Appeal Session 05-02, Eichmann Adolf

President: Have you concluded your response concerning all
the witnesses whom Counsel for the Defence wished to hear?

Attorney General: There is the matter of the handwriting.
In his oral pleadings, he applied to hear the testimony of
Wetzel, Joel Brand and about the handwriting.

President: Are there any more witnesses?

Attorney General: We have heard here a special application
concerning these three. As far as Globke is concerned, I
said that there is no need whatsoever to hear his testimony.
I do not deny, and there is no need for an expert to
testify, that the Nuremberg Laws were wicked laws.

Now I would like to say something about Dr. Serafim. Instead
of quoting Rousseau and Montesquieu on this subject, I shall
quote Adolf Eichmann. After he was pressed in his
examination about what appears in the Sassen Documents,
Eichmann said (Session 96, Vol. IV, p. 1666): “…there is
one thing I did say: Regrets do not do any good, regretting
things is pointless. Regrets are for little
children…nobody can be brought back to life by regrets.”
Now we hear that there is some manuscript which they now
wish to submit in which, allegedly, there is some sort of
new approach to the question of regrets and the Accused’s
inner attitude to what he did.

President: Mr. Hausner, you do not need to deal with this

Attorney General: Thank you very much.

Nor is it necessary to hear Dr. Serafim as a witness on
Eichmann’s possibilities of being relieved of his duties. At
the time I wanted to submit Dr. Serafim’s expert opinion,
which was prepared for a German court on this matter. At the
time it was not possible to know in advance whether the
Court would or would not accept the Accused’s version that
he wanted, so he said, to be relieved of his duties, and I
wanted to prove by means of an expert witness that this was

Justice Agranat Through this witness?

Attorney General: Through that witness’ expert opinion. And
I even said that I was prepared to bring him to Israel to
testify (Session 57, Vol. III, pp. 1040-1041). At the time
Counsel for the Defence objected to this, inter alia,
arguing that Serafim was only a lecturer, and not a
university professor. Be that as it may – the Court held
that Eichmann made no effort whatsoever to be relieved of
his duties, and in any case there is no point now hearing
evidence as to what would have happened had he tried to do

Justice Silberg: With that, Mr. Hausner, you have dealt
with all the witnesses.

Attorney General: Apart from the Jewish Agency witnesses
involved with the Brand affair.

In this matter I can say that it is obvious that, had
Eichmann shown the slightest moral opposition to his
superiors concerning the work he had to carry out, of course
they would have been compelled to replace him with somebody
else without his even asking. He remained in his post – the
“Final Solution” post – throughout the entire period of the
War, one of the few RSHA chiefs not to be replaced
throughout this entire period, because he utterly identified
with his criminal assignment and worked wholeheartedly at
it, so much so that when all was collapsing around him, he
expressed his joy that he, in his own battle, had been

Thus, there is no justification for the Accused to base
himself on orders from above, because what Eichmann did, he
did not only on the basis of orders, but with an obvious
determination, with his eyes wide open, as something he
thought about, and he says as much: “ich habe mitgedacht” –
and out of the sheer pleasure of destroying. As far as the
“orders from above” argument is concerned as a possible
defence, the Court discusses this in Paragraphs 218-221. And
what it says there applies not only in rendering the
argument invalid as a defence argument, but also in
rendering the argument invalid for any reduction of the
sentence. If I may, I should like in this connection to
direct the Court to our legal material on orders from above,
and the arguments in this connection are to be found in the
legal material on pages 19-27. We have collected all the
authorities from Israel, the Mandate, from international
courts, war crimes tribunals from both sides of the “Iron
Curtain,” concerning this issue of orders from above, their
justification, and under what circumstances they can be
considered mitigating circumstances.

In this connection, you have been told that Eichmann asked
to be transferred to a different post. As has been stated,
the Court did not give credence to what he said. And once
again there was evasion and an attempt at deception by
referring to some request for a transfer to Linz. That is
true. This is the only document we found in his personal SD
file which refers to his request for a transfer to Linz.

Justice Silberg: When was that? In which year?

Attorney General: But this was in 1938 (T/133). Even at
that early juncture his superior was not willing to relieve
him of his duties of fighting the Jews and to transfer him
to an ordinary police job in Linz, the city where his
parents lived, because by then, 1938, he was already
considered a recognized expert on the Jews, an “erfahrener
Praktiker” (experienced practitioner).

Justice Silberg: Was that after March 1938?

Attorney General: That was after March 1938, after he had
been in Vienna. There is a refusal to release him and
transfer him to police headquarters in Linz, because at that
time he was already considered a recognized expert on Jewish
affairs. From then onwards there is no mention of any
request to be relieved of his murderous duties.

In Argentina the Nazi poison still continued to work inside
him, and when he read the book of a former German officer,
Gerhard Boldt, who criticized Hitler – he wrote a marginal
note: “Traitor, scoundrel, should be flayed alive – with
such scoundrels the War was necessarily lost.”

President: Where are you quoting from?

Attorney General: T/37, page 2670.

In addition, the passages from the Sassen Document and File
17 (which was submitted in its entirety, all in his own
handwriting), to which he admitted, bear witness to an
unbridled deadly hate.

President: Which exhibit is this?

Attorney General: T/1393.

Justice Agranat What is this document?

Attorney General: This is the additional file to the Sassen
Document, which is entirely in his handwriting and which was
submitted to the Court with the agreement of both parties.
These are memoranda and various items of correspondence
which he wrote for himself, as he says, when he was sitting
peacefully on a ranch somewhere in Argentina.

I questioned him about another quotation from the Sassen
Document, in Session 104, Volume IV, page 1792:

“We would have fulfilled our duty for our blood, our
people, and for the freedom of the nations, if we had
exterminated the most cunning spirit of mankind living

I asked him:

“Did you say those words?”

