The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 101
(Part 3 of 4)

Q. Then would you please turn to page 42, and look at the quotation I shall now read out to you: a brief quotation, again about matters you submitted to your superior:
"And what you presented to him was certainly about Jews?" "Yes, about nothing else. And it was in fact a criminal matter, and Schellenberg evidently did not want these orders or ordinances to be applied, and I opposed this. I did in fact already know this myself as a matter of State regulation..."
And here your sentence finishes, as Sassen interrupted you and cut you short. Did you say that?

A. On all these matters I can only say that there is so much fiction in here, that it is no longer possible to distinguish fact from fiction. But I believe I have already said that.

Q. So finally you are saying that during your entire time in office, there were only two days when Schellenberg deputized for Mueller?

A. I, in any case, did not hear of Schellenberg deputizing frequently for Mueller; in any case, I also never had any contact with Schellenberg apart from this one letter. But I do know that Panzinger deputized for him and after that Huppenkothen. Today, I cannot say anything more about this, but what I have said corresponds to the truth. I must correct myself in order to be more precise. Right at the beginning - it must have been at the beginning of my stay in Berlin, my activities in Berlin - I believe Schellenberg was then also his substitute several times, but I did not go and see him then. But then Schellenberg was still in Department IV, I believe.

Q. And during these days, did you take decisions by yourself?

A. No, this is not correct - at the beginning? At the beginning when I had just arrived in Berlin? I did not take any decisions by myself then either.

Q. Never? Never?

A. When I came to Berlin, I did not take decisions of principle any longer. I only took decisions in Vienna and Prague by myself if I received the general authorization of the Inspector or the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service. I did not order or do anything on my own responsibility.

Q. Very well. Let us proceed to the other chapter.

You remember that with regard to the matter of the Lidice children, Krumey contacted you by telephone from Lodz, from Litzmannstadt.

A. I do not know about telephoning; I have seen here a teletype about this.

Q. He refers to a telephone conversation with you. Do you remember that?

A. Yes, I believe I have read that. I cannot say precisely, but if you say so, Mr. Attorney General, it must be true, as the document is here.

Q. The Lidice children matter was definitely something exceptional: your director, your Chief had been killed, the Germans carried out reprisals; the children were sent for treatment, as we will see in a moment, but that cannot slip your mind so quickly. This was an utterly exceptional matter, which did not occur every day - you will admit that, will you not?

A. I know of the attack - naturally I remember that, but I cannot remember the business of the children. However, I have read it and studied it carefully, on the basis of the documents I was shown.

Q. Very well, perhaps you would be good enough to remember a little without documents. Heydrich was killed, severe measures were taken against the Czech village of Lidice. That you did know of, did you not?

A. Yes, I heard that later, not at the same time, and certainly not in advance.

Q. And now Krumey writes to you and telephones you from Litzmannstadt about 88 children: please look at T/1093. Are you trying to tell us that Krumey had no idea who was responsible for dealing with this matter?

A. Obviously he had no idea who was responsible, otherwise he would not have asked all and sundry about it.

Q. He did not ask about responsibility; he asked what was to be done. And do you not remember that Krumey turned to you in this matter?

A. No, I do not remember that; he could just as well have approached some other Section. But please, if it is alleged that he approached me nevertheless, his own letter here proves... "Since I have not been informed either by IVB4 or by the Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service as to what is to be done further with the children." And also another teletype shows that he also wrote to Department III, Ehlich, so he made enquiries everywhere...

Q. But it is you he approaches - with reference to and following a telephone conversation with you. Is that true?

A. Yes, but he did not receive any information, otherwise he would not in fact write at the end whom else he had approached. But why Krumey approached me or my Section, that is also quite clear - just as clear as why he approached Department III, since Krumey had constant dealings with Section IVB4 and Department III in connection with the transports from the Eastern Occupied Territories to the Generalgouvernement...

