Session 108-03, Eichmann Adolf

Presiding Judge: Which page, Dr. Servatius?

Dr. Servatius: It is marked 178, Serbia.

“On 8 December 1941, a telegram from Belgrade signed
Veesenmayer and Benzler reached the Foreign Ministry.
It indicated that, as could be proved, Jews had been
identified as having been involved in many cases of
sabotage and acts of insurrection, and it was therefore
urgently necessary to proceed expeditiously to secure
and remove at least all male Jews. It was proposed
that they be removed from the country down the Danube,
so as to move them to Romanian territory. The Foreign
Ministry decided that this could not be carried out,
and Luther informed the Ambassador in Belgrade
accordingly. On 10 September, Veesenmayer and Benzler
again telegraphed the Foreign Ministry that `a speedy
and draconian settlement of the Serbian Jewish Question
was an urgent and expedient necessity.’ And he asked
for instructions from the Foreign Ministry, in order to
be able to make an extremely forceful approach to the
military commander of Serbia. An order to the same
effect from Himmler to the Chief of the Operations
Group of the Security Police, and to Fuchs of the
Security Service would considerably further the matter.
“Finally, Rademacher was sent to Belgrade to ascertain
whether these Jews could not be disposed of on the
spot. He ascertained that over two thousand Jews had
already been shot in reprisals for attacks on German
soldiers and stated, `in execution of this order, first
the active Communist leaders of Serbian nationality –
some fifty in number – and then continuously, Jews as
Communist agitators have been shot.’ Right from the
outset the figure was not eight thousand Jews, but only
four thousand. Of these, only 3500 can be shot, as the
others are needed by the Security Police, in order to
maintain the health and security services in the
ghettos, which are to be set up.

“As a result of Rademacher’s negotiations with the
experts in Jewish matters, Standartenfuehrer Fuchs and
Sturmbannfuehrer Weinmann, it was agreed that the male
Jews should be shot by the end of the week, thus
solving the problem, while the remainder, some twenty
thousand Jews – women, children and the elderly – as
well as the remainder of the fifteen hundred Gypsies
left – after shooting the men – was to be concentrated
in the Gypsy quarter which is to be set up as a ghetto,
and makeshift arrangements could be made for providing
food during the winter.

“Then, as soon as the technical possibility existed
under the overall solution of the Jewish Question, the
Jews should be deported by water to reception camps in
the East. In this way the `speedy and draconian
settlement’ referred to by Veesenmayer and Benzler
became a fait accompli.”

Attorney General: The Court has presumably observed that
what Counsel for the Defence is doing now is generally
speaking not allowed; by reading out this material he is
contradicting statements by his own witness. We have not
objected to this because we believe that what the judgment
says about Veesenmayer’s involvement in the criminal
conspiracy against the Jews is true. But in order to avoid
giving an incorrect impression, and also in order to avoid
creating any unfounded precedent, I considered it my duty to
make this observation.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I believe that I can, in fact,
attack my own witness if he obviously shows himself to be a
hostile witness, as is obviously the case here, where he
does not remember his head office, and the Court rules that
he has lied on oath in giving testimony.

Presiding Judge: We have heard the remarks of both sides; I
do not consider it necessary at this stage for the Court to
react or comment. Please proceed.

Dr. Servatius: There are two more depositions.

Presiding Judge: I think there are more, Dr. Servatius,
there are still von dem Bach-Zelewski and Kappler, Slawik.

Dr. Servatius: I have not yet received Slawik’s deposition.

Presiding Judge: We have had it for some time, and I gave
instructions for it to be passed on to you. Mr. Bodenheimer
remembers that Mr. Wechtenbruch received the deposition.

Dr. Servatius: It is possible that this is an oversight on
the part of my office; I have not yet seen it.

Presiding Judge: Very well, in the meanwhile let us continue
with those depositions which you do have.

Dr. Servatius: This is the deposition by Bach-Zelewski of
25 May 1961 before the Nuremberg Court of First Instance.
On page 2 it says:

“Until the beginning of this trial (at Nuremberg) I
always assumed, on the basis of what I was told by
Ohlendorf, with whom I shared a cell for a considerable
time at Nuremberg, that the name Eichmann was

Judge Halevi: Dr. Servatius, you said, “until the beginning
of this trial I assumed” – you said that this was the
Nuremberg Trial. I understood that this was the Eichmann

Dr. Servatius: Yes, here it should be “this trial.” At the
bottom of page 3,(3)to (6):

“Because of my position, I received information about
the activity of the Operations Units. Where these
Operations Units carried out military duties, such as
intercepting enemy news, in my Department, just like
other parts of the Wehrmacht, I worked together with
the Operations Units.

