Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Eichmann Trial -- Session 5 -- Excerpts of Attorney General's reply

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.009 | Film ID: 2008

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward

    Eichmann Trial -- Session 5 -- Excerpts of Attorney General's reply


    Session 5. Begins while the courtroom is empty. The attorneys enter, and the camera focuses on Attorney General Hausner and Defense Attorney Servatius as they exchange pleasantries. The judges enter the courtroom and Judge Moshe Landau declares Session 5 open. Hausner discusses the Nuremberg Trials and its influence on the establishment of international laws and principles. He then quotes from the International Military Tribunal. The judge questions the relevancy of the documents being presented by the prosecution. To answer Landau's question, Hausner refers to the "Nazi Punishment Law," and explains that the law transfers responsibility from lower members of government to heads of state. The Judge continues to question Hausner's objective in presenting such laws.

    Hausner believes that Eichmann will plead innocent based on "Acts of State," Section 19 of the Criminal Code Ordinance of 1936; "Acts of State" lists that soldiers/government officials are not responsible for their actions as they were following the orders of their superiors. Hausner believes that Eichmann cannot claim innocence based on Section 19 because his role in the Holocaust went beyond following orders. On a less personal level, the prosecutor states that Eichmann cannot plead innocent under Section 19, regardless of his actions during WWII as Section 8 of the "Nazi and Nazi Collaborators Punishment Law," directly invalidates "Acts of State." The Judge disagrees with Hausner, and reminds the prosecution that Eichmann has not yet entered a plea. Hausner relents, and explains he referred to foreign legislation because he wanted to highlight the correlation between Paragraph 8 of Israeli law and International Law.

    Hausner continues to present international precedents for war criminals. He quotes a Supreme Court decision in West Germany: "an illegal order does not constitute justification for an illegal act." Judge Landau and Hausner discuss the differences between the Israeli and German courts. This conversation is followed by Hausner's conclusion.

    Dr. Servatius is given permission to respond. The defense asserts Eichman's lack of responsibility; it is his superior, Adolf Hitler who should be punished for crimes against humanity, and he is dead. Hence, Adolf Eichmann should not be prosecuted. Furthermore, Servatius claims that Eichmann has the right to protection by his native country-Germany, and denying him that right would trivialize the legality of the court. The Judges pause to consider both arguments, and announce that a decision will be presented on the following Monday. The tape ends as the Court is adjourned.
    Film Title
    Eichmann Trial
    Event:  1961 April 14
    Production:  1961 April 14
    Jerusalem, Israel
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archives of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Director: Leo Hurwitz
    Producer: Milton Fruchtman
    Camera Operator: Rolf M. Kneller
    Camera Operator: F. Csaznik
    Camera Operator: J. Jonilowicz
    Camera Operator: J. Kalach
    Camera Operator: Emil Knebel
    Producer: Capital Cities Broadcasting Corporation
    Emil Knebel was a cinematographer known for Andante (2010), Adam (1973), and Wild Is My Love (1963). He was one of the cameramen who recorded daily coverage of the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem (produced by Capital Cities Broadcasting Corp and later held academic positions in Israel and New York teaching filmmaking at universities. Refer to CV in file.

    Physical Details

    English Hebrew German
    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    00:01:48:00 to 01:00:28:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 2008 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2008 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2008 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2008 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 2008 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2008 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2008 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2008 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
    Public Domain
    Conditions on Use
    To the best of the Museum's knowledge, this material is in the public domain. You do not require further permission from the Museum to reproduce or use this material.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    Capital Cities Broadcasting Corporation recorded the proceedings of the Adolf Eichmann trial in 1961. The original recording was made on two-inch format videotape. One set of videotapes contained selected portions of the trial for distribution to television stations. The "selected portions" version remained in Israel and was later turned over to the Israel State Archives. Capital Cities Broadcasting retained the set of videotapes containing the complete trial proceedings at offices in New York City until 1965, when they gave the videotapes to the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith. The Anti-Defamation League, in turn, gave the complete set to the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1972. With a grant from the Revson Foundation, Hebrew University transferred the two-inch videotapes to U-Matic format. During the transfer process, Hebrew University created three duplicate sets. One set was given to the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive, one to the Israel State Archives, and one set to the Jewish Museum in New York City. In 1995, the Israel State Archives transferred the trial footage to digital videoformat with a grant from the Israeli Prime Minister's Office. Three subsequent digital videotape copies resulted from this transfer of footage. The Israel State Archives retained one digital copy and a second set was deposited at the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the third set of digital videotapes in May 1999.
    There are approximately eleven blips:
    00:06.47 to 00:06.57
    00:09.22 to 00:09.31
    00:11.00 to 00:11.10
    00:12.20 to 00:12.29
    00:13.04 to 00:13.08
    00:18.11 to 00:18.22
    00:21.34 to 00:21.42
    00:24.04 to 00:24.11
    00:34.03 to 00:34.11
    00:35.04 to 00:35.18 - the recording jumps back to the conversation between Judge Landau and Hausner as they discuss extradition treaty in West Germany.
    00:36.34 to 00:36.42

    See official transcripts, published in "The Trial of Adolf Eichmann", Vol. I-V, State of Israel, Ministry of Justice, Jerusalem, 1994. Also available online at the Nizkor Project

    The dialogue is in three languages: German, Hebrew, and English. Adolf Eichmann and Defense Counsel Robert Servatius speak in German, which is translated into Hebrew. The Judges and Attorney General Gideon Hausner speak Hebrew. An English translation of the proceedings is dubbed over all of the dialogue by translators. The presiding Judges are Moshe Landau, Benjamin Halevi, and Yitzchak Raveh. Also present are Assistant State Attorneys Gabriel Bach and Ya'akov Bar-Or. There are periodic breaks in the footage.
    Copied From
    2" Quad
    Film Source
    Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 1736
    Source Archive Number: VTEI 274
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:43:32
    This page:

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us