The Trial of Adolf Eichmann: Judgment
(Part 11 of 70)


THE FIRST STAGE
THE PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS IN GERMANY

56. Extreme anti-Semitism was from the outset a main tenet in the programme of the National Socialist Party. Paragraph four of the programme declares that a Jew cannot be a citizen of the German state, since he does not belong to the German people. Paragraph eight demands that all those who are not Germans and immigrated into Germany after 2 August 1914 shall be compelled to leave Reich territory immediately (T/1403).

With the rise of Hitler to power, the persecution of the Jews became official policy and took on quasi-legal form through laws and regulations published by the government of the Reich, in accordance with legislative powers delegated to it by the Reichstag on 24 March 1933 (Session 14, Vol. I, p. 215 [where it is erroneously dated 23 March 1933]), and through direct acts of violence organized by the regime against the persons and property of the Jews.

The purpose of these actions carried out in the first stage was to deprive the Jews of citizen rights, to degrade them and to strike fear into their hearts, to separate them from the rest of the inhabitants, to oust them from the economic and cultural life of the state, and to close off their sources of livelihood.

The trends became sharper as the years went on, until the outbreak of the War. Already before German Jewry suffered the first large-scale shock on 1 April 1933, when Jewish businesses were boycotted, arrests of Jews had begun and Jews were sent to concentration camps. Mr. Benno Cohn, one of the leaders of the Jewish Community, who gave evidence about this period, told of women who received by post urns containing the ashes of their husbands who had been killed in the concentration camps, accompanied by a letter which read as follows:

"Your husband died of a heart attack. We are sending you the ashes. The Post Office fee is three and a half marks." (Session 14, Vol. I, p. 212.)
The series of laws and regulations commenced with the "Law for the Reorganization of the Professional Civil Service," dated 7 April 1933 (T/61), as a result of which non-Aryan (i.e. Jewish, in accordance with the race theory) civil servants were dismissed, with a few exceptions. Licenses held by Jews to engage in the liberal professions were cancelled (Session 14, Vol. I, p. 214). Jewish artists were forbidden to appear before non-Jews (Session 14, Vol. I, p. 216). Books by Jewish writers were burned in public.

In September 1935 the Nuremberg Race Laws were published (The Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honour), which turned the Jews into citizens of an inferior grade and forbade marriage and sexual relations between persons belonging to the two peoples (T/67). The Citizenship Law also served as the main basis for the discriminatory legislation against the Jews, which followed afterwards.

57. On 27 October 1938 the Germans for the first time carried out an act of mass expulsion against Jews. Thousands of Jews of Polish nationality living in German cities were arrested simultaneously, transported by rail to the Polish border in the region of Zbaszyn and cruelly expelled and forced to cross the border (Session 14, Vol. I, p. 207; Session 17, Vol. I p. 226). Amongst them was the witness Zyndel Grynszpan, who had been living in Hanover since 1911, with his wife and two of his children. Another of his sons, Hirsch Feivel Grynszpan, shot the Counsellor of the German Embassy in Paris, vom Rath. After this act, the wave of persecution swelled up against the Jews in general.

On 9 November 1938 news came that vom Rath had died of his wounds, and immediately the signal was given for pogroms against the Jews on the same night (the eve of 10 November 1938), known as "Crystal Night." In the cities of Germany organized gangs burst into Jewish shops and apartments on orders from above, committed acts of violence against Jews, destroyed and plundered everything that fell into their hands. One hundred and ninety-one synagogues went up in flames and another seventy-six synagogues were demolished. The day after, throughout the Reich, there began the arrests of thousands of male Jews, who were brought to concentration camps.

On 12 November 1938, Goering, who was in charge of the Four Year Plan, issued an order for the payment by the Jews of Germany of a billion marks as "expiation money." This order was carried out by levying twenty-five per cent of the value of Jewish property (T/634). He also issued a second order on the same day forbidding Jews, inter alia, to maintain retail establishments and to work as independent craftsmen (T/76).

During the same period regulations were issued for the "Aryanization" of Jewish businesses and other assets, that is to say, for their forced transfer to non- Jews at unrealistic prices (T/79). Simultaneously with the persecution of the Jews as individuals came the control by the German state over their autonomous institutions. In March 1938, their status as public bodies was withdrawn from the Jewish communities, which thereby lost their authority to levy taxes, and on 4 July 1939 the Jews were organized compulsorily in the "Reich Association of the Jews in Germany" (Reichsvereinigung) which was placed under the control of the Minister of the Interior (T/81).

The minister was also authorized to disband existing Jewish organizations or to merge them in the Reich Association. Such a merger of an organization involved a transfer of its assets to the Reich Association. Thus a convenient instrument was created for total control by the Reich Government of the public property of German Jewry.

