The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 100
(Part 1 of 6)

Session No. 100

5 Av 5721 (18 July 1961)

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

Accused: I am aware of that.

Attorney General: Guenther from your Section also took part in the Wannsee Conference, did he not?

Accused: No, Guenther did not take part.

Q. Was Guenther present or not?

A. Guenther was not present.

Q. So what it says on page 114 of your memoirs - exhibit T/44 - about this is apparently not right, is that what you mean?

A. Then I must have been mistaken; in any case, Guenther was not at the conference, for the simple reason that otherwise he would have been listed amongst those present.

Q. But that is what you wrote there. Please look at it. I am marking the passage for you, in the middle of page 114 of your memoirs. You even wrote that there.

A. Yes, here my memory let me down. There are two points which are not correct. First of all, Guenther did not take part, and also the majority of the Department Chiefs, for example, is not right, either.

Q. So your memory appears to deceive you thoroughly. Now, about the wording of the minutes of the Wannsee Conference - the record, the minutes, is this correct or not?

A. Yes, I drew that up myself.

Q. And the record is correct?

A. Yes, I believe the record to be correct.

Q. Including the figure - eleven million Jews to be liquidated - that is also correct, is it not?

A. As far as the figures are concerned, it is really only now, recently, that I have found out that there is something not right with the figures. For example, France...but I do not know for sure, perhaps it is also possible that the figures at that time were already put down incorrectly.

Q. But you do admit that there was talk there of eleven million Jews for whom the Final Solution had to be found. Is that correct?

A. Basically I believe that the figure which I had to draw up then, meant the Jews present in Europe... But not all areas were accessible to the Germans.

Q. Correct; there you included all the Jews of the Soviet Union, England, Portugal, and so on, in the hope that you would dominate the whole of Europe, and thus eleven million Jews would be in your sphere of influence. Is that true?

A. My orders were that the total number of Jews, of the Jews living in Europe...

Q. That was not my question. I would like to know whether the figure of eleven million Jews was dealt with there.

Presiding Judge: Is the record as it stands, on its own, not binding? The Accused said that the record was correct, and that should conclude this chapter.

Attorney General: Thank you, Your Honour; I shall drop this question.

Next question: Shortly after the Wannsee Conference, Heydrich received Rosenberg's proposal, called the "Brown Folder." Do you know anything about this?

Accused: It was only here that I came across the term "Brown Folder." I am sure I knew about it at the time, but it has escaped my memory.

Q. And I suppose you remember that Heydrich wrote that he did not agree with Rosenberg's draft, and that he would accept improvements to the "Brown Folder" which would be collected and concentrated by his Section Head. Do you know about that?

A. Yes, I did read that here.

Q. You also saw the corrections and improvements added, which were then passed on to Rosenberg, didn't you?

A. Today, I no longer remember what I did or did not see at the time. I only know that what I have seen here is not right.

Q. What is not right?

A. What was said here to have come from me. What I was asked about.

Q. But I did not ask you anything about matters coming from you. I asked you about proposed corrections to the "Brown Folder." Is it true that Heydrich told Rosenberg that he did not agree to the "Brown Folder," and that there would be corrections? Is that true?

A. Yes, I have read that here.

Q. And you also saw the corrections sent to Rosenberg?

A. Yes, I saw those, too.

Q. The corrections contained in T/298 were made nine days after the Wannsee Conference, and follow the decisions taken at the Wannsee Conference. Is that correct?

A. I do not know to which corrections you are referring, Mr. Attorney General.

Q. All right then, here is exhibit T/298. Just look at it.

A. Yes, but these are not from me.

Q. Wait a moment. We shall get to you. For the moment we are talking about the corrections as such, and not about you. So the corrections which arrived a few days after the Wannsee Conference follow the line of the Wannsee decisions. If you would be so kind as to explain to me: In the letter of 10 January 1942, T/297, Heydrich writes that you are the person who made the corrections, that you are the competent Section Head, and the corrections are then submitted several days after the conference, along the lines of the decisions taken there. And now you come along and say that these are not your corrections. How do you explain that?

A. I can explain this very precisely, because if they were my corrections, my initials would have been on them, because I at least initialled everything. Moreover, on the last page there is a correction. This is not my correction, and I have already asked for the writing to be investigated, that is...then it can be shown properly and clearly. I have identified these corrections, the handwritten corrections, with the woman clerk who worked in Section IIA2.

Q. We know that the copy we have - and you know this perfectly well also - is a copy of a transcript. If you would look at the first page - to whom it was addressed, and from where it came.

A. It was addressed to Dr. Wetzel.

Q. From where?

A. From IIA2, Head Office for Reich Security IIA2. And the clerk is from IIA2.

Q. And your defective memory enables you to identify precisely a few minor notes in her handwriting?

A. In my writing?

Q. In the writing of the typist, the clerk from IIA2.

A. No, because I really went into this matter, because after I heard this I knew that something like this could never be from me. If it were from me, it would at least bear my initials.

Presiding Judge: One moment. What do you mean here by initials? Where? In what form?

Accused: If I dealt with something like this - and the same applied to the other members of the Section - it was obligatory to at least initial it at the end.

