Session 097-02, Eichmann Adolf

Q. Did you wish to meet Lospinoso there?

A. I only know about the orders I was given; it was a matter
of ascertaining on the spot from the Commanders…

Q. That is not a reply to my question. I am asking whether
you tried to meet Lospinoso or not, yes or no?

A. No, I did not have dealings with Lospinoso.

Q. And you also did not endeavour or attempt to meet him?

A. I did not have to meet him. The documents show that
Mueller wanted to talk to him, and that I became involved,
and evidently I conveyed something to the Foreign Ministry
about that. I did not gather anything else from this, but
Mueller’s journey to Rome was linked positively with this.

Q. I am showing you T/482 and T/483. After looking at these
documents, do you not wish to revise your answer?

A. I do not need to revise my position on these documents,
Mr. Attorney General; rather, in order to be able to
understand this document, which has been taken out of
context, I would refer to a series of some twenty documents
which have to be arranged chronologically, and then all the
facts can be seen clearly, and it can be seen that I
personally had nothing to do with these matters, but Mueller
handled this business with the Foreign Ministry and Knochen
in Paris. And if it is desirable, I shall gladly give the
Prosecution numbers of these twenty documents, and when the
documents are studied, the facts can all be seen to be very
clear and very simple.

Q. You were an Obersturmbannfuehrer, were you not?

A. Yes, Mr. Attorney General.

Q. That is a rank which is equivalent to that of
Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel) in the army, is that

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. And in the civil service to that of a Senior State
Counsellor, is that correct?

A. Yes, that is also correct.

Q. And as such you had no powers of command?

A. I had the power to give instructions, that is to say a
Section Head’s powers of implementation, that is correct,
and I have said as much as well. But in principle I did not
make use of these powers of implementation, as…and I would
have to repeat myself as to why… I have already said this
several times, and I was so consistent in this attitude that
I became known for this outside my Section.

Q. So it became known that you sought to cover yourself in
the case of all unpleasant matters. Now, we already know
that and we do not wish to come back to that. Is that
correct? What I now wish to know is: How many times a week
did you go to Mueller?

A. At least twice; some weeks I was in contact with Mueller
every day, either on the telephone or he would summon me.
In the course of duty, I came with my files twice a week for

Q. How long did each of these official meetings with Mueller

A. Normally they took an hour, an hour and a half at most.

Q. And at these meetings – twice a week you said – current
matters which had accumulated were discussed. Is that

A. Yes. The bulk of the files which I had in my
`consultations file’ for consultation were put before him.
He was asked for instructions, and then they were either
decided on immediately, or he took them with him and then
discussed the business with his superior. That is how it

Q. And as you said, he would give you general instructions
or directives, and you then acted on the basis of these
instructions or directives with reference to matters which
had accumulated with you during the week. Is that correct?

A. Yes. In addition he even dictated everything to me
relating to the minutes I had to draw up, or communications
which the Section had to send to other central offices.

Q. How many letters a week did you sign on an average? I
realize that you cannot give me any precise figures, but on
an average how many letters did you sign per week?

A. I would estimate that on a weekly basis the Section …it
is difficult to say…one matter takes a long time, another
is dealt with quickly…but I could imagine, if I am to give
a round figure, perhaps 150 matters, 200 matters, I do not
know, it could have been…

Q. With your signature, right?

A. No, not with my signature, altogether. And that would
include matters concerning internal communications. Because
what is seen here in the documents are in fact clean copies,
and these clean or fair copies are the result of the
bureaucratic work of the Section, with minutes and reports,
and so on. That is…with this figure, this number I am
trying to give some rough idea of the extent of the
Section’s total weekly correspondence.

Of course, to avoid any misunderstanding, let me point out
that naturally these two – the estimated two hundred matters
– were not all submitted to Mueller and discussed with him.
That is quite clear. At every consultation during the week,
no more than 25-30 matters at most were discussed with
Mueller, that is to say around 50-60 matters a week. But
there was no need for that either, because once a decision
of principle had been handed down, that became a precedent,
and other cases in the future had to be interpreted
according to that. That is how this is to be understood.

