26 May 1961
To the Competent Court of Justice, Alt Aussee, Austria
Re: Request for Legal Assistance
The main hearing of criminal proceedings against the Accused
Adolf Eichmann is at present taking place in this Court.
In the context of this main hearing, I request you to extend
reciprocal legal assistance to this Court by the examination
on oath of the following witness:
Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl, Alt Aussee, Austria
The witness is to be examined on the following allegations
of the Accused:
(1) that when the Accused was serving in Vienna in 1938-
1939, he unified, simplified and improved the offices
responsible for the emigration of Jews in a practical
(2) that the Accused adopted measures subsequent to
which the monies and foreign currency available to the
Jewish population were used in such a way as to enable
the largest possible number of Jews to emigrate;
(3) that as a result of the measures on the part of the
Accused referred to under (1), some two-thirds of
Austria’s Jewish population was able to emigrate by
(4) that the Accused, as part of his responsibilities,
did not deal with the seizure of Jewish property, and
in this respect also, during the time the witness was
in contact with him in Austria and Hungary, did not
exceed his powers;
(5) that the extermination of Jews in concentration
camps was carried out on the instructions and
responsibility of the Economic-Administrative Head
Office and was not within the sphere of the Accused’s
(6) that the extermination of Jews, by what were known
as Einsatzgruppen (Special Operations Units), was not
carried out in accordance with instructions from, or at
the instigation of, the Accused, and that the Accused
did not and could not influence such extermination;
(7) that the Accused was not by his own endeavours
appointed head of a Sonderkommando in Hungary;
(8) that the Accused, in carrying out his official
duties, did not act with the intent of exterminating
the Jewish People;
(9) that the Accused immediately halted deportations of
Hungarian Jews when ordered to do so by his superior,
(10) that Advisers on Jewish Affairs to the German
diplomatic missions were appointed by the German
Foreign Ministry in agreement with the Head Office for
Reich Security and were subject to the instructions of
the German Foreign Ministry;
(11) that the Accused, as a Specialist Officer of the
Head Office for Reich Security, had no special
position, but in his field had the same powers, limited
by general regulations and the orders of his superiors,
as any other Specialist Officer of this office.
To complete the testimony of the witness, I would request
that the witness also be asked the following questions which
were drawn up by Counsel for the Accused:
(1) What was the last rank you held in the SS?
(2) Did you work in an official capacity in the Head
Office for Reich Security?
(3) What was your position in the Head Office for Reich
(4) Who was your department head?
(5) When did you become acquainted with the Accused?
(6) What position did the Accused hold in the Head
Office for Reich Security?
(7) Compared with other Specialist Officers, did the
Accused have any special powers or authority?
(8) What do you know about the activities of the
Accused in Vienna from 1938 to July 1939?
(9) Was he a Specialist Officer with the Inspector of
the Security Police and the SD, Austria?
(10) Was he at the head of the Central Office for
Jewish Emigration in Vienna?
(11) What were the functions of this Central Office?
(12) What was the result of the activities of the
(13) How did matters develop in Germany in field of
(14) Are you familiar with the results of this
(15) Did you have contact with the Accused from 1938 to
(16) Did the Accused discuss with you his attitude to
the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question?”
(17) From the Accused’s subsequent activities, are you
familiar with facts which are indicative of his
intentions regarding a “territorial solution?”
(18) Do you know the concept Judenstaat Nisko (Nisko
(19) Do you know what were the Accused’s activities in
respect of this project?
(20) Are you familiar with the concept of the
(21) Do you know what were the Accused’s activities in
(22) In the course of his activities in Hungary, did
the Accused participate in any way in the seizure of
(23) In the course of his activities in Austria, did
the Accused have anything to do with the seizure of
Jewish property? If so, what use was made of the
(24) Immediately after the occupation of Hungary by
Germany, how many Special Commandos were active there?
(25) Who was assigned to be in charge of what
subsequently became the Sonderkommando Eichmann?
(26) What led to the Accused being put in charge of
(27) What explanation can be given for Kaltenbrunner’s
presence in Hungary during the first days of the German
(28) Who was Eichmann’s immediate superior at this
(29) Where were you at this time, and what were your
(30) Who was your superior at that time?
(31) With whom did the initiative for deporting the
Jews of Hungary originate?
(32) Who conducted the decisive negotiations with the
(33) How many men were subordinate to the Accused in
his Sonderkommando in Hungary?
(34) What was the assignment of this Sonderkommando?
(35) Who carried out the concentration, deportation and
supervision of deportations?
(36) Is it true that the Arrow Cross Party was
particularly active in persecuting Hungarian Jewry?
(37) What are the reasons for an Arrow Cross government
coming to power in Hungary?
(38) Under whose control were the concentration camps,
and who gave the instructions for the extermination of
the Jews in these camps?
(39) Did Kaltenbrunner have any influence on these
(40) To whom were the Special Operations Units
(41) Was the Accused able to influence the activities
of the Special Operations Units?
