Session 023-01, Eichmann Adolf

Session No. 23
6 Iyar 5721 (2 May 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the twenty-third Session of the
trial open.

Yes, Dr. Servatius, we have received four applications for
the hearing of witnesses who are now abroad. I notice that
you have given a copy to the Attorney General. We shall
consider these applications at the beginning of this
afternoon’s session.

Dr. Servatius: Yes, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: And Mr. Hausner, will you also be ready to
respond to these applications?

Attorney General: Yes, Your Honour.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, may I be
permitted to voice one other reservation against the hearing
of the witness who has been in the witness-box? The evidence
has, perhaps, great significance from the point of view of
its importance in a historical process. It is not relevant
to a judicial investigation, since it has no connection with
the Accused’s responsibility. I would say, further, that
these matters have already been stated and proven here by
documents and other witnesses and by the Polish report. I
am, therefore, of the opinion that there is a certain
repetition here. Accordingly, the evidence should not be
submitted, unless the Attorney General indicates important
facts which have not yet been brought forward. The Attorney
General has referred briefly to what the witness is about to
testify, and that is – Operation 1005 of Sturmbannfuehrer
Blobel, an operation which was intended to remove the traces
of the extermination campaign. The only important
circumstance can be the extent to which there was a link
between the Accused and Blobel in this campaign. The task of
Sturmbannfuehrer Blobel and the implementation of such tasks
can be assumed to be correct.

Attorney General: With the Court’s permission, I have so far
proved that Nazi Germany decided at a certain stage to
destroy physically all the Jews who were in the areas of its
occupation and control. I have proved that the man who was
in charge of the implementation of this order was Heydrich,
and that Heydrich, for his part, appointed the Accused. This
has already been proven. Consequently, the Prosecution
maintains that everything that was done as a result of that
decision and under that control for the extermination of the
Jews – is relevant. The Accused will be held responsible for
all this and he will be obliged to give his answer to it, if
he has one.

Secondly, we have shown that Eastern Galicia became a part
of the Generalgouvernement. We have proved that at the
Wannsee meeting it was concluded that the execution of the
final solution in the region of the Generalgouvernement was
the concern of the Head Office of Reich Security, and the
Head of the Jewish Department there, Adolf Eichmann. This is
extremely relevant. We are accusing him of this. Part of the
millions were the half million Jews of Galicia. We have
charged him with this and I am obliged to prove it. The onus
of proof is upon me, and this is the witness.

Thirdly, we have maintained that there was a criminal
conspiracy for the extermination of Jewry between the
Accused and others and we accordingly constantly worded the
indictment “together with others.” We shall argue that it
was possible to remain in Berlin and to be responsible for
the extermination of the Jews of Lvov if the deed was done
by virtue of that conspiracy.

@2That is as far as the extermination is concerned. With
regard to the covering up of the traces, our point is that
the Accused was the superior of Blobel – incidentally
Defence Counsel exaggerated his rank; he was nothing more
than SS Standartenfuehrer. The Court will find this in the
document which has already been submitted, T/84, which is
the report of Wisliceny. We shall substantiate this by means
of three additional documents – the connection between
Eichmann and Blobel, who was in charge of the operation of
Einsatzkommando 1005. Consequently, everything that the
witness has already said and also the facts that he is about
to relate are most relevant and I ask to be permitted to
continue leading the evidence.

Presiding Judge: Decision No. 13

We think that the evidence of the witness Wells is relevant
to the subject of the trial. The question that has to be
determined is the personal responsibility of the Accused for
the acts set out in the indictment. In this connection the
Prosecution has firstly to prove that all these acts were
committed and secondly – the responsibility of the Accused.
In accordance with established procedures in a criminal
trial it is impossible to eliminate matters from the area of
dispute by means of an agreement by the two parties.
Nevertheless, we assume that the Prosecution will take note
of Defence Counsel’s statement that he will not challenge
one or the other fact in regard to the general background of
events, and will accordingly limit the extent of its

Attorney General: Dr. Wells, please.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Wells, you are still under oath.

Witness Wells: Yes, sir.

Presiding Judge: You may sit down.

Witness Wells: Thank you.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, with regard to our decision we
have just handed down, perhaps it would really be possible
to accelerate somewhat the process of leading evidence by
way of examining Counsel guiding the witness by his
questions more than has been done so far.

Attorney General: Certainly. I have been avoiding leading
questions all the time, but if the Court advises so, I shall
do so.

Presiding Judge: One can assume that Defence Counsel does
not object to this. I see no reason why you should not guide
the witness.

Attorney General: To rephrase my question Dr. Wells. You
arrived in Stojanow on a Monday before Yom Kippur. Is that

Witness Wells: Yes.

Q. The streets of Stojanow were deserted?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You went to the flat of your grandparents?

A. Yes.

Q. You passed the house of your uncle Yaakov?

A. Yes.

Q. And you decided to make inquiries there?

A. Yes.

Q. You entered the house?

A. Yes.

Q. And then what did you notice?

A. I noticed my grandfather and my uncle and one aunt
sitting at the table. Without any question, it was clear to
me what had happened. That they are the remaining part of my

Q. Your grandfather said: Yes my boy, we are the last ones

A. Yes.

Q. You asked your grandfather whether he got a letter from

A. Yes.

Q. He replied in the affirmative?

A. Yes.

Q. Then you asked when he got that letter?

A. Yes.

Q. What did he reply?

A. He replied one day before the action in Stojanow, the
children, that is my four sisters, were sitting on this day
crying about my mother and next day they were taken away
marching to Radziechow for the final sending them off to

Q. And that is where you learned that your mother was no
longer there?

A. She was taken in the big action of August 1942 in Lvov.

Q. What did you do when you learned that?

A. I cut my veins on my arm, to commit suicide.

Presiding Judge: Tried to commit suicide.

