Session 010-02, Eichmann Adolf

Continues reading the translation.

…and the gases of this engine were going to be
directed inside and the Jews would be poisoned. This
was terrible for me. I do not have such a steadfast
nature for something of this kind…of this kind to
pass over me without reaction.

If today I see the gaping injury of an open cut on a
person, I cannot look at it. I belong to such a class
of people and I am often told that I could never have
been a doctor. Even now, I still don’t know how I
immediately pictured the thing to myself, and that my
demeanour became somewhat uncertain, as if I had gone
through something upsetting…upsetting, as sometimes
happens when we afterwards feel a slight inner shaking,
or I would express it somewhat like that. With this my
task was fulfilled and I went back to Berlin and
reported on the matters to the Chief of the Security
Police and the SD.

L. Mueller?

E. Mueller, too, of course.

L. And Heydrich?

E. Yes, Heydrich, but Mueller was my immediate
superior; so I had to inform him of my journey and I
also reported to him. I told him what I have now said.
Possibly now I am confusing several matters; may I be
permitted perhaps…to make myself…

L. Yes, please go on.

E. Which were the years…to make myself notes possibly
because of my attempts to keep some order. For it
was…I said previously that it must have been at the
end of the summer – in autumn, as I still remember,
that these wooden huts were…they were in a region of
deciduous trees, in a thickly wooded area of deciduous
trees, large trees and their leaves were in full

L. In what year?

E. This was forty one.

L. And so: after the…

E. After the outbreak of the German-Russian War, ’41,
it therefore must have been the autumn of ’41 – for
then I was sent on to Kulm in the Warthegau…now I
must think: when was it in the Warthegau?

L. Kulbin?

E. Kulm, to Kulm.

L. Kulm.

E. Kulm, in the Warthegau. I have to reflect on this:
When was this, Kulm in the Warthegau? Then I…this was
the first time that I had to watch something like this,
but this time I was sent by Gruppenfuehrer Mueller.

Let me say this right away: Warthegau…’41, this was,
at all events, after this event, it was not winter,
there was no snow, I remember that it was cold. I don’t
know whether it was autumn ’41, or was it now ’42. But
we can easily reconstruct this, as follows: There must
certainly be other testimonies when the Ghetto of
Litzmannstadt was dealt with and generally the matter
of the Warthegau, when the Jews there were
exterminated. Because approximately at this initial
period I received an order from Mueller to go to
Litzmannstadt and to report to him on what was
happening there. He did not say this to me as exactly,
as crassly as did Heydrich, he said to me:

“There is a Jewish Operation going on over there.”
Mueller would never have expressed himself in such a
blatantly cruel manner: a person like Mueller would
never have done this: he said roughly as follows:

“A Jewish Operation is taking place there, Eichmann, go
there; try to find out what is happening there. Report
to me.”

I went there, I reported to the Stapoleit at
Litzmannstadt, I enquired there and they gave me an
account: this was a special unit which the Rechsfuehrer
had detailed and it was under the command of…now I do
not know whether the SS and Police Leader of the
Warthegau or the Higher SS and Police Leader of the
Warthegau. This is as much as I remember, but I was
given an exact description where Kulm was situated,
where it was. Perhaps they also sent an official with
me to find my way, certainly because I had to approach
an authority which…which, let us say: this mediation,
that it came from the Head Office of Reich Security on
a mission on behalf of Gruppenfuehrer Mueller, that I
should watch this in order to report to Gruppenfuehrer
Mueller, this is no longer known to me today. I only
know this: that I saw what could be described as

A room – if I remember correctly – possibly five times
the size of this one, perhaps only four times as large.
There were Jews inside, they were required to undress,
and after that a completely closed truck arrived and
the doors in front were opened and it came up to some
kind of platform; and the naked Jews were obliged to go
inside. Afterwards the truck was closed and began to

L. How many people were in the truck?

E. I cannot tell you this exactly. I could not even
watch what was going on exactly, all the time I did not
look at it; I was far too upset. I told this to Mueller
also, at the time I reported.

