Session 098-03, Eichmann Adolf

Q. So you mean that you would ask for instructions from
Mueller as to whether the Foreign Ministry, which was asking
a question in this context, was to be given permission for
one Jew to send a parcel to another Jew in the
Generalgouvernement? Mueller had to decide about that as

A. Definitely Mueller had to decide about that, because I do
not know whether this was the first case. Naturally, he did
not have to decide about every single instance, but he did
have to decide on the first case of that kind – the next
ones I could then decide on myself on my own authority in
the appropriate fashion, once the precedent for this case in
hand had been established. This was the procedure not only
for these matters, but for all subjects.

Q. But please explain to me why – what is the reason for
banning the sending of such parcels? You were, after all,
in constant touch with Mueller.

A. Today, I can only imagine that Mueller would have said it
is wartime, there is too much administrative work, they
should do this themselves in the Generalgouvernement. I
imagine that is what the decision must have been, I can
hardly imagine that it would have been anything else.

Q. I am prepared for the moment to assume that you came to
Mueller with certain matters; but after all you are the
Section Head. The proposal after all came from you to
Mueller. Mueller must certainly have asked for your opinion
about all these matters, must he not?

A. I have already said, when I came to Berlin, against my
wishes, first of all this was against my wishes, secondly
this was the first time that I was employed in an executive
central authority. I was by nature very cautious, because
after all I am not a legal expert.

Presiding Judge: No, no – please stop this and answer the
question, please. The question was: Did you not yourself
make proposals or suggestions to Mueller before Mueller took
his decisions, or did Mueller not listen to what you had to
say at all?

A. I presented the file to Mueller, the contents, and I
asked for instructions, I did not take decisions, nor did I
make any proposals.

Attorney General: In none of the conversations you had with
Mueller did you give your opinion – did you never put
forward what your opinion was in a particular matter?

Accused: I must make a reservation. When the Madagascar
Plan was over, I made no further proposals. As far as
matters were concerned which had come up in the meanwhile,
during the Madagascar Plan, where I had dealt with these
things, I did not make any proposals, either. I was in fact
known for this.

Q. In other words, there could perfectly well have been a
dictaphone in your stead, and that would have sufficed,
would it not? Mueller would have dictated and then this
would have been typed up. That would have done just as
well. Is that what you mean?

A. Not exactly, because I gave a summary of the extensive
files. After all, I could not read the files out to him –
otherwise he could have read them himself. And then I
jotted down the key words of the orders I was given. And
then the Section did the rest of the administrative work.

Presiding Judge: And Mueller never asked you for your
opinion? Mueller did not ask you occasionally for your
opinion, you who were dealing with these matters daily?

Accused: Mueller knew me, and he knew that I did not take
decisions and also did not give any opinion of my own in
executive affairs.

Q. That means he wanted to ask for your opinion, but you
did not indicate any opinion, and in the future he left it
at that. Is my understanding of your answer correct?

A. Yes, at the beginning he definitely thought that I would
give my own opinion, but when later he saw that I did not do
so and used my right as a Section Head to ask for
instructions, he got used to this. Things went so far that
I would not give an immediate answer to anyone asking even
about a single transport. I know that Krumey also confirmed

Presiding Judge: Very well, that will do.

Attorney General: That means you were totally passive – is
that the right way of putting it?

Accused: One can hardly say passive. I did what I have
just outlined, and then obeyed and carried out what I was
ordered to do.

Q. In any case, you did not do anything on your own
initiative after the Madagascar Plan was dropped. Is that

A. As far as executive matters were involved, also not from
the outset.

Q. Very well. And since Mueller knew you so well, he said,
“If we had had fifty such Eichmanns, we would have won the
war against the USSR, against England and against France, if
we had only had fifty men like you.” Did he not?

A. Mr. Attorney General, that was said in a different
context by Mueller, and in fact this was said when
here…when he was at the office, the officials who were
trying to issue false papers, and everything all around had
been destroyed by bombs, and the office stood there with the
adjacent houses, like mushrooms, standing up, because during
the bombing raids I myself had rushed around with my staff
and rendered every incendiary bomb harmless. This
conversation was prior to that, and in this conversation he
had said this – it was more a joke than anything else – he
said, “If we had had fifty Eichmanns, we would have won the
war.” He is a Bavarian, Mueller, and that sort of an image
from a Bavarian sounds different from how it would have if
he had said it, say as proper recognition or as an official
acknowledgment. That is how this should be understood.

