The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 80
(Part 6 of 6)

Dr. Servatius: Do you know whether these suggestions in this document were accepted, that is to say that the suggestion should be rejected because otherwise it would be seen as a sign of weakness, or because it could be exploited for propaganda purposes? It also says that "it could not be reconciled with the policy vis-a-vis the Arab people." Was there any discussion on this and what do you know about it?

Accused: These were the objections in principle of the Foreign Ministry, which as far as I am aware really appeared only following an agreement with the Grand Mufti, although already prior to that the Foreign Ministry had maintained that emigration to Palestine would mean strengthening that country, and creating a new foreign-policy opponent which might perhaps arise against Germany, and for that reason should be rejected.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to exhibit T/1255, document No. 218. This is a communication from the Foreign Ministry to Eichmann dated 3 March 1943. It was a notification by the German Ambassador to Bucharest, reporting on the attitude of Vice-Premier Antonescu towards the emigration of Jews on Romanian ships. The German Ambassador opposes this emigration by ship.

Witness, the communication went to you, did anything happen as a result of it?

Accused: In this communication the Foreign Ministry is not asking for an opinion - I think it was for information only - the actual facts of the situation were known, and nothing more had to be done, except that in such cases such a communication went up through the service channels, with Mueller taking a decision as to whether it should be filed away, or whether it should be passed on for information to the higher echelons.

Dr. Servatius: Was this an exceptional correspondence, an exceptional communication, when this came to you?

Accused: At that time, there were so many communications from the Foreign Ministry to the Head Office for Reich Security which went through my Section as well, with the same or similar content, that I would like to answer that this communication did not appear to be exceptional, as it dealt with matters already known - except for the problems with the ships, about them running ashore and so on - basically the position of the Foreign Ministry was clear in principle.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to exhibit T/1048 - document No. 231 - this is a communication from the Accused to the Foreign Ministry - about evacuation of Jews from the Balkans to Palestine. The communication is dated 3 March 1943. It says that the emigration of 1,000 Jewish children to Palestine should be prevented if possible.

Witness, what made you write this letter?

Accused: It says: "according to reliable information which must be kept confidential." Today, that indicates to me that there was some report or information or notification from a highly-placed source in the Reich. Such information had to be dealt with particularly having regard to Himmler's strict order to stop all emigration.

Dr. Servatius: What did Department VII of the Chief Office for Reich Security deal with?

Accused: Department VII dealt with research into enemies of the Reich from a scientific standpoint.

Dr. Servatius: Which Department dealt with Intelligence?

Accused: Department VI.

Dr. Servatius: Did you have dealings with Department VI in connection with such matters?

Accused: I should like to qualify this: such confidential information, which had to remain secret, could perfectly well have reached Department IV through Department VI, but then it would be information from important personalities abroad, and this would be channelled to the various specialist sections through the intelligence service of the Head Office for Reich Security, that is Department VI.

Dr. Servatius: I shall now pass over several documents and come to T/950, document No. 1037. This is a communication from Section IVB4, Guenther to the Foreign Ministry. Notification about the emigration of 4,000 Jews, 4,000 children to Palestine. Steps are to be taken to avoid this emigration taking place. How did the Department receive this information about such planned emigration?

Accused: In this instance it was not information from Department VI of the Head Office for Reich Security. In this case it was information which the bureau of the DNB, the German News Agency, had somehow passed on to the Head Office for Reich Security. I myself remember that Mueller had extremely close links and connections with the DNB, and as long as von Rittgen was in charge, I still remember, the head of the DNB, von Rittgen was in constant direct touch with the Chief of Section IVB4. I do not know whether this was still the case in 1943, but I can well imagine that this was how Mueller himself got this information from the DNB and then instructed Section IVB4 to notify the Foreign Ministry accordingly.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/951, document No. 1038. This is a communication from the Foreign Ministry to Eichmann, dated 7 April 1943. The information contains the negative attitude of the Bulgarian Government, which is not particularly willing to co-operate with regard to the Jewish Question.

