The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 98
(Part 1 of 6)

Session No. 98

4 Av 5721 (17 July 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the ninety-eighth Session of the trial. The Accused will continue with his testimony in cross-examination. I remind the Accused that he is still testifying under oath.

Accused: Yes, I am aware of that.

Attorney General: When you came to Berlin in 1939, were your offices at Kurfuerstensrasse 116 right from the beginning?

Accused: Yes, Kurfuerstenstrasse 116.

Q. Did the office at the time look as it appears in this newspaper?

A. Yes, that is the office, this building in the middle.

Presiding Judge: I mark this document T/1424.

Attorney General: How many rooms did your office have there?

Accused: As far as the number of rooms in this building housing my office was concerned, there were possibly - one moment, I have to work this out - there were perhaps eight rooms occupied, maybe ten, I am not sure - I think more like eight than ten. And then there were a few halls in the building, but they were not used, they were empty, except for a large hall which was initially fitted out as a central office and after that was completely empty, and then there were other rooms for other Sections in this office building.

Q. Your appointment as Head of Section IVD4 applied to the entire Eastern areas, did it not?

A. Do you mean, Mr. Attorney General, my responsibilities as Section Head?

Q. Yes.

A. No, not to all the Eastern areas; I have already said, except for the Generalgouvernement and except for the Russian Eastern Occupied Territories, only in cases...

Q. I am talking about IVD4, at that time there were no Russian Eastern Occupied Territories as yet, that was in 1939. When in T/170 it says "Eastern areas" (Ostraum), what did you mean by that, to what does that refer?

A. Not IVB4, but IVD4.

Q. I am talking about IVD4.

A. Oh, I understood IVB4. Yes, this evacuation concerned the newly incorporated Eastern territories. But this document is not from IVD4 - this document is the confirmation of the setting up of a special Section. The special Section continued until the new organizational plan was issued.

Q. And when it speaks about Eastern areas, it refers to all the Eastern territories, including the Generalgouvernement, does it not?

A. It says here "carrying out evacuation in the Eastern areas."

Q. Evacuation?

A. Yes, at that time the evacuation that time, my Section was not actually called "Jewish Affairs." The evacuation meant the nationalization of the German Eastern provinces, in accordance with the decree from the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Folkdom.

Q. That we already know. What qualifications did you have - you had been handling emigration - that now you were suddenly put in charge of evacuation? After all, those are totally different areas and duties.

A. Yes, that is quite true. I had first to familiarize myself gradually with the subject, and I believe that the reason for my posting to Berlin was...Heydrich's and Mueller's considerations...the man has been dealing with and handling transport matters for years, and since the whole subject of the evacuation of the Eastern provinces was basically a technical transport matter, I was ordered to Berlin. That is the only explanation I have for this. Because there were no evacuations from the Generalgouvernement; on the contrary, at the time people were moved from the Eastern provinces to the Generalgouvernement.

Q. So what you are saying is that your experience in Vienna made you suitable in Heydrich's eyes to carry out this new assignment? Is that correct?

A. Yes, in this sector.

Presiding Judge: I now repeat the Attorney General's question: When here it says Eastern areas, what does that mean? All the territories occupied in the East by Germany, or something else? This was in December 1939.

Accused: When it says here Eastern areas, Your Honour, that means all the Eastern provinces which had recently been incorporated into the Reich; in the reference it says evacuation in the Eastern provinces, that is without the Generalgouvernement, because there was, in fact, no evacuation from the Generalgouvernement.

Q. Were Poles who were, for example, evacuated from the Warthegau not evacuated to the Generalgouvernement?

A. Yes, that is precisely what I mean, Your Honour, evacuation from the new Eastern provinces; the Warthegau was a new Eastern province. And at the top it says Zichenau, as it was called. I no longer remember the details. In accordance with Himmler's orders, Jews and Poles were moved from all these provinces to the Generalgouvernement. And this was called the evacuation of the Eastern provinces. That also emerges from the Basic Decree of Himmler as Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Folkdom.

