Session No. 14
9 Iyar 5721 (25 April 1961)
Presiding Judge: I declare the fourteenth Session of the
trial open. We adjourned last night in the middle of an
argument on the submission of two documents: one – the
statement of Wisliceny, and the other – the affidavit of the
investigator Brookhart. I asked you, Dr. Servatius, to
clarify whether you could agree to the submission of the
document bearing the Bureau 06 number 856. What have you
Dr. Servatius Meanwhile I have verified that document No.
584 is identical with the affidavit of Wisliceny in document
No. 856, namely with the protocol of 2 November 1945, on
page 3. These contain 32 items.
I have no objection to the submission of document No. 856 in
which the affidavit is included, but I do not see any reason
for the submission of document No. 584 as well.
Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, does this not help you?
Attorney General: This is important, and I shall explain
right away why No. 584 is important. No. 584, as the Court
will remember, is a statement by Mr. Brookhart to which is
attached the original affidavit of Wisliceny signed by him.
This signature, with its authentication by Mr. Brookhart,
served as a basis for further verifications by Mr. Hagag of
the Police Criminal Identification Department in regard to
other documents of Wisliceny, which we intend to request the
Court to admit. And if the Court will kindly recall the
evidence of Mr. Bar-Shalom, the identification teams
operated in such a way that when we had one definite item on
which to base the identification of handwriting or a
signature, we asked the hand-writing expert to assist us in
identifying other documents on the basis of that signature.
And consequently, for this purpose alone, it is important
for me to submit Mr. Brookhart’s affidavit. Clearly the
Court will view with some hesitation Mr. Brookhart’s
impressions of how Wisliceny impressed him and how he,
Brookhart, regarded Wisliceny. This cannot serve as a basis
for the finding of this Court as to whether to lend
credibility to Wisliceny’s affidavit or not, in any
particular place. This can provide a general impression, but
I shall not ask the Court at all to believe this affidavit
simply because Brookhart believed it. On the other hand, the
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, do you agree to the
submission of document No. 584, for this purpose, for the
purpose of authenticating the signature?
Dr. Servatius I accept the affidavit for the purpose of
identifying the signature, but I ask the Court to exclude
and not to admit those extracts in which he expresses his
opinion about the witness Wisliceny.
Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, I should like as far as
possible – naturally the time will always have to arrive
when the Court will be required to give its ruling – but as
far as possible it would be desirable to end these
discussions in mutual agreement by the parties – I would
Attorney General: I willingly accept this.
Presiding Judge: After what you have said about those
portions of Brookhart’s affidavit, I think you may dispense
with his general impression, and the document will be
submitted only for the purpose of verifying Wisliceny’s
Attorney General: I shall proceed in accordance with this
Presiding Judge: We shall, accordingly, admit the document
bearing the Bureau 06 number 856 as our T/56 and the
document of Bureau 06 number 584 – as our T/57, solely for
the purpose of verifying Wisliceny’s signature and not in
relation to what is said therein by Brookhart concerning his
impression of the manner in which Wisliceny’s answers were
Attorney General: If I may be permitted to request – No. 584
also contains Brookhart, and later on also the affidavit of
Wisliceny. Perhaps I may be permitted to request that the
Court should point out that it is the first page of No. 584,
which consists of Brookhart’s affidavit, which the Court has
admitted for the purpose of verifying the signature, since
the continuation consists of the affidavit itself.
Presiding Judge: This is not all necessary, since it is
included in No. 856.
Attorney General: But afterwards, there is a signature here.
Presiding Judge: What is it that you want?
Attorney General: I want the Court, if it sees fit, to point
Presiding Judge: The verification of Wisliceny’s signature
which appears on page one of No. 584 which is now designated
by us as T/57. And where is No. 856?
Attorney General: I have No. 856, Your Honour. We also have
a translation of the appropriate sections of No. 856. This
is a photocopy of the original of No. 856 and we shall
presently obtain the original itself. I would ask the Court
to mark this document in a few minutes’ time, when the
original will be brought to me.
At this opportunity I want to say that we shall ask the
Court’s permission to substitute photocopies for the
originals, because we intend to deposit the originals with
Presiding Judge: After the trial is over.
Attorney General: As the Court deems fit.
Presiding Judge: I think that, as long as the trial is in
progress, documents should be kept here, and I believe they
are looked after well, and you will be able to return them
to Yad Vashem upon the completion of the trial.
Attorney General: Thank you. With regard to the reading of
documents in Court, the honourable Presiding Judge: asked us
yesterday to restrict the reading of documents to a minimum.
And this, indeed, was our intention. But we would ask to be
guided in this matter, since there will be several exhibits.
