The Trial of Adolf Eichmann: Judgment
(Part 43 of 70)


136. There is no doubt that, side by side with the special orders sent from time to time to the Generalgouvernement directly from Himmler, and perhaps also from Hitler's Chancellery, there existed the authority of the RSHA, and therefore also the authority of the Accused, concerning the Generalgouvernement area. This authority could be exercised through the Commander of the Security Police and the SD (BdS) in the Generalgouvernement and its subordinate local police authorities.

Perhaps in practice a large measure of freedom of action was left in the hands of the local police, if only because of the large scale of the actions perpetrated there against Jews. But the Accused admits the fact that such an authority was possessed by the RSHA, when asked by the Superintendent Less if he had prepared orders to the Security Police in Poland as well, based on Heydrich's directives of 21 September 1939 (these are the directives concerning the concentration of Jews in towns etc., mentioned above):

"If during the course of time there was any ambiguity, then of course the BdS was permitted to turn to the RSHA with a request for an explanation, a directive or a decision; and then the official in charge...gave the suitable information." (T/37, p. 3148)
Elsewhere, he explains that this authority was exercised only in regard to "matters beyond the horizon of the Generalgouvernement" (Session 99, Vol. IV, p. xxxx20), and in his Statement to the police, he describes these matters, with which he himself was authorized to deal, as of national importance to the Reich (reichswichtig) (T/37, p. 3128) - for instance the treatment of Jews of foreign nationality in the area of the Generalgouvernement.

We have before us the Accused's letter dated 18 February 1942 (T/267), in which he informs the Foreign Ministry that the inhabitants of the Warsaw Ghetto are to be immediately separated from the rest of the population, and he therefore proposes to treat Jews, nationals of neutral countries, in the same say as Jewish ex-Polish nationals. In a memorandum to the German Foreign Ministry dated April 1942 (T/268), we read that the Accused, as representative of the Head of the Security Police and the SD, stated that in future foreign nationals would be included in the measures taken by the Security Police within the Warsaw Ghetto to ensure public order, for instance, to halt epidemics (in other words, the extermination of these Jews).

Here, it is to be remembered that the large "actions" in the Warsaw Ghetto began in July 1942. It transpires from a later document (T/270 dated 3.9.42) that the Foreign Ministry supported the attitude of the Accused in this matter. Here, therefore, the Accused appears as a decision-maker on behalf of the RSHA in matters concerning the Warsaw Ghetto, and he certainly had authority to carry out his decisions. This is proof of the fact that he implemented the authority which was granted to him as a result of the Wannsee Conference.

We also refer to document T/310, signed by Kaltenbrunner, dated 5 March 1943, with the designation of the Accused's Section. This document is based on a draft prepared by the Accused and his assistant Hunsche (T/271), and its contents are once again instructions that the measures taken are to be applied also against those Jews of foreign nationality of certain countries who live in the Generalgouvernement area and in occupied areas in the East. The letter is also addressed to the Commander of the Security Police and the SD in the Generalgouvernement, and notice of it is given to the Senior Commander of the SS and the Police, Krueger (see also T/784, a letter dated 23 September 1943, on the same subject, signed by Mueller and also bearing the reference IVB4).

But the Accused's Section deals not only with general instructions in the Generalgouvernement area, but also with individual cases. We have documents before us concerning a number of cases in which Section IVB4 occupied itself with cases of Jews of foreign nationality in the Generalgouvernement area, in answer to questions referred to the RSHA by the German Foreign Ministry. For instance, the Accused's Section orders the transfer of a Jew of foreign nationality and his family from the Warsaw Ghetto to a concentration camp (T/355).

The Section deals with a request by the Argentine Embassy to prevent the transfer of one of its nationals living in the Generalgouvernement area to a concentration camp. This last-mentioned case, of Gershon Willner, is worthy of mention also for another reason, for the cynical language used by the Accused when, on 9 July 1942, he reports that this Jew died on 12 April 1942 of weakness of the heart muscle "in spite of large quantities of tonics administered to him" (T/437).

The Argentine Embassy applied for the first time on 17 April 1942 (T/346). On 4 June 1942, the Commander of the Security Police in Cracow (KdS) sent word that they are about to transfer Willner to Auschwitz. It was proved by the evidence of (Gershon Willner's brother-in-law) Aaron Silbermann (Session 30, Vol. I, p. 525), that Willner was a man in good health who never had any heart trouble, and that he died in Auschwitz. Notification of his death was received by his family on 25 June 1942. A copy of a letter from the representative of the Foreign Ministry attached to the Governor General of Cracow was submitted to us (T/346). From this letter it appears that Willner was still alive early in June 1942.

It is clear that the Accused's report about the date and cause of the death or Willner was false, and that the man died an unnatural death. The excuse given by the Accused in his evidence (Session 81, Vol. IV, p. xxxx5), that all he did was to pass on a message which he received from Cracow, is not plausible, because undoubtedly he knew the value of the tale about "administration of tonics," to which he put his signature.

