Session 111-01, Eichmann Adolf

Session No. 111
26 Av 5721 (8 August 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the one hundred and eleventh
Session of the trial open. Mr. Attorney General, pray
continue with your summing up.

Attorney General: May it please the Court, I was dealing
with that chapter of factual evidence relating to criminal
conspiracy, in which I was analysing the Defence evidence on
this subject. The Dutch (lady) advocate van Taalingen-Dols
as a Defence witness, describes Eichmann as Himmler’s
representative, as the person in charge of Jewish affairs in
Europe. She made a note of this in her diary after a visit
to the Head Office for Reich Security, accompanied by one of
the emissaries of the office in Holland, who congratulated
her on her success in securing an interview with his deputy,
Guenther, when she was occupied with the release of
Professor Meyers.

In this connection it is worth while mentioning two
incidents which Eichmann maintains simply occurred one after
the other, but, in their context, the documents that were
written before and the occurrences that happened afterwards,
it would appear that one took place as a result of the

In October 1941, Eichmann reported to Himmler at his
headquarters in Kiev. He says that there he gave him data
about Jewish emigration. On the 23rd of that month, Himmler
gave orders to halt all Jewish emigration from the entire
area under Reich control. Thereafter, the handling of every
individual request, of every case of emigration, was brought
to the attention of Eichmann and of his Section. In order
to strengthen the argument that Himmler himself had to give
the authority in every case of that kind, the statement and
the diary of the Dutch advocate were quoted. But if we look
at the treatment which preceded her handling of the matter,
namely the exchange of correspondence in 1942 on this
matter, in the matter of Professor Meyers, before Mrs. van
Taalingen-Dols entered the scene in order to help Professor
Meyers, with the backing of Dutch public figures, we shall
see that Eichmann rejected the request of Professor Meyers
as a Jewish intellectual, and refused to permit him to
emigrate. And what happened when she intervened? Guenther
promised that Professor Meyers would be transferred to
Theresienstadt, and not to any other place. In other words,
Section IVB4 was authorized to make this promise and to take
this decision without reference to Himmler; that is to say –
the fate of the individual Jew, whether he was to be sent to
Theresienstadt or to the East, whether to the propaganda
camp or to certain death, lay with IVB4. And Mrs. van
Taalingen-Dols goes on to say that she was satisfied with
Guenther’s promise and decided to cancel her approach to
Himmler, since she was afraid that, by doing so, she might
jeopardize even the slight result she had achieved by way of
the promise and the handshake which Guenther had given her
on the matter.

Further Defence evidence was the affidavit of SS Judge
Morgen who, according to his statement, issued a warrant for
arrest against Eichmann, when he came to know of the extent
of his crimes, although the arrest warrant was quickly
cancelled on the intervention of Kaltenbrunner and Mueller,
who explained to Morgen that Eichmann was engaged in
executing a special mission on behalf of the Fuehrer. I
know that Morgen’s evidence was not accepted by the judges
at Nuremberg as reliable in all its aspects. But precisely
those portions of his evidence which did not serve to
mitigate the guilt of the criminal organization for the
defence of which he appeared as a witness, but on the
contrary served to aggravate it and to indicate the
principal instruments for perpetrating the crime – there is
no reason for not believing them.

And as for Defence witness Six – what does he say? The
status of Eichmann was sui generis. He concentrated all
Jewish affairs in his hands. He had broader powers than the
other Heads of Sections. Mueller was chiefly interested in
matters of internal policy and allowed Eichmann freedom of
action in Jewish affairs. And Eichmann acted in accordance
with the most extreme National Socialist concepts.

Thus everyone described him and regarded him as the
representative of the Chief of the Security Police and the
SD in Jewish matters. This is what a member of the German
Foreign Ministry wrote about him, when he discussed with him
the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto. And when Eichmann was
questioned as to what he had to say about that, he replied
under cross-examination: “That was an error committed by
many persons.” He was also described in this way in the
minutes of the meeting at which the destruction of the Lodz
Ghetto was discussed. Once again Eichmann says: “That was a

In an official document of the German Foreign Ministry he is
described as the SS Directorate for Jewish Affairs,
“Reichsfuehrung-SS – Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann.” In the
eyes of the authorities in Denmark he is the Head Office for
Security. This is how they designate him, when they write:
“RSHA – SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann promised to
implement the suggestion as follows …” And when it was
necessary to inform Ribbentrop as to what attitude he should
adopt concerning Jewish affairs in the Italian area of
occupation, von Hahn of the German Foreign Ministry wrote
to him directly in the following terms: “Dear Comrade
Eichmann” (Lieber Parteigenosse Eichmann), and the dear
comrade arranges at once for giving the notices and making
the demands intended directly for the use of the Reich
Minister for Foreign Affairs.

