Q. Do you know a place called Sabac? What does it remind you of?
A. Austrian, German and Czech refugees, who were on their
way to Israel via the Danube at the beginning of 1941, and
who were stopped at the Yugoslav-Romanian border when war
broke out between Germany and Yugoslavia, were taken to
Sabac. In Sabac 900 of these refugees were shot.
Q. Mr. Arnon, do you remember an extradition request from
the Zagreb authorities while you were in Ljubljana?
A. I was in hospital in Ljubljana after an operation when
two Italian officials, one in uniform and one in civilian
clothes, came and wanted to examine my status after an
extradition request had been received from Zagreb. They
asked me to report to the police station after leaving the
hospital. When I appeared before the prefect, he told me
that he had let my file disappear since, formally, the law
had not been adhered to: The extradition request from
Croatia was sent directly to the District Government in
Ljubljana, without passing through the official channel via
the Foreign Ministry.
Q. You were not extradited?
Q. You told the Court how many Jews there were in Yugoslavia
before the outbreak of the War in 1941. How many were left
after the War?
A. As I said, there were 75,000 Jews in Yugoslavia, of whom
60,000 were killed. Thanks to the generous gesture of
Marshall Tito, 8,000 Jews were able to come to Israel from
Yugoslavia with all their movable property. 2,000 may now
be in various parts of North and South America, Canada and
Australia. 5,000-6,000 live in Yugoslavia today.
Q. I should like to remind you of an article. Tell the
Court, please, whether you remember it. It is Prosecution
document 1624. It is an article which was published by the
Minister of the Interior, Dr. Artukovic, in the Croatian
“People’s Journal,” No. 26, of 26 February 1942. It deals
with the solution of the Jewish Question. Do you remember
A. Yes. I heard the speech by Andre Artukovic on the radio,
and besides, I read it in the papers.
State Attorney Bar-Or: I should like to submit the text.
Presiding Judge: This will be Exhibit T/891.
State Attorney Bar-Or: I have completed my questioning.
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, do you have any questions to
Dr. Servatius: Here, also, I have no questions.
Judge Raveh: You told us that you had to report many times
to the Gestapo office in Zagreb. Was this the only Gestapo
office in Croatia, or were there other offices in Croatia?
Witness Arnon: In Zagreb there was the central office of
the Gestapo in the very well-known Nasicka building. In
other parts of Yugoslavia we know only about Gestapo branch
offices in Osijek and Sarajevo.
Q. Were there representatives of the Gestapo in the camps?
Q. Did you remain in Ljubljana until the end of the War?
A. No. In August 1942 I was sent to the so-called Libero
Confino, in Alba near Cuneo.
Q. Was this under Italian authority?
A. It was in Italy.
Q. And you remained there until the end of the War?
A. No. After the surrender of Italy I fled to a small
village called Robbi near Alba and went into hiding with a
peasant. On 20 September 1943 I escaped to Switzerland with
Judge Halevi: Mr. Arnon, you mentioned Artukovic several
times as a persecutor of the Jews. How did he escape from
Witness Arnon: He fled like all other ministers of the
Pavelic government, he reached Italy, obtained a passport
under an assumed name and fled to South America.
Presiding Judge: Where are you living now?
Witness Arnon: In New York or in California.
Judge Halevi: Did he carry out the measures against the
Jews at the order of the Germans?
Witness Arnon: I cannot say definitely that it was at the
order of Germans, because I have no proof. But this was
Q. You mentioned your activities on behalf of the Joint
several times. You visited the Representative of the Joint
in Budapest three times. What was his name?
A. Mr. Blum, who lives now in Israel.
Q. You said that both he and Dr. Joseph Schwartz in Portugal
gave you, or sent you, money?
Q. And at the request of the Joint you were released from
Q. How could the Joint make that a condition? You say they
made it a condition, that they would not give money unless
you were released. Did the Gestapo have an interest in
these funds which were to be turned over to the Jews in
A. Yes, it did, because it was a matter of dollars.
Q. One more question: I am not sure that I heard correctly
when you said that in one camp hundreds of thousands of
Serbs were exterminated?
