Session 006-007-008-07, Eichmann Adolf

The Extermination in Northern, Western, and Southern Europe.

I now turn to Western Europe.

In these opening remarks, I shall concentrate especially on
one part of this story, the tragedy of Dutch Jewry. When the
German Army turned westward, in May 1940, it laid low the
Netherlands, among other countries. A Reichskommissar was
appointed with full legislative and executive authority. In
the office of the Security Police Commissioner we shall find
the special Department for Jewish Affairs, which later had
the same designation as Adolf Eichmann’s Department – IVB4.
Heading this Department in Holland were Eichmann’s
representatives, Zoepf, Rajakowitsch, and others. In
Amsterdam, an Emigration Centre was set up, the true purpose
of which was to discover the names and addresses of the Jews
and to mark them down for the “final solution.”

The anti-Jewish campaign began immediately after the
occupation, following the pattern already familiar to us
from the decisions of 21 September 1939, which constituted
the master-plan for the extermination programme everywhere:
anti_Jewish legislation, depriving the Jews of human and
civil rights; identification of Jews by compelling them to
wear the badge of shame; theft of Jewish property; and
finally – deportation of the Jews for extermination.

The legislative programme was initiated in 1940 with a
series of laws parallel to those in occupied France, and
which were implemented there in cooperation with Eichmann
and his Department. We shall present you an official report
by the Dutch Government on this series of decrees, which
began by ousting Jews from economic life, went on to dismiss
Jewish officials; branched out to copying the Nuremberg
laws. Free movement and transfer, and attendance at theatres
and places of entertainment were forbidden; the practice of
free professions was restricted; special identity cards were
issued; Jewish children were expelled from the schools, and
every Jew was to wear the badge of shame. Later, Jews were
forbidden to use telephones and public means of
transportation, or to enter non-Jewish stores; an evening
curfew was imposed, and visits to non-Jewish homes were
banned. The use of bicycles, so popular in Holland, was also
forbidden to Jews, and they were ordered to give up all
bicycles in their possession.

Here too the problem of children of mixed marriages troubled
the occupation authorities. In Germany proper, the issue had
been raised by the military authorities, tens of thousands
of whose soldiers were one-eighth or one-quarter Jews and
had to fight for the Fuehrer and the Fatherland under the
shadow of their “unclean” origins. These would go home on
leave to a partially Jewish father or mother, after
witnessing with their own eyes, or carrying out with their
own hands, the slaughter by the Einsatzgruppen of the Jews
in the East – that is to say, of those people who were being
killed for no other crime than that of belonging to the very
same group as the father or mother of the German soldier.
That was why Hitler himself insisted that care be exercised
in dealing with this situation during wartime, and we shall
see the series of special instructions relating to it.

One of those in charge of anti-Jewish legislation in Holland
prepared a report on his discussions of the problem and
noted that Eichmann, in those consultations, had expressed
radical opinions and demanded the inclusion of all children
of mixed marriages in anti-Jewish legislation.

Finally, a solution was found for this too. The Accused and
his subordinates gave instructions that the children of
mixed marriages were to be sterilized, in order to prevent
them from having families.

But in Holland, for the first time, the Nazis encountered
resistance on the part of the local non-Jewish population to
the abominations they committed against the Jews. After the
hounding of the Jews in Amsterdam, a general strike broke
out in the city in February 1941, and spread to Utrecht,
Hilversum, and other places. Gas and electricity plants were
brought to a standstill, and passengers were taken off the
trains. Revolt broke out. The Nazis quickly alerted the SS
and Death Head units from Germany, the police was reinforced
and orders were given to shoot to kill at crowds. The
leaders of the Dutch resistance movement were arrested, some
put to death, others imprisoned, and taken as hostages.
Jewish children of mixed marriages were dispatched to
concentration camps and tortured to death. The strike was
smashed by Nazi might and terror, and the process of
extermination continued.

Zoepf, Eichmann’s envoy and subordinate in Holland, reported
on 8 June 1942 that the rest of the anti-Jewish legislation
too had already been plannned and was soon to be published.
Things did not go so easily with the introduction of the
“Jewish badge.” As a demonstration of solidarity with the
persecuted, non-Jews in their thousands also began wearing
the yellow Star of David, “but we have taken energetic steps
to prevent this,” Zoepf reported. At first the Jews, to
Zoepf’s surprise, were proud of their badge of shame, but
later, the fear of what lay ahead became stronger, he wrote.
And meanwhile, as it were by the way, the burning of
synagogues had been organized in a number of districts.

Along with the implementation of the first stage, i.e. the
identification and isolation of the Jews and their
segregation from the rest of the population, came the
additional steps: their concentration in camps and special
neighbourhoods, and the pillage of their property. The
machine worked efficiently.

In January 1942, the transfer of Jews to labour camps began,
first to the Ellerkom Camp, which soon became notorious for
the acts of terror and cruelty executed there, and later
also to other camps – Vught, Westerbork, and so forth. A
“purge” of the various parts of Holland, and the shipment of
Jews to camps, was begun. This applied to all Jews, men and
women, children and infants, difficult cases from mental
hospitals, those who had sought refuge in old people’s homes
or homes for the blind, and even sick people in hospitals
awaiting medical treatment. German “thoroughness” was in
full evidence.

At first the Germans did not know what to do with Jews of
the Spanish and Portuguese community in Holland. Did these
belong to the people doomed to destruction or not? Then
Eichmann’s office came and resolved their doubts by ruling
that these were full Jews in all respects, and subject to
extermination with the rest of their brethren.

Holland was the scene of frequent manhunts for Jews, and
forced transfers to camps. The Jews began to hide, as in the
well-known case of Anne Frank. In November 1943 the Accused
gave instructions to increase the reward promised to anyone
revealing hidden Jews, and a monthly quota was fixed of Jews
to be handed over for deportation and extermination.

At that time the twin phase of the “final solution” was also
implemented – the theft of property. This too was the
concern of Zoepf and Dr. Rajakowitsch. In May 1941, the Jews
were ordered to register all their property and deposit it
with a German firm. The Dutch Government report adds these
facts: in September-October, 1941, all the public
institutions of the Jewish communities were abolished, and
their property was deposited in a specified bank. In May,
1942, the Jews were ordered to hand over all their money,
gold, jewellery and objets d’art.

