The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 87
(Part 2 of 6)

Dr. Servatius: The date?

Presiding Judge: Which page?

Dr. Servatius: Page 12.

Attorney General: In order to avoid any misunderstanding, I should like to say that I gather that the entire document has been submitted as an exhibit - that is, that document known as No. 49. It is now an exhibit before the Court, not just the passages which Dr. Servatius wants; I cannot agree to provide just choice morsels.

Presiding Judge: Do you want some more morsels?

Attorney General: I want the whole of it.

Presiding Judge: It seems to me that what you want is already so in fact.

Attorney General: That is what I wish to clarify - that this is the fact.

Presiding Judge: Yes, yes. In any case I have already marked this N/94, and Dr. Servatius can now quote from it whatever he wishes to quote.

Dr. Servatius: I also understood that, where exhibits were concerned, this was always the procedure.

The task of this judge was to follow up instances of corruption within the SS. He visited various camps in order to ascertain such matters, and in so doing came across the entire matter of extermination... He heard that "this involved what was called an impenetrable or special camp near Lublin. I located this camp and its commander. This commander was Kriminalkommissar Wirth." At the end of the paragraph is another sentence:

"Wirth then revealed to me that, on the Fuehrer's orders, he was to carry out the extermination of the Jews."
On page 15, replying to a question, Morgen says:
"When Wirth took over the extermination of the Jews, he was already a specialist in the mass destruction of people, having previously carried out the assignment of eliminating incurable mental patients. For this purpose, acting on the orders of the Fuehrer himself, transmitted to him through the Fuehrer's Chancellery, he had at the beginning of the War set up a commando of various officials of his own."
He then describes in detail what happened with the mental patients, how they were transferred from one institution to another, until they eventually finished up at an extermination institution.

On page 16, it then says:

"This system which deceived the institutions and made them into accomplices, innocent accomplices, this system which enabled him with very few staff to kill large numbers of people - this was the system which Wirth now applied to exterminating the Jews, with a few modifications and improvements. He again received the order for the extermination of Jews from the Fuehrer's Chancellery."
Then, towards the bottom of page 17, he says:
"Those who were involved can be counted on one's fingers - the names can be counted on one's fingers. I remember the name Blankenburg in Berlin, Blankenburg, Fuehrer's Chancellery."
On page 30 he is asked: "Did you also hear the name Hoess from Wirth?"

Answer: "Yes, Wirth called him his untalented pupil."

It continues: "Compared with Wirth, Hoess basically applied totally different methods. I think that the best way for me to illustrate this is when we come to talk about Auschwitz."

The examining attorney then asks: "Did the name Eichmann also come up at that time?"

Morgen answers: "I do not remember that at that time the name Eichmann already came up, but I did come across it later."

Then, on page 36, the lawyer asks, at the bottom:

Question: "Under normal circumstances, witness, what should you have done, having found out about all these dreadful things?"

Answer: "Under normal circumstances, I should have arrested Kriminalkommissar Wirth and Commander Hoess and charged them with murder."

Question: "Did you do so?"

Answer: "No."

Question: "Why not?"

Answer: "The answer is clear from the way the question is phrased: During the War in Germany there were no longer normal conditions in terms of constitutional guarantees. "Another thing must also be taken into account. I was not simply a judge; I was a judge within the framework of military criminal jurisdiction. And no military court anywhere in the world could place in the dock before it, its army supreme commander, let alone the head of state."

Further down it says:
Question: "So what did you do?"

Answer: "I realized, given these insights, that something had to happen here, i.e., an immediate halt to this operation. Hitler had to be prevailed upon to cancel his orders, and in the circumstances only Himmler could do this, in his capacity as Minister of the Interior and Minister of the Police."

At the top of page 38 Morgen continues:
"I, therefore, first went to my immediate superior, the Chief of the Reich Criminal Police Bureau, SS Oberfuehrer Nebe. I also went to the Chief of the Head Office SS Courts - that was Obergruppenfuehrer Breithaupt, and I also took steps with Kaltenbrunner and with the Gestapo Chief, Gruppenfuehrer Mueller, and with Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl of the Economic- Administrative Head Office, and with the Reich Physician, SS Gruppenfuehrer Dr. Grawitz."
He goes on to say that he followed further tactics by breaking the top echelons and the main members of this extermination system, one by one, using the system's own measures, that is to say, by initiating legal proceedings against those persons referred to there.

He then describes in more detail how this might have developed and what results he expected - all that one can read in detail in the document.

On page 51, Morgen is asked by another defence attorney: "Did you wish to execute a warrant from the SS Court for the arrest of Eichmann?"


