The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 79
(Part 3 of 5)

Dr. Servatius: The last letter in this exhibit is a communication from Sievers to Department IVA, for the attention of Eichmann, dated 21 June 1943, stating that the investigations have been completed and that the prisoners must be brought to Natzweiler.

Witness, would you indicate whether you received any such communication, whether Director Sievers visited you, and how you were involved in the matter?

Accused: There is definitely no doubt that I received such communications, although I may have forgotten them today, but these letters are such that I must have received one or the other. But - and this is the main point in the whole affair - according to the organization plan, neither was I responsible for sterilization - it was not my province to determine what happened to the inmates of concentration camps, nor was I competent or authorized to order any transfers from one concentration camp to another.

Since I was not competent to deal with these matters, because of this - and there is no doubt about this - in this instance, as in many others with which I was not competent to deal, I passed the matter on to Mueller in my meetings with him. I do not know what Mueller then did with it. I at least was not involved, and if I had had anything to do with it, it would have been reasonable to assume that, given all the letters which were exchanged, there would at least have been some written reaction on my part.

I have also studied the document, the files of 21 June 1943, in which Sievers refers to a personal discussion with me. But at the same time this communication went to the Head Office for Reich Security IVB4, for the attention of Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, Prinz Albrechtstrasse 8. Now this would not have been anything out of the ordinary, and what is unusual is simply that Sievers, who was definitely a frequent visitor at the Kurfuerstenstrasse office, puts an address here at which he would never be able to find me. It would have been a lot more obvious and logical for Sievers to have put 116 Kurfuerstenstrasse. In any case, that would have been what I would have done in bureaucratic terms. I also do not know, and could not find out when I looked at the document, whether the reference is Sievers' own, or whether some other official dictated the communication on behalf of Sievers. It would definitely be most interesting to find out which was the case - for this reason I was unable to check. I said that I...there is a paragraph here, perhaps...

Finally, I should like to speak on the point of "Treatment of persons detained in concentration camps for the purpose of investigation."

Dr. Servatius: Witness, would you first please indicate whether Director Sievers came to see you.

Accused: I thought I had made it clear that I can no longer answer that question with confidence. However, if he did come to see me, I would not have given him any information other than that I have just indicated, that is to say that I was not competent to deal with these matters.

As proof of my lack of competence with regard to transfers, I would refer to exhibit T/1280, document No. 175, page 2, where it says: "Prisoner movement: transfer to other camps, particularly at Stage III, must not be requested from the Head Office for Reich Security or the Reich Criminal Police Headquarters. In principle, orders for transfers can only be given from here." This is signed by the Chief of Department D, that is the Inspectorate of Concentration Camp Affairs.

I have found another passage in this documentation, which seems to me to shed some light on the matter - the two communications from Himmler's personal staff, dated 1 November and 6 November 1942, respectively. Apparently nothing at all happened as far as the whole affair was concerned, for the next six months. Because in the State Prosecution's document No. 913 - unfortunately I do not know what the T number is -

Dr. Servatius: T/1367.

Accused: ...on page 4, right at the bottom - the text is in English - it says - it is Sievers' diary - 28 April 1943, Head Office for Reich Security IVB4, SS Sturmbannfuehrer Guenther: "Examinations now possible." So it seems to me that was some six or seven months later. And this confirms what I said, that, as for all affairs for which I felt myself not to be competent according to the organization chart, I passed them on to the Chief of Department IV. To whom he entrusted them for future handling, I had no idea, and I think that this document - Sievers' diary - confirms what I have said about this matter, just as the previous documents about sterilization proved that Guenther, without doubt, received a secret assignment from the Department Chief of IV.

And if in Nuremberg, Sievers, in document No. 912, exhibit T/1370, on page 5776, states that he spoke to me, and as to the question why Gluecks etc., who was, after all, the person in charge...then I must state as against that, that in 1945 Sievers did not mention Guenther's name at Nuremberg, the name he gives in his own diary, and that on the basis of the discussion which must have been with Guenther, the examinations were not possible. So I can only assume that in Nuremberg, Sievers simply said something on the spur of the moment, as often happened. That is what I have to say about this matter.

