Session 107-04, Eichmann Adolf

Q. I am not talking about the pre-War years, and I consider
you to be intelligent enough to understand this
contradiction, that there is a contradiction here. Do you
have anything further to say about this?

A. There is a contradiction here, but even if one had wanted
to, it would have been impossible, because in fact this
system meant that the recruiting offices blocked one’s path,
and kept one in the Head Office for Reich Security for the
duration of the War. One was powerless in the face of all
these things. One…at the most one was dependent on the
Department Chief’s pleasure or agreement, on one person who
might have authorized it, and he did not authorize anything.

Q. That means that your statement now is that in the War
years you did not remain in the SS of your own free will?

A. To be perfectly honest, in all of this confusion one did
not think about this at all. It would in fact be very easy
if I were to say “yes” or “no,” but I did not, in fact,
think about this at all, it was, in fact, just not possible.
After all, in any case one cannot fight a mountain. He knew
that I would not have had any success at all with any of the
recruiting offices, I would not have even been shown in.

Q. And so all you did was to apply orally to Mueller.

A. There was nothing else to do, other than to keep applying
with a request to be employed elsewhere, originally not even
in Berlin, that went against the grain.

Q. That concludes my questions.

Does the Attorney General wish now to ask anything of the
Accused arising from the questions asked by the Judges?

Attorney General: Yes, if it please the Court. I should
like to ask three questions of the Accused. The Accused
said that he could not live according to the “absolute
categorical imperative,” because he was subject to orders
from higher authorities. I assume that this did not apply
to his private life.

Presiding Judge: Will you now please reply to the Attorney
General’s questions which are asked in connection with the
questions by the Judges.

Attorney General: Your attitude to your wife’s reading the
New Testament – was that not in keeping with Kant’s
categorical imperative?

Accused: I must say about this that unfortunately I am
also not infallible; if I were an infallible person, then,
for example, I would not have torn the Bible into pieces
from my wife’s hands. I must admit this, and therefore
there are things in a person’s life which the individual
does not like doing, which he does partly because of
external coercion, and partly somehow because of the fact
that he allows himself to be carried away to do certain
things which he later regrets. In any case, I did at least
endeavour to live according to the Kantian imperative,
although I would confirm once again – and that brings me
back to my point of departure – that a person is not always
successful. He is not a perfect instrument and cannot
follow his volition one hundred per cent. That is what I
wish to say about this.

Q. Second question: I understand that in your testimony, in
your examination-in-chief, you said that the last decoration
you received was awarded to you for your action in saving
the ethnic Germans in Romania. That is what I understood
you to testify in examination-in-chief.

A. I do not believe that, because you see the Distinguished
Service Cross, Second Class and First Class, that is a
decoration…the decorations were distributed to the units
by the crate-full.

Q. Very well, I do not wish to ask about the general
guidelines for distribution. I am asking why Himmler
awarded you the decoration First Class with Swords?

A. I was already overdue three months, and should
automatically have received this decoration three months
earlier, as is noted in the notice of promotion with the
second-class award.

Q. My question was meant to ascertain what was the
dereliction of duty which occurred on the Hungarian-Romanian
border, and which you admitted to Mueller. What then was
the dereliction of duty which occurred there?

A. I received a reprimand, a stern reprimand, for not taking
the direct route in the Gross-Nikolsburg area, in order to
start there on the evacuation of ten thousand ethnic
Germans, but instead made a detour to Neu Arad, in order to
evacuate a German Armed Forces field hospital, which had
just been temporarily liberated from Russian troops, and
because I made this small detour, I was reprimanded.

