Session 091-05, Eichmann Adolf

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, I understand this comment, but
still it is out of place. If it is necessary for purposes of
explanation, he is entitled to mention this name.

Attorney General: Well, if I do have to discuss Herzl with
you, Adolf Eichmann, I wish to tell you that there is not a
single word about Madagascar in Herzl’s book. You got the
idea of Madagascar from the Stuermer, didn’t you?

Accused: It is possible that this is not mentioned in a
book by Theodor Herzl. I did not claim this. I read it in
Adolf Boehm’s The Jewish State.

Q. What is the name of that book?

A. I think… I do not want to say for sure, The Jewish
State by Adolf Boehm, or something like that. I don’t know,
at any rate Adolf Boehm is the author of a…

Q. Adolf Boem has written a book about the Zionist

A. That is it, yes. It is possible that this is the one…

Q. And that is where you read about Madagascar?

A. In a book by Boehm I read about Madagascar, yes.

Q. Which book by Boehm have you read?

A. I cannot remember the names of the books any more. But I
can explain, since I still remember the general sense of
what I read then.

Presiding Judge: Perhaps the reference was to Uganda and not
to Madagascar?

Accused: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, it has just
occurred to me that I have also read about Uganda.

Attorney General: Well then, the first time you mentioned
Madagascar, in your own handwriting, was in Vienna. That was
in connection with the negotiations between France and
Poland, as Streicher had written in January 1938 and then
again in May 1938. It says here: “Negotiations have already
taken place between Poland and France.”

Accused: As I was not a reader of the Stuermer, I could
not have taken this from the Stuemer, but surely other
newspapers also carried this, because these negotiations
were not reported exclusively by the Sturermer at that time.

Q. You did not read the Stuermer? Your Fuehrer used to read
it every week.

A. That may be so. I, at any rate, did not read it.

Q. Inasmuch as you knew, then, that negotiations were
taking place between Poland and France, you also knew that a
Polish Commission had gone to Madagascar.

A. I do not know the details any longer. But one thing I
know with certainty, that in those days I did not think
about implementing the Madagascar Plan any more than anyone
else, because at that time there was no war, and it did not
occur to anybody that Madagascar would even enter into the
sphere of this kind of a process of thought. But this was
the kind of thinking at the time – to make available a
territory, a piece of land in this way.

Q. But it does say here, in your own handwriting, as I
showed you earlier, that you proposed Madagascar in 1938, in
connection with the negotiations between Poland and France.

A. That in my own handwriting the Madagascar idea was
mentioned, that I know naturally. But I cannot remember
anything about the connection with the negotiations between
Poland and France. This I do not know.

Q. Look at this.

A. Yes. That is written on the first page. This was
written, signed and dictated by my chief. This is not by me.
Mine are merely these handwritten comments. This is clear
from the file itself, without doubt.
Q. And you did not know that?

A. And it shows on the other hand that my chief at that
time was intensively active in this matter. Undoubtedly I
must admit, I must have known about this. In any event, my
idea was not inspired by such negotiations.

Q. You then continued to take an interest in the Madagascar
Plan, and you requested information from various offices in
the Reich.

A. No. This was the beginning of 1938, and the War broke
out only in the autumn of 1939. Only when the campaign
against France was in progress, or was completed, then
Madagascar appeared for the first time to be feasible.

Q. Yes, I am talking about that period. After the campaign
against France was over, you took a continued interest in
the Madagascar Plan?

A. Yes, Sir, that is correct.

Q. And you received information from the Reich authorities?

A. I got that, wherever I could, yes.

Q. And I assume that among these items of information, you
also received the Polish report of the Madagascar
Commission? That was a three-man Commission headed by Major
Lepecki, who found that Madagascar had room for perhaps
40,000 Jewish settlers. Another member of the Commission
estimated that there was room for 400 families, and the
third member of the Commission found that Madagascar had no
room for Jewish settlers at all, and that the local
inhabitants were against any Jewish immigration. Did you
know that?

