Session 113-03, Eichmann Adolf

Judge Halevi: To Krueger as well?

Attorney General: Certainly. But is there any version, any
proof, other than which Eichmann stated here, that in the
Generalgouvernement the whole thing worked without the
knowledge of the Head Office for Reich Security, Himmler-
Krueger-Globocnik – this is more or less how he tries to
describe it here? It could be like this, theoretically it
could have been like this. As against this, there is the
Wannsee record of proceedings, where Heydrich says
explicitly: “Let us bring Frank here, so that we can hitch
him to our plough.” And what was the first thing Heydrich
said in Wannsee? ” Listen, you are not going to solve the
Jewish problems, they have been made my responsibility, in
accordance with my appointment, and I am the one to deal
with them without consideration for geographic borders, and
my authority extends over the entire sphere of influence of
the Reich, to wherever it extends. And thus Wannsee ends:
Mueller reconciles himself to Heydrich’s overlordship,
merely saying: “Go ahead and do it, as long as you do it

So we have the Wannsee minutes, we have Goering’s
comprehensive order, we have the descriptions submitted by
us, as well as those submitted by the Defence, which say
that Eichmann acted without any exceptions, that he was the
representative for this matter in every single place. It
does not say: except in the Generalgouvernement. We have
the direct evidence by Wisliceny, who says that Eichmann
accorded priority to the destruction of the Jews of Poland.
This appears in exhibit T/85, on page 10 of the printed
text. In the middle of the passage Wisliceny says the
following about the determination of the sequence of the
countries: “Eichmann allowed himself time for this
operation, because the extermination of the Jews of Poland
and the deportation of the Jews from the Reich were, in his
eyes, the most important things. To these he gave priority.

Thus, we have the direct evidence of his assistant, we have
the main documents from Wannsee, and we have Goering’s
documents. Why should we believe him? It may be that in
Poland there were fewer conflicts, that is true, because
there they could exterminate the Jews without having to
transport them to the country of extermination, they had
only to be taken to the extermination camp. And there was
no need to struggle with the government of France, or the
government of Romania, or the government of Slovakia, and
there was no need to create legal bases for these
operations. There were fewer conflicts. True, it was
necessary to organize manhunts and transportation, but there
was less to worry about. The uprooting of hundreds of
thousands from the West certainly caused more worries and
more difficulties than the uprooting of millions in the
East, because they were already there, they had only to be
taken to the doors of the gas chambers.

The fact that he also occupied himself with the liquidation
of the Bialystok Ghetto and of the Lodz Ghetto – although
these were not in the Generalgouvernement, but rather within
the framework of the liquidation of the ghettos – this we
know. We have the testimony by Friedl about the ten
thousand Jews whom Guenther deported from Bialystok; we have
the report from IVB4 to Himmler about the transport of forty-
five thousand Jews from Bialystok, the last one to
Auschwitz, of whom only ten to fifteen thousand would be
found fit for work. By the way, if I remember correctly,
the Accused did not even react to Friedl’s testimony in
connection with the liquidation of the Bialystok Ghetto.

Judge Raveh: In your opinion, is there any significance in
the fact that Globocnik demanded special authorization, as
long as Heydrich was alive? Later on, we no longer hear
about such authorizations, or about demands for
authorizations being made.

Attorney General: Yes, this fact is of importance. First of
all it is important that Globocnik asks for authorization
from Heydrich at all, from Heydrich and not from Krueger.
For, if the chain had gone as Eichmann says – Himmler-
Krueger-Globocnik – then there would have been no point in
asking Heydrich at all. It is, therefore, of the highest
importance that we hear from Eichmann himself that Globocnik
needed Heydrich in order to obtain his confirmation. And
later, Your Honour, at the end of 1942…

Judge Raveh: The Reinhardt Operation started after the
death of Heydrich, did it not?

