Session 051-01, Eichmann Adolf

Session No. 51
9 Sivan 5721 (24 May 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the fifty-first Session of the
trial open.

State Attorney Bach: Your Honour, I submit a small number
of additional documents. The first document is our No. 513.
Here Veesenmayer advises that the Slovakian Government is
still taking an interest in those Slovakian Jews who are in
Hungary, and in particular in those orphan children who, at
the time, had crossed into Hungary. The Court will recall
that we had some evidence here in this matter. It was to
the effect that these Jews had crossed over at the time
illegally. Veesenmayer tries to persuade the Slovakian
Government to cease taking an interest in this matter – a
step which would facilitate the operation in Hungary.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1120.

State Attorney Bach: The following document is our No. 902.
Here Ludin notifies the Foreign Office that he is ready to
meet Veesenmayer, but that a renewal of the repressive
measures against the Jews here – that is to say in Pressburg
– would only be possible with the active participation of
Wisliceny on the spot.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked /1121.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 903.
This is a report dated 11 August 1944. The German Minister
Ludin submits a comprehensive review to the Foreign Office
of the position of the Jews in Slovakia. The review
contains an expose of the anti-Jewish operations,
statistical data, and an account of the relationship between
the German embassy and the Slovakian Government. At that
stage, out of a total of 89,000 Jews in Slovakia, 15,300
were still registered. On page 4 Ludin remarks that the
Jews were assisted by Slovakian church circles, who
supported their cause by the publication of a pastoral
letter. Later on, he again repeats his demand that
Wisliceny should come immediately because of his vast
experience, and considering all the circumstances. He says
that his absence, which had been caused by the fact that he
had been sent to Greece and Hungary, had facilitated a
relaxation in the application of the anti-Jewish
regulations. He also mentions that Wisliceny had told him
that thousands of Jews had recently fled from Hungary to
Slovakia. In other words, this was a flight in reverse from
Hungary to Slovakia in 1944.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1122.

State Attorney Bach: The following document is No. 638,
which has also been shown to the Accused and which has been
numbered T/37(192). Here news came “that on 24 May certain
transports crossed from Hungary on their way to the east
through Slovakia, and that the Germans put Jews to death
there by shooting, and compelled Jews, under threat of being
shot, to hand over to them jewellery and other valuables
such as watches, rings, fountain pens, and even cash.” It
was established that the German escorts were drunk and were
singing. It says further, “that the Jews threw various
articles of value out of the train, and even money, and that
this act had aroused the feelings of the Slovakian public,
and that the German name had been harmed. He requests an
immediate clarification from Eichmann’s unit.” The letter
is signed by Wagner, of the Foreign Office.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1123.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 639.
Here Veesenmayer, in reply to this telegram, advises that,
according to the statement of Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann,
it was reasonable to suppose that this Slovakian report
could be true, and that the men who accompanied the
transports were no longer experienced SD men, but rather
young SS men and Volksdeutsche from Baoska and from Banat.
A further report is promised.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1124.

State Attorney Bach: In document No. 640 in the same
context, Grell,* {*Horst Theodor Paul Grell, Legationsrat
and SS Hauptsturmfuehrer} of the German embassy in Budapest,
also makes a report of the same episode. Here it appears
that there is a dispute between the various units in
Budapest as to who is responsible there. He says there that
Eichmann’s operational unit has authority solely for the
technical implementation, and consequently the report ought
to come from the Commander of the Security Police and SD.
At any rate, he says that killing by shooting was necessary
for the purpose of maintaining discipline within the

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1125.

State Attorney Bach: Despite the fact that, on the face of
it, the Accused’s Section was, so to say, not responsible,
we notice in the following document, No. 641, that Guenther,
in his letter to von Thadden, definitely justifies the
action. He says that the tales of detrimental behaviour are
totally false. He says that it was necessary to fire on the
Jews of the transport of 29 May owing to their unruly
conduct. He says that these Jews, in the course of the
journey, threw money and other articles from the train
carriages, despite this having been prohibited. In view of
the fact that such rebellious behaviour on the part of the
Jews caused public unrest, which was also confirmed in the
report, it became necessary to adopt deterrent measures on
the spot.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1126.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is No. 895. Here
Ludin advises the Foreign Office that he had been approached
by Tiso, who was afraid of difficulties with the Vatican and
with Switzerland if Jews should again be deported. This
referred to October 1944. Ludin says that he told Tiso that
he should simply say that the Reich demanded a vigorous
solution from the Slovakian state, and that in such a case
“we are ready to bear the responsibility for the measures
against the Jews that were taken here.”

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, with
regard to this document No. 895, I am not sure whether I
heard the correct translation. There is an important
sentence there which the envoy writes to the Foreign Office,
about this vigorous solution “that we are ready in this
instance to accept for ourselves the responsibility for the
actions against the Jews.”

State Attorney Bach: Evidently when the word “we” is used
here, the reference is not to “we, the Foreign Office,” but
to “we, the Germans,” as distinct from the Slovakians. Of
course, the Foreign Office is the department that has to
represent this position.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1127.

State Attorney Bach: The following document is No. 896.
This letter from Ludin reached the Foreign Office, and von
Thadden considers that Ludin’s suggestion is not practical,
for towards the outside world, it openly places the
responsibility upon Germany. He thinks it is desirable to
make use of the uprising in Slovakia as an excuse, and he
states: “We must exploit this fact and advise the Slovakians
to answer to any possible intervention, that the large
participation of the Jews in the uprisings and the partisan
movements rendered a drastic solution of the Jewish Question
unavoidably necessary.”

