State Attorney Bach: The next document is No. 614,
T/37(191). This is the document which decided the fate of
the Sephardic Jews in Holland. It is a telegram signed by
Kaltenbrunner; it was sent to Naumann by Kaltenbrunner, but
we can see that it was drafted in IVB4.
“From the current reports, it transpires that the so-
called Sephardic Jews have not been included in the
evacuation measures. The reason for this deferment is
said to be expert opinions submitted to the Reich
Commissioner for the Occupied Netherlands reportedly
trying to prove that the Sephardic Jews are not Jews in
the real sense, or that a special arrangement is
indicated for them. I cannot agree with this opinion
since, also from the racial point of view, the
Sephardic Jews are no doubt Jews. Even the Jews
maintain explicitly that the ‘Sephardim’ are Jews from
Spain and Portugal who, in the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries, were scattered over North Africa, Latin
America and the Orient. But, by contrast to their
brothers-in-race, a typically Southern type is
prevalent with them. I therefore request to include
the Sephardic Jews immediately in the evacuation
measures in accordance with the guidelines given, and
to report about the measures taken. Kaltenbrunner.”
Presiding Judge: T/569.
State Attorney Bach: No. 338 is a document signed by Bene,
a kind of inclusive report about the action taken so far.
It says that up to now 108,000 Jews have left. Bene says
that the Dutch population still does not take a sympathetic
attitude towards the expulsion and that there are still Jews
who manage to hide. But what is important here is mainly
what is said under the heading Mischehen: That there are
still about 8,000 Jews cohabiting in mixed marriages and
that, of these, 2,252 were released from the obligation to
wear the star, including 922 male Jews (mostly after
sterilization by operation) and 1,330 Jewesses (mostly
because of sterility due to age). This is actually the only
proof we have concerning the number of men of whom the
majority underwent this operation in Holland.
Presiding Judge: T/570.
State Attorney Bach: The next document, No. 1439, is a
report by Seyss-Inquart himself, addressed to “Lieber
Parteigenosse Bormann” (Dear Party Comrade Bormann), whom he
informs that the Jewish question in the Netherlands has
largely been settled.
Presiding Judge: This is late, February 1944.
State Attorney Bach: This is already February 1944. He
mentions the number of Jews in hiding and that, little by
little, they are seized and sent to the East, some 500-600 a
week. The Jewish property has been seized and is being
liquidated. Then he refers to the problems of mixed
marriages. He says that until now it was the practice to
take away what he calls the “juedische Partner” (Jewish
partner) from mixed marriages, simply to take him away from
his family and deport him; and then he says: Sooner or later
we shall have to deal in the same way with the children of
these marriages “…die Kinder dieser Gemeinschaft denselben
Weg gehen lassen…” (to make the children of this union
follow the same way). He also says that a considerable
number of Jews agree to sterilization, that they accept the
Presiding Judge: Why does he write this specifically to
Bormann? What were Bormann’s functions?
State Attorney Bach: Bormann was at that time the Fuehrer’s
deputy, and he frequently intervened also in the Jewish
question. He had no defined functions in this matter, but
from time to time we find that he is interested, that he
makes decisions and that he receives reports.
Presiding Judge: T/571.
State Attorney Bach: I should now like to submit to you
document No. 328, a report from the Netherlands government:
“Statement of the Netherlands Government in View of the
Prosecution and Punishment of the German Major War
Criminals, Deportation of Jewish Netherlanders to Poland.”
This is an exhibit which was also submitted in Nuremberg and
was published in IMG, Volume 27, pages 502 and 531-538.
Here we have a detailed account of the measures against the
Jews and of the anti-Jewish legislation, complete with the
dates of each regulation, of the establishment of camps,
Westerbork and others.
Following your Decision No. 12, I should again like to ask
you to accept this report as evidence about the fate of the
Dutch Jews during the period of the Second World War.
Presiding Judge: Has Dr. Servatius any comment to make?
Dr. Servatius: No, I have nothing to say.
Decision No. 20
We accept the official Netherlands Report as evidence in
accordance with what was stated in Decision No. 12 – T/572.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 304, also
T/37(80). Here Guenther decides again, in reply to von
Thadden, that, in view of the envisaged Final Solution of
the Jewish Question in Europe, the emigration of the
relatives of the Jewess Loewenstein cannot be permitted.
This appears on page 1287 of the statement.
