State Attorney Bach: The situation is always as follows:
Since the telegram goes to the German Foreign Ministry,
Killinger has to sign it. But it always says at the top in
brackets: “Richter, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer,” in order to point
out who actually drafted the telegram.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1058.
State Attorney Bach: Our next document is No. 148. It was
also shown to the Accused and numbered T/37(43). Again a
telegram from Killinger, but in brackets it says: “Richter.”
It says that Lecca has informed him that Filderman has been
arrested and deported on orders from the marshal, without
consideration as to whether he is sick. The telegram was
forwarded to the Accused.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1059.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is No. 133. It was
shown to the Accused and was marked T/37(15). There are
actually two documents here. The second one is signed by
the Accused, who writes to the German Foreign Ministry and
asks to inform Richter that the emigration of the Jew Max
Ausschnitt, who lives in Bucharest, be prevented by every
possible means, and he asks to be informed of the action
taken. Von Thadden transmits Eichmann’s request to Richter.
The Court will remember that this is the same Max Ausschnitt
who was first mentioned in 1941, when the Romanians wanted
to allow him to emigrate, on condition that they could
confiscate his property. The Accused comments on this
document on page 588 ff.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1060.
State Attorney Bach: The reply is contained in von
Thadden’s letter to Eichmann, our document No. 993,
informing Eichmann that Ausschnitt has been arrested and
sent to a camp.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1061.
State Attorney Bach: I should now like to submit to the
Court a set of documents under our No. 979, all of which are
reports by Richter to SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann. The
intention is to show the various types of reports, what was
reported to Eichmann – about emigration of Jews from
Romania, about a Jewish information service, about an
exchange of letters with Jewish youth movements, about
Portuguese consuls, about Filderman, etc. – in fact,
everything about the Jews in Romania, and also about the
Romanian authorities, insofar as it might concern the Jewish
question in any way.
Presiding Judge: There are only the subject headings of the
State Attorney Bach: Yes, the letters themselves are not
included. We are submitting the subject headings simply in
order to point to the kind of things which were reported.
Presiding Judge: This is marked T/1062.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 581. It
concerns six Jews who were released from forced labour,
because of their employment at the Romanian Commercial Bank.
Richter asks Lecca to revoke the release immediately.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1063.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 996.
Eichmann writes to von Thadden and complains about the
French commercial attache in Romania who has taken a stand
against the levy of four billion Lei which the Jews were
required to pay. Eichmann expresses his displeasure and
says that there is a rumour that this attache is a Jew.
This is checked in the first document appended here and the
conclusion is reached that this is not so, that the man is
not a Jew.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1064.
State Attorney Bach: The first document says that the
German legation in Paris was contacted in this matter, and
that there it was confirmed that the man was not a Jew.
The next document is No. 517. Guenther informs the German
Foreign Ministry that the Jewess Koenig has meanwhile been
transferred from Auschwitz to the east for a work
assignment, and that her present whereabouts are unknown.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1065.
State Attorney Bach: Now we have three documents which deal
with a Jew named Hans Erwin Wolff who is of mixed parentage.
In document 634 von Thadden proposed to give this man three
months’ time to liquidate his property, and then he would be
able to return to Germany. This was the arrangement at that
time, that persons of mixed parentage, citizens of the
Reich, could return to Germany within a specified period.
The document says that a copy was sent to
Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, asking for his agreement.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1066.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is No. 635. Here is
the reply of the Accused, who says that he is not opposed in
principle, but that he objects to these three months, and
that the period should be shorted to one month and a half.
He also wants to know where this Mr. Wolff will be living in
future. And here we see a note by von Thadden who says
that, since the liquidation of the property will take three
months, there is no point in shortening the time limit to a
month and a half, and he fixes the time limit nevertheless
at three months.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1067.