Q. My last question applies to exhibit N/102, which relates
to the Presiding Judge’s question this morning. In exhibit
N/102, Counsel for the Defence showed you a passage from the
Sassen Document, and I would like to complete this passage,
because the next sentence starts with the word “but,” so
that this is not the end of the line of thought.
Consequently I would like you to complete the two sentences
which follow this passage – or, to be accurate, three
sentences – so that they connect up with the passage already
read out by me. Would you please look at the last sentences
on page 27 and the first sentence on page 28, which are the
continuation of the passage about which Counsel for the
Defence was asking. The last words of the quotation about
which you were asked by Counsel for the Defence are: “Now, I
was one of those men who carried out orders without reserve,
in accordance with my oath of loyalty.” And now there is a
sentence with the word “but.” Would you read this out

A. Certainly.

“But I am also one of those people who think things over.
Either I do a job in a plodding fashion, and then I will
definitely not enjoy it, or I do a job if I can understand
the need for it or the meaning of it, and if I enjoy doing
it. Time will just fly by, and that is how it was with the

Q. Thank you.

A. That is in fact true, because when I was in Vienna,
dealing with emigration, the relevant phrase was “or I do a
job if I can understand the need for it or the meaning of
it, and if I enjoy doing it,” and when I went to the Head
Office for Reich Security, the first phrase applied.

Q. Would you please complete this, and read out the passage
which I have already read out.


“When at that time I received orders to proceed like an
infant, without preparation, against the guest of the
host people, I thought this over, and when I recognized
the necessity to do so, I carried out these [orders]
with the degree of fanaticism one expected of oneself
as a National Socialist of long standing, but which my
superiors also without a doubt expected of the person
so ordered.”

Attorney General: So is that correct?

Accused: To the extent that it applies to the period up
to 1939, yes.

Q. So the guest people is the Jewish people, and the host
people are the Germans? Right?

A. Yes.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, do you have any other
questions to the Accused arising from the questions asked
the Accused by the Judges?

Dr. Servatius: No, I have no such questions.

Presiding Judge: So what about the document to which you
referred before, Dr. Servatius?

Dr. Servatius: I must obtain the document from the office.

Presiding Judge: You do not yet have it with you? Is this
not connected with the Accused’s Statement?

Dr. Servatius: It might be connected, because it is a
question of the date on which the conference was held, and
when he was in Berlin. Perhaps I can explain this briefly.

Presiding Judge: Very well, thank you, that is not
necessary. We shall look at it after the recess, after the
document is submitted. Twenty minutes recess.


Presiding Judge: Please proceed, Dr. Servatius.

Dr. Servatius: The document to which I wished to refer
concerns the date on which the Berlin office was taken over.
On the basis of lists drawn up by the Accused, I had drawn
up a specific timetable, which was to be appended to the
closing brief. And here on the first page it says, “Early
October: Eichmann takes over emigration and Berlin,” and
underneath October it says November. In other words, the
words do not appear there, but above there is an “X” and
below it an “XI.” That, then, was the information I had. I
wished to hand this over together with my brief. Perhaps I
could just ask the Accused in this connection whether these
items here are correct. I could submit this timetable now,
but he must look through it once again. That is why I would
find it preferable if, in order to facilitate perusal, this
submission could be presented with the closing brief.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Attorney General, what is your
position? In any case, it is of course impossible without
the Accused saying anything, because apparently this was
prepared by the Accused.

Attorney General: I gather that this was drawn up by Counsel
for the Defence, on the basis of data provided by the
Accused. Therefore, if that is to be part of the brief,
that is in order. Since, according to the Court’s decision,
Dr. Servatius is entitled to submit part of his submissions
in writing, this can be part of his written submissions.
However, if the Accused is to testify about this, he must be
questioned about it in the usual way, and not only on how
the document was drawn up, but in the usual way. If Dr.
Servatius has any questions as the result of the Court’s
questions, then Dr. Servatius can ask them now.

Presiding Judge: Very well. Dr. Servatius, examine the
Accused about what you wish to ask him. Please proceed.
Accused, what you say now in reply to questions from Counsel
for the Defence is also testimony under oath.

Accused: Certainly.

