Session 110-05, Eichmann Adolf

[Attorney General, Continued]

The German Court in Ulm, whose lengthy and detailed judgment
I submitted when presenting my preliminary argument, follows
the ruling of the German Supreme Courts, which no longer
recognize duress as a legal defence, as was laid down in
various trials, and I shall quote only from the Ulm judgment
(p. 467):

“Whoever served, as the accused did, for a period of
years in the Gestapo and the SD during the time of the
National Socialist regime, cannot be absolved of
criminal liability simply because of a claim that he
was in danger of life and limb, if he refused to go on
participating in the criminal acts.”

And perhaps I may be permitted to submit, without quoting, a
judgment of the German Supreme Court on belonging to the
RSHA, and acts that were committed as a result therefrom.

Presiding Judge: Is there only one copy of this?

Attorney General: We have only one copy.

Presiding Judge: This is headed: “The matter of Krause and
others.” Which court was it?

Attorney General: This is the German Supreme Court (B.G.H.).

Presiding Judge: Has Dr. Servatius seen it?

Attorney General: We have not shown him these authorities,
but if the Court wishes…

Presiding Judge: I shall mark this with my initials and
meanwhile will pass it on to Dr. Servatius.

Attorney General: I can hand over to Dr. Servatius the
appropriate passages upon which I shall mainly rely.

Presiding Judge: Very well. I shall pass this on to Dr.
Servatius and he can return the judgment to us when
presenting his final argument.

Attorney General: In view of the legal principles of
conspiracy, three questions have accordingly to be asked:
What was the criminal conspiracy? What was done to execute
it? What was the role of Adolf Eichmann in this evil design?

The desire to cast the Jews out of Europe became transformed
in 1940 into consideration of the Madagascar Plan. I should
not have devoted special attention to it here, had it not
been for the fact that the Accused wanted to rely on this
plan, and to point to it also as his personal attempt to
seek a positive solution, as it were, to the Jewish Question
and to provide, as he expressed it, ground beneath the feet
of the Jews.

Already in Vienna, as we learned from a document, these
matters were weighed in his office. Already at that time he
planned, in fact, annihilation by means of emigration to
Madagascar. One may believe that the “Stuermer” and no other
source provided the inspiration for this plan. Incidentally,
I have studied Adolf Boehm’s book and could not find in it
any trance of the Madagascar idea. And it must be remembered
that we have to judge Eichmann, the planner of concentrating
the Jews in Madagascar, not in the light of what occurred
subsequently, and not in the light of the possible physical
extermination which was not yet being discussed at that
time, but in the light of the actual circumstances prior to
the War and prior to the order for physical extermination.

The plan took its final shape during the War. Eichmann
admitted that it had been devised and passed on by his
Section after consultations and discussions with other
authorities. Under this plan all the local inhabitants of
Madagascar, about four million persons were to be uprooted,
to be removed and deported from there, and in their stead
the Jews were to be settled on that island, the main
advantage of which was, according to what was specifically
stated, that its occupants would be prohibited from coming
into any contact – even business contacts – with other
nations. There they would be living under the control of the
Gestapo and would never achieve any independence. They
planned to dump a million Jews there each year. Whoever
studies this atrocious plan which originated with him, will
come to the conclusion that its principal objective was to
take control of the Jews, to throw them out of Europe, and
to transport them to a country of exile, a country in which
they would be isolated from the world. Whether the Jews
succeeded in surviving there, or not – that did not matter,
that Eichmann did not take into consideration.

He was questioned about the plan. The Court will find his
replies on the subject. From the point of view of its
cruelty and lack of consideration for human life, its being
pervaded with hatred of Jews, its being drawn up in total
disregard for the inhabitants of the island of Madagascar
themselves and for the Jews destined to be deported there –
it was not much better than a plan for actual extermination.
Whoever was capable of preparing such a plan, recommending
it and striving for its implementation – would not find it
too difficult to move to the next stage of the criminal
plot. But it was impertinent and insolent to mention this
plot in the same breath as Herzl and the Zionist movement.
Possibly Eichmann was incensed that his schemes were not
adopted. Possibly he expected that his name would be linked,
as it had been linked at the ministerial meeting of 12
November 1938, with the practical solution of getting rid of
the Jews – the aim which a veteran National Socialist should
obviously have aspired to achieve. Possibly he toyed with
the idea that if his programme were to be implemented, he –
and not Heydrich – would be the Supreme Commissioner for
Jewish Affairs.