I would like to add that it is my nature to state things that I dealt with and not to shirk what is necessary. And in this extremely sensitive matter I have deliberately restricted myself to the documents available here.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, have you now come to the end of a chapter?

Dr. Servatius: No, Your Honour. I have a few more questions to ask in connection with the skeleton affair; there are several more exhibits.

Presiding Judge: Very well. However, the Court will recess.

[Recess ]

Presiding Judge: You may proceed, Dr. Servatius.

Dr. Servatius: I turn now to document No. 792; it has no T number as yet. I would ask for the document to be accepted as evidence. This is a communication from Himmler to Director Sievers, dated 7 July 1942, and concerns the apparatus and the same matter, the question of the skulls. It is a formal order.

Presiding Judge: I shall mark this exhibit N/18.

Dr. Servatius: It is a formal order from Himmler to Sievers, the Director of the Ancestral Heritage. Under the aegis of the Ancestral Heritage, an Institute for Applied Research in Military Science is to be set up. Such applied research appears to have mainly been in the field of medical experiments. Point 2 says: "Professor Hirt's research should be given all possible support."

Point 5 reads: "In respect of the costs which can already be made available from Waffen-SS resources, contact the Chief of the Economic-Administrative Head Office."

The next exhibit is T/1362, document No. 791. The document is undated. Contents: Information about the duties of the Ancestral Heritage and implementation of its aims. I submit the document, in order to show that the Ancestral Heritage is an independent body, separate from the Head Office for Reich Security.

The next exhibit is T/1370, document No. 912. This is an excerpt from the examination of Director Sievers by his defence attorney, in the Nuremberg Doctor's Trial. I am referring to the page number which always appears at the bottom of the page.

On page 5771 it states that Himmler gave orders for the skull collection to be established, and on page 5783 the important point concerns the passage where the witness talks about responsibility with regard to the Dachau camp. The passage reads: It "shows that for prisoners the individual section heads had to contact Himmler themselves for each individual case." It continues: "And I think that sufficient documents have been submitted here to prove that the question of test persons was a matter decided on exclusively by Himmler, and it was always a matter for which the Head Office for Reich Security or Gluecks was responsible." Gluecks is the Inspector of Concentration Camps.

At the top of page 5787, the witness states that he informed the Head Office for Reich Security that the work was discontinued following the outbreak of an epidemic.

Witness, does this mean that you were involved in the matter?

Accused: No, because I did not concern myself with the details at the time, and I am, therefore, certainly not in a position to react today.

Presiding Judge: And can the Accused not state which section in the Head Office for Reich Security was able to deal with the matter?

Accused: Your Honour, to the extent of my knowledge, and according to my ability to answer truthfully, as far as I know there was no Section in the Head Office for Reich Security which was responsible for that, in the nature of things. Today, I myself have to draw conclusions on the basis of the documents which, it is true, show that the Inspector for Concentration Camp Affairs was, until the beginning of 1942, subordinate to the Head of the Security Police and the Security Service. And from the various files of the period, I am also aware that the relationship between the Chief of Department IV and Brigade Commander Gluecks was officially very close. And I can well imagine that Himmler's special wishes and orders were dealt with directly by the Chief of Department IV, together with Gluecks, and, as I can see here, that Mueller then gave secret assignments to a member of the staff of the Head Office for Reich Security whom he found suitable.

Dr. Servatius: On page 5776, it says:

"Question from the defence: The next document is No. 116, a communication from Brandt to Eichmann. Why was such a communication to Eichmann, who was a Specialist Officer in the Head Office for Reich Security, necessary, if Gluecks was already aware of this order? After all, Gluecks was the person who was in charge of all concentration camps." "Sievers' answer: 'Gluecks sent me to Eichmann, whom I had not known at all until then. Eichmann had been notified by telephone by Gluecks. However, he said that he also needed a document from Himmler or his personal staff. And then this communication was written.'

"The next question from the defence: 'And what did you yourself talk about with Eichmann?'

"Sievers' answer: 'I gave Eichmann the report and Hirt's information, and I told him that Hirt's colleagues wanted to carry out anthropological examinations and that, in accordance with Himmler's instructions, he, Eichmann, was to arrange for the necessary conditions to be available in Auschwitz.'"

