The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 9
(Part 3 of 4)

Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann, Eichmann trial, holocaust, Jewish holocaust
State Attorney Bach: Can you possibly give the Court details relating to the significance of those markings of which we have heard - NO, NG and PS and so on, since these markings appear in each of the documents which you submitted?

Witness Bar-Shalom: The documents were gathered, generally, in various series and in various places. The series was always marked by letters, and a document within the series by a serial number. For example, if we say NG 123 this means, the series of the Nazi Government No. 123, and we added our mark according to the order in which the documents were entered into their files. The most common markings in our documents are PS which stands for Paris - Storey.

Q. What do these words mean?

A. They mean that the office was in Paris and that the Director there was Storey. Hence the name PS but at a later stage additional documents were added to that series, even after the office had moved from Paris and Storey was no longer the Director. The letter L. means London. The letters NG mean Nazi Government and NO Nazi Organization. NOKW means Nazi Oberkommando Wehrmacht, NI and NIG mean Nazi Industries and EC Economic Case. These are the main symbols appearing in our file.

Q. Those documents of this category which reached Bureau 06 - where did they come from?

A. The main place was the State Archives in Nuremberg. Its name was the State Archives of Bavaria (Nuremberg Division). Upon the conclusion of the trials various documents were handed over by the Court, and later on both by the prosecution and the defence, to the State Archives in Nuremberg. I should like to point out first of all that the "Official Record of the International Military Tribunal," and the "Official Records" - to the extent that they were collected - "of the twelve Subsequent Trials" are now kept at the Hague and in the National Archives of the United States located in Alexandria, near Washington.

Q. You said "to the extent that they were collected." Are the records not there in full?

A. The records there are fairly full. These documents were submitted to the Court in two ways; one way was by means of photocopies of the original documents; and the other way was by means of stencilled copies arranged in the volumes of documents of the prosecution and of the defence. Furthermore the Court issued a daily record and published it in stencil. The Court there regarded these stencils also as official documents, as also emerges from volume 15 of the Green Series.

Q. In stating this, are you also relying on any declaration which was received by Bureau 06?

A. There is a declaration in Bureau 06 of Dr. Kempner, who was the Deputy Chief Counsel of the United States in these trials. He visited Bureau 06, examined the volumes of documents and records that had reached us, and found that they were the same official records that were issued by the Court in these twelve trials in Nuremberg. He likewise confirmed that these were the photostats and the documents that had been transferred to the State Archives in Nuremberg by the Court authorities.

State Attorney Bach: With the Court's permission I should like to submit as evidence the affidavit of Dr. Kempner on this point. I have the original and the Hebrew translation as well as two copies.

Presiding Judge: This document will be T/12.

State Attorney Bach: I quote from the document "I served in the role of Prosecutor...and subsequently as Assistant Prosecutor-General..."

Presiding Judge: Is it necessary for you to read the entire document? Perhaps we can glance at the document - since this would be quicker?

State Attorney Bach: As the Court pleases. Actually we have here a corroboration of the facts to which the witness has already testified. [To Bar-Shalom] The affidavit of Dr. Kempner refers to the same stencil which, as you said, he had confirmed were original documents and which served as such documents for the prosecution in Nuremberg. Did you also receive an affidavit in connection with those copies and photostats relating to documents which were kept at the State Archives in Nuremberg?

Witness Bar-Shalom: Mr. Gershon Shapira was sent by Yad Vashem to the State Archives in Nuremberg in order to gather material, and he took photographs there of all the copies and the photostats which had been submitted to Court and had been delivered subsequently to the State Archives in Nuremberg. This is as far as the photostatic copies are concerned. Similarly he obtained from the State Archives in Nuremberg those stencils which we showed to Dr. Kempner, and he brought them to Yad Vashem, and we received them from Yad Vashem.

Q. Did Mr. Shapira also make a statement on this second fact in the affidavit which you saw?

A. Yes, he made a statement on both matters in the affidavit.

Q. Did he also annex to this affidavit a list of all those files and documents he himself photographed?

A. He annexed an original list which he had made at the time in Nuremberg, and he also attached a specimen of a specification list; that is to say a kind of detailed list of the photographs of films.

State Attorney Bach: With the Court's permission I should like to submit this affidavit in evidence at this trial. I should like to add this affidavit bearing our catalogue number - 1521. I should add - I omitted to mention this before - that Dr. Kempner's affidavit bears the catalogue number 1425.

Presiding Judge: There is one matter here which you have not spoken of - the "register card."

Witness Bar-Shalom: This is the list - at the beginning and the end of each microfilm there is a "register card" indicating which documents are included, signed by the person who made the photographs.

