The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 40
(Part 4 of 4)

Q. Now, in the first part of your cross-examination by Dr. Servatius, I believe you mentioned something about Mueller. Could you please repeat it? I did not properly understand it. I believe you said that none of those men mentioned Mueller as co-responsible for the annihilation of the Jews - is that correct?

A. That is what made the different statements coming from different persons seem so true to me, because if there was an attempt to fabricate any declaration, it would seem more logical that the blame should be placed upon a man of high rank - like Mueller who was at the head of the Gestapo; but they all said Eichmann.

Q. Now my last question. I believe that both Eichmann and Mueller were listed at the time as missing.

A. Yes - that is true.

Judge Raveh: Yes - just a few questions, Justice Musmanno.

You told us that you spoke to Frank in Italian, so I take it that the whole conversation between him and you was a direct one, without an interpreter?

Witness Musmanno: That is correct.

Q. And now - how about the other people? How did you talk to them?

A. Ribbentrop spoke English. Koller spoke English. Goering did not - I used an interpreter with him. Kaltenbrunner spoke German.

Q. And Schellenberg?

A. Schellenberg - mostly German. But he managed a little bit of English.

Q. You do not recall the interpreters? Or do you recall them?

A. No. There was a number of them there.

Q. Were they reliable men?

A. Very much so. They were all given tests, Your Honour.

Q. And now about Mueller. Were you not surprised that they did not mention him?

A. I was surprised. But I did not question them, though. You see, Your Honour, I was not conducting an investigation and they were just telling me this. But then, upon reflection, I wondered how it was that Mueller, who headed the Gestapo - this dread and sinister organization - was never mentioned.

Q. So you did not ask questions on this point?

A. No, Your Honour.

Q. Now, when you spoke to Schellenberg - Kaltenbrunner was already dead?

A. That is correct.

Q. And this "youth friendship" between Eichmann and Kaltenbrunner - who mentioned it?

A. Schellenberg.

Q. Kaltenbrunner himself did not talk about it?

A. No - I must repeat, Your Honour, that it was not an extended conversation. I wanted to find out about Hitler, and these things came up sort of spontaneously. It was different with General Koller - I got to know him very well and had many many conversations with him.

Q. And now - I think you told us that Schellenberg said that Eichmann was the head of Office IVB. Did you say so?

A. Yes. That is correct.

Q. Do you recall the expression "IVB"?

A. Well, it wasn't only Schellenberg. That was on the chart. I do not know that he particularly referred to IVB - well, he did in this sense. When he spoke about the "Operation Zeppelin," he did say that Amt VI, which he headed, worked very closely with Amt IV.

Q. Because you know possibly that IVB means a group of officers - it was an entire department - and there are no differences of opinion that Eichmann was not the head of the whole group, but the head of the Section IVB4 or IVD4?

A. IVB4.

Presiding Judge: So your reply was IVB4, wasn't it?

Witness Musmanno: Yes. IVB4.

Judge Raveh: So Schellenberg referred to IVB4, not to IVD4?

Witness Musmanno: I do not recall now whether he actually used the words when I spoke of Eichmann. He spoke of seeing Eichmann a number of times, because they were in that same big organization, the RSHA.

Q. Now according to Schellenberg, when did he learn about the full scope and character of the Einsatzgruppen?

A. He knew of the Einsatzgruppen from the beginning, because he drew up that contract. He alleged that he did not know of the murderous character of the Einsatzgruppen. That was his defence in the Ministries' Trial.

Q. Yes, but what did he tell you?

A. Well, just as I indicated, that Eichmann...

Q. Because the judges in the Ministries' Case did not believe him on this point?

A. Yes, in the Ministries' Case decision, they indicated that Schellenberg did know just what the Einsatzgruppen did, but that knowledge was not complicity.

Q. So what did Schellenberg tell you about the time when he gained full knowledge?

A. He never indicated to me just when it was that he got the full knowledge. During our conversations he related what had occurred.

Q. SAnd, according to him, when did he know about Eichmann's part in the Einsatzgruppen?

A. He did not specify chronologically.

Judge Raveh: Thank you.

Judge Halevi: Justice Musmanno, I do not quite understand about Professor Trevor Roper. He had an official mission to investigate and you had none, or what was the position?

Witness Musmanno: I had no relationship with Trevor Roper at the time that I was conducting my investigation. I did not get to meet Trevor Roper until I myself went to Oxford University one summer and took some courses there and I got to know him very well. And then, of course, he indicated to me just how it came about. He conducted this investigation officially and then he wrote his book. This is what I did. Q. It was said that you interrogated all these secretaries of important people - did you question the secretary of Eichmann by any chance?

A. Oh no.

Q. Did General Koller mention the name Mueller with regard to the whole affair of the pilots?

A. He did not.

Q. Because I should have thought that the execution of the pilots in that case should have been the task of the Gestapo.

A. He went to Kaltenbrunner who, of course, was over Mueller. He thought he would get direct action.

Q. And then, you said, Kaltenbrunner referred him directly to Eichmann and not to Mueller?

A. Kaltenbrunner told him what his difficulties were, and then, on his own, Koller went to Eichmann.

Q. When was this? What did he say? When did it happen?

A. The very last month or two of the War. The order, however, had been given before, a long time before. And there was even a discussion between Hitler and Koller about the retroactivity of this order. Hitler indicated that he did not stand on any legal point.

