The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Sessions 13
(Part 3 of 5)

Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann, Eichmann trial, holocaust, Jewish holocaust
Judge Halevi: Perhaps, Professor Baron, you would be able to tell us something about what was called "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" in connection with your address.

Witness Baron: "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" in actual fact had been drawn up already before the First World War. They were compiled from several sources, such as Goedsche and others, and Father Nilus in Russia. They were essentially part of an anti-Semitic movement in Russia and perhaps it is worthwhile recalling in this context that the Russian Czar expended monies, his own monies, his private funds, in order to pay for anti-Semitic propaganda at the beginning of this century. This became known to us from the archives of the year 1917. The tendency was to prove that the Jews were plotting to conquer the whole world and that they had a mysterious, clandestine organization which met from time to time in preparation for this conquest of the world. But only after the First World War, was the book translated into most languages, and distributed amongst all peoples as an instrument to destroy the Jewish people.

This was one of the more outstanding examples of the use of the total lie, a lie that had no basis whatsoever, in order to bring about the triumph of anti-Semitism. In this particular case it was one of the students at Columbia University - Curtiss - who wrote a book which I believe to be the most enlightening about the emergence of that legend, that myth. In particular that book, entitled The Protocols was used in Germany with special intensity, they published it in several editions, Alfred Rosenberg himself wrote a kind of commentary on the basis of this book.

Judge Halevi: In view of the fact that the Nazis made use of it, they published the so-called `Protocols' as if they actually existed, I merely wanted to hear from you: do all serious historians, not only Jews who perhaps will be regarded as being affected by it, but also other historians agree that this was a forgery and there had been no such thing?

Witness Baron: It seems to me that there is no historian at the present time who will deny that the book was a forgery. Curtiss himself is not a Jew and he wrote this treatise under the aegis of the greatest historians in America of his generation. This was about twenty years ago; Carlton Hayes, for example, Havens and others, who in a congress of historians arrived at the final and definite conclusion that there was no basis at all, or the smallest grain of truth in all those forgeries.

Judge Halevi: Do you know that Hitler in Mein Kampf mentions this as an important doctrine; he says that the fact that the Jews deny it confirms the truth of the matter?

Witness Baron: This could be said about many things.

Judge Halevi: Many of the Nazi generation began to believe this. Accordingly, it had a practical effect.

Witness Baron: It had a practical effect throughout the world. In the United States, a by no means unimportant person, Henry Ford, himself publicized this book and circulated it in The Dearborn Independent in Detroit. But when he was pressed on this point, he afterwards acknowledged and was not ashamed to admit in Court that he had come to realize that he had erred, that this was a current forgery, and that one should not rely on it at all. Even in Germany there were many voices proving that this was a forgery, but whoever did not want to - did not hear this.

Judge Y. Raveh: I have a demographic question, Professor Baron. You said that today the population of the Jewish people is estimated to be twelve million. Is it possible to tell us roughly how this is divided in the various parts of the world - Europe, America and Asia?

Witness Baron: The two greatest Powers in this connection are the United States, where we believe there are about five and a half million Jews, and Soviet Russia, which has about two and a half million Jews, although the 1959 census disclosed only two and a quarter or slightly more who reported themselves to be members of Jewish nationality. There they do not ask about religion but about nationality. We are almost positive that there were one hundred thousand or more Jews who did not publicly admit that they belonged to the Jewish nationality, although they were Jews in some sense, in religion or in some other way. Together with Israel with its two million Jews, we already have ten million. The remaining two million are dispersed. The largest communities are in England, Canada, Argentina, and some in South Africa. There are also many Jews in North Africa. Of course, some Jews remained in Western Europe.

Judge Y. Raveh: A matter of special interest is: In the whole of Western Europe - Europe apart from Russia - what is, more or less, the Jewish population?

Witness Baron: In France there is the largest number. Apart from France the numbers are small. Even in Poland there are today no more than 40,000 Jews. In Rumania and Hungary there are somewhat more, since more Jews were saved, owing to the fact that these countries were Allies of the Nazis. But even there, to talk of half a million would be an exaggeration. Altogether in Europe, apart from England and Soviet Russia, the number of Jews comes to one million.

