The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 35
(Part 1 of 4)

Session No. 35

24 Iyar 5721 (10 May 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the 35th Session of the trial open.

State Attorney Bach: Your Honours, the next document is Prosecution document No. 589, which was shown to the Accused and given No. T/37(200) with his statement. Here the Court will find another progress report signed by Zoepf, addressed to IVB4 in Berlin. In it there are exact figures of the number of Jews who emigrated, the number of Jews in camps, those relocated to Theresienstadt, and those sent for Arbeitseinsatz (work assignment) to the East. At the time these were 58,000 persons in sixty trains. There follow figures of those sent to Westerbork, Vught, Barneveld, etc. and also a breakdown according to type of occupation.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/543.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is Prosecution document No. 1356. It is a report signed by Harster, addressed to the Zentralstelle fuer Juedische Auswanderung in Amsterdam, to Westerbork, to Hertogenbosch, and to all so- called Aussenstellen (Field Offices), and it says here:

"By virtue of the latest instruction from SS Gruppenfuehrer Rauter and consultations with the representative of the Head Office for Reich Security, the following operations are to be carried out during the coming months: The Reichsfuehrer-SS wishes as many Jews as humanly possible to be deported to the East during this year (dass an Juden abtransportiert wird was menschenmoeglich ist)."
There follow details about the trains to the East, the various camps, the situation concerning Amsterdam, the "munition Jews," etc. I call attention to paragraph 6:
"All Portuguese Jews are to be concentrated (insofar as there are no other reasons for deferment) in a special barrack in the (Westerbork) camp, in order to be examined as to their descent by the officer representing the Head Office for Race and Settlement."
Then there is mention of mixed marriages, and I draw your attention to paragraph 9:
"Jewesses over the age of 45 are to be summoned, one by one, to Amsterdam and to be exempted from wearing the star, so that in this way it will become known that Jewish partners of mixed marriages may stay on, if no offspring is to be expected from them. Jews in mixed marriages without children shall be transferred to the camp. For the rest of the Jews and Jewesses voluntary sterilization is to be aimed at, and carried out in Amsterdam. In case of refusal, sterilization is to be performed forcibly in the Hertogenbosch camp."
Then there is a directive to investigate the economic activities and occupational affiliation of male Jews in mixed marriages; proposals for various anti-Jewish measures; and then, in paragraph 10:
"It is to be considered whether, among other things, exemption from return to captivity in prisoner-of-war camps should be granted as a prize for producing Jews in considerable numbers. In this case we shall approach the WBN."
Presiding Judge: What is WBN?

State Attorney Bach: I have to look up this point, Your Honour. I think that this is a matter connected with the armistice, that persons who deliver up Jews, and who are themselves prisoners of war, do not have to return to captivity.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/544.

State Attorney Bach: I call the attention of the Court to paragraph 11, which deals with foundlings; each such case has to be reported to the Security Police.

The next document, No. 590 - T/37(201) - is signed by Zoepf and addressed to the Jewish Camp, Westerbork. Zoepf indicates how many Jews have been deported, how many more are ready for departure, and he states that at least 2,200 Jews are lacking for the "obligatory monthly quota," as he calls it. "But this number has to be seized at all events, with the help of an operation of some kind, before the last week of May, and taken to Westerbork to be sent on from there. For this purpose the following possibilities are envisaged..." - and he proposes various schemes how to get hold of these Jews, the overriding condition being that the number asked for must be sent to the extermination camp.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/545.

State Attorney Bach: As the Court can see here, Zoepf gives the order directly to Westerbork Camp.

Prosecution document No. 601 - T/37(183). This is a document to which we attach particular importance. The Accused writes to Knochen in Paris, copy to Brussels and to Harster in The Hague, and this is what he states:

"In 1943 the Swiss Evangelical Assistance for the Confessional Church in Germany published the book Judennot und Christenglaube (Jewish Distress and Christian Belief) through the Protestant Publishing House Ltd., Zollikon-Zuerich. Apart from the general trend, which can be gleaned from its title, the book is especially notable because it contains the diary notes of a French minister of the Reformed Church about his activities in assembly camps during the deportation of the French Jews. The work mentioned, and especially the diary notes, make it essential to prevent improper activities by the political church of the kind mentioned. Clergymen are therefore to be kept away from the deportation camps as far as possible." Signed: - Eichmann. This letter, too, was shown to the Accused.
Presiding Judge: On what page is the document mentioned?

