Session 081-05, Eichmann Adolf

Dr. Servatius: The last paragraph says:

“I have therefore instructed the Commander of the
Security Police and the Security Service in Prague,
with regard to the Jews in question, to leave them
until further notice in Theresienstadt.”

Would you comment on your authority in the matter?

Accused: A Commander of the Security Police and the
Security Service was not subject to a Section Head. He was,
without any exception, subordinate to the Chief of the
Security Police and the Security Service, and to his
representative, which in my case was the Chief of
Department, that is Gruppenfuehrer Mueller. If Mueller
instructed me to reply in a particular way, I had to sign
“by order.” I here informed the Commander, by order, of what
his superior had decided.

Dr. Servatius: I leave out two documents, and come to
document No. 541, T/850. These are directives for the
technical execution of the removal of Jews to
Theresienstadt, dated 20 February 1943.

In paragraph 1, on page 1, there is a reference to the
competence of various offices. It states “The execution is
the responsibility of the Main Offices of the State Police
in Vienna, as heretofore the liquidation unit of the Central
Office for Emigration of Jews, and in the Protectorate the
Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service.”
Then it goes on to state: “The task of these offices is, in
addition to seizing and concentrating the groups of people
concerned, also their transport.” Then, on page 4, under
“Transport III” the following is stated: “The transport will
take place either in special trains containing,” it should
be 1,000 each, but it says 100 each, “in accordance with the
timetable set up in co-ordination with the Reich Transport

Finally, on page 6, point 6, “Reporting System,” it says:
“The arrival and acceptance of the transports is to be
reported, among others, to Section IVB4.”

Witness, would you comment about your participation and
responsibility concerning such evacuation transports?

Accused: In addition to matters strictly connected with
drawing up the timetable, which have already been discussed,
the second important task was the drafting of these
directives. These directives were collated through a large
number of contacts with my Chief of Department, through
correspondence between the Department Chief, or the Chief of
the Security Police and the Security Service, with Himmler,
who reserved to himself even the issue of detailed orders
for Theresienstadt. Once these points had all been
clarified, Section IVB4 had to formulate them, and they were
released and sent out.

On page 6, the first paragraph is, in my opinion, very
significant, because it says: “The acceptance of the Jews in
Theresienstadt Ghetto is within the competence of the
Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service,
and of the Central Office for the Solution of the Jewish
Question in Bohemia and Moravia in Prague.” It was not
Section IVB4 that was competent in this matter, but even for
the reception it was the Commander of the Security Police
and the Security Service who had authority.

Judge Halevi: This Central Office in Prague, was headed, as
far as I recall, by Guenther, the second Guenther.* {*Hans
Guenther} Was he not subordinate to you?

Accused: Guenther was not subordinate to me in terms of

Judge Halevi: In what sense was he, nonetheless,
subordinate to you?

Accused: For instance…he was not subordinate to me at
all…for instance, the Head of the Office would give an
order, and this order would go to the Commander of the
Security Police and the Security Service, Prague – Central
Office for the Settlement of Jewish Affairs or questions,
which they direct…

Judge Halevi: That is to say, the official line of command
was through Mueller to the Commander of the Security
Service, to Guenther?

Accused: Yes, Sir. Because he was neither in terms of
personnel or subject matter subordinated to me…

Judge Halevi: And who was at the head of the Central Office
in Vienna?

Accused: After I was ordered away from Vienna, I think
that for a short time Guenther – I do not know any more
whether this was the Prague Guenther or the other Guenther;
this was just a short time – and then, afterwards Brunner
came there.

Judge Halevi: And this Brunner – was he also subordinate to
you, or not?

Accused: Brunner also was not subordinate to Section
IVB4, but rather – as far as I know – to the Inspector of
the Secret Police and the Security Service in Vienna, or the
Security Service at Vienna. In any event, not to Section
IVB4 in the Head Office for Reich Security.

Judge Halevi: And here, too, the official channel was
through Mueller?

Accused: Here, too, it had to go through Mueller. Yes,
Sir. Incidentally this can be determined quite precisely
from the staff lists.

Judge Halevi: Please look at the end of the first page of
this document…”the responsibilities of these offices.”

Accused: Yes, Sir.

Judge Halevi: Four duties are listed there: seizure of the
group of persons, concentration, transports, seizure of

Accused: Yes.

Judge Halevi: Do these four tasks not correspond to your

Accused: These four tasks correspond to the duties with
which the Commander of the Security Police – Central Office
for Regulation was charged and in Vienna – the State Police
Office Vienna and the Liquidation Unit of the Central Office
for Emigration.

