Judgment 45, Eichmann Adolf

140. In considering the whole question of the Accused’s
activity in the East, we have not taken into account the
various rumours testified to by some of the witnesses who
declared that they had heard of the Accused as the person
responsible for what was happening in the ghettos. With
regard to this evidence, we have not found it appropriate to
use our power under Section 15 of the Nazis and Nazi
Collaborators (Punishment) Law, 5710-1950, since it is not
clear to us in what way those rumours reached the witnesses.

141. Has the Accused’s activity in the actual extermination
operations, as distinct from his activities in rounding up
Jews and deporting them to the places of extermination, been
proved, and to what extent? In our view, this question is
only of secondary importance, because the legal and moral
responsibility of a person who delivers the victim to his
death is, in our opinion, no less, and maybe even greater,
than the liability of the one who does the victim to death.
But the question has been raised, and it is our duty to
discuss it. We shall therefore consider separately the
camps in the East (Treblinka, Majdanek, Sobibor, Belzec) and

With regard to the extermination camps in the East, it
appears that they were set up by the SS and Police Commander
in the Lublin region, Globocnik, under a special order which
he received direct from Himmler, or Hitler himself, in the
second half of 1941. Later, after Heydrich’s death, the
extermination operation in these camps and the plunder of
the victims’ property there was known as “Operation
Reinhard,” from Heydrich’s first name. These camps were
first put into operation at various dates in the first half
of 1942. They were actually set functioning by Kriminalrat
Christian Wirth, who had already specialized in the killing
by gas of human beings, by exterminating mentally sick
persons. This is the same Wirth who was mentioned by
Gerstein in his statement about his visit to the Belzec
camp, quoted above. Apparently, Wirth used to receive his
orders directly from Hitler’s Chancellery (uehrerkanzlei)
which had posted him for duty to Globocnik.

These facts were established before us, inter alia, by the
affidavit of Morgen in the Trial of the Major War Criminals
at Nuremberg (N/95). We should not be inclined to base our
findings solely upon this affidavit, without further
corroboration, because Morgen’s purpose was to represent the
whole of the SS as having had nothing to do with the
extermination operations, and this tendency of his was
likely to colour the statement in question as well. We did,
however, find confirmation of the fact that special duties
were delegated to Wirth by the Fuehrer’s Chancellery in an
exhibit, T/1295, dated 19 May 1943, which is a
recommendation for the promotion of Wirth, put forward
jointly by Buehler (of Hitler’s Chancellery) and Globocnik,
and not on behalf of the RSHA.

Again, in a letter from Brack, also of Hitler’s Chancellery
(exhibit T/1375, dated 23.6.42), we read that this office
placed some of its personnel at the disposal of Globocnik
“for carrying out his special task,” which was called
“Action Against the Jews” (Judenaktion).

The affidavit of Pohl, who was in charge of the Economic-
Administrative Head Office, must also be mentioned. He says
that Himmler charged Globocnik with the task of
“implementing the programme known as `Operation Reinhard’
against the Jews” (T/1348, Section 2).

It should be pointed out that also in the seventh count of
the indictment in this trial, which deals with the plunder
of property, the name of Globocnik is mentioned in
connection with “Operation Reinhard” (supra, Section 5),
though it is not clear if the reference there was only to
the economic aspect of the operation.
Further proof that it was Globocnik who administered the
whole of “Operation Reinhard” is found in the final report
which he submitted to Himmler (exhibit T/1389). In a report
dated 4 November 1943, he speaks of “`Operation Reinhard’
which was conducted in the Generalgouvernement area,” and
from a report of 10 January 1944 it is clear that “Operation
Reinhard” also included the extermination which was referred
to there as Aussiedlung which, it was stated, had been

The deportation of Jews to Globcnik’s camps did not have to
be reported to Oranienburg, i.e. to Group D of the Economic-
Administrative Head Office, which was responsible for the
administration of the concentration camps as from March 1942
(see T/1278). For example, from exhibit T/1399 – directives
issued by the Accused’s Section for the evacuation of Jews
to Izbica, near Lublin – it appears that the departure of
the transport had to be reported to the Accused’s Section,
to the BdS in Cracow, and to Globocnik, and the arrival of
the transports had to be reported solely to the Accused’s
Section (see also T/737). These extermination camps were at
no time under the supervision of the Economic-Administrative
Head Office. Nor, until October 1943, when the Economic-
Administrative Head Office took over the responsibility for
the remaining labour camps, was there any connection of this
kind with regard to the labour camps in the Lublin area. In
our opinion, the fact that Globocnik’s camps were
independent of the Economic-Administrative Head Office, is
irrelevant to the question as to whether there was any
direct administrative connection between these camps and the
RSHA and the Accused’s Section.

So far, the Accused’s contention that the extermination in
the camps in the East was carried out in accordance with
special orders in which he had no part, is borne out; at any
rate, it is not contradicted. It is unnecessary to
emphasize again that we are now discussing what happened
within the camps. The Accused’s responsibility for
dispatching Jews to these camps is, of course, a separate
matter which is, in fact, not in dispute.

