The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 102
(Part 4 of 5)

Attorney General: In one of the previous sessions, when we were talking about the Richter-Killinger question, you said that you wanted to show the Court some other document which clarifies the matter of these relationships. Do you remember?

Accused: Yes, Mr. Attorney General.

Q. Do you have the document handy?

A. Yes, I have it here.

Q. Do you wish to show the document to the Court, or to refer to it?

A. There are two things - the document, and also Reitlinger.

Q. Forget about Reitlinger - let us talk about the document, please. What is the quotation in the document?

A. In Richter's memorandum of 23 January 1942 - T/1225, 2, it says:

"I returned to the discussion with the Deputy Prime Minister on 12 December 1941, where Antonescu agreed to my proposal that in future the emigration of Jews from Rumania be stopped. I informed him that in the same matter, the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service had himself informed the Adviser of this ..." etcetera.
What I would like to, or wanted to draw attention to by this is that Richter dealt directly with the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service in these matters.

Q. This report went to you, did it not?

A. This report went to me too, yes.

Q. So let us see how this really was. I am showing you an excerpt from what you dictated to Sassen: Here, too, there are three corrections in your handwriting - would you confirm that, please? Once you corrected the word "instructions" to "opinions" (Meinungen); and once instead of "aus" (from) you wrote "spaeter" (later), and at the bottom you wrote instead of "snobism," "chauvinism." All in your own hand, in your own writing. Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. Very well. And now would you please read out the passage I have marked in brackets for you.


"Richter came to Berlin several times and complained that he had been muzzled by Killinger, which was why he had come in person, as he could not report it in writing. This happened half a dozen times, as I recommended to Richter - or gave him my opinion - that whenever he was unable to see clearly how to cope with his matters, if it involved opinions of principle, to get on a plane or a train and to come to me and report to me. From what I knew of Richter, he combined business with pleasure, and that is why it was half a dozen times. Apparently Killinger in Bucharest was a gentlemen who wished to command in a very authoritarian fashion, who got along very well with everyone, including Richter, as long as he knew that Richter was tied to one of the traces of his carriage. People there had all the freedom which they were entitled to on grounds of their official positions.

But if Ambassador Killinger complained about me, I must counter this by saying that in Bucharest, far from home, Ambassador Killinger did not know how the cards were shuffled and played there. He could not know that at least once a week, the responsible Legation Counsellor of the Foreign Ministry turned up in my antechamber and asked to see me. For several years that was Rademacher, and after that von Thadden. If Ambassador Killinger now says that he, like a good soul, sent all letters via the Foreign Ministry to the Security Police and the Security Service - but the other way round there were complaints - then he is doing the Security Police and the Security Service grave injustice, which because of his general stupidity might be forgiven him. He could not know that Department IV initially had a far closer connection with the Foreign Ministry than chasing written notes back and forth. And he could not have any idea that the competent officials in charge of the Security Police and the Security Service - the Foreign Ministry - sat down at the same table at least once a week with the man from the Security Police about whom he spoke so unkindly, and discussed the matter."

Q. You did say that, didn't you?

A. What I said is correct, and I can in fact list the things - the inaccuracies, if I am allowed to.

Presiding Judge: But you did say that, didn't you?

Accused: Your Honour, in all of these things I had had my fill of wine. If, today, I were asked if I said it, I would have to counter this by the fact that I have, for example, before read things where the word "kein" (none) had been "ein" (one), or where the "nicht" (not) has been left out, and immediately the meaning changes.

Presiding Judge: Does this passage sound as if it came from your mouth? Is it your style? Does it also sound from the contents, as if it came from you?

Accused: Yes, I must say that, obviously I cannot - and do not want to, either - deny that I spoke. Whether it is literally what I said, I cannot say. But the meaning, and in general it is right.

Presiding Judge: All right, then.

Attorney General: Would you now please open the booklet before you, page 291, where you will also see a few corrections in your handwriting. For example you can see corrections made by you to a few lines. Correct?