At any rate,instead of Madagascar, there came the
extermination plan. Eichmann admits that he knew about it
already from its early stages, in the summer of 1941, and
that he had an active role in its realization. As I have
said, he tried to persuade the Court with all his might,
that it was only through lack of an alternative and because
he could not free himself, that he had to become engaged in
this activity. Although, as I have said, it makes no
difference, as regards his being found guilty, whether a
murderer acts out of an eager lust for blood or out of
“pessimism,” as Eichmann portrayed his mental condition
regarding the Final Solution. But for the purpose of
assessing the man, of considering his testimony and
evaluating the personality which he tried to present for
himself, for understanding the group of his collaborators
and their assistants who carried out the numerous works,
there is some importance also in this enquiry. The truth
came out as it emerged from a particular passage from his
conversation with Sassen, about which he was questioned
twice. This is what Eichmann said to Sassen:

“And this is what happened with the Jews when I, at
that time was given the task without being ready for
it, just like a baby, to act against the quest of the
host people. I gave my thought to the matter, and when
I came to recognize the necessity, I implemented it
with the same fanaticism which a man would expect of
himself as a veteran National Socialist, and which the
superiors of the man who had been assigned to this task
undoubtedly expected of him. And there was no doubt
that they regarded me as the right man.”

“…And this is what I say today, in 1957, to my own
detriment. I could also have made matters more simple
for myself. I could have said: This was an order which
I had to fulfil as a result of my oath of loyalty and
in my case I wore blinkers like a horse. No – that is
cheap nonsense; that is an easy excuse, for which I
cannot bear responsibility before my inner conscience.
Therefore, I must declare expressly that, after
carrying out my initial orders blindly and without
thinking, I tried later on to get to the substance of
the matter. For Fate endowed me with a spiritual
horizon which apparently fitted me for the job.”*
{*Sassen Document, tape 3, p. 28}

When I first asked him whether he had uttered these words,
he vehemently denied it, and said it was totally out of the
question that he could have said it. Evidently there had
been distortions and forgeries here. But his counsel also
read out to him a passage from the Sassen Document, a
passage actually preceding these words, and in re-
examination the Accused replied that he had indeed said the
words as they were recorded there and that, in fact, they
were correct. After he had been questioned by the Court, the
Court allowed me to ask him, once again, about the
continuation of the quotation. The Court will find his reply
on pages 16 and 17 of Session No. 107 [Volume IV, p. xxxx].
The Accused first read the following statement recorded as
having been made by him (and I quote):

“But I am the kind of man who thinks his thoughts. I
can carry out work blindly, and then I do so without
any joy. But when I recognize the necessity and the
reason for it – then I perform the work gladly and

When questioned, he replied that he had, in fact, said this
and that he had been telling the truth, but that the remarks
applied to his work in Vienna. And then I asked him to read
out the continuation of his remarks, those very words which
he had absolutely denied in the cross-examination. This was
the continuation of the quotation that Defence Counsel had
read to him, and which he confirmed. This time, in reply to
my questions, he admitted that he had uttered these words as
well, and that they too, were correct, but that they also
applied, so he maintained, to the first period of his
activity. However, when he was further asked who were the
“guest people” against whom he was supposed to act, he
replied “the Jews,” and he admitted that the “host” who had
to be freed of the Jews was Europe.

Throwing out the Jews from Europe – this Adolf Eichmann
carried out, to use his own words, “gladly and
imaginatively.” Do we need any further evidence of his
mental state, of his intentions, of his total identification
with the evil design?

It is sufficient to peruse the whole quotation from the
Sassen Document, as it was read to him for the first time,
for it to become immediately clear that all these words
actually referred to the period in which he was engaged in
the out-and-out extermination. The Court should please
examine the quotation. It is in the record. Eichmann appears
to his superiors as the right man. He operated – not
blindly, not without thinking his thoughts, but voluntarily
and with complete self-dedication. After examination he
acknowledged the accuracy of another quotation from the same

“I was not an ordinary recipient of orders. If I had
been so, I would have been an idiot. I was thinking
while carrying them out. After all, I was an idealist.”

The Devil also claims to be an idealist.

Rudolf Hoess writes in his autobiography that he tried more
than once to understand Eichmann’s nature, and to assess his
spiritual make-up. According to him, Eichmann manifested an
extreme fanaticism for the destruction of every Jew, and he
convinced Hoess, the commandant of Auschwitz, that any
compromise would recoil upon them in the future. Hoess, the
direct murderer of millions, testifies about himself, saying
that his conversations with Eichmann gave him the mental
encouragement to continue with this awesome task and helped
him to overcome his own doubts and hesitations.

The two of them were friends. Eichmann acknowledged that in
Court. He went further and admitted, under cross-
examination, that Hoess was the epitome of exactness and
meticulousness and that he had no reason to lie, to diminish
the responsibility of others and inculpate Eichmann instead.
With less enthusiasm, which can certainly be ascribed to the
fact that, this time, he was speaking to an Israeli
interrogator, Eichmann, when being questioned by
Superintendent Less, in response to a statement by Wisliceny
who accused him, Eichmann, personally of playing a decisive
role in the disaster which overtook the Jews of Europe, said
the following: (T/37 page 2525)

“I belong to that category of people, as I have already
stated, who did not say in 1945, or up to this day `I
was always against it,’ and who were seeking, through a
cheap excuse such as this, to escape the hangman’s
noose. That would not be correct; I had no such
thoughts. Such an idea would be unbecoming. I am not
able to say today – to justify myself – that I was
against it.”

