The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 30
(Part 5 of 7)

Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann, Eichmann trial, holocaust, Jewish holocaust
Presiding Judge: Where were they found?

Attorney General: They were found among the files of the Foreign Ministry, but they were among the N.O.s of the No. 9 proceedings - which is to say, the same documents that were in the files of the Prosecution, and some of them were presented as exhibits in the proceedings against the Operations Groups of Ohlendorf and his associates.

There are summaries, summing up special activities. Nevertheless it seems to us that the language of some reports is so important that we have to ask the Court to accept some partial reports together with the summaries.

I shall generally proceed in chronological order. Report dated 13 July 1941, our No. 1465, on activities in Minsk, where 1,050 Jews were liquidated; on Vilna where at first 321 Jews were liquidated, on the plunder of property, about 460,000 roubles worth; on Bialystok where 215 Jewish officials and Bolsheviks were shot, and about Grodno - it says that only 96 Jews were killed initially. "I have issued orders to intensify activities considerably," the report states.

Presiding Judge: Do we know who wrote the report?

Attorney General: One of the commanders of the EinsatzKommando, since the report was sent to Department IVA1. The Court may remember from the statement by Noske, this Department of the "Hauptamt" received all the reports and sent them on to the various units. From the place of operation it may be assumed that this was Group A which was active in the North.

Presiding Judge: Yes, it says Einsatzgruppe A. I am not sure whether I announced earlier that Ohlendorf's statement was T/312, and this report is T/313.

Attorney General: On 29 July 1941 a further report was sent about Zhitomir where four hundred Jews were shot, about the cooperation with Beltsy and the Rumanian police in Beltsy and the surroundings.

Presiding Judge: Where is Beltsy?

Attorney General: In Bessarabia.

Judge Halevi: Was it under German occupation?

Attorney General: Einsatzgruppen operated there.

Judge Halevi: Rumanian police nevertheless were there?

Attorney General: Rumanian police collaborated. This time a copy of the report is directed to IVB4. Will the Court please note, it is addressed to several Sections of Department IV, including IVB4.

Presiding Judge: This is T/314. On T/314, what is the reference on top, it is not clear at all.

Attorney General: IVA1. This is before you as T/37(280), that is where the original is.

Presiding Judge: The one you submitted just now?

Attorney General: At the moment we have our No. 864, you have it before you as No. T/37(280).

Presiding Judge: This will be T/315.

Attorney General: Will you please note that here, too, IVB4 is being informed about the shooting of 682 Jews in Czernowitz out of 1,200 detainees. Concerning 20,000 Jews in Lithuania and Latvia...

Presiding Judge: Is this No. 864?

Attorney General: It is in the original. Please see T/37(280), the complete document is there.

On 7 August 1941 a further report was dispatched with a copy to IVB4. Following an uprising and attacks against the Wehrmacht, the report states, a search for Jews was carried out, 97 were shot and 1,756 were taken hostage. In Kishinev 551 Jews had been liquidated thus far.

Presiding Judge: Is this about Bessarabia?

Attorney General: Yes, Sir.

Presiding Judge: T/316.

Attorney General: On 9 August 1941 there was another report, again to IVB4. Here the author of the report tells of his "ingenious" trick in the town of Vinnitsa, where the Jews did not want to go of their own accord.

Presiding Judge: This is almost illegible, it cannot be deciphered. How many pages are there?

Attorney General: May I ask the Court to kindly peruse the Hebrew version translated after great effort by the person who deciphered the original German, it would make things easier.

Presiding Judge: Which page now?

Attorney General: Page 9 of the original, first page of the Hebrew translation, reporting on a search in Vinnitsa where difficulties were encountered in ferreting Jews out from their hiding places. The commander of Einsatzkommando B4 then introduced a new system. He ordered the rabbi in authority of the town to bring all the Jewish intelligentsia to him within 24 hours, for clerical work. When these intellectuals arrived they were told to come back the following day with more such people. The goal was achieved when this was done for the third time; the entire Jewish intelligentsia was seized and liquidated.

The report goes on with the liquidation in Berdichev, Tarnopol, Zhitomir, Plonsk. At the end it states that the hunting out operation in Rovno has ended, 370 Russians, 1,643 Jews were shot as instigators and collaborators.

Presiding Judge: T/317.

Attorney General: On 29 August 1941, a report is issued on operations in Smolensk, Mogilev, Orsha, Voroshilov, Mogilev- Podolski and Jampol. There, 27,500 Jews were driven back to Rumanian territory; 1,265, some of them youngsters, were shot.

Presiding Judge: T/318.

Attorney General: Here we have a report - also addressed to IVB4, summing up events for the fortnight of 15 to 31 August 1941. It mentions that 25,000 Jews of Kovno were interned in ghettos, that the Jew Kieper from Chernigov cynically admitted to have acted as Zionist propagandist from 1905, to have organized gangs against the Czar's government and to have committed 25 murders. Kieper and his henchmen were publicly hanged on 7 August 1941 at the Zhitomir marketplace in the presence of a great part of the population.

