Session 114-03, Eichmann Adolf

[Dr. Servatius, Continued]

I now turn to the Second Count.

The Second Count charges the Accused with crimes against the
Jewish People for having committed the following acts:
Removal to labour camps; confinement in ghettos; detention
in transit camps and other places of concentration; carrying
out of deportations under inhuman conditions.

The following facts disprove the Accused’s responsibility:

The labour camps were under the control of the Economic-
Administrative Head Office. As indicated by its name, this
agency had been entrusted with carrying out economic
functions. This included the assignment of detainees for
labour in camps, and the administration of these camps. The
Accused had no influence on that. The establishment of
ghettos in the Eastern Occupied Territories came within the
province of the local commanders in charge of the
territories in which the ghettos were situated. It is true
that the Accused attended the meeting, at the time of the
liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto and its planned
transformation into a concentration camp; however, he was
there only as Himmler’s representative. It does not result
therefrom that the Accused was vested with general authority
in the matter. On the contrary, it shows that in the normal
course of administration he had no authority and himself did
not possess any powers.

Most of the many witnesses who have testified as to this
Count do not mention the Accused or his Section, although
this might have been expected, in view of the Accused’s
present prominence. Only the witness Diamant declares
having seen the Accused at Theresienstadt. However, he is
unable to state whether the Accused was instrumental in the
organization of a transport of inmates for labour at another

The concentration in transit camps and other places of
concentration was the preparation for transportation to
other places. This concentration was carried out by the
local commanders in charge of the territories in question –
thus, in the Netherlands it was the Reich Commissioner, in
France the Commander of the Security Police and the SD, who
was attached to the military commander. In Hungary it was
carried out by the Hungarian Government, by the gendarmerie,
or by members of the Arrow Cross organization. The
situation was similar in other countries.

None of these higher-ranking agencies was subject to the
Accused’s orders or control. In all these places, the rank
of the commanders was far higher than that of the Accused.
They received their basic political instructions directly
from the political leadership. Through the intermediary of
the Accused’s Section, and upon pressure exercised from
above, only police enquiries as to the progress of the
matter, and reminders to carry out the deportations, were

As to the directions to carry out deportations in conformity
with the political planning originating from authorities of
the highest rank, I refer to Himmler’s letter of 2 April
1943, to the Head of the Security Police and the SD,in which
it was demanded that the deportations be accelerated. A
letter from the Commander of the Security Police in the
Netherlands, dated 5 May 1943, and addressed to his
subordinates, is most explicit in that respect. According
to that letter, Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler wants the utmost
possible number of Jews to be transported to the East during
that year. Directions were issued for the carrying out of
the transports, which were apt to secure a more tolerable
way of transportation. It is to be assumed that normally
these directions were followed; but possibly extraordinary
circumstances may have occurred, owing to the obstruction of
the flow of traffic because of the events of the War. This
is a force majeure.

I now turn to the First Count. The First Count contains
the main charge against the Accused: crimes against the
Jewish People committed by the killing of millions of Jews.

It is claimed that the Accused bears the main responsibility
for the execution of the plan which existed for the
extermination of Jews. This charge is in conformity with
the judgment of the International Military Tribunal. In
that judgment it is stated, in conclusion, that Hitler had
charged Adolf Eichmann with carrying out the extermination
of the Jews. Apparently the united efforts of the accused
in the Nuremberg Trial, and of the witnesses, succeeded in
convincing the International Military Tribunal of the truth
of that allegation. However, this allegation is not true.
There is not even a hint that Hitler personally ordered the
Accused to carry out the plan of extermination. When
scrutinizing the sub-paragraphs of the First Count, the
following comments on each of the charges have to be made:

First Count (b): In this matter the decisive role of the
Accused in the execution of the measures taken against the
Jews is referred to. However, the Accused was always only
the Head of a Section to which subordinate officers in
charge of certain specific matters had been assigned. His
functions were distinguished only by the scope of his
activities and the wide ramifications concerning the
measures which had to be carried out.

