The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 72
(Part 7 of 8)

Presiding Judge: It says here "Bands".

Attorney General: That is what the tape is called in the transcript itself - tape 1, tape 2, and he followed the pattern of the transcript. As I have said, Inspector Hagag found that all the printed material was typed on these typewriters. The greater part is typed on two machines, and only one page on the third. Hence, we can, from a practical point of view, ignore the third machine, at least for the time being.

His conclusion is that all the handwritten material, comprising eighty-three pages, is identical with the Accused's handwriting, in accordance with the opinion which is already in the Court file, or, more accurately, there are two opinions - one of 10 April 1961 and the other of 17 June 1961. He compared the handwriting which I gave him from the transcripts, those eighty-three pages, and found that it was the Accused's handwriting, basing himself on the handwriting he had received from Bureau 06 - that is document T/36. T/36 is the affidavit of Inspector Hagag, in which he identified the Accused's handwriting; Inspector Hagag finds that all the material written in handwriting in File 17 - as we shall call it, for the sake of convenience - consisting of eighty-three pages, was written by the Accused.

Inspector Hagag finds further, on the strength of the indications that he mentions in his opinion, that the various alterations which appear in the transcript, both those parts that were typed on the one machine and those typed on the second machine - and there are eighty-six of these, which he can identify with confidence - were made in the handwriting of the Accused. There is a further substantial number of alterations, on which Inspector Hagag will testify, that provide him with data for identification, but he cannot be certain in determining the identity of the handwriting. In these, there are no counterindications concerning the Accused's handwriting.

In order to complete the picture, I would say that in a number of places some other handwriting appears - in a few places only - not in order to change the text, but, as is evident, in order to supplement what was said, either because the words were not properly recorded or because the typeprint was not good enough; this is not an alteration, but supplementary, and in a few places only.

In order to convince the Court also by other means that this document, indeed, came from the Accused's hand...

Presiding Judge: Is this a typed document with handwritten alterations?

Attorney General: With handwritten alterations and, in part, on eighty-six pages, written fully by hand.

Judge Halevi: Does all this appear in the photographs?

Attorney General: All this is in the photographs; we do not have the originals - only photostats.

The name of the Accused appears very frequently in the course of the conversation which develops between the speaker and himself. The speaker is mentioned three times; once in what we read on tape No. 12 on page 2, as "Kamerad S.," in tape No. 27 on page 5, as "Kamerad Sassen," and in tape No. 28 on page 3 again as "Kamerad Sassen."

Judge Halevi: How is the Accused refrred to?

Attorney General: "Eichmann".

Judge Halevi: In second person, or in what way?

Attorney General: In the course of the conversation, he turns to him: "Eichmann, what do you say about that?" and similar words, several times. The single page printed on another typewriter, the third, the sole verification for which I ask you to accept as well, since it is in the context and connection with the words contained in the whole transcript.

Judge Halevi: Is that amongst various pages, or is it at the end of something?

Attorney General: No, it is at the end of the tape. But it is the continuation of what precedes, and the Court will note, if it cares to peruse the material before taking a decision, that everything revolves all the time around the same subject. The Court will recall that the Accused, in his interrogation in Bureau 06, acknowledges that he had, in fact, conducted this conversation, part of which was published in Life, but - so he maintained then - the extracts in Life were taken from various sources, and, hence, the context of what was said does not represent his correct version.

Presiding Judge: On what page does it appear?

Attorney General: The Court will find it in the evidence of Inspector Less and the Accused's reactions to the article in Life. We shall presently identify it. I think that on three occasions, he gave Inspector Less his response to the article in Life.

Presiding Judge: The magazine is marked T/47, the Accused's remarks T/48, and the supplementary replies T/49, T/50 and T/51.

Attorney General: We did not content ourselves with a formal examination and endeavoured to make an internal comparative analysis. We have a comparison of a substantial number of places.

Presiding Judge: According to the contents?

Attorney General: According to the contents of the items which appear in this document, which we shall call, for the sake of convenience, the "Sassen Document" - as compared with the comments that were made in the interrogation in Bureau 06. This is, after all, circumstantial evidence, and the Court will find that in a large number of places, the Accused repeats in Bureau 06 the statements appearing in the transcript. I would not say that he always repeats himself - there are deviations, there are many deviations. But there are characteristic expressions in reply to certain matters, which are identical in his statement at Bureau 06 to what we found in the material. A comparison of these statements, the one against the other, as carried out by us, constitutes in our opinion, most important corroborative proof that what we have before us - also from the point of view of content - is to be identified as a document of the Accused.

