The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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

Dr. Servatius: It goes on - it says there "monthly discussion of all the departments involved" (Hinckel). What does this mean?

Accused: To my regret I must repeat something by way of explanation. I said that everyone certainly wanted the most rapid emigration, but the central authorities did not create the requisite conditions to enable this to take place. At that time I gave this matter much thought, and came to the conclusion that if monthly sessions were arranged at which the difficulties to be overcome were discussed so that the various central authorities could work together of their own accord, and work out either legislative or purely administrative ways of eliminating these difficulties, then the work of both participating departments could be much freer of friction, smoother and better.

Presiding Judge: Who is Hinckel?

Accused: Hinckel was Reich cultural administrator in the Reich Ministry of Propaganda, and was one of the few who at least cared about emigration to the extent that he was ready to do what he could within the framework of his official responsibilities not to restrict emigration, but to promote it. That is why I wanted to cite here the wish of the then Reich cultural counsellor Hinckel as an example.

Dr. Servatius: Finally there is still a remark about territories (Madagascar).

What prompted you to make this note?

Accused: Any solution had to be a half-measure, not only for the countries from which the Jews emigrated, but also for the countries to which the Jews went, and finally, and most important, for the Jews themselves. At that time I had, as I already have said, read The Jewish State and recognized that this theme was the only one and most important thing* {*Literally: "The egg of Columbus" - [simple solution to a seemingly complex problem]}

- to put the Jews on their feet in their own land, and with this all the difficulties would automatically be averted. These thoughts which I had at that time, which I express here in brief - telegraphically - induced me to propose this as a further means of solution, and it seemed to me to be the only means of solution that would be possible at all. I put Madagascar in parenthesis here because I said to myself at that time...I remembered at that time that even Herzl in his book, though reluctant to depart from Palestine, gave his consent to Madagascar as a temporary emergency solution, despite the difficulties he faced within his own Zionist circle. Thus that was, I would just like to say, a brief reference or short reminder to myself that despite difficulties, some country, though temporary at first, no matter which, was necessary; the main thing was that one would have soil under one's feet. That was the significance of this note at point 3.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to exhibit T/115, document No. 505. That is a telegram from London, a telegram from the Secretary of State Kennedy to the State Department in Washington.

Presiding Judge: Not the State Department, but the Embassy, the Ambassador, isn't that so?

Dr. Servatius: Secretary of State.

Presiding Judge: Secretary of State is the address. You said of the Secretary of State. All right that is not important.

Dr. Servatius: I understand it in that way, but it is not essential. In any case, a written note from Kennedy in which is reported Ribbentrop's attitude regarding Jewish emigration. From this document it is evident that the greatest difficulties were made regarding capital. In addition, it is evident that on the part of the English, there was definitely a willingness to be accommodating as regards negotiations about Jewish emigration, but this then miscarried because of Ribbentrop's impossible attitude. I would like at this point to read this passage.

Presiding Judge: Is that not also parallel to T/110 to which you have previously referred? That is the way I understand it.

Dr. Servatius: It is also marked T/115; it is possible that there is a mixup here.

Presiding Judge: There we have a conversation with the British ambassador and here a conversation with the American ambassador.

Dr. Servatius: A report is given about it, and here it says that Berenger communicated to London that things look very bad regarding emigration and then it says, I'm reading the English text here: "Ribbentrop, when pressed, had said to Bonnet that the Jews in Germany without exception were pickpockets, murderers and thieves. The property they possess had been acquired illegally."

Will the witness explain whether he became acquainted more intimately with the attitude of Ribbentrop during the time he worked in Department IV...moved in this direction?

Accused: In this direction really only in the case of preparing Horthy for the Hungarian affair, and one could perhaps refer to Denmark. But for the rest, this whole affair becomes [clear] when one reads the many documents available here.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I come to another section, to the rules for correspondence and the distribution of work. First exhibit T/94, document No. 1241. Please refer to page 9 here. There under 6, directions are given for the handling of mail arrivals; there is a special reception point.

I have a question to the witness: what is the significance of "for SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann" on the documents?