"I applied to the Berlin SS Court to carry out an investigation of Eichmann based on my information. At which point the Berlin SS Court submitted to the Chief of the Head Office for Reich Security - SS Obergruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner - in his capacity as the highest judicial authority, a warrant for the arrest of Eichmann. Dr. Bachmann reported to me that, when this was presented, there was a dramatic scene."
It goes on:
"Kaltenbrunner immediately called in Mueller, and the judge was told that under no circumstances could there be an arrest, as Eichmann was carrying out a secret special assignment, of the utmost importance, on behalf of the Fuehrer. When was that? That was in mid-1944."
The next document is No. 50, a sworn affidavit by Morgen, dated 19 July 1946. As far as I can see, this has not yet been submitted.

Presiding Judge: No, we do not have anything by Morgen.

Dr. Servatius: In this, there is also comment on the facts with reference to Wirth, the Reinhardt Action, and also about Eichmann's position.

Presiding Judge: I mark this exhibit N/95.

Attorney General: The Prosecution has no objection to the previous Decision being extended to cover all of Morgen's statements.

Presiding Judge: The previous Decision will cover all of Morgen's statements.

Dr. Servatius: At the beginning, on page 1 - the heading here is SS Sturmbannfuehrer and SS Judge (Res.) Dr. Konrad Morgen. He says that he has heard from various sources regarding those who gave the orders for the organization of mass destruction. And then, under point 1:

"Reichsarzt SS (Reich Physician SS) SS Gruppenfuehrer Dr. Grawitz, who also played a role in the euthanasia affair, told me that Hitler himself gave the order for the extermination of the Jews."
Point 2:
"Historically, the extermination of the Jews began with the destruction of the eastern Jews in Poland. This was carried out by the same methods - gassing - and by the same commando which earlier carried out the destruction of the incurable mental patients in Germany. I had several detailed conversations with this commando and its chief, Kriminalkommissar Wirth."
At the top of page 2: His assignment was initially "mass extermination of the mentally ill." After that there was the assignment concerning the Jews. He was to set up the technical organization and the apparatus, and to keep the whole operation concealed from the outside world. It then says (leaving out a sentence):
"Wirth chose his own assistants. The operation was not implemented through any SS organization or office. He had his permanent headquarters in the Fuehrer's Chancellery in Berlin in the Tiergartenstrasse. That is where Wirth received his instructions and where he reported."
Page 3, point 2:
"Hoess entered the arena of mass extermination much later, with Auschwitz. Hoess only exterminated the Jews who were not able to work. Because of the way he worked, Wirth called him his untalented pupil. I know that Hoess, together with Bormann, spent many years in jail for what were called the `assassinations by way of retaliation,' and it is from this period that the staunch friendship between the two originated. Hoess could go and see Bormann at any time, and therefore could influence Hitler. That must be the reason why Hoess was always handled with kid gloves by Himmler and by Pohl."
The last paragraph, under 3, reads:
" Separate from these commandos there was the Eichmann organization, whose task was merely to transport the Jews of Europe into the concentration camps or the extermination camps."
The next exhibit is another statement by Morgen, dated 13 July 1946 - document No. 48. I submit it as evidence.

Presiding Judge: I mark this statement N/96, and Decision 90 shall apply to this statement as well.

Attorney General: To complete the picture, I hope that Dr. Servatius will be ready to state here that Dr. Konrad Morgen appeared before the International Military Tribunal as a witness for the defence of the SS organization.

Dr. Servatius: I assume - the documents must show - I believe that this is demonstrated by the fact that he was examined by the defence witnesses - the defence lawyers. I am sure that the Prosecution would not have produced him.

Presiding Judge: We can look at the Nuremberg records, in order to find out.

Judge Raveh: Apparently he was not even cross-examined, as can be seen from the last page of N/94.

Dr. Servatius: There was no cross-examination.

Judge Halevi: This is somewhat difficult for us - this question of the absence of any cross-examination in Nuremberg. As far as I can see - and I believe that this can also be seen from the volumes of the Nuremberg Trials - the reason why he is not cross-examined is because it is argued that he is not credible, that there are so many testimonies in conflict with his own that there is no point in examining a single witness whose version is totally opposed to the testimony of all the other witnesses, and which was not accepted by the Court. I do not know to what extent this Court can draw any conclusions from that.

Attorney General: If Your Honour is addressing me...

Judge Halevi: The absence of cross-examination was in a particular context here.

Attorney General: That point was made explicitly by Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe.

Judge Halevi: He did not say that he was not examining him because he accepted what he said as true - on the contrary.

Presiding Judge: We shall in any case see what appears in the record. The record also shows that the Presiding Judge was extremely impatient, and this may also have influenced Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe.

Attorney General: I am already sitting down, Your Honour.

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