First Count (c): The function of the Section was, inter
alia, the seizure of the Jews; the actual carrying out of
these measures was the task of the Gestapo, where only the
Chief of the Department, Mueller, was empowered to give
instructions, but not the Accused in his capacity as Head of
a Section. However, the seizure of the Jews was carried out
not only by Department IV, but in this matter also regional
leaders of the Party (Gauleiter) and district officers
(Landraete) were active. They had been empowered to give
instructions to the Gestapo, and they actually exercised
these powers. In this connection, I refer to the
deportations from Alsace and Baden which took place on
Hitler’s orders, given at the direct requests of the
regional leaders. Instructions in respect of measures of
extermination in Germany: It was not within the scope of the
Accused’s authority to issue instructions to the local
police authorities for the extermination of the Jews. The
agencies of the State Police (Staatspolizei) were not made a
part of the plan for the extermination itself.

Furthermore, the Accused is charged with the execution of
measures of extermination concerning the Emigration Offices
in Berlin, Vienna and Prague. He is not charged with having
committed crimes of extermination, in his capacity as
commissioner during his tenure in these offices. He is
charged with having given directions to these offices from
Berlin, which resulted in the extermination of the Jews.

The object of the Centre for Emigration was not
extermination, but the furthering of emigration. Emigration
was actually promoted vigorously up to the beginning of the
campaign in the East. In Berlin, the Accused was not the
head of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration; that was
Heydrich, and Mueller was its director. The employment of
the Accused in that office began after it had already been
established. The Accused began to exercise his functions
only after 14 October 1939. On that date, his predecessor,
Lischka, in his capacity as Mueller’s or Heydrich’s
representative, still signed documents. On 21 September
1939, at an important conference – the object of which was
the removal of the Jews from the Reich to the East and the
establishment of ghettos in the cities – the Accused had not
yet taken up his functions in Berlin. This appears from Dr.
Loewenherz’s Report, dated 4 December 1939, according to
which the Accused had only then taken over the Reich Centre
for Jewish Emigration. The testimony to the contrary by the
witnesses Cohen and Meyer probably refers to Eichmann’s
visits in Berlin, at a time when he was still head of the
Centre in Vienna. Moreover, the following has to be pointed
out: In the beginning of February 1940, Jewish Affairs still
belonged to Section IVD3 which was administered by
Schroeder. On February 5th, 1940,the Accused was still in
charge of the Section for Emigration and Evacuation which
was not involved directly in Jewish Affairs.

First Count subparagraph (d) concerns directions given to
the Commanders of the Security Police and to Advisers on
Jewish Affairs. It is not correct that the Accused, in his
capacity as Section Head, could have given directions to the
Commander of the Security Police. The power to do so was
vested only in the Department Chiefs themselves, within the
scope of their respective professional assignments. The
Advisers on Jewish Affairs attached to the Commander of the
Security Police received instructions of a professional
nature from the Head Office for Reich Security through the
intermediary of the Accused. However, their implementation
was subject to approval by the Commander of the Security
Police who, within the scope of his authority, was
politically responsible. On his part, he was answerable for
his activities to the Superior Commander of the SS and the
Police, who was his superior. In view of this administrative
structure, the Accused cannot now be made responsible for
the measures executed by the Commander of the Security

Subparagraph (e) deals with the activity of the Advisers on
Jewish Affairs attached to the diplomatic missions. Two
kinds of officials dealing with Jewish affairs were employed
with these missions: Advisers on Jewish Affairs who were
engaged upon the recommendations of the Head Office for
Reich Security and who were subject to the instructions of
that office in matters of a professional nature, and others
who were subject to the exclusive control of the Foreign

No instructions in matters of a professional nature were
given by Department IV without the consent of the Foreign
Ministry, or the head of the mission concerned. On the
other hand, reports of the Adviser on Jewish Affairs to the
Head Office for Reich Security were countersigned by the
head of the mission. After the end of the War, the Foreign
Ministry was glad to deny the existence of its authority,
and was ready to shift the burden of responsibility for all
the measures against the Jews to the Head Office for Reich
Security, in particular to the Accused. However, the
responsibility of the Advisers on Jewish Affairs attached to
the diplomatic missions, as well as of the Foreign Ministry
itself, emerges from the documents produced in this Court.

