The Trial of Adolf Eichmann: Judgment
(Part 62 of 70)

204. We hold that, according to the language of the Law in question, the plunder of property may be considered an inhuman act within the meaning of the definition of "crime against humanity" only if it is committed under the pressure of mass terror against any civilian population, or if it is linked to any of the other acts of violence defined by the Law as a crime against humanity, or as a result of any of those acts, i.e., murder, extermination, starvation, or deportation of any civilian population, so that the plunder is only part of a general process, by way of "Hast thou killed (or expelled) and also taken possession?"

Hence, the plunder of the property of the Jews of Austria and of their institutions, through the Centres for Jewish Emigration - in the organization of which the Accused played a leading role - must be regarded as a crime against humanity in which the Accused participated, because it was carried out by means of terror against the Jews as a group. As to the plundering of the property of the Jews who were expelled from the Reich by way of forced emigration, this was an inseparable part of the procedure of expulsion itself (section 64). The same applies to the confiscation of the property of the Jews of the Protectorate and of their institutions, through the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Prague, set up and administered by the Accused (section 66), as well as in connection with the property of the Jews of Germany and of their institutions, and from the commencement of operation of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Berlin in which the Accused was active from the time it was first set up in 1939 (section 65).

The methods used in the Centres in Vienna and Prague were duplicated by the Accused in Berlin; and in Germany Jews also lived in a state of mass terror. This terror began immediately on Hitler's coming to power and gained intensity as from the events of Crystal Night. Under pressure of the threat of continued acts of violence and of deportation to concentration camps, the Jews endeavoured to save their lives and surrendered their property to the Reich, in exchange for permission to emigrate. This, too, applies not only to the private property of individuals, but also to the property of Jewish institutions which were made over to the Reich Association of Jews in Germany, and upon the liquidation of the Association, this property also was finally lost (section 56).

205. What has been said applies with even greater force to the Jews who were deported during the second stage, like the Jews of areas annexed to the Reich (the Warthe district, etc.) who were deported and whose property was transferred simultaneously with the deportation to the "Trustreeship Office East" (section 73); and later, at the final stage, in connection with the property of those deported from the Reich towards the East, whose property was stolen from them during the deportation by the many devices described above, such as the "contributions" to Special Account W and money ostensibly paid for the acquisition of housing at Terezin (sections 85, 90(c), 91, 96(a)). The same is true of all the Jews of European countries who were expelled from their homes and sent to the East.

It makes no difference whether the property of these Jews fell into the hands of the Germans themselves, or whether it was left in the hands of the satellite governments of the victims' home countries, in accordance with "the territorial principle," which had been invented for this purpose (T/194; T/195). The Accused participated in the plunder of the property of all these, by the very act of deporting the victims, which was invariably connected with the confiscation of their property. For example, although it has not been proved that the Accused participated in organizing the special Rosenberg Unit which plundered the property of the Jews in the countries of Western Europe (sections 100, 101), he, too, is responsible for this plunder, since by deporting the Jews he made it possible for this Unit to carry out its task.

And finally, the luggage and personal belongings of the deportees, which were taken from them on their arrival at the extermination and other camps (including the Aktion Reinhard in Globocnik's camps), and the abomination of desecrating the corpses by the extraction of their teeth and the cutting off of the hair from the women's heads - in all these the Accused had a hand, since he was responsible for bringing the victims to the camps where the acts were committed, with the knowledge that these acts would be committed.

206. In the eighth count, the Accused is charged with a war crime, in that during World War II in Germany and other Axis states, and in areas occupied by them, together with others, he caused the persecution, deportation and murder of the Jewish population of the countries occupied by Germany and by other countries of the Axis. All acts of persecution, deportation and murder in which the Accused took part, as we have found in discussing crimes against the Jewish People and against humanity, also constitute war crimes within the meaning of Section 1(a)(3) of the Law, as far as they were committed during World War II, and the Jews who were the victims of these acts belonged to the population of the countries conquered by Germany and by other Axis countries.

Hence, unless there is a justification for these acts of his, the Accused will be convicted also on the charge of war crimes according to the eighth count.

Ninth to Twelfth Counts

207. The ninth count of the indictment charges the Accused with a crime against humanity committed against over half a million Polish civilians. The period is between 1940 and 1942, and the act - deportation of Poles from their places of residence, with intention of settling German families in those places. The methods of deportation are described in the indictment as follows: (a) The transfer to Germany and to German-occupied areas for the purpose of their employment under conditions of servitude, coercion and terror; (b) abandonment in other regions of Poland and German-occupied areas in the East; (c) concentration in labour camps under inhumane conditions; (d) transfer to Germany for the purpose of "Germanization."

Counsel for the Defence argued that the Poles were not deported, but that they were "resettled" in a way which does not constitute a crime. Let us, therefore, examine the nature of the activities mentioned in this count of the indictment. Almost all the proof is documentary, except the evidence of the Accused and that of the witness Krumey (taken in Germany), a number of excerpts from the statement by Hoess, and the evidence of Rajewsky at the trial of Hoess in Poland (T/1356).

The Accused's activities are connected with two separate waves of deportation of the population: (a) The transfer of Poles from the Warthe district to the Generalgouvernement area, viz., from West to East; (b) the transfer of Poles from the Zamosc district to the West. The first wave began at the end of 1939 and continued until 1943; the second began at the end of 1942 and continued, as far as we know, for a number of months.

