Judge Halevi: Was it Bergen-Belsen?
State Attorney Bach: Yes, Your Honour.
The next document is our No. 1258. A report is sent to the
BdS about a number of appeals and declarations from French
clergymen protesting anti-Jewish activity. I do not intend
to read these to you except, perhaps, a few lines from the
first one, which is brief. It is an appeal by the Cardinals
and Archbishops in the occupied zone to Marshal Petain:
“We cannot repress the cry of our conscience.”
“Deeply moved by what is reported to us about the mass
arrests which took place during the last week and about the
harsh treatment inflicted on the Jews in the Veelodrome
d’Hiver, we cannot repress the outcry of our conscience. It
is in the name of humanity and of Christian principles that
we raise our voice in protest, in favour of inalienable
human rights. It is equally an anguished cry of pity for
the frightful suffering inflicted especially on mothers and
children. We ask you, Marshal, to see to it that the sense
of justice and the rights of charity be respected. The Jews
are human, they are our brothers. A Christian cannot forget
Presiding Judge: This will be T/468.
State Attorney Bach: I should like to draw the attention of
the Court to one of the other passages quoted, in which one
of the clergymen says: “Herr, habe Mitleid mit uns!” (Lord,
take pity on us!). There is an ironical remark in
handwriting on the margin: “Help us poor lambs!” This was
written on the first page by the person who received the
report. The SS man wrote it in irony.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is No. 965. Here we
have a letter from the German Foreign Ministry to the
Accused. The letter itself is not very important, it
contains not much that is new; it speaks of the need to
render the coastal area of France free of Jews. The
important thing here is the last paragraph – an apology: “In
view of the urgency of the instructions to be given to the
German Embassy in Paris these were transmitted without prior
consultation with you, since I was informed that you would
not return from your official journey before the 27th of the
month”; i.e. here the Foreign Ministry gives instructions to
Paris without first informing Eichmann – obviously an
apology is in order.
Presiding Judge: This will be T/469.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is No. 1123, a
telegram signed by Guenther to the Commander of the Security
Police in Paris. Here Guenther hints how it may be possible
to circumvent the existing instructions that, for the time
being, Jews cohabiting in mixed marriages should be exempted
from the general evacuation, even if they have broken the
rules imposed upon the Jews. And this is what he says: “But
on the strength of Order No… dated… they can be taken
into protective custody. They are to be regarded as
protective prisoners and, since they are treated differently
from the evacuated Jews, they are to be removed not in
evacuation transports but in prisoner transports.”
Presiding Judge: This will be T/470.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 121, a
letter from Knochen to Mueller. Reference: Conversation
with SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann in Paris. “The
information from SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann concerning
the evacuation of all Jews of French nationality led me to
express my opinion on this question in brief and, while
describing the situation, to stress those points which are
necessary for the implementation, in order to meet with the
least possible difficulties from the French Government.”
I skip a paragraph here, and then he says: “The French
Government, i.e. first and foremost Marshal Petain, objects
to every attempt of extending the anti-Jewish measures to
Jews of French nationality as well. They declined to
introduce the wearing of the Jewish Star by order of the
Here is one more, very typical, paragraph, Your Honours.
“From the Jews’ camp, Jews of French nationality, who
had been arrested because of their failure to wear the
Star of David and other offences, were to be deported.
Bousquet let it be known that these Jews could be
deported, but the French police would not be available
for the operation. To our reply that, in this case,
the deportation would be carried out by German forces,
the French Police reacted by staging a police raid and
immediately arresting 1,300 Jews of non-French
nationality. These Jews were handed over to the German
Police with an indication that they were to be deported
in place of the Jews of French nationality. It is
clear that, in this case, both categories of Jews are
Presiding Judge: I see that Laval, too, tried to delay
State Attorney Bach: Yes, Your Honour. There will be some
more, and more explicit, documents on this point, when
Roethke found it necessary to meet with Laval because of
this matter. This is why I quote the most explicit document
on the subject.
