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Eichmann Trial -- Sessions 39 and 40 -- Whether Musmanno can testify; other leaders implicate Eichmann

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.049 | Film ID: 2048

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    Eichmann Trial -- Sessions 39 and 40 -- Whether Musmanno can testify; other leaders implicate Eichmann


    Sessions 39 and 40. Attorney General Hausner, citing that a certain witness could not make it for that day, breaks the current narrative to call Justice Michael Musmanno, a judge at the Nuremberg trials who was responsible for interrogating Nazi leaders, as a witness. Dr. Servatius objects and argues that he has already made judgments and would only present hearsay evidence to the case.

    00:08:51 Tape jumps. Hausner is arguing that the cases of Musmanno do not affect this case. He says that since none of Eichmann's superiors are around, nor anybody directly related to this case, he must obtain a picture from those who dealt with men in their official capacities. At Nuremberg, Musmanno heard official documents and from the accused themselves in order to learn the narrative.

    00:13:42 Dr. Servatius asks that perhaps he could be considered an expert witness and treated as such. He heard from two biased sides, including the defendants, and was skewed in some way. He then says he would never question a judge, but Musmanno is also a publicist and therefore biased. He asks the Judges not to accept the evidence. The Judges take a 20 minute recess.

    00:16:34 Tape jumps. The Judges are in their seats and give their decision considering Musmanno, deciding to accept his testimony, but nothing concerning the things he investigated on his own after the Nuremberg trials. He says that he is on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for just over nine years and a trial judge for over 20.

    00:21:23 Tape jumps. Musmanno is testifying about Hitler ordering that every captured Allied pilot be executed, and that Kaller refused to follow the order, going to Kaltenbrunner concerning that. Kaltenbrunner agreed, except he had a problem with Eichmann insisting that downed pilots of Jewish heritage be executed.

    00:25:09 Eichmann is said to repeatedly have gone above Heydrich to talk to Himmler. After Heydrich's assassination, it is said there was a time where Eichmann ran his department with a completely free hand.

    00:29:43 Tape jumps. It was said that nobody had control over Eichmann because he was fulfilling a mission for Hitler.

    00:30:58 Tape jumps. Musmanno is asked about the principle purpose of the Einsatzgruppen with respect to Jews. He says that their purpose was to exterminate Jews and rob them of their property.

    00:33:21 Hausner asks to submit a document not related to Musmanno but to a problem that arose in relation to him. The President of Court tells him to wait for the cross-examination. Dr. Servatius asks Musmanno about a statement concerning Eichmann's responsibility with the extermination of the Jews. Dr. Servatius asks him if he talked to Goering in his investigation. He says that he did, and that Goering said he was unaware that the extermination of the Jews had hit its reported levels, and that Hitler, Bormann, Goebbels, Himmler, Heydrich, and Eichmann did since they were directly responsible for the Holocaust. Other people close to Hitler who spoke of Eichmann were von Ribbentropp, Kaltenbrunner, Hans Frank, Schellenberg, Karl Koller, and others. He says that Hitler put Eichmann into the program of Jewish extermination (this is duplicate footage from Tape 2043). Servatius asks if Goering was trying to pawn off this guilt upon a small official to escape accusations of his own involvement. Musmanno says with enthusiasm that he spoke of Eichmann as a large figure, with great power and total control over the extermination of the Jews.

    00:43:41 Dr. Servatius asks about Musmanno talking to von Ribbentrop. He is asked about Eichmann pressuring von Ribbentrop. He said that von Ribbentrop claimed that Eichmann influenced Hitler, but he did not accept that, because nobody could influence Hitler. Servatius says that this was von Ribbentrop passing off responsibility for killing the Jews, and Musmanno immediately responds that he wasn't accusing von Ribbentrop for anything, but asking about Hitler. Von Ribbentrop insisted that Hitler was not responsible for anything, but it was Eichmann, and his great regret was the faith that Hitler put in Eichmann.

    00:49:45 Tape jumps. Musmanno is asked to explain some statements from the Nuremberg trials that contradict the evidence he had just given regarding von Ribbentrop. He says that von Ribbentrop knew his guilt, and attempted to bring all of the other guilty parties with him. He says that von Ribbentrop never denied guilt, but only added names to those who were also guilty; he wasn't accusing these men, but only talking to them.
    Film Title
    Eichmann Trial
    Event:  1961 May 15
    Production:  1961 May 15
    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
    00:00:09:00 to 00:55:56:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 2048 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2048 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2048 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2048 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 2048 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2048 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2048 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2048 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: 2145
    Source Archive Number: VTEI 296
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:46:37
    This page:

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