Attorney General: May I be permitted to mention briefly two
documents which have already been submitted – T/217 and
T/218. T/218 is the report by Hoess clarifying the matter
of the operation for eliminating the traces. And T/217 is
what Hoess writes about Blobel, who was given orders by
Eichmann to visit the extermination installations at
Kulmhof, on the visit to Kulmhof and on the employment of
Kommando 1005 in eliminating the traces. Kulmhof was the
extermination camp of Chelmno.
The Polish Government Commission’s report on Auschwitz is
our No. 1376. I submitted a German translation of it, when
I submitted one photograph of the official translation,
which was identified. I shall give Dr. Servatius the extra
copy I have in German.
Judge Raveh: Do you have a Hebrew translation?
Attorney General: We did not prepare this translation
because it was itself a translation – we found the German
translation. If the Court will permit us, we shall request
from Poland or from Germany two more booklets in German and
shall produce them to the Court.
Presiding Judge: We ask you to do so, if possible. The
report in Polish is marked T/1358.
Attorney General: The Court will find in this Polish
Government report, a detailed list of the various articles
of clothing left on the spot after the evacuation – after
the covering up of the traces.
Presiding Judge: How was this German translation marked? It
was submitted yesterday, it was T/1329.
Attorney General: Then I would merely ask for it to be noted
in the record that T/1329 is the German translation of the
document that has just been submitted.
The Court will find on page 62 of the Polish version, in the
extract “Robbery of the victims’ property,” that
“The extent of the robbery may be learned from the fact
that, within the Auschwitz camp area, there were thirty-
five warehouses for sorting and packing the personal
effects. Before the evacuation, the Germans burned
down twenty-nine warehouses, together with the personal
effects stored in them. In the six remaining
warehouses, there were found 348,820 sets of men’s
suits, 836,255 sets of women’s wear, 5,525 pairs of
women’s shoes, 38,000 pairs of men’s shoes, 13,964
rugs, and so forth.”
I mention the details because we also mentioned them in the
Our next document is No.4. This is the report of the two
young men who fled to Slovakia, which has already been
mentioned by the witness Freudiger. The document has been
certified by an affidavit from Oscar Yeshayahu Karmil,
previously Krasnansky, who now lives in Cologne. He
received this report, recorded what the men had to say and,
according to what he himself says, wrote the introduction.
And, in his own words:
“Already in the autumn of 1942, I sent the detailed
evidence of a young man who managed to escape from the
area of Lublin. In the summer of 1943, I sent a
comprehensive report by a survivor – one of the very
few of those from the extermination camp in Treblinka
who remained alive.
“These testimonies ought to be found amongst the
documents that were forwarded constantly at that time
to the rescue mission in Istanbul and to Nathan Schwalb
Presiding Judge: When did Mr. Karmil receive these
Attorney General: At the time of the young men’s escape.
Presiding Judge: In 1943?
Attorney General: In 1944.
Presiding Judge: Where?
Attorney General: In Bratislava, I believe.
Presiding Judge: And Mr. Karmil lives in Cologne?
Attorney General: Yes. My reply was inaccurate, Your
Honour. He obtained them in Slovakia, about one hundred
kilometres to the east of Zilina, in a place where the men
were hidden until they recovered their strength and papers
were arranged for them. He writes this in paragraph C of
Presiding Judge: Is there information as to what was the
subsequent fate of the two young men?
Attorney General: We heard yesterday from the witness, Mrs.
Vera Alexander, that Dr. Vrba lives in London, and the other
one is apparently also alive. Fredi Wetzler is the second
one. At any rate, if we have the authentication of the
person who took the statement, we believe that this
authentication should be sufficient for the purpose of
admitting the document. I understand that there is no
objection – Defence Counsel actually says that he is
interested in having the document submitted.
Presiding Judge: Very well, but let us hear from him whether
that is the case.
Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge. This
document is, perhaps, the one document submitted so far
concerning the camps which contains a measure of accuracy.
