The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 85
(Part 5 of 7)

Dr. Servatius: There are two passages. In the record of the Court of First Instance, Bad Toelz, dated 15 June 1961, on page 2, I. On the allegations of the Accused, at the end of point 1, it reads:
"My understanding that the Accused Eichmann was responsible for the foot march was based mainly on Winkelmann's information." And on page three, II: "I did not talk with Winkelmann about the question who was responsible for the initiative for the transports and their technical execution. A discussion about that was superfluous, after Winkelmann had declared that he was out of contact, that he had nothing to do with this matter."
Documents will be submitted showing a rather different picture.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, what do you wish to stress?

Attorney General: I have marked a passage which was also read out by Counsel for the Defence:

"My name is Hans Juettner, I am 67 years old and married. I am the proprietor of a sanatorium in Bad Toelz, Herderstrasse 1.
" On page 2, point 1:
"In November 1944 I travelled, accompanied by Obersturmbannfuehrer Becher, from Vienna to Budapest. On the way, on Hungarian territory, we found columns of Jews guarded by Hungarian Honveed soldiers, moving in the direction of Vienna. He said to me, more or less: 'We shall meet the "Eichmann Regiment".' I asked him what this was, because I imagined that this was a military unit. Then Becher enlightened me that it meant the deportation of Jews from Budapest to the Austrian frontier.

"After I had seen the columns, I went to the Higher SS and Police Leader Winkelmann in Budapest, in order to enquire who was responsible for these transports, and to protest against them. Winkelmann knew of these transports. He maintained that he had nothing to do with them, that this was Eichmann's concern. Then I asked him who Eichmann was. Winkelmann explained to me that he (Eichmann) was the head of a Section of the Head Office for Reich Security over which he, Winkelmann, had no authority. In this Section, Eichmann was dealing with the Jewish Question. My understanding that the Accused Eichmann was responsible for the foot march was based mainly on Winkelmann's information.

"The junior officer at the time who came to me from Eichmann's Section told me, after I remonstrated with him on these deportations, that his unit belonged to the Secret State Police in the Head Office for Reich Security, that they had their own orders, and that I had no business to tell him what to do. He spoke to me in a very insolent manner. I was told that Eichmann was not present, and that this junior officer had come in his stead."

Attorney General: I would now ask for Grell's testimony.

Presiding Judge: I mark Grell's statement V. Dr. Servatius, what do you wish to stress in this statement?

Dr. Servatius: There are a few passages in the record of 14 June, Court of First Instance, Berchtesgaden, on page 3, in the middle:

"Based on my knowledge of my own area of expertise, it was my opinion and impression that the Special Operations Unit led by the Accused was exclusively responsible for the technical implementation of transports of Jews. I also made this point in Prosecution document No. 640."
Then, further down:
"In accordance with the instructions of the Hungarian Ministry of the Interior, the concentration and rounding-up of the Jews in Hungary was carried out by the Hungarian gendarmerie."
At the bottom of page 4 it says:
"When problems arose, the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service in Hungary, Standartenfuehrer Geschke, also intervened."
At the top of page 5:
"The Reich Ambassador to Hungary, Veesenmayer, did not play any role in planning and implementing deportations of the Jews."
I shall subsequently present documents showing the contrary.

Then it says:

"I believe that in the first few months of his activities he made proposals and became active in taking the initiative."
At the top of page 6:
"In my view, the Reich Ambassador to Hungary conducted the negotiations with the Hungarian Government which were decisive for deportations, acting on instructions and on a diplomatic level.
Then on page 8, in the middle:
"I am utterly convinced that the crucial factor in carrying out the deportation of Jews from Hungary was that of the Hungarian Government of the day. The Hungarian Government was probably not informed of the final destination of the deportations."
On the same page, the penultimate paragraph:
"Eichmann never made any difficulties for me in my area of singling out foreign Jews in Hungary. The date of each transport was given to me at my request by his office or by Eichmann himself."
On page 9, the second paragraph: "Eichmann did not sabotage the protective measures - this relates to the safe conduct" - to the bottom of the paragraph, "of which the Prosecution has just shown me a photocopy."

Then, on page 10, the paragraph at the bottom, beginning: "I do consider Eichmann to have been the man in charge of his office in Budapest, but not a man who did, or was able to, act independently and decisively on his own initiative in his field." Then down to the sixth line from the end, "to cope with the assignment he received."

Then a particularly significant passage appears at the bottom of page 6. It is significant in evaluating the affidavits made at Nuremberg. The witness says as follows:

"My statement of 31 May 1948 was formulated by the defence, for purposes of the defence, and is not in formal terms a solemn statement as defined in the Penal Code. Given these conditions, my statement is understandably somewhat tendentious, without this making it untrue. However, because of this it is also somewhat incomplete on certain matters. Moreover, because the matters were far fresher in my memory then, the statement I made at the time is more precise on various points than what I remember now. Also, at that time it was customary, under the impression of a one- sided victors' court, for the accused before the court to be cleared of guilt, to the detriment of persons not present or presumed dead."
I would remind the Court that apparently Justice Musmanno was less aware of these facts than was the defence.

Presiding Judge: At any rate, it is clear that this is a trained lawyer speaking.

Is that everything from this testimony, Dr. Servatius?

Dr. Servatius: Yes, I shall not present anything further.