Witness, why was the information given to your Section?

Accused: I have just seen that this is the reply to the letter of 2 April which has just been dealt with, the information from the German News Agency. This is shown in the heading.

Dr. Servatius: In other words this is the official notification to you, while the other information appears to be from the news agency. However, the question was why is there this insistence from the Foreign Ministry, and why did they notify you?

Accused: This was in accordance with the instructions which the Foreign Ministry had received, as shown in the last paragraph of the previous document, which reads: "I would once again ask for appropriate steps to be taken in order to prevent any emigration to foreign parts from Bulgaria," and since the specialist officers of the Foreign Ministry knew that my Chief of Department, Mueller, was constantly and on an almost daily basis in very close touch with their department chief - either Luther or Wagner - they made a point of indicating the view of the Foreign Ministry promptly.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/1050, document No. 980. This is a telegram from the Commissioner on Jewish Affairs, Richter, through the Bucharest Embassy of the Foreign Ministry to the Accused, dated 7 April 1943. This states that a transport of seventy-four children had been stopped - this was an emigration transport - by causing the Jewish Council to intervene, and Richter told a representative of other circles who intervened that, if the transport were to continue on its way, the country of destination would be changed - in other words it would be sent elsewhere. How is this comment to be understood?

Accused: In Romania, Richter was under the orders of his Head of Mission. The Foreign Ministry's position with regard to emigration to Palestine is well-known and has been shown by the documents. In accordance with orders the Head Office for Reich Security, too, had to stop everything.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, is it not possible that the term "a different destination" could be understood in a rather sinister sense, which was to make the people concerned to give in?

Accused: Yes, it is equivalent to a threat.

Dr. Servatius: When it came to practical instructions, was Richter not subordinate to you?

Accused: No, Richter was not subordinate to me - neither personally nor practically. Richter obtained his technical instructions directly from Mueller, where they concerned Jewish matters.

Since Richter was also working in Intelligence he received his instructions in that respect directly from Kaltenbrunner. If my Section had to correspond with Richter through the prescribed channels, this would be by orders from my Chief of Department, through von Thadden's section in the Foreign Ministry. If Richter himself was in Berlin, after visiting the Chief of Department and the Chief of the Security Police, he would also call on me at the end.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/1051 - document No. 981. This is a telegram from Ambassador Beckerle in Sofia to the Foreign Ministry, dated 10 April 1943.

I have a question in this connection: Could the Commissioner on Jewish Affairs negotiate independently with a foreign authority - that is to say with a Ministry or a Secretary of State?

Accused: The Commissioner on Jewish Affairs was not permitted to conduct negotiations on his own initiative with any authority whatsoever. However, if he had received orders or instructions from the Police Attache, who was his superior and if the Police Attache had instructions from his Ambassador - then naturally he was allowed to do so. I would refer in this respect to the relevant Operative Orders on the basis of the arrangements between the Head Office for Reich Security, or Himmler and Ribbentrop, with reference to the Police Attache.

Dr. Servatius: Another exhibit, T/952, document No. 1034, is a communication from the Accused to the Foreign Ministry dated 4 May 1943. This is another notification about the emigration of Jews to Palestine. It says that the Palestine Government has authorized larger-scale entry. It says that this entry must be prevented.

Witness, you said earlier that initially you were particularly in favour of emigration to Palestine, and now we have this contradictory position.

Accused: As long as there was no ban on emigration - no general ban - I did not have any actual order during the earlier part of the War to prevent emigration to Palestine as well, and on the contrary, I even forced its pace. But when the general ban came from the Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of the German Police, I had no choice other than to obey orders. In any case there was no way that I could have got anything through the meshes of the official setup.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibits are T/1260 - document No. 1310, T/1263, document No. 1309 and T/1261, document No. 1311. These are communications by the Mufti to Ribbentrop, to the Bulgarian Foreign Minister, and again to Ribbentrop with a request for support of his political aims.

