The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Sessions 6-7-8
(Part 5 of 10)

Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann, Eichmann trial, holocaust, Jewish holocaust
The Final Solution of the Jewish Problem

The Nazi programmes and the methods used to put them into effect varied according to circumstances, and various phases of planning and execution may be distinguished. It was so on the political front: after the German armies had successfully reoccupied the Rhineland they began to look in the direction of Austria; when they had taken that, they demanded the Sudetenland; when this was conceded, they went on to conquer the whole of Czechoslovakia and invaded Memel. From then onwards, their preparations for war matured rapidly.

Whether there existed a political-military master plan for the subjugation of peoples and nations or whether this developed as a result of political victories, when the world remained inactive in the face of brazen Nazi aggression accompanied by declarations of peace, and Europe's statesmen submitted to threats and fulminations - in any case, Nazi self-confidence and political blackmail grew stronger and more blatant and the final result was World War II.

So it was with the Jews. Whether the physical extermination was planned and prepared from the start and action waited only for the appropriate time, or whether it came as a graduate development that reached its climax when pretence was no longer needed, and it had become possible, casting off all restraint, to put into operation the plan for total destruction - it is still possible to distinguish various phases in the treatment of the problem.

At the beginning, when the Nazis were still sensitive to the reaction of world opinion, the solution took the form of forced emigration. Though the methods were drastic and brutal, Nazi arrogance had not yet reached the point of deciding on extermination. But when they found that it could be done, that for all practical purposes the world was silent, that circumstances were propitious - they went over to total extermination.

In between, there was a transition phase, in which the Nazis toyed with the idea of a so-called territorial solution for the Jewish problem.

The Accused took an active part in both the planning and the execution of all three of these programmes. He was the responsible head of the executive arm of all these deadly projects. Though his master, Hitler, did not succeed in realising a single one of his promises and ultimate aims, Eichmann carried out whatever he took upon himself to do. But before I speak of his part in the execution, let us dwell first on the plans themselves.

At first the Nazis were satisfied with the mass emigration of Jews seeking refuge from misfortunes that had suddenly befallen them: the humiliating Nuremberg laws which dislodged them from their positions, economic boycott, arrest and imprisonment in concentration camps. Nazi greed for gain which was the only brake on their hatred of the Jews, did not allow them to renounce this source of income: every emigrant was ordered to pay emigration taxes to the extent of 25 per cent of his property, and to exchange the balance for "frozen marks," whose actual worth rapidly fell to an infinitesimal fraction of their nominal value. This period extended until the annexation of Austria to the Reich on 12 March 1938. Four days later, the Accused had already put in an appearance in Vienna and begun to organize the anti-Jewish programme on the new basis of which I have already spoken. A central authority was set up for the emigration of the Jews, which in actual fact was engaged in their expulsion and the partial confiscation of their property.

At the end of October 1938, the German Government decided to expel all Jewish residents who had formerly been Polish citizens. The Poles had cancelled their passports, but the Nazis decided to take advantage of their position to get rid of them. They were arrested at the order of Reinhard Heydrich, then head of the Security Police and the SD, whose name will recur in this trial. Thus the first mass Jewish expulsion took place. The Jews were permitted to take only what they could carry, and were ordered to leave the rest of their property behind. Crowded into freight cars, they were transported to a point near the border, commanded to descend, and then chased through the fields in the direction of the Polish border. Men and women stumbled and fell, but were forced by kicks to rise and run on. Some lay dead where they had fallen.

The Polish border guard, unprepared for this sudden invasion, were helpless. The human flood broke through: the first expulsion had been a success.

Among those unfortunates was a Jewish cobbler, Mendel Grynszpan. He too was expelled, in a state of utter destitution with his wife and children. In bitter despair the family wrote a postcard from Poland to their son, Herschel, who was then in Paris. This young lad of seventeen decided that he would not keep silent in the face of injustice. Though the entire world seemed indifferent to these crimes in broad daylight, he, Herschel Grynszpan would not be still; he would at least try to avenge the injustice to his parents and family. On the morning of November 7, he bought a pistol, and that very day showed up at the German embassy in Paris. He had determined to kill the ambassador, but he was sent to the Counsellor of the Legation, Ernst vom Rath, who asked him what he wanted. The young man's revolver barked twice, and vom Rath fell, severely wounded. To the Paris police, Herschel Grynszpan declared:

"I resolved to kill a member of the German embassy as a sign of protest. I had to avenge the Jews, to draw the attention of the world to what is happening in Germany."
Grynszpan did not know then that his sacrifice would be in vain. Not even the despairing act of this young Jew could shock the world. He himself was imprisoned in Paris, and after the invasion fell into German hands. He was sent to Berlin for special investigation by the Accused. He was investigated. No further traces of him have been found.

Vom Rath died of his wounds after two days. Immediately Heydrich issued emergency instructions to all units of the Gestapo to the effect that, following the attack on vom Rath, "anti-Jewish demonstrations may be expected." He therefore ordered the police to cooperate in the organization of the demonstrations, to guide them, and to permit the destruction of Jewish property and the burning of synagogues - so long as it was possible to ensure that the flames would not spread to other neighbourhoods. All the property of the Jewish communities was to be confiscated.

Thus Nazi Germany revived in Europe the burning of the synagogues which, until then had been known only in the darkest days of the Middle Ages.

That night of terror, between November 9 and 10, came to be known as the Kristallnacht. The Nazi hooligans broke into Jewish homes, pillaged, destroyed and plundered. Thousands were imprisoned in concentration camps, in order to "protect them from the wrath of the people." This was the first time Nazis arrested Jews in large numbers at one time and put them in concentration camps. One hundred and one synagogues were burned and seventy-six destroyed; seven thousand and five hundred places of business were plundered. These figures are taken from an official report submitted by Heydrich to Goering at a meeting of Ministers devoted to Jewish affairs two days later, the minutes of which will be submitted to the Court.

The damage to shop windows alone came to six million marks, and what most bothered the participants in the meeting was the problem of the compensation for damages that the insurance companies would normally have to pay the Jews. It was thereupon decided quite simply that these companies would make their payments to the German Treasury, and the Jews would be obligated to repair the damage at their own expense. Goering complained that a great deal of property had been destroyed; and when Heydrich also reported the deaths of thirty-five Jews, Goering said:"It would have been better if you had killed two hundred and not destroyed so much property."

