Session 094-03, Eichmann Adolf

Attorney General: I am telling you that you said the
following. Listen to this:

“And this is how it was with the Jews: When at the
time, like a baby and unprepared for it, I received
orders to proceed against the guest of the host people,
I pondered on this. And when I recognized the
necessity, I executed things with the fanaticism
expected of one as a National Socialist of long
standing, but also which my superiors expected of the
person appointed to deal with the matter.”

Is that correct? That is what you said.

Accused: I said that I do not know what is correct and
what is not.

Q. Is that correct? Did you say that “yes” or “no”?

A. I cannot form an opinion on that. Perhaps it was under
the influence of drink, perhaps I did not say it at all,
perhaps it was added as a falsification afterwards. I just
have no idea – I do not know. I did not write it anywhere in
this form in my handwriting, either. I would have had to
write it somewhere in my own handwriting, after all.

Q. The entire passage can be translated later. It really
does not give the impression of having been said under the
influence of alcohol.

“And they definitely saw me as the right man, as a result of
their experience; and today in 1957 I am saying this to my
disadvantage. I could also make it easier for myself, I
could say it was orders. I had to carry it out in accordance
with my oath of loyalty, and anyway I had blinkers on. No,
that is just cheap nonsense. That is a cheap excuse. That I
cannot take upon my inner moral feeling. I must therefore
state clearly that once I had carried out the first orders
unthinkingly, I then tried to penetrate into the subject
matter. Fate gave me a mental horizon which evidently made
me qualified for that.”

Did you say that, “yes” or “no”?

A. It is a mixture of things that are right and things that
are wrong.

Presiding Judge: That was no answer. The question was: did
you say that or not?

Accused: I cannot have said it in this form, no. I must
deny that. However, it is my opinion that here what is wrong
is mixed up with the truth. It was not me who brought about
this mixture, but the person who listened, transcribed and
unconsciously or deliberately added the many errors – but
that is something I do not to know about.

Q. Then take this document now and analyze it sentence by
sentence and tell us what in this is fact and what is
fiction. Look at the passage I have marked.

A. Only page 3, or everything which has been underlined in

Q. Only that which is underlined in green, between the
letters X.

A. I must deny as I had said already in the first sentence:
“I implemented things with the fanaticism expected of one as
a National Socialist of long standing.”

And then the next phrase, “but also which my superiors
expected of the person appointed to deal with the matter.”

Because then, I would have – if I really had been such a
fanatic – if I had tackled this matter with such fanaticism,
I would not have asked my superiors for instructions on
every single detail, but I would have taken decisions
myself. But in actual fact…

Q. Please tell us without any commentary what is fact and
what is fiction, sentence by sentence.

A. I consider that what I have just read out was not said
by me.

Q. All right, continue.

A. It is possible that this business of the oath of loyalty
and blinkers has been distorted, that as it stands here I
did not say or mean it in this shape and form, in other
words that “I had to carry it out in accordance with my oath
of loyalty, and anyway I had blinkers on – no, that is just
cheap nonsense, that is a cheap excuse. That I cannot take
upon my inner moral feeling.” Somehow, as we would say
colloquially, and this is probably the best way to put it –
I would say that the person or persons concerned got the
wrong end of the stick, and simply wrote it down differently
from what I said. That is the only way I can characterize

It may well be true that I said that I had to carry out
orders in accordance with my oath of loyalty; it may well be
that I said that I had blinkers on, I could not look to the
left or to the right and I had to carry out the orders I
received unthinkingly – all that may be, that would also
coincide, in a certain measure, with what I wrote in my own
handwriting in File 17. If I had said everything which I
have been informed today on the basis of these other
matters, then I would appear to myself as being no longer
entirely responsible for my actions. But I doubt this, as
after all it does not coincide with what I wrote in my own
hand at the same time, and that puzzles me.

By way of explanation, I would like to add the following.
During my interrogation here, which was also recorded on
tape, and which was transcribed by specialists, the
transcript was later listened to and corrected both by
Captain Less and by myself, and several times it happened
that just one single wrong word gave a totally false
meaning, and both Captain Less and myself tried by listening
repeatedly to the recording to make out the right word. This
happened several times: I cannot imagine that after this
transcription here, that the person typing it took this

Q. I shall read out to you another sentence which you
stated: “I was not a normal receiver of orders – that would
have made me a fool. I took my part in thinking about
matters. I was an idealist.”

Q. Did you say that?

A. That really is nonsense which someone made up, because
being an idealist has nothing at all to do with being a
receiver or a giver of orders; nothing at all.

Q. Did you or did you not say that?

A. No, I cannot imagine that I said that at all, I cannot
imagine that. Apart from the fact that I was absolutely not
a giver of orders, but a receiver of orders.

Q. You said you were not a normal receiver of orders, that
you took your part in thinking about matters, is that
correct, did you say that?

A. Yes. Of course I took part in thinking about matters.

Q. You were not a fool?

A. No, I was not.

Q. I see. You were an idealist?

A. Yes, I was an idealist.

Q. So what it says here is correct.

A. But I also received orders, and I dealt with this Jewish
matter out of idealism as long as it was a question of
constructive values, but not once it was a question of
destructive values. I never dealt with the negative as an
idealist: on the contrary, at that point I became a
pessimist, and I have also written that somewhere.

Q. Thank you. In your interrogation at Bureau 06, you said
that any matter concerning Jews which came from Heydrich,
Kaltenbrunner or Mueller was automatically marked IVB4. You
said this on page 636.

