The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 97
(Part 5 of 6)

Attorney General: The negotiations between Richter and Antonescu about deportation of Jews, and the letter which Richter received from Antonescu were also concealed from the Foreign Ministry. Is that correct?

Accused: I gathered that from the files, but on the orders of his immediate superior, Killinger, as Killinger confirmed personally that Richter, on his orders, initiated the - I do not know what the literal expression is - the preliminary work or something similar.

Q. Is that how it is phrased? Is that what it says there?

A. Yes, I believe that it is in the same document, where Killinger is complaining about the methods of the SS. It is one of the first points, and it says more or less what I have just said.

Q. It is correct that Killinger did not wish the great praise for obtaining the letter from Antonescu to be put to your credit, and he wanted to share in this. But the fact of the matter is that Richter did this without Killinger's knowledge, as it says in the document, is it not?

A. I have no way of knowing that, since Richter normally did not deal even with Mueller, but with the Chief of the Security Police directly, and if he was not there, and only then, with my Department Chief. Richter himself had almost no dealings with me - he also dealt with Schellenberg.

Q. I thought we had already covered this point and that you told me that what you said in your Statement to the police about Richter, that he was one of your men and that he acted on your instructions in Romania - you said that that was correct. You did in fact say, "Richter was one of my people down there" - page 1777.

A. But in the same Statement of mine to Bureau 06 here, I also said that I know that Richter was the only Adviser on Jewish Affairs abroad who went regularly to the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service.

Q. Did you receive reports from Richter about his actions?

A. Yes, regularly.

Q. Also about his consultations with Mihai Antonescu?

A. Yes, that too.

Q. Also about the letter he received from him, from Antonescu?

A. I do not have the letter before me, but I believe even about that too, yes.

Q. Was Richter in touch with you both directly and also through Killinger? Look at T/1038, T/1019, T/1025 - they all attest to direct contact.

A. That is also true and that is correct, but on basic matters Richter always, and all the time, found a way to the top. This was also in his nature, because he was independent down there, under Killinger, and he would not have wanted to allow himself to be patronized by a Section Head of the Head Office for Reich Security. The result did not fail to come about - he did in fact become a Police Attache.

Q. Was Richter not obliged to report to you?

A. Yes, nor did I deny that.

Q. Yes, that is also on page 3524 of your Statement. And he received instructions not only from you, but even from your assistants? From Suhr, T/1020, document No. 574, for example.

A. Yes, I do not even need to look at this document, Mr. Attorney General, that is also correct. Not only Richter received this, but all persons stationed abroad, whether the posts were with the Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service, and there they were section heads, or whether they were advisers with the German missions.

Q. Correct. Now, after all this, look at the bottom of T/1023 again, and you will see that Richter approached Antonescu on the strength of an order from the Head Office for Reich Security, in order to obtain this letter.

A. That is an extract. The original letter - Richter's original report - has been presented, where he writes explicitly "on the order of the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service" - directly or indirectly, I do not know what it actually says.

Q. Very well. Neither my colleagues nor I are familiar with any such document. If you could find it, I should be grateful.

A. There are two reports presented here: These are Richter's reports about the talks he had with Mihai Antonescu. In the first report here he writes that it was a question of stopping emigration, and here he also refers to the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service. And in the second report he again refers to the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service. I do not now know what was the subject here. As far as I remember, I read it just a few weeks ago - I read the documents. I believe it is on the first or second page of these reports.

Q. All right, in any case you will agree with me that Richter did not approach Antonescu on the basis of instructions from the envoy.

A. As to the power balance between the top people, I know nothing about this. But it says that he did not discuss matters of principle with the adviser, but...

Q. All right, but that is what it says here.

A. This is an extract prepared by the Foreign Ministry. I must here refer to Richter's original report, this puts it rather more precisely. Because it happened repeatedly that in a communication extracted from some other report, instead of "Reichsfuehrer-SS" it says "Head Office for Reich Security," or some such phrase, or SS Main Office. That is not precise. In this instance, in this case what is precise are the reports issued by Richter.

