The Trial of Adolf Eichmann: Judgment
(Part 22 of 70)


Heydrich's Appointment by Goering

81. We have stressed the connection between the cessation of emigration and the extermination order, because this is important for the understanding of document T/179, which is one of the basic documents in the history of the extermination. This is Heydrich's letter of appointment from Goering. In the copy submitted to us, the letter is dated July 1941, without specifying the day, but it is clear from other documents (T/180, T/181) that the date of appointment was 31 July 1941. And this is the text of the letter:

"In addition to the task with which you were already charged by an order dated 24.1.39, namely to bring the Jewish problem to a suitable solution, as far as possible, according to prevailing conditions, by emigration or evacuation, I further direct you hereby to make all the necessary organizational, substantive and material preparations for the general solution of the Jewish problem within the area of German influence in Europe.

To the extent that the competence of other central authorities be involved in this matter, they should be asked to co-operate.

I also order you to supply me shortly with a general proposal in regard to preliminary organizational, substantive and material steps to be taken for the implementation of the desired Final Solution of the Jewish Question"

The letter, dated 24 January 1939, is document T/125, mentioned above, wherein Heydrich was appointed to head the Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration.

In the above memorandum by Luther (T/196), Heydrich is quoted as saying that this letter of appointment, too, was given to Heydrich by Goering in accordance with an order from Hitler (supra, p. 5).

A comparison of the two documents (T/179 and T/125) shows that this time (in document T/179) reference is made to "a general solution of the Jewish question within the area under German influence in Europe" and to "the desired Final Solution of the Jewish Question." These expressions were missing in the previous document (T/125). The principal material difference lies in the word "evacuation," which appears in T/179 and does not appear in T/125. But in T/179, as well, there is no mention of the word extermination. However, there is no mistaking the true meaning, as the Accused himself confirms in his statement T/37, p. 168. The date of the letter T/179 (not shown to the Accused at the time) was not known to him, and he ascribed it to a later period. But he is conversant with its implication, for this is what he says of the letter of appointment:

"We can attribute it to the period when emigration was no longer possible, and the radical solution began."
Thus, at the time of this appointment, emigration had ceased to be a practical solution for the removal of masses of Jews, whose numbers had increased in the meantime because of new conquests in the East. Accordingly, the stress in the letter of appointment is on "evacuation," which means extermination.


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