There was a further exchange of opinion about the compelling of Jews to wear a distinctive badge. Towards the end of the meeting, Goering said:

"I shall find an appropriate formula to obligate the Jews as a whole to pay a fine of a billion marks for their base criminal acts, etc., etc. That will hit them where it hurts. The swine won't carry out another murder so quickly. And in general, I repeat: I wouldn't like to be a Jew in Germany."
The fine was imposed and brutal legislation went into effect to deprive the Jews of all sources of livelihood.

Eichmann was in Vienna on the Kristallnacht, and we shall yet have the opportunity of tracing his actions there at that time.

I have referred to this ministerial meeting at such length because it marks a turning-point and a phase of preparation for further developments. This had been a second test action of the Nazis against the Jews. If this could be done to them without shocking the world, it would be possible to proceed further towards "the final solution."

At the same conference Heydrich reported on the activities of the Accused in Vienna, and spoke with pride of the fact that thanks to the activities of the Vienna bureau for emigration, some fifty thousand Jews had already left Austria. It was decided to set up a central authority for Jewish emigration from the entire German Reich. In January 1939, Goering instructed Heydrich to carry out the plan and to use all possible means to speed up emigration. This emigration by expulsion programme was thenceforth carried out in all parts of Germany, and, beginning in July 1939, also in that part of Czechoslovakia that had meanwhile fallen into the hands of the Germans and was known as the "Protectorate."

In this order, Goering appointed Heydrich, Chief of the Security Service and Security Police, as head of the central office for emigration, with the economist Wohlthat as his administrative associate. Thus he ensured that, while Heydrich would work towards getting the Jews out of Germany, Wohlthat who had formerly been Schacht's assistant, would be concerned with plundering their property.

In this way, Goering overcame those doubts to which he had given open expression at the ministerial conference, when he brought up fiscal and economic reasons against the policy of forced emigration. The way had now been found to carry out this aim without damaging Germany's economy, which it was Goering's function to steer towards a war effort.

Trading at the expense of Jewish freedom was thenceforth the official policy of the Reich. Ribbentrop gave notice, in a Foreign Ministry circular dated 25 January 1939, that the ultimate goal of Germany's policy was the emigration of all the Jews, and that the problem would not be solved until the last of them had left her soil. Funk, the Minister of Economics, was able to report that, out of the seven billion marks which were estimated as the value of German-Jewish property, two billion had already been transferred to the State, and there were grounds for the hope that Germany would get the balance in the near future.

These two aims - the physical liquidation of the Jews by expulsion or killing, and the pillage of their property - were thereafter fixed pillars in German policy. First expulsion and robbery, then murder and robbery - these were to remain closely associated, accompanying one another through all the phases of the Holocaust, soon becoming so indistinguishable that one is at a loss to say which was the more important, which was being put into the service of the other. Henceforth, they are both part of "the final solution": to kill and to take posSession were the two fundamental principles of the evil German plan. At all stages of the Holocaust, in official reports filled with shocking details of cruel killings by strangulation, burning, hanging and unimaginable tortures, there will always be found a twin section telling of the plunder of Jewish property.

The pressure on Jews to emigrate was not discontinued after the outbreak of war; the line changed, as has been said, only when new decisions were reached relating to the physical fate of the Jews.

At first it was not clear what was to be done to the Jews. It was decided that they were to be got rid of, but not completely; to be expelled, but a certain number had best be left to serve as a sort of hostage so that the threat of their destruction might bring pressure on the world's rulers to submit to the German will. Hitler gave expression to this idea in one of his conversations with Rauschning, President of the Danzig Senate, and on 30 January 1939, he delivered his famous speech in the Reichstag predicting that if the Jews controlling international world capital would again bring the nations to a world war, the result would not be the spread of Bolshevism and the subsequent victory of Judaism, but rather the annihilation of European Jewry.

Again Hitler had fused the Jews with his two mortal enemies: the capitalistic West and the communistic East. In both, according to him, the Jews ruled by means of an unholy alliance: the capitalist circles desired the victory of the Communists, in order to use them as a means by which the Jews could rise to power. The foolish absurdity of this contention is so glaring that there is no sense in even analysing it. What is important from our point of view is the fact that the destruction of the Jews was serving Hitler as one of his bargaining and blackmail points in his relations with the outside world: "Give in to my demands or

- woe to your Jews." All the prophesies of that evil man proved baseless. The Reich that was to have lasted a thousand years, collapsed like a house of cards. The "New Order" that was to have served as the basis for human civilization has become a historical byword for atrocity. The Aryan Master Race was thoroughly defeated by the "degenerate plutocrats" and the "inferior" Slavs. Not only was Germany driven out of the Ukrainian wheat granaries she had invaded, which the Fuehrer had promised her as an eternal heritage, but she herself is now divided, and Bismarck's work of unification has been set at naught.

Only one single promise, the most dreadful of Germany's terrible deeds which has brought upon her eternal disgrace, was kept by Adolf Hitler. And for the execution of that promise to destroy European Jewry he used another Adolf - Adolf Eichmann, who is on trial before you today.

From the beginnings of the Nazi regime, Jewish affairs were dealt with by the Gestapo and the SS. In June 1940, Heydrich notified Ribbentrop that because of the great increase in the Jewish population then under the control of the Reich, emigration could no longer be considered a feasible solution of the Jewish problem. He, therefore, suggested that a territorial solution be sought to settle the Jewish question once and for all, and he wanted to consult him on the matter.

Within the framework of programmes for the expulsion, there also emerged two abortive projects of a territorial nature. One was to deport all the Jews to Madagascar. In fact, this was an old scheme, which had already been put forth in the anti-Semitic literature of the twenties; the Polish government had toyed with it in the '30s, and the Nazis had begun to discuss it officially even before the outbreak of the War. Goering and Rosenberg made speeches on the proposal in the Reichstag, and the idea was the subject of diplomatic activity and pseudo-scientific researches. In July 1940, the German Foreign Ministry prepared a memorandum according to which defeated France would have to relinquish Madagascar within the framework of the future peace treaty. A German military base would be erected on the island and the Jews would be settled there under a German mandatory regime, "as a hostage for the future good behaviour of their kinsmen in the United States."

