Attorney General: So why does emigration from the Reich not
harm implementation of the Madagascar Plan, while emigration
from France and Belgium does harm such implementation?
Judge Halevi: Mr. Attorney General, it does not say here
that it harms or does not harm. The letter can also be
understood in a different manner. It can also be understood
as meaning – and in fact the point is made explicitly – that
preference is to be given to emigration from Germany, and
that there is only a limited number of emigration
possibilities in total, and that therefore the Jews of
France and Belgium will have to wait.
Attorney General: That is one reason.
Judge Halevi: The words “they will have to wait” can be
understood to mean that the problem of the Jews of France
and Belgium will be solved by means of the Final Solution of
the Jewish Question. As to what the solution will be – this
is not stated here.
Attorney General: But since it says here “zweifellos
kommende Endloesung”? And since he tells me that this is
Madagascar, I am asking him why the emigration of Jews from
France and Belgium, which is prohibited here, harms the
implementation of the Madagascar Plan.
Judge Halevi: I do not see that this letter says that it
harms such implementation.
Attorney General: But it was prohibited.
Judge Halevi: Yes, it is prohibited because of the priority
given. In other words, they have to wait, but can emigrate
later, let us assume to Madagascar. This can also be
understood along these lines.
Attorney General: Very well; let us hear it from his own
lips. I have several more letters of this type, or at least
Judge Raveh: Do you wish to drop this letter?
Attorney General: No. If the Court considers that the
interpretation of this letter by the Accused is a reasonable
one, then I have no alternative.
Presiding Judge: We are not giving any interim ruling on the
Judge Raveh: I should just like to ask the Accused
whether, in terms of the Madagascar Plan, there was a
difference between the Jews who were in occupied France and
those who were in unoccupied France.
Accused: In terms of the Madagascar Plan itself, Your
Honour, I do not think so, but there is a difference in that
Goering wanted intensified emigration from the Reich and the
Protectorate, perhaps it was for technical reasons of food
supplies or something similar – I really do not know what
was behind this, but as I have just gathered, a distinction
was made here.
Judge Raveh: This means then that, if in this letter it
says that emigration from occupied France is completely
prohibited, and emigration from unoccupied France is somehow
permitted, then this had nothing to do with the Madagascar
Plan, but was for reasons of food supplies.
Accused: Your Honour, I do not know what the actual
situation was, because even then these matters were not, at
that time either, decided on by my Section or myself,
because we received these instructions from above. And this
shows already that Goering was dealing with general matters,
and we – there are documents presented here, in which
Himmler deals with the occupied territories, and other
documents where yet more instructions are issued – then,
too, neither I nor any of the members of my Section was able
to decide on his own initiative on anything in this sphere.
Judge Raveh: If the reference here is to the extermination
of the Jews, a possible assumption might have been that
perhaps it did not matter if there were still any Jews in
unoccupied France, but it was relevant and important if
there were still Jews in occupied France, with regard to the
extermination of the Jews.
Accused: Your Honour, I have my doubts as to whether at
that time the idea ever came up of something like that,
because, after all, this was before the German-Russian
campaign, and I still have a very clear memory today of
being summoned to see Heydrich, and being struck dumb when
he described it to me in those words. So, since I know how
I was suddenly confronted with this whole thing and became
acquainted with these matters, but the date of that is more
or less clear, while here it says May 1941, I must conclude
that at that point it cannot have had this meaning.
Attorney General: I say to you that the Final Solution was
discussed in your Section as early as the beginning of 1941.
Is that correct or not?
Presiding Judge: Perhaps we should not now use the term
Attorney General: “Final Solution” in the sense of
Accused: This is the first time that I have heard of the
Final Solution in the sense of extermination at the
beginning of 1941.
Q. So in T/679, document No. 66, when you used the term the
impending “Final Solution of the Jewish Question,” in order
to prevent increased emigration from Yugoslavia of Jews with
German nationality, did you not mean extermination?
A. At that time that cannot have been the meaning. What I
meant is also irrelevant, because I said what I was ordered
to say. But at that time I did not yet know anything of
what was going on in the East.