State Attorney Bach: In order to close the circle of proofs relating to this category of documents, I should like to submit one more affidavit of Dr. Kermish, to the effect that he had received these films from Mr. Shapiro and delivered them to Bureau 06. This is the affidavit bearing the catalogue number 1576. I regret that this method of proof appears to be somewhat complicated, but we could not find any other way of proving these matters beyond all doubt.

Presiding Judge: Sir, please don't apologize. But there is something here. What is the number - 1575 or 1576?

State Attorney Bach: The number is 1576. Possibly there is an error at the top. At all events, the correct number which I am referring to is 1576.

Presiding Judge: There are, here, two different affidavits. Evidently there is some confusion here.

State Attorney Bach: Will your Honour allow me to check. The intended reference is to document 1576. By error another number was entered on one of the copies.

Presiding Judge: But now I don't have the original. I hope that we shall get used to this in course of time.

State Attorney Bach: I now notice that the original, in fact, bears the number 1575, although the contents are identical. In one place is written 1575 and in another place 1576.

Presiding Judge: I don't think the contents are identical. Please check this once more.

State Attorney Bach: This relates to the material which reached Yad Vashem.

Presiding Judge: Is that the same text of the affidavit? According to the length I can see that it is not the same affidavit.

State Attorney Bach: The two affidavits in my possession have the identical text. But we shall check this once again. I see that it is the same text which apparently on one occasion has been marked with another number.

Presiding Judge: In that case the number is 1576.

State Attorney Bach: Mr. Bar-Shalom - do you have before you inclusive lists of those documents which were entered in our catalogue and the verification of which is based on the evidence we have just submitted?

Witness Bar-Shalom: I have two lists. The one is the list of those documents which were enlarged from microfilm in which there is, again, a serial number, a catalogue number, the number of the prosecution in Nuremberg and the number of the film, according to the markings of Yad Vashem, and again the identifying mark of each picture which was examined, of each enlargement that was examined. And I marked it with the number of the film on the back of the document in the same way.

Presiding Judge: Was all this from Nuremberg?

Witness Bar-Shalom: All this was from Nuremberg. The second list of documents consists of those actually taken from the Defence Document Book or the Prosecution Document Book or the record of the Court in stencil as confirmed by Dr. Kempner and which are kept in our archives here, upstairs.

State Attorney Bach: I ask the Court to accept these two lists in evidence.

Presiding Judge: [To witness] Was this prepared by you?

Witness Bar-Shalom: Yes, sir.

Presiding Judge: The two lists will be marked T/15 and T/16.

State Attorney Bach: Did you also order and did you receive a number of documents from the National Archives of the United States in Alexandria near Washington?

Witness Bar-Shalom: We both ordered and received from the National Archives a number of documents, and these were mainly documents relating to the prosecution such as NG, PS and so forth, which we obtained in several consignments bound in volumes and certified by the head of the Archives. And we also received a copy for work purposes. We keep the bound volumes in a locked cupboard, and have placed in the file the copies for work purposes which I had compared and marked in the same corner with the signs A/1, A/2, A/3 - according to the consignment. We did so since they sent us many volumes and documents bound together, and for purposes of the examination, for the sake of convenience, we were obliged to separate them. We did not use all the bound documents we received in each consignment, nor each of the documents in its entirety, but only such documents as we found to be appropriate. The list is attached.

State Attorney Bach: I ask you to accept this list also as an exhibit.

Presiding Judge: This is the list of documents from the National Archives of the United States and it is marked T/17.

State Attorney Bach: Mr. Bar-Shalom, I understand this latest list consists of documents which were also exhibited in the twelve trials at Nuremberg. Did you, in addition to this, also receive from the same source, from the National Archives of the United States, further documents?

Witness Bar-Shalom: We also received from them documents photographed on four microfilms, with the addition of a statement that the microfilms were prepared specially for us. From these microfilms we extracted a number of documents, in the way I have previously described, and I marked them in the way I have previously described by the symbol Alex 1, Alex 2, Alex 3 in the lower right-hand corner of the enlargements.

Presiding Judge: Does Alex stand for Alexandria?

Witness Bar-Shalom: Yes. And this is the list.

State Attorney Bach: Before this I should like to submit to the Court the affidavit of Mr. Wayne C. Grover, Archivist of the United States Archives who certifies here the details about which Mr. Bar-Shalom has testified. The document bears our catalogue number 1581.

Presiding Judge: This is marked T/18.

[To the witness] You made a list from this, and this is the list?

Witness Bar-Shalom: Yes.

State Attorney Bach: I would ask to submit this list also as an exhibit.

Presiding Judge: The list will be marked T/19.

State Attorney Bach: Mr. Bar-Shalom - what is the next category?

Witness Bar-Shalom: The next category contains documents which we received from various countries and every individual document is certified on the back by the appropriate institution of that country. Consequently there is no need for additional certification. This is the list of the documents.