So much for the general description of the role of Eichmann
in the criminal conspiracy to annihilate the Jewish People.
The documents, the oral evidence and even the evidence of
the Defence, all point to that. Here, too, he did not
operate alone. Here, too, he was aided by instruments, by
tools, by services and by people, but he is at the centre of
the scene.

Although the description of the execution of the criminal
conspiracy was on a different level, nevertheless the manner
in which the events were contrived and took place emerges
from his own words in his Statement to the police. When
addressing himself to that meeting on 10 October 1941, where
it was decided to establish Theresienstadt, and to dispatch
tens of thousands of Jews of the Reich to the bloodbath by
the Einsatzgruppen, this is what he said:

“Here everyone played his part as he was required to do
by Heydrich. Heydrich made his statement, and each of
the participants filled in with his own aspects. And
in this way this matter developed by way of an all
round operation” (T/37, p. 3434).

Here is a description in his own words of the conpiracy by
the plotters and the schemers.

In conclusion – a number of observations. The Court will
recollect the prolonged examination about the document on
the margin of which there was a note in Rademacher’s
handwriting about the Jews of Serbia: “Eichmann proposes
killing them by shooting.” The Accused contends that this
is a forgery, since Rademacher wrote those words in order to
provide cover for some unauthorized action which he himself
carried out. If we were to try to believe him for a moment,
this means that it would have been sufficient to mention
Eichmann’s name in the German Foreign Ministry documents, in
order that the murder of Jews would receive sufficient cover
to satisfy everyone connected with the affair. The excuse
is self-defeating for the Accused, no less than the truth
itself. For if we were to believe him, and not Rademacher,
we also have to believe that his status was so important, so
unchallengeable, and his resolve so final, that Rademacher
could make use of the mere mention of his name in order that
an illegal act committed by him would no longer give rise to
queries and problems.

Our version is different. We prefer to believe that it was
indeed Eichmann who proposed as recorded and as Rademacher
testified. After that, Rademacher and Suhr proceeded on
their way, and the bloodbath took place. We thus have
before us the chief of operations for the extermination. Of
course, he had above him a chief of staff, a minister, and
the head of the entire state. He was subject to their
general instructions and directions. The signal to start
the operation came from above, and once it was given, the
demon of destruction took the execution into his hands and
proceeded without fail.

Eichmann’s status and controlling powers as chief of
operations in this undertaking, and his competence to issue
binding orders is explained in another passage from the
Sassen Document which was read out to the Court. It says in
that extract, that he had the right to give orders to all
offices of the Gestapo and to advisers on Jewish affairs in
all foreign countries – to all those who dealt with the
Final Solution and each of the stages of rounding-up and
deportation. And when he was questioned he demurred and
said in his cross-examination that he only had authority to
issue instructions, not to give orders (“nicht Befehle”),
since the officials were members of the Gestapo and not of
the army, and officials are given instructions, while
members of the army receive orders.

Let it be so. I accept this distinction of Eichmann’s. He
merely gave instructions to officials of the Gestapo. But
it was his instructions which were binding on this powerful
administration to perform the work which he headed and co-
ordinated, and the execution of which he planned in all its
details, the work of dispatching people to their death.

This extract from Sassen’s account and the remaining
passages which I submitted, bearing his corrections, were
not disowned by the Accused. He acknowledges that the main
tenor of the statement is accurate – possibly this is not
the way he put it, possibly these were not his actual words,
but the content is correct. This is what he had to say
about this passage – this is what he had to say about other
passages. Hence the content of these passages, which he
confirmed, becomes evidence, not by virtue of the Sassen
Document but by virtue of his admission here in the witness
box. And when he confirmed the accuracy of the contents in
the main, he confessed from his own mouth to his central
role in the enterprise of annihilation and extermination.

In consequence of Eichmann’s central role in the great
criminal conspiracy, from the outbreak of the Second World
War, and even before that, he bears criminal responsibility
for the acts of the murderers, the torturers and the cruel
oppressors, who carried into effect this vile business in
all its manifestations. He was at the centre of the
criminal conspiracy for implementing Hitler’s orders. And
if Defence Counsel should argue: “How can an
Obersturmbannfuehrer join in a criminal conspiracy with
officers senior to him in rank, with Heydrich, with
Kaltenbrunner, with Himmler?” – the answer is that when the
order is an illegal one, there are no distinctions of rank
and no importance attaches to rank, but there is a gang of
murderers who joined together in order to carry out a
criminal deed. And the second answer is that, at the stage
when the plan is being put into effect, Eichmann stands at
the centre of the conspiracy, and therefore he bears
criminal responsibility for the results of this conspiracy
in all its stages and in all its manifestations, up to the
last of the gunmen of the Einsatzgruppen in Nikolayev and in
Smolensk, and wherever else. He is responsible for the
actions of the Operations Units, to whom he sent “only”
fifty thousand Jews; he is responsible, in consequence of
the evil design, for everything that happened to the Jewish
People, from the shores of the Arctic Ocean to the Aegean
Sea, from the Pyrenees to the Urals; but his criminal
responsibility for the oppression, the persecutions, the
starvation, the pillage and the murder flows from a legal
principle, very close to that of criminal conspiracy, and
that is the principle of partnership in the commission of an