Subsequently 402 Jews were shot. In Mogilev only 4,000 Jews remained. In Zhitomir, the report goes on, Jews remained after the entry of the German army; they were taken to clean the barracks but behaved with great impertinence and even refused to work. Out of one thousand who were told to work in the fields, only seventy appeared one day. The Jewish Council of Elders even spread rumours that the Russians were approaching again. This was immediately used to threaten the Ukrainians. In addition, they began to traffic in stolen goods and cattle. Necessary retaliatory measures were taken in hand at once. This went to IVB4.

Presiding Judge: This summary report will be T/319.

Judge Halevi: This is a summary of only two weeks?

Attorney General: Yes, it is a summary of two weeks.

Another general report of events is dated 25 August 1941. As for the solution of the Jewish Question the report reads on page 6 of the original: "This is one of the most important problems; measures were taken to tackle it, though somewhat hesitatingly. Before the War Kishinev had 60,000 to 80,000 Jews. Many of them left when the Russians retreated:" and then we read: "At present 9,000 Jews are in the ghetto; they are grouped in labour gangs and put at the disposal of German and Rumanian authorities for salvage work, removal of wreckage and other duties."

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/320.

Attorney General: We turn to September 1941. On the fourth of the month activities of the Einsatzgruppe were reported. The total of killings by Group B until 20 August 1941 was 20,000. Nor was the plundering forgotten - 1.5 million roubles. And the usual formula: Jews were rendered harmless, liquidated. There follows a detailed enumeration for how many killings of Jews each unit takes credit.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/321.

Attorney General: On 11 September a report is dispatched detailing the acts perpetrated against the Jews of Kamenets- Podolski, when 23,600 Jews were killed in three days, and 1.5 million roubles were collected.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/322.

Attorney General: 12 September 1941. We read again about Zhitomir. The local population could not be induced to act against the Jews, out of fear that the Red Army might return. As a matter of special interest they mention the discovery of Jewish Kolkhoz farms between Krivoi Rog and Dnepropetrovsk to which lower class people were sent. In order to keep them as labourers for the German conqueror they were left alive after their leadership had been liquidated and replaced by Ukrainian leaders. Their lives of course were spared only for the time being.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/323.

Attorney General: On 20 September 1941 we read about the fate of 5,000 Jews in Nikolayev and Kherson. 5,000 Jews were seized and their problem was solved. Einsatzgruppe I reports that their area of Kommando activities was cleared of Jews between 19 and 25 September. 8,890 Jews and Communists were executed.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/324.

Attorney General: On 23 September 1941 we learn again about the fate of the Jews in Minsk and other towns and townships. Complaints were received regarding insolent and provocative conduct of the Jewish lot (Judenschaft) in Monasatyrshchina and Cheslavitchi. The report reads: "It became necessary to shoot the present Judenrat and twenty other Jews."

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/325.

Attorney General: A raid was carried out in the Minsk Ghetto. About 2,500 Jews, a number of women among them, were arrested. 2,278 of them were executed within three days.

Total liquidations reported are 23,804.

On 25 September 1941 a report of Unit A is dispatched concerning the Riga Ghetto and the unpaid employment of Jewish labour by all German authorities in the towns. Difficulties with such employers were a daily occurrence when measures by the Security Police had to be taken against these Jewish labourers. Such economic authorities in many cases submitted requests to exempt Jews from wearing the Star of David and to grant them admission to public restaurants. The Jews in question were considered indispensible for economic enterprises. Naturally such attempts are objected to and suppressed by the Security Police. The total by now has reached 75,000 Jews killed.

We are passing on to the month of October 1941.

Presiding Judge: The last document for September was T/326. The document of October will be T/327.

Attorney General: The murder of 33,371 Jews of Kiev on 29 and 30 September is contained in the report. Money, valuables, linen and clothing were secured and part of it delivered to the NSV* {*NSV = Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (National-Socialist Welfare Association)} for equipping the local "Volksdeutsche"; some of it was handed to the Town Administration. The report was drawn up by Standartenfuehrer Blobel whose name has already come up in these proceedings, Sir.

Presiding Judge: What was he then?

Attorney General: He was connected with Einsatzgruppe C, Sonderkommando 4a.

Judge Halevi: Do all these reports come from Berlin?

Attorney General: They reach a centre in the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and are distributed from there to the various units for information. There was an office which collected them. May I refer Your Honour to Noske's statement when he explained in detail how matters were arranged. The various units sent their own reports and then a condensed report was distributed for information.

Presiding Judge: But formally every one of these documents was edited again in Berlin.

Judge Halevi: Yes, edited again and distributed.

Presiding Judge: Yes, it says so.

