Session 112-01, Eichmann Adolf

Session No. 112
27 Av 5721 (9 August 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the one hundred and twelfth
Session of the trial open. The Attorney General will
continue his summing-up.

Attorney General: With the permission of the Court, I shall
now proceed to the evidence attesting that Adolf Eichmann
had both ties to, and control over – whether indirectly or
directly – the concentration and death camps. The camp
known as the Terezin Ghetto served as a “propaganda camp”
towards the outside world, and this is how it was called in
the documents: “Propagandalager.” In the Reich proper, the
Nazis did not herd the Jews into the ghettos as they did in
eastern Europe, but removed them from their homes and
deported them to Terezin, to Lodz, and to the death camps of
Nebe and Rasch.

This is the place to emphasize that Terezin was never under
the control of the Economic-Administrative Head Office.
Formally speaking, it was subordinated to the Commander of
the Security Police in Prague, and the work of the camp was
financed by the Emigration Fund, which came from Jewish
money. The actual administration of Terezin was in the
hands of the Central Office for the Solution of the Jewish
Question in Bohemia and Moravia, which was under Hans
Guenther, that is to say, subject to instructions from Adolf
Eichmann. Eichmann’s absolute control over the arrangements
in this ghetto found expression in his own words, in the
course of his police interrogation.

“And then things happened in such a way that I was
ordered to set up a Jewish police force down there,
composed of one hundred and fifty persons, as I seem to
be able to recall, or a force of two hundred persons,
so that they could take care of their own affairs down
there. And then this happened, but how it happened I
don’t remember any more; there came an order from
Himmler that he wanted to convert Theresienstadt into a
ghetto for old people, that is to say, for a purpose of
which basically nobody had thought before…nobody had
thought before.”

As for his absolute control in giving his directives to the
residents of the ghetto – for the violation of which there
was the death penalty, which was in fact imposed and carried
out numerous times – that has been testified to by Seidel
and Rahm, who had been in charge of that camp. Seidel was a
member of his own unit, Rahm was the deputy of Hans

Himmler wanted to keep this ghetto in existence for the
purpose of the great camouflage, whereas Eichmann dealt with
it as he dealt with all other ghettos, and wanted to
liquidate its residents. This difference of opinion was
pointed out by the representative of the International Red
Cross in the report he submitted on this matter towards the
end of the War, and which was published in Geneva in June
1946. He wrote that while Himmler was considering, in April
1945, on the verge of Germany’s defeat, more humane methods
of dealing with the Jews, Eichmann was not personally in
agreement with this point of view, but as a good soldier he
was going to obey the instructions of the Reichsfuehrer.
Also at the last meeting between the Accused and Himmler –
of which we know from the Accused himself – the matter of
Terezin was discussed, when Himmler informed him that, since
he intended to conduct negotiations with Eisenhower, he
wanted, therefore, to transfer immediately a hundred or two
hundred Jews from that camp to Tyrol, in order to spare
their lives, and in order that Himmler appear as a more
decent and more respectable person in the eyes of the
American commander. At that time, Wolff, Himmler’s chief
assistant, was in contact with the Allied armed forces, with
the aim of arranging for the surrender of Germany on that

Eichmann also dealt with the dispatch of Jews from Terezin
to Auschwitz. The last “selections” carried out there, as
we know from the witness Oppenheimer, took place in the
autumn months of 1944. Eichmann was known to all residents
of the camp. The witness Diamant reported about a certain
selection with the personal participation of Eichmann. The
Defence Counsel examined the witness with the aim of proving
that Eichmann was at that time in Hungary, and therefore
could not have been at Terezin at one and the same time
while being in Hungary. However, we also know from the
testimony of the Accused himself, that during the period of
his activity in Hungary he would travel to Berlin, from time
to time, and that there were breaks in his stay in Hungary.
There is, therefore, no contrast and no contradiction
between those two, and the Court is asked to find that the
witness Diamant spoke the truth.

Terezin seems to have been the place chosen by Eichmann for
the final liquidation of the remnant of Jewry, after the
death factory of Auschwitz had already fallen to the Soviet
army. For that reason, in January and February 1945, those
Jews from the Reich who had been living in mixed marriages,
were transferred to Terezin; for that reason, apparently,
Mrs. Salzberger was sent there, after being interrogated by
Eichmann, and we have heard direct testimony about the
preparations in this matter from Adolf Engelstein.
Wisliceny also spoke about the same subject.

As for Bergen-Belsen, we know that Eichmann ordered that
Jews with Argentinian citizenship be sent there, and that a
general order of detention over his signature, was
dispatched to all police stations. Complaints about the
conditions of life in the camp of Bergen-Belsen were
directed to him.

However, he was present in other camps as well. During his
police interrogation he reported repeatedly – and the Court
will find in the written summary which we shall submit, a
detailed list of all these places – about his visit to
Treblinka, about the dummy train-station which he saw there,
about the signs intended to deceive the victims up to the
last moment of their lives.

