Appeal Session 03-06, Eichmann Adolf

On page 1636, I ask him:

“Q. Sometimes the organizer of the deportation
notified you which transport was going to Auschwitz and
which to Cholm, and asked you to inform the relevant
departments, as in T/447(15).

“A. Yes, in accordance with orders, transport matters
came within the sphere of Section IVB4. I have stated
that as well.

“Q. And that would be after you issued authorization?

“A. In order to keep the timetables, IVB4 had to issue
the authorization. That was also dealt with in Section

My colleagues inform me that in the meanwhile they have
found the document. The matter of destroying the documents
of the Dutch Jews is to be found in T/574-575.

President: Destroying the passports.

Attorney General: Yes.

President: What was the exhibit concerning the Westerbork

President: T/559.

In his police interrogation, T/37, bottom of page 1765 and
top of page 1766, Eichmann was asked in general the
following questions:

“Less I want to ask you the following. The Jews were
rounded up, expelled, transported to the extermination
camps, exterminated.

“Eichmann Yes.

“Less Were you the dispatching authority?

“Eichmann Yes, of course. The authority sending them
off to detention, of course, Inspector.

President: Perhaps we should break off here, if that is

[Recess ]

President: [To the Attorney General] Please proceed, Mr.

Attorney General: In the Duesseldorf Folder (T/1395),
Kaltenbrunner, Heydrich’s heir, indicates that Eichmann is
his Specialist Officer, in respect of the destruction of
the Lodz Ghetto. As early as October 1941, Eichmann was
known to the German emigrants in London as being responsible
for the destruction of German Jewry, and an indication of
this is to be found in the newspaper Die Zeitung which
appeared there (T/1419).

President: Where, in London?

Attorney General: In London.

When the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto was being
discussed, a German Foreign Ministry official wrote that he
had spoken about several of the problems arising in this
connection with “SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, the
representative of the Senior Commander of the Security
Police and the SD” (T/268).

Justice Silberg: Mr. Hausner, I am very sorry but I must
interrupt you. Either the list is wrong or the quotation is
wrong. T/1419 is a document about the murder of Berlin Jews.

Attorney General: Yes, about the murder of Berlin Jews, and
this is from ie Zeitung. The overall description of the
exhibits in the list is not always exhaustive, Your Honour.

Justice Silberg: Was ie Zeitung published in London?

Attorney General: In London.

President: You said that a German Foreign Ministry official
had a conversation with Eichmann and you quoted exhibit

Attorney General: Yes, T/268. In a conversation about
dealing with Jews who had foreign and neutral nationality,
who were still likely to be in the Warsaw Ghetto, SS
Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann gave the following

Justice Agranat: What is T/268?

Attorney General: That is an internal memorandum of the
German Foreign Ministry, DIII, signed by a Vice-Consul,
which discusses matters arising in conjunction with the
liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto, dated 21 April 1942,
during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Justice Silberg: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising took place in

Attorney General: I apologize – 1943. Eichmann is
described in the same terms in the handwritten minutes in
which the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto is discussed
(T/247). “List of participants: Eichmann, Kaltenbrunner’s
representative on Jewish affairs.” And the German Foreign
Ministry relies on him as if he is the SS Reichsfuehrung
(Reich Leadership).

Exhibit T/991 refers to the problem of dealing with Jews in
the Italian-occupied territory in Greece. The document
begins with the following words:

“Nach Ansicht der Reichsfuehrung-SS (SS Obersturmbannfuehrer
Eichmann) sind die im Telegramm Rom Nr. 1171 vom 12. Maerz
italienischerseits in Aussicht genommenen Judenmassnahmen in
Griechenland ungenuegend” (In the opinion of the SS Reich
Leadership the measures against the Jews planned by the
Italians in telegram, Rome No. 1171, dated 12 March, are

They are not satisfied with the measures adopted in respect
of the Jews in the Italian-occupied territory in Greece. The
only reason why I quote these words is to show how at that
time the Reich authorities viewed him and how they viewed
his position.