State Attorney Bach: Document No. 363. Here it is again
Richter (Killinger signed the letter, but Richter wrote it)
who sends Eichmann the final report about this Jew. He
summarizes Wolff’s biography, saying that he has a Christian
mother and a Jewish father and is therefore of mixed
parentage in the first degree. He says that Wolff left for
the Reich on 14 October and adds that during his stay in
Romania he acquired “Balkan habits”: He published a letter
to his friends in the Bukarester Tageblatt, in which he
wishes them au revoir on the occasion of his return to the
Reich. Finally it says here:
“In view of the conduct of the half-Jew Dr. Hans Erwin
Wolff, I request that, after his return, he be
subjected to suitable Security Police measures.”
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1068.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is No. 1231. This
is a report by von Thadden about the arrest, in the south of
France, of Dr. Filderman’s son, and he says that Filderman
is the son of the organizer of the Jews of Romania who lives
in Bucharest. He says that this son is a close collaborator
of his father’s, and that the Head Office for Reich Security
expects to obtain important information from him during his
interrogation. He says that Filderman junior is suspected
of espionage, but that there is no proof so far. There are
objections to Filderman’s return to Romania, although he is
on the list of Jews who are entitled to return to Romania
from France. Von Thadden has asked to keep his place of
detention secret. “Furthermore, I have received
Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann’s agreement to include us in
Filderman’s interrogation, which will be held in Berlin. To
the extent that it will be possible to discover interesting
details about the activities of the Jews in Romania from
Filderman, it will have to be considered how far these
results may be used as an opportunity to raise the Jewish
question in Romania anew, whether by utilizing it for
propaganda purposes, or for a diplomatic intervention.”
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1069.
State Attorney Bach: Our No. 1232. Kryschak, of the office
of the Accused, writes to the German Foreign Ministry about
Filderman’s son and suggests that his place of detention not
be divulged to the Romanian legation, and to tell the
legation instead that Filderman is not in a detention camp.
He says, by the way, that he is still in Berlin, since it
has not been possible to transfer him to Sachsenhausen
because he has come down with diphtheria.
Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1070.
State Attorney Bach: There is a note by von Thadden on the
letter saying that he has interrogated Filderman. And there
is also attached a request by the government of Romania
asking for Filderman’s release.
The next document is our No. 150. Here Guenther informs
[the German Foreign Ministry] that the International Red
Cross again has plans for bringing Jews to Palestine, and
that it has three ships at its disposal for this purpose.
“This matter is brought to your attention with the request
that you urge the Romanian Government again to prevent the
emigration of Jews not only in theory” (nicht nur
theoretisch zu unterbinden).
Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/1071.
State Attorney Bach: And now I should like to ask the Court
to accept as evidence the last document about Romania – the
declaration given by Dr. Alexander Safran, today the Chief
Rabbi in Geneva, who was then the Chief Rabbi of the Union
of Jewish Communities in Romania, about his activities
during those days.
Presiding Judge: Was he Chief Rabbi at that time?
State Attorney Bach: He was Chief Rabbi of the Union of
Jewish Communities in Romania. As we have already heard
from Dr. Loewenstein, Dr. Safran worked most actively in
order to avert the deportation planned for 10 September
1942. We did not think it necessary to trouble the rabbi
[to come here]. He describes in particular the background
to those events, his intercession with the Catholic clergy
and his contacts with the Romanian royal family. By virtue
of section 15, I request that this declaration be accepted
Dr. Servatius: I have no formal objection.
Presiding Judge: This is a sworn declaration?
State Attorney Bach: The declaration was made before our
consul, but I think that it is not a sworn declaration. It
says: “I, the undersigned, declare the following.”
Presiding Judge: Decision No. 46
We accept the declaration by Chief Rabbi Dr. Safran in
accordance with our authority under section 15 of the Nazi
and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law, 5710-1950.
State Attorney Bach: At the outset of his declaration, Dr.
Safran says that he is now Chief Rabbi of the Community of
Geneva, that he was the Chief Rabbi in Romania, and that in
the past he was a senator in the Romanian parliament.
Presiding Judge: Is his name Safran or Shafran?
