Session 016-01, Eichmann Adolf

Session No. 16
10 Iyar 5721 (26 April 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the sixteenth Session of the
trial open.

Attorney General: With the Court’s permission, insofar as
the fact, whether a particular document was submitted or
extracts therefrom were submitted to the Accused, will have
an important bearing on your decision, I am bound to inform
the Court that no extracts were read to the Accused from the
particular document which I originally tried to submit
yesterday, namely “Cell 133.” From the second document known
as “Cell 106” – extracts were read to the Accused. It is my
intention to request the Court to admit both documents.

Judge Halevi: On what page of the interrogation of the
Accused does the submission of the second document appear?

Attorney General: In the 63rd reel. One moment, I shall
check this immediately.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, instead of calling this “Cell”
perhaps you would quote the date – on what date was it read
to the Accused?

Attorney General: The Court will find this on pages
2491…there were two statements – the one of 27 October
1946 – no portion of which was read to him; and the second
was of 18 November 1946 – from which extracts were read to
him. This is “Cell 106” and the Court will find it on pages
2491-2561 of the statement.

Presiding Judge: Decision No. 7

The Attorney General applies for the admission in evidence
of two reports written by Dieter Wisliceny when he was in
prison in Bratislava, on 27 October and 16 November 1946. In
these reports there are accounts of facts relating to the
Accused, in connection with matters under consideration in
this trial. Wisliceny was tried by a court in Bratislava and
executed. The Attorney General bases his application on
Section 15 of the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment)
Law 5710-1950, which reads as follows:

(a) In an action for an offence under this Law, the Court
may deviate from the rules of 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 sub-section
(a) from the rules of evidence, it shall place on record the
reasons which prompted its decision.

Counsel for the Defence objects to the submission of the
reports on the grounds that they were written by Wisliceny
in order to divert the blame from himself to the Accused,
who is before us, and in the hope that by so doing he would
be able to be released.

There exists a similarity between the idea underlying our
Section 15 and the underlying Section 19 of the London
Charter, according to which the Court at Nuremberg which
tried the major war criminals was established, and similar
provisions which came in the wake of the London Charter. See
Criminal Appeal 232/55 Piske Din 12, page 2017 and page

Although it must be admitted that our provision is couched
in less extreme language than Section 19 of the London
Charter, we are of opinion that two important criteria ought
to guide us in seeking to interpret Section 15, viz.:

Whether the evidence which is sought to be adduced is
relevant to the subject of the trial, and whether it has
probative value. Every case must be considered according to
its circumstances, and further possible criteria in addition
to these two. Of course, the weight of the evidence, even
after it has been submitted, depends upon the evaluation of
the Court according to its intrinsic value and how it
compares with all the testimony before the Court when the
stage of submitting the evidence at the trial has been

These reports were written by a man who is no longer alive
and there existed between him and the Accused close
relations connected with the matters being examined in this
trial. They were written fairly close to the events which
are the subject of this trial, events that were spread over
a number of years, and they occurred in various localities,
and it is difficult to adduce more direct evidence about
them from the people who were active together with the
Accused. Moreover, according to the remarks of the Accused
and his statement T/37, on page 307, the files of his office
were destroyed under an order issued in the closing stages
of the War, the Second World War in Europe. As stated, the
evaluation of the weight of evidence is always in the
Court’s discretion, and in assessing the value of these
reports, the Court will also certainly consider the
arguments of Defence Counsel as to their authenticity and
their value of evidence, and also other factors likely to
detract from their probative value. However, this does not
prevent their admission as evidence.

For these reasons we are of opinion that the submission of
these two reports will be of help in arriving at the truth
and in ensuring a just trial.

Accordingly, we decide to admit them as evidence, by virtue
of our authority under Section 15 (a) of the aforementioned

Attorney General: I accordingly submit to the Court the
original manuscript of Dieter Wisliceny dated 26 October
1946, “Zelle 133.”

Judge Halevi: Why does the word have to be “Zelle” and not
in Hebrew?

Attorney General: It is written at the top.

Presiding Judge: Cell [in Hebrew] 133. This will be T/84.

Attorney General: I also submit the other evidence, which is
also in the handwriting of Wisliceny, dated 18 November
1946, “Cell 106.”

Presiding Judge: That is the original, and what am I being
given here?

Attorney General: These are the copies, Your Honour – in the
event of the Court’s requiring copies, when the original is
kept in the Court Secretariat.

Presiding Judge: The second report will be marked T/85. Is
this the complete one?

Attorney General: Yes. There is an extra page bearing his

Presiding Judge: Why was this page placed here separately?

Attorney General: This is how it reached us, Your Honour,
from the archives of Yad Vashem. Your Honour will notice
that there are some words in Czech on the outer cover. This
was the way it reached us – in this form.

Presiding Judge: All right.

Judge Raveh: What are these letters, apparently in Hebrew,
near the signature on Exhibit T/84?

Presiding Judge: This, evidently is merely the marking of
the copy.

