The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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

Accused: A few days ago he testified:
"My duties were to organize the transport arrangements by rail, in order to carry out the evacuation from the Warthe District of those Poles who had been removed from their farms by the District Officers, in order to accommodate ethnic Germans. I have no information as to any further details available to the District Officers. It was the District Officers themselves who gave me their requirements for means of transport. Another duty of mine was to negotiate with offices of the Generalgouvernement about the points of destination of the trains. When evacuation led to problems and intolerable occurrences, as a result of the lack of order, a special organization was set up with the Inspectors of the Security Police and the Security Service in Posen, the Central Office for Migration. It had various branches. I became the head of the Litzmannstadt office in the spring of 1940."
And then, the last sentence:
"From the spring of 1940 on, I sent my requirements for trains to IVB4 in the Head Office for Reich Security."
Here, I must observe that Krumey is mistaken: It was not IVB4, but should read IVD4.
"In transport terms, the main thing to be arranged was for the immigrant settlers to find room, as a result of the evacuees having been removed in time. All of this was arranged by my office in Litzmannstadt."
That is what I wished to quote from the Krumey statement.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, apart from co-ordination, did you have, as a further assignment, the elimination of these problems, and were you able to intervene and put the situation right?

Accused: In principle, orders had to be issued by the Higher SS and Police Leaders. The Inspectors performed their duties on behalf of these Leaders, but it was unavoidable and absolutely necessary that the officials in charge on the spot were called to Berlin for consultation regarding detailed timetables and distribution of trains. During these discussions, there emerged the many difficulties which they experienced in practice. These are listed in detail on page 3 of document 1399. These are certainly not all the problems, but it says, for example, that the accompanying detail should consist solely of irreproachable ethnic Germans or the police.

This implies that, in the past, there had been accompanying details which did not consist of irreproachable persons, which doubtless led to undesirable incidents. It then says: "In extremely cold weather, in order to protect women and children from death by exposure to the cold, where possible, women and children should be transported in passenger carriages and men in goods waggons." Clearly, the local authorities had so far not paid any particular attention to this matter. And it continues along these lines.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/1405, document No. 1461. This is an intelligence report, dated 26 January 1940, drawn up by the office of the Plenipotentiary of the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Folkdom, and, at the top, it says, "for the resettlement of Poles and Jews." The reason why I am referring to this document is that it confirms the existence of local arrangements. On page 1, two Special Staffs (Sonderstaebe) are set up, and on page 2 - it is a long document of 12 pages - the District Officers are referred to again, as well as the local authorities. Perusal of the document shows a clear-cut local arrangement of matters.

The next exhibit is T/172, document No. 1400. This is a memorandum about discussions between Eichmann and Hauptscharfuehrer Seidl on 22 and 23 January 1940, in Berlin.

Witness, do you have the document before you?

Accused: Yes, I do.

Dr. Servatius: Does the document not indicate that you were more closely involved with these evacuation matters? Would you state your view on this.

Accused: No - the document shows that this was a transport and evacuation matter. This was the first activity in which I had to engage in Berlin, and all later activities followed upon this one. The only thing I would deduce from this document is straightforward transport matters.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/166, document No. 468. This is a set of minutes, dated 30 January 1940, on questions of evacuation and resettlement. It concerns a consultation chaired by Heydrich, on orders from Himmler, and, on the first page, there is a reference to Section IVD4, the Accused's Section, as well as on page 3 and, at the end, on page 8.

Witness, can you explain what was your involvement in this matter?

Accused: At the Section for Evacuation and Resettlement in the Head Office for Reich Security, I had to take the minutes, as can also be seen from the reference at the top of the page. Page 3 describes precisely my official duties; it says: "IVD4 is to collect this statistical material and to draw up the evacuation plan." The evacuation plan is the transport plan, which had to be agreed on and settled with the Reich Transport Ministry, and, on page 3, it says that IIIES and IVD4 convened for a discussion on specific issues. IIIES meant that this referred to officials of Department III at the Head Office for Reich Security, that is to say, those who processed evacuation and compulsory transfer.

Dr. Servatius: This appears on the last page, page 8, not on page 3.

Accused: Since it was the staff of Department III - as I was able to explain at the beginning of this morning's Session - who ruled as to the grading of the various groups and where each was to be transferred to, IVD4, my Section, had to get together with them, because from there my Section received the statistics; and it was these statistics which were used as a basis for discussing the timetable with the Reich Transport Ministry and determining the number of trains required. On page4, it says: "Heydrich announces the following basic instructions issued by the Reichsfuehrer- SS."

