Session 082-05, Eichmann Adolf

Judge Halevi: So it means Auschwitz, or Treblinka? Or Lublin?

Accused: As far as I know – I am not absolutely sure –
whether there was one final destination in the
Generalgouvernement or more.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, did you make enquiries about
possibilities for reception, to see whether these evacuees
could be accommodated there? The impression given by this
document is that you took the trouble to enquire where these
people could be sent – there is room at a particular place,
and now you are calling for these people.

Accused: I did not elaborate on my answer to the question
from His Honour, Judge Halevi, firstly because I have
already discussed this aspect once today, and secondly
because I have been directed to answer the question and no

However, I must now repeat what I said at the beginning of
the Session earlier on…from whom I, that is to say Section
IVB4, received an indication of possibilities for reception.
This was not in the province of IVB4; it was the chief of
Department IV who ascertained such possibilities, together
with Gluecks. They were the ones who thrashed out final
destinations – if I can put it that way – and then Section
IVB4 was notified by its superior. This information was
then used as the basis for the discussions on timetables
held with the Reich Transport Ministry.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/467, document No.
1164. This is a note from Himmler to Mueller, dated
December 1942. It is a short instruction from Himmler: “I
direct that all of the Jews still present in France, as well
as the Hungarian and Romanian Jews, who have influential
relatives in America, be held in a special camp.” The
instruction continues: “They should be given work there, on
condition that they are healthy and remain alive. Such Jews
are valuable hostages for us. I would imagine a figure of
some ten thousand.” The note is signed Himmler.

Witness, was this attitude on the part of Himmler indicative
of a mitigated or an intensified approach? Do you know
anything about the matter?

Accused: I really cannot say whether this was a mitigated
approach or an intensified one – I just do not know. The
very fact that hostages were intended shows the aim pursued
by Himmler in this context…

Dr. Servatius: The next document – T/767, document No. 174.
This is a letter from Ambassador von Hahn to Eichmann, dated
23 February 1943. It is about a list of Jews which is to be
drawn up – foreign nationals in the German sphere of
influence. The letter indicates that Eichmann had refused
to draw up this list, claiming that he lacked the requisite
staff. The Foreign Ministry comments in the last sentence
on page 2: “The arguments presented orally by you do not
appear to justify your refusal.”

Next exhibit – T/469, document No. 965. This is a letter
from the Foreign Ministry to Eichmann, dated January 1943.
According to it, the embassy has been instructed to conduct
urgent negotiations in the recently-occupied French zone, so
as to implement anti-Jewish measures there. At the bottom
of page 1, there is a paragraph which begins as follows:
“Subsequently the embassy received instructions to hold
urgent negotiations with the Italian High Command. It was
indicated that there were no objections to transferring all
stateless Jews.”

Witness, am I correct in assuming that the instructions
received by the embassy came from the Foreign Ministry?

Accused: The instructions were issued by the Foreign
Ministry to the embassy, but the last paragraph on page 2
indicates that, due to the urgency of the matter, this
instruction was issued to the embassy by the Foreign
Ministry without prior consultation with the Head Office for
Reich Security. This is the mutual consultation which my
Department Chief ordered me to observe, and the official in
charge at the Foreign Ministry received the same
instructions from his chief, Luther or Wagner.

Judge Halevi: At that time you were away from the office on
official business, were you not?

Accused: Your Honour, I obviously cannot remember today
whether I was away on official business or not.

Judge Halevi: According to the letter – the letter mentions
that you were away on official business at the time – is
that not so?

Accused: I do not have the letter before me. I only
referred to the question of Counsel for the Defence.

Judge Halevi: Look at the letter, particularly the last

Accused: Yes, indeed, that would appear to be the

Judge Halevi: And when you were away on official business,
was it not possible to contact your superior?

Accused: Your Honour, I do not know who signed this.
Consequently, I cannot say what was this man’s normal
procedure. The letter does not indicate this.

Judge Halevi: In any case, it was D3?

Accused: It is D3, but there is no signature, and I do
not know – it does not appear to have been von Thadden,
because this sort of thing did not normally arise between
von Thadden and my Section.

Judge Halevi: Thank you.

