The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 39
(Part 5 of 5)

Attorney General: I should like to say to the witness, in his own language, that, by agreement between the Prosecution and the Defence, we have admitted as evidence the material included both in the judgment and in the affidavits appearing in the transcript, and therefore, we shall not have to question you in regard to these matters.

With the Court's permission, I shall now turn to facts which are within the knowledge of Judge Musmanno as a result of his judicial activity, relating to people who were able not to carry out instructions for murder, which had no justification. I request permission to ask questions along these lines.

Presiding Judge: Within the ambit of the decisions we adopted. We mentioned this subject.

Attorney General: Yes - within that ambit.

[To witness] Did any of the members of the Einsatzgruppen complain about the work that was assigned to them?

Witness Musmanno: Yes. Some of them complained because they had to travel over bad roads in order to reach the Jews that they were going to kill. And they also complained when bad weather set in, and mud made their transportation all the more difficult. In very cold weather, when the ground was frozen and it was impossible to dig graves, they complained because the executions had to be postponed until fair weather arrived. Sometimes, they shot their victims in the snow and let their bodies lie in the snow.

Attorney General: Permit me to be more explicit. Do you remember the case of Walter Blume?

Presiding Judge: Was he an accused in the Einsatzgruppen Trial too? Does this appear in the judgment?

Attorney General: I do not believe that the episode appears in the judgment.

Presiding Judge: Or in the fourth volume?

Attorney General: As far as I am aware - no. For these were special episodes.

Presiding Judge: In that case, you will first have to prove that you cannot present, here, the records of that trial itself.

Attorney General: If you wish us to bring evidence in the form of a trial within a trial at this stage - we shall have to do so.

Presiding Judge: That is actually the correct interpretation of this matter.

Attorney General: Then we shall have no alternative.

Presiding Judge: You have a witness here who may be able to say something on this subject. You have mentioned to us a matter of 300,000 pages.

Attorney General: I will interrogate the witness, by permission of the Court. Justice Musmanno, do you know where the records of your case are kept now?

Witness Musmanno: Do you mean the transcript? The daily transcript?

Q. I refer to the exhibits, and the daily record of the proceedings of the Einsatzgruppen Trial.

A. Certainly, there is a set of them in the archives in Washington D.C. and also in London, and I am under the impression that perhaps also in Nuremberg.

Presiding Judge: Will you permit me? If someone wishes to examine the record, to get to a certain witness or to certain evidence, do you think he could practically do so, or would it be difficult?

Witness Musmanno: He could eventually do it, but it would be a very tedious task. Very tedious and it would require many labyrinthian enquiries. Certainly they do exist. But no one could, just by merely reaching out his hand, put his finger on it, I am afraid.

Q. How many pages does the record of the the Einsatzgruppen Trial contain? Can you remember that?

A. Yes. The Einsatzgruppen transcript which I have in my chambers back in Pittsburgh embraces about 22 volumes, each one of about that thickness - that is 2 1/2 inches or 3 inches.

Q. About how many pages would that be?

A. Oh - I would say about 8,000 pages.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, these records are kept in the archives of the German Federal Republic in Coblenz. They also have there a summary of the contents and a list of the witnesses, for part of the documents. Whether such a summary exists also in connection with the trial which we are discussing here - I do not know. But my assistant is shortly about to travel to Germany, and through him, I shall be able to go into the matter and to seek a reply to the question.

Attorney General: I wanted to say that, naturally, we searched for the material, but to my regret we did not find it.

Presiding Judge: How long would it take you in order to search for this material? We are talking now about the evidence of Blume.

Attorney General: I shall list the names of those concerning whom I want to question the Judge. We are in the same situation concerning all of them. The names are: Walter Blume, Erwin Schulz, Heinz Jost, Franz Six, Willy Seibert and Gustav Noske, whose evidence I have already submitted, but I want to put in one document through the Judge.