For purposes of blackmail and theft, the Germans were ready
even to permit an occasional Jew to save his life.
Eichmann’s Department issued instructions that, for 100,000
Swiss francs, the emigration of old Jews would be permitted.
Many such applications were made, but only a few could make
all the blackmail payments; only 28 Jews in this category
were permitted to emigrate in accordance with this scheme.
Zoepf reported that, as exceptional cases, he had permitted
eight Jews to emigrate in exchange for the transfer of an
industrial plant to the Reich, because of its great economic

At the same time, a special branch carried out a programme
of collecting Jewish moveable property, including furniture,
household utensils, and objects d’art. We shall submit an
official German report about this operation of the Rosenberg
HQ (known as “Operation M”), with all the details of the
plundered property. There are detailed lists describing the
contents of hundreds of crates of kitchen utensils, articles
of clothing, mirrors, curtains, lamps, pianos and libraries
– besides priceless objets d’art. There is also a list of
places to which the loot was sent, such as Berlin, Hamburg,
Rostock, Bonn, Linz, Kiel, Hanover, Gratz, Bremen, Luebeck,
Duesseldorf, Stuttgart, Ludwigshafen, Koenigsberg, Munich
and many other places. The thieves saw to it that the entire
German people, in all parts of the State, should profit from
the plunder. Altogether 29,436 freight cars were sent, in
735 special trains, laden with the stolen property of
Western European Jews.

Now already roofless, homeless and destitute, the Jews were
crowded into camps to await their bitter fate. Adolf
Eichmann learned “from a top secret source” that a number
of people – a mere twenty hapless Jews – had been sent
passports and emigration papers. Immediately he ordered a
strict inquiry, gave notice that he alone would determine
their fate and, in order to prevent the recurrence of such
“undesirable occurrences” gave instructions that henceforth
contact with the outside world from the camps would be made
more difficult. A Jew would be permitted to send only one
postcard per month; the postcard must be written in German
and its contents restricted to greetings and information
about personal matters. All such mail must be sent to
Eichmann’s office in Berlin, whence it would be forwarded to
its destination.

The problem of the property of foreign nationals had to be
solved. Eichmann wrote to the Foreign Ministry asking for a
decision on the property of Jews who were not Dutch
nationals and also of Jews of foreign domicile living in
Germany. He suggested a meeting on the question to be
attended by representatives of all the Ministries concerned.
The principle was laid down, thenceforth to apply to all the
satellite countries, that Germany “surrendered” her right to
receive from foreign countries the property of the German
Jews resident in those countries when they were sent to
extermination camps, and on the other hand decided not to
transfer to foreign countries the property of their Jewish
citizens who had been resident in Germany and would be
deported therefrom. This rule was established for all the
occupied countries in the following terms:

“In order to facilitate the operation already begun, and in
order not to endanger the solution of the Jewish Question in
Europe, which is being implemented, it is hereby laid down
that the negotiations with foreign governments relating
thereto shall be conducted on the basis of the territorial

In other words: the property of Jews sent to be exterminated
would remain in the country from which they had been
dispatched, without regard to their citizenship.

This is another example of the fact that the plunder was
closely linked with the killing, as two aspects of one and
the same operation.

This territorial principle henceforth constituted the
guiding line for the satellite countries and an acceptable
bribe for them to deport their Jews, and above all, their
Jews of foreign nationality, in order to enable them to
confiscate their property. In a number of places, as we
shall see, the expulsion of stateless or foreign individuals
was begun, and after people there had grown accustomed to
the idea of Jews being deported and their property stolen,
as a rule the turn of the local Jewish citizens would also

Let us return to Holland. Now that the decision about
property had been reached, everything was ready for the
final steps. The Jews had been segregated, labelled,
assembled, robbed of their property, squeezed dry to the
last drop. Now came the phase of their shipment to camps in
the East, where their bodies would be further exploited by
sweat and exhausting labour; their hair would be clipped for
various uses, and finally they would be sent to the gas
chambers. After death, their gold teeth would be extracted
from their mouths and their wedding rings removed from their
fingers – these too were valuable. And when this ghastly
work was done, their corpses would be piled into furnaces,
and of these human beings only a pile of ashes would remain.

Order was maintained and efficiency prevailed. The transport
arrangements “to the East” were made by Eichmann and his
Department. We shall submit the documents calling meetings
in Eichmann’s office, the minutes of the meetings he
conducted and the instructions he issued. Officially, in
correspondence with the German Foreign Ministry, these were
still couched in terms of “deportation for labour,” and
“assignment for work in Auschwitz” of 400,000 Jews from
occupied France, 400,000 from Holland, and 10,000 from
Belgium. In this correspondence, Eichmann repeatedly
emphasized that only people capable of work were involved.

At a later stage I shall discuss the meaning of “deportation
to Auschwitz.” But let me say immediately that here Eichmann
was deceiving his Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In his
operation orders to his units he laid down that each
transport from France, Belgium and Holland was to include
ten per cent unfit for work. It is clear that those capable
of work were to give of their strength and energy as slave
labourers, while the rest would be passed on for immediate

The deportation from Holland began in the middle of July
1942. After a month and a half of accumulated experience,
Eichmann convened his envoys for consultations in Berlin,
and each presented a report on his operations. Eichmann
demanded that the deportations be completed by the end of
the year, fixing July 1943, as the final date. He demanded
special efforts during the ensuing months and stated that
the railway management would be unable to provide transports
during November to January, but undertook to arrange for at
least one train a day.

The deportations proceeded apace. At the end of April 1943,
Zoepf reported to Eichmann that he had not succeeded in
completing his work, and that only 68,300 Jews had been
deported so far, leaving about 71,700. A more vigorous
operation was immediately decided upon and Eichmann set the
end of 1943 as the ultimate date for its conclusion. He
demanded 8,000 deportees during May, and 15,000 in June.
Detailed instructions were issued on the compulsory
sterilization of children of mixed marriages. Eichmann
decided on further encouragement for Dutch informers against
Jews in hiding, who in return for information on large
numbers of Jews would be relieved of the obligation to
report back to prisoner-of-war camps, which had then been
imposed on part of the Dutch population in reprisal for
intensified underground activities.