State Attorney Bach: These are lists of documents received from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Yugoslavia and which were included in the material of the Prosecution's evidence, according to the catalogue number appearing on each individual document. I submit this list, also as an exhibit in this trial.

Presiding Judge: The list will be marked T/20, consisting of six pages.

State Attorney Bach: Mr. Bar-Shalom - do you have a list of those documents which you received from the Berlin Documentation Center?

Witness Bar-Shalom: In the Berlin Documentation Center there are the personal files of the SS personnel.

Presiding Judge: Who manages this Center?

Witness Bar-Shalom: The United States authorities. We received from the United States authorities a photocopy of the Accused's personal file. Every photocopy is certified on the back by the Archives. This list is before me. Part of the personal file we did not receive from them, but from Yad Vashem and the source from which these photocopies came is not known to us. These are marked on this list - where there is no certification from the Berlin Documentation Center - those documents which we received from Yad Vashem.

Q. How did this file reach this Center?

A. Many of the prosecution and defence documents of the Nuremberg Trials were also there. And the personal file of the Accused also bore a Nuremberg prosecution number - an NO number.

State Attorney Bach: I ask the Court to accept this list, also, as evidence.

Presiding Judge: The list is marked T/21.

State Attorney Bach: At this stage I ask the Court to receive in evidence an additional affidavit of Dr. Joseph Kermish, the head of the Yad Vashem Archives, which includes a list of the original documents delivered to Bureau 06 by the Directorate of Yad Vashem. This list bears the catalogue number 1573.

Presiding Judge: The list will be marked T/22.

State Attorney Bach: I also ask the Court to accept the affidavit of Mrs. Miriam Nowitz of Kibbutz Lohamei Ha- Getta'ot who also handed over to Bureau 06 certain documents and films which were in the possession of Kibbutz Lohamei Ha- Getta'ot.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/23.

State Attorney Bach: Mr. Bar-Shalom, could you perhaps give the Court details about the documents received by Bureau 06 from the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine.

Witness Bar-Shalom: The Institution which we call for short Centre sent us original documents and we also used microfilms which were made at the Centre itself for Yad Vashem by Dr. Alsberg. The original documents which reached us accompanied by affidavits of Mr. Billig and Mr. Poliakov of the Centre are those which were received from the French authorities immediately after the World War. The French authorities, at the time, seized the entire archives of the Gestapo in Paris and gave Mr. Poliakov special permission for access to its Jewish section. From there the Centre received some of the documents, in their original form, as a gift, and some of the documents were photographed by the Centre on microfilm or in photostats kept in the Centre.

Presiding Judge: What was this Institution? Who ran it?

Witness Bar-Shalom: It is currently managed by Mr. Mazar.

Presiding Judge: On whose behalf?

Witness Bar-Shalom: This is a Jewish institution under Government auspices.

State Attorney Bach: Your Honours,I should like to submit the affidavits of Messrs. Billig and Poliakov - these were made in the French language and we have attached a Hebrew translation thereof.

Presiding Judge: [After receiving the documents] Is all this one document?

State Attorney Bach: Yes.

Presiding Judge: You spoke of two.

State Attorney Bach: This document contains the two affidavits of Mr. Billig and of Mr. Poliakov. And the entire document bears the number 1504.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/24.

State Attorney Bach: To complete this picture, I should like to submit two additional affidavits - the one of Dr. Avraham Alsberg who in Paris prepared certain microfilms from those documents to which Mr. Poliakov attests, and the second, an affidavit of Dr. Kermish who transferred these films to Bureau 06. The affidavit of Dr. Alsberg bears the number 1554.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/25.

State Attorney Bach: And the affidavit of Dr. Joseph Kermish which relates to these documents bears the number 1575. This is the solution of our earlier mystery. Some of the previous documents were wrongly marked.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/26.

State Attorney Bach: Mr. Bar-Shalom - in order to conclude this chapter perhaps you could give the Court a list of those documents which were received from the Centre according to the Prosecution's catalogue numbers.

Witness Bar-Shalom: There are two lists: one of the original documents and one of the photocopies, marked as was indicated previously.

Presiding Judge: Does this include everything that came from Paris?

Witness Bar-Shalom: Which originated in the 05Centre.

Presiding Judge: Does it contain five pages?

Witness Bar-Shalom: These are the lists of the microfilms.

Presiding Judge: Are these two different things?

Witness Bar-Shalom: These are two different things. The first is a list of the original documents we received.

State Attorney Bach: Your Honour, in the affidavit of Mr. Poliakov, there is reference both to the original documents transferred by him to the Israel authorities and also to the microfilms which contained photocopies of the same documents. Accordingly Mr. Bar-Shalom is now submitting two separate lists, a list of original documents and a list of documents which are made up of photocopies.

Presiding Judge: The list of original documents is marked T/27. The list of the photographed documents (the microfilm) is marked T/28.

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