A. I did not see the Polish report at that time.
Furthermore, a basic distinction must be made between the
considerations which may possibly have been raised between
the Polish and French Commissions and the time when,
according to the thinking at that time, the area of the
German Reich, could have included the island of Madagascar,
following negotiations of a peace treaty. This would have
provided all kinds of other possibilities and points of

Q. In report No. T/196 which Luther submitted in this
matter, he writes that the Madagascar Plan had been
processed by the appropriate office of the RSHA. That was
your Section, wasn’t it?

A. Yes, Sir. I have already said that. The Madagascar Plan
was processed by my Section in accordance with orders.

Q. And that report is report No. T/174, signed by
Dannecker. And it was for that purpose you brought
Dannecker, as you reported yesterday, together with
representatives of the Jewish Community, so that he could
discuss the possibilities with them?

A. I do not wish to deny this, as I read with my own eyes
yesterday that Dannecker had spoken to Dr. Loewenherz on
this matter. This report, which we have before us, is the
outcome of perhaps ten or fifteen – I don’t know how many –
consultations with all central authorities, which had been
ordered to deal with this at the time by superior offices.

Q. But that was from your Section? That is what I want to

A. This report is not the result of the thinking of members
of the Section. It is the outcome of numerous talks by all
expert officials and other members of the Section who took
part in this, as well as other persons appointed to this

Q. No, no. Answer my questions.

Presiding Judge: Your Section dealt with the matter of
Madagascar, didn’t it?

Accused: Yes, Sir, But under an assignment that all
relevant central authorities had to join in working on this
common task, since the Reich Security Head Office alone
could not have worked on this, if for no other reason than
for lack of authority.

Attorney General: Just a minute. I would like to have an
answer to my question. Luther writes here, in report T/196,
that the appropriate office at the Reich Security Head
Office is working out a minutely detailed plan for the
evacuation of the Jews to Madagascar and their settlement
there, a plan which had been approved by the Reichsfuehrer-
SS. This appears on page 2, and you confirm that the
appropriate authority was your Section. And the plan is that
which we find in exhibit No. T/174, that is the plan which
your Section was working on. Is that correct?

Accused: Then I have to ask myself why were ten to
fifteen consultations with department officials necessary
for all that, with fifteen to twenty participants each time?

Q. It may be that you had participants or helpers or
advisors, but the report came from your Section, didn’t it?

A. The plan is the outcome, as I can confidently state, it
is the outcome of consultations of many experts, as is,
incidentally always the practice with the authorities.

Presiding Judge: But who prepared this plan after all the

Accused: After all consultations, Section IVB4 naturally
had to do this.

Attorney General: Let us, then, regard this, as your plan to
provide the Jews with soil under their feet. On page 5,
paragraph 2, it says that this would be a police state. Is
that right? Is that how you saw the Jewish State? And the
police would be the German police?

Accused: Legal questions were not within the competence
of Section IVB4. Rather, the responsibility for these legal
questions, lay chiefly with Department I of the Ministry of
the Interior, and certainly both Himmler and Heydrich gave
the relevant orders. I do not want to dispute this in any
way; nor can I dispute this in any way.

Q. This is not a matter of directives nor of orders; this
is a matter of a plan about which you admitted that it was
the plan of your Section.

I would now like to discuss the details of this plan with
you. Please turn to page 6: “The overall administration of
the Jewish State will be in the hands of the Chief of the
Security Police and the Security Service.” Is that correct?
That is how it was planned; is that correct?

A. The overall direction refers here in my opinion to the
evacuation and resettlement. Nothing has as yet been said
here, as far as I can see, about the constitutional form of
the Jewish State. Perhaps nothing could as yet have been
said in this respect, at that time.

Q. No, nothing was said about it then. Turn to page 11, and
see whether it was not referred to. There was talk about
creating a command post of the Security Police, which would
be in charge of the matters in Madagascar. Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is right as far as the stage of settlement is
concerned. Nothing else can be inferred from it.

