Session No. 47
7 Sivan 5721 (22 May 1961)
Presiding Judge: I declare the forty-seventh Session of the
Mr. Bar-Or, you had a question in connection with the taking
of evidence in Italy.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Your Honour, the Attorney General
will arrive in a few minutes and make an announcement to the
Court on this matter. His car was apparently delayed. I
shall then interrupt the submission of documents in order to
enable him to make his statement concerning Italy. With the
permission of the Court, I shall continue, if I may, and
shall in fact conclude the chapter on Yugoslavia.
The first document is No. 660, an urgent teleprinter message
signed by Helm and Kasche, addressed to the Foreign Ministry
and dated 4 March 1943. Helm informs the Foreign Ministry,
for the information of the Head Office for Reich Security,
IVB4, Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, that preparations for the
new action against the Jews had been completed that week and
that the deportation would be by districts in groups of 20
to 150 persons. He says that in the operation a total of
2,000 Jews would be seized. He also asks to give the
commander in Marburg information in connection with the
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/908.
State Attorney Bar-Or: The next document is our No. 1161, a
telegram dated 4 February 1943, signed by Kasche. He says
that by the end of the week preparations for the action
against the Jews in Croatia will have been completed and
that the operation will begin in the middle of March.
“Representative of the German Reich Railway Directorate in
Agram has promised to supply carriages, which will be joined
to scheduled trains. About 2,000 Jews will be seized in this
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/909.
State Attorney Bar-Or: This document actually belongs, of
course, to the previous document which we have submitted.
Judge Halevi: What is the difference? Is this not the same
State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 1161 is the text as
finally transmitted by the Foreign Ministry to the office of
the Accused, whereas 660 is the version received by the
Fernschreibstelle (teleprinter terminal) of the Foreign
Ministry. The two demonstrate the procedure for information
via the Foreign Ministry used in all cases where there was a
Police Attache at the Foreign Ministry.
The next document is our No. 659. Here it was marked
T/37(224). The Accused speaks about this document on page
2614 of his Statement. On 10 April 1943 Wagner asks the
Police Attache about the deportation of Jews from Croatia to
Auschwitz and says:
“With reference to the telephone message at the time, I
am asking for information when the start of the
announced deportation in groups of the remaining
approximately 2,000 Jews from Croatia to Auschwitz may
be expected. In this connection I further request a
report on the negotiations with the Italian authorities
concerning the deportation of the Jews living in the
coastal areas occupied by Italy.”
Presiding Judge: Please limit the quotations.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Very well, Your Honour.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/910.
State Attorney Bar-Or: The next document, No. 686, contains
a request from the Italian Embassy dated 4 February 1943. It
deals with the transfer from Zagreb to Auschwitz near
Kattowitz of an Italian citizen of Jewish race. The request
is that the matter be looked into with a view to preparing
her return to Italy.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/911.
State Attorney Bar-Or: In document No. 687, on 13 April
1943, Guenther gives his reply to the Foreign Ministry. He
says that, in accordance with the findings of the Camp
Management, this Jewess was not in Auschwitz and that there
was no way of ascertaining her present whereabouts.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/912.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 342, here marked
T/37(104), was shown to the Accused; he speaks about it on
page 1379 of his Statement. It is the copy of a letter to
the Foreign Ministry dated 26 May 1943, which was also sent
to Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann. It deals with the
activities of the Croatian police following the action
against the Jew Mario Sasson who was included in a transport
to Auschwitz. There is a request to inform IVB4,
Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann immediately. The telegram is
signed by von Schubert. Here again we actually see a
correspondence via the Foreign Ministry which is not
intended for the Ministry at all, but rather for an office
abroad of the Accused.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/913.
The document is not complete. There is only the first page
State Attorney Bar-Or: It is not complete. The second page
starts with the word “nachtraeglich” (subsequently).