(42) What is the significance of the fact that the
Accused’s Section – as well as other Sections in the
Head Office for Reich Security – received activity
reports of the Special Operations Units in accordance
with a set distribution list?
(43) Did any statement or intimation by the Accused
indicate that in his activities in Austria, and later
in Hungary, he had the intention of exterminating the
(44) In 1944-1945, who was Adviser on Jewish Affairs to
the German diplomatic mission in Budapest? Was he from
the Head Office for Reich Security? Who appointed him?
(45) How did the Accused behave when he received orders
from his superior, Kaltenbrunner, to cease deportations
of Hungarian Jewry?
I would also request that the witness be asked the following
additional questions which were drawn up by the Attorney
(1) Did the Accused speak to you about deportations of
Jews to Nisko?
(2) What were the reasons behind the deportations of
Jews to Nisko-on-San?
(3) Where did you become acquainted with Stahlecker?
(4) What do you know about the Accused’s relations with
(5) Which offices were envisaged for implementing the
(6) Do you know which tasks were carried out by these
offices in connection with the general deportation of
Jews to the East?
(7) Did the Accused discuss with you his work on the
(8) What were the tasks of the Central Office for
Jewish Emigration in connection with the confiscation
of Jewish property in Austria?
(9) When did you first hear about “Operation
Margarethe” (the occupation of Hungary)?
(10) Did you participate in staff-level consultations
in the Head Office for Reich Security in preparation
for the occupation of Hungary, and if so, when?
(11) What was said about solving the Jewish Question in
(12) What was the official relationship between
Eichmann and Heydrich?
(13) What do you know about Heydrich’s special
assignment to solve the Jewish Question?
(14) Did the Accused speak to you about his duties in
implementing Heydrich’s special assignment?
(15) Who was responsible for Endre’s and Baki’s joining
the Sztojai Government?
(16) What were the relations of the Accused with Endre
(17) Did the Accused speak to you about his
collaboration with Baki and Endre?
(18) What do you know about the collaboration of the
Accused with the Hungarian gendarmerie?
(19) In August 1944, did the Accused tell you that he
was leaving, and when he was leaving, for the Romanian
(20) What do you know about the Accused’s plans for
deporting the Jews from the Romanian part of
(21) Did the Accused explain to you the reason for his
doubts about returning to Hungary?
(22) In Hungary, was Eichmann subordinate – as regards
the performance of his duties – to the Commander of the
Security Police and the Security Service (BdS)?
(23) Did Eichmann tell you how he knew that he was
considered to be a war criminal?
(24) Did Eichmann concede that this accusation was
(25) How did Eichmann know the precise number of Jews
(26) Did you recently say the following about Eichmann:
“I met him” (Adolf Eichmann) “again in Budapest in
1944. He was that Eichmann who sent hundreds of
thousands of Hungarian Jews to the extermination camps,
following orders without scruples, just as he had done
previously in Vienna in 1938-1939. I think the best
way of describing Eichmann’s role would be to call him
the Great Forwarding Agent of Death.”
(27) Do the affidavits you made to the American
authorities on 5 November 1945 and 25 November 1945
conform to the truth?
(28) Do you, more particularly, confirm your solemn
affirmation of 5 November 1945 in which you swear,
inter alia, to the following:
“Sometime in 1942, in Vienna, I talked to SS
Brigadefuehrer Stahlecker, who had been in charge of
one of these Special Operations Units of the Security
Police and the Security Service in the East. He told
me that Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich had instructed him
to take over the command of a Special Operations Group,
whose area of operations included the territory of an
army group. It was his task to exterminate the Jews in
this area by shooting them. I gathered from talks with
Eichmann and Stahlecker and other members of the
Security Police and the Security Service that, since
the beginning of the Russian campaign (1941), the Jews
had been killed, first by the Special Operations Units
of the Security Police and the Security Service, and
later – probably from the beginning of 1943 onwards –
in the extermination camps in the East. The Jews were
arrested and dispatched to the extermination camps by
the Special Commando under Eichmann, which consisted of
members of the Security Police, principally the
Gestapo. Eichmann had been given that assignment by
Heydrich; in the Head Office for Reich Security his
chief was the head of the Gestapo, SS Gruppenfuehrer
(29) Are you the author of the book, Die Geheime Front
(The Secret Front)?
(30) Is the statement you make in this book, to the
effect that the Legionaries (Green Shirts) in Romania
were organized by the German authorities, correct?
I request you to summon to the examination of the witness
the representative of the Attorney General of the State of
Israel, c/o H.E. Ambassador Dr. F.E. Shinnar, Israel
Mission, Cologne, as well as Counsel for the Accused, Dr. R.
Servatius, Hohenzollernring 14, Cologne, and to afford them
the opportunity to ask the witness, on their part, questions
which might arise from his answers.
There is no objection to the aforementioned representatives
of the parties obtaining copies of the record of the
Please forward the original record of the examination to
(-) Moshe Landau
President of the Trial Court