The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 109
(Part 3 of 4)

Attorney General: Yes. I believe that I would not be justified in concealing the existence of this document. It is my duty to inform the Court that this document is in our hands, and to request that the Court use its power under the section of the Trial upon Information Ordinance according to which the Court is entitled at any stage of the proceedings to require the submission of any item of evidence. I hereby request that the Court in its discretion apply Section 41 of the Trial upon Information Ordinance, and require that Dr. Vrba's affidavit be submitted as evidence. It simply explains document No. 4.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I have not yet taken cognizance of this document - I, therefore, do not know what is in it; but on the basis of the Attorney General's submission, it appears to be an important document for a historical department, but no longer for the Court. Consequently, I am no longer able to make any comment on this, and I would have to carry out an investigation, so at this stage in the proceedings I would ask that the document be rejected.

Attorney General: In order to clarify things: Yesterday, immediately after we received the document, Dr. Servatius received a copy of it - Mr. Bach provided Dr. Servatius with a copy of it.

Presiding Judge: Section 41 does not apply here, Mr. Attorney General, if we are to be precise. Section 41 deals with witnesses who are brought before the Court.

Attorney General: Of course we must here add Section 15 of the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, it is possible that, as the phrase goes, as I was half-way through the door I was given a copy, but I had no time whatsoever to look it over and study it thoroughly. Your Honour, I have glanced at the document now: There is a total number, but there is no indication of exactly how this has been arrived at in any fashion that would allow the figures to be verified. It always says that he refers to his statistics - but it is precisely these statistics which are not available, and therefore this document has no real value.

Judge Halevi: Dr. Servatius, this does not apply to the Accused, as far as I understand; this does not ascribe any new responsibility to the Accused. There is nothing in this document which directly incriminates the Accused, is there, or am I to understand the opposite?

Dr. Servatius: In point of fact, in very many pieces of evidence which have been produced there is something which would not directly incriminate the Accused - that applied to testimonies of witnesses as well - I did not object to that - but now, at the end of the trial, where I must somehow deal with this question, it is really very late. In my opinion these matters can and will have to be clarified in some entirely different setting, i.e., by historians, this being something which it is very difficult for the Court to do.

Presiding Judge: We shall have to take about this under consideration. We would like to hear all of the requests and applications for rebutting evidence.

Attorney General: The next document I have here is the Administrative Rules of the Reich Ministries, issued in 1935 during the Nazi era. This document contains directives about interministerial correspondence; it is an earlier part of the volume which I have already submitted to the Court, i.e., the volume which has now been issued by the Federal Republic, and it sheds light...

Presiding Judge: Is there some reference to this there? Why do you say that it is an earlier part?

Attorney General: Because it refers to the same ministerial decisions and directives from the Weimar period as the volume which I have submitted. In other words, some continuity can be seen here. I do not know whether the continuity was complete; I do not know whether in the meantime there were not new directives, or whether these were changed in the course of time. Anyhow, this is what I know. It was issued in 1935 for use by all Reich offices, and the important thing here is about sending letters to officials with the indication of the official's name. It says here that this form of address should not be used unless there is a special reason for it.

Presiding Judge: This is what we call the name of the addressee.

Attorney General: Yes. The passage to which I wish to refer in particular says...

Presiding Judge: You are referring to addresses, in other words, when the name may be indicated in addition to, or instead of, the function?

Attorney General: No, the directive is that the letter is to be addressed to the office, and the name may only be given in certain cases. And now here there are directives as to which are those cases. But since there is very extensive correspondence to the Accused addressed for his attention or to him personally, as there are also a number of letters by him, from him to the Foreign Ministry, von Thadden, to Rademacher, etc., and assuming that he respected the general official directives which are binding on him as on other officials, we can therefore assume that there were special reasons for this kind of correspondence, which was not the normal kind. Therefore, I assume that this evidence will shed light on the reasons for this kind of correspondence, and I therefore request that this volume be admitted.

