Appeal Session 04-03, Eichmann Adolf

Attorney General: We have a number of statements. There is
a whole file of Wisliceny’s. There are two statements in
prison in Bratislava, there are statements to the
investigators of the American Prosecutor’s Office, and there
is his testimony at his trial. But all you have to do is to
look at the document, and the mystery will be solved.

Eichmann writes in various letters concerning the branches
in foreign countries, “meine Dienststelle” (my office). This
is what he writes about Paris on T/491, this is how he
expresses himself about Oslo in T/593, and this is how he
expresses himself about The Hague in T/552.

President: Are those letters?

Attorney General: Either letters or telegrams in which he
calls the foreign branches “meine Dienststelle.”

President: In other words, these exhibits are signed by

Attorney General: Yes, by Eichmann.

I would also point out that the famous Bulgarian agreement
between the Commissioner for Jewish Affairs in Bulgaria,
Belev, and the German Plenipotentiary, Dannecker, as he is
designated in that agreement (T/983), under which 20,000
Jews were put into quarantine just like animals who have
been infected with some maligant disease are quarantined.
That agreement also was only drawn up on the basis of
Eichmann’s initiative and approval.

Dannecker reported on that agreement (in T/932) that this
was done following his telephone conversation with Eichmann.
After he signed, he was gratified by what had been
accomplished, and Dannecker sent a copy of the agreement to
Berlin together with a circular, and announced that this had
been arranged following his telephone conversation with
Eichmann. He promised that Belev would take care of
providing Jews of good financial standing as well as those
with connections in Bulgarian Government circles (T/939).

I shall now reply to several detailed arguments by the
Defence submitted during the pleadings here. The fact that
the Accused signed all the documents with the initials
i.A., im Auftrage (by order), proves nothing whatsoever.
According to the 1936 Gestapo rule Department Chiefs, such
as Mueller, were to sign documents with the initials i.V.,
in Vertretung (on behalf of), and others were to sign i.A.
This is T/94, page 6. These are the instructions of the
Reichsfuehrer-SS and Head of the German Police dated 9 July
1936 concerning office procedures for correspondence.

Justice Silberg: What is the substantive difference between
these two ways of signing?

Attorney General: A more senior official acts as a
representative of the Chief of Department, and a more junior
official acts, as it were, under the orders of the Chief of

Justice Silberg: Following a special, individual order?

Attorney General: I would not put it that way. It is as if
it is specified that “Yours faithfully” has to be written,
he has no right to sign any other way. He admitted this
(Session 91, Vol. IV, p. 1610). He was asked:

“Q. As far as I understand these directives, you could
not sign in any other way than with the addition of the
letters i.A.’ Is that correct?

“A. Yes, that is correct.”

In T/681, for example, concerning the destruction of the
Jewish communities in Germany, an ordinance signed by
Eichmann, with the address “Reich Ministry of the Interior”
he also signs im Auftrage.” And when I questioned him about
this in Session 92, page 1612, he testified that he had by
now forgotten on behalf of whom he signed that letter.

There is no disagreement that the Nuremberg Laws were wicked
and victimizing laws, and there is no need to call any
expert to this effect. Nor is there any disagreement about
the fact that the infamous Regulation 11 created a military
legal basis for the theft of Jewish property. I also
understand that there is no disagreement about the fact that
German law never permitted any extermination; at least my
argument is that the criminal responsibility of the Army and
SS for the implementation of illegal acts has not been
lifted. We submitted here T/1402 and T/1402(a), which prove
that Section 47 of the German Military Criminal Law was not
rescinded during the time the Nazis were in power. The
provisions of the Section are similar in principle to the
provisions of Paragraph 19 in our Criminal Code Ordinance.

Justice Agranat: According to German law, is it necessary
to prove that he actually knew the order was illegal?

Attorney General: This is similar to the provisions of
Section 19.

Justice Agranat: I understood that according to Section 19
the test is an objective one; for the German law is it
necessary to prove that he actually knew the order was

Justice Silberg: It says “offensichtlich” (obviously).

Justice Agranat: One way or the other, do not spend too
much time on this, Mr. Hausner.

Attorney General: Thank you. In any case, there is no
disagreement that whether or not he should have known, he
knew without a shadow of a doubt, given all the tactics for
deceiving, misleading and camouflaging, that he was doing
something illegal in terms of his own law too.

Justice Silberg: That is subjective.

Attorney General: May I ask the Court to release me from
having to interpret Nazi Military Law.

