Appeal Session 03-04, Eichmann Adolf

Attorney General: I have only that part of it.

Defence witness Winkelmann, who was the Higher SS and Police
Leader in Hungary, testified in these proceedings and his
testimony was read out in Session 108, page 1841 (Vol. V). I
shall read out a few passages. In his testimony he said the

“In the course of time, Eichmann paid several visits to
me. As an SS officer, he had to report to me that he
was going off duty when he left Hungary. He also had
to report back to me when he returned to Hungary. He
came to see me for this reason. On these occasions I
learned from him that the Jews in a particular district
had been rounded up by the Hungarian gendarmerie. I
took note of what he told me and reflected on it.
Eichmann was however not subordinate to me. He
received his orders directly from the Head Office for
Reich Security.”

And on the next page the passage reads as follows:

“In describing Eichmann, I should like to say that I
did not like this officer’s snappish manner. I
considered him to have the nature of a subaltern. By
this, I mean someone who uses his authority
unreservedly, without evolving moral or mental
restraints upon the exercise of his power; nor does he
have any scruples about exceeding his authority, if he
believes he is acting in the spirit of the person
giving him his orders.”

President: In which session was this testimony submitted?

Attorney General: Session 108, pages 1841-1842.

President: Where did Winkelmann give this testimony?

Attorney General: In Germany.

President: I assume that a Prosecution representative was
present at the time.

Attorney General: Together with a Defence representative.

President: Was Winkelmann presented with questions
concerning the foot march from Hungary?

Attorney General: Yes, I shall come to that, Your Honour,
in the chapter about the foot march.

The technique was as follows, Your Honour: Each of the
parties presented the Court here with the questions that he
wanted to ask the witness, and then the parties were free to
ask further questions before the examining judge.

Witness Hoettl, Gruppenleiter of Department VI in the RSHA
– who technically, I must point out, is a Prosecution
witness, because his affidavit was submitted by us and he
was cross-examined by the Defence using a questionnaire –
confirmed in his testimony in Austria that Eichmann’s
Section dealt with the Jews for the whole of Germany (this
was read out in Session 85, Vol. IV, on page 1517), and that
Hoettl’s affidavits, which were given in Nuremberg and in
which he described Eichmann as the RSHA’s and Himmler’s
plenipotentiary for arresting and transferring European
Jews, are correct and it is correct to describe Eichmann as
the “Big Forwarding Agent of Death.”

President: Where did he say that?

Attorney General: He said that in an interview with
journalists, and when he was asked in his testimony if that
was correct, he confirmed in his testimony that it was
correct to describe him thus. This appears in the record.

Justice Silberg: Perhaps you know, Mr. Attorney General, on
which page this appears in the original, in the exhibit?

Attorney General: I might be able to tell Your Honour in
one moment.

Counsel for the Defence based himself on Hoettl’s testimony
in order to prove Eichmann’s modest life style. And Hoettl
did indeed say something along these lines, but Counsel for
the Defence forgot to add that these words in Hoettl’s
testimony apply to Eichmann’s final days in Austria after
the end of the War, when he was hiding from the Allies and
before he escaped overseas. In respect of this period of his
life, Hoettl said that Eichmann lived in Alt Aussee, and his
family lived in extremely primitive conditions. We did not
charge Eichmann with living in luxury. That is not why he is
on trial. But if we are talking about an allegedly modest
life style, perhaps I could point out that at the zenith of
his career he had a different life style; he had a villa in
Budapest, there were six drivers from amongst whom he could
choose as many as he wanted, as he testified in Session 109,
Vol. V, on page 1854, three drivers according to Slawik’s
testimony, and two paramours according to Wisliceny’s

The question of receiving reports from the Operations Units
was referred to by Defence witness von dem Bach_Zelewski on
page 5 of his evidence taken abroad.

President: Mr. Hausner, when you refer to a witness, would
you please indicate whether this was a Defence witness from
the beginning or not. Because if this was simply a cross-
examination by the Defence, it is not correct to call him a
Defence witness.

