The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 107
(Part 5 of 6)

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, you now have the Defence witnesses whose statements were taken abroad, and we shall once again follow the order which we followed with the submission of the Prosecution witnesses, i.e., which we followed when the statements made abroad were submitted. In what order or sequence do you wish to submit these statements?

Dr. Servatius: The best way is to follow the order of the applications.

Presiding Judge: Very well. I thought that we should first concentrate on those which have nothing at all to do with Hungary, and then those which concern Hungary, but I leave that up to you, Dr. Servatius.

Dr. Servatius: Often in the documents, several topics are mentioned in the documents, so that it is difficult to separate them.

Presiding Judge: Very well. With what would you like to start?

Dr. Servatius: I would like to start with Witness for the Defence Six.

Presiding Judge: Alright. I would stress once again that the statements in their entirety are part of the record of these proceedings, but you may now read out or translate those parts from the statements to which the parties wish to refer particularly. Let us therefore take Six' statement. To what would you like to draw our attention here?

Dr. Servatius: This is the examination of witness Six on 24 May '61 before the Tettnang Court of First Instance. I would refer in particular to page three, at the end of the first paragraph. This reads:

"In order to be able to conduct negotiations abroad with representatives of the foreign state, it was first necessary to obtain approval of the Minister responsible, and the German envoy in the state concerned had to be present. From my own knowledge I am unable to say whether Eichmann had wider or less wide powers than other section heads."
Then the last paragraph starts on the same page:
"The so-called Final Solution of the Jewish Question was based on a decision by Hitler which was announced to a certain circle at the Wannsee Conference in 1942, and then turned into a conclusion by this circle." I now omit a sentence. "During 1943, I did receive reports at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs from the foreign press for my information, about concentration camps, gassings and other measures against the Jews. These reports were so concrete that from 1943 on I no longer had any doubts that persecution measures were being carried out against the Jews. From the end of 1943 onwards, most of the highest-level ministerial civil servants must also have been aware of such press reports."
The same page, at the bottom:
"Given the structure of the Head Office for Reich Security, it was impossible for a section head to grant exemptions from the orders of his superior, on his own authority or above the head of his superior. Very many members of the Head Office for Reich Security were removed from their posts, and this was certainly one of the reasons why all were very careful not to exceed their authority. There were no instructions giving section heads prior permission for making exceptions. This applies to the Head Office for Reich Security generally, and not specifically to the Eichmann section. I am not familiar with Eichmann's various powers."
In the middle of page five:
"I went to see Heydrich every three or four weeks at the conferences of department chiefs. Eichmann did not take part in these conferences."
On the next page, six, in the middle:
"His whole attitude meant that Eichmann would not exceed the limits of the instructions he received. I would have noticed if Eichmann had exceeded his instructions when I was working in the Secret Service Head Office. I am not, however, able to remember anything of the kind."
At the bottom of the same page, at the end of the paragraph:
"As long as Eichmann was subordinate to me, I do not remember him making any anti-Jewish statements or proposals. It was not in his nature to make proposals which went further than the anti-Jewish measures envisaged at that time."
Page seven, lower part:
"Eichmann did not make his journey to Palestine on his own; he went with Hagen. I must have read the Palestine report, I suppose. However, I no longer remember the contents of this report. When Eichmann was no longer subordinate to me, I ceased to receive any reports from him. From Document No. 2, which has been shown to me, I see from the reference Hg, and also from the title, that the report was in fact written by Hagen."
At the bottom of page ten:
"I know nothing about any connection or organizational co-operation between Eichmann and the Operations Groups."
A last comment on the conference in Krummhuebel, page twelve:
"I believe that, apart from Schleyer and von Thadden, the participants in the meeting did not have information about the current situation of the Final Solution."
These are the passages I wished to read out.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Attorney General, do you wish to stress anything?

Attorney General: We have given the passages to Mr. Dayan to be translated directly.

Interpreter: Shall I read out everything which has been marked or underlined?

Attorney General: Yes. At the bottom of page two. In order to avoid misunderstandings, hand it back to me.

The passage marked in the margin in ink:

"The Eichmann section occupied a special position. More people were employed in this section than in the other sections."
Now, at the bottom, on page three:
"If Eichmann was able to sign correspondence with outside bodies, particularly ministries, on his own, without any counter-signature (something which I am not aware of according to my own recollection), then this was definitely an extension of his powers as a section head."
Page four:
"Had I wished to obtain an exemption or something similar for a Jew, I would not have gone to Eichmann, as he was an exponent of the other side."
Now on page five, the bottom of page four:
"I am not familiar with Eichmann's various powers. However, there is no doubt that he had wider powers than other section heads. This was the general view in the Head Office for Reich Security. The general impression was that Eichmann was not only under Mueller's orders, but that he was somewhat on the same level as Mueller. Mueller was known as one of the worst instigators, and I would say that the two were very well matched. Under a different superior than Mueller, Eichmann's powers would probably not have been as extensive as they actually were. It was known that Eichmann had access to Heydrich and Kaltenbrunner, although I cannot now give any actual facts to attest to that. I also saw Eichmann in Heydrich's antechamber - as far as I remember, definitely once or twice."
Now further down on the same page:
"In my view that was another reason why Eichmann's superior considered Eichmann to be particularly suited for his job, as he was a National Socialist of long standing. I believe that Heydrich in particular attached value to the Eichmann section being in the hands of a National Socialist of long standing. In my opinion, Mueller and Eichmann teamed up fairly well."
In the middle of page six:
"Eichmann believed absolutely in National Socialism. Essentially, the world was fulfilled for him by means of the Nazi outlook on life."
And further down on the same page:
"I believe that, when in doubt, Eichmann always acted in accordance with Party doctrine in its most extreme interpretation."
Bottom of page eight:
"During the war it was at least possible to try and be transferred away from an Operations Group. I myself made such a successful attempt. It was also possible in some other cases which were referred to at Nuremberg."
Presiding Judge: Is that everything?

Consecutive Interpreter: Yes.

Presiding Judge: I designate this statement VII. Dr. Servatius, who is next?

Dr. Servatius: The next witness is advocate Dr. Merten. the examination of 29, 30 and 31 May 1961 before the Berlin- Tiergarten Court of First Instance.

I would refer to page nine. He says here:

"It is correct that in the criminal proceedings instituted against me in Greece I did not mention this visit of the Accused before Christmas 1942. This was on the advice of counsel for my defence, who advised me to say as little as possible about any personal contact with the Accused, as otherwise it was to be feared that this circumstance would be considered to incriminate me. I also at the time remembered the "major" discussion of January 1943 as having taken place in December 1942."
Then, page twelve, at the top:
"What is, however, correct is that, in substance, what I am saying to-day does not entirely coincide in every detail with what I said in my defence speech before the Greek court." Then, in the middle: "I would say about this that the reasons for the discrepancy are not only the lack of documents, but more particularly the fact that in the Greek proceedings I was the accused and was making a speech for the defence, where the main object was to incriminate myself as little as possible. Moreover, my counsel was most insistent in his recommendation that I dissociate by every possible allegation the Wehrmacht from the Head Office for Reich Security; I was told that I should bear in mind the fact that senior professional army officers were judging me, and I had to address them in 'military' terms. To-day I am in a different situation, since to- day I am a witness and have to give testimony on oath. The reason why in the speech in my defence I moreover spoke only of Eichmann and did not refer to Guenther, too, in this respect, was also because of the emphatic recommendations of my defence counsel that in my argument I should avoid a wealth of names which would confuse the court. It can be seen that I did at that point think of Guenther, because on page 43 of the shorthand record about 17 February, 1959, I refer to 'Eichmann's SS adjutant'".
These are the passages to which I wished to refer.

Presiding Judge: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Hausner.

Attorney General: We have no passages from Merten's statement on which we wish to comment.

Presiding Judge: I designate the first part of this statement VIII (1) and the addition of 7 June 1961 - VIII (2). Dr. Servatius, who comes next? The Attorney General has nothing to read out from Merten.

Dr. Servatius: The statement by witness Krumey of 6 June 1961 before the Frankfurt am Main Court of First Instance.

Presiding Judge: Did you also receive copies of the documents which were shown to Krumey during his examination?

Dr. Servatius: No, I did not receive any separate copies.

Presiding Judge: Nor have you looked at these documents?

Dr. Servatius: I cannot say for the moment, I -

Presiding Judge: I gave instructions that both parties should have these documents brought to their notice. There was some difficulty here. If you remember, these documents reached the Court indirectly, and I therefore gave instructions that both parties should have these documents brought to their notice.

The Secretary, Mr. Bodenheimer, maintains that he showed you the documents and that you said that you wished to refer only to the first document. Do you remember something like that?

Dr. Servatius: I do remember these documents now. There was the first one and the - except the first one, there were no objections to any of them. At the top of the first one it said "Copy", so that here there was no photocopy of the original, and the second thing to which there was an objection was the last sentence of this teletype. This sentence was even underlined; it read: "No special care for them is required." I would have liked to see the original, since it is strange that this sentence is underlined, and it is possible that it was a later addition made by someone. There - the reason why it attracts attention is because all the other photocopies are photocopies of the original; it is only this essential document which is just a photocopy of a copy.

Presiding Judge: Alright. In any case, this is what was sent to us, and we shall pay due attention to this. We shall bear in mind that it was a photocopy of a copy.

Dr. Servatius, what do you wish to read out from this statement?

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