The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 83
(Part 1 of 5)

Session No. 83

16 Tammuz 5721 (30 June 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the eighty-third Session of the trial open. The Accused continues his testimony. I draw the Accused's attention to the fact that he is still testifying under oath.

Accused: Yes, I am aware of it.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, I am not returning to the chapter of France, but am now coming to that of Holland. I should first like to submit Reitlinger's book, The Final Solution ("Die Endloesung"). One of the charts refers to it.

Presiding Judge: I shall mark this book with initials.

Dr. Servatius: I submit a chart for the chapter on Holland which the Accused drew up on this subject some time ago. The lines are less important, since they belong to a text without which they are difficult to understand, but it provides a survey of the departments with their names.

Presiding Judge: I mark the chart N/45.

Dr. Servatius: The first exhibit is T/526, document 1355. This is the draft of a report by the commissioner general who is the general in charge of security, the Higher SS and Police Leader Rauter, to the Reich Commissioner - that is Seyss-Inquart. This Higher SS and Police Leader was at the Ministry of the Interior and there spoke to the Ministerial Counsellor, Dr. Loesener. Here he reports that he had been told the following. I quote:

"The most extreme advocate for the intention to intensify the Regulations for Blood Protection (Blutschutz), and in particular to consider half-Jews as Jews, was Senior Government Counsellor, Reischauer, of the Party Secretariat in Munich."
At the bottom of the page it says: "Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann from the Head Office for Reich Security closely collaborates with Reischauer." There is an addition in brackets:
"Eichmann has set up the Central Office for Emigration in Vienna and Prague and conducted the deportation of Jews from Stettin to the Generalgouvernement. Eichmann, too, strongly favours the revision, though he is considerate in matters of form."
On the second page, in the penultimate paragraph, it says:
"If the communication from the Commissioner General in Charge of Security of 18 August 1941 mentions 'departmental discussions by the highest Reich authorities,' then this was an error, because so far there had been only oral discussions, there has been nothing in writing as yet. Reischauer himself had spoken merely of a 'loose working arrangement.' No specific opinions by the Department had been demanded by Reischauer and Eichmann."
Attorney General: We have a Hebrew translation here of this document.

Interpreter: This time we have not even got the original documents about Holland.

Attorney General: The material arrives late from the archives, and therefore it is difficult for us to supply the whole sets of copies all at once.

Presiding Judge: See to it that tomorrow these translations will be supplied before the start of the session. They are not required at the moment.

Attorney General: We shall do so.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, you heard what was said about you; would you state whether this is correct? What can you state about these events? There is one more thing I should like to mention: This is a communication from Rauter, the Higher SS and Police Leader, which is neither signed nor has a heading.

Accused: While reading this file, I detected a number of factual inaccuracies, one of them in the first paragraph on the second page, where it says:

"Some time ago the Head Office for Reich Security called for a consultation, to which Counsellor Feldscher of the Ministry of the Interior was dispatched. The subject of the consultation was the prohibition of marriage in the Netherlands."
When I read this sentence, I began to wonder, because as far as I can remember, and to the extent that my memory was reinforced by all those other documents, the first time Feldscher had been in the office building - where, amongst others, also Section IVB4 was housed - was after the Wannsee Conference, namely on 6 March 1942. I then looked at the date of this entry - 19 September 1941 - that was when I began to examine this communication critically. Then, right away, on reading the first paragraph, I began to have my doubts. [It says:] "As instructed, I discussed the matter on 16 September 1941 in Berlin in the Ministry of the Interior. The Specialist Officer Loesener told me the following." That is when I told myself that this, too, is impossible, because the position of a Higher Police Leader implies that, when in Berlin, he would not go and report to a specialist officer and sit down and discuss the matter with the specialist officer. Instead, if he were already discussing it in the ministry, he would do so with a chief of department, at the very least; in case of doubt, he would certainly discuss it with the State Secretary.

I read on and saw that, in the occupied territories, there was to be a revision of who was to be considered a Jew. When I took the relevant document, I saw, too, that what was being discussed here had been a consultation in the Ministry of the Interior on 30 January 1942, at which Loesener and also Reischauer had taken part, and when it says, furthermore, "because Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann works with Senior Government Counsellor Reischauer," this is correct insofar as Reischauer also took part in the various discussions which had been ordered.