Dr. Servatius: I come now to exhibit T/470, document No.
1223.* {*Erroneously reffered to as document No. 1123 on
page 597, Volume II} This is a telegram from Guenther of
IVB4 to the Senior Commander of the Security Police in
Paris, dated 25 January 1943. It refers to deportations to
Auschwitz: Trains are ready, and at the end a reference is
made to directives applicable to this evacuation, and a
distinction is made between evacuation transports and
transports of detainees.

Witness, would you please explain this difference with
regard to type of transports.

Accused: I gather from this telegram that a distinction
was made between the deportation contingents dispatched as
ordered by Himmler, and individual cases of persons who
contravened the legal regulations. Whereas, in the case of
deportees under Himmler’s overall deportation plan, there
was no need to issue a personal order for protective
custody…that is to say, one order for protective custody
per person – in individual cases…that is for prisoners
taken into protective custody – an order for protective
custody had to be issued for each person, and this could
only be signed by the authorized official. Since these
decrees existed, the officials in charge had to ensure that
in the case in question the provisions of the relevant
decree were observed. Otherwise there would have been an
infringement of the regulations.

Judge Raveh: Does this letter not contain an advice from
your Section as to how to circumvent these instructions?

Accused: No, I cannot see here any advice from the
Section as to how to circumvent these instructions. It says
that Jews in mixed marriages are to be exempted from
evacuation – that can be seen in the directives – even if
they have infringed the regulations on Jews. However, they
can be taken into protective custody pursuant to a decree
from a totally different source than IVB4 – Circular 656/42
(I read five, dated 18.2.1942, IV – i.e., the Chief of
Department, Mueller himself). That would be the official,
bureaucratic information provided in reply to this question
from the official in charge, who had available all the
relevant decrees and had to deal with enquiries in
accordance with them.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is Police number 704 – not
yet submitted. I submit it as evidence. It is a
communication from Standartenfuehrer Knochen, Paris, to
Eichmann, and concerns deportations of Jews from France. It

“In the immediate future it will not be necessary to
provide special trains for transports of Jews, first,
since it is hardly possible to carry out measures
against Jews with French nationality, due to political
reasons, because of the Marshal’s attitude, and
secondly, because the French keep using the Italians as
a pretext. Thirdly, a solution is forthcoming, by
issuing a law which will make it possible to
naturalize” – that should read denaturalize – “all Jews
who immigrated into France after 1932.”

I submit the document as proof that a certain amount of
pressure was exercised in this respect on the legislative

Presiding Judge: I mark this document exhibit N/44.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit – T/490, document No. 1215.
This is a communication from the Paris office – Roethke – to
the Nancy Security Service (SD) Commando, dated 30 July
1943. At the end it says: “Aged Jews are not to be
transferred to the Nancy or Luneville old age homes, but to
the Drancy Camp for Jews, if they are still to some extent
able to survive the transport.” In the preceding paragraph
it says that another old age home has been emptied, and
these Jews have gone to Drancy.

Witness, are you connected with this order?

Accused: No, these are local measures on the part of the
Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security
Service, and they did not fall under the competence or
cognizance of the Head Office for Reich Security at this
time either.

Dr. Servatius: The next item is a communication – this is
exhibit T/484, document No. 1522. This is a communication
from the Paris office, Roethke, to the Commander of the
Security Police and the Security Service in Brussels, for
the attention of Ehlers. This concerns Jews of French
nationality who are resident in Belgium. At the end of the
first paragraph it says: “In the coming weeks these Jews
should be interned and evacuated at one stroke, as soon as
the law, which so far has not been promulgated, is
published.” Further on it says:

“If implementation of the law runs into difficulties,
action will in any case be taken against Jews of French

What powers did the person whose signature appears on the
communication – Roethke – possess? Who had in this instance
to issue orders to the SD headquarters in Brussels?

Accused: Since Roethke was a Specialist Officer of the
Senior Commander of the Security Police and the SD, he was
entitled to carry out any measures about which he received
orders from his superior officer, the Senior Commander. The
various Senior Commanders were able to consult each other
and co-ordinate things, and as long as these were measures
which were not defined as being “of importance to the
Reich,” in such cases the Head Office for Reich Security was
not made to participate at all.

Dr. Servatius: Did Belgium also fall within the area of
competence of the Senior Commander of the Security Police
and the Security Service in Paris?