Q. But here Heydrich signed. So what would have been the need - what was the purpose of a further signature? Even if it were only initials?

A. What I mean, Your Honour, is that these directives, they were attached to this letter from IIA2 as an appendix, dated 29 January 1942. And now I would assume that IIA2 would have taken these directives...

Q. Are we speaking about the same document? I am referring to T/297.

A. This is T/298.

Q. Now I understand. Perhaps you could hand this to the Accused? Mr. Attorney General, you have already referred to T/297, have you not?

Attorney General: Yes, I have just referred to it.

Presiding Judge: That would explain what I did not understand before.

Attorney General: You are not actually disputing that Heydrich informed Rosenberg that you, Eichmann, would draw up the corrections or amendments to the "Brown Folder."

Accused: I cannot, after all, dispute what is in this letter, document No. 349.

Q. Very well; nor are you disputing that these corrections finally reached Rosenberg. Is that so?

A. I gather that from document No. 1088.

Q. Very good. Now, you are also not disputing that Heydrich informed Rosenberg that you would be the person who would draft the corrections and amendments. Is that true?

A. According to document No. 349. No, that I cannot deny either, because this is in fact in there.

Q. All right. And you are further not disputing that you were familiar at the time with the "Brown Folder"? It must have been familiar to you, as you said earlier.

A. That I do not know. It is possible and probable, but I do not know. I only know for certain after having seen these documents here.

Q. Very well. It is possible that you, together with someone else... You have already told us that there were conferences with Department II; you said that there was co- operation or co-ordination. It is possible that there was co-operation in this case as well. But Heydrich stated that he was giving you this assignment, and the date of the corrections is 29 January. So there is no possibility at all that someone else drafted the corrections. This is no legal matter. This is a simple matter which concerns Jews - in other words, a matter falling within the normal sphere of duties of your Section.

A. But practice shows - these documents prove this - that IIA2 did not hand this matter over. In accordance with Heydrich's instructions, it should actually have been handed over, as happened frequently, and that is proved by document No. 1088. Because if, on the basis of the letter of 10 January 1942, the matter should have been handed over to IVB4, then document No. 1088 should no longer have been dealt with by IIA2.

Q. Now, just look at this: We do, after all, know - in fact you told us yourself - that the letters which were put in the files were actually received. The corrections reached Rosenberg from the Ministry of the Interior, in the Minister of the Interior's capacity as Chief of Police. And from there, a reply is given under this letterhead in the Ministry of the Interior, and letter No. 297 of 10 January is also written under the IIA2 letterhead, and that is also why the answer is filed in the files of IIA2. There is nothing special in this whatsoever.

A. But what is totally new and special is that here some appendix is annexed to a IIA2 letter, and the appendix gives no indication at all as to who is responsible. Thus, this appendix, which is, moreover, confirmed by the handwriting of the corrections, must definitely be identified as falling under the responsibility of IIA2.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, is the full letter which we have marked T/297 available somewhere? Paragraph 10 is here, where are the other nine paragraphs?

Attorney General: I shall have this checked at once, Your Honour. I cannot reply immediately.

Presiding Judge: This might have been mentioned when you submitted the document, but for the sake of order I should like this to be ascertained.

Attorney General: I shall check again, Your Honour. [To the Accused] Now it is true that Heydrich was also the Chief of IIA2?

Accused: Heydrich was the Chief of IIA2, just as he was of IVB4 and of all the Sections of the Head Office for Reich Security.

Q. Right. And if Heydrich issues orders for you to draw up the corrections, then IIA2 had to obey?

A. But as actual practice shows...

Q. "Yes" or "no"? Did IIA2 have to obey, "yes" or "no"?

A. I do not know what happened after this, what discussions took place between Bilfinger and Heydrich, since Bilfinger was a Group Leader.

Q. Did Bilfinger participate in the Wannsee Conference - was he there?

A. No, I do not know.

Q. But you were there, and the corrections follow the lines of the Wannsee Conference, and you are claiming that it was Bilfinger, of all people, who was not present there, who immediately after the conference made the corrections along the lines of the decisions taken at the conference, although Heydrich had ordered you to make the corrections?

A. I said I do not know what Bilfinger discussed with Heydrich, since Bilfinger saw Heydrich more often than I did. There is also a reference here showing that IIA2 talked to Wetzel and the others about the matter of the arrangements in the East, about the Jews, the wording of the definition of Jew, and so on. It is true that Government Counsellor Suhr from IVB4 also took part in this discussion, but the record shows that IIA2 was here in overall charge for the Head Office for Reich Security.

Q. Now, let us not deviate from the subject. We are dealing with the "Brown Folder" and not with other instructions. You will admit that the "Brown Folder," or to be more precise, the corrections to be mentioned or to be made to it as requested by Rosenberg, were corrections to the Final Solution of the Jewish Question, and not in any way legal corrections. Is that correct?

A. As to whether they are legal corrections, I do not know at the moment, but they are general measures.

Q. General measures? And in any case they are executive- type measures, are they not?

A. Yes, they are directives...

Presiding Judge: Those were executive measures, were they?

Accused: Executive measures - yes, they are in part executive orders.

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