Attorney General: Yes, the Reinhardt Operation was the
signal: “Finish them all!” It was no longer a problem of
quotas, it was no longer a question of numbers, but: “Finish
them all, they are all condemned to death in a hurry, and to
pillage of their property, and there is no longer any need
for authorizations.” What are these authorizations, after
all? Globocnik, it seems, is in excess of the quota, and
therefore he needs some confirmation.

Incidentally, here Sassen read a document to Eichmann which
we do not know from the sources. I read it to him from the
reprint. Sassen had read a document to him which contained
that retroactive order which we do not know in its original
form, except from Eichmann. So, what does that order say?
If you have killed more Jews than you are entitled, then you
are not covered. But if you are allowed to kill them all –
there is no need for any cover, and no need for any
confirmation. They stopped talking about numbers and
quotas. There were no longer any intermediate stages, no
liquidation here first and liquidation somewhere else later.
All Poland went to its destruction. Those ghettos which
were left as work ghettos were outside the area of the
Generalgouvernement: in Bialystok, in Lodz, in Moravska
Ostrava, not in the Generalgouvernement, where the Jews were
already in camps, awaiting their turn to die, such as in
the work camps of Treblinka, in Poniatowa, those in the
Lublin district, and in Auschwitz.

Judge Raveh: At any rate, you do not see in this an
indication of a change in powers?

Attorney General: No, not at all, because we can see that
Kaltenbrunner continues to deal with everything. Nor did he
deny this. He only said in his defence at the trial: I did
not start this, I came to an existing situation, to an
established fact, I was not interested in details. But even
Kaltenbrunner himself did not deny that he actually
inherited this great task.

Judge Halevi: Is there any proof who gave the order, or the
signal, or the command for the Reinhardt Operation?

Attorney General: We have no direct proof, Your Honour. We
can of course make a very plausible reconstruction, in the
light of what happened afterwards. At any rate, the fact
(and I want to say something about this, if the Defence
wants to profit from the fact that Globocnik reported to
Himmler about the end of the operations) – and I shall have
more to say about this – does not show conclusively at all,
that Himmler was the one who gave the signal. First of all,
we know about Globocnik’s special position. Secondly, we
can see and read in his report what he is asking from
Himmler: decorations, periods of leave and bonuses for his
men who have done the work.

At all events, ever since the summer of 1941, when Hitler,
the supreme commander of the Reich, gave the order to
exterminate all the Jews, the subject had become a matter of
priorities and nothing more, a matter of order and
efficiency. When I examined him, Eichmann admitted in the
end that the order extended to all the Jews. He only hoped,
so he said – later he had to retract this – that this would
not include the Jews of the Reich in the same sudden, or
cruel, or aggressive, or extreme manner. But in the end I
showed him the document of 10 October 1941, where he himself
arranged for the deportation of fifty thousand Jews from the
Reich to the camps of Nebe and Rasch, and then he admitted
that the Jews of the Reich were in fact also condemned to

So the matter really became a question of administrative
arrangement, what was to come first and what later. And
from Frank’s diary we learned about the internal strife,
about Frank’s ambition to become the provider of Greater
Germany, about his desire to fulfil the economic task which
the Fuehrer had given him in the East, and for this reason,
for this reason only, he wants to leave a small number of
Jews in key positions in business and industry. But we also
learned about the telegram which came from Berlin: “Give up
all the Jews, expel them all, so that not even one remains.”

Judge Halevi: And what about the argument that the command
was in the hands of Chief of the Head Office for Reich
Security, and of Globocnik, Krueger and others there?

Attorney General: The Head Office for Reich Security had no
powers of command over Krueger or Globocnik. The Court will
find this in exhibit T/98, which defines the authority of
the Higher SS and Police Leaders.

Presiding Judge: But there could have been co-ordination
between the two?

