State Attorney Bar-Or: One question only should perhaps be
asked: Why was the proposal made so seriously by the Foreign
Ministry when it also knew of the prohibition. It seems to
me that the answer is not complicated. The Germans were
interested, that year, to meet the wishes of the Bulgarians
as far as possible. Bulgaria was already under pressure from
the approaching Russian front. In 1944 they were to lose
Bulgaria and the Foreign Ministry felt that, if it was
possible to compromise on this matter, that would be
preferable. As we saw in these documents, it was in any case
very difficult for the Germans to implement their policy in
Bulgaria. This could explain why the Foreign Ministry deals
so seriously with the proposals following the negotiations
with the Mandatory Government.
Judge Halevi: But the position of the Foreign Ministry is
State Attorney Bar-Or: For the reasons which it indicates.
On the chapter of Greece I ask you to accept, first of all,
a report prepared by the Central Jewish Council for
Coordination and Decision on 20 July, 1960.
Presiding Judge: “for Coordination and Decision” is this
what it is called?
State Attorney Bar-Or: I have translated the words used in
the official English translation. The document contains a
list of the population of the main Communities in Greece
before the German invasion and its numbers at the end of the
War, both in absolute numbers and in percentages. I think
that, although this document – which is not long – does not
mention the Accused, it provides a background in place of
some of the evidence we ought to hear, it puts the deeds of
the Accused and his helpers in that country into a telling
perspective. I should only like to add that this body, the
Central Jewish Council, is actually an official council
which acts in the name of the Kingdom of Greece. I therefore
think that one has to treat it, and its findings, with
trust, as an official report issued on behalf of the
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, do you have any objection to
Dr. Servatius: I have no formal objection.
Decision No. 43
It is decided to accept the Report of the Greek Jewish
Council regarding the population figures in Greece.
State Attorney Bar-Or: The report is our No. 832 which, as
I said, summarized the situation regarding the Communities
in Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, Central Greece,
Peloponnesus, Epirus and the Greek Islands.
Presiding Judge: It seems to me that the document we have is
the original and therefore there is no need for this
photostatic copy. This document will be marked T/953.
State Attorney Bar-Or: I may perhaps interrupt the
continuation of the Greek chapter for a moment. I have
meanwhile received the necessary copies of Document No.
1039, the telegram relating to the previous chapter, on
Bulgaria. In it there is mention of Beckerle’s request to
see whether it is possible to accommodate that particular
Jewess in Thereseinstadt because of the Metropolitan’s
friendly attitude towards Germany.
Presiding Judge: The document will be marked T/954.
Judge Raveh: In connection with document No. 832: If we
take the total number of 77,000 and then we find that 10,000
are left – can this be minus 98 per cent?
State Attorney Bar-Or: The sum total of the decrease is no
Presiding Judge: But are the absolute figures correct?
State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes. In general I checked the
percentage of the population decrease for each Community and
it matches the absolute figures. I do not know what happened
in the end.
Judge Raveh: But the addition is reliable?
State Attorney Bar-Or: The addition is reliable. The sum
total of 77,000 before the beginning of the deportations,
and of the 10,000 who are left – this is reliable.
On the tragic chapter of Greece we have one crucial document
which was saved, and found to our good fortune. It is the
diary of a lawyer from Salonika, who was arrested by the
Germans while he was in the middle of writing it. He was
Advocate Yomtov Yekuel, who perished in the Holocaust. Until
the arrival of the Germans, who took over the affairs of the
Community themselves, Advocate Yekuel had acted as legal
adviser to the Jewish Community in Salonika. In the diary he
describes how the Germans introduced the racist laws against
the Jews of the city. The diary was written in Greek and in
Greek characters. We have translated it into Hebrew.
In Prosecution document No. 351 I wish to bring before the
Court a sworn statement by the Greek Advocate Asher Rafael
Moissis, in which he describes briefly how this diary came
into his hands before its writer himself was seized by the
Germans. There is no doubt that, if the statement in
document No. 351 is accepted, we have Yekuel’s original
diary before us. As for its value – and I intend to submit
the diary itself and not only Moissis’ declaration on how it
came into his possession – its value lies in the fact that
the writer was, thanks to his position, thoroughly familiar
with the affairs of the great Jewish Community of Salonika
over a long period of time. Although he received no salary,
he had a guiding hand in all Community matters.