142. The question as to whether the Accused also
participated in what was happening inside the camps becomes
complicated because of his statements that from time to time
he used to visit Globocnik and also saw the Treblinka camp
under construction in the autumn of 1941 (apparently in the
presence of Wirth himself), and again later when it was
functioning. He describes the purpose of his visits to the
East as being purely to collect information for Heydrich and
Mueller, who were interested in Globocnik’s activities. We
find it difficult to believe that they would send the
Accused on such a journey merely for such a purpose, but in
the absence of further proof, we are unable to draw further
conclusions from this fact by itself.

But this is not all, because he admits that on two occasions
he brought Globocnik letters, each containing authority to
kill 250,000 Jews in his camps. Further, he says in the
Statement T/37, pp. 170-171, that it was he who brought
Globocnik the news that the Fuehrer had decided upon the
physical destruction of the Jews. In his testimony, he
retracts somewhat and says that Globocnik already knew of
the Fuehrer’s decision (Session 96, Vol. Iv, pp. xxxx25_26).
However, the question of the letters still remains. The
Accused contends that these were retrospective
authorizations, each time referring to the killing of Jews
who had already been killed, and that these authorizations
were given to Globocnik at the latter’s request. But the
language of the letters does not suggest the granting of ex
post facto approval. On this subject the Accused says
(T/37, p. 240) that Heydrich dictated to him the text of the
letter to Globocnik in the following terms:

“I authorize you to bring another 150,000 Jews to the
Final Solution.”

(Later on he says that he thinks the number was 250,000.)

The Accused does not remember whether the letter was written
by Heydrich on the letterhead of the Reichsfuehrer-SS and
Head of the German Police, or on Heydrich’s own letterhead,
as head of the Security Police and the SD. But in the same
place (p. 240), he confirms that the letter was written by
Heydrich, as the person so authorized on the basis of the
Wannsee Conference, i.e., not in the name of Himmler, but by
virtue of his own authority. Therefore, two serious
questions arise:

(1) If it is true that Globocnik acted according to a
special order from Himmler, why did he request the
retrospective authorization, not from him but from Heydrich?
And if, indeed, Heydrich acted by virtue of the authority
granted to him at the Wannsee Conference, does it not follow
that Globocnik’s activities in the extermination camps he
administered were also under the supervision of Heydrich, as
head of the RSHA? And if this is so, then this matter, too,
automatically comes within the scope of the Accused’s
activity, since he was the RSHA Referent for matters
concerned with the Final Solution.

The Accused has no convincing reply to this question. When
the Attorney General asked him if it was not correct that
the Final Solution of the Jewish Question in the
Generalgouvernement was carried out by the RSHA, he replied:

“No, that is not correct, Globocnik was not on the
staff of the Head Office for Reich Security. On this
matter an agreement was reached between the Security
Police and the SD and Krueger, and they both received
their orders from Himmler. This is how I remember the
matter the whole time, I never heard any other

But when a specific question was put to him,

“If this is so, why is it that, some months after the
Wannsee Conference, on two or three occasions Globocnik
asked Heydrich for retroactive orders to cover the
killing of 150,000 or a quarter of a million Jews?”

The Accused had no other answer but:

“I was not then familiar with these matters regarding
complicated orders from above. I do not know and
cannot furnish information about this. The fact is
that the SS and police commanders in the
Generalgouvernement who carried out these actions were
not subordinate to the Security Police but to the
Senior Commander of the SS and Police in Cracow.”
(Session 99, Vol. IV, pp. xxxx23-24)

We therefore come back to our problem: If this is so, why
did the authorization come from Heydrich, the head of the
Security Police and the SD?

(2) It is also hard to believe that, in the short time that
elapsed between the time the camps in the East started
functioning (approximately March 1942) and Heydrich’s death
in June 1942, Globocnik had already managed to kill half a
million Jews, so that the authorizations given up to the
time of his (Heydrich’s) death would be retroactive; nor is
there in the language of the authorization, as quoted by the
Accused, any specific indication of retroactive validity.
Is it not more reasonable to assume that these were
authorizations for mass killings, given before and not after
the act? And did the Accused, in fact, serve in this matter
only as one who took dictation and as a messenger, and not
in terms of his authority as head of Section IVB4 which,
within the RSHA, was collating all matters connected with
the Final Solution?

In spite of these serious doubts, we do not see a firm basis
for finding facts in this matter against the Accused’s
version because it is only from him that we know about these
letters of Heydrich’s. But one conclusion may be drawn even
according to his version: The handing over of these letters
to Globocnik, even if they had only retroactive validity, on
each occasion strengthened afresh Globocnik’s readiness to
continue to kill Jews en masse. These letters were
important to him; otherwise, he would not have asked for
them. Insofar as the Accused took part in the preparation
of these letters and their transmission to Globocnik, he,
too, was active in regard to the continuation of the
slaughter in the camps in the East.

Last-Modified: 1999/05/27