Presiding Judge: This will be T/471.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 277,
which was marked No. T/37(146). In it Roethke announces
that “the French Police has declined to undertake the
surveillance of the deportation train…carrying Jews of
French nationality.” He requests reinforcements, and he
adds that he “requests that the unit be instructed to use
firearms, without warning, in cases of attempted escape by
Presiding Judge: This will be T/472.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 697. It
refers to activity by the Italians on French soil. And here
it says, in reply to various telegrams which were apparently
received from Paris:
“I have transmitted the gist of the a/m telegrams to
the Foreign Ministry. On the basis of the information
given by me, the Reich Foreign Minister will raise the
matter of the Italian attitude towards the Jewish
Question during his next personal negotiations with the
Duce. As soon as I shall receive information from the
Foreign Ministry about the result of the negotiations
on this matter, I shall let you know.” – Signed
Eichmann, SS Obersturmbannfuehrer.
Presiding Judge: This will be T/473.
State Attorney Bach: We shall put before the Court more
details concerning these negotiations when we come to the
expulsion of the Jews from Italy.
The next document is our No. 249, which was submitted as
T/37(64). Here, there is first of all mention of 49,000
Jews already expelled.
Presiding Judge: Who wrote this report?
State Attorney Bach: Roethke again.
Presiding Judge: It will be marked T/474.
State Attorney Bach: I shall read, in very concise form,
one section which shows the attitude of the Italians towards
the Jewish Question. When we come to this subject, I shall
not have to repeat these details.
In Section III it says:
“Attitude of the Italians with regard to the Jewish
Question: (a) Attitude up to now in the area of France
occupied by Italy must be abandoned under all
circumstances, if Jewish Question to be solved.
“Following cases especially flagrant:
(1)End December 1942 and beginning January 1943,
civilian and military Italian authorities prevent
freeing border and coastal strips of Jews in the French
area occupied by them, as well as internment of certain
categories of Jews.”
There is here a description of Italian resistance to the
printing of identity cards with the marking “Jew” on them,
and various other actions by the Italians intended to
sabotage the German efforts.
“(5)In mid-February French Police wants to intern 200
to 300 Jews, in implementing a retribution operation
ordered by us in the Lyon district. The Italian
General stationed in Grenoble demands from the French
police the annulment of the internment order. (Italian
Jews were not arrested under the internment order.)
(6)In executing the said retribution operation, the
French Police arrests foreign Jews in Annecy in mid-
February with the help of the local constabulary and
takes them to the constabulary barracks. Italian
military thereupon demands immediate liberation of the
Jews, which is refused. As a result the barracks are
surrounded by armed Italian soldiers.”
“A.A. (Foreign Ministry) has been informed through RSHA
– Eichmann – about attitude of the Italians. Reich
Foreign Minister Ribbentrop was going to raise the
attitude of the Italians regarding the Jewish Question
during negotiations with the Duce.”
Judge Halevi: Who wrote all these detailed notes?
State Attorney Bach: These are Roethke’s notes. After
receiving the telegram from Eichmann, who informed him
already about his approach to Ribbentrop in this matter, he
(Roethke) describes here the details of the sabotage, as he
calls it, on the part of the Italians.
The next document is our No. 264, which was also numbered
T/37(68), a query from Roethke to the Accused whether he
could deport 1,000 Jews to the East. The document is being
submitted because of the reply to the letter.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/475.
Who signed the reply? Is this the signature of the Accused
on the reply?
State Attorney Bach: There is a separate document for the
Presiding Judge: But there are two documents here.
State Attorney Bach: The second one is also from Roethke
who communicates the same thing to the Ministry of
Transport. I did not want to read this, because the
contents are identical. The reply is in our document 266,
which was also given the number T/37(69), in which it says:
“Transports of Jews may be dispatched, as arranged, on 23.3.
and 25.3.1943. Like the two previous transports, they will
be directed to Cholm (Generalgouvernement). I request you
to get in touch immediately with the Head Office for Traffic
Control in Paris, which is receiving instructions from the
Reich Ministry for Transport.” There are some more
technical details. Signed: Eichmann.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/476.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 718.
Presiding Judge: It will be numbered T/477.