Attorney General: These are, Your Honour, evidently the
initials of Mr. Hagag, who examined the signature.

With the Court’s permission I shall read two short excerpts
from T/84, firstly from pages 8-9 of the original.

“According to an order by Goering, the authority of all
Jewish affairs was vested in the Head of the Security
Police and the SD. In this way the power of Eichmann in
this sphere was immeasurably increased. By virtue of
this order, issued, as I recollect, in the summer of
1941, he could simply overrule all objections and
attempts at interference by other ministries and
authorities. Until the end of 1941 the preparations for
the ‘Madagascar Plan’ continued to exist as the
guideline. From 1941 onwards, Eichmann began the
deportations from Germany, Austria, Bohemia and Moravia
to Poland. From 1942 onwards [he began] the organized
extermination in the camps at Lublin and Auschwitz and
the extension of the deportations over the whole of
Europe. As Eichmann himself acknowledged to me in 1944
in Hungary, this plan originated with him and with
Globocnik, the former Austrian Gauleiter and Commandant
of the SS and Police at Lublin, who had suggested the
plan to Himmler. This order was given by Hitler
personally. In 1942 Eichmann was promoted to the rank
of Obersturmbannfuehrer. After Heydrich’s death he
became attached even more closely to Mueller for he
assumed that Mueller would take the place of Heydrich.
The appointment of Kaltenbrunner as Head of the
Security Police and the SD strengthened Eichmann’s
standing even more because of the former relationship.
Eichmann came to Himmler frequently after 1940, and
especially after 1942. Apart from Globocnik in Lublin,
he was in especially close contact with Hoess,
Commandant of Auschwitz, and with Brigadefuehrer
Gluecks. About his other contacts I shall report later.
In 1943 Eichmann was appointed by Mueller to be Head of
a department at the Gestapo and the section of the
Churches was also put under his control. He expected a
promotion to the rank of Standartenfuehrer and Oberst
of the Police in April 1945. He deliberately limited
the circle of his assistants. Most of them were drawn
from the Viennese Centre; after his transfer to Berlin,
he took Rolf Guenther from Vienna to Berlin as his
deputy, and transferred the Viennese Centre to
Hauptsturmfuehrer Alois Brunner. Of his assistants only
Rolf Guenther had any influence on Eichmann, that is to
say the very worst.

“Rolf Guenther totally rejected any concession and even
any negotiations over what was called the ‘Final
Solution.’ As far as Guenther’s desires were concerned,
the rate the deportations were being carried out was
always too slow. When Eichmann was in Hungary from
March until December 1944, Guenther took his place in
Berlin. Similarly, he was the one who, in September
1944, sent Hauptsturmfuehrer Brunner to Slovakia in
order to deport those Jews who were still found there.
Eichmann’s principle in his personnel policy was not to
release anyone who had once worked in his Section for
other activities. Even applications to volunteer for
service with the Army or the Waffen-SS – these, too, he
rejected as a matter of principle. Once he told me,
face to face in Hungary in the course of a heated
discussion on this principle of his, ‘We are all
sitting in the same boat, no-one is allowed to step
out. Anyone who wishes to part from me, will be forced
by me to be an accomplice, so that for him there will
be no way of retreat.’ He applied this personnel policy
also to his junior officers and to members of his staff
whom he also did not release, even if there were no
opportunities of giving them any employment

I shall read a few more lines from the same document, on
page 16 in the original:

“When I proposed in 1942 negotiating with
representatives of the Joint with the object of
avoiding what was called the ‘Final Solution,’ he did
not dare to reject these proposals out of hand, even
though both he and Guenther were against making any
concessions whatsoever. He first of all obtained the
decision of Himmler. There was a similar case in 1944
in Budapest, when I served as intermediary in the talks
with the Hungarian representative of the Joint, Dr.
Kasztner. Here, too, Eichmann referred the matter to
Himmler because he was afraid of the responsibility,
but at the same time he endeavoured to counter all
chances of an agreement by proceeding with the
deportations at the fastest pace and by presenting
exaggerated conditions.”

This is the end of the extracts from this statement.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, Presiding Judge, may I be
permitted to ask that from the same document a further ten
lines may be read. As Defence Counsel I consider this to be
important whether these words will be read by me or whether
they are read by someone else.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, do you object to the reading
of these lines by Dr. Servatius?

Attorney General: No.

Presiding Judge: Would you read these lines?

Dr. Servatius: “I am ready and will at all times have the
possibility of cooperating in tracing Eichmann and
identifying him. I would recognize him in any disguise or
other change. For my own defence it is essential that
Eichmann is discovered, without taking into account the
legitimate international interest in doing so.”

Attorney General: It says: “Even without taking into

Presiding Judge: The word “even” does not appear.

