Judgment 11, Eichmann Adolf



56. Extreme anti-Semitism was from the outset a main tenet
in the programme of the National Socialist Party. Paragraph
four of the programme declares that a Jew cannot be a
citizen of the German state, since he does not belong to the
German people. Paragraph eight demands that all those who
are not Germans and immigrated into Germany after 2 August
1914 shall be compelled to leave Reich territory immediately

With the rise of Hitler to power, the persecution of the
Jews became official policy and took on quasi-legal form
through laws and regulations published by the government of
the Reich, in accordance with legislative powers delegated
to it by the Reichstag on 24 March 1933 (Session 14, Vol. I,
p. 215 [where it is erroneously dated 23 March 1933]), and
through direct acts of violence organized by the regime
against the persons and property of the Jews. The purpose
of these actions carried out in the first stage was to
deprive the Jews of citizen rights, to degrade them and to
strike fear into their hearts, to separate them from the
rest of the inhabitants, to oust them from the economic and
cultural life of the state, and to close off their sources
of livelihood. The trends became sharper as the years went
on, until the outbreak of the War. Already before German
Jewry suffered the first large-scale shock on 1 April 1933,
when Jewish businesses were boycotted, arrests of Jews had
begun and Jews were sent to concentration camps. Mr. Benno
Cohn, one of the leaders of the Jewish Community, who gave
evidence about this period, told of women who received by
post urns containing the ashes of their husbands who had
been killed in the concentration camps, accompanied by a
letter which read as follows:

“Your husband died of a heart attack. We are sending
you the ashes. The Post Office fee is three and a half
marks.” (Session 14, Vol. I, p. 212.)

The series of laws and regulations commenced with the “Law
for the Reorganization of the Professional Civil Service,”
dated 7 April 1933 (T/61), as a result of which non-Aryan
(i.e. Jewish, in accordance with the race theory) civil
servants were dismissed, with a few exceptions. Licenses
held by Jews to engage in the liberal professions were
cancelled (Session 14, Vol. I, p. 214). Jewish artists were
forbidden to appear before non-Jews (Session 14, Vol. I, p.
216). Books by Jewish writers were burned in public.

In September 1935 the Nuremberg Race Laws were published
(The Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of
German Blood and Honour), which turned the Jews into
citizens of an inferior grade and forbade marriage and
sexual relations between persons belonging to the two
peoples (T/67). The Citizenship Law also served as the main
basis for the discriminatory legislation against the Jews,
which followed afterwards.

57. On 27 October 1938 the Germans for the first time
carried out an act of mass expulsion against Jews.
Thousands of Jews of Polish nationality living in German
cities were arrested simultaneously, transported by rail to
the Polish border in the region of Zbaszyn and cruelly
expelled and forced to cross the border (Session 14, Vol. I,
p. 207; Session 17, Vol. I p. 226). Amongst them was the
witness Zyndel Grynszpan, who had been living in Hanover
since 1911, with his wife and two of his children. Another
of his sons, Hirsch Feivel Grynszpan, shot the Counsellor of
the German Embassy in Paris, vom Rath. After this act, the
wave of persecution swelled up against the Jews in general.
On 9 November 1938 news came that vom Rath had died of his
wounds, and immediately the signal was given for pogroms
against the Jews on the same night (the eve of 10 November
1938), known as “Crystal Night.” In the cities of Germany
organized gangs burst into Jewish shops and apartments on
orders from above, committed acts of violence against Jews,
destroyed and plundered everything that fell into their
hands. One hundred and ninety-one synagogues went up in
flames and another seventy-six synagogues were demolished.
The day after, throughout the Reich, there began the arrests
of thousands of male Jews, who were brought to concentration
camps. On 12 November 1938, Goering, who was in charge of
the Four Year Plan, issued an order for the payment by the
Jews of Germany of a billion marks as “expiation money.”
This order was carried out by levying twenty-five per cent
of the value of Jewish property (T/634). He also issued a
second order on the same day forbidding Jews, inter alia, to
maintain retail establishments and to work as independent
craftsmen (T/76). During the same period regulations were
issued for the “Aryanization” of Jewish businesses and other
assets, that is to say, for their forced transfer to non-
Jews at unrealistic prices (T/79). Simultaneously with the
persecution of the Jews as individuals came the control by
the German state over their autonomous institutions. In
March 1938, their status as public bodies was withdrawn from
the Jewish communities, which thereby lost their authority
to levy taxes, and on 4 July 1939 the Jews were organized
compulsorily in the “Reich Association of the Jews in
Germany” (Reichsvereinigung) which was placed under the
control of the Minister of the Interior (T/81). The
minister was also authorized to disband existing Jewish
organizations or to merge them in the Reich Association.
Such a merger of an organization involved a transfer of its
assets to the Reich Association. Thus a convenient
instrument was created for total control by the Reich
Government of the public property of German Jewry.

