Attorney General: Hajj Amin writes to the Bulgarian Foreign
Ministry on the subject of the four thousand Jewish children
concerning whom Sir Oliver Stanley announced in the British
Parliament that the British Government was prepared to give
immigration permits for Palestine. And he goes on to say in
the second paragraph:
“To allow the departure of the Jews from the country in
which they now live, in this way, will not solve the Jewish
Question and will not save the country which they are
leaving from harm; but, on the contrary, their departure in
this form will enable them to join freely the members of
their race in enemy countries, and they will be given the
possibility of going on to Palestine and other countries in
the Middle East.”
The third paragraph says:
“Furthermore, the residence of these Jews, since the
outbreak of the War to this day, in your country and in
various other countries, has enabled them to learn much
about your war effort, and they would, as soon as they
will be able to do so, use this information for the
benefit of the Allies. Apart from that, the emigration
of the Jews to the Arab countries, and particularly to
Palestine, runs counter to the most vital interests of
the Arab people which, in every respect, is on the side
of the Axis countries and their allies.”
And this is what Hajj Amin wants:
“Therefore, I permit myself to draw your attention to
the fact that it is very proper and more useful to
prevent the Jews from leaving your country and to send
them to a place where they will be under strict
supervision, such as Poland, for example. Thus, one
will be protected from the danger they represent, and
you will render a great service to the Arab people, who
will appreciate your action, and thus the friendly
relations with your people will become yet closer.”
The dispatch of Jews from Bulgaria to Poland for
extermination – this will strengthen the friendship of the
Arab people, for whom Hajj Amin appoints himself to be
spokesman, for the Bulgarian people.
Judge Halevi: He does not write “extermination”.
Attorney General: But that is absolutely clear, Your Honour.
Presiding Judge: He writes “to Poland, under strict
Judge Halevi: It would depend on the date; if it was 6
May 1943, he would have known already.
Attorney General: Whoever knew the secrets of the Germans on
6 May 1943, knew the significance of the deportation of Jews
Our next document, No. 1312, is a copy of a letter found in
the same archives – apparently a copy for the Romanian
Foreign Minister. I have already said that Hajj Amin was
working on all fronts. He does not rely upon the approach
to Ribbentrop. He also wants to turn to all the countries
from which the Jews have to depart. Therefore, he turns to
Bulgaria. And now we have a copy of this approach to the
Romanian Foreign Ministry – again on the same subject. The
Jews want to leave for Palestine. The Jewish Agency has
secured certificates for eighteen hundred Jewish children,
accompanied by two hundred adults, to emigrate and proceed
to Romania. The letter ends by saying:
“For this reason, I ask Your Excellency to permit me to
draw your august attention to the necessity for
preventing the departure of the Jews from your country
for Palestine. If there are reasons which warrant the
removal of the Jews, it is essential and infinitely
more desirable that they should leave your country for
some other place where they can be kept under active
supervision, such as Poland, for example, and in this
way you may be protected from the danger they represent
and avoid the harm they might cause.”
This is in the same form as the approach to Bulgaria.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1264.
Attorney General: Our document No. 1398 is a memorandum from
the Foreign Ministry, in which the Counsellor in the Italian
embassy in Berlin advises of the Mufti’s approaches to the
Italian Foreign Minister, to prevent the immigration to
Palestine of 4,500 Bulgarian Jews. The Mufti requests that
steps be taken to prevent the immigration and informs the
Italians that he is also writing, in this connection, to the
governments of both Germany and Bulgaria.
The Court should kindly note that the Mufti was staying in
Rome at that time, and some of the letters which I have
submitted to you bearing his signature were written in Rome.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1265.
Attorney General: Birds of a feather flock together. Our
document No. 1302 is a joint letter of Hajj Amin al-Husseini
and Rashid ‘Ali Kilani from Rome to the German Foreign
Minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop. On 28 April 1942, the two
Arab leaders declare the following:
“Your Excellency, the Reichsminister. In our
discussions with you, we expressed the confidence of
the Arab people in the Axis Powers and in their exalted
aims, and have explained the national objectives of the
Arab countries in the Near East, who are being
suppressed at the present time by the British. We have
declared the willingness of the Arab people to take
part in the war against the common enemy until final
victory. Our present request is that the German
Government declares its readiness to grant to the Arab
countries, suffering at the present time from British
oppression, every possible succour in their war of
liberation, to recognize the sovereignty and the
independence of the Arab countries of the Near East,
suppressed at the present time by the British, and to
agree to their unification, if it should be desired by
those concerned, and to the liquidation of the Jewish
National Home in Palestine. We have agreed that the
text and the contents of this letter will be kept
absolutely secret until otherwise decided by mutual
agreement. Please accept, Your Excellency the Foreign
Minister, the assurance of my greatest esteem.”
