Session 083-04, Eichmann Adolf

Judge Raveh: Dr. Servatius, in Chart N/51 there is no
connection between Himmler and this Special Operations Unit.
Everything there revolves around the Foreign Ministry. Yet,
according to this document, someone from the Foreign
Ministry writes that he is applying for directives from
Himmler to Fuchs. This does not somehow accord with the
chart submitted.

Dr. Servatius: Perhaps the chart ought to be completed in
this respect.

I come now to exhibit T/874, document No. 647; also exhibit
T/875, document No. 1244, belongs to this. Benzler writes
to the Foreign Ministry on 12 September 1941. This document
is of particular significance on account of the handwritten
remark at the bottom: “Eichmann suggests shooting,” which is
why I have to quote the text at greater length:

“Accommodation in labour camps is impossible under
present internal conditions, because security is not
guaranteed. Jewish camps actually impede and endanger
our troops. The immediate clearance from the camp of
twelve hundred Jews in Sabac is therefore necessary,
since Sabac is in the battle zone, and the presence of
revolutionary bands numbering several thousand has been
established. On the other hand, as has been proved,
Jews have a considerable share in the unrest in the
country. Upon the removal of the Jews from the Banat
region, the extremely harmful rumour-mongering in
Serbia ceased immediately. The deportation, to begin
with, of male Jews, is an essential precondition for
restoring conditions of law and order.

“I therefore urgently repeat my request. If it should
again be refused, there only remains the immediate
deportation to the Generalgouvernement or to Russia,
which might well involve considerable transportation
difficulties. Otherwise, the operation against the
Jews has to be postponed for the time being, which is
against the instructions given to me by the Reich
Foreign Minister.” Signed: Benzler.

The handwritten lines, which are of importance here and
appear to be by Rademacher, state:

“According to information by Sturmbannfuehrer RSHA
IVD4, reception in the territory of the Reich and in
the Generalgouvernement is out of the question; not
even the Jews from Germany can be accommodated there.
Eichmann suggests shooting.”

To this belong…well, that is the next exhibit.

Presiding Judge: T/875, correct?

Dr. Servatius: And please look at page 3, it has the number
at the top. These are declarations by Rademacher. It says
on page 3:

“On the basis of Luther’s minute of 12 September, I was
summoned to report on 13 September – I still remember
exactly that I sat opposite him when I telephoned to
the Head Office for Reich Security, and that I wrote
down the handwritten key words of Eichmann’s reply and
pushed them across to Luther during the phone
conversation. The sense of Eichmann’s words was that
the military was responsible for order in Serbia and
just had to shoot rebellious Jews. To my further
question, he simply repeated `shoot’ and hung up.”

Presiding Judge: There is something more about it in the
middle of page 4.

Dr. Servatius: I was just going to read it out.

“I considered Eichmann’s rude, offhand comment `shoot’ to be
a harsh but permissible act of reprisal against rebels under
international law, the decision and responsibility for which
lay with the military occupation authorities.”

Witness, would you state your position on this remark:
“Eichmann suggests shooting.”

Accused: I made no such comment and I could not have done
so, because such a comment would have gone far beyond my
area of competence. When I received these documents in
order to work on them, I dealt very thoroughly with this
matter, being well aware of the seriousness of the
accusation. I first of all realized that considerably less
important matters were handled reciprocally by the Foreign
Ministry and the Head Office for Reich Security, with a
bureaucratic meticulousness which at once made it look most
peculiar to me that such an important matter as this was to
be dealt with here merely by a simple marginal remark.

When I received document No. 1244 and read this passage, I
thought the matter over and sort of pictured it to myself,
because Rademacher says that he was summoned to report and
still clearly remembers that he sat opposite Luther, and
that during the telephone call he had pushed the handwritten
key words across to Luther. I was known to Rademacher,
personally, in fact, as well as to Luther, through
professional contacts. In spite of that, Rademacher took
the time to begin his key words by putting down: “According
to information by Sturmbannfuehrer IVD4” – there he was
wrong – etc. This introduction would be superfluous with
hastily penned key words.