Attorney General: If it please the Court, I have already handed my passages to the interpreters, but I should like to add something else. I have also marked a passage on page 9 in which Grell confirms what he said in the proceedings against Krumey and Hunsche. He confirmed what is marked with the letter `d' in that statement, the end of the second paragraph on page 9. This statement is not part of the record before the Court, but I have it before me, signed by Grell, in the presence of his defence counsel; it is now before the Interpreter. I would ask the Interpreter to also read out what it says in this paragraph `d,' as confirmed by Grell, and I would ask the Court to admit this as an appendix to Grell's statement.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, do you agree to this?

Dr. Servatius: I have not yet read this statement.

Presiding Judge: A copy of this statement will be provided to Dr. Servatius, so he can react to the matter. I see that the reference is to letter 'd.'

Interpreter: [Reads Grell's statement] Page 2:

"I joined the NSDAP (German National Socialist Workers Party) in May 1929, and the general SS in May 1933. My last rank in the SS was Obersturmfuehrer."
On page 7, at the bottom, fifth line from the end:
"In the late autumn of 1944, Eichmann once said to me during a conversation that the enemy powers considered him to be war criminal number one, and that he had some six million people on his conscience. In this context he was speaking not of Jews, but of enemies of the state. I understood this comment by Eichmann along the lines of "viel Feind, viel Ehr" (many enemies, much honour), and it was not until the American prosecution put it to me that I remembered it. As far as I was concerned, this statement was part of Eichmann's efforts to emphasize the importance of his position or of his own person. To the best of my memory, this conversation took place in late autumn 1944, after Eichmann had returned from service on the front on the Hungarian-Romanian border. During his service there Eichmann had won the Iron Cross, Second Class. During this conversation Eichmann was neither drunk nor tipsy."
And then page 9.

Presiding Judge: In the meanwhile read out what it says here.


"And for the rest, I stand by my written statements in the criminal proceedings against Krumey and Hunsche, letter `d' of 7 October 1957, of which the Prosecution has just shown me a photocopy."
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, the Attorney General would like to read that part marked 'd'; what is your position? This would appear to be necessary for the understanding of the testimony now before the Court.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the text is badly printed and in very small letters; I have to read it through - perhaps other material can be dealt with for the moment. There are still several more pages.

Presiding Judge: Very well; let us leave this for the moment. Is there anything else to be read out from this statement?

Attorney General: No.

Presiding Judge: Very well; we shall leave this for the moment and return to it later, once Counsel for the Defence has deciphered the passage. Now for the last testimony, by Becher. I mark Becher's statement VI.

Dr. Servatius, what do you wish to stress in Becher's statement? We shall return later to Grell.

Dr. Servatius: This is the record dated 20 June 1961. Bremen Court of First Instance. I should first of all like to read out the last sentence, where there is a note which says here: "Before the examination, the witness was informed of the questions on which he was to be examined." This is a very curious procedure for a cross-examination, and not only did the judge make this note - I was also informed by my assistant that the questions were made known to the witness days before, and obviously he discussed them with his lawyer.

It is not possible to carry out cross-examination in this fashion, and I would here like to draw the Court's attention to the fact that this witness also had lengthy discussions with the late Dr. Kasztner, and Mr. Brand also visited him. He is a very clever and competent businessman, who also understands how things work here - we heard before about the Nuremberg judgment - about this kind of testimony from witnesses.

Therefore, I have doubts about this statement being admitted now. I must in any case object, because it has never yet happened in cross-examination that the accused was informed of the questions by the court days in advance.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, what is your information on this point: How long before the beginning of the examination did he already know about the questions?

Dr. Servatius: He had them several days in advance, and this was also noted by the Prosecution representative, who admitted as much before the judge, but the judge simply made this very discreet comment...

Presiding Judge: All right.

Dr. Servatius: In my opinion, the witness really ought now to be brought before this Court for a real cross- examination, since I would have quite a lot I would like to ask him.

Attorney General: If it please the Court, I would first like to clarify things completely. We did not inform Mr. Becher of the questions he was to be asked, and if such is the implication, I must correct any such impression.

Presiding Judge: I did not understand that to be the implication.

Attorney General: There is a decision in the file of the Bremen court to show the questions to Mr. Becher, by a decision of the judge. In accordance with this decision, the questions were given to Mr. Becher, but I do not know how long in advance.

Presiding Judge: Did we not note in one of our decisions that the questions were not to be made known? The question is only whether this was notified to the court in Germany; I am not sure that it was.

Attorney General: I have not seen the details of the application to take Becher's evidence on commission. In any case, the examination of Kurt Becher was carried out in accordance with a request by the Defence. If the judge in Bremen considered it correct to show him the questions in advance, under the procedure adopted by him - this is a question of legal proceedings in another state, on which I am not required to express an opinion. This is how he understood he had to carry out his duties. At the very most, this argument would affect the weight to be given to this testimony, but nothing more. I would ask that this interrogation be admitted, and I have marked a number of passages to be read out before the Court.

Presiding Judge: Your last remark in no way affects the question we are discussing; in other words, it should neither encourage nor deter us.

Attorney General: Not the latter, I trust.

Judge Halevi: What would be your attitude to Dr. Servatius' application to examine him as a witness before this Court?

Attorney General: The first time the request was made, I said right away what my position was with regard to Kurt Becher, that I could not offer him immunity from criminal proceedings. Nothing has been disclosed in the meanwhile which would lead me to modify this attitude.

Judge Halevi: Including this testimony?

Attorney General: Including this testimony.

Judge Raveh: Does the Attorney General know who caused the decision of the judge to show the questions to the witness?

Attorney General: No, Your Honour, I do not know.

Judge Raveh: Nor do you have a copy of the decision or the debate preceding it.

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