58. In the same Order of July 1939, it was stated that the
purpose of the Reich Association was “to promote the
emigration of the Jews.” In fact, during that period the
Reich Government regarded as a desirable solution the
emigration of the Jews from Reich territory and from the
territories which had meanwhile been annexed to the Reich
(Austria and the Bohemia-Moravia Protectorate). Actually,
this had been the trend already from the beginning of the
National Socialist regime; but whereas in the first years
this trend found expression, to some extent, in the
encouragement of voluntary emigration, accompanied by the
granting of certain concessions in regard to the transfer of
Jewish capital abroad, the line taken changed afterwards to
forced emigration under pressure and was accompanied by the
robbing of the emigrants’ property (Session 15, Vol. I, p.
226). Thus the German Foreign Ministry notifies its
representatives abroad on 8 July 1938 that the transfer of
Jewish property abroad is not to be facilitated. And on 8
December 1938 the American Ambassador in Berlin reports a
statement by the German Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Ribbentrop, who said that:

“The Jews in Germany without exception were
pickpockets, murderers and thieves. The property they
possessed was acquired illegally. The German
Government has therefore decided to equate their status
with the criminal element of the population. The
property they acquired illegally will be taken from
them.” (T/115).

In accordance with this, it became official policy first of
all to put pressure upon Jews without means to emigrate from
the Reich (T/123, at the end of page 2). This policy was
first put into practice in Austria and the Protectorate, and
introduced only later in the territory of the Old Reich.
This policy is bound up with the Centres for Jewish
Emigration in Vienna, Prague and Berlin, in the organization
of which the Accused played a decisive part. Accordingly,
we shall interrupt at this point the description of the
general background of the first stage and survey the
Accused’s biography to the point at which he appears as the
person in charge of the Emigration Centre in Vienna.

Biographical details of the Accused up to his entry into the

59. Particulars of the Accused’s youth are known to us from
his Statement made before Superintendent Less (T/37) and
from memoirs which he also wrote while under detention in
Israel (T/44).

Adolf Eichmann (full name: Otto Adolf Eichmann – T/37, p.
3), born in 1906 in Solingen in the Rhineland in Germany,
the first-born son of his father Adolf Karl Eichmann, and
his mother, Maria, nee Schefferling. His father, a devout
Evangelical Christian, was a bookkeeper in the local
electricity company. In 1914 the family moved to Austria,
to the town of Linz, where the father continued to work as
commercial manager in the electricity company in that town.
The Accused grew up in Linz, went to elementary school
there, and after that studied for four years at high school.
He then attended a vocational school, which he also left
after two years, without completing his studies. In the
meantime his father lost his money in business, at which he
tried his hand without success. Amongst other things he set
up a mining company in which the Accused worked for some
time as a miner. The Accused later became a salesman in an
electricity supplies firm, and finally a travelling agent
for the Austrian Socony Vacuum Company.

At first the Accused joined the “Front-Fighters”
Association, an Austrian nationalistic organization. In
1932 he joined the National Socialist Party under the
influence of his acquaintance, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who was
later to become the head of the Head Office for Reich
Security. In the same year, he also entered the Austrian SS
(Schutzstaffeln der NSDAP). In 1933 he was dismissed from
his post in the Socony Vacuum Company, and shortly
afterwards, with Hitler’s rise to power, he left Austria for
Germany. In November 1933, he enlisted for military service
in the Austrian SS unit in exile and underwent military
training in the SS camps in Lechfeld and Dachau, in Bavaria.
After attaining the rank of Scharfuehrer (Corporal), he
volunteered, in October 1934, for service at the Head Office
of the Security Service (SD) in Berlin.

The Structure of the SD and the RSHA

60. Before we continue to describe the Accused’s career, we
shall review in brief the complicated structure of the SD
and the other organizations in which the Accused was active
in the course of the years.

The SD, or to use its full name, the “Security Service of
the Reichsfuehrer-SS,” was originally the intelligence
service of the SS and later of the entire National Socialist
Party. At its head stood Reinhard Heydrich. In 1936
Heydrich was appointed also to head the Security Police,
which was a state organization comprising the State Secret
Police (Gestapo) with its local Gestapo offices, and the
Criminal Police (T/93). This appointment was given to
Heydrich by Himmler in his capacity as head of the entire
German police, within the framework of the Ministry of the
Interior. Himmler took upon himself the position of head of
the German police, which he united with his original post as
leader of the SS; hence his full title: “Reichsfuehrer-SS
and Head of the German Police.”

The unification of the central institutions of the SD with
the Security Police was completed by an order from Himmler
on 27 September 1939 (T/96), creating the Head Office for
Reich Security (Reichssicherheitshauptamt, henceforth the
RSHA), with Heydrich in charge. It had six (later seven)
offices. The Gestapo was merged into this new setup as
Department IV of the RSHA, headed by Heinrich Mueller. The
task of Department IV was defined as “combating opponents.”
The Criminal Police was transformed into Department V and
the intelligence duties of the SD were transferred to
Departments II, III, VI in the RSHA (T/647, T/99; see also
the comparative table of division of duties, at the end of
exhibit T/99. This table was erroneously attached to the
main document T/99 at the principal Nuremberg Trial, because
it clearly relates to the time when the RSHA was set up at
the end of 1939, whereas the main document relates to the
period after March 1941). This unification was effective
only at the Centre in Berlin. In the field, the activities
of the Gestapo, the Criminal Police and the SD were
co_ordinated by Commanders of the Security Police and SD
(IdS) and in the conquered areas by the Senior Commander of
the Security Police and SD (BdS) (T/83, T/95). These acted
as representatives of the head of the RSHA, and it was from
the RSHA that they took their orders. As has been said,
Heydrich was the head of the RSHA when it was founded. He
held this position until his death in June 1942. In
December 1942, Kaltenbrunner was appointed in his place.

