Session 082-01, Eichmann Adolf

Session No. 82
15 Tammuz 5721 (29 June 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the eighty-second Session of the
trial open. The Accused will continue with his testimony.
I remind the Accused that he is still testifying under oath.

Accused: Yes, Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, I am
aware of that.

Dr. Servatius: We are dealing with the chapter of the
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. We were talking about
transports to concentration camps.

I come now to exhibit T/858, document No. 1181.* {*
Erroneously referred to as document No. 1518 on page 801,
Volume II} This is a communication from Kaltenbrunner,
Section IVB4, to Himmler, dated February 1943. Contents:
Five thousand Jews capable of labour have been sent from
Theresienstadt to Auschwitz. Kaltenbrunner requests
authorization for the transport of five thousand Jews, who
are aged over sixty and unable to work, to Auschwitz.

Related to this is the next exhibit, T/859, document No.
1557. This is a communication from Himmler’s personal staff
to Kaltenbrunner, dated 16 February 1943. Contents: No
deportation of Jews from Theresienstadt – they are to be
allowed to live and die there in peace.

Judge Halevi: But that dates from two years later, does it

Dr. Servatius: The first communication is dated February.
The date is not entirely legible: It has a stamp added over
it, but it is obviously later.

Judge Halevi: I was mistaken; I thought that the second
letter was from 1945. If both letters are from 1943, there
is no problem.

Dr. Servatius: As for the second letter dating from 1943,
it is difficult to make out the date, but on the left there
is a file number “43 secret.”

Dr. Servatius: Does the Accused wish to comment on the

Accused: Certainly.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, perhaps you could ask a more
specific question, since a question in this form leads the
Accused to make those general speeches which I wish to

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I have instructed him to keep
his comments short. It is somewhat difficult to ask a
question in such a way as to avoid making it a leading

Presiding Judge: All right, do this far as possible.

Accused: Perhaps I might first make a point about the
date which will clarify the whole matter. In the reference
of the second letter, from the personal staff of the
Reichsfuehrer-SS, it says, “Previous communication of
February ’43, express letter IVB4 a, reference 2093/42.”
This is a reference to the letter which is now exhibit
T/858, thus definitely setting its date.

Exhibit T/858 is directly connected to Mueller’s telegram to
Himmler, mentioned the day before yesterday, about
deportations of Jews in the course of the increased rate of
reception of Jews at the concentration camps. At the end of
1942 and the beginning of 1943, Himmler increasingly exerted
pressure on his Head Office chief to speed up the
deportations. This communication reproduces a report from
the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, as shown on page 2,
the last paragraph, which says “as reported.”

Thus, in this communication, IVB4 was not reporting on its
own findings; instead, in accordance with orders, a report
from the Protectorate was passed up through the official
channels, and IVB4 was ordered to summarize this report
according to standard practice and then submit it, and it
went to Himmler, signed by Kaltenbrunner. Himmler rejected
this request by Kaltenbrunner, using the words “since
otherwise the tendency…would be interfered with.” Those
are my comments on these two communications.

Judge Raveh: Perhaps I might ask a question, in order to
clarify matters. The telegram referred to the day before
yesterday is dated 16 December 1942. In it special
permission is applied for in respect of the deportation or
transfer to Auschwitz, of five thousand Jews not capable of
labour. Are you saying that this authorization, applied for
in December 1942, was refused according to the letter dated
February 1943, and that this is the same transport?

Accused: Yes, I am. Himmler did not authorize the first
five thousand Jews not capable of labour, because in the
February letter it says that, because of the increased rate
of reception, five thousand capable of working were
authorized. And then the Protectorate – that is to say the
German authorities in the Protectorate – continued to exert
pressure, and tried again to obtain Himmler’s authorization,
and this second attempt is reflected by the February 1943
letter, signed by Kaltenbrunner.

Dr. Servatius: I shall skip exhibit T/861 for the time
being. I shall return to it later and come now to exhibit
T/863, document No. 1200. This is a memo from the Jewish
camp management in Theresienstadt. No, I will leave out
this exhibit as well, it can be dropped.

