Session 014-02, Eichmann Adolf

On numerous occasions Eichmann told me that Jews had no
value except as labourers and that only 20-25 per cent
were able to work. I was present in Budapest in June or
July 1944 at a meeting between Eichmann and Hoess,
Commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, at which
they talked specifically about the percentage of
Hungarian Jews that would be strong enough for labour.
On the basis of transports previously received at
Auschwitz and the supply of Jews inspected by him in
collection centres, Hoess stated that only twenty or at
the most twenty-five per cent of these Hungarian Jews
could be used for labour. Hoess said that this
percentage also pertained to all Jews transported to
Auschwitz from all over German occupied Europe, with
the exception of Greek Jews who were of such poor
quality, that they all had to be eliminated. Among the
able-bodied were women and some children over the age
of 12 or 13 years.

Both Eichmann and Hoess said that all Jews unfit for
labour were liquidated.

All extermination of Jews took place in closed camps.
The camps at Auschwitz and Majdanek were referred to
as extermination camps ‘A’ and ‘M’ respectively. I know
that Jews at Auschwitz and other extermination camps
were killed with gas, starting at least as early as the
spring of 1942. Eichmann said that in the cases of
groups from which the able- bodied had already been
selected, the remainder were gassed immediately upon
their arrival at the concentration camps. In cases
where there was no prior selection, the screening had
to take place at the concentration camps before the
unfit were gassed. The inspection at concentration
camps to determine who was considered able-bodied and
who was to be executed were very superficial.

Late in 1944, Himmler directed that all executions of
Jews were to cease, but Eichmann did not carry out this
order until he received a written directive signed by
Himmler. Unaccountable thousands of Jews who had been
sent to concentration camps died of epidemics and
undernourishment, such as in the camps at Flossenbuerg
and Sachsenhausen.

In appendix A-I, I have prepared a chart of the
organization of RSHA in 1944 to show the relative
position of Amt IV4 and its subsections. In the same
exhibit, I have listed the experts on the Jewish
Question who served in a capacity similar to my own in
other countries. Their names and assignments were:

Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Seidl (Theresienstadt)
Hauptsturmfuehrer Wisliceny(Slovakia)
Hauptsturmfuehrer Abromeit (Croatia)
Hauptsturmfuehrer Dannecker (Bulgaria)
Hauptsturmfuehrer Brunner (France)
Hauptsturmbannfuehrer Krumey (Lodz – later Athens)
Hauptsturmfuehrer Burger (Theresienstadt – later

I have also shown members of the staff in Eichmann’s
office that includes Hauptsturmfuehrer Franz Novak who
had charge of all transportation matters concerning all
evacuations of Jews and Untersturmfuehrer Hartenberger
who was a specialist on individual cases. To my
personal knowledge, based on my observation during
several years service in the Balkan countries and close
association with leaders in these countries who were
responsible for actions taken against the Jews, the
numbers of Jews effected were approximately: 66,000 in
Slovakia; l60,000 in Greece; 8,000 in Bulgaria; 3,000
in Croatia and 500,000 in Hungary. In appendix A-II I
have set forth details as to their disposition.

I considered Eichmann’s character and personality
important factors in carrying out measures against the
Jews. He was personally a cowardly man who went to
great pains to protect himself from responsibility. He
never made a move without approval from higher
authority and was extremely careful to keep files and
records establishing the responsibility of Himmler,
Heydrich and later Kaltenbrunner. I have examined many
of the files in his office and knew his secretary very
well and was particularly impressed with the exactness
with which he maintained files and records dealing with
all matters in his Department. Every move taken by
Eichmann in executing measures against the Jews was
submitted to Heydrich and later to Kaltenbrunner for

I have seen signed duplicate copies of Eichmann’s
reports to Himmler. These all went through the Chief of
RSHA, Heydrich and later Kaltenbrunner, who signed
them. Signed duplicate copies of these reports bearing
the name of Kaltenbrunner were filed by Eichmann. The
regular channel was from Eichmann through Mueller to
Kaltenbrunner and to Himmler. Eichmann was very cynical
in his attitude toward the Jewish question. He gave no
indication of any human feeling toward these people. He
was not immoral, he was amoral and completely ice-cold
in his attitude. He said to me on the occasion of our
last meeting in February 1945, at which time we were
discussing our fates upon losing the war: ‘I will laugh
when I jump into the grave because of the feeling that
I have killed 5,000,000 Jews. That gives me great
satisfaction and gratification.’

According to Eichmann, he knew Kaltenbrunner from Linz
and they had been good friends for many years. They
were both members of the illegal Nazi Party in Austria
and were together in Vienna from 1938 to 1940. I know
that their good relations continued to at least
February 1945. Eichmann told me more than once that
whenever he had any difficulties he took them up with
Kaltenbrunner. When Kaltenbrunner was appointed as
Chief of the RSHA, Eichmann told me that his standing
would be improved in the Department because of his
close connections with Kaltenbrunner. Their friendship
appeared to be very strong because I myself in February
1945 witnessed a short meeting between Kaltenbrunner
and Eichmann. They met in the vestibule of Eichmann’s
office, Kurfuersten Str. 116. Kaltenbrunner greeted
Eichmann heartily and asked about the health of
Eichmann’s father and family in Linz.”