Q. But this does not concern the Eastern Occupied Territories, but the Protectorate.

A. That is correct, but Krumey will have thought about what was to be done...

Q. But why is it you whom he asks? Here is a Section in the Head Office for Reich Security, there is a Division, a Department which deals with this - that is Department IV - right? There is a Department, Department IV, which deals with this. So why is it you whom he approaches?

A. But he did not approach only me. After all, he approached others too.

Q. But why did he approach you at all?

A. Krumey is, in fact, in custody, I would suggest asking him. I cannot give any other information at all other than what I can read in the teletype. This is really quite natural, as Krumey was after all connected with Section IVB4 for a long time, as also with Department III - he addresses Ehlich, in fact, in exactly the same way...

Q. I am asking why - if you were not responsible for this matter - why you did not immediately say to him on the telephone, "Krumey, don't bother with this - I am completely taken up with other matters, leave me alone, leave me in peace, that has nothing to do with me"? Why did you not do that?

A. Today, after such a long time I do not know - but I can imagine that I told him I would make enquiries.

Q. Why you in particular?

A. I would suggest that Krumey be asked. I do not know.

Q. And why does your deputy, Guenther, answer Krumey as to what is to be done with the twelve children - T/1099?

A. Yes, to transfer them to the Litzmannstadt State Police, and from there they were to be taken to the Generalgouvernement...

Q. But why does your Section deal with this matter? What does the whole business have to do with you? If you are not responsible - what does the whole affair have to do with you?

A. I cannot tell you, Mr. Attorney General...I did not in fact sign it...I do not know what Guenther agreed with Mueller, or what instructions he received. If I had done this, I would in fact have signed fact Guenther in several...

Q. But Guenther is your deputy, is he not?

A. That is correct, but since this is a matter which does not belong to the Section, this was a special matter, I cannot after all forbid the Department Chief to charge Guenther with any special assignments. I have no powers to do so.

Q. This is really becoming quite ridiculous, is it not? Krumey approaches you. You say that you will check on every minor point with Mueller, including this one, right?

A. As can be seen, it was in fact also checked on.

Q. So that means that Mueller decided on it, right? But once you submit this matter to Mueller and ask who is responsible for dealing with this, are you telling us that afterwards Mueller assigned Guenther to this behind your back? Is that what you are saying?

A. No, I am not saying anything...I just want to say one thing: that after twenty years, I am no longer capable of explaining this matter in detail. But if these teletypes are read in chronological order one after the other, the picture anyway emerges in a natural and entirely clear fashion.

Presiding Judge: If there are any further disturbances, I shall have the hall cleared.

Attorney General: All right, correct. That really is crystal clear. Krumey says that he is approaching you because it is a question of special treatment, and we already know, in fact, what special treatment is, do we not?

A. I would like to say the following about this. The term "special treatment" (Sonderbehandlung) has various meanings. As Poliakov says, in Poliakov - Black or Red - I can give the page number right away...I have it in my files somewhere...he reproduces forms. On these forms it says, "Re: Special Treatment" - first of all for Poles suitable for Germanization (eindeutschungsfaehig), and the same word, special treatment, is also for Poles not suitable for Germanization, that is those to be sent from the Eastern Occupied Territories to the Generalgouvernement. So that is one meaning of special treatment (Sonderbehandlung). Special Treatment also means - I want to say this here in this context as well, although I know that it is known - also means all transports of Jews, the deportation transports.

Q. And killing?

A. Yes, that as well, I must say that, too. The transports to the camps, the transports from the camps to the work sites, the transfers from camp to camp following the interests of the Economic-Administrative Head Office, the work inside the concentration camp - all of these concepts are covered by "special treatment." And if in the case in question here, Krumey refers to special treatment, it must be remembered that Krumey headed a Central Migration Office in Litzmannstadt. Tens of thousands of Poles were processed by this Central Migration Office, and these matters, in which the Race and Resettlement Office also took part, were known as special treatment, as can be immediately ascertained from the forms in Poliakov - and I would like to indicate the page reference.