The Accused too had a hand in all this. One of the staff of his section, his close assistant, Dannecker, to whose name we shall recur as one of Eichmann's loyal partners in the extermination of the Jews, wrote a detailed memorandum for his Foreign Ministry on the Madagascar Plan. Its advantage, he wrote, was that it would isolate the Jews on an island; its execution should be made possible by the confiscation of Jewish property; and its executors should be the Gestapo. The goal should be to send one million Jews each year.

There is no need to add that this plan was abortive. To this day, experts differ as to whether the Nazis ever gave it serious thought or whether it only served them as one of their many means of camouflaging a different project which had already begun to take shape. In any case, practically nothing was done to realize it.

On the other hand, an attempt was made at a territorial concentration of Jews within another context, by collecting them into the Lublin zone, between the San and Vistula rivers. This was called the "Nisko plan," after the name of the village at the centre of that small region to which Eichmann drove Jews from Vienna, Moravia and Bohemia in the winter of 1939. You will hear evidence of the thefts of the property of the deportees, how they were left destitute in the zone, the brutal treatment to which they were subjected and the expulsion of a number of them eastward beyond the Soviet borders with the threat that any attempting to get back would be killed.

Eichmann personally dealt with the Nisko expulsions, even spending a number of days in the Nisko area. The project was finally abandoned because of the opposition of the governor of Poland, Hans Frank, who persuaded Goering that the project was upsetting the German war effort. The Nisko refugees later met their deaths in the Belzec extermination camp.

The attack on the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, and America's entry into the War on the side of the Allies some months later, in December of the same year - these were the turning-points in the development of the plans for extermination. True, the idea had already been explicitly mentioned. We shall present to the Court the minutes of a meeting called by Heydrich on 21 September 1939, in which Eichmann took part alongside other high SS officers, in which ways of dealing with Jews in the area of conquered Poland were summarized.

That very day, Heydrich issued instructions to all the Einsatzgruppen that went along with the Army and constituted units for special security missions. Their function was designated by Heydrich. After a warning that all his instructions were "top secret," Heydrich went on to distinguish between the long-range solution of the Jewish Question - meaning by this, without any doubt, their actual extermination - and immediate steps to be taken against them: the Jews were to be expelled from the countryside and concentrated in the cities near railway junction points; and Councils of Elders were to be set up who would be made responsible for marshalling the Jews. As a pretext for these measures, Heydrich suggested it should be claimed that the Jews had taken part in irregular activities and in robberies. The severest punishment was to be inflicted for violation of the order to move into the concentration centres.

According to the minutes of that meeting, Heydrich issued instructions that every judgment against violators in the zone of conquest that was not a death sentence should be reported to him personally. Orders were given to seize Jewish enterprises, to forbid Jews to change their places of residence, and to impose a curfew.

Heydrich demanded regular reports on the operations carried out according to his instructions, concluding with these words:

"Towards the achievement of the goals indicated, I order the immediate mobilizing of all the forces of the Security Police and Security Services. The chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen active in the same neighbourhood will keep in close touch with one another, so that all the possible areas will be completely and immediately covered by the network."
We shall see later when we deal with the tragedy of European Jewry, how the conquerors interpreted these instructions - the brutality, murder and pillage that came in their wake.

But it was only as the invasion of the Soviet Union drew near that the Germans went over to "the final solution" in the new sense, that is, utter physical extermination. On 31 July 1941, Goering instructed Heydrich as follows:

"In order to complete the mission imposed on you in the order of 24 January 1939, to solve the problem of the Jews by means of emigration or evacuation in the most suitable way in the circumstances leading to a possible solution, I am herewith instructing you to make all the necessary organizational, practical and material preparations for a comprehensive solution of the Jewish question within the German area of influence in Europe.

"Insofar as the other central authorities are concerned, they are to cooperate.

"I hereby instruct you further to submit to me soon a general plan (Gesamtentwurf) with respect to organizational, practical and material means necessary for the execution of the desired final solution (Endloesung) of the Jewish question."

Thus the official signal was given. Heydrich was appointed to plan the extermination, and he on his part appointed for the planning and execution a cruel and fanatical man, implacable in his enmity, this evil Eichmann.

As a preparation for the final solution, fresh occupation units had already begun mass murders of Jews in zones from which the Red Army had retreated in the summer and autumn of 1941. We shall go into these actions in a later section. Partial and mass expulsions towards the East had already been carried out earlier from within Germany proper, but at that time the work of general "planning" was being done in Berlin. In August 1941, Eichmann wrote to his Foreign Ministry that it would be advisable to prevent further emigration "in the light of preparations for the final solution of the problem of European Jewry. These preparations of his were completed before November of that year, since already then he wrote in the same connection about "the imminent final solution." That summer we shall find Eichmann in Auschwitz arranging with Rudolf Hoess the various technical details, and choosing the spot for the erection of the extermination apparatus.

In the autumn of that year, Eichmann flew to Kiev to report to Himmler. Himmler seems to have received a suitably satisfactory report, since on 27 October 1941, he issued a decree forbidding any emigration of Jews from the areas of German rule. Two days earlier, on 25 October 1941, Wetzel, an official of the Ministry for the Occupied Territories, wrote that an agreement had been reached with Eichmann to use gas chambers for the solution of the Jewish problem.

Thus we see: the plan had been formulated, the means had been determined. Instead of the Jews emigrating, they would be murdered.

From then onwards, it was the job of the head of the Jewish Section of the Gestapo to direct in a suitable fashion the planning of other offices of the Reich according to the detailed master-plan that had already been sketched in September 1939. On 15 September 1941, the Accused sent along for Heydrich's signature instructions, applying to Germany and the occupied zones, requiring the introduction of "the Jewish badge," which had been imposed some time before in the eastern occupation zones. Every Jew would have to wear on the left side of his breast a special, easily recognizable sign. The Jewish authorities themselves would have to supply the badge of shame. A ban was imposed on Jews leaving their places of residence and using transportation, with some clearly specified exceptions.