This part of the document ends here.

Attorney General: I now have the original of document No.
856 and I submit it.

Presiding Judge: This is our T/56.

Attorney General: The next document, from which I shall not
read anything, is the evidence of Dieter Wisliceny before
the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg on 3
January 1946, with a Hebrew translation of several extracts,
on which we intend to rely. This was published in a
compilation which we place at the Court’s disposal – the
Blue Series in the German edition. All our references to it
will apply to this edition – in the fourth volume on pages
339-414. For the convenience of the Court we present a
separate transcript of that evidence.

Presiding Judge: Should this receive a number?

Attorney General: Yes, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: This document is numbered T/58 (the
evidence of Wisliceny before the Military Tribunal at

Attorney General: This document is a report prepared by
Dieter Wisliceny in cell 133 of the Bratislava prison on 27
October 1946, concerning Adolf Eichmann, in Wisliceny’s
handwriting. As regards authentication – the Court has
already accepted the sworn affidavit which confirms that
indeed it was written by Dieter Wisliceny.

Presiding Judge: This means that the Court will have to
compare the signature here and there?

Attorney General: No. The Court already has the affidavit of
Mr. Hagag, which relies on Brookhart, on the document which
has already been submitted and which states that this is the
same signature. There is no problem of verification in this
instance, but there is a problem of the law of evidence,
since I am submitting a report by somebody whom I am unable
to bring as witness. There is no dispute on the point that
Dieter Wisliceny was executed following the judgment of a
Slovakian court.

Presiding Judge: When?

Attorney General: I do not want to commit myself, Your
Honour, but it seems to me that it was in 1947. But on this
we have no dispute with Defence Counsel. And here we would
request a definitive decision from the Court, for this is
not the only document of its kind.

Presiding Judge: Does the statement relate entirely to the

Attorney General: Yes. This statement was put to the Accused
– he was requested to comment on it. The remarks made
therein will appear in other testimony which we shall seek
to submit to the Court.

Presiding Judge: How did the Accused respond in general to
the statement?

Attorney General: Generally speaking, he confirmed one part
and denied another part. He contends that Wisliceny made
this statement out of a desire to put the blame on him and
to save his own skin, and so on, something which to a
certain extent, perhaps, might even have been true. And the
Court will certainly have to take care, when it comes to
weighing up these reports, to what extent these reports of
men who cannot be brought to Court, to the witness-box, to
what extent they were influenced by personal motives.

But I want to ask the Court to allow us, according to a
leading decision of the Supreme Court, which I shall
immediately quote, to produce to this Court according to the
authority given to the Court under section 15 of the Nazis
and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law to produce as
evidence any item of testimony which has probative value.

In section 15 of the Law it is provided

“(a) In an action for an offence under this law – the
Court may deviate from the rules of the evidence if it
is satisfied that this will promote the ascertainment
of the truth and the just handling of the case.

(b) Whenever the Court decides to deviate under
subsection (a) from the rules of evidence, it shall
place on record the reasons which prompted its

In other words we shall be obliged to request a ruling on
each single document, but if once a ruling in principle were
to be given, our task would be greatly simplified, and also
the task of the defence, as we would know the views of the
Court. This question arose in the Supreme Court; not in a
trial to which the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment)
Law applied directly, but as a result of a libel case in
which Malchiel Grunewald was on trial, arising out of
warlike activities or in time of war. I rely on the decision
of the Supreme Court in Criminal Appeal No. 232 of 1955,
Piske Din Vol. 12, page 2017. I read from the judgment of
Justice Agranat, pages 2084-2085. On page 2084 a comparison
was made with the rules which were operative in this matter
in the Nuremberg Trials:

“I have to refer, finally, to another principle, which
I had in mind in connection with the establishment of
the facts; I am referring to the principle arising out
of the wording of paragraph 15(a) of the Nazis and Nazi
Collaborators (Punishment) Law which states…To my
mind there is no doubt that in the absence of such a
provision – which is almost a verbatim copy of that
which appears in section 19 of the Constitution of the
International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg – it would
have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, to
establish properly the factual background concerning
the commission of crimes of the kind with which the
said law deals; it would have been difficult to do so,
if it had been obligatory to depend upon the technical
exclusionary rules of evidence which stem from the
Common Law and which usually apply in Israel as well.
It should be pointed out that the experience of the
Nuremberg Trials taught – as Williams points out in
‘Proof of Guilt,’ on page 152 – that this provision
‘even satisfied the requirements of the Anglo-American
lawyers,’ a matter which was also testified to by
Justice Jackson who had served as head of the
Prosecution on behalf of the United States in that
trial (ibid).

