The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 76
(Part 4 of 5)

Presiding Judge: What do you have to say about this?

Accused: Dr. Loewenherz' choice of the term Leitung (control) of the Reich Central Office is not a happy one. This can be confirmed by the two documents to which I just begged to refer, according to which the head (Leiter) of the Reich Central Office, in accordance with Goering's appointment, was the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service. In accordance with an operational order by this head, that is Heydrich, the chief of Department IV Mueller, was appointed manager (Geschaeftsfuehrer). I was subordinate to this Chief of Department Mueller as a specialist officer, so that my position was that of a representative of the manager. That would be the correct term, and not "head" (Leiter).

Presiding Judge: All right.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibits, T/164 and T/165, go together. The first one is a note on a consultation of department chiefs and heads of Operations Units. The second is an express letter, dated 21 September 1939, on the same topic. The note starts by referring to political plans for the future, and then, on page 4, there is a reference to the Jewish Question. On the first page, one of the persons listed as present is SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann, Jewish Central Emigration Office.

Witness, what can you say about this discussion?

Accused: As proved by the documents which have just been discussed, at this time I was not in Berlin at all, and, therefore, I cannot possibly have taken part in such a consultation. Apart from this, Dr. Six - at that time Standartenfuehrer and my superior, until I was actually transferred to Berlin - took part in the meeting. A few days ago, he was examined by the Technan Court of the First Instance as a witness, and he stated: "I saw Heydrich every three or four weeks, on the occasion of the consultations of department chiefs. Eichmann did not take part in these consultations." That had also been my opinion, because I never took part in a consultation of department chiefs. That is what I have to say regarding these documents.

Presiding Judge: In other words, you are saying that, in this case, the note is not correct where your name is given.

Accused: Yes, Your Honour.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, perhaps you would comment on the reference number of this document?

Accused: It says Stabskanzlei (Headquarters Chancellery), and then, below it, 11, and below that, the reference RF/FH. Now, as far as I remember, I know that there was no Stabskanzlei in the Head Office of the Security Police, that is to say, after the offices were centralized. Stabskanzlei was a typical term for the period of the Security Service Head Office, and that shows me that this note was dictated by a member of the Security Service, and not by someone from Department IV, that is to say, the Security Police. Apart from the dictation sign, nothing else can be gathered; the minute is not signed.

Dr. Servatius: That will do. In the second letter, T/165, document No. 775, Heydrich writes as follows to the heads of all the Operations Units: "I write in connection with the consultation held today in Berlin, and draw your attention again to the fact that the planned overall measures (i.e., the final aim) are to be kept top secret." Further details follow. I should like to refer to the last section of the letter, under VI.

This shows all those taking part in this matter. It says there: "The OKH (Army High Command), the Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan (for the attention of State Secretary Neumann), the Reich Ministry of the Interior (for the attention of State Secretary Stuckart), for Food and Economic Affairs (for the attention of State Secretary Landfried) and the Chiefs of the Civilian Administration of the Occupied Territories are to receive copies of this ordinance." This shows that this matter is not confined to the narrow framework of Department IV.

The next exhibit is T/167...

Judge Raveh: Perhaps, first of all, Dr. Servatius could check with the Accused as to when he returned from Prague to Berlin?

Dr. Servatius: Witness, did you hear the question to you from the Court?

Accused: Yes, I did. I am unable today to give the precise date, but perhaps the following indications will be helpful. First of all, this report which has just been mentioned, that is the memorandum by Dr. Loewenherz in Vienna, gives a date. Now it is possible that I was ordered to Berlin a few days earlier, in order to deal with some preliminary work, but there is another very important indication which I myself have only just now discovered - in Prosecution document No. 775, in the heading under "Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service," it says `PP (II)', that is Political Police, II, Office of Secret State Police, as can be seen in the operational decrees dealt with in the chapter on "Organization."

When I compare this with my Certificate of Appointment as Specialist Officer, which is shown by another document here, where in the heading underneath "Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service" it already states IV, then that document in question, document No. 775, must have been drawn up when the offices had not yet been centralized, whilst my Certificate of Appointment as Specialist Officer must have been issued after the offices were centralized, which would roughly indicate the weeks in which I must have come to Berlin - it must have been late autumn already, 19 December 1939, at the latest.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/167, document No. 1396. This sets up a new office - Plenipotentiary of the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Folkdom. It is a letter dated 7 November 1939 to the Higher SS and Police Leader for the area of the Vistula, SS Gruppenfuehrer Hildebrandt. He is being appointed Plenipotentiary for the Strengthening of German Folkdom. Attached to the letter is the ordinance of 7 October 1939 - of the Fuehrer, the Reich Chancellor for the Strengthening of German Folkdom.

