The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 79
(Part 4 of 5)

Accused: Yes. At the time these forms of words were ordered by Himmler under the title of "Sprachregelung" (prescribed usage), and, in accordance with these orders, which came through the Head of the Security Police and Mueller, they were to be used for the files. Now, this order was not always observed, for a simple reason, that is to say, in dictation it was often overlooked and forgotten. However, in most cases, when the Chief of Department IV went through the files, he would make a note of it and require the necessary changes to be made.

As a further explanation, I would add the following: This document is directly connected with the outcome of the Wannsee Conference. And, in turn, this document is also directly connected with document T/730, which was dealt with at the beginning of today's session, in which it is stated that the individual local stations are to report to the Head Office for Reich Security the numbers of the Jews liable to evacuation, with the exceptions laid down in that decree. Consequently, these figures were available. On the basis of these figures my Section, in accordance with orders, had to draw up the timetable together with the Reich Ministry of Transport, since the deportation itself had been decided on at the Wannsee Conference. I would point out, by the way, that this was the third wave of evacuations; two had already taken place before in 1941.

Now, in these two waves of evacuation in 1941 - the two major evacuation waves of Jews from the area of the Reich to the East - there had been difficulties which came to the notice of the Chief of the Security Police and Security Service, Heydrich, himself, and so, in the future, he made the individual Heads of the State Police Stations personally responsible for ensuring that these directives were strictly obeyed.

Dr. Servatius: One moment, witness. You must avoid such long sentences; this is not a written communication, you must speak briefly, in short sentences, so that the interpreter can follow you. Otherwise no one will be able to follow.

Accused: Yes.

Presiding Judge: Silence in court! I thank Dr. Servatius for doing my job for me this time.

Dr. Servatius: I now come to page 2. Reference is made there to the W Account, which is well known, and then it says, "in order to provide this fund with sufficient monies, the Jews should in the near future be encouraged to make major donations to the W Account." Then there is a sentence which is not at all clear, and it reads: "So far, apparently as a result of a misapprehension that the fund directly benefits the Jews, few contributions have been received."

Would you comment on this, please.

Accused: All I can state today is that the local stations at that time considered that the Jews might have tried in this fashion to save some of their property, since under Regulation 11 it was considered to be forfeit to the Reich. And, in accordance with all of the propaganda of the time, the individual representatives of the local stations were taken in by this propaganda and thought to themselves, "put a stop to this anyway." That is my only explanation of the matter today.

Presiding Judge: I want to understand that reply. From the document I gather what is being said is: "Don't worry; the money is not actually a donation, but is simply being taken away from the Jews, and therefore you can encourage it. Because it is being taken away from the Jews, you can exercise pressure on them."

Dr. Servatius: May I perhaps explain?

Presiding Judge: No, I am sorry, I would rather hear from the witness himself. Is what I have said correct?

Accused: That is what it amounts to in the end, Your Honour, in the following way: In accordance with Regulation 11, the property had anyway become forfeit to the Reich Exchequer. Now some legal experts or other - as I have already said, possibly as a result of a common finding, together with the legal experts of the Reich Association - had found a modus vivendi at the time for part of the property which, under Regulation 11, had in any case become forfeit, to be diverted, without the Reich Treasury, the Oberfinanzpraesidenten (the heads of the Finance Administration) being able to do anything about it, so as to obtain the sums necessary for release for deportation and for maintaining Jewish institutions, without, however, having to follow the long-winded official procedure.

And thus, someone had the idea that a donation cannot be appropriated by the Reich Exchequer, if it is transferred in due time. So the term "donation," if I can put it this way, was a type of trick, and thus, Your Honour, it really does amount to what you yourself said, Sir.

Presiding Judge: Thank you.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I think that the Accused stated something further about the matter, since that sentence has not yet been clarified. It says here, "as a result of a misapprehension, i.e., that the Jews will benefit directly from the money, too little has been received to date." And then it says that, as a result of the propaganda, the bodies concerned with the matter did not insist and make it clear to the people: "'You must donate money,' because they thought that the Jews themselves might receive the money, and, as a result of the propaganda, that is something which they did not wish..."

Presiding Judge: The stress is largely on the word "directly"; that is what you mean, is it not?