Accused: Yes.

Q. Would you now please read out the passage I have marked in red.


"On 13 March 1942 a meeting took place between Mr. Eichmann, a Mr. Wetzel from the Foreign Ministry, and Mr. Rademacher, about this matter. It was decided that a warning should be given to Antonescu to refrain from this measure."
Attorney General: This is what Sassen said to you, is it not? He is quoting it to you from somewhere, is he not?

Accused: Yes, he was quoting it from somewhere.

Attorney General: Please read on.


"Yes, of course, I would, of course, have put up a struggle against having Jews brought to territories which in any case were under our control. Because it was my assignment to make them free. Where they were the Eastern Territories, it might not have made any difference to me. That is why the Operations Commandos were there, over whom I could not have had any power. But these areas were of course also taboo for me, insofar as I could not allow Jews to be deported to them from a location where I had some measure of control. The world was big enough - they did not have to enter the territories under our control. And that also corresponds to what it says in this hostile book. The deportations were continued, but one month later Eichmann informed Rademacher that he was to take security measures for this deportation to the Bug to stop."
Attorney General: Now from the words "that" to "stop" - this is again what Sassen says to you, is it not?

Accused: Yes. This was read out.

Attorney General: And now please read the reply.


"Yes, this entirely corresponds to my ideas. I would not accept Jews in an area which, I am happy to say, is free of Jews. And that was probably why Rademacher came and asked me for advice, since Rademacher, unlike von Thadden, was a fairly easy-going man who also wanted to arrange his affairs in an easy-going fashion. And he was happy and grateful when he got the rough text from me for the note verbale which he then only needed to redraft in diplomatic language, and then, as far as he was concerned, the whole thing had been dealt with."
Attorney General: Did you say these words?

Accused: I must repeat the same thing: I do not know. In principle I must say "how did this matter even come about?" It was not important. For to every reply I should have had to say, as I did in the beginning: "I do not know, I cannot remember." At which point my co-author Sassen would naturally have said: "Like this, it is impossible to compose a book." So I started imagining things, because we agreed to describe things as we, more or less, concocted them. Because that is what mattered, and that was what was to be in the book - describing the spirit of those times. And so I blended my own self any number of times, and however it worked out, with that of others. The main thing was for the material as such to be published. And that is why I must say I cannot identify myself with it, because after all there is a difference depending on whether I was collaborating on a journalistic piece of work, which is nowhere near finished, or whether it is a question of official documents. That is also the reason why I did not attach overmuch weight to any special niceties and details.

Then I sat down and wrote out the correction slips. But the correction slips are also not in any way an official version. That is what I said and did. I could not remember any of this properly, and I was told that a book had to be interesting - and I realize that - and above all it should also represent the spirit of the time, the facts, the things which were going on. I knew a dog in every village, to use a folk saying... And that little knowledge from all over, fables told and spun out together, produced this result here.

Q. You admit that Sassen read out books and documents to you, and asked you for your reaction. That is in the main how your talks went, is it not?

A. I did not have the time or opportunity to go into or pursue the matter, not even for five minutes. I recorded this, because...meanwhile...and I have also replied...

Q. No, no you are not answering my question. It is after all possible that the first comment, the first reaction is the most genuine one. Is it true that Sassen had documents and books on hand, read out passages from these documents and books to you and asked for your reaction on them? Is that true?

A. Documents, no - books, yes.

Q. All right. You thought that the book was to be a book which would contain such facts or statements as could not be contradicted at once by persons still living, such as Rademacher or Gluecks.

A. There was no such consideration. For example, Thadden did not come to my office even once, as far as I know. That is just by way of example. Nor was that important. But what was important was conjuring up the "spirit of the times."