The occupation authorities in Denmark negotiated with him as
a plenipotentiary of the RSHA (T/587 and T/588). And when
the German Foreign Ministry wanted to provide Ribbentrop,
the Reich’s Foreign Minister, with suitable instructions as
to how to negotiate with Mussolini in respect of
difficulties which had arisen in dealing with the Jews in
the Italian_occupied territories, they approached him
directly, addressing him as “Parteigenosse Eichmann” (Party
Comrade Eichmann), and asking him to inform the Foreign
Ministry as soon as possible of the wishes of the SS top
echelons concerning the Jewish Question in Italy and the
occupied territories. “Parteigenosse Eichmann” ensures that
the demands of the SS top echelons are formulated
immediately, and on the same day, 25 February 1943, a
telegram is sent by his Section (T/613), setting out all the
requirements concerning the Italian authorities. This
telegram is indeed signed by Mueller, but Eichmann
immediately informs France (T/473) that he drafted these
instructions, the very next day, 26 February 1943, and
announces that he provided the Foreign Ministry with the
demands (this concerns Jewish problems in Italian occupied
territory in France). He indicates that he has sent the
demands to the Foreign Ministry, and that the Reich Foreign
Minister will negotiate accordingly with the Duce. And as
soon as he knows the outcome of the negotiations, he will
inform Knochen in France.

Justice Sussman Is Knochen the Head of Police in France?

Attorney General: Yes, I would simply like to show that in
a telegram signed by Mueller Eichmann writes that he drafted
the letter, and in fact the telegram bears his Section’s
reference. Furthermore, in T/616, Mueller, who writes about
what he wants Ribbentrop to discuss with the Duce, says “Re:
Ongoing talks with SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann.” In
other words, in this letter he is basing himself on talks
held with Eichmann.

As to how he performed his duties, his zeal and his
meticulousness in carrying out a task completely, we had two
admissions from him. In Session 105, Vol. IV, pages 1797-
1798, I read out to him a passage from the Sassen Document
in which it says the following:

“I – my rank, my official rank, though – and I am
saying this all along – I always worked one hundred per
cent, and above all I turned things over in my mind,
and I was definitely not lukewarm in giving my
orders… I confess that I did my duty exactly and
correctly, so that once Mueller said to me: `If we had
had fifty Eichmanns, we would automatically have been
bound to win the War.’ …This referred to a tough
ability to prevail and an unswerving punctiliousness in
carrying out orders received.”

I asked Eichmann: “Is it true that you said something along
these lines?” And he replied: “…I cannot comment on the
actual wording, but the content is correct.”

And in Session 104, Vol. IV, p. 1791, he was asked about the
following passage from the Sassen Document. There the
following comments by him were cited:

“And so the Jews basically are right, in accordance
with the facts, a Jesuit was put there, who was
indefatigable, who was always full of fire, wherever
there was even a hint of resistance… I was not a
normal recipient of orders, because that would have
made me an idiot; I thought about things as well, I was
an idealist.”

And the reply to the question as to whether this was
correct: “I accept that I was an idealist, but I cannot
accept that what else appears here is literally true,
because I do not know whether this is right or not.”
This way of thinking in common also appears in the Accused’s
cross-examination about T/294. There was a meeting in which
it was decided to set up the Theresienstadt Ghetto and to
send 50,000 Jews to Minsk and Riga. In T/37, page 3434, he
said about that meeting:

“Heydrich hat sein Programm gegeben, hat seine Sachen
dazwischengeworfen und jeder der Teilnehmer hat nun
hier sein – wie soll ich mal sagen – seine Punkte mit
hineingeflochten. Und so ist dann diese Sache – aus
dieser Gemeinschaftsarbeit, moecht ich mal sagen –
entstanden.” (Heydrich announced his programme, and
each of the participants in the meeting added his
points to the programme, and this is how this matter
came about, as a result, let us say, of this

Justice Silberg: Are you referring, Mr. Attorney General,
to the consultations on 27 September?

Attorney General: On 10 October 1941.

Justice Silberg: The meeting that took place in Prague.

Attorney General: As if he struggled with difficulties and
overcame them. In Session 104, page 1785, I read out to him
another passage by Sassen, and I asked him to confirm that
it was reliable. Eichmann said to Sassen:

“…then the problems cropped up and things became as
tough as anywhere else, until finally a unit could be
transported again. But you can see it in all the books
– that at the beginning ten thousand were deported at
some speed – then there was a lull – then there was
fighting – not with weapons – then another contingent
went out with ten or fifteen thousand, or maybe just
four, five, three, two thousand – then again there was
fighting to be got through – then another part was
prized off, and that is the way things went. It was
only with Hungary that it was different. Hungary really
offered us the Jews like sour beer, and Hungary was the
only country where we just could not work fast enough.
I was constantly being put under pressure where I just
could not round up the rolling stock for transports,
however hard I tried, so that even the receiving
localities had problems with accommodation. The
Hungarian Government set such a pace! It was in total
contrast to Denmark, where the problems existed right
from the very first day, something not found in any
other country. So, from this point of view, these two
countries – Denmark and Hungary – were the only
contrasting exceptions to the other European

“Question Did you say that?

