The Trial of Adolf Eichmann: Judgment
(Part 45 of 70)


140. In considering the whole question of the Accused's activity in the East, we have not taken into account the various rumours testified to by some of the witnesses who declared that they had heard of the Accused as the person responsible for what was happening in the ghettos. With regard to this evidence, we have not found it appropriate to use our power under Section 15 of the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law, 5710-1950, since it is not cle

ar to us in what way those rumours reached the witnesses. 141. Has the Accused's activity in the actual extermination operations, as distinct from his activities in rounding up Jews and deporting them to the places of extermination, been proved, and to what extent? In our view, this question is only of secondary importance, because the legal and moral responsibility of a person who delivers the victim to his death is, in our opinion, no less, and maybe even greater, than the liability of the one who does the victim to death. But the question has been raised, and it is our duty to discuss it. We shall therefore consider separately the camps in the East (Treblinka, Majdanek, Sobibor, Belzec) and Auschwitz.

With regard to the extermination camps in the East, it appears that they were set up by the SS and Police Commander in the Lublin region, Globocnik, under a special order which he received direct from Himmler, or Hitler himself, in the second half of 1941. Later, after Heydrich's death, the extermination operation in these camps and the plunder of the victims' property there was known as "Operation Reinhard," from Heydrich's first name. These camps were first put into operation at various dates in the first half of 1942. They were actually set functioning by Kriminalrat Christian Wirth, who had already specialized in the killing by gas of human beings, by exterminating mentally sick persons. This is the same Wirth who was mentioned by Gerstein in his statement about his visit to the Belzec camp, quoted above. Apparently, Wirth used to receive his orders directly from Hitler's Chancellery (uehrerkanzlei) which had posted him for duty to Globocnik.

These facts were established before us, inter alia, by the affidavit of Morgen in the Trial of the Major War Criminals at Nuremberg (N/95). We should not be inclined to base our findings solely upon this affidavit, without further corroboration, because Morgen's purpose was to represent the whole of the SS as having had nothing to do with the extermination operations, and this tendency of his was likely to colour the statement in question as well. We did, however, find confirmation of the fact that special duties were delegated to Wirth by the Fuehrer's Chancellery in an exhibit, T/1295, dated 19 May 1943, which is a recommendation for the promotion of Wirth, put forward jointly by Buehler (of Hitler's Chancellery) and Globocnik, and not on behalf of the RSHA.

Again, in a letter from Brack, also of Hitler's Chancellery (exhibit T/1375, dated 23.6.42), we read that this office placed some of its personnel at the disposal of Globocnik "for carrying out his special task," which was called "Action Against the Jews" (Judenaktion).

The affidavit of Pohl, who was in charge of the Economic- Administrative Head Office, must also be mentioned. He says that Himmler charged Globocnik with the task of "implementing the programme known as 'Operation Reinhard' against the Jews" (T/1348, Section 2).

It should be pointed out that also in the seventh count of the indictment in this trial, which deals with the plunder of property, the name of Globocnik is mentioned in connection with "Operation Reinhard" (supra, Section 5), though it is not clear if the reference there was only to the economic aspect of the operation.

Further proof that it was Globocnik who administered the whole of "Operation Reinhard" is found in the final report which he submitted to Himmler (exhibit T/1389). In a report dated 4 November 1943, he speaks of "`Operation Reinhard' which was conducted in the Generalgouvernement area," and from a report of 10 January 1944 it is clear that "Operation Reinhard" also included the extermination which was referred to there as Aussiedlung which, it was stated, had been completed.

The deportation of Jews to Globcnik's camps did not have to be reported to Oranienburg, i.e. to Group D of the Economic- Administrative Head Office, which was responsible for the administration of the concentration camps as from March 1942 (see T/1278). For example, from exhibit T/1399 - directives issued by the Accused's Section for the evacuation of Jews to Izbica, near Lublin - it appears that the departure of the transport had to be reported to the Accused's Section, to the BdS in Cracow, and to Globocnik, and the arrival of the transports had to be reported solely to the Accused's Section (see also T/737).

These extermination camps were at no time under the supervision of the Economic-Administrative Head Office. Nor, until October 1943, when the Economic- Administrative Head Office took over the responsibility for the remaining labour camps, was there any connection of this kind with regard to the labour camps in the Lublin area. In our opinion, the fact that Globocnik's camps were independent of the Economic-Administrative Head Office, is irrelevant to the question as to whether there was any direct administrative connection between these camps and the RSHA and the Accused's Section.

So far, the Accused's contention that the extermination in the camps in the East was carried out in accordance with special orders in which he had no part, is borne out; at any rate, it is not contradicted. It is unnecessary to emphasize again that we are now discussing what happened within the camps. The Accused's responsibility for dispatching Jews to these camps is, of course, a separate matter which is, in fact, not in dispute.