I described, for example - I do not know where - at some points I described as an experience of mine certain things of which I was told, because my co-author at the time, Sassen, said that it would be more interesting. And I also realized that it would be more interesting if it were presented to some extent as if by an eyewitness, and that was also permitted, as far as I know, because there is some licence on the part of the writer, since what actually happened is not in fact falsified.

Q. Very well. Please open page 277 and 278 of that same booklet - I am sorry, 318, 319. Look at the corrections on these two pages in your handwriting: On page 318 at the top you added an entire line, on page 319 you made changes to the text. Is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Now please read out on pages 318-319 the passage I have marked for you.


"I was once travelling from the east to the west, and there I went through some camp, and in this camp Globocnik had carried out exterminations - or these were carried out later, I forget which. In the Generalgouvernement East, Lublin District, Treblinka? The camp commander was an Obersturmfuehrer - it was a small camp, I do not know how they carried out the extermination - not with gas. In this camp, the Obersturmfuehrer had an armoured scout car, but it was very low slung on its tracks. So I went and drove around the immediate vicinity of the camp - it took me about an hour until I could drive the thing properly. Because of this hour's driving, I remembered this camp very clearly, and then I returned to Lublin, and there Globocnik's Hauptsturmfuehrer, Hoefle, said to me...we were sitting by the fireside, and there Hoefle told me the history of the Treblinka camp.

"One fine day an SS personnel member of the camp was being fitted for a uniform in the camp's tailor shop, and then from behind the uniforms being worked on there a Jew rushed out and shot this SS man with his pistol which he had taken off for the fitting. Whereupon, as if on an order the guard post, which was on an elevation, was stormed and the guard killed; several other SS personnel were killed, their weapons were seized, the armoured car brought into action by the Jews..."

Attorney General: With the scout car, correct?


"With the scout car and with machine guns the guards were shot and after this or that number of guards had been laid low, a large part of the Jewish inmates took to their heels and ran off. Some of them fell victim to the contact mines which were along one side of the camp; the others, with the exception of a few pieces, were found by a large-scale operation which started within a few hours.

"I remember this when reading Globocnik's letter to the Reichsfuehrer asking for several Iron Crosses. That was a camp which could be considered a labour camp...this can be seen already from the fact that there was also a tailor's shop there, because the camp's own guard personnel had their uniforms made or altered there. So here this cannot have been an extermination camp, but a kind of concentration camp. This event might have been at the end of 1942, 1943, so it was Majdanek."

Q. Did you say that?

A. I related this story of course because I still more or less remember it today...but as can be seen from here...I do not even know which camp it was: I say here the end I say it was Majdanek...

Q. Quite. As it stands here, that is how you put it.

A. I do not know whether it was put as it stands here, but the story as such I still remember to this day.

Q. All right. Can you tell us who Hoefle is?

A. Hoefle, yes, in the meantime I have found out precisely - he was Globocnik's adjutant.

Q. And when you told us that you were in Majdanek - when were you in Majdanek?

A. In Majdanek...I confuse these names...because I was not there often, and have no geographical conception...I said that I was in Majdanek...but I think in fact that I was in Treblinka, I read that at Treblinka there was a dummy railway station...I saw the, I assume it must have been Treblinka.

Q. I believe you told the Court that you were in Majdanek. You can of course correct this. So when were you in Treblinka?

A. About this, I must say that even at that time I did not know the names, so today even less so.

Q. All right, but when were you in the camp which you remember visiting - whether it was Majdanek or Treblinka - when were you there?

A. According to the findings I have been able to make, it must have been in the summer - perhaps in the autumn, too ...I am not sure...of 1942. But I am not sure, because I took the dates from the books available to me here.

Q. I am now showing you another booklet. Would you please look on pages 277-278 at a largish number of corrections in your handwriting. Is that correct?

A. It is not a largish number. A few corrections can be seen here, that is true.

A. About ten corrections, true? On these two pages about ten corrections. Is that correct?

A. Ah, both pages. I was only looking at one page.

Q. Very well.

A. About ten corrections.

[ 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.