The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 50
(Part 1 of 7)

Session No. 50

9 Sivan 5721 (24 May 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the fiftieth Session of the trial open.

State Attorney Bach: With the Court's permission, I shall continue with the fate of Slovakian Jewry. First, I wish to present a number of documents. the first document is our No. 1267. In it Ludin, the German Minister, asks the Foreign Ministry for permission to send a delegation to the labour camps in Silesia, to include Wisliceny, the purpose being to establish similar camps in Slovakia. The visit should take place in the presence of several Slovak officials.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1075.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 1268. In it Ludin once again reports that the Slovak Ministry of the Interior does not, for the time being, plan to deport the Jews from the country, and its intention - in which it has been influenced by the German adviser - is to put up ghettos, on the model of the Generalgouvernement. This, in fact, is the beginning of the displacement about which we heard yesterday from witness Dr. Abeles.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1076.

State Attorney Bach: The report, by the way, specifically mentions "evacuation of the capital."

Our No. 1269. Here the subject is the seizure of the property of Jews who are nationals of the Reich, the Protectorate of the Generalgouvernement; Wisliceny here sends the legation a list showing the situation regarding the property of Jews of such nationality.

Judge Raveh: In the previous document, the German adviser mentioned there is, of course, Wisliceny?

State Attorney Bach: Yes.

Presiding Judge: Your No. 1269 will be marked T/1077.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 837. Luther reports that in the context of its measures for the Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe, the German Government is ready to accept, without delay, 20,000 young and able-bodied Slovak Jews who would be sent to the East, where there is a need for them; the details would be worked out orally by the Adviser on Jewish Affairs, as soon as the Slovak Government agrees in principle.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1078.

State Attorney Bach: And now our document No. 1270. The important point here is paragraph 2, in which Bratislava is informed that Eichmann will be coming, on behalf of the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, for preliminary discussions on the evacuation of 20,000 Jews from Slovakia. This is what the German Foreign Ministry tells Bratislava. At the bottom there is a handwritten note asking that Wisliceny be informed.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1079.

State Attorney Bach: The next document, our No. 1271, is also a letter by Luther to Pressburg; it reports that, according to a letter of March 1942 from the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, the deportation of Slovakian Jews can be effected as planned, and that the Slovak Government be asked to pay to the Reich RM 500 for every Jew taken over. This is the first mention we find in our documents of this sum of RM 500 which is to be paid for every Jew Germany agrees to accept.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1080.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 1015. In it Luther reports that the Slovak Government has taken a positive decision on the evacuation of the Jews from Slovakia, adding that Minister Ludin has advised that three evacuation trains with 600-1,000 Jews have already left; that the rest will follow without delay; he believes that another 20,000 Jews can be dispatched at once, and after that a start can be made on the evacuation of the remaining 70,000 Jews. At the bottom there is a note saying that this is to be notified immediately to the Chief of the Security Police and Security Service.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1081.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 1234. This is a reply by the Accused to the German Foreign Ministry regarding a request by the Slovak Government - which the Ministry has passed on to the Accused - to permit the transit through German territory of Slovak Jews for the purpose of emigration. Eichmann rejects the Slovak Government's request to permit such passage for purposes of emigration, and at the end he says: I request that the Slovak legation and the embassy of the Vatican (which had submitted a similar request) be given a negative reply. The final sentence reads as follows:

"In view of the efforts underway for the immediate evacuation of 20,000 Jews from Slovakia, the subject may anyway be considered closed."
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1082.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 1272. In it Pressburg is informed that Government Councillor Suhr from the Accused's office will be going there on duty, on behalf of the Chief of the Security Police and Security Service, the object of his journey being to deal with legal aspects of the disposal of the property of Jews being deported to the East. Again there is a handwritten note on the document for the information of Wisliceny.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1083.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 282. Here Wisliceny writes to the legation in Pressburg and encloses the draft of a letter that he proposes be sent to the Slovak Government. In this letter reasons are given for the demand that RM 500 be paid for every Jew the Slovaks will expel and the Germans will agree to accept. He explains that there are expenses involved to which the German Reich therefore has the right to ask the Slovak Government to contribute.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1084.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 838. Here Wisliceny again writes to the legation concerning measures to secure the movable property of the Jews of Slovakia. He says that, within the framework of the evacuation of the Jews from Slovakia, their movable property has been secured by means of an ordinance issued by the Central Office for the Economy. Then he says that the value of the movable property owned by the Jews of Slovakia is estimated as being worth at least 150-200 million Crowns.

