Presiding Judge: No. 800 is identical.
Attorney General: Identical, in regard to this principle –
identical. I want to show that this was no deviation from
the principle of deviation. There was consistency. The
“British Royal Warrant, Regulation 81” which the Court will
find in the same volume on page 897 also contains the same
principle. In other words, two countries of the Common Law,
both England and the United States, departed in this
instance from the Rules of Evidence. In volume 15 in various
places, where the question of the Rules of Evidence is
discussed, the Court will find the decisions that were
handed down. For example, on page 88, the “Pohl Case” is
discussed, and this is what the Court says, towards the
bottom of the page:
“The trial was conducted generally along the lines
usually followed by the trial courts of the various
States of the United States, except as to the rules of
evidence. In compliance with the provisions of Article
VII of Ordinance No. 7, great latitude in presenting
evidence was allowed prosecution and defence counsel,
even to the extent at times of receiving in evidence
certain matters of but scant probative value.”
Judge Raveh: You told us that this document was submitted
to the Accused; he reacted to it – he confirmed part, denied
part. Do you not think that it would be worthwhile at this
stage to be satisfied with the directions of the Court in
respect of documents of this sort? For perhaps it would be
difficult as of now to give us some idea in respect of all
the potential documents that you are able or likely to
submit to us. Perhaps at this time you will be satisfied
with a directive concerning the category such as the one
which you yourself have indicated?
Attorney General: The difficulty, Your Honour, is that I
want to argue at length in respect of the first document and
to receive a general directive. It is clear to me that every
subsequent document will be considered on its merits,
according to its circumstances, according to its contents.
For the Court, to my regret, under sub-section (b) of
section 15 must decide in respect of each document
separately. Therefore I shall be obliged to convince the
Court in regard to each document, separately, that it has
probative value. But at this moment I am asking for a
general directive in the spirit of what was stated in the
judgment of the Supreme Court.
Judge Halevi: You are now asking for the common denominator
for all the documents.
Attorney General: Exactly so, Your Honour, this is the exact
Presiding Judge: Nevertheless, so that we may not become
involved in generalizations, perhaps you could tell us, in
your opinion, what aspects qualify this document, that is
placed before us now, to be submitted as evidence under
Attorney General: Clearly I have to do so since I must find
some basis in regard to the contents of this document.
Wisliceny was a man who, as we know, was one of the
Accused’s closest assistants. When he wrote these words, he
was facing a death sentence, which was also put into effect
eventually, and those very normal motives, on account of
which it is usually dangerous to rely on hearsay evidence as
we do not know the self-interest of the man giving it, do
not apply fully in the case of a man standing in the shadow
Presiding Judge: Was this after he was found guilty?
Attorney General: In any event it was at a time when he was
held under arrest for a very grave crime, and certainly he
could only have had very few illusions, in October 1946, as
to his personal fate in the Bratislava prison. And he gives
a detailed account of all his collaboration, throughout his
deposition, with the Accused. He begins with the period in
which he, Wisliceny, was the Accused’s superior, and
afterwards when he became his subordinate. It is possible
that the Court will say at times: This part is not credible
to us, this part does not accord with other testimonies.
Possibly when it comes to deciding the issue, the Court will
wish to have corroboration from a source other than
Wisliceny’s statement; but such corroboration will be
forthcoming. It is my intention to submit a statement by
Hoess, his evidence in a Polish court. He was in a similar
situation. We have a statement of a third person, named
Hoettl. The three of them made their statements without any
contact between them. We will ask the Court to believe
remarks emanating from different sources, each fitting in
with the other in spite of the fact that there was no
contact between the men, and consequently any fear that the
whole thing was the result of a conspiracy, or that the men
were talked into giving false evidence, is exceedingly
slight. But testimonies of this kind, such as that of
Wisliceny and Hoess, and a few other collaborators, have a
probative value of the highest order. The Court will
appreciate the fact that we do not have any way of
establishing in fact the general events except by means of
the general, cumulative purport of the various documents.
Certainly, any document by itself would be inadequate to
give grounds for an indictment, but the combined
significance of all these documents – thus we are going to
contend – enables us to establish with sufficiently moral
certainty the matters which are in dispute in this trial.
Furthermore the Accused asked of his interrogators to be
given material such as this, so that he could react thereto.
Presiding Judge: He asked for this at his own initiative, or
after he was told that such things existed?