“At that time, I also heard of illegal activity on the
part of these Operations Units. I believe that all
generals in the East knew about this. By illegal
activity, I mean shootings by the Operations Units,
which took place without any basis in law. I was not
informed as to the complete extent of this activity.
Only after the end of the War I became aware of that.
I should also like to stress that both the Generals and
I did not approve of this illegal activity and were
critical of it.

“As far as I know, for supply purposes the Operations
Units were subordinate to the Army Groups or Armies.
From conversations I had with Nebe and his successor
Naumann, when I met them in Russia – both of whom led
Operations Units – I got to know that they received
their operational orders directly from the Head Office
for Reich Security. I do not know any details as to
how the orders were transmitted, nor do I know any
details about the actual orders. At the time I
understood the assignment of the Operations Units to be
the liquidation of underground movements and the
extermination of Jews.”

On the same page, at the bottom, (7) to (9):

“I did not know that the Operations Units were also
required to exterminate Gypsies and political
prisoners. The order for extermination was given –
according to what I was told by Nebe and Naumann – by
the Head Office for Reich Security. I do not know
which Department in the Head Office for Reich Security
issued the orders, and cannot, therefore, give any
names. In any case, in their conversations with me,
Nebe and Naumann did not mention the name Eichmann.
Neither do I remember any other names. However, I do
remember that Nebe and Naumann mentioned the name
Heydrich, who was Chief of the Head Office for Reich
Security at the time.”

On page six, concerning (15):

“As far as I know, Higher SS and Police Leaders never
received orders directly from the Head Office for Reich
Security. In any case, I myself never received such an
order. The only possibility might have been for the
Head Office for Reich Security to have issued an order
to a Senior Commander of the Security Police and the
Security Service, and that order was then brought to
the attention of the Higher SS and Police Leader by the
commander on the staff. In formal terms, there was a
possibility of the Higher SS and Police Leader
obtaining a decision directly from Himmler in such a

At the bottom of page 11:

“I have already said that I did not know Eichmann and
also did not know of the existence of his Section until
the end of the War. I am therefore also unable to say
anything about visits, special assignments, and receipt
of orders.”

Page 14, the end of the examination:

“After the end of the War, I spent a long time in
prison in Nuremberg together with Ohlendorf. He told
me that Heydrich assigned him to an Operations Unit, in
revenge for a memorandum written earlier by Ohlendorf
which Heydrich had not liked. Ohlendorf told me that
the orders for the Operations Unit had already been
received before he joined it. In his talks with me,
Ohlendorf never incriminated Mueller and never
mentioned the name Eichmann.”

Presiding Judge: Thank you very much. Now the passages to
which the Attorney General wishes to draw attention.

Interpreter: On page 4, in the middle. This has already
been read out. Now on page 5:

“As to (10) to (11): I do not know to whom the activity
reports of the Operations Units were distributed,” and
further down: “I myself do not know whether Eichmann
was on the circulation list. If this was the case, I
consider that this underlines the importance of his

On page 8, fourth line from the top:

“Himmler himself selected people for particular
assignments, according to circumstances. In this,
official rank played no role; it was the official
function which counted.”

Page 12:

“When it came to selection and filling posts and
allocating important assignments, a vital role was
played by Himmler’s personal inclinations and the
candidate’s personal suitability and ideological
stance.” The rest of the material marked has already
been read out.

Presiding Judge: No.


“There was a possibility of avoiding an assignment by
applying for a transfer. In a particular case this
might have led to some disciplinary action. However,
this certainly did not include any risk to one’s life.”

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, we still have Kappler. I
have marked Bach-Zelewski’s deposition XIV. Kappler’s is in
Italian. We have a Hebrew translation.

Dr. Servatius: I have received a German translation of the
Hebrew text.

Dr. Servatius: Kappler’s deposition of 27 June 1961, it
says here before the Court of Appeal of Rome.

