The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 43
(Part 2 of 7)

State Attorney Bar-Or: I go on to a further document from the Wuerzburg file, No. 1286. This is a list I have just mentioned. Wuerzburg reports to the Regional Headquarters of the Gestapo about the valuable objects seized during the body search of the Jews readied for the transport to the East of 26 November 1941. In this detailed list, the Court will also find watches, rings, etc. The name of each Jew appears together with the personal objects found on his body at the last moment. Finally, another list which contains much more varied objects. There appears even an Iron Cross, Second Class, a Cross of Merit, Second Class, and two Frontkaempferehrenkreuze (Cross of Honour for Frontline Fighters). These objects were taken away, and it was reported that they were in safekeeping.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/721.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I now submit our document No.737, a circular letter which is typical, from the Reich Association of the Jews in Germany, dated 1 December 1941, and signed by Paul Israel Eppstein and Philip Israel Kotzover. On the basis of orders from the Accused and his Section, the Reich Association submits information about the detailed implementation of the restrictions on disposal of movable property by Jews. Among other things it says here: "In connection with the fact that lately, without any general cause, a change of property of considerable proportions, especially of property under management belonging to Jews up to now, had been noted, the Supervising Authority, wishing to avoid disturbances in the orderly functioning of the market, has issued the following regulations which we publish hereunder."

This referred, of course, to an attempt by Jews, who found themselves before the final stages, to secure their property by transferring it secretly to Germans who might be ready, in some case, to look after it. Information about this reached the Accused and his Section, and here we have before us the means by which to avoid such illicit diversions of property, so to speak.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/722.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Now I pass on to our document No. 738. Two days later, the Reichsvereinigung publishes, again over the signature of Eppstein, joined this time by Dr. Arthur Liliental, instructions, or rather guidelines; this is called "Merkblatt" (instruction sheet) here - to all the Jewish communities, which are here called - as they should be according to the law - "An die juedischen Kultusvereinigungen" (to the Jewish religious associations). The instruction sheet is dated 3 December 1941.

Presiding Judge: Do you have only this copy? Do you not have the original?

State Attorney Bar-Or: We received the document like this. This was also the form in which it was shown to the Accused.

Presiding Judge: Where did you receive it from?

State Attorney Bar-Or: I think it comes from Yad Vashem. This document was shown to the Accused and was marked T/37(230). The Accused refers to it on page 2629. The establishment of "Special Account W" is explicitly mentioned here for the first time, and this is what is said, inter alia:

"For the purpose of raising funds in connection with evacuation transports, the following rules are established under orders of our Control Authority: (1) Every participant in evacuation transports has to be made to pay a suitable part of his liquid means (not including securities) to the Reich Association. It must be pointed out in this connection that the amount paid must be no less than 25 per cent of the liquid funds (without securities). (2) This payment shall be made as a contribution, the need for which must be suitably explained to the donors."
These were people whose deportation by train was imminent, it was the last minute in the Sammellager.
"It may be explained that the contributions are first and foremost intended as monies to be used for the sums which are to be sent with the evacuation transports, and also for supplying the transports with food, tools, etc. Furthermore, they shall serve - this may be explained to the Jews - the tasks incumbent on the Reichsvereinigung, in particular the welfare of its members."
Further on it says:
"Each request for allotment of funds from Special Account W has to be accompanied at the same time by a statement of income and expenditure" of the kind with which the Court is already familiar from earlier documents "up to that moment; this may be limited to major categories of income and expenditure. After completion of the transports, an exact statement of account has of course to be given."
Paragraph 6 reads:
"In the monthly reports, the income of Special Account W has to be counted as additions to the balance, the expenditure as subtractions from the balance."
There is no need to state in this connection that means at the disposal of the account of the Reichsvereinigung, or monies ostensibly transferred to it, were not only under the supervision of the Accused, but under his complete control.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/723.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I pass on to document No. 1283, again from the file of the Gestapo in Wuerzburg, a letter from Suhr of the Accused's Section, dated the same day, 3 December 1941. It concerns the evacuation, the deportation of Jews to Minsk and Riga from the Old Reich, from the Ostmark - that means Austria - and from the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia. Here he speaks about guidelines for the treatment of the property. We shall find that this Suhr, who was a lawyer, dealt, during his period of service in the Section of the Accused, mainly with matters of Jewish property. I beg to direct attention to what is said at the end here: "In the spirit of paragraph 3 of the present Order, care has to be taken in the case of future transports that lists of the deported persons are handed over in time, in order to enable the donations to be made." There is always this concern for the financing of the transport out of means not provided for by law, which have to be raised by this method of what was dubbed donations.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/724.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I pass on to document No. 734, a letter sent to the Accused. It only says here: "To the Head Office for Reich Security," but we shall see at once that it reached the Accused; it was sent in the name of the Military Commander in France and dealt with the emigration of Jews of German nationality from the Reich to the occupied area of France. He relates that recently there has been an increasing number of cases where such people residing in the area of occupation, and who have relatives in the Reich, ask permission to bring them into the French occupied zone. He asks for guidance what to do.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/725.

