Session 045-01, Eichmann Adolf

Session No. 45
3 Sivan 5721 (18 May 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the forty-fifth Session of the
trial open.

State Attorney Bar-Or: With the Court’s permission, I have
reached Prosecution document No. 1369. I should like to ask
the Honourable Court for a decision on this under Section 15
of the Law. We are here submitting parts of the record of
the main interrogation of Karl Rahm, on 25 March 1947, as
recorded by a Czech court in Leitmeritz. Rahm was put on
trial for having commanded the Theresienstadt camp. He was
the third commandant there. As we have heard, the first was
Seidl, followed by Burger, and he (Rahm) was the third and
last one, and he remained in the camp until it was handed
over to the Red Cross. Karl Rahm was sentenced to death;
the death sentence was carried out.

Rahm enumerates very briefly before his judges the most
important events which connected him with his superiors,
among them the Accused, during his period of administration
as commandant of Theresienstadt. And here we do not have to
rely on second- or third-hand evidence, here we have a most
important source for the understanding of the relations
between the Accused and the Dienststellen, the various
offices in Prague and Theresienstadt. We are aware that
Rahm was far from being “an upright man,” not in his
generation,* {*After Genesis 6:9.} and not in
Theresienstadt, but it seems to me that certain details will
be of value. I ask the Court to accept this record of court

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, what have you to say?

Dr. Servatius: I have no formal objection.

Presiding Judge:

Decision No. 38

We accept the record of the court proceedings of Rahm’s
evidence for the reasons given in our Decision No. 7.

State Attorney Bar-Or: As I said, this is our document No.
1369. I shall briefly outline the contents of this
document. In the excerpts submitted here, Rahm first gives
a general description of the staff of the Central Office in
Vienna, whom he knew well.

Presiding Judge: Before you continue, Mr. Bar-Or, I see the
text in Czech, and then a German translation.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I have no German translation. [After
looking at the documents before him] That is correct, Your
Honour, we received this document from Prague in a
translation which had been prepared by the Czech
authorities. I submit the Czech text to the Court, together
with the Hebrew translation.

Presiding Judge: Will you keep this [one of the copies which
were handed to him] in your file?

State Attorney Bar-Or: I do not intend to submit this.
This letter is part of the document as we received it from
Prague. It might perhaps be better if it were kept with the

Presiding Judge: What is in the file of Counsel for the

State Attorney Bar-Or: Counsel for the Defence has received
a summary of this testimony, in German of course.

Presiding Judge: Perhaps you will hand a copy to Counsel for
the Defence?

State Attorney Bar-Or: I do not mind this copy being handed
to Counsel for the Defence, I shall not need it.

Presiding Judge: Then perhaps you will give it to Counsel
for the Defence?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/864.

State Attorney Bar-Or: With your permission, I shall
continue. In this record of the court proceedings, Rahm
gives a bodily description of the Accused, whom he knew as
Head of the Central Office in Vienna, and also describes the
people who were there with him at the time. He speaks about
Obersturmfuehrer Guenther (the brother of Hans Guenther),
i.e., the Accused’s permanent deputy. He talks of Alois
Brunner, who was employed in Guenther’s office. And then he
speaks about his posting to Theresienstadt and mentions that
he replaced Burger. When he took over the command, present
was not only Burger but also the Accused, as well as the
Head of the Central Office in Prague, Hans Guenther.
Further on he says – and I emphasize this passage, in view
of what we heard today – that “from the administrative-
technical point of view, I was subordinate to the Central
Office in Prague, and from the political point of view, to
the Head Office for Reich Security in Berlin,” and that
“political questions were within the field authority of
Hauptsturmfuehrer Moes of Berlin, who would come to
Theresienstadt in case of need and give me appropriate
orders and instructions.”

And he continues:

“Until about March 1944, I knew nothing about the
prohibition according to which women in the ghetto were
forbidden to bear children. One day the Jewish Elder
Eppstein came to inform me that a certain woman was in
her eighth month of pregnancy, and drew my attention to
the order issued earlier by Obersturmbannfuehrer
Eichmann, whereby women in the ghetto were forbidden to
bear children. Eppstein told me then that he thought
that – in accordance with what had been agreed between
himself and Eichmann – the general prohibition in force
in Germany concerning artificial abortions did not
apply to Jews, and this agreement was exploited by
Eichmann, in order to force Jewish women in the ghetto
to have abortions, and afterwards this became the usual
procedure. On this occasion, Eppstein drew my
attention, in fact, to the duty of performing abortions
on Jewesses, and when Guenther came to visit me, I
asked him about it, and he confirmed to me that I did
not have to see to this personally, because it was
already a matter for the Jews themselves, and that the
Elder of the Jews had received notification about it
from Eichmann directly.”

There follows another passage which is important to us, in
which he says:

“In my opinion, 21,000 persons of all ages were
deported from Theresienstadt to various places” (he
refers, of course, to his period). “I was never
informed that anybody had died on the transport. I put
the responsibility for carrying out these transports on
Moes and/or Eichmann and the whole Head Office for
Reich Security.”

Then – I read from the bottom of page 2 – he says:

“When the transports were first organized, I learned
during a conversation in which Moes, Guenther and I
took part, that Eppstein would also have to leave on
one of the transports for some place in central
Germany, a town whose name I do not remember.”

He continues to talk about Eppstein and relates finally that
he was taken away.

On page 3 he gives most important information about the
visit of the Red Cross in June 1944. He says:

“Before the inspection by the International Red Cross,
about which advance information had been given, the
ghetto and its installations were examined by State
Minister Frank, Eichmann from Berlin, the Minister of
the Protectorate, and others. I did not have close
contact at all with these personalities. They dealt
directly with Eichmann.”

