Session 085-01, Eichmann Adolf

Session No. 85
20 Tammuz 5721 (4 July 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the eighty-fifth Session of the
trial open. We shall start with the statements taken abroad
from persons who are to be considered as Prosecution

Attorney General: Yes, Your Honour. If it please the Court,
in the meanwhile we have now also received from the Israeli
Embassy in Austria the record of the examination of Dr.
Wilhelm Hoettl, with the seal of the examining court. In
order to avoid going over it twice, I would ask the Court to
permit the reading today of passages also from this record
which I managed to show to Counsel for the Defence already
yesterday. I gather he has no objections, so that we could
complete the matter this morning.

Presiding Judge: Does the document which you have show, on
the face of it, that it really comes from the court?
Because we have not received any notification through
official channels.

Attorney General: It must be on its way.

Presiding Judge: We enquired this morning, and it had not
arrived. Does Dr. Servatius agree to it?
Dr. Servatius: Yes, but perhaps I might make one comment.
I have – I believe there are eighty pages, and I read
through them yesterday evening. Some of them are very badly
photocopied, but I am not raising any objections. There is
just one thing I would ask, and that is that, for the time
being, note be taken of the last pages, where the judge in
the end had some misgivings, as no one appeared after the
examination, and he found that no one availed himself of the
opportunity to ask questions. In any case, I would like the
Court to take note of the passage.

Presiding Judge: Very well, at the appropriate point we
shall come to that.

I think, Mr. Hausner, that the correct order will be as
follows – as was done for the questionnaires: First of all,
since the witnesses are considered to be Prosecution
witnesses, we shall hear from Dr. Servatius the particular
points he wishes to make part of the record, and then what
interests the Prosecution.

Attorney General: As the Court pleases.

Presiding Judge: I assume that Dr. Servatius has no
objection to this procedure.

Dr. Servatius: I have no objection.

Presiding Judge: I have a list here of witnesses to be
considered as Prosecution witnesses. They are: von

Thadden, Huppenkothen, Hoettl, Juettner, Grell, Becher,
Krumey. As far as Krumey is concerned, we shall yet clarify
that. He appears in my notes, but I am prepared to discuss

In connection with Krumey, the Prosecution has submitted a
statement about the Lidice children, T/1100, not in
connection with the Hungarian chapter, and, according to the
note I have, you attached particular importance to this.

Attorney General: But, with the Court’s permission, if I am
not mistaken, the request to examine Krumey came earlier,
and it was not because of this statement that he was

Presiding Judge: That may be so.

Attorney General: I would, therefore, request that Krumey
should not be considered as a Prosecution witness for this

Presiding Judge: Very well, at present we shall leave the
matter open. As far as Merten is concerned, I am not sure
whether any statement has been submitted.

Attorney General: No, there is nothing.

Presiding Judge: I could not find anything either, but my
clerk apparently heard that there was something. I think we
can delete Merten from this list.

Is it correct, Dr. Servatius, that Merten is to be
considered as a Defence witness?

Dr. Servatius: Yes, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: [to the Clerk of the Court] You have the
file; see what Dr. Servatius wrote in the request to take
testimony from Krumey.

Dr. Servatius: I have the request here. I apply for him to
be heard as a witness for the Defence.

Presiding Judge: Very well; I have added him to the list of
Defence witnesses. If that is convenient for you, we shall
divide the witnesses for the Prosecution into two groups:
those whose testimony is particularly relevant to the
Hungarian chapter, and those whose testimony does not apply
to Hungary. As far as I can see, the others are the three
statements of von Thadden, Huppenkothen and Hoettl.

Attorney General: We did, in fact, wish to start with
Hoettl, if the Court pleases. My proposal would be that I
should not read anything out, in order to save time. I
shall give the record to the Court interpreter, with the
passages marked within brackets which I wish to have read
out. He can translate directly, so we can save the time
required to read out the original.

Presiding Judge: That will obviously help. However, as I
have said, we shall start with Dr. Servatius, as regards
these witnesses. Dr. Servatius, which witness would you
like to start with – von Thadden, Hoettl or Huppenkothen? I
believe that the division into the two groups is useful.