The material as a whole, all that we have here, concerns the activity of the Accused during the period of his tenure of office in the Third Reich. It includes various autobiographical elements.

Judge Raveh: Do the written pages correspond in some way to the printed ones?

Attorney General: Yes, it is the same subject, Your Honour. The subject is Eichmann's work.

Judge Raveh: But, in a more formal manner, is there any reference?

Attorney General: No, I don't think so.

Judge Raveh: Apparently there are some tapes missing here.

Attorney General: Five tapes.

Judge Raveh: It is quite obvious that there is an interval in the tapes.

Attorney General: Each tape contains exchanges on the same subject. Sometimes the words are repeated again, and even for a third time. There is no method running through from the beginning to the end; I could not discover any system in these conversations which, as was said there, was to have served as material on which Sassen and Eichmann were to publish together a book on his activity in the Third Reich, although there are several details where Eichmann says: "This you may publish after my death, not in my lifetime."

Judge Raveh: Is it clear when it was compiled?

Attorney General: Certainly; it is possible to establish the date precisely. It was written in 1956-1957, since it talks of twelve or thirteen years after the end of the War. They express themselves on a Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, and Eichmann states his opinion about the proceedings of the congress. We know when that took place. The conversations were held according to what appears in the transcripts themselves over a number of months - four months, it says here. This was not one continuous conversation, but there were various conversations. There are also comments by Eichmann in writing - what he calls "Bemerkungen am Rande" (marginal notes). Occasionally, there are also times when the participants leave a particular topic for further elucidation, and that is specified in writing. In the tapes of Bureau 06...

Presiding Judge: When the word written here is "Band" at the top of each page, does that mean the number of the tape?

Attorney General: Yes, the number of the tape is recorded, apart from the two first pages. I think that they are marked "AA".

Now, if I may be permitted to remind the Court, in Eichmann's statement this matter is mentioned twice. On page 3191 - there are two places, we shall quote them presently - where in his statement to us, Eichmann says that he had already spoken on that subject in Buenos Aires. This is actually here, on page 3191: "Da will es mir scheinen, dass ich dem Betreffenden mit dem ich diese Sache auch abgesprochen hatte, in Buenos Aires ueber diesen Fall gesprochen habe" (It seems to me that I have spoken about this case to the person concerned, the person with whom I also discussed this matter in Buenos Aires). He remembers that he discussed this matter in Buenos Aires.

On page 397 - I would be grateful to the Court if it would check the accuracy of the quotation: "Und ich sprach auch jetzt erst wieder mit Mildner, vor ungefaehr drei Jahren, mag's her sein, und habe diese Sache zerpfluckt in Anwesenheit von einem gewissen Herrn Sassen, der akkreditierter, wie sagt man hier, `Journalist' in der Regierung drueben war" (I have now spoken once again with Mildner. This could have been three years ago. I explored this matter in all its details in the presence of a certain Mr. Sassen, who was an accredited - how do you call it - journalist in the government over there). Is that the page?

Presiding Judge: Yes, 397.

Attorney General: On the basis of these data, which I am ready to prove: (a) the identification of the handwriting and of the alterations; (b) the identification of the general content of the subject matter with which the transcript deals; (c) the identification of several details which in his interrogation in Bureau 06 he repeats in the same style, sometimes using identical expressions, with that which appears in the transcript; the Accused's reply to the article which was published in Life, where he did not deny that it had actually represented part of the discussions he had held, although he does not describe these conversations accurately; the fact that all the transcripts describe the Accused's activities, as has already been established in this trial, and as he himself has admitted - that his Section IVB4 is mentioned dozens of times as "my Section" - I ask the Court, after all this will have been proved, to admit the transcript as evidence, to allow the material in our possession to be accepted as a statement by the Accused, which is admissible in evidence, since it was not given to a person in authority, as a statement made out of Court, in respect of which I do not have to prove that it was given voluntarily or not induced by threats.

Judge Raveh: That means you are not relying on Section 15 of the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law?

Attorney General: I think I do not have to, I do not need it, having regard to the comparative material in my possession, I think I do not need Section 15. I think that the material is admissible as evidence, authenticated in this way, in any criminal trial.

