The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 87
(Part 4 of 6)

Presiding Judge: But the question is, why did you not include something about this point right from the beginning in your questionnaire, if this question is important.

Dr. Servatius: Lack of time, Your Honour - it is impossible to envisage in advance every development in an encounter. Only now, going over it, does it become obvious that there are still a few important passages - I would simply refer to the last sentence in the record. The judge at the Court of First Instance, Bad Aussee, a Senior Judge of District Court, writes at the end: "...As shown in the Record, I am expecting a supplementary request for legal assistance, and have therefore retained copies." In other words, he himself realizes that his procedure is defective.

The last sentence reads: "In any case I shall not consider my task to be complete until I am notified by whatever channel that the Jerusalem District Court no longer requires my legal assistance." I request that the Court use its powers and admit the document as evidence.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, in any case that is not possible, unless there is a special application and a further examination of Hoettl as a witness abroad. That is our opinion. Do you have such an application? If so, we shall deal with it.

Dr. Servatius: I shall not apply for an additional hearing because of these minor questions, but I do think that the simplest way would be to accept the document.

Presiding Judge: I have already intimated that, in our opinion, it cannot be done in this way.

Dr. Servatius: In that case, I hereby apply for permission to carry out an additional hearing of the witness Hoettl, on certain questions of which I shall notify the Court.

Judge Raveh: On what topics are you applying for Hoettl to be further examined?

Dr. Servatius: I received the document only this morning, and I have not yet had the time to read it carefully, in order to see what he might already have said about this point. The matters at issue concern the official relationships, under whose control were the concentration camps, as he puts it. It is possible that in his statement, in the seventy pages, he has already said something about this - this has to be checked, and so I am not yet able to state my position - I might later be able to indicate whether it is necessary.

Presiding Judge: Do you mean whether there is any need for a supplementary examination?

Dr. Servatius: I should only make an application if the statements he has made clash with what he said before.

Presiding Judge: We will therefore postpone our decision on this point until tomorrow. This will enable you to consider again whether you wish to examine Hoettl for a second time.

Dr. Servatius: I thank the Court.

The next document has not yet been submitted; it is a statement, a declaration by Karl Sommer, dated 22 January 1947, made in a Nuremberg trial and taken by the Civil Evidence Division.

Presiding Judge: What do you know about Sommer?

Dr. Servatius: He received a heavy sentence; I do not know what happened to him. He was sentenced to death.

Attorney General: As far as we know, he was sentenced to death, but the sentence was not carried out - it was commuted to twenty years' imprisonment on 31 January 1951. If he has not yet been granted a pardon - if he is still alive - he should still be in prison somewhere.

Presiding Judge: And what is your attitude to the submission of this statement or testimony?

Attorney General: We refrained from submitting this. I regret that Counsel for the Defence did not inform us earlier, and did not inform the Court by the time set by the Court for both sides to inform it which statements they wished to submit. However, I do not want to be over- difficult and shall therefore agree to the document being submitted.

Presiding Judge: Is this a testimony?

Attorney General: It is a sworn affidavit.

Presiding Judge:

Decision No. 92

We allow the submission of Sommer's affidavit as evidence. The Attorney General has no objections.

I mark this N/98.

Dr. Servatius: This is a statement by Karl Sommer. He was an Obersturmfuehrer who worked in the Economic- Administrative Head Office. He belonged to Section D 2 and had the rank of Section Head. On the third page from the end it says, at the bottom:

"It was the task of the Department" - it is very difficult to make it out - Department I, it must be, but it could also be II - "and therefore [the task] of Hoess, to indicate to the Gestapo which camps were still able to absorb detainees. It says that it was Hoess' responsibility to indicate those camps to which large numbers of detainees could be transferred, where there was still room. Hoess made a certain arrangement and decided where the people should be delivered to. I remember that Hoess also came to see us and asked me personally in which camp there was still room, as transports were arriving from France."
On the last page, the last paragraph, it reads:
"In the spring or summer of 1943, when the Jews were deported from Berlin, an order arrived that all Jewish prisoners in the concentration camps were to be evacuated to Auschwitz, as the territory of the Reich was to be cleared of Jews. Maurer had to give this order for the evacuation of Jewish prisoners. Maurer passed the order on to Gluecks and demanded new people to replace those who had to be sent to Auschwitz on the orders of Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler."
Maurer's identity can be established from the first page. This reads: "The Section Chief of Section D 2 was Standartenfuehrer Maurer, from the Economic-Administrative Head Office.

Presiding Judge: We shall now recess for twenty minutes.


