Session 023-04, Eichmann Adolf

Judge Halevi: Dr. Wells, you said that when the Nazis
entered Russia, there were 150,000 Jews in Lvov.

Witness Wells: Yes.

Q. How many Polish residents were there in Lvov, or local
non-Jewish residents?

A. The city counted at this time about 420,000 population.

Q. When you were seeking a hiding place from the
extermination, did the Poles give you shelter in their

A. Normally the Poles, not only did not afford us any hiding
places, but they took part, and when some of our Death
Brigade people escaped into the woods, only a few of us
survived, because some of them were killed by Polish
partisans in the woods.

Q. I did not understand – the Poles “took part” in what?

A. No, there was a Polish partisan group that was fighting
against the Germans, but there was a similar group and at
the same time they were anti-Jewish.

Attorney General: Perhaps I may be permitted to ask, Your
Honour, the question is a delicate one, there were several
forces of Polish partisans – perhaps the witness should be
asked to identify which force he is talking of – if I may
request this.

Witness Wells: I know about several partisan forces, that
for example some of them helped, but some were against. I
couldn’t identify their political or non-political
association because I only know that this group was near
Lvov in the woods near Stry, and I know one thing that even
among the Polish partisans there was fighting between
partisan groups against partisan groups, so it wasn’t a
clear situation and at this time I couldn’t…I found out
after the War, that some people were hidden by partisans
that belong to a certain political organization, but I
couldn’t at this time say.

Q. Perhaps the Witness could identify an organization called

A. I know about the name but I have very little connection
or knowledge of it.

Q. Armia Krajowa – have you heard the name?

A. I know also about the Armia Krajowa.

Presiding Judge: The witness said that he was then too young
to be familiar with all these matters.

Attorney General: Judge Halevi’s question concerns a
question which we shall dwell upon tomorrow and there will
be people here who will be able to inform the Court. I
simply wanted the witness, seeing that he had been asked, to
say himself that there were various Polish units.

Presiding Judge: He said this – that is clear.

Judge Halevi: I really wasn’t referring so much to
partisans, but to ordinary citizens. Dr. Wells, do you know
how many Jews were rescued from Lvov by Polish citizens?

Witness Wells: By the Lvov inhabitants there were about
eight places, eight Polish places that were hiding Jews.
About two of them that were hiding over twenty people and
the rest were only hiding one or two. But there were only
eight places. There was, for example, a very tragic
situation that two weeks before the liberation a doctor gave

Presiding Judge: Dr. Wells, I’d like you to answer the

Judge Halevi: Did you have good chances of finding a hiding
place in the town of Lvov or was it dangerous to ask for
refuge there, outside the Ghetto?

Witness Wells: It was very dangerous, because we had the
whole population against us. It was practically impossible
to find some refuge in any place possible.

Attorney General: If I may be permitted merely to clarify
the matter, was the majority of the non-Jewish population of
Lvov Polish or Ukrainian?

Witness Wells: It was equal. I suppose the Poles were about
thirty percent of the people of Lvov.

Presiding Judge: Thirty percent Poles, about thirty percent
Ukrainians and thirty-five percent Jews?

Witness Wells: Yes.

Q. You gave us exact dates of various events. How can you
remember these dates?

A. I kept an exact diary of the whole War, and one day after
the liberation it was given over – the original diary – to
Dr. Friedman, at this time the Chairman of the Historical
Commission, the first day after the War. It was the complete

Q. And you always carried this diary with you?

A. Yes, yes.

Q. This thing was never discovered by the Germans?

A. It was never discovered. We had even pistols that we got
into the Death Brigade. Because none of us ever cared that
if he is caught he will be killed. If he believed in
something, he did it.

Q. What was the overall area of operation of this Death
Brigade which you told us about?

A. It went as far as Stanislawa, which is about 180
kilometres, I believe, from Lvov. All in Eastern Galicia.

Presiding Judge: Thank you, Dr. Wells, with this you have
concluded your evidence.

Attorney General: With the Court’s permission, at this stage
I shall submit a number of documents. The first Prosecution
Document No. 1362. This is the report of SS Gruppenfuehrer
Katzmann on the extermination of the Jewish community of
Galicia. It was submitted to the International Military
Tribunal at Nuremberg.

Presiding Judge: This is document marked T/215.