Attorney General: Co-ordination – yes, but not power of
command. That would contradict the decisions of the Wanssee
Conference, and there is no reason why the Court should
disregard an explicit document which, according to the
Accused himself, accurately reflected what was said at the
Conference and what was decided there – only because he
wants to take two and a half million Jews off his
conscience. Others also tried this stratagem in Nuremberg:
to admit everything except what happened in that darkness of
the East. They all shrank back from this, it frightened
them because they knew that terrible, gruesome deeds were
committed in the East.

Presiding Judge: What seems peculiar to me is the fact that
more documents were not preserved in Poland. In Germany
this is not surprising, there they did quite a good job of
destruction in this sense, even though local documents were
preserved there as well. Where are the local documents from

Attorney General: We know from Frank that everything was
destroyed, except the diary which he saved in special
trunks. Everything was destroyed. Only remnants of
documents were found, dispersed – bits here and bits there.
From time to time, the Poles find something more. Only now,
Your Honours, almost fourteen years after the Polish
Government Main Commission for the Investigation of Nazi
Crimes began its work – the government commission which is
entrusted with the documentation – only now does it mention
the deportations by IVD4 in its bulletins Nos. 12 and 13,
which we have submitted to the Court. The historians did
not know about it, it is not mentioned in the literature,
and it has only now been discovered. Fourteen years after
the victory, and after the commission began its work it has
at last discovered material which concerns it no less than
it concerns us, because it deals with the deportations of
Poles. What happened in Zamosc has also been discovered
there, and only now.

I do not know the reason why this discovery comes so late,
but we do know that the attempt at extermination by the
murderers was most serious there. We know this from Frank.
He takes credit precisely for the fact that he did not
destroy his diary and that he put it at the disposal of the
prosecution. Many things will have to be re-written, many
of those writing on the Holocaust may have to correct what
they have said, in the light of these latest discoveries –
and, if I may say so in all modesty – perhaps also in the
light of what has transpired in this trial.

The evidence we have brought before you, has demonstrated
the working of the criminal plot to kill the Jews, with the
intention of destroying the Jewish People, as we have stated
in detail under the first count of the indictment. We have
proved what was done in the Reich, what was done by the
Einsatzgruppen, what was done in the extermination camps,
and the horrors. We have also shown the connection with the

The second count deals with placing millions of Jews in
living conditions calculated to bring about their
destruction. Section 1(b)(3) of the law has been
substantiated by the testimonies on the forced labour camps,
on the ghettos, on the deportations. All this has been
proved by tens of witnesses, and this also is not in

According to the evidence of Dr. Dworzecki, the starvation
rations allotted to Jews in the ghettos were themselves
enough to destroy them through starvation and exhaustion
within a few years, even if not one Jew had been sent to the
as chambers and the crematoria.

I shall now deal with the intention to bring about the
destruction of the Jews, an intention we have to prove as
part of the section as defined. The intention can be either
complete or partial destruction. Destruction can be
achieved in many ways. The law itself also says that
measures can be taken to destroy a people, for instance, by
desecrating spiritual, religious, or cultural values. The
intention to destroy the Jewish People, at least partially,
existed already in the first stages of action by Nazi
Germany. That was not an intention to kill all Jews, to the
last one. However, from the moment they directed their
action against a person because he was a Jew, and not
because he was so and so who had done such and such, or
because he had attributes of one kind or another, or, to
take an absurd example, because his I.Q. was too low and
therefore he had to be destroyed. From the moment they acted
against the Jews as Jews, when it was the Jews whom they
arrested, the Jews whom they cast into Dachau and
Buchenwald, their synagogues which they burned, when it was
against them that racial and other evil laws were invoked –
that was the moment when intention to destroy the Jewish
People began.

