The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 36
(Part 4 of 6)

State Attorney Bach: He also says that Prince Eugen, the King's brother, was present at that party. Following this we have Prosecution document No. 888. Now von Thadden refers to this information when he writes to the German legation in Stockholm, passes on the news which he received from the Head Office for Reich Security, and infers therefrom that the Swedish court is very much under Jewish influence. "An opinion is requested also about the Swedish plans to send Jewish children to Palestine."

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/602.

State Attorney Bach: Next is Prosecution document No. 302. Guenther again signs a letter to the Foreign Ministry about the treatment of Jews of foreign nationality, and the important thing here is that he says: "Following the letter mentioned, I have instructed the Commander of the Security Police and the SD in Oslo..." In this context, I should like to mention again that in one of the previous documents (T/593) Eichmann defines the office of the BdS in Oslo as "meine Dienststelle" (my office).

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/603.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is No. 198 - T/37(272). Here we have a letter from von Thadden which again concerns the anti-Jewish laws in Norway. But this is not what is important here. The important thing is an addition after von Thadden's signature which reads:

"Copy. For the Head Office for Reich Security, attention Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, transmitted with a request that note be taken. The Foreign Ministry would be grateful if the Head Office for Reich Security could instruct its Oslo office to lend its support to the requests of the Foreign Ministry."
Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/604.

State Attorney Bach: The reaction of the Accused appears on page 3312 in his statement. The next document is No. 492. The Swedish consul in Oslo has requested that 59 Jews and five Jewesses, all cohabiting in mixed marriages, be allowed to cross over into Sweden. Guenther decides that, for security and police reasons, the emigration of these Jews from Norway who are, as already indicated, without exception all partners in mixed marriages, must not be dealt with. This is a reply from Guenther to von Thadden.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/605.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is No. 493, a note by von Thadden in which he suggests to act as requested by IVB4 - in the letter I have just submitted - and he proposes to tell the Swedes that they have no authority to grant Swedish citizenship to those persons.

The next document is No. 494. Here we have the definitive diplomatic manner in which the Foreign Ministry intends to react to the request from IVB4: In view of the fact that the Swedes have not officially approached the Foreign Ministry and that, therefore, no reply is necessary, he suggests that the Security Police, on its part, should not react to the letter of the Swedes at all, and if asked, should say that it has no authority to discuss the matter with foreign representatives. In this way the request will be allowed to die a natural death.

Presiding Judge: Is this from the Foreign Ministry?

State Attorney Bach: Yes, this is from the Foreign Ministry. When we come to the Italian chapter, in a moment, the Court will see what was meant by "Sonderzug Westfalen" (Special Train Westphalia): It was Ribbentrop's personal train. Brenner used to work on this train and others, too. The preceding letter was forwarded in draft form, and here now is the decision how to achieve, in a diplomatic way, the result desired by both offices.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/607.

State Attorney Bach: Your Honours, I have in my possession a sworn statement by Kai Feinberg who was mentioned in Mrs. Samuel's evidence. He made this sworn statement before the Consul of Israel in Oslo. As a matter of fact, he only supplements the evidence which is not in dispute. He describes how the people who had been arrested in Oslo were transferred from Birkenau to Auschwitz, who were the ones who returned, and that he was one of them, that he was one of the few who returned. I ask you to accept this statement in evidence. I understand that there is no objection to this on the part of the Defence.

Dr. Servatius: I have not seen the document itself, but judging by the contents which the Prosecutor outlined just now, I have no reservations.

State Attorney Bach: The document is our No. 34, which was handed to Counsel for the Defence some time ago, and it is also included in the list of documents which I submitted to the Defence, and which I am about to submit in connection with the chapter on Norway...maybe it was left out by mistake...yes, the document is included in the list, but I am ready to give Counsel for the Defence an additional copy now.

Dr. Servatius: I remember that I read the document, and I have no reservations.

Presiding Judge:

Decision No. 23.

We admit the statement by Kai Feinberg, in conformity with what was said in a similar case in our Decision No. 18.

State Attorney Bach: There is a description of the arrest here and of the transfer of the prisoners to Auschwitz. He was one of those sent to Stettin on the Donau, the ship mentioned by the witness and also in the telegram from Guenther in which he gives the order to transfer these persons to Auschwitz.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/608.

State Attorney Bach: The last document in connection with Norway is our No. 1419, the report of the Royal Norwegian Government concerning the maltreatment of the Jews by the Germans at the time of the Second World War. This report was submitted in Nuremberg and was published in I.M.G. Vol. 39, pages 205-212. I repeat my request in accordance with the Court's Decision No. 12.