Q. But strangely enough these are exactly the same words as
in November 1941, when you did know what was going on.
A. They were always the same words.
Q. And the meaning was the same?
A. It was the top echelons who decided what the meaning was.
At the beginning it meant “emigration,” then it even meant
the project in Radom or Nisko…
Attorney General: I am talking about this document of March
1941 – don’t talk to me now about Nisko! At that time, when
you signed this document, you used the words “kommende
Endloesung,” the same words as in November 1941, and you
knew that the meaning was the extermination of the Jews!
A. No, not then – I did not know that.
Q. Look at T/196, document No. 93, the note by Luther at the
end of the second page, and you will see that the Madagascar
Plan was shelved in August 1940.
A. It does not say here that the Madagascar Plan was shelved
in August 1940; it says that Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich passed
on this plan directly to the Reich Minister for Foreign
Affairs in August 1940, and on 21 August 1942, he writes
that the actual Madagascar Plan was overtaken by political
Q. That is true, but that means then that the plan was
abandoned in August 1940.
A. No, it was only passed on then.
Attorney General: Read on.
Accused: It says that the intention of the Fuehrer was to
evacuate all Jews from Europe, as Ambassador Abetz informed
me in August 1940 after a report to the Fuehrer. That could
mean two things: First of all that Abetz had already – as
shown in this document in Poliakov (Red) – been to Hitler in
1940 and had sort of taken the Madagascar Plan along in
support, or it would also be perfectly feasible – although I
myself think it unlikely – that instead of 1940, this should
read 1941, because here we have documents showing that
Ambassador Abetz saw Hitler in 1941. In any case, what this
shows is that in August 1940 this Madagascar Plan was
completely fresh, so that it could just be submitted to the
Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Q. Do you know of Goering’s instruction to Heydrich to
submit to him the plan for the Final Solution of the Jewish
Question, dated 31 July 1941, T/179, document No. 461?
A. Yes, I am aware of this plan.
Q. You dictated this letter, these are your words, are they
A. I had nothing whatsoever to do with this plan.
Q. I am asking whether you dictated this letter.
A. No, certainly not.
Q. In 1957, in Argentina, did you say, “Den Brief habe ich
abdiktiert, es sind meine Worte”? (I dictated the letter,
they are my words.)
A. About this document?
Q. Yes, about this document.
A. That is new to me. At the top it says Reich Marshal of
the Greater German Reich, Plenipotentiary for the Four Year
Plan, Chairman of Council of Ministers for the Defence of
the Reich. There is no reference here either to IVB4, or to
the Head Office for Reich Security, or to the Chief of the
Q. And then you said, “The letter was drafted by us, it was
only signed by Goering, it was submitted ready for signing.”
Did you say these words or did you not?
A. I cannot remember – in any case the entire bureaucratic –
bureaucracy would have prevented this.
Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I do not know where these
claims are taken from, it would appear to be some passage
from the Sassen Report which has not been admitted as
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, the fact that these passages
have not been admitted as evidence does not prevent the
Attorney General from asking him whether he said something
of that nature, and the Accused can reply “yes” or “no,”
which is the only reason why the Attorney General is
referring to these passages; and if we assume that this is a
passage which does not appear in Book 17 – in File 17, I
should like this to be clarified.
Dr. Servatius: I understand that, but it does look here as
if this is a statement which has been acknowledged by the
Presiding Judge: He is being asked: Did you ever say
something like this or not; well then, and the answer is –
the Accused is able to say “yes” or “no.”
Attorney General: Perhaps you would be prepared to answer
differently if I show you a certain document? Look at what
I have marked in green on this paper.
Accused: Before I read the document, if it is the famous
Sassen Documents, I should like to say that there were very
many passages which were put to me suggestively, because I
was under the influence of alcohol, because I was encouraged
to make myself look more than I was, in order to make the
book interesting, and where I was encouraged to claim that
things I had only heard about were actually experienced by
myself, to make the book sound more authentic and truer to
life. This is the reason why I have disassociated myself
from the whole thing. I do not know…
Presiding Judge: You are entitled to make this claim, but
you have just been asked to look at these lines and to
answer “yes” or “no” as to whether you said this or not,
since I assume that there are things in the document which
you actually did say.