In order to avoid possible difficulties on the part of
Sweden, the protecting power for Holland, it was decided to
enact a special law whereby Dutch Jews, like those of the
Reich, would lose their nationality the moment they crossed
the State frontier on the journey eastwards.

Zoepf was enjoined to carry out the orders to the letter and
indeed the second half of 1943 was a period of increased
activity. The trains rolled eastwards loaded with their
human cargo.

Finally, only scattered groups of Jews were left in Holland.
These included such people as skilled diamond craftsmen,
whose services were required by Germany; their future was
left to be decided by Himmler himself. There were also a few
Jews employed in collecting metals for the German war
industry and some who had fought in the ranks of the German
army during the First World War. Altogether, these totalled
870 persons, and they too were imprisoned and deported to

Over a thousand Jews were still employed in German armament
plants in the Vught camp. These, too, were eventually
deported and the street searches after those in hiding
continued. About 120,000 Jews were deported and removed to
extermination camps in Poland; a few were deported to other
places, and of all these about 5,000 survived.

This, in brief, is the tale of extermination in one country
where Adolf Eichmann operated. The same story will be
repeated in all the other countries, with some slightly
different nuances in style, with minor adaptations to local
conditions – variations on a single theme of atrocity,
murder and extermination.

Let us begin with the North. In Norway, there were a handful
of Jews, some 1,750 in all. About half fled to Sweden; the
remainder were deported to the extermination camps in
Poland. The Norwegian underground did what it could to
smuggle out Jews. The people resisted the extermination
campaign and accordingly brought upon themselves a campaign
of bloodstained terror. Here also human rights were
abolished; property was looted, identification cards were
stamped with the Jewish mark; searches and arrests were
instituted; and finally, towards the end of 1942, came the

The treatment of the Jews was in the hands of the Commander
of the Security Police (BdS), about whom Eichmann said:
“This was my office.” He did all he could to frustrate the
Swedish Government’s efforts to rescue the Jews of Norway.
His Office wrote to the German Foreign Ministry:

“The Swedish Government, in relation to these Jews, is
conducting a transparent naturalization stratagem…which
should not be agreed to.”

In another document, Eichmann complained that the Swedish
Government “is attempting to frustrate the efforts adopted
against the Jews.”

Of the 800 Norwegian Jews deported, 21 survived.

At the time of Denmark’s capitulation, about 6,500 Jews were
living there. For special reasons, the Germans at first
permitted the local authorities to continue to function.
They hoped to establish Denmark as a Musterprotektorat – a
model protectorate. King Christian remained the formal ruler
of the State and the Danish Government continued to
function. This explains why the anti-Jewish laws were not
enacted, nor was the Jewish badge introduced. The King
intervened personally on behalf of the Jews of his country.

The Germans themselves were hesitant, and the Foreign
Ministry doubted the advisability of imposing the
extermination campaign on Denmark. But when it came to the
Jews, a man like Eichmann would never retreat. As early as
April 1943, he told von Thadden, of the Foreign Ministry:
“You will shortly be persuaded to change your attitude.” And
indeed, Eichmann won through. An outbreak of strikes and the
intensification of the anti-German underground operations
provided a convenient opportunity: a state of war was
declared by the occupation authorities; in September 1943,
the SS angel of death, the senior commander of the Security
Police, the BdS, appeared in Copenhagen and immediate plans
were laid for hunting down the Jews.

We shall submit to you the Danish Government’s official
report which describes the activities of the Commander of
the Security Police, Dr. Mildner. As a safety measure,
Eichmann sent his second in command, Rolf Guenther to
Denmark together with a number of other people from his
Department. For reasons of its own, the Army of Occupation
was doubtful whether to cooperate in the hunt. The Foreign
Minister then approached Eichmann, as one having unlimited
authority on Jewish questions, and requested him to request
the Army to recant.

The round up finally took place during the first days of
October 1943. The barbarians broke into Jewish homes, seized
Jews in the streets and brought them in. But then something
occurred that stunned the assassins: most of the Jewish
homes turned out to be empty. The Danish people, having
prior knowledge of the murderous plot, had organized
courageously and at great risk, under the very noses of the
occupation authorities, an underground rescue operation,
which became known as “The Miniature Dunkirk.” Fishing and
excursion boats and any other vessel able to float were
mustered at the ports. The Jews were escorted to the coast
by scouts, students and other volunteers, put on board and
secretly transported to Sweden. In this way, some six
thousand Danish Jews were rescued; only a few hundred fell
into the hands of Eichmann’s accomplices.

When it became clear to Eichmann that this small part of his
quarry had escaped his grasp, he was beside himself with
rage. He had a complaint lodged against the occupation
authorities, and shortly afterwards he went to Copenhagen in
person to ascertain what had occurred and the reasons for
the failure. But it was too late. Thanks to the courage and
nobility of its people, most of the Jews of Denmark were

In Belgium, the picture was entirely different. Here, we
meet the well-tried system: anti-Jewish laws from the latter
part of 1940; compulsory registration, the wearing of the
Jewish badge, curfews, the round up of Jews in Antwerp,
Brussels, Liege and Charleroi and their imprisonment in the
Breendonck camp. It was in this camp that whenever one was
executed, the Jews were ordered to march before the corpse
singing the camp anthem: “Wir werden nie Breendonck
vergessen, das Paradies der Juden” (Never shall we forget
Breendonck, the Jewish paradise).

In the Belgium Government’s official report on the
extermination, this phase was called “la phase preparatoire”
(the preparatory phase). This was followed by what the
report called “la phase d’extermination” (the extermination
phase). Here again, we witness the looting of property and
the deportations, first to selection and concentration camps
and then – eastwards. The following is an extract from an
official Belgian report on the deportations to the
collection camps at Malines:

“When they arrived at Malines and the doors were
opened, a terrible sight was revealed. When they opened
the doors of each tragic truck, thick fumes and a
disgusting odour escaped, and out of the doors, forced
open by the pressure from within there poured out –
like fish spilling out of a fishing boat, one of whose
sides had been removed – a horrible conglomeration of
bloated, reddened and bluish bodies, their eyes
protruding from their sockets and clothes soaked in
sweat and excrement. Nine corpses were removed from the
trucks; eighty unconscious people were transferred to
the infirmary.”