“Thus, the application of the local provision is
limited to the hearing of the charge of an offence
under the said Law. Nevertheless, can the conclusion be
gainsaid that the factual background of the first two
counts against the respondent is similar to the factual
background of the indictment of somebody as an
accomplice in the commission of a ‘Crime against the
Jewish People,’ in accordance with section 1(a) (1) of
that law in conjunction with section 23 (1) of the
Criminal Code Ordinance?”

In other words, the Court there, despite the fact that the
indictment was not based upon the Nazis Punishment Law,
permitted and approved the deviation by the District Court
from the rules of evidence owing to the fact that the
general background in the case of libel was the same
background as that likely to have existed in a trial for an
offence under section 1 (a) (1); whereas here we are already
dealing with an offence under section 1, and the words of
Justice Agranat acquire even greater force.

Presiding Judge: Are you talking of a specific document – a
specific kind of document – or in general?

Attorney General: We are talking generally, and also of a
specific class of documents, recent documents, which were
drawn up shortly after the act was committed. I shall
presently come to these paragraphs. On page 2085 he goes on
to say:

“It is quite obvious that we are talking here of the
principle which lifts the ban on the submission of
hearsay evidence and allows the Court to rely thereon,
when it is of opinion that this evidence has probative
value. As has already been mentioned, if we take
account of the fact that in this trial there was an
examination of questions of fact relating to events
that occurred in another country and more than ten
years ago, for our task is to delve into the state of
mind that accompanied Dr. Kastner at every stage of the
long and protracted negotiations that he conducted, in
the first period, with the men of the Juden-
Kommando,for the other members of the Rescue Committee
were not always present at the meetings which Dr.
Kastner held with these people; and that the reference
is to a period of time in which events rapidly followed
one another, and to negotiations which he conducted,
largely, in an atmosphere both feverish and nervous –
then it is impossible to say that the need to be aided
by the said principle can be in doubt. I saw the need
for this, mainly, in regard to the following class of
hearsay evidence, viz. the class to which those
documents belong which were drawn up at a period of
time relatively close to the events upon which they
shed light, and to which belong the various reports
mentioned in sections A,B and C of this judgment,
including those drawn up by Kastner and Freudiger.”

I have not yet concluded – I shall finish forthwith.

On page 2088:

“True, I did not lose sight of the considerations that
Kastner’s report is not a document written by a man who
worded it naively, but by an experienced journalist who
was well versed in the art of writing and phrasing, and
hence in various parts of this document there is
discernible an apologetic tendency which Kastner
adopted at the time he wrote it, that is to say: the
tendency to justify his activity as director of the
Rescue Committee before the Twenty-Second Zionist
Congress for which the report was destined. These are
certainly considerations which I had to take into
account when attempting to assess the truth of the
words written in one or other section of the report,
and they oblige us to adopt special precautions in our
assessment. Notwithstanding all this, it is clear to me
that there is nothing in those considerations,
generally speaking, to deny the probative value which
this document contains, especially as it was intended,
at any rate for external purposes, to have an official
or semi-official character.”

Now I shall only briefly draw the Court’s attention as the
Supreme Court requires me to do, to what happened at
Nuremberg. In volume 15 of the Green Series to which I have
already referred, the Court will find, on page 15,
paragraphs 19 and 20 of the Charter, Para. 19 is the one
which says that the court will admit as evidence any
material “which it deems to have probative value.” On pages
31-32 the Court will find paragraphs 7 and 8 of Order No. 7
which applies to American Military Courts, repeating the
same provision.

Presiding Judge: Is there, in fact, almost no difference
between our section 15 and section 19 of the London Charter
as has been said here?

Attorney General: Possibly there is a difference, Your
Honour, but the principle which the Supreme Court laid down
is that a matter which has probative value shall be admitted
by the Court. And, hereafter, the question is subject to
discretion in the light of the sum total of the evidence. I
have no doubt that the Court will not rely on, will not
accept, as definite, proven and dependable, every single
item that will be submitted in all these documents.

Judge Halevi: Is that similar to the general principle of
German Law – Freie Beweiswuerdigung? (free evaluation of

Attorney General: Exactly, Your Honour, but first of all we
are speaking at this moment about admissibility – we have
not yet reached the stage of weighing up – we shall come to
this at the end.
Judge Halevi: The German principle in the Rules of Evidence
is that anything is admissible and only afterwards is its
practical value assessed.

Attorney General: Anything relevant, anything that has any
connection whatsoever. I would restrict the matter even
further. I would say that the onus is on the party seeking
to submit a document such as this, to prove to the Court
that it is indeed relevant, on the one hand, otherwise it
will assuredly not be admissible. Secondly that it should
not appear on the face of it that it has no value as
evidence, it should not appear that all of it is falsified
and cannot be relied upon. If it appears that it is possible
to rely on it or on part thereof for any purpose at all in
arriving at a judgment, it has probative value and should be

So far I have referred to the contents of pages 31-32 of
volume 15. Now I hope the Court will allow me to refer also
to the Charter of “IMT Far East” in the same volume on page

Last-Modified: 1999/05/30