The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 72
(Part 4 of 8)


Attorney General: I shall gladly do so, Your Honour. We made far greater efforts than this in connection with the present trial. I am simply expressing my opinion regarding the attempt to determine the number on the basis of these data. The numbers submitted by the two young men - with all due respect to their courage, their heroism, and their fulfilment of the national mission which they imposed upon themselves - these numbers cannot serve, so I contend, as a guide to the Court. They did not have any opportunity of determining - apart from a very slight assumption - from hearsay, how many people were exterminated at Auschwitz. And if we hear from Rudolf Hoess more or less how many people were killed at Auschwitz, that is far more authoritative, in my opinion. If we hear what Eichmann said - albeit not directly from his words, but through Rudolf Hoess - this, in my opinion, is much more authoritative and much closer to the correct figure than the one mentioned by these two young men who were not in a position to calculate it, except upon the basis of rumours circulating in the camp.

Despite all this, I am perfectly prepared to make the attempt to secure and present to the Court an additional affidavit which will explain the differences between the numbers appearing in the body of the report and those appearing in the table.

Presiding Judge: In order to close this matter in the meantime: The report of Dr. Karmil will not be submitted, for the present. If Dr. Servatius wishes to submit it, he can do so at the defence stage. If he will suggest submitting a portion of it - we shall consider the matter.

The Attorney General was requested by my colleague, Judge Halevi, to obtain an additional affidavit. If you make a request to submit such an affidavit, the entire Court will consider whether or not to admit such an affidavit. This always applies, obviously, to any request by each one of us.

And, with regard to this last document, we shall now have to decide whether to admit it or not.

We shall not, at this stage, admit this last report, which is based upon the report of the two young Slovakians, since the Court is aware that you have available more direct evidence than the accounts of these two young men.

Decision No. 74

We have decided not to admit this document, since the Prosecution has available more direct testimony, namely in the American report.

Attorney General: Now that this document has not been admitted, I shall, of course, find out whether it is possible to comply with the request of His Honour, Judge Halevi, and if I should succeed, I shall raise the question anew before the Court.

Judge Halevi: This may also, perhaps, dispose of Dr. Servatius' objections. If that will be submitted, it is perhaps likely to remove his objections.

Presiding Judge: You have one further possibility - to sit down together and to attempt, both of you together, to examine what is stated there, how it came about. That also happens sometimes.

Attorney General: We shall also try that. But there is no difficulty in asking for an affidavit from London.

The next document is our No. 731. This is an order of the Head Office for Reich Security concerning women prisoners in the concentration camps - a concentration camp for prisoners of the female sex. The order is given that, from now on, all the women are to be transferred to Auschwitz and are no longer to be directed to Ravensbrueck. And, at the end: "All demands regarding transfers, releases, demands for reports on behaviour, etc. about prisoners who were imprisoned in Auschwitz shall no longer be sent to the commandant of the concentration camp at Ravensbrueck, but to the commandant of the concentration camp at Auschwitz."

I would ask you to note that the order goes to all the Sections of Department IV, not of the Economic- Administrative Main Office that has nothing to do with it; it does not issue the order, it is not addressed to it, but is directed specifically to the local headquarters of the state police, to the commandants of the Security Police and the SD, and to all the Sections of Department IV, for they are the ones concerned with transfers, releases, and so on.

Presiding Judge: Does it come from IVC2?

Attorney General: Yes, that office issued the order.

Presiding Judge: Who was that?

Attorney General: "Schutzhaeftlinge" (prisoners in protective custody).

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1359.

Attorney General: Our document No. 1591 is a letter from the Accused's Section, which then was then designated IVD4. It appears that the Foreign Ministry approached the Accused's Section concerning two Christian men, bearers of Spanish nationality, who wanted to adopt a Jewish girl, and the Spanish consulate in Berlin intervened on this matter. Guenther, the Accused's deputy, says that it is clear the adoption is nothing but a fraudulent trick ("ein juedisches Schwindelmanoever"), in order to allow this Jewess to be saved and to leave for abroad. Accordingly, the application is rejected, and he merely advises that the girl is in the family camp (Familien-Lager) in Birkenau, near Auschwitz.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1360.