Presiding Judge: What was his official position?
State Attorney Bar-Or: He was the legal adviser of the
Community of Salonika. He does not speak about matters
pertaining to the Accused, but mainly about matters
connected with the military government, whose representative
– on anything concerning the Jews at any rate – was Dr.
Merten, although in the end it was also Wisliceny, the
representative of the Accused. The latter had come in order
to apply the policies of the Head Office for Reich Security
to Salonika. We must remember that Greece was divided
between the northern zone, occupied by the Germans and
called “Salonika-Aegis” by the military government and the
southern zone with Athens as its centre, which was under
Italian occupation until the defeat of Badoglio. At the end
of 1943 the Germans tried to enter Athens also, but – for
reasons which are very interesting from the historical point
of view – they apparently did not succeed. They did achieve
their object in the part occupied by them, in Salonika and
in the small communities surrounding that Jewish metropolis.
The author keeps a detailed diary of events as they happen
up to the arrival of the Germans.
Attrocities did not start immediately. Social and relief
services had to be organized, especially for children. He
speaks at length about a child-feeding project. I think that
a diary of this kind, which was actually kept for the
purpose of historical documentation of these tragic events,
has to be trusted, and that its content is relevant for us.
Because Yekuel writes not only about what Merten did – who
may not have been directly connected with the Accused – but
about acts carried out in the final instance by two of the
chief lieutenants of the Accused, none other than Wisliceny
and Brunner. Brunner had arrived later to join Wisliceny, so
Wislinceny maintains, in order to do himself what Wisliceny
was unable to do. Whether we believe him or not, these two
worked in Salonika on behalf of the Accused. The writer did
not come into direct contact with either Wisliceny or
Brunner and he does not tell us anything they said. He sees
far more the results of the German policy in Salonika, and
he records how the Jewish organizations endeavour to avert
the disaster, how they react and how in the end they do not
Presiding Judge: Where does Advocate Moissis live?
State Attorney Bar-Or: We obtained his sworn statement from
Athens. He is a lawyer at the Court of Appeal in Athens and
he signed his statement on 4 April 1961. I propose to the
Honourable Court to accept this diary together with document
No. 351, the statement by Mr. Moissis.
Presiding Judge: Do you have the original diary?
State Attorney Bar-Or: The diary is in our possession. If
the Court so wishes I shall have it brought here so that it
can be submitted. As I said, it is in Greek and here before
me I have the translation into Hebrew.
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, do you have any comment?
Dr. Servatius: I have no objection to the declaration of my
Greek Colleague. But I should like to see a copy of this
diary in order to examine it from the point of view of its
credibility. We shall soon see whether it describes the
Presiding Judge: Mr. Bar-Or, do you have a translation into
a language which Dr. Servatius understands?
State Attorney Bar-Or: Your Honour, I have to express
surprise at myself: I was of course sure that a translation
into German had been submitted to Counsel for the Defense
long ago. I regret very much that this has not been done. As
it is, I ask you to postpone the consideration of my request
until Dr. Servatius will have received the German
Presiding Judge: In this case we shall revert to the
document later on.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 997, a letter dated 11
July 1942 from Suhr of the Accused’s Section to Rademacher
of the Foreign Ministry. He first mentions the very bad food
situation in Greece. This remark is relevant because we
shall see that 80 to 90 per cent of the Greek Jews who were
deported and sent to Auschwitz go directly to the gas
chambers – according to the evidence of Hoess, about the
selection in Auschwitz – because of the fact which Suhr
describes here. When the anti-Jewish measures started the
Jews were in such a state of undernourishment that even
Hoess and his helpers did not know what to do with them when
they arrived in Auschwitz.
The problem of designation, always a first measure, is also
mentioned. And the typical problems in Greece are: Italy is
not ready to introduce designation, so that there is a
danger of undesirable reciprocal influence. He therefore
asks for a decision whether the Jews may be designated and
arrested as a first step towards deportation.
Presiding Judge: The document will be marked T/955.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 998. Another letter
from Suhr to Rademacher one month later – the date is 18
August 1942. He announces that the Military Commander of
Salonika-Aegeis, in agreement with the Greek Governor
General of Macedonia, has issued an order for the
mobilization of Jews for work on the completion of roads in
this district. This document also comes from IVB4.
