The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 11
(Part of )

Session No. 119

[Continuation of the Session after the recess]

Presiding Judge: Mr. Landau, I presume that the application you wish to make to us has the same content as that which was submitted in writing prior to the beginning of the trial.

Attorney Landau: Yes, Your Honour. I am representing Mr. Mordechai Leitner.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Leitner is applying for symbolic compensation in the sum of one Israeli lira for the damage which he claims was caused to him by the Accused?

Attorney Landau: To be precise, for the suffering which he caused...

Presiding Judge: The question which arises - and I am sure that this will not have escaped your notice - is whether he heard what we read out in the Judgment, in the chapter on Hungary, whether from the Judgment it is obvious that this suffering arises from the Accused's actions as described in the Judgment. Naturally only if this is clear will we deal with this matter now.

Attorney Landau: That is correct. It is also clear from another of the Counts against the Accused, I believe - the Fifth Count in the Indictment, under which he has been found guilty generally of the suffering he caused.

State Attorney Bar-Or: With the Court's permission, before my learned colleague deals with the substance of his application - if he is going to deal with the substance of his application - I would request the Court's permission to raise a preliminary argument concerning my learned colleague's right to present any application to the Court.

Presiding Judge: I would suggest, Mr. Bar-Or, that you do not submit any preliminary arguments. We have in fact decided that we shall allow Mr. Landau to make this application to us, and this is what he is doing. I would not wish to be drawn into formal arguments.

State Attorney Bar-Or: As you please, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: [To Attorney Landau] To what do you wish to refer?

Attorney Landau: I wished to draw the Court's attention also to a small item in the Indictment.

Presiding Judge: This is not important at the moment, Mr. Landau. The only thing that is important is what we have found the Accused guilty of. And if you paid attention - we did not always follow the text of the Indictment. To be more precise, the question is - this is how I see it - that the Applicant is arguing that he suffered in a labour camp in Hungary.

Attorney Landau: That is correct.

Presiding Judge: Were these camps inside Hungary?

Attorney Landau: Yes.

Presiding Judge: I do not believe that in our Judgment there is any ruling, finding, according to which the Accused is responsible for what happened in those labour camps. Please understand me properly: I am not saying that this is not how things were, perhaps this is how things were, but at this stage we are bound, and above all, Mr. Landau, you are bound, by the framework of our factual findings. And if this does not fit precisely within the framework of the factual findings - then, naturally, you can submit a civil claim in this matter.

Attorney Landau: Your Honour, the Applicant's suffering in the Accused's camps came at the final stage of the Applicant's suffering. He suffered prior to this, he suffered from the first moment that the Germans entered Hungary, from the first moment he felt like a hunted animal, felt like someone sentenced to death, he was starved, he tried to save himself. And since there were rumours that the result of the expulsions was death - and they knew that the expulsions led to death; this was in 1944, and the Hungarian Jews had information to this effect - he was persuaded by rumours that it was precisely in the provincial towns that he could be saved. These rumours were spread deliberately, and he went to the provinces. The journey in itself was a mortal risk, because we heard that the Gestapo, the SS...

Presiding Judge: Mr. Landau, this is not permissible now. That is why I asked you my previous question. We have your submission before us in writing, and from what it contains it is fairly clear that you are complaining about the sufferings in the camps, and not en route from Budapest to the provincial towns.

Attorney Landau: I simply said that this was at the final stage. In my humble opinion, it would seem to me that another item can be added, and that I am not limited by what is in the application.

Presiding Judge: To the extent that an advocate is limited by his response to the Court.

Attorney Landau: My response is that the suffering of the Applicant was caused because of the crimes of which the Accused has been found guilty.

Presiding Judge: In what sense? Perhaps you could be more specific and tell us once again what suffering is referred to.

Attorney Landau: The suffering he underwent first of all in the labour camps, suffering because of the obligation to wear the "Yellow Badge."

Presiding Judge: Is this mentioned in your written submission?

Attorney Landau: In Paragraph 4 - that rumours were spread to the effect that it was worthwhile for people to move to the small towns on the assumption that they would be saved there, and it transpired that this was a strategem. Furthermore, the result of his forced labour was that he fell ill with tuberculosis.

Presiding Judge: All of this is mentioned in the application, there is no need to repeat this orally. Is there anything else you wish to mention, Mr. Landau, in addition to what we have in writing?

Attorney Landau: In addition to this there is also what I referred to earlier, his mental suffering from the first moment that he found out that they were about to murder him.

With the Court's permission!

Presiding Judge: What do you wish to do now?

Attorney Landau: I would like permission to argue the case for my application.

Presiding Judge: In what sense? The matter is clear.

Attorney Landau: I would like to refer explicitly to the grounds. Since the matter is entirely subject to the discretion of the Court...

Presiding Judge: Precisely.

Attorney Landau: I wished to present the grounds to the Court in order to convince the Court to use its full power.

Presiding Judge: I requested that the application be defined, and would you now be seated. We wish to consult on this matter.

Presiding Judge:


The Applicant's Petition and its grounds were submitted in writing prior to the beginning of the legal proceedings in this trial. They refer to the Applicant's suffering which he underwent when confined in labour camps in Hungary from May 1944 onwards. From the findings of fact that we made in our Judgment, it does not appear that there was personal responsibility on the part of the Accused for what went on inside these camps. We do not hereby intend to say that it has been proved that no such responsibility exists. However, if the Applicant so argues, this is not a suitable stage for carrying out a further examination of the facts which would be necessary in order to draw conclusions in this matter. The Applicant's representative has today added further grounds for his application. It is, however, obvious that the main aspect of the Applicant's claim is still his suffering in the aforementioned camps. We therefore reject the Applicant's application.

Now, Dr. Servatius, concerning the next stage of the trial, do you have any application or are you prepared to continue tomorrow as usual?

Dr. Servatius: I would be most grateful if it were possible to postpone the proceedings till tomorrow afternoon, so that I can discuss the results of the Judgment with the Accused, and give the material to be translated to the translators. I could be ready tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m., of course if there is no morning session. I am assuming that it will take me in all an hour or an hour and a half to make my presentation.

Presiding Judge: Does that also include the Accused's comments, if the Accused wishes to say something? I would like to have an idea of our timetable.

Dr. Servatius: Yes, I would assume that together with the Accused's comments we will need an hour and a half. I think it will be possible to complete this tomorrow afternoon.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Bar-Or, will we be able to complete this tomorrow in a single session?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes, the Attorney General is prepared for this.

Presiding Judge: Will there be enough time, given what Dr. Servatius has said?

State Attorney Bar-Or: I believe so.

Presiding Judge: We shall adjourn the proceedings until 3 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, and we shall hear the parties on the sentence.

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