The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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

Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann, Eichmann trial, holocaust, Jewish holocaust
Attorney General: I shall submit the declaration of Wisliceny, the testimony of Wisliceny, to the Court. But there is a special request in respect of each document, and possibly a different reasoning. At this moment I am dealing with the sworn statements of Wisliceny and Brookhart.

Dr. Servatius: I have some reservations, Your Honours, and I object to this deviation from the procedure according to section 15 of the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law. I object to the admission of the affidavits attributed to Wisliceny. In the files before me, there is a document No. 584, which is a declaration signed by Smith A. Brookhart on the 19 September 1960 and relating to the evidence which Brookhart took from Wisliceny on 14 November 1945. I do not wish to read the document, but merely to point out its contents. It is said that Wisliceny gave the contents of this declaration after many interrogation sessions; it is said that Wisliceny was a cooperative witness, that there was hostility between him and Eichmann, but that this fact had no influence. The affidavit that they want to submit here is signed by Brookhart and was written a few days after the evidence of Wisliceny in November. The date of his evidence in November was 14 November 1945. And this is document No. 856.

Presiding Judge: Did Wisliceny give evidence in the trial of the main War Criminals?

Dr. Servatius: Yes. This evidence which is before me, and marked with the number 856, includes a few days of interrogation, apparently a few days, as well, of interrogation that did not take place in the Court. They contain 83 pages in English. But here it emerges from the following words, that the affidavit which they want to submit here, is a shortened version of that evidence, but it has been phrased in its shortened version to the detriment of the Accused.

Presiding Judge: Does document No. 856 contain both the evidence and the statements in the interrogation? Perhaps we may see this document merely for the sake of understanding the point?

Dr. Servatius: I am talking of pages 13 and 14 in the document, in the testimony of Wisliceny, who gave evidence concerning the status of the Accused who was subject to the orders of his superiors. These words were expunged from what was submitted here.

Presiding Judge: For the sake of understanding the point, document No. 856 contains statements in reply to the interrogator and does not contain Wisliceny's evidence in Court. Have I understood this correctly?

Dr. Servatius: The statement does not include the testimonies in Court. This emerges from the protocol.

Presiding Judge: This is not an affidavit - this is a statement in the interrogation by Brookhart. Is document No. 584 the one that you, Mr. Hausner, wish to submit?

Attorney General: Yes.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, do you maintain that document No. 584 is a shortened version of document No. 856?

Dr. Servatius: Yes, it has been shortened, and to the Accused's disadvantage.

I have another reason for my reservation. In this evidence before the Court, document No. 856, they ask the Accused [Wisliceny] if he was in need of protection for the members of his family because of dangers arising out of the fact that he had come to testify. And then he gave some such list. Evidently such protection was promised to him. This matter does not arise out of the protocol recorded in the Court, but it derives therefrom.

Presiding Judge: And this does not appear in what the Attorney General wishes to submit now?

Dr. Servatius: No, this is found in the document containing the evidence in document No. 856. This also emerges from the first declaration of the Officer Brookhart to the effect that there were many meetings and exchanges.

Presiding Judge: Would it be possible to settle this argument by submitting document No. 856 together with what you wish to submit?

Attorney General: Certainly - this was the next one we intended to submit after document No. 584.

Presiding Judge: Will this satisfy you, Dr. Servatius?

Dr. Servatius: No. I request that the affidavit, which in my opinion was drawn up for a definite purpose and retrospectively, should not be submitted.

Presiding Judge: Are you able, Mr. Hausner, to forego the submission of the first document seeing that it is included in the second document?

Attorney General: It is included, but I do not waive the sworn declaration which Mr. Smith W. Brookhart made on 19 September 1960.

Presiding Judge: Do you, Dr. Servatius, object to the submission of Brookhart's affidavit?

Dr. Servatius: As far as I see, Mr. Brookhart's relates only to the affidavit of Mr. Wisliceny.

Attorney General: This is not exact.

Presiding Judge: What are you interested in?

Attorney General: I am only interested in two sentences (He reads from document No. 584, beginning with the third section) "For a period of several weeks in November December 1945, and January 1946, I interrogated Dieter Wisliceny on numerous occasions, and on 3 January 1946 presented him as a witness to the International Tribunal."