We have thus obtained from Eichmann himself, in an
interrogation in Israel as well, an admission that he had no
moral objection to the execution of his duty, and in talking
to Sassen, he added that he had perpetrated these monstrous
deeds with feelings of joy and satisfaction.

But, even without these admissions of his, and even if we
did not possess abundant evidence of his fanatical attitude
and approach to the execution of his task, and if all we
knew about him was that he had been appointed to the post of
Head of the Section of Jewish Affairs in the Gestapo, after
Heydrich had prepared the massacre of the Jews in September,
1939, and after Heydrich certainly knew what would be the
duties of the Head of that Section, we must of necessity say
that Heydrich selected the right man for the job. And we
must remember this: In the chart showing the division of
authority in the Head Office for Reich Security he was the
sole Section Head who was in charge of all Jewish affairs.
You will look in vain amongst the executive section of
Heydrich and Kaltenbrunner for a Section comparable in its
scope and description to Juden-Angelegenheiten, that is to
say “Jewish Affairs.”

In what were those dealing with the Jews in the Third Reich
engaged in from the beginning of the War onwards? What were
their Juden-Angelegenheiten? We know: they were engaged in
annihilating and exterminating the Jews.

Accordingly, I say that if all we knew about him were that
he was the Gestapo man for Jewish Affairs, that there was
the enormous campaign of extermination, and that the Gestapo
handled it, and irrespective of all the other evidence of
his role in the criminal design, a very weighty presumption
would have arisen to the effect that he was at the centre of
the evil-doing.

But we know more about him – much more. We know, for
example, that he remained in his post at the nerve centre of
the Final Solution for a period of five years. He was
neither transferred nor replaced. We also know that this
work involved a continuous struggle, initiative and tactics
which required the utmost ruthlessness, toughness and
cunning. Is it not absolutely clear that his superiors saw
him as being the right man in the right place? Is it not
clear that, had he voiced some moral or personal reservation
in respect of the task which had been allotted him, it would
have become necessary to replace him? Even with the
technological means which Nazi Germany placed at Eichmann’s
disposal for the task of extermination, it was a tremendous
undertaking of abomination to accomplish the destruction of
millions, to set the huge machinery in motion, to obtain
the means, the men and the instruments for implementation –
and all this under conditions of total war, while contriving
the ruses, the craftiness and the required methods.

But there is also abundant evidence to establish that he
laboured fanatically and relentlessly to achieve his
purpose. His object was the annihilation of Jewry. He
believed that by striking at the Jews of Europe he would
cause death-blows to the whole of Jewry, as he expressed
himself to Wisliceny.

“The core of the biological strength of the Jewish
People lay with the Jews of Poland. They have been
exterminated to the last man. Jewry will never recover
from this blow.”

These words, as spoken by Eichmann, were recorded in the
summer of 1944, in Budapest.

To the heart-breaking grief of the Jewish People, whose
wound will bleed for generations, and to the everlasting
disgrace of the murderers and to the shame of the generation
which stood by, not moving or stirring, while a people was
murdered – the deed was in fact accomplished. At least six
million Jews were destroyed and are no more. This is what
Professor Salo Baron testified, after examining all the
historical sources. He also made a historical and
sociological analysis of the nature of the Jewish
communities that were doomed to destruction and his
conclusion was: They were the heart of the nation. The
horrific counsel to destroy them – and thus to achieve the
annihilation of the entire Jewish People – was not without
foundation. It was designed to destroy the people to the
last man.

As for this number of victims, there is also other evidence.
Grell’s testimony in this trial confirms what he stated in
his affidavit. Eichmann admitted to Grell in Hungary that he
had six million victims on his conscience. That same number
of six million Jews who had been liquidated Hoettl had heard
from Eichmann.

Eichmann himself quotes his own words in his statement to
the police and describes how, on the verge of the downfall,
he addressed his officers. He says he spoke of five million
Jews. Afterwards he went on to say – and I quote him from

“I am not a statistician. I worked this out by rough
calculation and said to myself that approximately six
million had been killed.”

If we add up the number of persons exterminated by the
Operations Units and of the victims of the death camps,
including Auschwitz, according to the evidence of Hoess and
the Polish reports – we reach a much larger figure.

In reply to questions from the Court, Eichmann said, in
connection with the famous transaction “blood for goods,”
that in 1944 he thought that of the total number of European
Jewry there remained alive between 800,000 to one and a half
million Jews. An analysis of these figures leads to a result
far exceeding six million victims.

The Jewish underground in Poland, in its pamphlet “Voice
from the Depths” in 1944, that is to say before the
destruction of Hungarian Jewry, and before the extermination
of hundreds of thousands of others who had still survived,
also arrived at a figure of five million victims of the

Presiding Judge: Incidentally, I believe that, so far, we
have not received a translation of this pamphlet – if I am
not mistaken. Would you kindly make a note of that?

Attorney General: It is T/256.

This, then is the blood harvest that has no parallel
throughout mankind’s history on earth, in its extent,
cruelty and the methods of execution.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/14