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Eichmann Trial -- Sessions 6, 7 and 8

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.021 | Film ID: 2020

Sessions 6, 7 and 8. Attorney General Gideon Hausner continues his opening statement. Hausner refers to the contributions of several Jewish persons to highlight the social and cultural decimation produced by the events of the Holocaust.

According to the official court transcripts, the prosecution concludes his opening speech with these words: "By the mercy of Providence, which preserved a saving remnant, Adolf Eichmann's design was frustrated, and the intention that the cherished was not implemented to the end." However, the following transcription was taken directly from the tape starting at 00:11:25:

"Adolf Eichmann's guilt lies in the planning, initiation, organization and execution of the crimes specified in the indictment. We shall prove his guilt as planner, initiator, organizer and executer of the crime known as the final solution of the Jewish problem; his direct part of the implementation of this criminal program; his role as administrator, director, and commander of the operation, as well as the part he played as partner and accomplice in the implementation of the program by others. He was the pivot of the criminal conspiracy to exterminate the Jewish people, wholly or in part and he was partner to the crimes committed by the SS, the SD, the Gestapo including the members of the Einsatzgruppen, the security police commanders, senior SS and police officers, their emissaries and branch offices, and all those who under their command carried out their instructions in respect of all the acts of murder, plunder, torture and persecution detailed in the indictment. We shall prove that the Accused performed all these deeds with the set purpose of destroying the Jewish people, wholly or in part. We shall prove that his deeds were crimes against the Jewish people, crimes against humanity, and war crimes as defined in the indictment. We shall also prove the offences committed by the Accused against persons of other nationalities.

In support of the charge, we shall produce extensive written and oral evidence; and I say immediately that the central archives of the Gestapo including the archives of Eichmann's department are not in our possession, and have not as yet come to the light of day. But abundant documentary evidence is to be found in the gigantic archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other Ministries of the German Reich; in correspondence between the Accused and his partners in crime with the ministries; in the offices of the Security Police and other official bureau in German cities and in the lands conquered by the Nazis. Further there are documents and reports, which have been published by governmental institutions for the documentation and investigation of Nazi crimes such as those in Poland, France, Holland, Denmark and Belgium. Much material is available in the minutes of the various courts, which tried Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, and in the liberated countries. Documents have also been preserved by various persons and many of them are in our hands.

We shall call witnesses who met Eichmann at the time of these acts, and others who will describe his actions and crimes as they experienced them in their own persons and will give evidence of what they saw and heard during the period of the Holocaust. The killing of millions of Jews represented the killing off of millions of witnesses, but witnesses still survive who can report what they saw with their own eyes, heard with their own ears and suffered in their own persons. To the best of our ability we shall try to demonstrate to this court in full what Adolf Eichmann did to the Jewish people but we shall not be able to bring proof of as to the fate of each community or the destruction of each Jewish population. This will remain the task of the historian.

Accordingly we shall bring before the court all the evidence at our disposal on the decisions made to carry out the extermination program, the methods by which these decisions were carried out, and the evidence as to the role and the responsibility of the Accused therein. We shall also submit historical evidence as to the demography of the Jewish people before the Nazis came to power, and the picture of destruction, which was unfolded when the smoke of battle lifted at the end of hostilities during the Second World War. We shall also show proof of the various forms of extermination used and the methods employed by the Accused to carry out this program in every place in which he operated. We shall then show the fate of a number of Jewish communities, and in the light of the extermination decision on the one hand and the effect of the Holocaust on the other we shall request the court to conclude that what will have been established in regard to a number of legalities occurred also to the whole house of Israel in conquered Europe. It is beyond our power to give an accurate description of this terrible disaster in all its depth.

I am afraid that even after submitting all the material which we have established and all the evidence in our possession, we shall not be able to do more than give a pale reflection of the enormous human and national tragedy, which occurred to Jewry in this generation. Adolf Eichmann will enjoy a privilege, which he did not accord to even a single one of his victims; he will be able to defend himself before the Court. His fate will be decided according to law and according to the evidence with the burden of proof resting upon the Prosecution. And the Judges of Israel will pronounce true and righteous judgment."

Film Title
Eichmann Trial
Event:  1961 April 18
Production:  1961 April 18
Jerusalem, Israel
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archives of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 22:00:53
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