Further he states that the Jews have also been forbidden to take out their property by way of gift or deposit, and provisions have been made for the punishment of any such attempt to dispose of Jewish property.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1085.

Judge Raveh: Mr. Bach, I want to ask you something: On document 1272, at the bottom of the page, there is something in shorthand. This is not the first time; I have seen this on several documents. Has anyone tried to decipher these notes? The shorthand system used is one that is very common in Germany. I can read some of the words.

State Attorney Bach: No, as far as I know, we have not looked into this. We assumed that some secretary made some notes for his or her own use.

Judge Raveh: It is worth trying. This is a very common system, and there must be people who would be able to decipher it.

State Attorney Bach: Your Honour, I thank you for your observation. We shall give this our attention, something we have not done up till now.

Judge Halevi: The last document mentions the safeguarding of Jewish property by means of an order issued by the Zentralwirtschaftsamt (Central Office for the Economy). What kind of institution is that? Is it a Jewish institution?

State Attorney Bach: The "Zentralwirtschaftsamt" is the "UHU" headed by Moravek, which in fact was controlled by Wisliceny, on whose initiative it was set up. Moravek, the Slovak, who headed the institution, was completely subordinate to Wisliceny. Actually, the other institution, the "Jewish Centre," was also controlled by this Central Office.

Judge Halevi: What is "UHU" and what is "UZ"?

State Attorney Bach: "UHU" is the Economic Office; "UZ" is the Jewish Centre.

The next document is our No. 835, which was drafted in the Foreign Ministry and is addressed to the Slovak Foreign Ministry in Pressburg. Its form is that of a "note verbale," a memorandum; it advises the Slovak Government of the conditions applying to the acceptance of the Jews by the Germans and their expulsion by the Slovaks: (1) that the Jews will not return to Slovakia; (2) that Germany will have no claim on the property in Slovakia; (3) that the Slovak Government pay RM 500 for every Jew.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1086.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 836. Here Luther asks the (German) Minister in Pressburg to forward to the Slovak Government the conditions listed in the previous document, and he adds that another 20,000 Jews who are fit for work can now be evacuated from Slovakia and transferred to the East, the details as arranged previously.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1087.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 1068. Hunsche informs Rademacher, of the Foreign Ministry, of the details concerning the property of Slovak Jews in the German Reich and in the Protectorate that had been confiscated up to that point. There is a detailed list of clothing and other items.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1088.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 839. This is a letter from IVB4a, bearing Guenther's signature, in which he informs Rademacher that the first group of 20,000 Jews, most of them fit to work, had already been moved from Slovakia to Auschwitz and Lublin, and that on 4 May the expulsion of another 20,000 Jews to Lublin had commenced; it can be expected that henceforth 20,000-25,000 Jews from Slovakia will be moved every month. Also technical details about the implementation.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1089.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 786. This document was also shown to the Accused under No. T/37(234). This is a short letter in which the German Foreign Ministry informs the legation in Pressburg that "SS- Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann will be going to Slovakia at the end of May on behalf of the Chief of Security Police and Security Service" for the purpose of "holding talks on questions arising from the deportation of Jews from Slovakia which is now underway." This, of course, is the visit that did take place, and at the time of this visit Heydrich was killed. I wish to draw your attention to certain parts of the Accused's Statement:

His reaction to the document begins on page 2879, and on page 2880 he says that this was indeed an official visit, arrangements for which were made by Wisliceny, and that it was really a courtesy visit. Inspector Less asks: "Did you not really go there in order to discuss official business with Mach?" To which the Accused replies: "Of course we talked about all these matters, in accordance with the instructions I had from my superiors."

Next, on page 2882, Inspector Less asks: "What was the assignment you were given when you went to Pressburg." To which Eichmann replies: "As far as I remember, to discuss with Wisliceny and with the German Minister the possible evacuation of the Jews."

At this point Inspector Less draws the Accused's attention to another part of his (Eichmann's) statement, an earlier part on the fifth tape of the statement, at page 44, where the Accused says that he really went to Slovakia at that time because Wisliceny had told him "come at some time, you will see that Mach is quite a pleasant gentleman, quite a pleasant chap," and that nothing of substance had been discussed, "on matters of substance I never said anything, not to Mach either. I was in Vienna, and I took the opportunity to go to Pressburg, in order to see the German Minister there, and then, through Wisliceny, I got to see Mach. We had a friendly chat, and then he invited me to a game of skittles."

