The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 102
(Part 1 of 5)

Session No. 102

6 Av 5721 (19 July 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the one hundred and second 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: Yes, I am aware of that.

Attorney General: Do you remember that you once wrote a book, "The Final Solution of the Jewish Question"?

Accused: A book?

Q. Yes, which was printed in 50,000 copies by the Nordland Verlag.

A. That was not printed in 50,000 copies: that got no further than the galley proofs, and certainly there were never 50,000 copies.

Q. Very well, we shall discuss the number of copies later; so you wrote a book which got as far as the stage of galley proofs? So what was the content of this book, and what happened to this book?

A. First of all, this was not a book; it was a manuscript, and in fact it was the...the situation, that is to say the statistical documents for all the transports, in the sphere of the Jewish Question, the deportation of Jews, including emigration. In short, a survey of everything which took place up to the point where I wrote it. But that was never a book. It was never turned into a single book, because it was banned.

Presiding Judge: Because it was what?

Accused: Because it was banned. The manuscript, when the galley proofs were read, was banned by my Chief. So obviously this matter of 50,000 copies is a pure invention - not one single copy was ever printed.

Attorney General: When did you write it?

Accused: I forget the exact year: it must have been around...I believe, any case it was before Heydrich's death.

Q. That was also dedicated to Heydrich, was it not? A special dedication to Heydrich?

A. No. Not a special dedication to Heydrich, but, as was the practice at that time, everything which was written by any Section Head concerning his work could only be brought out through the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service. Naturally a Section Head could not publish any works in his own name.

Q. It contained about one hundred typewritten pages, did it not?

A. I cannot say for sure; it was not a thick volume, nor a very slim one: it might have been the equivalent of a thinner booklet.

Q. You once gave a lecture at the Preussenhaus. Do you remember?

A. Yes, indeed. I remember that. But that must have been towards the end of the War.

Q. That was a meeting organized by Kaltenbrunner, which was also attended by Goebbels and some 300 or 400 Police Commanders, right?

A. First of all, Goebbels was not present, and secondly it was only a police meeting. But there were not three or four hundred participants. I do not believe that...there may have been...there may have been at the most half of that, at the most, but Goebbels was not present.

Q. And Skorzeny also gave a talk there on the operation to free Mussolini, right?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. And the topic of your lecture was "Results of the Ideological Struggle Against Opponents." That was the topic of your lecture.

A. I can hardly believe that, as I could only have spoken about what was happening in the sphere of solving the Jewish Question. But the theme of the struggle against ideological opponents, I do not believe that was the theme.

Q. So what was the theme of your lecture then?

A. The theme of this lecture will have been roughly the same as that in the booklet, that is the work from the beginning of emigration up to the day of the lecture. I do not know for sure, but that would necessarily have been the case.

Presiding Judge: When did this lecture take place?

Accused: It really was not a lecture, but a presentation I had to give. It took place - it was a ten minute presentation, and it took place towards the end of the War: possibly 1944, 1943...I cannot say for sure.

Attorney General: And I am telling you that the facts were different from those you have described, and that you gave Sassen the following, more correct, description of the facts:

"Kaltenbrunner had called an official meeting at the Preussenhaus, between the release of Mussolini and March 1945, and this took place at the Preussenhaus. However, it is also possible that I was ordered to come from Hungary to Berlin for this purpose. I do not remember now. In any case very late in the War, Kaltenbrunner called this meeting, because there was no room at the State Police Office. The Preussenhaus had been partly bombed out. Leipzigerstrasse, near Potsdam Square."
Is this correct so far?

Accused: So far this is correct. But this precise definition, Potsdam Square and so on, this cannot be from me at all, as I do not know this.

Attorney General:

"All of the State Police leaders were there, all of the Inspectors, all of the Commanders of the Security Police and the Security Service. Whether the Chiefs of the Operations Units and the Operations Commandos were there, I do not know. In any case, this was a gathering of three hundred men, it might even have been four hundred. And Goebbels was also present."
Is that correct?