He did not derive much benefit from my report.
Afterwards I rode after the truck, certainly with one
of the men who knew the way – and there I saw the most
horrible thing that I had ever seen in my life:

It drove up to a long ditch, the doors were opened, and
the bodies were thrown out, as if they were still alive
– their limbs were so supple. They were thrown into the
ditch – I could still see how a civilian was removing
teeth with pliers, and then I moved away from there. I
entered the car and went away, and I did not speak at
all. From then on I sat next to the driver for hours
without exchanging a word with him. By then I was
“fixed,” then I was “finished.” I only know further
that a doctor in a white coat said to me that I should
look through the peephole in the partition to see how
they were inside the vehicle. I refused to do this. I
couldn’t…I couldn’t say another word. I had to get

I came to Berlin, I reported to Gruppenfuehrer Mueller.
I described those things to him exactly as I am doing
now – more I couldn’t say to him: More precisely I said
to him…:

Terrible,” I said, “the Inferno…I cannot…this
is…that I cannot…” I said to him.

L. What did Mueller say?

E. When I…Mueller was never in the habit of saying
anything, never, not on these matters, nor on other
matters. He was always very frugal with words and quiet
and only said things that were the most essential. He
said “yes” or “no” or when he said neither “yes” or
“no” then generally he used to say “Comrade Eichmann” –
that was, I didn’t know, “yes” or “no.” He was frugal
with words.

L. Did you hand in a written report on this?

E. No, I was not authorized to do so, I was
specifically forbidden to do so.

L. By Mueller?

E. But I…

L. Mueller forbade you to do so?

E. Yes…no… I believe that it was Heydrich,

L. Did you report to him at all?

E. Not on this, no, not on this. At that time I didn’t
reach…then Mueller sent me there…Mueller wanted to
know first and foremost the time…how much time it
took. This I was incapable of saying. I couldn’t tell
him how long…I could not…I could not… I couldn’t
hear this. This was beyond me, I could not do it…the
time… I was obliged to travel there a second time,
but then understandably, I did not volunteer and
nothing was said to me.

This was, therefore, the second time I had something to
do with these things; on the first occasion there were
these hermetically sealed trucks, of some…exhaust gas
from a submarine engine, this I heard, the second time
I saw it. Because I related this experience to my
deputy…to my permanent deputy.

Attorney General: Mr. Less – Would you be good enough
to play to the Court the excerpt from page 210, which
begins with the words “Herr Eichmann, Sie wollten…”
and continue to page 221, up to the words “…dann hier
diese Sache vertaten.”

Less Mr. Eichmann, you wanted to speak about your
visits to…

Eichmann Yes…

L. …the extermination camps

E. Yes, surely, yes surely, I suppose that…And so, 3
and 4, Minsk and Lvov – because I was sent to Minsk and
Lvov, certainly, for I have already said previously
that I do not at all remember what I had to do at Lvov,
and this surely I would have connected. Mueller said to
me “In Linz…in Linz” I mean “In Minsk they are
shooting Jews, I want a report on how this is taking

After this I went to Minsk. In Minsk there was nothing
for me to do, nor did I get to know anyone there. I
went across the first areas where the double battle had
taken place, that which had been in two places:
possibly it was…I imagine: Minsk and Bialystok. I
definitely went first to Bialystok and after that to
Minsk, I presume – I do not know this exactly any more.
I came to Minsk, going to the same authority – what was
its name – how was it called? “The Commander of the
Security Police” or it may have been called
“Einsatzkommando.” Really I don’t know how it was
called, and there I asked for the Commander, and I
still remember that he was not present. I spoke to
someone else whose name altogether escapes me today and
I told him that I had orders to watch it, in order to
report to Gruppenfuehrer Mueller. That was that. The
next day – I remained in that city for the night – the
next day I came there, but I came too late, because on
that day in the morning the affair had already ended,
was almost completed, a matter on which I, for myself,
rejoiced. When I got there I only managed to see how
young marksmen, I think there were these marksmen with
the death-heads on their coat collars…they were
shooting into the pit, which was quite a large size,
let us say four or five times this room, perhaps even
six or seven times. I have…I have…all my
recollections of this instance are unreliable for I
only saw this thing without any thoughts, without
forming any thoughts about it whatsoever. I simply saw
– and nothing more than that: they fired into the pit,
and I can still see a woman…with her arms behind
her…and then her knees buckled and I made off.

