Session No. 33
23 Iyar 5721 (9 May 1961)
Presiding Judge: I declare the thirty-third Session of the
State Attorney Bach: Your Honours, as I said this morning,
I shall first submit a number of documents which are
directly connected with the evidence we heard this morning.
The first document is our No. 1349, a report by Roethke
dated 11 July 1942, on a meeting in which Dannecker,
Heinrichsohn and Roethke himself took part, as well as some
Frenchmen – Leguay and others. I draw the attention of the
Court first of all to paragraph 2 of the points decided at
that meeting, which says:
“The arrested persons are to be transported to the
Velodrome d’Hiver…” This is said in the context of
an operation of arrests which is to begin on Thursday,
16 July 1942. And further on, paragraph 6 reads: “The
children are at first also to be taken to the Velodrome
d’Hiver, where the Assistance Publique will take care
of them to begin with. As soon as the operation of
arrests is completed, the Union Generale des Israelites
de France (General Union of the Jews of France) will
have to take care of the children.”
The Court will note that this is a very different version
from the one used in the letter which Roethke wrote to
Eichmann on the same matter, where he says that the children
must not be kept together with other children, and also that
the Union can only take care of 400 children and is
therefore unable to deal with these youngsters. Here, in
the presence of the French, different language is used.
Presiding Judge: This will be T/440.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 1165.
Roethke reports the results of the operation of 16 June
1942, and says that about 3,000 men, about 5,000 women and
about 4,000 children have been arrested, and he ends his
letter to the Head Office for Reich Security (it says here
IVD4, but that is an error, it should be IVB4; this is a
typing error): “Since, in the course of the arrests a
considerable number of children were also taken, and since
difficulties arise concerning their accommodation for a
longer period, a decision is again requested as to whether
the children may be removed with the next transports.”
Presiding Judge: This will be T/441.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 712.
This time the letter is signed by Ahnert, one of Dannecker’s
aides. It is addressed to IVB4, Head Office for Reich
Security and dated 11 August 1942. The subject is:
Deportation of Jews to Auschwitz – Removal of the Jewish
children. “Since the arrest of Jews has been halted
temporarily, I intend to deport the children at present
housed in the Pithiviers and Beaune-la-Rolande camps
starting on 17 August 1942. I request urgent information as
to whether the deportation of the children may be carried
out and in what way.”
There is a handwritten remark at the end – on the copies it
is not very legible, I think on the original it is clearer.
It says that “the Head Office for Reich Security has already
given instructions by telegram of 7 August (secret matter of
the Reich) that children may be included in the deportation
in suitable proportion, as well as stateless Jews who are
unfit for work.”
Presiding Judge: Perhaps you will provide us with a printed
copy of this remark as it is very difficult to read.
State Attorney Bach: Yes, the copy is not clear, but there
is a Hebrew text.
Presiding Judge: This will be T/442.
State Attorney Bach: In reply to this letter, there is a
final telegram from Guenther, IVB4, signed Guenther, SS
Sturmbannfuehrer, which says that “the Jewish children
accommodated in the Pithiviers and Beaune-la-Rolande camps
may be divided by and by among the planned transports to
Auschwitz. However, transports of children only are not to
be sent under any circumstance [underlined].”
Presiding Judge: By and by – nach und nach – gradually.
State Attorney Bach: Yes, Your Honour, “…nach und nach
auf die vorgesehenen Transporte nach Auschwitz aufgeteilt
werden” (…by and by divided up over the planned transports
Presiding Judge: This will be T/443.
State Attorney Bach: Now for our No. 1216 of 11 August
1942: Roethke informs the Head Office for Reich Security,
for the attention of Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann: “On 14
August 1942, at 8.55 o’clock transport train No. D 901/14
left Le Bourget – Drancy departure station in the direction
of Auschwitz carrying altogether 1,000 Jews. (Among them,
for the first time, children). The categories of persons
included correspond to the guidelines given.” Signed –
Presiding Judge: This will be T/444.
State Attorney Bach: A copy of this letter was of course
sent both to Oranienburg and to the Auschwitz Concentration
2The next document is our No. 1224, a report by Dannecker.