Signed: Amin al-Husseini, Rashid ‘Ali Kilani.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1266.
Attorney General: The diary of the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj
Amin, was also amongst the documents that fell into the
hands of the Allies. Mr. Arazi authenticated it. It is our
No. 1306. This is a memorandum in the Mufti’s diary, on a
page bearing the date of 9 November 1944. Six words are
noted there, but we have only succeeded in deciphering three
of them. They are written in Arabic. These three say: “the
best of the friends of the Arabs.”
Presiding Judge: Let us see where it appears.
Attorney General: At the top of the right-hand column on 9
November, 22 Zilkade, Thursday, “the best of the friends of
the Arabs,” and underneath it, in Latin characters,
Presiding Judge: I want to see the Arabic words here.
Attorney General: They are here, at the top of the right-
Presiding Judge: I only see the words “el Arab” – the Arabs.
Attorney General: This has been deciphered by Superintendent
S. Ben-Elkana, the translator who gave you the official
Presiding Judge: I believe that, if someone would come here
and show it to us, all three of us would be capable of
Attorney General: I could ask Mr. Ben-Elkana, who is
present, to come here and decipher what he had previously
Presiding Judge: If you please.
Judge Halevi: This was in what year?
Attorney General: 9 November 1944.
[Superintendent Ben-Elkana reads out the Arabic words to the
Presiding Judge: I understand that someone else deciphered
it, and you translated it.
Attorney General: What has the Court found?
Judge Halevi: The Arabic words “The best of the friends of
the Arabs” are not altogether clear.
Presiding Judge: The only thing clear is “el Arab” (the
Attorney General: “Eichmann” is written in Latin characters.
Presiding Judge: That is definite.
Attorney General: The question centres on the middle word.
Perhaps we might ask the Court to admit it in this form, and
we shall make every effort to bring…
Presiding Judge: With all due respect to the expert – who
undoubtedly is an expert – he was born in Austria. Perhaps
you can find one who is a native of Jerusalem or Iraq?
Judge Halevi: Does the Prosecution maintain that this is
Attorney General: No. We contend that this is the Mufti’s
note – we are going to submit further extracts from the
Judge Halevi: But who wrote the word “Eichmann” in Latin
Attorney General: I don’t know; this is how we found it. I
don’t know who wrote it.
Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge. I have
misgivings regarding the word “Eichmann”, as to whether it
was or was not written by the Mufti himself. And I suspect
that someone else added the word at a later stage. I say
this after comparing it with other notes in Latin characters
appearing in a different handwriting. I would, in
particular, point to the letters “ch” in the name “Eichmann”
and compare them with the notes in Latin characters on 10
November, where the name “Buchberg” appears, and the letters
“ch” are written differently. Hence, a handwriting expert
should have been brought here first, in order to attest
whether this is the same handwriting.
Presiding Judge: We shall accept it, for what it is worth.
Judge Halevi: Perhaps only that on that date Eichmann’s
name is mentioned in the diary.
Attorney General: That is all we can say. But, presently,
we shall see something else which is connected with it.
Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/1267.
Attorney General: If the Accused wants to dissociate himself
from these friendly relations, he may possibly succeed in
Presiding Judge: But if you want to make a further effort to
decipher it, maybe the police expert, Mr. Hagag, who was
born in Egypt, could do so.
Attorney General: The diary was shown to him. We thought
about that. He was not able to come to a clear conclusion
who wrote the word “Eichmann” – whether it was the Mufti or
someone else. In this matter, he did not have a firm
opinion, but we can ask him to have another look at it.
Presiding Judge: If you find out anything, please let us
Attorney General: We shall advise the Court.
Judge Halevi: Certainly the Accused did not write it?
Attorney General: There is no such allegation.
Dr. Servatius: One cannot see clearly what the year is.
This page of the diary seems to be 1944.
Presiding Judge: It is possible to establish this by
comparing the Moslem date and the Christian date.