The mass arrests began in July 1942. In August the
deportations to Auschwitz commenced.

Through the various documents we shall submit to you, we
shall prove Eichmann’s direct responsibility for the
extermination of tens of thousands of Belgian Jews. Only a
part of the Jewish community of this country survived,
thanks to the assistance of the underground, which on one
occasion attacked a deportation train and enabled some of
the condemned to escape, and to the fact that the Christian
population hid a number of Jews. Some of the Jews were saved
by fleeing to other countries.

Eichmann sent his assistant, Burger, to Belgium, and, in
accordance with his directives, the first step was the
deportation of stateless Jews; at a later stage the scope of
the operation was extended to Belgian nationals. Here again
we see Eichmann planning, initiating and pushing aside every
obstacle in the path of the extermination.

In France, too, we shall find Department IVB4 operating in
accordance with the familiar formula. Here Eichmann operated
personally, together with his lieutenants who headed the
Jewish section of the Security Police Headquarters. First
came Dannecker, followed by Roethke and finally, Alois
Brunner; and the Frenchmen, Pierre Laval and Darnand, who
collaborated in their work.

In France we shall see the same path of suffering: the
denial of human rights in the series of laws of 27 September
1940; compulsory registration, the marking of business
establishments; night curfews and the Jewish badge.
Concurrently, the plunder took place and the Jews were
hunted down and assembled; many of the hunts took place in
Paris itself. The captured Jews were taken to collection
camps: Drancy, Compie@65gne, Pithiviers, Beaune-la-Rolande
and others. From there they were consigned eastwards – to
death. The Vichy authorities also abandoned the Jews to the
tender mercies of the Germans; in the first instance, the
stateless Jews were taken, followed by foreign nationals,
and finally, despite Marshal Petain’s opposition, French
citizens as well. And here again we shall see the
underground, the French Maquis, doing what it can to help
people to hide and escape. But German “efficiency”
triumphed. Eichmann dealt personally with the deportations
from France and his representatives went to Pierre Laval to
bargain over the expulsion of the Jews. His stewards
forcibly separated children from parents, the mothers
holding on to their offspring and begging the butchers to
leave them together.

You will hear a description of these dreadful scenes. At the
end, no more than 4,000 children between the ages of two and
fourteen were left. On 21 July 1942, Dannecker recorded the
substance of Eichmann’s orders with respect to the children
in these words:

“He [Eichmann] decided that once it would be possible
to renew the transports to the Generalgouvernement,
children’s transports can get under way.”

And indeed, as early as 14 August 1942, Roethke reported to
the Accused and informed the Auschwitz Camp Command that the
deportation of the children had been started. Listen to a
description of how these children arrived at Drancy:

“The children would arrive at the Drancy Camp packed in
buses guarded by policemen; they would be put down in
the courtyard surrounded by barbed wire guarded by a
platoon of French gendarmes. The police and the
gendarmes, hard people, not easily given to emotion,
could not hide their feelings and their abhorrence of
the task they were compelled to carry out. On the
arrival of the buses, they would begin to remove the
children and lead them in groups to the halls, the
older ones holding the hands of the smaller children or
carrying them in their arms. They did not weep, the
children; they walked terrified, disciplined,
miserable, and complied with the orders like a flock of
sheep, one helping the other.”

Listen how these children were deported from Drancy:

“On the day of deportation, they would be wakened at 5
o’clock in the morning. Irritable, half-asleep, most of
the children would refuse to get up and go down to the
courtyard. The volunteer women would have to urge them,
gently, patiently and so tragically, so as to convince
the older children that they must obey orders and
vacate the halls. On a number of occasions the
entreaties did not help; the children cried and refused
to leave their mattresses. The gendarmes would then
enter the halls, take up the children in their arms as
they screamed with fear, struggling and grasping at
each other. The halls were like a madhouse; the scene
was too terrible for even the hardest of men to bear.

“In the courtyard, they would call out the names of the
children one by one, mark them off in the register, and
direct them to the buses. When a bus filled up it would
leave the camp with its cargo. Since many children
remained unidentified and others would not answer to
their correct or assumed names, they would include them
in the convoy to make up the number.

“Each convoy consisted of 500 children and 500 adults
chosen from the camp prisoners. Within a period of
about three weeks, during the second half of August and
the first part of September 1943, 4,000 children, thus
made into orphans, were transported in this fashion,
intermixed with adult strangers.

“Hauptsturmfuehrer Roethke was present at these
transports and would inspect personally the parading of
the children, the roll-call and the loading into the

Eichmann thought that France was backward in carrying out
the deportations, and a ramified correspondence ensued. In
April 1944, Department IVB4 issued an order to arrest all
Jews irrespective of nationality. Eichmann ordered that
informer money, to be drawn from their property, be paid for
information leading to the apprehension of Jews in hiding.

Southern France fell to the Italians. Mussolini was prepared
to cooperate with the Germans in the extermination
programme, but a section of the Italian administration was
unenthusiastic and thwarted the operations. With respect to
the solution of the Jewish Question in Italy proper, the
Nazis decided to call in Himmler himself to conduct the
talks with the Duce. In so far as other countries under
Italian rule were concerned, Eichmann and his associates
complained bitterly over the saboteur Italian administration
in Southern France, Greece and Yugoslavia. These complaints
were summarized, among other things, in a letter drafted by
Eichmann on 25 February 1943, addressed to the Foreign
Ministry and signed by the head of the Gestapo, Mueller, who
also referred to Eichmann as his source in the body of the
letter. The letter complained of the Italian authorities’
attitude and their constant habit of taking the side of the
Jews. This greatly interfered with the “final solution,”
Mueller wrote, and even partially thwarted its
implementation, since other countries pointed to this
attitude on the part of one of the Axis Powers as an excuse
for their hesitation to act against the Jews. Heavy pressure
was exerted on the Italian authorities through the Minister
for Foreign Affairs, Ribbentrop. All these approaches were
prepared by Eichmann, who refused to reconcile himself to
the escape of a few tens of thousands of Jews from the
dragnet covering Europe.