However, there can be no question of close collaboration, because Reischauer put forward the point of view of the Party Secretariat, and these discussions in which Reischauer participated generally dealt with legal matters, as can be seen from the documents.

Here, too, I was hardly in a position to offer my opinion, since this matter was being worked out and decided upon by the jurists. And then, when I saw that the communication is neither signed nor has a letter heading, I said to myself, this communication is peculiar in more than one sense.

To sum up, I have to say that what is written down here is not correct.

Dr. Servatius: I now come to exhibit T/523, document No. 1627. This is a communication from the Foreign Ministry, signed by Rademacher, to Mueller, of 5 September 1943. It deals with the intervention by the Swedish Ambassador, and with the attitude towards reprisals, such as in incidents in the Netherlands where 660 Jews were deported as reprisals. The last paragraph on the last page is significant for the presentation of the case.

"In principle, the Foreign Ministry shares the view of the Head Office for Reich Security and, on its part, supports the reprisal measures against the Jews for being the authors of the disturbances."
Next, I present document 615 which has not yet been exhibited. It has already appeared as T/37...

Presiding Judge: I hear it is T/37(212).

Dr. Servatius: This is a communication from Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Police Rauter in The Hague to Senior Commander of the Security Police Harster, also in The Hague. It does not give the name here, but he is the Senior Commander of the Security Police. The communication is dated 18 August 1942.

Presiding Judge: I mark this document N/46.

Dr. Servatius: The first sentence says:

"In yesterday's meeting of commanders, I brought up the subject of not deporting the Christian Jews."
Further on, in the lower half of the communication, it says:
"The Reich Commissioner, i.e., Seyss-Inquart, immediately interrupted me and explained that he had made no declaration whatsoever that Christian Jews were not to be evacuated, and that he is definitely of the view that, after all other Jews have been deported, also the last Christian Jews should be transplanted to the East at the first politically suitable opportunity."
The next exhibit is T/531, document No. 1496. This is another communication from the Higher SS and Police Leader to Himmler, this time dated 24 September 1942. It is an interim report about the deportation of Jews. In the first paragraph it says:
"Until now, together with the Jews deported to Mauthausen as punishment, we have sent off twenty thousand Jews to Auschwitz."
Further on it says:
"However, in agreement with the SS Commissioner, I am deporting also all the Jewish partners of mixed marriages, insofar as no children have issued from these mixed marriages. This will involve about six thousand cases, so that about fourteen thousand Jews from mixed marriages will remain here for the time being."
It goes on to mention a "Werkverniminglager"* {*Dutch for: cleaning-up the work camp} and he says that the Jews were permitted to flee to that place, so as to have them assembled there. He goes on to say - the last words at the bottom of the first page:
"On 1 October, the Werkverniming camps are suddenly going to be occupied by me, and on the same day the relatives outside will be arrested and put into two large, newly-created Jewish camps in Westerbork. Instead of two trains each week, I shall try to obtain three. These thirty thousand Jews are going to be deported from 1 October onwards. I hope that by Christmas we shall also be rid of these thirty thousand Jews, so that altogether fifty thousand, which is half, will have been removed from Holland."
Also the last paragraph on this page is of significance: "On 15 October Jewry in Holland is going to be outlawed." I am omitting some of the text; then a new sentence: "Every Jew met with anywhere in Holland will be put into the large Jewish camps." Then follow observations about the confiscation of assets.

The next exhibit is T/543, document No. 589. This is a letter from Zoepf, the Senior Commander of the Security Police. He writes on 27 April 1943 to IVB4 in Berlin. I should like to draw attention to the fact that the heading has the same file number, and that one needs to make sure each time whether it is the Commander of the Security Police, one of the offices, or the Department in Berlin.

Also, in the other countries, the file numbers were brought into line; the same applies to the other official files. The letter states the position as regards the evacuation of Jews. Point 4 on the second page is important for the presentation of the evidence. It says there that "the Vught camp will soon be filled even more by reducing the Jewish Council and by the "Armament Jews" (Ruestungsjuden). The SS Head Office, SS Sturmbannfuehrer Maurer, intends to put up an armaments industry there at first."

