Newsgroups: alt.revisionism Subject: Holocaust Almanac - Eichmann visits Auschwitz Summary: Eichmann discusses his Auschwitz visit, and the duties of his department relative to Auschwitz, explains "special treatment." Followup-To: alt.revisionism Organization: The Nizkor Project, Vancouver Island, CANADA Keywords: eichmann Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/eichmann.003 Last-Modified: 2007/08/21 Notes: The complete transcripts of the trial of Adolf Eichmann are available at http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/e/eichmann-adolf/transcripts/ 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: You were also in Auschwitz? EICHMANN: I kept getting orders to visit Auschwitz. Mueller told me they were expanding the plant, and he wanted me to take a look and report back to him. Herr Hauptmann, those fellows were very cruel, describing those things as gruesomely as possible to a man accustomed to desk work, putting it to him as abruptly as possible. Naturally, they laughed their heads off when my nerves broke down and I couldn't keep up my military dignity - that's what they called it - the way they did. Ho"ss told me Himmler had been there and taken a good look at everything. He told me the Reichsfuehrer himself had gone all weak in the knees. He meant that, meant that, in a disparaging sense, because Ho"ss himself was thoroughly hardened. That was the day when Himmler, after seeing that - undoubtedly to screw up his own courage and hide his weakness from his concentration-camp men - told Hoess that those were battles the coming generation wouldn't have to fight. When I visited the installation, Hoess send for an all-terrain car. We drove to a certain place - I don't know my way around Auschwitz. I never got any further than the command post at the main entrance. Had no desire to. As we were driving, I saw some big buildings. Almost like factories. Enormous chimneys. Hoess says to me: "Working to capacity! Ten thousand!" A job was under way. They were separating the able-bodied from the ones who were supposedly unfit for work. I didn't watch the gassing. I couldn't. I'd have probably keeled over. And I thought: Whew, I've got it over with again. But then he drives me to a big trench. It was very big, I can't say exactly how big, maybe a hundred meters long, maybe a hundred and fifty or a hundred and eighty. And there was an enormous grating, an iron grating. And corpses were burning on it. Then I got sick to my stomach. Sick to my stomach. (von Lang, 83-84) ... LESS: What were the duties of Bureau IV B4 in relation to Auschwitz? EICHMANN: Strictly speaking, none, Herr Hauptmann, only when the man in charge of these things at Administration and Supply Headquarters, usually a certain Liebehenschel, was consulted about the destination of the shipments from one place or another ordered by the Reichsfuehrer. This was a purely technical question of scheduling and routing. LESS: What does "special treatment" mean, and who was subjected to it? EICHMANN: Special treatment was killing. Who thought up the term - I don't know. Must have been Himmler, who else could it have been - but then, I have no proof, maybe Heydrich thought it up after Goering gave him his authorization. But I really don't know. I'm just trying to puzzle it out. LESS: But you knew special treatment meant killing? EICHMANN: Everybody knew that, yes, Herr Hauptmann, everybody knew. When a shipment was marked "for special treatment," they decided at the point of arrival who was fit for labor and who wasn't. LESS: In other words, special treatment was given to those who were declared unfit for labor? EICHMANN: By the doctor, yes. But there were also certain groups that Himmler put down for "priority accommodation." LESS: Who drew up the lists of Jews to be sent to Auschwitz and given special treatment? EICHMANN: That must have been the evacuating authority. That's my guess. Because IV B4 didn't evacuate; it only transported. LESS: Did you receive copies of the lists? EICHMANN: No, never a list. LESS: You only set up shipments? EICHMANN: Set up shipments? No, Herr Hauptmann, only the schedules for the shipments. The shipments themselves were set up by the evacuating authority. LESS: Was special treatment given in other places besides Auschwitz? EICHMANN: Yes. In the Government General there was Kulm and there was Treblinka. No shipment was ever run to Kiev or Lemberg; in those places, people were shot. LESS: Who drew up the lists of Jews to be deported for special treatment? EICHMANN: There again, Herr Hauptmann, it was always the evacuating authority. LESS: Was it the duty of Hoess, the Auschwitz camp commander, to record the number of Jews sent to Auschwitz? EICHMANN: I don't know that, Herr Hauptmann. I am not informed about his official duties, and if I had asked him I don't believe he would have given me truthful answers. Those Auschwitz people always kept you at a distance - Hoess, too, at first - because they didn't want anyone to see their cards, and I was from a different outfit. They had the death's-head on their collar patch, and I didn't have naything. LESS: How many Jews were gassed and killed at Auschwitz? EICHMANN: Herr Hauptmann, I've read, and Hoess is supposed to have said, that he killed four million Jews. Up to now, I've thought that figure exaggerated. But if we're going to talk about figures, whether it's one million or four million or a hundred amounts to the same thing in principle. In these last fifteen years, I've done some figuring myself. At the end of the war, I spoke to my officers of five million. I saw that figure as a kind of clound in my mind's eye. In that brief, hmm, how shall I put it? - apocalyptic speech, or whatever you chose to call it, I wasn't looking for exact figures. I don't remember whether the Jewish Year Book published at that time gave the figure of ten million Jews for Europe, or whether that figure covered the German-occupied Russian territories. In any case, I tried to work out a basis to figure on. I've read that a few months after the war the Allies reckoned that 2.4 million Jews were still in existence. I read that somewhere. Emigration from Austria, Germany, the U.S.S.R. - I said to myself, let's say that 1.2 million Jews emigrated. Then comes natural diminuition. I'm no statistician. I just figured that out for myself. So on that basis I said to myself: Yes, one way or another, about six million Jews must have been killed. Whether I was right or not, I don't know, Herr Hauptmann. (von Lang, 108-110) 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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