And if we were simply to table them without at the same time
pointing out their purport, I am afraid that it would be
very difficult to follow the line of argument. Moreover,
when witnesses subsequently appear, whose remarks will have
a bearing on the documents, if the Court will not know at
the time of their appearance in the witness-box why, and for
what purpose, they will be appearing, it will be hard to
obtain a proper picture if the Court will not have heard the
most relevant extracts. And indeed, the identical question
arose in the Nuremberg Trials. And if I may be permitted, I
would draw the Court’s attention to what is stated in volume
15 of the “Green Series” – this is the volume laying down
the procedure – on pages 640 and 671. On page 640, it says,
in the middle of the page:
“In most of the trials the party offering documentary
evidence read parts of the documents which it
considered of particular weight.”
And on page 671, there is an exchange on the same point:
Judge Musmanno: Mr. Denney, it would appear to me,
where you have a document of sufficient importance as
to be studied by the Tribunal in analyzing all the
testimony, that you read a substantial part of it into
Mr. Denney (Chief trial counsel for the
prosecution):Yes, but if Your Honour pleases, that is
exactly our intention.
Judge Musmanno: So that the record of the proceedings
in open court itself will be complete without having to
leaf through a number of other documents.
Mr. Denney Yes, Your Honour, that is exactly what I
have in mind.”
Presiding Judge: Here, evidently, the boot was on the other
Attorney General: Exacty, it was the Judge himself who
requested this: It is clear to us that we shall have to
impose upon the indulgence of the Court for essential
purposes only. And this is precisely our intention. But
particularly at the beginning of the trial, in the first
stages, before we start unfolding a broad canvas with the
aid of the witnesses, there is considerable importance in
the fact that we shall be able to read a somewhat greater
number of extracts, and we shall request the Court’s
guidance in this matter.
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, do you wish to raise
anything in connection with this request of the Attorney
General regarding the reading of extracts into the record?
Dr. Servatius: The suggestion of the Attorney General seems
to be practical and I agree to it. I imagine the position to
be such, that the document will be submitted in its
entirety, and from time to time the relevant passage will be
read. I would ask that it should also be made possible for
me, as Defence Counsel, to read relevant extracts. Presiding
Judge: All right, Mr. Hausner and Dr. Servatius, I think
that we shall not be rigid in this matter. In the case of
anything that can assist the Court better to follow the
evidence, we shall obviously not only permit it but we shall
welcome that it be read out – but we shall obviously not
forget that the intention always is for the understanding of
the matter by the Court and the document is placed before
the Court, and at the end of the trial you will always be
able – and you will obviously do so – to refer to those
portions which are important to you. And it is clear, too,
that the entire document always remains in the Court’s
possession, and if Defence Counsel should require, then and
there, the reading of other extracts, we shall also allow
this, to the extent that it is necessary for the
understanding of the matter by the Court. And at the end of
the trial, both parties will be totally at liberty to refer
to any part of the document, which seems to them to be
important to their case. Of course, this Court is not bound
by what the parties may refer to, but it will view the
entire documents. That is obvious. Hence I do not think
there will be practical difficulties in this matter.
Attorney General: I am most grateful, Your Honour. We shall
proceed accordingly. In accordance to this I want to read
the two pages…
Dr. Servatius: I don’t know whether this matter was
conveyed to me correctly in the translation. Did I
understand it properly, that the Defence Counsel will be
entitled, immediately after the reading from an extract from
the document and continuing forthwith, to read other
extracts, and does not have to wait until the end?
Presiding Judge: You will be entitled to do so, but you are
not obliged to do so. You can defer this for your final
argument in the trial.
Dr. Servatius: Thank you very much.
Attorney General: I accordingly request the Court to listen
to the first 11 paragraphs; they are slightly more than two
pages of the affidavit No. 584 of Dieter Wisliceny which was
just admitted as an exhibit:
“I, Dieter Wisliceny, being duly sworn, declare: I am
34 years old and have been a member of the NSDAP since
1933 and a member of the SS since July 1934. I have
been Hauptsturmfuehrer SS since 1940. From 1934 to
1937, I was stationed in Berlin and from 1937 to 1940
in Danzig. From 1940 to September 1944, I was stationed
as a specialist on Jewish matters in Slovakia and my
mission included service in Hungary and Greece. I have
known Adolf Eichmann, the former Chief of AMT IVA4 of
the Reichsicherheitshauptamt (RSHA), well since 1934 in
which year we joined the Sicherheitsdienst (SD). Our
relationship was so close that we addressed each other
with the intimate “Du.” We served together from 1934 to
1937 in Berlin and maintained friendly relations from
1937 until 1940 when he was in Vienna and I was in
Danzig. Eichmann’s mission in Vienna was to direct the
Central Office for Jewish Emigration and he later came
to Berlin with the RSHA to take charge of AMT IVA4
which was responsible for the solution of the Jewish
question and for all church matters.