Q. Yes, I understand. And the Section then would no longer
approach Mueller, but instead, based on the general
directives, the requisite answer would be drawn up to be
sent to the office which had applied to the Section. Is
that right?

A. If it was the same matter which the Chief had determined
and ordered. And if later, within a certain time, assuming
the arrangement had not been cancelled, there was a query on
a similar or the same matter, at any rate not with regard to
a matter involving different facts, then the same decision
had to be given in the reply, because I was not allowed to
come to the Chief twice with the same matter.

Naturally, in practice that was unavoidable, as there were
always distinguishing facts which kept occurring in this

Q. Are you telling us that Mueller actually dictated letters
to you like to a typist – a shorthand-typist – is that what
you are saying?

A. No, that is not what I am trying to say – none of the
principals ever did that; they dictated the general outline.

Q. For example, when it was a matter of Jews in Holland who
had managed to acquire foreign nationality, and now wanted
to emigrate. What was the general instruction which Mueller
gave you about this?

A. The important things here are firstly the date, and
secondly the office from which the enquiry…

Q. June 1943.

A. June 1943: At that point, there was a general ban on
emigration by an order from Himmler, and this ban stated
that the emigration was to be notified to the Darmstadt
Emigration Office if there was a direct Reich interest…

Q. All right, so that was something which could not be taken
back to Mueller? Could a reply be given independently?

A. No, no – if it was an application, as the records also
show in fact, let us say that an offer of 150,000 Swiss
francs or 100,000 Swiss francs was made here, then it was my
superiors who would have allowed this – or even would not.
I myself could certainly not decide that. But if it was a
general query, for example, as to whether at that time
emigration could be authorized, then I did not have to
consult my Chief; rather, the Section could give a negative
decision on its own responsibility, without prior
consultation, in such matters, simply by reference to
Himmler’s order to this effect. Such a decision had to be
given, because that is what the regulations provided.

Q. I am not referring to this matter – I am referring, for
example, to Zoepf’s question as to what is to be done with
those Jews who are trying to obtain foreign nationality and
to emigrate. I assume that in this matter you did not have
to refer to Mueller or hold consultations, but that you
could yourself answer Zoepf directly. Is that correct or

A. If an analogous instance had occurred previously, and
been decided on, then naturally I would no longer have
needed to apply to the Department Chief in this matter.

Q. For example, as in this exhibit T/550, document No. 600,
I assume that you could reply to that without consulting
Mueller. Is that correct?

A. But I am absolutely convinced here that first of all
there was no analogous, let alone identical, case before
this, and secondly that this matter – before an answer was
issued – must have been agreed on with the Foreign Ministry.
That can readily be seen from the considerable time-lag, as
here I replied on 26 June 1943, to a report dated 27 April
1943. So this shows me that in the meantime the matter was
being processed and could not be decided on just like that
by the Section.

Q. Perhaps that was not so urgent for you? Perhaps that was
not such a pressing matter?

A. It did not depend on me whether a matter was handled
quickly or slowly, as the matters would automatically be
sent through the subdivisions, to those who dealt with them.

Q. Very well, then, I want to get some idea how things
proceeded. Let us assume that you took the matter to
Mueller, you came to Mueller after making your enquiries
with the Foreign Ministry. Zoepf is asking what should be
done: There are Jews in Holland, they are trying to get
foreign nationality in order to emigrate. What happens with
Mueller in such a case?

Please leave the document alone. I am asking about the
normal course of official procedure. You went to Mueller;
what did Mueller say?

A. I am not at all sure with regard to emigration at this
time as to whether Mueller decided this case himself. The
reason why I would venture to say this is because I know how
hesitant and cautious Mueller was about taking decisions in
individual cases. Here, he would very rarely take a
decision himself, and at once. So this matter would not
have just been held up in the Section as a result of
processing with the Foreign Ministry etc; certainly it was
also held up by Mueller until he had discussed the matter
with the Chief of the Security Police and the Security
Service. Naturally I cannot remember this particular
instance, I would like to state that right away, but I can
refer back to similar cases.

