Session No. 88
23 Tammuz 5721 (7 July 1961)
Presiding Judge: I declare the eighty-eighth Session of the
trial open. The Accused will continue with his statement in
direct examination. I would draw the Accused’s attention to
the fact that he is testifying under oath.
Accused: I am aware of the fact.
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, please proceed.
Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I should like to comment on the
On Becher’s deposition: He has stated that he had nothing to
do with the seizing of property, in answer to question 16 on
page 10, and question 54 page 28. I have a sworn statement
by a witness, Alois Steger, which he gave some time ago, and
which I did not believe I would need to submit. However,
now that Becher has made his statement, I should like to
submit this document – the witness is available for cross-
examination, if the Prosecution so wishes, in Paris, where
he lives. I would also comment that this witness helped the
Jews on several occasions at the end of the War, and is
mentioned twice in Joel Brand’s book for this assistance.
Presiding Judge: Have you given a copy of this deposition to
the Attorney General?
Dr. Servatius: I made it available to him only this
Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, please proceed.
Attorney General: We have not had time to peruse Steger’s
statement, so I cannot give my reaction now. If there is
any question of a document being required in order to assert
that Becher was involved in property seizures, I can state
in advance that we are not claiming that Becher was not
involved in such matters.
Presiding Judge: The problem is simply that we cannot accept
agreement on facts. These are criminal proceedings.
Attorney General: That is quite clear, but I would state in
advance, in order to reassure Counsel for the Defence, that
I am not claiming that Becher was not involved in the
seizure of property, despite what is stated in his
Judge Halevi: That means that if this statement contains
nothing else which is unacceptable to the Prosecution, there
will be no objection to its submission.
Attorney General: We will peruse it. I don’t know what is
in it. The deposition is several pages long, and I would
not wish to rush into committing myself.
Presiding Judge: Perhaps in the recess, if that will do?
Attorney General: Yes.
Presiding Judge: Then we must postpone the matter until
after the recess. Dr. Servatius, in the meanwhile you may
examine the Accused on the matter.
Dr. Servatius: The Accused has already adverted to the
matter and said that this was the main assignment. This is
shown by this deposition, this sworn affirmation, as well as
by the nature of the proceedings and Becher’s whole
attitude, which will be important for evaluating the
witness’ other statements and his credibility.
Presiding Judge: Well, the technical difficulty is simply
that the Attorney General has not yet had the opportunity of
perusing the document, and after the recess we shall see how
to proceed in this matter.
Dr. Servatius: Then there is another question to be
clarified. There are three documents which were submitted
as T/1294, T/1295 and T/1296. I myself do not possess the
documents, and only obtained them today. They may have been
handed over in the office, but in any case they are not in
the collection of documents, and also did not have a
If I may make a statement on this: Exhibit T/1294 is a
document dated 19 May 1943, recommending the promotion of
Wirth of the Head Office for Reich Security; but at the
bottom of the page it says Section IIA2 and II 7, so it had
nothing to do with IVB4.
Presiding Judge: But you have looked at these documents,
have you not?
Dr. Servatius: I had a look at them this morning. The next
document, T/1295, is dated 19 May 1943 and concerns the
recommendation for the promotion of Wirth of the Head Office
for Reich Security. The promotion has the approval of the
Fuehrer’s Chancellery. There is a reference “for Sobibor.”
The last document, T/1296, dated 19 August 1943, is from the
Field Headquarters to the personnel office, promotion of
Wirth because of the Ludin affair.
Presiding Judge: Excuse me, where does it say that? Where
is there a reference to Ludin?
Dr. Servatius: I don’t have the text here with me, it must
say so somewhere – perhaps at the bottom. At the top there
should be the Headquarters.
Presiding Judge: It doesn’t say anything about Ludin here.
It says “during the last visit to Lublin.”
Dr. Servatius: There must be some misunderstanding.
Presiding Judge: Quite. Please proceed.
Dr. Servatius: During the interrogation of the witness
Krumey, a document was submitted which was also discussed at
the hearing, and is referred to on page eight of the record
of proceedings of the hearing. This is a telegram from the
Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security
Service in Prague, signed Fischer, to the Litzmannstadt
Relocation Office, about the Lidice children. The document
is dated 12 June 1942.
In the document it says: “Those not fit for Germanization
will be transferred there and should be transported further
via the Poles’ camps there.” The document should be
available to the Court; it should have been received
together with the records of the examination before the
judge to whom letters of request were addressed. I did not
receive it till today.