As a general rule the Italians adopted delaying tactics, and
succeeded in saving thousands of Jews from certain death.
When the Italians left Monaco, Eichmann asserted that 15,000
Jews were living within the territory of the Principality,
and demanded their incorporation in the scope of the general
operation. The German Consulate in Monaco stated that the
number of Jews was no more than a thousand, but Eichmann
persisted, claiming that he knew, as a result of a personal
visit, that the number specified by him was the correct one.
Ultimately, even he had to admit that the number of Jews in
question was only between 1,000 and 1,500, and his office
requested that appropriate steps be taken against them.
Apparently, the operation was successfully carried through,
for in July 1944 the German Consul in Monaco was able to
announce that there were no more than forty to fifty Jews
left in the Principality.

The same energy, the same care to seal up every rescue
loophole, are to be seen in other areas as well. An
Einsatzkommando operated in Luxembourg, and looked after
legislation, the looting of property, the introduction of
the Jewish badge, territorial concentration, at Fuenfbrunnen
and the deportation of the Jews. Eichmann’s henchmen,
Bosshammer and Dannecker, operated in that part of Italy
occupied by the Germans, after the fall of Mussolini and
Badoglio’s surrender. On 16 October 1943, an extensive round
up of Jews in Rome took place and from there the wave of
arrests spread to the Italian North. Thanks to the
assistance of the Italians who hid many Jews at the risk of
their own lives, the hunt proved unsuccessful. The Italian
clergy rescued Jews and hid them in monasteries. The Pope
himself intervened on behalf of the arrested Roman Jews.
Confronted with this attitude on the part of the Italians,
the anger of the Germans grew more intense. After the re-
establishment by Mussolini of the Fascist Republic in
Northern Italy, the Duce continued to maintain an Embassy in
Berlin. On one occasion this Embassy asked the German
Foreign Ministry for information on the fate of a certain
Jew, Bernardo Taubert, an Italian national and resident of
Lvov. Guenther, Eichmann’s deputy, replied to his Foreign
Ministry in the following terms:

“We are refraining from fulfilling the request of the
Italian Embassy regarding the holding of an
investigation to obtain requested information regarding
the domicile of the above-mentioned Jew. It would be
advisable to recommend to the Italian Embassy that it
desist from making such superfluous requests so as to
facilitate all necessary concentration on our
intensified and general operation. In the fifth year of
the War, the German authorities have other and more
important duties to carry out than to investigate the
fate of a deported Jew. It is to be regretted that the
Embassy of the Italian Fascist Republic persists in its
former habit of enquiring into Jewish matters.”

In the various regions of Yugoslavia, we shall also come
across the activities of the Accused and his men, which
follow the pattern already familiar from other places. Here
we find additional manifestations, such as the burning down
of synagogues and the extortion of heavy collective fines.
The Serbian and Croatian Jews were concentrated in camps,
including Jasenovac, where 20,000 Jews were executed. The
women and children were concentrated in Stara Gradis@62ka
and Djakovo, and many died either from disease or through
direct extermination. Jews from Germany, Czechoslovakia and
Austria, en route to Palestine, were captured in Yugoslavia
on the Danube. These people, 1,107 in all, were taken by the
Germans to the Sabac camp and there exterminated. The
Serbian Jews were thus done to death, mostly on Serbian
soil, in accordance with Eichmann’s personal suggestion to
which I have already referred: “Eichmann recommends

The surviving victims were rescued as a result of a partisan
operation in which the Jews took part.

In Croatia, the Accused operated through his representative
Abromeit. The Croatian Jews were deported to the
extermination camps between March and July, 1943 – after the
Jews had been isolated and anti-Jewish legislation had been
passed by the Croatian Government and its Minister of the
Interior, Artukowic. In April of the following year,
Department IVB4 complained that the operation in Croatia had
still not been completed, and the Foreign Ministry explained
in reply that this was due to the large numbers of mixed
marriages in the region.

In Slovenia, a part of Yugoslavia, Adolf Eichmann had an
additional task: the deportation of the non-Jewish Slovenian
population to Serbia and Croatia in order to evacuate the
area and “to resolve national problems in accordance with
the Fuehrer’s decision.” We shall submit to you the
deportation orders and the thirty reports on the operation
carried out against 14,000 Slovenians who were wantonly
uprooted from their homes, where their fathers had lived
before them, and deported to Serbia and Croatia. The
execution of this task too was placed in the hands of the
experienced uprooter of populations, Adolf Eichmann. The
planning of this deportation involved a quarter of a million

The extermination in Slovakia, which had been established as
a separate political unit, was conducted in accordance with
the general pattern. Here also the territorial principle in
such matters as looting of property was applied. Those
deported for extermination were compelled to sign affidavits
“of voluntary relinquishment” of their property, which was
valued at a total of some seven billion crowns.

Eichmann’s representative in this sector was Dieter
Wisliceny, and Eichmann also came personally to deal with
matters. Slovakian allies were found in Prime Minister Tuka
and Mach, the Interior Minister, who were among the first
leaders of the satellite countries to cooperate in deporting
Jews. After 55,000 Jews had already been deported from
Slovakia, an attempt was made to ransom the lives of those
remaining in return for money. Some 20,000 dollars were
transferred to Wisliceny, according to his own account,
while other sources claim that the amount involved was
between 40 and 50 thousand dollars. Slovakian officials also
received money. Pressure was exerted through Church circles,
and the Slovakian Government began to have doubts about
continuing the deportations. Ludin, the German Ambassador,
reported that owing to the influence of the Church and the
corruption of the Slovakian administration, the 35,000 Jews
remaining in Slovakia had been issued with documents
exempting them from deportation. In the meantime, Wisliceny
succeeded in deporting another 3,000 Jews.