Presiding Judge: Is there a report by Richter available?

Attorney General: Yes, but not about this matter.

Presiding Judge: [to the Accused] You may look for these documents in time for the next session, the documents you have mentioned, so that we will know what you are referring to.

Accused: Certainly, Your Honour, there are two of them.

Presiding Judge: All right.

Attorney General: But not about this matter. You have received a copy of every report Richter sent about his activities, irrespective of whether it was addressed to you or to the Foreign Ministry. Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. Now tell us, why is Killinger so angry with you in the eighth paragraph of T/1029, in the last paragraph there.

A. I am familiar with this matter. I myself was surprised, Mr. Attorney General, and have made this matter the subject of an intensive enquiry. Reitlinger gives here what seems to me to be an excellent and well-documented summary, with relevant sources, of the cause behind this matter.

Q. Let us stop referring to Reitlinger, let us for once refer to your memory and your knowledge. Now, Reitlinger can always be read, but you are not on the witness stand every day giving testimony - so tell us what you know about this matter.

A. From memory I actually do not know anything, because at that time this document did not reach me at all - the Foreign Ministry buried it in its files.

Q. Explanations by Reitlinger or other researchers - if the Court needs them, it can find them or refer to them.

Presiding Judge: In any case, if the Accused adopts Reitlinger's explanation as his, then I should like to hear it.

Attorney General: As Your Honour pleases.

Accused: Yes. Your Honour, if I might be allowed to look up this passage in Reitlinger and then indicate it at the next Session together with the two documents.

Presiding Judge: Yes, by all means.

Attorney General: Tell me please, why does the Foreign Ministry have to apologize to you for taking steps or measures related to Jewish matters without your participation, because you were not in Berlin at the time? Look at the document, No. 965, T/465 - in the last paragraph. Why is that the case?

Accused: That is connected with the reciprocal signing - mandatory signing - which existed both in the Head Office for Reich Security with regard to files or to matters in which the Foreign Ministry was involved, and vice versa in the Foreign Ministry for the Head Office for Security, where the Head Office for Reich Security was also marginally involved - as is the practice for all authorities.

Q. That is not the answer to my question - why does there have to be this apology to you yourself about this? Guenther could have done it! Mueller could have done it! Why does there have to be this apology to little Eichmann?

A. That was the official channel. It is well known that von Thadden sent all his correspondence via Section IVB4...

Q. But it is you personally to whom the reference is made - why you yourself?

A. It says: "For the attention of Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann or his official deputy."

Q. Yes, that is correct.

A. That is the official form of address.

Q. Yes, and what does it say there, what is the content?

Presiding Judge: What number was this, please?

Attorney General: Prosecution document No. 965.

Presiding Judge: That is T/469.

Attorney General: Yes; would you now answer me?

Accused: This is a perfectly normal official matter and the letterhead is perfectly normal in official terms - what is unusual is the "Heil Hitler" at the end instead of "by order." I do not know who wrote this - it cannot have been von Thadden, it must have been some other official in charge. Apart from that, there is nothing striking in the letter, which is a normal ordinary official letter. Because those were the rules and that is how things usually were. The other way round, I would - if things had been the other way round - I would have had to do exactly the same thing.

Q. So it is usual and normal for the Foreign Ministry, for Department DIII, to apologize to you for having taken some measure in unoccupied France without first contacting you. You are saying that that is how things must have been! Is that so?

A. This is not an apology on the part of the Foreign Ministry - this is a statement by the Foreign Ministry that it was not possible for this reason to observe the reciprocal agreement reached by the Chiefs. And finally, I would like to add that I am not absolutely certain whether this letter was actually sent - it is possible, but it is also possible that it was not sent, because it is not initialled.