As the judgment of the Supreme Court in the Pal case, which
I have already mentioned in my argument: When action is
perpetrated against a person because he belongs to a certain
group, with intent to cause harm to this group and not in
order to harm that person, whoever he may be, then that
action is aimed at achieving destruction. Therefore, the
terror in Dachau, the mass arrests, the expulsion to
Zbaszyn, breaking the Jews in body and spirit, driving
hundreds of thousands to suicide, putting Jews into
concentration camps under conditions where it did not matter
who stayed alive and who did not, where only those who were
physically and spiritually most resistant could hold out –
all these were measures intended to destroy the Jewish
People. During the first stages this was of course aimed at
partial destruction, but at a certain point it hardened into
the evil design to wipe out the Jewish People altogether.
The Brown File, with its corrections, is also designed to
place the Jews in living conditions calculated to bring
about their destruction. The Court has asked me to refer to
Rosenberg’s statement about the application of the Brown
File. What he said is to be found in the record of
proceedings of the International Military Tribunal at
Nuremberg, in volume 11 of the German edition, pages 627-
629. “I did not actually write this, but it is contained in
a circular letter from the Ministry for Eastern Affairs,
and, therefore, I am responsible for the action taken in
connection with the Brown File.”

With the permission of the Court, I shall deal with counts
3, 6 and 7 of the indictment together, because they have
certain elements in common. The third count speaks of the
grave physical and mental harm caused to millions of Jews;
the sixth count refers to crimes against humanity by
persecuting Jews; the seventh count speaks of the plunder of
Jewish property.

Already at the outset I will say that the third count is
summed up in its paragraph (b), which mentions serious
physical and mental harm caused to millions of Jews in
Germany and the other Axis countries, in occupied areas and
in areas actually under their control.

The examples which we adduced afterwards under paragraph (d)
are not exhaustive, but are rather given by way of example.
A person who put Jews, even Jews who were saved, into
conditions of the inferno, which was revealed here before
your eyes, caused them serious bodily and mental harm which
can never be undone. Rivka Yoselewska will never again be
what she was before the world war. On her this is visible.
But also Dr. Weller, and Wells, and Beisky and others –
those who appeared here and those who did not – their mental
and physical wounds are something which they will carry with
them to their dying day.

But it is not only the suffering of these persons for which
I shall not forgive Adolf Eichmann. I can no more forgive
him the suffering of those with whose murder I have charged
him. Usually, Your Honours, when one charges a person with
murder, one does not add to this the crime of assault, since
the smaller crime is subsumed in the larger one. But what
was done to the millions of Jews in the camps while they
were still alive, the successive wilful cruelties, the
premeditated sadistic acts in Block 11 at Auschwitz, the
horrors at Treblinka, Sobibor, Chelmno and Majdanek, the
ruining of human beings and the breaking of spirits – this
will not be forgiven even if, in the end, there follows a
charge of murder. Torture is no lesser a crime than murder.
To hold people in such conditions for months on end – and it
is sufficient to look at the album which Vera Alexander has
submitted to you, even if you had seen only this – even this
is enough to make you realize what those fiends committed,
in what conditions they kept the Jews – until the Jews
themselves would only wish for death, and rush of their own
will towards the electric fence.

The sixth count deals actually with the same deeds, as seen
from the point of view of crimes against humanity. And I
shall not forgive Eichmann just because his deeds may cut
across some section in the law. He committed crimes against
the Jewish People and also against humanity, and he also
committed war crimes. He persecuted Jews for national,
racial, religious and political reasons, as defined by law.
He persecuted them throughout the period of the Nazi regime.
This count is intended to cover his activities from the
moment when he first joined the extermination front against
the Jewish enemy, until the last day he operated within the
framework of Nazi Germany.

Presiding Judge: That is to say, from the beginning of his
dealing with Jewish affairs.

Attorney General: Yes, from the beginning of his dealing
with Jewish affairs.

Presiding Judge: Also in Austria already?

Attorney General: Yes, also in Austria. Also before then.

The seventh count is plunder of property. And I shall say
at once that we accuse him of such plunder when it is linked
to crimes against the Jewish People, to crimes against
humanity, and to war crimes. In other words, I do not
disregard the rules laid down in Nuremberg, which say that
confiscation of property alone…

Last-Modified: 1999/06/14