Attorney General: Our document No. 1036 is a notification which the Foreign Ministry or, more correctly, the Press Department of the Foreign Ministry sent to Eichmann on 27 June 1944, in which it reports that the Czech Government broadcast from Radio London on the subject of the murder of three thousand Czech Jews in Birkenau, and the Czech Government issues a warning that it will act with the full severity of the law against all persons having any connection with this blood-bath. Von Thadden forwards this item to Eichmann for his information, and asks him to pass on material for the purpose of a propaganda rebuttal of this contention. Eichmann was the one who had to supply the Foreign Ministry with replies to broadcasts such as these.

Presiding Judge: The document will be marked T/1361.

Attorney General: With this, we have come to the end of documents of this kind. And now, I should like to ask the Court to admit a document which is an interrogation by the German prosecution of a man by the name of Georg Michelson.

Presiding Judge: West German?

Attorney General: West German. Georg Michelson is now in prison in Hamburg, and he was accused of offences in connection with the deportation of Jews from the Lublin and Warsaw zones. His interrrogation here is authenticated by one of the State Attorneys of West Germany, Mr. Dietrich Zweig, who now lives in Jerusalem - he questioned the man.

Presiding Judge: Where is Michelson?

Attorney General: Michelson is under arrest in Hamburg, and his interrogator has made an affidavit that this was the interrogation. I ask the Court to use its authority under Section 15, for the following reasons:

The evidence has probative value, since Michelson handled deportations; he dealt with Jewish affairs in the zone of the Generalgouvernement. He was a Hauptsturmfuehrer of the SS; he describes in great detail, the operations in the Warsaw Ghetto, the Warsaw Ghetto revolt, the visit of Eichmann to Warsaw in July-August 1942, in connection with the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto, about the fact that Eichmann was present at the time of the transport of the Jews from Warsaw.

If the Court will recollect the Accused's contention that he had no connection with the fate of the Jews in the Generalgouvernement, as he maintains in his statement that this was Frank's domain with which he had no connection, then this evidence is of great value. From the point of view of its content, it has probative value; from the point of view of its credibility - there is no reason to question it, since the matter cannot be of any assistance to Michelson if when describing his connection with all those who dealt with Jewish questions, he also mentions Eichmann's name.

Presiding Judge: When was Michelson's statement made?

Attorney General: On 21 January 1961, in Hamburg.

Judge Raveh: Was it made under oath?

Attorney General: He was interrogated in a police investigation.

Judge Raveh: But not under oath?

Attorney General: Not under oath; on oath, we have the confirmation by Mr. Zweig that the statement was made as a police statement - a record of an interrogation in the office of the Prosecutor General in the Court of the "Land".

Presiding Judge: When did this come into your possession?

Attorney General: This reached us on 5 June 1961.

Dr. Servatius: I object to the submission of this document, according to the general principle of submitting the best evidence. After all, the witness is available, and it is possible to question him. Indeed, the Prosecutor General says that he questioned him. With all due respect to the Prosecution and its argument that the German prosecution provides one of the best defences for the Accused, sometimes there are people who take a different view. For example, there is a general principle that defence counsel must be present at the interrogation of the accused. This principle is not recognized by the current German law. The Accused was questioned by a member of the Prosecution without Defence Counsel being present. Hence, in my opinion, we have to examine this witness and to put questions to him particularly on this point.

Presiding Judge: We shall give our decision on this matter after the recess.

Attorney General: Does the Court wish to see this document before taking a decision?

Presiding Judge: You have more or less given us its content.

Attorney General: I did so very briefly. It contains many details about the relationship of the person examined with various Nazis who were active in Jewish affairs in Poland, and these names keep coming up repeatedly in our documents.

Presiding Judge: I think this time there is no need for that. You have indicated along general lines what it contains, and that is sufficient for us.

Attorney General: I pass on to another chapter, known as the "Collection of Skeletons at Strasbourg." The SS set up a foundation whose name was "Ahnenerbe" (Ancestral Heritage). We have here a report on the establishment of the foundation. With the Court's permission, I shall submit the other copies after the recess. This is our document No. 791. This is just by way of introduction.

Presiding Judge: Who drew up the report?

Attorney General: This is a copy of the deed establishing the "Ahnenerbe." It was NO in the Doctors' Trial, in the Brandt case.

Judge Halevi: Is it a German document?