Dr. Servatius: “I am convinced that I could discover
Eichmann within a few weeks, for I know exactly the members
of his staff, his family and his connections. Therefore I
suggest that you attach me to an American unit, which is to
be entrusted with the special task of tracking down

Attorney General: For the sake of order, I would mention
that T/84 bears our catalogue number 6. From T/85 I would
request the Court to listen to what it says on page 8 and
the beginning of page 9, paragraph 4 “The Commissar’s
Order” and the “Final Solution – (1941-1944)”:

“Hitler’s order to get rid of all the commissars and
active leaders of the Communist Party, issued at the
outbreak of the war with Soviet Russia, signals a new
stage in the brutalization of the War. Hitler presumed
that, insofar as Soviet Russia was concerned, he did
not have to take care, as he did against the Western
Powers which recognized the Geneva Convention and the
Hague Rules regarding war on land. This ‘Commissars’
Order’ was extended and applied by Himmler and Heydrich
to all Russian Jews, in whom they saw, according to
their ideology as described above, the exponents of the
communist world outlook. The extermination of Russian
Jewry was effected through mass executions by shooting,
the carrying out of which was allotted to the so-called
Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police. It is not
necessary to enter into the details of these matters,
as they are well-known owing to the evidence of
Ohlendorf at Nuremberg. In this ‘Commissars’ Order’
Eichmann saw a possibility of exterminating the
remaining Jews. By agreement with Mueller and Heydrich
he began, in the autumn of 1941, to expel Jews from the
confines of the Reich, Austria, Bohemia and Moravia
towards those areas in which the ‘Commissars’ Order’
was valid, principally to Riga and to Minsk. In Riga,
Eichmann’s friend Stahlecker was the head of the
Einsatzgruppe. This deportation arose out of the
personal initiative of Eichmann, as he himself
admitted, and on the other hand Theresienstadt was
established at that time as a ‘model ghetto.’ Already
in view of this – out of this contradiction – all this
development could be traced as part of a gradual
process. From the summer of 1941 Eichmann began in an
increasing measure, to deal with the Jews of Poland. In
various instances, he himself, apparently following an
order by Himmler, carried out mass executions in Poland
too. In particular his relations became closer with the
‘Chief of the SS and Police’ in Lublin, the man who had
been the Austrian Gauleiter, Odilo Globocnik, whom
Eichmann had already known from Austria. According to
the details which Eichmann himself related to me,
Globocnik was the first person who operated gas
chambers for the mass extermination of human beings. In
the area under his command, Globocnik set up large work
camps for Jews; he got rid of those who were unfit for
work in the manner described. According to Eichmann’s
explanations, Globocnik’s ‘process’ was ‘less likely to
attract attention’ than mass shootings, seeing that in
various instances units of the police refused to carry
out the execution of women and children. Furthermore,
for the purposes of removing traces of the killings, a
special unit was set up which was formally under the
orders of Eichmann – the ‘Commando 1005,’ which was
under the command of Standartenfuehrer Blobel. The
second wave of intensification took place after the
entry into the War of the United States. Even in the
internal German propaganda it was possible to discern
this clearly. Externally this found expression in the
introduction of the ‘yellow badge’ as a sign for
recognizing Jews.”

Presiding Judge: In the original this is on page 5. You were
referring to the page of the copy when you said 8 or 9.

Attorney General: That is very likely. I have a written
marginal note 8 of the handwritten text.
Presiding Judge: This is page 5.

Attorney General: The following extract is a short excerpt
and it appears on my page 12 – perhaps this, too, is from
the copies, in the middle of the page:

“As the War progressed and it became clear that a
German victory was not possible, Eichmann continued to
press for the complete implementation of the
deportations and exterminations. For this reason he
even went himself to Budapest with a unit to which he
attached most of his aides.”

On our page 13 Wisliceny says the following:

“In conclusion I should like to define the reasons why
Eichmann could have had such success in his operations:

(1) Eichmann enjoyed the confidence of Himmler,
Heydrich and Mueller. Also when the Office was headed
by Kaltenbrunner, he continued to preserve absolutely
his standing of trust.

(2) On the basis of Goering’s order of summer 1941, it
was within Eichmann’s power totally to nullify the
objectives of the lower-ranking authorities.

(3) In regard to the occupied areas and the Allied
countries, Eichmann’s activities were not interfered
with in any way by Ribbentrop and the Foreign Office.
The Foreign Office completely subjected itself to
Eichmann’s initiative.

(4) The Reich Ministry of Transport always placed at
Eichmann’s disposal the requisite means of
transportation by giving him priority, despite all the
difficulties in securing the required rolling stock.
The whole matter of the deportations depended entirely
on the supply of railway waggons. This showed itself
most clearly in the case of Greece and Hungary.

(5) Eichmann’s aides were accustomed to obeying his
orders blindly. Only Obersturmbannfuehrer Krumey in
Hungary, apart from myself, tried to object. It was
impossible to prompt these people, as I tried to do on
several occasions by appealing to their intelligence
into quiet sabotage or a slow-down which in view of the
swift development of the War, could have meant saving
thousands of people. Eichmann’s personal influence over
these men, most of them primitive, was too great.”

Presiding Judge: Completely primitive.

Last-Modified: 1999/10/10