“Subject: Points for the discussion with the French State
Secretary for Police, Bousquet… The recent operation for
arresting stateless Jews in Paris has yielded only about
8,000 adults and about 4,000 children. But trains for the
deportation of 40,000 Jews, for the moment, have been put in
readiness by the Reich Ministry of Transport. Since the
deportation of the children is not possible for the time
being, the number of Jews ready for removal is quite
insufficient. A further Jewish operation must therefore be
started immediately. For this purpose Jews of Belgian and
Dutch nationality may be taken into consideration, in
addition to the former German, Austrian, Czech, Polish and
Russian Jews who have so far been considered as being
stateless. It must be expected, however, that this category
will not yield sufficient numbers, and thus the French have
no choice but to include those Jews who were naturalized in
France after 1927, or even after 1919.”
Presiding Judge: This will be T/445.
State Attorney Bach: I shall read only one sentence, which
is important here: “It was explained to Bousquet’s
representative, Leguay, on a number of occasions by the
undersigned that we on our part have definitely taken into
account the deportation of 10,000 Jews, for the time being,
from the unoccupied zone, starting on 1 August 1942.”
Judge Halevi: Who put in the emphases on this document?
State Attorney Bach: The emphases are on the original.
Presiding Judge: Perhaps the recipient of the letter did the
State Attorney Bach: Maybe BdS Knochen, who received
Dannecker’s report, marked the lines, or his secretary.
These are of course a number of possibilities.
Judge Raveh: These documents were seized in France?
State Attorney Bach: Yes. Because this is actually an
internal minute on a specific meeting and a specific
Presiding Judge: It is in preparation for a discussion with
Bousquet – Besprechungspunkte fuer die Unterredung (points
of discussion for the meeting).
State Attorney Bach: But this was discovered in the Gestapo
files in Paris.
Judge Raveh: In Dannecker’s office?
State Attorney Bach: In the office of Dannecker, Roethke,
Brunner; they were all in the same office.
Judge Halevi: When the Germans retreated, they left the
State Attorney Bach: These files were seized almost
The next document is our No. 228.
Presiding Judge: I have counted five documents so far.
State Attorney Bach: These five, that was one batch in
connection with the children. I shall still have to submit
a large number of documents in connection with the French
chapter. I did my best to classify them.
Presiding Judge: I can see what awaits us. I am looking at
your table, Mr. Bach.
State Attorney Bach: At any rate, we have no intention to
Presiding Judge: There was no such intention.
State Attorney Bach: Our document 228 is signed by Suhr, SS
Sturmbannfuehrer and Regierungsrat, one of Eichmann’s
assistants in IVB4, who writes to Dannecker. He asks that
steps be taken to prevent the exit of Jews from the
unoccupied zone of France. Information had been received in
Berlin that Jews reach America via Spain, apparently from
the unoccupied zone of France. Dannecker is asked to be on
guard and to prevent the continuation of this leak.
Presiding Judge: This will be T/446.
State Attorney Bach: Your Honours, I now intend to submit
eighteen documents together which may, I think, be marked as
one exhibit, in order to save time. They are all reports.
Each report, signed by Roethke, represents the deportation
of 1,000 Jews to Auschwitz. We have selected these eighteen
reports because they are typical, because they cover, in
fact, the whole period of Roethke’s activity. We also took
as an example all the reports of one specific week, in order
to show how many such trains departed in one week.
Presiding Judge: How many are there?
State Attorney Bach: There are eighteen reports here. Each
report speaks about 1,000 Jews who were deported from
France, either to Auschwitz or to what is called Cholm. I
shall presently point out the difference between two types
of these reports. Each report is directed to three
addresses, always in the following order: The first one
always to the Head Office for Reich Security IVB4, for SS
Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann; the second to the Inspector
of Concentration Camps, Oranienburg; and the third to
Concentration Camp Auschwitz.
Presiding Judge: What is your number?
State Attorney Bach: Each one is marked with a separate
number, and I shall give you all the numbers. This is
easier than submitting each one separately.
Presiding Judge: This will be T/447 and in brackets 1-18.
