Session 044-04, Eichmann Adolf

Presiding Judge: Is this what Ansbacher told us?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes, that is correct. And we have
also seen a picture of this event. On page 6 he describes
the “Rechtspflege im Ghetto” (administration of justice in
the ghetto). We shall see documents about this subject
later. Here he mentions the close supervision which
Guenther II from Prague exercised over him. On page 7 he
speaks of the operation of the “Schleuse” (sluice) of which
we have already heard. There is an important sentence on
page 8, where he speaks about “the way out of the ghetto”
and says that in the office in Prague, Theresienstadt was
regarded far more as an assembly camp (Sammellager) than as
a ghetto for old people. This clearly shows that the whole
thing was camouflage. At the end of the page he relates
that he was surprised when one day Edelstein, the Jewish
Elder, asked him whether it was true that one transport of
Jews which had left the ghetto was intercepted and taken to
the gas chambers. Seidl told him, so he says, that he knew
nothing about it. A few days later Eichmann assured him on
his word of honour that such a thing was out of the

Seidl relates that, in August 1942, a commission arrived in
Auschwitz which was headed by Guenther – this time it is the
permanent deputy of the Accused, the brother of Guenther in
Prague; the commission went over the questionnaires, in
order to determine who was to be sent to the East, perhaps
the first selection of many which were made in
Theresienstadt. We shall hear later about visits of
officials from Berlin to Theresienstadt for the purpose of
deciding who would go to the East. On page 10 he speaks
about 21 cases of attempted escape from Theresienstadt of
which he became aware. On page 11 he starts the description
of his experiences with the Einsatzkommando Eichmann in

I pass on to the third document. It contains what he said
before his judges when the time came for his defence. I
direct attention to page 4 of this document where he says
that, after the first detachments had arrived in order to
put up the camp, transports came finally not only from
Prague and Bruenn, but from the whole area of the Reich as
it was at that time. These general transports started in
June 1942. He says that more transports came at shorter
intervals than foreseen and that, until his departure, the
highest number present in Theresienstadt at any given time
was 60,000 men, women and children. On page 6 he says that
he intervened with Himmler, in order that meat should also
be distributed at Theresienstadt.

I now draw attention to what is said about matters of
health, starting on page 8. After that, on page 9, he
speaks about one transport which he remembers, of old people
who came from Koeln, where the average age was 70 years, as
he remembers. He says that during the time of his activity,
close to two years, 18,000-20,000 persons died in
Theresienstadt. He also says that sterilization or similar
measures were never carried out in Theresienstadt. Before
the judges, too, (on page 15), he speaks of the regulation
imposing the death penalty for all escapes, all bribery, and
all smuggling of mail. He says that this regulation did not
originate with him “but with the Head Office for Reich
Security, that is to say with Eichmann.”

At the end of page 15 he gives an exact description of most
of the persons, most of the main figures, in the office of
the Accused, including the Accused himself. On page 18 he
speaks about the transports sent from Theresienstadt. He
himself remembers fifty transports going eastward, each
comprising 1,000 men and women.

I go on to page 22 of the third document. Here Seidl
reverts to the subject of the executions. In the last
passage he says that the letters, or some of the letters,
which were smuggled out, arrived in Prague and were
intercepted by the Gestapo there. “The Gestapo seized the
opportunity to deal a blow to Guenther, or to the Central
Office, with whom the Gestapo was not on good terms, and
that compelled Guenther on his part to pressure me to stop
the smuggling of letters and punish the Jews who were
responsible for it.” And then he describes how one day
Eichmann came to Theresienstadt and informed him, in the
presence of the Jewish Elder Edelstein, that every case of
mail smuggling was to be punished by death, and that
Edelstein was to announce this to his comrades in the camp.

Beginning on page 26, he describes his experiences as
commander of Bergen-Belsen, where he arrived in June 1943.
He says that the mail from this camp was collected and sent
uncensored to the Head Office for Reich Security, to be
censored there, in Berlin. What I have just read out is in
the middle of page 27.

I shall content myself with these quotations. With your
permission, I shall go on to document No. 1201.

Before I do so, it will perhaps be useful for me to submit a
sworn declaration, document No. 1337, a declaration from
Johanan Zeev ben Pessah Scheck, who is serving in the
Israeli embassy in Paris and who was himself an inmate in
Theresienstadt Camp. I thought I should not trouble the
Court, or Counsel for the Defence, with a special request in
this matter, regarding the acceptance of the declaration, as
it is only technical. He simply explains how the reports,
orders and regulations issued by the Council of
Theresienstadt Camp, the Jewish management, were preserved
by the witness, how he kept them safe; and now he identifies
them. I intend to submit to the Court several of these
orders of the day, “Tagesbefehle,” as they were called. I
assume that Counsel for the Defence has no objection to the
submission of the orders of the day in this way. I shall
submit them in the form of actual photographs of the
original copies which are in our hands.

