The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 100
(Part 5 of 6)

Q. Why?

A. My assignment was to check on the spot with the Commandants of the Security Police and the Security Service, through the commander in Paris, as to the situation with regard to the Italians' attitude to the Jewish Question, and to report to my Chief.

Q. Did you have contacts with the Monaco Government, without notifying your Foreign Ministry of the fact? Is that not correct?

A. I had no contacts with anyone in the Monaco Government, not with a single member of the government, not even with an inhabitant of Monaco.

Q. So what the Foreign Ministry writes in T/492, that they have no idea how you contacted the Monaco Government without the knowledge of the consulate, that is, therefore, simply dreamed up by them?

A. In another document it indicates precisely how this came to me: The local commandant, together with a minister of the Monaco Government, heard of this matter during a dinner, and the Commandant of the Security Police and the Security Service informed me about it. That indicates exactly the reason why this matter reached me. That is also stated in a document of the Foreign Ministry - it is one of the documents here. Because here it says only how Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann contacted the Monaco Government, and that it was not possible to ascertain whether the consulate had taken part in it. Somewhat later they found out precisely what had happened, as I have just explained.

Q. Very well, you will show me this letter later. Now I have another question: You found that there were some ten to fifteen thousand Jewish refugees in Monaco, and you demanded extremely urgently and insistently that action be taken against them. Is that correct?

A. I do not know that. In any case, I passed this report on to my Chief exactly as I had heard it, and the reason why I was sent there was because my Chief, Mueller, had himself been in Rome a few months earlier to settle these matters. That is why he was directly interested and intervened directly.

Q. And you are the person who approached the Foreign Ministry, so that measures should immediately be taken against all these Jewish refugees in Monaco - is that correct?

A. If that is stated in a document, then it is correct; I had orders there, just as I made the official journey on orders.

Attorney General: In the meanwhile, Bureau 06 has provided me with the answer to Judge Halevi's question: In T/342 the Plenipotentiary of the Foreign Ministry at the Generalgouvernement is mentioned - so this document shows clearly that such an office existed.

Judge Halevi: Thank you, Mr. Attorney General.

Attorney General: I am sorry, that should be T/346.

Presiding Judge: All right; please proceed.

Attorney General: When you sent teletype T/473 to Knochen, telling him that you had received it from the Foreign Ministry regarding the Italian matter, you informed him of its approach and informed him that you would be in touch with him again as soon as you received further news. So there you kept writing "I" - to whom is this reference?

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, I gather that this is an addition to something that was already discussed.

Attorney General: But this is a special point - I promised the Accused that I would return to this matter...

Presiding Judge: You have made the Accused several such promises...

Attorney General: I hope to keep these promises.

Presiding Judge: Very well, but do that having regard to all the circumstances of the case, as we are wont to say.

Attorney General: I am aware of the limitations the Court wishes to impose, and I shall try to impose them on myself.

Accused: Yes, this teletype...

Q. No, we do not want any long-winded explanations here: Who is "I" here - that is the question. Is this you - Eichmann; is it Mueller, is it Heydrich - well then, who is this "I" here?

A. The Chief of the Head Office for Reich Security...the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, as in all these matters, and moreover, this teletype is just one part of some very active - close - co-operation.

Q. I know that, I do know that! But to whom are you referring here, whom do you mean, when you write "I" ? Are you saying "the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service"? That is how you wanted Knochen to understand the matter, is it not?

A. I am sorry. That is how I wanted to understand what?

Q. Is that how you wanted Knochen to understand it?

A. Yes, but not I myself, in person; if it did not read im Auftrage, by order of, then it would mean I myself, but because it says im Auftrage, it cannot be myself in person.

Q. Very well; we have already discussed this inside out, and we shall not return to it yet again.

My question is, how did you want Knochen to understand the word "I" here?

A. If these documents are read in chronological order, the meaning is immediately clear. The "I" in this case is the representative of the Security Police and the Security Service, that is Mueller, who had involved himself personally in this matter...not just he, but all of the top- ranking people at that time who were part of this.

Q. So who is "I" - Mueller or Heydrich? Or Kaltenbrunner at that time?

A. I received the order from Mueller, as shown by the relevant documents. If Mueller appears as the representative of the Chief of the Security Police, then he is speaking on behalf of the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service.

Q. So Knochen should have realized that this was a matter of the Chief of the Security Police himself, that is what you are saying, is it not? And that he would receive further directives from him.

A. In principle that was always the case.

Q. All right, that will do. Who was Reischauer?

A. Reischauer was a Senior Government Counsellor in the Party Chancellery, or in the Chancellery of the Fuehrer's deputy.

Q. Did you have any contacts with him?

A. Yes, at a number of meetings and conferences.

Q. Would you give me examples?

A. For example, he was at the meetings which followed the Wannsee Conference, then - I do not know - yes, he was at [the meeting on] the Madagascar Plan, as far as I know. Then the lawyers, who belonged to Division IVB4, had meetings at the Ministry of the Interior, in which Reischauer participated...

Q. Did you talk to him?

A. Yes, to Reischauer.

Q. Did you talk to him about children from mixed marriages, about people of mixed blood, for example?

A. I would scarcely have done that in such a detailed fashion, because I never really knew all about the entire matter of people of mixed blood and the rules about them...that was a matter for the lawyers, and I never liked to enter into this area.