Judge Raveh: Do you maintain that Section 37(2) of the Trial Upon Information Ordinance applies here?

Attorney General: Certainly.

Judge Raveh: But the requirements of this section...

Attorney General: Have been complied with. That is to say, it originates with the Accused.

Judge Raveh: Have you compared the wording of this section?

Attorney General: I remember it.

Judge Raveh: It contains something very restrictive concerning the manner of proving a statement by an accused person.

Attorney General: Yes, certainly. It states there that if we wish to prove an accused person's statement before a "person in authority"...

Presiding Judge: No - perhaps we should read the section.

Judge Raveh: Perhaps it would be worthwhile to compare the text.

Attorney General: It is the Evidence Ordinance and the Trial Upon Information Ordinance.

Judge Raveh: It is the Trial Upon Information Ordinance" - I think it is Section 37(2).

Attorney General: Yes.

[Quotes Section 37(2) of the Criminal Procedure (Trial Upon Information) Ordinance.]* {*"A statement made by an accused person otherwise than during the preliminary enquiry may be proved by the evidence of a person who heard the statement made: If the statement has been reduced to writing and signed or otherwise attested by the accused, it shall be proved by the evidence of the person who was present at the time and heard the statement made and saw the accused sign or otherwise attest the statement"} That is to say, whoever heard or saw him signing, and so on. I have never thought that this section is the only one to validate a written statement by the Accused. I believe that if I were to find in the home of an accused person - let us take an example far removed from our present case - if I were to find a sketch made in his handwriting, and if I can prove that this is his handwriting, a sketch of a place where a crime has been committed, or of a place where a robbery was committed the next day, of which the accused person is suspected, and in a search of his home this sketch is found - this sketch is admissible evidence. I am able to show the circumstances in which it was discovered and which point to the fact that the sketch, indeed, originates with the accused person.

Judge Raveh: That means that this is not the only means of proof - is that what you maintain?

Attorney General: This is what I am arguing. It is not exhaustive.

Presiding Judge: Has anyone checked whether any judgment exists relating to this section - some authority for what you have just stated?

Judge Raveh: Perhaps it is worthwhile to go into that question some time.

Attorney General: I think there is.

Presiding Judge: I do not remember that. This is one of the neglected sections, one of those which are most important, but which are generally overlooked.

Attorney General: I think there is [an authority on the question]; perhaps we could hear whether Defence Counsel has anything to say on the subject of submitting the document. Perhaps we could save ourselves some time.

Judge Raveh: Perhaps you will show the section also to Dr. Servatius?

Attorney General: Certainly.

Judge Halevi: I, for my part, am not certain that this section applies to the statement of a person made before he is charged. It may be that this section applies only to accused persons making statements, for example, to the police. It says specifically "not made before an examining magistrate," how to prove other statements of an accused person, but only after he has the status of an accused person.

Attorney General: Is this what Your Honour is referring to? Or to the way conversations of a prisoner in prison are proved, after he is in prison and one of the prisoners reports on what he has heard him saying.

Presiding Judge: Then Section 37 will apply.

Attorney General: I ask: Is Your Honour, Judge Halevi, referring to such cases?

Judge Halevi: I am referring, first of all, to the recording of an accused person's statement to the police. This can in general be divided into two parts - orally and in writing. But it means all kinds of oral and written statements of a person who has the status of an accused, and not of a person who is accused today, but whose statement, at the time he made it, was made after the offence attributed to him had been committed, but before he was charged at all. That is to say, the document being considered here was drawn up in the interim period, during the years that lapsed between the commission of the offences attributed to him and his becoming an accused. I do not know whether Section 37(2) applies at all to statements made in this interim period. In other words, if we regard this section as an exhaustive and restrictive one, I would have to consider whether this restriction applies to an interim period such as this.

Attorney General: If Your Honour would allow me, with great respect, to give an example for strengthening this view: A letter of an accused person to his accomplice in crime would certainly be proper evidence, even if no one saw him writing this letter. It would, nevertheless, be possible to make this letter evidence, if, in fact, the offence was committed in pursuance of a criminal conspiracy which such a letter created. I believe that there has never been any doubt on this point.

Judge Halevi: A letter to his accomplice in crime after the crime was committed?

Attorney General: No - before the crime was committed.

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