Q. Let us for once talk without documents, let us leave the books alone and base ourselves on what you know. If you want to give the page reference the Court will be prepared to listen to it, but I would like to suggest for once leaving the books alone and addressing your memory. Do you know what special treatment means: not Poliakov, but you, do you know that? Is it true that you said in Bureau 06 that special treatment, Sonderbehandlung, means killing?

A. It also means killing, yes.

Q. No, you said "killing," not "also killing."

A. But I must correct myself, now that I am being called upon to make a statement this can also be checked at any time. First of all, special treatment means the actual transport, deportation to the concentration camp, or wherever the order applied; special treatment also means the use of the deportees in question by the authority which has taken over these Jews - in this case, the Economic- Administrative Head Office. This can also be gathered from documents. Special treatment also means the assignment away from a concentration camp to war production centres. And special treatment also means killing, yes.

But all of these things were done by the Economic- Administrative Head Office or the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps, where these people are. IVB4 could neither influence nor halt nor promote this. IVB4 had nothing to do with this.

Q. So if someone came to the Auschwitz concentration camp and on his sheet it said SB - Sonderbehandlung, special treatment - Hoess would not know exactly what was to be done with him?

A. I cannot say anything more about this matter, Mr. Attorney General, than I have just explained. This corresponds to the facts and the realities. If no value is attached to my words, it is also in the documents. I really cannot say anything further about this.

Q. And when you wrote Sonderbehandlung in the Zichenau Ghetto, the Commander of the Zichenau Ghetto knew what to do with the Jews, did he?

A. That was added specially, on orders...

Q. Special treatment - it says special treatment. Did he or did he not know what to do?

A. That is indeed in there in as many words. But in as many words there is not only the word Sonderbehandlung there - it also says what is to be done. And it also says explicitly, on the orders of the Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of German police.

Q. And you are trying to tell us that Krumey did not know that? That everything concerning Sonderbehandlung was unknown to Krumey, and that in his innocence he approached you?

A. No, but Krumey had his own concept of special treatment, which had been appropriate in his area consistently.

Q. Did he, or did he not, know that Sonderbehandlung meant death?

A. At that time Krumey quite definitely did not know that.

Q. Quite definitely did not know?

A. No, I believe definitely, since after all the Resettlement Central Offices dealt with Resettlement. And in fact it has been proved that the forms had "Sonderbehandlung" as a heading, a reference, even for the Poles suitable for Germanization as well, not only for Poles not suitable for Germanization, who were therefore transported to the Generalgouvernement.

Q. And you want the Court to believe you? Then maintain this position.

A. If I may give the page number, I have it here. This is Poliakov, Red or Black, I cannot say which for the moment; in any case, it is page 299, and then 301 and 302.

Presiding Judge: Yes, Mr. Hausner, there are forms here about Germanization, and here are the forms and the comment "Sonderbehandlung - special treatment.

Attorney General: All right, perhaps you really should explain the meaning of "special treatment" in these forms to which you are referring?

Accused: On page 299 Sonderbehandlung means...

Q. Is this not connected with the killing of these people?

A. This is not connected with the killing of these people, no.

Q. Very well, read on, you will see this in a moment.

A. Because here this concerns the "special treatment of Polish civilian labourers and prisoners of war employed in the Reich," and 301 "Special treatment of a Pole" and "therefore the above-named person as an individual is suitable for Germanization, subject to a positive moral evaluation." And on page 302, "re: special treatment, Pole, first name, surname, date of birth, according to this the above-mentioned person did not in racial terms satisfy the requirements for the Germanization of foreign nationals, and he is therefore judged not suitable for Germanization."

Q. And, therefore, he has to be executed, that is really very simple.

A. No, but here there is in fact one who is suitable for Germanization.

Q. He is sent to a concentration camp with the designation SB (Sonderbehandlung), and there are the forms, and as to what SD means, we have heard evidence about that, have we not?

A. Here it says something else. I am not trying somehow to water down the term Sonderbehandlung - that is not my intention, Mr. Attorney General. I only wanted to indicate that the term Sonderbehandlung has various meanings. It even has, for those suitable for Germanization, the meaning which is perfectly clear from the form.

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