Attorney General: Not on his initiative. At the beginning he
asked: “Give me material, I want to see it – many years have
elapsed.” Then it was given to him.
Presiding Judge: He asked for material in a general way, not
especially the testimonies of Wisliceny and Hoess, shall we
Attorney General: I am not sure for the moment. I think he
also asked for the material relating to his Department, and
the statements of members of his Department. Thus, for
example, when the Accused – we heard this in the recording –
gives an explanation:”I did not say that I would jump into
my grave because five million Jews were exterminated, but
because five million enemies of the German Reich were
destroyed.” The Court will recollect that passage. Here
Wisliceny says something different. This must be
Judge Halevi: How will the Prosecution prove the
circumstances under which the report of these various
testimonies was given – for example, that he was in prison,
that he was liable to…
Attorney General: It says here “Cell 133”; on another
document, more important to us, it says “Cell 106.” It is
known that Wisliceny was under arrest, and it is known that
he was in the hands of the Allies, this is not a matter of
dispute; it is known that he was sentenced by a Slovakian
Court and executed following this sentence. The connection
between the one declaration and the other will, ultimately,
constitute convincing evidence, in our view, unless the
Accused will be able to refute it. But at this moment I am
speaking not of the weight of these matters, but of their
admissibility. And may I be permitted to draw the Court’s
attention to what is said on page 822 of the 15th volume,
towards the end of the remarks of the Presiding Judge:
“The Tribunal is not impressed with the thought that
this deprives the defendants of any substantial right.
As to the effect of conclusions, opinions and hearsay,
that is quite a different matter.
“As we have observed before, the basis of some of those
rules of which you are all more or less familiar is
that evidence of that character may be harmful when it
goes before a jury of laymen. We can assure you again
that this Tribunal considers itself competent to
distinguish between evidence that has no probative
“The objection to the introduction of the exhibits is
A court, after all is said and done, which is a professional
court and not a court of jurors, will be able to consider,
after all the material will be before it, what portion can
be depended upon and what portion cannot be taken seriously.
Therefore I request the Court to determine the admissibility
of Wisliceny’s report of 27 October 1946, known as “Zelle
133 Bericht” and also to determine, as a directive to the
parties in the trial, the Court’s attitude on those
documents concerning which it would be ready to exercise its
discretion under section 15. And my request is that the
Court, following the precedent laid down at Nuremberg,
should determine that at this stage and until its
consideration of the evidence, any matter which, prima
facie, appears to be of probative value, is suitable for
submission. What its value will be – this is a matter for
the final argument.
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, what do you have to say
about this request of the Attorney General?
Dr. Servatius I ask the Court to reject the application. A
document coming from a deceased person can be admitted, if
it contains facts or a description of occurrences shortly
after the event, as in that case which was presented here by
the Attorney General. But here these are not facts that are
contained in the document, but the allegations of Wisliceny.
Not apologetics, but a transfer of guilt to someone else, to
the Accused here.
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, is there no account of facts
Dr. Servatius There are, indeed, facts as well, but they
are of a cumulative character and they are included in other
testimonies. The purpose of the written document appears
clearly from an examination of what is said from page 17
onwards. There is, there, a personal description of details
of the Accused, and suggestions how to locate him, and the
expression of the readiness to participate in the search.
This is, therefore, a quest for a way how to get out of cell
133 and find a chance to live. For this reason I ask you to
reject the application.
Attorney General: If the Court wishes to be satisfied
whether there are facts or not, naturally before taking a
decision, the Court may examine the documents before it
decides whether to admit them as evidence: my contention in
reply to the remarks of Defence Counsel is that in
Wisliceny’s two documents there is an account of facts that
we do not have from any other source. But they are supported
by portions of the evidence from other testimonies.
Presiding Judge: Why do you say “two documents?”
Attorney General: Because there are both “Cell 133” and
“Cell 106.” These are the two documents that Wisliceny wrote
in the Bratislava prison.
Judge Halevi: On the same date?
Attorney General: No, on different dates. “Cell 133,” the
one I have already referred to, on 27 October 1946…
Judge Raveh: Dr. Servatius, do you agree to the Attorney
General’s statement that this document was shown to the
Accused and he reacted to it, part of which he confirmed and
part he denied?
Dr. Servatius: We may suppose that he confirmed those
sections which contained facts, and that he rejected those
sections containing allegations.
Judge Raveh: But the fact that the Accused was shown the
document and that he reacted to it – is that correct? You do
not deny this?