Attorney General: That is why I call him our witness. Von
dem Bach-Zelewski was a Defence witness. In reply to Justice
Silberg’s question, Hoettl replied to the question that was
put to him about the Big Forwarding Agent of Death (a phrase
which has to be taken in conjunction with the questionnaire)
on page 64 of the evidence (Vol. V), answering question 26,
where he says: “Yes, this concerns the interview which I
gave to the German television service, I would reply in the
affirmative to the question.”

Von dem Bach-Zelewski, for whom, according to his own
testimony, Eichmann was a legendary figure, as if they had
created a monster who was, as it were, responsible for the
extermination, and he did not find out until after the War
that in fact such a creature assumed a flesh-and-blood form
and walked the earth – I do not know whether to believe him
or not, I shall leave it up to Counsel for the Defence to
argue this, he is his witness – in any case, he said on page
5 of the evidence (Vol.V), about receiving the Operations
Units reports: “I do not myself know whether Eichmann
belonged to the group which received the reports. If this
was the case – this is a fact which, in my opinion,
highlights the importance of his Section.” And we do in fact
know from Eichmann himself that this was the case.

It is not correct, as Counsel for the Defence argues, that
Becher testified that Himmler himself, ostensibly, trembled
before Eichmann. He did not testify to this. What is true is
that Becher, who for this purpose should be seen as a
Prosecution witness, said that Himmler was afraid that,
through Eichmann, Kaltenbrunner and Hitler might get to know
of the negotiations which he, Himmler, conducted with the
Joint and whose purpose was political. This is also shown by
the testimony of Kaltenbrunner and Schellenberg at
Nuremberg, T/1248 and T/1249.

Schellenberg testifies that Himmler was afraid that
Kaltenbrunner would find out about the whole affair, and
through him, Hitler. Kaltenbrunner testified that he did
report the deal to Hitler as well as the negotiations about
vehicles in return for releasing Jews, and he adds: “From
that moment onwards, Himmler’s status with Hitler was
definitely undermined, because this action might have very
severely damaged the prestige of the Reich,” etc.

President: What did you just read from?

Attorney General: From Kaltenbrunner’s testimony in
Nuremberg. This was submitted as exhibits T/1248 and T/1249.

President: Are these two exhibits, one by Schellenberg and
one by Kaltenbrunner?

Attorney General: Yes.

The problems of the Accused’s powers and status were, of
course, also a matter on which I cross-examined him. He
himself testified that he had powers of command, because his
rank allowed him the authority of an Oberregierungsrat. But
he claimed that he did not use such authority because…

President: In which session is this?

Attorney General: Session 95, Vol. IV, page 1658, where the
following replies were given to my questions:

“Q. I want to try to understand your assertion about
the powers of the Section Heads. Are you trying to say
that the Section Heads did in fact have these powers,
but that during your time Mueller did not agree that
his subordinates should have such wide-ranging powers,
or that during the Nazi period generally the Section
Heads did not have any such powers?

“A. I would not presume to assert the latter. I can
only state here what I myself experienced personally.

“Q. That means that a Section Head did in fact have
the right to take decisions, but that you, as Mueller’s
Section Head, did not have the right to take decisions?

“Q. I believe that at that time it was definitely
first and foremost a question of the personality of the
superior – to what extent he developed any dictatorial
features or characteristics.”

I returned to the subject in Session 95, and you can see the
replies on pages 1653-1655.

President: I do not understand, just now you gave us a
reference in Session 95, page 1658, and then you said: “I

Attorney General: I apologize, I did not return but rather
touched upon the same subject, in the same session, on pages
1653-1655. After that, in Session 98, on pages 1697-1698,
the following exchange took place:

“Q. I am prepared for the moment to assume that you
came to Mueller with certain matters; but after all,
you are the Section Head. The proposal after all came
from you to Mueller. Mueller must certainly have asked
you for your opinion about all these matters, must he

“A. I presented the file to Mueller, the contents, and
I asked for instructions, I did not take decisions, nor
did I make any proposals.

“Q. In other words, there could perfectly well have
been a dictaphone in your stead, and that would have
sufficed, would it not? Mueller would have dictated and
then this would have been typed up. Is that what you

“A. Not exactly, because I gave a summary of the
extensive files – otherwise he could have read them
himself. And then I jotted down the key words of the
orders I was given. And then the Section did the rest
of the administrative work.”