Witness, can you make a statement about this testimony given at Nuremberg?

Accused: Yes, Sir. I have said that today I cannot remember definitely whether Sievers came to see me or not. But, in order to make absolutely sure that I avoid even the impression of trying to wriggle out of something, I will say that, if Sievers had come to see me, I would have passed the entire matter on to Gruppenfuehrer Mueller, my chief, with the comment that, in accordance with the relevant instructions and ordinances, I was in no way competent to deal with the matter. In other words, if he really had conveyed to me what he says in his deposition at Nuremberg, I would have passed this on in turn, and I would have passed it on to my chief with the comment that, in accordance with the service orders, it was not Department IV, and more particularly Section IVB4, but the Inspectorate for Concentration Camp Affairs which was competent and responsible for the matter.

I would add further to my statement as follows: If I had dealt in any fashion with this matter as a result of Sievers' visit, it would definitely not have taken six months to determine that the examinations could be started. This fact in itself is sufficient to prove that I had nothing to do with the matter.

Dr. Servatius: I shall pass over the exhibit listed, T/1280, document No. 175, and come to T/1367, document No. 913.

Judge Raveh: Dr. Servatius, if you are now coming to a new chapter, I would like to ask you something. In connection with the question which arose in a previous session, I found in document No. 1180, exhibit T/37(234), that, at the end of 1943, Himmler was Minister for the Interior of the Reich. The Presiding Judge observed to me that the Accused has also, in one of his comments, mentioned that Himmler was for some time Reich Minister of the Interior. I would like to ask you in one of our future sessions to check exactly when Himmler was Reich Minister of the Interior, as this could be relevant to the proceedings.

Attorney General: Yes, of course, there are publications on the subject.

Dr. Servatius: I shall endeavour to do so. The next exhibit is T/1367, document No. 913; this is an excerpt from Sievers' diary. At the bottom of page 4, there is an entry dated 28 April 1943, at 10.45 hours. As far as I can make out the text, it reads: "At the Reichssicherheitshauptamt IVB4, SS Sturmbannfuehrer Guenther, 1. Examinations now possible at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp." And then it says, "Discussion of procedure." The second item is illegible in my text. The Accused has already commented on this passage.

The next exhibit is T/1358, document No. 914. This is a telegram from Sievers' to Brandt on Himmler's personal staff, dated 5 September 1944. The introduction to the communication, the first sentence, shows who issued the order. It reads, "As per the proposal of 9 February 1942 and the relevant assent of 23 February 1942, Sturmbannfuehrer Professor Hirt has established the skeleton collection which had not existed until then."

Presiding Judge: I gather that this is T/1368 and not 1358.

Dr. Servatius: I am sorry, I accept the correction.

I now turn to a section on "Evacuation." First we have exhibit T/734, document No. 119. This is a report of a Duesseldorf police inspector, dated 9 March 1942, on a discussion in Section IVB4, Berlin, with comments by Eichmann.

Presiding Judge: Are you following the sequence of your lists now, Dr. Servatius?

Dr. Servatius: I am following the order according to my list. According to this report, Eichmann stated that a further 55,000 Jews would be evacuated from the Old Reich, Austria, Bohemia and Moravia, including 20,000 from Prague and 18,000 from Vienna.

It says that Eichmann referred to the directives with regard to persons whom it was permitted to evacuate, and he also drew attention to the fact that people had been wrongly evacuated, and that the Jewish Elder from Riga had intervened accordingly with the higher authorities. The matter went as high as Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich, who insisted that the directives should be respected.

In the penultimate paragraph it says, and I quote:

"In order to avoid individual Stapo stations being exposed to the temptation to deport inconvenient elderly Jews, Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann stated that, for the sake of reassurance, it should be said that those Jews who remained in the Old Reich would, in all probability, be deported during the summer or autumn of this year to Theresienstadt, which was designated as an 'Old People's Ghetto.' This town was now being evacuated, and some fifteen to twenty thousand Jews could provisionally be transferred there immediately from the Protectorate. This is in order to 'save face with the outside world'."
Witness, would you comment on this statement.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.