Judgment 51, Eichmann Adolf

159. We know of the prevention of births from the Kovno
Ghetto and from Terezin. Dr. Peretz (Session 28, Vol. I, p.
478) testified about Kovno. There the Germans published an
order in July 1942 for the termination of all pregnancies
except those in the eighth or ninth months. A woman whose
pregnancy was not terminated in spite of the order was
liable to the death penalty.

With regard to Terezin, we shall quote a statement, dated 21
August 1843, sent by Dr. Munk, director of the health
services in the ghetto, to the chief medical officer and all
the gynaecologists there, which reads as follows:

“As a consequence of the two latest notifications of
births, SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Burger has announced
that in future all fathers of children conceived here,
and also the mothers and the children, will be included
in transports and deported. We therefore request you
again to report, first of all, all pregnancies known to
you which have not yet been reported, since otherwise
the examining gynaecologist becomes an accessory, and
therefore guilty. The information to be given to the
pregnant women must be in unequivocal language, saying
that the abortions have to be made on official
instructions.” (T/863)

On this subject, Rahm (who succeeded Seidl as camp
commander) stated at his trial (T/864):

“Until about March 1944, I knew nothing about the
prohibition according to which women in the ghetto were
forbidden to bear children… Then Eppstein [head of
the Jewish Council] told me that he thought that – in
accordance with what had been agreed between himself
and Eichmann – the general prohibition in force in
Germany concerning artificial abortions did not apply
to Jews, and that this agreement was exploited by
Eichmann, in oder to force Jewish women in the ghetto
to have abortions…and when Guenther came to visit me,
I asked him about it, and he confirmed to me that I did
not have to see to it personally, but it was already a
matter for the Jews themselves, and that the Elder of
the Jews had received notification about it from
Eichmann directly.”

It should be mentioned that this same Burger, who was
mentioned in Dr. Munk’s statement, was one of the Accused’s
men (T/37, p. 1478). In this matter of the prevention of
births, our conclusion is that it has not been proved that
the Accused was involved in giving the order in the Kovno
Ghetto, of which Dr. Peretz spoke. In the “Brown File” on
Easter Occupied Territories, in the drafting of which the
Accused participated, we have also not found instructions
with regard to the prevention of births amongst the Jews.
But with regard to Terezin, the Accused’s responsibility for
the order given there for the termination of pregnancy, and
for its implementation, has been proved fully.

160. The Prosecution adduced evidence with regard to a
specially horrible chapter with which the Accused’s name is
also connected. The reference is to the collection of
skeletons in the Institute of Anatomy at the University of

One of the pseudo-scientific institutions of the Nazi period
was called “The Ancestral Heritage.” Its president was
Himmler and its director a man called Sievers. The task of
the institution was “to investigate the area, spirit,
activity and inheritance of the Indo-German group of the
Nordic race” (T/1362). Under the auspices of this
institution, Professor Hirt of the University of Strasbourg
carried out examinations of skeletons and skulls. On 9
February 1942, Sievers submits to Brandt, who belonged to
Himmler’s personal staff, a memorandum proposing that
examinations of this kind be also carried out on skeletons
and skulls of Jews (T/1363). In a letter dated 7 July 1942,
Himmler gives his approval to Hirt’s research work (N/18).
In order to secure Jews, alive and dead, Sievers approaches
Gluecks, the official in charge of concentration camps, who
refers him to the Accused. A conversation takes place
between Sievers and the Accused. Sievers requests the
Accused “to create suitable conditions in Auschwitz” for
carrying out the examinations in accordance with Himmler’s
instructions, and the Accused replies that he needs to have
a letter from Himmler or from his personal staff (evidence
of Sievers at the trial of the doctors at Nuremberg, T/1370,
p. 5776). On 2 November 1942, Sievers again approaches
Brandt and supplies him with a draft for such a letter from
Brandt to Section IVB4, for the attention of the Accused
(T/1264). On 28 April 1943, a conversation takes place
between Sievers and Guenther, and Sievers makes the
following note in his diary on the content of the

