Session 085-04, Eichmann Adolf

On Question 12:

“Mueller often insisted on deciding himself on matters
of varying degrees of importance. Sometimes they were
inconsequential routine matters. This would interfere
time and again with the proper running of departments,
and other Group Leaders also complained about this.

“I also found that he was not particularly keen on
taking decisions himself, and in non-routine matters
would often obtain instructions for himself from his
superiors in many cases. He was exaggeratedly cautious
vis-a-vis his superiors. You could say he was over-
anxious. The result of his behaviour was a
considerable restraint on the departments under his
control. Until I became aware of this idiosyncrasy of
his, it also happened that, when I had taken decisions
on my own, he would remonstrate with me. He would
reproach me for having decided on my own initiative,
rather than criticizing the substance of my decision.

“I do not know whether – and if so, to what extent –
this behaviour was true of his attitude to the
Accused’s Section as well. There were general
complaints about it, but I cannot remember whether the
Accused also complained.

“Frequently Mueller would not accept the decisions
submitted to him as they stood, but would modify them
or refer to higher authority.”

Then, further down on page 10, the reply to Question 14:

“If in my affidavit, document No. 874, page 6, I said
that, apart from his Section, the Accused was in charge
of an office in Prague, the only thing I remember today
is that I know that he often had business in Prague. I
am unable to say whether the Accused had this position
at the same time as his Section, or whether he was in
charge of this office earlier. I cannot today say
whether the office in Prague was the Central Office for
Jewish Emigration. I know there was such an office. I
know that the Accused was often away. However, I know
nothing about this having been in connection with any
business in branch offices.”

Page 11:

“I was not in any way close to the Accused, and I also
had practically hardly any official contacts with him.
The only time I remember getting to know him slightly
better was when we travelled together – I believe to
Prague. If I am not mistaken, we were going to
Heydrich’s funeral. I travelled in the Accused’s
official car, because I had no car of my own.”

Presiding Judge: Is that all?

Interpreter: Yes.

Presiding Judge: All right. We shall now turn to von
Thadden’s testimony. I mark this III. Dr. Servatius, what
do you wish to stress in this testimony?

Dr. Servatius: Record of 18 May 1961, Court of First
Instance, Neuss. One of the important passages for the
Defence would seem to be page 4, the last sentence:

“While I was working with the Special Plenipotentiary
for Economic Affairs, I never heard of Eichmann
visiting Greece.”

Then, page 7, the last paragraph: “I cannot say anything
about the Accused’s powers to take decisions; I do not
remember any cases” to (at the bottom) “which were signed by
his superior, Mueller.”

Page 8, at the bottom: “I was unable to understand from whom
basic orders on the treatment of Jews emanated” – to the end
of the paragraph on the next page: “had originated with

Then, page 10, the penultimate paragraph: “I received
Veesenmayer’s reports to the Foreign Ministry on the
deportation of Jews from Hungary, for information.” The
next sentence: “In the light of these reports it is quite
obvious that Veesenmayer played a decisive role in these
deportations.” Up to there.

Then, on page 15, the third paragraph: “I know that in
principle any projects proposing the emigration of Jews to
Palestine were foiled by the Foreign Ministry, in view of
the Arab-oriented policy” to the end of the paragraph.

These are all the passages to which I wished to relate.

Presiding Judge: And now, the Attorney General.

Attorney General: We have already provided the marked


“I am Dr. jur. Eberhard von Thadden. I was born in
Berlin on 17 November 1909; I live in Buederich, Kreis
(District) Grevenbroich, von der Leyenstrasse 4. I am
married, have two children, and am a businessman by

Page 3:

“In the spring of 1943 – I think it was in April – I
was ordered back to Berlin by telegraph and assigned to
Department II Inland. The Chief of this Department was
Legation Counsellor – subsequently Senior Legation
Counsellor – Horst Wagner. The Department was
subordinate to State Secretary Steengracht, who in turn
was directly subordinate to the Reich Minister for
Foreign Affairs. In 1943 or 1944, I became Legation
Counsellor, First Class. I was a member of Department
II Inland until the collapse.”