On page 6, it refers to the deporting of all the Jews from the new Eastern Districts and thirty thousand Gypsies from the area of the Reich to the Generalgouvernement. And on page 7, Heydrich suddenly announces that, in the middle of February 1940, one thousand Jews, whose apartments are urgently required for reasons of the war-time economy, are to be deported from Stettin.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to exhibit T/667, document No. 507, and exhibit T/210, document No. 795. The two documents can be dealt with together.

Exhibit T/667 concerns a press report about the deportation of the one thousand Jews just referred to. This is a press communique, and it says at the end that the information is correct, but must be treated confidentially. The second exhibit, T/210, is also a press communique. The heading reads: "Deportation continues, death march from Lublin, deaths from exposure to cold," and Goering's decision is requested.

Witness, would you state your position on this?

Accused: Yes. There is actually a core of truth to these reports. The reason is the excessively fast resettlement for which orders were issued. A total of fifteen days elapsed between the issue of the orders and their implementation. The responsibility for this state of affairs, as shown very clearly by the documents submitted so far, lies with those who carried out the resettlement and who were responsible on a local level for the resettlement.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, it says, however, in the first sentence: "Despite the objections of the Generalgouvernement to over-hasty, unplanned continuation of the deportations of Jews of German nationality to Eastern Poland, these are continuing, on the orders of the Reichsfuehrer-SS." How could that happen?

Accused: In the same way as various countries put up resistance against taking in Jews, so Governor General Frank also resisted that. In accordance with Hitler's order, it had been stipulated that he had to accept the Jews from the Eastern Districts which were now to be part of the Reich. However, it had not been stipulated by any similar decree of the Fuehrer that he had to accept Jews from the Old Reich [Germany within its 1937 boundaries], and that is what Frank obviously relied upon. But the police had to carry out the evacuations, because they had received explicit orders to this effect from both Himmler and Heydrich.

Dr. Servatius: I shall now deal with exhibit T/668, document No. 1172. This is a minute dated 17 February 1940, from the German Foreign Ministry about a query. The Foreign Ministry enquires of the Head Office for Reich Security about these one thousand Jews who had been evacuated from Stettin. Witness, were you approached on this matter?

Accused: No, the document shows that it was the Government Counsellor Schellenberg, subsequently Chief of Department VI, who was approached on this.

Dr. Servatius: So this was just a check-up for information purposes. And was any blame ascribed to you?

Accused: I could not be blamed for anything, since the order came from the Chief of the Security Police, and the local authorities had to implement the compulsory transfer.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to exhibit T/670, document No. 1235. This is another minute from the Foreign Ministry, dated 21 March 1940. The subject is an enquiry about the deportation of 158 Jews to Posen.

Witness, in the heading it says: "According to information from the Head Office for Reich Security, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann, the matter is based on the following circumstances." Would you please comment on this incident?

Accused: Yes. As indicated by the text, I had previously confirmed to the Foreign Ministry that this evacuation was illegal. Generally speaking, I should like to make the point that, time and again, the local police authorities gave in to pressure from the local Hoheitstraeger (holders of sovereign authority) and adopted measures (a previous document dealt with such a case), which ran counter to general Reich regulations.

Presiding Judge: What was the meaning of the term "oertlicher Hoheitstraeger," Dr. Servatius?

Dr. Servatius: This was a special arrangement in the Third Reich. In the party organization there were many offices with all sorts of duties, but one of them would be the chief authority in that region, representing the supreme power there, and able to intervene in his area: the Gauleiter in the case of a Gau (district), the Kreisleiter for his subdistrict - the term crops up time and again, since the senior commander is also a Hoheitstraeger and enjoys territorial sovereignty.

Presiding Judge: Let us call these Hoheitstraeger local party authorities.

Judge Halevi: It refers here to the "Stapo," Dr. Servatius. In this document, the reference is to the local Stapo.

Dr. Servatius: I do not have the document - I do not know where the passage is. Which document is it?

Judge Halevi: Document No. 1235. It has been numbered T/670.

Dr. Servatius: I cannot see here the term "Hoheitsgebiet" (area of sovereignty).

Judge Halevi: In his Statement, the Accused referred to Hoheitstraeger.

Dr. Servatius: There is a difference between Hoheitsgebiet and Hoheitstraeger. He also had certain major functions. Perhaps the Accused would comment on this.

Accused: NSDAP Gauleiter, generally speaking, also had political authority; depending on the legislation or constitution of the individual country, they would also be Gauleiter and Reichsstatthalter (Reich Plenipotentiary) or Gauleiter and Oberpraesident (Administrative Head). In a few districts only would there be a separate official for each one of these posts.