Presiding Judge: Mr. Bodenheimer, the question is whether a
document arrived together with Krumey’s deposition. Please
Dr. Servatius: In any case, the document was submitted to
the Court by the representative of the Prosecution and the
witness was asked about it. For the time being I can
provide the copy in my possession.
Presiding Judge: Yes. [To the Attorney General] Can you
confirm that this is what was submitted to Krumey?
Attorney General: To the best of my recollection there were
documents attached to the interrogation of Krumey.
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, how did you get your copy of
the Krumey statement? Through Mr. Wechtenbruch?
Dr. Servatius: He told me that it was discussed there and
submitted, and he told me that it would be part of the
record of the case; he said the judge had stated that it
would be sent directly to the court as requested. The
record of proceedings does not state that it is appended.
Presiding Judge: Very well, but we have here a letter from
the Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Germany
to the head of the Israeli mission transmitting the record
of the Krumey statement, and it also says there: “Two copies
of 19 documents submitted to witness Krumey during his
hearing are to be forwarded.” Apparently these have gone
Attorney General: I assume that there has been a mistake and
they have been filed with our documents – we sometimes
receive the files from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and
it is possible that a file sent to us from abroad contains
these documents. My colleague, Mr. Bach, has gone to make
Presiding Judge: We received our copies, as we should, from
the Director of Courts.
Attorney General: Of course, and he received them from the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs – perhaps there was some totally
unnecessary short cut here.
[State Attorney Bach: returns with the documents. ]
Presiding Judge: Perhaps you should look further – you might
find more things. Mr. Bodenheimer, you will please look at
the other covering letters and check on what else is on the
[After receiving copies of the documents from the
Prosecution ] Is this marked? Is it tied together? How can
we know that?
Attorney General: We have an accompanying letter from the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs which says: “We have now
received the record of Hermann Krumey’s statement, and I
have sent this to the Director of the Courts. Attached to
the record were photostat copies of 19 documents which were
shown to the witness during his interrogation. Mr. Shimron
asked for the material to be passed on to you, and it is
Presiding Judge: I do not think this is the correct
procedure; the documents should have been transmitted in the
same way as the statement itself. Now it is here in front
of us, and I do not know what is in it.
Attorney General: With all due respect, I agree.
Presiding Judge: Do you have another set? There is a
reference here to two sets. The document which Counsel for
the Defence is holding is from the second set. Perhaps we
can identify the documents by dates.
Attorney General: Yes, they can be identified from the
Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, these are documents which have
already been submitted, they are known from the trial. Just
that one document was a new one.
Presiding Judge: Mr. Bodenheimer, check these documents
afterwards against Krumey’s evidence, arrange them in the
right order and attach them to the deposition. They must be
duplicated – copied, any way, I don’t know if they need to
be duplicated. After they’ve been checked, these documents
will be appended to the record of Krumey’s evidence, as they
should have been all along. I think that we can leave it
Dr. Servatius: I have some questions to the Accused as
Presiding Judge: First, Dr. Servatius, there was still the
question of a further deposition by Hoettl. You were going
to tell us this morning whether or not you wish to submit an
application, or what is your position on this matter.
Dr. Servatius: I shall not be making any further
application – the witness has given his position on the
matter, although not quite as clearly as in the affidavit,
but he did not contradict himself, so I shall not request a
Presiding Judge: Thank you. Please proceed.
Dr. Servatius: I have several questions. The questions
arise from the examination of Prosecution witnesses by the
Witness, did the witness called by you, Merten, come and see
you in your office in Berlin in September 1942 because of
some matter – can you remember him visiting you?
Accused: I cannot remember him visiting me.
Dr. Servatius: Before Christmas 1942 were you in Salonika
with Guenther? At the office of witness Merten?
Accused: No. I was not in Greece, I did not go to
Merten’s office, and I would draw your attention to a
relevant passage in a sworn statement by Wisliceny –
document No. 235, T/992, page 1, paragraph 3, where it says
– I have to give the last sentence of paragraph 2 as well:
“It must have been on 20 January 1943, when I went to Berlin
to see Eichmann. Eichmann told me that his deputy, Rolf
Guenther, SS Sturmbannfuehrer, had flown to Salonika for
negotiations with the military government.” So if, at the
same time that Guenther was in Greece, I was talking to
Wisliceny in Berlin, and if that is proved here, then any
statement to the contrary must be the result of an error.
