Session 097-03, Eichmann Adolf

Q. And this caution on your part, to be careful about your
position and always be covered, was also expressed in the
documents you produced, was it not?

A. It was expressed in all of my bureaucratic work and

Q. And that is why, for example, in T/491, document No. 132
– letter to the office of the Jewish Affairs Adviser in
France – you write “my office in Paris”; about the office in
Oslo you write in T/593 “my office in Oslo”; and about the
office in The Hague in T/552 you write “my office” –

A. As can be gathered by the enquiry, this is a perfectly
normal phrase used in all central offices, and I would once
again emphasize that this is not my office. I am signing by
order of the Office of the Chief of the Security Police and
the Security Service.

Q. And as a result of this exaggerated caution, and the
certainty that it is not you but the Department Chief who is
acting, you therefore always, without exception, apart from
one instance, you always write “I,” you always write in the
first person, do you not?

A. As was laid down in the bureaucratic rules and
regulations. If you would look at the letterhead, please,
the official-in-charge also appears. It depends on the
background of the official-in-charge, where he learned
things, which – how shall I put it – which form of words was
customary…they were all, after all, civil servants, and
all came from some central authority, and he would then have
expressed himself differently from a Chief Inspector of
Police, who came from some other office. Normally, the
letterhead shows who processed the matter.

Q. Let us then take, for instance, a letter, T/552, document
No. 332: On 17 September 1943, you write to von Thadden in
connection with a certain matter about a certain woman.
This does not involve directives, general directives, nor
general decrees; it is simply a question, it is simply a
wish for an enquiry about the fate of a certain woman, and
you write the following:

“Given the political changes which have occurred in the
meantime, I no longer consider that there is any ground
for going into the matter of the departure for Italy of
the above-mentioned Jewess. I have therefore
instructed my office in The Hague to transfer the
Simons woman immediately to the East for labour

This is due to excessive caution and is presumably simply
standard bureaucratic phraseology, is it not?

A. I really regret that I am unable to say here, “yes, I
ordered this on my own initiative.”

Q. So say it!

A. I cannot say it, because it does not accord with the
truth. As far as I know, this Simons case is…

Presiding Judge: Why do you regret it?

A. Because, Your Honour, because I am gradually beginning to
feel uncomfortable about having to say the same thing time
and again. I have almost got to the point…it will not
take much more…when I will take to my account whatever
comes up, regardless of whether it is true or not. Because,
how else can I explain that today, seeing that supporting
documentation which led to a clean copy like this is no
longer available, it has been burned. I regret that they
have been burned, because if these records were still
available, it would make my position easier.

Q. Before I continue, just a brief comment: The records have
been burned, but there are still living witnesses, such as
the witnesses which you called, such as Professor Six, for
example, who gave a correct picture. So do not regret this
so much that the records have been burned.

Would you please tell me, for example, why Knochen contacts
you in T/411 and asks you to induce the Army High Command to
issue instructions. What has that to do with you? A. The
circumstances were as follows: It was the commanding
general in France who had initiated the deportation, not the
Security Police. Consequently the viewpoint of the
Commander of the Security Police in Paris was that then the
Wehrmacht, the Armed Forces, must also provide the escorts.
And since the competent Armed Forces authorities in Paris
refused, the Commander of the Security Police passed the
matter on to Berlin, so that…

Q. But why to you? Why to “little Eichmann”?

A. This is after all a transport matter, and I have after
all never denied that I was…that for deportations… that
my Section was involved in deportations. I have never
denied that. That was after all one of the duties of the

Q. You said here that the matter of the escort details
accompanying the transports was not your business and was
not within your competence. Correct?

A. That is also correct, since normally…

Q. So why does Knochen approach you, and ask you to approach
the High Command of the Armed Forces about the matter? Why
you, of all persons?

A. Because in actual practice not everything is an exact
copy of everything else, and not everything works in the
same way. Here, there is a different case, for example.
Here it was the commanding general who originated the
deportation. So here the Order Police did not have to
provide this escort, and the police maintained the point of
view that this detachment should be made up of Armed Forces
personnel. So this is something out of the ordinary.

Q. Why does the German Foreign Ministry approach you, of all
persons, for you to contact the High Command of the Armed
Forces with regard to anti-Jewish measures in Denmark?
T/580. Why is that?

