Session 019-03, Eichmann Adolf

Presiding Judge: Who was Sir Robert Stafford?

Witness Meretz: He was in charge of the British loans. From
the loan which Britain gave to Czechoslovakia as
compensation for Munich, we received half a million pounds
in order to finance immigration to Palestine in general. In
order to reach Trieste, an Italian visa was required, and
the Italians said: No, since in the “Durchlassungsschein” it
said: “No return to the Protectorate.” And we did not have a
visa for Palestine, and consequently it was quite impossible
to enter Italy. We asked Chaim Barlas in Geneva to do all he
could to help. He went to Ciano in Rome. It was of no avail.
In the end Ciano said that he would only agree if they
brought an assurance that if the visa could not be obtained,
it would be possible to return to the Protectorate.

Presiding Judge: Ciano – was he the Italian Foreign

Witness Meretz: Yes. Ya’akov Edelstein went to the Gestapo
and impressed on them that no Jew would return; if he does
not get the Palestine visa, he will do anything, but he will
not return to the Protectorate. Then Eichmann issued a
directive to give us, on the “Durchlassschein” the semblance
of an assurance, so that the Italians could give us the
visa. On the strength of that we secured the Italian visa
and on the strength of that we were able to depart.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Who approached Eichmann in this

Witness Meretz: Ya’akov Edelstein, on behalf of the Transfer
Committee. He was our liaison with the Gestapo. He was also,
subsequently, the “Judenaeltester” in Theresienstadt.

Presiding Judge: I am certain that you still have much on
which to testify.

Witness Meretz: Finally, I only want to add that Franz Kahn,
Edelstein, Zucker and my brother and his children – all of
them were put to death; they died in October 1944, at the
last moment.

Presiding Judge: Thank you Dr. Meretz, you have concluded
your testimony.

State Attorney Bar-Or: With the Court’s permission I call
Mrs. Walli Zimet. The Prosecution Document relating to this
evidence is No. 793.

Presiding Judge: Are you going to submit it during this
testimony which is about to be given?

State Attorney Bar-Or: No. This witness will not testify in
Hebrew and I want to bring to the attention of the
translators the particular document we will be referring to.
Perhaps the Court will allow me to submit, now, the three
translations of Dr. Loewenherz’ report which I have just

Presiding Judge: This will be T/157. Mrs. Zimet do you speak

Witness Zimet: I speak Hebrew, but perhaps I will not
understand everything.

[The witness is sworn.]

Presiding Judge: What is your full name?

A. Walli Malka Zimet.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Madam, in 1939, before the German
entry into Czechoslovakia, you were living in Prague?

Witness Zimet: Yes, I lived in Prague.

Q. What was the nature of your work, at that time, on the
eve of the entry of the Germans?

A. Before the entry of the Germans, I worked with HIAS.

Q. As a clerk, a typist?

A. Yes.

Q. And what happened after the Germans entered?

A. They closed the HIAS office.

Q. Who closed it?

A. The Germans who entered closed the office.

Presiding Judge: Perhaps you would explain the meaning of

Witness Zimet: It was an office which helped anyone
desirous of emigrating, to do so.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Was it a Jewish organization? Who
did this office belong to?

Witness Zimet: I don’t know.

Q. Who worked there – Jews or others?

A. Jews.

Q. Was it a Jewish office?

A. A Jewish office.

Q. You told the Court that, immediately upon the entry of
the Germans into Czechoslovakia, they closed the offices and
also those…

A. Also those who worked there. Mrs. Steiner.

Q. Who was your superior?

A. Avraham Fiksler. He worked with me in HIAS.

Q. What happened to you afterwards?

A. Afterwards they opened the community council, or rather
they made the community council office larger than what it
had been and opened the “Zentralstelle fuer Auswanderung” in

Q. What do you mean by “they made the community office
larger than what it had been?”

A. They employed more people.

Q. Why – what was the need?

A. Because they wanted to help with emigration.

Q. Jewish emigration from Czechoslovakia?

A. Yes.

Q. And then, what happened to you?

A. Avraham Fiksler was taken to work at Stresovice.

Q. When was that?

A. In July 1939.

Q. What was at Stresovice?

A. The Zentralstelle fuer juedische Auswanderung was there.

Q. By whom was it run?

A. By Eichmann.

Q. Who else was there?

A. Working there were Guenther, who was his assistant, his
right-hand man, Burger, Rahm and Zein and several others.

Q. Was Eichmann there?

A. He came from time to time.

Q. Do you remember the times he appeared?

A. That I do not remember. But he was there several times
after July 1939.

Q. In those months, after July 1939?

A. After July, 1939.

Q. Was Guenther there all the time?

A. Guenther was there all the time.

Q. And where did you work?

A. I worked in the room of the Community Council in the

Q. Where was that – upstairs or downstairs?

A. It was in the basement, and it moved a year later to the
ground floor.

Q. Where was Guenther’s office?

A. Guenther’s office was on the second floor, upstairs.

Q. What were your duties in the Zentralstelle?

A. People came there with “Auswanderungsmappen” (Emigration

Q. What was that?

A. It contained all kinds of documents for Income Tax about
the effects that each one would be taking with him when he
left the country.