At the bottom of this page he says:

“It is a fact that these international delegations were
shown only the best. What these delegations were
allowed to see in Theresienstadt was decided in
advance, in detail, by the representative of the Head
Office for Reich Security in Berlin on the one hand,
and by the representative of the BdS (Dr. Weimann and
Guenther) on the other. The person responsible on
behalf of the BdS, as well as Moes and Guenther from
Prague, were also personally present during these
inspections… The explanations were given to the
members of the delegation by Weimann, Eichmann, Moes,
and also by Guenther and Guemmel from Prague.”

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, may I ask, for the sake of
clarity, to read one sentence from the record of court
proceedings, since it is important in principle for the
position occupied by Eichmann. This does not refer only to
Theresienstadt. It says here at the bottom of the first

“At this transfer of the management Eichmann informed
me that I was subordinate to the Central Office in
Prague, and therefore to the BdS, the Commander of the
Security Police in Prague from the administrative-
technical point of view, and from the political point
of view to the Head Office for Reich Security in
Berlin, and that political questions are within the
field of authority of Hauptsturmfuehrer Moes from
Berlin, who will come to Theresienstadt in case of need
to give me appropriate orders and instructions.”

State Attorney Bar-Or: It is unnecessary to translate this
passage for the record, because I just read the paragraph in
full in the Hebrew translation.

Presiding Judge: All right, this was only emphasized by Dr.
Servatius on his part, as I understand it.

Dr. Servatius: I think the words “and therefore to the
Commander of the Security Police in Prague” were omitted
from the reading. This was the essential part of the
sentence. From the document one can see that this
Commander, i.e., Weimann, is constantly being mentioned.

State Attorney Bar-Or: I pass on to our document No. 1197 –
an invitation to a dinner in Prague. – I see that we are not
ready with the copies. I apologize to the Court, we shall
submit the document at a later stage.

Judge Raveh: I should like to ask something in connection
with the previous document. On the third page, where the
deportation of Eppstein is mentioned, what is the place
mentioned in the eighth line?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Moes took him to the railway station
at Bauschewitz. That was the station belonging to
Theresienstadt. The Court has before it a drawing of the
great procession from Bauschewitz to Theresienstadt. In the
end the Jews in Theresienstadt built an extension of the
railway track from Bauschewitz into the ghetto.

With your permission, I will go on to the last document on
the Theresienstadt chapter, our document No. 855. In
respect to this document, too, I request your permission to
submit it in accordance with Section 15 of the Nazi and Nazi
Collaborators Law. This is a short section of the report
about the activities of the International Red Cross in the
concentration camps in Germany during the years 1939-1945.
It was prepared by a Red Cross official whose name we know
by now: M. Dunant.

Presiding Judge: In what connection was his name mentioned?

State Attorney Bar-Or: Mrs. Salzberger mentioned him. She
heard about what was to have happened to the transport from
this representative, who took over the Theresienstadt camp
from the SS.

I shall submit yet another document. I said that on 6 April
1945, just a few days before the entry of the Red Cross into
Theresienstadt, an apparently final meeting was held between
the SS people and the representative of the Red Cross, in
which the Accused took part. At a later stage I shall
submit the invitation card together with the list of the

I beg to submit here a small part of the official report
issued by the International Red Cross in Geneva, which
concerns two camps that interest us in particular, namely
Theresienstadt, and a short passage dealing with Bergen-
Belsen. The Red Cross was, in fact, not able to enter and
visit Bergen-Belsen. This report actually constitutes an
official document. We have explored the possibility of
inviting the official of the International Red Cross who was
responsible for the preparation of the report, and whose
name I have mentioned. We were told that, in accordance
with the accepted practice of the International Red Cross,
its officers are not allowed to testify about the contents
of official documents published by the International Red
Cross. But it seems to me that this fact does not diminish
the value of this document for the purpose of producing
evidence against the Accused in the trial. To a certain
extent, this is not only an official report, but certain
statements by the Accused himself are also contained in it.
I therefore feel that I am not entitled to ask for
permission to submit this part of the report only. I am, of
course, not submitting only part of it; I have, of course,
the whole report in my hand, and Counsel for the Defence has
also received it. Because of the references to the Accused,
it seems to me that I have to request your permission under
Section 15.

Presiding Judge: To which parts do you wish to refer?

State Attorney Bar-Or: I have prepared a printed copy of
the part, beginning on page 99.

Presiding Judge: And do you wish to submit all this?

State Attorney Bar-Or: There are actually a little over
three pages of the report which cover the whole period of
the War. This is what I wish to submit.

Presiding Judge: Do you also have the complete report?

State Attorney Bar-Or: There is also the complete report,
and it is at the disposal of the Court, of course.

I wish to add only one thing: We have shown this passage to
the Accused in the German translation – the report was
written in French, of course – and the passage is therefore
before you, marked T/37(240). The Accused speaks about it
in his statement on page 2967. He was given an opportunity
to state his opinion on these three pages. I therefore
request permission to submit it.

Dr. Servatius: I have no formal objection to the
submission. I should only like to request that the complete
document be handed to me for perusal, and that I be
permitted to revert to it if something further should emerge
to the benefit of the Defence.

State Attorney Bar-Or: Obviously the whole report is at the
disposal of Counsel for the Defence.

Presiding Judge: Decision No. 39

We permit submission of the excerpts from the report of the
International Red Cross which were mentioned by Mr. Bar-Or,
by virtue of our authority under Section 15 of the Nazi and
Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law 5710-1950.

This will be Exhibit T/865.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/02