The subject of authority also comes up in the Accused’s
conversations with Sassen. I questioned him about a passage
which was subsequently submitted to the Court, T/1432(18),
which is a passage from the Sassen Document that contains a
number of Eichmann’s corrections in his handwriting.

“Over whom did you have authority?” Sassen asked him.

Eichmann’s reply to Sassen:

“I had authority over all my subordinates. These were a
Government Counsellor, a Government assessor and my
permanent deputy, a Government official, several Senior
Police Inspectors, several Police Inspectors, several
police clerks, several criminal investigation
secretaries and several criminal investigation
assistants, several police employees, several SS
Sturmfuehrer of the Security Service, for a while an SS
Obersturmfuehrer of the Security Service, several SS
Untersturmfuehrer and several Unterfuehrer and men of
the Security Service, who were acting as police
personnel. Thus I gave an outline of my Section, as it
worked in Berlin, and to the extent that there were
extended branchess to this Section, there were the
Advisers on Jewish Affairs at the German Legations,
with the Commanders of the Security Police and so on.
And here there must be a qualification to the power of
command, since these people were first and foremost
subordinate to the ambassador or the envoy or the
commander. If they were unable to follow the orders in
matters of substance which they received, these
Advisers were free, unlike the other direct
subordinates of the ambassador or the commander, free
to come to me, to tell me why they could not carry out
these orders, because they were somehow contrary to an
instruction they had received from the Section. And
they would ask for clarification, and only then would
they return to their office – that could have happened.
So here I did have direct authority.”

Eichmann stopped reading here, and in his examination said
the following:

“That should read here: I did not have direct authority
– apparently a word has been left out, that can be
deduced from the meaning, so that naturally the last
sentence has been incorrectly transcribed by the

Justice Agranat: To whom did he say that?

Attorney General: He said that here, in Session 102, (Vol.
IV, p. 1758).

And in fact in the Sassen Document he struck out the words
“ein Befehl” (an order) and wrote: “Kein Befehl,” (no order)
and he explained this here later in the examination. A
distinction must be drawn here between an instruction and an
order. The official would not receive an order, and on the
other hand, a person who was not an official would receive
an order and not an instruction. Officials did not receive
orders. Eichmann says that Gestapo officials would receive
instructions, and he had the authority to issue only
instructions to them, and not orders.

Justice Silberg: There is something I should like to
understand concerning the Accused’s status in the RSHA, that
corresponds to a Ministry. Was Mueller the Head of
Department IV?

Attorney General: Yes.

Justice Silberg: Eichmann was the head of the Amt (Section)
and a Dezernent (Section Head)?

Attorney General: Yes, of IVB4.

Justice Silberg: There should have been an Abteilung
(Group) in between, but there was none – why not?

Attorney General: Eichmann explained that the man they left
out was called Hartl (“Hardy”), while Mueller called him
“Weichl” (“Softy”) because he did not live up to his name,
and the contact was a direct one between Eichmann and

Justice Silberg: Was there or was there not a Group Leader
in between them?

Attorney General: At times there was, and at times there
was not. There was a period when the job was vacant, but in
any case the contact was Eichmann – Mueller.

Justice Silberg: He does not deny this?

Attorney General: In his cross-examination Eichmann says
that as far as all these people were concerned – as he
himself wrote in his own hand to Sassen – he only had the
power of “Weisung,” the power to instruct and not to order.
And I am prepared to accept this version of his in terms of
the argument and the Court’s findings.

The Wannsee Conference took place, as is known, on 20
January 1941, in order to co-ordinate, delineate and
implement the Final Solution. Eichmann admitted that at that
Conference, Heydrich received the agreement of all the
relevant Offices to authorize him to act as he saw fit with
the Jews: Session 92, Vol. IV, p. 1620.

I asked him: “Heydrich wanted to be authorized to run Jewish
affairs as he saw fit, and he received such authority in
Wannsee, did he not?”

“A. Essentially, I believe he received his authorization in

What his powers were, and what the purpose of the Conference
was, emerges from the Wannsee minutes, T/185, and the
Judgment discusses this at length, and I shall not repeat this.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/15