Eichmann immediately applied counter-pressure. He
commissioned Fritz Fiala, a Slovakian journalist, to write
articles in the Slovakian Press describing how he had
visited work camps in the East and seen “with his own eyes”
the good living conditions that the Jews enjoyed there.
Strong pressure was also applied by the German Foreign
Ministry, and ultimately Wisliceny and, later, Alois
Brunner, returned to Bratislava. The round ups began in
September 1944, and once again more than 12,000 Jews were
deported while many more thousands were killed in Slovakia

Eichmann decided to try and extort additional profits from
the Slovakian Jews. He demanded of the Slovakian Government
a payment of 500 marks “transfer money” for every Jew
deported to the work camps. Here, too, we see Eichmann’s
hand in everything. Important matters were handled by him
personally, through direct contact with Tuka, the Prime
Minister, and the Interior Minister Mach. It was to him that
the Foreign Ministry addressed its repeated requests to
allow Slovakian representatives to visit the “work camps” to
which the Jews were ostensibly being sent. He refused so
adamantly, however, that the Foreign Ministry replied that
his refusal would endanger the possibility of getting more
Slovakian Jews deported. The Foreign Ministry explained that
Mach, “despite all his good intentions, would be unable
under existing conditions, to overcome the opposition of his
Government colleagues to additional deportations to the
East.” Eichmann retorted that a visit to the Polish camps by
the Slovakian representatives was simply impracticable. He
requested, however, that the Slovakian politicians be
pacified and that it should be explained to them that their
concern for the Jews was unfounded. This was written on 7
February 1944, when, of course, the Slovakians deported in
1942 had been dead for a long time.

The driving force of the rescue organization in this region
was Gisi Fleischmann, a noted public worker and a woman of
noble heart who endangered her own life on scores of
occasions in order to save others. She was eventually
deported to Auschwitz by the specified command of Alois
Brunner, Eichmann’s grim emissary. Kasztner appealed to
Becher in Budapest to intervene on her behalf, and on
Becher’s insistence, Eichmann cabled Brunner to refrain from
deporting her, but immediately followed up the telegram with
another, cancelling the first. Thus her fate, too, was
sealed. Rabbi Weissmandel, one of the noble leaders of
Slovakian Jewry, was also deported to his death but
succeeded in escaping from the train en route to Auschwitz.

Operating in Rumania on Eichmann’s behalf was
Hauptsturmfuehrer Richter. Under his influence and
persuasion, anti-Jewish laws were enacted and the looting of
property began. Germany relinquished her rights to the
property of her Jewish nationals residing in that country.
As early as 1941, the Germans began deporting Jews across
the Bug to the territory of the Generalgouvernement, but the
Germans were not yet ready to “absorb” them. As you will see
from an official letter to the Accused, the 28,000 Jews who
were removed to the Generalgouvernement were exterminated in
keeping with Eichmann’s threat. With regard to the remaining
Jews however, the authorities on both sides agreed that they
would be temporarily held in concentration camps in Rumania
until it would be possible to remove them to the East. I
have no doubt that Eichmann later bitterly regretted this
agreement, since, when he finally prepared the deportation
of the remaining Jews to the extermination camps in the
summer of 1942, the Jews had meanwhile succeeded in exerting
influence on the Government to prevent their deportation.

The deportation was to have begun on 10 September 1942. All
the plans were ready in Eichmann’s Office. The German
railway administration had made all necessary arrangements,
and the Accused made direct representations to the Rumanian
Government and obtained the consent of the Deputy Prime
Minister for a general deportation. On 26 July 1942,
Eichmann reported to Himmler that the Rumanian Jews would be
deported to Lublin. Those capable of work would be employed
and the rest would be handed over for “special treatment.”
On the same day, the Accused wrote to the Foreign Ministry
that 5only those capable of work would be deported from
Rumania. When it became apparent that Eichmann was even
leading the German authorities astray and that he was going
over the head of the Bucharest Embassy in order to bring
about the extermination of the Jews, the German Ambassador
in Bucharest, von Killinger, wrote in an official letter:

“I wish to point out that all our letters to
SS_Obersturmfuehrer Eichmann passed through the Foreign
Ministry so that this Ministry knew what had occurred.
It in no way surprises me that Herr Eichmann,
naturally, did not deem it necessary to maintain
contact on this matter with the Foreign Ministry
because the operational methods of the gentlemen of the
SS are only too well known to me.”

But in the meantime, it became apparent that the Rumanians
had changed their minds. Richter tried every means of
pressure, recruited the assistance of the Commissar for
Jewish Affairs, Lecca, instigated the publication of
inflammatory articles in the Press on the “Jewish Slaves in
Bucharest,” contacted the authorities, threatened, but all
to no effect. The Rumanians concentrated the Jews in camps,
in Transnistria, where tens of thousands of Jews were killed
and died. But the deportations to the extermination camps
were circumvented. In the meantime, in 1943, the counter-
attack of the Soviet Army began and German pressure was no
longer so effective.

Depite all this, Rumanian Jewry was bereaved of tens of
thousands of its sons. We shall prove the stubborn efforts
made by the Accused to exterminate this community utterly
and to foil all attempts to save a part of them through
emigration to Palestine. Eichmann suspected the French
Commercial Attache in Bucharest of assisting Jews, and
accordingly complained to the Foreign Ministry. He was
annoyed by the obituary on a Jewish journalist which had
appeared in a Rumanian newspaper, and Richter, the
representative, wrote to the Rumanians in 1942, that the
publication of a eulogy on a Jew in 1942 “testifies to a
lack of an appropriate attitude.”

The son of Dr. Filderman, a leader of Rumanian Jewry, was
living in France and maintained contact with his father and
with people assisting Jews to escape to other countries.
Filderman Jr. was arrested by Eichmann’s men and brought to
Berlin for interrogation. The Rumanian Government intervened
and requested his release. In answer to this request,
Eichmann’s Department stated that they were not prepared to
reveal the whereabouts of Fildreman Jr. to the Rumanians,
and suggested to the Foreign Ministry to hoodwink them by
informing them that he had already been released and was now
in France.