Presiding Judge: But not all of them were accused - some of them were witnesses in the trial?

Attorney General: They were also witnesses in the trial. We tried to obtain the material.

Presiding Judge: How much time did it take you? Was this after you got to know about these documents from the witness?

Attorney General: After we learned about it from the witness, we examined only those documents which we ourselves had accumulated; we searched among the material available here relating to these matters, but the material we have here does not include those particulars - the material which is in our possession, with Bureau 06 and the Prosecution. I must admit that, since then, we have not attempted to look for the material abroad.

Presiding Judge: Thank you.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, if I may be permitted to point to page 90 in this volume 4 which is in my possession, there is a diagram here which was prepared by the persons themselves, and to which - so far as one can see - no objections were voiced. From this diagram it clearly transpires that the Einsatzgruppen were subject directly to the orders of Heydrich, naturally under the supreme authority of the head of the German Police and the SD, Himmler.

Presiding Judge: This is another subject. We are talking now - so it seems to me - about somewhat different matters.

Mr. Hausner, we notice that in this volume - we are not fully aware of everything contained in this volume - but, for example, we notice that on page 593...

Attorney General: Perhaps I may have a look at it. Our copy is in the possession of Defence Counsel.

Presiding Judge: This relates, in fact to Case No. 9. This is the very case of the Einsatzgruppen. There is a list of witnesses with an index to the pages of the transcript.

Attorney General: Yes, here it is. The question is - where one can find these pages.

Judge Raveh: You have heard that the witness himself has the complete record. This is proof that it exists.

Presiding Judge: This we can elucidate immediately. Justice Musmanno - a side issue, if I may call it that; are you able to tell us: Is the material in your possession, those 22 volumes, arranged in order?

Witness Musmanno: Yes, they are arranged consecutively.

Q. In other words, with the aid of these lists, the index of the contents and the witnesses appearing in this volume, it would be possible to find one's way through the labyrinth of the documents of 22 volumes and arrive at the item in its right place?

A. Well, if the Court would permit me, I would say that the Green volume by no means is a complete account of the trial. It is extremely abbreviated, and there are possibly episodes and facts which are not included therein at all.

Q. Yes, it would help us, or rather the Prosecution, if we were to know that it would be possible, with the aid of the list of contents, of the witnesses and the summaries, to find in the archives in your possession- for example in those 22 volumes - each particular reference. Possibly we could make it much shorter! You could have a look at the book yourself and let us have a reply.

A. It is true that the witnesses are enumerated here and their testimony is identified by page numbers, but each defendant presented enormous so-called "document books" and those documents are not indexed here, so that if there is an episode in any of these documents you might not be able to locate it very easily.

Dr. Servatius: It is, in fact, true that defence documents were not, as a rule, included in the official treatment of these trials. However, it will not be difficult to find them, for the documents are kept in the private archives of the defence lawyers who are still alive in Germany. And I believe that in the political archives of the Federal Republic, as well, it should be possible to find these documents, by number and by classification.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, the material which you wanted to produce now by means of this evidence, was that evidence given before the Court or was it in the content of sworn affidavits submitted there? Can you tell us that?

Attorney General: The truth of the matter, Your Honour, is that I myself do not know. I can ask the Judge.

Presiding Judge: I have a suggestion to make to both parties, and also to the witness. In a quarter of an hour's time we shall have to adjourn. Perhaps you could take advantage of the lunch interval in order to clarify this question with the Judge, and that will assist us to reach a decision in this matter?

Attorney General: Certainly, Your Honour.

Perhaps, in the meantime, merely in order to reach a convenient point, I can submit one more document through the witness?

Presiding Judge: Apart from that you may proceed - if you have further questions to the witness.

Attorney General: Thank you, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: You will be able to check whether the evidence you are seeking relates to matters on which oral evidence was heard in that trial, or to documents which were submitted and are not included. The reply to this question is likely to affect our decision.