But there were also problems. Rosenberg, Minister for the Occupied Territories, issued a series of directives for the occupation authorities in the areas under his jurisdiction, which included the Baltic countries, East Poland, and parts of the Soviet Union. These instructions were called "Die Braune Mappe" (The Brown Folder), and included the chapter relating to the Jews containing severe repressive provisions - but not extermination. "The problem of the Jews," Die Braune Mappe said, "will find a solution in the whole of Europe at the end of the War." When a draft of "The Brown Folder" came to Heyrdich's attention, he reacted with a highly significant letter dated 10 January 1942. He did not agree with Rosenberg's proposals. He insisted that the special instructions, already issued - which included complete extermination, as we know - be taken into account.

"In view of the fundamental lines of policy for dealing with the Jewish Question as formulated by the Reich Central Security Office (in charge: SS Sturmbannfuerer Eichmann) I must ask you to reprint your instructions."
In the same month, Heydrich sent on to Rosenberg the revisions suggested by Eichmann. Because of the importance of this document, I shall quote from it at length.
"All measures in connection with the Jewish question in the occupied territories in the East are to be considered from the point of view that the Jewish question must be generally solved for the whole of Europe. Hence, such measures in the occupied territories in the East as contribute to the final solution of the Jewish question and thereby the liquidation of Jewry must in no way be hindered. In the occupied territories in the East in particular, efforts are to be made to bring about a most immediate solution of the Jewish question...any measures of the local population against the Jews are therefore not to be hindered...So long as measures that will contribute to the liquidation of Jewry have not yet been taken, the local Jews are to be strictly separated from the rest of the population. ..Free movement is to be immediately stopped for all Jews. A transfer to ghettoes is to be carried out...The watching of the boundaries between the ghetto and the outside world is the affair of the Police...The measures that contribute to the liquidation of Jewry are to be carried out without any consideration for economic needs...All Jewish property is to be registered. Transfers of property by Jews are to be prevented..."
But the matters were not arranged by a mere exchange of letters. Frank, the Governor General of Occupied Poland, tried to deal with Jewish affairs in his own way, and to take the matter out of the Gestapo's hands. In other areas, too, difficulties arose. Eichmann therefore proposed that a meeting be called of the senior officials who might be considered suitable to carry out the plan of slaughter, and Heydrich agreed. It was Eichmann who made all the preparations for this conference, from the preparation of all the factual material to the drafting of the invitations; and those invited were asked to take time off from other duties, "in view of the exceptional importance of the problems, and of the need to arrive at a unified point of view."

The conference took place on 20 January 1942, in the suburb of Wannsee, near Berlin. The participants were the leading personalities with the rank of Director General of the Ministries for the Occupied Territories in the East, the Interior, Law, Foreign Affairs, Economics, Race and Settlement; representatives of the Party, the RSHA and the Reichskanzlei, and, of course, Eichmann. Heydrich delivered the central speech, according to the data supplied by the Accused. He recalled Goering's order and recalled at the outset, in order to prevent any doubts, that it was his Ministry that was centrally responsible for the execution of the "final solution" everywhere, without any geographical limitations. He mentioned the "practical experiments" that had been carried out in the East, the lessons from which were of the utmost importance for the final solution. After having briefly outlined the steps taken thus far "in the battle against this enemy" for the purpose of forcing the Jews out of the areas in which the German people lived and which constituted its Lebensraum, he stated that a halt had been called to this emigration at the order of Himmler, and that now would begin, according to the Fuehrer's orders, the evacuation of the Jews to the East with the goal of arriving at the "final solution."

We shall prove to the Court that, in the Nazi system of camouflage, the phrase "Endloesung" ("final solution") in this context and henceforth had the sole meaning of the actual killing of the Jews. This was also the meaning of these other terms: "Ausscheidung" ("liquidation"), "Gesamtloesung" ("total solution"), and many others.

Heydrich listed the countries to be considered for the "final solution," including besides all the countries under Nazi occupation, Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey, and the entire area of the Soviet Union, and arrived at a total of eleven million Jews to be included in the "final solution." In his list, Estonia already appears as "Judenrein"(clear of Jews).

And this is how the problem would be solved:

"Under suitable management, the Jews will be brought, in the course of the final solution, in a convenient way to labour units in the East. Jews capable of working will be transported in long labour columns, men and women separate, to build roads in that region; as a result of which, no doubt, a large part of them will fall out through natural losses. Those who will ultimately remain, who will surely be those who will have great power of resistance, must be given special handling (Sonderbehandlung), because they will constitute a nucleus for the building of a new Jewry (as history has proved). For the practical execution of the final solution Europe will be combed from West to East. In the occupied territories and the countries within our sphere of influence in Europe, the officer designated by the Security Police will operate in coordination with the appropriate representative of the Foreign Ministry."
We shall prove that this designee of the RSHA was Adolf Eichmann, and we shall also prove that the meaning of "special handling" was - murder.

There was discussion, further, of what to do with children of mixed marriages. As I have already indicated, this problem troubled the executors of the extermination. The principle was established that children of mixed marriages of the first degree - namely, in which one of the parents was Jewish - would be classified as full Jews, excluding men who had married German women and had children, or those with respect to whom there were exceptional circumstances and for whom the higher institutions of the Party or the State had specially interceded; but such circumstances were to be examined with great care.

The exceptional cases were to be permitted to stay in Germany on condition that they gave their consent to their own sterilization.

Instructions were also given with respect to children of mixed marriages of the second degree, the mixed couples themselves and various categories of borderline cases.

The Economic Ministry asked that, for the time being, Jews working in the vital industries should not be evacuated, and Heydrich agreed. Buehler, representative of the Polish Generalgouvernement gave notice that there the final solution had already "begun," asked that the problem be solved with all possible dispatch, and declared that the majority of the Jews in his region - about two and a half million - were not capable of work at all. He agreed that the implementation of the final solution be put into the hands of the Gestapo, and promised full support by the authorities of the Generalgouvernement. He asked only for the work to begin as rapidly as possible.

Later, opinions were exchanged on the various means connected with the possibilities of a solution," and the representative of the government of the eastern areas, like the Polish Generalgouvernement representative, asked that the preparations already made in his areas be completed, but without stirring up panic among the population.