Dr. Servatius: You have referred to January 1943. But it
is maintained that you were already there with Guenther at
Accused: I wasn’t in Greece with Guenther either in
December – or at Christmas – or in January. But since I
doubt whether Guenther at this time made the flight twice in
such a short period, this must be Merten making a
Presiding Judge: The number of this document is T/992.
Dr. Servatius: But the witness Merten describes what you
did in very positive, very concrete terms. He says you were
there with Guenther, and almost immediately demanded oil and
cigarettes. He says he obtained these for you.
Accused: I can only say that I was never in Greece at any
time during the War, and as further support for my statement
to this effect I would add that von Thadden, who was later
Legationsrat at the Foreign Ministry, states in his
testimony that to the best of his knowledge I was never in
Greece, and that no one from the Head Office for Reich
Security who was sent to any country could set out without
the matter going via the Foreign Ministry. But von Thadden
at this time was with the Reich Plenipotentiary – Neubacher
was his name, I think – in Athens, and he says that he would
have known if I’d been there – and that is correct. So I
had not been to Greece.
Dr. Servatius: Did witness Merten visit you again in Berlin
and have a lengthy discussion with you about the emigration
of ten or twenty thousand Jews?
Accused: As I have already said, I have no recollection
of Merten ever visiting me in my office. This would also
have been an exceptional occurrence, for a head of the
military administration of any country to have turned up in
my office in regard to such matters, especially since we –
the Head Office for Reich Security – had a Commander of the
Security Police and the Security Service in Greece. I
myself could certainly not have taken a decision. Whether
heads of the military administration visited the chief, I
have no idea. No head of any military administration of any
country whatsoever ever came to see me.
Dr. Servatius: Merten was not head of the military
administration, he was a Kriegsverwaltungsrat (War
Administration Counsellor). Do you mean that he was
considered to be a representative of the head of the
Accused: A representative of the head of the military
administration. That is what I meant. Such representatives
did not come to see me, either.
Dr. Servatius: But here again, Merten makes very concrete
statements. He says that he talked to you, and you even
made a phone call immediately in connection with the matter
to see whether you were allowed to grant his request.
Accused: Although this matter, this statement, would
actually be in my favour, as it proves what I have said all
along, that I cannot take any decisions on my own
initiative, nevertheless I must repeat: I am not aware of
Merten’s ever having come to my office.
Dr. Servatius: Do you remember ever talking to the witness
Merten apart from that?
Accused: It is very difficult for me to answer this
question. I talked to many people. But I am not aware of
having talked to someone who was on official duty abroad,
who did not belong to our service, and in particular someone
from the military administration in Greece. I cannot say
any more on this.
Dr. Servatius: A question on the statement by witness
Krumey on the “foot march” affair. During the march, or the
disagreements which arose afterwards, did you talk to Krumey
and give him any instructions?
Accused: Of course the matter was discussed, I assume.
As for my giving instructions, I am not aware of that.
Dr. Servatius: Krumey says you said to him, “You haven’t
seen anything.” What would you say about that?
Accused: Well, that is not actually an instruction. I am
sure he talked to me about the matter, and I won’t…I can’t
deny that at all, and it is quite possible that I said to
him, “the matter is none of our business, keep your nose out
of it, you haven’t seen anything.” Something like that.
Though the words may not necessarily be exact, but at least
that was the meaning.
Dr. Servatius: A question about witness Winkelmann. You
reported to Winkelmann on Jewish matters, and General
Winkelmann listened to you. Did he rebuke you or
remonstrate with you?
Accused: Winkelmann neither remonstrated with me nor
rebuked me. On this matter, I would also like to say that I
am very surprised to hear about these comments by General
Winkelmann, as he then was, about remonstrances and rebukes,
because in his own service instructions on page 2 it says
that he is in charge of Jewish affairs. I don’t know
whether it says in the embassy or under the Reich
Plenipotentiary. I cannot remember the precise wording at
the moment, but it is on page 2 of his service instructions.
So, in fact, the situation was the opposite of what is
Presiding Judge: Which document are you referring to now,
Accused, when you refer to Winkelmann’s instructions?
Accused: Your Honour, I know that a few days ago, when I
was talking to Dr. Servatius, there was talk of
instructions, on page 2. But I do not remember now…I
suppose the instructions are in my lawyer’s files. It is
just that now I have remembered hearing about it a few days