Exhibits T/356, T/357 testify to another case of a Jew of foreign nationality, an inhabitant of the Generalgouvernement area, who was sent with his family to a concentration camp, according to information sent to the Foreign Ministry by the Accused's Section.

We also have before us a letter (T/266) dated 17 September 1942, signed by Mueller, marked IVB4, wherein Mueller informs the head of Himmler's personal staff that he has ordered the issue of directives to the Commander of the Security Police and the SD in Cracow that Jews employed by the Beskides Oil Company are to be evacuated only to the extent that replacements are available. It appears that these orders were given by the Accused's Section, and hence this is further confirmation that this Section was authorized to decide the fate of Jews in the Generalgouvernement area whenever the necessity for such special instructions arose. Mueller's letter gives the impression that it was written in the ordinary course of business, and not as an isolated, unusual case.

137. Evidence was also submitted in connection with the transport of Jews of the Generalgouvernement area by rail to extermination camps. This included an exchange of letters between Ganzenmueller, the State Secretary in the German Ministry of Transport, and Wolff, the head of Himmler's personal staff. Ganzenmueller informs Wolff on 28 July 1942 about a timetable of trains from Warsaw to Treblinka (one train per day, 5,000 Jews each) and from Przemysl to Belzec (one train per week, each 5,000 Jews).

He adds that the running of these trains was decided upon together with the Commander of the Security Police in Cracow, and that information was sent to Globocnik (T/251). To this, Wolff replies on 13 August 1942, expressing joy - also in the name of Himmler - at the fact that a train leaves daily with 5,000 "of the Chosen People" to Treblinka, and requests the assistance of Ganzenmueller in the matter also in future (T/252). As the Accused himself testifies (Session 100, Vol. IV, p. xxxx17 and top of p. 18), this was after the death of Heydrich, when Himmler himself was acting as Head of the Security Police and the SD. It is possible that on this occasion Himmler acted in this capacity, and that therefore this matter also passed through the RSHA channels.

On the other hand, we have before us the minutes of a conference held in Berlin on 26 and 28 September 1942, about the evacuation of 600,000 Jews within the Generalgouvernement area, and 200,000 Romanian Jews to the Generalgouvernement area (T/1284). There is no list of those who participated in the conference. It concerns urgent transports proposed by the Head of the Security Police and the SD between Warsaw and Treblinka, and between Lemberg and Belzec.

In his Statement to Superintendent Less, the Accused says (T/37, p. 3545) that possibly Novak, one of his own Section, took part in this conference, but almost in the same breath he contends (pp. 3540, 3544) that his Section never dealt with deportations within the Generalgouvernement area, and in his evidence in Court he reiterates this more strongly (Session 100, Vol. IV, p. xxxx15 et seq.). But we do not believe this denial, for in our opinion the fact that the Head of the Security Police and of the SD was concerned with the matter is decisive, and therefore it is logical that someone from the Accused's Section - which was the Section authorized to deal with Jewish affairs - participated at this meeting on behalf of the RSHA.

The Accused was right in assuming, as he did in his Statement to Superintendent Less, that the suitable man for this was Novak, the expert in matters of transport in Section IVB4. It is to be noted that negotiations on general policy in this matter took place in Berlin, and not in Cracow, which was the seat of the Eastern Railways management, and that questions of transportation within the Generalgouvernement area were discussed at one and the same conference with matters of transport from Romania, which were, without dispute, within the competence of the Accused's Section.

The Commander of the Security Police in Cracow, mentioned in letter T/251, is also a member of the RSHA. The allegation by the Accused, in his Statement to Superintendent Less, that such matters of transport were within the scope of Globocnik's authority, is unfounded. In T/25, we see that Globocnik only received notice of matters which had been agreed upon by others, and naturally such notice had to be given to him, as he was receiving the transports of Jews in the extermination camps.

Novak himself, in his evidence for the Defence taken for his trial in Vienna (p. 8) admits that he did negotiate with the management of Eastern Railways, although he denies contact with the authorities of the Generalgouvernement.

Ludwig Rajewski, who gave evidence at the trial of Hoess in Poland, worked in the Registry Office in Auschwitz. In his evidence (T/1356), he said that Jews from the Generalgouvernement area also arrived at Auschwitz and mentions these transports together with transports from Bialystok. This is an important fact, since the Accused's Section undoubtedly dealt with the Jews of Bialystok (see supra, para. 134). Here lies the proof that the Accused's Section had a hand also in the deportation of Jews from the Generalgouvernement area to Auschwitz. From the evidence of Mrs. Rivka Kuper (Session 26, Vol. I, pp. 431-433), we also learn about the deportation of Jews from the Generalgouvernement area (Cracow) to Auschwitz.

To conclude this chapter, we find that the Accused and his Section were also authorized to deal with matters concerning the Final Solution of the Jewish Question within the area of the Generalgouvernement, and that according to the evidence they were also active, in fact, in this matter from time to time, although it would be true to say that the Accused's main activity was not here but elsewhere, whilst in the Generalgouvernement area there existed other channels of command, wherein the Accused had no part.


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