On page 1, the witness says the following on point 3:

“I cannot say exactly what my rank in the SS was in
October 1943. However, I do remember that I received,
some time before the round-up of the Jews of Rome, a
notification by telephone informing me, among other
things, that I had been promoted to
Obersturmbannfuehrer. In that same telephone message I
was urged to prepare the round-up. I do not remember
from whom I first received the order to proceed with
the round-up and the deportation of the Jews of Rome,
but I remember well that I never received an order to
seize and deport a specific number of Jews. There was
reference only to `the Jews of Rome.’ My vague
recollection of these details is due to the fact that
there was a very frequent exchange of instructions,
orders and enquiries from the different offices
regarding this operation. The large number of
notifications and clarifications was caused chiefly by
objections that I myself raised.”

On page 2, I pass over a paragraph, and then it reads:

“On the other hand, I do remember well that the
contacts proceeded between myself and the central
offices, and I remember particularly a telegram signed
by Himmler, in which the need was stressed to solve the
Jewish Question also in the city of Rome.”

I pass over seven to eight lines:

“I remember that at that time an SS captain came to my
office and introduced himself as Dannecker, and
presented an authorization to carry out the round-up of
the Jews. This authorization gave him full powers, and
instructed the local police commanders to give
Dannecker every assistance he required for this
operation. The power and authority for a search
operation against Jews (and not only in Rome, since the
authorization was not restricted in any way) was signed
by SS General Mueller.

“Finally, I remember that I received a telephone
message from someone attached to Himmler’s General
Staff. This announcement came directly from
headquarters, which at that time used a cover name – I
do not remember the name – but anyhow, it was located
in East Prussia, near Rastenburg. In that telephone
message – the same message which I spoke about
previously – he informed me that I was being promoted,
and I was told that the Reichsfuehrer-SS, Himmler, was
urging me to decide, once and for all, to carry out the
round-up of the Jews.”

I now pass over two pages and come to page 5 in my version,
the additional questions from the Defence Attorney of the
Accused. It says the following:

“1. I reject the version that the orders for the
operations against the Jews of Rome were given by
General Wolff. As for the telegram sent on 17 October
1943 from my office, I repeat: That telegram was sent
not to General Wolff, but to Group VI/E, since radio-
telegraph communication from the transmitter in my
office was possible, at that time, only with the radio
station of that Department. In fact, Department VI/E
was the communications centre of the Head Office for
Reich Security. As for the rest, I refer to what I
stated when I answered question No. 9 put to me by the
Counsel for the Accused.

“2. I am unable to respond to this question, because I
heard the name Adolf Eichmann only after the year 1945;
I learned this name from the press. I reject the
possibility that mail and orders concerning Jews which
reached my office bore the signature of Eichmann. I am
certain of what I am saying, because I had occasion to
send proposals and counter-proposals to all those who
had sent me instructions and reminders concerning the
Jewish Question. Therefore, I would certainly remember
the name Eichmann, if I had had any previous knowledge
of it.

“3. I have already answered this question. General
Harster was Head of the Security Police in Italy.”

I now proceed to point 30, page 8 in my copy.

“The operations against the Jews which took place after
the round-up of 17 October were authorized by the
circular which I mentioned above, and which, as I have
noted, provided for the arrest of the Jews by the
Italian police, by civilians, and by whoever wished to
help in their capture. I received this circular
through the normal office channels, but I do not
remember who signed it. This circular referred to
Italy only, and it made it quite clear that there were
agreements in force between the two governments. I
remember that Questore (Head of Police) of Rome, whom I
summoned to my office to ask him what concern of his
was it, and what right he had to engage in the hunt for
Jews, thus also violating extraterritorial areas
(meaning the Vatican enclave), replied that he could do
nothing, because these were the orders which he had

That is everything I wished to read out from the document.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Attorney General.

Attorney General: One passage which we marked has already
been read out. I believe there are two more short passages,
at the end of paragraph No. 9. I have the German version
before me, the same version from which Counsel for the
Defence read.


“There is very little that I can say about the manner
of the round-up, or the final destination chosen for
the Jews who were seized. The operation was organized
and carried out by Captain Dannecker, who, as I have
stated, arrived in Rome with a dozen persons, equipped
with full powers from Mueller.”

Presiding Judge: Anything else?

Attorney General: In the following passage marked by us, we
directed the witness’ attention to a telegram. The question
is simply whether the telegram or a copy thereof was

Presiding Judge: A telegram of what date?

Attorney General: The telegram reached us so late that we
asked for another questionnaire. In the translation the
telegram is called an “express letter.”

Last-Modified: 1999/06/14