Dr. Servatius: I agree with the request of the Attorney
General – to begin with Hoettl.

Presiding Judge: Then I must ask the Prosecution to pass
over to me what you have before you, so that the documents
can be marked.

Attorney General: Certainly – this is the only copy.

Presiding Judge: I shall for the moment mark this copy.
When the official copy is received, I shall return this copy
to you and transfer the markings. I shall mark the record
of the examination of Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl by the number `I’.

Dr. Servatius, what do you wish to draw attention to in
this statement?

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I was only able to glance
through the document. It seems to me that it is largely a
statement in defence of Mr. Hoettl, which took several days.
I intended to read out just one short passage by way of
illustration, showing that he deviated considerably from the
object of the examination. However, I should first like to
draw the Court’s attention to the statement by the judge, at
the end. I believe that this is on the last page, or last
but one – it is a most verbose examination.

Presiding Judge: Which page are you referring to?

Attorney General: I assume Dr. Servatius is referring to
what it says on pages 70 and following.

Dr. Servatius: I do not have a copy before me at the

Presiding Judge: That is really rather awkward. Very well,
Dr. Servatius, if you could tell us what you wish to have
read out, we shall make the necessary arrangements.

Dr. Servatius: I would wish to draw attention to pages 70
and 71. Shall I read it out?

Presiding Judge: As you wish. We shall obviously look at
everything ourselves, but please, Dr. Servatius, if you wish
to read out any passages, you may do so. I do not need to
emphasize how important it is to save time, but I leave this
entirely to you.

Dr. Servatius: It says here:

“Whereupon the witness was notified that, due to the
non-appearance of the representatives of the parties,
the court can consider his examination as concluded
only provisionally.”

The examination took three days, and I could really not
expect my representative to wait outside for three days –

“…so that until the conclusion of the main hearing in
Jerusalem he should remain available to the Bad Aussee
Court of First Instance, i.e. if he intends to leave
the district for an extended period, he must provide
his address, in order to enable an early response to be
made to any supplementary request which the Jerusalem
District Court may yet transmit.

“This is particularly important since, in view of the
failure of the aforementioned representatives to
appear, there is no absolute guarantee that all
questions have been asked in their entirety, and it
cannot be assumed with certainty that the truth has
been disclosed completely, having regard to the
importance of the Eichmann trial.”

Then there are some general observations.

Presiding Judge: But were the representatives of the parties
not able to be present during the examination? What was the

Dr. Servatius: The hearing begins with a public session,
there is a roll call of those present, and then it says: Now
the public will be excluded; and at the end it says: Now the
hearing will be in public again – where are the
representatives of the parties? And then there is the
statement that this is only provisional, that this is not a
sure basis, as questions which might have been put have not
been asked. And then, at the end, it says:

“In the opinion of the Court to whom the request for
legal assistance was addressed, the Eichmann trial is
of such importance in terms of world history that it is
vital to exhaust all means for ascertaining the truth.”

Presiding Judge: Very well, we shall admit the examination,
and if any of the parties wishes to make any comments on
this aspect of the matter, we shall hear them.

Attorney General: If it please the Court, what happened in
Austria was as follows: According to the reference from this
Court, both parties were entitled to be present and to
submit questions.

Presiding Judge: That is what we requested to the Austrian
court to do. It could have given notice.

Attorney General: We were told by the administrative
authorities which implement the request for taking evidence
on admission, that this conflicted with substantive Austrian
law, and after looking into the matter we decided not to
send a representative. The Austrian judge apparently
thought otherwise; he expected representatives to appear and
even had them called. I would not wish to interfere in
differences of opinion between the Austrian administration
and the judiciary.