After the meal, Eichmann says, Mach told him "I have just had a report from Prague that there was an attempt made on Heydrich's life." Less shows this passage to the Accused and asks him whether he has any comment to make, to which the Accused replies: "What I have to say is the following, Inspector, Sir: ...and essentially that is what I had said earlier, and in the main it is correct, except for the reference to matters of substance."

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1090.

State Attorney Bach: At this point, Your Honours, when we have reached the moment of the attempt on Heydrich's life - to which he succumbed a few days later - I will, with the Court's permission, make a short pause in the presentation of the evidence concerning the Jews of Slovakia, and present evidence relating to Count 12 of the Charge Sheet, another tragedy, the tragedy of the children of Lidice, the children of the Czech village where, or next to which, the attempt on Heydrich's life was made.

I want to draw your attention, first, to the passage from the Accused's statement, page 3016, where Inspector Less asks the Accused: "What happened to the children from Poland, from Czechoslovakia, and from other countries, who were taken away from their parents, or whose parents had been liquidated, those children who were classified as being suitable for 're-Germanization'" (or shall we call it 'Germanization,' to make it less artificial). To which the Accused replied: "That I do not know, Inspector, Sir, that I don't know at all, that is a chapter... Was there an authority competent to deal with it?" Upon which Inspector Less asks him: "Did you have any connection at all with the Rassen- und Siedlungshauptamt (the SS Central Office for Race and Settlement)?" To which the Accused replies: "No, I never had any connection. That is why I ask myself 'suitable for re-Germanization' - did I ever - I cannot recollect any such thing."

Less then asks Eichmann what he knows about the fate of the inhabitants of Lidice, and he replies "I had nothing to do with this." And when Less asks, "Do you know what happened to some of the children?," he says "I do not know. But I had no connection with Lidice...none at all, not the slightest, nothing...not even...not even - I would say - for information only. I read about this affair - Lidice - in the main only after the War. After the War I read about Lidice." And then Less asks: "Do you know anything about transports of children, who were deported from Prague to Lodz, by the BdS, and were handed over to Krumey?" "No," is Eichmann's answer, "no, about this I know nothing."

Whereupon several documents were presented to the Accused. First, Prosecution document No. 865 - in fact, I think that this document has not yet been shown to the Accused. In this, the Main Office for Resettlement in Litzmannstadt - the office headed by Krumey - is notified of the impending arrival in Litzmannstadt, on June 12 1942, of 86 Czech children who are unsuitable for Germanization, and whose stay in Litzmannstadt will be temporary; the Litzmannstadt Security Police and the Field Office of the Security Service have been informed of the children's expected arrival by the SS Race and Settlement Main Office in Berlin. There is also a list containing the names of the children.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1091. Where does Krumey come in?

State Attorney Bach: Krumey's name does not yet appear, all I said was that this was Krumey's office. The next document already bears Krumey's signature. But the Field Office and the "Umwanderungszentralstelle (Resettlement Office) Litzmannstadt" is Krumey's office, as we shall gather from the next document.

The next document is our No. 866. Krumey informs the BdS and Prague of the arrival of 88 children on June 13 1942, and asks to find out from IVB4 what is to be done with the children. This is signed by Krumey.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1092.

State Attorney Bach: Incidentally, this document was also presented to the Accused. I will give you his reaction in a moment. It was given No. T/37(244); it was handed to the Accused together with the document I am going to present next, our No. 867, and given No. T/37(245). This is a letter from Krumey to the Head Office for Reich Security, Section IVB4, for SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann. Subject: Transfer of 88 Czech children from townlet Lidice to Lodz; Reference: Consultation with SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann (Ruecksprache mit SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann). Referring to a talk he had with Eichmann, Krumey states that 88 Czech children from the above-mentioned places arrived on June 13; that he had asked to ascertain from IVB4 what to do with the children; and that in the meantime the Race and Settlement Office had determined that seven of the children were "rueckdeutschungsfaehig" (suitable for re-Germanization), meaning that these seven could be brought back to the German race.

Krumey further adds:

"So far I have had no reply, neither from IVB4 and nor from the BdS...and I urgently request instructions on the further disposal of the children, who have been brought here without any belongings."
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1093.

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