State Attorney Bach: On page 2251 of the statement. He admits that he dictated the letter.

Judge Halevi: There is a remark of a later date after the letter saying that "A copy was made and added to the file 'Evangelische Juden in Westerbork'." What is this: "Protestant Jews in Westerbork" - is this a known institution?

State Attorney Bach: Actually, the subject here is not Protestant Jews, but it may be that they had a file on converted Jews in Westerbork and that they put the letter into this file. It is a question of local filing. Later on confirmation was sent back to IVB4 for Novak. Somebody apparently noticed that there was a file on Protestants and filed this letter in it. But, as I said already, the instructions were sent to France as well as to Holland and Belgium.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/546.

State Attorney Bach: The next document concerns a typical case. The subject is a Jew named Michaelis who lived in Holland. The document is numbered 363. It was a simple reply from Guenther to a question from the Foreign Ministry saying that "For reasons of principle, I am unable to permit the stateless Jew Michaelis to emigrate to Switzerland." This was also given the number T/37(102). It is apparently the reply to a certain suggestion or request from the Foreign Ministry.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/547.

State Attorney Bach: The Foreign Ministry is not satisfied, and so here is our No. 364. Here the Foreign Ministry explains that the Jew Michaelis is married to a Christian woman who lives in Switzerland, where her parents also live, and not only this, but her father is a very important man in Switzerland who is absolutely neutral, or even to a certain degree friendly towards Germany; and there are indications, in view of the wild rumours circulating in Switzerland about the German policy towards the Jews, the fate of his son-in- law would receive wide publicity...and therefore the Foreign Ministry...

Presiding Judge: The second page is missing here, Mr. Bach.

State Attorney Bach: In this document, Your Honours, on the tape we received, a page was missing. We looked up the microfilm and saw that only the first page was photographed. At any rate, the contents so far are clear enough. It seems important from the Foreign Ministry's point of view that this man should be allowed to leave the Netherlands and come to Switzerland. This was also shown to the Accused and was numbered T/37(138).

Presiding Judge: Was this also mentioned in the statement? Please always give us the number of the page.

State Attorney Bach: Yes, Your Honour, the number of the page is 1818. I believe that all the documents concerning Michaelis, which I now submit, were shown consecutively, starting on page 1818.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/548.

State Attorney Bach: The next document will be our No. 365. After receipt of the previous letter this is the final answer:

"Even after renewed examination I am not, for reasons of principle, in a position, to my regret, to agree to the departure for Switzerland of the stateless Jew Michaelis. Signed by order: - Eichmann."
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/549.

State Attorney Bach: I should like to make a remark in this connection: Your Honours will remember that this morning I brought before you the case of Professor Meyers. I mentioned that that was also submitted to the Accused and that he was asked to comment on that case.

Presiding Judge: That was our T/534 and T/535.

State Attorney Bach: The comment of the Accused on that document is to be found on page 1258. When he is told of this matter, Eichmann says:

" ist uninteressant an sich, ich will es nur erklaeren, Herr Hauptmann, es ist an sich so uninteressant wie nur etwas, aber diese Faelle - ob es auch Einzel-faelle sind, ganz egal - noch gerade - allerdings hier, bei 150,000 Schweizer Francs und dann die Einmischung der schwedischen Gesandtschaft - das entscheidet kein Dezernent einfach aus der Lameng heraus" ( is not interesting in itself, I only wanted to explain it, Captain, in itself it is as uninteresting as anything, but these cases, even if they are individual cases, it does not matter - especially when - true, here, with 150,000 Swiss Francs and then the intervention of the Swedish Legation - no official decides on a matter like this out of hand).
Judge Halevi: Was that the case mentioned before?

State Attorney Bach: It is the case of Meyers. I only mention this in the context of individual cases.

