Session 099-01, Eichmann Adolf

Session No. 99
4 Av 5721 (17 July 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the ninety-ninth Session of the
trial open. The Accused will continue with his testimony in
cross-examination. I remind the Accused that he is still
testifying under oath.

Accused: Yes, I am aware of that.

Presiding Judge: Please proceed, Mr. Hausner.

Attorney General: When you returned from this trip, during
which you saw the Operations Units in action, you said to
Mueller that this was not the right way, that “our people
would become sadists,” another method for executions had to
be found. Is that correct?

Accused: I am not familiar with the last phrase, “another
method for executions had to be found” – this is the first
time I have heard this.

Q. Very well: “the first time.” During your examination in
Bureau 06 you were shown T/47, the article in Life, for your
perusal, and in T/48 you indicated your reaction. On page
31 of the manuscript you were shown, with no comments on the
comments sheet, practically without your taking exception to
this matter, the following is recorded as your words on page
31 of the typed copy:

“Gruppenfuehrer, the solution should have been a
political one; but since the Fuehrer has now issued
orders for a physical solution, clearly it will have to
be a physical one. But we cannot continue carrying out
the executions as at Minsk and, I believe, elsewhere.
That would train our people to become sadists. We
cannot solve the Jewish Question by putting a bullet
through the head of a defenceless woman holding her
child up to us.”

So you were saying that if the extermination had to be
physical, then let it be physical, but not my means of
shooting, and not with a woman throwing her baby at your
leather coat, as in Minsk, is that true?

A. No, that is a completely wrong interpretation of what I
said. This meaning can, in literal terms, be deduced from
this statement by me, but that is not how I made it, because
the meaning was that there could be no question here of
killing people. I made the point without beating about the
bush; in principle it makes no difference whether this was
by means of gas or with a bullet. I was against that.

Q. But it is more elegant with gas – that was the opinion of
the gentlemen from the Ministry for the Eastern Occupied
Territories. It is more elegant with gas, is that not true?

A. Yes, but that was definitely not my opinion. This is
also quite obvious from the phrases I have just heard. Who
added this business of physical extermination here, I do not
know, I do not know. But the point I was trying to make
…I should be believed that I really did express it as I
felt it inside me.

Q. You say, “but since the Fuehrer has now issued orders for
a physical solution, it will have to be a physical one,” a
physical solution?

A. Did I sign it? I do not believe I did.

Q. You made no comment on this; only on the word
“offensichtlich” (obviously) did you make a comment by
underlining it. That is all. There is no comment here on
these words. You may look at it.

A. Here in Israel?

A. Yes, here in Israel.

A. Then I definitely failed to notice this matter. That is
also in the nature of things, because otherwise I would
definitely have corrected this, if I had noticed it.

Q. You spoke with the people from Rosenberg’s Ministry about
gas matters, didn’t you?

A. No, I really do not believe that I spoke to anybody about
gas matters. That is what was strange to me when I was
shown this matter here.

Q. So how do you know, and why do you imagine, that these
people saw this as a more elegant solution, if you did not
talk to them at all?

A. Because at that time there was a great deal of talk about
such things in the Head Office for Reich Security.

Q. Between whom?

A. Between whom? There were…at meetings between Section
Heads and so on, there was talk of this, of this matter.

Q. About gas?

A. About everything, about the entire question in the

Q. I am asking you about exterminating Jews by means of gas.

A. That was also under discussion at the time. Someone must
have spoken one way or the other about it, because otherwise
I would not have known about it.

Q. Precisely. In 1941.

A. I do not know the year. I cannot say. But I must say
that this was no secret. Because I did in fact hear about
it right from my first visit. But this was not gas. I was
told at the time that it was done with exhaust gases. Of
course, in principle it is the same thing, is it not?

Q. Do you agree that what you have told me fits what Wetzel
described in his letter? The people who shoot Jews are
being morally poisoned; another solution must be found – the
solution is found by extermination through gassing. You are
asked about this. You give your authorization, and thus
this all fits perfectly.