The following document is No. 343, which was here marked
T/37(105). The Accused refers to this document in the pages
of his Statement which I have already pointed out. Guenther
informs von Tadden of the Foreign Ministry that the Jews
Sasson was arrested by the Croatian police in the course of
the action against the Jews and was transferred to the East
for work assignment. No information was given to the
authorities who have requested it.
Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/914.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 1048, a letter from the
Accused dated 2 July 1943 to von Thadden at the Foreign
Ministry about another Jew named Viktor Guttmann. He informs
the Foreign Ministry that he (the Accused) has ordered the
Police Attache in Agram to bring about the release from
custody of the Jew Guttmann and the members of his family
and their transfer to the area of the Reich. Eichmann
continues:”…I intend to have Guttmann accommodated under
preferred conditions in the old-age ghetto Theresienstadt
for the time being.” The document is interesting in
connection with the administrative relations between the
Accused and the Police Attaches at the embassy outside
Presiding Judge: The document will be marked T/915.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 655, a letter from
Wagner to the German legation in Agram. On this letter of 15
July 1943 we find the signature of Ploetz. This Ploetz was
the head of what was called Attache-Gruppe (Group of
Attaches) which worked within the Head Office for Reich
Security and corresponded with the representatives of the
Head Office for Reich Security, who were in fact its own
representatives abroad. The correspondence is between the
Group of Attaches and the department heads of the Foreign
Ministry. This is also the situation here. At the top of the
telegram it says:
“The Head of the Security Police for the Police
Attache: According to strictly confidential information
received here, about 800 Jews, mostly women and
children, are said to be still housed in concentration
camps, inter alia in Croatia. I request you to start
immediately to arrange for the evacuation to the East
of these 800 Jews, unless there are guidelines to the
Presiding Judge: The document will be marked T/916.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 1082 is a letter from
the Kriminalinspektor (Superintendent of the Criminal
Police) in Zagreb, transmitted by the Police Attache and the
Legation to the Foreign Ministry. The marking there is IVB4.
The writer mentions a request by the Jewish Agency for
Palestine to transfer to Palestine 400 of the Jews of
Croatia. He bases himself on instructions from the Head
Office for Reich Security, IVB4 and says that the Jewish
Agency is making efforts to enable 400 Jews to emigrate to
Palestine because they are threatened with evacuation to the
East. He goes on to say that, in the course of the
continuing efforts for the emigration of these Jews and the
prevention of their deportation, the Jewish Agency has
approached the Swiss legations in Ankara, Budapest, Sofia
and Agram. Furthermore, the Vatican has also intervened in
this matter. Among these Jews there are apparently a Rabbi
and a communal public figure who are singled out for special
mention. He is endeavouring to bring about the immediate
deportation to the East of the 400 Jews and he is expecting
a report. Finally he asks that the Head Office for Reich
Security be informed about the issue of such instructions.
Judge Halevi: Who is writing to whom?
State Attorney Bar-Or: Agram writes to the Foreign Ministry
for the information of the Head Office for Reich Security.
Presiding Judge: I see that there are two letters here. The
first one is included in the second.
State Attorney Bar-Or: This is correct, Your Honour. It is
actually an internal one. It was sent from that place to the
BdS in Zagreb.
Presiding Judge: From what place? Who is this
State Attorney Bar-Or: He is actually under the BdS in
Zagreb. He writes to him as his superior. The covering
document to the letter from the Krininalinspektor is the
document in which this report and the proposals of the
Superintendent of the Criminal Police are transmitted to
Presiding Judge: The first document looks like a draft, it
has no address and no signature.
State Attorney Bar-Or: The first document is an original
copy of a letter which was sent to Berlin.
Judge Halevi: What I do not understand is: Who asks that
these Jews be sent to the East?
State Attorney Bar-Or: The Superintendent of the Criminal
Police sums up the position when he says that, in order to
avoid possibly successful interventions on behalf of the 400
Jews, it is necessary to head off the efforts by the Jewish
Agency, the Vatican and others through the deportation of
these Jews to the East.