Page 4:

“In the Personnel Department, I dealt with a group of
senior officials in the Foreign Ministry. At this time
there were not yet Specialist Officers on Jewish
Affairs or Advisers on Aryanization with the German
diplomatic agencies, but there were Police Attaches –
positions created at that time. The Police Attaches
were proposed and also appointed on the basis of
proposals from the Head Office for Reich Security or
the Ministry of the Interior – I cannot say today which
of these two bodies was responsible for such
appointments – after the approval of the host country
had been obtained by the Foreign Ministry. The Police
Attaches were subordinate to their organization at
home. In accordance with service regulations, the
Legation Head was the administrative superior of the
Police Attache, but in matters of discipline his home
organization was in charge of him. When it came to
actual work, in practice the Police Attache received
instructions from his home organization. In theory, as
far as I am aware, the Mission Head was entitled to
cause the recall of a Police Attache who did not prove
amenable, or to ask for his recall.”

Page 5:

“In Department II Inland, I was mainly involved with
maintaining contact with the various German offices of
the SS, i.e., those offices which were subject to the
Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of the German Police. My
connections in the course of this activity of mine were
with the central offices only, while my Department
Chief reserved for himself any dealings with members of
those offices who had the rank of an SS Gruppenfuehrer
or Obergruppenfuehrer. In terms of rank, my Department
Chief was of lower rank than the SS Leaders I have just
referred to. As part of my job, I also had to deal
with assignments which were really part of the duties
of other specialist officers of the Foreign Ministry,
but were concentrated in Inland II, because the offices
under the Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of the German
Police were engaged in handling these assignments. As
part of my duties, as described, I also had to make
contact with German missions abroad and with foreign
missions in Germany, in order to execute specific

Page 6:

“In the course of my duties I became aware of the
extent of the deportations of Jews in the various
occupied and allied countries. I only had access to
the records existing in the Department relative to
Jewish Affairs which originated before I joined the
Department, when I had to use such records in order to
deal with tasks with which I was charged. Rademacher,
my predecessor, did not personally hand over the field
of work to me, because, when I joined Department II
Inland, Rademacher was already in the army.

“In the course of my work in Department II Inland, I
was continuously in contact with the Accused. During
the period in question, I was initially Legation
Counsellor, i.e., Government Counsellor, and
subsequently promoted to Legation Counsellor, First
Class, i.e., Senior Government Counsellor. As far as I
am aware, Eichmann was an SS Obersturmbannfuehrer. To
the best of my knowledge, this rank is equivalent to
that of Senior Government Counsellor.”

Page 7:

“I had constant dealings with the Accused and his
office, particularly by word of mouth and by telephone
with Guenther and Moes, or by written correspondence
with his office. I think it was possible for a
specialist officer of a central body to have personal
contacts with Ministers or Secretaries of State of
foreign countries, when he was abroad, but it was not
customary. For example, while I was stationed in
Greece, I once had dealings with the Greek Premier.

“In the course of my consultations with the Accused and
the Section of which he was in charge, I was authorized
to decide myself only in the case of minor matters;
otherwise I had to submit the matter for decision,
either to the Head of another Section which was
involved, or to my superior. By submission I mean the
official procedure which passes through normal channels
in order to reach the authority which finally takes the
decision. In the case of the authorities superior to
me, these were the Chief of Department, the State
Secretary and the Minister.

“I cannot say anything about the Accused’s powers to
take decisions; I do not remember any cases in which
the Accused took a decision about which I would say
that it exceeded the competence of a specialist
officer, according to the concept with which I was
familiar in my own job. However, from the reports and
opinion of the Accused, bearing his own signature,
which I received, I was not always able to deduce
whether he had taken the decision himself on his own
responsibility, or whether he was acting in accordance
with instructions. I also remember documents, the
contents of which as such concerned Eichmann’s Section,
but which were signed by his superior, Mueller. For
example, I remember a decree about the possibility of
repatriating foreign Jews, signed by Mueller. This was
a circular issued by the Head Office for Reich Security
to the offices under its control, which was sent for
information to the Foreign Ministry. This circular did
not deal with individual instances.

“Most of the documents which reached me from the
Accused’s Section were signed by him or by his
subordinate assistants. I do not remember getting my
Department Chief to deal directly with Mueller in
matters which involved Eichmann’s Section, in the
disposal of which he was to be circumvented. I think
that this would have been quite out of the question,
because if anything affecting Eichmann’s Section was to
be reversed, this, in my opinion, could only have been
done by the top echelons (State Secretary or Minister).