Partnership in crime has several aspects – as the matter is
defined in Section 23 of our Criminal Law Ordinance, which
is based in this respect on the principles of the Common Law
in the Anglo-Saxon world. A person can become a partner in
crime by procuring, counselling or ordering another to
commit an offence; a person can become a partner to a crime
by performing an act which enables, assists or facilitates
the offence; a person can become a partner to a crime by
knowing in advance that a crime is about to be committed and
by giving assistance beforehand or at the time of
commission, or even after the event, by camouflaging or
covering up the tracks.

Let us take, as an example, the orders which he brought to
Globocnik, and let us even go along with his version and his
way of pleading. If Globocnik can rely on Eichmann
providing him, after the event, with sufficient cover for
exterminating a quarter of a million Jews each time, then
Eichmann becomes a partner by actively assisting and
counselling the whole of Globocnik’s action. Globocnik will
be able to bring about “Operation Reinhardt,” knowing that
Eichmann will give him the necessary cover from Berlin – and
not once, but three times.

Here, too, in matters concerning partnership in crime as in
the rules of criminal conspiracy, it will be necessary to
rely on the legal principles which were discussed in the
trials of persons who have become accessories to murder, to
robbery, or in a single cycle of criminal acts. But, as I
have already mentioned, the validity of the legal principle
for the purpose of establishing criminal liability applies
in the same measure to the big criminal who deals with
millions of persons, and to the offender whom we know from
the ordinary criminal court, who is charged with one crime
only. In the Arousi judgment* {*Judgments of the Israeli
Supreme Court (in Hebrew), Vol. 9, p. 576, 582} it says (on
page 11 of our booklet): “Whoever induces another to go to
another place, knowing that he will be murdered there for
the sake of robbery, is a partner and accessory to the act
of murder, even if his own action was limited merely to that
of inducement or enticement.”

According to the precedent of the Menkes case,* {*Judgments
of the Israel Supreme Court, Vol. 12, p. 1905, 1915}
assistance after the fact to a murderer, which takes the
form of transporting the murderer from the place of the
crime, in accordance with a plan that was drawn up in
advance between the murderer and the person providing the
transportation, converts the transporter into a partner to
the crime of murder. This is what the Supreme Court said
(page 12 of this booklet):

“And even if we assume that it had been agreed between
the partners that Shemer’s active role would be only to
convey Eckstein from the scene of the crime, this act
must not be regarded as an act of complicity after the
fact only, but this act would perhaps fall within the
definition of Section 26, had the plan not been made in
advance between the person who actually committed the
crime and the one who transported him from the scene.
We have accordingly dismissed Shemer’s appeal.”

That is to say, a transport official who arranges timetables
for transports and trains knowing that the journey is
towards death – he, too, actively assists in the performance
of the murder.

All the more then, anyone who is engaged in organizing
trains, who makes the arrangements for rounding-up, who
performs all the acts without which the victims could not
have reached the fields of slaughter, and even a person who
supplies the information which is required by criminals in
order to commit their crime, as, for example, a person who
guides robbers with information he has acquired about the
victim, about the best ways of carrying out a criminal act
against life or property – he, too, is an active
collaborator. This is the crime of the person having
practical experience or, to call the Accused as he was
called by his superiors, “ein erfahrener Praktiker.” This
is what was laid down in the judgment in the Weiss case*
{*Judgments of the Israel Supreme Court, Vol. 14, p. 1664,
1665} on the same page:

“The appellant was a partner to the criminal plan in
that, before the attempt at robbery was carried out, he
met the other three plotters, passed on to them his
knowledge concerning the habits of the bank officials
in connection with conveying monies there, and agreed
with them to divide the spoils after the robbery had
been carried out…. In our opinion the aforementioned
confession of the appellant suffices to justify the
prosecution’s view that he fulfilled the role of a
partner before the act in regard to the attempt at

A person acting within a military framework who receives
orders from above to kill others, and who passes on the
orders in the chain of command to others – he, too, is
guilty in counselling the commission of the crime, that is
to say as an accomplice who is liable to punishment exactly
as the principal offender, even if he was sitting at home
when those who received the instructions were performing the
acts of bloodshed.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/14