Session 081-03, Eichmann Adolf

Accused: I had no executive authority, because for this
there would have been the prior condition that I would have
had to be placed above the Secret State Police District
Office, either in terms of command, or in terms of transfer.
But I belonged to the Security Service Main District Danube,
having been transferred there by the Security Service Head
Office. Naturally, the Security Service could be present at
the securing of assets and at confiscations as well as
detentions. However, the member of the Security Service was
not permitted either to declare a confiscation, or to secure
assets or to make an arrest. Therefore, in such cases, a
member of the Security Service usually accompanied an
official of the Secret State Police. The interest of the
Security Service member in such an action was primarily one
of intelligence service records, because this was the Alpha
and Omega of the Security Service at that time.

Now, the main concern of the Central Office for Emigration
in Vienna was certainly not intelligence service activities,
although it dealt with these too, because all possibilities
had to be examined concerning alternative opportunities for
emigration. But the area of responsibilities and the tasks
of the Central Bureau for Emigration of Jews, were
determined by order of the Reich Commissioner for the
Reunification of Austria with the German Reich. Furthermore,
the position of Chief of the Security Service of the SS Main
District Danube was identical with that of the Inspector of
the Security Police of the Security Service. He could thus
regard members of the Security Service, as well as members
of the Secret State Police in the Central Bureau as his
subordinates. This was actually the case, because if any
person, Jew or non-Jew, wanted to emigrate at that time – I
think even if he just wanted to travel abroad – a prior
condition was that this would-be emigrant or would-be
traveller abroad had to appear before the appropriate Secret
State Bureau, in connection with the matter of his passport.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to two documents. They are T/135,
document No. 1511, and T/149, document No. 1176. Both
documents concern the financing of travel abroad and foreign
currency, which is being received as aid for the Jews. The
first is a minute which bears no date, a minute signed by
Eichmann, regarding a visit by Reichsbankkrat (Bank
Counsellor) Wolf at the Ministry of Economics and Finance in
Vienna, and the second is a report about his journey to

The question was what was to happen to the amount of one
hundred thousand dollars which was generally cashed in
foreign exchange offices, and very quickly converted into
paper Schillings and Marks. This money could, of course, no
longer serve anyone in order to emigrate. The first letter,
paragraph 2, states:

“Because of the need to hand over to the target
countries of emigration, together with the migrating
Jews, a certain sum in foreign currency, permission was
first of all envisaged for a sum of $100,000 in aid
funds (which would be placed at the disposal of the
Jewish community in Vienna as a gift by foreign Jewish
aid organizations), this would, at the same time, be
used for the emigration of the less-wealthy and those
lacking capital. It was also suggested that further
amounts of foreign currency, which presumably originate
in the Altenfund , could also be used for the
emigration of Jews from Austria.”

Witness, would you first describe how these negotiations
proceeded and what was their purpose?

Accused: First of all, I would like to clarify one point.
In both cases, the reference is to the presence of the Reich
Bank Counsellor Wolf in Vienna. A comma is missing here,
otherwise it would be clearer. It was not a matter of one
set of negotiations being held in Berlin in the Reich
Ministry of Economics and Finance and the other in Vienna,
but rather that both negotiations took place in Vienna.

I seem to remember that at that time, according to the
foreign exchange regulations of the Reich Ministry of
Economics and Finance, any foreign currency in the
possession of an individual had to be offered for sale, that
is to say it had to be delivered somehow, sold to the Reich.
In any event, that was, at that time, the difficulty which
Dr. Loewenherz submitted to me, that even if foreign Jewish
aid organizations were to make available amounts of foreign
currency by way of gift, if would be of no use for
emigration, if these sums would have to be handed over to
the Reich.

This, however, was a matter which had to be of the utmost
concern to me, because this would mean the success or
failure of opportunities for emigration. Therefore, I tried
to present this matter of interest to the Reich Ministry of
Economics and Finance through its branch office in Vienna –
I no longer remember its name – and to request that an
exceptional permission be granted in this case, according to
which the Jewish community of Vienna be allowed to keep the
foreign currency it received as a gift from abroad. And not
only allowed to keep it, but that the Jewish community,
furthermore, might sell this foreign currency to its
members, to Jews who were in the country and wished to
emigrate, at the Reichsmark value, at a premium, so that the
community could also use a part of it in order to balance
and regularize its budget. This was an innovation at that
time, and even Reich Bank Counsellor Wolf could not decide
this matter on his own, but he promised to present the
matter to his State Secretary. In fact, it was permitted
later, so that a report could be drawn up which states, in
Prosecution document No. 1176, on page 4, in the last
sentence: “The foreign donors are being served, in that the
community actually receives double the exchange value in
Reichsmarks, and the emigration of persons without means is
also served in a far-reaching way.” The transfer of capital,
this has been shown by other documents, that is something
that was prohibited on the part of the Reich by the Foreign
Ministry as well as by the Reich Ministry for Economics and
Finance. That is as much as I can say about this from

Dr. Servatius: Witness, to what extent were persons without
means then helped by this procedure? Would you please
explain that?

