The Trial of Adolf Eichmann: Judgment
(Part 26 of 70)


The Implementation of the Final Solution after the Wannsee Conference

89. We shall now review the implementation of the Final Solution in various countries and begin with those countries in which Jews were rounded-up, brought to assembly points, and expelled to places of mass extermination in the East. We shall go from country to country and note briefly the background of events, emphasizing certain facts, the description of which is necessary to lay the ground for the evaluation of the Accused's responsibility, which will be made later on. We wish to emphasize at this point again that we are neither require or able to take upon ourselves the task of the historian, and those matters of which we will mention will be made, out of the whole complicated web of events of the years of the Holocaust, will necessarily be fragmentary, and they are not cited here for the purpose of exhaustive historical description.

90. Again, we begin with Germany itself, because the actions there served as the prototype for what happened in the other countries from which Jews were expelled to the East, both in regard to the anti-Jewish legislation which preceded the expulsion, and also in regard to the carrying out of the expulsions themselves, naturally with changes necessitated by special conditions in each country.

Of the later anti-Jewish legislation in Germany, mention should be made of:

(a) The order for the marking of Jewish apartments, issued in March [1942] (T/640), in order to complete the isolation of the Jews from the rest of the population. As with other anti-Jewish decrees of this kind, this order was not published in the usual way, but handed to the Jewish organizations, which had to publish it in a bulletin intended for Jews only.

(b) A Jew was no longer considered fit to keep domestic animals (dogs, cats and birds), according to special instructions published on 15 May 1942 (T/642).

(c) Regulation No. 11 "legalized" the robbery of Jewish property only if the expulsion was to a place beyond the Reich borders. When the expulsion was to a place within the Reich - for instance Terezin, or in the case of a Jew who had died before crossing the borders of the Reich - other ways were found, so that everything should proceed in a proper and orderly manner. One of the ways is described in detail in a circular issued by the Accused's Section, signed by Suhr, the Section's expert in such matters (T/729). The law dated 14 July 1933 (T/65) was invoked, enabling the confiscation of property devoted to aspirations "hostile to the nation and to the state," as defined by the Minister of the Interior. The Minister of the Interior published an overall definition on 2 March 1942, which stated that the aspirations of all deported Jews were hostile to the nation and to the state.

(d) On 18 September 1942, a conversation took place between Himmler and Thierack, the then Minister of Justice, drastically limiting legal proceedings and the ordinary processes of punishment. It was agreed between them, inter alia, that "unsocial elements would be excluded from the operation of penal procedure and handed over to the Reichsfuehrer-SS for extermination through labour." Those mentioned included all those under protective custody - Jews, Gypsies, Russians and Ukrainians (T/197).

In other words, a Jew, a Gypsy, a Russian or a Ukrainian who was sentenced to imprisonment for any offence, would be handed over to the SS for "extermination through labour." The open use of this term should be noted, in contrast to the method customary in the Nazi regime, of euphemistically distorting the usual meaning of words. Thierack again returns to this matter in his letter to Bormann, dated 13 October 1942 (T/198). These discussions culminated in Regulation No. 13 under the Law of Nationality, published on 1 July 1943, according to which only the police was competent to deal with crimes committed by Jews (T/643). This completed, also according to the letter of the "law," the process of putting the Jew outside the pale of the law, which had been a matter of practice long before this.

How expulsions from Reich territory were carried out during the period after the Wannsee Conference, we shall illustrate by a Duesseldorf Gestapo file submitted to us (exhibits T/1395-1398). The first document in this file (T/1395) is a circular dated 31 January 1942, issued by the Accused's office and bearing his signature. The reference number is IVB4-2093/42g (391), which henceforth is the special marking for all transports of Jews from the Reich. The circular includes instructions defining certain categories of Jews, such as foreign nationals, which are not to be included in the deportations.

For the time being, the purpose of the circular is to fix the number of people to be expelled. According to the circular, the Duesseldorf office collects the necessary data and transfers them to the Accused's office on 9 February 1942. Then, file T/1395 includes "instructions for the technical implementation of the evacuation of Jews to the Generalgouvernement (Trawniki near Lublin)." The part played by the local Gestapo authorities was defined thus:

"The rounding-up and arrest of individuals to be evacuated, the transport of these Jews in special trains of the Reich Railways according to a timetable laid down by the Head Office for Reich Security, in co- ordination with the Ministry of Transport, and also the transfer of property."
Each train will carry one thousand Jews. Each person is permitted to take with him fifty Reichsmark, one suitcase, a complete outfit (good shoes), bedding, food for two weeks, eating utensils (a plate or a pot) and a spoon. The document continues:
"The Commander of the Security Police and the SD in Cracow is responsible for the reception of the evacuees in the Generalgouvernement, and for this purpose he will avail himself of the units of the Commander of the SS and the Police in the Lublin district...the departure of a deportation train is to be communicated immediately by means of the attached form...to the Head Office for Reich Security, Section IVB4, (b) to the Commander of the Security Police and the SD, SS Oberfuehrer Dr. Schoengarth, in Cracow, (c) to the Commander of the SS and the Police in the Lublin district, SS Brigadefuehrer Globocnik.

The arrival and orderly reception of transports at the place of destination, will be reported by the receiving authority (Commander of the SS and the Police in the Lublin district) to the Head Office for Reich Security, Section IVB4, by means of the attached form... On the completion of the operation, a general report containing numerical data (division according to sex, age and profession) is to be supplied to the Head Office for Reich Security by both the forwarding authority and the receiving authority." (These instructions were submitted as exhibit T/737.)

File T/1395 also included a copy of the above circular, T/729, in connection with the handling of the property of evacuated Jews, and also document T/724, which deals with the setting up of the Special Account "W."

91. Special Account "W" was the name of a cunning device invented by the Accused's Section for the transfer of money from evacuated Jews to its own direct disposal (T/734). Perhaps this device was rather aimed against other Reich authorities which might benefit from Jewish property than against the Jews themselves, for they lost their property in any case.

The procedure used was an instruction to the Reich Association of Jews in Germany, to ensure that each evacuated Jew "contribute" not less than twenty-five per cent of his cash to the Special Account "W." The Accused in his testimony explained (Session 77, Vol. IV, p.xxxx71) that the account was used to finance the expulsion of the Jewish "contributors" themselves. Even if this explanation is correct, the balance left over after the expulsion was completed in any case finally passed into the hands of the RSHA, all the accounts of the Association of Jews having been blocked in favour of the RSHA from the outset (T/665, p. 9).

This is the directive transmitted by the Accused's office to the District Gestapo at Duesseldorf, which in turn writes on 17 March 1942 to its local branches, conveying to them instructions requiring action by them. On 10 April 1942, a telephone message is received from the Accused's office stating that a transport is likely to leave Duesseldorf on 22 April 1942. Accordingly, the action is planned in Dusseldorf: The timetable, the men to handle the matter and their duties are fixed along the lines of the instructions issued at Nuremberg (T/620), as mentioned above. The Gestapo man at Duesseldorf is charged with additional tasks before the transport leaves:

He must see to it that two execution officers are present to hand the confiscation orders to the Jews; he has to meet with the local railway authorities to co-ordinate sub-transports from various points; he also has to overcome difficulties made by the local labour authority which is reluctant to release Jews employed in enterprises important to the war effort. In this connection, a telephone conversation takes place with Novak, one of the Accused's assistants.

Three Jews escaped and another three committed suicide. And thus the transport rolled eastwards.


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