The next exhibit is T/852, document No. 1239. This deals
with notification of the Accused’s visit. Under point 2 of
the passage dated 27 January 1943, it says:

“Eichmann expresses his recognition to Jacob Edelstein,
the senior Jewish representative, for his work, and
trusts that the announced change will not be perceived
by him as a slight. Since the creation of a new ghetto
similar to Theresienstadt is being envisaged, it is
possible that Edelstein will be appointed head of this
ghetto. However, the relevant decision has not yet
been taken. In the light of this situation, a new
management is to be appointed for Theresienstadt, viz.,
a triumvirate consisting of Eppstein, Loewenherz and

It bears the signatures of Zucker and Edelstein.

Witness, what led to this change, and was not this
recognition in actual fact a demotion?

Accused: First of all, a minor correction. I was not the
person who actually made the visit; one of my experts
received instructions from me to go to Theresienstadt. As
far as I remember, it was about then that the Jewish
Religious Community in Vienna was liquidated. Orders were
issued for the heads of the Community – in this case
Loewenherz, I still remember his name, but I have forgotten
the names of the others, except for Rabbi Baeck, but I
forget who gave the order for him to be sent to
Theresienstadt. In the case of Loewenherz, I know that I
received the order from Mueller.

Presiding Judge: You must answer the question you were
asked. Was not this approach to Edelstein in actual fact a
dismissal, and not an expression of appreciation? That was
the whole question.

Accused: No, it was not a demotion; it was putting him on
the same footing as Loewenherz and the other Jewish ex-
officials from Berlin.

Dr. Servatius: What was the co-operation with the
management of Theresienstadt like? Was the relationship a
strained one? Was it good, or did it just proceed quietly?

Accused: There were strains and differences of opinion
resulting from different backgrounds among the Jews, just as
there are among different non-Jews.

Dr. Servatius: No, I was asking about co-operation with the
German authorities.

Accused: No, the relationship was not a strained one.

Dr. Servatius: I shall now pass over an exhibit and turn to
exhibit T/865, document No. 855. This is List 2 for Bohemia
and Moravia. The document is an extract from a booklet
published by the International Red Cross Committee, printed
in Geneva in June 1946. The subject is a report on a visit
to Theresienstadt on 5 April 1945 – the year should appear
but does not. It reads: “On April 5, I went to Prague, in
order to contact the Security Services of the city and visit
the Theresienstadt Ghetto.” Later it says that “this
commission (although precisely who drafted the actual report
is not clear) talked to Dr. Weinemann, Head of the Security
Service in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, as well
as with Eichmann, the Specialist on Jewish Matters.”
Further on, it says, Eichmann played a leading role in the
concentration camps; he was the direct representative of the
Reichsfuehrer-SS in all these matters.

Witness, is it correct that you played a leading role in
concentration camp matters? Would you tell us what were
your duties and powers in that regard?

Accused: No, that is not correct; I played no role
whatsoever, and I also had no duties or powers.

Dr. Servatius: Later in the report, it says: “In the course
of the evening, Eichmann elaborated on his theories about
the Jewish Question.” In the report it says that there was
a joint dinner with you and Dr. Weinemann, and you developed
these theories, and then it says: “As far as the general
problem of the Jews was concerned, Eichmann believed that
Himmler was currently envisaging humane methods.” Further
down it says: “Eichmann himself did not entirely approve of
these methods, but as a good soldier he naturally followed
the Reichsfuehrer’s orders blindly.”

When did this discussion take place, and is what it says
here correct?

Accused: I still remember our evening meeting at the
Prague Hradschin, after the visit. It is possible – indeed,
it is highly likely – that this is where I probably gave my
opinion about solving the Jewish Question. In this case, it
can only have been a personal opinion, and I have already
outlined my personal opinion here. The allegation that I
said that Himmler’s methods, which at that time would have
tended towards humane methods, were not entirely approved by
me, cannot be right, because I would definitely not have
allowed myself to criticize one of my superiors before a

Dr. Servatius: I turn now to exhibit T/864, document No.
1369. This is a statement dated 25 March 1947, by Rahm in
his own trial, and in it he states that in organizational
terms Theresienstadt was under the control of the Prague
Central Office, and therefore of the Senior Commander of the
Security Police. But politically it was subordinate to the
Head Office for Reich Security.

Witness, a distinction is drawn here: There were different
structures in terms of formal and political subordination.
The witness [Rahm] is making a distinction with regard to
political instructions. Would you explain, please.