This was afterwards given the seal of legal authority. Thierack, the German Minister of Justice, stated that in order to free the body of the German people of certain elements including the Jews, he was therewith transferring the punitive authority over them to the Reichsfehrer SS, Himmler, and he added:

"I am proceeding on the assumption that the judicial processes can contribute but little to the extermination of these elements of foreign origin. It is true that severe verdicts are now being rendered against these people, but this is not enough to bring about the aforementioned result. There is also no sense in keeping them in prison or internment centers...on the other hand, the delivery of these people to the police, which will be unfettered by the criminal statutes, will get much better results."
This was the final victory of anarchy over justice. Here National Socialism arrived at the ultimate stage of degeneration; in order to destroy the Jews it openly surrendered the very existence of the law, an act of which there is no precedent in juridical annals.

Even earlier, on 2 January 1942, Himmler had transferred the authority to pass the death sentence and to give instructions for "special handling" (Sonderbehandlung) to the head of Section 4 of the SS Ministry or to his representative. We shall see that Eichmann was the man who actually used this authority in Himmler's name. Detailed directives were given relating to the executions and the submission of reports on them in concentration camps and other places.

I have already said that as early as 1941, Heydrich had appointed Eichmann to plan and carry out the extermination programme. A renewed endorsement of this choice is found in a letter by Heydrich dated 26 January 1942, prepared by the Accused's Section, in which notice was given of the Wannsee Conference which "to the general satisfaction revealed a complete unity of opinion concerning the practical steps to be followed for the purpose of implementing the final solution." The Foreign Ministry was asked to appoint its representative to a meeting called for 6 March 1942, by Heydrich's appointee for this purpose, Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann. The Foreign Ministry sent Rademacher as its representative.

The programme thus went into its practical phase. At this stage Eichmann is already the only one in charge. We shall see him now more frequently than heretofore, together with his band of confederates, combing Europe from the Pyrenees to the Urals in order to assemble the Jews together and dispatch them to death. With the help of his deputies in all the countries of Europe, he held the Jewish people in his grip like an octopus strangling its pray. Henceforth, Eichmann is not only active as one of the directors of a department in the RSHA, he is the personal representative of Heydrich, regarded by the Reich authorities as the commissar for the solution of the Jewish problem. The Court should note the unusual form taken by this appointment. Goering, the second man in the Reich, acting in this matter no doubt with the authority and in the name of Hitler, goes over the head of the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler, directly to Heydrich, and makes him responsible for the solution of the Jewish problem. Heydrich in turn goes over the head of the chief of Bureau 4, Mueller, and appoints Eichmann directly as his representative. This appointment granted Eichmann immeasurable power, supported by the order of the Fuehrer himself.

There is evidence that Eichmann had in his posSession a written document containing Hitler's order for the extermination of the Jews. This order is not in our possession. But it is beyond any doubt that the unusual character of his appointment raised Adolf Eichmann to a unique position invested with tremendous authority, enabling him to contact heads of governments and ministers, to issue orders and instructions in all matters relating to the destruction of the Jewish people.

We shall see him issuing detailed directives for the implementation of the deportations to Auschwitz. We shall trace the activities of his men concerned with the supply of gas for killing Jews; we shall find him negotiating with the representatives of the puppet governments in order to persuade, to stimulate, to spur and to work. Everywhere, he was the official authority for murder and plunder and all reports had to be sent to him. We shall look for his name in vain among the speechmakers at the central conference, possibly because his superiors, Himmler and Heydrich who had chosen him with care and deliberation to do the work of butchery, did not want to have him speak in the company of the professors and university graduates who took part in those consultations. It may be that he himself took no great interest in talk, having devoted himself with unlimited fanaticism and zeal to action.

Towards that goal, he would not hesitate to come into conflict with, and sometimes even to mislead, men in positions higher than his own in the Nazi hierarchy, but this did not bother him at all, since he was sheltered in the shadow of the omnipotent Himmler. He treated with open contempt the ministers and envoys of occupied states. By means of persuasion, threats or compulsion, he got from them what he wanted: the enactment of laws depriving the Jews of human and civil rights; rounding up of Jews and their concentration in ghettoes; their deportation to the extermination centers. Everywhere he adapted himself to the needs and circumstances of the moment, but his persistent and cruel pressure was successful.

Everything relating to the extermination and the preparations for it was his concern. We shall see him visiting and inspecting the Warsaw and Lodz Ghettos. We shall follow him as he travels in the autumn of 1941 to Globocnik, chief of the SS and the Police of the Lublin region, in order to transmit to him personally the secret command for the physical extermination of the Jews. Then he was also in Treblinka and in Chelmno, where gases were used for the extermination. He witnessed in Chelmno the parade of the naked Jews who had been stripped of their clothing and were waiting their turn for death by asphyxiation with gas. He looked on as gold teeth were extracted from the mouths of his dead victims. He inspected the system of extermination by means of cars expelling gas from their exhausts, in that early phase of the mass killings. He was sent to examine the extermination activities by shooting, used by the Einsatzgruppen. He saw the murderers in Minsk shooting their victims in the back so that they fell into ready graves. He saw these groups murdering women and children. He saw those units operating against the Jews in the vicinity of Lvov, where the blood spurted from the grave "as from a spring," to use his words.

But direct murder by shooting did not satisfy him. "Our men will become sadists," he said. In another place he put it that the method was not "elegant" enough for the purpose. He had to seek a new method. This was found in the gas chambers and furnaces of the extermination centers - which he visited on a number of occasions, to examine the apparatus, to organize the transportation procedures, and to give instructions. There he also saw how corpses were burned in the open field.

Now that these instruments of extermination, it seems, were functioning to his satisfaction, he concerned himself with supplying them with sacrificial victims.

His Section from time to time issued detailed directives relating to the death transports. The instructions applied to all the Jews except for those exempted by his Section IVB4. There were special instructions relating to Jewish property. The deportees were forbidden to take with them anything of value.