At Eichmann’s suggestion, I accepted an assignment as
expert for AMT IVA4 in Slovakia dealing solely with the
There were three distinct periods of activity affecting
the Jews. The first period covered the time from 1937
when the Jewish Section was founded till 1940, during
which the policy was to accelerate and compel Jewish
emigration from Germany and Austria. Because of this,
the Central Office for Jewish Emigration was founded in
Vienna and later on a corresponding institution in
Prague. After the victory over France, Madagascar was
contemplated, but never used, as a site for the
emigration. The second period during 1940 and 1941
covered the concentration of Jews in Poland and eastern
territories, in ghettos and concentration camps. The
last period, from beginning 1942 to October 1944,
covered the evacuation of Jews from all Germany and
German controlled territories to concentration camps
and their biological annihilation.
I first became interested in the number of Jews
effected by measures taken through the RSHA when I met
other specialists on Jewish matters in Eichmann’s
office in Berlin. It was customary for Eichmann to call
the specialists in for a meeting at least once a year,
usually in November. Meetings were held in 1940, 1941,
1942 and 1943. I was present at all but the latter
meeting. In these meetings each representative reported
on conditions in his territory and Eichmann discussed
the overall picture. He particularly stressed total
figures and the use of charts which included the
number of Jews in different countries, their
occupations, their age groups, and statements showing
the portion of Jews to the total population of each
These charts did not include the number of persons
effected by evacuation and extermination activities
since these figures were kept secret. However, from
many discussions with Eichmann and specialists on the
Jewish question, I learned the effects of the programme
of the final solution in each of the countries
I was sent to Berlin in July or August 1942 in
connection with the status of Jews from Slovakia, which
mission is referred to more fully hereinafter. I was
talking to Eichmann in his office in Berlin when he
said that on written order of Himmler all Jews were to
be exterminated. I requested to be shown the order. He
took a file from the safe and showed me a top secret
document with a red border, indicating immediate
action. It was addressed jointly to the Chief of the
Security Police and the SD and to the Inspector of
Concentration Camps. The letter read substantially as
The Fuehrer has decided that the final solution of the
Jewish question is to start immediately. I designate
the Chief of the Security Police and the SD and the
Inspector of Concentration Camps as responsible for the
execution of this order. The particulars of the
programme are to be agreed upon by the Chief of the
Security Police and the SD and the Inspector of
Concentration Camps. I am to be informed currently as
to the execution of this order.
The order was signed by Himmler and was dated some time
in April 1942. Eichmann told me that the words ‘final
solution’ meant the biological extermination of the
Jewish race, but that for the time being able-bodied
Jews were to be spared and employed in industry to meet
the current requirements.
I was so impressed by this document which gave Eichmann
authority to kill millions of people that I said at the
time:’May God forbid that our enemies should ever do
anything similar to the German people.’ He
replied:’Don’t be sentimental – this is a Fuehrer’s
order.’ I realized at that time that the order was a
death warrant for millions of people and that the power
to execute this order was in Eichmann’s hands subject
to approval of Heydrich and later Kaltenbrunner. The
programme of extermination was already under way and
continued until late 1944. There was no change in the
programme during Kaltenbrunner’s administration.
After my meeting with Eichmann in July or August 1942,
when I first learned of Hitler’s order for the final
solution of the Jewish question by extermination, I
became particularly interested in the number of persons
effected and at every opportunity made notes on the
basis of information from other countries.”
Presiding Judge: Is the map hanging over needed any longer?.
Attorney General: Not at this stage. It will be necessary at
Presiding Judge: Do you want it to remain hanging here?
Attorney General: If the Court sees it as a disturbance, we
can remove it.
Presiding Judge: Very well – let it remain.
Attorney General: Incidentally, the Court has also not
marked it as an exhibit.
Presiding Judge: I understand that this was an auxiliary
illustration for the evidence of Professor Baron.
Attorney General: But we shall still need to use it in the
course of the evidence.
Presiding Judge: We shall see when the time comes.
Attorney General: I am continuing with the reading of
“In 1943, my interest was further accentuated by
requests for information from the Joint Distribution
Committee and I thereafter took particular pains to
collect all information available as to the number of
Jews effected in other countries. In Budapest 1944 I
conferred with Dr. Rudolph Kastner, representative of
the Joint Distribution Committee, and compared with him
information on numerous occasions, particularly dealing
with the total number of Jews effected. I was
constantly in touch with Dr. Kastner after May 1944. I
last saw him on 30 March 1945, in my apartment in