Presiding Judge: The document will be marked T/956.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 999 is a telegram from
Luther to Rome. What interests us appears on the second
page, concerning Greece. There had of course to be
coordination with the Italian authorities because of the
area occupied by them in southern Greece. He speaks about a
conversation with the Italian Representative, which he used
“um ihm von dem Auftrag des SS Sturmbannfuehrers Guenther
fuer die deutsche Besatzungszone Salonika-Aegeis bezueglich
der Judenevakuierung Kenntnis zu geben” (in order to inform
him of the instruction of SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Guenther
for the German zone of occupation Salonika- Aegeis regarding
the evacuation of the Jews). “Guenther will fly to Salonika
today and contact the Consulate General.” The reference is
to the permanent Deputy of the Accused.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/957.
State Attorney Bar-Or: I pass on to document No. 344. In
this document Luther informs the Consulate General in Athens
as follows: “SS-SturnbannfU267hrer Guenther has gone to
Salonika on orders from the Head Office for Reich Security,
in agreement with the Foreign Ministry, in order to conduct
negotiations about Jewish matters there.” The document was
shown to the Accused and was marked T/37(103). The Accused
refers to it on page 1378 of his Statement. He does not say
much. He only says that for a long time he did not remember,
that he did not remember at any rate, that Guenther was in
Greece at all. When the document was shown to him he said:
“It seems that Guenther was in Greece after all.”
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/958.
State Attorney Bar-Or: The next document is No. 1,000, a
letter from Guenther to the Foreign Ministry dated 25
January 1943. Guenther bases himself on a conversation
between Dr. Klingenfuss of the Foreign Ministry and Hunsche
from the office of the Accused. He announces that Wisliceny,
who at the moment is working at the German legation in
Bratislava, will come to Athens and work with the
authorities in Greece.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/959.
State Attorney Bar-Or: And now, in a number of documents,
we shall find two kinds of instructions; guidelines from
Kriegsverwaltungsrat Dr. Merten (War Administration
Councillor), issued on behalf of the Military Government in
connection with Jewish matters, and orders for the
implementation of those guidelines which are given, over
Wisliceny’s signature, directly to the Jewish Community.
First of all, document No. 424. This is an order from Dr.
Merten dated 6 February 1943. It is about the first step:
Designating the Jews of Salonika with the distinctive star.
As a matter of interest, if the question should arise how
these documents come into our possession at all: These are
not documents from Germany, they are documents issued in
Salonika and intended for Salonika. They are in our hands
thanks to the work of Michael Molcho, the Rabbi of the
Jewish Community in Salonika. If the Court wishes to look at
his work, which was published in 1948 together with a sworn
statement, it will become apparent how these documents were
preserved, how they were first brought before a Court in
Athens whence they were transferred to us. This is the
source of all those documents from Merten and from Wisliceny
which show their activities in Salonika. If the Court wishes
to see this document, it is at its disposal.
Presiding Judge: Is it only the authentication of the
State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes, your Honour.
Presiding Judge: There is no remark from the Defence. I
think it is not necessary. This will be marked T/960.
State Attorney Bar-Or: I proceed to document No. 425. This
is already an order for implementation signed by Wisliceny
and addressed to Chief Rabbi Koretz who, at that time,
represented the Community of Salonika. Wisliceny now says,
not that the designation has to be worn, but what the size
of the designation sign should be. Merten appears here as
the chief legislator while Wisliceny issues secondary
regulations. He also says in the same order who is to be
regarded as a Jew, what are mixed marriages, how Merten’s
instructions are to be interpreted, etc.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/961.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 237 was shown to the
Accused and marked T/37(100). The Statement of the Accused
refers to it on pages 1361ff. These are Wisliceny’s
instructions of 17 February 1943, concerning the
designation, not of Jews, but of Jewish shops and dwellings.
I direct your attention, on this occasion, to the heading of
the letter: Wisliceny writes in the name of “Aussenstelle
der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD in Salonika IVb4,” i.e. a
field office of the Security Police and the Security
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/962.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 241 contains orders
from Merten, dated 15 June 1943, about the treatment of
Jewish property in the area under the Military Commander of
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/963.