I then found documents in Poliakov’s book, on pages 350 and
448. On page 350, a communication is quoted by the
authorized commanding general in Serbia, dated 10 October
1941, where it says:

“The Balkan mentality makes it necessary to implement
the orders of the High Command of the Armed Forces in
the severest form. In every garrison in Serbia all
communists etc., all Jews, and a certain number of
others are to be arrested immediately by means of
sudden operations. These hostages and the population
are to be informed that they will be shot in the event
of attacks on German soldiers or ethnic Germans.”

The second order by the authorized commanding general in
Serbia, dated 19 October 1941, concerning “expiatory
measures” to the guard regiment in Belgrade, says: “The
execution of sixteen hundred of those arrested is to be
carried out by the guard regiment in Belgrade.”

I myself am no longer mentioned in the following records of
the Foreign Ministry, where the affair is portrayed in a
most drastic manner. Had I given such an extremely
important recommendation, the natural thing would have been
that, in the mass of documents still in existence, I would
have been mentioned somewhere at some time. On the other
hand, I found a document, Prosecution No. 652, T/884, where
Weizsaecker, the State Secretary at the Foreign Ministry,
was apparently shocked by the tone and actions of his
officials in the ministry, because it says there in the
second paragraph: “However, it goes beyond the
responsibility of Benzler and of the Foreign Ministry to
take an active part as to how the appropriate military and
interior authorities cope with the Jewish Question inside
Serbia.” And the last paragraph: “I told Benzler the same
thing today. It would be advisable to inform him
accordingly in writing also.”

This rebuke appears to have been directed at officials of
the Foreign Ministry, because their action had certainly
been very undiplomatic, aggressive and out of turn. And
since I am aware that, though that happened rarely, it was
nevertheless customary with officials that when documents
were put before the chief, they were gone through by the
official in charge, and minor subsequent corrections were
frequently made, I must assume that in this instance
Rademacher added this comment in the margin subsequently,
after he had learned of Weizsaecker’s attitude to these
matters. I can only state once more that I did not write
such a recommendation.

Dr. Servatius: I now come to exhibit T/876, document No.
648. This is a minute by Rademacher from the Foreign
Ministry for Under-Secretary of State Luther. In the second
paragraph it says:

“In my view, with the necessary firmness and
decisiveness, it ought to be possible to keep the Jews
in camps also in Serbia. If the Jews there continue to
stir up unrest, more stringent martial law must be
imposed on them. I cannot imagine that the Jews will
continue to conspire, once a considerable number of
hostages have been shot.”

The next exhibit is T/877, document No. 649. This is a
communication from Ambassador Benzler to the Reich Foreign
Minister Ribbentrop personally. He says:

“I repeatedly requested the support of the ministry for
the immediate deportation of the local male Jews from
Serbia, which was, however, refused. I should like to
recall that in Fuschl you explicitly promised your help
in housing the Jews, as well as also Freemasons and
Serbs siding with England, be it down the Danube or in
concentration camps in Germany or in the

He continues:

“The immediate solution of the Jewish Question is
momentarily the politically most important task, and a
precondition for making a start on the removal of Freemasons
and hostile intelligentsia.”

He goes on:

“Moreover, General Boehme, as well as the military
commander, made a renewed, insistent appeal to me, also
in their names, to obtain as soon as possible the
deportation of the Jews beyond the borders of the

The next exhibit is T/878, document No. 650. This is a
minute by Luther of the Foreign Ministry, dated 2 October
1941. It says:

“My view on the enclosed telegram from Ambassador
Benzler from Belgrade, dated 29 September, is as

1. Benzler makes the removal of eight thousand Jews
from the old Serbian territory a precondition for
making a start on the removal of Freemasons and of the
intelligentsia hostile to us.

2. Benzler considers the continued presence of these
eight thousand Jews incompatible with the appeasement
operation now planned by us, but remarks that he would
have to put up with the remaining approximately twenty
thousand members of Jewish families.”

And further on:

“If the military commander is in agreement with Benzler
that it is first and foremost these eight thousand Jews
who prevent the appeasement operation in the area of
the old Serbian state, then, in my opinion, the
military commander has to see to the immediate removal
of these eight thousand Jews.”

And the following sentence:

“In other areas, other military commanders have coped
with a considerably larger number of Jews without even
talking about it.”

Judge Halevi: Please look at the last paragraph as well.

