The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 18
(Part 5 of 6)

Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann, Eichmann trial, holocaust, Jewish holocaust
I now pass on to Prosecution document No. 917, which is a letter from the Juedischer Kulturbund in Deutschland to the Juedischer Kulturbund in Vienna, of 14 April 1939, addressed to Dr. Gruen.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Bar-Or, are we now moving to Austria?

State Attorney Bar-Or: In fact, this belongs more to Germany. We have here a request by the Kulturbund in Berlin to assure that Jewish musicians who live in Vienna will be allowed to participate in musical performances under the auspices of the Kulturbund. The document reveals that Dr. Gruen is asked to apply to Eichmann in Vienna, so that he will arrange - they have been told that he can arrange - that these Viennese Jews will be allowed to come temporarily to Berlin. This document was submitted to the Accused; it is number 275 of T/37 and the Accused speaks about it on pages 3336-3341 of his statement.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/126.

State Attorney Bar-Or: This document was submitted to the Accused because it would appear from it - and we asked the Accused to state what was his attitude regarding it - that at that time he was not only responsible for matters concerning the emigration of Jews from Austria, but that an Austrian Jew could not move anywhere, even if it were not for emigration, but for any purpose, without Eichmann's authorization.

This document, Your Honour, must be read together with a second letter signed by Schwartz of the Juedischer Kulturbund dated 10 August 1939, also to Dr. Gruen of the Kulturbund in Vienna, which I now submit in the original.

Presiding Judge: Is that a reply to the previous letter? State Attorney Bar-Or: It is a reminder. The letter begins with the words "Unfortunately I have not received a reply..."

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/127.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I shall read from this letter only one passage which explains why this was a reminder. They wrote: "The Ministry of Propaganda has assumed again and again, and today once more that we bring here all musicians who are available in Vienna and who are by their quality suitable for us, and that the appropriate applications are forwarded by the Viennese branch of the Kulturbund to Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann. Mr. Eichmann was said to be aware of these procedures and of the urgency."

I propose to call now Dr. Meretz to testify.

Presiding Judge: Is that all you had on Austria? You may diversify as you wish. I would only like to know where we stand.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I have now completed the two matters I wished to submit this morning: I submitted to the Court documents that show the structure of the departments in which the Accused worked, and I submitted to the Court all the documents that relate to Germany proper until the beginning of the War. If it is convenient and agreeable to the Court, I would now prefer to submit the documents that deal with Austria.

Presiding Judge: What is more convenient? I heard here two suggestions.

State Attorney Bar-Or: From the point of view of the structure of the indictment and the submission of the case, it is more convenient to submit now documents.

Presiding Judge: If that is so, please submit the documents.

State Attorney Bar-Or: The first document I wish to submit is Prosecution document No. 1601. I shall submit the original. It is a letter from the "Leiter der SD- Aussenstelle Wien 2" (Office in charge of the SD Local Unit Vienna 2) to "SD Fuehrer des Unterabschnittes Wien" (SD Leader of Sub-Section Vienna), dated 17 October 1938 and it deals with excesses against Jewish synagogues and homes. As mentioned, I submit the original.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/128.

State Attorney Bar-Or: With the Court's permission, and because of its importance, I wish to read it in the original:

"Report: On 15 October 1938, between 19.00 and 23.00 h. following material damage was caused by unknown perpetrators in the area of the Post at 12 Franz- Hochedlingerg.: At the synagogue in District 2 - at 13 Gr. Schiffgasse, several windows were smashed in and the interior was partly destroyed. At the synagogue in District 2 - 24 Gr. Schiffgasse, unknown perpeptrators destroyed the entrance door and also the interior, prayer benches etc.

At the Herminengasse, windows of ground floor and first- floor Jewish apartments were smashed with stones.

In the Lilienbrunngasse, two shop windows of the knitwear store of Mendel Seidler, District 2, Lilienbrunngasse 13-15, were smashed, as well as one shop window of the tailor Baruch Taenzer, also at Lilienbrunngasse.

The unknown perpetrators, mostly youths, could not be found, but may well belong mainly to the Hitler-Jugend (Hitler Youth). The attacks were well organized, cyclists warned of guards approaching and when these arrived, only a few bystanders were still there who refused, however, to furnish any information."

State Attorney Bar-Or: I now pass on to Prosecution document No. 1512. This is a letter to someone, called here "Dear Herbert" in a handwriting which appears to be the handwriting of the Accused and which was sent from Vienna to Berlin on 23 April 1938. This document reached us through the National Archives Record Service in Washington. We have here a group of documents which arrived under the same certification. I shall have to come back to these documents. I marked the relevant document with Prosecution number 1512. I shall of course also submit copies. I attached a copy, or rather a typed transcript of the manuscript for the convenience of the honourable Court. This is the first page, it is marked 1512, this is the one I refer to and wish to submit.