Attorney General: How were you saved?

Witness Wells: I was saved by a neighbour doctor from the
next house and by my uncle, and their idea was that none of
us has the right to commit suicide because maybe you will be
the last one to carry the name of our whole family and to
tell what happened here.

Q. That is what your uncle told you, your uncle Yaakov?

A. Yes, that was my uncle Yaakov.

Q. Well, by and by Jews ventured into the streets of
Stojanow again.

A. They didn’t really venture into the streets because there
were left at this time only thirty Jews of the population of
over a thousand families from before.

Q. How many were left?

A. Thirty.

Q. Well, one morning you heard that something was in the

A. Yes.

Q. What was it?

A. It was the final liquidation of the Jews, making Stojanow
and its people judenrein and also the neighbourhood.

Q. Did you see this “action”?

A. I saw – I don’t know to which “action” you refer; there
were a few.

Q. Well, let us speak about the one that you saw.

A. A few days after Yom Kippur I left for Radziechow which
is ten kilometres west of Stojanow. There, there was still a
Jewish ghetto so that at this time I went into this ghetto
and I didn’t care any more about any action or about life at
all. I found a broken down place outside the ghetto and I
lived there for a while; meanwhile there was also the final
liquidation of Stojanow and also the first liquidation of
Radziechow started.

Q. Your grandfather and your uncle Yaakov, when were they

A. He was liquidated end of December together with my uncle
Yaakov, his wife and their two children.

Q. What about your sisters?

A. My sisters were liquidated the Friday before Yom Kippur;
all four sisters with my grandmother and two aunts and eight
cousins were taken away at this time – marched barefoot from
Stajanow to Radziechow. There they sat at the railway
station for two days and two nights without any food – my
youngest sister was seven years old at this time – and then
they were packed into railway waggons and sent away to

Q. When they were there, did they have any clothes on?

A. They were undressed when they were put into the waggons.

Q. You returned to Lvov on 20 December 1942?

A. That’s right. I decided at this time that whatever would
happen with my father and my two brothers, at least I would
be together with them and I wouldn’t try to hide any longer.

Q. How did you enter the ghetto?

A. At the beginning I didn’t even know where the ghetto was,
because when I left about five months before, there was
still a larger Jewish Community, but now it had shrunk into
a few streets. I jumped over the surroundings…

Q. You jumped the fence?

A. Jumped over the fence and got inside.

Q. You saw your brother Yaakov?

A. No, next day I was caught.

Q. I know you were arrested and you escaped.

A. I found my brother in the street.

Q. And where did your brother lead you?

A. Into a basement, where he and my other brother and a
woman who was mentally ill lived together.

Q. Was your father still alive?

A. No, he disappeared in the action of October 18th-19th in

Q. So, when did you last see your father?

A. I last saw my father in June when I left Lvov for

Q. You spoke to him?

A. I spoke to him. I asked him at this time what I should
do, whether to stay there or to leave?

Q. What did your father tell you?

A. It was the first time I saw my father crying and saying:
“I don’t know what to say. It is a time that a father cannot
tell his children what they should do. If I tell you one way
and it turns out wrong, I will feel very guilty, and if I
tell you the other way, so you have to take the
responsibility on yourself.”

Q. Now let us come back to your return to Lvov. When you saw
your brothers in front of you, you sensed they needed you.
What did you tell them?

A. I got in, I broke the [last existing] chair, made hot
water; we started to wash up, I washed them, got in somebody
to cut their hair because they had let themselves go
entirely. My younger brother was at that time thirteen. They
sold the last item from the house – they took what was left
and bought chocolate to eat because they didn’t care
anymore. They thought that they had a few more days to
live…they should sell and eat one time full. Now I made a
hiding place for them and next day started out to get some
work so I can stay in the ghetto.

Q. How many Jews were there in Lvov at that time?

A. About fifteen thousand.

Q. Now one day the ghetto was renamed?

A. Under Grzymek, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Grzymek, who took
over from Heinrich, the ghetto was renamed 05Julag,

Q. A new order was issued about work, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. What was the order?

A. The order was that only working people can stay and all
non-working people are taken away. We couldn’t keep our
family any more, any place; and we had to move to different
places where they told us to move so they had a complete
check who moved and put up so many places for these people
to live in.

Q. What was the effect of this new order? The mental effect
on the ghetto inhabitants?

A. The mental effect on the ghetto inhabitants was that
there was panic. We started to hide anywhere possible and
they began to carry out inspections twice a day. They were
very particular about the word “cleanliness”…every place
had to be searched and looked over. They tried to see how
clean it is, but this meant for us that in any place could
be found anybody that will show his head. It meant also that
anybody who got sick couldn’t even lie for a day hiding in a
bed, and this brought terrible panic and turned into even
much more sickness than there was before this happened.

Q. What did he do to the sick people?

A. He took them away on lorries and took them away to be

Q. Well, by the end of February both your brothers came down
with typhoid fever and dysentery. Is that correct? What did
you do?

A. I made a hiding place for them, which I had to make in
any case, but in this hiding place I put a place where they
can lie. I took care of them when I came home in the evening
and kept them all the time until the time of the

Q. Did you work at that time?

A. Yes.

Q. Where?

A. I was cleaning the canals of the city.

Last-Modified: 1999/05/31