The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 77
(Part 1 of 5)

Session No. 77

8 Tammuz 5721 (22 June 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the seventy-seventh Session of the trial open. I wish to announce that the corrections of the Kappler questionnaire were dispatched today by this Court.

The Accused will continue with his testimony. [To the Accused] I remind you that you are still testifying under oath.

Accused: Yes, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: Please continue, Dr. Servatius.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I shall continue to refer to documents and, in the course of the examination, I shall ask the Accused some questions.

The first exhibit is T/211, document 1401. It is an enquiry addressed to the Accused by the Inspector of the Security Police and the Security Service, of 27 February 1940 from Posen, regarding the travel expenses of people to be evacuated.

Witness, what were the financial arrangements for these transports with regard to the money these people received? Did you have anything to do with that here in Posen?

Accused: Neither I, nor the Security Police, had anything to do with this matter, for these financial matters were under the jurisdiction of the Main Trust Office East.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit, T/359, is document No. 1402. It is a letter concerning transport questions, dated 10 February 1940.

Witness, you are mentioned in this letter; it says that you were staying in Posen. What did you have to do with the local transport arrangements?

Accused: Whenever I was ordered to go to the East in connection with evacuation matters, it was always concerned with difficulties with the timetable. On the one hand, one had to overcome the problems with the local administration of the State railways and, on the other - and, as far as I remember, that was the most important part at the time - to avoid so-called evacuation peaks. The local authorities tried to get action as soon as possible, while the receiving authorities in the Generalgouvernement had, of course, to cope with these evacuation transports train by train. One of the tasks of my Section, under orders, was to direct this.

Presiding Judge: Did I hear the word "Evakuierungsspitzen" (evacuation peaks)? What does this term mean, Accused?

Accused: Yes, Your Honour. This word referred, at the time, to a temporary accumulation of several transports, instead of an even flow.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/1406, document No. 1485. It is an official note about a telephone call from Eichmann. The document deals with the provisioning of the transports.

I have a question to the Accused: what did you have to do with the provisioning of the transport?

Accused: The local authorities had the duty to see to it that, initially, food for two days was provided to the transport. Practice evidently showed that these two days were too short a time. The Generalgouvernement called the Head Office for Reich Security, or else informed the Head Office for Reich Security, that in future all transports would be sent back, that their reception would be refused, if the evacuees had not received food for eight days. Therefore, it was decided that food rations for eight days were to be supplied, and this is what I announced. I could not, of course, make such a decision on my own, but obtained the authorization from my superiors. This had to do with the transports, insofar as stoppages and inconveniences would have been caused if the Generalgouvernement had refused to accept them.

Judge Halevi: Who were your superiors whose approval you obtained?

Accused: My superiors were then the Chief of Department IV as my direct superior, SS Major General and General of Police Heinrich Mueller, whose superior, and consequently my superior at the second level, was the Chief of the Security Police, SS Lieutenant General and General of the Police and the Waffen-SS Heydrich, and afterwards Kaltenbrunner. And then, at the third level, the Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of the German Police.

Judge Halevi: But, in the matter of provisions for eight days, you obtained authorization from your superiors. To whom did you apply for instructions, for authorization to provide food for eight days?

Accused: I had to obtain instructions from my direct superior, that was Mueller, so that the guidelines could be issued. Both he and I then had meetings with the local holders of authority, as food was rationed at the time, and such negotiations had, therefore, to be conducted.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/383, document No. 935. It is a cable from Goering dated 23 March 1940 to several senior departments, and it relates to the prohibition of transports of Jews from the Reich to the Generalgouvernement.

Witness, what do you know about these events?

Accused: This intervention of the Governor General with Goering and Goering's subsequent order are connected with a document, of which I would say that the Governor General, from the very beginning, refused to accept Jews from the Reich in his territory. The Chief of the Security Police had, however, at Himmler's order, ordered the deportation of one thousand Jews from Stettin, and following this, local authorities, as was shown by the example of Schneidemuehl, evacuated smaller contingents at their own responsibility.