Formally the RSHA was affiliated to the Ministry of the
Interior, and Himmler himself also acted within the
framework of that ministry, in terms of his authority as
head of the German police. In August 1943, Himmler was also
appointed to the post of Minister of the Interior (T/1428).
At the same time, the RSHA was also one of the twelve main
offices of the SS, which included, amongst others, the SS
Economic-Administrative Head Office, headed by Pohl, and the
Head Office of the Public Order Police (Ordnungspolizei),
headed by Daluege. As leader of the SS, Himmler controlled
all these twelve main offices. The RSHA as a whole became
an SS institution also in terms of personnel, by virtue of
the fact that in November 1939 all officials of the Gestapo
and the Criminal Police received SS titles in accordance
with their ranks (T/83, p. 2). In the Reich districts, and
later also in the conquered areas, Himmler appointed Senior
SS and Police Commanders who acted as his personal
representatives. Their duty was to co-ordinate in their
areas the activities of the Order Police, the Security
Police and the SD, in addition to the armed SS and general
SS units (T/98).

The Accused in the SD – until his arrival in Vienna

61. As stated above, the Accused came to the Head Office of
the SD in Berlin in October 1934. At first he worked in the
Department for Research into the Freemasons, but after a few
months, at the beginning of 1935, he was moved to Department
II 112 – “Jews,” and from then on, until the end of the
Third Reich, he never ceased to be engaged in combating the
Jews. He worked in this Department in Berlin for about
three years, until March 1938, and was appointed “Referent”
(Specialist Officer) for Zionist affairs. The Department
dealt in intelligence work, in close co-operation with the
parallel “Jewish Department” in the Gestapo (II 4 B), which
had the authority to take executive action (T/107; T/123, p.
2). He did well at this work, and at the end of 1937 was
promoted to officer’s rank (Untersturmfuehrer). In a
personal report of the year 1937 (included in T/55 (3)),
written by Dieter Wisliceny, who was then his superior, it
is stated:
“Eichmann has acquired comprehensive knowledge of the
methods of organization and ideology of the opponent,
Jewry… His National Socialist outlook is the basis for his
standing both within the service and outside it.”

(In the course of time, the Accused was promoted over the
head of his own chief, and Wisliceny became one of his main

The Accused tried to learn Hebrew by the “self-taught”
method. His request to his superiors for permission to
continue studying the language with a rabbi was rejected
(T/55 (11)). He learned to read Yiddish to the extent of
being able to understand the newspaper Haint (T/44, p. 49).
At this point we may mention also the legend cultivated by
the Accused himself that he had been born in the Templar
Colony in Sarona in Palestine (Session 16, Vol. I, p. 254;
Session 41, Vol. II, p. 738). The Accused wrote an
instructional booklet on Zionist affairs for SS men (T/ 44,
p. 41), and lectured to SS and army commanders on “the World
Zionist organization, its structure and aims,” and also on
“the New Zionist organization” (T/44, p. 48). In 1937, he
was sent to the National Socialist Party rally in Nuremberg
to make contacts with persons from abroad, in order to
stimulate anti-Jewish propaganda (T/121). In November 1937,
he travelled to Palestine and Egypt, together with his
superior, Hagen, on an espionage mission, chiefly amongst
the Jews. He was instructed, inter alia, to establish
contact with the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini.
Their boat anchored at Haifa, and the Accused went ashore.
From there the journey continued to Egypt. While they were
there, they requested an entry permit to Palestine, but came
up against difficulties on the part of the British
authorities, and therefore had to be satisfied with
information given to them in Cairo by their informants. A
detailed report of their journey has been submitted to us
(T/124). We shall quote two passages which illustrate its
general tenor.

With regard to the proposal to increase emigration
opportunities for German Jews by way of capital transfer in
the form of goods, the report states:

“Since the above-mentioned emigration of 50,000 Jews
per year would chiefly strengthen Jewry in Palestine,
this plan is out of the question, in view of the fact
that it is the policy of the Reich to avoid the
creation of an independent Jewish State in Palestine.”

We now move from high policy to trivial matters. With
regard to a German who sought to obtain an agency in
Palestine for the German Aviation Company, the report
mentions “his unsuitability from a professional and personal
point of view and because of his personal philosophy,” and
that it is typical of the man’s true political attitude that
“the travel agency which he manages sends greetings to all
its Jewish customers on the occasion of the Jewish New

Last-Modified: 1999/05/27