142. The question as to whether the Accused also participated in what was happening inside the camps becomes complicated because of his statements that from time to time he used to visit Globocnik and also saw the Treblinka camp under construction in the autumn of 1941 (apparently in the presence of Wirth himself), and again later when it was functioning. He describes the purpose of his visits to the East as being purely to collect information for Heydrich and Mueller, who were interested in Globocnik's activities. We find it difficult to believe that they would send the Accused on such a journey merely for such a purpose, but in the absence of further proof, we are unable to draw further conclusions from this fact by itself.

But this is not all, because he admits that on two occasions he brought Globocnik letters, each containing authority to kill 250,000 Jews in his camps. Further, he says in the Statement T/37, pp. 170-171, that it was he who brought Globocnik the news that the Fuehrer had decided upon the physical destruction of the Jews. In his testimony, he retracts somewhat and says that Globocnik already knew of the Fuehrer's decision (Session 96, Vol. Iv, pp. xxxx25-26). However, the question of the letters still remains. The Accused contends that these were retrospective authorizations, each time referring to the killing of Jews who had already been killed, and that these authorizations were given to Globocnik at the latter's request. But the language of the letters does not suggest the granting of ex post facto approval. On this subject the Accused says (T/37, p. 240) that Heydrich dictated to him the text of the letter to Globocnik in the following terms:

"I authorize you to bring another 150,000 Jews to the Final Solution."
(Later on he says that he thinks the number was 250,000.)

The Accused does not remember whether the letter was written by Heydrich on the letterhead of the Reichsfuehrer-SS and Head of the German Police, or on Heydrich's own letterhead, as head of the Security Police and the SD. But in the same place (p. 240), he confirms that the letter was written by Heydrich, as the person so authorized on the basis of the Wannsee Conference, i.e., not in the name of Himmler, but by virtue of his own authority. Therefore, two serious questions arise:

(1) If it is true that Globocnik acted according to a special order from Himmler, why did he request the retrospective authorization, not from him but from Heydrich? And if, indeed, Heydrich acted by virtue of the authority granted to him at the Wannsee Conference, does it not follow that Globocnik's activities in the extermination camps he administered were also under the supervision of Heydrich, as head of the RSHA? And if this is so, then this matter, too, automatically comes within the scope of the Accused's activity, since he was the RSHA Referent for matters concerned with the Final Solution.

The Accused has no convincing reply to this question. When the Attorney General asked him if it was not correct that the Final Solution of the Jewish Question in the Generalgouvernement was carried out by the RSHA, he replied:

"No, that is not correct, Globocnik was not on the staff of the Head Office for Reich Security. On this matter an agreement was reached between the Security Police and the SD and Krueger, and they both received their orders from Himmler. This is how I remember the matter the whole time, I never heard any other description."
But when a specific question was put to him,
"If this is so, why is it that, some months after the Wannsee Conference, on two or three occasions Globocnik asked Heydrich for retroactive orders to cover the killing of 150,000 or a quarter of a million Jews?"
The Accused had no other answer but:
"I was not then familiar with these matters regarding complicated orders from above. I do not know and cannot furnish information about this. The fact is that the SS and police commanders in the Generalgouvernement who carried out these actions were not subordinate to the Security Police but to the Senior Commander of the SS and Police in Cracow." (Session 99, Vol. IV, pp. xxxx23-24)
We therefore come back to our problem: If this is so, why did the authorization come from Heydrich, the head of the Security Police and the SD?

(2) It is also hard to believe that, in the short time that elapsed between the time the camps in the East started functioning (approximately March 1942) and Heydrich's death in June 1942, Globocnik had already managed to kill half a million Jews, so that the authorizations given up to the time of his (Heydrich's) death would be retroactive; nor is there in the language of the authorization, as quoted by the Accused, any specific indication of retroactive validity. Is it not more reasonable to assume that these were authorizations for mass killings, given before and not after the act? And did the Accused, in fact, serve in this matter only as one who took dictation and as a messenger, and not in terms of his authority as head of Section IVB4 which, within the RSHA, was collating all matters connected with the Final Solution?

In spite of these serious doubts, we do not see a firm basis for finding facts in this matter against the Accused's version because it is only from him that we know about these letters of Heydrich's. But one conclusion may be drawn even according to his version: The handing over of these letters to Globocnik, even if they had only retroactive validity, on each occasion strengthened afresh Globocnik's readiness to continue to kill Jews en masse. These letters were important to him; otherwise, he would not have asked for them. Insofar as the Accused took part in the preparation of these letters and their transmission to Globocnik, he, too, was active in regard to the continuation of the slaughter in the camps in the East.


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