Attorney General: A further extract from the Mufti’s diary,
dated 25 March 1944 (“30 Rabi el Awal”). There are two
entries. It says: “The expert dealing with Jewish affairs –
I want to be in contact with him.” The translation is that
of Superintendent Hagag. It says, “contact with him” or “a
meeting with him.” After that come the words, “the bombing
of Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea.” Next comes a word which
could not be deciphered, and after that it says, “Haifa and
Presiding Judge: Actually, I have managed to decipher this
word which is “harbia” – the reference is to war
Attorney General: After that: “It is within our power to
conduct operations throughout Palestine.”
Presiding Judge: I think that, with an additional effort,
the rest can also be deciphered. This will be exhibit
Attorney General: Document No. 1304 is a photocopy of the
Mufti’s diary of 29 September 1943. No. 5: “Subject: The
Jews of Italy, France and Hungary, and who is the expert
dealing with the affairs of the Jews?” No. 6, of the same
date: “Kaltenbrunner and the meeting with him on the subject
of the Jews.”
Presiding Judge: That is absolutely clear. The last extract
from the diary will be marked T/1269.
Attorney General: Reichsfuehrer Heinrich Himmler gave a
photograph of the two of them together to “Seiner Eminenz,
der Grossmufti” (To His Eminence, the Grand Mufti), as a
Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/1270.
Attorney General: And here is another picture of the two, of
Himmler and Hajj Amin, seated together in the company of
Presiding Judge: The second photograph will be exhibit
Judge Halevi: Where was this found – in the same place?
Attorney General: All this was found at the same place.
Judge Halevi: Are you able to identify the third person
Attorney General: I am unable to do so. This friendship was
a very close one, and on 2 November, the anniversary of the
Balfour Declaration, the Reichsfuehrer cabled the Mufti as
“The National-Socialist movement, ever since its
establishment, has inscribed on its banner the war
against world Jewry. Therefore, it has always closely
followed with special sympathetic interest the war of
the freedom-loving Arabs, especially in Palestine,
against the Jewish invaders. Recognition of this enemy
and the common battle against him constitute the firm
foundation for the natural alliance between Greater
National-Socialist Germany and the freedom-loving
Moslems throughout the world. In this spirit, I convey
to you, on the occasion of the anniversary of the
dismal Balfour Declaration, my most heartfelt greetings
and best wishes for the successful outcome of your
struggle, until certain victory.” Signed:
Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler.
Judge Halevi: What was the date? In what year?
Attorney General: We do not have the year, Your Honour, but
according to all the indications, it must have been in 1943.
Judge Halevi: Was this also found amongst the Mufti’s
Attorney General: Yes, this is also one of the Mufti’s
documents – its number is 1313.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1272.
Attorney General: Here is something else from the Mufti’s
diary – document No. 1307; it is also taken from the pocket
notebook of the Mufti of Jerusalem – from the Arazi
documents. Inter alia, it says there: “A proposal for
purging the Jews of Tripoli and seizing their property
before the evacuation.” This appears in the third line from
Presiding Judge: [After perusing the document.] Something
more can surely be done to decipher the Arabic words.
Attorney General: I am relying only on these, Your Honour;
we have also deciphered others.
Presiding Judge: No, again it says here: “The word could not
be deciphered.” This appears before the passage which you
quoted. And this word can be deciphered.
Attorney General: I am most thankful for the Court’s help;
so far, I have been relying only on Superintendent Hagag in
Judge Halevi: He is a handwriting expert, not
Attorney General: Yes, but it has been the language of his
studies and his mother tongue.
Presiding Judge: But if you give it back to him again,
possibly he will be able to achieve more. It is fairly
Attorney General: If the Court would be good enough to guide
us, we shall make that suggestion to Mr. Hagag.
Presiding Judge: “Tanzif” can be “purge”, for example.
Attorney General: It is translated “A proposal for purging
the Jews of Tripoli and seizing their property before the
Presiding Judge: Very well; but then what, in fact, did he
fail to decipher here?
Attorney General: There was one word before this that he
could not decipher.
Presiding Judge: “Iqtirah” means “proposal”.
Attorney General: Thank you.
Judge Halevi: It says so in the translation, hence it is
Attorney General: Yes, before that.
Presiding Judge: Very well. Let us leave it now.
Attorney General: At any rate, I am relying on these words.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1273.