The machinery in Bulgaria operated on the lines of the
prepared formula: the enactment of anti-Jewish legislation
on the part of the Bulgarian ally, the looting of property,
the compulsory wearing of the Jewish badge and similar
measures. Here Eichmann worked through his agent, Theodor
Dannecker, who had already gained experience in the
extermination of French Jewry. Various sections of the
Bulgarian public, including King Boris himself, opposed the
extermination. It was thus no mean achievement on
Dannecker’s part to induce the Bulgarian Commissar for
Jewish Affairs, Aleksander Belev, to sign an agreement with
him on 22 February 1943, to deport 20,000 Jews to German-
occupied territory in the East. This “agreement” represents
Bulgaria’s contribution to the tale of atrocity. It was
agreed in writing that 20,000 Jews would be deported,
irrespective of age or sex, and that the Germans would
provide the means of transport, to be paid by the
Bulgarians. Agreement was reached on dates, locations from
which the deportations would be made and the number of
trains and deportees to be included in each operation. The
Bulgarian Government undertook to refrain from making
further requests for the return of the deported Jews.

At first the agreement stated that these measures were to be
applied only to Thrace and Macedonia, which had been annexed
to Bulgaria from Greece and Yugoslavia. However, as you will
see from the document itself, this line was crossed out,
though in such a manner as to leave the text legible. The
significance of the erasure is explained in Dannecker’s
report to Eichmann. Bulgaria did not want to throw its Jews
to the wolves; it was easier to induce the Bulgarians to
hand over “foreign Jews” from the recently annexed
territories than the Jews of Bulgaria proper. Consequently,
in accordance with an official decision, it was originally
written into the agreement that the deportations would only
affect the newly acquired areas. However, as reported by
Dannecker, both sides were aware of the fact that 20,000
Jews were not to be found in these areas and that about
6,000 would still be lacking from the quota, and Commissar
Belev undertook to supply these from Bulgaria proper. At
least half would come from Sofia, wrote Dannecker, and those
to be taken would be “influential Jews…that is to say
those whose economic position is sound or who have contacts
with official Bulgarian circles.”

In answer to Belev’s question whether he could prepare
additional deportations, Dannecker replied in the
affirmative. An attempt to deport Jews from Old Bulgaria was
frustrated in the last moment as a result of intercession in
Sofia. Consequently, according to the German report, the
deportation embraced “only” 11,343 Jews, who were
transported for extermination to Poland. After the Jews of
Thrace and Macedonia had been handed over for extermination,
an attempt was made to avoid deporting the others. The Jews
were removed to scores of forced labour camps, but the
Bulgarian authorities opposed their deportation to Germany.
Naturally, from the point of view of the Gestapo this
territorial concentration was the normal preparatory phase
leading to the final extermination. This was why it was
stated in the official report:

“After having expelled the Jews from Sofia, we shall,
certainly, according to our knowledge of the situation
on the spot, be confronted with new problems until we
succeed in removing them to the eastern regions. In the
meantime, however, the Jewish Question has
substantially moved forward in the direction of the
transportation to the east. Things are on the move.
There is no longer a way back.”

But the Bulgarians nevertheless refused to deport additional
Jews. Eichmann then contended that the deportation of the
Jews to the work camps was nothing but “an excuse
to avoid deporting the Jews to the East, which, for Germany,
is the desired solution.” In spite of the pressure, the Jews
were left in the forced labour camps. Conditions were harsh
and difficult, and many broke under the strain, but they
were not handed over to the Germans. By this time, things
were moving at the front, and Bulgaria sought a way to
extricate herself from the ties with the Axis countries. The
Jews who remained were saved.

The Jews of occupied Greece also passed through the valley
of the shadow of death, especially the Salonika community,
where the majority of Jews in occupied Greece lived.
Brutality, arrests, plunder, the loot of property
accompanied the German conqueror, in addition to anti-Jewish
legislation, the Jewish badge and the establishment of
ghettoes. Here Eichmann operated through his accomplices
Wisliceny, Alois Brunner and Burger, who worked in close
association with the Military Governor, Dr. Merten. Once
again, we shall witness the results of their activities:
kidnappings for forced labour, and the ally they introduced
into the Jewish quarter – typhus. Finally, in March 1943,
the death deportations began, in cattle and goods wagons.
With all speed and energy, about 54,000 Salonika Jews were
removed to the extermination camps. Eichmann issued special
instructions that the sick and the diseased were also to be
deported. We shall hear a description of how these Jews went
to their deaths, transport after transport, how one of the
best organized communities in the world was destroyed.

At the beginning of June 1943, the “transport of
intellectuals” was deported from Salonika and in August of
the same year, the operation was brought to a close. After
this, Eichmann continued to deal with Jews of foreign
nationality in Salonika and ensured that they be included in
the “final solution.”

Eichmann also sought to lay his hands on the handful of Jews
in the Italian-occupied areas and especially in Athens, but
the Italians did not cooperate. Wisliceny went to Athens to
hunt down the Jews and even succeeded in arresting the Saul
family, the head of which was the legal adviser to the
Italian Legation in Greece. The Italians threatened to
arrest Wisliceny on their territory and Eichmann reacted
posthaste; threatening to report to Himmler that the
Italians had taken it into their heads to arrest a German
police officer in the pursuance of his duties. The German
Foreign Ministry eventually explained Wisliceny’s journey as
being occasioned by “special reasons which have no
connection with police operations.” Eichmann naturally
received a report of this explanation, but continued to
complain bitterly at the lack of cooperation on the part of
the Italians.

“We shall only be satisfied if the Italians adopt in their
territories the same measures as we are accustomed to adopt
in our occupied territories, namely the removal of all Jews
to the East.”

The Holocaust also swept over other communties in Greece.
The Jews of Rhodes, some of whom were removed to Auschwitz
and some drowned; the Jews of Corfu, Thessaly, Epirus, the
Peloponnese and the Greek islands.

Now let us take a look at those areas which the Germans
considered as a part of the Greater Reich. The work in the
Czech Protectorate was carried out according to the familiar
pattern; anti-Jewish laws, the appropriation of property and
enclosures in ghettoes. Here, too, we shall find a special
Nazi invention – it is called Theresienstadt. At a meeting
of SS Commanders on 10 October 1941, in which Eichmann and
Heydrich took part, the solution of the Jewish Question in
the Protectorate was discussed. It was stated that, in view
of the Czech attitude to the Jews, which differed from that
current in the territory of the Generalgouvernement in
Poland, due allowances would have to be made.