Q. And that is why you were so proud about this, as you have
told us. Were you not?

A. Yes – my work during the period of the air raids was
recognized, because it is really not an easy thing to sit at
a desk all day and spend the night chasing incendiaries and
other bombs.

Q. And because you were such an insignificant and useless
official, that is why Himmler, when he sent you to Hungary,
said that the master himself was being sent there, did he?

A. “The master” – that might well be some phrase or other.
I, in any case, never heard it from Himmler, because I did
not speak with Himmler at all.

Q. But you did hear it from others?

A. That is possible. There is a great deal of rubbish said
about such matters. One must not take everything that is
said literally. In all – it is the same the world over
where people in uniform are concerned. It was known as
“latrine talk.” They occur in all Sections of uniformed
units. The sort – the sort of master I was in Hungary can
be seen very clearly from the files, Mr. Attorney General.
I did not take any initiative at all.

Judge Halevi: A Section Head – you are saying that he has
the right to take a decision, but that you in principle did
not use the Section Head’s right to take decisions. Is that

A. Yes. Over and above that, I did not even make any use,
worth speaking of, of my right to give instructions.

Judge Halevi: But is it not true that if a highly placed
official has certain rights, then it is also his duty to
exercise these rights, because otherwise he is incompetent
and must be dismissed?

Accused: Your Honour, everybody knows himself best. I
was good at organizing these matters. I had acquired this
ability in the five years I was dealing with emigration
affairs. I thought, and I still think, I can prove that I
was not someone who liked or tended to take decisions by the
fact that, after all, I remained stuck at my post for four
years. If I had shown some initiative, I might well have
been moved somewhere to an independent position, I might
have been given a regional State Police Headquarters, or
some other position. But I was suitable for this work
behind a desk. In the Section, I was suitable – I did my
duty, in accordance with orders.

Q. Thank you. According to your description here of what
you did, it would appear that you did not do your duty
properly and that you should have been removed immediately,
because otherwise there was no point to this position.

A. No, that is not correct, Your Honour, I did my duty
properly, as I was required by my…by the oath of
allegiance. I obediently did my duty in accordance with

Q. But you did far less than what lay in your power.

A. But I made use of my right to request instructions in all
instances from my superior.

Q. But you refused to make any proposals or to express any
opinions to your superior, to indicate your own attitude.

A. That is true, but I was not dutybound to do that, I was
not bound to do that.

Q. Is it possible to run an office with such an official?
With such a Section Head?

A. Certainly, Your Honour, particularly if the larger or
main part of the work involved purely organizational
matters, because the many…I always call them executive
matters, which…let us call them individual cases and so
on, these matters, the purely…I would call them State
Police matters, which, with me, were dealt with by the
officials-in-charge in accordance with my instructions,
which I had obtained, by police Chief Inspectors and so on,
they were dealt with under routine procedures, after an
instruction in principle on the subject had been issued, and
I never received any form of reprimand for not doing my
duty, and I must say this still today.

Q. So that means that you only dealt with routine matters.

A. No, Your Honour, I did not deal only with routine
matters, but if such a matter had not been clarified in
principle, then I asked for a consultation, and I regularly
asked my Chief for instructions.

Judge Halevi: Thank you very much.

Attorney General: When you were asked to issue instructions
about the deportees’ money which they were to take along to
the Generalgouvernement, as in T/211 for example, there you
did issue instructions, did you not?

Accused: Yes, here the requisite instructions were
issued. I also had to enquire somewhere as to how this was
to be done – I cannot at the moment remember which office
this was which was to pay the twenty zloty.

Q. And during the deportations in 1942, and later from the
Lublin-Zamosc district, it was suggested to Himmler – this
is T/374 – that the Poles be divided into four groups, that
their children be taken away from them, and that those not
able-bodied be sent to Auschwitz, is that true?