Dr. Servatius: I come now to exhibit T/216, document No. 843. This is an affidavit by Blobel, dated 6 June 1947. I refer to page 2. This reads:

"In January 1942, I was replaced as head of Special Commando IV A and was transferred to Berlin for disciplinary reasons. For a while I remained there without employment. I was under the supervision of Department IV, under the former Gruppenfuehrer Mueller. In the autumn of 1942 I was assigned the task of travelling to the Eastern Occupied Territories as Mueller's representative, and covering up the traces of the mass graves which resulted from the executions by the Special Operations Units. I retained this assignment until the summer of 1944."
Witness, at this time, did you know Paul Blobel, and did you have official consultations with him, or any other official dealings, at that time?

Accused: I did know the former Standartenfuehrer Blobel. I had no official dealings with him, as neither he, nor any members of his operations unit, were subordinate to me. Neither did I - nor was I in a position to be able to - give him or any member of his operations unit any specific instructions.

"Blobel also makes the point explicitly here that he was directly subordinate to Mueller. That means that he had his assignment directly from Mueller. However, the home address of this operations unit was Kurfuerstenstrasse - I think it was 118, or whatever, but in any case next door to Kurfuerstenstrasse 116. That is where the operations unit was housed for supply purposes. That means that in this building, where I believe the second and third floors were inhabited by...they were used for accommodation of the personnel, not only of Section IVB4, but also of other personnel of the Head Office for Reich Security, when they were seconded or transferred to Berlin, in any case on their own, without their families - so there were also a few rooms in which Blobel and his personnel lived when they were in Berlin, which happened very rarely, however. That is the only...the only connection I had with this operations unit."

Dr. Servatius: Then, on page 4, under point 7, it says: "Special Operations Unit IV A shot women and children as well. In September or October 1941, I received from Special Operations Unit C under Dr. Otto Rasch, a gas truck, and execution was carried out by using the gas truck."

Did you have anything to do with the supply of a gas truck in this case, via Special Operations Unit C, and with the execution carried out here using a gas truck?

Accused: I had nothing at all to do with the whole gas truck affair. However, the documents presented here indicate which division in Department II dealt with this affair.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/218, document No. 1549. This is a report by Hoess on a journey he made on 16 September 1942. In addition to Hoess, participants included an Untersturmfuehrer Roessler and an Untersturmfuehrer Dajo, or something like it. The report reads: "Arrival at Litzmannstadt (Lodz) at 9 a.m." There was then a tour of the ghetto, followed by a visit to the special installation. Tour of the special installation and discussion with SS Standartenfuehrer Blobel about setting up such an installation.

"The construction material ordered specially by Sturmbannfuehrer Blobel from the Ostdeutsche Baustoffwerke Company of Posen, Wilhelm Gustloffstrasse, is to be delivered immediately for the Auschwitz concentration camp. The order is shown in the enclosed document, and the materials in question are to be ordered and redirected, in agreement with Obersturmfuehrer Weber of Office C V/3 of our Central Building Management Office. The relevant number of copies of consignment notes are to be sent to the above- mentioned firm. With reference to the discussion of SS Sturmfuehrer Blobel with the firm of (illegible) & Co., Hannover, Buergermeister Link-Strasse, delivery should be made of the ball mill (that is what it looks like) already reserved there for grinding substances for the Auschwitz concentration camp."
Witness, I shall be asking you questions later about your own visits to the various camps. For the moment I would like an answer to the following question: Did you have anything to do with this visit? With the preparations, or the supply of the ball mill? Would you give your reaction, please?

Accused: I was not present during this visit, nor did I have anything to do with the supply of a ball mill, nor with the supply of any other materials and components for these matters.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to exhibit T/1309, document No. 185. This is the Dr. Gerstein affair. There are various documents, some in German, some in English, some in French. The first one, in English, is an initial assessment by the Americans and is dated 5 May 1943, which must be a typing error, as it has to be 1945. There is then a more detailed summary on the same subject, dated 14 February - no, it does not have a date of its own. It is an annex to the first document. However, I would here draw attention to the third paragraph, where it says, "because of his medical training, he was ordered to the SS Main Administrative Office, Section D."

Then, in the second paragraph, there is a detailed description of his visits to the Lublin camp, "where he was shown around by SS Major General Globocnik, a man who received his orders from Hitler and Himmler directly."

Then, on page 5, which is also marked page 18, there are some bills in a condensed form, and these show that Gerstein carried these bills around with him as evidence of the first meeting; on the page marked 19, at the bottom, it is not quite clear how the dates fit together. It reads, "More deliveries - " then it says, from March 1944 to April 1945, but the other dates at the top are May 1944 and 18 May 1944 - this is not entirely clear, but the actual bills are also given later.

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