Q. Where did they prepare this?

A. The kits were prepared, if it was for a place other than
Palestine, in the community council office, and if it was
for Palestine, in the Palestine Office.

Q. Did they come to you with these kits?

A. Yes, we prepared kits, and our job was to check them in
order that these people should not encounter difficulties.

Q. What were the possible difficulties?

A. The difficulties were at the entrance to the building; if
there was an SS man there who was not in a good mood, he
beat people up, shouted at them.

Q. What did the people do upon entering the building?

A. After that the people went into the Jews’ room. There we
checked them and quietened them down and they entered the
rooms further on.

Q. Who were in the next rooms?

A. Czech officials were there – from the police, from Income
Tax, from the Ministry of Finance. SS men sat in the last

Q. What were the names of the SS men or the SS man?

A. Lederer and Hahn were there, in the last room.

Q. Were they the Gestapo representatives there?

A. They were the Gestapo representatives.

Q. When one had passed by all these rooms and reached the
rooms of the Gestapo, what happened?

A. The people went home, and either they were called a
second time if something was not in order, or they
subsequently received their exit permit (Durchlassschein).
But, before that, they had to sign that they were handing
over all their property, and that they had nothing left – a
sort of emigration tax. If a person left, he did so without
all his possessions except for a few kilograms.

Q. What happened to their apartments?

A. The apartments also had to be handed over.

Q. Do you remember Eichmann’s name in some special
connection with your work there?

A. I remember an occasion when there were already no more
people for emigration…
Q. When was that, approximately?

A. In 1940. And a group of persons had to appear there every

Q. Do you remember the size of the normal group that had to

A. I don’t know, but I do know that when it was known that
Eichmann was about to come, there was fear throughout the
building. There were no longer any people there who had
visas for any country, and then Guenther made an urgent
request to the community officials that, for this day when
Eichmann was coming, they should bring along a large number
of people, even with empty kits, so as to show that some
kind of activity was in progress there. And then several
hundred persons lined up before the Zentralstelle and
Eichmann appeared and was most satisfied to see people
there, even though they only had blank papers in their kits.
This he did not check.

Q. That is to say – they were there just for show?

A. Yes.

Q. And you continued working there until…?

A. I worked there until I was deported, in 1943.

Q. What do you mean by “deported”? Where to?

A. I came to Theresienstadt, and from there to Auschwitz.

Q. When did you reach Auschwitz?

A. In October 1944.

Q. And from there?

A. Ultimately from there to Lanzing, near Mauthausen, from
where I was liberated.

Dr. Servatius: I have no questions to the witness.

Presiding Judge: Thank you. You have concluded your

State Attorney Bar-Or: I shall call now Mr. Max Burger.

Presiding Judge: Do you speak Hebrew, Sir?

Witness Burger: I ask for permission to speak German. The
witness is sworn.

Presiding Judge: What is your full name?

Witness: Max Burger.

State Attorney Bar-Or: You were born in Moravska Ostrava?

Witness Burger: Yes.

Q. And you lived there until 1939 when the Germans marched

A. Yes.

Q. You were an insurance broker?

A. Yes.

Q. What were the main changes you witnessed yourself,
immediately after the Germans marched into Moravska Ostrova?

A. At the beginning there were no major changes. What
happened were arrests of individuals, prohibitions to enter
places open to the general public, to visit parks, we had to
do our shopping at fixed times. Some time later, in May 1939
approximately, synagogues were set on fire. Major changes
came with the outbreak of War on the 1st of September, 1939.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Just a minute, Mr. Burger, what was
your function in the Jewish community of Moravska Ostrava in
those days?

Witness Burger: Voluntary worker in the Community. On the 1
September 1939, the day the War broke out, Jews were
arrested at random on the streets, some of them imprisoned
and some loaded on trucks and deported in the direction of
the Polish front; towards the middle of September all the
Jews of Ostrava were ordered to report to the Gestapo in
alphabetical order, and there they were registered.

Q. Do you remember who was in charge of this Gestapo office?

A. Klein.

Q. Which unit did he belong to?

A. The Department for Jews.

Q. Did he work in plain clothes or in uniform?

A. Mostly in plain clothes.

Q. When he appeared in uniform which one did he wear?

A. The grey one of the SD. At the time of registration we
were made to hand over wireless sets, jewellery, and, in
addition, Klein, at his own estimate, imposed a money
contribution on everyone. Early in October, or towards the
end of September, we were summoned to the Gestapo, i.e. the
head of the Community, Salo Kramer, together with two or
three office-holders, one of whom was Professor Emil Eisner,
if I remember rightly. At first we were informed there that
the Accused had come to Ostrova with orders concerning us.

Q. When did you hear of the Accused for the first time?

A. In September 1939, when we were told that Eichmann, whose
headquarters were in Vienna, was the plenipotentiary for the
so-called Buerckellaender.* {*Buerckel was the Reich
Commissar for Reunion (of Austria with Germany)}

Thereupon a correction was made, saying it was not the

Dr. Servatius: I wish to explain that this was the
Gauleiter of Vienna to the best of my knowledge.

Last-Modified: 1999/05/30