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Eichmann Trial -- Session 41 -- Witness Dr. Grueber re: knowing Eichmann during the war and concentration camps

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.050 | Film ID: 2049

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    Eichmann Trial -- Session 41 -- Witness Dr. Grueber re: knowing Eichmann during the war and concentration camps


    Session 41. Dr. Servatius complains that the numerous witnesses from abroad fall within various courts, and that it would take too much time to attain all of these witnesses, their affidavits, and their testimony. They list the witnesses whose addresses they do not yet have. That court will make the request to the German courts, and Dr. Servatius says that his assistant will attempt to do just that. Attorney General Hausner requests that the Defense be instructed to supply the names of all of the witnesses to be questioned, as it is becoming global. The Judges agree. Dr. Servatius says that he is overburdened with his work, so he does not know that he will be able to submit all of his witnesses immediately, but he will do his best once he is able to assess his work. Hausner says that they would prefer, in all cases, to bring the witnesses to the court rather than have an affidavit if at all possible.

    00:14:50 Dr. Heinrich Karl Ernst Grueber is called in to testify. He is sworn in on a Bible, as he is a Christian clergyman, the Protestant Dean of Berlin who risked his life to save Jews from Nazi persecution. They move the interpreter next to the witness, as he is hard of hearing. They ask him basic questions about his past, and he answers that he was a clergyman in various places around Berlin prior to the war.

    00:22:29 He says that Jews were second class citizens, not allowed to freely express themselves like others. He says that he had to become more prominent as he was not restricted in his actions, meaning that when someone had to visit a government office, or needed to acquire supplies of some sort, he had far more success than his Jewish partners. He describes that on Jewish holidays, there would be days of further oppression, and they would all hide together to try to avoid the beatings. He also mentions that he knew Eichmann's name before the war, and had been in his office, though he had never actually met him.

    00:37:39 He describes the impression that Eichmann made, the transformation of his name into a symbol of oppression.

    00:43:20 Tape jumps, and Grueber is being asked whether Eichmann ever referred to orders from above that he received. He says that Eichmann relied on the "I" form for everything, that "I will order" and such. He does not know whether he did that to raise his own prestige or because he was in charge, but he never said that he had to check with his superiors on anything. He describes the men who he associated with and requests not to give any names. He says that some were germane with the Jews, but not all. He describes how differently they see the concentration camps now than they did then. Then they did not understand what exactly they were doing, they did not comprehend how someone like Eichmann could act with such cruelty, it simply did not sink in. The Judges order a 20 minute recess when Hausner says he wants to switch topics.
    Film Title
    Eichmann Trial
    Event:  1961 May 16
    Production:  1961 May 16
    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: Heinrich Grueber
    Producer: Milton Fruchtman
    Camera Operator: J. Kalach
    Camera Operator: Emil Knebel
    Camera Operator: J. Jonilowicz
    Camera Operator: F. Csaznik
    Camera Operator: Rolf M. Kneller
    Heinrich Karl Ernst Grüber was a Protestant Dean of Berlin who risked his life to save Jews from Nazi persecution. Heinrich Grüber was born in Stolberg, in the Rhineland, on 24 June 1891. Of Huguenot stock, he studied theology in Bonn, Berlin and Utrecht before becoming an active social worker and the director of a home for developmentally disabled boys. Staunchly opposed to Hitler, he came into contact with Pastor Niemoller and the Confessional Church. Niemoller entrusted him with setting up an organization, the 'Büro Grüber', at his vicarage in Karlsdorf, near Berlin, to help save Christians of Jewish descent. The Büro dealt with emigration and employment abroad, care for the aged, welfare, and the education of Jewish children. Grüber constantly negotiated with the Nazi authorities, including Eichmann's Gestapo office, on behalf of Jewish organizations and sometimes found secret helpers in the Wehrmacht and different Reich ministries. After the outbreak of war he was frequently harassed by Gestapo threats, and in December 1940, he was arrested and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, then transferred to Dachau. He suffered from a heart complaint, had his teeth knocked out and most of his helpers were murdered by the Nazis. Released in 1943, he resumed contact with Evangelical church clergymen in exile. In 1945, he became Dean of St Mary's Church in Berlin, and founded the Evangelische Hilfsstelle für Ehemals Rassisch Verfolgte (Evangelical Aid Society for former Victims of Racial Persecution). From 1949 to 1958 Gruber was the chief representative of the Evangelical Church in East Berlin, resigning his position in protest against anti-Christian smears in the DDR. He was also unpopular in West Germany for his advocacy of nuclear disarmament and his attacks on West German militarism, not to mention his insistence on the collective guilt of the German nation for Nazi crimes. Grüber argued that every German 'who glosses over his past failings is a potential criminal of tomorrow' and denounced the official whitewashing of the German people in the post-war period. He was the only German witness to come to Jerusalem in 1961 to testify at the Eichmann trail as to the existence of 'another Germany'. Dean Grüber continued to emphasize the moral obligation of the Germans to the Jewish people and to warn the authorities against minimizing periodic outbursts of neo-Nazi activity in the Federal Republic. His memoirs, "Erinnerungen aus Sieben Jahrzehnten," were published in 1968. He died of a heart attack seven years later at the age of eighty-four.

    Courtesy of:
    "Who's Who in Nazi Germany"
    ©1982, Wiederfield and Nicolsa
    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
    00:00:25:00 to 01:02:42:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 2049 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2049 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2049 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2049 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 2049 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2049 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2049 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2049 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: 2146
    Source Archive Number: VTEI 100
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 08:05:23
    This page:

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