Presiding Judge: There will be a recess of twenty minutes.


Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, please continue.

Dr. Servatius: I now turn to the main charge in the First
Count (f): Extermination of the Jews in extermination camps.

The extent to which the Accused is responsible for the
events, for having transported the Jews to the extermination
camps, knowing the fate awaiting them – that is a question I
shall deal with later on.

In this connection, it has to be stated, first of all, that
these camps were not under the control of the Accused, or of
Department IV of the Head Office for Reich Security. They
were under the control of the Economic-Administrative Head
Office. The co-operation between these offices was ensured
by Himmler’s staff. The Head Office for Reich Security was
a central office and ranked, therefore, equally with the
Economic-Administrative Head Office. In this connection,
one is struck, first of all, by the fact that no documentary
evidence has been produced showing co-operation between the
Accused and the extermination camps. This important fact
cannot be gainsaid by circumstantial evidence. In the
course of his interrogation, the Accused, on his own motion,
gave information of his repeated visits to places of
extermination. His statement that he had been sent to these
places by his superiors, in order to report on the progress
and the kind of activities carried out there, ought,
therefore, to be believed.

The charge advanced by the Prosecution that the Accused
ordered the use of Zyklon B in Auschwitz is contradicted by
the description of the witness Hoess in his memorandum dated
11 November 1946. Hoess states in that memorandum that his
deputy, Fritzche, had by chance conceived the idea of using
Zyklon B. The weight of the charge made by Hoess that the
Accused, in the summer of 1941, transmitted the orders for
extermination, is also diminished by the lack of evidence to
corroborate it.

The same applies to Gerstein’s testimony who, in exercise of
his functions, had been charged with the supply of the gas.
Even assuming that he had talks with Guenther on the subject
of the supply of gas, this is insufficient evidence of the
Accused’s knowledge and approval.

Eichmann came to the Auschwitz camp in order to intercede on
behalf of the member of the Vienna Jewish Council, Dr.
Storfer. This does not prove that the camp was under his
control. Had that been so, then he would not have needed to
visit the camp, in order to ask for a favour, but he could
have given an order from above. This visit shows precisely
that he was powerless. Moreover, the fact that other
members of the Jewish Council, Dr. Eppstein and Edelstein,
as well as the resistance fighter Gisi Fleischmann, were
deported for extermination during the Accused’s stay in
Hungary, is not convincing proof of the competence of Group
IVB for the extermination process. Gisi Fleischmann had
possibly been arrested in connection with the insurrection
in Slovakia. It has not been elucidated what were the
reasons regarding the aforesaid members of the Jewish
Council. Anyhow, the responsibility of the Accused has not
been proved.

As to the collection of skeletons: The affair of the supply
of detainees for the collection of skeletons in the
University of Strasbourg, constitutes some evidence of a
certain connection between Section IVB4 and the
extermination camps, and its competence in respect of them.
However, the Accused is not approached by his superior, or
another superior office, but by Reichsleiter Brack at the
Fuehrer’s Chancellery. The director of Ahnenerbe is sent to
him. This method, which is contrary to administrative
procedure, is peculiar. It is also peculiar that the
director, Sievers, does not ask for a directive from the
Accused to the camp authorities, but merely for his
assistance in carrying out the project of the University of
Strasbourg. Later on, Sievers once again approaches the
Accused’s Section in the same manner as he had done before.
No evidence has been adduced to show that the Accused
actually gave any directive. The Accused himself has
commented on this affair, and I refer to his comments.

