as plain as day. (von Lang, 167-174) Work Cited von Lang, Jochen, ed., in collaboration with Claus Sibyll. Eichmann Interrogated: Transcripts from the Archives of the Israeli Police. Translated from the German by Avner W. Less. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1983.
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