Judge Halevi: The Superintendent of the Criminal Police is
State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes.
Judge Halevi: And he is the emissary of the Accused, or who
State Attorney Bar-Or: He is the emissary of the BdS. This
is Helm’s unit which we know. In order to give directives
concerning cancellation of a transport or dispatch of a
transport they depend of course on instructions from IVB4.
These general instructions are those mentioned at the
beginning of the letter, which begins with the words “Das
Reichssicherheitshauptamt hat mit Erlass vom…” (the Head
Office for Reich Security has, in its order of…).
Judge Raveh: Where were these documents received from?
State Attorney Bar-Or: These documents come from
Yugoslavia. We have here copies of the Gestapo files in
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/917.
State Attorney Bar-Or: 1083. That same Kriminalinspektor
writes to Berlin on 19 July 1943. I think his name is
Huebner. He writes directly to the Accused on the same
matter and adds that the above-mentioned order was passed on
to the Chief of the Security Police and the SD in Croatia,
SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Hermann, for the issue of further
instructions. This Hermann had promised early
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/918.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Ploetz, the Head of the
Attachegruppe, telegraphs to Helm, the Police Attache in
Agram on 16 September 1943, and asks that the text of the
telegram be transmitted to SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Abromeit.
He says that, in the light of the changes in the situation
in the coastal region of Croatia which was until now
occupied by Italian troups, the evacuation of the Jews still
present in these regions must be prepared without delay. The
change (in the situation) is of course the defeat of Italy
in connection with the Badoglio affair.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/919.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 1095 was shown to the
Accused and given the marking T/37(305). The relevant pages
in the Statement are 3464 ff. Ploetz telegraphs to Agram,
again in connection with the technical implementation of the
evacuation of the Jews in those areas of Croatia hitherto
occupied by the Italian army. A special detachment under the
command of Obersturmbannfuehrer Krumey is brought up here
and this special detachment is instructed to carry out the
deportation operations in cooperation with Helm. Ploetz asks
on behalf of the Head Office for Reich Security that Krumey
be given support in every way.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/920.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 656. Kasche transmits
to the Foreign Ministry in Berlin a report dated 18 April
1944 by his Police Attache, Obersturmbannfuehrer Helm. Again
on the question of disposal of the Jewish Question in
Croatia which, in Helm’s opinion, was already largely solved
on 24 April 1944. He explains why there are still Jews in
Croatia at all and cites in particular two factors: (a) The
many mixed marriages, which are only to a small extent
apprehended by the Croatians, (b) The influence of some
Jews, especially in mixed marriages, on ruling circles in
the government of the independent state of Croatia. Helm
summarizes the situation as follows: “As is well known,” he
says in his letter to the Ambassador dated 18 April, “the
evacuation of the Jews from Croatia was proposed late in the
autumn of 1942 by the Croatian authorities in combination
with advisory activities by the Police Attache. The
implementation as such was satisfactory, so that Croatia –
apart from some occupied areas – could be regarded as a
country in which the Jewish Question has on the whole been
solved.” At the end he suggests to propose to the Government
of Croatia that stricter criteria be proposed for the award
of the right of honorary Aryan (“Ehrenarier”) and to re-
examine this question from more exacting points of view. “On
the basis of the order of the Reichsfuehrer-SS the Jewish
Question is again being examined by the Commander of the
Security Police and the Security Service in close
cooperation with our Section.” Croatia was one of these
countries which coined the peculiar concept of “Arier,” not
real Arier, but quasi-Arier for this purpose.
Presiding Judge: Aryan honoris causa.
This will be marked T/921.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 1049 – a letter from
von Thadden to the Accused dated 17 April 1944. He mentions
Guenther with respect to a possible attempt to reopen the
Jewish Question. He transmits this for information and adds
that in Croatia the main difficulties are apparently the
family connections of Croatian leaders which are a serious
obstacle to more incisive measures against the Jews.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/922.