Attorney General: Yes. This is merely by way of introduction. I want to show what it was. The function of the institution was to examine the area of operation, the spirit, the acts and the traditions of the Indo-German group. I shall substitute for the Court a clean page for the one on which there are notation marks, immediately after the recess.

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/1362.

Attorney General: As the Court will notice, Sievers was in charge of the institution. On 9 February 1942, Sievers wrote to SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Dr. Brandt, who was the chief doctor of the SS, that "within the framework of the investigations of the Foundation for Research into the Ancestral Heritage, it would be desirable to obtain skulls of Jewish Bolshevist Commissars." That is our document No. 46.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, merely in order to avoid confusion, the "Ancestral Heritage" was a foundation which was headed by Himmler. It was his personal hobby to conduct all kinds of researches. Furthermore, there has been reference here to Dr. Brandt, who was mentioned in the Doctors' Trial. There were two men with the name of Dr. Brandt - one was Victor Brandt, an official of the Reichskanzlei (Reich Chancellery), and the other, Professor Karl Brandt, who does not appear in this context.

Attorney General: I thank you for your explanation. Attached to the letter is a minute dealing with the collection of skulls. It says there that collections of skulls of all races and peoples already exist. But there are only a few skulls of Jews available to science.

"We have a chance to acquire actual scientific knowledge through the acquisition of the skulls of Jewish Bolshevist Commissars, who embody the type of repulsive, but characteristic, sub-humans."
There is reference to the manner of operation by which the head must be severed from the body, immersed in preserving liquid, and sent to its destination in well-closed metal containers, which would have to be specially prepared for this purpose.

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/1363. By whom is this document signed?

Attorney General: Sievers, the Geschaeftsfuehrer (director) of the Ahnenerbe - according to the previous document. We do not know how this matter of the skulls continued, but we hear again from Dr. Sievers at the end of 1942, when he writes to Dr. Brandt on 2 November 1942, and asks him for one hundred and fifty skeletons of Jews from the Auschwitz concentration camp. He says it will be necessary for the Head Office for Reich Security - I emphasize this - to receive the confirmation of the Reichsfuehrer-SS to effectuate the matter, and he adds: "I attach a draft letter to the RSHA." The draft letter which Sievers suggests that Dr. Brandt should send is addressed to Eichmann.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/1364. Does No. 46 consist of two documents?

Attorney General: No. 46 consists of all this correspondence. Therefore, I was obliged to split it up into sections. I would request that our number be disregarded, since I was unable to submit all of it together.

Presiding Judge: I request an extra copy of T/1364, the letter, together with the draft.

Attorney General: And, indeed, Brandt took action and on 6 November 1942, sent Eichmann a letter worded as Sievers suggested to him.

Presiding Judge: Here, too, I request an extra copy.

Attorney General: The Court will pardon me for certain written notes on this copy. In our files, we have only four copies ready, not five.

Presiding Judge: You have just given us three.

Attorney General: Now I have given you four.

Presiding Judge: On that we can agree. There ought to be one more there. You gave me, as an additional copy of T/1364, a part of this document. Please give me now one further copy of the letter dated 2 November 1942.

Attorney General: Pardon me once again for the written notes.

Presiding Judge: It ought to be there.

Attorney General: Does the Court now have everything?

Presiding Judge: The letter dated 6 November 1942, will be marked T/1365. Now everything is in order.

Attorney General: The next document is No. 46. Perhaps it would really be as well, as my colleague points out to me, to inform the Court that Brandt writes to Eichmann that the Reichsfuehrer had issued an order to give the director of the Institute of Anatomy at Strasbourg, SS - Hauptsturmfuehrer Professor Dr. Hirt, who was also the director of the Research Institute of Applied Military Science in the office of the Ahnenerbe, everything he required for his researches. "On behalf of the Reichsfuehrer-SS, I hereby request you to make possible the establishment of the planned collection of skeletons. With regard to the details, SS-Obersturmfuehrer Sievers will get in touch with you."

Presiding Judge: A further copy of the Hebrew translation, please.

Attorney General: Very well.

Presiding Judge: There is only the Hebrew copy here. What is happening? Is it because it was all included in one document...?

Attorney General: Does the Court need the document of 1 November?

Presiding Judge: No. This, here, is a translation of the documents which you have so far submitted.

Attorney General: Yes.

Presiding Judge: We need this as well.

Attorney General: That is there. Here is the translation.

Presiding Judge: If you please.


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