Q. And one of the important advantages, in the eyes of your
Section, of the Madagascar Plan is to be found on page 4. In
the paragraph before the last – “that Madagascar is an
island, and the Jews would therefore no longer be able to
come in contact with the outside world.”

A. I have already said that this was not the thinking of
Section IVB4, but the thinking of all participants at these
consultations. Who presented it, whether it came from the
Chancellery of the Party, or some other central Authority,
whether it came from IVB4 as well – also a possibility –
that I do not know. In any event, one of these participants
must have put it forward.

Q. The plan was to have been implemented in such a way that
each year one million Jews were to have been thrown onto the
island? It says so, on page 10, paragraph 3.

A. Yes, that is quite possible, if the appropriate
financial means were made available, large-scale
organizational arrangements made, and the appropriate
preparatory work for housing, agriculture and industry
undertaken, then this would have been quite possible,
according to the calculations of that time. I did not make
these calculations.

Q. I am sure you did not. But look at page 13. Where did
you intend to get the money – by confiscating Jewish
property. Correct?

A. Yes, that is right, but this was not the idea of IVB4,
because IVB4 was much too small for that. Rather, this must
have originated with the appropriate economic offices, which
after all passed the laws for disposing of Jewish property.

Q. There is no mention here of laws, or how you were going
to implement this. Here, there is reference to a plan, and I
would like to see how you were going to plan the placing of
ground under the feet of the Jewish people, as this is
written in exhibit T/174. Right? That is the plan of your

A. That is the plan not only of my Section, but that is the
outcome of the general consultation. As a matter of
principle, I have to say about this, that it is always very
difficult to make a start with such enormous undertakings.
The initiative is the most difficult part. The organization
comes later. One would have seen how the whole thing would
have been organized and began to operate. Every beginning, I
must say at this point, is very difficult, especially when
one has to struggle against opposition. After all, it was
not a matter of having all central authorities throw
themselves into this Madagascar affair, head over heels.

Q. Heydrich made efforts to have this plan implemented, is
that right?

A. Yes, that is right.

A. And who was against it?

A. As far as I can remember, the main difficulties, in the
beginning, were created by the Foreign Office. I, myself,
incline towards the view, which was strengthened by various
matters which occurred later, that it was a matter here of
rivalry between Heydrich and Ribbentrop. Ribbentrop was
afraid that the Chief of the Security Police, or rather the
Ministry of the Interior would intervene in an area for
which he regarded himself exclusively responsible.

On the other hand, Heydrich had political ambitions. I
inferred this from a remark he made that he was happy to be
able to leave the negative police work, to some extent, and
to change over, as he put it, to positive political work,
when he became the Acting Reich Protector for Bohemia and
Moravia. From these passing remarks which I remember, I
would say that this was also a political issue within the
high echelons and the highest leadership of the Reich at
that time.

Q. You will agree that in terms of colonization, this plan
had no basis whatsoever, and that if it had been carried
out, it would have meant that four million Jews would have
been sent to Madagascar, to die there.

A. No, this I must refute most decisively and I can prove
that. Because who was it, after all, who caused the
Madagascar Plan to collapse. Strictly in the external sense
it was essentially opposed by the Foreign Office, and
specifically the German Ambassador in Paris, Abetz, who on
the occasion of a visit to the then Head of State – in what
was called his Fuehrer headquarters – made the proposal that
instead of letting the Jews sail around on the high seas,
simply stick them into some territory in the occupied
Russian area. This is where the obstacles originated, and
this proves precisely what I said in my last answer.
Madagascar was definitely not a plan to exterminate the Jews
or annihilate them, because otherwise it would not have
included the passage which is naturally a side issue, but it
stands out that there are seven or eight million heads of
cattle on the island, and nutrition for the Jews who would
come to the island would be ensured. This passage would not
have been necessary at all, if such an evil idea had been
behind this conception.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/12