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1128.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is No. 371, which
was submitted to the Accused and which was numbered
T/37(140). This was an enquiry through the Foreign Office
concerning the whereabouts of a number of Jews who once
possessed Slovakian citizenship. Kryschak, of the Accused’s
office, writes that the investigations failed to produce any
results, and “we abstained from further investigations,
because we had to devote ourselves to the performance of
duties essential to the war effort.” And he adds: “Since we
do not any longer have to take into account the return of
the Jews to Slovakia, it is possible to settle this problem,
and there should no longer be any need to deal with it.”

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1129.

State Attorney Bach: The following document is No. 833.
This is a document that appears in the album which Dr.
Steiner submitted this morning, and he testified that he had
seen the original and had himself made a photocopy. It
contains confirmation of the arrest of 9,600 Jews – the
report is dated 9 December 1944 – and of the transfer of
close to 9,000 Jews to a concentration camp in Germany.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1130.

State Attorney Bach: I should merely like to draw the
attention of the Court to the word “special treatment” which
appears in this document, relating to 2,200 people. We do
not have here an exact explanation of its meaning. This is
a general number of the people who received this treatment.

The following document is No. 898. Here von Thadden writes
to Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann that Tiso had received a
letter from the Archbishop of Uppsala, in Sweden, in which
the Archbishop intervenes on behalf of his “unfortunate
Jewish brethren” and requests Slovakia to enable the Jews to
leave for neutral territory, since “it is no longer possible
to guarantee them humane treatment.” He adds that Tiso
showed him the letter, together with the comment: “What do
some people imagine to themselves!”

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1131.

State Attorney Bach: And now, Your Honours, the final
document, our No. 217. It was also submitted to the Accused
and was given the number T/37(74). This is a letter from
von Thadden to Eichmann, and he mentions here that Dunand of
the Red Cross applied to the German embassy for permission
to be given to the Jews to set up a shelter, and he says
that his proposal was limited to a shelter required only for
Jewish children. And Dunand received an explanation from
the German embassy that “bearing in mind the participation
of the Jews in the Slovakian uprising, we cannot agree to
this request, for any shelter is likely to develop forthwith
into an additional nucleus of Jewish resistance.”

Presiding Judge: This document is numbered T/1132.

State Attorney Bach: I now notice that I overlooked one
document, Prosecution document No. 524. There is reference
here to a Jewess named Brody, who up to that time was
believed to be a Slovakian citizen “but what we did not
know” – says Guenther – was “that she is apparently a
Hungarian citizen whom, for security and police
considerations, we are unable to return.”

Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/1133.

State Attorney Bach: I would now ask to call our next
witness, Mr. Adolf Rosenberg.

Presiding Judge: Do you speak Hebrew?

Witness Rosenberg: Yes.

[The witness is sworn]

Presiding Judge: What is your full name?

Witness: Adolf Rosenberg.

State Attorney Bach: Mr. Rosenberg, were you born in

Witness Rosenberg: Yes.

Q. And you were, in fact, the owner of a carpentry shop?

A. Yes.

Q. In which town?

A. Nove Mesto nad Vahom.

Q. When were you required to hand over your carpentry shop
to an “Aryanizer”?

A. That was in 1941.

Q. After you handed over your shop to the “Aryanizer,” did
you continue working there?

A. Yes.

Q. In what capacity?

A. As a technical adviser – this was the full title
according to the permit of the Ministry of the Interior,
Section 14, which issued the licence.

Q. Did you also work in the Novaky camp?

A. Yes.

Q. When did you work there?

A. In November 1941.

Q. What did you have to do there?

A. They took us – about 100 persons – from my town, up to
the ages of 40-45, and told us that we had to begin working
on the construction of the buildings which would be ours in
the future.

Q. Who was this “Aryanizer”?

A. He was the commander of the “Hlinka Guard.”

Q. The commander of what district?

A. Of my town – of Nove Mesto nad Vahom.

Q. Why did he allow you to work in this shop?

A. He told me that he needed me, he had never before managed
commercial enterprises.

Q. When were your parents taken to a concentration camp?

A. They were taken to a concentration camp in April 1942,
during the week of the Passover festival; they took them to
the concentration camp at Zilina.

Q. Did you succeed in bringing them back from there?

A. Yes.

Q. How?

A. I asked the “Aryanizer” that, if he took my parents, he
should also take me – I wanted to live together with them.
He told me that he needed me, and that I would only depart
on the last transport.

Q. And then you lived with them, in fact, in Slovakia until

A. Yes.

Q. In your apartment?

A. Yes. He merely set one condition – that my parents
should not return to our apartment, since they were elderly
people; it was in the same building as the business, and he
wanted to use our apartment as a storeroom. His condition
was that I should take them to live with me.

Q. While you were still in your apartment, from the point of
view of your freedom of movement – what were the

A. At first we were completely forbidden to go out into the
street after six o’clock. As far as I was concerned,
possibly because I worked for the commander of the “Hlinka
Guard,” while I did not have permission, I nevertheless
walked around after six o’clock as well, without a special

Q. Were you obliged to wear the yellow badge?

A. Yes, from the beginning.

Q. Do you still possess the yellow badge?

A. Yes [shows it to the Court]. This was the first.

Q. Perhaps you would explain to the Court what were the
various signs?

A. [Displays them to the Court] This was the first one I
received, on Rosh Hashana in 1940. Subsequently, when I
received the yellow certificate, as it was called, from
Section 14 of the Ministry of the Interior, denoting that I
was a Jew who was important for the economy, I was given the
Slovakian sign “A.J.” (“Jew indispensable to the economy”).
This was the sign which I possessed when I worked as an
essential labourer.

Q. And what was the third sign?

A. That was the sign I received in the camp.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/02