Witness, what is this Head Office, Obersturmbannfuehrer Maurer, and what has it got to do here with Jewish matters?

Accused: The other files show that this Obersturmbannfuehrer is from the Economic-Administrative Head Office - that same Head Office which had control over the concentration camps. Instead of Head Office, it should really read Economic-Administrative Head Office, abbreviated to Head Office E. and A. (V. und W. Hauptamt). It was probably for the sake of brevity that the writer of this letter called it "SS Head Office." In reality, the SS Head Office is quite a different office, and this SS Head Office had no Obersturmbannfuehrer Maurer, nor had the SS Head Office anything to do with camps. The reference here is, doubtless, to a concentration camp that had been put up in order to work for the armaments industry.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/544, document No. 1356. This is another communication from Harster, the Commander of the Security Police, to the Central Office for Emigration of Jews, Camp Westerbork, of 6 May 1943. It says: "On the basis of the last directive from SS Gruppenfuehrer Rauter and the consultations conducted with the representative of the Head Office for Reich Security, the following operations are to be carried out for the handling of Jews within the coming months."

And further on:

"Point 1. The Reichsfuehrer-SS wishes to have as many Jews transported to the East this year as is humanly possible."
Witness, were you the representative of the Head Office for Reich Security, or do you know who was?

Accused: Today, I can no longer say with any certainty whether the reference was to me or someone from another office.

Dr. Servatius: I refer only to the last sentence in the communication, still on the third page. He writes:

"I request that the preparations necessary for these operations within the framework of the local competence not be neglected, despite the current political situation. Most important: Detailed orders will be given from here in due course."
The next exhibit is T/554, document No. 591. This is a new list, list No. 23. It reports on a consultation at the Head Office for Reich Security. The communication is dated 9 July 1943. I refer to the bottom of page 3, paragraph 1: "Taking along of assets by those being returned." It says there: "No general decisions will be made by the Head Office for Reich Security as regards these assets." And at the end of the paragraph: "The Reich Commissioner shall himself decide on matters of property."

On page 5, in further proof, it says about a consultation with Guenther: "It had already become known in the Head Office for Reich Security, through radio reports transmitted from London, that in the Netherlands the Jewish partner of mixed marriages is being sterilized." I am leaving out a few lines. It goes on to say: "Guenther was very surprised that this had already been commenced, without the knowledge of the Head Office for Reich Security."

The next document No. is T/556, document No. 463. This is a communication from Dr. Harster, the Commander of the Security Police, to the Reich Commissioner, that is Seyss- Inquart's office, and there to the representative of the Foreign Ministry with Seyss-Inquart.

The first paragraph is important. It says: "The Reich Commissioner for the Occupied Dutch Territories decided, in agreement with the Reichsfuehrer-SS, that the Jews in the Netherlands who live in mixed marriages, with and without children, will be exempted from wearing the Yellow Star, upon proof of their infertility." This points to close collaboration; that is to say, it reveals the close co- operation of these offices.

The next exhibit is T/559, document No. 606. This is a communication from Eichmann to the Commander of the Security Police in the Netherlands. Naumann has now replaced Harster. The communication mentions "accommodation passports" which have arrived from abroad, and the last page but one mentions censorship of letters.

Witness, yesterday you said in connection with the Theresienstadt camp that you had nothing to do with the supervision of postal matters. Would you explain how it is that you were involved in this matter here?

Accused: In this instance, such a preventive measure was of importance to the state. The date - 5 November 1943 - and the proximity of Holland to England, the enemy at that time, were the motivating forces behind those preventive measures. While such dangers did not exist in the Protectorate, situated, as it was, in the heart of the Reich of that time, they definitely existed here; hence the Head Office of the Reichsfuehrer was obliged to adopt such a measure.

To clarify this further, I should finally like to mention that the whole subject of foreign censorship was brought to the attention of the Head Office for Reich Security through the official channels, no doubt via Department VI - Espionage and counter-espionage - and accordingly, in the end, had to be dealt with by Department IV.

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