Accused: No, that cannot be correct, because as far as I know I last saw Goebbels when I was still at the Security Service Head Office. After that, I never saw him again throughout the entire War, right up to the end. I do not remember any instance when I saw him, and he really could not be overlooked, not with his gait.

Q. "And Lange too, an SD Oberabschnittsfuehrer (District Leader) was also present." Is that correct?

A. Lange, Dr. Lange.

Q. Was he there?

A. A Dr. Lange was also present when the time he took these things down from me...Oberabschnittsfuehrer of the Security Service, Dr. Lange. That is quite possible, as I did in fact see Lange in Buenos Aires, and he may have said that. It is possible, but I do not know whether I said it, or whether he said so. But this business about Goebbels can easily be checked, because in the case of such highly placed Ministers, their presence or attendance at meetings can be checked by other means, as to whether that is true or not. In any case I must dispute this.

Attorney General:

"And I gave my lecture about the results of the ideological struggle against opponents. This was already very late in the course of the War. Before me, Skorzeny spoke about his freeing Mussolini."
Is that correct so far?

Accused: Yes, that is correct, but I must add that this is not this Dr. Lange who is repeatedly being referred to here. But this Dr. Lange, he was in fact called Dr. Klan, and was a former District Leader of the Security Service in Austria.

Attorney General:

"And on that day I had to give a lecture, a draft of which I had to submit to Mueller, and I also asked Mueller whether I should give a statistical review, I had noted down a few figures, and I did not know how to present it to those present. They were in fact men from whom one did not have to hide things. I was not able to determine the number of Jews actually killed, I did not have it."
Is that correct?

A. That I did not have the number of Jews killed...

Q. Is this passage, the passage I have read out to you. Is this correct?

A. Basically this is correct: as to whether this is exactly how things occurred, I do not know.

Attorney General:

"Mueller told me not to say anything about these matters, but to disregard them, and to say that the Fuerer had given the Reichsfuehrer an order according to which the Reichsfuehrer assigned the Final Solution to the Economic-Administrative Head Office."
Is that correct?

A. I do not know whether as it stands there it is correct. I cannot say, since in fact...the easiest way to check this is to listen to the tape, then this can be checked. In fact, a great deal here has...

Presiding Judge: Very well, but we do not have the tape, and that is why you are being asked. So you will say what you remember and that will be all.

Attorney General:

"And then I said finally, 'Let us hope that the scourge of mankind over thousands of years will bring peace once and for all'."
Accused: I am sorry...what was that?

Q. Here you are. You can look at this. Did you say that? If you wish to see this in writing, please do so. At the bottom here.

A. Even if I had said that at the Preussenhaus, at the time, I would have been a complete fool if I had said that on the tape in Buenos Aires. That is number one. Number two, Mueller would never have put up with such a generalization as a lecture. I had to give a factual review, and not my personal or impersonal opinion. This sentence also entirely fits into the picture of representing me to be interested in this matter, so that the book would sell better. I cannot say anything further about this, either.

I would immediately acknowledge this, obviously, if I were to hear the tape. That is what I must say here. But it must be borne in mind - it must be realized that I must either have been a fool to have pronounced something like that, even if it corresponded to the truth.

Q. But does it correspond to the truth or not?

A. No, I cannot...I cannot accept that.

Q. You cannot accept that?

A. No. And I would ask that you see whether you can get hold of the tape. After all anyone...there are so many pages, entire pages, and it is possible...possible to slip in sentences and slip in words...

As a supplement, I should like to add that whether Goebbels took part in this meeting should be checked. I say he did not. That can be checked easily. This fact would then confirm as well...of course it would not confirm the later detail, but then it would be more or less clear how things were.

Q. Did you draft monthly reports about Jewish matters? Reports, which were then distributed to the police units?

A. Monthly reports, I did not draft anything like that. I did not draft any reports whatsoever, but for a while the information which came during the month had...monthly reports had to be produced for notifying the upper echelons, but they did not go down the line. There was something else...

Q. I see. The upper echelons, very well. So the upper echelons. Let us stay there for a moment. What was the circulation of these reports? To whom were they distributed?