L. You didn’t look into the pit?

E. Yes, I stood there, they fired, I saw it and I went
away to…

L. The pit was full?

E. Pardon?

L. Was the pit full of bodies?

E. It was full, it was full. I went away to my car. I
got in and started driving – I drove to Lvov. I had no
orders to go to Lvov…even this I remember now but
apparently the road passed through Lvov. Somehow I came
to Lvov and saw the first encouraging picture, after
the awful things I had seen there: This was the railway
station building, which had been erected to mark the
Sixtieth Anniversary of the reign of the Emperor Franz
Josef – and seeing that I personally was overwhelmed
with joy regarding this period of Franz Josef, possibly
because I had heard an abundance of wonderful things in
my parents’ home about this period or about events that
occurred during this period… – my relatives on the
side of my step-mother were, at this time, as you would
say, of a high social standing…It was painted yellow.
This chased away for the first time – I still remember
this today otherwise I wouldn’t have realized this,
that this sixtieth jubilee…that the figures of this
Jubilee were engraved on the wall of this station
building – those terrible thoughts which had not yet
departed from me since Minsk. I came there, and visited
the local commander of the State Police…please… I
was…perhaps I even had an order, perhaps not, perhaps
I went there only out of curiosity, and I paid a visit
there to the commander since I was passing the place,
and said to him: “Yes,” I said to him “this is
terrible, what is going on there,” I said to him,
“these young men are being brought up as sadists.” This
is exactly what I said, incidentally, to Mueller as
well – later on. I also said so to Guenther, I said it
to everyone; I even said it to Suhr, I said it to all
of them. I also said this to Hunsche… I did not
have… I told this to everyone and I said: “How can it
be possible? Simply fire away at a woman and children?
How can this be possible?” I said: “This cannot be
possible, these people must become crazy or sadists,
and they are our own people.” And then he said to me:
“Exactly so, this is also happening with us here, they
shoot here, too. Do you want to see it once? Do you
want to see it once?” I said: “No, I don’t want to see
anything.” He said “Anyhow we are going to pass by.”
Then I saw something else which was terrible: there was
a pit, perhaps it was already closed. There welled up
like a geyser blood…how should I say this…a jet of
blood. I have never seen anything like it. As far as I
was concerned this assignment was enough and I drove to
Berlin and related this to Gruppenfuehrer Mueller.

L. Who travelled with you in Lvov. Who was he?

E. , What, if you please…?

E. Who was this in Lvov?

E. This was the Commander – I don’t know whether he was
called “Stapolei” – this could not be – it couldn’t
have been the Head of the State Police – it certainly
must have been the Einsatzkommando, possibly the
Einsatzkommando of Lemberg, the Einsatzkommando of the
State Security and SD – it was an Einsatzkommando –
this was its official name. I am more inclined to
believe this than that it was the State Police Office.
State Police Offices were certainly not to be found at
that time in Lvov but there were only operational
units; surely Lvov used to belong to the
Generalgouvernement? Or, at this moment I do not know
if it belonged to the Generalgouvernement or to any
other zone – I do not know, Captain. But at all events
I said to Mueller, I said: “This is not a solution to
the Jewish problem, this is not a solution.”

I said that to him, above everything else we were
bringing up people to be sadists – we should not be
surprised at all, we should not be surprised if they
became criminals – all of them criminals. I still
remember that Mueller looked at me with an expression
which I recognized, and in it I read what he was saying
to me.

“Eichmann, you are right, this is not a solution.” But
he could do nothing, Mueller could do nothing about it.
Mueller surely could not do anything, could do nothing,
not a thing. I do not know any more who gave the order
about those…about those things…gave the
order…yes, gave the order…yes, of course the Chief
of the Security Police and the SD gave the order – it
was he who gave the order for this – this is absolutely
clear. But even he was obliged to receive an
instruction from the Reichsfuehrer-SS – namely Himmler
– he could never have done such a thing on his own. And
Himmler too, must have had his detailed orders from
Hitler, otherwise, unless Hitler had ordered this, he
would have been fired out of hand.