A. Yes, but not by IVB4.

Q. No? But here it says IVB4 – look at it, it says plainly
here IVB4…

A. Yes, but there is some previous correspondence which
belongs here, which has to be arranged chronologically.

Q. Did this proposal, this proposal to Himmler, come from
Section IVB4?

Presiding Judge: Which number did you say?

Attorney General: T/374. Accused, did this proposal come
from Section IVB4 or not?

Accused: This proposal was signed by Mueller, and IVB4a.

Q. Did this proposal come from Section IVB4 or not?

A. The proposal was handled by Section IVB4a. As to it
coming from IVB4, that is far from being the same thing,
because in this letter this is a matter of principle, that
is the raising of the age limit from ten to fourteen years,
while obviously Himmler on 3 October 1942 in Cracow – and
there is a reference to this – set the age limit at ten
years, but then Mueller intervened here and had the age
fixed at fourteen instead of ten years, and he had his
reasons for this, which were…

Q. Yes, yes, but this proposal comes from you, does it not?
Himmler wanted to seize children up to the age of ten, you
wanted to seize Polish children up to the age of fourteen,
is that not true?

A. But it is not right to say that the proposal is from
IVB4…this was a matter which was dealt with, or also dealt
with, by the office chief…in other words my superior, in
any case the decision was taken by him…IVB4 could not take
such a decision at all.

Q. Very well. But carrying it out – what about carrying it
out? Did you not carry out this matter?

A. Yes, all the technical transport aspects were handled by

Q. Including the division into groups, right?

A. No, these were race and resettlement evaluative
categories, which were set by the Race and Resettlement Head
Office, Groups 1 and 4.

Q. You were notified of Himmler’s instructions at Cracow,
were you not?

A. Yes, of course, I would assume that that would even have
been done in writing, because there is a reference to that
in the communication of 31 October 1942.

Q. And you pass these instructions on to the various
implementing bodies, for example as this was transmitted to
Krumey, T/370?

Your Honours, you have this document only in Polish, so I
shall submit a German translation, this is T/370, document
No. 284.

Yes, please go ahead.

A. Yes, indeed, and for the following reasons: The
Department Chief had yet another reason – avoiding any
further formation of partisans. IVB4 – the reason for IVB4
was that, by raising the age from ten to fourteen, the
transport figures of those to be evacuated changed, and with
it the basis for the calculations in order to draw up the
timetable. This was obviously issued to all the local
offices which received orders to this effect and had to be
done in accordance with orders.

Q. And that in those transports which ran as part of this
operation people died by the dozen – you knew that as well?
Look at T/377.

Presiding Judge: Is this a translation made by you?

Attorney General: Yes, this was made by us.

Accused: Yes, I see here that fifteen people died during
the transport. I can only say here that Section IVB4 was
not responsible for the rounding up, those were the local
authorities. This is certainly clear from the directives.

Q. Those people died on the way, on the way and not during
the rounding up – during the transport which was organized
by you. Look at T/381.

Presiding Judge: I believe I have already read this once.

Attorney General: It might possibly already exist in Hebrew,
but we have translated it into German, for the Defence, too.

[To the Accused] Look at these consignments of children,
these children’s transports, the children who were taken out
of the box cars dead. These are the transports which you
organized, you, the Forwarding Agent of Death.

Accused: I can say the following about this: It makes no
difference whether it is these transports of children or
those from Hungary – we have a document before us, and it
hits the nail on the head. I was not responsible for these
matters, I was responsible for the matters concerning the
timetable, for the technical matters, but not for these
things. There are documents here about a similar case of
evacuation of Jews from Hungary, where the Senior Commander
of the Security Police and the Security Service in Hungary
was involved with this, whether in terms of transport…

Q. We are talking about Zamosc, leave Hungary alone; I
promise you that we shall come back to Hungary.

A. IVB4 was not responsible for transfers – the exclusive
responsibility for that lay with the transport escort and
the body which rounded up the people, that is to say, the
consigning body. But that was not IVB4.

Q. But the reports about all these operations reached you?
There is a report here from Krumey addressed to you, dated
29 December 1942 – look at it.

A. In all instances, regardless of the particular
circumstances involved, reports proceeded from below to the
higher authorities, and naturally they passed through IVB4
as well, and I have already said so.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/13