Presiding Judge: As I have already said, if this matter is
at all important, we shall discuss it. These are the
passages to which Dr. Servatius wished to draw our attention
in particular, as I understand it. In addition, the entire
testimony is, of course, part of the record of this Court.
Naturally, both the parties and the Court can refer to any
part of this testimony during closing speeches and in the

Dr. Servatius: If I might make a comment, Your Honour. In
my opinion, this examination has no value at all as a cross-
examination, and when one reads through these seventy pages,
one wonders how one can reconcile these two legal
procedures. The judge delves at great length into marginal
questions, exhaustively, but he does not get to the crux of
the matter, while the other examinations are very good and
immediately provide the answer.

Presiding Judge: Very well. You will be able to refer to
all of this in your closing speech, when we shall deal with
weighing the evidence. What would you like to do now?

Attorney General: We would like the passages we have marked
in red brackets to be read out by the interpreters, Mr.
Dayan or Mr. Rosen. When such brackets appear at the bottom
of a page, this means that the reading should continue on
the following page.

Interpreter: On page 1, Record of the Court of First
Instance, Bad Aussee, Austria, made on 19 June 1961. The
witness, Wilhelm Hoettl, of Alt Aussee, appeared before us.
On page 3:

“My name is Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl, I am forty-six years
old, Roman Catholic, married, director of the Bad
Aussee Private Secondary School, born on 19 March 1915,
in Vienna.

“In the course of my subsequent activities in the
Foreign Secret Service, I met Adolf Eichmann, as far as
I remember, in March or at the beginning of April 1938.
In order to obtain an exit permit for Hungary for a
Jewish colleague of mine, one Dr. Kauders, a lawyer
who, I believe had his office in Mistelbach, I was
directed by the Vienna Secret Police to Eichmann, who
was said to be able to issue such exit permits
expeditiously. Subsequently, I had frequent dealings
with Eichmann in similar cases, and on each occasion he
obliged me as I wished.

“Eichmann also worked in the Fourth District, in a
similar office, situated in Prinz Eugen Strasse. It
was in this building that Eichmann at that time set up
the Central Office for Jewish Emigration, with which I
intervened on various occasions over the following
year, including contacts with Eichmann himself. I was
basically interested in enabling Jews with Austrian
nationality, with whom I had become acquainted both
officially and privately, to leave the country

“On one of these occasions – I should think it was in
the autumn of 1938 – Eichmann outlined to me his plan
which he had realized by setting up the Central Office.
He explained to me that, because of the red tape of the
various authorities, and particularly their lack of co-
ordination, Jews who were prepared to emigrate found it
extremely difficult to leave the country. For example,
when the Revenue Office had issued the requisite
certificate of lack of impediment, the exit visa from
the passport police would, in the meanwhile, have
expired, or it was no longer possible to obtain passage
by sea. It was because of such experiences that he
(Eichmann) had for the first time set up in Vienna such
a Central Office for Jewish Emigration, at which all
authorities and offices which had anything at all to do
with emigration, but also travel agencies, shipping
companies, and so on, had to have a representative. He
claimed that in this fashion he had managed to do away
entirely with all red tape from the emigration of the
Austrian Jews, and to speed up such emigration

Page 6:

“This field of Eichmann’s activity extended certainly
beyond Vienna, probably covering the whole of Austria,
particularly since, as far as I am aware, there were no
such Central Offices in other regional capitals.

“Eichmann represented himself before me as an Austrian
– from Linz; but he spoke with a marked north German
accent, in a very cheeky style. At the time, as far as
I remember, Eichmann was an SS-Untersturmfuehrer or
Obersturmfuehrer, and wore the appropriate uniform with
the relevant insignia. The office, which was housed in
a large mansion, probably had a staff of some thirty or
forty, including numerous female clerks and some
civilians who, in my opinion, were representatives of
travel agencies, shipping companies, and so on. The
only name I remember of the staff or others who worked
there is that of Guenther, with whom I intervened later
at a similar office in Prague and also in Berlin, for
Jewish emigrants. However, judging from his manner of
speech, he was not from Vienna, but rather from Saxony
or Thuringia.”

Page 7:

“In any case, never having completed his education
properly, he worked in the private sector (his brother
was a lawyer in Linz).”

Last-Modified: 1999/06/09