The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 75
(Part 2 of 7)

Presiding Judge: But you did not receive a copy of the record?

Attorney General: No.

Presiding Judge: That is to say part has already been published and the second part is still to be published?

Attorney General: The record of proceedings has been published and we hope that the second part will also be published.

Judge Raveh: What is your position on the question of authentication of this record?

Attorney General: That will be a problem. But the publication is an official one; a publication of the Communist Party in Hungary may be regarded as an official publication. At any rate, let us cross this bridge when we shall have the documents before us.

Presiding Judge: That is what I would say about this entire part of your application.

Attorney General: We felt that we had no right to pass in silence over the express wish of two members of the Court, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: You did not understand me. When all this material, all these newspapers are before you - that will be the time to deal with it.

Attorney General: I am bound to say what I have to say now, before I conclude my case. And at the moment I am aware that Mr. Levai is here.

Presiding Judge: This is the part I am speaking about.

Attorney General: If the evidence of Mr. Levai is heard, the other part is no longer relevant.

Judge Halevi: I do not understand: Mr. Levai is prepared to confirm that the witness Dr. Tibor Ferencz...

Attorney General: ...had in his hands the record of his conversation with Endre and Baky and read from it years ago in Budapest. That is to say, there really was such a document and he also remembers its contents.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, I ask you to reject the application to examine the witness. The Court has been looking for the best evidence, but instead of the best evidence which is apparently not forthcoming from the Hungarian Government, a witness is produced who has written a book called The Black Days of Hungary or something like that. If all the authors of publications of this kind were to be produced as witnesses, one would have to come to the conclusion that such evidence is not trustworthy. The witness himself did not hear, he heard what someone else heard, and this is evidence which must be rejected.

Presiding Judge: I understood that he is able to testify from his own knowledge to the fact that Eichmann was mentioned at the trials of Endre and Baky.

Dr. Servatius: I do not deny this, as I cannot assume that such proceedings took place without Eichmann's name being mentioned since, after all, he negotiated with the two accused at that trial. But the important thing is what was said there. Winkelmann testified that Endre took the responsibility upon himself. The Attorney General proposes better evidence than that by the witness - the publication in a Hungarian newspaper, in the organ of the Hungarian Communist Party. But that is not a publication by the Party; it is an article by a correspondent of this newspaper so that one cannot rely on what it says, particularly since the Government has not so far forwarded the documents. I therefore ask you to reject the application for the examination of this witness.

Presiding Judge: Is this correct, Mr. Hausner, that the article in the Hungarian newspaper is a correspondent's report and not an official publication by the Party?

Attorney General: I have asked to clarify this.

Presiding Judge: Is it here, in the Courtroom?

Attorney General: It is in the building; we can look it up at once.

Presiding Judge:

Decision No. 82

We do not agree to taking the evidence of Dr. Levai at this stage. We shall not accept the publications in the newspaper of the Communist Party in Hungary without suitable authentication. If the Attorney General will still be able to obtain properly authenticated documents from Hungary, he may apply to us again on this matter.

Attorney General: With the Court's permission, I turn to another matter. We have here an expert opinion by Police Captain Pinhas Dayan, the Court Interpreter and head of the Bureau 06 team of translators concerning the terminology we used in the translation of German documents. This will be helpful to the Court in understanding our terminology in the Hebrew translations both of T/37, the Statement of the Accused, and of the other documents, attached to T/37. It is certainly not binding, but it explains why we used a certain translation for a certain passage. I ask the Court to accept Pinhas Dayan's "Expert Opinion" as well as the dictionary, or, as he calls it, the "Glossary" of Bureau 06.

Presiding Judge: Is the first document called "Expert Opinion"?

Attorney General: Yes, the first document is an expert opinion, duly signed in accordance with the Evidence Ordinance (Amendment) Law.

Presiding Judge: Does this not refer only to T/37?

Attorney General: No, this refers to all the translations originating with Bureau 06 which we have submitted.

[Dr. Servatius rises.]

The truth is that we did not give a copy of this to Counsel for the Defence since we did not think that it would help him much if he knew how we translate into Hebrew: "Referat", "Dezernat", or "im Auftrag", but if he so wishes we shall of course let him have this document as well.

Presiding Judge: I understand that this can serve only to assist us. But of course, if we should find that, to the best of our understanding, we do not agree with Mr. Dayan - it does not bind us.

Attorney General: Of course. I only wanted to explain how we arrived at this terminology, and Captain Dayan explains this in his Expert Opinion.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, what do you have to say about this?

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, I have no objection to the submission of the Expert Opinion; but as to the Glossary - to be sure I am not asking for the proceedings to be adjourned until I shall become proficient in legal Hebrew, but nevertheless I ask to be given an opportunity to consult an expert who could examine the Glossary. At any rate I ask you not to admit it as a document, except perhaps as an auxiliary instrument.

Presiding Judge:

Decision No. 83

It is decided to accept the two documents as auxiliary instruments only. We shall mark the Expert Opinion as B and the Glossary as C.

Attorney General: Now, several documents, with the permission of the Court.

Presiding Judge: What happened? Why?

Attorney General: As regards the Sassen Document, it has become clear after examination that the decision of the Court prevents us from submitting most of its substance. In accordance with the guidance we received we consulted with the Defence and after some discussion we reached an agreement on the submission of a number of passages. To my great regret these passages have shrunk to only five pages out of 716 pages we had asked to submit.

Presiding Judge: This is apart from File 17 - to ease your regret a little.