Presiding Judge: Did he collect these documents after the
end of the War?

State Attorney Bar-Or: He was in charge of the activities
of Hechalutz in Theresienstadt. He collected the documents
and buried them in the ground. After the liberation of the
camp they were taken out and transferred to Prague. From
there, through the witness, they reached us.

Dr. Servatius: I have no objection.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/843.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I shall now submit our document No.
1201, Order of the Day No. 6. As this is the first order of
the day, I shall speak mainly about its form. Through these
orders of the day, the following kind of information was
brought to the attention of the inmates of Theresienstadt
Camp (from the beginning of November 1941 until the day of
liberation in May 1945): (a) Instructions from the
Dienststelle, the Commandant’s office; (b) Internal
instructions given by the management of the ghetto, which
was in the hands of the so-called Council of Elders
(Aeltestenrat) for internal purposes, for the issue of
internal permits and information about certain prohibitions,
about punishments imposed by the Commandant’s office or by
the court which existed within the ghetto, run by the
Council of Elders. We shall find specific items in each
order of the day.

In the order before us, I ask you to note the prohibition of
smoking in paragraph 2, and in paragraph 3 the duty to
salute all those wearing uniform.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Bar-Or, I am again under the impression
that we are going into too many into details, judging by the
general progress during this morning. I am aware that you
are under a certain amount of pressure.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Your Honour, I hope that I shall
withstand this pressure without betraying my tasks in the

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/844.

State Attorney Bar-Or: The second Order of the Day is our
document No. 1203. This Order – dated 10 January 1942 – is
of importance because it contains what we have just read in
Seidl’s declaration, information about the execution by
hanging, ordered by the Commander of the Security Service,
of persons named in the Order of the Day, because of
smuggling. This was the first group of nine men, exactly as
Seidl tells it, the first group to be hanged.

Presiding Judge: This is marked T/845.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I pass on to document No. 1198,
Order of the Day of 19 January 1942. The first paragraph
refers to an inspection carried out by Obersturmbannfuehrer
Eichmann, on 19 January 1942, together with SS
Sturmbannfuehrer Stingel and the Commander of the Camp, Dr.
Seidl. I beg to draw your attention to Eichmann’s warning*
{*No warning appears in the document.} relating to postal
connections, which is mentioned in paragraph 3. Here it can
be seen how such matters had to be addressed to him

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/846.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I proceed to document No. 1199,
Order of the Day of 23 January 1942. In paragraph 1,
instructions from Obersturmfuehrer Seidl are mentioned which
are to alleviate the difficulty of postal connections to a
certain extent.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/847.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I pass on to document No. 1204,
Order of the Day of 19 October 1942. This is one of the
orders mentioning transports out of the ghetto to the East.
Here also, as in Prague, each transport has a distinguishing
mark, in this case: Bx. And it says here in paragraph 1:
“At the order of the Commandant’s office, the third
transport of persons who are too old from the Protectorate
of Bohemia and Moravia has to be dispatched from the ghetto
on 22 October 1942.”

Judge Halevi: What is the meaning of Ueberalterte?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Aged.

Judge Halevi: And it was just these persons who were sent

State Attorney Bar-Or: About this point I shall submit an
exchange of letters between Mueller and Himmler which shows
what were the problems involved.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/848.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I pass on to document No. 1202,
again in connection with a postal freeze, Order of the Day
of 27 December 1941. This is the second case of smuggling

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/849.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Now I go on to document No. 541,
dated 20 February 1943. It is a letter from the office of
the Accused, IVB4, signed by his permanent deputy, Guenther.
It was shown to the Accused and marked T/37(172). There are
detailed guidelines here for the technical implementation of
what is termed “Wohnsitzverlegung von Juden nach
Theresienstadt” (transfer of residence of Jews to
Theresienstadt): The categories of Jews to be included, what
must be taken along, what may not be taken. Forms for
reporting are prescribed, and we see that Eichmann, Section
IVB4, must be informed in minute detail about each transport
of Jews. (Here I refer to Annexes 1 and 2). We also find
in the document the Authorities within the Reich area which
were charged with coordination and with implementation of
the transport. These instructions actually followed earlier
instructions about deportation of Jews from the Reich area
to the East.