State Attorney Bach: Our numbers are: 696, 695, 752, 691,
692, 690, 271, 257, 256, 274, 435, 436, 275, 276, 250, 273,
I should like to draw your attention to one point here:
While, when the deportation is to Auschwitz, Roethke informs
IVB4, the Inspector of Concentration Camps in Oranienburg
and the Commander of Auschwitz, later on when the
deportation is directed to Cholm, as for instance in
document No. 263 of 4 March 1943 (and we shall prove that
deportation to Cholm means, in fact, deportation to the
Sobibor extermination camp) – here the report is sent to SS
Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, to the Commander of the
Security Police and the SD in Cracow, and to the Commander
of the Security Police and the SD in Lublin. Here there is
no reporting to the Inspector of Concentration Camps.
Presiding Judge: Why?
State Attorney Bach: It will be our contention that here
the reference is to an extermination camp in its full sense.
Here there is no section of the camp destined for work, as
for instance in Auschwitz where, at least temporarily, some
of the Jews were exploited for various kinds of work. Here
the transport goes to total extermination, and here the
report goes only to Eichmann, to the BdS Cracow and the BdS
Lublin and nowhere else.
Judge Halevi: The transport is usually accompanied by a
Feldwebel (Staff Sergeant) who has a detailed list of the
names. Does this Feldwebel belong to the SS or to the
State Attorney Bach: I believe he belongs to the
Gendarmerie, I do not believe that he belongs to the SS.
The next document is Prosecution document No. 98, a letter
from Klingenfuss of the Foreign Ministry to IVB4, for the
Accused. He informs him that “On the part of the Foreign
Ministry, there are no objections in principle to the
deportation of the number of Jews mentioned, from the
occupied zone of France, from Holland and from Belgium, for
work in the Auschwitz camp. May I ask, however, in
consideration of the psychological effects, that the
stateless Jews be deported first…” At the end he also
requests “at all events to make sure and seize the property
Presiding Judge: This is a draft?
State Attorney Bach: Yes, Your Honour.
Presiding Judge: Although it is signed.
State Attorney Bach: At the bottom on the right there is
his signature, but whether it was sent in this form, or only
signed, this is difficult to determine.
Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/448.
Judge Halevi: What is the date of the letter?
State Attorney Bach: The date of the letter…there is a
date here at the top.
Judge Raveh: This must have been typed in the Auswertiges
Amt (Foreign Ministry).
State Attorney Bach: This is a document of the German
Foreign Ministry. At the bottom there is a remark by
Weizsaecker, but it is hard to see a date here. The
reference is to a letter of the 22nd of the previous month.
From this it may be assumed that this belongs to the same
period. On the top, on the right, there appears in
handwriting the date “28.7..”
Presiding Judge: At any rate there is no year.
State Attorney Bach: The year can only be inferred from the
The next document is Prosecution document No. 111. Roethke
reports about a meeting on 13 August of that year on the
subject of “making available of Jews from the unoccupied
zone” of France. Here the children are mentioned again.
“The Jews arriving in Drancy will be mixed with Jewish
children, who are at present still in Pithiviers and Beaune-
la-Rolande, so that to every 700, or at least 500 adult
Jews, 300-500 Jewish children will be added, since, in
accordance with the instructions of the Head Office for
Reich Security, trains containing children only must not be
sent.” And finally it says: “The internment and handing
over of Jews holding Belgian or Dutch nationality could
start already now.”
Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/449.
State Attorney Bach: And the document goes on to say: “At
that time it was made perfectly clear to President Laval
that this would be a continuing operation which, in its
final phase, would also include Jews of French nationality.”
The next document is Prosecution document No. 75. Here
Roethke asks for instructions “whether to send to the German
Embassy, to Zeitschel, a short description in writing or
whether the information should be given by telephone.” And
he adds: “One consideration against giving written
information might be the possibility that the Foreign
Ministry could feel left out of taking part in accomplishing
Presiding Judge: What does “left out” mean?
State Attorney Bach: That they left it out, circumvented
Judge Halevi: “…was not privileged to partake in good
Presiding Judge: Yes, freely translated.