It states here, specifically and in detail, how many
transports arrived, and what were the numbers of prisoners
detained in the camp. Thereafter, on the basis of this, one
arrives at the figure which I have already mentioned.
Notwithstanding that, there appears on the last page a table
of figures which deviates from the total reached in the body
of the document. Here we have different figures. The
number given is higher than the number of people who were
put to death in the gas chambers in Birkenau from April 1942
to April 1944, and it is not clear who drew up the table
which appears on this last page, and on what authority these
figures which, as I have said, contradict the total of the
numbers in the body of the document were arrived at. Hence,
in my opinion, it is of importance to hear the evidence of
these two men and to examine them on the question how they
arrived at this total and these figures.
I have gone over the document, I have studied it. It
mentions there a total of 125,000 within the document
itself, and afterwards it states that, apart from this
number, additional people were also killed by gassing in
Birkenau. And perhaps it would be possible to learn
something, through this method of research and determination
of the figures, about other camps as well. From this, it
should also be possible to deduce a conclusion as to whether
people were exterminated elsewhere, or not.
Presiding Judge: What is your attitude to the admission of
this document in evidence? This is apparently not so
simple, Mr. Hausner.
Attorney General: Certainly, if there is an objection, I
shall not submit the document. For me, it is not essential.
I thought that out of fairness to Defence Counsel, it would
be required. If I have anything in my possession, I bring
it to the notice of the Court. If Defence Counsel does not
want it, I shall not submit it.
Presiding Judge: Let us hear the final attitude of Defence
Counsel. My question was: What is your attitude to the
submission of this document?
Dr. Servatius: I have no objection to the submission of
this document, except for the last page, which is a separate
document. It also appears elsewhere as a document by
itself. And in this document, on this last page, a total is
given which is six times the number which the young men
mention within the body of the document.
Presiding Judge: This is a complete document, and is it your
contention that the last page belongs to this document?
Attorney General: This is a complete document, and the
authentication applies to the whole document, including
these pages. I am not prepared to remove these two pages
from the document.
Presiding Judge: Two pages or one?
Attorney General: One page. That is the one before the
last. The last page is a sketch.
Judge Halevi: Is it not possible to obtain an affidavit
from the person who compiled this report, Dr. Vrba?
Attorney General: There is such an affidavit from him.
Judge Halevi: This is an affidavit of the person who
received the report, but what about the person who drew up
Presiding Judge: I should, first of all, want to hear the
reply of Dr. Servatius. We have now heard that the Attorney
General is prepared to submit the document either as a
whole, or not at all. I think it is his right not to submit
it, if he does not wish to do so.
Dr. Servatius: Then let him utilize his right not to submit
the document, since he will not be able to reconcile the
Attorney General: If it so pleases him, the document will
not be submitted.
The next document is our No. 116. This was the document
known as L 022 at the International Military Tribunal, and
it is a confirmation from the archives of the United States,
the State Department, which states that according to a
conservative estimate, conforming to data which were
received in the United States, on the basis of the reports
of the two young Slovakian men and a Polish major, there
were exterminated in Birkenau, between April 1942 and April
1944, 1,765,000 souls. This is a document which the
American prosecution submitted at Nuremberg.
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, what about this document?
Dr. Servatius: It is obvious that these are the same two
young Slovakian men who submitted their report here.
Presiding Judge: But a Polish major associated himself with
them – I see that here.
Dr. Servatius: The existence of the Polish major cannot
serve to multiply the figure by six. That is a matter which
needs further elucidation. In my opinion, there is no
probative value to this document, since it contains an
estimate from an anonymous source which was not capable of
better consideration than the testimony of these two young
Slovakians who arrived at a different numerical total.
Attorney General: With the Court’s permission, I am not
called upon to explain alleged discrepancies contained in a
document which has not been submitted. But I want to say,
since there has been so much talk about these
contradictions, that, in actual fact, there is no
discrepancy. If Defence Counsel would kindly examine the
report, the numbers appearing therein refer to people who
were given numbers at Auschwitz and, after receiving their
tattoo marks, were taken away to be exterminated, whereas,
at the end, there appears the total number of people who
were taken away to be exterminated, and who had not
undergone any process of classification and registration.