A. That is connected with the overall operation in Denmark,
which has in any case been dealt with here in detail in a
series of documents. Since this is a matter which concerns
the Secret Field Police and Military Police, which was also
involved, the Foreign Ministry, as it involves exclusive
matters, sent this matter to the Head Office for Reich
Security and, correctly, to my Section, because it concerns
a transport matter. This is a fact which I cannot dispute,
as after all the Section was responsible for this. I have
in fact already said this repeatedly.

Q. But here the request is that the military be put in
motion: Are you telling me that the Foreign Ministry did not
have a direct channel to the High Command of the Armed
Forces, other than through IVB4, through “little Eichmann”?

Presiding Judge: But Mr. Hausner, the last paragraph must
also be looked at: “The Foreign Ministry would leave it to
your consideration whether the matter should also be dealt
with from your end.” He is asking for support. That there
was no other channel is not quite what the document says.

Attorney General: Thank you, Your Honour.

Why did you have to be one of the channels which exerted
influence on the High Command of the Armed Forces? How did
you influence the High Command of the Armed Forces? Please
tell us.

Accused: I do not know. As can be seen from the files,
Guenther dealt with this Danish business. Furthermore,
everything can be seen clearly from the files. Today, I am
unable – after such a long time – to say anything more in
detail than what I myself have read.

Q. It is very interesting how you have said various things
to your Counsel, but when you have to reply to me, you just
say – just refer to what is in the documents.

A. Oh, no, Mr. Attorney General, I believe that I have
allowed myself and I have been…I am not interrupted,
either, I can speak very freely here. And I have – as far
as I remember – I believe that I have given very
comprehensive information.

Q. All right. Now, the military administration in Belgium
refused – take T/511. Why did you do this?

A. This is the result of an order that marking was to be
carried out in the Western Occupied Territories. In Berlin
it was agreed that this marking should be carried out
simultaneously. The difficulties experienced by a Commander
of the Security Police and the Security Service in this
respect, in the area under his control, had to be passed on
to the Section which had to deal with these matters.
Matters of marking – as proved by the documents – had to be
dealt with by Section IVB4, and so the Commander of the
Security Police had to pass on matters of marking to Section
IVB4 – that is to say, to my Section.

Q. But you have not answered my question. I am not asking
why IVB4 was approached: I asked how did you comply with
this wish that the opposition of the Military Governor be
broken down. How did you do that, and also manage to get
the military to bend, to go along with you, to keep up with

A. I can only endeavour to make an attempt at reconstructing
how this was. First of all, this matter was most definitely
not decided on by me…I really did not wish to say that
first…nor did Mueller decide about this…here, the Chief
of the Security Police either proceeded along the lines
which he considered appropriate for overcoming this
opposition, or even went through Himmler, as shown in
various documents. Since if there were difficulties in high
places and highly-placed ranks – Himmler himself would put
pen to paper and intervene in the matter himself. I could
well imagine that this was how it was arranged that in
Belgium, too, the Jews would have to wear the Jewish Star.
Whether that is exactly what happened, I do not know,
however. Nor do I even know if the records indicate
anything along these lines.

Q. I thought that it was your job to do away with

A. It was not my job to do away with difficulties; that is
to say, it depends on the type of difficulty. Whether such
difficulties had already been cleared up – as I said earlier
– by means of a precedent. But if matters like these were
involved, then the matter was not even decided on by my
Chief. So I certainly would have no part in any decision.

Q. Why were you needed at all in Berlin?

A. Anyone who is familiar with a bureaucratic administrative
machine will know that this requires not just one man but

Judge Halevi: As far as this exhibit is concerned, is it a
coincidence that the Head of the Military Administration –
Reder – just a moment, read what it says here: “Head of
Military Administration SS Brigadefuehrer Reder,” and at the
end it says: “I therefore propose instructing SS
Brigadefuehrer Reder to this effect from your end.” Was he
a member of the Armed Forces, who was also a high-ranking SS
officer or a high-ranking SS man? And was the idea,
therefore, to influence him as an SS man? I believe that
this is not just a pure military matter; this is also
necessary for the solving of the Jewish Question? In other
words, he should remember that he is not only a member of
the military but also an SS man, and must therefore
contribute to the Final Solution of the Jewish Question.
Was that how things were done?

Accused: I would gather that from the letter, Your
Honour. I myself neither spoke to, nor saw Reder. I had
nothing to do with the man.