And his reply:

“Whether these words are mine, I do not know. I do not
believe that I would have said this with…with this
degree of bluntness.”

So that is the image of the penitent, of the peace-loving
citizen, as Counsel for the Defence describes him, who in
1957 still regrets that he did not utterly destroy the Jews.
This is the real Eichmann, not the one who is putting the
finishing touches in Jerusalem to the campaign of
camouflage, of covering up tracks, of fraud and deception.
He, his teachers and commanders, burned bodies, set fire to
documents, used code names, ordered secrecy, wanted to
conceal their crimes from the eyes of the world. But their
turpitude and their depravity have been revealed before all,
and so has the terrible part that Eichmann played in the
murderous enterprise in which he was engaged for years. All
this was revealed despite all his efforts at camouflage and

He does not always give that impression, sitting here before
the Court. There were days on which his hand was
outstretched over the length and breadth of Europe, when on
his orders Jews were located, rounded up and herded into
ghettos; when his emissaries were rushing everywhere with
orders to kill and massacre; when he held in his hands all
the strings of the extermination; when, following a
telephone conversation with him, Jews were shot in Belgrade,
Bulgarian Jews were deported to their deaths; when every one
of his signatures determined the fate of tens of thousands;
when the factories of death, the camps, worked day and night
in accordance with his instructions. Look at him in the
light of all this, Your Honours, and in the light of all
this give judgment against him.

This wicked man brought a night of horror and blood upon
European Jewry. This was not a Massacre of St. Bartholomew
which lasted one night, but a murderous enterprise which
spanned years. For four years this man, as the Court found,
did nothing but send innocents to their death, after they
had been tortured and humiliated and suffered all the
torments of hell.

For the dwellings of Israel which fell silent, for the
Diaspora which was destroyed, for the third of a people
which was transported to slaughter, for the million
children, the glory of the nation and the hope of its future
– no one can impose a fitting punishment. For every child
whom he sent to its death he made himself liable to four
forms of capital punishment, and there is no sentence in the
world which matches the horror of his deeds. Let the Court
pass judgment for just one of these, and history will
sentence him to eternal disgrace and deadly shame for the
others. And let it be clearly said from Jerusalem: We hereby
declare, give notice and proclaim that he who desires to
follow Eichmann’s path of hatred and murderous actions, he
who tries to achieve status and command by Eichmann-like
acts of wickedness and hatred, he who follows such a path –
his end is disgrace and his punishment is death. Because the
punishment which the law has laid down for the crimes of
which Adolf Eichmann has been found guilty is meaningless
unless this punishment is imposed upon him.

Therefore, Your Honours, I would request that the appeal
against both the verdict and the sentence be rejected.

President: Mr. Hausner, yesterday or the day before
yesterday you were asked a question by my colleague, Justice
Agranat, concerning T/98. You promised to respond.

Attorney General: Yes. T/98 is a service instruction to the
Higher SS and Police Leaders, and it shows their special
authority as Himmler’s representatives within their spheres
of command. They exercised judicial powers, and the various
BdS, the RSHA representatives, were subordinate to them.
These Hoehere SS- und Polizeifuehrer (Senior Commanders of
the SS and the Police) were not present in all places and in
all areas. For example in France, as I ascertained, he
appeared only in 1942. It is obvious that if they had an
instruction from Himmler, who was also the superior of the
Head of the RSHA, they could issue instructions to the
Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei (Commander of the
Security Police), but the normal command path to the
Commander of the Security Police went from the Head of the
RSHA in Berlin to the BdS on the spot, and from him to the
subordinate units for implementation. But Himmler had his
personal representatives, who were his eyes and ears in the
various occupied areas, and they were the Hoehere SS- und

Have I replied to Your Honour’s question?

Justice Agranat I am afraid not. I wanted to understand one
paragraph in the document. Do you have the document before
you, Mr. Hausner?

Attorney General: Yes.

Justice Agranat Perhaps you would read it out, because it
is not before me at the moment. In Hebrew it says:

“Those subordinate to the Senior Commander of the SS
and the Police are in the first place principal
assistants, the Stabsfuehrer (Staff Leader) of the
General SS, the Inspector (Commander) of the Order
Police, and the Inspector (Commander) of the Security
Police and SD; special officials-in-charge (in the
original: Sachbearbeiter) are assigned to the scope of
their duties, and are not to act alongside them.”

How does that relate to a man such as the Appellant? Is he
viewed as somebody dealing with a special matter? Because
then it would mean, as it were, if I have understood what it
says here, that he is not subordinate to the Senior
Commander, at least in respect of the matter with which he
is dealing.

Attorney General: Your Honour, this version would support
our argument, but I must admit that after thinking about
these words, their significance has not become sufficiently
clear to me in order to allow me to state that I rely on
them. I admit that it is not clear to me what is meant by
“besondere Sachbearbeiter fuer ihre Aufgabenbereiche duerfen
neben ihnen nicht taetig sein” (special officials-in-charge,
for the scope of their duties, are not to act alongside
them). It would appear to me that the intention here is to
lay down the command outline for the headquarters staff, and
to ensure that others would not wander about there. Because
basically I do not understand why there should not be
special Sachbearbeiter with the Hoehere SS- und
Polizeifuehrer. It seems to me the only thing they intended
to determine in this instruction is that the headquarters
staff would consist of the men referred to here, of them and
no others. In any case, this paragraph does not indicate
anything in the Appellant’s favour. I do not learn anything
from it, because it is not clear to me that I can base
myself on it.

Justice Agranat Thank you.

President: The next session will be tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/15