Q. You said that you estimated that, had it not been for the Holocaust, the Jewish population in the world would have reached approximately 19,000,000-20,000,000. Now a very difficult question, possibly arises - I do not know to what extent it is possible to answer it. The question is: Supposing that there had been no Holocaust and the Jewish population in the world had reached 20,000,000, how would they have been distributed according to countries?

A. If we accept the fact that in Europe, in 1939, there were almost ten million Jews, and if they had increased on the average as they increased previously, their number would have reached almost twelve million.

Q. That is to say, all the countries of Europe together? Does this include Russia this time?

A. This time it includes Russia and also England. However, there was emigration. There was emigration before the First World War, and it continued to a lesser extent between the Wars. And had the borders been open, whether in the United States, in South America or particularly in Palestine, then a large section of this additional two million would certainly have emigrated to those countries. Perhaps the number in Europe would then not have been so large, for some would have gone to other places, but, in that case, the numbers in other countries would have been larger. Instead of receiving, for example, a quarter of a million immigrants, the United States would have been able to absorb a million. Palestine which received only a certain part from Europe and also a large number from Moslem countries, would have been able, without any doubt, to absorb a much greater share of European Jewry.

Perhaps, instead of two million Jews, there would now have already been two and a half million or somewhat more. But it is difficult to imagine today what would have been the distribution, since the question depends on several factors. The main factor is always the economic one. There were also political elements, cultural and so on. Generally speaking I would say that if it is possible to guess at all, then, out of twenty million Jews there would evidently have been eleven million living in Europe. Today the majority, albeit a small majority, would still be living in Europe, but not perhaps in three years time, and the minority would have been living in all the other countries of the world.

Judge Raveh: Thank you very much.

Presiding Judge: Thank you very much, Professor Baron.

Who is the next witness?

Attorney General: I now wish to submit a number of personal documents relating to the Accused. A few of them have already been submitted to the Court together with the statement, and I shall merely refer to them now and ask the Court to give them a new number as an exhibit.

Presiding Judge: Are these the documents that were shown to the Accused?

Attorney General: They were shown to the Accused at the time of the interrogation.

Presiding Judge: We shall not mark them twice.

Attorney General: As the Court wishes. But I draw your attention to this - I submit document No. 292.

Presiding Judge: Is this our number or that of Bureau 06?

Attorney General: This is the Court's number - our number 26.

Presiding Judge: What is your purpose in mentioning these documents anew?

Attorney General: With the Court's permission, I now desire at this stage to submit what we call the "personal file" - a number of documents referring to the Accused in his Department in the SS, his rise in rank, the decorations he received, the resume of his life as signed by him, before we proceed to the next stage of the evidence.

Presiding Judge: But in connection with the documents that have already been submitted, I think that you will be able to make some reference to this file. It is not the practice to submit the same document twice, even when it appears in a different context.

Attorney General: Your Honours, when we attached a document to the statement, this did not as yet verify it. We now want to show that the document is genuine and proves the truth of its contents, since sometimes the reaction of the Accused to the documents presented to him was: "I do not recognize this document." This also depends on his reaction to the document, whether the document is admissible or whom it helps, and I do not want to rely on the fact that every document has been shown to him. I now want to submit those documents.

Presiding Judge: Now I understand this more clearly.

Judge Halevi: In this connection I should like to point out: there are 317 exhibits. The Court has not yet managed to get to study every one of them. We do not know them. For us this is a large complex. We are only aware that they are documents presented to the Accused at the time of his interrogation. This does not mean to say that their contents are correct.

Attorney General: Exactly.

Judge Halevi: But this does not only concern the personal file. It is possible that they contain much material which is not an exhibit or a document in the full sense of the term.

Attorney General: Each one of these documents will be resubmitted when the time comes, and will be proven again, and we shall ask you to admit them as evidence.

Presiding Judge: If that is the case, what do you presently have before you?

Attorney General: Document No. 26, relating to the statement of the Accused, No. 292 and containing a number of pages, the contents of which are as follows: One is dated 22 December 1933, his appointment to SS-Scharfuehrer, commencing 24 December 1933, a document dated 23 October 1937, his appointment to SS-Hauptscharfuehrer, the appointment of Adolf Eichmann from August 1938 - I believe from August 26 - to Untersturmfuehrer, from 2 February 1939 to Obersturmfuehrer, from 1 August 1940 to Hauptsturmfuehrer. The next document recommended a promotion, and as from 9 November 1941, to Obersturm- bannfuehrer. There is also here the appointment in the Reserves of the Waffen SS dated 13 January 1944. Notifications of these to the personnel department in the SS are contained in document No. 16 which I hereby wish to submit.