Were you in touch with the Mufti? Did you co-operate with him? Would you care to give the Court information on the matter?

Accused: Yes. As far as I know I saw the Mufti just once. This was during an evening hosted by Department VI in the Security Service guesthouse, to which most of the Specialist Officers of the Head Office for Reich Security had been invited. Each Specialist Officer, including myself, was presented to the Mufti. At that time there was an agreement between the Mufti and Himmler, according to which - I know of only three people - but in any case several people had to go through the Head Office for Reich Security as intelligence agents. In this case it was three Iraqi Majors. According to orders, these three Iraqi Majors came to work in my Section for their information for a day or two - I cannot quite remember now. Subsequently, neither I, not any officer of IVB4, had anything at all to do with either the Mufti or any of the three Iraqi Majors.

Dr. Servatius: Did the Mufti ever offer his services to you as an adviser on Jewish affairs?

Accused: No, and what is more, I never exchanged words with the Mufti other than to state my name when I was presented to him. I had nothing at all to do with the Mufti in practical terms.

Judge Halevi: But you were certainly presented to the Mufti as the Specialist Officer on Jewish Affairs?

Accused: I cannot reply one way or the other, because I no longer remember, but I should like to add the reservation that it is quite possible that the host, Department VI, did tell him, but I myself do not know.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to a section which concerns the attempt to get Jews out of the territory of the German Reich, which was in the end led by Ambassador Feldscher. In this connection there is a document, No. 743, which has not yet been submitted. At the moment I do not have any copies here: perhaps I can submit my own copy? This is a draft report of the Foreign Ministry, listing the various endeavours by foreign authorities, as well as containing a draft reply to the relevant bodies. I would ask for permission to submit that later on.

Presiding Judge: I mark this N/30. You may take the document back after the Session in order to make more copies. Do you wish to quote from the exhibit?

Dr. Servatius: No, this is just a general reference, because all these actions are grouped here in a convenient form, giving an overall picture.

The next exhibit is T/1071, document No. 150. This is a communication from Section IVB4, Guenther, to the Foreign Ministry. The document refers to efforts by the Romanian Government and the International Red Cross.

Witness, did you deal with this matter?

Accused: As shown in the communication I - that is to say, the Section - dealt with this only to the extent that a highly confidential notification which reached Section IVB4 was sent on to the Foreign Ministry, and the Police Attache in Bucharest was also advised. Since a similar instance has already been brought up today, I can more or less assume that this confidential information also came from the DNB, the German News Agency. Finally, I should also like to say that one document refers to 13 July 1944, at which time I was in Hungary, not in Berlin.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to T/1259. This is a communication of the Foreign Ministry dated 27 May 1944, for internal use. It says that the Reich Foreign Minister has ruled that nothing shall be done for the moment in the Feldscher affair.

I shall now omit several exhibits. Generally these show the same negative attitude towards the various efforts, with various reasons being put forward in order to explain why these matters should be rejected. I should like to submit some of these exhibits later, but I do not have them yet available in triplicate, perhaps I can do so at the beginning of the next session.

I turn now to document No. 667, which has no T number as yet. I can submit this document provisionally, for the time being.

Presiding Judge: This will be N/31.

Dr. Servatius: This is a collection of communications with regard to information to the Red Cross about departures on the steamer "Tari." On page 5 permission is given for the departure, on 21 April 1944; on the same day, page 7, the permission is revoked.

Do you know anything about the facts? About the sudden change in attitude?

Accused: Although these matters go back to 1943 and earlier, I am unable to say anything about this particular communication because this is also dated 21 April 1944 - that is to say, a period when I was not stationed in Berlin.

Presiding Judge: What is the situation, Dr. Servatius, can we stop here?

Dr. Servatius: Certainly. I should be grateful if we were to stop, in order to allow me to prepare the documents still better.

Presiding Judge: The Court will adjourn till 8.30 tomorrow morning.

[ 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.