Attorney General: Now, Justice Musmanno, you gave me an English translation of evidence taken by you in German from the witness Schulz. I hand you the two documents, the German original and the English translation. Were these the testimonies that you heard and which you handed to me?

Witness Musmanno: I can veryfy that this document was submitted to me in the trial of the Einsatzgruppen Case, in its English translation.

Q. This document was submitted in support of Schulz' contention with regard to his release from the Einsatzgruppen?

A. That is correct.

Presiding Judge: Who makes this declaration - Schulz himself?

Attorney General: This is a document signed by Heydrich, in which Heydrich writes: I am releasing you from command for reasons of service and I am transferring you to other duties.

Presiding Judge: Are you submitting it?

Attorney General: I am submitting them both. The Judge gave me this one in English, and on the basis of this I identified the German document in our possession.

Witness Musmanno: Would you kindly explain to the Court that the remarks written on the back of the document do not relate to the trial?

Attorney General: Actually we do not need the English copy - only for the purposes of identifying the German copy.

Presiding Judge: Where did you get the original German version from?

Attorney General: We have the Book of Documents No. 1 of Erwin Schulz.

Presiding Judge: We shall mark the English translation T/686.

Do you have further copies of this document?

Attorney General: To my regret, no.

Presiding Judge: And the German original will be T/686(a).

Attorney General: Justice Musmanno, did you talk to Schellenberg about other Einsatzgruppen commanders as well, who - for one reason or other - applied to be relieved of their duties?

Witness Musmanno: In our general conversation, reference was made to this proposition that if one really did not want to kill Jews that there was a way of not killing Jews, that it wasn't necessary to follow out these orders implicitly and to the ultimate, and that it would be enough to indicate that this person could not kill in cold blood, and, if that was so stated, then one could be actually relieved of that duty.

He said he knew of his own knowledge that there were individuals in the Einsatzgruppen organization who were released, even by Ohlendorf and by Dr. Toms, because they couldn't go along with the extermination programme, He indicated - I don't know just how far he wanted to go in this type of testimony - but he stated very clearly that those incapable of performing these executions would be released and sent home, because they were in the way of others who were perfectly ready, willing and able to carry out Hitler's orders for the extermination of the Jews.

He pointed out that the Nazi leaders couldn't generally be accused of great human sympathy, but he said he had to admit that they were men of efficiency, and if a man couldn't go along with this type of an order then he should be sent back home. And many were sent back home.

Q. Are you able to tell the Court if there was another man named Matthias Graf, whom you acquitted of this charge, and who walked out of your courtroom a free person?

A. Yes. Matthias Graf could not conscientiously go along with the orders and he evaded them at every opportunity. And I acquitted him completely.

Attorney General: With the Court's permission I shall stop at this stage. We shall utilize the minutes remaining at our disposal in order to hand over to the Court the information on the additional affidavits which we intend to submit, if the Court is prepared to hear it. My colleague, Mr. Bach, will do this.

Presiding Judge: Judge Musmanno, we shall interrupt your evidence now, and you may step down from the witness box. You will be invited to return in the afternoon.

Attorney General: I understand, in order that I may receive directives, that if it should be found that all the remaining instances can be proved by the record of the proceedings, the Court does not want me to continue examining Judge: Musmanno on these matters - in which case it would not be necessary to bring him back to the Court.

Presiding Judge: But there is a further examination - I shall clarify this immediately.

Dr. Servatius, do you want to cross-examine the witness, or not?

Dr. Servatius: There will be a few question which I should like to put to the witness.

Judge Halevi: Have we heard all the questions of the examination-in-chief? You spoke about the murder of children - we have not heard about that.

Attorney General: This is included in the body of the judgment. Part of it is here, part is not. At any rate, I shall go into the question.

Presiding Judge: We shall now adjourn and we shall open the afternoon Session with the submission of this information by you, and thereafter we shall continue with the evidence of the witness.

[ 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.