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Eichmann Trial -- Session 12 and 13 -- Testimonies of A. Less and S. Baron

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.025 | Film ID: 2024

Sessions 12 and 13. The courtroom is out of session. Eichmann enters the glass booth and exchanges papers with his attorneys. The tape skips at 00:01:43 from a shot of Eichmann to a shot of the audience during the trial. Presiding Judge Moshe Landau asks witness Avner Pakad Less (Israeli police Captain who conducted the pretrial interrogation of Eichmann in 1960) to present his evidence to the court. Court officials organize documents with serial number 1491. There is a blip at 00:04:01 and the story moves to Attorney General Gideon Hausner asking Less about the questions he asked Eichmann during the pretrial interrogation. Another blip interrupts the story at 00:05:21 where there is a flash of a black speaker from a different event, and then the tape returns to the Eichmann trial. Then, Less presents a diagram detailing the positions/hierarchy within the Department for Jewish Affairs. He lists the organizations and positions in German.

After a blip at 00:07:47, Defense Attorney Dr. Robert Servatius questions Less on the particulars of Eichmann's pretrial interrogation. Servatius asks if conversation took place other than the excerpts presented by the prosecution. Less replies: "I told him to describe only his part in the Third Reich, and not anything that came after the surrender of Germany in 1945." Following another blip at 00:13:00, Servatius continues to question Less about the pretrial interrogation; he asks about Less's use of the Life magazine article, and the Defense rests. Hausner questions Less: "...Do you know whether any pressure was exerted at all on the Accused to make his statement?" Less answers, no.
After a blip at 00:16:43, witness Salo Baron (Shalom Wittmayer Baron in Hebrew), Professor of Jewish History at Columbia University, is called to the stand. Baron apologizes in advance for his poor Hebrew, and establishes that he is giving witness testimony as a historian. He then discloses his knowledge of the political, social, and cultural aspects of the European Jewish community prior to Nazism. Following a blip at 00:24:06, Baron discusses population growth among World Jewry: "Everything that happened to the Jews of Europe, was immediately felt in all the countries of the world." Blip at 00:25:27. Baron describes the development of Nazism within the spectrum of post WWI culture. As Jews gained equality within European societies, the Nazi Movement gained momentum. Another blip at 00:27:32. Baron continues to explain the development of Nazism and its effect on the Jews. He notes German desecration of Jewish cemeteries, and his explanation is again interrupted by blip at 00:29:37.

The story continues during Session 13. [Note: picture quality is poor for the duration of the tape] Hausner asks Baron to give a description of European Jewry after the Nazis surrendered in 1945. Baron begins to explain the drastic differences in Jewish culture and population after the Holocaust. He states: " Poland...there had been approximately 3,300,000 Jews before the Second World War... only 73,955 Jews remained." Baron explains that the Jewish population loss was historically unprecedented. After a blip at 00:37:00, Baron continues his assessment of Holocaust repercussions upon world Jewry. He compares the extreme Jewish losses to the losses of the Japanese in the atomic bombings at the end of the war.

Blip at 00:41:01. Baron is no longer on the stand; Hausner presents documentation regarding Eichmann's career in the SS. Another blip at 00:43:24, the story slightly backtracks, and Hausner is seen presenting documentation to the court. Another blip moves the story forward as Hausner shows the Court photographs of Eichmann, signed with his personal signature. Servatius objects to the photographs but the Court decides to admit them under sub-number 15. Servatius continues to express doubt about the validity of the photographs, and a discussion ensues among court officials. Eventually, Judge Landau reprimands Hausner for not having proof that the photographs are originals and suggests Hausner checks his source. Landau organizes a tentative solution for the issue, but Hausner persists in discussing the signed photographs.

There is a blip at 00:57:09 and a brief clip of a commercial involving children. Then, Hausner presents documents to the court: an affidavit from Smith W. Brookhart, the man who recorded Dieter Wisliceny's statement which disclosed Eichmann's guilt. The tape ends as Servatius expresses reservations about Wisliceny's statement.

Film Title
Eichmann Trial
Event:  1961 April 24
Production:  1961 April 24
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: 2021-06-03 12:44:36
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