Dr. Servatius: You informed me on questioning, according to
various items of information, that you took over the
Emigration Office in Berlin in October, the beginning of
November. I included this in a timetable, also based on
your notes, and I am now asking you whether this information
was accurate.

Accused: I drew up this timetable at the time when only
the literature was available to me, and after the police
interrogation here. When I later received all the
documents, I had to revise these indications in the
timetable, as well as some others, because I could only
determine them precisely after studying the documents. And
consequently I had to postpone the beginning of my Berlin
activities to December, because I found documents to that
effect from Dr. Loewenherz, and these documents were in fact
very reliable because they were Dr. Loewenherz’ memos,
following discussions with him.

Q. These notes which I have before me –

this presentation for the timetable was completed on 28
March 1961. Is that correct?

A. I do not remember the exact date; in any case I had
drawn up this timetable…I had drawn up two timetables, a
very incomplete one and the more complete one…and I had
drawn up the more complete one after looking through the
literature, but without knowledge of the documents.

Presiding Judge: Again, we wish to know not what the
documents say, but what your memory says. You can of course
refresh your memory on the basis of the documents.
September 1939 was the month in which the World War broke
out. So what does your memory tell you now about your
travelling to, or your transfer to, Berlin?

Accused: When the World War broke out, I was in Prague; I
remember that very clearly. And when the Polish campaign
was over, together with Stahlecker, who was my immediate
superior in Prague, I travelled around the Polish part, and
that is what later resulted in Nisko.

Presiding Judge: And at that time you were already in

Accused: No, I was then still in Prague. Because
Stahlecker was my superior at that time; when I was in
Berlin, Stahlecker was no longer my superior. Now I had had
the feeling – and this is what I keep saying – that it was
in the late autumn of 1939 when I came to Berlin. And it
was only on the basis of the documents that I was able to
fix this late autumn date definitely. Until then it was an
assumption: I knew that there was the Polish campaign, all
of these things were in fact known to me, but I had lost the
connection between the Nisko affair and the Berlin affair.
The Loewenherz memo then gave me a precise dating on this.
But I must make this point once again, again, more

I should just like to give a more precise definition of this
matter. I said that I had drawn up the timetable on the
basis of the literature, without knowledge of the records.
That is correct, insofar as I – or rather incorrect, insofar
as I did have the literature, but I also knew what was
recorded in those documents which I had seen in the
interrogation. And I drew up this timetable when I was
still in Haifa, before I had received the documents, some
sixteen hundred of them, until I was here in Jerusalem.

Presiding Judge: Very well. Anything else in this

Attorney General: I gather, therefore, that the first
timetable was drawn up on the basis of those documents
available to you at that time, and that the second timetable
was drawn up on the basis of all the documents which you
have before you here. Is that correct?

Accused: No, when the…in Jerusalem I did not draw up
any further timetable; it was in Haifa.

Attorney General: The timetable which Counsel for the
Defence is submitting now, have you seen this?

Accused: No.

Presiding Judge: The timetable has not been submitted at all

Attorney General: I should just like to understand the
following: The timetable drawn up by you is not from your
memory, but is based on a reconstruction from documents, is
it not?

Accused: I drew up a handwritten timetable. This is what
I remember.

Attorney General: But did you draw up the timetable on the
basis of a reconstruction from available documents, or did
you draw it up on the basis of what you remembered?

Accused: No, I took both. I took my memory, the
literature and the knowledge, wherever I still remembered,
of those documents presented to me during the interrogation.

Attorney General: In any case not only from memory, correct?

Accused: No, there was no way I could do that.

Attorney General: Very well.

Presiding Judge: All right, Dr. Servatius, is that it?

Dr. Servatius: I have no further questions.

Presiding Judge: With that, Accused, you have concluded your

[The continuation of Session No. 107, which begins the
evidence of Defence witnesses taken abroad, will be found in Volume V]

Last-Modified: 1999/06/14