Accused: It was not a question of political or formal
subordination. It would have been more correct for the
witness in the Rahm statement to indicate that, in cases of
vital importance to the Reich, the Head Office for Reich
Security is the body which takes decisions. In cases which
are not of vital importance to the Reich, decisions are
taken by the Protectorate authorities – that was how it was
put at that time.

The authority to take decisions had no effect on the
question of subordination, insofar as no change occurred in
Theresienstadt’s subordination to the Senior Commander of
the Security Police and the Security Service, as orders were
not sent to Theresienstadt, but to the Senior Commander of
the Security Police and the Security Service.

Dr. Servatius: You said that matters of vital importance to
the Reich came from the Head Office for Reich Security.
Would you please explain what such matters of vital
importance to the Reich include? And if you can, would you
give us an example.

Accused: Document T/858, which was dealt with at the
beginning of today’s session, would be an example of this.
It deals with the question whether or not a certain group of
people should have to leave the territory of the former
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. A decision about this
could not be taken either by the State Secretary for
Security Matters in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia,
as the supreme supervisory authority and superior authority
to the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the
Security Service in Bohemia and Moravia, or by the Senior
Commander himself, but only by the Chief of the Security
Police, on behalf of the Chief of the German Police,
Himmler. Any visit of official significance, such as the
visits by the Red Cross authorities, was a matter of vital
importance to the Reich.

Judge Raveh: For smuggling letters, for example?

Accused: In itself, this is not a matter of vital
importance to the Reich, and as I said when I went there on
inspections – from time to time I was sent to Theresienstadt
on inspections by Mueller – I did not take the matter up.
However, at such times, the Council of Elders did raise the
matter as a form of complaint to me, and I passed it on
through the official channels.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit I shall discuss is T/834,
document No. 732, a report from a credit bank to the
Dresdner Bank, dated 18 March 1942. This is a report about
accounts, and provides information about the assets of the
Central Office for Emigration of Jews in Prague. Can you
give us some information as to how the accounts came into
being – in other words, where the money came from, who
supervised the account, and who could authorize release of
the account?

Accused: I do not have any information today about the
details – I have completely forgotten everything about them.
But I do remember that there was what was known as an
Emigration Fund in Prague – no, it was an agency for
administration and realization of assets – and this body
dealt with the assets. The agency was under the control of
the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security
Service, in accordance with a decree of the Reich
Protectorate for Bohemia and Moravia.

Dr. Servatius: I shall now omit two exhibits and come to
T/836, document No. 1195. This is a statistical review of
Jewish affairs in the Protectorate, as produced by the
Central Office in Prague – the report was sent to Eichmann
on 28 April 1942.

Was this report sent to you because you were in charge of
arrangements in the Protectorate?

Accused: The report was not sent to me because I was in
charge of arrangements in the Protectorate. The reason why
I received this report was that, by order from my Chief of
Department, I had to make an overall report to him, once or
twice a month, I believe. And to do that, I needed all the
data from the other agencies and bodies – to be precise,
from all bodies except for the Generalgouvernement, the
Eastern Occupied Territories, and the Warthegau.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is a statement by David
Berger, document No. 1057, which has not yet been submitted.
For this, I have received the Hebrew text only, handwritten
and typed. There are four copies. I submit the exhibit.

Attorney General: If Berger’s statement to the police is to
be used, he should testify to this Court. We have no
objections at all to his testifying here, if Counsel for the
Defence so wishes. But we oppose submission of a statement
to the police by someone who is in the country.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I withdraw the document.

I shall now leave the Protectorate and move on to France.
The documents are presented as List 16. I should first like
to present to the Court another diagram for France, giving
the chain of command for the deportations.

Witness, has this diagram been correctly drawn according to
your information?

Accused: It has been drawn according to my information,
and it is correct, except that there may be small clerical

Dr. Servatius: I would like to make a comment on the

Presiding Judge: We shall mark this exhibit N/35.

Dr. Servatius: Various numbers appear on the diagram.
Originally these related to explanations written for the
Defence. I have not submitted the explanations because they
were too detailed. I have therefore deleted the last three
lines in the bottom right-hand corner, where these numbers
were referred to. In the centre, there is a somewhat
abbreviated indication of titles. The Higher SS and Police
Leader in France and Belgium should read, “in the area of
the Military Commander of Belgium and France.” Below that,
it says the Commander of the Security Police and the SD – it
should continue, “for France and Belgium.” This can
subsequently be seen in the letterheads.

Presiding Judge: Very well.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/09