First Count (g) concerns shooting by Operations Units in
Poland. In order to prove this co-operation of the Accused
with the Operations Units, reference is made only to
Wisliceny’s testimony which, however, lacks corroboration.
Wisliceny was convicted as an accessory to the extermination
of Jews. His testimony is therefore insufficient evidence
for the guilt of the Accused as an accessory.

First Count (h) charges the Accused with co-operation with
the commandos of the Operations Units in the Baltic
countries, the adjacent territories, and the USSR.

The Accused’s presence – reported by himself – at the
appointment of the leaders of the commandos, on the occasion
of the establishment of the commandos, does not amount to
evidence for the existence of co-operation. The testimony
of the Accused that, when these general directives were
issued, no directives for extermination were given, ought to
be believed. Only the commanders in question personally
were normally informed of special instructions given as the
result of a conference. Neither are the reports on events
received from the Operations Units evidence for co-operation
with these units. The reports were sent to a great number
of official agencies for their information, without implying
thereby, by any means, that they were to co-operate.

The witness von dem Bach-Zelewski shared a cell in Nuremberg
for a long time with Ohlendorf, who had been the commander
of such an Operations Unit. He has declared that Ohlendorf
never mentioned Eichmann’s name in connection with the
operations of the commandos.

As to subparagraph (i): This charge deals with the
extermination of Jews in Riga, Kovno and Minsk, at the end
of 1941. It is correct that, at that time, the Accused
dealt with the deportation of Jews from Germany, France and
Czechoslovakia, and that these Jews were brought to ghettos.
However, at that time the Accused had no knowledge that the
fate of these Jews was to be shot by commandos of the
Operations Units. From the report of the commander of the
Operations Unit in Riga, it emerges that on 30 November
1941, the Higher SS and Police Leader started the shooting
of deportees. No evidence of any influence of the Accused
on these killings has been adduced.

Subparagraph (j) concerns labour camps. In this connection,
I refer to my prior comments on the Second Count (a).
Accordingly, the responsibility lies with the Economic-
Administrative Head Office.

Subparagraph (k): Killing of hundreds of thousands during
the years 1939 to 1945 by mass deportation and detention in
concentration camps, transit camps and ghettos.

The Accused dealt with the deportation from the countries
mentioned in the indictment. However, this does not apply
to the territory of the USSR and the Baltic countries. This
emerges from the material which has been produced. In the
voluminous files concerning the deportations, no information
in respect of the last-mentioned territories can be found.
The Accused’s statement that he was not involved in the
deportations from the Eastern Occupied Territories is
thereby confirmed. The Accused also did not carry out any
deportations from Italy. This is confirmed by the statement
of the witness Kappler. The measures on which he was able
to testify were ordered directly by the Reichsfuehrer.

As to the detention of Jews in the transit camps of Drancy
in France and Westerbork in Holland, this was carried out by
the specific commander of the Security Police. The exercise
of the power of command by these commanders is well
documented by the book of the lawyer, Mrs. von Taalingen-
Dols, Der Kampf um ein Menschenleben (The Struggle for the
Life of One Man).

As to the ghettos and labour camps in the Eastern Occupied
Territories, I refer again to the closing brief and my prior

The last subparagraph of the First Count (l) – refers to the
events in Hungary. It is hardly correct to say that the
Accused was actually the “Master” in Hungary. If he should
have made that boast, it was probably the result of the
journalist’s urge to raise somewhat the importance of the
Accused’s personality. These events were motivated by
Veesenmayer, Winkelmann and Geschke. Eichmann was Geschke’s
subordinate, in charge of specific matters. These men
attacked the Jewish Question with verve, and, in that
respect, they enjoyed the most eager collaboration of the

In the beginning, the Accused had to wait for the orders of
his superiors. He did not need to exercise any influence
upon the Hungarians. The leading Hungarian personalities
were violent anti-Semites and prepared to do everything on
their own volition. They pushed forward on their own
motion. The plans made together by the Hungarians and the
German leadership were therefore carried out, in the first
place, by the Hungarian gendarmerie and members of the Arrow
Cross organization.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/14