Presiding Judge: Can we keep this?

State Attorney Bar-Or: I only wish to return to it. Everything is marked and the Court can easily find it when I refer to the numbers of the documents of the Prosecution.

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/129.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I shall read the letter:

"Vienna, 23 April 1938. Dear Herbert, in pencil for lack of pen and ink. I read just now that the organization booklet of the NSDAP costs only 2.80 Reichsmark. Please order it for me through Fischer and send it to me to the office. Loewenherz was released. I ordered him and Rothenberg to prepare until 27 April a precise programme of action regarding the Jewish community and the Zionist Organization for Austria, including a precise list of functions with personal details. I'll send you a copy to Berlin. 200,0000 marks were already paid. Engel must see to it that more is collected. The general lines of our work in Austria, as discussed with the Obersturmbannfueher and worked out by you at the time, I communicated yesterday to Freytag (who knew nothing of it) and to Hasselbacher, so that here everything is coordinated. When we have the results of the investigation, you will be informed immediately via Wolf. Ebert of the Schwarzes Corps (Black Corps) asked today for the Jewish Museum. I gave him 25 documents to photograph and asked him to return them. He was very glad and wants to write an article for the 'Black Corps,' something like 'From Metternich to Schuschnigg.'

Situation in general:

Preparations for activating Jewish political activity, particularly with regard to Jewish emigration, have been completed. Toward the end of next week the Jewish community and shortly thereafter the Zionist shop will be open. Thereafter the Aguda and finally the re- establishment of an organization similar to the Hilfsverein (Aid Society). Friedmann will arrive here within the next few days. On Wednesday I am going to Eisenstadt in connection with the archives. The material in the basement will be packed on Monday and sent to Berlin. I shall also visit the competent officer of the UA Vienna (Unterabschnitt - Subdivision), instruct him and give him guidelines, because for us Vienna is the most important.

I will also soon get the yearbooks for Hungary, CSR, SHS and Italy and send them to you. Gehrmann became Department head. It is unlikely that I shall stay here as a minor head of section. But first the second man has to be here and be worked-in. I heard that I shall then go to a UA. That's OK with me. In 2-3 years I'll knock again on the door in Berlin. For the booklet on the Nuremberg laws I do thank you. Enough scribbles for to-day; I only wanted to give you some little information. The Voelkische Beobachter of today (23 April) has on its front page, in boldface: 'The Rothschilds are expropriated.' Regards to all comrades. Heil Hitler! Adolf."

Presiding Judge: Who is Herbert?

State Attorney Bar-Or: We assume that it is Herbert Hagen.

Dr. Servatius: If it is permitted to explain what UA means - Unterabteilung (Sub-Section).

State Attorney Bar-Or: With the Court's permission, I now pass on to Prosecution document No. 1515. It is part of the Collection from Washington which I already submitted, it is marked 1515. I shall submit additional copies. This is also a letter in the handwriting of the Accused to Herbert, written in Vienna on 1 May 1938. I would add that these letters which the Accused wrote privately, as it were from Vienna, were filed by Hagen in the files of the SD Head Office. They were found by the American authorities, and through them they reached us. I shall submit copies and photostats of the manuscript.

Presiding Judge: Weren't these files burned?

State Attorney Bar-Or: These [files] were not burned. The files of the SD Head Office were found by the American authorities immediately after the end of the War. The Gestapo files were burned, but these are not Gestapo files. This was an SD file of the Reichsfuehrer Administration of the SS Head Office. Many documents were found there.

Presiding Judge: T/130.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I shall read this letter:

"Dear Herbert, I want to write you a short letter again today. I just came back from a tour of all the sub- sections. I gave the people working there a survey of the material for which they were very grateful, as, so far, they had no idea. I hope to have soon the "Juedische Jahrbuecher" (Jewish Yearbooks) of all bordering countries and I shall then send them to you. I consider them to be of great help. All Jewish Organizations in Austria have been ordered to submit a report every week. These will be handed to the relevant desk officer at II 112 (Sub Sections). The reports are to be divided into a situation report and an activity report. In Vienna they must be submitted every Monday, elsewhere in the country every Thursday. I hope to be able to send the first reports to you with the rest tomorrow.

The first issue of the Zionist Rundschau will appear on Friday, next week. I had them send the manuscripts to me and I am doing the boring work of a censor just now. The paper will, of course, be sent to you. In a certain sense, it will be 'my' paper. In any event, I put these gentlemen on the double, believe me. They are working now very diligently. I have demanded from the Jewish community and from the Zionist Organization of Austria the emigration figure (Aussonderungszahl) of 20,000 Jews without means for the period 1 April 1938-1 May 1939 and they promised me that they will comply. I have asked Assessor Lange to see me in the office on Tuesday. I shall give him an appropriate introductory speech, since he knows very little as yet about II 112. But he is an excellent fellow.