58. In the same Order of July 1939, it was stated that the purpose of the Reich Association was "to promote the emigration of the Jews." In fact, during that period the Reich Government regarded as a desirable solution the emigration of the Jews from Reich territory and from the territories which had meanwhile been annexed to the Reich (Austria and the Bohemia-Moravia Protectorate).

Actually, this had been the trend already from the beginning of the National Socialist regime; but whereas in the first years this trend found expression, to some extent, in the encouragement of voluntary emigration, accompanied by the granting of certain concessions in regard to the transfer of Jewish capital abroad, the line taken changed afterwards to forced emigration under pressure and was accompanied by the robbing of the emigrants' property (Session 15, Vol. I, p. 226).

Thus the German Foreign Ministry notifies its representatives abroad on 8 July 1938 that the transfer of Jewish property abroad is not to be facilitated. And on 8 December 1938 the American Ambassador in Berlin reports a statement by the German Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ribbentrop, who said that:

"The Jews in Germany without exception were pickpockets, murderers and thieves. The property they possessed was acquired illegally. The German Government has therefore decided to equate their status with the criminal element of the population. The property they acquired illegally will be taken from them." (T/115).
In accordance with this, it became official policy first of all to put pressure upon Jews without means to emigrate from the Reich (T/123, at the end of page 2). This policy was first put into practice in Austria and the Protectorate, and introduced only later in the territory of the Old Reich. This policy is bound up with the Centres for Jewish Emigration in Vienna, Prague and Berlin, in the organization of which the Accused played a decisive part. Accordingly, we shall interrupt at this point the description of the general background of the first stage and survey the Accused's biography to the point at which he appears as the person in charge of the Emigration Centre in Vienna.

Biographical details of the Accused up to his entry into the SD.

59. Particulars of the Accused's youth are known to us from his Statement made before Superintendent Less (T/37) and from memoirs which he also wrote while under detention in Israel (T/44).

Adolf Eichmann (full name: Otto Adolf Eichmann - T/37, p. 3), born in 1906 in Solingen in the Rhineland in Germany, the first-born son of his father Adolf Karl Eichmann, and his mother, Maria, nee Schefferling. His father, a devout Evangelical Christian, was a bookkeeper in the local electricity company.

In 1914 the family moved to Austria, to the town of Linz, where the father continued to work as commercial manager in the electricity company in that town. The Accused grew up in Linz, went to elementary school there, and after that studied for four years at high school. He then attended a vocational school, which he also left after two years, without completing his studies. In the meantime his father lost his money in business, at which he tried his hand without success. Amongst other things he set up a mining company in which the Accused worked for some time as a miner. The Accused later became a salesman in an electricity supplies firm, and finally a travelling agent for the Austrian Socony Vacuum Company.

At first the Accused joined the "Front-Fighters" Association, an Austrian nationalistic organization. In 1932 he joined the National Socialist Party under the influence of his acquaintance, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who was later to become the head of the Head Office for Reich Security. In the same year, he also entered the Austrian SS (Schutzstaffeln der NSDAP).

In 1933 he was dismissed from his post in the Socony Vacuum Company, and shortly afterwards, with Hitler's rise to power, he left Austria for Germany. In November 1933, he enlisted for military service in the Austrian SS unit in exile and underwent military training in the SS camps in Lechfeld and Dachau, in Bavaria. After attaining the rank of Scharfuehrer (Corporal), he volunteered, in October 1934, for service at the Head Office of the Security Service (SD) in Berlin.

The Structure of the SD and the RSHA

60. Before we continue to describe the Accused's career, we shall review in brief the complicated structure of the SD and the other organizations in which the Accused was active in the course of the years.

The SD, or to use its full name, the "Security Service of the Reichsfuehrer-SS," was originally the intelligence service of the SS and later of the entire National Socialist Party. At its head stood Reinhard Heydrich. In 1936 Heydrich was appointed also to head the Security Police, which was a state organization comprising the State Secret Police (Gestapo) with its local Gestapo offices, and the Criminal Police (T/93). This appointment was given to Heydrich by Himmler in his capacity as head of the entire German police, within the framework of the Ministry of the Interior. Himmler took upon himself the position of head of the German police, which he united with his original post as leader of the SS; hence his full title: "Reichsfuehrer-SS and Head of the German Police."

The unification of the central institutions of the SD with the Security Police was completed by an order from Himmler on 27 September 1939 (T/96), creating the Head Office for Reich Security (Reichssicherheitshauptamt, henceforth the RSHA), with Heydrich in charge. It had six (later seven) offices. The Gestapo was merged into this new setup as Department IV of the RSHA, headed by Heinrich Mueller. The task of Department IV was defined as "combating opponents." The Criminal Police was transformed into Department V and the intelligence duties of the SD were transferred to Departments II, III, VI in the RSHA (T/647, T/99; see also the comparative table of division of duties, at the end of exhibit T/99. This table was erroneously attached to the main document T/99 at the principal Nuremberg Trial, because it clearly relates to the time when the RSHA was set up at the end of 1939, whereas the main document relates to the period after March 1941). This unification was effective only at the Centre in Berlin.