Judge Halevi: And who handled all of these tasks in the
Head Office for Reich Security?

Accused: The Chief of the Security Police and the
Security Service at that time, who availed himself for the
implementation of the tasks assigned to him, of the local
arrangements in his sphere of competence.

Judge Halevi: Does that mean that the Commander of the
Security Service acted directly, or through you, in these

Accused: The Chief of Security would issue his
instructions through the Chief of Department, when this was
necessary, and the Chief of Department IV would give me
instructions to act in this or that way.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to a series of documents and
weekly reports of the Jewish community of Prague. This is
T/162, with a series of sub-numbers, police numbers from
1323 through 1336 and 1338. In the report, carrying the
police number 1323, of 23-29 July 1939 it says, under point
1 – “Emigration: The Secretary of the Community was in
Vienna, on 20 July, on Eichmann’s instructions.”

My Question is this: Why was this Secretary sent to Vienna?

Accused: This was the year 1939. At that time I had set
up the Central office in Vienna, it was functioning, and
when the order came to establish a similar institution in
Prague, I summoned the Jewish functionaries repeatedly to
Vienna so that they could look at the setup.

Dr. Servatius: Report No. 1324, covering 13-19 August 1939,
says on page 2 that a certain Dr. Kafka and Mrs. Schmolka
could travel to Paris and to London, respectively. Could you
state what was the purpose of these journeys?

Presiding Judge: That is stated in the document itself – in
order to carry on negotiations.

Dr. Servatius: That is true, but he can give additional
facts, how it came about.

Accused: I think I can clarify this point from the next
paragraph. Here the Managing Secretary of the Jewish
community of Prague reports that in many cases persons who
already had an possibility for immigration could not utilize
it, because they could not obtain their departure documents
in time, and the consulates often refused to extend the date
for entry. In such cases, it may have been that I found out
how many openings for immigration there could be altogether
for a certain period, and whether it was worthwhile to set
up such an apparatus there in order that these immigration
documents, which, as the Managing Secretary found out, had
been limited in time and had lapsed in the meantime – that
these difficulties could be abolished through a tighter
organization of all authorities concerned with the
processing of such documents – and that may have been the
purpose of these journeys abroad by these Jewish

Dr. Servatius: Document No. 1329, weekly report of 10-16
November 1939. Under III, at the bottom, it says:

“On 10 November 1939, the directors of the Jewish
Community and the Palestine Office were summoned to SS
Hauptsturmfuehrer Eichmann and asked whether the daily
quota of emigrants reaching the Central Office for
Emigration of Jews – Prague could be increased?
Otherwise the Central Office for Emigration of Jews in
Prague would be closed.”

Witness, would you say why this pressure was applied to the
leaders of the Jewish community?

Accused: This passage is concerned with that which I have
just explained, and it confirms what I have just stated. The
date was 16 November 1939, and this was war time, and my
superiors did not agree that officials of the Central Office
sit behind their desks all day and just kill time and do
nothing. In the course of manpower cuts, the Central Office
for Emigration of Jews would then have to be closed, unless
action was taken through appropriate immigration
opportunities. I cannot say any more in this connection.

Dr. Servatius: Or was pressure applied because these Jews
did not want to emigrate? And did they have to be forced to
do that?

Accused: No, the Jews were quite anxious to emigrate, but
the obstacles were created neither by the Jews nor by the
German authorities. Rather, the difficulties lay on the part
of the recipient countries’ willingness to accept them.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to an exhibit number T/842,
document No. 109.

Presiding Judge: This is about Theresienstadt, isn’t it?

Dr. Servatius: Yes. It is the testimony of a witness, the
former commander Seidl, dated 16 October 1945. He says here
on page 2 of the document, at the bottom:

“Regarding the executions which took place at the
beginning of March 1943, I state: This concerns persons
who have violated the following regulations: bribing
officials, smuggling letters. There was a regulation,
issued by Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, that the above-
mentioned violations be punished by death.”

Did you issue such a regulation? Would you like to comment
on this?

Accused: I neither issued such a regulation, nor did I
have any death sentence carried out or signed. I was not
authorized to do this. I was not authorized to do so in
1939, I was not authorized to do so in the year 1941, I was
not authorized to do so in 1942. For security in the ghetto,
and generally for the entire area of the Protectorate, there
was exclusively one single office with the authority, and
that was the State Secretary for Security Matters of the
Higher SS and the Police Leader, K.H. Frank. Not even the
Head Office for Reich Security, that is to say the Chief of
the Security Police and the Security Service. The latter
could make use of the police units active in the
Protectorate, in a twofold respect: first as State Secretary
for Security Matters of the government of the Protectorate,
that is to say, of the German Government, as Minister of
State, and secondly, as Higher SS and Police Leader and
representative of the Reichsfueherr-SS and Chief of the
German Police. He could, thus, issue his orders immediately
and directly to the Commander of the Security Police, and
that is what actually occurred.