Q. You were all cautious and you were all hesitant – so who
took the decisions? Was Hitler the only one in the whole

A. I cannot say more than what I have explained. The course
followed by a file was complex, and obviously it became even
more complicated if someone like myself had to have a
precedent decided on every matter. I would stress once more
that it was not every single matter, but I made sure that I
was provided with precedents. And I would also like to add
– the business of the children in France just occurs to me.
If I myself had decided about a telegram that had been on my
desk a couple of hours, it would not have taken ten days.
These are indications that these matters were not decided by
me just offhand. That was far from me.

Q. Or because you were away on an official journey? We
have, after all, heard that you were often away on official
trips. Perhaps that was what happened here?

A. Then the files did not stay without being dealt with
because of that; they would be dealt with by the deputy.
That is why a Permanent Deputy was appointed for each

Q. So let us assume, for example, that this question about
nationality in Holland went from you to Mueller, from
Mueller to Heydrich, from Heydrich to Himmler, from Himmler
to Goering and to Hitler, and I do not know where else. So
what finally happened? You received instructions,
directions, or guidelines from someone, that is what you are
saying, is it not?

A. First of all the procedure did not go as far as that, the
Chief of the Security Police…

Q. But it was three months, was it not?

A. I do not wish to comment on that; this matter would at
the most have gone through…

Q. Ribbentrop also dealt with this matter; everybody came in
on this, but in the end you, little Eichmann, received
instructions from someone. But here we can only see one
thing: Zoepf’s approach to you and your answer to Zoepf. So
you did receive instructions from someone, did you not, you
poor, little Eichmann, to sign and send this off to Zoepf?
From whom did you receive this order? From Himmler, Hitler,
Heydrich, Mueller – from whom?

A. This matter did not go to Ribbentrop nor to Himmler nor
to Goering; this business – I would venture to say – at the
very most went to the Chief of the Security Police and the
Security Service. I then received instructions and orders
from my superior, Mueller. This business was decided on at
the Foreign Ministry by someone no higher than von Thadden
or his superior, the Under-Secretary of State.

Q. And that took three months? You are not trying to tell
me that you were so inefficient in the Third Reich?

A. I cannot tell you any more, Mr. Attorney General, than I
can read here – the difference in dates, the differences in
time. I cannot say anything more about this.

Q. So in the end Mueller calls you, explains the matter to
you and says what? In general terms.

A. He tells me what the decision is, he gives me the
instruction I have requested.

Q. For example, in this instance, “out of the question,”

A. The answer could be short or long, depending on how much
time he had, how many files there were, or the importance or
the manner of disposal, the scope, if I can put it that way.

Q. Take this matter, for example, the matter which is now
before you: What might Mueller’s answer be here, for
example? Did you say “no” to Zoepf?

A. I do not know – that was in 1943 – it happened eighteen
years ago, who can expect a reply from me today as to what
my superior said to me about this at the time and what I was
to reply? I would have to dream something up, some pretext,
take some street number – anything – and that would not help

Q. Are you telling us that he literally dictated such a
reply to you, as if to a lowly female clerk. Or did he tell
you of the decision, as is done in a military setting, and
you took care of the rest? What are you, an
Obersturmbannfuehrer or a shorthand-typist?

A. I have already spoken about this in detail – already said
how things were – it was given as an outline; and I also
said that Mueller’s decisions and directions were treated as
precedents, and the order given in general terms made it
possible to decide on all similar instances according to
these instructions as well, so that he would just have to
say “rejected” or something similar or “approved”…No, the
official-in-charge also had to be informed of the reason, so
that from among the many entries he could find where a
relevant decision had already been taken, and that was the
reason for the consultations with Mueller, because otherwise
it would just have been necessary to submit things in
writing to Chief of Department IV, but one had to attend
consultations in person. Moreover, I was not in any way the
only one and the exception, every Section Head had this
right. Naturally there were Section Heads who were not so
precise and not so bureaucratically afraid, and then there
were Section Heads who were possibly even more cautious and
more reluctant than I was. For example, the Sabotage
Section Head – I still remember him – he took up even more
of his Chief’s time than I did.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/13