“Answer As I have said, this cannot be taken
literally, because in part it does not make sense and
slip 28 is missing; but the substantive content – that
is correct. I cannot say anything else.”

When we have before us this description of Eichmann’s
position on the one hand, a description of his zeal,
obstinacy and determination in carrying out an assignment on
the other hand, then we can examine the detailed evidence
that was submitted.

Rudolf Hoess was the Commandant of the Auschwitz Camp. He
was on friendly terms with Eichmann. In Session 95, Vol. IV,
p. 1658, Eichmann said that he was on good terms with him.
And in the same session, also on page 1658, he admitted that
Hoess had no reason to shift the guilt onto him. And in the
same session, on page 1659: “Hoess was punctiliousness and
accuracy personified.” Eichmann even admits that he was in
Auschwitz where he visited Hoess. In his police
interrogation he added that there were periods where
Auschwitz was incapable of absorbing all its victims at
once. This is referred to in T/37, page 1321. There were
periods where in Auschwitz there were difficulties in
digesting all the victims, and I am not sure whether the
word “digest” is an accurate translation of “verkraften.”

Justice Silberg: How many people in Auschwitz were housed
in huts? Is there any testimony about how many huts there
were there, and how many living people could be there at the
same time?
Attorney General: There is a Polish report by examining
magistrate Jansen who investigated the subject of Auschwitz.
This is a Court exhibit, and I would ask my colleague to
give me its number. It contains a detailed description of
the camps and the various satellite camps, what is called
“Birkenau-Auschwitz,” which is an enormous complex of labour
camps, satellite camps and satellite branches. There were
major industries there.

Justice Silberg: How many blocks were there, how many
living people could exist there?

Attorney General: According to Hoess, the number who could
be accommodated at one time was about 100,000. There were 39
camps. There were special camps. For example, there was the
family camp of the Theresienstadt people, there was the
Gypsies’ camp, there were the women’s camps.

Jansen’s report is T/1329.

We submitted to the Court the autobiography of Hoess, the
Commandant of Auschwitz. This is T/45. There are two
chapters at the end of the book. Among the other chapters,
there is one chapter about the Final Solution at the
Auschwitz camp, and another chapter about Eichmann. We
submitted these chapters separately. The chapter about
Eichmann is T/88, and the chapter about the Final Solution
is T/90. There Hoess writes about matters which are cited in
the Judgment, and consequently I shall not repeat them.

He tells how in the summer of 1941, he was called to
Himmler, and Himmler said that there was an extermination
order, and that the Fuehrer had issued orders to exterminate
Jewry, and Auschwitz had been chosen as the place where this
was to be carried out. Further details would be given to
them by Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann when he came to them.
Eichmann came to Auschwitz shortly after this, and they
discussed various details, questions that had arisen, and
then the problem of gas was discussed. Finally it was
decided, after joint experiments, that Zyklon `B’, which was
used by one of Hoess’ assistants to exterminate Soviet
prisoners of war, would be the right gas.

Hoess says that Eichmann’s Section had complete control over
the Jews in Auschwitz, or, as he calls them, the
“Transportjuden.” This matter of the “Transportjuden”
appears not only in Hoess’ book, which was written in a
Polish jail, but also in official documents of the Reich. In
T/1280, dated 23 March 1944, there are general guidelines to
the Political Division of the Concentration Camps
Administration. On page 3 it says:

“In reports about Jews who have died, it must be
indicated specifically whether these are Transportjuden
(IVB4a), or whether they are Schutzhaftbefehljuden
(Jews under orders for protective custody), who were
transferred from Section IVCB.”

Justice Silberg: Who were the Transportjuden?

Attorney General: These were Jews whom the Big Forwarding
Agent of Death delivered to death.

Justice Silberg: Without selection.

Attorney General: On the spot.

Justice Silberg: Who was the commandant of the Auschwitz
Camp during the 1944 summer months?

Attorney General: Baer.

Justice Silberg: There was also a commandant called
Liebehenschel. Was he commandant before Baer or after him?
When did Hoess leave Auschwitz?

Last-Modified: 1999/06/15