Attorney General: May I be permitted to draw the Court’s
attention to a number of lines from this report. Page 392
(these are the pages of volume 37 of the “Blue Series,” in
German) states: “By means of the terms ‘Galician Jew,’
Galicia evidently became the one spot on earth that was best
known and on everybody’s tongue in connection with
Jewishness. Here they lived in large compact masses” And at
the foot of the page: “The influence of this Galician Jewry,
which had already been substantial in the days of the rule
of Austria and Poland, expanded almost beyond belief with
the occupation of this region by the Soviet Russians in
1939. All key positions in the country were in their hands.”
On page 393 it says: “Since repeated attempts of the
municipality of Lemberg, for example, to accommodate the
Jews in a closed Jewish area failed, this problem, too, was
solved in a very short time by the SS and Police Leader with
his agents.” Afterwards there is reference, at the foot of
page 394, to “Umsiedlungen” (resettlement) and there it
states: “In this operation, again, thousands of Jews were
seized in whose possession were found forged certificates,
or who had secured for themselves work permits by all kinds
of possible pretexts. These Jews were also transferred for
“special treatment.” On page 398 it says: “Despite all these
measures for arranging the labour conscription of the Jews,
the evacuation of the Jews from the province of Galicia was
begun in April 1942, and this was carried out continually.
When the Higher SS and Police Leader with his police order
to set up residential areas for the Jews, as from
10.11.1942, intervened again in the general Jewish question,
254,989 Jews had already be transferred or deported.” On
page 401 Katzmann reports on the meeting out of special
treatment, deportation and liquidation of 434,329 Jews of
Galicia up to 27.6.1943. Subsequently on page 404 on the
bottom it states: “There was always a renewed need to
overcome the growing revulsion to enter these filthy and
contaminated holes (Seuchenloecher) of the Jews. At the time
of the searches, leaflets in the Hebrew language were found
calling for the cultivation of lice contaminated with
typhus, which were intended to cause the annihilation of
police units.” On page 19, which is your page 26:

“Underground bunkers were discovered, the entrance to
which were skilfully camouflaged, and which were in
part in houses and in part in the open area as well.”
Katzmann lists the bunkers, talks of the attempts on
the part of the Jews to escape abroad, of the forged
papers some of them acquired, of Jewish weapons he
managed to confiscate in various places in Lvov and
Brody, of the searches and intensive interrogations of
the Jews who were caught, and of the fact that “a
certain Jew, Horowitz, who dwelt in the forests
opposite Brody, organized the transports abroad.” And
finally he concludes thus: “In view of the fact that
alarming reports were continually spreading about the
increasing arming of the Jews, it became necessary to
adopt the most stringent measures in the last fourteen
days of the month of June, simultaneously in all parts
of the province of Galicia, for the purpose of
destroying the Jewish gangs. Special steps were
required at the time of the liquidation of the Jewish
residential district in Lemberg, where the bunkers
which were already destroyed, had been built.” And
these are the concluding remarks: “Despite the
exceptional difficulty which each member of the SS and
the police had to contend with in the course of this
operation – the mood and the morale of our people, from
the first day until the last, were outstandingly good
and praiseworthy. It was only thanks to the awareness
of the personal responsibility of each one of the
officers and the men that it was possible to get this
plague under control in the shortest possible time.”

Judge Halevi: What was the end of this Katzmann?

Attorney General: Katzmann died a natural death.

Judge Halevi: During the War or after?

Attorney General: Long after the War.

Judge Halevi: Was he tried?

Attorney General: No, he was not tried.

The following document is No. 843. This is a sworn statement
by Paul Blobel, who was in charge of the operation “Removing
the Traces.”

Presiding Judge: Where was this affidavit?

Attorney General: It is a declaration that was submitted in
Trial 9, the Einsatzgruppen case.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/216.

Attorney General: The next document is No. 858, which was
also submitted in Trial 9. This is a partial copy of an
affidavit by Hoess on the operation of Blobel, the
Einsatzkommando 1005. Here it is mentioned by name. Hoess
declares that Standartenfuehrer Blobel knew exactly the
number of the mass graves in the Eastern regions. He states
at the beginning that a short time after the visit of the
Reichsfuehrer SS, Standartenfuehrer Blobel came from
Eichmann’s unit and brought the order of the Reichsfuehrer
SS, under which they had to open all the mass graves and
burn the bodies.