State Attorney Bar-Or: In the next document, No. 735, we find the reply from the Accused, this time marked IVB4a. He does not, of course, write to the Military Commander; he writes to the representative of the Head of the Security Police and the Security Service for France and Belgium, Paris Office. He refers to the Runderlass (circular letter), or general instruction, IVB4 (Rz) of 23 October 1941, which is our document No. 1209; I regret that I cannot state what marking this document was given here. He reminds the men in France that, in accordance with orders from the Reichsfuehrer SS, all emigration of Jews from the Reich area has been stopped, that all applications reaching Berlin directly are refused by Berlin, and that the same has to be done in the German-occupied zone in France.

I draw attention to a marginal remark added here by Dannecker. In the document it says: "I request you to inform the Military Commander in accordance with the above and to ask him to refuse, on his part also, any movement of Jews to the occupied zone of France, since the Jews, aware of the evacuation to the East, are trying to escape from it by every means possible." After the words "to the occupied zone of France," Dannecker adds: "and also unoccupied."

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/726.

State Attorney Bar-Or: And one more document on this chapter, No. 736, a letter from Dannecker to the Military Commander in France. Here we see the administrative channel by which Eichmann's instructions are transmitted also to this high level. The letter was dictated and signed by Dannecker, and he repeats, in fact, the instructions he received from Eichmann and brings them to the attention of the Military Command.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/727.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Now to document No. 1173, a letter from Eichmann to the Foreign Ministry, dated 28 January 1942. Here is one of the cases where he finds time to deal with the individual case of a Jew, Dr. Alfred Israel Philippsson. Sven Hedin, the Swede, has intervened here and approached the Minister of the Interior, in order to obtain permission for this Jew to remain in Bonn, so that he will not be deported to the East. Eichmann says: "...his remaining in Bonn until his demise, as well as an exceptional emigration, cannot be permitted, since in the course of the Final Solution of the Jewish Question, it is intended to concentrate Jews over 65 residing in the Reich area in a ghetto for old people."

The Court has already received a document reporting about a meeting held in Prague in October 1941. We shall still revert to that document. Here, for the first time, mention is made of the intention to create what they call an "Altersghetto" (ghetto for the aged), here there is already an explicit reference to this plan.

Presiding Judge: It appears here that there were instructions not to send old people to the East. Is something known about this?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes. We shall show this. I shall prove there were instructions by the Accused concerning persons over 65 years of age. This refers, of course, to the year 1942. The ghetto began to function only in January 1942. He gives orders to transfer those over the age of 65, and, in addition, some further privileged categories, to Theresienstadt. We have heard, and we shall still hear more, about what happened in Theresienstadt.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/728.

State Attorney Bar-Or: And now document No. 1265, again guidelines from the Accused's section IVB4a, signed by Suhr, guidelines about the treatment of the property of Jews about to be deported to the area of the Generalgouvernement, Lublin-Trawniki. Here we have the interpretation of the jurist Suhr, which is worth reading. At the end of page 2 he says:

"...Since the Generalgouvernement has to be regarded as a foreign country in this respect," i.e., a country not belonging to the area of the Reich, "therefore, by virtue of paragraph 3 of Regulation 11 under the Reich Law of Citizenship of 25.11.1941 (Reich Official Gazette I, page 722), the property of the Jews who lose their nationality in the framework of this legal regulation is automatically forfeited to the German Reich immediately after the German border has been crossed. The same applies to Jews who were stateless at the time when this Regulation came into force and whose last nationality was German, if they normally reside abroad* or made their home abroad, which is the case here. It seems that these conditions apply to most of the deported Jews."
The emphasis is in the original. And he continues:
"In the few cases where Regulation 11 under the Reich Citizenship Law is not applicable, inter alia in cases where the Jew dies after the notification about his deportation but before his entry into the Generalgouvernement, the property has to be confiscated immediately, on the strength of the pertinent regulations regarding the confiscation of the property of the enemies of state and nation, for the benefit of the German Reich."
Nothing can escape here from the clutches of the "legal" regulations which were made on this subject. In connection with what we have already learned about the use, at the very last moment, of personnel of the Execution Office, for the purpose of serving the confiscation orders, I direct attention to one sentence only on page 4 at the beginning of the next passage: "When the confiscation orders have thus been completely filled in, they must be handed to the execution officers for service on the Jews." And, in fact, the execution officer of the court comes to the assembly camp and hands these notifications to the Jews.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/729.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Our document No. 1278, a letter from the Accused to all State Police Headquarters in the Old Reich, to the State Police Headquarters in Vienna, and, for information, to the Inspectors of the Security Police and the Security Service in the Old Reich and in Vienna. Here, too, the subject is the evacuation of Jews. The marking is IVB4 without any addition. The letter is dated 31 January 1942, and says, inter alia:

"The evacuation of Jews to the East, which has recently been carried out in some regions, represents the beginning of the Final Solution of the Jewish Question in the Old Reich, the Ostmark, and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia."
On page 2 he says:
"At present new possibilities for reception are being worked out, with the aim of deporting further contingents of Jews from the Old Reich, the Ostmark, and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The detailed planning and preparation of this further evacuation necessitates, in the first instance, a scrupulous ascertainment of the numbers of Jews still resident in the Reich area, according to the following aspects which correspond to the guidelines for the evacuation..."
And here now, steps towards further deportations in 1942 are being planned.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/730.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I now turn - not necessarily in connection with the operations we have been considering - to an agreement made on 8 August 1941, at the headquarters of the Fuehrer between Joachim Ribbentrop and Heinrich Himmler, which is contained in our document No. 466. With the Court's permission, I shall briefly summarize its contents: In those areas outside the Reich where it was necessary to operate either directly or indirectly, differences of opinion between the Foreign Ministry and the Head Office for Reich Security seem to have emerged concerning the method of action to be taken there. The men of the Security Police frequently circumvented Foreign Ministry channels, so it appears, and each side, Ribbentrop for the Foreign Ministry and Himmler for the Security Police, wishes to secure his place, but this time through coordination, without local partisanship, without relying on the intuition of the men on the spot. It is this arrangement of 8 August 1941, which guides the coordination from now on, the adjustment between the Accused and his men on the one hand, and, on the other, the aides of Luther, Rademacher, von Thadden, and all those whom we find on Ribbentrop's side. The place of the various police attaches and their tasks are discussed here. We shall come to them later. I have already submitted an earlier document, in which the Court could find details about men who eventually served in these posts. It is these instructions, or rather this agreement, that determines definitely the methods of operation between the Accused's Section and the corresponding department in the Foreign Ministry.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/731.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Let us turn to the sufferings of the individual for a moment. I submit document No. 1559, a letter from the Accused to the Foreign Ministry, dated 28 October 1941 - IVB4b (Rz). The subject is the emigration of the Jewess Lilli Sara Zatzkis. To a letter of 20 October 1941, from the Foreign Ministry, he replies that emigration of Jews to unoccupied France has to be prevented "im Hinblick auf die kommende Endloesung der europaeischen Judenfrage" (in view of the coming Final Solution of the European Jewish Question). At the end he says: "I have instructed the Reich Association of the Jews in Germany to give a negative reply to the Jewess Zatzkis with reference to her application of the end of 1941."

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/732.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Our document No. 1558 brings before the Honourable Court a letter from a Jewish lady, Flora Sara Bucher. She wrote to the Foreign Ministry on 10 October 1941, mentioning that she was cohabiting in a mixed marriage, and that her mother was sent to the South of France on 22 October 1940 - I assume that she means the camp at Gurs; we recall this operation. Now she wishes to join her mother and asks the Foreign Ministry for the necessary papers. This request was passed on to Eichmann.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/733.

[ Previous | Index | Next ] [an error occurred while processing this directive]