A. No, I had nothing at all to do with these matters; I did
not deal at all with this.

Q. But Wetzel does refer to you, does he not?

A. I just could not work this out at all, and that is why I
went into this matter, and considered it closely, and came
to the conclusion that this is just not right. Neither my
name nor my rank appear there, and as for the things I have
seen in Israel, these ife things, I would like to say…I
have just remembered…at the time I also asked Captain Less
whether I was to comment on every single thing, because then
my comments would be more or less the same length as the
whole thing which I was shown. And at that I was told, no,
just in general terms. So then I commented on this in
general terms, but not on each individual point.

Presiding Judge: All right.

Attorney General: All right, I do not want to argue about
this. I am telling you that you reacted to every passage,
but I would now direct your attention to the fact that this
is not the only passage where you are mentioned in Wetzel’s
letter. It is stated subsequently that on the basis of your
notification, room was found at Minsk and Riga for the Jews
from the Old Reich, and you have already admitted to having
dealt with this, and that you sent Jews from that territory
to Minsk and Riga. That only corroborates Wetzel’s
allegations about the content of the Wetzel letter, does it

Accused: That was known not only to Wetzel. All sorts of
central authorities knew about this which were dealing with
these waves of deportations to Riga and Minsk, and in fact
there was a whole list of central authorities which were
dealing with this directly.

Q. True, but only Wetzel knew that you had given your
consent on behalf of the Head Office for Reich Security to
extermination by gassing.

A. I did not give my consent, because I could not give any
such consent – I had nothing to do with the killing. I have
said as much here time and again, I cannot say anything
further on this. This is also correct.

Q. In your Section, you had a typist called Werlmann? And
also a man who worked in Registry, called Martin?

A. Yes.

Q. I am going to read out a passage to you. Will you please
tell me whether this is correct or not?

“I was given orders to produce a letter for Globocnik.
A letter I would have to hand over in person, I
constantly kept an eye on. I dictated the letter to
Mrs. Werlmann, after which this letter was received by
Unterscharfuehrer Martin as Head of Registry, who gave
this communication its number as Secret State Business
and entered it in the Registry. No copy was made,
there was only the original, and then I took this
letter with me and either handed it to Heydrich in
person or gave it to Mueller, who in turn handed it to
Heydrich, and then I received this letter back through
official channels.”

Is what you said here correct?

A. Not verbatim, but the meaning is correct. Things were as
follows: As I explained, I received orders to draft a letter
of this kind which either Mueller or Heydrich – I believe
Heydrich – signed, and I had to deliver that to Globocnik.

Q. So here Sassen did not falsify your words?

A. The words are not verbatim, but the meaning is quite
clear. What is not in here is that…if one reads this, the
impression might be that I drafted such a letter on my own
initiative, and then, ex post facto…

Judge Halevi: No, no, it does say “im Auftrage” (per pro)
after all? It does say im Auftrage, does it not?

Accused: It does say im Auftrage.

Attorney General: It does indeed say im Auftrage.

Accused: I should also like to say that I have already
long since referred to this matter here in my Statement.

Q. This letter – that was an order to execute a quarter of a
million Jews?

A. No, they were already dead. Globocnik wanted to ave some
form of cover from Heydrich after the event, and that is how
this came about; I was ordered to produce this
communication, and Heydrich, or Mueller…I do not
think…signed it, and then I had to take it to the

Q. And you wrote such letters two or three times?

A. In my Statement I also said here…I do not
know…twice…I think…I do not think it was three
times…I believe I remember it was twice…but I do not
know if it was 250,000 or 150,000…that I never knew.

Q. In your memoirs which you have written, T/44, pages 116
and 117, you mention that Globocnik wanted further
instructions to kill Jews – that is, he was given the
assignment to kill such and such a number of Jews, and he
also wanted a retroactive confirmation for the Jews he had
already killed. Is that correct?

A. No, of that I am not aware. But Globocnik did want a
confirmation for the Jews he had killed, as a cover. That I
do remember.

Q. Would you please read what is written in your own
handwriting; if you then wish to correct your answer
accordingly, please do so.

Presiding Judge: This examination has returned to a subject
with which you have already dealt at length. I assume that
you went through the material carefully, and I would be
grateful to you if you could concentrate matters once and
for all.