In testimony taken in this trial, von Thadden spoke about
the Foreign Ministry’s dealing with Jews who were foreign
subjects. We have heard a great deal here about the role of
the Foreign Ministry in the extermination, and I am the last
one to say that they did not co-operate or that they did not
do everything in their power to despatch Jews to their
deaths. But in the contacts between the Foreign Ministry and
the RSHA, the Foreign Ministry was in a weaker position, as
von Thadden says on page 8 of his testimony. On page 9, in
the middle, he speaks about the exceptions which he asked of
Eichmann from time to time, and this is what he says:

“I do not know whether the Accused obtained these
positive exceptions by intervening personally.
Eichmann spoke in very negative terms about requests
for approval of exceptions. I remember that when I
approached Eichmann about approving an exception, he
said my attitude was `weak-kneed.’ Eichmann did not
mince his words.”

The case of Professor Meyers, on which Counsel for the
Defence wishes to base himself, proves better than any other
that Eichmann was able to take initiatives and to act in
these matters. In T/534, dated December 1942, a letter from
the Accused’s Section to the Foreign Ministry, permission is
refused to Professor Meyers to emigrate to Switzerland, even
in return for a ransom, because he is an intellectual. In
T/535 it becomes clear that the matter has moved to
Eichmann’s province, several days later Eichmann again
writes to the Foreign Ministry. This is Eichmann’s letter to
the Foreign Ministry. Prior to this Guenther signed (T/534),
and then there was another application and a request to
reconsider, and Eichmann announces, in T/535, that he cannot
allow the emigration of Professor Meyers, not even in return
for 150,000 Swiss Francs, given his professional status.
This was at the end of 1942.

Mrs. Van Taalingen-Dols began to deal with this, as I
indicated yestereday, in 1943 as we know from N/45(a), after
the intervention of Dutch circles. She travelled to Berlin,
she managed to be received by Guenther, and achieved half of
what she had asked for: Meyers would not be allowed to
emigrate to Switzerland, but a definite promise was given,
on the spot, that he would be sent to Theresienstadt and not
to the East. And in order not to jeopardize what she had
thus achieved, Mrs. Van Taalingen-Dols dropped her
application for Professor Meyers to be allowed to emigrate.

Justice Agranat: This was after letter T/535?

Attorney General: Yes, that was half a year after the
letter. And here we have clear-cut proof that the Accused’s
Section could determine as it saw fit who would go to the
“Propaganda Lager” of Terezin from where there was some
chance of being saved, and who would be immediately deported
to the East, which was certain death.

What has been stated here concerning Eichmann’s position in
the Generalgouvernement in Poland is unfounded. The Judgment
bases its findings on the evidentiary material which was
submitted, and added the following comments:

“At Wannsee it was decided that the handling of the
Final Solution would be concentrated in the hands of

President: I have a note here from Session 95, Vol. IV,
page 1662, where the Appellant is asked if he knew that it
was illegal.

Attorney General: He said that he did not worry about this
and the question should be asked of his superiors. I will
come to that passage.

President: This is Paragraph 221 in the Judgment, where the
Court clearly finds on the basis of his answer that he
admitted that at the time he knew that this was something

Attorney General: Yes, Your Honour, I was going to come to
that in another section, but I will be pleased to deal with
it now.

The examination begins on page 1661, where I asked him: “In
your eyes, was someone who was involved with the
extermination of the Jews a criminal?” And the answer: “He
was an unhappy man.”

“Q. Was he a criminal? `Yes’ or `no’?

“A. I would not venture to answer this question, as I
was never put or placed in such a position.

“Q. You saw Hoess doing this in Auschwitz. At that
time did you consider him to be a criminal, a murderer?

“A. I told him that what he was ordered to do I could
never do.

“Q. But that is not my question. My question is
whether at heart you saw him as a murderer…

“A. That is a question which affects me very
personally, and if I did not express this then, I have
no intention of articulating this today either, because
what my inner life tells me is something which I have
to carry with me on my own.

“Q. How did you regard Hoess when you saw him as a
murderer of Jews, how did you regard him, as a criminal
or not?

“A. I pitied him and felt sorry for him.

“Q. Did you regard him as a criminal or not?

“A. I shall not reveal my innermost feelings.

“Q. In other words, Hoess was not a criminal in your

“A. No, I am not saying that either.