Dr. Servatius: Yes, it says here at the end:

“That in a short while one might well arrive at a clear-
cut solution to this problem with Heydrich. Heydrich
was being expected; he would shortly come from Prague
to Berlin, where we can discuss it.”

And then:

“I am convinced that in agreement with him we could
very soon arrive at a clear-cut solution to this

The next two exhibits, T/880, document No. 1044, and T/881,
document No. 1045, are concerned with sending a special
emissary from the Head Office for Reich Security to
Belgrade, in order to settle the question posed in the above-
mentioned telegram. That was to be Eichmann, but in the end
it was not he, but someone else who came, as emerges from
exhibit T/882, document No. 1162.

Witness, what was this special mission, and what was the
reason for this planned journey?

Accused: I cannot remember ever having had instructions
to go to Serbia. Furthermore, I doubt whether
Sturmbannfuehrer Suhr and Obersturmbannfuehrer Stuckart, who
are named instead of me here by Luther, travelled together
with Rademacher.

Dr. Servatius: Witness, the question is whether you know
anything about the reason, the contents of these

Accused: No, I don’t know that; the documents do not
reveal anything either, I also checked on that.

Dr. Servatius: Next I come to Croatia, List 29. Here, too,
I submit a chart to the Court.

Witness, did you draft the chart, and is it correct?

Accused: Yes, I drafted it, and it is according to my

Dr. Servatius: The remarks on the chart are from an earlier
date, and were made on the basis of the books which were at
the disposal of the Accused.

Presiding Judge: This chart will be marked N/52.

Dr. Servatius: To begin with, exhibit T/902. This is a
minute by Luther of the Foreign Ministry and deals with
removal [of population]. At the beginning of paragraph 2 it
says: “There is a basic agreement in Croatia as regards the
removal of the Jews. It is considered to be of special
importance to transfer four to five thousand Jews from the
Italian-occupied Zone Two of Dubrovnik and Mustar, which
constitute a political burden.” It continues: “However, the
removal can be effected only with German assistance, since
difficulties are to be expected from the Italian side.” The
last paragraph on this page: “Since, according to a
telephone message from Agram, the Croatian Government has
given its written consent to the suggested operation – we
have written confirmation – Ambassador Kasche is in favour
of starting on the removal and, in principle, to include the
whole of the state territory.” The last sentence says: “One
might take a chance as to whether difficulties will arise
during the operation, as far as the Italian-occupied zone is

The next exhibit is T/903, document No. 87. This is a
communication from Kasche to the Foreign Ministry and says:
“Preparatory work for the removal of the Jews from the
Italian-occupied zones, the confidential seizure of all Jews
will be carried out by the Police Attache. Please notify
Head Office for Reich Security.” This is, therefore, a
notification by Police Attache Helm to the Head Office for
Reich Security, via Ambassador Kasche of the Foreign

Judge Halevi: It says there “Erfassung” (seizure), Dr.

Dr. Servatius: Yes. Erfassung of all Jews will be carried
out by the Police Attache.

Judge Halevi: What is the meaning of the word “Erfassung”
in German?

Dr. Servatius: What it means here, in practical terms, is
“concentration,” “bringing together,”
“apprehending.” It can, of course, also mean the preceding
stage, that of compiling a list. It is a fast word in
fashion, used in the past few years for approaching a
matter. It can be far away or, on the contrary, quite

Presiding Judge: What is the meaning of “Durchdruck als
Konzept” (copy instead of draft), Dr. Servatius? I remember
that we came across it once before. What does it mean in
the administrative context? Perhaps, Dr. Servatius, if you
do not know, the Accused should answer.

Dr. Servatius: I surmise that no special draft was made,
but that it was dictated directly, with the copy remaining
as a draft. I should, however, like to hear the Accused on

Accused: Yes. In contrast to the administrative customs
in the Head Office for Reich Security, this way was
customary in the Foreign Ministry.

Presiding Judge: Thank you.

Dr. Servatius: I should still like to add something as
regards the word “Erfassung.” I hesitated earlier on, upon
reading “Vertrauliche Erfassung” (confidential seizure) – it
makes it still very remote, as when one finds out secretly
from neighbours who were the people who were to be seized.
This is the very first step.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/09