Q. But did Koller say that his conversation with Hitler with regard to the pilots was conducted in the bunker, in Hitler's bunker, or prior to his going down to the bunker?

A. No. I have the impression that it was in the bunker, as I recall it now. In fact, after Koller left the bunker, I do not think that he even returned during these last few days.

Q. You say that after he left the bunker, he did not return. But could it have been before he went down to the bunker?

A. My impression, Your Honour, now, is that this took place in the bunker because Hitler was in the bunker for a long time.

Q. A long time?

A. Yes.

Q. In your investigations about Hitler's last days or about his fate, did you ascertain whether the head of the Gestapo, Mueller, had been in Hitler's bunker during these last days?

A. I got the impression he was not.

Q. Had Mueller nothing to do with the investigation about Himmler's treason, or what was regarded as Himmler's treason?

A. I have no definite knowledge on that subject. But there is no doubt in my mind that everybody was alerted to see what could be done about this, because naturally Hitler was infuriated about this treason. He had Fegelein executed only because at one time Fegelein had been Himmler's adjutant, had been close to him, and Fegelein knew absolutely nothing about these negotiations for the surrender of the German armies to the Western Powers.

Q. Before being executed, was Fegelein interrogated by Mueller of the Gestapo?

A. Not that I am aware of. No knowledge like that came to me. He left the bunker and went to his home. Then when news of the Himmler betrayal came to Hitler, he inquired about Fegelein and he sent out soldiers to get Fegelein, brought him back and in a matter of hours had him shot. Eva Braun had made protestations because he was, of course, her brother-in-law.

Q. Was Schellenberg the one who mentioned to you the case of Morgen, whom you mentioned in your evidence?

A. That evidence was given in the I.M.T. trial. He testified in August 1946.

Q. When you mentioned Morgen in your evidence today, you were not referring to what Schellenberg or anybody else had told you, but directly to Morgen's evidence before the I.M.T. trial?

A. Yes, yes. I gave that as an explanation of Eichmann's position.

Judge Halevi: Thank you.

Presiding Judge: Just three brief questions. How did it come about that the Navy conducted this investigation? Was this within the competence of the Navy?

Witness Musmanno: Do you mean with regard to the death of Hitler?

Q. Yes, your own investigation.

A. I was a naval aid to General Mark W. Clark and was present at the surrender of the German Armies to General Clark, who headed the Fifteenth Army Group, and I noted that many of the generals were not particularly crestfallen about what had happened and there came reports to me that they were saying that they were surrendering now but they still would have a chance when Hitler returned. But they did not accept as a certainty the reports of Hitler's death.

I wrote to my superiors in the Navy - although I was attached to the Army at the time - and indicated that, if it was true that Hitler was not dead, the war really was not ended. But if it was true and a legend would build up that he was alive - that there would still be a great deal of turmoil in Germany.

Q. Yes.

A. I said that there was the possibility that they might look upon Hitler as the French looked upon Napoleon when he had been exiled to Elba and then returned. Some credence was given to the assumption or story that Hitler was still alive, because the Russians insisted that he was alive. Stalin actually told President Truman at Potsdam that he believed Hitler was alive.

Admiral William Glasford then asked me to ascertain the actual facts. It was no formal investigation by sitting and bringing witnesses before me. On my own, because I was attending other duties, I would go to the prisoners-of-war camp, to homes and saw all these people...and that is how it was.

Q. Did you make notes of these conversations you had at the time?

A. As I spoke to men like Goering and Ribbentrop, I made no notes, because I did not want to make them apprehensive - I wanted spontaneously from them what they knew about Hitler.

A. Yes. And your conversations with others - for example with Schellenberg?

A. Well, Schellenberg neither, because I saw Schellenberg a great number of times and of course, when I got back to my room I would write up a little synopsis of what I'd got...

Q. Yes. And are these notes still in your possession? (No.) You destroyed them?

A. Well, with the passage of time many papers get lost, misplaced...

Q. Are these conversations mentioned in the book you wrote later - the conversations you told us about today?

A. I mention Goering and Schellenberg and some others.

Q. Do you mention the accused Eichmann there - that they referred to Eichmann?

A. Oh no, no - because at that time I was not interested in Eichmann, he did not mean a thing to me then. In the first place, everybody said he was dead and...he did not interest me - then later on, of course, he seemed rather important.

Q. Now, lastly - about this order to execute Allied pilots. From your investigation did you find out whether Allied fliers were actually executed on those orders of Hitler's?

A. There again, Your Honour, that was not a subject of my competence.

Presiding Judge: I see.

Witness Musmanno: And Koller told me this, and I had great faith in him - he was really a gentleman; and there is no doubt, there is historical evidence of the fact, that Hitler had issued this order - that is absolutely irrefutable.

I don't know - Koller told me of the strategem he used, which to me seemed like an excellent one, and I think that he was able to save them.

Presiding Judge: Yes. I see. Thank you Justice Musmanno - that concludes your evidence.

The next Session will begin tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock.

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