As regards the reporting, the Court will find details under
Letter IV, where it says that reports must be sent to the
Head Office for Reich Security, Section IVB4, to the
Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service,
to the Central Office for the Settlement of the Jewish
Question in Bohemia and Moravia, Prague, and to Ghetto

Finally, under Letter VIII, about treatment of Jewish
property, it says that instructions will be given separately
from time to time by the office of the Accused.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/850.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I go on to document No. 546, a
letter from the Accused to von Thadden at the Foreign
Ministry, dated 15 November 1943. It deals with Jews who
hold Hungarian citizenship and who are in the Theresienstadt
ghetto. At the end of the letter the Accused says:
“Therefore” – i.e., because of what is said above in
connection with Bergen-Belsen, etc. – “I have ordered the
Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service in
Prague to leave the Jews concerned in Theresienstadt until
further notice.”

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/851.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I go on to document No. 1239. It
was shown to the Accused and numbered T/37(304). In
connection with this document, I ask for a decision by the
Court about the declaration by Dr. John Adler, from London,
which is attached to the minute from Theresienstadt of 27
January 1943. The Court will notice that the minute is in
fact a copy, and not the original. Dr. Adler’s declaration
explains how the copy was prepared, since he saw the
original, compared it with the copy, and he confirms that
the copy is correct. This was the only way in which we
could obtain the text of the document, which appears to me
to be rather important. It deals with the replacement of
leaders of the Council of Elders, following orders given by
the Accused himself. I ask the Court for a decision to
accept the document. The Accused, to whom it was shown,
speaks about it on page 3458 of his Statement.

Presiding Judge: Has Dr. Servatius any comments on this?

Dr. Servatius: No, I have no reservations.

Presiding Judge: Decision No. 36

222 We decide to accept the declaration by Dr. Adler. The
document will be marked T/852 – the declaration together
with the copy of the document.

State Attorney Bar-Or: This minute of 27 January 1943 gives
a detailed account of the visit of the Accused, accompanied
by two of his men, Moehs from Berlin and Dr. Seidl, to

Judge Halevi: I did not understand from the document that
this was a visit by the Accused, but that Seidl and Moehs
give a message on behalf of the Accused.

State Attorney Bar-Or: The document begins, in fact, with
Seidl informing the Council of Elders about his meeting with
Moehs in Berlin on 27 January 1943. Moehs brings a certain
detailed order in the name of Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann
to the attention of Seidl. Seidl passes the matter on to
the Council of Elders.

Judge Halevi: Yes, but Eichmann was not there.

State Attorney Bar-Or: The Court will remember that, from
its beginning, the camp was directed by the Council of
Elders, the Head of which was Jacob Edelstein, formerly Head
of the Palestine Office in Prague. His place is now to be
taken by a triumvirate suggested by the Accused, and
composed of the following three persons: Dr. Eppstein, Dr.
Loewenherz and Mr. Edelstein, who will take upon themselves
the conduct of the affairs of the ghetto. The Accused asks
that Dr. Eppstein, who is about to arrive from Berlin, be
entrusted with the main responsibility for the direction of
ghetto business.

I go on to document No. 1058. It is a minute by Gerhart
Riegner about a conversation, or a consultation, he had with
Mr. Andre de Pilar of the Mixed Commission for Relief of the
International Red Cross, which took place on 7 July 1943.

Presiding Judge: And who is Gerhart Riegner?
State Attorney Bar-Or: He was himself active on behalf of
the International Red Cross.

Presiding Judge: Here, in his declaration, it says that he
was “Directeur du Congres Juif Mondial” (Director of the
World Jewish Congress), and that he had this conversation
with Mr. Andre de Pilar.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I am sorry, I have to make a
correction. I see here that Gerhart Riegner was the
representative of the World Jewish Congress in Geneva, and
here he relates what was said in the conversation with the
representative of the Mixed Commission on that date.

Presiding Judge: After that man returned from

State Attorney Bar-Or: That is correct. It is with regard
to this document that I have to ask for the approval of the
Court under Section 15.

Presiding Judge: My colleague points out that Mr. de Pilar
did not himself visit Theresienstadt. He spoke with
representatives of the German Red Cross who were there.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes. I wish to submit this report
because it gives, for the first time, a general background
picture about what was known then in Germany about
Theresienstadt Camp, about the arrangements in force in
connection with Theresienstadt Camp.

Presiding Judge: What was known at that time?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Many other matters are discussed
here. There is, for instance, a description of the
situation in general, of the mood in Berlin in those days.
This I do not have to prove, this is not in my brief.

Presiding Judge: This comes, in fact, from a third-hand

Last-Modified: 1999/06/02