We shall submit to the Court proofs of the requirement to send reports about expulsions to Eichmann's Section. This requirement of reports about the implementation of the extermination programme was imposed on the Commander of Auschwitz among others. Thus Eichmann knew at any time who had been sent to Auschwitz, who were the candidates for execution, and who already had been killed. Eichmann's Section would even issue detailed instructions as to when certain people were to be sent to the death chambers. Truly one can say of him in the language of the Scriptures: "Where the slain are, there is he."{Job 39:30}

We shall prove that Eichmann and his Section became the central authority for all the Reich Ministries in regard to Jewish affairs. All apply to him and his fiat is decisive. The Foreign Ministry asks Eichmann to keep alive thirty thousand Jews with foreign citizenship, so that they may be exchanged with Germans living in their countries. When it seems to him that Rumania is permitting the exit of Jews with means, he warns the Foreign Ministry that very soon none but impoverished Jews will remain in that country, adding:

"In order to implement the final solution of the Jewish Question without any impediments and according to plan, I herewith request that this development be restrained by suitable means, and likewise that I be kept notified of the state of affairs."
The intention is clear. There is a danger that in Rumania murder will be done without plunder - and of course "the final solution" was not planned that way. When even the Slovakian government, which ruled by grace of the Nazis, expressed shock at the rumours of what happened to the Jews of that country, who had been deported nominally to work in the East, and asked permission for one of its representatives to visit the labour camps - Eichmann turned down the request and suggested to the Foreign Ministry that it explain to the Slovakian government that all was well with the deportees. And proofs were given in the form of postcards received from them, and articles on the subject published in the press, which Wisliceny, the Advisor for Jewish Affairs in Bratislava, would be glad to supply. But the German Ambassador in Bratislava received another request for permission to visit the camps, and Tuka, head of the Slovakian government, intervened. The Foreign Ministry again approached Eichmann with a request to permit the visit, but Eichmann refused. His refusal is understandable: the Jews they wanted to visit were no longer alive.

Eichmann took special pains to frustrate emigration to Palestine. He had obligations on this subject, he argued, to the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el Husseini, whom he had met and with whom he had established contact. The impression these two men made on each other was so strong that el Husseini asked Himmler to provide him, after the War, when he would enter Jerusalem at the head of the Axis troops, with a special advisor from Eichmann's Department to help him to solve the Jewish question in the same way as it had been done in the Axis countries. Eichmann offered the job to his assistant Wisliceny.

A proposal for the emigration of five thousand Jewish children from Hungary is transmitted by the Foreign Ministry to be handled by Eichmann. He receives a report on the sailing of a shipload of emigrants from Spain to Palestine. An application from the Spanish government with reference to property confiscated in Salonika from Jewish citizens in Spain reaches his desk. The German Foreign Ministry apologizes to him for daring to give instructions concerning Jews to the Vichy administration in France after the German invasion - and explains that it did so only because of the urgency of the matter and Eichmann's absence from Berlin at that time.

The government of Argentina enquired about one of its citizens, Gerson Wollner, who lived in Lvov, and the German Foreign Ministry asked Himmler himself to take into account their special relations with Argentina and not send the man to a concentration camp. The cynical answer of the Accused was that the Jew in question had died of a weak heart, despite the excellent treatment he had received for his ailment.

In 1942, Eichmann decided to treat the Hungarian Jews residing in the Reich in the same way as German Jews. The Foreign Ministry, which was then at the height of a political controversy with satellite Hungary, did not agree, but Eichmann did as he wanted.

We shall see him spurring on his officials and assistants to finish the job quickly. He was impatient with any delay. Once, when a deportation train from France did not leave, he declared that such things were not permitted to happen under his command, and that if hindrances of this kind were to recur he would have to consider whether or not to dispense with France as a country to be cleared of Jews. His subordinate, Roethke, was of course appalled by this threat lest, God forbid, he might be blamed for the survival of French Jewry; and he apologized and promised that thenceforth all would go well. When Knochen, an official of the Security Police had trouble with the Army when trying to introduce the Jewish badge into Belgium, he asked Eichmann to use his influence with General Reeder, chief of the military administration in occupied Belgium, to agree to its introduction.

When he learned from a secret source that the Jew Golub, in the Drancy camp in France was about to be granted a Latin-American citizenship that would enable him to emigrate - Eichmann cabled Gestapo headquarters in Paris ordering them to dispatch Golub quickly to Auschwitz.

When the German Foreign Ministry interceded with him to save individual Jews, in whom for one reason or another the occupation authorities were interested, such as Roger Masse, a senior French officer, who was captured and imprisoned as a Jew; or the Greek citizen Jeanne Cuenca, or many others - the answer was always that for reasons of principle the request should not be granted.

At times, another reason is given by the Accused and his section for turning down requests of the Foreign Ministry. The Jewesses, Vialica and Belsica, though Swiss citizens, cannot be permitted to leave the Generalgouvernement because they know about the methods used for implementing the deportations. A representative of the Hungarian press agency in Warsaw, the Jew Rousseau Silly, cannot return to Hungary, because he has seen many things in Warsaw that he would no doubt report in a manner inconvenient for Germany. He should therefore be sent to a concentration camp.

The Commander of the Army of Occupation in France was asked to permit the entry of German Jews to join their relatives in occupied France. He asked for instructions, and Eichmann replied that Jews must not be permitted to evade the deportations to the East; therefore the request should be refused.

Benzler, the German delegate to the Serbian puppet government asked for directives concerning the treatment of the Serbian Jews. It was dangerous to keep them in camps because of the threat of partisan attacks; while there was shortage of trains for sending them East, to Poland or Russia. In the margin of the letter you will find a memorandum by Rademacher, director of the appropriate section of the Foreign Ministry, containing these words:"Eichmann schlaegt erschiessen vor" - (Eichmann suggests shooting.) And when Rademacher wanted to confirm this instruction, and asked Eichmann again on the telephone, the Accused answered:"Shoot," and cut the conservation short. Thus, with one word, he sentenced to death some ten thousand Jews.

This was the man and this was his power.

On one occasion, the Foreign Ministry was not satisfied with the negative reply of Eichmann's deputy Guenther, and applied to him personally in the case of Andreas Michaelis, who was married to a Swiss citizen. The Foreign Ministry stated that, for urgent political reasons, the request to save this Jew should be granted, in view of the importance attached in his district to the woman's father because of his favourable attitude to Germany. Eichmann's personal answer was:

"After re-examining the matter, I regretfully find that, because of considerations of principle, I am unable to permit the stateless Jew Michaelis to leave for Switzerland."
We shall present to the Court many such examples. We shall prove that he dealt with both the community and the individual, with every concentration of Jews and every individual Jew with whom he came to be concerned - and always with one goal: death.

