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Eichmann Trial -- Session 29 -- Testimonies of A. Aviel and H. Behrendt

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.042 | Film ID: 2041

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    Eichmann Trial -- Session 29 -- Testimonies of A. Aviel and H. Behrendt


    Session 29. Court is adjourned. There are shots of the audience, frontals of the courtroom, and a conversation between Defense Attorney Dr. Robert Servatius and Adolf Eichmann. Following a blip at 00:05:21, excerpts from Tape 2040 with witness Avraham Aviel are repeated. He discusses the liquidation of the Radun ghetto, and his escape to the group of Jewish men being used for labor. After joining the second group, Aviel recounts the death of his mother and younger brother: "Only afterward did I learn that I had been the only one who somehow managed to escape from that situation." Aviel discusses the reactions of the labor group. He, his older brother, and the other Jewish men went back to the ghetto, and were registered as 'working Jews' by the Nazis. Aviel and his brother decided to escape, and fled into the forest bordering the Radun ghetto. In another repeat of Tape 2040, Hausner questions Aviel about the Jewish partisan movement against the Gestapo. Following a blip at 00:19:32, more repeated contents of Tape 2040 as Aviel discusses the assistance he received from gentiles-particulatrly a man named Ancilowitz, who housed many Jews despite Nazi interrogation and threat. Aviel describes Nazi actions against the displaced Jews.

    After a blip at 00:27:10, the Court discusses Defense Attorney Dr. Robert Servatius's ability to take evidence abroad. The Judges request that questions of the Court not be publicized prior to witness interrogation. Court officials argue further over whether to publish examination questions, and courtroom discussions prior to witness interrogation. After much deliberation, the Court submits Decision 15; the Court decides not to publish defense or prosecution questionnaires before relevant questions have been used. The Court discusses protocol for sending information abroad for the purpose of examining foreign witnesses. Hausner notes that all intended witnesses for the Defense are war criminals under the Nazi and Nazi Collaborators Punishment Law of 1950, and therefore may not enter Israel without threat of arrest and prosecution. However, Hausner agrees that the testimony of Eichmann's former colleagues is important to the trial.

    Following a blip at 00:51:10, Hausner questions witness Haim Behrendt, a Minsk ghetto survivor, about the conditions in the Minsk ghetto. Behrendt states: "They [the SS] killed about 30,000 Jews there..." The tape ends as he continues to describe the killings in Minsk.
    Film Title
    Eichmann Trial
    Event:  1961 May 05
    Production:  1961 May 05
    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: Haim Behrendt
    Producer: Milton Fruchtman
    Camera Operator: J. Kalach
    Camera Operator: Emil Knebel
    Camera Operator: J. Jonilowicz
    Camera Operator: F. Csaznik
    Camera Operator: Rolf M. Kneller
    Haim Behrendt was born in Berlin in 1919. After the War began in 1939, Behrendt managed to remain in Berlin with the assistance of friends and acquaintances. In 1940, he got married and moved into the house of his wife's parents. At the end of October 1941, Behrendt and his wife received a missive from the district police instructing Behrendt to list the material contents of his house. Soon thereafter, he and his wife were ordered to report to a synagogue in Leventzowstrasse, where they remained until their deportation to a ghetto in Minsk, Belorussia. While living in a Minsk, Behrendt encountered horrible conditions; overpopulation, starvation, physical abuse, and death. In September 1943, the SS moved Behrendt's kommando to the Minsk concentration camp. Over the course of the next two years, Behrendt was transferred to six different concentration camps: Lublin, Bedzin, Mielec, Flossenbürg, Herzebrock, and Dachau. The American army liberated Haim Behrendt on April 24, 1945. By 1961, he migrated to Israel and was a member of Kibbutz Na-an.
    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
    00:00:37:00 to 01:02:16:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 2041 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2041 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2041 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2041 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 2041 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2041 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2041 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2041 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, pp. 496-501, 504-506. Also available online at the Nizkor Project.

    *After 20 minutes slight H-Jitter from master; "s" distortion; some dropout; reasonable picture; after break at 50 minutes in master "s" distortion improves.
    Copied From
    2" Quad
    Film Source
    Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 2135
    Source Archive Number: VTEI 289
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 08:05:39
    This page:

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