Accused: I really do not think so – after all, that would
– that would be equivalent to half-harbouring delusions of
grandeur if I were to claim responsibility for this, and any
of my former members of staff could prove that that cannot
have been the case.
Attorney General: I am not asking you how this looks in
other people’s eyes. I am asking you whether you said these
things in 1957 in Argentina.
Accused: I have just said, Mr. Attorney General, that I
am not capable of giving detailed, precise information about
this, because I was temporarily under the influence of
alcohol, and I do not know whether I was under the influence
of alcohol at this precise point.
Q. My question is still the same: Whether under the
influence of alcohol or not, did you say these words or not?
A. I do not remember, and so I cannot give any answer other
than that which I have already stated, because I was under
the influence of alcohol.
Q. In other words, maybe “yes,” maybe “no”?
A. I am not able to say anything precise about the whole
thing, because red wine was being drunk the whole time.
Q. The entire four months? We heard from your Counsel that
it was brandy.
A. First of all, it was not for the entire four months – it
was on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings, possibly over
a period of four months, I do not know, but it certainly was
not four months in a row, and when we met we drank red wine,
but it may have been brandy occasionally, I do not remember
Q. All right. I shall have further questions to you about
the Wannsee Conference. However, I should now just like to
ask you about what you said on page 241 of your Statement to
the police. In reply to the question from Captain Less,
“What was the purpose of the Wannsee Conference?,” you said:
“The purpose on the part of Heydrich was to receive the
authority to run Jewish affairs as he saw fit.” Is that
A. Yes, that is correct…
Q. That will do, I asked whether that is correct.
A. I just wanted to say something about what was said before
that. With regard to this authorization by Goering, it
could very easily be verified whether this document was
written in my Section or not. I am not trying to evade
anything, nor to deny or admit to something which I am not
aware of. But an expert who is a specialist in typewriters
and identifying type faces, could do some comparative work;
there are enough documents available which can be proved to
have been typed on the typewriter in my Section, and it
would be easy enough to establish any similarity.
Q. You know just as well as I do that there are at least
three or four copies of this document typed on different
typewriters. We shall, therefore, proceed to the next
Heydrich wanted to be authorized to run Jewish affairs as he
saw fit, and he received such authority in Wannsee, did he
A. Essentially, I believe he received his authorization in
Q. According to T/186, document No. 841, you were his
specialist officer responsible for all affairs connected
with the Final Solution of the Jewish Question, were you
A. As far as they were limited to Section IVB4, but no
Q. Read the document. It says: “…Since happily now the
basic design has been established with regard to the
practical implementation of the Final Solution of the Jewish
Question, and there is complete agreement on the part of the
offices involved, I would ask you to instruct your official
in charge to contact my specialist officer responsible for
this matter, SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann.” So you are
Heydrich’s Specialist Officer responsible, are you not?
A. According to the organization chart.
Q. No, no, according to this letter.
A. No, the organization chart is the basis, and as far as it
goes, this letter is also correct, because I was the Section
Head on Jewish Affairs, as shown in the organization chart.
Q. Look here, in the organization chart it does not say
anywhere that Heydrich was the exterminator of the Jews,
A. Nor does it say that about me in my Section, but it is
known that the gas van department was in Department II.
Q. But Goering authorized Heydrich – I assume with Hitler’s
consent – to solve the Jewish Question, as we have seen in
exhibit T/179; and that was definitely not in accordance
with the organization chart. That was a special assignment.
A. I have no idea how this came about. Had I, at the time,
had a wider sphere of influence and a wider area of
responsibility, then I could obviously give more authentic
information about this. But I was only a Section Head in
Department IV, and I cannot say any more.
Q. But Heydrich calls you “my specialist officer” on these
matters. Or should we add this to the other falsifications?
A. No, certainly not, because I even had to write the
invitations for the Wannsee Conference.