Presiding Judge: We actually accepted a similar Danish report today without an explicit decision. You did not ask for one.

State Attorney Bach: I did make a request, maybe I did not explicitly mention Decision No. 12, but I said then, too: In accordance with the decision of the Court.

Judge Halevi: This is self-evident now.

State Attorney Bach: I remember now that I said that this is only evidence concerning...

Presiding Judge: Yes, but no ruling was given there.

State Attorney Bach: No number was given, therefore...

Presiding Judge: No explicit decision was given on Denmark.

Decision No. 24.

We decide to accept the Norwegian report as evidence, in accordance with Decision No. 12. This will be marked T/609.

State Attorney Bach: I have thus completed the evidence concerning the Norwegian chapter. I now pass on to the fate of the Jews of Italy. I shall begin with a number of documents.

The first document is our No. 723. Here the Court will see that from his Sonderzug Westfalen Ribbentrop requests the Reichsfuehrung (Reich Leadership) SS to inform him immediately of all the problems and wishes it has concerning the question of the Jews in Italy, so that these may be discussed with the Duce in principle. And Sonnleithner, one of Ribbentrop's officials in the Sonderzug Westfalen, tells the Foreign Ministry that he requests an immediate reply from the Reichsfuehrung-SS. This is dated 24 February 1943.

Presiding Judge: T/610.

State Attorney Bach: Document No. 724: The Foreign Ministry replies immediately to von Sonnleithner, the official who wrote the preceding letter, and promises a reply within a day, i.e., within one day they will obtain a reply from the Reichsfuehrung-SS. But in the meantime, they already explain that the Head Office for Reich Security is complaining about the Italians, that the negative Italian influence is also noticeable on the governments in Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia, that everywhere they refuse to expel their Jews, pointing to the bad example of Italy. He says further that just now he has asked the Head Office for Reich Security to formulate its concrete requests, and that this was promised for the 25th, i.e., for the next morning. On their part, they can only confirm the complaints of the Head Office for Reich Security that the Italians have dissuaded the French Government from carrying out its anti-Jewish measures, and that they intervene on behalf of the Jews everywhere, and that it is now clear that the German and Italian views on the Jewish Question are totally different.

Presiding Judge: T/611.

State Attorney Bach: Now, Your Honours, in the next two documents it says that the comments of the Reichsfuehrung- SS have to be obtained and that they have been promised. What does Reichsfuehrung-SS mean here? This becomes clear in Document 961, which is the request mentioned in the preceding communication. It comes from the Foreign Ministry and begins with the words "Sehr verehrter Parteigenosse Eichmann" (Dear Party Comrade Eichmann), and it says, on 25 February, that that morning Foreign Minister Ribbentrop had asked the Reichsfuehrung-SS for concrete requests, and that the reply had been promised by that evening. It asks now for the comments "promised by you." A copy of the communication is attached, and Eichmann is now asked for the comments of the Reichsfuehrung-SS which he promised. This document was shown to the Accused and was marked T/37(287), and the comment relating to it begins on page 3373.

Presiding Judge: T/612.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is No. 962, T/37(288). Here we have the answer. True, it is signed by Mueller because it is addressed to Minister Dr. Bergmann, and only Mueller may sign a letter to a minister, but we see on top that it was drafted by IVB4. Subject: "Laufende Besprechungen mit SS-0bersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann" (Current Discussions with Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann). And here we have a description on how Laval and others invoke the Italian attitude, how the Italian attitude complicates the implementation of the Final Solution, since the other European governments use this excuse, the attitude of this Axis partner, and this endangers the very implementation of the Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe. The Accused commented on this document on page 3376 of his statement, and he admits that, although the document bears the signature of Mueller, he (Eichmann) dictated this letter. He admits this on page 3378: "A report dictated by me."

Presiding Judge: T/613.

State Attorney Bach: The next document, our No. 963, was also put before the Accused and was marked T/37(289). This is the letter from the Foreign Ministry to Sonnleithner.

Presiding Judge: It is very difficult to read the first page here.

State Attorney Bach: The printed copy is also not very clear, but the contents are not so important here. It is simply a transmission of the contents of the preceding letter to Sonnleithner, i.e. Ribbentrop. The important thing is that a copy of this letter to the Sonderzug Westfalen is again sent to Eichmann at the Head Office for Reich Security.

Presiding Judge: Where does it say so?