Dr. Servatius: Yes. On the last page, it says that accommodation will be in trains, but trains can only accommodate seven hundred persons, yet a thousand Jews must be accommodated in them.

Witness, is this not a needless complication, for which you were responsible?

Accused: No. This is a matter which, in any case, could not be decided by the Head Office for Reich Security or by Section IVB4. But, as far as I remember, the figure of seven hundred is one which was quite customary at the time, given the standard number of carriages, which unfortunately is not specified here, because otherwise it would be easy enough to make the calculations, for military transports. In the case of military transports, individual soldiers had their own baggage with them, whilst here extra goods waggons were made available for the luggage and were attached to the trains...

Presiding Judge: If there is a disturbance again [in the courtroom] I shall have to take the necessary measures. This will not be allowed. Let everyone have his thoughts and not express them.

Accused: that the people who were being removed would not have their luggage with them, but separately in the attached goods waggons. So, in accordance with a calculation by the Reich Ministry of Transport, the capacity of the carriages was determined to be not seven hundred but one thousand.

I should like to add to my statement that these statements are the result of studying the document on the one hand, and a weak recollection on the other. However, since the expert who, in accordance with orders, had to conduct negotiations with the Reich Ministry of Transport at the time, the former Hauptsturmfuehrer Novak, is now in a Vienna prison, I am sure that what I have said now can be filled out in more detail than I have endeavoured.

Judge Halevi: I have a question about your previous answer, which I did not understand. You explained to Dr. Servatius that the term "um nach aussen das Gesicht zu wahren" (to save face with the outside world) was a Sprachregelung (prescribed usage), as you put it, for use in the files; but I do not understand. I can understand that such phraseology is prescribed for usage in official files, some paraphrase. So you talk about "Aussiedlung" (compulsory transfer) instead of "Evakuierung" (evacuation); or, instead of using the term extermination, you call it the Final Solution. But here the matter concerns transferring elderly Jews to Theresienstadt, and you have said that the reason for this was in order to save face with the outside world. So how does that come to be a question of prescribed usage?

Accused: I probably did not make myself sufficiently clear. This prescribed usage was not laid down for use in the files; such prescribed usage was decreed for circumstances when these matters had to be talked about in contacts with outside bodies, in negotiations and so on, and if a note for the files was drafted about such negotiations and discussions, naturally the prescribed usage had automatically to be used in the files as well. But the main thing was Himmler's wish and determination that such prescribed usage be used with regard to the outside world.

Judge Halevi: Which prescribed usage?

Accused: Saving face with regard to the deportations to the East, where the conditions in which the deported persons had to live were far worse than in Theresienstadt. So Himmler wanted to turn his Old People's Ghetto, Theresienstadt, into a kind of showplace, and he gave orders accordingly, so that people would believe that that was the way in which the Jewish Question was being solved in Germany. In brief, that was the point of this whole required prescribed usage.

Judge Halevi: All right. I have another question: On the second page, there is a sentence which reads: "the Jews must not, under any circumstances, receive information, and therefore total secrecy must be observed." Why was that necessary?

Accused: Most files of this type were either classified or restricted material in the Head Office for Reich Security, in accordance with orders.

Judge Halevi: Why, what was the reason?

Accused: In order to avoid police preparations being visible to the outside world. Such were the orders at the time.

Presiding Judge: Please proceed, Dr. Servatius.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, the indications about the number of persons per transport - was this order also implemented?

Accused: I cannot answer this accurately at the moment, but I do remember that when I read through the sixteen hundred documents which I found here, I found that a considerable number of documents - that is to say, a considerable number of directives - are available for the various districts and regions, and in all these directives the figure mentioned is one thousand for transport per train.