Attorney General: Do you agree that at a later date you carried out evacuations in the Generalgouvernement, and in particular in the Zamosc district?

Accused: Yes, this is the Zamosc business, a totally different matter again, which had nothing to do with Jewish Affairs. It is really the continuation - if I can put it this way - in a subsequent year of the activities of the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Folkdom, which had been more or less terminated in a certain year, and were now taken up again. Because in accordance with Himmler's orders, the entire Zamosc district was to be made German, and since under these orders all of the non-Germans resident there had to be transported out of this district. My Section was also involved in these technical transport, that is to say, timetable-related matters.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, where is the Zamosc district?

Attorney General: In central Poland.

Presiding Judge: In Congress Poland?

Attorney General: Yes, Congress Poland. We shall later identify these areas on the map, as Judge Raveh has requested, but I will not do this until we will get to the specific subject of (territorial) division.

[To the Accused] So the UWZ (Centre for Migration) offices were under your control?

Accused: No, they were not under my control; centralized overall control and charge of the Migration Central Offices were in the hands of Department III - and where within Department III, I do not know. In my case it was Standartenfuehrer Ehlich, as can be seen from the organization chart. Migration and Resettlement, I think, is what it was called...Evacuation and Resettlement, I think, is what it was called. It was...the Migration Central Offices belonged to Department III. Wherever matters had to be processed in timetable terms, these affairs were naturally handled and discussed with the competent man in the Centre for Migration. Krumey, who was himself head of a Migration Central Office, in Litzmannstadt, said the same thing.

Q. The offices of the Centre for Migration were in Posen, in Lodz and in Gdansk, were they not?

A. Yes, there were several offices. Today, I do not remember where they were, but I know that there was a Central Office in Posen, a form of branch office of this Central Office was in Lodz, and there was also a Central Migration Office in Danzig. But as to the third place you referred to, Mr. Attorney General, I do not know about that. But something like that is quite possible; I do not know.

Q. Do you admit that you caused guidelines and obligatory instructions to be sent to these offices?

A. Yes, where this was within the scope of my duties, I had to do so.

Q. According to the report T/361, during your term of office under this operation 534,384 persons were resettled. Is that total number correct?

A. Today, I am not able to say yes or no about this. I would rather answer as follows: Himmler ordered the numbers to be evacuated. This was also laid down in the consultation on 30 January 1940, chaired by Heydrich, and then, wherever the matter involved timetable-related matters, my Section had to do the work. The District Officers had to carry out the rounding-up, and Department III dealt with the racial matters. But that is approximately...

Q. You have answered everything except my question. My question is whether the scope of this operation included altogether over half a million people who were evacuated or resettled.

A. I have said that today I do not know the figure; I only know the figure ordered by Himmler. Whether they were actually evacuated, I cannot say; that is just as possible as not.

Q. Very well. I show you T/361. Do you have any reason to assume, or do you have any reason to doubt, the accuracy of the figure given here?

A. It is hard for me here to say yes or no, because it does not show who drew up the list; there is no signature or initials. I have already said that I do not remember any figure - if I knew it I would admit it at once, because the figures Himmler gave in his orders are available, but I do not know whether it was possible in - how shall I put it ? - in actual practice to process these numbers. According to what I have read - I do not remember myself - there were stoppages, and then things continued, and so on. I would be very happy to answer this question, but as I have said, these are just figures without any letterhead and without any signature. It is quite possible that this is true - but it is equally possible that it is not.

Q. What was the co-operation like between the German railway administration and the railway administration of the Generalgouvernement, with reference to these resettlements or evacuations? We have always heard from you that in the Generalgouvernement there was a separate railway administration which operated autonomously. So what was the co-operation like between the German Reich railway administration and the railway administration of the Generalgouvernement?