According to the minutes, Eichmann suggested that five
thousand Jews be deported from Prague “to Communist
prisoner_of-war camps under the command of Nebe and Rasch.”
These two were then the commanders of the Einsatzgruppen
which had received the order for the direct extermination of
Jews. The meaning of his suggestion was clearly to send five
thousand Jews to death. He did carry out the operation, and
we have already met these Jews, doomed for a certain and
cruel death in the Riga and Minsk Ghettoes.

A substantial part of the remaining Jews were removed to the
Theresienstadt Ghetto set up by Eichmann and which was under
his direct command. Tens of thousands of Jews were
concentrated in this camp, which was intended to serve a
number of purposes: firstly, to pacify the Jews themselves
in a way, since the Theresienstadt deportees were ostensibly
to be granted life by the evil regime. The Jew who sought
some consolation was allowed to deceive himself into
believing that if he were deported to Theresienstadt he
would not be killed. Secondly, here was a kind of an
official window-front to satisfy all those who claimed that
all the Nazis were capable of doing was to kill. Red Cross
representatives and journalists could be brought to
Theresienstadt, as could Heads of States in the countries
from which Jews had been expelled, who feared for their
fate. In Theresienstadt they could put on a show; it would
be a place in which the Jews supposedly lived and worked
under their own administration and – most important of all –
alive. All this was only a means of deception and camouflage
since, from the very outset, this camp was meant to be
nothing more than a pretence. In the internal decision on
its establishment, it was stated that:
“…the best thing would be the transfer of the
Theresienstadt Camp to the authority of the Central
Authority for Jewish Migration. After the deportation from
this temporary collection camp (where the Jews will soon be
severely decimated) it would be possible to deport the whole
crew to territories in the East and to transform the place
into a model German settlement.”

It was decided on the spot that Theresienstadt would have no
cemetery, only crematoria to burn the bodies. It was also
stated that in the event of a shortage of living quarters
for the Jews, they should dig holes and tunnels for
themselves in the ground.

This became a part of the official policy of the
destruction programme. On the one hand, the extermination of
millions, and on the other, Theresienstadt, ostensibly under
its independent Jewish administration. Naturally the
administration was entirely in the hands of the Eichmann
gang. From time to time, punitive measures were showered on
the Theresienstadt Jews: executions as a punishment for
sending post contrary to the rule, the prohibition of
births, the compulsory abortion of women, the prohibition of
smoking, etc. The children were housed in an institution
within the precincts of the Ghetto and were permitted to see
their parents once a week. Violators of the ghetto
administration’s orders were punished by beating.

We shall submit to you the orders of the ghetto
administration, and you shall see how Eichmann held his
victims under constant terror. It was necessary, however, to
obtain the consent of Himmler himself to deport
Theresienstadt inmates to Auschwitz or to eastern regions
for extermination. Needless to say, this consent was given
whenever it was asked for. The death-rate in Theresienstadt
was appalling, owing to the terrible conditions. Those who
were not dispatched by this camp – were finished off at
Auschwitz. This was, in actual fact, a collection and
transit camp for extermination. Those who passed through it
were Jews of the Protectorate as well as many foreign
nationals – tens of thousands of Jews from Germany, Austria
and other places.

To Eichmann’s crimes in the Protectorate should be added the
slaughter of the Christian children of Lidice. Lidice was a
Czech village which was wiped off the face of the earth in
revenge for an attempt on Heydrich’s life. About a hundred
unfortunate children from this village were moved to the
Lodz Ghetto (Litzmannstadt), there to suffer the same fate
as the Jews. Krumey, one of Eichmann’s assistants, asked him
for instructions with regard to the application of “special
treatment” to these children. The murder of innocents – this
everywhere was Eichmann’s business.

So to Austria, where once again we shall meet with the
operations so familiar from elsewhere. At first, pressure
was maintained to expedite the deportations. Eichmann was
even prepared to hand over Herzl’s remains in Vienna,
providing that these would leave together with at least
eight thousand Jews. Afterwards, with the change in the
general line, came the familiar operations: anti-Jewish
legislation, looting, deportation to extermination areas,
i.e. to the operational areas of the Einsatzgruppen, and to
Poland. Jewish property was confiscated and transferred to
German ownership; the Jews were told that since they had not
succeeded in migrating from Germany, the Germans would have
to begin removing them to Poland “for labour.” The community
institutions were ordered to supply lists of deportees.
Later on, they would simply speak of “removal” to the

The Viennese Jews were transported to their deaths via
Theresienstadt, Lodz, Minsk, Riga and other places. Others
were consigned directly to the extermination camps in the

All these operations were carried through by Eichmann under
his direct supervision. All Jewish affairs in Austria were
under his control.

In Germany itself, the deportations to Poland had already
begun at the beginning of 1940. The Jews of Stettin and
Schneidemuehl were deported, it was stated, because of the
need to vacate apartments for the Germans. Eichmann carried
this into effect within the scope of his eviction authority.
He deported the Jews from Baden and Pfalz to Vichy France at
the end of 1940. Later on, the deportation of Jews from
Germany became part of the “final solution.”

Those Jews were sent to an immediate death in Minsk and
Riga, or dispatched for execution later via the Lodz Ghetto

We shall submit to you the detailed instructions for the
deportations to the extermination region in Lublin, issued
by Eichmann from the beginning of 1942 to all police units –
Stapostellen – and to the commanders of the Security Service
– SD.

On 30 May 1942, Eichmann informed the representatives of the
communities of Vienna, Prague and Berlin that the Reich,
Austria and the Protectorate were to be “cleansed” of Jews.
In Berlin, roll calls, known as “Eichmann Roll Calls”
(Eichmann Appelle) – took place at which the deportation
selections were made.

Once again, we shall see the direct hand of Adolf Eichmann,
planning, executing and tackling all matters,both small and
large, relating to the “final solution.”

Last-Modified: 1999/05/28