Dr. Servatius: On page 3, Seidl says in the middle:

“On 15 March 1942, orders were received from Prague by
telephone to carry out the executions of the further nine
Jews, on the 16th. The written order existed in Prague but
would not be conveyed to Theresienstadt for security

Would you state what you can about this affair?

Presiding Judge: This exhibit contains a number of
documents, and you are now quoting from the second document,
and that can cause confusion.

Dr. Servatius: It is the second part and it will be
numbered anew.

Presiding Judge: And what is your question to the Accused? I
see that the Accused has not grasped the question.

Dr. Servatius: Would you comment on this, whether these
regulations, this description given by the witness here is

Accused: I can no longer comment on this in detail, but
one thing I know most certainly and concretely, that these
orders must have come from Prague. To this extent the
witness is correct, because Prague is where the office of
the State Secretary for Security Matters was located, as
well as the Office of the Chief of the Higher SS and Police
Chief and his immediate subordinate – the Commander of the
Security Police and the Security Service.

Dr. Servatius: Would you now comment on the last part of
the quotation – the written order existed in Prague and
would not be brought from there for reasons of security. Was
this the usual procedure?
Accused: It seems to me, on the face of it, to be an
unusual procedure, but what may have induced the local
authorities to do this, I do not know.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit, T/846, document No. 1198,
is the copy of an order of the day from Theresienstadt,
dated 16 January 1942. There is a reference here to an
inspection which Eichmann carried out, and then of a change
in the ban on mail.

Witness, why did you visit the camp? Was it under your
jurisdiction, and what was the occasion of your visit?

Accused: The camp was not under my jurisdiction, as I
have already indicated, but my Chief of Department,
Department IV, would order an inspection on the part of the
Head Office for Reich Security from case to case, from time
to time, and in particular in the case of matters which were
of importance throughout the Reich. Matters of local
interest did not interest the Head Office for Reich
Security. Now, affairs which were of importance for the
Reich were, to give an example, inspections, special
enquiries from Himmler who kept close personal contact with
Theresienstadt through the Head Office for Reich Security.
In those cases, I had to present the result of the
inspection to my Chief of Department, and the Jewish Elders’
Council called the occasion of my visit there “inspection” –
while ordinarily it would not use this description – surely
because this inspection had been officially announced.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, can we break here?

Dr. Servatius: I would like to put one more question.

Presiding Judge: Please do so.

Dr. Servatius: You said that such inspections took place on
special occasions. What was the special occasion here?

Accused: I can reconstruct this today only from the
documents. In order to understand this quickly, one has to
refer to exhibit T/845, and then the matter would seem to be
clear. Specifically, in Order of the Day Number 23 of the
Elders’ Council, dated 10 January 1942, the Elders’ Council
states that nine inhabitants of the Jewish ghetto were
sentenced to death by hanging at the order of the Commander
of the Security Police and the Security Service. This
confirms again what I have said, that I was not the person
who ordered something like that; it was the Commander of the
Security Police who ordered this, as stated by the Elders’
Council itself.

Now, in exhibit T/846 I am mentioned by the Elders’ Council,
as having carried out an inspection on 19 January 1942. It
is also stated here, that on the occasion of this
inspection, the Elders’ Council petitioned me to order
something concerning the relaxation of the ban on mail. That
was the ban on mail which must have been caused by the
smuggling of letters, on account of which the local
authorities in Prague then demanded the death sentence.
Although I could discover no competence concerning the
relaxation of the ban on mail, I must apparently have taken
up this matter, since in the next Order of the Day, of 23
January 1942, the Elders’ Council states, in point 1, that
the request to relax the ban on mail has been granted in
principle. This means that I must have taken this petition
of the Elders’ Council to Prague, to the Commander of the
Security Police and the Security Service, and have told him
that in my personal opinion a ban did not prevent smuggling,
a personal opinion the validity of which the Commander
surely could not gainsay. The fact that this order was not
issued immediately by me, on 19 January, but that the
decision came only on 23 January, proves that I passed this
matter on.

Presiding Judge: The Court adjourn until tomorrow at 8:30 in
the morning.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/09