Presiding Judge: Please continue. If you find it necessary to describe them in detail, please do so, and thereafter we shall mark the whole file as one exhibit.

Dr. Servatius: May I suggest that the Attorney General indicate from time to time whether the documents have already been submitted, for then they will have been signed by the Accused?

Attorney General: I would point out that the documents which I have just now quoted were mentioned in the statement on pages 3390-3394. The next document was marked by the Court as No. 301, our number 1182, its date is 6.2.1936, from Department II 112, the one about which Captain Less spoke this morning - the appointment of Scharfuehrer Eichmann to the Department for the Orthodox. It is mentioned on page 3450-3451 of the statement.

Now there is a document which was not attached to the statement, our number 28, "Personal-Bericht" the personal report on Adolf Eichmann.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, again in order to simplify this matter, perhaps we shall already at this stage, give a number to the whole of this file - that will be T/55 - and to each batch separately. This first batch will be - T/55(1), the second - T/55(2) and so on.

Attorney General: Does the Court wish us to mark it now or should Mr. Bodenheimer mark it?

Presiding Judge: You can help us with this.

Clerk of the Court: No. 28 has already been submitted.

Presiding Judge: This is not important - we shall mark it T/55(1), T/55(2). And perhaps you would add in brackets to that same document that was shown to the Accused the number given to it, if it is known to you. Meanwhile we have reached T/55(2).

Attorney General: Our number is 28, and Mr. Bodenheimer has informed us that it has been presented to the Accused, this is the "Personal-Bericht" of Adolf Eichmann. "From the point of view of race, Eichmann is Dinaric-Nordic. As a member of the party he is a convinced member of the NSDAP. From the personal point of view he is a man without blemish. From the point of view of service he is a good man and from the point of view of his achievements, likewise we can say nothing but good about him. General picture - very good. A very active man, in particular an expert on matters of administration, in matters of organization and techniques, an expert in his field..."

Presiding Judge: What is "techniques"?

Judge Raveh: "An expert of administration and organization, and especially an expert in this field." This is signed by Dieter Wisliceny, the person who was at that time his superior and afterwards served under him.

Presiding Judge: This will then be T/55(3).

I would ask Mr. Bodenheimer afterwards to count the number of pages in each supplementary document and to indicate that on the document itself.

Attorney General: In the "Personal-Bericht" of 30 January 1939 we read the same account with the addition of the words: "Meanwhile Eichmann had to be at the head of the Central Office of the Reich for Jewish Emigration, and he conducts all the affairs of the emigration of the Jews." Amongst the documents is one from Prague of 31 March 1942, in which Eichmann gives notice of the birth of his third son, Dieter, and also a notice signed by someone unknown to us, but it is part of the document, and therefore, I mention it. The Accused denies its accuracy, in stating that the Accused's wife had left the Church.

Presiding Judge: If so, the sub-number is 3.

Attorney General: Our next document has the Court number 296; ours is 1167. It refers to the establishment of Branch II 112 for the budget year 1938. Here we notice that Department II 112, which includes Zionists, is now entrusted to SS Untersturmfuehrer Eichmann. The document was submitted to the Accused, and his response is found on pages 3412 to 3420 of the statement.

Presiding Judge: This will be sub-number 4.

Attorney General: The following number is our number 22, and it contains an account of the service of the Accused, (Dienstlaufbahn).

Judge Raveh: Mr. Hausner, are you going to submit this in three copies? Perhaps it would be worthwhile to hand us two copies at this stage, so that we may be able meanwhile to follow it and mark it.

Attorney General: My colleague is already arranging this.

...Beginning from 1932, his entry into the SS and until 1944.

Presiding Judge: Sub-number 5, T/55(5).

Attorney General: The next document which was contained in the Accused's personal file and which we received from the Documentation Centre, Berlin, refers to one of his subordinates, Dr. Rajakowitsch. It was handed to the Accused on pages 2592-2595 and it is signed by the Accused. Inter alia, the Accused talks of the service of this subordinate over a period of four weeks in Galicia.

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