Did you have dealings with this office, and what was its function?

Accused: The office of Plenipotentiary of the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Folkdom was in charge of the handling of the evacuation of Jews and Poles from the German Eastern provinces, in accordance with the directives laid down by the Reich Commissioner. However, it also had, as Part II, to implement the settlement of the ethnic Germans who were coming into the country. The duties of this office were transferred to local offices - such as Administrative Chief for the Ober-Ost (North-East) area, or the competent local offices of the Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture, as can be seen in III on page 2 of the ordinance.

The dealings I myself and my Section had with this office, were when it was in the interest of the office to receive a copy of the results of the timetable conferences which were held between my Section and the Reich Transport Ministry. However, that was not the case at the time indicated in the date at the top of this document - 7 November 1939 - only later on, from the beginning of 1940, because practically - as shown clearly by these documents - I did not start with this activity, which I was ordered to undertake, until the beginning of 1940, that is to say, early January. In conclusion, I should like to point out that this communication, this decree, went not only to the Higher SS and Police Leader Vistula, Danzig, but, as shown by a later document, altogether another five Higher SS and Police Leaders were involved in the sphere of this new office, apart from those who worked exclusively for it. However, another document anyhow makes this point more clearly.

Dr. Servatius: Perhaps I could also refer the Court to Paragraph II of this decree which reads: "In the occupied former Polish territories, the Administrative Chief of the North-Eastern Area shall carry out the duties delegated to the Reichsfuehrer-SS according to the latter's general directions," so that the local arrangements, which are specified in greater detail later, do not appear here.

I now come to exhibit T/205, document No. 1087. The document contains a decree from Himmler, dated 10 November 1939, showing the activities of this new office for the Strengthening of German Folkdom. This concerns confiscation of assets, and mention is made here of the Main Trustee Office East, a Mayor Dr. Winkler, who is the head of this office. Page 3 goes into the various types of assets; who is to carry out the confiscations, who receives them, and then, at the bottom of the page, under IV, it says: "Other Polish or Jewish-owned assets will be confiscated by the Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of the German Police at the request of the Main Trustee Office East for the benefit of the German Reich.... The seizure of these assets is to be dealt with by the Trustee Office East."

Witness, did you, in fact, have any dealings with this office under the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Folkdom?

Accused: No, the document shows very clearly that totally different forces were at work here.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/169, document No. 1397. This is a communication dated 4 November 1939, with an attached order from Himmler, dated 30 October 1939. Item 4 of this order says that the Higher SS and Police Leader East announces the possibilities for reception by the Generalgouvernement of those to be resettled, broken down according to districts and larger cities. Under item 5, the Higher SS and Police Leaders for the various areas, together with the Inspectors and Senior Commanders of the Security Police, will together draw up the resettlement plan. Witness, did you have anything to do with this resettlement operation?

Accused: The only thing I had to do with the whole resettlement operation was, as indicated by the name of my Section, relative to timetables, technical transport aspects, and there the whole thing revolved around the negotiations between my Section and the Reich Transport Ministry. I must also add that I cannot have had anything to do with the matters specifically mentioned in this document, because this document is dated 4 November 1939, and I could not yet have been occupied with this kind of work at that time, as I have already indicated.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/206, document No. 779. These are directives from the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Folkdom. The letter is not dated. Under item I, it says:

"The following matters are to be dealt with in the first phase of our activity:

(1) Expulsion of some 550,000 Jews and of the leading anti-German Poles and the Polish intelligentsia, starting with Danzig and Posen, across the German Reich border to the Polish Generalgouvernement."

Further on in the letter, reference is made to 9 October 1939, the date of Goering's ordinance, so that the earliest date possible for this letter is the date there stated. Such an operation requires a considerable time for its implementation.

Did you have anything to do with the implementation of these measures?

Accused: No; and here, too, I should like to say that, when the basic decisions were drafted, on the basis of which the office of the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Folkdom was to operate, my area of activities was still in Vienna or Prague; to what extent I subsequently became involved with these matters, as regards timetables and technical transport aspects, can be seen from the documents which are to be presented later.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/207, document No. 1090. The document concerns residence restrictions applicable to resettled Jews, and the penalty threatened is death, if they leave their place of abode. The ordinance is dated 15 October 1941.