Presiding Judge: How is this marked? Are these sentences marked by numbers?

Attorney General: There is no numbering here. It is in the third section, and I am prepared to draw a line under these words.

Judge Raveh: This section in fact, relates to the period before he gave his evidence.

Attorney General: Before he gave his evidence.

Judge Raveh: The evidence in Court?

Presiding Judge: And the second one?

Attorney General: This one as well.

Judge Halevi: Until January?

Attorney General: Until January 1946.

Judge Halevi: The evidence was given in November?

Attorney General: On 3 January 1946.

Judge Halevi: We were told that document No. 856 was dated 14 November.

Attorney General: 1945, before the evidence. The factual position is that document No. 856 contains interrogations on various occasions.

Judge Halevi: Beginning from 14 November?

Attorney General: After and before 29 November 1945. Now Mr. Brookhart goes on to say....

Judge Raveh: On what day did he testify?

Attorney General: 3 January 1946.

Presiding Judge: Here you are not in agreement with each other. Dr. Servatius says that it was on 14 November 1945, that he gave evidence. Perhaps his testimony continued for several sessions?

Attorney General: To the best of my knowledge, and so Mr. Brookhart swore in his affidavit, Wisliceny gave evidence before the International Military Tribunal on 3 January 1946, and before that he was interrogated. His evidence is in my possession; this too, I wish to submit - all his evidence at the International Military Tribunal.

Judge Raveh: Does Wisliceny's affidavit bear a date?

Attorney General: November 1945.

Judge Raveh: Dr. Servatius said that the affidavit was made some days after the evidence.

Attorney General: The affidavit was made on 29 November 1945.

Judge Raveh: Before his evidence was given.

Attorney General: Before his evidence was given.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, are you sure about the date of the evidence in Court of Wisliceny?

Dr. Servatius: I took the dates from the documents that were placed at my disposal by the prosecution.

Presiding Judge: From what document did you take this date?

Attorney General: Document No. 29.

Presiding Judge: What is written there?

Attorney General: Zeugenaussage des Dieter Wisliceny vor dem I.M.G. Nuremberg am 3.1.1946 (The evidence of Dieter Wisliceny before the International Military Tribunal on 3 January 1946).

Presiding Judge: This was not evidence in Court?

Dr. Servatius: We are talking of the affidavit 584 of 29 November 1945.

Presiding Judge: But you agree with the Attorney General that the evidence in Court was given in January 1946. In order that there should be no misunderstanding, was this oral evidence in Court, sworn evidence in Court, the evidence before the judges in Court?

Dr. Servatius: The affidavit here relates to the edited and shortened version, where remarks dealing with the Accused were excluded. I base myself upon document Nos. 845 and 856 dated 14 November, which is a longer document and which includes the question of the protection for the members of the family to which I referred. Further, at the end of the affidavit, I must state, there is the date 21 March 1946, so that there are several documents together in document No. 856. It speaks of the fact that he volunteered his services, he was happy and of good cheer.

It seems to me that certain favours were granted here. And this entirely colours his statements. For also after he had been found guilty, he made many statements - how, for example, to find the Accused. And, therefore, I object to all these declarations of Wisliceny. I do not object to his evidence before the Court.

Attorney General: This matter involves a slightly longer discussion, if the Court is prepared to listen. The matters are not so simple.

Presiding Judge: Perhaps, nevertheless, there is still hope of finishing this much more quickly. I brought you to the stage where you agree to forego the submission of the shorter document, as it has now been called, since it is contained in the longer document which Dr. Servatius wishes to hear.

Attorney General: He now says he only wants the evidence before the International Military Tribunal. This is also not the lengthy document.

Presiding Judge: Evidently, in that case, I did not understand. The lengthy document is No. 856. Dr. Servatius, do you agree to the submission of document No. 856 or not to that, either?

Dr. Servatius: This is not evidence before a Court. I have not yet been able to study it in detail, for I dealt only with documents which were supposed to be submitted here to the Court.