But I would nevertheless like to comment...I do not wish to attach any importance at all to my last-mentioned observation; rather I would again like to state that there is nothing at all exceptional in this letter. Nor is it an apology - it is a formal, bureaucratic...formal, bureaucratic usage.

Q. Did you not say in direct examination in reply to a question by your Counsel that it was extremely unusual and impossible, and that you really did not understand why and for what reason the Foreign Ministry had written such a letter? Is my memory misleading me here?

A. It is in fact unusual, because normally these customs were always respected, as the files do in fact show, since at the end of the document the distribution list has to give the order of co-signatories, split up according to sections and the central body. For example, there is by chance a document here - I believe it is number 9 or 10 - where there is the opposite situation, where my Section shows such a distribution list, and on the left...

Q. Forget about the distribution list, forget about the sections - we are now talking about the content of the document. Is it correct that in direct examination you said precisely the opposite of what you are now claiming, that it is something totally unusual, something impossible, for you to be addressed in this way in terms of content?

A. That is also correct, because in practice something else was...

Q. Are both black and white correct?

A. No, Mr. Attorney General, but in practice matters look different from the impression given, if I single out just one case. The usage in all central bodies was as I have indicated. It was the rule, not only in the Head Office for Reich Security and the Foreign Ministry.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Attorney General, please continue.

Attorney General: The agreement between Belev and Dannecker to deport Bulgarian Jews, came about after Dannecker received your agreement or approval to draw up such an agreement. Is that correct?

Accused: The details should be clear from the documents. What the documents say is correct. I myself do not know this offhand. I only know what I have read here in the files about this case...Bulgaria, and it was in fact the upshot of a consultation between Mueller and Luther. This can be seen in this document.

Q. Very well, but Dannecker consulted with you, did he not? And you gave him permission to reach this agreement with Belev. That was after all not a daily occurrence, reaching agreement about deporting Jews, that was something special. How can you not remember that?

A. I also cannot remember the Antonescu agreement, accord, for example. I came across this here when studying the documents.

Q. Does an Adolf Eichmann without documents exist at all, or is Adolf Eichmann just a collection of the 1,600 documents which Bureau 06 managed to collect?

A. If I have to give accurate information...

Dr. Servatius: These questions are really not relevant questions to clarify the facts, so I would request that the Prosecutor be instructed to ask relevant questions and not bring in things which are really only marginal, and should be used later for evaluation in the closing speeches.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, we do not consider that these questions exceed the framework of a normal cross- examination.

Accused: I am compelled here to give precise and truthful information. That is also what I wish to do. If I were to present things from my memory, what would happen is what is in the six volumes of my interrogation; to a large extent this is totally accurate, but I tried here to reconstruct things. Today, after studying the files, I am naturally able to depict things differently, and I myself am surprised when I read a passage in this interrogation how clumsy and stammered together it is - you yourself said this once, Mr. Attorney General - and I entirely agree with you, how I expressed myself then as a result of my lack of factual knowledge, because of absence of recollection... it is very difficult to find one's way around all this vast body of material, and I would like to say once again - given this vast body of material, I really would not dare even to try to come up with any deliberate falsehood, I would immediately trip myself up.

Attorney General: So you do not remember the agreement between your subordinate Dannecker in Bulgaria and Belev? You did after all send Dannecker off there, didn't you?

Accused: But that is just it. I did not send him there; Dannecker went to Bulgaria on the basis of an agreement between Mueller and Luther - this is in the correspondence here. And it is clear that Dannecker obtained his basic instructions before he left for Bulgaria, and acted according to these instructions in Bulgaria, and finally an agreement existed between him and the Jewish Affairs Commissioner Belev. That is factually true.

Q. But he received his instructions from you, did he not?

A. It is not at all clear, Mr. Attorney General, whether he received them from me, whether I received them in fact from Mueller for transmission, or whether Dannecker did not receive them directly.

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