“Examinations are now possible in the concentration camp of
Auschwitz…discussion about the procedure.” (T/1367).
On 21 June 1943, Sievers informs the Accused’s Section that
the research work in Auschwitz has been completed and that
the people examined (79 Jews, 30 Jewesses, two Poles, and
four other persons) are to be transferred to the Natzweiler
concentration camp (T/1366). In August 1943, about eighty
detainees were sent from Auschwitz to Natzweiler, and
Kramer, who was then the commander of this camp, approached
Professor Hirt in Strasbourg, in accordance with the
instructions he had received. Hirt gave him a quantity of
gas and explained to him how he was to execute these people.
Kramer carried out this assignment in a matter of days and
sent the bodies to Strasbourg (evidence of Kramer at the
trial of the doctors, (T/1371)). Evidence was also given at
Nuremberg by a witness called Henripierre (T/1369), with
regard to the visit of an SS officer to Strasbourg.
Henripierre also related that bodies arrived in three
consignments – 30 women, 30 men, and another 26 men. It was
clear that these persons had just been killed, and the
witness described what was done with the bodies in the
Anatomy Institute at Strasbourg. In a letter dated 5
September 1944, Sievers requests Brandt to instruct him what
to do with the collection of skeletons, in view of the
danger that Strasbourg might be occupied by the Allied
armies (T/1368). We do not know Brandt’s reply, but when
the Allies conquered Strasbourg, bodies and parts of bodies
were found there, and in regard to some of them it was
stated “apparently Jews.” (T/1372)

With regard to this chapter of events, the Accused testified
(Session 79, Vol. IV, pp. xxxx12-15), that he does not
remember Sievers’ visit, he does not deny receipt of the
letter T/1365, and the conclusion is that he really has no
comment to make except in relation to the documents, and the
matter was not within his competence.

Sievers and Kramer were accomplices in the crime of
executing the victims, and their evidence requires
corroboration, but there is sufficient corroboration, both
in the evidence of Henripierre and also in the documents
submitted. It is clear that Sievers twice visited the
Accused’s office – the first time shortly before 1 November
1942 (and the letters T/1364 and T/1365 are a result of this
visit), and the second time on 28 April 1943, when he spoke
to Guenther. Sievers’ evidence that on the first occasion
he spoke to the Accused himself is supported by the draft
letter dated 1 November 1942 (T/1363) and by the letter
dated 6 November 1942 (T/1365), and also by the fact that in
a document (T/1366) a letter (not submitted to us) is
mentioned which was sent from the Accused’s Section on 25
September 1942. The Accused himself, or through his
permanent deputy, gave instructions to the concentration
camp at Auschwitz, first of all to place the detainees at
the disposal of Professor Hirt in the required numbers, and
then to transfer them to Natzweiler – all this, knowing for
certain that the end of these detainees would be their
execution (in the letter of 6.11.42, T/1365, it is
specifically stated: “Subject: The Establishment of a
Collection of Skeletons in the Anatomy Institute at
Strasbourg”). It is correct that, in this matter, the
Accused requested and received specific orders from
Himmler’s staff.

161. With regard to the number of victims of the Final
Solution, the indictment does not mention exact totals but
speaks of millions of Jews exterminated, mostly in the
extermination camps, and hundreds of thousands by the
Operations Units. Only in regard to limited operations were
more precise figures mentioned, when the evidence, and
especially the final figures mentioned in documents, made
this possible. The Prosecution could not do more than this,
nor was it obliged to do more, according to the definitions
of the crimes with which the Accused was charged, which
place emphasis on activities against a group of people as
such, as distinct from the individuals who make up that
group. The statistical data before us are far from being
complete. Therefore, we shall not attempt to give specific
figures even approximately but confine ourselves to a
general finding, that the extermination of millions has been
proved, and that, according to demographic calculations made
by Professor Baron, in his evidence before us, on the basis
of the sources mentioned in his testimony, there is no doubt
that the total number of victims of the Final Solution was
about six million (Session 13, Vol. I, pp. 183-185).
Professor Baron also gave particulars of the destruction in
various countries. Of Polish Jewry, which before the Second
World War numbered some 3,300,000 souls, there was left at
the end of the War a remnant of some 70,000; and this is not
the only country where the Jewish community was completely
wiped out. There is also confirmation of the total figure
of six million from the Accused himself, and he probably
knows the details better than any other person, because it
was in his Section that secret statistical data were
collected on the progress of the extermination programme.
As will be detailed below, he once spoke of six million Jews
having been killed and on another occasion about five
million. The Attorney General expressed the opinion that,
in referring to the lower number, the Accused had not
included the victims of the Operations Units; but it is
difficult for us to be definite on this point.

Last-Modified: 1999/05/27