Attorney General: Already last week we passed on a notification and a list of all the documents in the "Personal File," but we have no objection to Defence Counsel's obtaining additional assistance.

Presiding Judge: If that is so, please check this by tomorrow morning, and possibly this matter can be settled by then. And now you say that from the shorter document you want the affidavit of Brookhart and from it you want to read two sections.

Attorney General: I want to read the affidavit of Brookhart in its entirety.

Presiding Judge: Would you not begin reading and marking the lines of this affidavit?

Attorney General: But I want the Court to admit the whole affidavit and not merely the two sections. It is impossible to cut this document up.

Presiding Judge: It should be possible.

Attorney General: I want to submit the entire affidavit, which was made on 19 September 1960, and the whole of it is important. I have emphasized two sections. Of these, incidentally, the Court has so far allowed me to quote only one.

Presiding Judge: What was its content?

Attorney General: Mr. Smith W. Brookhart took the statement of Dieter Wisliceny, that Dieter Wisliceny examined each one of the pages of the statements, that the statement was marked with the number A-II and is contained in the eighth volume of "Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression" which was compiled by the "Office of the United States Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality" and which was printed as an official publication of the United States Government Printing Office on pages 606-621.

Presiding Judge: At any rate, Mr. Hausner, those portions relating to the affidavit of Wisliceny or to the interrogation of Wisliceny attached to this affidavit and whose submission you waived, as I understood, those portions, too, are not required by you any more?

Attorney General: They are required by me, since they relate not only to this affidavit alone, but to all the 856 statements. Consequently I require the whole of it.

Presiding Judge: Very well.

Attorney General: I have not yet read it in its entirety. If the Court will permit me, I shall read to the end:

"The affidavit was taken in the course of my official duties as a member of the Interrogation Division of the Office of United States Chief of Counsel and was part of the preparation of the case for the prosecution against the defendants on trial before the International Military Tribunal. Dieter Wisliceny was a completely cooperative witness. He had a good understanding of the English language and prepared the appendix A-II in every detail in his own handwriting, showing places, dates, name of concentration camp, the number of people in forced labor, the number executed or died, those that remained alive and the source of his information. It was my impression that Wisliceny was completely sincere, honest and in every was a creditable witness. While it is apparent from his statement that Wisliceny's association with Eichmann came to an end at a certain time, there was nothing in his testimony or his affidavit to indicate that he sought to unjustifiably implicate Eichmann or to seek revenge of any kind. He appeared to make every effort to recite the facts as he knew them or to relate information that had come to his attention on all matters on which he was interrogated."
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, the fact that this was now read before the Court does not mean that it has been submitted. I asked Mr. Hausner to give us an idea of the contents of the document. Perhaps you would be able to give us a precis?

Attorney General: Every sentence here is important.

Presiding Judge: But it has not yet been submitted. For the present we merely want to get an idea.

Attorney General: The idea that I can give is exactly what Mr. Brookhart says and there is not a superfluous word in what he says.

Presiding Judge: Nevertheless, stop at this point and perhaps you can in the meantime check how it happened that there are here two sets of records of the interrogation of Wisliceny.

Attorney General: This I can tell you right away.

Presiding Judge: If that is so, please tell us.

Attorney General: The interrogation of Wisliceny was protracted since on each occasion he was examined on a particular episode and consequently the interrogation was extended over a period of several weeks. This affidavit, too, which I requested to submit, includes various episodes, a few relating to the Accused, a few relating to Wisliceny himself and to his activities. I wanted at this stage to draw the Court's attention only to 11 of the 32 paragraphs since the others are not important to me, at this stage, for the purpose of the personal file. They will be important at another stage.

Presiding Judge: I understand. But at the same time, this selection was also submitted to Mr. Brookhart, and he gave his affidavit on this selection.

Attorney General: Yes, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: I think we shall adjourn the discussion now, so that Dr. Servatius may be able once again to examine document No. 856, and tomorrow we shall decide on this issue.

Attorney General: I should also want to plead, if the Court will be ready to hear me.

Dr. Servatius: Yes.

Presiding Judge: We adjourn now, and will resume tomorrow at 9 o'clock in the morning.

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