Judgment 18, Eichmann Adolf

The Madagascar Plan

76. This was a plan for the total deportation of the Jews
from German-ruled territory, which occupied the Accused
considerably sometime later in the year 1940. The idea of
deporting European Jewry to this far-off island and
isolating them there was not a brainchild of the Accused.
This idea had already been floating around in the world of
anti-Semitic thought for a number of years. Already when he
was in Department II 112 at the SD Head Office, in March
1938, the Accused was commissioned to examine the
possibilities latent in this idea (T/111). When the
armistice was signed with France, the idea received a new
impetus towards realization, for here the chance offered
itself of obtaining Madagascar for this purpose from the
French in the peace treaty which was to be drawn up. Until
this idea was shelved, the Madagascar Plan was sometimes
referred to by the German rulers as the “Final Solution” of
the Jewish Question.

In a memorandum written by Luther of the German Ministry for
Foreign Affairs, in August 1942 (T/196), we read that the
first initiative for the preparation of the actual plan
originated there in July 1940. Luther continues (p. 2,

“The Madagascar Plan was received by the Head Office
for Reich Security with enthusiasm. The Foreign
Ministry is of the opinion that this is the only office
capable, because of its experience and technically, to
implement the evacuation of the Jews on a large scale
and to guarantee control of the evacuees. Therefore,
the competent department worked out a detailed plan for
the evacuation of the Jews to Madagascar and their
settlement there, and the plan was approved by the

The “competent department” mentioned here was that of the
Accused. His assistant, Dannecker, worked out, together
with him, the detailed plan which is before us (T/174). In
his Statement, T/37, and in his testimony before us, the
Accused described the plan in rosy colours, as if the main
purpose was only to put “solid ground under the feet of the
Jews,” by the setting up of a state of their own. This, he
claimed, was his own aspiration no less than that of the
Jews themselves, and for its fulfilment he spared himself no
trouble, until he finally succeeded in obtaining the consent
of all the authorities concerned to the implementation of
the plan. Had the plan materialized, everything would have
been in perfect order to the satisfaction of the Germans and
the Jews; hence, his great disappointment when a change in
political circumstances caused the plan to be shelved.

Here, too, the Accused’s version is far from the truth. Of
course, even deportation to Madagascar would have been
preferable to the physical extermination which later befell
European Jewry. But here again, the Madagascar Plan must be
viewed in terms of the pre-extermination period. It is
sufficient to glance through the details of the written
plan, in order to discover its true significance: The
deportation of four million Jews – the whole of Jewry at
that time under the rule of the Hitler regime – within four
years into exile, and their complete isolation from the
outer world. It is stated there explicitly that organizing
Jews as an independent state is out of the question, but
that this would be a “police state,” supervised by the RSHA
(ibid., p. 5). A Council of Jewish Elders would be set up,
attached to the German Resettlement Head Office, and would
have to fulfil orders given to it, “because this system of
work proved to be the most efficient in the operation of the
Central Offices for Jewish Emigration, and shifts most of
the work on to the Jews themselves” (p. 12). Apparently,
economic means of livelihood for millions of Jews in their
new place of residence did not worry the authors of the plan
particularly. They had in mind employing them for many
years on public works, such as the draining of swamps and
building roads for communication – that is to say, on forced
labour under the supervision of the German masters of the
island. Moreover, the control authorities would not have to
worry about the health of these forced labourers in the
difficult climate of the island, for “the Jewish authorities
must see to the correct posting of all the doctors they
have, in the various districts, in order to ensure hygienic
conditions to a certain extent (einigermassen) (p. 13). As
for finance, this would in part come from the property of
the Jews themselves, which would be confiscated when they
left their places of residence and would be transferred to
“a central settlement fund,” while the rest would be raised
by imposing a tax on Jewish citizens in the countries of the
Western Powers, payment to be guaranteed by the peace treaty
(p. 13). The Jews of the West would also pay for the
transport of the deportees to Madagascar, as “reparations
for damage caused to the German nation by the Jews
economically and otherwise as a result of the Versailles
Treaty” (p. 11).

This was the RSHA version of the “Jewish State” plan, the
very same plan which the Accused dared mention in one and
the same breath with the name of Herzl from whom, so he
says, he drew his inspiration. In fact, there is a direct
line leading from the forced emigration organized by the
Central Office for Emigration set up by the Accused, via the
Nisko Plan, to this plan for isolating the Jews in a slave
state – a line of increasing severity.

Last-Modified: 1999/05/27