Presiding Judge: T/573.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is No. 611,
T/37(211). IVB4 in Berlin is informed that the Netherlands
counter-espionage office has seized some documents – letters
containing South American passports intended for Jews. The
question is what to do with them. The passports were
confiscated, and now instructions are requested because
there are already inquiries from Switzerland asking what
happened to these letters which did not reach their
destination. The problem is also that damages may have to
be paid to the Swiss postal administration. This appears on
page 2460 of the statement.
Presiding Judge: This will be T/574.
State Attorney Bach: And here is the reply from Guenther,
our No. 612: “In case of complaints about registered letters
retained by you, the Reich Post Office is to be told that
the consignment was lost through enemy action.”
Presiding Judge: The Post Office of the Reich or the Swiss
State Attorney Bach: First of all the Reich Post Office,
and they will pass it on, but the Reich Post Office has to
be informed that “the consignment was lost through enemy
action. Return of the letters or payment of damages is out
of the question.”
Judge Raveh: That was during the period when Eichmann was
not in Berlin, was it not?
State Attorney Bach: It was during the period when he was
not in Berlin; we shall prove, however, that during this
time also he remained, in fact, responsible for the Office
and for the guidelines issued.
Judge Raveh: Do you remember the date when he left Berlin?
State Attorney Bach: He arrived in Budapest on 19 March
1944. Before that he went to Mauthausen for a few days, and
from there to Budapest. He may have left 12 on March.
Judge Raveh: And the head of the Office in his place was
Guenther during that time?
State Attorney Bach: Guenther was in charge, but in fact,
according to our argument, he was not appointed head of the
Section, and proof of this is the fact that dozens of
letters which we have already submitted and shall still
submit are addressed to Eichmann or to his deputy. I do not
want to say more about the evidence which we shall produce
on this point.
Presiding Judge: This will be T/575.
State Attorney Bach: Another document which was shown to
the Accused, our No. 303, T/37(79). Guenther reports about
the transfer of a certain Jew to Theresienstadt.
Presiding Judge: This will be T/576.
State Attorney Bach: The last document, Your Honours, is
our 1353. This is definitely the final, summing-up report
by Bene: “The Jewish question may be considered solved for
the Netherlands after the overwhelming majority of the Jews
have been deported from the country.” It states that about
113,000 were deported; those remaining in the country
include 8,600 in mixed marriages, 11 Argentinian Jews who
live in freedom, about 9,000 who are in hiding. That is to
say 113,000 out of 140,000 have been deported.
Presiding Judge: This will be T/577.
State Attorney Bach: I should like to pass now to the
subject of Denmark, and to begin with I shall bring the
evidence of Mr. David Melchior.
The witness is sworn.
Presiding Judge: What is your full name?
Witness: Werner David Melchior.
State Attorney Bach: Mr. Melchior, since when have you been
in this country?
Witness Melchior: I arrived for the first time in January,
Q. You spent your childhood in Copenhagen, Denmark?
A. For the most part, yes.
Q. Your parents also lived with you there?
A. Yes. For some years we lived in Germany when my father
was Rabbi in Beuthen for a number of years.
Q. Your father has, actually, been serving as Chief Rabbi to
the Jews of Denmark since 1947?
Q. And what was your father’s position in 1943?
A. In 1943 my father was a Rabbi, but the Chief Rabbi was
his predecessor, the late Dr. Friediger, and my father had
various duties in the community. After Dr. Friediger was
arrested, together with his son, on 29 August 1943, my
father became the acting Chief Rabbi.
Q. When the Germans entered Denmark on 9 April 1940, were
Q. Was your family also in Denmark?
Q. How many Jews, in all, were there then in Denmark?
A. There were then close to 7,700 Jews, of whom there were
about 1,400 refugees from Central Europe, and of them,
again, there were about 500 members of the Hachshara,
Hehalutz and Aliyat Hanoar (those undergoing agricultural
training, the pioneer youth movement, and Youth Aliya).
Q. What was the relationship between these Jews and the
A. We were on an absolutely equal footing with the rest of
the population, and there was contact in all aspects of
Q. During the first stage after the entry of the Germans,
did the appearance of the Germans make itself felt in the
attitude to the Jews in any way?
A. Not separately in relation to the Jews. Of course,
within at least some Jewish circles, there was a greater
nervousness; and again, especially at a certain level,
naturally, amongst the refugees, and more so amongst the
families who had arrived in Denmark from Eastern Europe in
the first decade of this century, and practically not at all
in the case of the families established locally for a long
Q. What was the attitude of the Germans towards the Danish
Government and towards the King at the first stage?