When the Germans sought a man to serve as French Commissar for Jewish Affairs in Laval's government, Eichmann was asked about the candidacy of Du Paty de Clam. Eichmann's office answered that the man seemed to him most suitable for the job, since his father was the French officer who had once arrested Dreyfus.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry sought to save thirty Norwegian Jews born in Sweden, by granting them Swedish citizenship. "They too are human, those unfortunates," the representative of the Swedish Embassy in Oslo explained to the Gestapo. Eichmann's answer was:

"These efforts should be frustrated, and I intend to intern those Jews as soon as possible and without taking into consideration the framework of general Jewish activities."
When he learned that a Swiss priest had published a book containing accounts of the fate of Jews in the French deportation camps, he issued instructions that priests should henceforth be kept away from them.

We shall show in this trial how much attention and care Eichmann devoted to closing every breach through which it might have been possible for any single Jew to slip through the net. Typical was his handling of an urgent application of the Foreign Ministry on 26 May 1943, with reference to Mario Sasson of Zagreb, married to a Christian German woman with three brothers serving in the German Army on the eastern front, who had been sent to Auschwitz. In view of the desperate situation of the woman, Eichmann was asked to transfer Sasson to Germany and enable him to be reunited with his family. Eichmann delayed his answer a long while, until his office was in a position to reply that Sasson was no longer alive.

When his envoy in France, Dannecker encountered difficulties in getting trains for a transport to Auschwitz, a personal application to Eichmann was enough to get the matter arranged.

In 1944, what was being done to the Jews in the area of German rule was already known in Europe. A number of Jews imprisoned in the Westerbork camp in Holland, intended for transport to Auschwitz, had received through the efforts of relatives and friends in Switzerland, passports of Honduras, Peru, San Salvador and other countries which gave them the right to leave Europe. On the order of the Accused, these passports were held up, but the question remained, how to explain to the Swiss authorities the fact that registered letters sent from that country had not reached their destinations. The Swiss Post even demanded compensation. The Accused issued an order: The German Post will notify the Swiss Post that the letters were lost because of "enemy action." The letters should not be returned, and no compensation should be paid for their loss.

At times, we shall see the Accused and his Section even stepping out of the framework of strict camouflage and speaking frankly about the extermination, at least to the extent of internal exchanges within government circles. To the Assistant Director General of the Foreign Ministry Luther, who had drawn his attention to complaints received about steps taken against Jews, Eichmann's office replied: "Where wood is being chopped, splinters fall. The enemy will always try to exaggerate the measures used against him, in order to awaken pity, and with the hope that they will be discontinued. Ever since we have begun to intensify our measures against the Jewish enemy, he has been trying, by means of anonymous letters to practically all institutions of the Reich, to escape the fate he deserves."

It is hardly necessary to mention that this "Jewish enemy" was a defenceless civil population, including infants, children, women and old men.

We shall see how Eichmann contended with German diplomats themselves, and with various authorities in the occupied zones, who did not cooperate or do everything he wanted. We shall see his anger at Italian officials, who on many occasions frustrated his plans; his wrath at the fact that Denmark, through a noble and dangerous operation, had smuggled her Jews to Sweden; his struggles with all the governments of the occupied countries to make them cooperate in his work. When the Pope himself interceded for the Jews of Rome, who were arrested "practically underneath the Vatican windows" (in the words of the German Foreign Ministry), and Eichmann was asked to leave them in Italian labour camps instead of deporting them, the request was turned down - the Jews were sent to Auschwitz.

But no part of all this bloody work is so shocking and terrible as that of the million Jewish children whose blood was spilt like water throughout Europe. How they were separated by force from their mothers who tried to hide them, murdered and thrown out of trucks in the camps, torn to pieces before their mothers' eyes, their little heads smashed on the ground - these are the most terrible passages of the tale of slaughter. You will hear evidence of actions which the mind of man does not want to believe.

You will hear about little ones thrown out of windows of hospitals when they failed to respond to orders that they report for parade.

We shall present to you the instructions issued by Eichmann and his office about the transport of children. One of these said that the children were to be divided among the transports intended for Auschwitz. Children of fourteen were considered "independent" for purposes of transport to the extermination camps.

Nor can we say who suffered the more terrible fate: those who died or those who concealed themselves in every conceivable hiding place and crevice, who lived in perpetual terror of expulsion, who survived by grace of Christian neighbours who agreed to hide them. Children would come home from the schools and centres organized by the community to find their parents' home was empty, for they had been sent by some "Aktion" or "operation" to their deaths; and that the apartment had in the meantime been occupied by others.

You will hear evidence of tender infants pressed by their mothers to their bodies in the gas chambers so that they were not immediately poisoned, until the executioners came and threw them alive into the furnaces or the ready graves.

Those unhappy children who lived for years in fear of the beating of a rifle butt on their door; who had been sent by their parents to the woods in an attempt to save them, who had been taught to choke their tears and sighs because a weeping child would be shot on the spot; who had been ordered to deny their origins and pretend to be Christian; who saw their fathers being lashed with whips before their eyes; in front of whom "discussions" would be carried on by the German executioners as to who should be killed first - the father or the son; who went to the open graves with "Hear, O Israel" on their lips - these children and youths, who despite all the desperate measures and concealments would finally fall into the hands of their hunters, they are the very soul and innermost core of the indictment. Those Anne Franks and Justine Draengers and a million others, those unplumbed treasures of radiant youth and hope for life and achievement - they were the future of the Jewish people. He that destroyed them was seeking to destroy the Jewish people.

We shall present the pictures of some of those children, swollen with hunger, frightened and crushed, with eyes frozen with terror. We shall show you the photographs of their starved bodies thrown into manure wagons; of the helpless little ones on the threshold of the extermination chambers. Perhaps we shall succeed in painting a pale and inadequate picture of the calamity, wide as the ocean, that overtook the House of Israel.