“Q. In your police interrogation you said that if the
Reichsfuehrer had told you that your father was a
traitor, you would have shot him with your own hands.
Is that true?

“A. If he was a traitor, probably.

“Q. No, if the Reichsfuehrer had told you, would you
have shot him, your own father?

“A. I would then assume that he would have had to
prove it to me.

“Q. Was it proved to you that the Jews had to be

“A. I did not exterminate them. However, I would like
to state here in this context that I am not trying to
evade anything in this respect either, and it is my
intention to ask for permission after the trial to put
these matters down in the form of a book, say, in which
I can express myself freely, and I am prepared to call
a spade a spade, to serve as a deterrent example for
today’s generation and that of the future.

After that the Presiding Judge addressed the Accused,
saying, “I am telling you that it is your duty to say
everything which you would have written in your book –
to call a spade a spade. That is your duty, just as you
would have done in the book.”

The Accused replied:

“Very well, then. Having been asked by you, Your
Honour, to give a clear answer here, I must state that
I consider this murder, this extermination of the Jews,
to be one of the most heinous crimes in the history of

President: That is apparently what they base themselves on
when they say that he knew and admitted that he knew that
this was illegal. Your quotation, Mr. Hausner, was the reply
to the Presiding Judge. In reply to Judge Halevi’s question
the Accused said:

“I wish to state that I myself already at that time did
not consider this violent solution to be justified,
already then I considered this to be a monstrous deed,
where I regrettably, bound as I was by my oath of
loyalty, had in my sector to deal with matters relating
to transport aspects…”

The finding in Paragraph 221 of the Judgment would appear to
be based on this reply, where he admits that he knew that
this was against the law.

Attorney General: He said that this was one of the most
heinous crimes in the history of mankind.

President: My question related to what is said about
Section 47(2).

Attorney General: If I may continue concerning the
Generalgouvernement. At Wannsee it was decided that Eichmann
would be the responsible Specialist Officer. The handling of
the Final Solution was concentrated in the hands of
Heydrich. Furthermore: one of the aims of the Wannsee
Conference was to hitch also the Generalgouvernement to
Heydrich’s wagon because Frank was not satisfied with the
Gestapo regime and wanted to solve the Jewish Question in
his area as he saw fit. With this in mind, he invited his
representatives to Wannsee. This is discussed in the
Judgment on the basis of Frank’s diary, T/253, which
reflects the struggle for the upper hand in dealing with the
extermination of the Jews. Frank complains from time to time
that he does not have a free hand in this matter, that the
Majdanek camp is not under his control and that the
uprooting of the population is being carried out without his
knowledge. The Court can find all of this on pages 4, 11, 12-
15, 18, 30, 31 and 33 in the extracts from Frank’s diary.

Justice Silberg: Mueller stated that the
Generalgouvernement would welcome it if a start were made on
the Final Solution in the territory of the

Attorney General: After the Wannsee Conference, Frank
announced at a meeting of his Government that from then on,
the ghettos were to be dismantled, the able-bodied Jews
would be put to work, and the others would be moved to the
East. This is on page 19 of the exhibit. As we know from
Wisliceny, T/85 page 8, Eichmann paid particular attention
to the extermination operation in Poland from the summer of
1941 onwards. In the Police interrogation, T/37 page 3116,
there is reference to the dismantling of the ghettos.
Inspector Less asked: What happened in respect of
dismantling the ghettos and moving the inhabitants to
concentration camps? Eichmann replied that this was done on
the basis of an instruction from the Reichsfuehrer-SS and
that this went through him.

It is true that from other areas we have more evidence than
what survived from the Generalgouvernement area, but what
there is is definitely sufficient for the District Court to
have made its findings. The traces of Eichmann’s and his
Section’s actions are extremely clear here. References to
his action in connection with the liquidation of the Warsaw
Ghetto are to be found in the documents to which I have
already referred, T/267, T/268, where he was interested in
how death certificates were to be issued for the Jews of the
Ghetto. And when the German Foreign Ministry expressed
interest in the atrocities perpetrated in the Warthe
District, Section IVB4 replied that there should be no
compassion for the Jews whose fate was what they deserved,
and where trees were being felled, chips were falling. This
is T/245. In his letter to the German Foreign Ministry,
T/347, Eichmann announced that Gershon Willner, from the
Generalgouvernement, an Argentinian national, had died. This
happened after a Foreign Ministry representative in the
Generalgouvernement had approached the Head Office in Berlin
in respect of this matter, T/346.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/15