A. Although there was no concrete information, it was
understood by everyone that there was an agreement, or an
agreed modus vivendi between the Danish authorities and the
Germans, that the latter would not interfere in the internal
affairs of Denmark. It was upon this assumption that the
Jews based their estimation that there would be no change at
all in regard to their situation, as compared with the
situation of the population as a whole.
Q. Would it be correct to say that, until August 1943
nothing, in fact, happened to the Jews of Denmark?
A. That is correct, but, naturally, there were various
manifestations which, under different conditions, would not
have been taken for granted.
Q. Such as?
A. There was a substantial increase in anti-Semitic
Presiding Judge: On the part of whom?
Witness Melchior: Mainly on the part of the Nazi press in
Denmark, both in their own daily newspaper and also when
there began to appear a weekly which, in its style, was a
sort of Danish edition of the Stuermer. There were cases of
violence on certain occasions, especially in regard to the
synagogue building. In particular, there was a sort of an
upsurge after Denmark joined the anti-Comintern Pact.
State Attorney Bach: You referred here to a certain action
against the synagogue. What was the consequence of this
action for those who carried it out?
Witness Melchior: There were a few incidents. In one case
an attempt was made to set the synagogue on fire. The
Danish police caught the person responsible; he was brought
to trial and was sentenced to imprisonment, I think, of
three years and three weeks.
Q. You mentioned an anti-Semitic paper that was issued along
the lines of the Stuermer. Was anything done in this matter
by the Danish authorities?
A. Yes. This paper, in an attempt to bring about a
lessening of what in its view was the Jewish influence on
businesses in Denmark, began making all sorts of libellous
accusations. In a particular instance, there was reference
to one of two brothers who owned one of the largest
department stores in Copenhagen and his Jewish secretary.
An action of libel was instituted, and the District Court in
Copenhagen in the first instance sentenced one accused, a
man, to imprisonment for 100 days, and the second accused, a
woman, to 80 days, and each one to pay a fine of 3,000
Danish Kroner. They appealed.
Q. And what happened on appeal?
A. The Supreme Court increased the punishment. They
received, as I remember, 160 days of actual imprisonment and
a larger fine. Furthermore, the woman, who was the
publisher, benefitted at the time from an arrangement
existing in Denmark, to the effect that writers were able to
receive annual support from the state budget. This support
was now cancelled by parliament, on the recommendation of
Presiding Judge: Was this done following the appeal by the
Witness Melchior: Yes.
State Attorney Bach: And what about the protection of the
Witness Melchior: During 1942, there was at least one
attempt to set the synagogue on fire. Furthermore, on
various occasions, swastikas were painted on the outer
protective walls of a number of synagogues. And then, at
the end of 1942, a guard was mounted – in coordination with
the Danish police – over all these synagogues from six in
the evening to six in the morning. This was a guard of
Jewish volunteers who were given armbands of the auxiliary
police, batons, and steel helmets. Similarly, special
arrangements were made for sounding an alarm. In the
watchman’s room in the Old Age Home, which was in the
synagogue courtyard, an alarm bell was installed connected
directly to the nearest police station, and this arrangement
continued to be in force until 23 August 1943, when the
military regime took over.
Q. Please tell the Court what was the change that came about
on 29 August 1943?
A. The Germans, I think it was on 28 August – it was a
Sabbath – presented the Danish Government with a number of
demands, as a result of the mounting general tension. As
the Danes understood it, this arose from the increase in
underground activity – there were acts of sabotage and
explosions in Copenhagen every day. Likewise, we had the
feeling that the Germans were afraid that the remnants of
the Danish army still in existence, would attack them in the
rear in the event of there being an Allied invasion in the
West. At any rate, the Germans evidently saw the need for a
tighter control over the state of affairs, and they insisted
on a military regime; they demanded the seizure of Danish
military equipment and handed over a long list of demands to
which the Danish Government did not respond. But they
forcibly imposed them. The Danes scuttled ships of the
Danish navy in the harbour of Copenhagen, in order to
prevent their being seized. Military rule was set up, there
were curfews and shots at night without warning, and similar
acts. The Danish Government submitted its resignation to
the King, but, in view of the fact that the royal guard had
also been abolished, the King declared himself to be a
prisoner of war who was unable to take any constitutional
step, and a vacuum was created. The government resigned,
but in effect did not resign. Thereafter, all government
activities were carried out by the directors of the
ministries in Denmark, until the end of the War.
Presiding Judge: That is to say – the officials?
Witness Melchior: Yes.
State Attorney Bach: Who was in charge of Jewish affairs in
Witness Melchior: At that time it was Dr. Werner Best.