State Attorney Bach: Here he speaks again about the
difficulties of getting hold of the Jews, about certain
statistics. Then he adds the following:
“Deportation of the Jews from France must not end
before the last Jew has left French soil, still before
the end of the War. The decision cannot be the will of
some French members of government or even the French
Head of State; on the contrary, the decisive element is
the will of the Fuehrer, which was expressed again and
again in the strongest form especially in his most
recent speeches. It may even be maintained that the
evacuation of the Jews from France is a need of first
priority because the Jews are still prominently
represented in France…”
Then he voices his bitterness about the French, who are not
doing enough in order to expel the Jews. He mentions that,
in their discussions with him, the French always quote the
Italians, saying: Look, if the Italians act like this we
need not act differently, and then he reports that he told
the French: It is to be expected that the Italians will also
shortly change their ways.
Judge Halevi: Who wrote all this? Is it Roethke?
State Attorney Bach: All this was written by Roethke.
Presiding Judge: Roethke to Knochen.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 1553.
The subject here is the German activity in Tunisia in North
Africa. Rahn, the representative of the Foreign Ministry,
reports to the Ministry. There are many matters here which
do not belong to our subject. But I draw your attention to
the last paragraph on the first page, which reads:
“Incitement to looting of Jewish shops and to pogroms,
plotting of demonstrations, etc. not feasible as long
as our troops are not at least at Algerian border.” In
paragraph 4 on the fourth page he says: “Since
international Jewry responsible for Anglo-American
attack, sum of twenty million raised from Jewish
property by Special Operations Detachments of Security
Police and SD and handed over to Mixed Arab-Italian-
French Committee for immediate relief for bomb attack
Presiding Judge: Do we know what is meant by twenty million?
Are these Marks?
State Attorney Bach: These are French Francs. They
actually raised more. They add here: “In case enemy bombing
civilian population continues, additional sums will be
Judge Halevi: Who is Rahn?
State Attorney Bach: Rahn was at that time Representative
of the Foreign Ministry in Paris. He went to Tunisia with
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/478.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 1552, and
it concerns the same subject. It says there that the Relief
Committee for bomb attack victims has so far paid fifty
million French Francs to families injured by the bombings,
mainly to Moslems.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/479.
State Attorney Bach: Here is a document which is of
importance not only from the point of view of France but
actually from the point of the entire treatment of the Jews
of the West. Its number is 1208. It is a telegram sent to
the Commander of the Security Police and the SD in Holland,
to Knochen in Paris and to Ehlers in Brussels. This is what
“The Auschwitz camp has again requested, for obvious
reasons, not to give any alarming intimations, before
departure, to the Jews about to be evacuated,
concerning the location and the manner of their
impending utilization (ihrer bevorstehenden
Verwendung). I request you to take note and comply. I
ask you especially to make sure that continual
instructions are given to the escort detachments, so
that during the journey as well the Jews must be given
no special indications whatsoever which would cause
resistance, nor must conjectures be voiced concerning
the nature of their accommodation, etc. With a view to
implementing most urgent work projects, Auschwitz has
to insist that the reception of the transports and
their further allocation be carried out with as little
friction as possible.”
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/480.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 196. Von
Thadden writes to Eichmann informing him about efforts to
persuade the Italians to take action against the Jews in the
areas occupied by them. Von Thadden suggests holding a
meeting between the commanders of the Italian and German
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/481.
State Attorney Bach: Following this proposal by von
Thadden, the Accused writes to him saying: “In reference to
your previous letter, I request that the matter be re-
examined or, perhaps, that it be taken up with Count
Lospinoso” (commander of the Italian police sent to the area
of France occupied by Italy). The Accused requests that a
meeting be arranged with the Count. This document was shown
to the Accused and was marked T/37 (290). Here is von
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/482.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 875. Von
Thadden writes to his superiors:
“Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann had suggested inviting
the Italian Inspector of Police, Lo Spinosa, to come to
Paris before 15 May, in order to establish contact
between the German and Italian police authorities
dealing with the Jewish Question. The German Embassy
has transmitted this proposal to the Italian Government
as instructed, but the Italian authorities did not
consider such a meeting appropriate at this time.”
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/483.