Our next document is No. 600, which was also marked T/37(190). Subject:

"Acquisition by Jews of the Nationality of a Neutral Country. However undesirable it may be for Jews who are destined to be deported under the existing regulations to acquire the nationality of a neutral country whose nationals cannot be deported, nevertheless, for reasons of foreign policy, deportation must be waived where the acquisition of the new nationality is legally valid. If it transpires that any Jews are trying to acquire a new nationality, this does not have to be taken into consideration; on the contrary, the persons concerned are to be given priority for deportation to the East. I request strict adherence to the decree of 5.3.43 and to the regulation issued later..."
The reaction of the Accused is on page 2321. I draw your attention to the last page of the examination, on page 2324. Inspector Less asked him: "What did you intend to achieve by that last sentence?"

Eichmann replied: "That the Jews should no longer acquire another nationality, as was stated in the instructions."

Less: "That they should be deported before they achieved or might achieve their aim?"

Eichmann: "Yes, yes." In the question it says in German: "dass man sie vorher abschiebt."

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/550.

State Attorney Bach: Now we have again two documents which are connected with each other. The first one is our document No. 53. Here von Thadden writes a letter, copy to Eichmann. He explains that there is a Jewish woman, a Mrs. Simons, who lives in de facto marriage with an Italian Catholic. Then he says: They are not married, it is true, but only as a result of the fact that the Catholic is married to another woman and that his divorce is not valid and therefore, in accordance with Italian law, he cannot marry this Jewish woman, but in fact they live as man and wife. And von Thadden says: "In view of these considerations, the Foreign Ministry regards a positive treatment of the case as politically desirable," i.e. permitting this Jewish woman to leave and go to Italy.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/551.

State Attorney Bach: And here is the reply, our No. 332, also marked T/37(137). The Accused replies to von Thadden: "In view of the political changes which have taken place in the meantime, there is in my opinion no longer any reason to consider the departure to Italy of the above-mentioned Jewess. I have therefore instructed my office in The Hague to send the woman Simons immediately to the East for work assignment. By order, signed: Eichmann."

Presiding Judge: What political changes?

State Attorney Bach: What is meant here is the Badoglio coup. What he means is that now there is no longer any reason for special consideration for the Italian government, in view of the occupation, when Germany has in fact occupied Northern Italy and the situation has changed. Therefore this woman has to go to the East immediately.

Judge Halevi: That is to say that it is no longer necessary to take Mussolini into consideration?

State Attorney Bach: Yes, this is actually the intention.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/552.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 323, another reply by the Accused to a request by von Thadden, this time concerning a Jewish woman named Nolte. He says that this Jewess was taken to the East for work in May and that there is no possibility, for the moment, to discover her present whereabouts. "Emigration, even for payment of foreign currency, is anyway out of the question."

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/553.

State Attorney Bach: Our next document is No. 591; it was shown to the Accused and numbered T/37(203). His reaction appears on page 2391 in the statement. "Subject: Consultation in the Head Office for Reich Security from July 1 to 6, 1943." Here we have a report about a variety of meetings and consultations in the Head Office for Reich Security, that is to say, with all the various subordinates of the Accused. The discussions cover almost the whole field: Questions of Mischlinge (persons of mixed descent); a conversation with SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Woehrn, also a subordinate of the Accused's; then, in paragraph 7, the discussion concerns "Paraguayan and Honduran passports, large numbers of which were recently sent to the Netherlands. The recipients are Jewish persons whose names were copied from the address book, and the passports are sent by the consular representations of the two countries in return for payment of a suitable sum. The passports are sent by the office for examination of mail from abroad to the Head Office for Reich Security, which in turn forwards them to the BdS in The Hague. The persons concerned, for whom the passports were issued, are to be evacuated from here immediately..."

There follows a conversation with Regierungsrat Hunsche, one of the aides of the Accused, about Jewish property and property deposited with the firm of Lippmann, Rosenthal and Co. We also heard about this in this morning's testimony. Then the problem of mixed marriages is discussed again.

After this comes a discussion with SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Novak and SS Untersturmfuehrer Hartmann about the re- establishment of the Bergen-Belsen camp, and the writer was informed by a competent source that the Theresienstadt camp would continue to exist. And here it says that the present camp commander, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Seidl, will become commander of the Bergen-Belsen camp. Seidl is also one of the assistants of the Accused. So here we see that the Accused and his people had direct authority over both Theresienstadt and Bergen-Belsen and, as a matter of fact, the same Seidl was at first commander of Theresienstadt.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.