The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 78
(Part 5 of 5)

Dr. Servatius: I would, however, draw the Court's attention to the fact that there is a participant, a Dr. Loesener, from the Reich Ministry of the Interior, Department II. It should be noted how Ministerialrat Loesener supports sterilization. The reason why this is important is that he was mentioned, if I am not mistaken, in a testimony as an outstanding example of how it was possible to free oneself from official duties, if one was not prepared to go along with these things. There are various other documents on that, so that later I shall show that there were probably other reasons which led this particular gentleman to leave this Department and be transferred to a different service; previously he was employed in Department I, where he was involved in Jewish matters. I would have called the gentleman as a witness, but I was told that he died recently, in an accident, I believe.

Judge Halevi: Dr. Servatius, I cannot see anything about sterilization in this document.

Dr. Servatius: On page 3, it says: "Ministerialrat Loesener makes the point that" - that is the paragraph; I do not think it necessary to read it all out. The issue here is the legal question of who is of mixed blood, and who should be sterilized, who should emigrate, who may remain, and so on - these were the questions being dealt with here.

Judge Halevi: Yes, but my understanding is that Mr. Loesener is proposing a more moderate solution. At the 1942 Wannsee Conference, it was decided that people of mixed blood should not be deported, but should be able to remain and be sterilized, and here he states that people of mixed blood have at least fifty per cent German blood, and thus leadership qualities, and that it would be a pity to renounce this fifty per cent.

Dr. Servatius: I now return to the Wannsee Conference, which is referred to here. Department I, to which Loesener belonged, adopted the most uncompromising position at this conference, calling for compulsory sterilization and mandatory divorce, and he refers to this, and the comments he makes are really not those of a resistance fighter.

The next document is exhibit T/301, document No. 1104. This is a communication from Heydrich to the Reich Ministry for Eastern Occupied Territories, dated 17 May 1942. Again, it concerns the definition of "Jew," and the dispute concerns the question who is to be in overall charge and who should take decisions.

Witness, were you somehow involved in this matter which was discussed between the Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories and Heydrich?

Accused: No, and this letter, too, proves that the matter was dealt with by a Section in Department II of the Head Office for Reich Security - the Section was in overall, practical charge not only of the definition, but also of questions of competence.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit has not yet been submitted; it does not have a T number, it is document No. 1613. I would beg leave to submit the document.

Presiding Judge: That will be N/13. You may proceed, Dr. Servatius.

Dr. Servatius: This is a minute from the Reich Ministry for the Eastern Occupied Territories, District Court Councillor Dr. Wetzel, dated 4 June 1942, about the definition of "Jew." The document refers to the position of various departments on the matter. I would refer you to page 6, at the end. This comments on competence, and the District Court Councillor queries the competence of the Reichsfuehrer- SS in this matter and argues in favour of his own office.

The following documents deal with the Wannsee Conference, which was the conference of State Secretaries which dealt with the Final Solution of the Jewish Question. I would first refer to exhibit T/181, document No. 946, which is an invitation to Under-Secretary of State Luther - Foreign Ministry - dated 29 November 1941, to this conference, which was originally planned for 9 December 1941. Signed: Heydrich; file reference: IVB4.

The next exhibit is T/183, document No. 465 - no date. It is headed: "Desiderata and Ideas of the Foreign Ministry with Reference to the Planned Overall Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe." These desiderata were drawn up in the department called "Germany III." They are as follows:

On the Jewish Question.

1. Deportation of all Jews of German citizenship resident in the German Reich, including Croatian, Slovakian and Romanian Jews, to the East.

2. Deportation of all those Jews previously holding German citizenship living in the areas occupied by us who, under the latest ordinance to the Reich Citizens Law, have become stateless.

3. Deportation of all Serbian Jews.

4. Deportation of the Jews handed over to us by the Hungarian Government.

5. Statement of readiness of the Romanian, Slovakian, Croatian, Bulgarian and Hungarian Governments to deport to the East the Jews living in those countries.

6. Influencing the Bulgarian and Hungarian Governments to introduce Jewish laws along the Nuremberg lines.

7. Inducing the other governments of Europe to introduce Jewish laws.

8. Implementing these measures as in the past in close co-operation with the Secret State Police Bureau.

I would direct the Court's attention particularly to this last point, since today, in many respects, it is being made to look as if Eichmann and the Secret State Police compelled the Foreign Ministry to act, but here, something of the agreement or close co-operation can be seen, and the proposals speak for themselves.

The next document is exhibit T/179, document No. 890, which is a letter from Heydrich to Gruppenfuehrer Hoffmann, of the Race and Resettlement Head Office. The last paragraph of the letter lists the persons who are being invited.

Presiding Judge: That is probably T/182, is it not? Not 179, in any case.

Dr. Servatius: Perhaps there has been some clerical error on my part. Exhibit 182 with me is document No. 1101.

Presiding Judge: Quite right. And there, at the end, is a list of addresses.

Attorney General: Apparently our document No. 890 is T/180.

Dr. Servatius: In T/180, the last paragraph indicates those invited to attend. The next exhibit is T/182, document No. 1101. This is a minute from the Chief of the Security Police, which bears reference IVB4, dated 1 December 1941, re Final Solution of the Jewish Question. A new participant has appeared from the Generalgouvernement, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Krueger, and he notes that State Secretary Buehler from the Generalgouvernement should also be invited. They were both invited.

Witness, what was the special significance of the invitation?