A. Hundreds of thousands.
Q. In what year was that?
A. Beginning in 1941, and until the end.
Q. And who killed them?
A. The Ustashi.
Presiding Judge: Thank you, Mr. Arnon. You have completed
State Attorney Bar-Or: I pass on to document No. 1432, and
I request that it be admitted in accordance with Section 15
of the Nazi and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law. It is
one of those government reports some of which have already
been submitted to this Court. This time it is a report by
the Staatskommission, the State Commission for Establishing
the Crimes of the Occupiers and their Helpers. This
commission was established by the Government of Yugoslavia,
which had been reconstituted after the expulsion of the
German occupier. The report was submitted in June 1945, and
I should like to submit only that part which deals with the
crimes of the Germans against the Jews.
We know the identity of the author of this part of the
Commission’s report; his name is Milan Marcovic. The
importance of the report lies in the fact that it quotes
figures on all parts of Yugoslavia and that it gives a
survey about the development of the most important events.
It does not primarily deal with the personal responsibility
of this or that person from among the Germans and their
helpers, such as the Ustashi, etc., but provides a good and
exact general survey about the anti-Jewish activities in the
various parts of Yugoslavia during the War. I request that
it be accepted.
Presiding Judge: Yes. Dr. Servatius, what have you to say
Dr. Servatius: I have no formal objection.
Decision No. 41
We accept as evidence the part dealing with the fate of the
Jews in the report of the commission set up by the
Government of Yugoslavia.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Your Honour, I submit an original
official photograph, together with a translation into German
certified by the Yugoslav authorities. I have not been able
to prepare a Hebrew translation in time, and I apologize.
Counsel for the Defence has also received the German
translation of the document which was made in Yugoslavia.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/892.
State Attorney Bar-Or: I shall not go into every detail of
this important document. From the titles of the sections
the Court will see that it deals with all the questions
which also arose in the evidence of Mr. Arnon, and there are
also some additional episodes. There are, of course, more
details here, but Mr. Arnon actually went over most of the
subjects described in detail by the commission.
I now have to ask your permission, Your Honours, to submit a
number of additional documents which are only admissible
under Section 15. A number of Gestapo personnel, the Nazis
responsible for anti-Jewish and anti-Serbian activities,
were in the end put on trial in Belgrade before a military
court of the Yugoslav army. I have before me document No.
1434 which contains the Vernehmungsprotokoll, the record of
the examination of Obersturmbannfuehrer Hans Helm. We
located him on the organization chart of the operational
groups; he was one of the chief subordinates of Fuchs, about
whom we shall hear in a moment. It is a record dated 18
September 1946, which was drawn up in Belgrade.
Helm was not directly connected with the Accused; he was
directly connected with Fuchs. He was Police Attache in
Croatia – this will emerge from a number of documents
bearing his signature, which I hope to submit to you in the
course of this morning’s sessions. It seems to me that
Helm’s evidence is of value, and I ask you to permit me to
submit this record.
Presiding Judge: Is Helm still alive?
State Attorney Bar-Or: I am convinced that he is not alive.
At any rate, we know nothing about him.
Presiding Judge: Are there more documents of this kind?
State Attorney Bar-Or: There are. If it is possible to
combine my requests, I should gladly do so.
Document No. 1433 deals with the evidence of Dr. Wilhelm
Fuchs, who was already mentioned, of 4 September 1946. Here
the name of the Accused is already expressly mentioned. The
man was executed. He had been Helm’s superior.
Presiding Judge: Was the evidence given before that same
court in Belgrade?
State Attorney Bar-Or: Before the same military court in
Presiding Judge: Does he mention the Accused?
State Attorney Bar-Or: He speaks about him, already in the
second line he mentions the Accused.