Accused: Yes, Sir. The countries which accepted Jews, I
think all countries, demanded a qualifying amount of money
in foreign currency. I don’t think there was any country
which did not demand this. Now, completely penniless Jews,
who no longer had any means, could receive this money which
they needed for emigration, from the Vienna Community as a
loan. Later, in the country of destination, this loan was to
be gradually repaid. I am not aware of the conditions.

I see now that exhibit 1176 on page 4, the last paragraph,
describes these details quite accurately, and the question
of the loan is also discussed here.

Dr. Servatius: Yes, it is the bottom paragraph which gives
an exhaustive description. There is no need to make an oral
presentation of this.

I would just like to read out here a short paragraph. On
page 3 it says:

“Through the really clear method of presentation on the
part of the Jewish organizations, which were
appropriately instructed by SS Sturmbannfuehrer
Eichmann, Reich Bank Counsellor Wolf was so impressed
that he fully consented to the plan and promised to
secure all that was necessary, in a positive sense,
from the Secretary of State.”

I come now to exhibit T/644, document No. 1633. It is a
circular from Heydrich to all police office units, stating:

“All male Jews of Polish nationality are to be
detained,” and there follow further details. The last
paragraph, on the next page, states: “Not to be
detained, are those Jews of Polish nationality, or of
former Polish nationality, who are required e.g. for
the promotion of the general emigration of Jews from
the Reich.” Then it goes on: “Addendum for State
Police District Office, Vienna: Contact is to be
established with SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann, Main
District Danube.”

Witness, you are mentioned here specifically by name. Could
you tell us why you are singled out in this document?

Accused: The reason is evident from the document itself,
as the Jews having Polish nationality were to be detained.
It was generally known that, particularly in the south-
eastern areas, of which Austria was a part, a large number
of Jews had not given up their Polish nationality, and since
the staff of the Jewish community in Vienna, the Palestine
Office, the other institutions, and the two funds which were
able to function – in any event the entire Jewish
organizational apparatus – employed a considerable
percentage of Jews of Polish nationality, the State Police
District Office had to request a report from me with the
names and addresses of those Jews, so that, in any event,
they would be exempt from this operation. Otherwise, I
could, of course, no longer have carried out the emigration.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to the Reich Crystal Night.

Presiding Judge: In Austria, I assume?

Dr. Servatius: In Austria. The first document is T/37(124).
I do not know whether I have to re-submit this document.

Presiding Judge: I think you should, in accordance with our
practice. I mark this document No. N/34.
Dr. Servatius: It reads:

“Vienna, 10 November 1938. In the margin: 2:17, SD Sub-
District Styria, Graz reports: 0:30. After the SA and
SS had been sworn in, the synagogue in Graz, with
outbuilding and office building, were completely
demolished and set on fire. Further reports are to

There is a handwritten remark: “At 2:20 transmitted to
Eichmann.” Perhaps I shall also have to read the last
paragraph: “4:00 – call from Graz, from SS Hauptsturmfuehrer
Jaskulski. The operation at 0:30 was not organized, but
carried out by von Thadden, was, therefore, not connected
with the directives mentioned in the telegram. The telegram
arrived only after 0:30. The material was taken by the Sub-
District, as far as possible. Among other things, three
strongboxes were secured, the contents of which will be
inspected during the day. At 4:30 a joint consultation
between SD and Gestapo will take place.”

To this document should be added exhibit T/151, document No.

Witness, would you like to comment, and state what you did
as a result of this telegram and whether you had been active
in this matter prior to this.

Accused: I had just put the Jewish organizational
structure on its feet, and as the handwritten letters, which
have just been dealt with, show, with much joy and interest
– and just then things were ruined for me. When I heard for
the first time that orders had been given to set fire to
office buildings, my first action was to secure immediately
the entire file material which had been collected in the
past close to six months – the entire correspondence with
foreign countries – in a word, I wanted to rescue from the
flames all that which had hitherto been laboriously built
up. In part, I was successful, in part I was not, for
document No. 91 shows an overall report of the Security
Service Main Section Danube on this entire affair, and it
begins – I think on page 3 – and states: “the operations in
the Ostmark (eastern border province) started almost
everywhere before the Security Service and the State Police
were informed” and I do not remember anymore today – I only
read this in the files – and therefore the safeguarding
operation within the Jewish religious communities must have
come too late.

The reason that I was informed about this matter, is
connected with the fact that the outbuilding and the office
building were completely demolished and set afire, and
thereby the interest which I had in the matter was also
burned. Otherwise, I was not involved in this operation, nor
did I issue any orders or directives other than solely and
exclusively to save the archive material, that is to say to
save that which was still possible.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit I shall discuss is T/139.

