Judgment 49, Eichmann Adolf

155. We shall now devote some comments to the activity of
the Accused in regard to the prevention of the immigration
of Jews into Palestine and the prevention of their
emigration to other countries overseas. These matters are
connected with the chapter of desperate attempts made by
Jewish institutions and individuals to save Jewish lives
from the Nazis, and the degree to which the various
governments responded to these rescue efforts. This, too,
is a complex chapter of history full of heartbreak, which
deserves to be examined thoroughly by the historian, and
this Court cannot take this task upon itself. We shall
content ourselves with a statement of the facts, which were
proved before us, relating to the Accused’s activity in this

The first hint of the Accused’s attitude to the question of
aliyah (immigration) to Palestine is found in a comment in a
report submitted by him, together with Hagen, on their joint
journey to Palestine in 1937 (T/124). As will be
remembered, in the report he says that the plan for the
emigration of 50,000 Jews
“…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.”

Mention has previously been made that during this journey he
was going to meet the Mufti, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, in
Palestine, but at the time the meeting did not take place.

During the period of the Final Solution, there were two
contributory factors in German policy preventing immigration
into Palestine: First, the pact signed between the Nazis and
certain Arab leaders, headed by the Mufti; and second, the
desire to complete the extermination of all the Jews within
the area of German influence without leaving any remnant.
With regard to emigration to other countries, the second
factor operated and was sufficient in itself to stop
emigration, not only from the Reich itself – in accordance
with Himmler’s order already mentioned above – but from the
whole area of German influence. Deviations from this
general line were permitted solely because of overriding
considerations of high policy.

The Accused was faithful to the official line, as will be
shown from the documents which follow, in addition to those
which we have already mentioned in the sections on Romania
and Croatia:

(a) On 11 May 1942, the Accused requests the German Foreign
Ministry to prevent Jewish emigration from Romania via
Hungary, Croatia and Italy “by taking appropriate measures,”
and the reason he gives is that:

“Since, in general, Jews of means are under discussion,
there is a danger that in the end only the mass of Jews
without means will remain in Romania.” (T/1016)

(b) The Accused also fought the immigration of children into
Palestine. On 3 March 1943, he seeks to prevent the
immigration of one thousand children via Bulgaria and Turkey
(T/1048). And again Guenther, of his Section, takes action
against the immigration of four thousand children (T/950,
dated 2.4.43). On 9 April 1943 Richter, from Budapest,
informs the Accused (T/1050) that he has taken steps to
prevent the transport of the children via Bulgaria, and he
writes as follows:

“The President of the Jewish Centre has been officially
informed that he has to act against the departure of
the transport of the Jewish children, since on our part
we shall take steps to halt the transport on Bulgarian
territory and direct it elsewhere.”

It is easy to imagine the meaning of the word “elsewhere.”

(c) In May 1943 (T/1055), the Accused notifies the Foreign
Ministry of Himmler’s attitude to the emigration of

“1. Emigration of Jewish children is to be rejected on

“2. Approval would be given for the departure of five
thousand Jewish children from the Eastern Occupied
Territories, provided that, as a result, German
prisoners receive permission to return to the Reich
from abroad by way of exchange at a ratio of 1:4, that
is to say, a total of twenty thousand. But it must be
emphasized that the question here is not one of twenty
thousand elderly Germans, but of Germans fit for
begetting offspring, and under forty years of age.
Moreover, the negotiations must be conducted with
speed, because the time is approaching when it will no
longer be possible technically to enable the five
thousand Jewish children to leave the Eastern Occupied
Territories, because of the implementation of our
activities against the Jews.

“3. In spite of what has been said in paragraph 1, as
far as the need becomes apparent to agree to the
departure of Jewish children from Romania or from other
Balkan countries, importance is attached to the fact
that this, too, should not be done without a quid pro
quo, but in accordance with the procedure outlined in
paragraph 2.”

In this connection, we shall mention an additional
memorandum of the Foreign Ministry of May 1944, a year
later. There it is stated (T/1258):

“Secret information has come from the RSHA that five
thousand Jewish children, who could be considered for
departure, are still to be found only in the Lodz
Ghetto. But this ghetto will be closed down shortly,
in accordance with the instructions of the

(d) In Hungary, the diplomatic representatives of a number
of neutral countries strove devotedly to rescue Jews, both
by granting them letters of protection, and also by
assisting their emigration. These humanitarian efforts are
linked with the names of men of noble spirit – Raoul
Wallenberg of Sweden and Lutz of Switzerland. The Accused
takes action to thwart these efforts. On 24 April 1944, he
writes to his Section in Berlin as follows (T/1216):

“We have seen to it that the [German] Embassy here will
also do everything to delay the emigration efforts, and
finally, after the continued evacuation of the Jews,
will stop the emigration efforts completely.”

And he requests,

“the phrasing of the German Government’s consent which
had been given at the outset, with more clarity and
sharpness on this point. It should be said that
emigration to Palestine…does not meet with Germany’s

(e) The consent of the Reich Government, mentioned in the
previous paragraph, referred to the proposals for Jewish
emigration which had come from the governments of Sweden,
Switzerland, and the United States. In reply to these
proposals, Hitler agreed to the emigration of several
thousand Hungarian Jews, on condition that Horthy should
hand over the rest of the Jews of Hungary (especially the
Jews of Budapest) to the Germans (see T/1214, para. 5;
N/85). And here the Accused reaches the extreme limit in
his struggle against the rescue efforts. Veesenmayer writes
in a cable dated 25 July 1944 (T/1215, para. 2):

“SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, head of the Jewish
Operations Units of the SD here, has taken the stand
that, as far as he knows, in no circumstances does the
Reichsfuehrer agree to the emigration of Hungarian Jews
to Palestine. The Jews in question are without
exception important biological material, many of them
veteran Zionists, whose emigration to Palestine is most
undesirable. Having regard to the Fuehrer’s decision,
of which he had been informed, he is about to submit a
report to the Reichsfuehrer-SS and, if necessary, he
will seek a new decision from the Fuehrer.
Furthermore, it has been agreed with Eichmann that, to
the extent that assent will be given to additional
evacuations of Jews from Budapest, these are to be
carried out as far as possible suddenly, and with such
speed that the Jews in question will already have been
deported before the completion of the formalities.”

It is also stated there that, in the event of permission
being given for emigration to the West, the Accused is
considering preventing the emigrants from continuing their
journey, for example, by taking appropriate steps on French

And what has the Accused to say on this matter, which is
more damning than a hundred witnesses could be? Apart from
empty talk to the effect that Veesenmayer erred in his
reporting of matters, he explains that the Fuehrer’s order
was not in writing before him, whereas Himmler’s order was
given to him in writing. The Attorney General refuted this
explanation by pointing to the fact that the order for the
total extermination of the Jews was also notified to the
Accused only orally, yet all his actions were guided by it.
This incident is characteristic of the Accused’s attitude,
not only from the point of view of the subject with which we
are dealing at the moment. We shall return to this subject
of his attitude in another context.

Last-Modified: 1999/05/27