A third request concerns document No. 1437. It contains the
record of the evidence of SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Ludwig
Teichmann before the same Yugoslav military court, dated 17
September 1945; he was also one of the group active in
Serbia on behalf of the Gestapo and the SS. He refers of
course again to Helm and Fuchs. These things are all
connected with one another to a certain extent.
Presiding Judge: What was the fate of this Teichmann?
State Attorney Bar-Or: I do not know his exact fate, I know
that he is not alive.
The fourth request concerns document No. 1435. There are
actually two records here from Senior Commander of the
Police and the SS, August Meisner. From the administrative
point of view, he was SS und Polizeifuehrer (Head of the SS
and the Police), and he had therefore the highest rank of
all those whom I have mentioned. His evidence was taken on
31 August 1946 before the same Yugoslav military court. The
importance of this record lies in the fact that it is the
only one that connects the actions of the SS in his region
directly to Berlin.
Presiding Judge: What does Berlin mean here?
State Attorney Bar-Or: It means to the Head Office for
Reich Security. He mentions the word “Kurfuerstenstrasse.”
The man was executed.
And finally document No. 1493, a record dated 26 May 1945
oft the examination of Aleksander Benak on the chapter of
Croatia – this one relates to the Croatian side. The
significance of the document lies in the fact that it
mentions the representative of the Accused in this region.
Presiding Judge: What was Benak’s position?
State Attorney Bar-Or: He was in contact with the Gestapo
on behalf of the Directorate about which we have heard.
Presiding Judge: He, a Croat?
State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes, in the main Directorate for
Public Order and Security, the internal Croatian
administration which acted parallel with the SS.
Judge Halevi: On behalf of Mr. Artukovic?
State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes. Or Kvaternik. The director
was Kvaternik. He mentions Abromeit from the office of the
Accused, who was active in this region. We shall see him
appearing in a number of documents which I shall submit
Presiding Judge: Was this also before the same court?
State Attorney Bar-Or: Before the same court.
Presiding Judge: Is Benak alive?
State Attorney Bar-Or: Benak is not alive. He was
These are the five requests. They all belong, in fact, to
one group, the same personnel plus Benak, who are active in
the area about which the Court heard witnesses this morning.
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, what about these five
Dr. Servatius: In my opinion these testimonies are
irrelevant, they only show the establishment, but not who
operated it and bears the real responsibility. There will
be other documents to show this. But I have no formal
Presiding Judge: Decision No. 42
We accept as evidence the testimonies of Helm, Fuchs,
Teichmann, Meisner and Benak, according to the details given
to us by Mr. Bar-Or. We do so by virtue of our authority
under Section 15 of the Nazi and Nazi Collaborators
(Punishment) Law 5710-1950, for the reasons given in our
Decision No. 7.
State Attorney Bar-Or: With your permission, I shall
discuss them one by one. First, document No. 1434, the Helm
record, in which I shall draw the attention of the Court to
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/893.
State Attorney Bar-Or: One passage is in the middle of page
3. He speaks about a conversation between himself and
Gruppenfuehrer Mueller in Berlin, actually about two
conversations. In the first one there is mention of the
need to proceed ruthlessly and resolutely against the
Yugoslav population, against the Serb elements in Croatia.
He says that, in 1944, he reminded Mueller of that
conversation and told him that, already at that time (in
1941), he had objected to this, that there was no use, no
sense, in this manner of proceeding; and that Mueller then
agreed, that, indeed, in 1944 it seemed to him that in 1941
he (Helm) and not Mueller had been right. So much about the
general activities of the Special Operations Group.
As for the Jews, he refers to them specially in the second
passage on page 4 and says that “the Special Operations
Group received orders from Berlin to transfer them to a
ghetto, in cooperation with the Military Administration.”
He mentions the camp near Sajmiste, which was under the
control of the Special Operations Group, by order of the
Military Administration. He also mentions that sometimes
Jews were chosen as victims from among camp inmates and
executed, shot in reprisal.
Now, document No. 1433, the examination of Dr. Wilhelm
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/894.