L. But didn’t Hitler give an order in writing about
this final solution of the Jewish question?

E. In writing? …For exterminating them?… For
exterminating them physically?

L. For exterminating them physically?

E. I never saw such an order in writing, Captain. All I
know is that Heydrich told me: “The Fuehrer has ordered
the physical destruction of the Jews” – this he said
clearly and as certainly in fact as I repeat it now.
And these were now…these were the first consequences.
These were…these were minor matters, these that I
have now described. I even asked the Gruppenfuehrer, I
said to him: “Please do not send me there. Send someone
else, someone stronger. You can see that on no occasion
did they allow me to [go to] the front, I was never a

There are plenty of others who can watch this; they do
not collapse – I cannot see it.” I said: “I cannot
sleep at night. I dream – I cannot, Gruppenfuehrer!”
But this was not granted.

L. So after this you had to [go to] Auschwitz?

E. I returned and received the orders. I was forced
also to visit Auschwitz…because…not in order to see
this there, first and foremost…but also on that,
incidentally, he obliged me to report. I told him that
I would see it because they were building extensions
there – I did not know at all that there were other
buildings – I had to report to him on this as
well…yes, furthermore, I must also say this,
Captain…these people, when you came to them, made a
special amusement for themselves of the whole matter,
to give a man who had come to them directly from an
office desk the most horrifying description and to
intimate the whole thing in as abrupt a fashion as
possible and they rejoiced, obviously, from time to
time, if here, from the point of view of his
nerves…the person could not retain his composure as
they were accustomed to call it, in the way they did,
is that not so? Hoess once said…I think that I was
there three times, two or three times in Auschwitz.
Three times, I was there once because of Storfer…he
had said to me, Hoess said to me that Himmler was there
and took everything in, he watched everything exactly
and that even his knees shook, Hoess said to me. He
raised this…he obviously intended it as a
condemnation, for Hoess was very hardened. It was on
the same day about which Hoess said to me that Himmler
saw this, he said – surely also in order to encourage
his own spirits and so that his SS men of the
concentration camp should not notice his weakness –
which in fact Hoess noticed, otherwise he couldn’t
surely have said this to me – he said that “these are
battles which coming generations will not have to
fight, will not have to fight.” I said, Captain, I was
in Auschwitz three times. I was twice in Auschwitz
because of the problem of Hungary, and I was in
Auschwitz once, because in my absence while I was in
Hungary the Kommerzialrat Storfer of Vienna was
arrested by the Police Commander of the Vienna
District, Ebner, and afterwards brought to the
concentration camp at Auschwitz. On this matter I
participated in a joint meeting with Ebner, for Ebner
knew and ought to have known that Storfer, in the same
way as Loewenherz, was active for years in Jewish life,
and in no circumstances was it permitted to have
imprisoned him in a concentration camp. I did not do
this with anyone else. I did not [arrest] any of those
persons who in the course of all those years…I do not
want to say “who collaborated” – this would be
criticized by people even today – this was not
“collaboration.” Jews, these Jewish functionaries
actually worked for their community. Surely someone
from amongst this group had to meet with me, in order
to discuss these matters with me, and such were these
people; they knew that if I promised something, I would
carry it out. When Dr. Rothenberg asked me, right at
the beginning that at a certain time, at a reasonable
time, after various questions had been arranged and had
been started [I would make it possible for him] to
emigrate to Palestine, then when he approached me in
this matter on the first occasion, I said to him:
“Please let us wait a little, even if this will be a
matter of some months, until this and other matters
[would be arranged] and afterwards – certainly.” And
this is how it was, and he approached me again, and
then I said: “Yes, definitely, Dr. Rothenberg if you
please, go, everything is ready for you.” He went.
Loewenherz asked me in the same way that he should be
allowed to travel to England after the matter was
concluded, seeing that his children and relatives were
there. I said to him: Certainly he could do so. He
could travel wherever he wished. The fact that this was
not carried out was not my fault, seeing that the
occurrences of the War prevented the matter.”

Last-Modified: 1999/05/30