Accused: As far as I either read somewhere or I vaguely
recollect, at the beginning Belgium was subject to the
authority of Knochen, when his position was still defined as
“Delegate of the Chief of the Security Police and the
Security Service for France and Belgium.” When these
offices were then renamed “Senior Commander,” I believe that
was when a Senior Commander of the Security Police and the
Security Service was appointed for Belgium as well.

Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/487, document No.
1523. This is a minute drawn up by Roethke, SS
Obersturmfuehrer in Paris. On page 3 (here numbered 78),
the memorandum reads:

“As far as the Jewish Question is concerned, the French
Government is no longer prepared to do its share.”

In the penultimate paragraph, on the next page,it says:

“It is proposed that the Schutzpolizei batallion be
called in immediately, since whether the
denaturalization law is issued or not, the co-operation
of the French police in any major operation for seizing
the Jews can no longer be counted upon, unless
Germany’s military position changes radically in our
favour in the next few days or weeks.”

And at the very end it says:

“To be submitted to SS Standartenfuehrer Knochen for
information and further decision.”

Witness, were you dealing with this matter when Knochen
approached your office, in order to break this resistance
which had sprung up in France?

Accused: I know nothing about this. I consider this
matter to be a continuation of the documents discussed at
the beginning, with 250 men being called for by Paris, and
this 250-man reinforcement not being approved by the Chief
of Department IV. In any case, I personally was not
involved in the clearing up of difficulties which arose –
that was the role of the higher echelons.

Dr. Servatius: As far as the general position of the Paris
office is concerned, there is one more exhibit – T/477,
document No. 718. This dates from several months earlier,
and once again the view expressed is that a strong-arm
policy should be adopted. At the bottom it says:

“The Chief of the Security Police and the Security
Service in a decree dated 5 March 1943, has again
indicated unambiguously the categories of Jews liable
to deportation,” and then there is a list of the
countries concerned. On the last page it says: “What
counts here is not the French Government’s favourable –
and therefore completely irrelevant – attitude to the
Jews, but the Fuehrer’s unequivocable orders.”

The next exhibit is T/480, document No. 1208. This is a
telegram to Zoepf in the Netherlands, Knochen in Paris, and
Ehlers in Brussels, dated 23 April 1943. The text reads as

“For obvious reasons, the Auschwitz camp has again
asked that the Jews to be evacuated should not, before
their deportation, receive any disquieting information
as to the location and nature of their forthcoming
employment. The accompanying commandos should also not
drop any hints.”

Witness, this bears Guenther’s signature; would you please
explain why this order was issued?

Accused: What I can do today, is to try and reconstruct
how this may have come about. The accompanying commandos,
and also the authorities who seized them, probably told the
Jews being deported what their final destination was, thus
creating alarm; so the commander’s office of the Auschwitz
concentration camp went through official channels to the
Economic-Administrative Head Office, and then the
instruction was issued…the request was made for the
competent authorities in the Head Office for Reich Security
to impress on their subordinates – the Senior Commanders of
the Security Police and the SD – the need to proceed in
accordance with the wishes of the Economic-Administrative
Head Office, to keep the fact of the final destination
completely secret, and to keep the fact about further
employment completely secret, in accordance with the
decisions of the commander’s office of the concentration

Dr. Servatius: Witness, could this not also be understood
as implying that the persons to be transported had an
extremely bad impression of the name “Auschwitz,” possibly
because it already had a bad reputation. Could this be what
it means?

Accused: That is exactly what I was trying to say in my

Presiding Judge: I do not consider that this lengthy answer
has clarified our understanding of the document at all. It
was simply a paraphrase of the exhibit. No – there is no
need to reply.

Dr. Servatius: I would just like to draw the Court’s
attention to the last page of the document. It reads:
“Auschwitz” – there the camp is indicating why it wants
secrecy – “Auschwitz must consider it important, in the
light of implementation of most urgent projects, that it be
able to receive transports and make subsequent arrangements
as smoothly as possible.”

Judge Halevi: It also says, “to avoid comments likely to
provoke resistance.”

Accused: Your Honour, as the signature shows, I did not
deal with this matter. In the meanwhile, eighteen years
have elapsed, and since I am here under oath, I would not
wish to say something that I believe or think, if it might
be incorrect.

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

Dr. Servatius: Certainly, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: The Court will convene tomorrow at 8:30

Last-Modified: 1999/06/09