In his account to Sassen, he reported in more detail about
his last visit to this camp. I examined him on this in
Session 102, and he confirmed the gist of that. He did
remember that the commander of the camp which he visited had
a small armoured car, a kind of half-track, and in this half-
track Eichmann enjoyed running around the camp for quite
some time, until he learned how to drive this vehicle
properly, and after that, he says, he returned to Lublin.

We can only surmise how many hundreds of thousands of Jews
were suffocated in the gas chambers while Mr. Eichmann was
taking his pleasure rides around the death camp. Today, he
no longer remembers with certainty – so he said in Court –
whether that camp was Treblinka or Majdanek. But he does
remember well his visit to the Chelmno camp. This camp,
which was put into operation in December 1941, stopped
working in 1943, as transpires from that official Polish
Report, and on that occasion, when the operation of the camp
was stopped, Kaltenbrunner was asked to instruct the staff
of the camp, which was sent on military duty to Yugoslavia,
that they must observe strict silence concerning what they
had seen or heard at Chelmno.

One conclusion is inescapable – that the staff of the camp
was under the command of Kaltenbrunner, since he was the
person required to give them the order for their silence, he
and not the chief of the Economic-Administrative Head
Office. That in fact this was so, and that the staff of
that camp was subordinated to the Head Office for Reich
Security – that is known also from the statement by
Ohlendorf and from the affidavit by Blobel. The Head Office
for Reich Security was also in charge of maintenance and
operation of those closed trucks into which the Jews were
loaded, and in which they were killed by asphyxiation
through exhaust fumes. I have already mentioned that Rudolf
Hoess testified that for the purpose of visiting Chelmno he
required permission from Adolf Eichmann.

Now for the death camps in the Lublin area. The Accused
admits that he sent the Jews from the West there. Had he
admitted that alone, he would have been admitting active
partnership in crime between himself and Globocnik. The
transports of Jews directed to these camps, in the direction
of Cholm, did not have to be announced and reported to the
Economic-Administrative Head Office, as was required
regarding transports to Auschwitz.

I would like to ask emphatically that the Court remember
that Eichmann claimed here insistently that the camps were
not all subject either to Department IV, nor to the Head
Office for Reich Security at all, but only to the Economic-
Administrative Head Office – a further attempt to
disassociate himself from these chapters of horror.
Globocnik was required, under these same instructions, as
specified in T/737, T/1399, to report to IVB4 about the
transports that had arrived, and not to the Economic-
Administrative Head Office. Eichmann’s instructions refer
to total deportation, including children and old people, and
they state specifically that the Commander of the Security
Police at Cracow, Schoengarth, one of the participants at
the Wannsee Conference, would be responsible for receiving
them, and that the units under Globocnik would deal with the
matter, and that at the end of the operation they should
report to IVB4. These were the instructions of Adolf

Let us add to this the testimony of Rudolf Hoess before the
International Military Tribunal, that the camps at Belzec,
Treblinka and a third camp, Wolczek – the nature of which is
not known to us, but which he mentions – were operated by a
special operations unit of the “SIPO”; let us also add the
fact that Wirth, the commander of the Belzec camp, was a
member of the “SIPO”; let us further add the testimony of
Wisliceny; let us remember that Gerstein provided the poison
gas in 1942, after he had inspected the extermination
operation precisely in the Lublin area at the orders of
Guenther. Let us recall the report about the final
dismantling of the camps, submitted by Globocnik, which
stated: “Aussiedlung is erledigt und abgeschlossen,” that is
to say, the uprooting of the Jews has been completed; ergo:
their murder and the despoliation of their property have
been completed. The final conclusion from all this emerges
that the Economic-Administrative Head Office did not operate
the death camps; it was not this office which received
announcements about the dispatch of persons to these camps;
neither was this office the one to receive reports when
these people reached the camps – with the exception of
Auschwitz, of which I shall speak later. Eichmann’s
allegation in this matter, therefore, has no basis

The series of contacts with Globocnik is also enumerated in
detail in our written summary, which we shall submit later,
and in order not to weary the Court, I shall not specify the
matters in detail, and shall content myself with stating
that he confessed in his own words to a series of such
contacts over a long period.

And now about Auschwitz: Rudolf Hoess also testified before
the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, and also
at his own trial, that Adolf Eichmann had complete control
over the fate of the Jews sent by him, those who were termed
transport-Jews, “Transport-Juden.” True, Auschwitz was one
of those camps whose direction was in the hands of the
Economic-Administrative Head Office. The commander of the
camp, as long as he held that office – if one may call such
a job an office – was in fact subordinated to Pohl, but
instructions about the fate of the deportees arriving there,
their admission or release, their execution immediately or
after some time – all these were in the hands of the
deporting agency, and this is how matters remained to the
end. We know this from the mouth of Hoess, and we know it
from the official instructions by the Economic-
Administrative Head Office, which also speak of the
Transport-Juden. According to Hoess, Eichmann gave
instructions to hold the deportees from Terezin in a family
camp at Auschwitz, the Familienlager, for a number of
months. We have heard from Yehuda Bakon what keeping people
there actually meant. The apparatus of deception was once
again in operation. The aim was that these people should
write reassuring letters to their relatives, according to a
formula dictated to them by Gestapo men. Complete
corroboration for this – the testimony of Hoess, T/1356,
printed page No. 19. Eichmann personally supervised these
transports and also determined the date on which they were
to be killed by gas. I am not saying that he specified this
for each and every single Jew: This person shall now go to
the gas chambers. Certainly, the workload was too heavy.
But which transport should go directly to the chambers and
which should be left, which should go to the family camp and
which should not – that was in his hands, with a few
exceptions. When Gisi Fleischmann was sent to Auschwitz,
she was sent with the instruction “R.U.” – Rueckkehr
unerwuenscht, “return undesirable.”