Presiding Judge: And this volume has also only now reached you?

Attorney General: Not quite as late, but it was delayed.

Presiding Judge: Perhaps you would tell us whether you received it during the Accused's testimony?

Attorney General: Yes, I must admit as much.

Presiding Judge: Of course, the true state of things has to be presented.

Attorney General: But again, we did not apply our minds to this particular passage until rather late in the day.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I have not so far had any knowledge of this piece of evidence; it should, at the very least, have been submitted when it was still possible to question the Accused, and it should have been shown to him, so that he could comment on it.

However, in addition I would submit the following: It must first be argued that the Accused was familiar with these directives. He was not, after all, a career official who had gone through this school; rather he was put into office, and as the phrase goes, he was a trainee, but he was not familiar with all the ins and outs. And furthermore: These provisions from the Weimar Regime - as it was called at the time - were to a large extent rejected.

Presiding Judge: No, this was not from the Weimar Regime, this is from the Third Reich, as I understand it, from 1935. Is that correct?

Attorney General: It says here, Berlin 1934, unchanged reprint. The external appearance does not show any Nazi influence in the symbols - there is the old Weimar Eagle.

Presiding Judge: That was probably a regrettable error.

Dr. Servatius: Laws and legislation change extremely slowly. Perhaps today it can be used as proof of a resistance struggle.

Judge Raveh: Will you adopt the same position if the Accused is given a further opportunity to comment on it as witness?

Dr. Servatius: I have no objections if the Court wishes to question the Accused. However, I do not believe that he will give any other answers than those which I have given now.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Attorney General, do you have another request under the heading of rebutting evidence?

Attorney General: Matters which I request as of right. N/19 is an affidavit submitted by Counsel for the Defence in conjunction with the Lidice children who were in Poland near a place called Puszykowko. I should like to submit the book to which I referred at that time.

Presiding Judge: Is this rebutting evidence?

Attorney General: Yes, it is. This is a book published in Czechoslovakia, by the Organization of Anti-Fascist Fighters, under the name: This is Where Lidice Was.

There are two passages here which we have translated from the Czech: The first passage is on pages 60 and 61, called, "The children at the gates of death in Chelmno," on pages 73- 83...

Presiding Judge: Let us first ascertain on what this passage is based, on what evidence?

Attorney General: There are various records here which have been collected by the author, and to which the author also makes reference.

Presiding Judge: In other words, the author is basing himself on statements he has taken from persons whose names he gives?

Attorney General: Yes. He mentions the name of the gardener at Chelmno, Andrej Misha, who wrote an account. On pages 73- 83 there is a passage called "The fates of the children who were deported." The children are listed here alphabetically by name, with their year of birth as well. There is a special mention of Puszykowko, and then a full explanation is given as to some of the children in fact having been there.

Presiding Judge: Is this the place near Posen?

Attorney General: This is the place near Posen which is mentioned in the affidavit N/19. I believe that this gives a complete explanation of the events from two aspects - that near the end of the War, or at any event when the Soviet army was advancing in that area, there were apparently still some children there in the area of Puszykowko. The place was called Puschkau in N/19. Here, too, the author bases himself on various statements which he indicates in detail.

Presiding Judge: Is it not a question here of distinguishing between the evidence which you could have submitted already early on as evidence about the fate of the children, and the other part which came up only as a result of N/19, about the children walking around in the convent garden?

Attorney General: The facts are as follows: This evidence reached us late in the day. We had no knowledge of the existence of this book. We made investigations in Prague, and all we found out we produced as evidence at the proper stage. After we found out about N/19, we carried out further investigations, and at about the same time we got hold of the book. We already had the book when Counsel for the Defence submitted N/19, and at that time I already said that I would wish to submit the book at this stage as rebutting evidence. This is my first application for rebutting evidence.

Judge Raveh: I wish to ask a question. Is a place called Brockau also referred to in this book? I found this place referred to in one of the documents appended to Krumey's statement. There is a letter there of 7 July 1942, where it says: "In the same transport there are also six children who are suitable for re-Germanization, who are destined for the Brockau District Children's Home."