Presiding Judge: You are coming to a new chapter, are you
not? We shall have to break now.


Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, I would
now like to submit exhibit T/37, document No. 124, which was
missing earlier. Now I shall discuss exhibit T/139, document
No. 784. This is a minute of 15 November 1938 and deals with
the confiscation of bank accounts. It has been alleged
against the Accused that he had caused this confiscation of

Witness, would you like to comment on this?

Accused: Yes, Sir. I dictated the minute in question at
the time, as I can see from the dictation sign.

The facts were these: The Director of the Foreign Exchange
Search Office informed me that in the past few days the Jews
had been withdrawing money in large amounts from the banks.
Well, this was no surprise, because it was a few days after
the Crystal Night, and therefore understandable. It was the
task of the Foreign Exchange Search Office to control the
movement of movable property, and find out the purpose for
which it was being used. The Foreign Exchange Search Office
was not subordinate to me, neither was it subordinate to the
Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, but
it was subordinate, as far as I know, to the Reich Ministry
for Economics and Finance. It informed me, however, that the
measure would not affect the financial transactions of the
Jewish community in Vienna, and that was the essential point
which interested me in the whole matter. The Jewish
community of Vienna was, therefore, not handicapped by the
measure taken by the Foreign Exchange Search Office.

Dr. Servatius: I will now discuss exhibit T/811, document
No. 1634. It is a telegram, signed: “Eichmann, by order,”
and concerns the evacuation of the Jews from Vienna to the
Generalgouvernement. It states: “In view of the special
conditions obtaining in Vienna, the Fuehrer has ordered the
evacuation of the Jews resident in Vienna.” It then goes on:
“The Gestapo Head Office in Vienna has already issued a
decree,” and the Vienna Central Office for the Emigration of
Jews is also mentioned.

Witness, would you comment on this document?

Accused: This telegram, which was issued as a circular to
all State Police Units, with the exception of the State
Police Main Office at Vienna, and signed by me, at the
instruction of the Chief of the Security Police and the
Security Service, is dated 13 February 1941, that is to say,
at a time when I was already employed in the Head Office for
Reich Security. It was an order by Hitler, that is evident.
Interestingly enough, however, is that the State Police Head
Office of Vienna had already issued a decree on 1 February
1941, on its own initiative. That indicates to me, today,
that the State Police Main Office in Vienna at that time had
received information about this matter much earlier than the
Head Office for Reich Security, namely a time difference of
approximately thirteen days. If I now take into account
what I have read in the meantime, based on documents
submitted to the Court, as quoted for example by Reitlinger,
then I can put some order in my thinking on this matter. I
can no longer remember the fact itself in detail today,
after twenty years. But apparently, I have read repeatedly –
at the time I surely knew this – that Schirach, as well as
the other office holders, constantly pleaded with Hitler
regarding permission for matters concerning Vienna. The
Governor General, as we have seen here already, had strongly
objected to any reception of Jews from the Reich area into
the areas under his administration. For that a special order
was now needed from Hitler, to whom the Governor General was
naturally subordinate, in order to force Governor General
Frank to agree. Nothing else is shown by this telegram.

Judge Halevi: Perhaps you know what the special
circumstances in Vienna were?

Accused: As far as I can still remember, an order was
given to the first Reich Commissioner for the Reunification
of Austria and Germany, it was Buerckel at that time, to
arrange for the speedy de-Judaization of the Ostmark. Now
this order, this assignment, was certainly given by the
highest Reich authorities, perhaps including Hitler himself
– but this I do not know – since Austria was Hitler’s native
country. That is the only way in which I can make sense of
the matter today.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to the next exhibit, T/143, which
is document No. 1129. It is a letter from the Chairman of
the Jewish community in Berlin to the Jewish religious
community in Vienna and to the Palestine Office in Vienna,
dated 1 March 1939. The Chairman comments on the
establishment of the Center for Emigration of Jews which was
set up by the Accused, and writes as follows:

“Dear Sirs, On my visit to Vienna I became convinced
that the Central Office set up in Vienna for the
promotion and acceleration of emigration of Jews is a
thoroughly practical arrangement which considerably
shortens the formalities of emigration.”

He further states:

“On that occasion, I criticized the implementation of
emigration through your office, and expressed the view
that in this fashion the preconditions for opening up
new opportunities for immigration, and the preservation
of the existing, ones would be hampered. I would like
to emphasize explicitly that I had no justification for
this criticism.”

Presiding Judge: This is, probably, T/142, Dr. Servatius, is
it not?

Dr. Servatius: I have it marked as T/143.

Presiding Judge: Oh yes, this is the document which we
divided into two at the time, if I remember correctly. Yes,
you are right.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, did you induce the writer to
compose this letter?

Accused: No, I see that this letter is dated 1 March
1939, and at that time I was in Vienna and not in Berlin,
and I had no contact whatsoever with the Jewish institutions
of Berlin at that time.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/09