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Eichmann Trial -- Session 26 -- Testimony about children and the Polish underground

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.038 | Film ID: 2037

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    Eichmann Trial -- Session 26 -- Testimony about children and the Polish underground


    Session 26. Witness Adolph Avraham Berman testifies. Dr. Berman talks about the numbers of children in Warsaw. The Judges ask him questions. He says that there was help for Jews from the Polish underground, especially for the children. He says that Jewish children were smuggled into the Aryan section of Warsaw, and then lists the Polish underground organizations, including Janusz Korczak, that helped. He says that they worked to get the news out of what was happening.

    00:08:30 Dr. Berman finishes, and the Judges call Dr. Duvdevani. He discusses the search for a cache of items stashed in the Warsaw Ghetto, including a book written during the war. He reads some of the passages from the book, from an historian, discussing the horrors that he had seen in 1943. He describes some of the troubles, and that everyone was willing to lay down their lives for their religion. He says that they know that they were persecuted only because they were Jews, and that the Germans were attempting to exterminate them. 00:21:43 He reads about the persecution against the sons of the Jews. He describes Pharaoh taking the infants, and the Nazis doing the same. "The most cruel tortures are those endured by those little sons and daughters," he reads.

    00:24:03 The Judges call upon Ms. Rifka Cooper. She describes the deportation from Krakow towards Lublin. She says that they were robbed on their way and had no way to make a living, but they were still alive. They were then forced to set up the ghetto early in 1941. She describes the efforts of people to save the children from the horrors of the ghetto, but largely it was unsuccessful. Robbery, breaking and entering, attacks on the street, and persecution against religion were normal. She describes, with some difficulty, that they managed to light candles for special days, fasted on Yom Kippur, and ate bread when they could. She describes a book written on toilet paper that managed to survive the war in the ghetto. Se describes some of the key parts of the revolt in the ghetto. 00:40:33 She talks about her jobs at Auschwitz, including the bringing down of houses and draining swamps. She says that she was arrested for the smuggling of information. She was within the prison of the camp. They did the worst labor, worked from 3am till after sundown, with smaller food rations. She was smuggled onto a transport to Breitenbach. She describes the work of the underground, smuggling people into the Aryan district.

    00:45:30 Ms. Eisen is called to the witness stand and sworn in. The Attorney General asks her if she was a liaison to the underground in Krakow. She was. She received her orders from the Warsaw ghetto and they worked to smuggle people to a house on the outside. She describes the rescue of a disabled girl to a house with no roof from a hospital, because hospitals were the first to be deported. She said she was caught once with illegal papers, but managed to destroy it. She also smuggled in the dynamite for a campaign in Krakow.

    00:56:48 Ms. Eisen is let go, the Attorney General says that he has no further witnesses for the day, and would like to submit documents. People begin leaving the court. The document concerns the OKW's leader, and the friction between the army and the police. It says that the Reich authorities were so angry about this that those responsible would be banned from the party after the war. Tape ends midsentence.
    Film Title
    Eichmann Trial
    Event:  1961 May 03
    Production:  1961 May 03
    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: Capital Cities Broadcasting Corporation
    Subject: Adolf A. Berman
    Producer: Milton Fruchtman
    Camera Operator: J. Kalach
    Camera Operator: Emil Knebel
    Camera Operator: J. Jonilowicz
    Camera Operator: F. Csaznik
    Camera Operator: Rolf M. Kneller
    Prior to WWII, Dr. Adolf Avraham Berman, doctor of psychology was the director of the head office of the Jewish psychological and psychotechnical institutions in Poland (CENTOS). After September 8, 1939, children in Warsaw suffered horrible treatment at the hands of the Nazis. Berman attended to thousands of Jewish children in Warsaw who needed food, housing, and emotional support. He helped establish thirty orphanages and dormitories, approximately twenty day shelters, twenty food kitchens, and thirty children's and youth clubs within the Warsaw Ghetto. Furthermore, Berman helped to maintain an education system despite it being forbidden. However, in 1942 SS actions liquidated and destroyed the majority of these institutions in a matter of weeks. Berman became one of the commanders of the Jewish underground in the Warsaw Ghetto. After the war ended, Berman went to visit Treblinka concentration camp. During his visit, he encountered piles of possessions including thousands of children's shoes. This sight significantly affected him, and he took a pair of shoes, which he still has in his possession. In 1961, Berman lived in Tel Aviv, Israel.
    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
    00:00:17:00 to 01:00:37:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 2037 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2037 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2037 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2037 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 2037 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2037 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2037 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2037 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.
    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.
    Copied From
    2" Quad
    Film Source
    Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 2131
    Source Archive Number: VTEI 165
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 08:05:22
    This page:

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