From the same documents, I also became aware of the fact that other occupancy figures are given for the transports, within the Generalgouvernement, for example. But it can be ascertained that the transport, which to some extent was interurban, within the Generalgouvernement did not have its timetable determined by Section IVB4 together with the Reich Ministry of Transport. Instead, the Reich Ministry of Transport transferred all powers to the Directorate General of the German Eastern Railways, in Cracow, and the local authorities of the Generalgouvernement, for which the Higher SS and Police Leaders were responsible, had drawn up the timetables for the Generalgouvernement on their own responsibility. In conclusion of my statement, let me add that a few documents will shortly be produced which will corroborate and confirm what I have just said.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/737, document No. 1279. These are directives for the technical implementation of evacuation of Jews to the Generalgouvernement. There is an incoming stamp of 22 March 1942 on the document. The directives are probably from Section IVB4. I would draw attention to point 2, at the bottom of page 1: "Determination of the Category of Persons to be Evacuated," where reference is made to the Reich Citizenship Law. Certain exceptions are laid down. On page 2, under III, "Transport," again it is stressed that to accommodate more than one thousand persons in a transport is not permitted. It also says, "The following must be taken along for each individual," and then a list of items follows. This includes basic foodstuffs for two weeks. On page 4 it says: "When notice of departure is given, the destination should not be entered in the register, but the entry should simply be 'moved to unknown address' or `emigrated'."

Witness, did you draw up these directives?

Accused: The actual administrative work was carried out by Section IVB4. I would like to make some comments as evidence for the fact that the various provisions in the directives were not devised by IVB4, but were imposed from outside on the Secret State Police - these represent the wishes of the various ministries and the orders of the German Reich police, etc.

On page 4, the last paragraph reads: "When Jews are reported as having departed, the word `emigrated' must be entered." This is another example of what was known as the "Sprachregelung" (prescribed usage), and, in a document which has already been dealt with, document No. 1560, a letter from Himmler to Gluecks, dated 25 January 1942, the first sentence reads: "...since no Russian prisoners of war can be expected in the near future, I will require Jews and Jewesses who are being emigrated* {* In the German original: "die ausgewandert werden"} from Germany..." So here Himmler is using this term which thus, at the same time, was an order to the Chief of the Security Police, and in these directives, which had to be drawn up by March of that year in accordance with instructions, the term "emigrated" had to be used.

Dr. Servatius: On the last page but one, page, in the middle, under V, "Reception," it reads: "The Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service in Cracow is responsible for the reception of the evacuees in the Generalgouvernement." I would draw attention to this passage, because I consider that thus Eichmann's competence ceases on the reception [of the deportees].

I shall pass over two documents, exhibits T/736 and T/200.

Judge Raveh: I again have a question for clarification. We have heard that the BdS (Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei - Senior Commander of the Security Police) was subordinate to the Higher SS and Police Leader, but I am not so sure if we have heard what the relationship was between the BdS and the SS and Police Leader. To make things quite clear, let me repeat: We have heard that the BdS was subordinate to the Higher SS and Police Leader, but I do not know - and it would be useful if we could be told - what the relationship was between the BdS and the SS and Police Leader.

Dr. Servatius: The situation was such that the Higher SS and Police Leader acted as a personal representative of Himmler, and the BdS was not directly subordinate to him; he was here subordinate to the Governor General within the government. However, the Higher SS and Police Leader could always exert his influence, and have the BdS made subordinate to him.

Judge Raveh: That is not what I was asking - I was not asking about the Higher SS and Police Leader, but about the relationship between the BdS and the SS and Police Leader.

Dr. Servatius: On the bottom of the same page of the document, under "Reporting Procedure," a conclusion can be drawn on that: Notification of departure is received by Section IVB4, next by the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, and then by the SS and Police Leader, that is Globocnik, who is also the Camp Commander. This Globocnik must be subordinate to the Commander of the Security Police and Security Service, who is a Dr. Schoengarth, in Cracow.

Presiding Judge: This does not fit in with the plan given by the Accused.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, in the next Session I shall submit some tables which will be the best foundation for discussing these command relationships.

Presiding Judge: Very well.

Dr. Servatius: I shall pass over the next two scheduled exhibits, T/736 and T/200. I come to a new section, "Executions." The first exhibit is executory regulations from Himmler about executions, dated 6 January 1942, file number S IVD2.

Presiding Judge: What is our number?

Dr. Servatius: T/202. On page 1, point 2, under "Transmittal of Orders," it reads: "The order for execution shall be signed by the Chief of Department IV, Head Office for Reich Security, or a specially empowered representative."

Question to the witness: Did you receive such an order or instruction, so that you were empowered sign?

Accused: Do you mean, so I could give the order?

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