Attorney General: We have already touched upon this question
from the point of view of general responsibility – but I am
now touching upon the question of the Accused’s share in a
specific territory with which I am now concerned, and I
promise that I shall leave this particular subject in a few

Now, Accused, on page 116 and the beginning of page 117 in
your memoirs…

Presiding Judge: Please comment.

Accused: Certainly, but clearly what it means
here…otherwise I would have been very surprised…I wrote
here…just a moment, please, the sentence is not…there
everything was dealt with on one’s own responsibility…
“Globocnik had a macabre habit of subsequently getting
written confirmation for the killing from the Chief of the
Security Police and the Security Service, Heydrich,
personally, and this Heydrich did. He either told me
directly, when I was receiving orders, or through Mueller –
I forget which – to draw up a letter for Globocnik, for a
further 150,000 or 250,000 – I do not remember precisely –
Jews to be sent to the Final Solution in accordance with the
order of the Reichsfuehrer-SS or the Fuehrer’s order – I
also no longer remember which precisely, and this was then
signed by Heydrich. There were, I believe, two or three
such letters which Globocnik had issued to him subsequently,
so to speak, for his own security.”

Attorney General: This is precisely what I am referring to –
Globocnik received the order to kill such and such a number
of Jews and applied for more cover for more Jews…

Presiding Judge: No, no, Mr. Hausner, my colleague makes the
point here – and I believe he is correct – there are three
letters here, but all these three letters were written post

Accused: If I might here…

Presiding Judge: No, no – be seated.

Attorney General: Did you ever bring Globocnik an order to
kill Jews – not a post factum order, but an order to kill

Accused: No, I did not do that. If I had done so, when I
wrote these memoirs, I…if I had not felt like writing down
everything I knew, I would have written that down as well.

Q. It will do, if you say no. Which concentration camps did
you visit?

A. After this station, which was being built, I received
orders to go to Kulm, to Kulmhof. After that I was sent to
Minsk, and now I know that with time…no, at that time I
travelled via Lemberg.

Q. Did you go to Majdanek?

A. Yes, but that was later.

Q. All right; in general terms I should like to know which
concentration camps you went to. Did you go to Majdanek?

A. Majdanek…

Q. Did you go to Treblinka?

A. No, that I do not know…

Q. Sobibor?

A. I went to Auschwitz…

Q. You wrote somewhere that you went repeatedly to
Auschwitz, didn’t you?

A. Yes, and I have also admitted that; I went there some
five or six times, I am not sure of the exact number.

Q. And Hoess showed you the entire extermination process
from A to Z, did he not?

A. No, that is just not true.

Q. No? That is what Hoess writes about it, you know that.

A. That is possible, but it is not true. Hoess was wrong by
an entire year, and I have proved that, by going through all
the literature about it, because it struck me as odd, and I
also managed to prove this by means of facts.

Q. Very well. Let us therefore assume that Hoess got the
date wrong. But was he also wrong about the fact that he
showed you the extermination plant? He writes that he
showed you the entire process. Did he ever show it to you?

A. “Show” is not the right word; he told me about it, and I
saw part of it, that is, how the bodies were burned. That I
did see.

Q. Did you have any authority for the extermination camps?

A. No, no authority whatsoever.

Q. Not to send people there, not to have something entered
in the files which was to testify to the fate of an inmate
there, nothing at all?

A. No, that could not have been the task of IVB4.

Q. Not of IVB4, but of you, you personally. Did you
yourself have such authority?

A. No, I did not.

Q. So when on page 224 of your Statement you say about your
visit to Auschwitz that you wished to make someone’s fate a
little easier, and said to Hoess, “Well, then, I say, I
shall draw up a memo, I said, that Storfer should work here
with a broom,” is that not correct?

A. That is something entirely different. Here I obtained
special permission from my superior, because I worked with
Storfer all those years, and he was sent to Auschwitz behind
my back. Storfer let me know somehow and asked me to visit
him. I then received permission and I also …

Q. when did you receive permission?

A. When I left Hungary for Berlin, I sent a teletype from
Hungary to my Chief; in any case, I was able to get the
authority to ease the work for Storfer, but I could not
release him. That was in fact what he wanted, but I did not
get permission.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/13