Did your Section have anything to do with carrying out such death penalties or other punishments?

Accused: My Section had nothing to do with the punishments decreed by the Governor General. However, my Section dealt with punishments decreed by the Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of the German Police, about which there are, anyhow, two documents in this collection of documents, which are to be submitted later.

Dr. Servatius: The next document has not yet been submitted and does not have a T number; it is Bureau 06 No. 1458.

Presiding Judge: I mark this exhibit N/7.

Dr. Servatius: This document is a minute of a consultation which took place on 8 November 1939 with the Governor General of Poland in Cracow. It concerns the resettlement of Poles and Jews. On page 2, the details of the resettlement plan appear, and, at the bottom, there is Himmler's overall plan, according to which all Jews and Poles of the area of Congress Poland are to be evacuated by the end of February 1940, that is to say, from the Danzig and Posen Reich Districts, and also from East Upper Silesia and the south of East Prussia. For the remaining undesirable Poles, an extension until the beginning of 1941 is given.

Witness, on page four of the document, at the end, mention is made of a Central Planning Office in Cracow, that of the Higher SS and Police Leader of the Generalgouvernement of Poland. Were you in touch with this office?

Accused: At the time of this consultation, I was not in touch with any of the persons or offices mentioned. This is confirmed on page 3, where it says: "the negotiations with the Reich Railways are generally carried out by SS Brigadefuehrer Streckenbach, from Cracow."

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit has not yet been submitted and has no T number; it is Bureau 06 No. 1459. The document is a decree by Heydrich, dated 29 November 1939, for the evacuation of Poles and Jews to the new eastern provinces.

Presiding Judge: I mark this exhibit N/8.

Dr. Servatius: The first paragraph of this text is the crucial one. It reads:

"In accordance with the basic order of the Reichsfuehrer-SS, the evacuation of Poles and Jews to the new eastern provinces will be carried out by the Security Police. Responsibility for this is shared by the Higher SS and Police Leaders, the Inspectors of the Security Police, and their subordinate departments."
I should like to direct the Court's attention to page 2, at the top, in connection with what the Accused, as witness, said before, with regard to these being local transport matters. It says there:
"In principle, transport questions are to be dealt with by Inspectors on the local level, as the Transport Ministry or the Central Office of Reich Railways has assigned the arrangements for local transport matters to the local offices of the Reich Railways."
The next document has no T number as yet - this is Bureau 06 No. 1460, and I now submit it...

Presiding Judge: I mark this exhibit N/9.

Dr. Servatius: This is the Regulation for the Warthe District (Warthegau), with the same arrangement, according to which the Inspector of the Security Police and the Security Service runs the operation. Then, in the middle, it says: "He will also, in accordance with proposals from the District Officers (Landraete) determine when, and how many people, are to be deported from the various districts under the plan for immediate action, and, in general, the same arrangements apply as previously."

Witness, were you involved in the Warthe District Operation?

Accused: I could not have been at that time, because this teletype is dated 28 November 1939, while the document with my appointment as a Specialist Officer is dated 21 December 1939. Other regulations were issued subsequently, but that is shown by the other documents...

Dr. Servatius: I come now to exhibit T/171, document No. 1399. This is a memorandum dated 8 January 1940, about a consultation in Berlin. It is signed by SS Obersturmfuehrer Abromeit. It concerns preliminary discussions of evacuations in the immediate future of Jews and Poles in the Eastern Territories. It says here: "The conference was chaired by SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann of the Head Office for Reich Security, Department IV."

Witness, would you explain in what connection you were concerned with this planned evacuation?

Accused: The reason was the occurrence of various shortcomings and difficulties at the places where resettlement was carried out in accordance with instructions. That is why the Special Section was set up, in order to remedy such shortcomings. On page 1, one of the things it says is: "People had to spend up to eight days in closed railway waggons, without being able to relieve themselves." These were difficulties which arose when the Special Section was not yet operating - not just one problem, but dozens of them. I ask for permission to quote a few sentences from Krumey's testimony.

Dr. Servatius: If it is not too long.

Presiding Judge: That is not entirely in order, Dr. Servatius; however, I shall permit this now, but, if anything from statements by other witnesses is to be mentioned, Counsel for the Defence will do so. However, this time we will permit this.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, it is because there is such an enormous amount of material, occasionally things might be forgotten, and the Accused is now really reminding me of this.

Presiding Judge: All right.

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