Konrad Morgen, the examining Judge: of the SS, after
visiting Auschwitz and other death camps, gave orders to
arrest Eichmann. The witness Rajewski, a Polish detainee
who was employed in the political department, that is the
department in charge of registration at Auschwitz, testified
that the transports that arrived there – all of them
transports of Jews, including from the Generalgouvernement –
as the Court will recall, were all marked with the sign

Eichmann himself admitted to Your Honours here that he
visited Auschwitz five or six times. Since I do not have
more than this, except for what Hoess has reported, I shall
be content with this number which comes from his own mouth.
What was he doing at Auschwitz? Why would a transport clerk
travel to the great death camp? Why would he have to be
there five to six times? If he just needed information from
the Economic-Administrative Head Office saying: Auschwitz is
all right, send on! – why then is it his business to go look
at what is going on at Auschwitz, if his version is correct?
But his version is not correct, Your Honours. As he said in
those passages to Sassen, which we have termed “File 17,” he
used to come to Auschwitz whenever a large new transport
would arrive, or whenever it was necessary to arrange a
solution for another problem. Whenever a new big shipment
was to arrive, he would go there himself to see what was to
be done, and how it was to be received. This was the
meaning of his visits. Because, in order to arrange the
railway timetable, there was no need to visit the place.
And, after all, he himself admitted in his police
interrogation and confirmed this to me in cross-examination
as well, that he did not take part in even one single
Session at the Railway Ministry that was concerned with the
timetables. This was done for him by Novak.

And not only the deportees from Terezin were kept at
Auschwitz in the family camp, so that they could serve as
part of the diabolic camouflage apparatus, but others as
well. We remember the “Waldsee postcards,” those famous
postcards which the deportees were ordered to send their
relatives, claiming that they were well. We remember the
articles written by Fritz Fiala, the Slovak who was asked by
Wisliceny, at the orders of Eichmann, to assuage the fears
of the Slovak population, of the Jews and of the government.
After visiting Auschwitz, Fiala wrote that it was a good and
comfortable place, that people were happy in their work
there, and that their life was comfortable and pleasant.

When the “Institute for the Study of Ancestral Heritage”* {*
Ahnenerbe} needed skeletons for its collection at Strasbourg
– they turned to Eichmann. And when Sievers was questioned
at his trial why he turned to Eichmann of all people in this
matter, he responded that the Superintendent of
Concentration Camps, Gluecks, referred him to Eichmann. And
again the question arises: Why would Sievers refer this to
Eichmann, if indeed the Accused’s version? Why would
Sievers say that Gluecks referred him to Eichmann and not to
any other person, if the version of the Accused is correct,
that this matter was not within his competence and that he
immediately responded: I have nothing to do with that, I am
not a merchant in skulls and skeletons. Why did Sievers
turn to him again a few months later in the same matter, in

This was the course of events: Sievers asked for skulls and
skeletons for the anatomical collection. Sievers spoke
about the case with Guenther. Some sort of a hitch
occurred, the exact nature of which we do not know, but we
can understand from T/1363 that Dr. Beger, who actually
dealt with this matter at Auschwitz, was forced to interrupt
his activity, because there was an epidemic at Auschwitz.
And then, a few months later, a written request is again
sent to Eichmann.

The Accused is now seeking here his usual refuge in the face
of an overwhelming burden of proof. “This was a secret
task” – so he states – “and Mueller assigned this to
Guenther.” In the first place, there is the general
question which I posed yesterday: If there was no connection
at all between Department IV and Auschwitz, what business
did Mueller have to assign the task of supplying gas or
furnishing skulls to anyone, be it to Guenther or anybody
else? In addition to this general question, his version
breaks down in the face of two inescapable facts: When
Sievers asked, on this matter, for the help of Dr. Brandt,
one of the chief physicians of the SS, he added to his
letter the draft of an application to Eichmann in this
matter. Dr. Brandt did turn to Eichmann, according to the
proposed wording. Should we really think that the top
echelon of the SS did not know what was what, and did not
know the division of powers, and was applying to an outsider
who had nothing to do with the matter? And how far does the
need to be very precise in the details of an application go
when one drafts the letter, so that one must address His
Excellency, Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, thus and not in
any other way, and he will provide you with the skeletons?
And that was the top echelon of the command! Therefore,
his version here is not plausible at all. The fact that
Sievers again turned to him in writing a second time,
because he could not have told Sievers at all, “I am not
authorized to do this,” because if he had said so, Sievers
would not have turned to him again.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/14