In the field, the activities of the Gestapo, the Criminal Police and the SD were co_ordinated by Commanders of the Security Police and SD (IdS) and in the conquered areas by the Senior Commander of the Security Police and SD (BdS) (T/83, T/95). These acted as representatives of the head of the RSHA, and it was from the RSHA that they took their orders. As has been said, Heydrich was the head of the RSHA when it was founded. He held this position until his death in June 1942. In December 1942, Kaltenbrunner was appointed in his place.

Formally the RSHA was affiliated to the Ministry of the Interior, and Himmler himself also acted within the framework of that ministry, in terms of his authority as head of the German police. In August 1943, Himmler was also appointed to the post of Minister of the Interior (T/1428). At the same time, the RSHA was also one of the twelve main offices of the SS, which included, amongst others, the SS Economic-Administrative Head Office, headed by Pohl, and the Head Office of the Public Order Police (Ordnungspolizei), headed by Daluege.

As leader of the SS, Himmler controlled all these twelve main offices. The RSHA as a whole became an SS institution also in terms of personnel, by virtue of the fact that in November 1939 all officials of the Gestapo and the Criminal Police received SS titles in accordance with their ranks (T/83, p. 2). In the Reich districts, and later also in the conquered areas, Himmler appointed Senior SS and Police Commanders who acted as his personal representatives. Their duty was to co-ordinate in their areas the activities of the Order Police, the Security Police and the SD, in addition to the armed SS and general SS units (T/98).

The Accused in the SD - until his arrival in Vienna

61. As stated above, the Accused came to the Head Office of the SD in Berlin in October 1934. At first he worked in the Department for Research into the Freemasons, but after a few months, at the beginning of 1935, he was moved to Department II 112 - "Jews," and from then on, until the end of the Third Reich, he never ceased to be engaged in combating the Jews. He worked in this Department in Berlin for about three years, until March 1938, and was appointed "Referent" (Specialist Officer) for Zionist affairs.

The Department dealt in intelligence work, in close co-operation with the parallel "Jewish Department" in the Gestapo (II 4 B), which had the authority to take executive action (T/107; T/123, p. 2). He did well at this work, and at the end of 1937 was promoted to officer's rank (Untersturmfuehrer). In a personal report of the year 1937 (included in T/55 (3)), written by Dieter Wisliceny, who was then his superior, it is stated:

"Eichmann has acquired comprehensive knowledge of the methods of organization and ideology of the opponent, Jewry... His National Socialist outlook is the basis for his standing both within the service and outside it."
(In the course of time, the Accused was promoted over the head of his own chief, and Wisliceny became one of his main assistants.)

The Accused tried to learn Hebrew by the "self-taught" method. His request to his superiors for permission to continue studying the language with a rabbi was rejected (T/55 (11)). He learned to read Yiddish to the extent of being able to understand the newspaper Haint (T/44, p. 49). At this point we may mention also the legend cultivated by the Accused himself that he had been born in the Templar Colony in Sarona in Palestine (Session 16, Vol. I, p. 254; Session 41, Vol. II, p. 738).

The Accused wrote an instructional booklet on Zionist affairs for SS men (T/ 44, p. 41), and lectured to SS and army commanders on "the World Zionist organization, its structure and aims," and also on "the New Zionist organization" (T/44, p. 48). In 1937, he was sent to the National Socialist Party rally in Nuremberg to make contacts with persons from abroad, in order to stimulate anti-Jewish propaganda (T/121).

In November 1937, he travelled to Palestine and Egypt, together with his superior, Hagen, on an espionage mission, chiefly amongst the Jews. He was instructed, inter alia, to establish contact with the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini. Their boat anchored at Haifa, and the Accused went ashore. From there the journey continued to Egypt. While they were there, they requested an entry permit to Palestine, but came up against difficulties on the part of the British authorities, and therefore had to be satisfied with information given to them in Cairo by their informants. A detailed report of their journey has been submitted to us (T/124). We shall quote two passages which illustrate its general tenor.

With regard to the proposal to increase emigration opportunities for German Jews by way of capital transfer in the form of goods, the report states:

"Since the above-mentioned emigration of 50,000 Jews per year would chiefly strengthen Jewry in Palestine, this plan is out of the question, in view of the fact that it is the policy of the Reich to avoid the creation of an independent Jewish State in Palestine."
We now move from high policy to trivial matters. With regard to a German who sought to obtain an agency in Palestine for the German Aviation Company, the report mentions "his unsuitability from a professional and personal point of view and because of his personal philosophy," and that it is typical of the man's true political attitude that "the travel agency which he manages sends greetings to all its Jewish customers on the occasion of the Jewish New Year"!


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