Bavaria was an example of such an exception, but, in the Eastern Territories, normally these persons would combine both positions in one individual, by way of personal union, and when I referred to the Hoheitstraeger, I did not mean the party Hoheitstraeger, but the political Hoheitstraeger, that is to say, the Reich Plenipotentiary or Administrative Head and, on a lower level, the Kreisleiter (Subdistrict Leader), who generally also had a political function as a Reichsverteidigungskommissar (Commissioner for the Defence of the Reich).

What actually happened was that the local State Police offices gave in to the pressure and wishes of these political Hoheitstraeger and carried out measures in their area which were contrary to some general Reich regulation - measures which then led to problems in Berlin.

Dr. Servatius: Perhaps I might make another point. The Accused has said that it was the lower-placed authorities who did that, who evacuated these people and sent them across the border. But in this document it says: "Owing to a lack of living accommodation in Schneidemuehl, occasioned by the Wehrmacht's excessive demands on the town, the local Stapo found itself forced..." In other words, it was not the small people, but apparently the town authorities and the military, who were urging this.

Presiding Judge: Please do not forget that, at the moment, we are taking the Accused's testimony, and it is difficult for you to argue with his testimony. You can do that later.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I chose this approach, simply in order to shorten a question which would have taken some more time.

Presiding Judge: As long as we know what we are about, that is in order.

Judge Halevi: Dr. Servatius, before we conclude the discussion on these various documents, perhaps you would ask the Accused something - at first sight, it would appear that there is a contradiction between T/670 and T/210. In T/670, the Accused reports that the Jews of Schneidemuehl are not to be deported to the Generalgouvernement but returned to Schneidemuehl. He provides this information on 21 March; and in T/210 it says that, on 12 March, 160 Jews from Schneidemuehl were deported to the Lublin area. If you are interested in this matter, perhaps you would ask the Accused what connection there is between these facts.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, you have heard the question which the Court wishes to clarify. Are both documents before you? They are numbers 795 and 1235.

Accused: I have them arranged according to the Prosecution number.

Dr. Servatius: The last one was 1235. The other one is 795 - that is the Lublin death march, this press report. If you take document 795, in paragraph 2 - the document is dated 14 March - in paragraph 2 it says:

"On 12 March, a further 160 Jews were deported from Schneidemuehl in goods trains to the Lublin District. Lublin has been informed of future transports."
If you would compare the two reports: One is a report, findings of a Polish Jewish assistance committee, which worked closely with the American Quaker Organization, and this reports that 160 Jews have been sent from Schneidemuehl to Lublin, while the last document, T/670, or 1235 for you, this says that 158 people have arrived in Posen from Schneidemuehl.

Judge Halevi: That they are to be brought back to Schneidemuehl.

Accused: According to the report, this deportation took place on 12 March 1940. I notified the Foreign Ministry of my information around 21 March, that is to say, considerably later. If I gave the Foreign Ministry such information, I did so on the basis of existing reports, that is to say, I provided information which was on the record, because the information had to be on the record, and could not be the result of personal or private opinions. In view of the time difference here, and since I know that I issued these instructions on the basis of the record in the files, because I would not act otherwise, I can only imagine today that either the date of this minute is wrong, or these 158 persons who were moved to Posen were then included by the Posen authorities in evacuation transports, on orders issued by the local Posen authorities. The documents have shown that the Higher SS and Police Leaders were able to issue orders for Poland.

I remember just now that Reitlinger also dealt with this matter and, on the basis of his sources which he mentioned, I remember that it looked as if Reitlinger wanted to state that these 168 Jews, or 158 Jews, did actually return to Schneidemuehl. So there must be something wrong here: either Reitlinger is wrong, or this minute is wrong. In any case, the information which I provided was on the record at that time.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, if it is convenient, we will now adjourn.

Dr. Servatius: I am now coming to a small sub-section and can continue in the next session.

Presiding Judge: Before we adjourn, I should like to ask the Attorney General whether, in the next session, the interpreters can be provided with copies of the documents to be referred to. This would facilitate things for them.

Attorney General: I shall check, Your Honour. We receive the list of documents which Dr. Servatius intends to use rather late. If the Court noticed, today we received this only during the morning session. We shall do our best to prepare another set.

Presiding Judge: We shall now adjourn. The next Session will be tomorrow at 8.30, and tomorrow there will again be no afternoon session.

[ Previous | Index | Next ] [an error occurred while processing this directive]