Q. Did you not co-operate with Reischauer in this matter?

A. As to my co-operating with him, that may not be the right term, but IVB4 also took part in these joint meetings, in which many central bodies participated.

Q. No, I am speaking about you, about you in person.

A. I myself can only say about this that I never had anything to do with these legalistic matters, because I could not have anything to do with them.

Q. So when it says in T/526, document No. 1355, as follows: "Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann of the Head Office for Reich Security was working in close co-operation with Senior Government Counsellor Reischauer" - that is not correct, is it?

A. Yes, that is correct, and I have said that - that Reischauer also took part in various conferences and meetings, just as my Section did, some of them in fact, as shown by the two conferences after Wannsee, in the office building where my Section was housed.

Q. Reischauer's attitude in this matter was well known to you, and you knew that he went very far in the laws about people of mixed blood and was very extreme about this matter.

A. Yes, that is true - unlike myself, as I stood for the other point of view. But my point of view was of no interest, as I...

Q. Yes, yes. So you knew of Reischauer's views. You knew that he held extreme views. Reischauer is mentioned in the same document which I have already shown to you, and there Reischauer is described as "more extreme than Hitler himself."

A. I have no way of knowing whether he was more extreme than Hitler. But I do know that he had very extreme views.

Q. Do you know that Hitler himself, for the duration of the War, was prepared to turn a blind eye in the case of soldiers of mixed blood returning from the front, for whom it was difficult to meet their parents?

A. Yes, I have read that here.

Q. And Reischauer expressed the view that measures should be undertaken even against such people of mixed blood.

A. That would indeed be entirely in keeping with his attitude, yes.

Q. So what was your position in this matter - what was your attitude?

A. As I was not a lawyer, my position was of no interest. But my personal attitude was the opposite of Reischauer's, because I said to myself, following common sense, that such a question, the ruling on matters concerning people of mixed blood, which the Ministry of the Interior kept bringing up - and also the Party Chancellery - is an illusory one, since this matter will in any case be solved by the Nuremberg legislation during the next few decades, automatically and naturally. That was my...that was my attitude as a non- lawyer, I would put it, but the lawyers had a different attitude. I did not hide this attitude of mine; I expressed it as well, but - as I have said - no attention was paid to it.

Q. To whom did you express it, and when did you express it?

A. That was my personal position; officially I could not express it, because I was not in fact present at these meetings, being a non-lawyer. When I was present, it was not up to me to express any professional opinions.

Q. We have before us the statement of Dr. Loesener, T/693, about the same matter. On page 4, in the second paragraph, he says the following: "I would list as particularly fanatic and vicious anti-Semites, with whom I had many dealings, Dr. Bloere, who later became Deputy Reich Medical Leader, Senior Government Counsellor Dr. Reischauer, Ministerial Counsellor Sommer, Hauptsturmbann-fuehrer Eichmann, and Government Counsellor Neifeind." And that relates to exactly the same matter - page 4, second paragraph.

Presiding Judge: Did you say 693, Mr. Attorney General?

Attorney General: No, 639. What do you have to say about that?

Accused: What I have to say about that is that I am extremely surprised that it is Ministerial Counsellor Loesener, of all people, who makes such statements, as he was in fact the cause of this entire business, and his chief and master, State Secretary Stuckart, in fact more or less played the trump card in this entire matter. I really do not have anything further to say about this; the only thing is that it is a little odd that the same Loesener is not listed here as well. I really cannot say anything more about this.

Q. But Loesener is not singling you out, you poor fellow, as the scapegoat; he lists a number of people who showed particular fanaticism in this matter. So all of this is a fabrication and an untruth?

A. How could I be particularly vicious about this matter if I, as a non-lawyer, was not part at all of all the professional discussions. It was the lawyers who considered this and discussed and argued about this matter.

Q. So what it says about the same matter in T/526, document No. 1355, is also not correct? That you and Reischauer were particularly vehement in your opposition to the new instructions from Hitler, but that these were things which of course could not be changed. Is that not true?

A. What counts for me are the minutes which have been preserved; there is no reference in them to me, because I did not take part in such debates. So how can it be asserted about me in these documents here that I was a particularly vicious fanatic in these matters?

Q. That is precisely what I am asking; how can that be asserted?

A. Precisely - where, on the contrary, I presented the non- legal point of view and the logical point of view, that time would solve the matter and not...

Q. So how do people come to say that "Eichmann is also very much in favour of the new rules, even though he is correct in matters of form?" How do they come to say that?

A. I am just as much at a loss to answer as to how Loesener comes to make such a statement.

Q. Is that all you can say about this?

A. That is what I can say about this, since I could not at that time interfere with what the lawyers were working on, and also now I am unable to adopt a position on this. They could have asked me, too, the lawyers. They did not do so.

Judge Halevi: I should like to ask you something: You said that it was a legalistic matter for lawyers. But this was, after all, a matter of life and death for very many people, and you were in fact aware of that, were you not?

Accused: Yes, but nevertheless it was a matter purely for the legal experts at the time, and if I might point out, Your Honour - and this is also shown by the minutes - it was lawyers who worked on this, and I am extremely surprised that it is precisely these lawyers who say something different after 1945 from what they said before 1945. Because at that time these lawyers had their class- consciousness and worked on this as lawyers, and non-lawyers were not even allowed to take part in this, and they did not even listen to my opinion, because it was of no interest to them. That surprised me a great deal.

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