A. These monthly reports which the Section had to produce, I gave them to Mueller only, and he certainly passed them on to the Chief of the Security Police, but not as a report from a single Section, but as a report from the entire Department because each Section Head did in fact have to give such a report. This was simply for the purpose of informing Mueller, the Chief of the Security Police and certainly also, in a heavily abridged form, Himmler. Because Himmler did in fact give orders, and at the end he ordered - this can be proved - that in future he did not wish to know anything more every month other than the number of the Jews deported. That was the order. Until then all sorts of things had to be reported on.

Q. All right. Do you admit that your rank in the SS at the beginning was equivalent to the ranks of other Section Heads, while later it was in fact higher than the normal rank of a Section Head?

A. No, because the organization chart shows immediately that they were Government Counsellors and Senior Government Counsellors, if they were civil servants, and that is equivalent to Sturmfuehrer and Obersturmbannfuehrer. As long as I...

Presiding Judge: Would you please keep your answers short.

Attorney General: When you appear in 1941 in T/99, you appear as Section Head, and there your rank fits in with the ranks of other Section Heads: Hauptsturmfuehrer as you were at the time, were you not?

Accused: On 1 March 1941. If I take Group IVB, the Group Leader is Sturmbannfuehrer, the Deputy is Sturmbannfuehrer, the Section Head of IV1 is Sturmbannfuehrer, the Section Head of IVB2 is Sturmbannfuehrer, IVB3 is vacant and I am IVB4, also Sturmbannfuehrer. But then in March 1941, I then - six months or three-quarter of a year later - I became Obersturmbannfuehrer. But that is a perfectly normal thing, because...

Q. All right, that will do. So that is exactly what I said. Here your rank fits in with the ranks of the other Section Heads, but shortly after that you were promoted, were you not?

A. Yes, in November I was promoted.

Q. Very well. Now please look at T/104. Here you already have a higher rank, and that would suit a Group Leader, for example like the Commander of Group IVC, if I am not mistaken. That is on page 4, the deputy Chief of IVC, and the deputy Chief of IVE on page 9.

A. I am not the only one here either, because I see here, for example...

Q. Not the only one. I said relatively. I did not say you were the only one, I said relatively.

A. It depends on what happened in terms of promotion. As long as I was Obersturmbannfuehrer...I could not go higher as a Section Head, but I could become that. One finds here also Obersturmbannfuehers as Section Heads, here in this organization chart.

Q. All right. And Mueller did not promote you to a higher rank simply because he feared difficulties with other Section Heads. Is that correct?

A. No, because from that point on something opposite happened. Men who previously held the same rank, perhaps one grade lower, they suddenly overtook me. This was connected with the fact that I...I have already briefly described this any case I know this, I am also aware of this because I did not take any decisions of my own...

Q. All right, we have already heard that. I should like to know whether what you said to Sassen in the following words is correct or not:

"So if I had somehow been proposed by Mueller for promotion when I was Section Head, there would have been a row among the other twenty-nine. They were civil servants. Some of them were after pensions and all that stuff. There would have been all sorts of quarrels."
Is that correct?

A. There were not "all sorts of quarrels." The rest is correct. And I have also said this here in Bureau 06.

Q. And the scope of your Section also increased constantly. After the Head Office for Reich Security was set up, you received two Sections - IIB2, which had been II/112 of the Security Service Head Office, and IVD3, which had taken over the duties of the Gestapo, and IVD4, where you worked on evacuation and resettlement. Is that correct?

A. No, that is not entirely correct. It is not correct. I did not take over three Sections. Three Sections were not turned into one Section. If I had taken over II/112, then there would not have been any need for any further existence in Department VII of a Jewish Affairs Section.

Q. But it is here in writing. Just look at it. Page 24 of exhibit T/99, where the new designations of the Sections and Departments are listed compared with the previous ones. Do you see IIB2 there?

A. The only thing that this can mean is what was previously II/112, that now became IIB2, but that does not mean II/112 as well as IIB2.

Q. Quite - that is precisely what I am arguing. Of course I agree with you. Neither exist any more. Today, it is IIB2.

A. Exactly.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.