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Eichmann Trial -- Sessions 6, 7 and 8

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

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    Eichmann Trial -- Sessions 6, 7 and 8


    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
    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 German Hebrew
    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    00:00:38:00 to 00:20:08:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 2020 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2020 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2020 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2020 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 2020 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
      Preservation 2020 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
      Preservation 2020 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
      Preservation 2020 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small

    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.
    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: 1749
    Source Archive Number: VTEI 108
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:46:40
    This page:

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