Accused: Heydrich, without doubt, saw in the invitation to State Secretary Buehler reinforcement and support for his intentions. I believe that the proceedings of the Wannsee Conference also bear out this view of mine.

Presiding Judge: The letter would appear to show something different: that again there was a dispute about competence here, since the letter says that it appears that the Governor General is trying to arrogate to himself treatment of the Jewish Question, and his representatives are to be summoned, in order to clarify the matter.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, this was a question proposed here; but, in the subsequent decisions, it can be seen that things were to start first in the Generalgouvernement, and, according to what I was told in a conversation with the Accused, he said that this man was brought as reinforcement, because Heydrich had certain misgivings.

Presiding Judge: But I would draw attention to the first two passages. Perhaps the Accused would care to comment?

Accused: May I ask, Your Honour, which section you are referring to?

Presiding Judge: On the first page, there is a paragraph which begins: "From the measures recently adopted in this field by the Generalgouvernement."

Accused: This was a struggle for power between the Generalgouvernement and Heydrich, just like the rivalry between Heydrich and Ribbentrop. And now Krueger, the State Secretary for Security of the Generalgouvernement, came to Berlin before this meeting, and there would definitely have been a discussion of this whole issue of overall charge in the Generalgouvernement, between these two - Krueger, the State Secretary for Security, who, at the same time, is a Higher SS and Police Leader in the Generalgouvernement, and Heydrich. In accordance with Krueger's proposal, State Secretary Buehler was also invited, and this minute which had to be drawn up by me shows that I was subsequently instructed (in the subsequent consultation, the Specialist Officer in IVB4 was instructed) to invite Buehler and Krueger as well to the meeting fixed for 9 December 1941 in Berlin.

Judge Halevi: I have a technical question: Is the date of 28.1. perhaps a typing error; should it not be 28.11.? At the very beginning of the document.

Accused: Yes, indeed. I had also noted this typing error.

Judge Halevi: What should the correct date be? Not of the letter.

Accused: According to the date of 1 December, it should be 28.11.

Judge Halevi: Thank you.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/185, document No. 74. This is the record of the consultations at the Wannsee Conference. After a change in date, this conference was held on 20 January 1942; it was what was known as the meeting of the State Secretaries. In the attendance list, at the beginning of the record, Mueller and Eichmann are shown as representing the Head Office for Reich Security. Heydrich was in the chair at the consultation.

Witness, what do you know about the background to the calling of this conference?

Accused: The prime motive for Heydrich himself, was doubtless to expand his power and authority.

Dr. Servatius: Did he have reason to fear any difficulties?

Accused: According to the practice until then, all the offices were always trying, for departmental reasons, to delay things and make reservations - in other words, there was always a whole series of individual discussions in the long drawn-out deliberations held until then. Those were dragging on, and there was never a clear-cut solution achieved right away. This was the reason why Heydrich convened this Wannsee Conference, in order, as it were, to press through, on the highest level, his will and the will of the Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of the German Police.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, I believe that you have already stated to the Court that you prepared the address given by Heydrich? Or perhaps that emerges from the notes in the addendum to the Sassen Documents?

Presiding Judge: In T/37?

Dr. Servatius: Would you please explain again how you first came to deal with this matter.

Accused: I was ordered to collect the statistical material which Heydrich intended to use in his address, as preparation for the Wannsee Conference. I was also to prepare a general review of the measures carried out in recent years with regard to emigration, its problems and results. The gist of this material which I collected appears in the first seven pages, as I have now seen again; but what has struck me is that certain sections I saw here were not written by me, but were Heydrich's - who gave this speech, rather like all his speeches, as far as I could observe, in extempore fashion.

This applies to the sentence at the end of page 7: "Suitably directed, the Jews should be assigned, as part of the Final Solution, for labour in the East, in large long columns; the sexes should be segregated, and those Jews who are capable of working should be led into these areas to build roads." This sentence could not possibly have originated with me, because this was the first time, at the Wannsee Conference, that it appeared here, and it became a central point in the new order announced by Heydrich.

May I also add that my second duty at the Wannsee Conference, in addition to these matters I have just detailed, was to keep the record of proceedings with the help of a secretary.

Dr. Servatius: Is the record a correct report of the contents of the deliberations?

Accused: The record of proceedings correctly reflects the substance of the main points, but it is, of course, not a verbatim record, since - how shall I put it - certain over- plain talk and jargon expressions had to be rendered into office language by me, and Heydrich corrected the record three or four times, I believe, and it returned via the official channels through Mueller. It was redrafted according to his wishes, until the record of proceedings as it exists here was produced.

Presiding Judge: Can we stop here, or do you have something else to say about this document, which, by general consent, is an important one?

Dr. Servatius: I would prefer to start with it at the next session.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, could you also tell us how we are progressing, according to plan, or whether we are falling behind?

Dr. Servatius: So far, I have managed to keep to my schedule, even though it has not been easy. I hope that my assistant will return soon, so that I may speed things up a little.

Presiding Judge: No, this was not a complaint against you. I should just like to know where we stand.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I hope that I will have enough time tomorrow to work out myself how the system is actually being applied, and how much more time it will require.

Presiding Judge: I would like to make it clear that I have no intention to rush you.

Dr. Servatius: I had no such impression; it is simply that I do not wish to act in such a way as to take up more of the Court's time than necessary, and I would wish, as far as possible, to avoid tedium.

Presiding Judge: Very well, as long as the direct examination of the Accused continues, we shall hold morning sessions only, and then we shall see how to proceed.

The next Session will be on Monday morning, at 8.30.

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