Tomorrow I shall inspect again the shop of the Jewish community and of the Zionists. I do this every week at least once. I have them completely in my hands, they dare not take a step (Schritt) without first consulting me. That is as it should be, because then better control is possible. We can save ourselves the trouble of establishing a fourth Jewish political roof- organization (such as the Hilfsverein) because I ordered the Jewish community to establish itself a Central Emigration Office for all countries except Palestine. Preparations for this are already under way (Im Gange). Quite in broad outlines, the situation is now as follows:

We deal with Aryanization, Jews in the economy etc. per the decree of Gauleiter Buerckel. The far more difficult task of getting these Jews to emigrate goes to the SD. And indeed, after the reorganization of the Jewish community and the Zionist Organization for Austria their work is also being directed towards emigration.

I hope that herewith I have given you a brief account of current developments.

I believe that I shall be appointed as Department head of a Sub-Section, now that things are running well in Vienna and a desk officer ha got into the work. You know I am sincerely sorry that I shall probably have to leave the work I liked to do and in which I felt as it were 'at home' for many a year, but you will surely understand that at the age of 32, I should not like to take a 'step backwards.' Our Chief is an excellent boss, who understands such things. Regards to all comrades of II 112. Yours, of old, Adolf. Please confirm to me in short receipt of my letters, from time to time."

Presiding Judge: Mr. Bar-Or, I am not convinced that it was necessary to read and translate all this. That is to say, after it was read, it had of course to be translated. There is also a time-factor in this trial.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I thought that these were the first quotations of the Accused in 1938.

Presiding Judge: Correct, but there are passages here that have no bearing on the matter at all. Please select whatever you consider important.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Thank you, Your Honour.

I now pass on to Prosecution Document No.1509. It is also from a file of the SD Head Office, contained in the second collection we received from Washington: a letter to Dr. Spengler, signed by Dannecker, of 15 March 1938, that is immediately after the Anschluss (integration of Austria into the German Reich), in which he informs the Department of a request by the Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutschland to integrate also the Austrian Jews under their authority. The request is described here as "impudence" and was rejected.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/131.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I proceed with Prosecution document No. 1516. It is included in the collection I have already submitted, and marked with a slip of paper. We received it from Washington. It was found among the documents of the SD Head Office: a letter from the Accused, typewritten, to Herbert Hagen, dated 30 April 1938. This is, in fact, the first letter the Accused wrote, immediately after he got organized in his new function in Vienna.

Presiding Judge: This has been marked T/132.

State Attorney Bar-Or: In this letter, the Accused advises, among other things, that the President of the Jewish Community in Vienna, Dr. Desider Friedmann, was transferred from Dachau to Vienna and is now in a police prison. He also asks for an office assistant to organize his office.

I now pass on to Prosecution document No. 1169. This document, too, came to us from reel No. 4 from Alexandria. It is a letter sent to SS-Oberfuehrer Naumann from Berlin on 16 May 1938. This is a copy of the letter that was sent; only the copy of the letter was seized, the original was in Vienna at the time and we do not know where it is.

Presiding Judge: This document has been marked T/133.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I shall read its translation. It is short.

"Berlin, 16 May 1938. To SS-Oberfuehrer Naumann, SS- Unit Austria, Vienna.

Re: SS-Untersturmfuehrer Eichmann.

Dear Comrade Naumann, I have learned just now that you intend to transfer SS-Untersturmfuehrer Eichmann as Department Head to the Sub-Unit (Unterabschnitt) in Linz and have taken Kronberger in his stead. I regret that I have to state in this connection that I gave SS-Untersturmfuehrer Eichmann to the SD-Unit of Austria only on condition that he should be responsible for the central direction of the Jewish question in Austria. The large concentration of Jews in Vienna requires the presence of an experienced man of practice, like Eichmann. This is all the more necessary because f the expansion of the Jewish Department of the State Police unit in Vienna.

If the transfer of Eichmann is again related to his desire for the position of a Department Head, I can only say that under these circumstances it is necessary to develop the Jewish desk in Vienna to a Department and appoint SS-Untersturmfuehrer Eichmann accordingly. I am willing to submit this plan, together with you, to the Chief of the SS Head Office and to make suggestions accordingly. I beg you to understand that only reluctantly did I release a well-informed and specialized man like Eichmann from our Head Office and that I miss him and have not been able to find a replacement, so that I cannot agree to a transfer only to fill a post. Under those circumstances, I would have the Chief of the SD Head Office transfer Eichmann back to Berlin.

I shall be thankful for your early reply.

Heil Hitler, Yours..."

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