A. That is all correct, except for the generalization: If
something just mentioned the word “Jew,” then automatically
everything which reached the Head Office for Reich Security
in this connection had to be passed on to IVB4. I made a
mistake there, because the documents prove that this was not
the case, that other files where the word “Jew” appeared
were also given to Department II as well as to other
Departments. But as far as Department IV was concerned, this
is true, and what it should say, to be correct, is
Department IV instead of Head Office for Reich Security, and
then this entire sentence is correct.

Q. At Kurfuerstenstrasse you had a separate archive for
files and a separate registry in IVB4?

A. Yes, every Section had its own registry, and the
Department also had a registry, and there was a central
point of entry and a central point of exit. I do not
remember now whether this was for the Department or the Head
Office for Reich Security.

Q. But you had the card index and the archive of IVB4 in
your office?

A. Not the card index; the registry was that of IVB4, not
only mine, but of all my predecessors in the Section.

Q. I am talking about you, why should you speak about
anyone else?

A. I have said why.

Q. You had some forty to fifty thousand files in your
archives, and five to ten thousand files in the closed
archive, didn’t you?

A. These figures may be approximately correct, but they
were not mine, they came from the years since the
establishment of the Secret State Police, from my
predecessors as well.

Q. No, no, I am talking about IVB4. Are the figures

A. Those cannot have been solely IVB4 files, but all the
files of the Jewish Affairs Section since it came into

Presiding Judge: The question is not quite clear. There were
changes which occurred here, and it is to be assumed that
when it was renumbered, the Section also received previous
files. After all the files did not disappear. What is the
point of your question?

Attorney General: My point is: After you started working in
Department IV, how many files approximately accumulated in
the Department, both in the open archives and in the secret

Accused: That would be since March – since autumn 1939
until, let us say, the beginning of 1945. My estimate would
be that for the open and the closed registry the figure
would be some thirty thousand files. Obviously, it is
difficult to give an accurate figure, but I would estimate
that it might have been thirty thousand.

Q. So every letter, whether it was signed by you or whether
it was signed by Mueller, Heydrich or Kaltenbrunner, if it
bore the reference IVB4, was included in your files?

A. Not every letter. There were some – but not very many –
which were files in the registry of the Department Chief and
possibly also in the registry of the Chief of the Security
Police. But their numbers were definitely not very large.

Q. Both there and also with you, in both archives?

A. In the registry of the Department Chief and…

Q. And also with you?

A. I think it was either – or. Either these files – there
were not very many files – either these files were put in
the Registry of the Department Chief, or in the Registry of
the Chief of the Security Police. I do not believe that a
copy would then have been sent to IVB4. I cannot imagine
that to have been the case.

Q. In any case you said that every document on Jews which
came from Section IVB4 bore the reference IVB4. Is that
correct? You did say this, didn’t you?

A. If it came from Department IV, it had to be from IVB4.
Unless it said IV and Mueller had made it without giving any
file reference or registry reference, which also happened,
or unless it was marked CdS, showing that the Chief of the
Security Police had dictated it himself, and the clerk did
not ask for a reference or simply did not… We also have
such cases in the documents here, but there are very few
such cases.

Q. If I understand you correctly, in your answer to your
Counsel you said that your Section was really a channel for
passing things on to Department Chief Mueller, and that
therefore matters passed through your Section to Department
Chief Mueller.

A. Yes, indeed, in the form of consultations which I had to
have in accordance with orders, or which I applied for,
everything had to pass through the Department Chief.

Q. No, no, that is not what I am asking. What I meant was
this: If some Reich authority wished to apply to Department
IV on Jewish matters, was your Section the only address? Or
could they approach Mueller directly?

A. They could also approach Mueller directly, and they did
do so, at least in part – there is proof in these documents.

Q. If they wanted Mueller to deal with the matter, is that

A. If they wanted…yes, if they wanted him…or also if
they did not know or whatever…it was a question of the
person who wanted something to be dealt with, or wanted some
explanations or who wanted some form of assurance…it all
depended on that.

Q. Now look, I assume that Knochen knew precisely what came
within Mueller’s authority and what was your field. Is that
not the case?

A. Quite often that did not depend on Knochen. The official
in charge simply used that address which he considered
appropriate for the matter in question.

Q. No, I am talking about Knochen, letters which Knochen
himself dictated and signed. Surely he must have known whom
to approach in a particular matter?

A. Where the internal organs of the Security Police were
concerned, for example the commanders, the inspectors, etc.,
they wrote to whomever they thought to be the right person,
because after all they knew that in any case everything was
dealt with by consultations within the Department.

Q. Look – for example when Knochen sends off letter T/456,
document No. 270, or N/44, document No. 704, he writes IVB4.
But whenever Knochen wishes to apply to Mueller, on Jewish
affairs as well, he applies to Mueller. Here, look at T/471,
N/40, T/485. So when Knochen wants you to deal with
something, he applies to Mueller.

A. No, Mr. Attorney General, here there are…I have a
whole series of documents, and I can give a very precise
comment on this. The whole matter which I have here – if it
is arranged in chronological order, one could see that it is
a matter which greatly agitated the authorities at the time,
namely the attitude of the Italians to the treatment of the
Jews. Mueller himself was sent by Himmler to Rome in this
connection, he had to discuss the matter in Rome with the
Italian Police Chiefs, and Knochen passed this matter on
directly to Mueller, while the other matter is…partly…a
timetable matter, I believe…may I read this out?

Q. Certainly.

A. I can now see quite clearly that this letter is also
part of the same series, that is to say there are in fact a
few more matters which are needed to complete it. This is a
letter which set off the ensuing series. This letter went to

Last-Modified: 1999/06/13