Attorney General: Perhaps the Court would allow me to hand these passages over to my colleague, Mr. Bach, who dealt with this chapter, and perhaps he will be able to reply to this in a few minutes' time.

Presiding Judge: Perhaps we should follow the normal order. Let us now hear Dr. Servatius' position on this.

Dr. Servatius: I only received this translation yesterday, or the day before yesterday, and I am of course not able to carry out detailed investigations of this, or try and obtain witnesses. I would ask that the document be rejected as coming too late. It is particularly difficult for the Defence to shed light on this whole Lidice matter, because it is just impossible to obtain witnesses from this area, or even have investigations carried out. Even witnesses who originate from there are somewhat concerned about having their name mentioned here, and I would of course have done something with regard to the female witness who made a statement here about having seen the children, who also indicates that the teacher is in Czechoslovakia. I would then have endeavoured to approach this woman. It was my opinion that I could spare her the awkwardness which this matter might involve for this witness. I would, therefore, ask that the document be rejected as coming too late.

Presiding Judge: Does this also apply to that part which relates to the statement which you submitted, to N/19, Dr. Servatius? On the basis of this statement you did, in fact, introduce a new element into the proceedings - the children who, according to the witness referred to there, were supposed to have lived somewhere in Posen.

Dr. Servatius: That was document N/19, that is a long way back, one of the first items of evidence.

Presiding Judge: Yes, but I am sure you remember that the Attorney General immediately suggested or requested that the book be submitted, and at that time we said that he should repeat his request after the Defence had made its submissions. I do not know whether a specific decision was taken about this, but I do have a distinct memory of this being said.

Dr. Servatius: Yes, something was said along these lines, I do not believe a decision was taken. It could not in fact be assumed that these documents would arrive now after the conclusion of the Defence submissions.

Presiding Judge: In any case, your objection applies to the whole of this document, does it not?

Dr. Servatius: Yes.

Attorney General: I should just like to reply to His Honour, Judge Raveh. The only thing we have here is that a child called Zelenka, who was re-Germanizable and in Puszykowko until the autumn of 1942, was then taken to an SS children's home at Oberweiss in the Upper Danube region. But names of other places are not mentioned. In Puszykowko there were those children, or some of those, who had been found to be re-Germanizable, and that is why this is so important.

Presiding Judge: Very well, the last matter now.

Attorney General: No, the matter before the last. In exhibit N/99, statement by Alois Steger, on page three, there is a reference to what was said by Paul Revesz, who is now in a kibbutz in Israel, and to Ladislaus Perez. Steger is probably mistaken here, as Paul Revesz and Ladislaus Perez are in fact one and the same person. I will read out the second paragraph on page 3: "I have heard about Paul Revesz and about Ladislaus Perez, now in a kibbutz in Israel." Here Mr. Steger says that he knows from these witnesses that the train was diverted by Becher to Bergen- Belsen, because the money had not been paid in time. The purpose of this passage was to rebut Becher's statement in this matter.

We request that the witness Revesz be heard.

Presiding Judge: You do not wish to rebut Becher's testimony, but what Becher said.

Attorney General: It is the same thing, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: No, here Steger tells what he heard from Revesz about what Becher said in the past, does he not?

Attorney General: Yes, but meanwhile Becher's words about this have been submitted to the Court, both in his testimony and in his examination, and I wish here to rebut Becher's statement that it was Becher who diverted the train to Bergen-Belsen because the money had not arrived. Steger states this on the basis of what he heard from Revesz.

Presiding Judge: And what is the correct version?

Attorney General: The correct version is that Eichmann was the person who diverted the train to Bergen-Belsen. The witness Revesz knows this, at least he thinks so.

Presiding Judge: Can you refer us to the relevant passage in Becher's testimony? Perhaps it is in his previous testimonies.

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