This experiment of Schneidemuehl may have been the reason - as far as I now remember - for Frank's intervention with Goering, which thus led to this order and, during the following period, the District Party Leaders of the Reich tried to intervene with Hitler, in order to annul this prohibition, which they, indeed, managed to do in the course of 1941 and of 1942, in particular.

Dr. Servatius: I now come to document No. 934 - which has as yet no T number.

Presiding Judge: It will be marked N/10.

Dr. Servatius: This is a note from the Foreign Ministry of 3 June 1940, by Rademacher - with the title: Brief review of the new, urgent tasks to be taken up by Section D3 (of Department Germany III). These urgent tasks are enumerated as follows: 1. A request for determination, in principle, by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, of the German war aims regarding the Jewish question. Possibilities: Item (a) All Jews taken out from Europe. (b) Separation of eastern and western Jews; eastern Jews, who constitute the procreative, Talmud-trained generation of the Jewish intelligentsia, remain in German hands as a pledge (Lublin?) to cripple the American Jews; western Jews out from Europe (Madagascar?) (c) Jewish National Home Palestine (danger of a second Rome). I skip point 2. 3. Summary of the practical details; number of Jews in each country, the funds and means of transport required for the evacuation, and the possible deadlines, etc.

There is a handwritten remark in the margin which, as far as I understand it, says: "Following notification drawn up for the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs" - I am not entirely sure that it says this - "the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs has, in principle, approved preparations for the expulsion of the Jews from Europe."

It continues: "All actions must be taken with the consent of the departments of the Reichsfuehrer-SS."

Witness, did Legation Councillor Rademacher, or any other department of the Foreign Office, contact you on this matter?

Accused: No, neither Legation Councillor Rademacher, nor any other department, contacted me in this matter. It was an entirely internal affair of the Foreign Office. But at that time - the date was June 1940 - I was very busy with the so- called "Madagascar Plan" and, as far as I can remember, and having read this document, I cannot avoid the impression that, at that time, the Foreign Ministry wanted to do, and was trying to do, everything possible to prevent that the leading role in solving the Jewish Question be left entirely in the hands of the Security Police.

The Foreign Ministry, here, too, was in the running with full force, insofar as foreign countries were concerned. I would, furthermore, like to establish that, in reading this document, I was struck in particular by two words, namely the word zeugungskraeftig (procreative) and Faustpfand (pledge). These - and especially the former word - have been imputed to me, as I have often read after 1945. And here I find the words already in 1940.

Dr. Servatius: I wish to refer now to exhibit T/173 - document 464. This is a letter from Heydrich to Ribbentrop, dated 24 June 1940. It deals with the solution of the Jewish Question and states, in conclusion, in the second to last paragraph: "The entire problem already concerns three and a quarter million Jews in the area presently subject to German sovereignty, but can no longer be solved through emigration. A territorial final solution is, therefore, needed."

The last three lines then read as follows: "I should like to request to participate in the forthcoming discussions concerning the Final Solution of the Jewish Question, should such talks be planned." Signed: Heydrich.

Witness, could you state what kind of discussion is meant here which is to take place in the Foreign Ministry?

Accused: Twenty-one years have gone by since this letter was written. I myself never took part in any discussion in the Foreign Ministry, whether in Rademacher's office or in Luther's office, nor in any other department. I do not know whether the Foreign Ministry did, at that time, initiate a discussion on this matter. I think that Heydrich, in his ambitiousness, in his fear that someone might deprive him of the newly-conceived Madagascar Plan, which I have just mentioned, and place it under his own control, and because the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs saw this primarily as a foreign policy problem and claimed a controlling position, and thus manifestations of rivalry come about, in this connection.

Judge Raveh: Perhaps Dr. Servatius might wish to ask the Accused what he understands by the words "Territorial Final Solution."

Dr. Servatius: You have heard the question of the Judge. Could you comment on this?