Presiding Judge: Was this the only unit that dealt with it
in the whole of the East?

Attorney General: This was the unit in charge of it. It had
branches in all the localities, not only in Eastern Galicia.
It operated in all kinds of places, and we shall prove it.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/217.

Attorney General: The following document is No. 1549. This
was the official report of Hoess on the operation of
Standartenfuehrer Blobel and the journey to Chelmno in
September 1942 in connection with the operation “Removing
the Traces.”

Presiding Judge: This will be T/218.

Attorney General: In this connection may I be permitted to
draw the attention of the Court, once again, to T/84, which
is the report of Wisliceny of 27 October 1946. I shall read
a few sentences from page 18: “Er erwartete den deutschen
Zusammenbruch in Kuerze. Zu diesen Tagen bekam er den Besuch
von Standartenfuehrer Blobel, der mit dem Kommando 1005 aus
Polen zurueckkehrte, und sich bei Eichmann meldete. Eichmann
wollte dieses Kommando nach Ungarn, was jedoch von General
Winkelmann, dem Hoeheren SS Polizeifuehrer in Ungarn,
abgelehnt wurde.” There is one word which I omitted to read
out, since I was unable to read it. (“He expected the
collapse of the German front in a short time. During those
days he received a visit from Stanbdartenfuehrer Blobel, who
returned together with Kommando 1005 from Poland and
reported to Eichmann. Eichmann wanted to send or take
Kommando 1005 to Hungary, but General Winkelmann, who was
the Higher SS and Police Leader in Hungary, did not allow

Presiding Judge: Whom is he talking about at the beginning
of his remarks?

Attorney General: About Eichmann.

Judge Halevi: What was the date of the visit? When did
Blobel visit Eichmann?

Attorney General: The reference is to the beginning of
September 1944.

Presiding Judge: I notice that in T/218 – your No. 1549 –
there is talk of a certain building plan of Blobel. Do you
maintain that this was related to the covering up of the

Attorney General: Yes, in Chelmno there was a special plan
for building to carry out the covering up of the traces.
When we reach the chapter on Concentration Camps, the Court
will observe that this conforms exactly to the facts. We
shall submit to the Court the chapter on the camps as the
final episode. We shall come to the submission of evidence,
generally speaking, in accordance with my opening address,
and hence the camps will be the last stage. Then the Court
will see what was done at Chelmno in this operation to cover
up the traces.

Judge Halevi: But in Hungary there was no reason to remove

Attorney General: I wouldn’t say that. There were very many
people who perished in the camps while waiting for the
various transports.

With the Court’s permission I shall now submit a number of
documents and thereafter I shall produce witnesses bearing
on the question of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto – in Lodz. The
first document is a letter addressed to Eichmann from a man
by the name of Hoeppner. Our number is 1410. The man writes
“Lieber Kamerad Eichmann.”

Presiding Judge: This will be T/219.

Attorney General: He writes from Posen on 16 July 1941: “Re:
Solution of the Jewish Problem. In paragraph 1 he talks of
300,000 Jews of the Warthegau waiting in the camp. In
paragraph 4 he talks of the fact that a danger exists that
it would no longer be possible to supply food to the Jews,
and hence it should be considered whether the most humane
solution would not be to liquidate the Jews by some kind of
rapid-action measure. At any rate, he says “it would be more
pleasant (“waere doch angenehmer”) than to watch them dying
of starvation.”

In paragraph 5 the man seeking the humane solutions suggests
that the Jewish women should be sterilized so that in this
generation the Jewish Question could be finally solved.

Judge Halevi: Where were these discussions, the discussions
in the Office of the Reich Representative
(Reichsstatthalterei) – what is that?

Dr. Servatius: I should like to ask where the name Hoeppner
comes from? I have not found it in my document.

Presiding Judge: Where does it actually come from?

Attorney General: Your Honour, we think this was so, since
he was the man who handled questions of removal of the
population on behalf of the Accused, in that region.

Judge Halevi: Where did he reside?

Attorney General: In Poznan. If it was not Hoeppner, we
shall be glad to hear from the Accused who it was.

Presiding Judge: We see here “Hoe.”

Attorney General: Yes.

Judge Halevi: What is Reichsstatthalterei?

Attorney General: That was the provincial authority in

Dr. Servatius: There is also the name Hoefle which is of
some importance.

Last-Modified: 1999/10/10