Accused: Exclusively a reference for the convenience of the permanent staff at the central reception office, who were enabled to expedite the matter because of the name. It had no influence at all in any practical decision-making sense. As a rule next to the name was a designation, using mine, as an example: "Eichmann OVIA"* {*Abbreviation in German for "oder Vertreter im Amt"} or "his representative in the Department." This was essentially for expediting; it meant nothing more.

Dr. Servatius: Exhibit T/96, document No. 919. This deals with a document concerning the creation of the Head Office for Reich Security by consolidating previously separated offices. It is noteworthy because of the last page, point 3. This refers to the Geschaeftsverteilungsplan (Office work plan). The plan follows immediately. It reveals that the so- called special post and special offices are not provided for in the distribution plan. Therefore I present the document.

Presiding Judge: I do not see that from paragraph 3 which you have just cited.

Dr. Servatius: On the last page it says thirdly: The jurisdiction of the Head Office for Reich Security, their subdivision into Groups (Gruppen) and Sections (Referate) will be determined by the Geschaeftsverteilungsplan.

Presiding Judge: I find nothing here about what you have read out. There is nothing at all about "Special Division." That is what I wanted to say.

Dr. Servatius: It comes presently in the next document, in the scheme itself. I now have exhibit T/170, document No. 1398. This document of 21 December 1939 concerns a special Referat (Section Head), and the Section is transferred to Eichmann.

Will the witness explain the circumstances of the establishment of this special Section which was transferred to him?

Accused: Himmler was made Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Folkdom around this time. The first orders were issued by him, and the result was chaos in the schedule in the technical respect; the negotiations with local railroad authorities and with the Reich Transport Ministry did not work out. The co-operation of the service departments was non-existent; the individual Gauleiters issued orders on their own; the Higher SS and Police Leaders used orders which their superior Himmler had issued. In short, everyone did as he pleased, and those who suffered were the evacuees - Pole or Jew. For the transport trains remained standing for days at the stations owing to delays and hitches.

This was in itself the external motive which caused Heydrich, then Chief of the Security Police of the Security Service, to set up a special section which was responsible for the co-ordination and, above all, the drawing up of regular and orderly schedules in co-operation with the Reich Transport Ministry. But when a special section has been set up one cannot print immediately. For this reason a new office was set up, a new work plan, so as to impart to the section its planned official designation.

Thus, such a section remains a special section till a new office work plan is put into circulation, and the pertinent post is made available by the main personnel office and the local personnel office respectively. And then the special section head becomes a normal section head according to the plan.

This is not the custom in Germany alone - I recall, by way of illustration, in reference to the production of the atom bomb that in the United States of North America there were hundreds of special departments and these special departments were in part incorporated into the regular internal administration, and in part were dissolved as special departments only after having completed their assignment.

Dr. Servatius: We now come to the office work plan itself, exhibit T/647, 1488,*{*Prosecution document No. 1588} scheme of 1 February 1940. Please turn to the next to the last page. There we find the group called IVD, that is the later Group IVB.

Is what we have here the transition of the short special Section into the regular Section?

Accused: Yes, Sir. The special Section incorporated as IVB4, to take effect from 5 February 1940, into the planned structure of the Section of Department IV, or of the Secret State Police Department, as it was called.

Dr. Servatius: The Jewish Section was not included in your Section in this plan, is this correct?

Accused: In regard to Jews, I had to fulfil, at that time, only those obligations connected with emigration. This is why the Section is designated "Emigration and Evacuation." As regards emigration - this was to be understood as referring to the Jewish sector, and regarding evacuation - the reference was the area of responsibility of the then Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Folkdom, the position to which Himmler was appointed; that is to say, the evacuation of Jews and Poles from the Eastern German Territories newly annexed to the Reich at that time - as Hitler and Himmler had ordered - and in this respect merely with regard to timetables, that is to say, in regard to transport technicalities.

Dr. Servatius: The next is T/99, document No. 36, an additional office work plan of 1 March 1941. On page 16, Group IVB is subdivided in greater detail. Under IVB, Group Head Eichmann, are listed Jewish Affairs and Evacuation Matters.

Will the witness explain how this expansion of his Section came about?