State Attorney Bach: In the margin, on the first page. The first page is easier to read on the printed copy. On the left side of the first page something is written by hand. In the original one can clearly see that it is: "Copy to Eichmann." I do not have the original; it was submitted together with the statement of the Accused. It was one of the documents shown to him.

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/614.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 1604. A Mr. Moellhausen announces from Rome that Obersturmbannfuehrer Kappler received instructions from Berlin to arrest 8,000 Jews in Rome and to take them to Northern Italy, where they are to be liquidated. He says that the City Commander of Rome, General Stahel, has informed him that he will permit this operation only if it is approved by the Foreign Minister. Moellhausen is of the opinion that it will be better business to employ these Jews for fortification labour, as was done in Tunis, and says that he will, together with Kappler, propose this to Generalfeldmarschall Kesselring. As for Obersturmbannfuehrer Kappler, he appears in another document, which we have already submitted to the Court, T/105, a list of the police attaches in the various countries. We shall also later prove to the Court the direct connection between the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and these police attaches in the various countries, in order to show now that if it says here "instructions from Berlin," these can only be instructions from the Head Office for Reich Security.

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/615.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 1600. It is the answer to Moellhausen's letter. Sonnleithner of the Foreign Minister's office writes: "The Foreign Minister asks to inform Minister Rahn and Consul Moellhausen that, in accordance with the Fuehrer, the 8,000 Jews living in Rome are to be taken to Mauthausen as hostages. The Foreign Minister asks to instruct Rahn and Moellhausen not to interfere in this matter under any circumstances and to leave it in the hands of the SS.

Judge Raveh: Do you perhaps know the date on which the Germans took over power in Italy?

State Attorney Bach: That was in September 1943, and the action in Rome started on 16.10.43. The document I mentioned, T/105, bears that date, 16.10.43. The Germans took control over Italy at the beginning of September 1943, on 9 September.

Judge Halevi: There was a certain change here: First there was talk of liquidation and then of hostages.

State Attorney Bach: If I said that sometimes the Accused was more radical than the Fuehrer - this is one of the examples. The Head Office for Reich Security gave the instruction to liquidate, the local representatives did not agree and appealed to Ribbentrop, and then an order came from the Fuehrer to hold these people as hostages in Mauthausen.

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/616.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 299. It is a note on a visit by von Thadden to Mueller about the solution of the Jewish Question in the occupied areas. Von Thadden refers to the events in Denmark and says: After our experience in Denmark, the anti-Jewish measures have to be carried out with adequate forces and in a more efficient manner. Gruppenfuehrer Mueller says that the Head Office for Reich Security has learned a lot from the Danish experience and that the anti-Jewish operations have to be carried out "schlagartig" (in one swoop). In connection with Italy, he says that the forces present there at the moment do not allow for such an operation in the whole country. They would, therefore, have to begin behind the front line and proceed northward step by step in an effort to clean Italy of the Jews.

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/617.

State Attorney Bach: I should now like to place before the Court two documents which I received only yesterday. It has, therefore, not yet been possible to make copies and have them translated. I showed these documents to Counsel for the Defence before the Session today.

One of these documents is our No. 1641, a batch of papers relating to a Jewish woman called Hasson de Toledo, who had been an Italian national by birth and had submitted a request for renewal of her Italian citizenship. She was living in Paris, and the Italian legation approached the German authorities in Paris with a request not to deport this Jewish woman to the East. The letter was written on 20 April 1943, i.e., before the coup d'etat in Italy. It was sent to Roethke in Paris, and there is a remark here by the recipient: "Das fehlt uns gerade noch!" (This is just what we needed). Attached to this letter is the Italian request, in French. And then there is Roethke's reply that, for reasons of principle, it is not possible at all to accede to the Italian request: Although the matter may be considered where an Italian citizen is concerned. The fact that she once held Italian citizenship - is not a sufficient reason. This was communicated to the Italians - and the next document: Again Roethke is informed that the Italian consul has submitted an additional note asking the German embassy to again look into the request from the Italian government and not to deport this woman. This letter is dated 24 June. But here is a note saying that on 23 June this woman was deported to the East, and that Brunner and Roethke have been informed. That is our No. 1641. I should like to have this exhibit returned to me after this session, if possible, so that we can have it duplicated and hand one copy to Counsel for the Defence.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/618.

State Attorney Bach: An additional Prosecution document - No. 1640. The Italian consulate in Paris writes to Roethke on 3 June 1943, and asks most urgently for the release of the young French Jewess Micheline Levy who was arrested because, just once, she did not wear the Star of David. The Italians say they have information that only by accident did she not wear the star on the day in question.

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