Attorney General: It was precisely for this purpose that a
few days ago I showed you those very documents which show
that if Knochen wanted to get something out of Mueller, he
did not hesitate to contact Mueller directly; he knows his
address perfectly well, he knows of Mueller’s address as
Chief of Department IV, and in other affairs, which he knows
lie in your sphere of influence and area of responsibility,
he turns to you. And here, too, he turns to you and not to
Mueller, as he did in other instances, because Reder’s
opposition is something which you, and not Mueller, had to
do away with.

Accused: No, I can explain things here: In the reference
it says Dannecker at the top; this was dictated by his
Section Head, Knochen signed it. Here, in the other
documents, which were mentioned by the Attorney General, and
of which I have the entire series here, showing the entire
business very clearly, in the first communication to
Mueller, dated 13 January 1943, it says BdS (Commander of
the Security Police and the Security Service), while in the
second communication to Mueller it says IVJ BdS.

Q. So that means Dannecker, does it not?

A. The reference “Dan” does not appear, so I cannot say
anything about that; there the reference “Dan” appeared,
here it does not appear. In the communication of 12
February it also says BdS; there are many communications
here from this commander, and on the basis of this
explanation I can say that that has nothing to do with it,
and Knochen is not worried about whether Eichmann will find
some channel to the Military Commander or someone else. For
him what counts is to pass the matter on, and whilst these
matters which I have here – these are basic reports which go
to Mueller, because Knochen says to himself, “yes, these
reports must come up in close formation, and it is no use,
because even Mueller cannot decide on them.” That is how
things were – that can be seen.

Q. And that is why he addresses himself to that office which
has no power at all, which can take no decisions at all. He
just does not know that there is a Heydrich, he does not
have any idea of Kaltenbrunner’s address – is that it?

A. I was never a commander, I never operated out of a
commander’s office, as in Paris or The Hague. What
instructions were given to the individual division heads,
with whom they should communicate within the Head Office for
Reich Security, about that I know nothing. However, one
thing is clear – that if I could not take decisions on minor
matters, then I certainly could not decide on such a matter
concerning a Head of Military Administration.

Q. In your journeys to France, Belgium, Holland, you met
these BdS people, didn’t you?

A. Normally I would also visit the BdS himself, yes.

Q. How often did you talk to Knochen?

A. If I…to stick to this figure, obviously I do not know
if it is correct…if I was in Paris seven times, then I may
have spoken to Knochen five times. I would have…

Q. All right, that will do. To Harster?

A. I spoke to Harster less, as I spent very little time with
him. If I – let us say – was in The Hague the same number
of times, I may have been with Harster two or three times,
at most.

Q. With Naumann? With Best?

A. With Naumann, as far as I know, not at all.

Q. And Best?

A. Once in Denmark, when he was Reich Plenipotentiary, apart
from the time when he was still Chief of Department I or II
in the Head Office – no, not the Head Office for Reich
Security – yes, the Head Office for Reich Security, when he
gave a lecture.

Q. These visits to the BdS people, as far as I can imagine,
were not only personal visits; one also discussed the
implementation of official business. Wasn’t that so?

A. They were first and foremost official in nature.

Q. On 1 July 1942, you met Dannecker in Paris?

A. Yes, I was ordered to proceed to Paris and held
consultations in Paris.

Q. And Dannecker, meticulous, fussy Dannecker, wrote in
exhibit T/429 that the minute about the consultation came
from you. That is what it says in T/429, does it not? Is
that correct?

A. Essentially this is quite clear, but it is not entirely
correct, as it is not a minute which I dictated, but it is
certainly – and I can see that from the contents of the file
– a shorthand note taken by a stenographer, who recorded the
matter, and I then read out what I was given by Department
Chief Mueller. That is, in fact, also noted in this…in
this minute. So, essentially it is correct.

Q. Now look: Dannecker wrote – I wish to know whether this
is correct or not – Dannecker wrote to “Obersturmbannfuehrer
Eichmann,” and you said on page 663 of your interrogation:
“I have already said that Dannecker was a fairly meticulous
man.” Page 663, in the middle of the page. So this is a
minute by you, is it not?

A. This is not a minute by me, as can be seen immediately
from the singular nature of the authentication. I would
like to state right away that this is a completely
unacceptable form of authentication which does not follow
bureaucratic practice. Nevertheless, I do accept that the
content of this minute is essentially completely correct.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/13