Hence, there is no discrepancy at all. But if Defence
Counsel objects to the submission of document 4, I shall not
submit it. That is still his right.
Presiding Judge: Regarding this last point, it seems to me
that it follows the previous document. Someone here has to
adopt a stand. It is based on the report of the two
Attorney General: Certainly.
Presiding Judge: Now that we know, from your remarks, that
you have a more direct testimony on the statements of the
Slovakians, I do not think – I have not yet discussed this
with my fellow judges – it seems to me that we are not able
to accept this source, which is still further removed.
Attorney General: This is a document emanating from the War
Refugee Board in Washington.
Presiding Judge: The heading above consists of two items:
“Auszug eines Berichtes des Kriegsfluechtlings-komitees,
Washington, D.C., etc.” (Extract from a Report of the War
Refugee Board, Washington, D.C., etc.) “Report consists of
two accounts of escaped concentration camp inmates – two
young Slovakian Jews and a Polish major.”
Attorney General: This is an independent document of the War
Refugee Board of the United States which on the basis of
sources it discloses, arrived at this total of those
exterminated at Birkenau. This document, at all events, is
entitled to stand by itself, as it did at Nuremberg. I
apply for it to be admitted.
Presiding Judge: The fact that it was submitted at
Nuremberg, with all due respect to Nuremberg, does not give
it added weight. Either it is admissible or it is not
admissible according to our law. You have something which
is nearer the source. Of course, if you want to take this
back, if you want to clarify the matter further with Dr.
Servatius, by all means do so. After all, we are not
playing a game of hide-and-seek.
Attorney General: Certainly not. I, in fact, said at the
outset that I wanted to submit the report, but I am not
prepared now to bring these two men from abroad to testify
on this report. I am ready – should Defence Counsel so
desire – to clarify with the people who drew up the report
the factors comprising this calculation in their testimony,
but I am not prepared to bring them here to give evidence.
I am not prepared to involve the State in these unnecessary
Presiding Judge: That is correct.
Attorney General: I do not need it, and I am not going to do
Presiding Judge: This apparently requires a little further
elucidation between you. Something somewhat more useful may
emerge from that than this argument.
Attorney General: As the Court pleases.
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, what do you say?
Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, if what we
are talking about here is exclusively concerned with the
criminal proceedings against Adolf Eichmann…
Presiding Judge: Yes, this discussion relates to the
criminal proceedings against Adolf Eichmann.
Dr. Servatius: But the discussion also concerns a
historical matter. This is a question of history. There is
an issue here of a correct authentication, the proper
assessment of the number of victims, and that is an
important matter. Therefore, I assume, there is definitely
room for hearing these two young men, in order to deal with
the problem: How did they arrive at their numerical
conclusions, and how did they reach the numerical totals on
that last page?
Judge Halevi: Attorney General, Mr. Hausner, perhaps the
discrepancy which Defence Counsel contends with can be
cleared up. You say there is no discrepancy. You have an
explanation; that is clear, we understand that. The
explanation is that the lesser numbers are based upon the
tattooed marks, whereas the total on the last page is the
total of all of them. Why should it be impossible to accept
an affidavit from one of those who compiled the report that
this, in fact, is the explanation. Perhaps that would clear
up the issue?
Attorney General: Certainly, I am quite ready to try to
secure this. I do not want it to become a condition for the
admission of the document. I ask the Court to accept the
document. If Defence Counsel objects to the submission of
the document, and the Court accepts his view, then I
understand that it does not wish to admit the document – and
I shall not submit it.
Judge Halevi: But, Mr. Hausner, as Dr. Servatius has said,
an exact determination, as far as possible, of the number of
victims at Auschwitz is very important.
Attorney General: Undoubtedly.
Judge Halevi: Why not make one small further effort?