Dr. Servatius: He marked with his signature all those
documents submitted to him, and this fact can easily be
ascertained, and immediately. I presume that this was shown
May I add an observation in regard to the declaration of
Rudolf Hoess? The Attorney General said that these two
declarations, or these two witnesses, support each other and
that in this way their declarations could have considerable
value as evidence, and that there was no contact between the
two. I must point out that, previous to this, the two spent
a long time together in the Nuremberg prison, and it was
argued against them that they drew up a common line of
defence. There was a similar argument on many occasions by
the defence in German courts in trials of this kind.
Presiding Judge: Did they have a chance to talk things over
Dr. Servatius Such a possibility, in my experience, existed
in large measure.
Presiding Judge: I believe we still do not have the date of
the second report.
Attorney General: The date was 18 November 1946.
Judge Halevi: Why? Did they interrogate him twice?
Attorney General: At that time, when the war criminals were
in goal, many countries and various organizations took an
interest in them, and the countries detaining the criminals
freely allowed the possibility of an interrogation. The men
themselves were also requested from time to time to write
themselves, in exactly the same way as the Accused was
invited here to write various matters by himself – so these
men were invited to write. Sometimes they did so completely
on their own free initiative, as did Rudolf Hoess who wrote
his autobiography, and subsequently, in an appendix, a
number of chapters are devoted to various persons with whom
he worked and in whose company he was.
Judge Halevi: At whose initiative, or upon whose request
did Wisliceny write these two reports?
Attorney General: We shall bring a witness who perhaps will
be able to shed light on this question as well, when the
time comes. Incidentally, we have the original, actually, in
Wisliceny’s handwriting. That is to say, not only a photo-
copy but the actual handwriting.
Presiding Judge: We shall go into this question and hand
down our decision tomorrow morning.
Attorney General: If that is the case, it will not be
possible, at this stage, to continue with the submission of
Presiding Judge: That is right. If we decide to admit this
document, this should not inconvenience you, for you will be
able to continue with the submission of documents at a later
stage. Do you still have many documents?
Attorney General: I still have a number of declarations and
documents that we wish to submit before we begin hearing the
first witness. But it is very likely that the one will be
connected with the other, and, therefore, it is most
probable that the Court’s decision will apply to the other
documents as well. Hence it would be better for me to
refrain at this stage from submitting additional documents,
until I know the Court’s decision.
Presiding Judge: Correct – I also think so.
Attorney General: At this point we ask the Court to allow us
to proceed with the calling of witnesses.
Assistant State Attorney Jacob Bar-Or May it please the
Court, I shall now call Mr. Grynszpan. Might I ask the Court
to instruct any witnesses that have been summoned to appear
and who might be present in this courtroom, to leave and
wait in the lobby, outside the courtroom.
Presiding Judge: Any witnesses in Court who have not yet
given evidence are requested to leave and to await their
turn outside the courtroom.
State Attorney Bar-Or: The witness is on the witness stand,
Presiding Judge: Does he speak Hebrew?
Witness Grynszpan: [in Hebrew] Not well.
Presiding Judge: What language does he speak well?
Witness Grynszpan: [in German] German.
[The witness is sworn.]
Presiding Judge: If the witness is more at ease in Yiddish,
we shall find an interpreter to interpret in Yiddish.
Witness Grynszpan: No difference, Yiddish or German.
Presiding Judge: Very well. What is his full name?
Witness Grynszpan: Zyndel Grynszpan.
Presiding Judge: And in Hebrew?
Witness Grynszpan: Shmuel.
Presiding Judge: Zyndel Shmuel Grynszpan.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Sir, when and where were you born?
Witness Grynszpan: In 1886, in Radomsko, Poland.
Q. When did you come to Germany?
A. In April 1911.
Q. When you got to Germany, where you a bachelor, or
A. Already married.
Q. When did you get married?
A. In April 1910.
Q. Where did you go to in Germany, in 1911?
Q. And you stayed there till…?
A. I stayed in Hanover till 1928, till we were expelled from
Germany in a barbaric manner. On 27 October 1928. All Polish
Jews. To Sbenszyn!
Q. Mr. Grynszpan, did you mean 1928 or perhaps another year?
A. Twenty eight years! Since 1911. 28 years. Till 1938.
Q. Until 27 October 1938.
Q. How many children were born to you in Hanover?
Q. How many sons?