“I recollect more particularly now the case of the
Bondi children. Sweden had requested exit permits for
these children. Despite repeated representations, the
Accused’s office refused such exit permits. Shortly
before the collapse – as far as I remember, it was in
April 1945 – permission was nevertheless granted by
Eichmann’s Section. My impression of the whole case
was that this was a decision which was handed down to
the Accused by his superior as a result of intervention
by the State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry. I
cannot remember right now other instances where a
decision by the Accused’s Section was reversed; but by
that I do not mean to say that this was the only case.

“The Foreign Ministry demanded, as a matter of
principle, to take part in questions affecting the
treatment of Jews holding neutral or enemy nationality.
When it came to the power of decision between the Head
Office for Reich Security and the Foreign Ministry, the
seat of power was weighted clearly against the Foreign
Ministry. However, I am unable to remember any case
where a dispute arose because of this between the
Foreign Ministry and the Head Office for Reich

Page 9…

Presiding Judge: We will stop here for a recess. Mr.
Hausner, perhaps you could consider somewhat abridging this
process and following in Dr. Servatius’ footsteps, except
where you consider certain passages to be particularly

Attorney General: Yes. I shall use the recess to this end.


Presiding Judge: We have not yet finished von Thadden’s
statement. Attorney General, what have you managed to do in
the meantime?

Attorney General: I have dropped certain passages from this
testimony, and I have also asked my colleagues to drop
passages from other testimonies still to be referred to.

Presiding Judge: In that case, I would ask the interpreter
to continue, on page 9, I believe.

Interpreter: Page 9, the second paragraph:

“Requests from the Foreign Ministry for approval of
exceptions to general rules were also directed through
me to the Accused’s Section. As to whether the Accused
was able to decide on his own initiative on these
requests, I am unable to say. As I have already said
elsewhere, it was not possible to determine from the
position taken by his Section whether the decision in
question had been taken by Eichmann himself. As part
of my activities, I did learn of positive decisions as
well – positive in the sense of members of the Jewish
population – on the part of the Accused’s Section. I
do not know whether the Accused obtained these positive
exceptions by intervening personally. Eichmann spoke
in very negative terms about requests for approval of
exceptions. I remember that when I approached Eichmann
about approving an exception, he said my attitude was
`weak-kneed.’ Eichmann did not mince his words.”

Then we go on to page 11, in the middle:

“It is correct that I did once make a journey to
Hungary in the spring of 1944. On behalf of my
organization, I visited then not only the Eichmann
Special Operations Unit, but other offices as well.
These were offices which concerned my Section. The
real reason for this journey was that my superior
wanted to give me a few peaceful days, because of the
constant air raids on Berlin at that time.

“I wrote two reports about this visit: A copy of one
report went to the Head Office for Reich Security,
while the second report was for internal use in the
Foreign Ministry. In these reports I indicated that
the Eichmann Special Operations Unit in Hungary was
acting in accordance with a definite plan. I could not
determine to what extent Eichmann had co-ordinated this
plan with other authorities. I myself was horrified at
the plan which Eichmann had disclosed to me. I was in
agreement with other staff of the Foreign Ministry that
the implementation of the plan must be prevented, at
least by gaining time. As far as I know, the plan was
not implemented in the form disclosed to me originally
by Eichmann when I saw him in Budapest. According to
the original plan, the Jewish population of Budapest
was to be herded together one night on an island in the
Danube and interned there, without adequate

Further down, on page 12:

“Regarding the evacuation of Jews from Hungary, it was
always said that they were to be deported to the
Eastern Occupied Territories. The name of the
Auschwitz camp was also mentioned in this context.”

Attorney General: That concludes von Thadden’s statement.

Presiding Judge: Let us now turn to other statements.

Attorney General: Statements concerning Hungary.

Presiding Judge: Here, too, we must first turn to Dr.
Servatius – perhaps we should start with Juettner. I mark
this testimony IV. Dr. Servatius, which passages in
Juettner’s testimony do you wish to highlight or include in
the record?

Last-Modified: 1999/06/09