State Attorney Bach: The spelling we have is Safran, but it
is pronounced Shafran. In the beginning he describes the
crimes of the years 1941, 1942, when hundreds of thousands
of Jews were murdered. We have already heard evidence about
this. Then he speaks of Lecca’s visit to Berlin where he
was invited to go in August 1942. Safran goes on to
describe Richter’s activities and his influence over Mihai
Antonescu. He relates that Richter himself used to deal
with the provision of railway carriages and with schedules,
especially for the deportation trains for the Jews of
southern Transylvania, where the deportation was to begin at
the end of 1942. That was when he turned to the head of the
church in Transylvania, the Metropolitan, Monsignor Balan,
who responded to his personal request and came to his office
in Bucharest. The meeting was very dramatic, he says.
“Metropolitan Balan informed me after only a few hours that
he had succeeded in obtaining from Marshal Ion Antonescu the
annulment of the decision to deport the Jewish population
from Transylvania.” But, he says, the Germans did not
acquiesce in this step, as he learned from King Michael and
Queen Mother Helena who always listened attentively to his
Killinger declared in high circles that he did not accept
the non-participation of the Romanian authorities in the
Final Solution of the Jewish Question. Richter meanwhile
made every effort to undo the lenient orders given by the
government leaders by means of administrative orders for
deportation, which he tried to obtain from General Vasiliu,
the Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of the Interior
who headed the department for deportation of Jews.
In the autumn of 1942 the subject of deportations was raised
again, and more urgently. Again Safran approached Marshal
Antonescu, but this time without success. This time
Antonescu was more favourably inclined towards the demands
of the Germans. At this point Safran alerted Monsignor
Cassulo, the representative of the Pope and head of the
diplomatic corps in Bucharest. “I was the only
representative of the Jewish population who was in direct
and constant contact with him during the whole period of
Nazi oppression in Romania,” says Safran. The
representative of the Pope did his utmost in order to
persuade the two Antonescus – Ion, the marshal, and Mihai –
but without success; this time the marshal was not willing
to make any concessions. In my conversation with Monsignor
Cassulo, after his stormy Session with the Antonescus, I was
given to understand that “our fate was sealed,” and that the
deportations would begin in the autumn.
At that point, Safran says, he asked that a representative
of the Pope travel to Rome and bring a special message from
there to the Antonescus, which might still impress them,
shake them, before it would be too late. “I told the Nuncio
that I impose this on him in the name of the respect he owes
to the Creator and to his creatures.” The Nuncio did, in
fact, go to Rome and then he returned to Bucharest. Safran
says that the appeal by the Nuncio, which was not
publicized, was energetically supported by the
representatives of Sweden, Switzerland and the International
Red Cross, and this intervention resulted in the saving of
hundreds of thousands of Jews in Romania. The Germans
suffered a defeat when, at the very last moment, Marshal
Antonescu objected to the deportation of the Jews. The
Council of Ministers stopped the deportations officially in
the middle of October 1942. The representatives of the
German Government reacted sharply to the decision of the
government of Romania, and Richter excelled in his brutality
on this occasion.
And further on he says:
“We had become used to Richter’s impudence and cruelty.
He is the one who succeeded in imposing on the Romanian
civil and military authorities the formula of
deportation `with family’ of Jews who were to be
expelled because of `transgressions’ relating to
obligatory or forced labour and other `laws’ affecting
the Jews. He took pleasure in persecuting, arresting,
deporting and condemning to death Jewish children,
pupils, students and halutzic youth, and this was
confirmed to me by Radu Lecca himself, when I went to
see him in order to intervene on their behalf. It was
he who impeded the rescue operations and the return of
the orphans and other surviving deportees from
Transnistria. He asked for severe sanctions against
the Zionist leaders who were under arrest, and he did
so even towards the end of the War, when the Romanian
authorities were looking for an `honourable’ way out of
their vicious policy against the Jews.”
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1072.
State Attorney Bach: Your Honours, with this document I
have concluded the Romanian chapter. I should like to ask
for a break here. In the afternoon we shall submit
documents about Slovakia.
Judge Halevi: What was the end of this Richter?
State Attorney Bach: Richter lives in Germany now. He was
in Russia for about ten years, in Russian captivity, I
believe. Then he was released and returned to Germany. I
understand that now an investigation is under way against
him, in order to bring him to trial, even at this stage.
Presiding Judge: The next Session will be at 3.30 p.m.