208. We shall now consider first the transfer of the population from the West to the East.

The basis was laid by Heydrich, at a meeting held on 21 September 1939 (T/164), with the participation of the Accused. We have mentioned this meeting in another context, and now the parts which refer to the Poles must be emphasized, and we shall quote them in detail, because in those parts of Heydrich's speech lies the answer to the above argument put forward by the Defence. The Accused was present at the meeting, and therefore learned not only what was the plan at the time as far as the Jews were concerned, but also what was in store for the Poles. And this is what Heydrich said about the Poles:

"About the development of former Poland, the trend of thought is that the former German districts will become German, and, in addition, a foreign language district will be set up, with Cracow at its capital... The solution of the Polish problem, as has been repeatedly explained, will be carried out by distinguishing between the stratum of leaders (Polish intelligentsia) and the lowest stratum, that of the labourers.

Of the political leaders in the occupied territories, at the most three per cent have remained. These three per cent must also be rendered harmless, and they will be brought to concentration camps. The Operations Units will prepare lists of outstanding leaders, and also lists of the middle class of teachers, clergy, nobility, legionnaires, returning officers, etc. These, too, are to be arrested and moved into the remaining area. The care of the souls of the Poles, will be placed in the hands of Catholic priests from the West, but these will not be allowed to speak Polish. Primitive Poles will be included in the labour forces as migratory labourers, and in time they will be evacuated from the German areas into the foreign language area... Commanders of Operations Units...must weigh how, on the one hand, the primitive Poles could be included within the framework of labour, and how, at the same time, to evacuate them. The aim is: The Pole is to remain a seasonal labourer - the eternal wanderer. His permanent place of residence must be in the vicinity of Cracow."

Anyone who listened to this speech and plan, and later participated in any form whatsoever in the operation of uprooting the Polish population, could in no way argue that this was an innocent operation of "resettlement." This was plain and simple expulsion, accompanied by degradation of the people, and with malicious intent, especially against the educated class.

The leadership of this campaign was entrusted to Himmler, as the "Reichsfuehrer for the Strengthening of the German people" (T/167). On 30 October 1939, he draws up the plan for the period until 1940: All Congress Poles must be evacuated from the Danzig - Western Prussia area, and also a certain number of "especially hostile" Poles (T/169) from other areas annexed to the Reich. The implementation of the evacuation was assigned to the Security Police (N/8), and on 21 December 1939, the Accused's activity begins (T/170). Heydrich announces:

"For practical reasons, centralized treatment of Security Police matters connected with the evacuation of the Eastern Territories becomes necessary. As my special Referent in the Head Office for Reich Security, Department IV, I have appointed Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann..."
The Accused alleges and testifies that here, too, his action was limited to obtaining the trains. In fact, this admission is sufficient to convict him of complicity in the deportation of a civilian population according to the plan of which he had knowledge as early as 21 September 1939; for by this act alone, the Accused already made himself guilty of a crime against humanity, within the meaning of Section 1(a)(2) of the Law.

But after studying the documents, we have come to the conclusion that his claim and his evidence in this matter, are not in accordance with the truth. It becomes clear that the Accused and his section co-ordinated the deportations. We have already remarked - in connection with the deportation of Jews during this period - that the classification of the deported Poles was carried out by the "Centres for the Change of Residence." But the deportation itself was in the hands of the Accused's Section. We shall quote a number of documents which prove this:

(a) On 4 October 1940 a meeting was presided over by the Accused (T/171). The minutes of that meeting show that the Accused co-ordinated the deportation operation. The tools of implementation are "the section officials at the Inspectors of the Security Police and the SD," who are of course subordinate to the RSHA. The co-ordination is evident from the last part of the minutes:

"The Head Office for Reich Security, Department IV, will put one assistant and one messenger at the disposal of each Inspector of the Security Police and the SD, for the preparation of the measures to be taken during the deportation."
(b) The memoranda of conversations held on 22 January 1940 and 23 January 1940 between the Accused and Seidl, one of the officials of the Centre for the Change of Residence in Poznan, also confirm the conclusion that they discussed not only the timetable of transports, but also the class of deportees (only "Congress Poles").

(c) At a meeting held on 30 January 1940 (T/166), Heydrich defined the Accused's task as the "central direction of deportation duties," and also "to collect figures and prepare deportation plans." At this meeting, he announced that some of the Polish labourers would be transferred to Reich territory for agricultural work.

(d) The Accused deals with questions of how much money and how much food deportees may take with them (T/211; T/1406), and he demands a report on the technical execution of the evacuation and the settlement of the Germans who are to come in place of the evacuated Poles (T/1407).

The extent of the expulsions is revealed by the following documents: T/362 shows that up to 15 November 1940 nearly 300,000 Polish deportees were transferred into the Generalgouvernement area. T/361 shows that, from the beginning of the operation until the end of 1943, over 530,000 Poles were deported. This includes the period up to the end of 1939, before the Accused began to deal with evacuations, and also the year 1943, which is not mentioned in the indictment.

After subtracting the number of those deported in the years 1939 and 1943 (about 130,000 persons), the remaining number of Poles, whose deportation the Accused organized on behalf of the RSHA, is 400,000. However, it seems that the lists attached to exhibit T/361 do not include the Poles evacuated from Eastern Prussia, Upper Eastern Silesia and Danzig-Western Prussia. These three zones appear in list T/362, with 60,000 Polish deportees (up to 15 November 1940).

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