A. Today, I am able to say something about this only from the documents and not from my own knowledge, because I myself, I believe, did not personally take part in these conferences on timetables. But things were as follows: State Secretary Ganzenmeller in the Reich Ministry of Transport was the head of the various Directorates-General of the German Reich Railways and, far in the East, of the Directorate-General of the Eastern Railways. For evacuation purposes a distinction must be made as to whether the efforts to make rolling stock available were disposed of locally, or whether these had to be made in Berlin. This, first of all, depended on the time when the timetable was drawn up, and secondly this depended on what the instructions stipulated. If I may give examples to illustrate this, I shall be ready to do so.

Q. I am interested to know whether the co-operation or coordination was directed by some central body, and if so, which central body?

A. For evacuation matters within the province of the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Folkdom, at the beginning the local authorities had to make rolling stock available. This led to all sorts of major confusion, and that was the reason why I was ordered to Berlin, for this newly established Section to handle technical transport matters centrally from Berlin.

Q. That is what I was asking about. That is the answer, then. You concentrated the co-ordination of the resettlement or evacuation operations, both for the Reich Railways and for the Railway Administration of the Generalgouvernement. So that is the answer to the question which I asked you fifteen minutes ago.

A. Yes, but it is not quite right, Mr. Attorney General, it applies only to this first part, to the evacuations from Reich territory to the Generalgouvernement. But as far as evacuation matters within the Generalgouvernement itself were concerned, they were handled by the local authorities in direct agreement with the Directorate-General of the German Eastern Railways. That is proved by two documents which I consider to be most important, that is to say the correspondence between SS General Wolff and the State Secretary at the Reich Ministry of Transport, Ganzenmueller, in which these large-scale transports within the Generalgouvernement were directed from a higher level, since the local Generalgouvernement authorities were no longer able to cope. In any case, I had nothing to do with this.

Q. Very well, we shall return to this later. When you were Head of Section IVD4, you continued to deal with the emigration of Jews, didn't you?

A. IV, D for Dora, 4?

Q. IVD4.

A. Yes, until the autumn of 1941, I believe.

Judge Halevi: One moment, please. According to the previous document T/361, these activities continued in 1942 and 1943 as well - is that correct?

Attorney General: That is correct. I shall have further questions, Your Honour, about this subject, too.

Judge Halevi: I do not know whether this reply is correct, that he only handled this matter until 1941. Please look at T/361.

Accused: About emigration?

Q. About the evacuation of Poles.

A. I understood the Attorney General's question to be whether I did not continue to deal, in addition also, with emigration after that. Emigration was permitted up until 1941.

Q. You are right; I did not understand this properly. But as far as the resettlement of Poles is concerned, you handled this at least until the end of 1943. Is that correct?

A. Yes, with pauses which I made, of course. But I believe Zamosc was...

Q. But this assignment was not given to someone else, was it - so that as long as this was being handled, you were the person handling it, is that true?

A. As far as that was part of my Section and for the matters covered by my Section, yes.

Judge Halevi: Thank you very much.

Presiding Judge: Let me make this clear: In 1943 you were still handling the resettlement of Poles from the areas where they were living?

Accused: I believe that it was in 1943, Your Honour, that the order was given to Germanize the Zamosc district, and this Zamosc district was, as far as I know, the first and last of Himmler's projects in these matters. And when that was carried out, of course my Section was involved just as much as was the case previously in the resettlement of Poles from the Eastern areas to the Generalgouvernement. It was simply now the other way round - that is to say, in the last operation, Himmler had given orders for Poles to be transferred from the Generalgouvernement, in part to Reich territory, in part to Auschwitz, but in part they were to remain in the Generalgouvernement in what were called "peripheral villages" (Raenderdoerfer). These so-called race and resettlement rated groups were again defined by the Head Office for Race and Resettlement, and it was in these terms that things had to be done and orders were to be given.

Q. I thought that IVB4 dealt with Jews only, but did it handle others as well, on the basis of the organizational plan?

A. Yes, it did, whenever technical transport matters were involved, such as timetables, and so on. This also covered a restricted number of groups, however, - there were Gypsies, Poles, Slovenes and Jews. I do not think anyone else was involved.

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