It is no wonder that the German Foreign Ministry passed on for Eichmann's information the warning, broadcast by London Radio that those responsible for the murders in Auschwitz would be brought to judgement. Even on the verge of the German collapse in April, 1945, in that atmosphere of the twilight of the gods, when the Allies from the East, West and South were closing in - Eichmann still told the German Red Cross man that he could not agree to the more humanitarian methods of dealing with Jews then being considered by Himmler.

Is it any wonder, then, that one of those days he said to a close assistant that he would be ready to commit suicide, and that he would gladly leap into his grave, after he had succeeded in exterminating five million Jews? In this too, he maybe followed in the footsteps of his master, Hitler, who also said that he would die happy with the knowledge of Germany's great achievements and her contribution to history.

Many millions of non-Jews also perished in the Great War. We shall not attempt to decide here, at this trial, which of the acts of hostility were "permissible" and which were "forbidden" by the rules of war laid down by international law. But we shall say, with all the emphasis in our command, that the extermination of the Jewish people was not connected with any military action. It cannot be compared with the bombing of cities, submarine warfare or the like. These were acts of war, and whether they were legitimate or not - a question which we shall not attempt to decide here - they were carried out in connection with, and in the process of waging war.

The extermination of the Jews had no connection with the war effort of Germany and her allies. The extermination was carried out at the time of the War, when the battle smoke to some extent covered and concealed the atrocities; but it was not done in pursuit of war, nor was it impelled by war needs.

This was a separate and special action in itself, which could be implemented more easily - more conveniently, with less intervention from internal or external elements - during the War since it was then possible to camouflage what was done behind the cover of war effort.

And indeed, even in the Nazi documents dealing with the extermination of the Jews and explaining the decision to take this action, we shall nowhere find it stated that the thing was being done in order to advance military operations. Quite the contrary: if there was some Nazi leader or their henchmen who wanted to postpone "the final solution" for a while, they did so on the ground of the need to exploit Jewish labour power in wartime. We shall present proofs of this contention, and at this stage I shall mention one piece of evidence: when the German Army invaded the Soviet Union, instructions were given for the immediate destruction of the Jews by the Special Operational Groups. We shall see later, in the sequel, how these orders were carried out. In Report No. 81 of the Einsatzgruppen dated 12 September 1941, we read the following:

"One should note, as an exceptional phenomenon, the discovery of Jewish kolkhozes (collective farms). Between Krivoi Rog and Dnepropetrovsk there are Jewish kolkhozes in which not only the directors but also all the labour power, is Jewish. These are, as far as we can see, not very intelligent Jews, who have therefore been transferred by the political leadership to farm labour. Einsatzkommando 6 has decided, in this case, not to shoot these Jews, in order to enable them to continue working; and they contented themselves with liquidating the Jewish management and replacing it with Ukrainian ones."
We see that for the sake of the war effort the Special Operational Groups departed from their orders and left the Jews alive.

But this is not all. Means of transport were of decisive importance to the German war effort, and especially when the fronts expanded in the East, South and West. When the Army needed every locomotive and railway car and there was a severe shortage of transport, trains were still found for shipments to the extermination centres. And while the front was crying out for manpower, the units needed for the work of annihilation were found.

The extermination programme was to have been kept secret for a variety of reasons. First in order to delude the victims themselves and make them believe that they were merely brought to labour camps. We shall see later how many "ingenious devices" the Nazis used to camouflage the gas vans as dwelling-places, to erect a sham railway station in Treblinka so that it would seem merely a transit point. And even at the gates of Auschwitz they inscribed Arbeit macht frei - that is, "Labour liberates." To facilitate the camouflage, the prisoners in the camps were ordered to write postcards to their relatives, saying that they were well; and the postcards would arrive after their writers had long been consumed by the flames. But the device, of course, served the purpose of momentarily allaying apprehensions, fostering illusions and dampening the will to rebel, since it seemed to indicate that the deportees were still alive and that the horrible stories about extermination were perhaps not true.

Secondly, the camouflage was needed to hide what was happening from the eyes of the world. That was why the Fuehrer commanded that everything related to these activities be kept a strict secret, that no one should know more than what he had to know to do his job, and that the necessary instructions should be transmitted only very close to the actual implementation. The German military command ordered that the expression "transportation to forced labour" should be used instead of "transfer to the East" or "deportation." In the Gestapo itself, an atmosphere of secrecy and camouflage prevailed.

But the secret, of course, could not be kept inviolate very long, especially after the circle of the conspirators, the planners, executors and others concerned, widened, as the circles of extermination spread ever wider. Not only did the thousands in the Einsatzgruppen know about it, but also the letter-carriers who had to return mail stamped "Address Unknown," the clerks in the registration offices who had to cross the deportees' names off their books, and the thousands of soldiers on leave from all the fronts - so that finally, one way or another, the knowledge reached many millions of the German people. From Eichmann himself we shall hear that at first there were instructions to use camouflage (Tarnung), and that the fact of extermination was kept a strict State secret. "I know only," he says, "that towards the end, during 1943, 1944, 1945, to use a somewhat exaggerated expression, the sparrows were already chirping this from the rooftops."

In a long speech of encouragement and praise delivered by Himmler to SS officers in Poznan on 4 October 1943, while expressing approval and commendation for the courage, strength of character and other precious attributes of his men, he said:

"Here I shall speak...with complete frankness about an especially difficult chapter. Among ourselves let us for once be quite frank, but in public we shall never speak of it...I mean the evacuation of the Jews the extermination of the Jewish people...Most of you will know what it means to have a hundred corpses lying together, five hundred corpses lying together or a thousand corpses lying together. To live through all this and at the same time...remain decent, that made us hard. That is a noteworthy page in our history, which has never been written, and which will never be written."
It was in such episodes as these that a German leader saw the greatness of his people; yet it was something to be kept hidden and secret. Since then the matter has been revealed. What those villains then regarded with pride is now their badge of eternal shame; and what they did in concealment, in the hope that the greatest murder in history would remain strictly secret - all this will be told here openly, will be revealed and branded in the light of day.

And now let us trace the bloody work of Adolf Eichmann in the various countries through which the Nazi rule passed like a rod of wrath.

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