Accused: Yes, Sir. At that time, the Madagascar affair came up for the first time, and I myself have already said that I had been impressed and influenced by the book The Jewish State by Boehm, and the problem which actually was an old one, and which it brought up again. Shortly, the file on Madagascar will be presented, and, at that time, I would like to comment in detail on the substantive aspect. This letter, then, refers to the island of Madagascar as a territorial final solution.

Judge Halevi: Perhaps one more question through Dr. Servatius. Why does the letterhead carry the notation IVD4?

Dr. Servatius: The Judge has asked one further question, namely why does the file carry the number IVD4 which was, at that time, on 24 June 1940, the file number of your Section?

Accused: Yes, Sir. On 24 June 1940, according to the office work plan, that file number referred to my Section. There were several ways in which a message could carry the file number IVD4, in accordance with the office structure, and bear the signature of Heydrich. It could happen, for instance, that his adjutant could call my office and transmit an order by his superior, Heydrich, or Kaltenbrunner - that this or that should be done in such a manner.

For instance, a draft of a letter to this or that person. Key words would be provided, and then the letter would have to be drafted. Through regular channels, this went all the way up to the chief who had given the instruction; down through my office-superior - this was the rule - the corrected version came back, until at last the final draft was ready, and he signed it.

Secondly, the possibility existed that Heydrich - especially Heydrich - also in the case of Kaltenbrunner, but not so frequently as with Heydrich, who may have heard indications of something, or may have gathered something at some other inter- ministerial discussion which he then intended to work out, in his turn. He then transmitted it through the Chief of Department IV, and the Chief of Department IV subsequently - if this was within my competence - passed it on to me, that is to say, to my Section, with the same instruction: to draft a letter.

At times - although rarely - it also happened that the Chief of Department IV - my immediate superior, that is to say, Mueller - ordered me to report immediately, or at such and such a time to the Chief of the Security Police to receive orders in this or that matter. In such cases, letters of this kind would be drafted and the number of the file would, of course, be IVD4, but the originator of the order was Heydrich or Mueller, because, in matters of principle, not only was I unable to make any decision, but because first of all, since I had been transferred from my original post, in 1939, against my will, to the State Police Department in Berlin, I did not make any use of the minor power of giving directives which, as a matter of fact, is granted to every head of section. Instead, I referred every proceeding, be it important or unimportant, to my immediate superior, with the request for instructions or orders. I was known for that, not only in my Section, but in the entire Department.

Judge Halevi: Thank you.

Accused: May I correct something, please. Instead of the expression "minor power of giving directives," it should, of course, be "the minor power of implementation," because the section heads had the right to implement policy, but not to issue directives.

Dr. Servatius: I refer now to exhibits T/675, that is document No. 894, and T/674, that is document No. 893. Both of these documents belong together. They refer to the transport of Jews from Baden and the Palatinate to southern France.

The first is a letter dated 31 October 1940, a note from Rademacher in the Foreign Ministry. It states: "At the orders of the Fuehrer, all Jews of the districts (Gaue) of Baden and the Palatinate are to be removed in eight special trains to the unoccupied part of France." It then goes on to state: "The Regional Headquarters of the State Police at Karlsruhe, Neustadt a.d.H., and Saarbruecken had orders from the Reichsfuehrer-SS to prepare and carry out this operation in all secrecy." It further states that the official in charge at the Foreign Ministry had spoken with SS Hauptsturmbannfuehrer Guenther. It says that it had been considered whether to inform the French Government, but this was not done.

The second letter which pertains to this...

Attorney General: There must be an error here on the part of Counsel for the Defence. The letter was not written by Rademacher, but by somebody else, although it originated apparently at the Foreign Ministry.

Presiding Judge: Is that so clear? I, too, tried to decipher that. It could be Rademacher.

Attorney General: The signature which we have ends with "Schefer" or "hefer," but certainly not "macher." While this is not too important, I would still like to emphasize it, for the sake of precision.

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