Attorney General: I spoke of 716 pages; together with File 17 that would make 790 pages. My regret is undiminished. Part of these passages which we submit by mutual agreement, were placed in a separate file because of the comments of the Accused, now called File 17, in accordance with the decision of the Court. Part of them follow from these passages, because in them there are references to one or two other passages and we agreed to include these as well.

There is one passage which we agreed to include because of a remark showing that the Accused paid special attention to it. That is to say we followed the spirit of the decision rather that its letter, and we thus arrived at an agreement about the submission of these passages.

Now I would ask the Court to guide me whether it wishes to receive these passages as retyped by us or whether it prefers to receive the original files with those passages marked. I have both - as the Court decides.

Presiding Judge: [After consultation]) We wish to receive the passages you have extracted from the document.

Attorney General: At this stage I shall submit three copies and after the Session we shall receive one more copy in German from the simultaneous translator which we shall submit to the Court to make up the set of four as usual. For the purpose of checking the translation of the passages which I shall read each member of the Court has a copy. I now beg to direct your attention to some of these passages.

Presiding Judge: From these excerpts or from the file?

Attorney General: No, only from these excerpts. The file is with the Court and we shall refer to it in our final summing- up. But with the Court's permission, we would like at this stage to direct special attention to some of these passages.

Presiding Judge: Let us mark this T/1393A.

Attorney General: Just for the Court's information, T/1393A does not contain all the passages which were admitted by the Court's decision because quite a few of them (especially on tape 19) - about which we happen to have a considerable number of comments - are of no interest in our opinion, nor in that of the Defence. There is nothing new in them. They contain biographical data about an early period in the life of the Accused in Austria, and we did not think it proper to burden the Court with an additional load of documents. We are presenting here what was found to be of interest to either of the two parties.

Presiding Judge: Does Dr. Servatius confirm that these passages were taken from the document with the consent of both parties?

Dr. Servatius: Yes, this was decided yesterday.

Attorney General: I shall direct the attention of the Court not according to the sequence you have before you, Honourable Judges - the logical sequence, so to speak, the chronological one - but according to a different order, which I shall explain at once and which is connected with the various topics discussed. I shall mention the passages in accordance with "Hagag pages." You will find them marked with "H" and a number. This is the page number given by Superintendent Hagag, the consecutive serial number for the Sassen Document.

"Question: In various publications it is expressly stated that there were two groups within the SS with regard to the persecution of the Jews. One group was represented by Himmler together with Schellenberg, while the others were those who wanted some kind of compromise solution. And then there was the other group, namely yourself, Mueller and Kaltenbrunner....

"Reply of the Accused: This is complete nonsense. I have to admit that there were two groups within the SS, if you like - even three groups, namely: in the Security Police there was (here there is a break in the original text), Mueller, the Head of the Security Police Heydrich and the Reichsfuehrer. The second group was actually composed only of Schellenberg. To what extent Schellenberg was perhaps also thinking of another solution - this was never expressed to me. Nor did I ever hear anything like this, or to what extent he activated the Jews for his own purposes in the intelligence service. He did use them quite a lot in the intelligence service and we, on our part, did not put obstacles in his way.

The third group were those nicknamed the 'parlor officers' of the SS who wore white gloves so to speak, and who did not want to be involved in the matter. Wolff could be regarded as one of these and I had a clash with him once. Yes, I clashed with him so badly that the matter went all the way to the Reichsfuehrer, because I wanted to challenge Wolff to a duel, but I was not permitted to do so.

"Question: Why did you want to challenge him to a duel?

"Reply: Because he made a pig of me over the telephone, although I was right, because in one particular case I acted exactly in accordance with the Reichsfuehrer's instructions. But he wanted to give that Jew an exceptional status, an exceptional status which could not be obtained under any circumstance, because there was nothing upon which to base the granting of special status in this case. Of course, personally, I should gladly have agreed because, with such masses, the individual no longer counted, but I was not free to do this because of my lawyers, who had to supervise these instructions meticulously. And I was not free to do it vis-a-vis my Hauptsturmfuehrers, who were abroad and who also had to observe these instructions.

"If I had made an exception not covered by the orders of the Reichsfuehrer such a decision would have caused an avalanche and, as a result, I would have an avalanche of troubles around me in no time, aided by many German officers which were in any case lying in wait to intervene, and aided by the efforts of Jewry itself. It would all have turned out into a pigsty and no pig could have found its way about any more. In the end the result would even have been deportations of Jews who were not supposed to have been deported under the regulations.

But once carried out, such deportations could have led to foreign policy complications, to difficulties for the Reich leadership, as actually happened several times. But here it would have been on a global scale, the whole thing would have blown up and turned into a first-class disgrace - not for me but for the central authorities of the Reich.

"This is why I had to take a contrary stand in this case; and when he told me that I was an SS- Obersturmbannfuehrer but he (Wolff) was an SS- Obergruppenfuehrer, I replied: 'Indeed, I know, Obergruppenfuehrer, but may I point out that you are talking to the Secret State Police, to a Head of Section of the Secret Police, to Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann.'

"Question: About when was this? "Answer: This must have been about 1943."

The next passage is on page 223. Preceding the passage I shall read out there is a discussion about whether it was possible that Krumey and Wisliceny circumvented Eichmann's instructions and in this connection the trial of Krumey, which was then, and still is, pending in Frankfurt, is mentioned. And this is what the Accused said:
"Answer: If this was as you have just described it and if indeed the combination of events was like this - then I must say: theoretically, if there was a conspiracy between Wisliceny and Krumey at that time..."
Presiding Judge: Here it says: Grumey.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.