Attorney General: 9 October 1941. We read about executions in Minsk, Mogilev and other towns, twelve places. Something new was mentioned here. Because 21 German soldiers were killed, 2,100 Jews and gypsies were rounded up, 100 for each German, and were shot; this time by the Wehrmacht. All the Sicherheitspolizei had to do was to place the required number at the disposal of the killers. The report states a total of 30,094 dead.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/328.

Attorney General: On 25 October 1941, 3,000 Jews were killed in Vitebsk, 2,014 elsewhere in Belorussia, including Shklow and Mogilev.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/329.

Attorney General: And now to the summary report of Einsatzgruppe C, dated 3 November 1941 and addressed to IVB4. It contains a description of the killings in Kiev. Public notices were put up on the city walls in which the Jews were ordered to register for resettlement. It was anticipated that 5,000 to 6,000 Jews would report, but to their surprise more than 30,000 reported. The report continues in self-congratulatory style: "Owing to skilled organizational tactics, the Jews, up to the last moment before their execution, still believed that they were actually going to be resettled." With their organizational skill they succeeded in deceiving the 31,000 Jews until the last minute by pretending that only a transfer was intended. On page 4 we read: "Although only 75,000 Jews were liquidated until now, it has become evident that the Jewish Question cannot be solved in this manner. Initially small towns and villages were successfully made judenrein; it has been observed in the bigger towns that after each execution the Jews disappear; yet when the Kommando returns after some time, they discover that the number of Jews by far exceeds the number of those executed." Page 4 of the original. By the way, this is T/37(277).

Presiding Judge: Here it will be T/330.

Attorney General: On 14 November 1941 again a summary report: 4,000 Jews in Mogilev, 2,200 in Gorki, 900 in Mistislawl. Einsatzgruppe B reports that a total of 45,567 were killed until November 1941.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/331.

Attorney General: And of course they requisitioned money and property, as was always done in connection with the murder. On 19 November 1941 the report cites 10,000 Jews killed in Dnepropetrovsk, 10,000 in Chernigov, where only 260 Jews remained. The 10,000 Jews of Dnepropetrovsk were shot on 13 October 1941.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/332.

Attorney General: We pass to the month of December. On 8 December 1941 a further report is sent. Again place names which were mentioned before, there are additional murders. In Zhitomir and Rovno a total of 15,000 Jews. In connection with this report I wish to submit the statement by Hermann Friedrich Graebe which was submitted at Nuremberg, where he described the extermination of Jews in and around Rovno which he personally witnessed.

Presiding Judge: This report will be T/333.

Attorney General: I wish to point out that Graebe worked for a German company operating in that area. He saved Jewish lives, and now resides in the United States. We had in mind to bring him over for testimony. Since we have eye witnesses on the Einsatzgruppen I think we may dispense with it. I shall submit his sworn statement, which also served as a basic document for the Nuremberg judgment.

Presiding Judge: The Nuremberg judgment in the matter of Einsatzgruppen?

Attorney General: No, a description of the atrocities against Jews.

Presiding Judge: He is the man who saw the executions?

Attorney General: Saw them with his own eyes and moved around in the area.

Judge Halevi: A German?

Attorney General: Yes, a German.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/334.

Attorney General: On 12 December 1941 a summary of Einsatzgruppe D is dispatched. We learn of the murder of 10,000 Jews in Odessa,* {*No mention is made of Odessa in Document T/335.} 2,910 Jews in Simferopol, the number up to 12 December 1941 totals 54,698 Jews.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/335.

Attorney General: On 19 December a summary report of various units. The murders relate to various places, Mogilev, Gomel, Smolensk, Ljubawitchi, Krivoi Rog.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/336.

Attorney General: And now to the report of 14 January 1942 with the last summary for the year of bloodshed, 1941. It says: "Estonia is judenrein".** {**In the document: "judenfrei."}

The Court will recall that some days later Heydrich declared at the Wannsee conference "Estonia is judenrein." 20,000 Jews of Riga and 31,000 Jews of White Russia were killed. Progress in murders at other places. It is interesting to read what the report says about the Jews of Zagare.

"An extraordinary act was undertaken by the Jews of Zagare. On 20.11 fifty Jews escaped from the ghetto there, which had been closed already. A widespread search was immediately undertaken and most of them were apprehended and shot. For this reason preparations were made for the execution of all the Jews of Zagare. When they were transported to the place of execution the Jews, at a prearranged sign, attacked the guards and the Einsatzkommando of the Security Police. Some Jews whom the Lithuanians had not searched thoroughly enough, drew knives and pistols and attacked the attending police crew with cries of 'Long live Stalin, down with Hitler' and wounded seven of them. The resistance was immediately suppressed. After 150 Jews were shot on the spot, the transport of the remaining Jews to the place of execution proceeded without disturbance."
The total, Sir, which is not mentioned in these reports, but has been compiled by us from the various reports, amounts to more than 400,000 Jews murdered and slaughtered by the Einsatzgruppen from the day Russia was invaded until the end of 1941.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/337.

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