Accused: In the course of the progressive centralization efforts conditioned by events during the War, all Jewish matters were incorporated in the Section which the old schedule designated as "Emigration and Evacuation," namely my Section - that is all obligations, to the extent that they were of importance for Department IV. This was not perhaps, as is erroneously believed sometimes, for the Head Office for Reich Security. In this case I had to deal with all Jewish matters pertaining to Department IV. For Department IV of the Head Office for Reich Security, I became the official dealing with these matters.

Nevertheless, an autonomous treatment of this question by an administrator within a single office was impossible in this case, since the problem was not decided only within the competence of that office. These problems were dealt with jointly, co-operatively, or with the participation as well of other administrative sections of Department IV, as well as the co-operation of the offices among themselves. And in this case, as in all cases, the director of Department IV retained the right to issue instructions and orders in detail, as is clear and indisputably evident from the depositions of witnesses.

One sees in this office work plan, by way of example, the obligations of Department I. Here, the entire personnel matters of the Head Office for Reich Security were dealt with. On page 6 of this office work plan, criminal matters relating to the service, and disciplinary matters of both administrative departments for members of the Head Office for Reich Security, are likewise specified. They, together with their office chief, as a rule, came under the SS police jurisdiction. Department II, appearing on page 7 deals in its chief office with the central registration of all incoming and outgoing items. It was responsible for the central card file, the mail reception center, the post for opening and marking, the entire security set-up - regardless of whether it was for the main building or the adjoining ones.

When I said previously that the administrative Section IVB4 was only subordinate to Department IV, then my remarks are substantiated on page 8 by the relevant unit division of the office of the Main Department IIa, that is to say, first of all IIa2 - Legislation - members of this administrative department, the members are named in a series of documents; moreover administrative department IIa5 was here responsible for establishing cases of the most extreme form of hostility to the State - seizure of property and deprivation of German citizenship - hence areas which at the time were still being handled in Department II; later on in a subsequent office work plan these areas were incorporated in my administrative Section. They were dealt with for the longest time by an entirely different Department and not by Department IV. On page...

Dr. Servatius: I believe it is not necessary to take a position in regard to every single point. But it is probably essential to explain something of the position of the Department Chief Mueller on page 14, that is to describe what was immediately under the jurisdiction of your Department Chief, and what effect it had. Department IV "Research and Counteraction".. .

Accused: My official superior at that time, SS Brigadefuehrer General Major of the Police Mueller had under his immediate command the news gathering post, and contact with foreign police forces. He was also the general border inspector, in other words because of his immediate command of the news gathering post, my former chief was exceedingly well informed from primary sources, about all the goings-on in the Reich and in the occupied areas, and scarcely any of his subordinates could take a step, any official step without his being informed of it in the shortest time. In this way he was able to control the work of his Section Chiefs at all times.

The fact that he was at the same time General Border Inspector meant that (to continue with the example of my administrative department), I, by way of example, could not permit any illegal emigration on my own initiative, after the basic prohibition had been promulgated by Himmler. The border police posts, in the course of their responsibilities, would have had to report such occurrences, and automatically they would have come to the attention of the General Border Inspector, or his subordinate, and I would have had to explain by what authority I had taken such a measure.

But also even minor organizational matters which concerned Department IV, could in my time be controlled by his subordinate within Department IV. Even the inner transactions within the administrative departments of Department IV, were subject to the control of his bureau. The question of the need for space and the question of space allotment even of the individual officials and section heads was arranged, approved or rejected centrally from his bureau. The operational needs, the secret record office of Department IV were centralized, but were later decentralized after bomb attacks and the events of the War had shown this to be more effective for the sake of prevention.

In other words, no administrative department and no administrator in Department IV could boast of a special position: all the administrative offices in Department IV were lumped together by Department Chief SS Gruppenfuehrer Mueller, and as the office work plan indicates, they were subordinate in every respect to his continuous control.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, if it is convenient, we would like to break off at this point, because it is late.

Dr. Servatius: I still have a few questions regarding this office work plan, which I will then put tomorrow.

Presiding Judge: All right, thank you.

The Session is adjourned till 8:30 tomorrow morning and will continue until 2:30; there will be no afternoon session.

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